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Welcome to Thinkwing Radio with Mike Honig where we discuss local, state, national, and international stories. My co-host and show editor is Andrew Ferguson.
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- An educated electorate is a prerequisite for a democracy.
- You’re entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts.
POSSIBLE TOPICS: VOTETEXAS.GOV—Voter Information; December 11, 2021: Joint Runoff Election; Public invited to Nov. 20 birthday party for River Oaks Theatre; Should you start taking tolls [Toll Roads] again?; Montgomery County to return over $7 million in emergency rental assistance (ERA) funds to US Treasury; Harris County temporarily pauses lawsuit over I-45 expansion in pursuit of negotiations with TxDOT; Texas district wants to ban recordings after Holocaust comments caught on tape; Tomball, Magnolia ISDs face challenges with vacant staff positions; A record number of workers are quitting their jobs, empowered by new leverage; Is The ‘Great Resignation’ Actually A Mass Retirement?; In wake of Bannon indictment, Republicans warn of payback; How the media mistakes a slogan for a story; Brexit: UK looks likely to trigger Article 16 – then what?; New Zealand gang leaders unite to urge community to get Covid shots; More.
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- Make sure you are registered to vote! VoteTexas.GOV – Texas Voter InformationTEXAS SoS VOTE-BY-MAIL BALLOT APPLICATION (ALL TEXAS COUNTIES) HarrisVotes.com – Countywide Voting Centers, (Election Information Line (713) 755-6965), Harris County Clerk
- Harris County “Vote-By-Mail’ Application for 2021
- Fort bend County Elections/Voter Registration Machine takes you to the proper link
- GalvestonVotes.org (Galveston County, TX)
- Liberty County Elections (Liberty County, TX)
- Montgomery County (TX) Elections
- Brazoria County (TX) Clerk Election Information
- Waller County (TX) Elections
- Chambers County (TX) Elections
- For personalized, nonpartisan voter guides and information, Consider visiting Vote.ORG. Ballotpedia.com and Texas League of Women Voters are also good places to get election info.
- If you are denied your right to vote any place at any time at any polling place for any reason, ask for (or demand) a provisional ballot rather than lose your vote.
- HarrisVotes.com – Countywide Voting CentersHARRIS COUNTY – IDENTIFICATION REQUIRED FOR VOTING: Do not possess and cannot reasonably obtain one of these IDs?
- Fill out a declaration at the polls describing a reasonable impediment to obtaining it, and show a copy or original of one of the following supporting forms of ID:
- A government document that shows your name and an address, including your voter registration certificate
- Current utility bill
- Bank statement
- Government check
- A certified domestic (from a U.S. state or territory) birth certificate or (b) a document confirming birth admissible in a court of law which establishes your identity (which may include a foreign birth document)
- You may vote early by-mail if:You are registered to vote and meet one of the following criteria:
- Away from the county of residence on Election Day and during the early voting period;
- Sick or disabled;
- 65 years of age or older on Election Day; or
- Confined in jail, but eligible to vote.
- Make sure you are registered:
- Ann Harris Bennett, Tax Assessor-Collector & Voter Registrar
- CHECK REGISTRATION STATUS HERE
- CLICK How to register to vote in Texas
- Outside Texas, try Vote.org.
- December 11, 2021: Joint Runoff Election
- Early Voting: November 29 – December 7
- No Ballot information available yet at com
- There are a number of local races that need runoffs. LOCAL ELECTIONS MATTER TO YOU AND YOUR FAMILY!!!
- Public invited to Nov. 20 birthday party for River Oaks Theatre; By Shawn Arrajj | COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM | 5:51 PM Nov 16, 2021 CST | Updated 5:53 PM Nov 16, 2021 CST
- Although it may be closed for the time being, the River Oaks Theatre and its illustrious history in the city of Houston will still be celebrated when the theater turns 83 years old on Nov. 20, and the public is invited to help celebrate.
- The party is being organized by the Friends of River Oaks Theatre, a group formed after the theater was closed during the coronavirus pandemic to fight to keep it from being demolished. …
- The event will run from 7:30-9 p.m. at 2009 West Gray St., Houston. Prior to the event, Friends of River Oaks Theatre solicited feedback from the public for film clips from movies people saw at the theater that left an impression on them. Those clips will be compiled into a clip reel and projected at the party from the Houston History Bus, [said Cynthia Neely, one of several co-founders of Friends of River Oaks Theatre]. Houston City Council Member Abbie Kamin is also expected to make a proclamation recognizing the theater’s birthday. …
- The fate of the theater is still up in the air, with owner Kimco Realty negotiating with possible future tenants. Friends of River Oaks Theatre is among the groups vying for the lease and has created a business plan that has been passed on to Kimco, Neely said.
- “We have complete faith in our ability to run and operate the theater as a nonprofit,” she said. “It has the potential to be magnificent, to return to what we want it to be plus the addition of live art events.”
- Above all else, Neely said the group’s goal is to preserve the building and its use as a movie theater. Even if they do not get the lease, she said the group—which operates as a nonprofit and is in the process of getting its official designation—would continue to work to help make the theater a success however it can. …
- Since the theater remains closed, the event will take place outside, behind the theater. Guests are encouraged to patronize nearby businesses in the River Oaks District for food and beverages, Neely said.
- Learn more about Friends of River Oaks Theatre here.
- ANDREW: Last I knew was what we covered a while back, but I’m glad the Theatre still has a chance. Not many indie theaters left, so I’d like to go someday.
- Should you start taking tolls [Toll Roads] again?; By Anavid Reyes, Traffic Expert | CLICK2HOUSTON.COM | Published: November 16, 2021 10:50 am
- While we may not quite be at pre-pandemic volumes during peak morning and afternoon commute times, we’re getting closer and closer as the weeks and months pass. And overall, volumes are trending in line with what we saw in 2019. …
- [I]f you’re wondering if it’s time to start taking the tolls– well if you live in the Woodlands or Spring– it may not be a bad a idea to start using the Hardy Toll. On any given day, the Hardy Toll can save you up to 10 minutes on your drive into downtown Houston.
- MIKE: Another example of casual toll-road elitism.
- ANDREW: Not the most pressing issue, but I’d welcome toll roads becoming free.
- Montgomery County to return over $7 million in emergency rental assistance (ERA) funds to US Treasury; By Jishnu Nair | COM |12:31 PM Nov 16, 2021 CST | Updated 12:31 PM Nov 16, 2021 CST
- Montgomery County will return over $7.1 million in emergency rental assistance funding to the U.S. Treasury Department after federal data showed the county had distributed less than 30% of its aid. …
- The county has received $18.1 million in ERA funding since December 2020, according to the U.S. Treasury Department and county documents. County Judge Mark Keough said in an email to Community Impact Newspaper that he could not provide a breakdown of how much aid was expended. The statewide nonprofit Texas Housers reported Montgomery County used less than 2% of its ERA funding.
- Keough attributed the lack of spending to a “lack of qualified applicants,” “duplicative” rental assistance programs, and Montgomery County’s less strict approach to pandemic restrictions.
- “I believe our local policies and approach to not adopting draconian measures during the pandemic have led to a much more robust and vibrant economy, which has afforded our residents better opportunities [in] the job market and thus reduced the need for some of these programs,” Keough said. …
- Texas Housers reported 638 filings in county evictions courts from June to August. Keough said the amount of rental assistance used throughout all county programs was “far less than expected,” and that the county would “press awareness” of remaining funds. …
- The county also has several programs available through federal Community Development Block Grant funds …
- MIKE: I recommend going to the linked article to see Montgomery County’s remaining available assistance programs.
- Keough said he anticipates more residents will use the ERA funding in 2022, when the TEDP and TERAP funds expire in January. Montgomery County must use its remaining funds by the end of 2022. …
- TAGS: Montgomery County Montgomery County Government Mark Keough Robert Walker Charlie Riley James Noack James Metts Conroe-Montgomery Government The Woodlands Government Magnolia Government
- ANDREW: All I hear from Keough is excuses for why they haven’t helped people in need. I wouldn’t be surprised if keeping the county economy open landed some people in the hospital, creating even more people who need assistance. Hopefully federal programs will actually distribute that $7 million.
- ANDREW: All I hear from Keough is excuses for why they haven’t helped people in need. I wouldn’t be surprised if keeping the county economy open landed some people in the hospital, creating even more people who need assistance. Hopefully federal programs will actually distribute that $7 million.
- Harris County temporarily pauses lawsuit over I-45 expansion in pursuit of negotiations with TxDOT; By Emily Lincke | COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM | 3:03 PM Nov 16, 2021 CST | Updated 3:03 PM Nov 16, 2021 CST
- Harris County will be pausing its federal lawsuit against the Texas Department of Transportation over its I-45 expansion project after a unanimous Commissioners Court vote 15—but only temporarily while county officials attempt to negotiate with the department. …
- Harris County’s lawsuit against TxDOT was announced March 11 amid concerns over the planned $7 billion expansion of I-45, dubbed the North Houston Highway Improvement Project, as previously reported by Community Impact Newspaper. The lawsuit was not supported by Precinct 3 Commissioner Tom Ramsey (R) or Precinct 4 Commissioner Jack Cagle (R). Both voted in favor of the temporary stay Nov. 15.
- “As someone who has regularly voted on the two side of 3-2 [votes] of whether we should go forward with this litigation, I commend the effort to try to negotiate,” Cagle said.
- County Attorney Christian Menefee will negotiate the temporary stay, asking for 30 days to communicate with TxDOT. The stay can be extended another 30 days, should the county opt to continue negotiations, according to a 15 press release from Menefee’s office. …
- TxDOT’s I-45 project, which would widen parts of the interstate near downtown Houston to Beltway 8, sparked concerns about the effect on residents living in the area. More than 1,000 homes would be displaced by the project, according to Menefee’s office.
- “In designing the NHHIP, TxDOT failed to follow federal law and properly consider air quality, flood mitigation, and other impacts on communities, schools, etc. near the segments of the highway that will be widened,” Menefee’s press release said.
- During the Nov. 15 special meeting, multiple members of the public spoke in favor of the county’s lawsuit and expressed concerns over TxDOT’s planned project.
- “Communities, and mainly communities of color, will be impacted by the expansion,” Houston resident Erin Ereksen said. “I implore this body to remain constant with its litigation to ensure that the needs of community members are heard over the ones of special interest and power.”
- TAGS: Harris County harris county commissioners court jack cagle tom ramsey Adrian Garcia rodney ellis TxDOT Texas Department of Transportation Lina Hidalgo Houston Metro Houston Metro Transportation I-45 Houston Metro Government North Houston Highway Improvement Project
- ANDREW: Harris shouldn’t settle in or out of court until TxDOT writes a plan that follows the law and passes a vote by the affected residents.
- Texas district wants to ban recordings after Holocaust comments caught on tape; By Priscilla Aguirre | CHRON.COM | Nov. 16, 2021
- The Texas district where an administrator was caught on tape suggesting teachers offer books with “opposing views” on the Holocaust wants to now ban secret recordings. One board member also proposed applying the rule to students, according to NBC News.
- [This] comes one month after NBC News broke the story about the secret audio, which the outlet obtained from a staff member. [Carroll Independent School District] is in Southlake, near Dallas-Fort Worth. …
- According to Hixenbaugh’s tweet, the district may ban employees from making unauthorized audio or visual recording of a conversation or meeting pertaining to district business unless the employee making the recording notifies all participants.
- ANDREW: This would make it much harder to blow the whistle in that district. When public officials and official business are involved, accountability comes before privacy. I oppose the ban.
- Tomball, Magnolia ISDs face challenges with vacant staff positions; By Chandler France | COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM | 1:48 PM Nov 16, 2021 CST | Updated 1:48 PM Nov 16, 2021 CST
- Tomball and Magnolia ISDs have been challenged by the number of vacancies this fall in support staff positions, such as bus drivers, custodians and food service technicians, to start the 2021-22 academic year. …
- As of Oct. 19, TISD had 25 open positions for bus drivers, 25 openings for food service workers and 15 vacancies for custodians, Gutierrez said. To make up for fewer bus drivers, Gutierrez said the district has adjusted routes and schedules, but there have occasionally been late buses in the morning. …
- The district raised the starting pay of bus drivers to $18 per hour at its Sept. 21 board of trustees meeting to try to fill the need, Gutierrez said. The district is looking at other ways to fill other positions, such as contracting with Kings Clean, a commercial cleaning service, to meet the need for custodians, Gutierrez said.
- Gutierrez said he believes the staffing shortages in TISD are a result of lingering effects from the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the district had slimmed down its staff in areas to reduce costs, it is now playing catch-up to attract and retain enough employees to provide adequate services.
- In MISD, the district is also seeing positions remain vacant. As of Nov. 15, district officials said there were 14 open bus driver positions to fill, 29 openings for food service technicians and 13 custodial positions open. MISD Superintendent Todd Stephens said the district is trying to alleviate the issue by addressing the salary range for those positions, but doing so makes it difficult to compete with other districts.
- “It’s a little bit of an arms race there for that [wage] category,” Stephens said. “Sometimes it’s discretionary dollars that we don’t have a lot of to make a difference to find those people.”
- MISD also adjusted its pay for bus drivers to $17.34 per hour when it revised its salaries Aug. 4. Despite facing a shortage of drivers, Stephens said MISD has been able to get students to school on time with its bus system.
- TAGS: Tomball ISD Magnolia ISD
- A record number of workers are quitting their jobs, empowered by new leverage; 3 million people quit their jobs in August, nearly 3 percent of the workforce. By Eli Rosenberg, Abha Bhattarai and Andrew Van Dam | WASHINGTON POST | Oct 12. 2021 at 4:56 p.m. EDT| Updated today at 5:01 p.m. EDT
- Some 4.3 million people quit jobs in August — about 2.9 percent of the workforce, according to new data released Tuesday from the Labor Department. Those numbers are up from the previous record, set in April, of about 4 million people quitting, reflecting how the pandemic has continued to jolt workers’ mind-set about their jobs and their lives.
- The phenomenon is being driven in part by workers who are less willing to endure inconvenient hours and poor compensation, who are quitting instead to find better opportunities. According to the report, there were 10.4 million job openings in the country at the end of August — down slightly from July’s record high, which was adjusted up to 11.1 million, but still a tremendously high number. This gives workers enormous leverage as they look for a better fit. …
- Many businesses say they are finding this new dynamic challenging as they struggle to retain employees and find qualified candidates for open positions. Some businesses have found success by increasing pay and compensation. …
- On the other hand, many workers, particularly those who lost jobs early in the pandemic, might need to find ways to retrain and add skills for new careers. Many workers have decided that low-paying jobs, or work that requires a long commute, are not desirable, but they could need new skills to fill jobs they desire more.
- These changes are happening rapidly. The Labor Department data shows that about 892,000 workers in restaurants, bars and hotels quit in August, as well as 721,000 workers in retail. An additional 706,000 employees in professional business services and 534,000 workers in health care and social assistance also left jobs. …
- Nick Bunker, economist at the jobs site Indeed, said the numbers were a reflection of the options workers have in the current economic market, with job openings outnumbering unemployed workers and people reevaluating what they want to do.
- The high level of people quitting their jobs was probably due in large part to people leaving jobs to take other positions, although the data does not specify why people are quitting and where they are ending up. …
- Jennifer Booth quit her information technology job at a national retailer in August, after months of working as many as 90 hours a week during the pandemic to help the company revamp its e-commerce system. The final straw came when the chain began moving hundreds of finance and tech jobs overseas, she said.
- “To be working as much as humanly possible for all of 2020 and then get told we don’t matter? It felt like crap,” said Booth, 48, of Denver. … By July, she had found a new position with comparable pay at an insurance company. Two months in, she said she feels appreciated: The workplace is more collaborative and there are opportunities to move up. …
- Julia Pollak, a labor economist at ZipRecruiter, said the Labor Department data was another indication of how the pandemic has shaken up the labor market. …
- Employers in many industries, including hotels, restaurants and construction, have complained about the difficulty of hiring workers after the pandemic upended the labor market and made many people less willing to take low-wage jobs.
- Republican officials in many states sought to address the issue by curtailing federal unemployment benefits over the summer, but those cuts seem to have done little to resolve the issue. In September, the country added just 194,000 jobs despite the record numbers of openings.
- ANDREW: Both articles are good news for labor. Undesirable jobs going unfilled will hopefully force employers to make jobs desirable, and maybe make more employee buyouts possible. Wage competitions are great too, especially since the min wage increase was gutted from the infrastructure bill. Even if it hadn’t, $15 isn’t a living wage anymore (check https://livingwage.mit.edu/ for specific figures for your area and keep in mind the 6.2% inflation this year), so this kind of competition is going beyond what the min wage increase would have done. Downside, it’s only in some sectors. And of course, Republicans think they can starve people back into bad jobs. And of course, it doesn’t work.
- Is The ‘Great Resignation’ Actually A Mass Retirement?; By Avivah Wittenberg-Cox, Contributor | FORBES.COM | Nov 16, 2021, 12:01pm EST
- The story of the Great Resignation was that the pandemic allowed people to pause long enough to discover the meaning of life. The extra hours of sleep and joy-filled family meals led them to dream of quitting their current jobs to find purpose and passion at work. I wish. Surveys made headlines announcing that 40% of workers planned to quit—soon. Proof was the massive 3 million Americans leaving their jobs this past August—a record since records began. But is it true?
- Those numbers sound big, but represent 3% of the workforce, not 40%. The dream hasn’t yet the headed for the door. Instead, recent research from Goldman Sachs’ economists offers a completely different take on the now hotly debated tale of spiritual awakening. Fully two-thirds of the folks leaving jobs this past August weren’t actually ‘quitting.’ They were retiring. One million were ‘normal’ retirements, an additional 1.5 million opted for early retirement. That’s a whole different story.
- We could applaud a natural generational handover and welcome the increase in jobs and upward salary pressures for young people. But that would be ignoring the divided reality behind the data, between well-off knowledge workers and the harsh reality of the long-term unemployed.
- Some older workers may be sailing off into purposeful third quarters, sitting on comfortable assets, and intent on starting a range of enticing opportunities, including launching a new business (25% of start-ups are being created by the over-55). But over half of US job seekers 55 and older were long-term (more than 6 months) unemployed. Job losses during the pandemic particularly hit the age extremes, the under-30s and the over-50s.
- Age is not (yet) an element of most corporate diversity dimensions. If companies are struggling to find talent in a newly competitive job market, where the U.S. has more than 10 million jobs open and the U.K. 1 million, they may want to get more mindful of the generational balance of their workforce and tap into a potential longevity dividend. One of the easiest steps to managing retention, is to not unwittingly and unnecessarily lose talent in the first place.
- 3 Steps to Retaining Older Workers …
- MIKE: From here, the article goes into the value of older workers, and how to keep them.
- The article continues: It is ironic in this age of longevity, when people pushing past 50 are only arriving at midlife, that so many individuals and companies think they are ripe for retirement. The result is a massive drain of experienced talent.
- We are likely to regret this loss in the coming years. We may be less likely to reverse it.
- DISCUSS: The acquisition and loss of institutional knowledge. What is that knowledge worth against “youngsters” willing to work for so much less, but who know so much less? The Boomer generation has been seen as holding the younger generations back. Is this their moment? Is a mass Boomer retirement anything like a demographic cliff, and are we seeing the future now (e.g., The Black Plague)?
- ANDREW: Not surprising that people aren’t just quitting. Large events often have multiple facets. This is still a huge change because way more people are quitting because their job is bad (and realizing their job is bad) at the same time than ever before AFAIK. I also think some of those retirements are because of bad jobs. Both Great Resignation and Great Retirement are happening. As for older workers, of course ageism exists, and institutional knowledge is lost when a worker retires. Employers should treat every worker better (turning businesses into co-ops would be a start) but certainly older workers should be valued for their experience.
- In wake of Bannon indictment, Republicans warn of payback; GOP lawmakers say Democrats, by pursuing contempt charges against a Trump ally, are paving the way for them to go after Biden aides if they retake the House in 2022. By Amy B Wang | WASHINGTONPOST.COM | November 14, 2021| Updated November 14, 2021 at 6:52 p.m. EST
- Republicans are rallying around former White House adviser Stephen K. Bannon after his indictment on charges of contempt of Congress on Friday, warning that Democrats’ efforts to force Bannon to comply with what they say is an unfair subpoena paves the way for them to do the same if they take back the House in 2022.
- Bannon, like former president Donald Trump, has refused to comply with an order from the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection to turn over records and testify about his actions leading up to the attack …
- Many GOP leaders, however, are seizing on Bannon’s indictment to contend that Democrats are “weaponizing” the Justice Department, warning Democrats that they will go after Biden’s aides for unspecified reasons if they take back the House majority in next year’s midterm elections, as most political analysts expect.
- “For years, Democrats baselessly accused President Trump of ‘weaponizing’ the DOJ. In reality, it is the Left that has been weaponizing the DOJ the ENTIRE TIME — from the false Russia Hoax to the Soviet-style prosecution of political opponents,” Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), the third-ranking House Republican, tweeted Saturday.
- Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) suggested that Republicans would seek payback if the GOP regained control of the House, signaling that in challenging the doctrine of executive privilege, Democrats were making it easier for Republicans to force Biden’s top advisers to testify before a future GOP Congress.
- “Joe Biden has evicerated Executive Privilege,” Jordan wrote on Twitter. “There are a lot of Republicans eager to hear testimony from Ron Klain and Jake Sullivan when we take back the House.” Sullivan is Biden’s national security adviser, and Klain is the White House chief of staff. …
- Democrats argue that the doctrine of executive privilege — intended to shield confidential communication between a president and his advisers — was never meant to apply to the kind of information the committee is now seeking. The panel is exploring conversations between Bannon and Trump that occurred when Bannon held no government position. And committee members say they are interested in interactions related to an insurrectionary attack on the U.S. Capitol, not in talks involving legitimate government business.
- More broadly, they say that far from being political, the Jan. 6 committee is investigating an effort to overturn a legitimate election, including an attack on Congress that resulted in five deaths and injuries to some 140 law enforcement officers. Nine Republicans joined all House Democrats in voting to hold Bannon in contempt last month.
- But many Republicans are dismissing such distinctions, and Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) issued an especially direct payback threat.
- “Now that Democrats have started these politically-motivated indictments for Contempt of Congress, I look forward to seeing their reactions when we keep that same energy as we take back the House next year!” Boebert declared on Twitter Saturday.
- Stefanik, to bolster the contention that Bannon’s indictment is politically motivated, pointed out that when congressional Republicans voted to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in 2012 and former IRS official Lois Lerner in 2014 in contempt, the Justice Department under President Barack Obama did not pursue criminal charges against them.
- Even as a handful of Republicans urge former Trump aides to cooperate with the Jan. 6 committee’s investigation, most high-profile GOP leaders have quickly turned Bannon’s indictment into the latest litmus test for loyalty to the former president. …
- The former president continued his drumbeat of support for Bannon throughout the weekend, saying Sunday, “This Country has perhaps never done to anyone what they have done to Steve Bannon and they are looking to do it to others, also.”
- Bannon himself kept up his characteristically aggressive rhetoric in the hours before news of his indictment broke, declaring on the Friday episode of his podcast, “Bannon’s War Room,” that “thugs” run the New York Times and boasting that pro-Trump Republicans are “taking over all the elections.” …
- “We’re taking action, and that action is we’re taking over school boards, we’re taking over the Republican Party through the precinct committee strategy,” he said. “We’re taking over all the elections. Suck on this!” (Steve Bannon: “We’re taking over all the elections” twitter.com/Sh2KN5phYM — Media Matters (@mmfa) November 12, 2021)
- Republicans who are challenging Bannon’s defiance of the Jan. 6 committee have become targets of attacks by Trump and his supporters. Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), who voted for both the bipartisan infrastructure bill and the contempt motion against Bannon, has since received death threats, he said. On CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday, Upton defended his decisions, saying Bannon did not cooperate with the committee in any way and that he would await the panel’s next steps.
- “Former president Trump said early on he did everything totally appropriate. Those were his words. So we have to let the sun shine in, be fully transparent. And that means get to the truth, find out exactly what happened,” Upton said. “And if you stonewall Congress … if you refuse to participate in that, all of a sudden, you don’t really have an equal branch of government trying to get to the answers on this.”
- Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), who has been an outspoken critic of Trump and has for months urged his party, in vain, to distance itself from the former president, over the weekend mocked Trump’s threats to primary Republicans who went against his wishes as the“latest dispatch from Worriedville.” Kinzinger is one of two Republicans on the Jan. 6 committee, along with Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming.
- GOP strategist Doug Heye, a Trump critic, warned on “Fox News Sunday” that Republicans’ defense of Bannon could have implications for Congress’s oversight authority as an independent branch of government.
- “Congress takes these things very seriously, and whether you’re talking about a Republican House or a Democratic House, the primacy of Congress and its oversight is paramount,” Heye said. “Republicans and Democrats should be able to unify on this. They obviously won’t. But if we have a Republican House in the future, they will have no hesitation in holding Democrats in contempt just as we’re seeing right now.”
- MIKE: Why wasn’t this a much bigger national story?? Republicans claiming executive privilege for alleged discussions of an alleged conspiracy to overthrow the US Government? And threatening revenge for doing so??
- MIKE: Clinton impeachment as revenge for Nixon. Pelosi saying in advance that George W Bush would not be impeached when the Dems took the house in 2006 was an effort to break the revenge cycle (even though he probably should have been). The two Trump impeachments have probably got the Republicans ready to impeach the first Democratic president who gives them a whiff of (even a made-up) excuse, and now with Steve Bannon (even though the Republicans should want to enforce Congressional subpoenas as much as Democrats) they’re are fighting enforcement of Congressional subpoenas.
- ANDREW: I believe Republicans will be as vindictive as they say. I think the Democratic Party doesn’t, because they’re too familiar with the established way of politics and their place in it. Republicans increasingly don’t care about decorum and the status quo, so why do so many centrist Democrats cling to it? Wake up and get out of the way of the people trying to achieve something, anything, before the two-party pendulum inevitably swings the other way. If you want to sit there and debate whether this much money is necessary, or if this messaging is too divisive, try letting the pressure off the rest of the left both inside and outside your party so they can help you keep the Republicans at bay.