Saturday, November 19, 2022
Friday, November 18, 2022
Monday, November 14, 2022
Plus, both the G20 and Apec nations gather for summits and the UK government attempts to fill its ‘fiscal hole’
NOVEMBER 13, 2022 by Jonathan Moules
Plus, both the G20 and Apec nations gather for summits and the UK government attempts to fill its ‘fiscal hole’
NOVEMBER 13, 2022 by Jonathan Moules
Results from the midterm elections are still being finalized in Nevada and Arizona, but it’s clear that the “red wave” predicted by some has failed to materialize. Until all votes are counted, and Georgia’s runoff Senate elections take place in December, the Senate remains a toss-up. Here’s a recap of our election coverage.
First, I want to highlight the great work done by longtime Real News reporter Jaisal Noor about the efforts of progressive organizers throughout the country leading up to the midterms. Jaisal traveled from Georgia to Pennsylvania, and from Wisconsin to Nevada to speak with people working to get out the vote in rural areas and fight voter suppression in working-class communities of color. The result is an extensive archive of interviews and reports that anyone looking to get the background story on this week’s results shouldn’t miss.
In the lead-up to Tuesday’s vote, we highlighted the work of the hospitality union UNITE HERE in mobilizing voters ahead of the election. Jaisal made another visit out to Nevada to cover the efforts of 400 volunteers from the 60,000-strong Culinary Workers Union who knocked on a million doors before the election. Incredibly, the Culinary Workers Union canvassers managed to reach half of all the state’s Black and Latinx voters and a third of its AAPI voters through their outreach. UNITE HERE’s efforts were featured again on a special episode of Working People with members from Arizona, Pennsylvania, and Nevada as guests. UNITE HERE was a key force in the 2020 elections, mobilizing in more precincts than any other organization endorsing the Democratic Party that year. This year, they managed to mobilize even more of their 300,000 union members.
Of course, we don’t all take the same view when it comes to the efficacy of engaging in the electoral process as supporters of the Democratic Party. Real News contributor Chris Hedges looks back on the past few decades of our politics and arrives at a sobering conclusion: a past generation of radicals should have split from the Democrats and mounted a viable opposition decades ago. Assessing the wreckage of the contemporary social fabric and politics of the US, Hedges asserts: “There is no institution left that can be considered authentically democratic. The corporate coup d’état is over. They won. We lost.” He takes an unforgiving look at how the Democrats have done just as much, if not more, to bring us to this point as the Republicans—honing in particularly on Biden’s horrendous record on everything from the humiliation of Anita Hill to the dismantling of the Glass-Steagall Act, and from his support for the Patriot Act to his championing of NAFTA. According to Hedges, the enemy of progress today is not either party on its own, but the system of neoliberalism they have worked hand-in-hand to bring into being. Hedges sees no hope in the Democrats’ promise to act as a bulwark against fascism, concluding that “America will descend into a Viktor Orbán-type of authoritarianism without profound political, social, and economic reform.”
Last but not least, we couldn’t let the week conclude without commenting on Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter, and what it could mean for journalism and democracy. Tech critic Paris Marx joins Real News editor-in-chief Maximillian Alvarez and associate editor Mel Buer to discuss the famed exploding vehicle peddler’s acquisition of one of the world’s most important social media platforms, and how the emerald prince of apartheid’s unique combination of malice, hubris, and impulsiveness could deform media and politics for years to come. Just two weeks into his tenure as Twitter’s ostentatious autocrat, Musk has already managed to incur a class action lawsuit, an exodus of bewildered advertisers, and permanent placement as the unforgiving platform’s main character du jour. The worst, sadly, may be yet to come, but at least capitalist decay can still be entertaining.
Before signing off, I want to bring your attention to a new job position that’s opened up. The Real News is currently searching for a Studio Director. This is a full-time position paying $80,000 a year with benefits, open to qualified applicants that can commit to working in Baltimore. Apply today!
As always, thank you for your continued support of The Real News Network. It’s all thanks to viewers, readers, and subscribers like yourself that we can continue doing what we do. Stay tuned for more coverage on this week’s stories, and of whatever other curveballs the future has in store.
—Ju-Hyun Park, TRNN engagement editor
130 union staff workers walked off the job last week after management with SEIU Local 2015 refused to bargain.
“Some frustrated callers become abusive and subject us to racist and sexist slurs. We’re paid wages so low it’s nearly impossible to support a family. We’ve had enough.”
The Real News board member Bill Fletcher, Jr. hosts a panel on the Russo-Ukrainian War, co-hosted by Haymarket Books.
The New York Times’ Thomas Friedman condemns the incoming Israeli government, with “outright racist, anti-Arab Jewish extremists” set to become cabinet ministers.
After a years-long push by the Global South, and in the wake of severe climate disasters from Pakistan to Somalia, the UN climate conference will finally discuss funding for loss and damage related to the climate crisis.
In 1918, at the end of four years of World War I’s devastation, leaders negotiated for the guns in Europe to fall silent once and for all on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. That armistice was not technically the end of the war, which came with the Treaty of Versailles. Leaders signed that treaty on June 28, 1919, exactly five years to the day after the assassination of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand set off the conflict. But the armistice declared on November 11 held, and Armistice Day became popularly known as the day “The Great War,” which killed at least 40 million people, ended.
In November 1919, President Woodrow Wilson commemorated Armistice Day, saying that Americans would reflect on the anniversary of the armistice “with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…."
In 1926, Congress passed a resolution noting that since November 11, 1918, “marked the cessation of the most destructive, sanguinary, and far reaching war in human annals and the resumption by the people of the United States of peaceful relations with other nations, which we hope may never again be severed,” the anniversary of that date “should be commemorated with thanksgiving and prayer and exercises designed to perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding between nations.”
In 1938, Congress made November 11 a legal holiday to be dedicated to world peace.
But neither the “war to end all wars” nor the commemorations of it, ended war.
Just three years after Congress made Armistice Day a holiday, American armed forces were fighting a Second World War, even more devastating than the first. Then, in 1950, American forces went to Korea.
In 1954, to honor the armed forces of those later conflicts, Congress amended the law creating Armistice Day by striking out the word “armistice” and putting “veterans” in its place. President Dwight D. Eisenhower, himself a veteran who had served as the supreme commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force in Europe and who had become a five-star general of the Army before his political career, later issued a proclamation asking Americans to observe Veterans Day: “[L]et us solemnly remember the sacrifices of all those who fought so valiantly, on the seas, in the air, and on foreign shores, to preserve our heritage of freedom, and let us reconsecrate ourselves to the task of promoting an enduring peace so that their efforts shall not have been in vain.”
Central to Eisenhower’s vision, and to the American vision for world peace after World War II, was the idea of a rules-based international order. Rather than trying to push their own boundaries and interests whenever they could gain advantage, countries agreed to abide by a series of rules that promoted peace, economic cooperation, and security. The new system provided places for countries to discuss their differences—like the United Nations, founded in 1945—and mechanisms for them to protect each other, like the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), established in 1949, which has a mutual defense pact that says any attack on a NATO country will be considered an attack on all of them.
In the years since, these agreements have multiplied and been deepened and broadened to include more countries and more ties. While the U.S. has sometimes failed to honor them, their central theory remains important: no country should be able to attack its neighbor, slaughter its people, and steal its lands at will. It is a concept that has preserved decades of relative peace compared to the horrors of the early twentieth century, and it is one the current administration is working hard to reestablish as autocrats increasingly reject the idea of a rules-based international order and claim the right to act however they wish.
In the modern world, Ukraine’s battle to throw off a Russian invasion is a defense of the rules-based international system. Today, Ukrainians celebrated as Ukrainian soldiers forced Russian invaders out of the southern city of Kherson in one of the Ukrainian regions Russian president Vladimir Putin claimed for Russia just a month ago.
Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky delivered a televised message for people in the United States today:
“On behalf of all Ukrainians, Happy Veterans Day and thank you for your service.
“For almost 250 years the men and women of the United States armed forces have prevailed against tyranny, often against great odds. Your example inspires Ukrainians today to fight back against Russian tyranny. Special thanks to the many American veterans who have volunteered to fight in Ukraine, and to the American people for the amazing support you have given Ukraine. With your help, we have stunned the world and are pushing Russian forces back. Victory will be ours. God bless America and Slava Ukraini.”
BY RYAN LIZZA
With help from Eli Okun and Garrett Ross
Chuck Schumer is set to retain his status as majority leader. | Drew Angerer/Getty Images
The full scale of the Republican defeat on Tuesday is starting to become clearer.
Not only will the Democrats keep control of the Senate — and perhaps expand it by a single vote — it is still possible that Democrats will retain the House.
We wouldn’t call it a blue wave, as Minnesota Sen. AMY KLOBUCHAR did today , but it’s the most impressive midterm showing for an incumbent president since 2002, when GEORGE W. BUSH was in the White House and Republicans gained eight House seats and two Senate seats. But Bush did that with a nearly 70% approval rating as the country continued to rally around him after 9/11.
Voters looked at the alternative to Bidenism — and they chose to stick with the president and his party.
Nevada was called for Democratic Sen. CATHERINE CORTEZ MASTO on Saturday night. Some food for thought about what this means:
— Judges. Biden can now continue to fill the federal bench with his people. The judiciary has become more and more of a roadblock for Democrats, so Senate control means they have a better chance at protecting their major legislative achievements.
Biden has matched Trump’s pace of confirmations so far. Both presidents confirmed 84 judges through early November of their second year in office, which beats the pace of BARACK OBAMA (43), Bush (80), GEORGE H.W. BUSH (71) and RONALD REAGAN (83), but not BILL CLINTON (143). The GOP kept the Senate in the blue wave year of 2018 and it allowed Trump to keep up his pace. Biden will now have a chance to fill the 10% of the judiciary that remains vacant with his choices and partially offset Trump’s judicial legacy.
“You won't have another MERRICK GARLAND moment for the next two years so long as [Majority Leader CHUCK] SCHUMER is in control,” noted one Democratic operative.
— Executive branch nominees. With little danger of Republicans blocking them, Biden will have far more room to fill his government with his choices. That leeway will also likely mean more of a push from the left when it comes to the next Treasury secretary and other important positions.
Nominees who have been stuck in limbo, like ERIC GARCETTI, Biden’s nominee to be ambassador to India, may now cruise through the Senate.
— Investigations. Sen. RON JOHNSON (R-Wis.) was preparing high-profile hearings about HUNTER BIDEN. Other GOP senators were getting ready to fire off subpoenas on a host of Biden administration issues. Those inquiries are now dead — at least in the Senate.
— Georgia. The Nevada victory also changes the dynamics of the Georgia runoff on Dec. 6. Georgia will no longer determine control of the Senate. Instead, it will determine whether the Senate remains 50-50 with VP KAMALA HARRIS giving Democrats their majority and moderates like JOE MANCHIN exercising tacit control, or whether Democrats stretch into a 51-49 majority that moves the balance of power to the left.
With Senate control off the table, Republicans could also find it difficult to motivate GOP voters. The argument for the importance of HERSCHEL WALKER’s election has been neutered.
If Sen. RAPHAEL WARNOCK beats Walker, Senate committees will no longer be evenly split. “You would actually have Dem control/majority on committees,” said the Democratic operative, “meaning no nominees or bills being deadlocked in committee.” That will speed things up — because ties in committee require discharge votes on the Senate floor — and allow the pace of judicial nominations to quicken.
— McConnell. Losing the Senate has largely been placed at Trump’s feet. He saddled the party with Walker and MEHMET OZ and BLAKE MASTERS. He is more unpopular than Biden, and yet made himself a central character of 2022. His scandals, criminal investigations, election denialism and constant threats to announce his presidential campaign kept him in the news, abetting the Democratic strategy of turning 2022 into a choice rather than a referendum.
But Nevada can’t be blamed solely on Trump. ADAM LAXALT was Senate Minority Leader MITCH McCONNELL’s choice, and his loss will give ammunition to the MAGA wing of the party that feels it is taking too much of the blame for Tuesday’s poor showing.
“It’s Mitch McConnell’s fault,” Trump said this morning .
— 2024. The Senate map in two years favors Republicans. By keeping control of the Senate and possibly expanding it by one vote, Democrats start the next cycle in a much more advantageous position. There is no longer any talk that the GOP could get to a filibuster-proof 60 votes in 2024. And as majority leader, Schumer will have the power to protect his vulnerable incumbents and keep them from unpopular votes that they might have been forced to take in a McConnell-led Senate.
Finally, it is still possible that the Democrats could keep the House. Check out Steve Shepard’s rundown on how that could happen . While we are not predicting that outcome, you should adjust your expectations about this possibility.
Election Day always gives us an incomplete picture. But so far, the results continue to head in one direction: Democrats had a much better night than we all first understood.
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SUNDAY BEST …
— Speaker NANCY PELOSI on decisions about her political future, on CNN’s “State of the Union”: “What we want to do is go forward in a very unified way, as we go forward to prepare for the Congress at hand and then, after some respite, get ready for the next election. … A great deal is at stake, because we will be in a presidential election. So, my decision will then be rooted in the wishes of my family and the wishes of my caucus.”
On when she will make a decision about running for leadership: “I’m not asking anybody for everything. People are campaigning. And that’s a beautiful thing. And I’m not asking anyone for anything. My members are asking me to consider doing that. But, again, let’s just get through the election.” More from Olivia Olander
— White House adviser ANITA DUNN on the lame-duck Congress, on CBS’ “Face the Nation”: “Lame-duck priorities will certainly include additional funding for Ukraine, which has been — and the president has said he hopes will continue to be — a bipartisan issue in the United States Congress. You know, obviously, emergency funding for the natural disasters that Florida and Puerto Rico suffered earlier this year and additional priorities for the administration as well. But keeping the government open and running is the number one priority.”
On Republicans’ plans to investigate the Biden administration and the Biden family: “The president is going to be focused on the priorities of the American people. And we would hope that the Republicans who’ve just suffered a substantial defeat in terms of both their expectations and what historically midterm elections tend to do, would also listen to the American people.”
On Congress lifting the debt limit: “It should be bipartisan. … [W]e would expect that Congress would do the right thing and lift the debt limit either now or early next year.”
— Sen. BILL CASSIDY (R-La.) on whether he blames Trump for Republicans’ midterm struggles, on NBC’s “Meet the Press”: “Those that were most closely aligned with the past, those are the ones that underperformed. We as a party need to have a debate about ideas.”
On whether he will support McConnell for Senate minority leader: “I’m actually going to support Mitch. I think Mitch kind of pulled the chestnuts out of the fire for candidates who, for whatever reason, were having a difficult time raising the money that, as you pointed out, was required to have a winning campaign. … We’re not a cult. We’re not like, ‘OK, there’s one person who leads our party.’ If we have a sitting president, she or he will be the leader of our party, but we should be a party of ideas and principles. And that's what should lead us.”
Asked if he would support Trump as the Republican presidential nominee in 2024: “Our party should be about the future. I think our next candidate will be looking to the future, not to the past, and I think our next candidate will win. And so I anticipate supporting a candidate that is looking to the future.”
— Michigan Gov. GRETCHEN WHITMER on whether she’ll support Biden in 2024, on CNN’s “State of the Union”: “He has said he intends to run, and he will have my support. I have pledged that to him.”
On whether she would consider a presidential run: “I feel really lucky to be the governor of Michigan. I have lived here my whole life. And this is where my focus is for the next four years.” More from Olivia
— Pennsylvania Gov.-elect JOSH SHAPIRO on whether his win is a rubric for Democrats, on “State of the Union”: “I think it’s just a matter of showing up, treating people with respect, and showing them how you're going to make their lives better, helping them understand how you can actually build a bridge between the parties to kind of take down the temperature and get real things done.”
On whether he has presidential ambitions: “I have an ambition to get a little bit of sleep, to reintroduce myself to my kids, and then to serve the good people of Pennsylvania as their governor. That is all I'm focused on. And that's all I want to do.”
— Outgoing Maryland Gov. LARRY HOGAN on Trump’s influence on the Republican Party after the midterms, on “State of the Union”: “Well, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result. And Donald Trump kept saying we’re going to be winning so much, we will get tired of winning. I’m tired of losing. I mean, that's all he's done.”
On whether he’s interested in running for president in 2024: “I have been saying since 2020 that we have to get back to a party that appeals to more people, that can win in tough places, like I have done in Maryland. And I think that lane is much wider now than it was a week ago.” More from Olivia
— Rep. JIM BANKS (R-Ind.) on whether he supports KEVIN McCARTHY for GOP leader, on “Fox News Sunday”: “We need someone like him who can pull the conference together. That being said, rank-and-file members want more of an opportunity, more of a seat at the table. They want to be heard. And when it comes to how complicated and challenging these next two years will be to get anything done, we need to listen to members all over the country.”
On whether he will support a Trump reelection bid: “I believe that Donald Trump is a very effective president for our country. I believe he could be a very effective president for our country. Again, I’ll save my endorsement for another place and time for the 2024 race. I’m focused wholly on what happened on Tuesday and how our party moves forward on Capitol Hill.”
But, that “another place and time” may be sooner than later … NYT’s Maggie Haberman ( @maggieNYT ): “A source close to Banks says he’s planning on putting out an official endorsement of Trump after Trump’s announcement Tuesday.”
A message from The American Petroleum Institute (API):
America faces growing energy challenges. America’s energy industry has a plan to provide relief to families, strengthen national security and strengthen our economy.
TOP-EDS: A roundup of the week’s must-read opinion pieces.
Analysis of what just happened (nationally) …
What just happened (state level) …
What happens next …
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PHOTO OF THE DAY
President Joe Biden meets with South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol and Japanese PM Fumio Kishida in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, on Sunday, Nov. 13. | Alex Brandon/AP Photo