Last night, the “Trump Media and Technology Group” (TMTG) issued a press release announcing the creation of a “rival to the liberal media consortium” which would “fight back against the “Big Tech’ companies of Silicon Valley, which have used their unilateral power to silence opposing voices in America.” The new social media site was called “Truth Social,” and his team advertised it as the first piece of a media empire that would take its place beside the leaders in the field. Rather than a “tweet,” a statement on the new site would be a “truth,” and the terms of service prohibited criticism of the former president.Within hours the site had been hacked. Then it crashed. It also appears to have been built on open-source software whose developer warned that the Trump social media network might have violated the software company’s licensing rules.
Watching Trump’s flailing attempts to create his own media corporation—this is his second attempt—highlights that since 1980, the project of the Republican faction that is now in control of the party has been to take things apart rather than to build them. They have focused on dismantling the government and stopping legislation. It has been a negative project, rather than a positive one, and breaking things takes little of the hard work and creativity that it takes to build things.When those accustomed to breaking things try to build them, they seem to have little idea of how much work it actually takes. They seem to think that actual accomplishments are there for the taking, and that splashy announcements and dramatic actions can solve intricate problems.
Tonight, at a town hall hosted by CNN, host Anderson Cooper asked Joe Biden if he expected to get a deal on the large infrastructure package the Democrats have been working for months to negotiate. Biden said he did think so, and he also said that this infrastructure deal was not, actually, the most difficult deal he’d ever negotiated. The most difficult one was the deal to ban assault weapons, and, as he said, he succeeded at that.There is reason to think that a deal on infrastructure is close. The fighting among senators—which is at least partly performative, but some of which shows underlying tensions—and news of real cuts both suggest that real negotiations are underway. Real negotiations show effort to create a real deal.Building things is hard work.
Also, when Bannon didn’t show up to be deposed, the entire twitterverse freaked out that Democrats were wimps for not arresting him on the spot. But that isn’t how it works. Because: the law. Doing this right takes time. Building things is hard work
Today, the House of Representatives voted 229–202 to refer Trump adviser Stephen K. Bannon, who defied a congressional subpoena, to the Department of Justice on charges of criminal contempt.The U.S. Attorney’s office for Washington, D.C., accepted the Bannon referral at 5:30 this afternoon. Tonight Pelosi issued a statement saying: “The vote for the criminal contempt of Congress resolution today goes beyond Bannon. It was a vote for the system of checks and balances and the Constitution.”Meanwhile, we learned today that at least three months ago the Justice Department added two top prosecutors to the investigation of Matt Gaetz (R-FL), one of former president Trump’s closest allies, for sex trafficking.
Biden is Doing Great Things
Overall, Biden is outpacing every other president since Richard Nixon in confirming circuit court judges, who have the last word in most federal cases.
The Democratic-controlled Senate voted 52-41 Monday to confirm Gustavo Gelpi to be a judge on the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, based in Boston, making him the fifth new circuit judge with a background as a public defender on Biden’s watch.
Set against recent history, that is a remarkable statistic. President Barack Obama confirmed five former public defenders to the appeals courts over his entire eight years, according to the progressive judicial group Demand Justice. Biden has matched that in his first nine months.
The White House on Wednesday announced plans to distribute vaccines to a huge group that has been ineligible so far to receive the coronavirus shots — 28 million children aged 5 to 11. The operation is slated to begin as soon as federal health officials sign off on a reduced dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, which the Biden administration anticipates could come as soon as the first week of November.
The Biden administration is working to salvage its credibility on climate change by shoring up key provisions in a troubled tax-and-spending bill and demonstrating its ability to cut greenhouse gas emissions without the help of Congress.
White House officials and some of their key allies in the Senate are arguing that the United States can still meet its commitment under the Paris agreement to cut the nation’s carbon output in half by the end of the decade, compared to 2005 levels, through a combination of other executive and legislative action.
“We’re just going to have to work hard on a continuing basis to achieve that goal in this package and what the administration can do,” said Sen. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) in an interview.
We have a good chance in 2022 (if we work hard)
Just when it seemed Arizona Republicans couldn’t make more of a spectacle, they found another way.
As the party hardens around its fealty to former President Donald Trump, the GOP is filling up its midterm ballot with a roster of conspiracy theorists and extremists that could threaten the party’s prospects in a state that’s drifted leftward in recent elections.
U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock raised more than $9.5 million during the latest fundraising quarter, an enormous sum that highlights the extensive fundraising infrastructure the Democrat has built for a re-election bid that will help decide control of the Senate.
The G.O.P.’s ambitions of ending unified Democratic control in Washington in 2022 are colliding with a considerable force that has the ability to sway tens of millions of votes: former President Donald J. Trump’s increasingly vocal demands that members of his party remain in a permanent state of obedience, endorsing his false claims of a stolen election or risking his wrath.
She was campaigning almost exclusively on Facebook, growing an army of small-dollar donors across the nation on her way to raising a staggering $8.5 million in the most recent fundraising quarter —$2.4 million more than Rubio reported and more than any Senate challenger in the country between July and October.
Her fundraising haul provided a sudden burst of hope to Florida’s beleaguered Democrats, who reveled at the idea of a cash-flush Senate nominee whose star power sparked the imagination of Democrats across the country.
Increased independent identification has mostly come at the expense of the Republican Party, with the 25% of U.S. adults currently identifying as Republicans down from 29% in the fourth quarter. Republican Party identification has not been lower since early 2018 and is just a few points above the low of 22% in the Gallup telephone polling era, registered in the fourth quarter of 2013… Democratic Party identification is also down, by one point from the fourth quarter, to 30%. It has hovered around that level for most of the past eight years.
–Jeffrey M. Jones, April, 2021
We Have Great Allies
When Republican lawmakers in Tennessee blocked a policy to ease up on low-level marijuana cases, Nashville’s top prosecutor decided on a workaround: He just didn’t charge anyone with the crime.
Meanwhile, in Georgia, the Gwinnett County solicitor vowed not to punish anyone for the crime of distributing food or water to voters in line. Tampa’s chief prosecutor says a law that allows law enforcement to detain protesters until their court date is “an assault on our democracy.” And a district attorney in Douglas County, Kansas, promised not to enforce a new state law that makes it harder for nonpartisan groups and neighbors and candidates to collect and return absentee ballots for voters.
Progressive prosecutors around the country are increasingly declaring they just won’t enforce some GOP-backed state laws, a strategy at work in response to some of the most controversial new changes in recent years — near-total abortion bans, voting restrictions, limits on certain protest activity, laws aimed at LGBTQ people, and restrictions on mask requirements.
Workers are flexing their muscle
Tucked in four plastic tubs in a tent by a Staten Island bus stop are stacks of cards with valuable autographs: the signatures of more than 1,700 hourly Amazon workers.
“I, the undersigned, authorize the Amazon Labor Union to represent me for the purpose of collective bargaining,” the cards read.
The commitments are the results of six months of organizing at Amazon’s only fulfillment center in New York City. The organizers expect to have several hundred more by Monday, when they plan to file for a union election.
Something extraordinary is happening in factories, universities, hospitals, and movie studios across America. Workers are authorizing strikes and shutting down production in numbers that many young people have never seen before in their lifetimes.
The numbers are incredible:
The list of striking or on-the-verge of striking workers includes: whiskey makers, coal miners, steel workers, bus drivers, and grad students. By withholding their labor power, workers around the country are pressuring their employees to offer them a better deal for their work.
A Life of Crime Does Not Pay
Former President Donald J. Trump’s family business, which is already under indictment in Manhattan, is facing a criminal investigation by another prosecutor’s office that has begun to examine financial dealings at a golf course the company owns, according to people with knowledge of the matter.
In recent months, the district attorney’s office in suburban Westchester County, N.Y., has subpoenaed records from the course, Trump National Golf Club Westchester, and the town of Ossining, which sets property taxes on the course, a sprawling private club that is perched on a hill north of New York City and boasts a 101-foot waterfall.
Marjorie Taylor Greene and Matt Gaetz both have a knack for ginning up outrage and stealing headlines. All this sound and fury is assumed to hoover up dollars from the riled up grassroots, but that’s not true, according to the most recent campaign finance filings.
Despite the two spending the summer barnstorming the country on a grand fundraising swing they dubbed the America First tour, (the moniker adopted after scraping the “Angl0-Saxon” caucus), neither Greene nor Gaetz lived up to expectations on the fundraising end. And, just six months after founding it, the joint fundraising committee they launched to drive their tour is nearly broke.
On the Lighter Side
What can you do to save democracy?
- Run for something! Seriously? Why not you?
- Get involved with the Democratic party. We aren’t perfect, but they are fucking evil.
- Get involved with Swing Left. They are working on races right now!
- Get involved with Postcards to voters! Influence voters in key areas from the comfort of your own home!
- Donate to the AMAZING Florida Rights Restoration! They are taking buses around Florida to empower returning citizens, remove financial barriers to voting, and increase public safety. They are really amazing
- Make phone calls FROM YOUR OWN HOME to protect voter rights. There are phone banks on Wednesdays and on Saturdays.
- The ACLU plays a key role in filing lawsuits that often stop voter suppression. Get involved with them at this link.
- The League of Women Voters work year-round to combat voter suppression through advocacy, grassroots organizing, legal action and public education. You can get involved with them at this link
- Volunteer with Black Votes Matter at this link. They have on the ground work in 10 states and people from other states can write postcards, phone bank, fundraise, and text.
- Spread The Vote works to get voters IDs before voting begins. You can volunteer with them at this link.
- Sign up at Democracy Docket to stay informed about the fight against voter suppression and the fight for voter rights.
Most important: DON’T LOSE HOPE. This is a giant and important fight for us but, win or lose, we keep fighting and voting and organizing and spreading truth and light. We never give up.
That is it for today.
I am so lucky and so proud to be in this with you ✊🏾✊🏻♥💙💚💛💜🧡✊🏽✊🏻
This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.