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Progressives Helped Biden Pass His Infrastructure Bill. But They Gave Up Their Leverage.
Congressional Progressive Caucus
The Lever Newsletter
AG Yost Sues Biden Administration for Threatening to Withhold Nutrition Assistance for Schools
Atlanta’s Music Midtown Festival Canceled After Court Ruling Made It Illegal to Keep Guns Out of Event
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Doug Berger 0:02
Did the House Progressive Caucus betray their promise on the Build Back Better Act? Ohio Attorney General David Yost needs remedial Bible study. And the gun fetish in Georgia leads to the cancelling of a $10 million Music Festival. I’m Doug Berger. And this is Secular Left.
Doug Berger 0:35
I spend some time each day checking to see what the newest News is. One of the places that I look is on Twitter. Cuz usually you can come up with some pretty quick news bites, and then people post articles and then you can click on Articles and read more about it. One of the people that I follow is David Sirota. He is a progressive. He’s founder editor in chief of lever newsletter, the newsletter called the lever, sorry. He was also nominated for an Oscar for the movie don’t look up about the the asteroid it was plummeting to earth and nobody cared. He’s also a columnist. He’s written for different publications like The Guardian, the US version of The Guardian. And so he is progressive left. And he tends to complain a lot has people do on the left? They tend to complain about Democrats. The the mainline Democrats like Joe Biden, and Nancy Pelosi and, and others. And so you know, he’s somebody that I listened to. The other day, the over the weekend, into July, he posted a tweet. And it starts out he says worth saying, Palmilla, Jay Powell and US progressives frequently betrayed their pledge to keep infrastructure and BBB linked, ended up helping conservative dem Dems hack, a $1.7 trillion bill down to 430 billion. Okay, well, there’s a lot a lot to pick through on that. That tweet. And basically, is that one of the things that President Biden one of his agenda items was an infrastructure bill. And then what I call a social justice bill, to help people get over the pandemic, it was called the build back better Bill BBB. And they weren’t linked. They weren’t the same bill. The infrastructure was different because it many, many Republicans supported the infrastructure bill. They support roads and, and bridges and, and sewer systems and things like that. They they support in general they support things like that. The BBB was was going to be a hard road to hoe. They needed everybody on board on the Democratic side, and they needed everybody on board on the Senate side, especially to pass something because it was going to spend a lot of money on things that conservatives don’t like to spend money on. And that’s poor people and and middle class people. They just don’t like people spending money on those things. Because that’s the way that they are they’re assholes in general. And some of the things that were included in the build back better act was going to be protecting the right to organize act. It was going to increase the state and local tax deduction limit, which would help out rich people. It would reform immigration and include a clean electric electricity standard, called the clean energy performance program included $4 billion for NASA. Although not for human space exploration, and the transportation it included 10 billion for high speed rail, 4 billion to lower carbon emissions, and 4 billion to address the division of communities by highways. And additionally, the bill a lot of 2.5 billion to deal with port congestion 1 billion to reduce aviation caused of carbon emissions. The bill was expected to generate $1.5 trillion in revenue from corporations and the wealthy and it and in September where In September when this was written, it was reported that House Democrats hoped to increase the corporate tax rate to 26.5%. And that would have been between Biden’s original 28%. And Senator Manchin suggested 25% as part of the reconciliation bill.
Doug Berger 5:19
Progressive lawmakers pushed in early versions of the bill for funding numerous programs such as the child tax credit, Earned Income Tax Credit, Affordable Care Act subsidies permanently or to 2025, hoping the funding would be renewed. And so the revised version of the bill would estimate idli cost $2.2 trillion. And it would also include electric car tax credit tax credits for installing solar panels 400 billion for IRS reform anyway, it was just a slew of things to fix what needed to be fixed in the government and the progressive block the Progressive Caucus that is chaired by Jay Paul sorry, Palmilla, Jay Paul said that in order for them to vote for the infrastructure plan, they would need to vote for the bill back better plan first, because they knew that if they voted for the infrastructure bill first, then that would give the opportunity for Republicans and and conservative Democrats that didn’t want to spend all this money to not pass it or to whittle it down. And so they stuck to their guns, they stuck to their guns for months. And they had hellacious hellacious pressure put on them to back down. And so it it came even to the point where the President President Biden, called representative Jayla Paul’s mother in India and asked her to talk to her daughter about D connecting disconnecting the two bills. So finally, the Progressive Caucus did give him and they gave in because they were given assurances that the bill back better bill would be voted on. Even even after the infrastructure bill was voted on and passed. Of course, not all, not everybody in the Progressive Caucus voted for it. AOC did not vote for it. She thought it was BS that they gave up on it. I was mad too, that they gave up on it. So the infrastructure bill passed, went to the Senate and passed then in walks Joe Manchin and he does not agree with the bill back better plan, and he won’t support it. Now, we already know that all 50 senators in the Senate all 50 Republican senators in the Senate will vote for it. So we need all of the Democrats on board. And we did not mention and I believe cinema from Arizona was also not going to vote for it. So they did a massive negotiation period. And they whittled it down from the trillions of dollars down to 430 billion. And that was the bill that’s being considered now. It’s called the inflation reduction act now. And that’s the bill. It’s being considered now that David Sirota made the comment about the only thing. Yes, the progressives gave in they did, they gave in, but I disagree with that. It was a betrayal. And he said Serota in his in his said fragrantly betrayed their pledge. They didn’t betray their pledge. You know, that’s how Paul, this is how politics works. It’s well, how politics is supposed to work, is it’s a give and take negotiations. And sometimes you’re in a position to hold your ground like Joe Manchin because of the archaic and unnecessary filibuster rules. A single senator can hold up a bill, for whatever reason he wants to hold it up or she wants to hold it up. Okay. The Progressive Caucus in the House isn’t that big. It’s only about 2025 members. And what gets me is a lot of people on the left and including Serota hammer on these guys when they don’t have when they don’t support the Democrats and they hammer on and when they do, and this is what to me showed to me was that the progress caucus and look, President Biden, we think this is wrong, but we’re going to do it for the sake of the party.
Doug Berger 10:08
And they got screwed over, as they knew they would, as everybody knew they would, you know, the dog down the street. It’s not even into politics. And the dog knew that the Progressive Caucus got screwed over. Because that was going to happen. Everybody knows that that was going to happen. When they disconnected the two bills, and they are they allowed that infrastructure vote to go forward. That’s politics. And I it just bothers me that somebody like David Sirota would would use and cinerary language like that, because they weren’t be trained their pledge. They had just decided to support the bill, the support the deep connection. The people that betrayed their promise wasn’t the Progressive Caucus. It was Joe Manchin for one. And it was also Pelosi and Joe Biden, who worked with Oh, and Schumer, Majority Leader Schumer, who worked with Joe Manchin, to whittle down the bill. They didn’t have to whittle down the bill. All they had to do was try to force Joe Manchin to vote for it, which they know they wouldn’t. And so they bargained with him in better faith and they bargained with the, with the Progressive Caucus. Yeah, the Progressive Caucus could have refused to vote on the infrastructure bill. And it may or may not have passed. And so as punishment, they would have not voted on the bill back better plan, it would have been not brought up for a vote. And so then they would have President Biden having two bills that didn’t make it instead of having one bill. So I look at it as a positive not as a negative that they gave in, in in the sense that at least they got the one bill passed. And and if Serota and other people on the left, want to complain, they need to complain to the people that are responsible and that Schumer and President Biden and Joe Manchin and those are the people that betrayed their promises.
Doug Berger 12:23
For more information about any of the topics covered in this episode, check out our show notes at secular left.us.
Doug Berger 12:36
Ohio Attorney General David Yost is anti abortion. He is very religious, and he’s a bigot. And he decides to use his office and taxpayer money to forward and advance his religious bigotry in the name of the law, as he would put it. If you haven’t already heard about him, he’s the guy that tried to say that the story about the 10 year old girl who had been raped and couldn’t get an abortion, she tried to say that that story was false. He even went on Fox News and said that he had not heard a word US Attorney General. And the cops didn’t talk to me and say this happened. And then 24 hours or 48 hours later, it came out that the story was true. The person that responsible for the rape was arrested, indicted he and also confessed to it. The girl had to go to Indiana to get an abortion. So of course, the Attorney General David Yost complained that the doctor didn’t report it. Come to find out she did report it. So he’s good at that. When the dobs decision came down, and Roe v Wade was overturned, the same day he went to the federal court and had an injunction for the Ohio heartbeat Bill dissolved so that it took effect that weekend. And that’s what led to that, that girl not being able to get an abortion in Ohio. Now, Yoast then comes back and says, Well, she could have gotten an abortion here, because there’s exceptions for the life of the mother medical issues. And so basically he was saying that because she was 10 years old, that that automatically made her made it a medical emergency to have an abortion and some OBGYN ins and other medical doctors disputed that because that isn’t always the case and they didn’t want to get into that discussion. The other thing too, that Yoast didn’t do is when there’s a new law that comes out that changes the way things work in the state. Normally the Attorney General you issues, what’s called guidance. Basically, they get together and they decide, well, the law means this or this is how it should be interpreted. It’s not anything set in stone, because you could still go to court and get it overturned or, or go through the polling plate polling process and get it, get it put on a ballot and have it rescinded that sort of thing. But basically, it tells law enforcement and county prosecutors how to enforce this new law. And he didn’t do any of that, from the whole time that that law was in had an injunction on it to when he got it dissolved. He didn’t issue any guidance on it. So here’s a medical doctor who could possibly be indicted for a felony for participating in an abortion on this 10 year old girl. The doctor is not going to do it if they don’t if they don’t have to. Because they don’t, they just don’t want that trouble. So he did that. So we already knew he was anti abortion. Then after that, there was a big brouhaha in the conservative movement, about a Education, the Department of Education sent out a guidance or might have been the USDA, whoever handles the school lunch money, sent out guidance to all the schools in all the states and said that it’s possible that school food assistance could be stopped federal school food assistant could be stopped if districts discriminated against transgender kids. Not a big deal. They’d send that stuff out all the time. If you discriminate against black people, if you discriminate against women, whatever, the protected classes. Well, David Yost doesn’t believe that LGBTQ people are, are,
Doug Berger 17:05
are protected class or should be a protected class. So he joined with 2826 other conservative Attorney General’s in a lawsuit, a federal lawsuit, to get them to get the president to rescind that new guidance. And he says in his statement, that suppose that that naturally was paid for by his campaign. So we know that that’s why he issued it was for the score points with his base. He said that using hungry children as a human shield in a policy dispute violates basic decency. And to my friends on the left, how would you feel about a DeSantis administration cutting off food to schools that don’t teach say, abstinence as a means of birth control? Well, for one thing, it’s not cutting off food. Majority of school districts in this country get federal funds to help pay for student lunches out that way, then, Tommy and Sue student don’t have to pay the market cost of the food they pay, you know, a couple bucks or $3 or, or they get free lunch, they’re part of the free lunch program, and that that gets their money. But see, the thing is that when a federal government gives you money, they set the rules on you getting that money, it works that way for any kind of federal assistance. Poor people know this very well. If you ever get unemployment, or food stamps, there are a lot of rules in order for you to get that assistance. And and I don’t think that David Yost knows the definition of basic decency. Because if you think that a segment of the population, transgender kids don’t deserve protection, where is your decency? David Yost, you know, and yeah, people on the left would be upset if the DeSantis administration cut off food to schools that don’t teach, say after this as a means of birth control. But what he does do what Governor DeSantis does do is cut off money to school districts that teach about race and about gender identity. They cut off the money to the schools, which is even worse because it weaponizes the school and turns it into a political pawn. You know, this is not what Yoast is talking about is not a policy dispute. It’s basically what you’re trying to do. We’re trying to decide that, that LGBT Q people are people that deserve protection under the law and And they should not be discriminated against. And Yoast does not believe that, you know, he crouches it in his in his political terminology. But the takeaway is that Yost is a bigot. And he is using his office to do that. You know, and so he not only denies a 10 year old girl from getting an abortion, He also denied an 11 year old girl from getting an abortion and 2019 when it was still technically illegal. He inserted the state into a local rape case and tried to prosecute the woman for making a false rape complaint. And which was not true. You know, he does the stuff and he and instead we have the corruption in the divine administration right now. Regarding the first energy. We don’t hear anything from Yoast about that. He’s the chief law enforcement officer. Why isn’t he making sure that the corruption is getting getting taken care of he sure as heck is making sure the social the social agenda, his religious social agenda is getting taken care of. Why does he care about corruption? Why doesn’t he care about the insurrection? Why doesn’t he care about the people flouting the public health actions? He doesn’t, because he’s a conservative and he’s an asshole, and he needs to resign.
Doug Berger 21:32
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Doug Berger 21:48
in Atlanta, there was supposed to be a another edition of long running music festival called Music Midtown. It was to be held at Piedmont Park in Atlanta on September 17 through the 18th and the headliners included My Chemical Romance future Jack White and Fallout boy. However, the festival was called was canceled. The organizers didn’t give any real details. But according to Billboard magazine, industry sources tell them that recent changes to the Georgia gun laws would prevent the festival from banning guns on the publicly owned festival grounds. And what that means is that in Georgia, there’s a law called the safe carry Protection Act. And it expanded George’s already permissive gun statutes to grant residents the right to pack heat and bars, churches, schools and other private businesses with the owner’s permission. And it also expanded gun carry rights on publicly owned land, like the city owned Piedmont Park. Although there was no legal consensus on whether or not the law applied to private events on city property, there was a court case at your Georgia Supreme Court case and 2019 that changed the rules a bit. And basically it said that that events private events on public land that did not have a long term lease could not ban guns. And it came up because somebody was detained from entering the Atlanta Botanical Gardens because they openly carried a holstered pistol. And so the court made an exception for the botanical garden. But that affected the festival which is held in Piedmont Park only on a few days.
Doug Berger 23:56
And so it made it more difficult for private companies to deny licensed unarmed citizens access to events on publicly owned land. And it did not give the city of Atlanta the authority to enforce this decision or force the festival to allow guns into the event. Instead, the law created a pathway for gun carrying individuals would also purchase tickets to the festival to successfully Sue event organizers if they were denied entry to an event taking place on public property. So basically, under the threat of being sued, they elected just to cancel the festival. And I get why they want to keep out the guns because when you have music festivals that might involve alcohol or or substances, illegal and otherwise, and you mix guns in to that there’s a possibility that people will be in danger, especially if you have a large crowd. That is one of the reasons Why, personally, I have refrained from getting in too big crowds anymore recently, is because Ohio also has a similar law where you don’t even have to have a permit to concealed carry anymore. And so if you don’t know who has the guns, and these people aren’t being trained, you know, that’s just like having a time bomb just waiting to go off. And so these, this music festival organizer decided that it was more cost effective just to cancel the thing, then attempt to allow people with guns to come in. And so that’s the kind of thing that’s the kind of thing that this these that’s gun fetish. This is what happens. This is the the, this is the intended consequences of gun fetish of the gun fetish is that people want to strap their guns and walk around, they had a similar thing come up at the State Fair, where the Highway Patrol said they weren’t going to prevent people from carrying on State Fairgrounds. Now, you know, you you have these guns, these gun nuts tell you, you know, they’re law abiding people and, and it’s like, well, you don’t know that because you don’t require a permit anymore. You don’t have to prove that you have any training. And a lot of these people that get off on carrying guns around. They’re not exactly all upstairs 100%, if you know what I mean. And so this is this just causes a lot of trouble, unnecessary trouble. And so basically, you know, I’ve made a point personally, to avoid large crowds. My fiancee has also decided to avoid large crowds when we can. And that is one of the reasons we just do not feel safe, not only because of the pandemic, the continuation of the pandemic, but also these people with guns that feel like they have to pretend that they’re in the what they believe is the wild wild west, to protect themselves when it’s not necessary. And all it’s going to do is it’s going to cause problems. And it will and so, the city of Atlanta now is out of a $10 million payday from this festival and all the people that were going to come to it and all the lodging that they rented out and, and the food that they bought and and the tourist attractions that they would go to before and after. And that is all gone because some gun nuts want to be able to strap on guns in a public park and put other people in danger.
Doug Berger 27:54
Thank you for listening to this episode. You can check out more information, including links to sources used in our show notes on our website at secular left.us. Secular left is hosted, written and produced by Doug Berger and he is solely responsible for the content. Send us your comments, either using the contact form on the website or by sending us a note at comments at secularleft.us Our theme music is dank and nasty composed using ampify studio. See you next time
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Produced, written, and edited by Doug Berger
Our theme music is “Dank & Nasty” Composed using Ampify Studio