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Exclusive: Dem Senator Slams Biden for Refusing to Act on Plan That Would Immediately Lower Gas Prices: ‘That’s Frustrating’

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Dem Senator Slams Biden for Refusing to Act on Plan That Would Immediately Lower Gas Prices: ‘That’s Frustrating’

#Dem #Senator #Slams #Biden #Refusing #Act #Plan #Immediately #Gas #Prices #Frustrating

One Democratic senator said it is “frustrating” that the Biden White House is not supporting her plan to reduce gasoline prices.

Sen. Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire has spent the past weeks saying that the Biden administration is not doing enough to help Americans deal with rising gasoline process.

Biden has claimed that pain at the pump is out of his control.

“There’s a lot going on right now but the idea we’re going to be able to click a switch, bring down the cost of gasoline, is not likely in the near term. Nor is it with regard to food,” Biden said last week, according to CNN.

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Hassan said that is not so.

“What I’ve been pushing for is, among other things, is suspending the gas tax. That helps put some more money back in people’s pockets. I’m pushing the administration to support that. They haven’t yet and that’s frustrating,” Hassan said Friday, according to Fox News.

Hassan and Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly of Arizona proposed a bill in February to suspend the federal gasoline tax when the average price at the pump tops $3.50 a gallon.

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The bill would have killed off the 18.4 cents-per-gallon tax for the rest of 2022.

Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said last week the administration can’t do much about the price of gas.

“Unfortunately, that is the brutal reality,” she said, according to the New York Post.

As the midterm elections approach, the continued spike in prices is a political as well as an economic issue, noted The Washington Post.

“This is a huge economic and political albatross around the neck of the administration, and the difficulty is there really isn’t an easy way to tackle this using the policy tools available to them,” Eswar Prasad, an economist at Cornell University, said.

Some fear it could even get worse.

“I’d be on high alert right now to see if the economy succumbs to this latest stab in the heart from higher energy prices,” said Chris Rupkey, chief economist at Fwdbonds. “Realistically, it’ll be a miracle if we don’t go into a recession.”

Regardless of the outcome, Bill Richardson, an energy secretary in the Clinton administration, said efforts such as Biden’s hat-in-hand approach to get more oil from Saudi Arabia is the kind of approach Biden has to explore.

“A president has to try,” he said according to The New York Times. “Unfortunately, there are only bad options. And any alternative options are probably worse than asking the Saudis to increase production.”

As of Saturday, the national average price for a gallon of unleaded regular gasoline stood at $5.004, according to AAA.

Cutting the gasoline tax has been tried at the state level.

As of June 1, New York state cut its gas tax by 16 cents, according to Gov. Kathy Hochul.

When the gas tax cut took effect, gas was selling for an average of $4.934 a gallon, according to WNBC-TV, citing AAA figures.

As of Saturday, according to AAA, the average price in New York state – which had dipped to $4.851 per gallon in the aftermath of the tax cut — has risen to  $5.032 per gallon.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.


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Exclusive: Why Democrats keep saying “Roe is on the ballot” – TalkOfNews.com

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Why Democrats keep saying “Roe is on the ballot”

#Democrats #Roe #ballot

The first fundraising emails from Democrats running in midterm races this year went out within an hour of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. If you check your inbox, they might still be coming, whether from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, one of the party’s fundraising committees, or the Biden-Harris campaign team.

The quick fundraising push is part of Democrats’ strategy in the wake of Dobbs v. Jackson, the case that stripped Americans of their constitutional right to an abortion. Essentially, the party’s plan is to win a large enough congressional majority that Democrats are able to codify Roe’s protections, even if they have to blow up the filibuster to do it.

It’s not the worst plan, and is really the only thing (outside of some executive actions, perhaps) that Democrats can do at the federal level to protect abortion rights now, given their narrow control of the Senate. But it’s also emblematic of a larger disconnect between national Democrats and many of their supporters who just lost the right to an abortion — and who think the party doesn’t seem too worried about it. As many of the protesters who’ve taken to the streets in the wake of Dobbs have expressed, many average Democrats are worried their elected officials don’t have any solutions for people who need abortions right now and suddenly have no way to get them.

“My rights should not be a fundraising point for them or a campaigning point,” Zoe Warren, a demonstrator, told MSNBC on Saturday. “They have had multiple opportunities to codify Roe into law over the past 20, 30, 40, 50 years, and they haven’t done it. And if they’re going to keep campaigning on this point, they should actually do something about it.”

Nevertheless, as more states enact bans and enforce restrictions on abortion in the coming weeks, Democrats are leaning into Roe as a central campaign issue for the fall elections. And that has created the impression among progressives and activists that beyond telling people to vote, Democratic leaders have no concrete plans for an immediate or decisive response to emboldened Republicans looking to further restrict abortion access or the Supreme Court’s erosion of other constitutional rights.

That leaves the party in a precarious situation: hoping to sustain anger and frustration long enough to get people to vote in November, without alienating its base or worsening already staggeringly low trust in America’s democratic institutions.

Democrats have had a disjointed national response to Dobbs so far

As Republicans nearly universally celebrated the Supreme Court’s decision, Democrats seemed almost to be caught off guard, reacting in a patchwork fashion.

At the federal level, President Joe Biden addressed the nation and announced a few actions that he would ask federal agencies to take, including protecting access to contraception and abortion medications and free movement to seek medical care. Pelosi attacked the court’s decision in a press conference and called for Democratic voters to turn out in November. Some congressional Democrats chanted and marched to the Supreme Court later in the day. All of it felt a little chaotic; many lawmakers weren’t in Washington on Friday because their two-week Fourth of July break had started, and the president was getting ready for a trip to the G7 meeting of world leaders in Germany.

At the state level, Democratic leaders who have more options offered some substantive action, rushing to reassure anxious residents. Democratic governors in California, Oregon, and Washington states announced a pact to protect abortion rights, access to reproductive services, and patients. Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers announced that he would use his clemency powers to nullify convictions under his state’s previously unenforced 19th-century abortion ban, and not appoint prosecutors who would enforce the law. Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer took an additional step in her efforts to block a 1931 abortion ban from going into effect by asking the state’s supreme court to decide if the state constitution protects the right to an abortion.

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Democratic candidates and incumbents in governor and Senate races were also quick to address the fear and anger the decision provoked. Most highlighted the precariousness of numerous rights if Republican candidates were to win statewide office or tip the scales of congressional power, arguing that GOP control would enable more sweeping abortion, contraceptives, and marriage equality restrictions.

Again, Democrats are right that abortion access looks very different depending on which party is in charge. But focusing on the very real threat elections pose to protecting or restoring abortion rights doesn’t speak to the frustrations many Americans are feeling right now. Plenty of candidates understand that too, even if there is not much they can do.

The competing pressures of long-term strategy and a need for immediate action

Many Americans have already been directly affected by the end of Roe. Since Friday, nine states have banned abortions outright, affecting more than 7 million people able to give birth. Abortion providers in other states, like Arizona and Texas, have already stopped performing procedures. In Missouri, the first state to implement a trigger law that bans abortions in the state without exceptions for rape or incest, Democratic US Senate candidate Lucas Kunce told me that restoring abortion rights is a “right now issue.”

“I hear all of these national, these DC Democrats, talking about this as an election issue: It’s an election issue, and this is why we got to win,” Kunce said. “Let’s say there’s a bonanza Democratic victory here. People aren’t going to get into office until January, and then they’re going to have to pass a piece of legislation, and it’s going to be an entire year. What they are saying when they say this is an election issue is that they’re looking at the working-class people in Missouri … and telling us that they think the filibuster is more important than us having the same rights as people who have money. It’s the most fucked-up thing I’ve ever heard in this country.”

Among young people, Democrats’ response may contribute to the sense that no institutions in American democracy are really working for them, both lawmakers and candidates told me. The president’s sinking approval rating, especially bad with young voters, reflects this in part, and there’s concern among some Democrats that inaction on Roe could end up biting establishment Democrats in the future.

“In my conversations with young folks, they want someone who’s actually not going to just pay lip service and is actually going to fight for this stuff,” Sarah Godlewski, the Wisconsin state treasurer who is running to be Democrats’ Senate candidate, told me. “This goes back to who’s upfront and unapologetic about [defending abortion rights], because that’s what they want.”

One option for Democrats to sharpen their electoral messaging is to simply be more specific. In a thread of tweets this weekend, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) suggested national Democratic leaders “must tell voters the plan.”

“For the moments when we DO insist on elections, we must be PRECISE with what we need and we will do with that power: How many seats does the party need to Codify Roe? Dems must SAY THAT. Not just ‘go vote’ or ‘give us $6 to win.’ That is demoralizing, losing, unfocused nonsense,” she wrote.

Ocasio-Cortez was also among the progressive politicians calling for Biden to take executive action by doing things like allowing abortions to be performed on federal land in every state. Many other experts, advocates, and average Twitter users are coming up with innovative ideas for the federal government to try to protect access to reproductive health services and information. But their fervor doesn’t seem to be matched by Democratic party leaders.

Another option, one advocated for by Nevada’s Sen. Catherine Cortez-Masto, is to keep pressure on the GOP.

“It does matter who we elect — it does. To pass legislation in the Senate, you need 60 votes — that means you have to have more Democrats,” Cortez-Masto of Nevada told me. “This idea of placing blame — if we start placing blame on one another, then we’re letting the Republicans win, we’re letting them put this in place and continue to erode our rights, instead of taking them head on, and holding them accountable for it, and standing up to them.”

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The challenge for Democrats is the need to respond to people’s immediate needs, while also planning medium- and long-term solutions. That requires them to make their messaging as nuanced as possible.

One model might be the strategy employed by Sen. Tina Smith of Minnesota, who isn’t on the ballot this cycle but is backing the state Democratic governor’s reelection effort. She was one lawmaker who shared a list of resources for people seeking abortion services or information about their options post-Roe, instead of the standard statements of concern that many other elected officials shared.

Previously a Planned Parenthood executive, she told me that she felt an obligation to show not just solidarity with people upset by the Dobbs decision, but also provide help and information. When I asked her about the disparate (and at times, tone-deaf) responses from other Democrats on Dobbs decision day, her voice swelled as she told me about the women she worked with before joining Congress.

“Everybody needs to be centering what we’re doing and focusing our work and our action on those people who need abortion care, who decided that that was what is best for them, and who now don’t have that choice,” Smith said. “There’s lots of political discussions swirling around this, and that is completely understandable. But fundamentally, for those people, this isn’t about politics. It’s about what the hell is going to happen to my life now?


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Exclusive: Rudy, Rudy, Rudy – TalkOfNews.com

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WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 19: Rudy Giuliani speaks to the press about various lawsuits related to the 2020 election, inside the Republican National Committee headquarters on November 19, 2020 in Washington, DC. President Donald Trump, who has not been seen publicly in several days, continues to push baseless claims about election fraud and dispute the results of the 2020 United States presidential election. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

#Rudy #Rudy #Rudy

Rudy Giuliani was viciously attacked Sunday at a ShopRite grocery store on Staten Island he told The New York Post. It’s a wonder he made it out alive. “All of a sudden, I feel this ‘Bam!’ on my back,” Giuliani said. “I don’t know if they helped me not fall down, but I just about fell down, but I didn’t.” There was a “tremendous pain in my back,” Rudy told the Post.

So much pain, he told WABC talk radio, “somebody shot me,” and, “Luckily, I’m a 78-year-old who is in pretty good shape. If I wasn’t, I would have hit the ground and probably cracked my skull.” He was so concerned about the possibility of other 78-year-olds being menaced in grocery stores that he was compelled to call the cops on the rogue grocery store worker who so brutally attacked him. “I mean, suppose I was a weaker 78-year-old and I hit the ground, cracked my skull, and died,” Giuliani recounted. 

Thanks to the wonder of security cameras, you can see the brutal attack for yourself.

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Exclusive: Majority Opposed to Supreme Court Abortion Ruling – TalkOfNews.com

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Compelling Television

#Majority #Opposed #Supreme #Court #Abortion #Ruling

A new poll from NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist finds Americans opposed to the Supreme Court decision to overturn Row v. Wade by a 56% to 40% margin, with a plurality strongly opposed and Democrats getting more energized to vote.

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