Congressional Progressives are Usless

The verdict for this episode is: Joe Manchin is worth all 100 progressives.

Rough Transcript

Hello, and welcome to Jonathan’s Verdicts. I’m Jonathan Simeone.

The title of this episode is: Congressional Progressives are Useless.
The verdict for this episode :is Joe Manchin is worth all 100 congressional progressives.

As always, I don’t edit these podcast episodes, and I don’t have a script. They are just a chance for me to talk about whatever is on my mind.

I decided to record this episode after reading about the latest iteration of the build back agenda plan that Biden has put forth.
And the reason I want to record this is
it shows us how useless congressional progressives really are.

There are 100 or so people in the House who come to the Progressive Caucus, who say they are progressives and we know there are a few in the Senate, who also say they are progressives.
And none of these people accomplish very much.
And as a collective, they accomplish way less than Joe Manchin and Kiersten Sinema.

I want to give some examples.
When progressives first started talking about their goals for this Congress, they had a $10 trillion package.
Then it went down to 6 trillion.
Then with Biden they had a 3.5 trillion dollar package.
Now, reports are the final cost will be somewhere around $1.75 trillion.
That cost is over 10 years, and it is divided between priorities like climate change, family medical leave, health insurance, and all kinds of things that benefit most, if not all Americans.

But I want to put the cost in comparison. Recently, the Congress adopted a one year defense budget of $778 billion.
That means that since the Pentagon gets an increase basically every year Over the next 10 years we will be spending roughly $8 trillion dollars on the Pentagon.

If this bill passes,
we will be spending 1.75 trillion over 10 years on all of these things from climate change, to family medical leave, to health care, prescription drug coverage, all of these things.

And we will be spending less than a quarter on all of those things
than we will be spending on bombs, missiles, and killing people.
Less than a quarter.

So the priorities of this country are totally screwed up.

But here’s the point.
The point is we have come from 10 trillion to 3.5 trillion to 1.75 trillion, because the progressives in Congress are useless.

Biden did a town hall last night and acknowledged that the original 12 weeks of family medical leave would be cut to four.
There’s another report that says that won’t even begin until 2024.
The child tax credit the democrats gave themselves so much credit for, they were lifting half the children out of poverty and all that will be extended by one year in this bill.
According to the report, one year.
And we went, during the campaign, from
some people saying we
‘ll forgive all of your student loan debt.
Some people were saying $50,000.
Some people were saying $10,000.
Some people were saying free college. Some were saying free community college. Now, we’re getting a few more Pell Grants.

A few more Pell Grants. Why, because Manchin and Sinema don’t want to pay for these programs.

Bernie Sanders went on and on about, we’re gonna get
dental and vision coverage into Medicare.
Know they’re not

.

When Biden told us during the campaign that we couldn’t have Medicare for All, he said we’re going to have a public option.
No we’re not.

Then they talked about maybe we’re going to lower the Medicare age to 60 or 55.
No they’re not.

all of this stuff has come out of the bill entirely or has been dramatically reduced because Manchin and Sinema insist on it.

How do they insist on it? They insist on it because they say we won’t vote for the bill unless you take all of these things that help the American people out of the bill.

And what do the progressives say? The progressives say we’ll vote for anything. Just give us anything. It doesn’t even have to be close to what we started out asking for. We’ll vote for anything.

That’s the difference.
What would happen if Bernie Sanders, or AOC said, I’m not voting for this unless it has x?
What if Bernie said I’m not voting for this unless Medicare covers
hearing, vision, and dental? What would happen?
We’re probably never going to find out.

The so-called progressives don’t fight. They don’t really represent us in much more than talk.

Biden was saying last night that this bill is bigger than the Affordable Care Act. Now, who cares whether it is or it isn’t. But the point is they’re going to sell this as this amazing transformational bill.
And the bill sucks.

It’s so much less than it could have been, or should have been.
And even if this so called transformational bill passes, the things that it gives us are going to be far less than the citizens of dozens of other countries have taken for granted
for decades.
Wee got here because we have a couple of immoral, corrupt politicians, like Manchin and Sinema, who have essentially veto power over the country’s legislative process.
And because we have so-called progressives, 100 of them or more, who refuse to exercise the same strength, who refuse to say no we are not going to compromise this much. We won’t do this, people really need
hearing, dental, and vision coverage in Medicare. It’s immoral that senior citizens can’t go to the dentist.
You know what? It is. It is immoral that senior citizens can’t go to the dentist.
And it has continued, and it will continue because no one cares enough to really fight for it.

the first hearing in the Senate to allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices took place in 1989–1989. Thirty-two years later, we still can’t get that done.

Why can’t we get that done? Because over the last six years, Sinema has taken $400,000 in campaign donations from the pharmaceutical industry.
And because three people in the House
are all taking huge amounts of money from the pharmaceutical industry.

Even the people who say they represent us and they fight for what we need, don’t fight.

So, unfortunately, Congressional progressives are useless.

Thank you for listening to this episode of Jonathan’s Verdicts.

Capitalism Needs Brutal Policing

The verdict for this episode is: we must strike at capitalism first.

Loose Transcript

Hello, and welcome to Jonathan’s Verdicts. I’m Jonathan Simeone

.

The title of this episode is: capitalism needs brutal policing.
The verdict for this episode is:
wee must strike at capitalism first.

As always, I don’t edit these podcast episodes, and I don’t have a script.
They are just a chance for me to talk about whatever is on my mind.

We will soon, or already do have more police on the streets than we did the day George Floyd was murdered.
The months of nationwide protests did not result in the defunding of police.
They did not result in abolishing police.
They did not even result in any meaningful police reform. Sadly, they accomplished nothing.
And now we are at a point where in response to the protesting
and in response to escalated violence
many communities have more police on the streets than they did the day Mr Floyd was murdered.
And the sad part of this is it was all very predictable.

And the reason is very simple:
the biggest driver of crime,
as anyone who thinks about this stuff
honestly and intelligently knows, is desperation and lack of opportunity.
People are desperate.
People are hungry.
People are being evicted. Record numbers of people are relying on food banks for meals.
Sure, there will always be crime legitimate, horrific crime.
But the truth is that most crime would be eliminated if every person had a decent place to live, a decent income, felt like they truly had opportunity to advance in life, and that their children had fair, equitable opportunity to advance in life.

But capitalism is diametrically opposed to equity and equality. Capitalism cannot survive without people to exploit. Capitalism cannot survive without cultural division. So capitalism needs brutal policing.
Because the truth is capitalism can only deter and punish.

It cannot provide.

And so, when some communities did remove a fraction of money from the police,
without a real effort to invest in community,
without an effort to provide the American people the basic necessities of life,
there was always going to be an increase in crime.

The capitalist class was always going to use that increase in crime to scare people, to foment division,
and to further indoctrinate racism.
And yes, to hire more police

.

You see, we can’t defund police, we can’t abolish the current form of policing without actually investing in communities and providing opportunities. Capitalism will not allow for those things. This country will never do those things.

Capitalism needs brutal policing.

As a result, America now has more police and nothing has been done to rein in the racism and the brutality that are hallmarks of policing.

Thank you for listening to this episode of Jonathan’s Verdicts. I very much appreciate your support.

It’s Time for Civil Disobedience

The verdict for this episode is: nothing else will work.

In this episode, I discuss how our only shot at a government that works for us is through civil disobedience.

Rough Transcript

Hello, and welcome to Jonathan’s Verdicts.
I’m Jonathan Simeone.

The title of this episode is:
It’s Time for Civil Disobedience. The verdict for this episode is: nothing else will work.

I really hate to say this, but it’s true.

I have been following politics since 1988.
Over the years, I have become increasingly concerned with the lack of representation, a lack of equity,
And, frankly, the lack of compassion for the people demonstrated by our elected officials. But now I feel more hopeless than I’ve ever felt about things

.

The lack of compassion is at an all time high.
The lack of empathy is at an all time high.
The lack of spirit and cooperation is at an all time high.
And, sadly, selfishness and greed, are at an all time high.

The truth is so many of the problems we face were avoidable.
Many of them, except for maybe climate change, can still largely be mitigated.
But we simply don’t have enough people who care

.

That is especially true for the people we have elected to represent us. Neither party cares. No politician truly cares.
It is all about special interests.
It is all about money.
And it is entirely corrupt.

As I have said before, protests have been shown to be irrelevant. They simply don’t work any longer.
In the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder,
Democrats are now calling for more police.
In the aftermath of the withdrawal from Afghanistan, Democrats in the House, at least in the House Armed Services Committee, want to give the Pentagon $24 billion more than even Biden requested.

We are on an endless loop of war, savagery, discrimination, inequity, and oppression.

And if we don’t engage in civil disobedience,
the kinds of civil disobedience that will really get their attention,
I don’t think there is reason for optimism.
And I truly Hate–hate saying that.

So what kinds of civil disobedience should we engage in?
Honestly, I don’t know right now. Civil disobedience, is a personal thing.
I think we have to be very strategic about what we as individuals and what we as a collective could do to engage in the appropriate amount of civil disobedience.
I don’t know what my contribution to a future of civil disobedience will look like.
But I do know I’m ready.

Because I do care about other people.
I do care about the world.
I care about the animals.
I want our air and water to be clean.
I want all of the stuff that so many pay lip service to to actually matter

.

So, I’m ready.
I will engage in civil disobedience. Once I figure out how I can best do so.
I’m open to ideas. Please contact me.
And in your own lives, I hope many of you will look at how you can contribute.
Because this won’t be fixed through voting.
It won’t be fixed through protesting.
If we continue to do the things that they expect from us, if we continue to play within the rules that they have rigged,
we’re doomed.

So with that,
good luck.
Because I think we’re going to need it in the next few months.
And here’s to a future of civil disobedience

.

Thank you for listening to this episode of Jonathan’s Verdicts

The Left is Losing

The verdict for this episode is: if the left doesn’t have better messaging, the left will never win.

Transcript

Below is my latest effort to produce a textual representation of my podcast episodes. It’s not where I want it to get, but it’s better than my previous effort.

Hello, and welcome to Jonathan’s Verdicts. I’m Jonathan Simeone.

The title of this episode: is The Left is Losing. The verdict for this episode is: If the left doesn’t have better messaging, the left will never win.

As always, I don’t edit these podcast episodes, and I do not have a script. They are just a chance for me to talk about whatever is on my mind

.

Before getting into the substance of this episode, I want to discuss my attempts to create a transcript. So folks who are deaf or hard of hearing can follow along. I would give last week’s effort, a solid b minus. Recording without a script, and then turning that into a transcript,
even with the captions from Zoom, is not particularly easy. I think I have to have a more realistic goal, at least for now. I hope to find a better solution to this than I’m doing now, but for now, my goal is simply going to be to take the captions and turn them into a usable piece of text.

With that being said, let’s get into the substance of the podcast.

The left is losing.
As a leftist, it hurts me to say that. But we have to be honest. And the reality of it is Joe Biden’s approval ratings are around 60% in most, if not all of the major polls. In some of them he’s over 60%.

About a third of the country would still vote for Donald Trump.

Maybe one or 2%, if that, would vote for a Green Party candidate or some other real leftist candidate.

So, the left is taking a beating.

The reason we are taking a beating is the messaging. And I’m going to be really blunt here. The vast majority of Americans have health insurance. Maybe they don’t like it. Maybe it doesn’t meet all their needs. Maybe they know it’s too expensive. But they have health insurance.

They don’t care about Medicare for All in the way it is being sold to them by the left. They have insurance. They’re afraid of higher taxes. They’re afraid of losing what they have.

If the messaging doesn’t encompass what they get from Medicare for All, and that is insurance not being tied to their jobs, cheaper, insurance, potentially more money in their pocket, if their employer chooses to reinvest some of that money in the workforce. There are many other benefits. No deductibles, not really very many copays, and more services and benefits.

But that is the message that has to be sold in a country where 30 or 40 million people are uninsured and roughly 300 million people are insured.

Even if most of it is crappy.

You have to speak to the insured population to sell the idea of completely overhauling the health care that people have come to know.
It’s that simple.

The same thing is true with things like student loan forgiveness. You know even Biden is out there talking about forgiving Ivy League debt. Just total nonsense. So many of us, including me, did not go to an Ivy League school. We racked up 10s of thousands in some cases hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of debt to better ourselves. The messaging has to change on that.

We have to figure out how to sell these ideas to a much cross section of society. The left has to imagine the leftist coalition, as being broader and more inclusive than it does today. What that means is we have to look at not just including people who want to do things because the changes we are talking about benefit them directly or because the changes we want to see make society a better place. The left has to understand that most people are motivated by fear and by selfishness, way more than they are motivated by altruism and doing the right thing. The messaging from us has to acknowledge and address that reality.

The Democrats and the Republicans are spectacular at this. The republicans sell irrational fear better than anyone could. That’s their whole thing. They get people to believe truly lunatic stuff.

Democrats scare to a lesser extent, But the Democrats also buy into the w’ere protecting you from them. You know, we’re not going to ask you to sacrifice for them.

Why, because they know that sells more then help your neighbor.

That sucks. It truly does, but it’s true.

The left is losing by a lot. If the left does not change its messaging, the left will never win.

Thank you for listening to this episode of Jonathan’s Verdicts. I appreciate your support.

Biden Ignores Science Too

The verdict for this episode is: corporate profits matter more than lives.

Transscript

Below is my first attempt to use Zoom to help me create a transcript for a podcast episode. Obviously, I need more practice.

Hello, and welcome to Jonathan’s verdicts. I’m Jonathan Simeone.

The title of this episode is: Biden ignores science too. The verdict for this episode is: corporate profits matter more than lives.

Before getting into the substance of this podcast,
I want to address a long standing issue that I have talked about before.

And honestly, one that has prevented me from recording more podcast episodes than I have.
That is a way to make the podcast episodes accessible to people who are deaf or hard of hearing

.

It has really frustrated me that I have never been able to solve that problem.
So today, I’m trying something new.
I’m using the Zoom platform to record this podcast, and also to make a transcription of what I’m saying.

My plan is to then edit the transcription file and post it to my website with the podcast episode.
If this works, it will solve my problem and make the podcast episodes accessible to more people.

So if you have any comments about this new way I’m doing the podcast, please let me know.

You can contact me at Jonathan@JonathanSimeone.com. Or you can find me on Twitter at Jonathan_Ufi.

As always, I don’t edit these podcast episodes, and I don’t have a script. They are just a chance for me to talk about whatever is on my mind.

So to refresh, the title of this episode is: Biden ignores science too. The verdict for this episode is: corporate profits matter more than lives.

Now, obviously, people who are at all familiar with my content know that corporate profits mattering more than lives is a constant theme in my communication.
Because I truly believe it.

That being said, I think what happened this week really highlights how true that is. Because here’s the straight up truth.

There is no scientific justification to advise vaccinated people to stop wearing masks. There is no rational reason to do that, especially if your primary concern is saving lives and keeping people from getting sick.

Because here’s the thing.
There are breakthrough cases, people who become vaccinated, And then get the virus.
An interesting case was reported this week where New York Yankee shortstop Gleyber Torres, had the virus last year, became fully vaccinated, and now has the virus again.

So, this is a person who’s fully vaccinated, whose body presumably generated antibodies from his first infection, and yet he’s infected again.
Although the chances are much smaller, it is undeniably true that vaccinated people can get, can transmit, and can even become sick and die from the virus.

So why is this happening? Why is someone who ran on we respect science, I’m going to listen to the scientists. Why is this happening?

There’s a very simple reason.
Companies are having trouble making money.
Businesses are having trouble staying open. Yes, there’s the political concern that people really are tired of this, and they just want to go about what they remember as their lives.
That’s true.
But this is about money. Offices need to open up.
People need to go back to work. People need to earn money so they can buy stuff and pay their rent.

And because the government has adopted a vaccine or bust strategy,
it must get as many people vaccinated as possible. That’s just the truth of it.

But again, if you are truly interested in keeping yourself safe.
If you are truly interested in protecting the people around you.

Whether you are vaccinated or not, whether you have waited two weeks past your second dose or not, you really should wear a mask.

Yeah, it sucks.
It’s not the most comfortable thing. I don’t like doing it either.
But that’s the reality of it. Biden’s CDC is ignoring science because it puts profits over the value of our lives.
That’s just a fact. It may be an uncomfortable fact for people.

But here’s the bottom line.
I would love to see someone ask the CDC, ask Biden’s press secretary, and Biden himself,
can you tell people that this new policy around vaccinated people not wearing masks will not result in additional deaths?

The problem is if they tell the truth,
they can’t say that.

What they have decided is that they are comfortable with losing a certain amount of lives with a certain amount of potentially serious illness.

That’s what they’ve decided. It’s up to each and every one of us as individuals to decide if that’s the game we want to play.
Do we want to risk our safety, even for those of us for whom this risk is small. Do we want to risk the safety of those around us.

Just because the government is irresponsible and quite frankly doesn’t care about all lives the same way.

The last point I want to make is
this is another example of how the work done by essential workers is essential,
but so-called essential workers are expendable.

They are truly expendable to the ruling class, restaurant workers, grocery workers, and the like.
They will experience more death and more illness,
because of what Biden and his CDC have done.

Thank you for listening to this episode of Jonathan’s verdicts.
I appreciate your support.

Politicians Don’t Care About Their Grandchildren

The verdict for this episode is: the deficit of the United States doesn’t matter.

I discuss how each president for the last 92 years with the exception of Clinton has added to the deficit. I also show how the drivers of deficits are military spending and tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations.

House Progressives Could Choose the Speaker

The verdict for this episode is: since they are Democrats, House progressives will not use the power they have.

In this episode, I discuss how House progressives could remove Pelosi choose the next speaker, and get real benefits for using their power to choose the next speaker.

I also discuss why this option is much better than forcing a vote on Medicare for All.

The Left Needs a McConnell

The verdict for this episode is: no one in Congress is really fighting for the people.

In this episode, I discuss how no one on the left fights with the skill and determination as McConnell. Yes, he is unethical and immoral. But he delivers for the wealthy and corporations way better than anyone thinks of delivering for the people.

Unity is a Tool of Oppression

The verdict for this episode is: unity will not result in change.

In this episode, I discuss how Biden’s focus on unity is promoting the status quo, refusing to change, and upholding systemic oppression.

Predicting the 2020 Election

The verdict for this episode is: Biden will win, but will he win?

In this episode, I make all kinds of predictions related to the 2020 election and explain my reasoning for those predictions.