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Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Manchin and Sinema condemned for opposing filibuster reform urged by Biden – live | US news

Senator Joe Manchin, a key Democrat who is a staunch defender of the filibuster rule, still isn’t on board with changing the filibuster rules.

Senator Jon Tester, a Montana Democrat who has been part of a small group trying to reach an agreement to change the filibuster with Manchin, said they were still searching for some kind of solution.

“As of this morning, we’re not where we need to be to have them on board,” Tester said during an event hosted by the left-leaning Center for American Progress Action Fund.

Jon Tester offers remarks during a press conference following Senate Democrats’ policy luncheon.

Jon Tester offers remarks during a press conference following Senate Democrats’ policy luncheon. Photograph: REX/Shutterstock

He added, “But I continue to be hopeful. Continue to use every persuasion power that I have to move the ball forward, to get everybody, all 50 of us, to a point where we can get this freedom to vote act passed.”

Chuck Schumer, the senate majority leader, has pledged his caucus will hold a vote on sweeping voting rights legislation and filibuster changes no later than Monday. But the comments from Tester underscore how far the party still has to go to reach some kind of consensus.

Schumer said Tuesday evening that Democrats faced an “uphill battle.” Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are set to visit senate Democrats and “work the phones” over the next few days to try and get agreement on the issue.

Biden’s plea for voting rights legislation was ‘unbecoming,’ McConnell says

Trump hangs up on NPR – audio

Donald Trump hung up on a national US radio station halfway through a scheduled interview on Tuesday, after being confronted about his election lies.

Trump, who has continued to falsely claim he won the 2020 presidential election instead of Joe Biden, was heard becoming increasingly irritated through the interview with National Public Radio before abruptly signing off.

The ending meant NPR, which had been promised a 15-minute interview, had to make do with just nine minutes, much of it consisting of a vexed Trump talking over host Steve Inskeep.

The segment, which aired on Wednesday, ended with Inskeep asking Trump if Republicans must repeat Trump’s increasingly unhinged allegations of election fraud in order to win his endorsement.

“They are going to do whatever they want to do – whatever they have to do, they’re going to do,” Trump said.


Trump hangs up on NPR host after being pressed on election lies – video

Full story:

Senate Republicans are rallying round Senator Mike Rounds, after Donald Trump rounded on him.

Mike Rounds.

Mike Rounds. Photograph: Patrick Semansky/AP

Roundly speaking, this block exists merely so I could write that sentence. But now it’s here, here’s what Rounds said, a taste of how he was rounded upon simply for being fair and … square … with the truth, and some expressions of support.

Rounds, to ABC: “The election was fair, as fair as we have seen. We simply did not win the election, as Republicans, for the presidency.”

Trump, in a statement: “Is he crazy or just stupid? … I will never endorse this jerk again.”

Mitt Romney: “Mike Rounds speaks truth knowing that our republic depends upon it.”

Mitch McConnell, Republican leader, to CNN: “I think Senator Rounds told the truth about what happened in the 2020 election. And I agree with him.”

John Thune, senior Republican from South Dakota, also to CNN: “I say to my colleague, welcome to the club.”

Trump’s endorsement threat may just have become irrelevant – or of course been conveniently forgotten – when Rounds next runs for re-election. In 2026.

Today so far

Gaetz’s ex-girlfriend testifies in sex trafficking investigation – report

The MSNBC anchor Mehdi Hasan might’ve come up with the most succinct among many appalled reactions to the New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman’s suggestion that Democrats consider a Joe BidenLiz Cheney ticket in 2024, to promote national unity and keep Donald Trump out of power.

Hasan tweeted: “Kill. Me. Now.”

Using the example of the right-left national unity government in office in Israel in succession to that country’s own Trumpish leader, Benjamin Netanyahu, Friedman enlisted the help of Steven Levitsky, a political scientist and co-author of How Democracies Die:

America is facing an existential moment, Levitsky told me, noting that the Republican party has shown that it isn’t committed any longer to playing by democratic rules, leaving the US uniquely threatened among western democracies.

… So Biden-Cheney is not such a crazy idea? I asked.

“Not at all,” said Levitsky. “We should be ready to talk about Liz Cheney as part of a blow-your-mind Israeli-style fusion coalition with Democrats. It is a coalition that says: ‘There is only one overriding goal right now – that is saving our democratic system.’”

Cheney, from Wyoming, is one of two anti-Trump Republicans on the 6 January House committee. She is also the daughter of Dick “Darth Vader” Cheney, the former vice-president with whom she stood, otherwise alone on her side of the House, through a commemoration of the Capitol attack last week.

Some on the left found the sight of the architect of the Iraq war in common cause with Democrats … disturbing. Oddly enough, Hasan didn’t much like Friedman’s suggestion either.

The Times man, Hasan wrote, was “also one of Obama’s favorite columnists. If you want to understand why US politics, and especially Democratic party politics, is so messed up, consider that the current and previous Democratic presidents have both taken advice from Thomas Friedman. Kill. Me. Now.”

For what it’s worth, Levitsky has been warning of the dangers of Republican fascism, now at a high pitch, for some time. Here’s a Guardian piece with his co-author Daniel Ziblatt from January 2018:


Biden to attend Senate Democrats’ meeting on voting rights

Harry Reid’s casket arrives at the Capitol

US inflation jumped 7% in December

The price of goods and services in the US continue to rise at rates unseen in decades, jumping 7% in December compared to the same month last year – the seventh consecutive month in which inflation has topped 5%.

The news represents a blow to the Biden administration and the Federal Reserve, which until recently have characterized soaring prices as a “transitory” phenomenon brought about by supply chain issues triggered by the pandemic.

On Wednesday, the labor department said the consumer price index (CPI) – which measures what consumers pay for a wide range of goods – rose 0.5% last month compared with November and 7% compared with December 2020.

Price increases in housing and used cars and trucks were the largest contributors to the inflation rate, with 0.4% and 3.5% increases in price compared with November, respectively. Food prices also continued to increase, though the 0.5% jump in prices is not as high as increases seen in previous months.

Schumer calls out Manchin and Sinema after Biden demands action on voting rights

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