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Ilhan Omar On Her Memoir And Moving The Needle Toward Progressive Policies : NPR

Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., attends a press conference on Feb. 26 on Capitol Hill. Omar tells NPR the progressive left “has moved the needle on the national conversation” surrounding certain policies.

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Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., attends a press conference on Feb. 26 on Capitol Hill. Omar tells NPR the progressive left “has moved the needle on the national conversation” surrounding certain policies.

Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

“I wasn’t afraid of fighting,” Ilhan Omar writes about her childhood in Somalia in her new memoir. “I felt like I was bigger and stronger than everyone else — even if I knew that wasn’t really the case.”

In This Is What America Looks Like: My Journey from Refugee to Congresswoman, Omar chronicles her childhood in a middle-class family compound in Mogadishu, followed by civil war, four years in a refugee camp, a journey to the United States and ultimately her election to Congress as a Democrat representing Minnesota’s 5th district.

Since being elected as one of the first Muslim women to Congress in 2018, Omar has emerged as a progressive and polarizing figure. She has been the target of racist insults, but also drawn criticism for controversial statements of her own.

“I think often times you have to make a choice: Whether you’ll be a punching bag or you’ll be somebody who’s strong and stands up for themselves and for others,” Omar tells NPR.

She talked with Weekend Edition about Joe Biden and the presidential race, what she wants in future coronavirus relief measures and an unlikely role model.

Interview Highlights

On the influence of progressives in the Democratic presidential nomination

We might not have moved the needle on the nomination, but I think we certainly have moved the needle on the national conversation on the particular policies we’ve advocated for. “Medicare for All” is much more popular than it was before this election cycle, and we’re having an honest discussion about canceling student debt. We’re talking about economic and social injustices in ways that we haven’t before. Taxing the wealthy is not just something that you say and people go, “Oh, my God.” It’s something that people are now actually debating and thinking about ways to be able to do that.

And to see so many people now running for office with the policy positions that we ran on and continue to advocate for really is a testament on how much we’ve changed the narrative of what is electable and what is debatable in Congress.

On why Joe Biden should choose a person of color as his running mate

I think it would be really helpful for our party to continue to have diversity as not something we talk about, but something we celebrate and push forward.

… To have somebody who is really connected to the people who have been the backbone of the Democratic Party will help create, I think, the enthusiasm that Biden lacks right now with the majority of the base.

On what she wants to see in the next coronavirus relief package

There are musts, right? We want to make sure that there is direct cash payment. We want to make sure that there is hazard pay for essential workers. We want the OSHA protections to remain as part of the final bill. We want increase in SNAP funding. We want to make sure that we’re not just expanding COBRA, but getting emergency Medicare for All. We want rent and mortgage cancellation. We have to act comprehensively to stop the kind of economic crisis that is staring us in the face.

On why the conservative former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher is a political role model

It’s interesting, right? Oftentimes, we’re told who our heroes can be. And for me, I find it to be inspirational for a woman, when there were really no other women around who were leading, to say, “I can do this.” And I think as I think about my own journey, dealing with the ideas that many within my own community had about, “a boy should be the first.” I needed to have sort of an inspiration, and obviously, she’s left a very dark mark in history. But we can’t take away how inspirationally bold she was to believe that she can lead as a woman in her time.

NPR’s Hiba Ahmad and Ed McNulty produced and edited the audio version of this interview.

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Progressives Are Pushing Their Policies During The Pandemic : NPR

Rep. Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut is one of the progressive Democrats pushing to expand some of the safety net programs created since the coronavirus pandemic.

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Rep. Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut is one of the progressive Democrats pushing to expand some of the safety net programs created since the coronavirus pandemic.

AP

Democrats said the $3 trillion coronavirus aid bill that was approved last week in the House of Representatives is meant to meet the needs of everyday Americans. Republicans dismissed that same bill as a partisan attempt to enact a longstanding wish list of Democratic policy priorities.

Progressive Democrats don’t exactly dispute that.

“Over 80% of the bill we have already passed in one way, shape or form,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., told reporters last week. “So, now we’re putting our offer on the table. We’re open to negotiation.”

The bill that passed the House on Friday is full of proposals Democrats on the left have been pitching for years — from a more generous allowance for food stamps to changes in the way people qualify for federal benefits. Many progressives see the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus and the public health response as proof that more expansive social policies are needed now, and in the future, to help people survive in times of crisis.

“The coronavirus pandemic has exposed gaping holes in our social safety net and has brought into stark relief issues that we knew were there,” said Rep. Katherine Clark, D-Mass., the House Democratic Caucus vice chair. “Now we can see their devastating impacts so clearly.”

Among the policies Clark supported in the House bill is a provision to provide funding for child care providers. She said women have always borne the brunt of the effects when schools and day care centers are closed. The issue is playing out on an enormous scale with the coronavirus. Clark and other Democrats proposed $50 billion in immediate child care funding. They also advocated for another $50 billion to fund long-term structural change.

Republicans, such as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., call that logic gross politics.

“Democrats cannot stop salivating, salivating over the possibilities for partisan gain,” McConnell said last week on the Senate floor. “Eighty-thousand Americans have died. More than 20 million have lost their jobs. I call that a crisis. They call it leverage.”

Progressive Democrats said they are simply advocating for programs that are gaining public support in the crisis.

Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., said until the coronavirus hit, Republicans generally didn’t support any expansion of domestic spending intended to help people in a crisis. Now there is a crisis, and Democrats want to use this moment to remake the system.

“These folks have never wanted to go down this road and protect what was a social safety net that we’ve had in the past and a new social safety net for people in today’s world,” DeLauro said in an interview. “I’ve been fighting for these issues for a very, very long time, OK. I’m trying to deal with the pandemic.”

Democrats have a running list of policies they said are helping now during the coronavirus crisis and could be used to support people during any future economic dip.

Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon, the top Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, said he wants to tie the expanded benefits that passed in the CARES Act to the unemployment rate going forward. Such a proposal would allow the benefits to ebb and flow to meet the economy.

Wyden said the existing system hasn’t worked for a long time. Many states provide benefits below the minimum wage, and the system does not regularly support people who are paid contractors or work in the so-called gig economy.

“The unemployment system, which was invented in the 1930s, is still in kind of a time warp,” Wyden said. “Nobody ever heard of a gig worker back in the 1930s.”

Many progressives see the coronavirus response as a chance to prove that policies they support can work and should be made permanent.

Some of these benefits, such as extra unemployment assistance, already got big bipartisan support and will be harder to take away later.

Not all Democrats necessarily agree.

Moderates, such as Rep. Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., are not eager to use the coronavirus to advocate for long-term spending increases. Murphy, who is a co-chair of the fiscally conservative Blue Dog Coalition, said any policies need to be reevaluated over time.

“I agree that in a crisis, you really highlight the deficiencies in our society,” Murphy said in an interview. “But I also believe that the best approach to legislating in a divided Congress is to do what is possible and that means it has to be able to make it through a divided Congress and signed by a Republican president. Only things that become law can actually help the people that we’re trying to assist.”

Several moderate Democrats, including Rep. Abigail Spanberger, D-Va., voted against the $3 trillion House bill over similar concerns.

“Unfortunately, many members of Congress — including some in my own party — have decided to use this package as an opportunity to make political statements and propose a bill that goes far beyond pandemic relief and has no chance at becoming law,” Spanberger said in a statement.

“We must come together to build a targeted, timely relief package that avoids partisan posturing and instead prioritizes combating our nationwide public health emergency, addressing catastrophic unemployment rates, and protecting the security of the next generation.”

Murphy said there are clear bipartisan options out there. She pointed to funding for state and local governments that can bring the two parties together and a proposal to extend and expand a tax credit for businesses that keep employees on the payroll during the crisis.

Those bipartisan proposals may succeed in the near-term, but progressives are also looking to see how their policies can be sustained well into the future. Democrats are hoping to take control of the Senate and the White House in November, which would make it easier to build on temporary programs and permanently remake the system.

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How George Soros packed the European Court of Human Rights and Pushed Its Open Border Policies

Sensational revelations from Europe document the deep involvement of George Soros’ Open Society Foundations in the European Court of Human Rights, which has been key in forcing an “Open Borders” policy on countries like Italy.

By Collin McMahon

In 2012, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) handed down the landmark case of “Hirsi Jamaa and others vs. Italy”, which ruled that European countries could not “push back” illegal migrants and would be fined hundreds of thousands of Euros if they did. The case involved a network of Soros-sponsored lawyers and NGOs who managed to track down 22 Somalian and Eritrean migrants in Libya who had been turned back in 2009 and bring their case to Strasbourg.

Now, a report by conservative American activist Jay Sekulow’s European Center for Law and Justice (ECLJ) has revealed that NGOs related to the Open Society Network are deeply involved with the ECHR, and many of its judges are tied to these organizations. The report

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identified seven NGOs that are both active at the Court, and have judges among their former staff. At least 22 of the 100 judges who have served on the ECHR since 2009 are former staff or leaders of these seven NGOs, the report stated.

The NGOs are identified as A.I.R.E. Center (Advice on Individual Rights in Europe), Amnesty International, the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), the Helsinki Committees and Foundations Network, Human Rights Watch (HRW), Interights (International Center for the Judicial Protection of Human Rights), and the Open Society Foundation (OSF) and its various branches, in particular the Open Society Justice Initiative (OSJI).

“The Open Society Network stands out for the number of judges linked to it and for the fact that it actually funds the other six organizations identified in this report. The powerful presence of the Open Society and its affiliates is problematic in many ways. But even more serious is the fact that 18 of the 22 judges were found to have served on cases initiated or supported by the organization with which they were previously associated.”

The report identified 88 problematic cases over the last 10 years: “In only 12 cases have judges abstained from sitting because of their connection with an NGO involved.” The think tank called its assessment “low”, since it did not take into account OSF’s close financial links to many other NGOs.

“This situation is serious, and calls into question the independence of the Court and the impartiality of the judges. These conflicts must be remedied immediately.” The report proposes greater attention be paid to the choice of candidates for the post of judge by avoiding the appointment of activists and campaigners, to ensure transparency of interests and links between applicants, judges and NGOs, and to formalize the procedures for deportation and disqualification.

While many blogs and alternative websites have covered the explosive revelations of the report, they have inexplicably been largely ignored by mainstream media. This week the Russian Foreign Ministry commented in an official Press release, stating that the report “caught our attention”, not least because Russia has “repeatedly pointed out to its Council of Europe colleagues” instances of Western human rights NGOs” exerting implicit and explicit influence on the ECHR” analyzed in this paper.

“We believe that our colleagues from the Council of Europe and member states of the organization should pay attention to this report, which may provide valuable “food for thought” in the context of ongoing ECHR reform. Russia has always advocated a strong but non-politicized European Court. It appears that due consideration by all parties of the existing shortcomings in the ECHR activities during the reform will make it possible to adjust and ultimately minimize the “political” side effects involved in its practice,” the Russian Foreign Ministry stated. Russian President Vladimir Putin banned Soros NGOs in 2015, saying they “posed a threat to both state security and the Russian constitution.” Russian observers frequently blame Soros for starting the war in Ukraine and the ensuing conflict between Russia and the West.

In December, US Attorney General William Barr warned of similar instances of Open Society „Lawfare“ in trying to influence the outcome of elections for prosecutors in the US. “There’s this recent development [where] George Soros has been coming in, in largely Democratic primaries where there has not been much voter turnout and putting in a lot of money to elect people who are not very supportive of law enforcement and don’t view the office as bringing to trial and prosecuting criminals but pursuing other social agendas,” Barr told Martha MacCallum on Fox News. “They have started to win in a number of cities and they have, in my view, not given the proper support to the police.”

Last year, Gateway Pundit revealed the ties between Soros and the Spygate Conspiracy’s Ukrainian origins. As the Spygate investigation comes to a head, Western governments must seriously consider following Russia’s lead and declaring Soros and the Open Society Foundations a hostile foreign power.

 

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Lake County Illinois Sets Up Online Page to Snitch on Your Neighbors Who Violate Mandated Social Distancing Policies

Lake County Illinois is the latest locale set up on online snitch page to report on your neighbors when they are caught without wearing a mask or violating social distancing policies.

Via Wartime Citizen.

You can get to the snitch report page easily at the county webpage.

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Illegal Alien Child Rapist Released by ICE SIX TIMES Thanks to San Francisco’s Sanctuary City Policies

An illegal alien child rapist has been released from Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody six times due to sanctuary city policies.

Honduran national Kristian Jonas Gamez Trejo, 25, was convicted of felony sex with a minor in 2016, has been arrested by San Francisco law enforcement six times, but keeps being released despite ICE efforts to hold him.

Trejo has been on ICE’s Most Wanted list for years, and was arrested again on April 28, but the city would not hand him over, Breitbart reports.

“Once again, I am waiting for San Francisco officials to tell me how not turning over Mr. Gamez made our community safer. San Franciscans deserve better,” ICE San Francisco Field Office Director David Jennings said in a statement. “There is no reason this convicted child predator should have been turned loose into our community. Even California’s misguided SB54 sanctuary policy allows local authorities to turn over to ICE any criminal aliens convicted of felony crimes of sexual exploitation or crimes endangering children.”

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The pedophile rapist first entered the U.S. illegally prior to April 2014 before he was deported months later in June, the Breitbart report explains. He illegally entered the country again the following year and was deported in December 2015.

“In August 2016, after again illegally entering the U.S., Gamez was arrested in San Francisco, California, for felony sex with a minor. San Francisco officials released Gamez from jail despite a request by ICE that he be turned over to the agency,” the report says.

His April arrest was for domestic violence, but the city still would not let ICE take him.

“There is no reason this convicted child predator should have been turned loose into our community,” ICE official David Jennings said in a statement. “Even California’s misguided SB54 sanctuary policy allows local authorities to turn over to ICE any criminal aliens convicted of felony crimes of sexual exploitation or crimes endangering children.”

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TX Governor Abbott Alters Stay-at-Home Policies to Prevent More Mothers from Being Jailed for Opening Their Businesses to Feed Their Children (VIDEO)

Texas salon owner Shelley Luther broke the state quarantine in late April to save her business and feed her children.

Shelley was later served a citation from the city of Dallas the following morning for breaking state stay-at-home policies.

At a rally that day SHE RIPPED IT UP during her speech!

Shelley Luther wants to save her business and the Texas economy. She told the crowd at the rally, “We have a right to run a business and feed our children.”
The crowd gathered to support her.

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“You’re our Rosa Parks,” a woman yelled from the crowd as Shelley Luther took the stage.

On Tuesday Shelley Luther was sentenced to 7 days in jail and a $7,000 fine.
Shelley refused to apologize to the liberal judge for opening her business.

The local authorities are punishing Shelley for wanting to save her business.
Shelley still sits in jail in Texas.

On Thursday Governor Greg Abbott announced changes to his stay-at-home orders to prevent more mothers from being jailed for opening their businesses in order to feed their children.

He will no longer allow Texans to be jailed for wanting to save their businesses and feed their children.
This was a good move.

Via Varney and Co.



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