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Democrats Vote to Make South Carolina First Primary State

The plan will still need to be approved by the full DNC, but is likely to pass.


On Friday, the Democratic National Committee’s Rules and Bylaws Committee voted to make South Carolina the first state on the presidential primary calendar. South Carolina would replace Iowa, which has hosted the first presidential nominating contests for 50 years.

The upheaval of the nominating calendar comes largely from an effort spearheaded by President Joe Biden to readjust the order, ostensibly to make the primaries more demographically representative of the nation.

Per Biden’s recommendations, the DNC ordered Nevada and New Hampshire to concurrently vote second, three days after South Carolina, with Georgia to follow the week after, and Michigan to round out the first five contests two weeks after Georgia.

The proposal will still need to be approved by the full DNC at a meeting that will take place early next year, but as of now it seems unlikely to fail.

House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, South Carolina’s only congressional Democrat (whose endorsement of Biden helped generate a media storm during the primaries), said the move to prioritize South Carolina was apparently a surprise. “I didn’t ask to be first,” he said. “It was his idea.”

“He knows what South Carolina did for him, and he’s demonstrated that time and time again, by giving respect to South Carolina,” Clyburn said.

DNC Chair Jaime Harrison of South Carolina echoed Clyburn, saying he did not know Biden was recommending South Carolina to lead the presidential nomination calendar until Thursday evening. He claimed to want the process to play out without his influence.

“Folks, the Democratic Party looks like America,” he said. “This proposal reflects the best of our party as a whole, and it will continue to make our party and our country stronger.”

Report: Expanded Child Tax Credit Created Largest Drop in Child Poverty in a Single Year

The expanded tax credit, which Congress let expire, helped dramatically reduce child poverty.

Larry French/Getty Images/SKDK

The expanded child tax credit, or CTC, created the largest drop in child poverty in a single year, according to a new report from the Joint Economic Committee Democrats. In 2021, child poverty nearly halved, dropping from 9.7 percent to 5.2 percent.

The CTC, expanded under the 2021 American Rescue Plan, lifted 5.3 million people, including 2.9 million children, out of poverty in 2021. According to the report, 2.1 million of those children were lifted out of poverty specifically due to the expansion.

The expansion increased the value of the CTC from $2,000 per child to up to $3,600 per child under 6 years of age, and to $3,000 per child between the ages of 6 and 17. The credit was available to couples that made up to $150,000, or single heads of households that made up to $112,500.

Lifting millions out of poverty, the measure made 19 million more children eligible for the credit. The credit was also made fully refundable, allowing previously ineligible low-income families to receive the full credit, which accounted for some 80 percent of the reduction in child poverty.

Such effects dramatically impacted the lives of millions across the country. One man told The New York Times how his family was able to take a vacation for the first time, camping for a night in state park. Another woman explained how she worked a second job as night janitor to pay for her daughters’ cheerleading classes; with the expansion, she was able to quit and actually take the girls to the practices.

Congress, particularly Joe Manchin and Republicans, prevented the life-altering measure from being extended through the Inflation Reduction Act. Such glimmers of hope for families—like being able to go camping for the first time or quit a second job and go to a kid’s practice—have been left to fade away.

Now advocates for the CTC, like Senators Michael Bennett, Sherrod Brown, and Cory Booker and Representatives Rosa DeLauro and Suzan DelBene, are hoping to renew the measure in an end-of-year tax deal. But, as it remains unclear how Congress will complete a government funding bill for fiscal year 2023, so the fate of the CTC is subject to those negotiations.

In the meantime, the dramatic, life-changing impacts of the CTC cannot be forgotten—and they cannot be left to fade away without a fight.

Read the rest of the report here.

Elon Musk’s Twitter Restores Account of Neo-Nazi Andrew Anglin

Anglin founded the neo-Nazi publication The Daily Stormer, which the Southern Poverty Law Center describes as having “nurtured a new generation of white supremacists online.”

Scott Olson/Getty Images

Andrew Anglin, founder of the neo-Nazi publication The Daily Stormer, has been allowed back on Twitter, even as platform owner Elon Musk banned Kanye West for being a Nazi sympathizer.

Anglin was kicked off Twitter in 2013. The Southern Poverty Law Center describes him as “a prolific internet troll” and a “serial harasser,” while it says The Daily Stormer “nurtured a new generation of white supremacists online.”

Late Thursday night, Musk banned West for posting a swastika on Twitter, saying the rapper “violated our rule against incitement to violence.”

On Thursday, West had appeared alongside white supremacist and Holocaust denier Nick Fuentes on InfoWars, hosted by conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. During the multihour interview, West expressed support for Hitler, shared Nazi propaganda, and denied the Holocaust.

Since Musk’s chaotic takeover of Twitter, hate speech on the platform has skyrocketed. Antisemitic posts jumped 61 percent in the two weeks after he completed the purchase.

Most of Twitter’s employees were either fired or have quit, and Musk has yet to create the promised content moderation team. Instead, he seems to be governing by whim—and personal affront—when it comes to suspending accounts.

Unfortunately More on Elon

Infowars’ Alex Jones Files for Bankruptcy After Sandy Hook Verdict

The Infowars host and conspiracy theorist was ordered to pay $1.5 billion in damages earlier this year.

Alex Jones at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021
Jon Cherry/Getty Images

InfoWars host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones filed for personal bankruptcy on Friday, citing the damages he owes to families of victims of the Sandy Hook shooting.

Jones was ordered earlier this year to pay $1.5 billion in damages to the families for lying for years about the school shooting. He has since been accused of improperly siphoning financial assets away from his business empire while claiming to be broke, in an effort to avoid paying.

This filing comes after Free Speech Systems, InfoWars’ parent company, also filed for bankruptcy in July.

Jones filed for bankruptcy the day after he hosted antisemites and Holocaust deniers Kanye West and Nick Fuentes on InfoWars. West’s comments, which included saying he liked Hitler and thought the Nazis had done some “good things,” helped get him banned from Twitter just a few weeks after being reinstated.

Twitter owner Elon Musk has insisted that Jones, however, will never be reinstated.

You can read more on Jones’s financial situation at The New York Times.

Most “Pro-Labor” President Imposes Deal With No Paid Sick Leave on Rail Workers

President Joe Biden signed legislation to avoid a rail strike, and in the process, imposed a contract that the majority of rail workers didn't want.

Win McNamee/Getty Images

President Joe Biden on Friday signed legislation aimed at averting a nationwide rail strike, by imposing a contract with no paid sick leave onto 115,000 rail workers. The majority of rail workers had voted against this contract.

The president’s signature comes one day after the Senate resoundingly approved Biden’s labor agreement, 80-15, and rejected a measure to add seven paid sick leave days, 52-43. One Democrat, Joe Manchin, and 42 Republicans voted against adding sick leave. Rail workers currently have no paid sick days.

On Wednesday, the House approved the sick leave measure 221-207—with every present Democrat voting in favor.

As I wrote previously, the paid sick leave measure, given to Biden on a platter by progressives, offered the president a second chance at getting it right for rail workers. He could have expressed excitement about the prospect of finally giving rail workers paid sick leave, blasted Republicans who opposed the measure, and at the very least put pressure on legislators to pass the measures.

Instead, he created a sense of urgency, moving the deadline for such legislation up by a week. Rail workers had threatened to strike on December 9, but Biden insisted he needed a bill from Congress the weekend before. He also made clear that he didn’t support any amendments that would cause delay.

Now, Republicans like Senators Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and Josh Hawley are billing themselves as more pro-worker than the president, given that they voted for the paid leave amendment.

Biden is left losing on both counts—practically, as a supposed advocate for workers, and politically, as a Democratic president. Biden could have put up an actual fight for paid sick leave, rather than feebly suggesting he’ll fight for it later. It would have been good politics, and morals too.

Instead, Biden did not express his support for the paid sick leave measure that his caucus overwhelmingly supported in the House and Senate, nor did he engage with the notion that perhaps the best way to avert a strike is to address demands that prompted the threat in the first place.

After Needless Delay, GOP-Controlled Arizona County Certifies Election Results

Arizona’s Cochise County saw no evidence of voter fraud, went predominantly for Republicans, and still was refusing to certify election results.

An election worker places a box of scanned ballots on a pallet at the Maricopa County Tabulation and Election Center in Phoenix, Arizona.
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
An election worker in Phoenix

After much pandemonium, a Republican-controlled Arizona county has finally certified its midterm results, nearly a month after Election Day and only once a judge ordered it to.

Secretary of State Katie Hobbs sued Cochise County on Monday after the two Republican members of its supervisory board voted to delay certification of the votes, despite there being no evidence of voter fraud.

A judge ordered the board Thursday afternoon to certify the votes before the end of the day. “You will meet today,” Superior Court Judge Casey F. McGinley said. “You will canvass the election no later than 5 o’clock.”

Democratic Board Chair Ann English and Republican Supervisor Peggy Judd voted later Thursday to certify the results. The other supervisor, Republican Tom Crosby, did not show up.

Judd, who participated in the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, made a big show of having been backed into a corner despite trying to stand up for the will of the people.

“I am not ashamed of anything I did,” she said during the vote. “Because of a court ruling, and because of my own health and situations … I feel like I must follow what the judge did today.”

She also said she felt that the government needs to “listen to the people more” and urged Americans to “keep fighting.

Except, in a mind-boggling twist, Cochise County voted overwhelmingly Republican during the midterms. MAGA gubernatorial contender Kari Lake won by 58.15 percent, far more than Hobbs’s 40.49 percent. Republican Juan Ciscomani was elected representative for Arizona’s 6th district by more than 5,000 votes—but if Cochise had failed to certify the votes, then all the votes for him would have been thrown out, flipping that race to his Democratic opponent.

By not certifying, Republicans had failed to listen to the people and put their own victories at risk.

Arizona has been plagued with election falsehoods since surprisingly going for Joe Biden in 2020, and the midterms were no exception: Early voting was rife with voter intimidation, and right-wing figures accused the state government of trying to rig the race for Democrats.

Lake and Mark Finchem, the unsuccessful GOP candidate for secretary of state, had sued Maricopa County earlier this year to demand votes be hand-counted. Federal Judge John Tuchi had dismissed their case in August, and on Thursday, he sanctioned their lawyers for “furthering false narratives that baselessly undermine public trust at a time of increasing disinformation about, and distrust in, the democratic process.”

Musk Suspends Kanye West From Twitter, Again—This Time for Being a Nazi

The suspension came hours after Ye said he sees good things about Hitler.

Win McNamee/Getty Images
Elon Musk

Elon Musk has suspended Kanye West from Twitter. Again.

On Thursday, West, alongside antisemite and white supremacist Nick Fuentes and Sandy Hook–denialist Alex Jones, professed to the world that he likes Hitler.

West, known now as “Ye,” spent about three hours on Jones’s Infowars program on Thursday, filling the entire time peddling Nazi propaganda, Holocaust denialism, and support for Hitler. But even that wasn’t enough for him.

Later Thursday night, Ye took to Twitter to post a swastika.

Ye then posted screenshots of a conversation between him and Musk, where the Twitter CEO tried to conduct personal content moderation, telling Ye he had “gone too far.”

Musk attempted to lay out what was acceptable and what was not on Twitter. Ye posted a photo of Musk shirtless, with the caption, “Let’s always remember this as my final tweet #ye24.” To which Musk responded, “That is fine.” Musk then replied to the then-removed swastika post, “This is not.”

A user responded to Musk, begging him to “FIX KANYE PLEASE.”

Musk responded candidly, writing, “I tried my best. Despite that, he again violated our rule against incitement to violence. Account will be suspended.”

Based on the screenshots of their text conversation, it really had seemed like Musk tried his best to personally rein in Ye’s behavior—but to no avail.

Nevertheless, Musk held steady, tweeting “FAFO” (Fuck Around and Find Out), after West’s tweeting privileges were revoked once again. Unfortunately, that tough-guy standard seems mainly concerned with times when users flout Musk personally, rather than with genuine safety and moderation guidelines.

Several prominent liberal accounts have been suspended this week for unclear reasons; meanwhile, hate speech is skyrocketing on the platform. So take Musk’s suspension of Ye with a grain of salt. After all, Musk was the one who happily welcomed Ye back to the platform in the first place.

Obama Eviscerates Herschel Walker on Vampire, Werewolf Debate

Barack Obama mocked the Georgia Senate candidate like no one else could.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Former President Barack Obama acknowledged that Georgia senate candidate Herschel Walker has raised an important issue during runoff campaigning: which supernatural predator would reign supreme.

While campaigning for incumbent Democrat Raphael Warnock, Obama seemed incredulous that he even had to address the comments, repeatedly laughing and even actually face-palming at one point.

“Mr. Walker has been talking about issues that are of great importance to the people of Georgia, like whether it’s better to be a vampire or a werewolf,” Obama said. “This is a debate that I must confess I once had myself—when I was seven.”

“By the way, Mr. Walker decided he wanted to be a werewolf, which is great. As far as I’m concerned, he can be anything he wants to be except for a United States senator!”

Record-high numbers of Georgians have turned out to vote in the highly contested runoff race between incumbent Warnock and Walker. Although Democrats have maintained control of the Senate, a victory in Georgia would give them an outright 51–49 majority, instead of the current 50–50 majority by tiebreak.

Throughout the race, ultraconservative Walker has lied about his academic record and apparently his legal state of residence. He has been accused of domestic abuse and forcing his partners to get abortions. And Republicans, who insist he is a qualified candidate and not a token diversity puppet, have been chaperoning his interviews and rarely letting him speak.

Bet they wouldn’t try that if he were a werewolf.

Full List of Senators Who Voted Against Giving Rail Workers Paid Sick Leave

42 Republicans and one Democrat voted against giving rail workers paid sick leave. Here are their names.

Capitol building with American flag in front
Al Drago/Getty Images

A whopping 43 people who have unlimited sick days voted to prevent around 115,000 rail workers from gaining just seven paid sick leave days.

Here are the senators who voted Thursday against giving rail workers paid sick leave. Forty-two are Republicans, and one is a Democrat.

  1. Ben Sasse
  2. Bill Cassidy
  3. Bill Hagerty
  4. Chuck Grassley
  5. Cynthia M. Lummis
  6. Dan Sullivan
  7. Deb Fischer
  8. James E. Risch
  9. James Lankford
  10. James M. Inhofe
  11. Jerry Moran
  12. Joe Manchin, III
  13. John Barrasso
  14. John Boozman
  15. John Cornyn
  16. John Hoeven
  17. John Thune
  18. Joni Ernst
  19. Kevin Cramer
  20. Lisa Murkowski
  21. Marsha Blackburn
  22. Mike Crapo
  23. Mike Lee
  24. Mike Rounds
  25. Mitch McConnell
  26. Mitt Romney
  27. Patrick J. Toomey
  28. Rand Paul
  29. Richard C. Shelby
  30. Rick Scott
  31. Rob Portman
  32. Roger F. Wicker
  33. Roger Marshall
  34. Ron Johnson
  35. Roy Blunt
  36. Shelley Moore Capito
  37. Steve Daines
  38. Susan M. Collins
  39. Thom Tillis
  40. Tim Scott
  41. Todd Young
  42. Tom Cotton
  43. Tommy Tuberville

Manchin, Whose State Was Built by Unions, Rejects Paid Leave for Rail Workers

Senator Joe Manchin voted to impose a labor agreement on rail workers, but not give them seven paid sick days. He was the only Democrat to do so.

Senator Joe Manchin stands in an elevator as the door close
Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia, a state built by union workers, voted against providing paid sick leave to rail unions on Thursday.

Four out of 12 rail unions—representing the majority of rail workers—have been threatening to strike, after a labor deal brokered by President Joe Biden failed to meet their demands for paid sick leave. Workers currently get zero paid sick days. Biden, who has touted himself as a “pro-labor president,” called for Congress to impose the deal anyway and block the strike, saying it would cause too much economic damage.

The House voted Wednesday to end the strike but included a last-minute amendment proposed by progressives to give the unions seven days of sick leave.

The Senate, however, voted to impose the labor agreement but not add the paid leave amendment. Six Republicans voted in favor of the amendment. Manchin was the only Democrat to vote against it. He also voted to block the strike. The bill will now go to Biden for his signature.

Manchin had expressed misgivings about the amendment on Wednesday, saying he would need to read it over first. But he did say he would vote for “anything to prevent a strike that will enhance inflation and cause economic harm to our country.”

Although Manchin has become known for consistently throwing a wrench into Biden’s plans, he frustratingly seems in line with the president this time. Despite being known as both “Union Joe” and “Amtrak Joe,” Biden did not push for the paid leave amendment after its success in the House.

The President of course, of course he supports paid sick leave for all Americans, including rail workers, but he does not support any bill, or amendment, that will delay getting this bill to his desk by this Saturday,” White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters after the House vote.

Manchin’s votes sting even more considering his state’s long history with union labor. Although union membership in West Virginia is currently about 10.7 percent, a little lower than the national average, the state’s unions are still strong for a right-to-work state.

West Virginia union workers helped build the state’s economy—particularly in coal mining—and have a long history of agitating for better working conditions.