Monday, January 30, 2023

Editorial: Don’t Buckle to Terrorists

 Republicans appear determined to risk defaulting on the nation’s debts in their effort to force Democrats to agree to cuts to Social Security and Medicare as well as other social spending that the right simply can’t stand.

One of the promises Kevin McCarthy made to seditionist “Freedom Caucus” Republicans to gain their support to elect him House Speaker was to hold the debt ceiling hostage.

The national debt hit the statutory debt limit of $31.4 trillion Jan. 19, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said, as the government began using “extraordinary measures,” moving money around government accounts to allow the government to meet its financial obligations as long as possible.

“The period of time that extraordinary measures may last is subject to considerable uncertainty, including the challenges of forecasting the payments and receipts of the US government months into the future,” Yellen said. “I respectfully urge Congress to act promptly to protect the full faith and credit of the United States.”

It’s true that $31 trillion is a lot of money. But Paul Krugman noted in the New York Times that a better way to think about debt is to ask whether interest payments are a burden on the budget. In 2011 those payments were 1.47% of gross domestic product — half of what they were in the mid-1990s. In 2021 they were 1.51%. “This number will rise as existing debt is rolled over at higher interest rates, but real net interest — interest payments adjusted for inflation — is likely to remain below 1% of G.D.P for the next decade,” Krugman wrote.

But House Republicans have vowed to hold the line on the borrowing limit until President Biden agrees to steep cuts in federal spending. Biden has ruled out negotiating for a debt-limit increase, noting that the money is going to cover spending previous Congresses authorized.

The use of the “debt ceiling” by Republicans in the House to stop the administration from paying bills Republicans ran up in the preceding administration flouts the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, which states, “The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law ... shall not be questioned.”

The “debt ceiling” became a thing when Congress passed the Liberty Bond Act of 1917, which gave the president budgetary discretion to sell bonds to fund US participation in World War I, while imposing control over that discretion by limiting how much debt could be incurred. It was not used as a political weapon until Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich tried to use it in an attempt to extort budget cuts from President Bill Clinton in 1995.

In 2011, the Republican House majority nearly caused the US to default on its debt before President Obama agreed to caps on future spending increases in exchange for lifting the limit. Still, the brinksmanship resulted in a credit downgrade for Treasury bonds that raised US borrowing costs by $18.9 billion over the next 10 years, according to the Bipartisan Policy Center. 

The debt increased $7.8 trillion during Donald Trump’s time in office, including Trump’s tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations, which were projected to cost $1.9 trillion over 11 years, and COVID-pandemic-related stimulus cost $3 trillion. The Congressional Budget Office projects deficits of $3.8 trillion so far under Biden. 

Robert Hockett, who teaches law and public policy at Cornell University, wrote at Forbes.com Jan. 19 that President Biden and Treasury Secretary Yellen can simply ignore the debt ceiling

Since Republicans started trying to use the debt ceiling as a hostage in the 1990s, all appropriations laws have directed Congress to incur public debt to purchase and pay for everything the federal government does. “Biden and Yellen, I claim, can simply ignore the would-be hostage-taker this time, leaving the ball in their ‘court’ to haul Treasury into our Courts and then watch the Supreme Court annul it. Unless President Biden actually wants House Republicans to pretend to ‘take us to the brink,’ then – letting them thereby commit political suicide as their predecessors did back in 1995, 2011, and 2013 – he should simply announce that the ‘debt ceiling’ just ‘isn’t a thing’ and instruct Janet Yellen to disregard it.”

Since enactment of the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974, Congress has had ultimate control over the federal budget process, treating as merely advisory the President’s proposed budget each year. 

“That the ‘debt ceiling’ regime was never intended to apply to present circumstances, especially after 1974, of course is revealed by the fact that it wasn’t fought over by White Houses and Congress during the decades following 1917 … until opportunistic politicians beginning with Newt Gingrich in 1995 rediscovered it in the US Code and decided to try their hands at employing it for stunt-performing purposes like shutting down the government. Be that as it may, the important point right now is that both (a) the 1974 budget regime trumps the 1917 budget regime, and (b) the current budget trumps any putative ‘debt ceiling’ imposed after that budget became law.

“The President should therefore just say that the last putative ceiling was implicitly repealed by the current budget, then note while at it that this also accords with Section 4 of the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution … ratified by the former Confederate States as a condition on readmission to the Union. That provision prohibits questioning of the US national debt, which compliance with any putative ‘debt ceiling’ imposed after debts are already incurred would amount to.”

Hockett also notes, “The Republican abuse of the debt ceiling also raises Constitutional issues under the Constitution’s ‘Take Care’ Clause found in Article 2, Section 3, pursuant to which the President is required to ‘take care that the Laws [including the federal budget] be faithfully executed,’ and the Separation of Powers doctrine, pursuant to which Congress, not the President, determines under Article I how funds shall be spent and how taxes shall be raised. Republicans’ apparent interpretation of the debt ceiling of course (a) would obstruct the President’s execution of the law in the ways mandated by the budget — which, again, is duly enacted Congressional legislation — and (b) confer on the Treasury, via the ‘extraordinary measures’ that it would have to take, a de facto line item veto of the kind the Supreme Court has ruled violates Article I and the Separation of Powers.”

Some of the billionaire oligarchs who bankroll the Republicans might welcome the opportunity to make money off global financial disorder that the US government default would cause, but most of them are no more interested in causing financial market chaos than the rest of the world is. Big Money should tell McCarthy and what remains of sane Republican members of Congress to knock it off, and just increase the debt limit.

In the meantime, as Hockett suggests, Biden should continue to hold the line at not negotiating with Republican terrorists. He certainly should not agree to any cuts to Social Security or Medicare — which are funded separately from the general treasury, and need to be expanded, not cut back. Biden should let people know what is at stake. Let Republicans sue him and let the courts — even Trump’s MAGA justices — explain what the plain language of Article 14 and Article 2 means.

Republicans who want to stop the government from paying our debts are not “populists” or “conservatives.” They’re deadbeats. — JMC 

From The Progressive Populist, February 15, 2023


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Selections from the February 15, 2023 issue

 COVER/Hal Crowther 

A very American tragedy

EDITORIAL
Don’t buckle to terrorists


FRANK LINGO
Lies that damage Earth

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR 

DON ROLLINS
Dianne Feinstein’s botched send-off

CRISTA V. WORTHY
Banning books is for bullies

DISPATCHES 
GOP ‘Fair Tax’ proposal is anything but.
House GOP fracturesover first immigration-related proposal.
More than 70% of Dems back government-run universal healthcare: poll..
Watchdogs warn House GOP bill owuld ‘lock in another century of oil and gas.
Trump goes full QAnon, offers one of his resorts for conspiracists’ spring conference.
Pelosi office trespasser says his conviction was unfair because jury members ‘weren’t peers ...

ART CULLEN
I think I know what my old man would have said

ALAN GUEBERT
Any new Farm Bill must navigate the unruly 2023 House GOP — again


FARRAH HASSEN
Beyond the ‘border crisis’

JOHN YOUNG 
‘Servants of the damned’ tend to get their way

SARAH ANDERSON 
America’s inequality problem in one statistic

JENNIFER GOLLAN 
Websites selling abortion pills are sharing sensitive data with Google

TOM CONWAY 
Building the essential supply chain

DICK POLMAN 
MAGA house plots to stop Uncle Sam from paying bills, because this is what extortionists do

MITCHELL ZIMMERMAN 
Republicans turn to mugging Social Security 

ROBERT KUTTNER
Turning the debt ceiling crisis against McCarthy’s Republicans 

THOM HARTMANN 
Will Americans embrace the politics of fear or trust? 

DR. CINTLI 
Normalization of killings is not normal; neither is invisibilization

HEALTH CARE/Joan Retsinas
The business of optimism, or health-hype

SAM URETSKY
Artificial intelligence still needs some work

WENDELL POTTER
Here is the truth: Medicare Advantage is neither Medicare nor an advantage

WAYNE O’LEARY
False equivalence

JOEL D. JOSEPH 
Five reasons there will not be a recession in 2023 in the United States

GENE NICHOL.
Women and low-income work


SETH SANDRONSKY 
California prison spending grows as incarcerated population falls


BARRY FRIEDMAN 
Money and mediocrity in the NCAA


GRASSROOTS/Hank Kalet  
Labor militancy is in the air

ROB PATTERSON
George & Tammy: They couldn’t hold on

SATIRE/Rosie Sorenson 
Allemande left and do si do

FILM REVIEW/Ed Rampell  
‘On Sacred Ground’

From The Progressive Populist, February 15, 2023


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Sunday, January 15, 2023

Editorial: Clown Car’s In Gear

 We can’t expect much out of a Congress where Marjorie Taylor Greene, Matt Gaetz and Lauren Boebert are calling the shots. But that’s what we have in the US House in the 118th Congress. The good news is they won’t get much done.

Kevin McCarthy wanted to be House Speaker in the worst way. It took 15 ballots over four days, but he finally achieved his goal, albeit with an asterisk. Republicans hold a 222-212 majority in the House, with one vacancy after the death of Rep. Donald McEachin (D-Va.) on Nov. 28. 

McCarthy needed 218 for a majority, but 20 far-right “Freedom Caucus” Republicans balked at voting for him. After 11 ballots on Tuesday and Wednesday, Jan. 3-4, showed McCarthy trailing Democratic leader Hakeem Jeffries, who got votes of all 212 Democrats, McCarthy finally conceded to right-wing demands and outscored Jeffries on Thursday, Jan. 5, but he was short of the majority of members voting, as six insurrectionist Republicans remained obstinate. 

Among the far-right demands McCarthy agreed to was a rule change to allow any member of Congress to force a vote on ousting the speaker. He also agreed to place more Freedom Caucus members on the House Rules Committee, which decides which legislation moves to the floor and what amendments can be attached to bills. McCarthy said he would allow floor votes to institute term limits on members and hold the debt ceiling hostage to force budget cuts.

But even after McCarthy surrendered to virtually all the “Freedom Caucus” demands, math tripped up the attempted finale on the 14th vote. Gaetz waited until after the initial round of alphabetical voting. When Gaetz finally voted “present,” instead of voting for McCarthy, the consensus Republican candidate had 216 votes, but two insurrectionists voted for Andy Biggs (Ariz.) and two voted for Jim Jordan (Ohio), which left McCarthy with only half of 432 votes cast. 

McCarthy and some of his allies confronted Gaetz, and Mike Rogers (Ala.) had to be physically restrained, but one of McCarthy’s allies, Patrick T. McHenry (N.C.) moved to adjourn until the following Monday, to give them time to nail down Gaetz and the five other holdouts. But during the voting, Gaetz and Boebert indicated they finally had decided to play along, so Republican leaders killed the motion to adjourn and proceeded with the 15th and final roll call vote, in which McCarthy again got 216 votes but the six holdouts simply voted present, so McCarthy got a majority of the 428 votes cast.

McCarthy also accepted rules that include a call for significant cuts in the federal government budget, and raise the vote threshold needed to approve tax increases to a three-fifths supermajority. 

The rules allow new committees to explore US competitiveness with China, examine what Republicans call “weaponization” of federal law enforcement agencies in politically charged investigations and assess the federal government’s handling of the COVID pandemic.

The package also allows lawmakers to use spending bills to defund specific programs and fire federal officials or reduce their pay. It also imposes term limits of eight years for the eight board members of the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE), an independent body established in 2008 that investigates complaints about sitting members of Congress. It also requires the OCE board to appoint staff within 30 days and that hiring and compensation of staff members must be approved by at least four board members. Democrats and public-interest groups protested that the changes would hobble the way the OCE functions.

The rules package also supported restrictions on presidential authority to draw down the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Republicans apparently resent that the reserve was used to drive down oil prices in the past year, which coincidentally resulted in a drop in gasoline prices before the midterm elections. That foiled the plans of Russian and Saudi leaders to help Republican capitalize on high gas prices to capture both chambers of Congress. 

The rules were passed 220-213 Jan. 9 with only one Republican voting no. So much for “moderate” Republicans.

The rules also allow lawmakers at least 72 hours to review legislation before it goes to the floor for a House vote, but that didn’t stop a bill coming before the House on the heels of the rules passage Jan. 9 that would rescind $80 billion of IRS funding in last year’s budget, which Democrats had added to allow more audits of wealthy tax cheats, as well as improve service to taxpayers and replace retiring IRS staff. The bill passed 221-210.

Republicans appear to be oblivious to the fact that any such bills must also pass the Democratic-majority Senate and be signed by President Biden. Republicans still are determined to force the budget cuts, including major cuts to Social Security and Medicare, as a condition for increasing the debt ceiling later this year.

Trumpist Freedom Caucus members are neither conservative nor populists.They are anarchists. But the rest of the caucus are not much better. “No significant GOP faction can be described accurately as ‘moderate’ or ‘mainstream’ or even ‘conservative,’ although media outlets persist in using those familiar terms to frame them,” Joe Conason wrote after McCarthy finally was awarded the gavel. “They’re nearly all crazies now.”

Conservatives wouldn’t threaten to refuse to increase the national debt ceiling, putting the national debt in default to score a political point if Democrats don’t agree to major cuts ini Medicare, Social Security and other vital programs, but the Republican caucus appears determined to do. Populists don’t put themselves in the service of big corporations and plutocrats, as “GOP” has come to mean Greedy Oligarch Party, where high-dollar contributors get their calls returned and workers and consumers are on their own.

The 20 members of the Freedom Caucus who resisted McCarthy’s promotion were among the most vocal supporters of the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection, but remember that 147 House Republicans voted to reject Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election and most of the rest went along with Trump’s election denialism over the past two years.

The clown show will continue in the House with investigations of Hunter Biden, Dr. Anthony Fauci and federal law enforcement agencies who dared to investigate Trump. A special Judiciary subcommittee will investigate the special House committee that investigated the Jan. 6 insurrection. 

Republicans plan to bring in Hunter Biden for a public grilling about his service on the board of Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian gas company, while his dad was vice president. Senate Democrats should bring in Jared Kushner to answer questions about how his service as Donald Trump’s emissary to the Middle East may have benefited Kushner’s family businesses. After all, Trump’s son-in-law got a Qatari-financed investment fund to bail out the Kushners’ troubled property at 666 Fifth Ave. in New York City in 2018 and Kushner got $2 billion from a fund led by Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman for a new investment firm Kushner formed six months after he left the White House. Trump’s tax returns also are of interest, of course.

“I find positively delicious the prospect of hauling Jared Kushner in front of the Senate for every time Hunter Biden is summoned to the Clown Show,” Charles P. Pierce wrote at Esquire.com Jan. 9. “I know it’s not exactly good government, but that ship sailed over the horizon last weekend. And tempering the unruly temperament of the House is actually what the Senate was originally designed to do.”

We agree. Voters decided Congress won’t get anything done in the next two years. We might as well get some entertainment. — JMC


From The Progressive Populist, February 1, 2023


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Selections from the February 1, 2023 issue

 COVER/Jennifer Oldham

Wildfires in Colorado are growing more unpredictable. Officials have ignored the warnings.

EDITORIAL
Clown car’s in gear


LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

DON ROLLINS 
The proper and the questionable

KELSEY WELLINGTON
Wildlife watching has been getting a free ride

DISPATCHES
Unemployment falls to half-century low, but wage growth and inflation slows.
Democratic lawmakers push Biden to protect renters.
During Biden visit to border, Abbott cries he ‘desperately needs more money’ after wasting billiosn on stunts.
FTC proposes ban on noncompete clauses.
Report shows promise of greener jobs for former fossil fuel workers
Who could run to succeed Sen. Debbie Stabenow? Pretty much everybody ... 


ART CULLEN
Gimme some of that old-time socialsim

ALAN GUEBERT
Commodity markets see winter thaw, securities markets remain in deep ice

FARRAH HASSEN
A year of global displacement

JOHN YOUNG
Two who flunked dictator school

DICK POLMAN
A New Year’s resolution: Do not underestimate Uncle Joe. Ever again.

DICK POLMAN
Burning down the house: For the gang that can’t govern, it’s been a long time coming. 

TOM CONWAY
Living proof


JAKE JOHNSON
No matter who leads House GOP, advocates say, ‘They all want to cut your Social Security’


ROBERT KUTTNER 
Who will talk Jay Powell off the ledge? 

THOM HARTMANN  
What the final stage of Reaganism looks like

SONALI KOLHATKAR
Fixing the broken American healthcare system is not actually hard


DR. CINTLI
The unthinkable and inevitable civil war?

HEALTH CARE/Joan Retsinas  
The battle for America’s soul: The dilemma of the poor

SAM URETSKY 
Get the facts right on contraception

FRANK LINGO 
Over-engineering food and energy

WAYNE O’LEARY
The real inflation

PETER ELKIND
What to know about cellphone radiation


JOSEPH B. ATKINS 
Geopolitical death in Ukraine


BARRY FRIEDMAN
Losing Trump

SATIRE/Rosie Sorenson
The great brain robbery, Elon style

GRASSROOTS/Hank Kalet
Free speech, not corporate control

ROB PATTERSON 
When politics becomes entertainment, call for Robert Draper

SETH SANDRONSKY
UC strike over, but questions remain over new contracts

FILM REVIEW/Ed Rampell
‘Chile ’76’

From The Progressive Populist, February 1, 2023


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Saturday, December 17, 2022

Editorial: Get Ready for 2024

 Democrats did much better than expected during the midterm elections, gaining a real majority in the Senate and only losing the House by a handful of seats despite aggressive Republican gerrymandering, but they hardly get a pause before the 2024 campaign season starts.

Georgia Republicans tried to suppress the votes of working voters, making it more difficult to use mail-in ballots and cutting the early vote in the runoff to one week, but Sen. Raphael Warnock prevailed with 51.4% of the vote, 2.8 points ahead of Herschel Walker. 

The midterms showed that the 2020 election that put Joe Biden in the White House and Democratic majorities in Congress was not a fluke. With Warnock’s victory, voters in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada and Pennsylvania elected Democratic senators. Voters in Wisconsin re-elected Gov. Tony Evers (D) and stopped Republicans from achieving a veto-proof majority in the heavily-gerrymandered state Assembly, as the Republicans fell two seats short of a two-thirds majority in the House. Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly (D) was re-elected with 49.6% of the vote but Republicans maintained a two-thirds majority in the Legislature. And Massachusetts and Maryland replaced outgoing Republican governors with Democrats.

The red wave that swept through Iowa carried Sen. Chuck Grassley (R) to his eighth term in the Senate. After 42 years in the Senate, Grassley, 89, took a race that polled tight three weeks before the election and he finished 12 points ahead of Democrat Mike Franken. Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) easily won re-election, the Legislature remains firmly in GOP control and US Rep. Cindy Axne lost to Zach Nunn by 0.8% of the vote, giving Republicans a sweep of Iowa’s four congressional districts for the first time since 1994.

The red wave in Iowa may have washed out the last argument for keeping the Hawkeye State’s position as the first-in-the-nation caucuses to kick off the 2024 presidential campaign.

The Democratic National Committee, at the urging of President Biden, is moving to displace Iowa’s leadoff caucuses with South Carolina’s primary in the first spot on the presidential primary calendar, to give Black voters a greater role in the process. The DNC’s Rules and Bylaws Committee Dec. 1 approved the proposal, which will take several months before it comes before the full DNC. Under the plan, New Hampshire and Nevada would be second in line, casting their ballots the same day. Georgia and Michigan would follow.

Biden is beholden to Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.), who jump-started Biden’s campaign in 2020 after he finished among the also-rans in Iowa and New Hampshire and placed second behind Bernie Sanders in Nevada. Clyburn’s glowing endorsement got Biden a big win in South Carolina and propelled him in following states.

But, for the record, Biden didn’t carry Iowa or South Carolina in the general election. He did carry New Hampshire and Nevada. 

Iowa was valuable as a leadoff contest for 50 years when it was a swing state, where a candidate could campaign on a face-to-face level with an educated population that was interested in dialog with presidential wannabes. And sure, voters had to put up with the caucus process, which can take a couple hours to play out — but what else is an Iowan going to do on a frostbit Tuesday night in February?

Anyway, if the DNC is going to move the leadoff primary—and insist that it be an election, not a caucus—the leadoff should be a swing state where a candidate can campaign on a budget and have a chance to build a following. Nevada would be a good place to start, since candidates would spend most of their time in Las Vegas and Reno, sweet-talking Culinary Workers Union members. New Hampshire could bat second. Then South Carolina, Michigan and Georgia.

Maybe Iowa Democrats can work their way back into the lineup.

Railway Workers Deserve Paid Sick Leave

In the spirit of fair play and ensuring a safe workplace, President Joe Biden should issue an executive order to require freight railroads to grant paid sick leave to workers. Biden urged Congress to prevent a national railway strike by imposing a contract negotiated with the railroads and the unions by the White House, after the membership of four unions, representing a majority of freight rail workers, rejected the contract, mainly because it failed to provide paid sick leave. Eight other unions accepted the contract.

Democrats in Congress tried to add seven paid sick days to the deal, and that resolution passed the House but was filibustered in the Senate and 42 Republicans and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) upheld the filibuster. Without the paid sick leave provision, the resolution was passed.

More than 70 Democrats in Congress Dec. 9 sjgned a letter whose main author was Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) calling on President Biden to take executive action to ensure railroad workers are afforded the paid sick leave.

“While this agreement was much better than the disastrous proposals put forward by the rail industry, it still does not guarantee a single paid sick day to rail workers who work dangerous and difficult jobs, have risked their lives during the pandemic to keep our economy moving, and have not received a pay raise in over three years,” the letter states.

The Association of American Railroads said it believes the question of sick days should be addressed in negotiations with the unions, but when those negotiations came to an impasse, the railroads turned to the federal government to impose the deal on workers. If the federal government takes away the workers’ right to strike, it owes the workers consideration for their role in keeping the economy moving.

The railroads insist that the workers can use personal or vacation days if they are too sick to report to work, but union representatives say deep staff cuts in recent years (which have greatly increased railroad company profits) have left the railroad crews so lean that workers can’t get approval to take time off if they’re not feeling well. If they take unauthorized time off, they risk losing pay and being disciplined.

The letter noted that the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) authorizes the US Secretary of Labor to set mandatory safety and health standards for businesses that affect interstate commerce.

In 2015, then-President Barack Obama signed an executive order requiring companies with federal contracts to grant a minimum of seven days of paid sick leave to workers—but excluded rail workers from the protections.

“We can think of few things that threaten the safety and health of workers more than being required to come into work sick and exhausted,” the Democrats wrote, “and we can think of few industries more quintessential to interstate commerce than freight rail.”

Greg Hynes, national legislative director for the transportation department of the Sheet Metal, Air, Rail Transportation Union, the largest rail union representing about 28,000 conductors, told CNN the Biden administration has been helpful. “Of course, they want to do this. Whether they can do it, we’re going to find out.” 

Make it so, Joe — JMC

From The Progressive Populist, January 1-15, 2023


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Selections from the January 1-15, 2023 issue

 COVER/Robert Kuttner 

It’s time to try progressive bipartisanship

EDITORIAL 
Get ready for 2024; Protect railway workers


FRANK LINGO 
Manatees need protection to survive

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR 

DON ROLLINS 
Christianity’s durability being tested

RURAL ROUTES/Margot McMillen
Don’t let them divide us

DISPATCHES 
Record turnout in Georgia? There was a record collapse.
Reports of ‘breakthrough’ in fusion power fuels hopes of major clean energy progress.
Keystone Pipeline spills 600,000 gallons of tar sands oil in Kansas.
Biggest election of 2023 is battle for control of Wisconsin Supreme Court.
McCarthy doesn’t understand what the debt ceiling is. Dems can’t let him anywhere near it.
GOP fight spills over to committee assignments...


ART CULLEN 
Ro Khanna on a lonely campaign on the back roads

ALAN GUEBERT
You’re a neoliberal, I’m a neoliberal, we’re all neoliberals — for now


NANCY J. ALTMAN 
Good news for the 65 million Americans who rely on Social Security

JOHN YOUNG 
Thoughts and prayers and vicious slurs

ROBERT KUTTNER
The added benefits of Warnock’s win

DICK POLMAN 
Final midterm celebration: Georgia voters defeat the dolt and solidify Senate Democratic power


PAUL SONN 
The midterms mean cities and states are where workers must fight to improve their jobs

SARAH IZABEL
Congress: Help struggling famlies before it’s too late

TOM CONWAY 
Union solidarity is driving better health care

JOSEPH B. ATKINS
Democrats have lost blue-collar voters

DICK POLMAN 
Beaten and battered yet again, Republicans can’t seem to fathom why it happened


PERLA TREVIZO and  
JEREMY SCHWARTZ, ProPublica
DOJ tried to hide report warning that private border wall in Texas could collapse


THOM HARTMANN  
Is ‘creative expression’ the new strategy for ‘Christian’ fundamendalists and SCOTUS to heart bigots?

DR. CINTLI 
Healing from spiritual violence and historical trauma?

HEALTH CARE/Joan Retsinas  
Children: A modern take on Dickens

SAM URETSKY
What will it take to bring rural areas back to the Democratic party?

SETH SANDRONSKY 
UC union strikers hold the line

WAYNE O’LEARY 
Medicare is dying: Where are the Democrats? 

SAM PIZZIGATI 
Elon Musk may not be so brilliant after all

LINDSAY KOSHGARIAN 
We need a smaller Pentagon


JOEL D. JOSEPH 
Immunity for Mohammed Bin Salman is a grave mistake

JASON SIBERT 
Laws can’t stop a nuclear attack


BARRY FRIEDMAN
Guess who’s staying for dinner

MELINDA BURRELL 
What’s in a speech? Rebuilding a welcoming political culture


SATIRE/Rosie Sorenson 
God’s great gaffe

BRIAN SEXTON 
Red Flag laws work, but they have to be used

ROB PATTERSON 
Sherlock Holmes’ younger sister

MARK ANDERSON 
Republicans are coming after your Social Security

FILM REVIEW/Ed Rampell  
The goldin girls


GENE NICHOL 
Pelosi’s farewell

From The Progressive Populist, January 1-15, 2023


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