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As President Biden marks his first year in office, a civil war is erupting in his own party with progressives and moderates sharply at odds over key issues and tactics.

With the midterm elections less than a year away, Biden has failed to secure passage of his major agenda items, like the multitrillion-dollar Build Back Better Act, voting rights and immigration reform. He has managed to frustrate both progressive and moderate Democrats. An erosion in his popular support among Democrats has contributed to a steep drop in his approval rating, which has sunk as low as 33% in one poll.

Biden was asked on Wednesday at the second press conference of his presidency why he is trying to move the country sharply to the left.

“Well, I’m not,” Biden responded. “I don’t know what you consider to be too far to the left if, in fact, we’re talking about making sure that we had the money for COVID, making sure we had the money to put together the bipartisan infrastructure [bill], and making sure we were able to provide for those things that, in fact, would significantly reduce the burden on the working-class people but make them — they have to continue to work hard. I don’t know how that is pointed to the left.

“You guys have been trying to convince me that I am Bernie Sanders. I’m not. I like him, but I’m not Bernie Sanders. I’m not a socialist. I’m a mainstream Democrat, and I have been. And mainstream Democrats have overwhelmingly — if you notice, the 48 of the 50 Democrats supported me in the Senate on virtually everything I’ve asked.”

Sanders is the chairman of the Senate Budget Committee and spearheaded the crafting of Biden’s Build Back Better legislation. The Vermont independent originally wanted the bill to come in at around $6 trillion. The legislation was pared down to help garner the support of moderate Democrats in the 50-50 Senate. 

The Congressional Progressive Caucus wanted that legislation linked to the $1.2 trillion Senate infrastructure bill to ensure the former’s passage. The House ultimately voted on the Senate version of the infrastructure bill first, which passed. Biden quickly signed it into law. 

West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin announced last month that he was voting against the House-passed version of the Build Back Better Act. He has cited inflation hitting its highest level in nearly 40 years and other concerns over the cost of extending the expanded child tax credit.

“I’ve tried everything humanly possible,” Manchin said. “I can’t get there.”

Progressives expressed frustration over the decision to unlink the infrastructure bill and the Build Back Better Act.

“When a handful of us in the House warned this would happen if Dem leaders gave Manchin everything he wanted 1st by moving [the Bipartisan Infrastrucutuere Framework] before BBB instead of passing together, many ridiculed our position,” New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wrote on Twitter. “Maybe they’ll believe us next time. Or maybe people will just keep calling us naïve.”

Manchin grew increasingly exasperated by the pressure he received from the progressive wing of his party to support Build Back Better.

“I knew where they were, and I knew what they could and could not do,” he told a West Virginia radio station. “They just never realized it because they figured, surely to God, we can move one person, sure that we can badger and beat one person up. Surely we can get enough protesters to make that person uncomfortable enough [that] they’ll just say, ‘OK, I’ll vote for anything, just quit.'” 

“I’m from West Virginia,” Manchin reminded host Hoppy Kercheval. “I’m not from where they’re from, and they can’t just beat the living crap out of people and think they’ll be submissive. Period.” 

On Wednesday, Biden signaled that he supports breaking up the massive Build Back Better Act  into smaller legislative pieces, but a concrete proposal hasn’t been put forth by the White House yet.

“I think we can break the package up, get as much as we can now, and come back and fight for the rest later,” Biden said.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer was asked about breaking up the mega-spending bill on Wednesday. He said the Senate would have to propose a new version that could pass with every Democrat on board. 

The original version of Build Back Better contained immigration reform provisions that the Senate parliamentarian ruled did not qualify for reconciliation, which would allow Democrats to pass the bill with only Democratic votes and avoid the filibuster. Progressives called on Senate Democratic leaders to override the parliamentarian’s decision and pass the bill anyway, which ultimately did not occur. 

Last week, Biden came out in favor of changing Senate rules to permit Democrats to bypass the filibuster so their voting overhaul legislation could pass with a simple majority. Democratic leaders such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer have been pointing to the Republicans as the reason these bills wouldn’t move forward. However, Manchin and Arizona Democrat Kyrsten Sinema voted against changing the rules in the chamber.

Sanders has threatened to support a primary challenge against Sinema and Manchin. Pro-choice PAC Emily’s List announced it wouldn’t support Sinema if she opposed eliminating the filibuster.

The two Democratic holdouts argued that it would set a dangerous precedent going forward if senators made an exception to the Senate rules for voting rights legislation. 

Prior to the failed vote on the election overhaul bill, Biden said he hadn’t reached out to Republicans like Utah Sen. Mitt Romney to negotiate the contents of the legislation. 

“Mitt Romney is a straight guy,” the president said. “I was trying to make sure we got everybody on the same page in my party on this score. And I didn’t call many Republicans at all.

Despite the setbacks and infighting within the party over the Build Back Better Act and election reform legislation, Democratic leaders claim to be satisfied with Biden’s first year in office.

“Together, President Biden and the Democratic Congress have worked relentlessly over the last year to improve countless lives across the country,” said a joint statement from Schumer and Pelosi on Thursday. “Fueled by our American Rescue Plan and the President’s strong actions on the economy, Democrats have powered an historic economic recovery that has created a record 6.4 million new jobs, slashed the unemployment rate with the biggest single-year drop ever, from 6.2 percent to 3.9 percent, and helping sixteen million Americans off the unemployment rolls.”

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US Senators Question Motives of AT&T For Refusing To Renew OAN Contract…Cite AT&T Board Chairman’s Ties To Dominion Voting Machines

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Two U.S. Senators, Ted Cruz and Mike Lee, have written an official letter to AT&T inquiring into its politically-motivated decision to cut One America News Network (OANN) from DirectTV. Cruz and Lee both press the AT&T Board of Directors for answers regarding the “personal financial” influences that may have swayed the company’s decision.

The decision to not renew its contract with OANN was announced by DirecTV in mid-January. DirecTV, which is primarily run by AT&T, has a contract with OANN that is set to expire in early April.

In response to this major decision, President Trump spoke out at an Arizona rally, saying, “This is horrible. This is a great network. These are great people. I watch it all the time and you really get the truth. And they want to cancel them now because of politics – for purely political reasons. It’s a disgrace what’s going on.”

“I don’t think that people are gonna stand for it,” added Trump.”Maybe what we should do is not use AT&T.”

On Tuesday, Senators Mike Lee and Ted Cruz submitted a letter to the members of the AT&T Board of Directors, expressing “grave concern for the future of journalism and political discourse in America.”

They then listed six specific facts/concerns regarding the issue:

  1. One American News Network (“OAN”) is being sued for alleged defamation by Dominion Voting Systems.
  2. Dominion Voting Systems is owned by Staple Street Capital.
  3. William Kennard is on the executive board of Staple Street Capital
  4. William Kennard is also the Chairman of AT&T’s board of directors
  5. AT&T owns 70% of DirecTV, and controls two seats on DirecTV’s board of directors
  6. DirecTV has decided not to renew its contract with OANN.

The main concern pointed out by Lee and Cruz is that William Kennard, the Chairman of AT&T’s board of directors and executive board member of Staple Street Capital, is pushing to end its contract with OANN to benefit his personal financial interests.

The Senators then request a response to the following question within 10 business days: “Did any employee or agent of AT&T at any time convey or suggest to any employee or agent of DirecTV an instruction or request not to renew OANN?”

Read the full letter below:

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Who Are The Six Worst RINOs In Congress? Here’s The List…

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In the latest installment, PF Whalen and Parker Beauregard of The Blue State Conservative discuss the six Congresspersons who best represent the term ‘Republican In Name Only,’ aka the dreaded RINO.

#6: Representative Adam Kinzinger (R-IL)

Parker: This crying traitor doesn’t even deserve that “R” behind his name here. I am not even sure he deserves to be called an American for that matter. The fact he takes an oath to uphold the Constitution is beyond me.

Does anything really need to be said about him? While he has never done much for the conservative, limited-government movement, his breakthrough performance in the aftermath of the FBI-planned insurrection on January 6th put him on the national radar. It won’t easily be forgotten that he cried at the kangaroo-court hearings. Moreover, it shouldn’t be forgotten. What a fraud:

Add to the fact that Kinzinger has gone out of his way at every turn to sell out Donald Trump – serving as one of two “Republicans” on the “bipartisan” House commission – and in more recent times having denounced conservative populist Tucker Carlson and others as Putin lackeys while taking the fake moral high ground that support for Ukraine is unquestionably good, and you have the biggest loser and fakest representative alive. At least AOC and the Squad say what they believe. Kinzinger is just 100% opposed to the Republican and America-first platform and yet runs as one. The good news is he is already not running for reelection; he knows what would happen.

#5: Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)

PF: One surefire sign of recognizing a RINO Vs a reliable Republican is how they vote on Supreme Court nominees. Like Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), anytime a SCOTUS vacancy comes about we can count on a vote in favor of conservatives from virtually all the senators in the Republican caucus except for Collins and Murkowski. We saw it with Donald Trump’s nominees Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett, where it wasn’t clear how they would vote until shortly before their ballots were cast. And don’t be surprised if, like a good Democrat, Murkowski casts an enthusiastic aye vote for President Biden’s current nominee: Ketanji Brown Jackson.

Yet Murkowski is more than just an obstacle with SCOTUS nominees, we have plenty of other examples of the senator acting more like a Democrat than a Republican, and her vote in favor of convicting Donald Trump after last year’s impeachment is probably the best example. There was no evidence to support the claim that Trump had participated in an insurrection, and votes in favor of removing Trump played right in the Democrats’ hands. And we’re sure Lisa Murkowski was just fine with that outcome.

But Murkowski may be in trouble. In a couple of months, she’ll need to fend off challenger Kelly Tshibaka in the Republican primary, and she’s lost several key endorsements, including that of Republican Governor Mike Dunleavy. Murkowski will also be dealing with the full wrath of Donald Trump who has been highly vocal and visible in his support of Tshibaka. Don’t be surprised if we see Murkowski sent packing in the spring, and that would be a very good thing for Republicans.

#4: Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC)

Parker: Lindsey Graham, like many of those on our list, is maddeningly frustrating because there are times when you think, they get it, the Democrats are evil and hate this country. I think back to the Kavanaugh hearings in 2018 and remember everyone saying that this was his red-pill moment. Even CNN gave him mad dap, running a headline mentioning that Graham “may have single-handedly saved Kavanaugh’s confirmation.” It also wrote:

“Enter Graham. Unlike his Republican colleagues before him, Graham, a former member of the Air Force’s Judge Advocate General corps, didn’t cede his five minutes of questioning to Mitchell. He seized it — and with an impassioned attack that displayed his clear anger, frustration and impatience with both the process and the Democrats sharing the dais with him, he gave Republicans from the White House on down a shock to the system — a wake-up call that fundamentally altered the remainder of the Kavanaugh hearing.

‘What you want to do is destroy this guy’s life, hold this seat open, and hope you win in 2020,” Graham angrily accused his Democratic colleagues. “To my Republican colleagues, if you vote ‘no’, you’re legitimizing the most despicable thing that I have seen in my time in politics.’”

Graham was mad. Well, he appeared mad. I like to think it was authentic, but we also watched a video of Kinzinger crying and so we know that real politicians just know and do what has to be done. We also saw this video of Graham exalting Joe Biden as the most honorable politician in Washington, so…there’s that.

America is on the cusp of a technocratic nightmare. Either we stand for freedom or we don’t. And Graham has been quite comfortable hobnobbing with evildoers and standing up for Ukrainian sovereignty well before Americans’. Does everyone get to feel pride in their nation and defend its values except us? Graham loves to still talk about his buddy John McCain, who was an utter disaster in the Senate as well. RINO losers who don’t value limited government are worse than Democrats, who at least are open and transparent about their beliefs. We vote for a guy with an R behind his name, then get sandbagged every time.

#3: Representative Liz Cheney (R-WY)

PF: Of all the names on this list, this is the most disappointing for me. I really thought Liz Cheney had a bright future. It’s easy to forget, but Liz Cheney is still new to the game when it comes to Congressional politics. She only first came to Capitol Hill five years ago, having been elected to her first term in November 2016 and taking office in January 2017. She ascended quickly, reaching the #3 spot in the GOP caucus by being named Chair of the Republican Conference only two years later. But it’s been all downhill from there.

Cheney clearly suffers from TDS, as she was one of only ten Republicans who voted to impeach President Trump in January 2021, but that’s not her only sin. As bad, if not worse, was the subsequent media campaign she pursued when she appeared on MSNBC and CNN on a seemingly nightly basis to disparage Trump and other Republicans after the impeachment. Meanwhile, Biden, Pelosi, and Schumer have been destroying the country. Also, let’s not forget her vocal support for Dr. Anthony Fauci during the COVID pandemic.

Cheney should have been set for stardom. She had the pedigree with her dad Dick having been a lifelong politician, including Vice-President. She had the connections that all politicians need. And she should have had the common sense to know better than to act as she has. Liz Cheney has been a disaster, and she’s likely to get voted out during the Wyoming primaries in a couple of months, and she undoubtedly deserves it.

#2: Any Republican that doesn’t stand up for medical freedom and the God-given rights of life, liberty, and property.

Parker: I ran out of space for names. McConnell, any of those purple Senators like Sasse, Collins, or others who live in swing districts/states, and basically you get to a point where you could look at the full list of 535 folks and pretty much say they all vote the same way. I really want to add Cheney’s replacement as chair of the House Republicans because she – the regrettable Elise Stefanik of New York – is practically indispensable from her predecessor when the opportunity was pretty obvious as to what to do next.

Short of Thomas Massie, Chip Roy, and a few others in the House, and then folks like Rand Paul, Tom Cotton, Ted Cruz, and a few others in the Senate, and the pickings are slim. Let me ask this: When Republicans take back the House and Senate, what will change? Will federal vaccine mandates go away? Will a permanent limit be placed on the extraordinary powers we saw abused during Covid be restricted from happening again? Will an investigation into the illegal, unethical, and murderous practices and coverup up all-things Covid be unleashed?

I doubt it. Will they try to impeach Joe Biden and waste our time with a worthless sideshow? Fine, impeach Biden. Then what? You get Harris? Is that better? All the while the same toxic stew of corruption simmers in the swamp and nothing actually changes.

At the end of the day, any Republican that doesn’t vocally condone, and then subsequently vote against, the medical tyranny and loss of freedoms in this country is a RINO as far as I am concerned. The two-party system has failed us, so either we run a third-party candidate who actually believes in the Constitution or we find people who will represent Republicans authentically. Is Trump the ticket? DeSantis? It’s a start, but we need to clean house – the literal House – of all of the either ignorant, stupid, spineless, and/or corrupt people who pretend to share our values and stab us in the back whenever they can.

#1: Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT)

PF: In my opinion, it’s not even close when considering who is the top RINO in Congress. There has been no Republican in either the House or the Senate who has acted more like a Democrat than Mitt Romney. He didn’t just vote to remove Trump from office after last January’s impeachment, he also voted to remove Trump during the farcical first impeachment. Romney is the only person in American history to vote twice to remove from office an impeached president from his own party.

But the list continues. Romney opposed a Constitutional ban on Gay Marriage in 2002. He’s opposed Pro-Life laws such as Alabama’s abortion law in 2019, and he signed strict gun control legislation when he was governor of Massachusetts. And perhaps most damning of all was when he joined in with Black Lives Matter protesters in 2020. Does that record sound like a Republican to you?

We should also look back to the 2012 election when Romney lost to Barack Obama in a race that was there for the taking. Ultimately, Romney lost in large part because Republicans were turned off by him. Romney played nice, refusing to go after Obama in a serious fashion, meanwhile, Obama and Biden went bare-knuckled after Romney. And particularly devastating was when Obama pointed out that even though Romney claimed to oppose Obamacare, Romney had implemented virtually the same plan in Massachusetts as governor. Romney lost to Obama after a catastrophic campaign in which Republican voters eventually saw little difference between the two.

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‘A lot of hiding’: Senators kept from seeing Sentencing Commission records on Supreme Court nominee

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The Biden administration is keeping more than 48,000 pages of records about Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson from senators reviewing her nomination, including documents about her time at the U.S. Sentencing Commission that she has made a central part of her professional story.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) is “hiding” records from Jackson’s time as vice chair of the Sentencing Commission, where she championed leniency for child predators, says Michael Davis, former chief counsel for the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said Monday that 16,000 pages of substantive content has been released on Jackson, compared to the 48,000 pages withheld by the White House under the Presidential Records Act and FOIA exemptions.

Grassley, ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, revealed the obstruction during his opening statement at the Jackson Supreme Court confirmation hearings.

Senate Republicans are seeking records specifically from 2010 to 2014, when Jackson served on the U.S. Sentencing Commission. The government agency works to reduce disparities in sentencing while increasing transparency, and Jackson’s involvement on the commission has been touted as a qualification to be confirmed to the Supreme Court. 

“Durbin has refused a request by Republican senators to look at her records on the sentencing commission,” Davis told “Just the News – Not Noise” on Monday, hours after Jackson’s first day of testimony in front of the committee weighing her nomination to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer.

“Judge Jackson’s history of sentencing below guidelines, particularly in cases involving child exploitation, raises legitimate questions about her views on penalties for these crimes,” Grassley said. “This is exactly why I asked for her Sentencing Commission records — the same types of records the committee traditionally reviews when vetting a Supreme Court nominee.”

Judge Jackson has been criticized for her public defender work supporting terrorism suspects and for advocating softer sentences for child pornography offenders while on the Sentencing Commission.

On the commission, Jackson argued publicly “to lessen the sentence for people who are convicted of possession and distribution of child pornography,” according to Davis, the founder of Article III project. 

“We don’t know what she did behind the scenes,” he said. “We want to see what her thought process, what her deliberations were, behind the scenes when the cameras were off when there weren’t transcripts.” 

“Unfortunately, somebody somewhere doesn’t want us to see that information,” Grassley said. “How can this be a thorough review, if this information is withheld? And why aren’t Democrats interested in allowing the committee to have this information to conduct a thorough review?”

People convicted of possession and distribution of child pornography face a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years. 

“Judge Jackson, for whatever reason, has been maneuvering to try to lessen the punishment for child pornographers,” Davis claimed.

The former Senate Judiciary attorney said that a “major problem” is that Jackson operates on the “empathy standard,” which he defines as “whatever the heck that judge feels that day.”

“When she goes on the Supreme Court, she can just do whatever the heck she wants, under her empathy standard,” Davis said. “She’s not bound by anything. She’s not bound by the law at all. It’s just whatever she feels.”

As a student at Harvard Law, Jackson wrote a paper criticizing what she saw as “excessiveness” in punishments for sex offenders. 

“This is a 25-year pattern,” Davis said. “This proves to me that she doesn’t think that people who possess and distribute child pornography are that bad.”

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