Last evening, as I was trying to enjoy the last of the weekend, I came to a scary reality. I tried pushing it away. For a time an entertaining baseball game and fatigue helped me forget. But this morning it’s back with a sobering vengeance.
One of the most basic truths about American politics is one that doesn’t get enough attention. Republican voters are far more loyal to the Republican Party than Democratic voters are to the Democratic Party.
In reading news coverage of the Senate’s bipartisan deal to “address” Americans being randomly killed at schools and grocery stores by people using military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, I got angry. Senators on both sides of the manufactured and corporate-controlled political isle are presenting their cowardice as an incredible breakthrough that will upset extremes on both sides.
Let’s be clear: on the issue of people being murdered at schools and grocery stores, the so-called left-wing extremists believe people shouldn’t have access to weapons that have been designed specifically to kill as many people as possible in the shortest amount of time.
The right-wing extremists believe basically anyone should have access to any gun at any time, regardless of criminal record, mental health status, and with no regard for the danger posed by specific weapons and/or the purpose for which the weapon was designed.
Only in a society as broken and dysfunctio`nal as America, could these sides both be credibly presented by politicians as the same kinds of extremes. In a society that even pretended to value life, it wouldn’t be normal to see people murdered at school, shopping, and going to church.
The corporate-controlled duopoly created the myth of left extremes so they could equate them to the right-wing extremes most people rightly object to as a way of manipulating too many people to accept that commonsense is an extreme.
The idea that someone’s right to own any weapon, no matter how dangerous, is akin to the right of children to attend school without the fear of being murdered is truly absurd. Writing that made me laugh and raised my blood pressure.
As long as the corporate-owned political parties and the corporate-owned media are successful at portraying commonsense and reality as left-wing extremism, there is no chance of a bill that isn’t best used as toilet paper being signed into law.
The verdict for this episode is: Joe Manchin is worth all 100 progressives.
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
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.
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.
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,
So with that,
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
Hank Green’s A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor is the sequel to <a href=”https://www.jonathansimeone.com/2021/05/09/reviewing-an-absolutely-remarkable-thing/”An Absolutely Remarkable Thing.”> As with An Absolutely Remarkable Thing, I enjoyed reading A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor.
As I become more involved with Green Party politics, I want to share a series of posts on how I think Green Party candidates can mount strong political campaigns.
This series will be based on my love of politics, my 33 years of following politics, my appreciation of data, and my desire to see a more equitable, inclusive America.
If you would like me to discuss a particular race and/or political district, contact me.
A Game as Old as Empire builds on Confessions of an Economic Hitman. Edited by Stephen Hiatt, A Game as Old as Empire is a collection of essays by people who are confessing their participation in the abuse of people around the world committed by governments and corporations working together.
Over a decade old, some of the data presented in A Game as Old as Empire is no longer accurate. Some of the programs described have been changed or deleted. But the book is a critical contribution to our understanding of the ways governments, especially the United States, abuse and exploit people at the behest of multinational corporations.
Benjamin Carter Hett’s The Death of Democracy: Hitler’s Rise and the Downfall of the Weimar Republic isn’t the first book I have read trying to explain how Hitler came to power, but it’s the best. Reading it as too many Americans pretend that Biden’s victory saved American democracy was particularly sobering.
As you will see, Pelosi represents a very wealthy district. With that wealth, comes very few people living without insurance and a poverty level far below the national average.
The reality that Pelosi represents a district with a demographic profile much more befitting of a Republican is why she governs from the right.
The speaker of the House in a Democratic Congress must represent a district that looks like the Democratic Party. By installing a speaker representing a conservative district, the Democratic Party is prevented from doing anything progressive.
As the data shows, Pelosi should be removed as speaker.