Saturday, January 29, 2022
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Bernie Sanders Just Hired His Twitter Attack Dog

Since December, David Sirota has, on Twitter, on his own website, and in columns in The Guardian, been trashing most of Sanders’s Democratic opponents—all without disclosing his work with Sanders—and has been pushing back on critics by saying that he was criticizing the other Democrats as a journalist. Sirota’s hiring as a senior adviser and speechwriter was announced by the Sanders campaign on Tuesday morning after The Atlantic contacted the campaign and inquired about the undisclosed role Sirota held while attacking other Democrats. “He was advising beforehand,” Shakir said, explaining that Sirota’s informal work for Sanders goes back months, and was meant to be a trial period to see how the senator, who famously likes to write every word that he says himself, would work with a speechwriter. “Negative attacks on Democratic candidates,” Sanders said in 2018, criticizing the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee for putting out damaging information about an opponent to a favored candidate in a primary, “just continues the process of debasing the Democratic system in this country, and is why so many people are disgusted with politics." When people have questioned his tactics, Sirota has called them “mentally incapacitated.” Responding in mid-January to those who criticized him online for preemptively railing against the record of O’Rourke, who had not yet entered the race but had been a huge source of concern for Sanders allies since talk of O’Rourke’s potential presidential run picked up last year, Sirota tweeted, “The screaming temper tantrums by Democratic Party operatives whenever reporters scrutinize a lawmaker’s voting record is something to behold. On Monday night, after being contacted for a second time by The Atlantic with a list of specific questions about his undisclosed work for Sanders, Sirota did not respond to the email but deleted more than 20,000 tweets. On Tuesday morning, minutes after his position was announced by the Sanders campaign in a long list of new hires, Sirota said he hadn’t been able to respond to my initial inquiries because he’d been caring for his sick child. I started doing this many months ago.” He did not respond when asked if it was a coincidence that the tweets were deleted hours after I contacted him and the morning before he was announced as a Sanders employee. He then turned those into an op-ed on December 20 in The Guardian, writing that “a new analysis of congressional votes from the non-profit news organisation Capital & Main shows that even as O’Rourke represented one of the most solidly Democratic congressional districts in the United States, he has frequently voted against the majority of House Democrats in support of Republican bills and Trump administration priorities.” “This story was reported by David Sirota of Capital & Main,” the disclaimer at the end of the article read. He wrote another op-ed two weeks later, on New Year’s Eve, headlined “Beto O’Rourke Is the New Obama.

Conservatives call for constitutional intervention last seen 230 years ago

“I think we’re three or four years away,” said the former Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn on Friday, speaking at the annual convention for American Legislative Exchange Council (Alec) – a powerful rightwing organization that links corporate lobbyists with state lawmakers from across the country. Coburn, a veteran Republican lawmaker, now works as a senior adviser for the advocacy group Convention of States, which seeks to use a little known clause in article V of the US constitution to call a constitutional convention for new amendments to dramatically restrict the power of the federal government. Louisiana’s Democratic governor an ally at influential rightwing conference Read more Coburn, who retired from the Senate in 2010, said that the American republic is “failing”, and that such a convention is the “only answer” to the problems the country faces today. “We’re in a battle for the future of our country,” Coburn told the assembly of mostly conservative state lawmakers meeting in New Orleans. As far as me and my family and my guns, I’m going to be free.” Convention of States, with Alec’s support, is one of three prominent conservative groups pushing for a new constitutional convention. It’s not as far fetched as it sounds. A coalition seeking just the balanced budget amendment currently has 28 out of the required 34 state legislatures on board, with active bills calling for a convention. We’re either going to become a socialist, Marxist country like western Europe, or we’re going to be free Senator Tom Coburn Convention of States and its more expansive to-do list doesn’t have as many states in play as the balanced budget group, but it does boast a big roster of well-known conservative supporters such as Sean Hannity, Sarah Palin, Bobby Jindal and Rand Paul, and a reported 2.5 million volunteers ready to mobilize: “double that of the NRA [National Rifle Association],” pointed out Rita Dunaway, the staff council at Convention of States. “We can bring up an amendment to overturn Roe v Wade or the Civil Rights Act,” Riestenberg added. He thinks some of the proposals, like veto power over the supreme court go too far, and said that decades in state government have shown him the limitations of things like balanced budget amendments.

Louisiana’s Democratic governor an ally at influential rightwing conference

Alec began its conference in New Orleans on Wednesday, bringing its usual agenda of pro-privatization, pro-fossil fuel and anti-union legislation in tow. Among those addressing the gathering Wednesday was Edwards, the only Democrat to hold statewide office in the deep red state. The technically non-partisan Alec skews heavily Republican – but Edwards was right at home. Not only is Edwards an Alec alumni from his time as a state legislator, he’s also been a torchbearer for Alec-sponsored legislation as governor, having signed at least three bills the group takes credit for inspiring. “You might think I’m not the most likely person to be speaking here today, but I think you’re going to find out that a lot of what you’re about, and a lot of what we’re doing here in Louisiana, we have in common,” Edwards told the convention. 'Discourse is not discord': Democrats mostly united at Netroots Nation event Read more “They want to make the penalty for civil disobedience one that would deter anyone from engaging in it,” said Anne Rolfes, the founder of the Louisiana Bucket Brigade. In 2008, the state passed a bill containing language from an Alec model bill that requires educators to teach climate change denial as a valid scientific position. According to Common Cause Louisiana, environmental bills aren’t the only ones that Alec has ghostwritten for Louisiana legislators. “Alec’s influence in state legislatures is apparent throughout the nation and particularly in Louisiana, where its model legislation has become extremely prominent,” Common Cause said. It went on to cite more than 60 times over the last two years where legislation introduced in the state legislature was drafted from Alec models.

Violence Next Time

Violence Next Time. Late last year I was attending a board dinner for the American Legislative Exchange Council in Pittsburgh. ALEC represents conservative state legislators around the country. The left hates ALEC because it promotes conservative reforms to state government and challenges the public-sector unions. So the left really does believe that Trump voters are "deplorable" people. If you can paint all your political adversaries -- who disagree with you on tax cuts, Confederate statues and the minimum wage -- as Nazi-sympathizers or white supremacists, then you can justify shutting them up or shutting them down through intimidation and violence. We may see more militancy from antifa groups, who have been emboldened by the media. These groups will become increasingly aggressive in their political tactics. Will taking every Confederate statue in America satisfy the left? So just who is spreading a message of hate in America?