Congress Returns

After a month of laying around the house and schmoozing with high dollar donors the Congress has come back to DC to work on yet another bill that would help during this pandemic crisis we are having.

For the sake of “compromise” the work being done does little to help the jobless keep their homes or feed their children…..and the Dems will do little to help…..

As the Senate returned from its nearly month-long recess on Tuesday, there was little prospect that Congress would provide any significant relief for the tens of millions of workers who lost their $600 weekly federal jobless benefit when it was allowed to expire on July 31.

The ending of that lifeline plunged millions of working class families into desperate financial straights. The economy is still short 11 million jobs from the level of employment in February, and more than 30 million unemployed workers continue to receive government aid.

As of this week, only 19 states will be providing the temporary $300-per-week benefit authorized by President Trump in an executive order last month. The program is financed by Federal Emergency Relief Agency funds that are expected to run out in about five weeks.

The Aspen Institute reported last month that 30-40 million people in the US were at risk of being evicted in the coming months. The Hamilton Project reported even before the cutoff of jobless aid that more than 20 percent of all US households and over 40 percent of mothers with children under the age of 13 were experiencing food insecurity.

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/09/09/cong-s09.html

Please pay attention!

This illustrates that the Congress, both Repubs and Dems, care little about the plight of the people of this nation…..keep that in mind when you go to cast a vote.

Vote for candidates that actually have a plan to help the people with the problems this pandemic has created……Party means NOTHING!  They are the same!

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Congress–WTF?

Closing Thought–28Aug20

I read the other day about a bill that sailed through the Congress for money to be sent to Israel….

It made me say out loud…WTF?

The US is sending almost $4 billion to Israel for their defense.

Again—WTF?

Pro-Israel group thanks an array of Democrats and Republicans for authorizing funding, saying the money ‘will help Israel protect itself against continuing security threats’

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee praised the Senate and the House of Representatives for authorizing $3.8 billion in defense assistance for Israel.

The pro-Israel lobbying group thanked an array of Democrats and Republicans in Congress for shepherding through the funding this week as part of the National Defense Authorization Act, saying the money “will help Israel protect itself against continuing security threats.”

https://www.timesofisrael.com/aipac-praises-3-8b-in-israel-defense-assistance-after-it-sails-through-congress/

Is Israel not strong enough to defend itself from protesters with rocks?

If Israel cannot defend itself why do the American taxpayer have to pay for their defense?

If they cannot make their own way in this world then they deserve to perish.

Any debt that the US owes Israel was paid in full over the last 60 years….time for them to stand on their own two feet or fall on their face….

The US should not have to pay Israel a dime….it is money pissed away with NO redeeming qualities.

When will Americans start demanding that Israel stay out of our politics and our government…..they have had a free hand in both for too many goddam years.  Time for them to focus on settling their problems and stay away from our politicians…..and those same politicians that take money from Israel should be banned from Congress and political life forever.

Israel is NO friend to the US…..they use us and our money for evil…..time for that to stop!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–11Aug20

The Congress is said to be working on yet another pandemic stim package and of course the Dems and Repubs do not see eye to eye…..and the president does not see it the same as Congress……

But the next package MUST include a bailout of the defense industry……

Republican defense lawmakers are pushing for the next emergency coronavirus funding package to include a hefty boost for defense spending, saying that the pandemic’s effects on military spending have cut across an array of program and procurement accounts.

“Socially distanced production spaces, provision of PPE, self-quarantining, disrupted logistics have generated significant bills,” the group wrote in an open statement on Thursday. “These COVID-related effects made defense programs less efficient and more expensive, and DOD cannot redirect money from other crucial priorities to cover these costs.”

The comments lawmakers — Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Jim Inhofe, R-Okla.; House Armed Services Committee ranking member Mac Thornberry, R-Texas; House Appropriations Committee ranking member Kay Granger, R-Texas; and the appropriations committee’s defense panel ranking member Ken Calvert, R-Calf. — come amid negotiations on the latest multi-trillion relief package between House Democrats and White House officials.

Defense officials have said publicly they need at least $10 billion in emergency funding to cover pandemic-related costs and avoid exhausting other modernization and readiness funds.

https://www.militarytimes.com/news/pentagon-congress/2020/08/06/next-coronavirus-relief-package-must-include-a-big-defense-boost-gop-leaders-argue/

I say SCREW THEM…I am preached to by the government that I should prepare for that rainy day and yet when it arrives the M-IC whines and demands that we bail them out with taxpayer money….

Once again I say SCREW ‘EM!

Maybe they should start practicing what they preach….hire some accountants that will tell them how to avoid these financial problems.

Not to worry they will get their black mail money for the M-IC has spent lots of cash on Congress to assure that they will ALWAYS get what they want.

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Will Workers Be Protected?

This pandemic has shove unemployment up the worker’s butt and broke off……but Congress decided to step in an extend unemployment and try to help save the lives of laid off workers.

The problem is the bill that protected the workers is due to expire on 25 July, the CARES Act…….once it expires will Congress step up and protect workers again or will they decide to screw them hard like they do most of the time?

Some 25 million US workers are facing a reduction or outright elimination of a $600 weekly federal addition to state unemployment benefits when the supplemental payment authorized by Congress under the CARES Act expires on July 25.

In the midst of a raging pandemic and the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, with at least 30 million out of work and new jobless claims surpassing one million a week, the supplement is all that has been keeping many families above water. Coinciding with the impending end of a federal moratorium on evictions and the expiration of state moratoriums, the cut in jobless pay will propel millions into destitution and homelessness.

One survey found that 37 percent of renters and 26 percent of homeowners feared they could be homeless by the end of the year. Researchers at Columbia University say they expect US homelessness to increase by 45 percent compared to 2019.

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/07/21/pers-j21.html

Since Congress only worries about party politics and could care less of the plight of the workers….I think they will find a way to screw those people that need help (as always)…..even economists see the need to extend the Act even the need to expand it a bit….

Congress is back in session, and it has a weighty task before it — figuring out what to do about the economy as COVID-19 infections spike across the country and states roll back their reopenings. One central point of tension: the $600-per-week supplemental unemployment insurance benefit that was enacted in March as part of the CARES Act and is set to expire on July 31.

Democrats have proposed extending the payment until jobless rates in states fall below a certain threshold. Republicans, meanwhile, are leery of continuing the full payments, saying they will discourage people from returning to work. And it’s true that research has shown that many workers are making more money on the beefed-up benefits than they would be at their old jobs.

Economists Think Congress Should Keep Paying Unemployed Workers $600 A Week — Or Even More

Time to end these damn wars and use the money saved where it is most needed…..in this country to help those that are paying for the wars.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

 

Remember Dodd-Frank?

Does anyone remember the days around 2008?

The financial collapse….remember now?

Well after the collapse Congress did all they could to make things better for the society and spawned the rooks on Wall Street…..it was called Dodd-Frank.

In case you have no damn idea what I am talking about…..

Dodd-Frank is also geared toward protecting consumers with rules like keeping borrowers from abusive lending and mortgage practices by banks.

It became the law of the land in 2010 and was named after Senator Christopher J. Dodd (D-CT) and U.S. Representative Barney Frank (D-MA), who were the sponsors of the legislation.

But not all of the provisions are in place and some rules are subject to change, as we’ll see.

The bill contains some 16 major areas of reform and contains hundreds of pages, but we will focus here on what are considered the major rules of regulation.

https://www.cnbc.com/id/47075854

Basically the Congress allowed the industry to write the bill and then makes it look like someone is protected……you are NOT!

The pandemic has created a similar situation,,,,and Congress is doing what it always does….bails out the crooks as a solution to the problem….

Big business and banks are just as corrupt and eager to shovel profits to senior executives 10 years after the landmark banking reform legislation known as Dodd-Frank as they were during the 2008 crisis, a new report warns, because the bill’s regulations on executive pay remain unimplemented.

“White collar crime pays, and until Congress enacts the rules to change it, we’ll continue to see top executives raking in off catastrophes of their own making,” report author Bartlett Naylor, financial policy advocate at Public Citizen, said in a statement.

The report lists billions in bonus cash paid out to executives over the past decade despite Dodd-Frank’s regulatory framework banning such cash-outs.

“It’s 2008 all over again,” said Naylor. “Congress is bailing out Big Business and enriching CEOs while workers scrape by as the economy lurches downward in a pandemic.”

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/07/21/white-collar-crime-pays-decade-after-dodd-frank-executives-still-lining-their

Once again the Congress is only protecting their donors……. they care NOTHING for the “people”……and yet we are to believe that they have our best interests at heart……

Time for them to have a wake up call….and the people take back the government that began with them in mind and has gone so far off the original track.

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2021 NDAA

NDAA? 

That would be the National Defense Authorization Act……for FY2021

Every year, members of the congressional armed services committees go through the long and sometimes torturous journey of assembling the National Defense Authorization Act, the annual bill that sets policy for the Defense Department. The entire process, however, is also a critical exercise in the formation of U.S. national security policy. 

The defense policy bill is so valuable to Pentagon operations that lawmakers frequently refer to it as a must-pass piece of legislation. Ideally, the NDAA debate forces lawmakers to explain why certain military investments are necessary or why a particular overseas military engagement has outlived its usefulness.

https://www.defenseone.com/ideas/2020/07/ndaa-should-prompt-rethinking-costly-us-foreign-policy/166686/

The M-IC has won the battle to keep troops fighting and dying in Afghanistan……

By a vote of 284-129, the House of Representatives soundly defeated an amendment to establish a plan to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan. A slight plurality of Democrats supported the measure, with most of the leadership opposing. All Republicans except two voted in to oppose. Libertarian Justin Amash supported the measure. The amendment to the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) was offered by Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN).

President Trump declared in late May that he wanted to withdraw all US troops from Afghanistan before the November election. Since that time, Democratic leaders have shifted to an even more hawkish position, pulling out all the stops to prevent such a move. Much of the foreign policy of the Democratic leadership has been driven by opposition to Trump’s positions, rather than by what is best for the country or what the American people desire.

American troops have been fighting in Afghanistan for 19 years, with no progress in reducing violence.

(antiwar.com)

Seems that the Dems are joining the Repubs as the warmongers…..so it really is truly a one party government……two sides same coin.

The Act is one of pure Neocon-isms…..

A $740 billion defense policy bill that President Trump threatened to veto has passed the House with a veto-proof 295-125 majority, with 108 Republicans voting in favor of the 2021 Defense Authorization Act and 43 Democrats voting against. The bill calls for military bases and other properties named after Confederate military officers to be renamed within a year, a move Trump firmly opposes, the Hill reports. It also includes a 3% pay rise for troops and allocates $1 billion to a pandemic preparedness fund.

The House bill passed with bipartisan support, although Republican lawmakers strongly objected to an amendment placing limits on the president’s ability to use the Insurrection Act to deploy troops within the US, CNN reports. The amendment passed 215 to 190, with only one Republican voting in favor. The Senate is expected to pass its version of the bill this week, which calls for the renaming of bases named after Confederate officers within three years. Trump said weeks ago that he would veto any bill that included the renaming of bases, but since the measure appears in both the House and Senate version of the defense policy bill, it is likely to remain in the final version that makes it to his desk.

Trump has said he will veto this bill…..we will see if he means what he says or was it all just theatrics?

It is time for the Congress to get real about this country and the money we throw at war…….time to defund the Pentagon…..yep…I said DEFUND the Pentagon.

Congress has appropriated nearly $3 trillion dollars to fight the economic and public health impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. This is on top of a terrible budget deal last year that blew through spending caps imposed by the 2011 Budget Control Act. With little end in sight to the pandemic and its associated recession, Congress is likely to spend even more in the months to come.

With resources more limited than ever, areas of the budget that were off-limits for years should now be more closely scrutinized. At the top of that list should be the single largest part of the federal discretionary budget, an entire category of spending that has long been off the table: the Pentagon.

https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2020/07/16/defund-the-pentagon-the-conservative-case-366066

I know hard to believe that I am agreeing with a conserv on the Pentagon……it worries me as well…..but matters not…..I will support a good idea no matter where it originates.

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“lego ergo scribo”

Seriously? Are You Guys Kidding?

Pandemic is hitting new highs daily…..protests and deaths are everywhere…..millions unemployed……and yet the Congress has decided to go on a break since they work so hard (that is extreme sarcasm….these fools are part time help at best)….

A coalition of dozens of progressive advocacy groups and labor unions is planning a nationwide day of action in battleground states Wednesday targeting Republican senators for going on a two-week vacation as Covid-19 infections surge and millions of people teeter on the brink of financial ruin.

In Arizona, Colorado, Maine, Iowa, and other states, activists will hold socially distant rallies and deliver “failing” report cards to Republican senators reminding them that “they are responsible for the massive amount of suffering that people are experiencing across the country,” the coalition said in a press release Monday.

The Service Employees International Union, the American Postal Workers Union, Greenpeace USA, and other groups are calling on the Republican-controlled Senate to take up and pass the HEROES Act, a sweeping stimulus package the House of Representatives approved on May 15.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/07/06/they-are-failing-nationwide-day-action-target-gop-senators-going-vacation-pandemic

While Moscow Mitch is home chasing donors and doing whatever it takes to get donations……hunger is rising and that is not important enough for the Congress to keep working to find solutions….

The nonprofit group Hunger Free America announced Monday that it is running “Hunger Clock” billboard ads across the country to call out GOP Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and other Republican senators for blocking $16 billion in food assistance for Americans struggling in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

“It is simply unconscionable that Leader McConnell and the Senate GOP are playing politics with food aid while massive numbers of their own constituents struggle against hunger,” Hunger Free America CEO Joel Berg said in a statement. “Food delayed is food denied.”

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/07/06/hunger-clock-billboards-blast-mcconnell-and-gop-senators-blocking-16-billion-food

Since these guys do not seem to want to work for their pay then I suggest that we get rid of the Senate and go unicameral, a People’s Assembly…..

I admit it…..I have written about this before….some 13 years ago…..https://lobotero.com/2007/03/28/when-is-one-better-than-two/

The Congress has not worked since the 1990s and the mad dash for donations instead legislative work….they spend more time traveling than the spend doing the country’s business…therefore they should be paid as part-time help on a sliding scale by work accomplished.

If it does not work the way it was intended then rid the thing from the government and find something that does work.

Do not get me started on the co-equal branches of the government….that ship set sail awhile back.

Pretty simple, huh?

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Removing History?

#1 in series

Disclaimer:  My maternal grandmother was Elizabeth Mae Davis…..born in Alabama and according to family legend the cousin of Jefferson Davis….understandably not something that we spread around….

With the protests going on these days a new attempt to rid the very thought of the Confederacy from the society…..statues are being pulled down….flag being replaced and now Pelosi has done her part…..

“There is no room in the hallowed halls of Congress or in any place of honor for memorializing men who embody the violent bigotry and grotesque racism of the Confederacy,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wrote. With that letter to Cheryl Johnson, House clerk, workers Thursday began removing from the Capitol the portraits of four of her predecessors, NBC News reports. The paintings that have been displayed in the Speaker’s Lobby are of Robert Hunter of Virginia; Howell Cobb of Georgia; James Orr of South Carolina; and Charles Crisp of Georgia. All served as speaker before or after their service to the Confederacy, at various times from the 1830s through the 1890s.

Orr “swore on the House Floor to ‘preserve and perpetuate’ slavery in order to ‘enjoy our property in peace, quiet and security,'” Pelosi wrote, while Hunter “served at nearly every level of the Confederacy,” including time as secretary of state and in the army. The Democrat, who has called for statues of Confederate leaders to be removed from the Capitol and their names to be taken off military installations, said she didn’t know about the portraits until recently. “We were taking inventory of the statues, and the curator told us,” Pelosi said. In the Senate on Thursday, per CNN, Democrats tried to pass a measure to remove the Capitol statues, but Republicans blocked the move.

Pelosi is just giving a knee jerk reaction to the events unfolding…..in my opinion this is a lame ass move.

I do not think this will do anything to advance the dialog we all feel we need……these men were part of the US Congress in their day and to try and write them out of history is just wrong.

Why not put a disclaimer on their portraits explaining who they were and what they did.

At what point to we stop pretending that these worthless exhibitions of caring will do anything to change the direction of racism in this country?

Should we not then by their logic remove evidence of Andrew Johnson from the official portraits of presidents…..simply because he was a “Reb” by birth?

I mean….. while in Congress, he supported the Fugitive Slave Act and the right to own slaves.

These statues that are being vandalized….I do not agree with the act….taking them down and moving them to a “historical” location seems more logical….I may hate these guys for what they did but it is American history that is being destroyed.

What purpose did these stolid artifacts that are now being dismantled serve? The French theorist of propaganda Jacques Ellul might say they were crucial machinery in the “propaganda of integration,” his designation for modes of enculturation which are so all-encompassing as to be imperceptible. When most people speak of propaganda, they refer to what he calls the “propaganda of agitation”—which would include, for example, the Pope’s exhortation to die in a Crusade in the service of Christ, the Nazi spectacle captured in the film Triumph of the Will, or George W. Bush’s “You’re either with us or with the terrorists”—all designed to arouse passions that lead to immediate action.

The propaganda of integration, conversely, is so quiet and pervasive it goes unnoticed. It instills an enthusiasm for conformity in individuals through the repetition of customs, rituals, and habits; it stabilizes society by planting ideologies so subtly and permanently in our souls that it effects a “persuasion from within.” In the United States, for example, television commercials, “historical” information installed in national park welcome centers, the presence of God on our coins, and the singing of “The Star-Spangled Banner” at sporting events all scramble symbols of faith, consumerism, liberty, nature, community, wholesome fun, and patriotism into one deliciously indivisible mix. What some would call “propaganda” or even “indoctrination,” others would simply call the everyday facts of our lives.

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/06/15/banality-racism-and-tearing-down-statues

I still think that the statues of our Founding Fathers should be safe from vandals…I may not like some of their lives but they did give the world a great republic.

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/06/22/pers-j22.html

What does the public think?

As recently as June 6-7, a 44% plurality of respondents in a national Morning Consult/Politico poll said the Confederate statues should “remain standing,” while only 32% said they should be “taken down.”

By June 17, barely a week and a half later, a majority of voters, 52%, supported “removing Confederate statues from public spaces around the country” in a Quinnipiac poll, compared to 44% opposed to removal. Those numbers represented a historic swing from August 2017, when Quinnipiac found just a 39% minority favoring removal, with 50% opposing.

https://justthenews.com/nation/culture/anti-racism-and-erasing-history-public-support-leaving-confederate-statues-place

I think it is time for all concerned to take a step back and re-think their idiocies…is not destroying history the same as celebrating wrongs?

Please let level heads prevail in this situation.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–15Jun20

You know how I keep saying that our elected reps are gutless and spineless?

Well I have proof.

First the Trump bunch of thugs have given Israel the green light to finish stealing Palestinian land by annexing the West Bank’s Occupied Territories.

Congress people have been given permission to criticize Israel over this annexation thing.

The leading pro-Israel lobby in the United States is telling lawmakers that they are free to criticize Israel’s looming annexation plans — just as long as the criticism stops there.

Two sources — a congressional aide and a donor — say the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC, is delivering that guidance in Zoom meetings and phone calls with lawmakers. The message is unusual because the group assiduously discourages public criticism of Israel.

https://www.timesofisrael.com/in-first-aipac-gives-us-lawmakers-green-light-to-criticize-israel-on-annexation/

Does anyone see the cowardice?

Ask permission?

It is okay to speak up against Israel…..

How f*cking pathetic that these spineless bastards are so owned by Israel that they cannot have an opinion without permission.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Dems And Stims

Then Congressional Dems have offered up economic stim plan #5….a 3 trillion virus relief plan….

US Democrats on Tuesday unveiled a $3 trillion coronavirus response package, the largest yet, to fund efforts to fight the pandemic and provide emergency payments to millions of American households.

The Heroes Act was introduced in the House of Representatives and could be voted on in the Democratic-led chamber as early as this week.

But the 1,815-page measure faced immediate opposition in the Republican-controlled Senate, where leaders have said a new round of emergency funding is not yet needed.

President Donald Trump has also said recently that he is against rushing through new coronavirus legislation.

Trump has signed four pandemic relief measures into law in recent months.

They including a massive, $2.2 trillion rescue package in March known as the Cares Act, and a $483 billion measure to pump funds into a popular loan program for small businesses devastated by lockdowns.

The new bill, which House Speaker Nancy Pelosi dubs Cares 2, includes a second round of payments of up to $6,000 per household, in an effort to ease the burden for tens of millions of Americans who have lost jobs in the pandemic.

https://sg.news.yahoo.com/us-democrats-unveil-3-trillion-virus-relief-package-205046095.html

But is this plan as good for us mere mortals as it sounds?

The answer is…..”Democratic leadership has had plenty of input from progressive thinkers over the past couple of months. They just care more about the input from corporate lobbyists.”

There is your answer……

House Democrats on Tuesday unveiled a sprawling 1,815-page, $3 trillion coronavirus relief package that spurns many of the key demands of progressive activists and lawmakers while including proposals that immediately provoked backlash, such as a tax cut for the wealthy and a provision that would allow corporate lobbying organizations to take part in federal small business loan program.

Formally titled the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act, the bill (pdf) would provide $1 trillion in additional funding for state and local governments, extend beefed-up unemployment benefits through January of next year, authorize an additional round of one-time $1,200 stimulus payments for adults earning up to $75,000 per year, expand federal nutrition benefits, provide $25 billion for the U.S. Postal Service, establish a hazard pay fund for frontline workers, and increase spending on Covid-19 testing.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/05/12/no-excuse-house-dems-unveil-1815-page-bill-would-bail-out-corporate-lobbyists-omits

More info on the Dems big plan……

The Heroes Act proposes fully subsidizing COBRA, an existing health insurance program that allows laid-off or furloughed workers to remain on their employer-provided insurance plans. Under normal circumstances, COBRA is extremely expensive for individuals—recipients have to cover both their own and their employer’s premium payments—but the Democratic plan would cover 100% of the premium costs through next January.

COBRA expansion has the backing of a bizarre alliance of interests, including big business and some labor unions, but critics say the proposal is wildly inefficient and does not come close to matching the scale of the nation’s current healthcare crisis.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/05/13/massive-giveaway-health-insurance-ceos-democratic-cobra-plan-denounced-costly

“The historic crisis Americans are facing will not end on its own. To end it, these three things—getting people paychecks, ensuring access to healthcare, supporting businesses and their workers—are critical. But this legislation does not yet address them at the scale necessary.”

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/05/13/jayapal-rips-democratic-covid-19-bill-doesnt-end-mass-unemployment-or-ensure

Sounds more like a major bail-out for the profit health industry…..when an expansion of Medicare would have benefited more people…..it is all fraudulent relief……

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday released a $3 trillion coronavirus “relief” bill and scheduled a vote for Friday. The Democratic leadership has acknowledged that the measure has no chance of gaining passage in the Republican-controlled Senate, let alone being signed into law by President Trump.

The release of the bill initiates a process of political theater in which the two parties posture to rally their respective bases and generate sound-bites for campaign ads ahead of the November elections. It is expected that the measure will pass on a party-line vote in the Democratic-controlled House, setting off weeks of negotiations between the Democrats and the White House and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/05/14/dems-m14.html

Image

This show just how non-progressive the Dem leadership truly has become…..

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