Knox Democrats Mon, 21 Jun 2021 18:07:32 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Knox Democrats 32 32 Conservative bishops push to deny Joe Biden’s communion on abortion stance Mon, 21 Jun 2021 16:44:24 +0000


The American branch of the Red Hat Clan has always watched with avidity the growing political power of that fraction of American Protestantism which has become attached to conservative politics. For a long time he had his face planted against the window because many of these Protestants also believed that the Pope was the prostitute of Babylon. Under the papalities of John Paul II and Benedict, the forces were almost united, but the Holy Mother Church then revealed itself as an international conspiracy aimed at obstructing justice, which threw a wrench into the works. Now that we have the second Catholic president in our history, the Red Cap clan (American branch), which is of little use to Papa Francesco, has decided to flex again. Of New York Times:

This reality was stated unequivocally last week, when the country’s bishops overwhelmingly voted for draft guidelines for the Eucharist, advancing a conservative push to deny Communion to Mr. Biden for his rights support. to abortion.

“There is a special obligation of those who lead because of their public visibility,” said Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades, who heads the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend in Indiana, after the vote.

the Time, and other outlets, are guilty of exaggerating this development a little. First off, this is a draft letter from a group of Pat Robertson wannabes who have almost no chance of making it through all of the USCCB this fall. (In addition, the supply on the Time the story is embarrassing, far too onerous for conservative American clergymen and secularists.) Second, until they are willing to drop the same sanction against politicians who support – or worse, apply – the death penalty , no one should care what they think. And third, and most importantly, it takes a lot of Imperial nerve for American bishops to advise priests in their dioceses to take action that the Pope has publicly opposed. If bishops don’t listen to their pope, why should priests listen to their bishops?

In short, whatever this important rump faction of the American episcopate wants to declare, any priest who wants to give communion to Joe Biden should do it freely knowing that the Chair of Peter is behind him. If these people want a schismatic American Catholic Church because they are no longer up to par in Rome, they should go ahead and show courage and declare one. Vatican II declared the Church to be all of God’s people, and many of us are tired of being perpetually harassed by those nostalgic for the Papal States who dress more extravagantly than Bob Mackie ever dressed. Expensive.

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Nasty NC Senate Primary Tests Trump’s GOP Influence Mon, 21 Jun 2021 16:33:18 +0000

“I can’t tell you what makes him tick,” Burr said of Trump. “I’ve never seen people support a candidate a year before primary. It’s unusual.

While Democratic Washington is engrossed in the challenges of implementing President Joe Biden’s agenda, Republican politics still revolve around Trump. But the open question is how long Trump’s rule will last: Budd’s internal poll released after the former president’s approval showed he was lagging behind McCrory. Trump has lost his Twitter megaphone and the 24-hour media coverage he had as president, which could hamper the effectiveness of his seal of approval.

Trump’s nod will be “helpful. But I don’t know if it will be decisive for Budd,” said Senator Lindsey Graham (RS.C.), who speaks frequently to Trump and remains neutral in the state of. Tar Heel. . “You have a well-known candidate for McCrory, and he’s not giving up.”

McCrory has met privately with Republican senators to argue that as a former governor he has a much better path than Budd or another top GOP prospect, former Rep. Mark Walker (RN.C.), according to people familiar with the situation. The stakes in the race to replace Burr are high: North Carolina has one of the best chances for Democrats to secure a seat next year, and Republicans are just one seat away from reclaiming a majority.

The North Carolina primary is early and expected in March – although that date may slip given the uncertainty over the House redistribution. The intra-GOP contest will offer a first clue of Trump’s influence over next year’s midterms, as Republicans seek to occupy seats in Pennsylvania, Missouri, Wisconsin, Ohio, Alabama and in North Carolina and attempt to overthrow Democratic Senators from New Hampshire, Arizona and Georgia. and Nevada.

If Republicans nominate a weaker general election candidate in a single state like North Carolina, they could end up missing their chance to retake the Senate. Walker compared the situation to the Republicans’ debacle in the 2017 Alabama Senate race, where Democrat Doug Jones won over the besieged and Trump-backed Republican candidate: “To me, that’s a sort of Roy Moore situation if you’re not careful. “

“I don’t see how [Budd] can win a general election, ”Walker said in an interview. He had only slightly nicer words for McCrory, who lost his race for re-election for governor in 2016 to Democrat Roy Cooper. Walker appears to be currently in third place in the Senate primary, with McCrory seeking establishment support and Budd winning Trump’s favor. Walker, however, is touting a victory in a straw poll among North Carolina Republicans.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has not indicated whether he will pick a favorite in the race. The Kentucky Republican has made it clear he is ready to step into the primaries if he sees it necessary to ensure that the GOP wins Senate control in 2022. But in the case of North Carolina, that could also put McConnell on the road to war with Trump. – a course he seems keen to avoid, at least for now.

“I just want to win in November. And I have no opinion on the primary in that regard, ”McConnell said when asked for Trump’s approval.

Budd, a former businessman, came to Congress in 2017 when Trump took office and quickly established a reputation as a die-hard conservative. The Club for Growth also supports his candidacy for the Senate.

While Trump’s endorsement can certainly boost Budd in the primary, it’s unclear if the former president can propel him through the finish line. With Trump’s online presence reduced, Budd may have to spend a lot to let voters know about the approval.

Many Republicans believe McCrory’s statewide experience – which has given him a great identity and a broad fundraising base – makes him the best-placed candidate to face the Democratic nominee in the fall. next. But he also lost in 2016 – a good year for Republicans, when Burr won his third term after leading a typically low-key race.

“Right now I still think Pat is the favorite because of his many statewide races. However, I think President Trump will take it down on McCrory, which is going to hurt him in a Republican primary when more people pay attention, ”Walker said.

The Democratic field has also started to take shape in the race for Burr’s succession. It includes State Senator Jeff Jackson, former State Senator Erica Smith and former State Supreme Court Justice Cheri Beasley. So far, Senate Democrats have remained neutral, reflecting the hands-off approach of Republican National Senate Committee Chairman Rick Scott (R-Fla.).

Trump’s surprise intervention has been the most significant drama so far, creating painful feelings among his party’s candidates and sparking rifts among Republicans in North Carolina.

Walker accuses former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows of orchestrating the endorsement, which was rolled out at the state party convention while the other candidates were in attendance – catching them off guard. The former GOP lawmaker also accused Meadows of pushing Trump to make a bad choice in another North Carolina primary: In 2020, Trump backed Meadows’ family friend Lynda Bennett instead of now-Rep. Madison Cawthorn.

Walker won the backing of Trump’s chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, but that endorsement is secondary to Trump’s. Walker said Meadows gave Trump “bad advice” on Budd’s approval.

Walker, the former head of the conservative Republican Study Board, and Meadows, who once chaired the hard-line House Freedom Caucus, often hit each other’s heads during their time in Congress together. Almost from the start, there seemed to be competition between the “two brands,” who were both ambitious and seeking to ascend the House – a relationship that quickly turned into a tense political rivalry.

And outgoing Senator Thom Tillis (RN.C.), who Walker has threatened to run against in 2020, is making sure to refer Walker whenever he gets the chance. Assuming the pitch, Tillis sees a two-man race: “If I was Mark Walker, I wouldn’t have run for the Senate because I couldn’t see a path for myself. “

McCrory expressed frustration with Trump’s endorsement in the race, saying Trump “received bad advice in picking a Washington DC insider.” Budd’s internal polls also showed he gained a significant advantage when voters were told of Trump’s approval.

Amid the first signs that the race could turn nasty, there are fears that the eventual GOP candidate may be damaged by the main battle. Walker is the underdog, but his stinging attacks could elicit a backlash from his rivals that would create an even bigger spectacle.

But McCrory and Budd act like he barely exists. In a statement, Budd said he would prove to Burr he “was wrong” by winning the general election. His advisor, Jonathan Felts, said McCrory’s 2012 gubernatorial victory was “served on a country club silver platter and handed to him.”

Asked to respond, McCrory’s advisor Jordan Shaw put the primary in dire terms.

“If Republicans want a majority in the US Senate, they’ll nominate Pat McCrory,” Shaw said. “Otherwise, the Democrats will take this seat and keep the majority. “

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Democrats see window of opportunity to expand Medicare and Medicaid Mon, 21 Jun 2021 12:50:54 +0000

In the wake of last week’s Supreme Court offering more security to the Affordable Care Act, Congressional Democrats are passing measures that could expand Medicare, Medicaid and other federal health programs.

The Hill: Schumer now backs Sanders plan to add dental, vision and hearing coverage to Medicare

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (DN.Y.) on Sunday lent his support to a push, led by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), To add dental, visual and hearing coverage to Medicare. “There is a gaping hole in medicare that leaves out dental, vision and hearing coverage. This is a serious problem, ”Schumer wrote on Twitter. “I am working with @SenSanders to lobby to include dental, vision and hearing health coverage in US employment and family plans,” he added. (Schnell, June 21)

Modern healthcare: Congressional Democrats hope to expand Medicaid and Medicare coverage this year

Congressional Democrats hope to adopt a series of healthcare priorities later this year aimed at expanding access to coverage and making it more affordable for patients. There appears to be broad agreement on the types of health care policies that should be in the package, such as closing the Medicaid coverage gap and adding dental and visual benefits to Medicare, but the details are still being worked out. be resolved by committee staff and congressional offices and nothing is certain. The stakes are high for Democrats who see this as their last chance to accomplish major health care reform before midterm, in which their majorities in the House and Senate are at stake (Hellmann, 6/18 )

AP: Democrats see health care springboard in High Court victory

With the Affordable Care Act now secure as part of the nation’s health care programs, Democrats are eager to leap forward. They want to expand insurance coverage for working-age people and their families, add new Medicare benefits for the elderly, and lower prescription drug costs for patients and taxpayers. (Alonso-Zaldivar, 6/19)

The Hill: Democrats Seek New Ways To Expand Medicaid In Landlocked States

Democrats in Congress are pushing legislation that would expand Medicaid in states that have so far refused to do so, seeking to fill one of the major remaining holes in the affordable care law. There are currently 12 states where Republicans have refused to accept the extension of Medicaid eligibility provided under ObamaCare, meaning that 2.2 million low-income people are left without coverage that they would otherwise, according to the estimates of the Kaiser Family Foundation. (Sullivan, 6/20)

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of coverage of health policies by major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.

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Vice President Kamala Harris to arrive for first visit to Pittsburgh – CBS Pittsburgh Mon, 21 Jun 2021 11:25:00 +0000

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Vice President Kamala Harris to visit Pittsburgh as part of infrastructure plan Sun, 20 Jun 2021 22:50:00 +0000

Vice President Kamala Harris will travel to Pittsburgh on Monday with Labor Secretary Marty Walsh, Harris’ office said. The visit to the presidential battlefield comes as President Joe Biden’s administration proposes a massive infrastructure plan to Congress. Walsh traveled to eastern Pennsylvania earlier in June to tout Biden’s infrastructure plan. Biden initially traveled to Pittsburgh on March 31 to unveil a $ 2.3 trillion plan in what he touted as “a one-time investment in America” ​​that would also reverse tax cuts for businesses under Biden’s predecessor, Republican Donald Trump. In late April, Biden traveled to Philadelphia William H. Gray III 30th Street Station to celebrate Amtrak’s 50th anniversary and help with his plan for rail service. Biden is hoping for a deal with Republicans who resist his big ideas and cut potential spending, but he’s also trying to assure Democrats that he won’t leave their priorities behind. Pennsylvania Democratic Senator Bob Casey backed Biden’s plans, while Republican U.S. Senator Pat Toomey responded with a smaller plan. which he said is more narrowly tailored to infrastructure and does not include what he called social assistance programs. Casey called the plan a “slap in the face” because it left out funding for home and community services for the elderly and disabled. The city said East Carson Street between South 28th Street and Sarah Street will be completely closed between noon and 4:30 p.m. Monday. “The public should be patient, have an alternative route (s) in mind and expect traffic delays as the vice president’s motorcade crosses town on Monday,” said Eric Holmes, commander of the Pittsburgh Police Office. Public Safety will notify residents via social media when the procession has passed and the streets have reopened. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Vice President Kamala Harris will travel to Pittsburgh on Monday with Labor Secretary Marty Walsh, Harris’ office said.

The visit to the presidential battlefield state comes as President Joe Biden’s administration is proposing a massive infrastructure plan to Congress. Walsh traveled to eastern Pennsylvania earlier in June to tout Biden’s infrastructure plan.

Biden initially traveled to Pittsburgh on March 31 to unveil a $ 2.3 trillion plan in what he touted as “a one-time investment in America” ​​that would also reverse tax cuts for businesses under the Biden’s predecessor, Republican Donald Trump.

In late April, Biden traveled to Philadelphia’s William H. Gray III 30th Street Station to celebrate Amtrak’s 50th anniversary and help with his plan for rail service.

Biden is hoping for a deal with Republicans who resist his big ideas and cut potential spending, but he’s also trying to assure Democrats that he won’t leave their priorities behind.

Pennsylvania Democratic Senator Bob Casey backed Biden’s plans, while Republican U.S. Senator Pat Toomey countered with a smaller plan that he says is more tightly suited to infrastructure and does not include what ‘he called social protection programs.

Casey called the plan a “slap in the face” because it excluded funding for home and community services for the elderly and disabled.

The city says East Carson Street between South 28th Street and Sarah Street will be completely closed between noon and 4:30 p.m. Monday. “The public should exercise some patience, have one or more alternative routes in mind and expect traffic delays as the vice president’s motorcade crosses the city on Monday,” the commanding officer said. Pittsburgh Police, Eric Holmes.

Public Security will notify residents via social media when the procession has passed and the streets have reopened.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Kansas Democratic governor ready to fight for re-election Sun, 20 Jun 2021 12:00:14 +0000

Kansas Governor Laura Kelly (R) embarks on a political knife battle next year as Republicans state and nationwide seek to make her seat a prime midterm opportunity .

Kelly caught lightning in a bottle to win her first term in 2018, a good year for Democrats against a deeply flawed GOP opponent to replace a Republican governor with basement approval ratings. But Republicans say they expect ruby-red Kansas to return to form next year, and even Democrats admit the stars are unlikely to line up for Kelly a second time as well.

“Of course she’s vulnerable, she’s a Democrat in Kansas,” said Burdett Loomis, professor emeritus at the University of Kansas who is in touch with the best Democrats in the state. “By definition, it’s no better than 50-50. Maybe you could see her favored a bit if things go really well, but you could also see her reduced to almost any Republican who isn’t Kris Kobach.

Kelly, a 14-year former state senator, won her 2018 race by beating former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (right), a nationally polarizing figure who has focused her campaign on the fight against immigration and electoral fraud and embracing then-President TrumpDonald Trump, the business leader who pushed the theory out of Italy, falsely claimed the VA mansion was his home: report centrists gaining a foothold in infrastructure talks; Cyber ​​attacks at center of Biden-Putin VA meeting set to cover gender-affirming surgery through departmental health care.

The Kansas Democrat is not expected to be so lucky in 2022. She will likely face former Governor Jeff Colyer (R) or Kansas Secretary of State Derek Schmidt (R), neither of whom has as much baggage as Kobach. .

While Kelly’s allies maintain she has a path to a second term, Republicans are bent on making her first term her last now that she doesn’t have such an easy foil and faces an election cycle which should favor the GOP.

“I think she’s incredibly vulnerable as a sitting governor right now,” said Robert Blizzard, a GOP pollster who worked on Kansas Sen. Roger marshallRoger W. Marshall Republicans toast Biden’s public lands agency choice over finances, Senate passes resolution urging investigation into origins of COVID-19 Republicans seek justification amid reemergence of the Wuhan laboratory theory PLUS‘s (R) 2020 campaign. “She’s one of the few Democratic governors in a red state, and in fact, I can’t even think of another Democratic governor coming out as red from a state at all, to be honest with you.”

Kansas’ deep conservative tilt was fully visible in 2020 when Trump beat now –President BidenJoe Biden 64% of Iowans say it’s ‘time for someone else’ to take Grassley’s Senate seat of about 15 points in the state. Marshall also beat State Senator Barbara Bollier (D) in a race for an open Senate seat by more than 11 points, even after Bollier raised about four times as much money as her Republican opponent.

Adding to the state’s already red slant is the fact that the national environment should favor the GOP.

The White House party has traditionally suffered major setbacks in a new administration’s first term, making next year’s atmosphere a 180-degree turn from whoever helped Kelly take power. .

Republicans are confident that a mid-term GOP wave will be more than enough to sink Kelly, especially given his narrow 2018 victory. On top of that, as the governor’s mansion has flipped between parties, no Democrat has won the governor’s mansion in a same party administration since 1978.

“I’m just emphasizing how incredible it was for Laura Kelly to have this opponent,” veteran Kansas GOP quarterback David Kensinger said, referring to Kobach. “And with all that, and a good national environment for Democrats, she won by 5 points.”

“If you look at the history of the midterm elections in the United States, in this century the last four presidential midterm elections have been ripple elections,” he added. “So they can discuss whatever they like. Overall, the empirical evidence does not support this argument.

Beyond the structural headwinds Kelly faces, she is also expected to face a message from Republicans seeking to make her No.1 public enemy in the state.

Kelly has engaged in a series of battles with Republican lawmakers over a range of issues, including abortion and his executive branch of ordering schools and businesses to close during the pandemic. She also vetoed several GOP messaging bills, including a ban on transgender sports and voting restrictions.

The legislature overturned its vote on the bill but was unable to do so on the ban on transgender sports.

Colyer planned attacks on Kelly on a list of problems, including portraying her as the spark for an increase in abortions in Kansas. He also said he intended to hammer her particularly hard on decisions to shut down businesses and schools during the pandemic.

“People were upset about it. And so there is definitely going to be a lingering hangover from shutdowns across the state, ”he told The Hill. “People are upset, but they also want to move on.”

Despite the obstacles in his way, Democrats who spoke to The Hill insisted that Kelly maintains the path to re-election by using a textbook highlighting his role as manager during a difficult time in the state.

Kelly’s campaign did not respond to requests for an interview with the governor, but Democrats suggested that his re-election message could focus on his support for the expansion of Medicaid, which has worked well in Kansas, and its managing the economy during the coronavirus as employment climbs above pre-pandemic levels.

“It will be a bit of an uphill battle. But I think his record is solid. She has done our state remarkably well through this pandemic. Economically, the state is doing pretty well, ”said Vicki Hiatt, president of the Kansas Democratic Party. “So if people pay attention to the performance she has put in there is no way to criticize her work.”

Kelly is expected to attempt to link the GOP nominee to former Gov. Sam Brownback (R), who stepped down in 2018 to join the Trump administration after his approval rating rose to dismal levels due to a controversial tax reduction program.

Democrats have said that despite leaving office four years before midterm, the former governor remains toxic in the state and could weigh on either Colyer, Brownback’s lieutenant governor, or Schmidt, who was his attorney general.

“We have seen a tremendous amount of damage done during the Brownback years. Now that we see this recovering, it will be helpful to just remind people that these policies, ”Hiatt said.

Colyer eliminated those attack lines, claiming the broadside would fall on deaf ears.

“Some people say it’s a bit of a problem, but people moved on and it didn’t work the last time around,” he said, referring to the Republican successes in the races of 2020. “They are going to try to tie Derek or tie me to Sam. That’s fine. But I have a record that is pretty solid, and I would compare my personal best. “

Other Republicans agreed that attacks on Colyer or Schmidt would not succeed and that while the race would still be competitive, the GOP would have an advantage in avoiding any major slippage.

“Laura Kelly needs Republicans to make mistakes to win. It’s not enough to say that if she has the best campaign she can win, she said. “No, she could run the best campaign she’s capable of and still lose.”

Democrats said a mistake they hoped for was a messy primary between Colyer and Schmidt. But Kensinger said he’s not too worried about the nominating competition getting ugly enough to bloody the ultimate nominee.

“It’s always possible,” he said. “It doesn’t stop me from sleeping at night.”

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Analysis: For Biden, confronting Putin may have been easier than dealing with Republicans in Washington Sun, 20 Jun 2021 04:04:00 +0000

Members of the transatlantic coalition – at meetings of the Group of Seven, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the European Union – expressed exuberant relief during the new president’s first overseas trip. Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump, had undermined their common goals while showing submission to the Russian autocrat Biden confronted during his last stopover.

But Biden banked on the national success of his own presidency. And this poses an excruciating challenge in two overlapping ways.

He chose it for the popularity of its elements and the effects he envisions expanding opportunities and changing the course of the US economy. Its promulgation represents the test par excellence of its wish to show that democracies can “be at the service of their people”.

Yet the ultra-thin majorities in the Democratic Congress cast doubt on the prospects of defeating Republican resistance.

During Biden’s trip, developments on Capitol Hill gave the White House a silver lining. Ten senators from each party moved closer to a bipartisan compromise on the physical infrastructure elements of their plan.

Adopting this compromise could in turn reduce the cost of – and increase the willingness of moderate Democrats to vote for – a follow-up package with the remaining elements through a budget “reconciliation” process requiring only democratic votes. If Republicans block the compromise, moderate Democrats will see party unity on a reconciliation plan as the only way to act.

“Progress but still a lot of bumps to come,” a senior administration official told CNN. As long as 41 of the 50 Republican senators can kill one party by obstruction and one of the 50 Democrats can kill the other party by defection, it’s safer to bet on the bumps.

Biden’s second big challenge is to maintain government control for his party over a GOP with growing overtones of authoritarianism. Heightening the bet on Senatorial Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s famous but unsuccessful pledge to make Barack Obama a single-term president, Wyoming GOP Senator John Barrasso has publicly said he aims to keep Biden at a “half-hour”. mandate “of effective governance.

The long-established pattern of midterm elections indicates that Republicans are getting there. The typical midterm gain for the party that doesn’t own the White House would easily wipe out the 222-212 Democratic majority in the House; a mere gain of a Senate seat would make McConnell the majority leader again.

Additionally, Republicans are using Red State governments to tip the scales in the wake of Trump’s election lies and the failed Jan.6 insurgency on the U.S. Capitol. Their efforts include strengthening partisan oversight of election results certifications and reducing voting practices in 2020.

Democrats have sounded the alarm bells on voting restrictions. But the well-known 10-year process of redrawing the boundaries of the District of House poses a greater threat to their majority.

“The upcoming redistribution fights will make debates over electoral law changes look like a walk in the park,” said David Wasserman, a redistribution expert at the Cook Political Report. With Republicans in full control of state governments drawing 187 districts to 75 Democrats, gerrymandering alone could overthrow the House.

Biden found a silver lining last week for the Democratic effort to protect voting rights as well. Most recalcitrant Democratic senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia unveiled what he presented as a bipartisan compromise accepting Republican calls to demand voter identification while banning partisan gerrymanders, making Election Day a national holiday and guaranteeing 15 consecutive days of early voting.

It will not produce bipartisan courtesy. McConnell pledged opposition to roadblocks after black Georgia politician Stacey Abrams, a leading voting rights activist, passed it.

As with infrastructure, Democrats could still take advantage of Republican resistance to compromise on voting rights.

One possibility is that Manchin himself could join with other Democrats in voting to bypass the filibuster rules in order to pass his plan in the name of protecting democracy. More likely, the specter of abuse of power by a GOP blocking an independent January 6 investigation will provide Democrats with a powerful 2022 mobilization tool.

Biden’s party has other strengths. Having lost seats in the House in 2020, they have fewer marginal seats to protect. Trump remains dominant inside the GOP but a political burden outside. The participation of his blue collar base may sag without him on the ballot.

The reopened economy, boosted by Biden’s $ 1.9 trillion Covid relief program, is growing as the pandemic recedes. Biden has consistently held a net positive jobs approval rating – much like Bill Clinton in 1998 and George W. Bush in 2002, the only two presidents in the past half-century to win midterm seats.

Yet the historical ebb that Biden faces has been consistent and strong. His partisan opponents wield powerful weapons and a relentless determination to see him fail. Even for an experienced president with seasoned advisers, changing Vladimir Putin’s behavior may seem easy in comparison.

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President Joe Biden makes statement on COVID-19 response and vaccination program Sat, 19 Jun 2021 23:10:30 +0000

“Older: General Motors recalls over 280,000 vehicles because airbag light does not indicate a malfunction Newer: Nashville Sounds game at Gwinnett Stripers postponed due to rain”

The White HouseWashington DC – PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: Good afternoon. (clears his throat.) Excuse me. I am pleased to report that we will have hit the 300 million arm-shots mark in just 150 days. I repeat: 300 million shots in less than 150 days.

This is an important step that did not happen on its own or by chance. It took the ingenuity of American scientists, the full capacity of American companies, and a whole-of-government response through federal, state, tribal, and local governments.

United States President Joe Biden.

US President Joe Biden.

Together, we built an unprecedented immunization program and handled one of the largest and most complicated logistical challenges in American history.

And most importantly, we got here thanks to the American people coming together and getting vaccinated – helping family, friends, neighbors get vaccinated.

Just remember what the situation looked like 150 days ago. We didn’t have enough vaccines for all Americans. We did not have the vaccine infrastructure or the people to administer the vaccines or the places where people could get vaccinated. But we turned the tide together by acting quickly, aggressively and fairly.

We have ensured an adequate supply of vaccines for every American. And as I announced last week during my visit to Europe, we are now able to deliver more than half a billion doses of vaccine to the rest of the world – the 100 poorest nations.

We have developed and deployed more than 9,000 federal personnel, including 5,100 active duty military personnel, to support the vaccination effort and obtain gunfire. And now we have over 81,000 vaccination sites across the country, including over 42,000 local pharmacies.

Thanks to this wartime response, we received 300 million gunshots in the arms of Americans in 150 days, months before most people thought was possible when we first started.

In fact, if you remember, a lot of people were skeptical that we might even have 100 million hits on people’s arms in my first 100 days. But we did. We continued. And what we are seeing is a true American achievement.

Sixty-five percent – sixty-five percent – of American adults have received at least one injection, eighty-seven percent of our seniors.

Just five months ago, we were only 5% of American adults. Fifteen states and the District of Columbia have now achieved at least 70% vaccination rates in their state. Twenty-six states and DC have fully vaccinated – (clears throat) – excuse me – 50 percent or more of adults.

Nationally, we have the lowest number of daily deaths since the early days of the pandemic.

And we’ve made equity a core part of our immunization program from day one. Seventy-three percent of injections given at community health centers through the federal program and more than fifty-eight percent of injections given by federally administered vaccination sites went to people of color. And across the country, people of color have accounted for more than half of all vaccinations in the past month. This is important progress, but we have a lot more to do.

Vice President Harris is, as I speak, in Atlanta, publicizing vaccinations.

Yesterday I signed a bill – (clears his throat) – excuse me – into law making Juneteenth a federal holiday.

And this weekend, people in communities across the country will be soliciting and hosting events to encourage their families, friends and neighbors to get vaccinated. The more we close the racial gap in immunization rates, the more lives we will save.

And as our immunization program says – saving tens of thousands of lives, with that number increasing every day, it also allows millions of Americans to start living their lives again. Grandparents hug their children. The children go back to school and get ready for summer. People go to restaurants and travel. The shops are reopening.

Folks, we are heading for a very different summer than last year. A bright summer. In prayer, a summer of joy.

But as I promised you from the start, I’ll always give it straight to you: the good, the bad, and the truth. And the truth is, deaths and hospitalizations are drastically reduced in places where people get vaccinated. But unfortunately cases and hospitalizations are not going down
in many places in states with low vaccination rates. In fact, they go up in some places.

A few days ago, we came across 600,000 to 600,000 Americans dead from COVID, more than all deaths from WWI, WWII, Vietnam and 9/11 combined. So while we are making incredible progress, it remains a serious and deadly threat.

And the data is clear: If you’re not vaccinated, you could get seriously ill, die, or spread it. People who become seriously ill and are hospitalized due to COVID-19 are those who have not been fully immunized. The new variant will make unvaccinated people even more vulnerable than a month ago – over a month ago.

This is a serious concern, especially because of what experts call the vir- “Delta” – the “Delta” variant. It is a variant that is more easily transmitted, potentially more deadly, and particularly dangerous for young people.

But the good news is, we have the solution. The science and the data are clear: the best way to protect yourself against these variants is to get the full vaccine.

So please, please, if you have one injection, give yourself the second one as soon as you can so that you are fully immunized. And if you haven’t been vaccinated yet, get vaccinated now. Now. Don’t put it back. It’s free. It’s easy. It is convenient.

And as I have said on several occasions, text your zip code to the numbers 438829 – 438829 – to find the sites where you can get the vaccine closest to you. Get your free Uber or Lyft ride to and from vaccination sites. I want to thank Uber and Lyft for their cooperation.

Use extended hours at thousands of drugstores in June, including thousands that are open 24/7 on Friday of that month. Most pharmacies now offer walk-in vaccines. No appointment is necessary.

Employers with less than 500 employees: The federal government offers you a tax credit to give your workers paid time off to get vaccinated and recover if they need it.

And for anyone who still has questions, it’s okay if you still have questions. But act, act now. Act now. Talk to your family and friends who have been vaccinated. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

According to the American Medical Association, more than 90 percent of physicians are fully immunized. They choose to protect themselves, their communities and their patients. Follow their lead and take your pick.

Like I said, we’re heading towards, God willing, the summer of joy, a summer of freedom. On July 4th we will celebrate our independence from the virus as we celebrate our independence from our nation. We want everyone – everyone to be able to do it.

Remember, we are the United States of America. Let’s make it happen – all of us, together.

God bless you all. And may God protect our troops. Thank you.

Q Could the Delta variant force us back to lockdown?

THE CHAIRMAN: I don’t think so because so many people have already been vaccinated, but the Delta variant can lead to the death of more people in areas where people have not been vaccinated. Where people have had both injections, the Delta variant is very unlikely to result in anything other than – I mean, because – the existing vaccines are very effective.

So, no, it’s not containment, but some areas will be badly affected.

Q Sir, a comment on (inaudible) what the Catholic bishops did? Are you concerned about this rupture within the Catholic Church? And are you concerned about this action?


Q Catholic bishops are advancing this resolution that would prevent you and others who have supported abortion from going to Communion. Are you concerned about the divide in the Catholic Church? And what do you think personally?

PRESIDENT. – This is a private matter, and I don’t think it will happen. Thank you.

Q Mr. Speaker, have you seen the infrastructure plan on Capitol Hill – the bipartisan plan? Do you have a reaction to this?

PRESIDENT. – I’ll tell you on Monday when I get a copy.



The subjects

abortion, Coronavirus, COVID-19, COVID-19 vaccine, Joe Biden, Juneteenth, pandemic, President of the United States, Vaccination, Vaccine, Washington DC

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Nina Simone’s family accuses Kamala Harris of excluding them from the estate Sat, 19 Jun 2021 22:11:00 +0000

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Campaigners fight back as Juneteenth milestone undermined by discriminatory GOP voting bills Sat, 19 Jun 2021 16:34:00 +0000

“We are always trying to make Juneteenth’s promise a reality, especially when it comes to voting rights,” said Cliff Albright, co-founder of Black Voters Matter, a community rights group, which launches on Saturday. a new Freedom Rides bus tour from Mississippi to Washington, DC, to highlight restrictive election laws that disproportionately target black voters.

“The holidays indicate what a country values. The symbolism of having that vacation – I don’t want to underestimate that,” Albright said. But he added on CNN’s “New Day” Saturday: “We cannot let the holidays replace the advancement of calls for freedom, including the right to vote.”

The bus tour is just one of many Florida Texas voting campaigns designed to channel alarm and anger over new Republican state laws as Democratic activists call for an aggressive response from leaders national. They redouble their efforts to register voters, educate them on the new regulations so that they understand the new rules on requesting ballots, and have time to verify their registration and acquire acceptable identification documents. – as some GOP-led legislatures push these measures under the guise of making elections safer.

Nick Rathod, former special assistant and deputy director of intergovernmental affairs to President Barack Obama, said the Democratic Party and its donors must now launch an aggressive voter education effort to explain the new requirements for voting, especially in states the red ones who did make it harder to do so and don’t wait until right before the election when most people start thinking about voting.

“In places like Florida and others where this is happening, I think it should be expanded and continue,” said Rathod, who called on top party leaders to get involved.

The new sense of urgency on the ground and within the Biden administration – where Vice President Kamala Harris has made the issue a key part of her portfolio – reflects Democrats’ concern that they are likely to be too late to counter restrictions and attempts to vote by the GOP. politicize non-partisan electoral rules ahead of the 2022 midterm and the 2024 presidential election.

The effort to galvanize Democratic voters around the issue will come to a head next week when Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer plans to hold a key test vote on legislation that would protect voting rights.

Democrats have been working all week to address West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin’s concerns over the party’s election overhaul bill, known as the For the People Act, as reported by Alex Rogers and Manu Raju from CNN. Democrats want to make sure their 50 senators present a united front on voting rights legislation next week, even if they stand no chance of winning the 60 votes needed to break an obstruction. Republicans argue that the Constitution gives states, not the federal government, the responsibility of conducting their own elections. But the party also has little incentive to support legislation it says would benefit Democrats in many states.
Democrats’ quest to arm voting rights in next year’s midterm elections would be complicated by Manchin’s defection on the bill due next week, allowing Republicans to argue it there was bipartisan opposition to the legislation. Manchin has long said he hoped to convince GOP members to support a compromise proposal and he circulated a list of his ideas earlier in the week, but GOP leaders quickly hushed up the idea that they could find a bipartite consensus. After Georgia voting rights defender Stacey Abrams expressed support for the West Virginia senator’s compromise proposals, Senate Republicans quickly rushed to Abrams’ opening not to support her.

Local activists face new restrictions

With the slim majority of Democrats in the Senate giving them limited options in Congress, some local groups are stepping up efforts to register voters and educate them on how to overcome the hurdles that state-level Republicans are putting in place. place for the next electoral cycle.

In Florida, the non-partisan, predominantly black-run Equal Ground Education Fund marks June 15 by targeting voters affected by new state laws in four counties. The group is concerned about the new requirements for obtaining a mail-in ballot, among other things. Floridians must now produce a driver’s license, state ID or the last four digits of their social security numbers to get a mail-in ballot. For in-person voting at polling stations, voters in Florida do not need state ID and can use a debit card or library card, for example, to establish their identity.

Studies have shown that black and Hispanic voters are more likely to have difficulty producing official ID than white voters. In Florida previously, people had to register for a mail-in ballot every two election cycles, but now they have to do so in every election – a step Democrats say could kick out some of their voters in their mid-term. .

Equal Ground’s board director Jasmine Burney-Clark hopes strong education efforts can help motivate Floridians to challenge these new barriers to voting in the state’s new law, which also restricts the supply of water. voters in traditionally long queues often seen in minority areas. The law was signed by Republican Governor Ron DeSantis, a close ally of former President Donald Trump and a possible candidate for the White House in 2024.

“Our hope is that (the new law) will not deter people from participating, but it will increase their energy around the elections and motivate them to keep voting by whatever means necessary, because elections really do have consequences,” said Burney-Clark. The group hopes to reach at least 1,000 voters this weekend at the start of a growing campaign until the mid-term.

Florida is just one of many Republican-led states that have acted swiftly, using the foundation of Trump’s lies about voter fraud to pass new laws to restrict access to mail and in-person voting. – many of which disproportionately affect voters in towns and regions where minority voters live.

Between the 2020 election and mid-May, at least 14 states enacted 22 new laws that restrict access to the vote, according to the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law. As of mid-May, at least 61 bills containing restrictive measures were passing through 18 state legislatures.

Pressure on Washington

President Joe Biden has repeatedly called such state laws “un-American,” and while Harris has added the effort to protect voting rights to his portfolio, some Democrats want to see more engagement from Washington in the fight against Republican restrictions.

“The president, vice president should use their chair of intimidation to shed light on what’s going on in these places and help motivate and galvanize people in states across the country to organize themselves to better understand and find out what’s going on, “said Rathod, Obama’s former special assistant and deputy director of intergovernmental affairs.

Some Democratic activists believe the Biden administration’s Justice Department should have done more to prevent the Republican maneuvers in Arizona that led to a partisan audit of the ballots.

Attorney General Merrick Garland vowed last week to aggressively tackle restrictive voting measures.

“There are a lot of things that are open for debate in America. But the right of all eligible citizens to vote is not one of them,” Garland said in a speech in the Great Hall of the Department of Justice, outlining a 30 day plan. doubling the number of staff in the Civil Rights Divisions’ Votes Execution Unit.

Frustration with Congress remains.

“I have the impression that our national representatives are not operating as aggressively as the state legislatures,” said Burney-Clark. “The think tanks that make the law and hand it over to these lawmakers – they move fast, they go state by state. They are strategic about how they operate.”

The inaction of Congress has led others to intervene. A wave of lawsuits have been filed in Georgia, for example, against a list of new voting-restricting measures that were hastily passed shortly after Democrats won tight control of the US Senate in two run-offs in January. . A nationwide campaign featuring prominent black leaders has targeted Atlanta giants like Coca-Cola and Delta Airlines. Both companies backed off after trying to stay out of the controversy and issued statements criticizing election laws passed by Republicans.

In Texas, Democratic lawmakers left the State House floor to temporarily block a restrictive voting bill before the end-of-session deadline last month, depriving the Republican majority of the quorum it needed to pass the bill. of law. (Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has vowed to bring back the legislation at a scheduled special session).

Seeking national Democratic support, some of the state’s lawmakers traveled to Washington this week, hoping to push for a federal response.

In a meeting with more than a dozen Texas lawmakers on Wednesday, Harris described her take on what’s at stake – although she has yet to define exactly what her role will be on the issue: “We know that we have a great challenge ahead of us, and therefore a fight, which is the fight for the right of all Americans, a meaningful right, to vote,” she said.

Senior administration officials said Harris would try to build coalitions of Americans concerned about the right to vote and help publicize the damage that would result if state legislatures were successful in passing more restrictive election laws. Harris met behind closed doors with four voting rights advocates in Atlanta on Friday and was joined by Georgia Democrats Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff.

Beto O’Rourke, a former congressman from Texas and Democratic presidential candidate who has advocated for expanded voting rights, told CNN on Friday that he and other activists were staging a “massive rally” on Sunday night in the Texas Capitol, and he echoed Abrams’ urging of Americans nationwide to call their senators and demand action.

“It’s the kind of pressure that will help get something moving,” O’Rourke said. “It is not enough to have a show or a token vote.”

This story and title have been updated.

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