Off topic, but great news in Florida. From Politico, "Florida Democrats put a W in the column six months after Republicans crushed them across the board in the 2022 elections.

Democrat Donna Deegan upset Republican Daniel Davis and became the first woman elected Jacksonville mayor, capping off an evening that also saw Dems win six out of nine races on the ballot in Florida’s largest city. The turnout was slightly more than 33%, with Republicans edging Democrats by 3 percentage points.

Deegan, a former TV anchor and leader of a nonprofit foundation that helps breast cancer victims, overcame a significant cash disadvantage and negative ads faulting her for participating in Black Lives Matter protests. She won the mayor’s race 52% to 48% over Davis, a former legislator and CEO of the JAX Chamber.

“Everybody said it could not be done in Jacksonville,” Deegan told her supporters last night while also pointing out her campaign and its volunteers had worked for a year and a half ahead of the victory.

Her victory was a clear boost for Democrats and comes a month after the party had been declared a “dead carcass on the side of the road” by Gov. Ron DeSantis. State Dems and Florida Republicans both poured money and time into the race. Jacksonville — and Duval County — went for Democrat Andrew Gillum in 2018 and President Joe Biden in 2020. But DeSantis carried the county decisively six months ago."

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Last statement so very powerful: “condemn the Democrats for whatever they do.” McCarthy’s chokehold demanding negotiations where none are possible in debts already incurred are damaging our national security and global standing. This is completely unacceptable; I believe President Biden should invoke the 14th. Amendment and continue his schedule of meetings regarding the Indopacific as planned. He tries so very hard to move us past the hellish years of Trump to have individual obstructionists of the MAGA cult thwart him at every turn. The man’s comfort in his own skin is a blessing to us all. Is there any other who could remain so calm and composed while steering this enormous ship of wrongly complaining shortsited fools? I think not. #GoJoeBiden

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May 18, 2023·edited May 18, 2023

Look, guys, let's be real with ourselves. This whole debacle was completely inevitable from the second those low-turnout CA&NY results came in that meant we would come up just short in the House. The Repubs were always going to tangle up the budget with the debt ceiling, and they were going to lie about it, and they were going to find a way to stick it to poor people, because that is their MO. And dollars to donuts the only realistic way this is going to end is by giving them some of what they want. They're going to call a bunch of the shots on this process and get some of what they want, because the majority party in the House always gets some of what they want, because everything to do with money comes from the House. But they will not get all of what they want, or even most of it, because they don't have the White House or Senate majority. That's how this works, always, because the Constitution doesn't have a clause that says "...unless some of the participants involved are batsh!t crazy super-@$$holes, in which case they can be ignored in the name of justice! Huzzah!" Elections are forks in the road, and pretty much everything legislation-wise can be predicted based on which path you turn onto, and there is jack squat you can do about it until the next fork in the road shows up. How ethically right you are doesn't matter. How popular your positions are doesn't matter. How smart and capable and well-spoken your leaders are - or how gross theirs are - doesn't matter. There is nothing you can do to make your not-preferred people un-in-charge of whatever they are unfortunately in charge of until the next election. Period.

So when Joe Biden comes back from his shortened trip and announces he's cut some deal that includes a bunch of stuff that we find truly unsavory and lets the McCs gloat for a little while about twisting the system just to make an extra million poor people dig out of the garbage, I do not want to hear huffing and grumbling and complaining, and I definitely don't want to hear the word "caved" or any variation of it. Ditto the phrase "rewarding bad behavior." Rougly 50% of American voters gave the green light for this bad behavior, and being a good President/Party Leader in this case means keeping a front up as long as you can, informing the public of the consequences when possible, and limiting the damage. Expecting us to get a day away from the X-date and have the President give a national address where he yells "Told ya I wouldn't blink first! Watcha gonna do now, show ponies?" is a fantasy. Just be glad that the global economy won't tank, and the social safety net will remain temporarily torn but pretty much intact. And start thinking about '24, where we can get the ducks in a row to end the filibuster, because THAT IS TOTALLY DOABLE and that is the only point at which truly nice things will happen.

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Condemning Democrats for whatever they do seems to be all they are good for. I recall that Mitt Romney published an open letter to Obama urging him to pattern health care reforms after his plan in Massachusetts. Obama did so, after which Republicans publicly equated his plan with "Nazi Germany" and tried more times than I could track to repeal it. Tapped as the "GOP" presidential nominee, Romney also distanced himself from the plan calling it a good one for Massachusetts but not for the country. Democrats could find a foolproof cure for cancer and Republicans would demonize it, while projecting their own many flaws on anyone but them. The party has become corrupt as hell top to bottom, and the few remaining vestiges of decency publicly discarded with the rejection of Kinzinger and Cheney.

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Thank you, HRC, for bringing the fourth section of the Fourteenth Amendment into the story. I also like the explanation sentence: "Congress intended the Fourteenth Amendment to assert the power of the federal government over the states..." Seems the idiot Repubs and magapublicans like to uphold the Constitution, I'm thinking the 2nd amend. there, but overlook the rest of that document. Unless it serves them. Okay so use the 4th section of the 14th but go one step further... have Biden use the rest of the 14th to take control of the states denying the nation on the subject of abortion and remove the religious right's swinging those states into their camp into the history books.

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The other piece of the debt ceiling news yesterday was that Biden appointed two negotiators to deal with the issue directly with McCarthy's aides. They are Shalanda Young and Steve Richetti. Shalanda Young is the Director of Management and the Budget and has many years of experience on the Hill involved in the budget process. Richetti is a close Biden confidant. Young was supported by a number of Republicans during her confirmation hearings.

So there is a sliver of hope that this crisis can be resolved by giving McCarthy a fig leaf to save his speakership by "giving back" unspent allocated covid funds without compromising on future spending cuts being tied to raising the debt ceiling. That would destroy the budget appropriations process and permanently compromise the trust that the US Government will always pay its bills.

Biden bailing on the quad meeting is a necessary move to assure our allies that he knows the priority has to be averting default and its effects on the world economy. Biden is wise to know when to take a hit and when to keep his eye on the bigger prize.


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The debt crisis is also a gift to Vladimir Putin, who doubtless is glad to see the greatest threat to his goals, the US, floundering and growing weaker.

House Republicans are committing treason every day they resist a clean debt ceiling bill.

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Regarding the North Carolina Abortion Bill, Beau of the Fifth Column has an extraordinary video regarding the GOP ignoring the will of the majority of the people of the state. It is well worth watching and sharing widely!

The GOP intends to RULE, NOT REPRESENT people.


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“The debt ceiling is not about future spending, it is about paying bills Congress has already incurred.”

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So with Republicans given a turn in the wheelhouse are saying "pay us ransom or we will steer the Ship of State into into an iceberg." The are not fit to pilot a coaster wagon in the midst of a civilized society. It's all about what THEY want with shameless indifference to the harm they do to others. It is at least criminally negligent if not a form of insurrection.

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Your last sentence about what Hawley indicated about what the Dems should do and then blame them later, is so right on, Heather. Anything they can twist around that meets their criteria is what they are very good at. Biden cancelled his trip reluctantly. There’s a storm a’brewing in these here states and he feels he needs to be home to take care of business. This summit can be rescheduled, can it not? My feeling is that Biden will use the 14th Amendment, Section 4 and say the hell to the R’s. They’re just a bunch of evildoers who stick together like glue. Look at how they all decided not to push Santos out the door today. Qevin said he will wait for the House Ethics Committee to make a decision. What a joke. I hope he goes down in flames.

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Most of the media continue to do a miserable job covering the debt-ceiling crisis. I suspect most voters have no clue that Republicans have manufactured the crisis and that they're refusing to pay for spending an earlier Congress approved. In other words, they're fiscal terrorists holding the nation hostage.

From the outset, Biden should have said he would invoke the 14th Amendment if the debt-ceiling wasn't raised by a specific date in order to save the economy, domestically and globally, and to end this madness once and for all. Or at least until the issue winds through the courts or Democrats control both house of Congress and pass reform legislation.

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First, again, We, capital W, are most emphatically *not* in debt. We have $140 Trillion of net household wealth. *Net* That’s against $31 Trillion of federal debt. See <http://uswealthclock.com> with sources.

Our US net household wealth grew about $70 Trillion in the past 10 years; our debt grew about $12 Trillion.

See anything there? Never mind how much of our debt has been created by R disasters since Reagan, W, and Don T. There is good federal debt, and there should be another $2 Trillion for infrastructure -- but Rs blocked that.

See also the NY Times, which finally published the big net number ( $140 Trillion ) in very big fonts, with graphic breakdowns!

‘The Greatest Wealth Transfer in History Is Here, With Familiar (Rich) Winners’. <https://www.nytimes.com/2023/05/14/business/economy/wealth-generations.html>

$84 Trillion is estimated to be transferred (inherited) by 2045. That’s tax free, unless . . . oh, never mind, it’s tax free, 90% are screwed, the details are not material, except where they are infuriating, eg no tax on inherited capital gains . . . and the stupidity of the rich blocking prosperity for the great majority of households, whose payments and purchases are where great wealth comes from.

Thanks and how for your daily distilled knowledge,

best luck to US, b.rad

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Smh... nothing to say, just extreme disgust with the Rethugs for hobbling the well-being of this country with their political machinations.

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It is well within the realm of plausibility that Josh Hawley is actually sincere about the President invoking the 14th Amendment. It is also well within the realm of plausibility that an asteroid will veer off course and carve a continent-sized crater in the midst of Eurasia.

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Ahh the entirely unlovely but oh so photogenic Hawleys. While Josh is busy undermining Congress, Erin was busy today undermining women's health by arguing to ban mifepristone. As counsel for the Alliance Defending Freedom - drumroll, you guessed it, a Leonard Leo production. This is the next generation of made in the cauldron of The Federalist Society racist right wing religious extremist Stepford couples. Coming soon to a White House near you. Unless we (and I mean every single citizen who does want a clerical fascist state) get out the vote for every single Democratic candidate. No excuses.

"Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), an anti-choice dark-money group that helped overturn Roe and has accepted thousands from Leo-linked DonorsTrust, is suing the Food and Drug Administration on behalf of the Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine over its approval of mifepristone."



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