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Stop shaming workers

(Eric Boehlert/Pressrun) Workers suddenly enjoy newfound clout in the emerging post-pandemic economy. With lots of employers desperate to fill a stockpile of new positions as retail outlets spring back to life in a vaccinated America, a short-term worker shortage has emerged. Republicans and their business community friends are furious, blaming a lazy workforce, and the press is helping their cause by shining a spotlight on employer complaints, while paying far less attention to employee priorities.

Over and over that pro-business talking point has been echoed in local news coverage, as well. When WKNB in Youngstown, Ohio, reported on the Republican governor cutting off employment benefits, only business owners who supported the move were quoted, no workers. Same with a local report from the Albany Times Union in New York, which quoted a restaurant manager blaming the worker shortage on the government for “giving them all the money to stay home.” No workers were interviewed.


Thomas Friedman: For Trump, Hamas and Bibi, It Is Always Jan. 6

(New York Times) There are many ways to understand what is happening today between Hamas and Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu of Israel, but I prefer to think about it like this: They are each having their own Jan. 6 moment.

Just as a mob was unleashed by President Donald Trump to ransack our Capitol on Jan. 6 in a last-ditch effort to overturn the election results and prevent a healing unifier from becoming president, so Bibi and Hamas each exploited or nurtured their own mobs to prevent an unprecedented national unity government from emerging in Israel — a cabinet that for the first time would have included Israeli Jews and Israeli Arab Muslims together.

Like Trump, both Bibi and Hamas have kept power by inspiring and riding waves of hostility to “the other.” They turn to this tactic anytime they are in political trouble. Indeed, they each have been the other’s most valuable partner in that tactic ever since Netanyahu was first elected prime minister in 1996 — on the back of a wave of Hamas suicide bombings.

The latest rerun of their long-running nasty show is happening now because both were staring at an amazing breakthrough shaping up between Israeli Jews and Israel Arab Muslims — and, like the pro-Trump mob on Jan. 6, they wanted to destroy the possibility of political change before it could destroy them politically.


$2000 donation match for anti-gerrymandering efforts in Texas! ($700+ raised so far)

Texas is my current redistricting funding recipient because of the special session set to be called in September. Republicans control both chambers and the governors office. With the influx of population, I would hate to see districts drawn that fail to represent the dynamic and unique communities across the state. I think the legislative and judicial activists will have a real case in Texas, and I want to do what I can to help them!

Original post here, and ActBlue contribution page here.


McCarthy's latest Trump Conundrum

(Politico) Just days after making nice with Donald Trump by leading the ouster of Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) from his leadership ranks, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy this week will once again find himself in a tough spot via-a-vis the former president.

One of his close allies and a member of his whip team, Rep. John Katko (R-N.Y.), struck a deal with Democrats on a 9/11-type commission to investigate the Jan. 6 riot — and it’s set to come to the floor this week. That means McCarthy will once again have to choose between one of his members and Trump, who — let’s face it — will be none too pleased with any sort of independent commission investigating his actions.


Liz Cheney Calls On FBI To Investigate Kevin McCarthy's 'Complicit' Role In Jan. 6 Attack

(Crooks and Liars) "I ask this about both McCarthy and Elise Stefanik (R-NY)," Wallace said. "Are they being complicit in what you consider the Trump lies?"

"They are," Cheney agreed. "And I'm not willing to do that. There are some things that have to be bigger than party, that have to be bigger than partisanship. Our oath to the Constitution is one of those."

Wallace went on to ask Cheney about her recent suggestion that McCarthy should testify before a bipartisan commission about his knowledge of the Jan. 6 attack.

"I think it's very important," Cheney explained. "He clearly has facts about that day that an investigation into what happened, into the president's actions ought to get to the bottom of. And I think that he has important information that needs to be part of any investigation, whether it's the FBI, the Department of Justice or this commission that I hope will be set up."


GOP Michigan Sen. Mike Shirkey Pictured With Whitmer Kidnap Plot Suspect

(Newsweek) A photo shared on the social media site Parler appears to show Mike Shirkey, a Republican state senator from Michigan, with one of the men charged over the alleged plot to kidnap the state's governor, Gretchen Whitmer.

The photo was posted on the platform, which is popular with conservatives, about one month ago. It shows Shirkey, majority leader in the Michigan Senate, smiling as he stands alongside William Null, who faces up to 22 years in prison if he is convicted of domestic terrorism.


Last Week Tonight with John Oliver - Stand Your Ground

John Oliver takes a look at why “stand your ground” laws were created, who they protect, and, crucially, who they don’t.


Democratic National Committee to invest in Mississippi, other red-state parties

(Mississippi Today) The Democratic National Committee and Democratic state parties have reached a four-year agreement to guarantee more investment in state political infrastructure, including a “Red State Fund” for GOP-controlled states such as Mississippi. Former Democratic U.S. Rep. Mike Espy, who lost back-to-back Mississippi U.S. Senate races to Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith in 2018 and 2020, is one of those candidates. He welcomed Thursday’s announcement from the Democratic National Committee.

“I am thrilled to see this happening,” Espy said. “There is a new day in the national Democratic Party and I think I would attribute some of that to the new chairman (Jaime Harrison) being from South Carolina and just having lost in a red state. We’re friends and have spoken about the need for something like this. I’m thrilled to see that in his first month at the helm something like this is happening. This work means candidates such as I was can focus on having a winning campaign, messaging and outreach and not spend three-fourths of our time raising money and trying to build party infrastructure for the state.”


Trump Has Blown Off Rudy Giuliani's Pleas for Help as Feds Circle

(Daily Beast) In the weeks since the feds raided Rudy Giuliani’s apartment and office in late April, close allies have tried to ferry a slew of emergency requests to former President Donald Trump and his advisers. But according to three people familiar with the matter, Trump, as well as several of his legal advisers and longtime confidants, have been hesitant about swooping in to help the embattled Giuliani, who for years worked as Trump’s personal lawyer, a political adviser, and attack dog.

Team Trump’s reluctance to intervene comes at a time when federal investigators have ramped up their probe into whether Giuliani’s Ukraine-related work during the Trump era amounted to an unregistered and illegal lobbying operation on behalf of foreign figures.

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