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Biden says Maga Republicans ‘don’t have a clue’ about the power of American women – live | US politics

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Biden is hitting back at House Republicans and the Commitment to America plan they announced today, calling it “a thin series of policy goals” and saying the GOP’s true goal is banning abortion nationwide.

He cited the words of rightwing supreme court justice Samuel Alito, who wrote in his opinion overturning Roe v Wade that the decision “allows women on both sides of the abortion issue to seek to affect the legislative process by influencing public opinion.”

“I don’t believe Maga Republicans have a clue about the power American women,” Biden said to applause in his speech stumping on behalf of the Democratic National Committee.

Referring to the plan announced by top House Republican Kevin McCarthy, Biden said, “Here’s a few of the things we didn’t hear. We didn’t hear mentioned the right to choose. We didn’t hear mentioned Medicare. We didn’t hear mentioned social security.”

He went on to link the upcoming midterms to continuing availability of abortion in America, saying, “In 46 days, America is going to choose Republicans when control the Congress and abortion will be banned. And by the way, it will be initially banned but if they went Congress, I will veto it.”

Key events

More on Sinema: a recent poll on the senator found that she was viewed unfavorably by all political parties and across all demographic categories.

A poll conducted by AARP Arizona on the current political environment found that a majority of voters in both political parties did not view Sinema favorably, including across all age categories, genders, as well as racial and ethnic demographics.

The poll results can be viewed here.

In other news, Senator Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona will be giving a talk on Monday at the McConnell Center, an institution named after Republican senator Mitch McConnell that connects young people in Kentucky with political leaders.

The center advertised the talk on Twitter, writing:

This Monday, Sept. 26, the McConnell Center is excited to welcome U.S. Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) to give a talk titled “The Future of Political Discourse and the Importance of Bipartisanship.” Join via livestream at http://McConnellCenter.org at 10 AM.

Reaction to Sinema’s upcoming talk was somewhat negative, as users criticized the first-time senator for agreeing to give a talk at McConnell’s namesake institution given McConnell’s voting record.

The day so far

With an eye to reclaiming their majority, House Republicans have released their Commitment to America – which is not to be confused with 1994’s Contract with America or 2010’s Pledge to America unveiled before they reclaimed the chamber in those years’ midterms. Joe Biden responded to the plan by hammering the “Maga Republicans” he said want to ban abortion nationwide and slash social security.

Here’s what else has happened today:

  • A Twitter whistleblower whose anonymous testimony was made public by the January 6 committee warned of the peril facing America’s democracy in an interview with The Washington Post.

  • White House officials are said to be mulling an effort to oust the Trump-installed World Bank president after he quibbled over whether humans caused climate change.

  • Former supreme court justice Stephen Breyer expressed remorse over its decision ending Roe v Wade.

This speech has amounted to a point-by-point rebuttal of House Republicans’ Commitment to America, and as he wrapped up the speech, he turned to its call to “increase accountability in the election process”.

“And finally, with a straight face, Kevin McCarthy says that Maga Republicans will restore faith in our elections. As we say in my faith, bless me father for I have sinned,” said Biden, a practicing Catholic. “Maga Republicans refused to accept the results of the 2020 election and the will of the people.

“You can’t let the integrity of elections be undermined,” Biden said. “When one side believes there’s only two outcomes in an election, either they win or they were cheated, that’s not democracy. And that’s where the mass majority of Maga Republicans are today. They don’t understand what every patriotic American knows: you can’t love your country only when you win.”

Biden is hitting back at House Republicans and the Commitment to America plan they announced today, calling it “a thin series of policy goals” and saying the GOP’s true goal is banning abortion nationwide.

He cited the words of rightwing supreme court justice Samuel Alito, who wrote in his opinion overturning Roe v Wade that the decision “allows women on both sides of the abortion issue to seek to affect the legislative process by influencing public opinion.”

“I don’t believe Maga Republicans have a clue about the power American women,” Biden said to applause in his speech stumping on behalf of the Democratic National Committee.

Referring to the plan announced by top House Republican Kevin McCarthy, Biden said, “Here’s a few of the things we didn’t hear. We didn’t hear mentioned the right to choose. We didn’t hear mentioned Medicare. We didn’t hear mentioned social security.”

He went on to link the upcoming midterms to continuing availability of abortion in America, saying, “In 46 days, America is going to choose Republicans when control the Congress and abortion will be banned. And by the way, it will be initially banned but if they went Congress, I will veto it.”

We’re about to hear from President Joe Biden at an event hosted by the Democratic National Committee, where he’ll no doubt stump for the party and potentially respond to House Republicans’ Commitment to America plan announced today.

You can follow the event at the headquarters of the National Education Association here.

“Without intervention we really are on this path to catastrophe.” Those are the chilling words of former Twitter employee Anika Collier Navaroli, whose anonymous testimony to the January 6 committee was shared last July, and who has now made her name public in an interview with the Washington Post.

She recounted how the platform relished the attention brought by Trump as he turned Twitter into a bully pulpit to rival all others, and downplayed her concerns that he was inciting violence:

After Trump told the Proud Boys, a far-right group with a history of violence, at a September 2020 presidential debate to “stand back and stand by,” Navaroli pushed for the company to adopt a stricter policy around calls to incitement.

Trump “was speaking directly to extremist organizations and giving them directives,” she told the committee. “We had not seen that sort of direct communication before, and that concerned me.”

She had also seen how his tweets were quickly sparking replies from other accounts calling for “civil war.” After Trump’s “will be wild” tweet in December, she said, “it became clear not only were these individuals ready and willing, but the leader of their cause was asking them to join him in … fighting for this cause in D.C. on January 6th.”

The company, however, declined to take action, she told the committee. She pleaded with managers, she said, to face the “reality that … if we made no intervention into what I saw occurring, people were going to die.”

In the interview with the Post, Navaroli called on other whistleblowers to come forward while warning that America’s democracy may be irrevocably damaged:

“My fear within the American context is that we have seen our last peaceful transition of power,” Navaroli said. But “the same playbook,” she added, is being used around the world, “teeing up the idea that if an election is not in someone’s favor, it’s been rigged. Without intervention we really are on this path to catastrophe.”

World Bank president David Malpass may be in the Biden Administration’s crosshairs. Photograph: Issei Kato/Reuters

The Trump-appointed World Bank president David Malpass is under fire for deflecting on the question of humans causing climate change, and Axios reports the Biden administration is mulling an effort to remove him.

Appointed in 2019, Malpass, a Republican, worked in the Treasury under Trump and also at global financial crisis-casualty Bear Stearns. While Axios reports Biden officials have long been suspicious of him, the uproar began when Malpass replied, “I don’t even know — I’m not a scientist and that is not a question,” when asked at an event on Tuesday if he believed climate change is manmade.

While advocates for actions against climate change, including Democratic president Al Gore, have called for his ouster, it’s not clear if the White House has the ability to boot him, since it does not control the executive directors board that appoints leader of the global development lender.

Meanwhile, Malpass has tried to smooth over the situation, telling CNN on Thursday he is “not a denier” of climate change.

Ex-supreme court justice Breyer ‘very sorry’ about overturning of Roe abortion rights

Joanna Walters

Joanna Walters

Recently retired US supreme court justice Stephen Breyer says he did “everything” he could to stop the highest bench in the land overturning Roe v Wade to strip US woman of their federal abortion rights, and is “very very sorry” the decision was made.

In his first television interview since retiring earlier this year, Breyer told journalist Chris Wallace that he disagreed with the court’s decision in the Mississippi Dobbs case that including the overthrowing of Roe, announced in June.

“Was I happy about it? Not for an instant. Did I do everything I could to persuade people? Of course, of course. But there we are, and now we go on. We try to work together,” he said in the interview that aired on HBO Max today and airs on CNN on Sunday evening.

Breyer, 84, said: “Did I like this Dobbs decision? Of course I didn’t. Of course I didn’t.”

He tells Wallace it was frustrating to be in the minority on the court, in terms of justices leaning liberal. The court’s conservative majority was consolidated and then expanded by the Trump administration. The final addition under Donald Trump of ultra-conservative Amy Coney Barrett in 2020, replacing the late liberal Ruth Bader Ginsburg, gave the nine-judge bench a six-three super majority in favor of judges leaning right.

Breyer announced in January that he would retire and he left the bench this summer, replaced by Joe Biden’s nominee, Ketanji Brown Jackson, who became the first Black woman on the court.

Breyer was one of the least high-profile justices. He lamented to Wallace the increasing rigidity of the conservatives on the bench.

“You start writing too rigidly and you will see, the world will come around and bite you in the back. Because you will find something you see just doesn’t work at all. And the supreme court, somewhat to the difference of others, has that kind of problem in spades.”

“Life is complex, life changes, and we want to maintain insofar as we can — everybody does – certain key moral political values: democracy, human rights, equality, rule of law, etc. To try to do that in an ever-changing world. If you think you can do that by writing 16 computer programs – I just disagree.”

Breyer concluded that he was “very, very sorry” about the overturning of Roe v Wade. He also said the unprecedented and still-mysterious leak in May of that draft decision, which was penned by ultra-conservative justice Samuel Alito in the drafting and the final version, was “very damaging”.

Stephen Breyer in January, 2022.
Stephen Breyer in January, 2022. Photograph: Andrew Harnik/AP

Vice-President Kamala Harris earlier this month criticized what she dubbed an “activist” court and said the US was suffering as a nation since the court took away the constitutional right to an abortion, leaving it up to individual states to decide on the law over the procedure.

Republicans might be gunning for the House majority, but they have apparently thrown in the towel in one race.

Axios reports that the National Republican Congressional Committee tasked with winning House seats for the GOP has withdrawn $1m in television advertisements for JR Majewski, who is trying to unseat longtime Democratic incumbent Marcy Kaptur.

It wasn’t his embrace of the QAnon conspiracy theory that did him in. Nor his call for states that supported Donald Trump to secede from the union. Not even his participation in the January 6 insurrection.

No, it was an Associated Press report that revealed Majewski did not see combat while deployed to Afghanistan following 9/11 attacks, as he had claimed, but rather loaded airplanes in Qatar for six months. Majewski remains in the race and is spending his time decrying “fake news”, but it’s unclear if he can recover from the news.

Much as today’s high inflation may benefit Republicans, Democrats have their own advantage they are hoping to work as they woo voters ahead of the midterms: Donald Trump.

To be more specific, Donald Trump and everything that happened during and since his presidency. While the Commitment to America top House Republican Kevin McCarthy rolled out today focuses on quality-of-life issues like fighting crime and lowering the cost of living, Joe Biden’s allies are eager to remind Americans that’s not all Republicans stand for.

House majority leader Steny Hoyer has distributed a list of eight questions Democrats have for Republicans about their platform, which takes aim at many House members – including McCarthy’s – defense of Trump. “Who won the 2020 Presidential Election?” the list asks. “Like President Trump, do you believe that the January 6 insurrectionists were engaged in ‘legitimate political discourse’ and should not be prosecuted for their violent actions?” it continues. “Do you support defunding the FBI in retaliation for executing a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago?”

It also seizes on the GOP’s opposition to abortion access and attempts to cut costs for Americans, particularly when it comes to health care. “Will Republicans pursue a nationwide abortion ban?” Hoyer asks. “If given the chance, will you try again to repeal the Affordable Care Act and strip health-care access away from millions of Americans?”

Newt Gingrich, once a power player in Washington, today less so.
Newt Gingrich, once a power player in Washington, today less so. Photograph: Shawn Thew/EPA

Are you a follower of American politics in your 30s or older? Do the words “Commitment to America” sound familiar to you, but you can’t quite put your finger on it?

You are definitely on to something. In 1994, the top Republican in the House Newt Gingrich rolled out the Contract with America which contained pledges to, among other things, fight crime and strengthen the economy – as Kevin McCarthy promised today in his Commitment to America. There are, of course, differences germane to the times. Gingrich, for instance, promised to tighten down on American troops’ ability to serve in United Nations peacekeeping missions, while McCarthy has the issue of inflation to campaign on, which today is at rates not seen since the 1980s.

McCarthy clearly hopes to pull off what Gingrich did in the midterms held 28 years ago: wipe out the Democrats and decisively take control of the House. Indeed, the GOP won 54 seats and pushed House Democrats into the minority for the first time since 1954, with Gingrich as speaker until his resignation in 1999.

The similarities aren’t lost on opponents of today’s Republican Party. The anti-Trump Lincoln Project has released an advertisement highlighting the connection:

Speaking in Pennsylvania, top House Republican Kevin McCarthy went through a laundry list of perceived Democratic failings to pitch his party as the right one to control Congress.

Among them were topics familiar to anyone who has heard a Republican speak over the last two years: inflation is too high and so is crime, the border isn’t secure and fentanyl is killing too many. McCarthy also made mention of some specific Biden policies that have lately become targets for GOP attacks, saying he’d stop the hiring of new IRS agents and blaming the president’s American Rescue Plan spending bill enacted last year for fueling inflation.

“They control the House, the Senate, the White House, they control the committees they control the agencies. It’s their plan, but they have no plan to fix all the problems they created,” McCarthy said.

Democrats have failed you, elect us instead. That’s the message top House Republican Kevin McCarthy delivers in the video below, which was released ahead of the debut of the party’s Commitment to America platform happening right now in Pennsylvania.

The California representative hones in on high inflation, rising crime and migrant and asylum seekers’ arrival at the southern border. Considering the likelihood of Republicans again winning a majority in the House following the midterms, it’s a message worth paying attention to:

The platform’s debut can be watched live here.

Trump isn’t alone in spending big to get Republicans who deny Joe Biden’s election win into power in November. Peter Stone reports that Pacs controlled by multibillionaire Charles Koch are spending big to support Republicans:

Fossil fuel giant Koch Industries has poured over $1m into backing – directly and indirectly – dozens of House and Senate candidates who voted against certifying Joe Biden’s win on 6 January 2021.

Koch, which is controlled by multibillionaire Charles Koch, boasts a corporate Pac that has donated $607,000 to the campaigns or leadership Pacs of 52 election deniers since January 2021, making Koch’s Pac the top corporate funder of members who opposed the election results, according to OpenSecrets, which tracks campaign spending.

In addition, the Super Pac Americans for Prosperity Action to which Koch Industries has given over $6m since January 2021, has backed some election deniers with advertising and other communications support, as well as a few candidates Donald Trump has endorsed who tried to help him overturn the 2020 election, or raised doubts about the final results.

It’s no secret that Donald Trump would like to run for the White House again. The bigger question is when will he announce a 2024 campaign? Reports in recent weeks emphasize that Democrats would love if he did so before the midterms, so they can once again remind voters of the GOP’s ties to the polarizing former president.

The announcement of Maga, Inc, the new Super Pac run by Trump’s allies, doesn’t answer that question, but it does show that the former president is willing to work to get the lawmakers he wants elected in the Senate and elsewhere. That’s welcome news for Kevin McCarthy and Mitch McConnell, the GOP leaders of the House and Senate, respectively, who hope voters will give them a majority following the 8 November midterms.

But it would also give Trump the chance to make sure candidates he favors win their elections – potentially putting politicians who support his baseless claims of fraud in the 2020 election in positions of power.

Embattled Trump aims funding firepower at loyal Republicans

Good morning, US politics blog readers. It might be hard to believe, but the midterms are about to get even more Trumpier. The former president is poised to spend millions of dollars supporting candidates loyal to his wing of the Republican party through a new super PAC launched by his top allies, Politico reports this morning. It isn’t just an effort to bolster embattled GOP politicians nationwide – it may also be a prelude to Trump’s widely expected announcement of a second run for the White House.

That’s not all that’s going on today:

  • House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy will debut the party’s “Commitment to America” platform as he hopes for a return to the majority in Congress’s lower chamber.

  • Trump will hold a rally in North Carolina at 7 pm eastern time, where we could hear more about his plans for the midterms.

  • Elton John performs at the White House at 8 pm this evening, where president Joe Biden will also give remarks.



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