The Monday Politics Thread is Not Participating in President’s Day Sales

Is the GOP’s extremist wing now too big to fail?

Congressional Republicans have crystallized an ominous question by rejecting consequences for Donald Trump over the January 6 riot in his impeachment trial and welcoming conspiracy theorist Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia into their conference: Has the extremist wing of the GOP coalition grown too big for the party to confront? Sanctioning Trump or Greene offered the party an opportunity to draw a bright line against extremist groups and violence as a means of advancing political goals.

But the vast majority of congressional Republicans conspicuously rejected the opportunity to construct such a barrier through their decisions to oppose impeachment or conviction for Trump over his role in the US Capitol attack and to support Greene during the recent Democratic effort to strip her of her committee assignments.


Biden calls on Congress to ban assault weapons and institute other gun restrictions

On the third anniversary of the Parkland school shooting, President Joe Biden called on Congress to pass stricter gun laws, including banning assault weapons. In a statement from the White House, Mr. Biden on Sunday asked Congress to pass laws requiring background checks on all gun sales, banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, and eliminating immunity for gun manufacturers. 

“Today, as we mourn with the Parkland community, we mourn for all who have lost loved ones to gun violence,” Mr. Biden said. 

CBS News

Biden Aide Feels Heat From All Sides on White House Equality Vow

As President Joe Biden seeks to address racial inequities across the U.S., he’s turned to former congressman Cedric Richmond to help keep a promise to end discriminatory practices ranging from housing to voting rights — a task complicated by the risk of alienating Republicans whose support is needed on key legislative priorities.


Lindsey Graham says Mitch McConnell speech slamming Trump could haunt Republicans in 2022

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said Sunday he thought Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s speech blasting former President Donald Trump would be used against Republicans in campaign ads in 2022 when the party fights to reclaim the Senate.

McConnell, R-Ky., slammed Trump for potential criminal conduct moments after he voted for acquittal in the 57-43 vote Saturday in the Senate impeachment trial. The vote fell short of the two-thirds majority needed for conviction.

McConnell, in a roughly 20-minute floor speech, said Trump’s “crescendo of conspiracy theories” caused the Jan. 6 Capitol riots for which he was “practically and morally responsible.”

Graham, a staunch defender of Trump, said on Fox News Sunday that McConnell’s words would be used against Republicans in campaign advertising next year, when the party hopes to pick up enough seats to retake control of the Senate.

“He got a load off his chest, obviously, but unfortunately he put a load on the back of Republicans,” Graham said. “That speech you will see in 2022 campaigns.”

USA Today

Myanmar coup: Troops on the streets as internet cut off

The military’s heightened presence is the latest sign of a potential crackdown on opposition to the coup it carried out on 1 February.

Hundreds of thousands of people have taken part in protests over the last 10 days, demanding democracy be restored.

They also want their elected leaders released from detention.

But on Monday, the military announced civilian leader Aung San Su Kyi would be detained for a further two days.

She was rounded up with other members of the government in the early hours of 1 February, but was due to be released today.

Her party was elected in a resounding victory last November, but the has alleged voter fraud without providing proof.


Wuhan’s COVID-19 outbreak probably 500% bigger than first thought, WHO team tells CNN

Investigators from the World Health Organization (WHO) have found signs that the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan in December 2019 might have been more widespread than initially thought, according to CNN.

“The virus was circulating widely in Wuhan in December, which is a new finding,” lead investigator Peter Ben Embarek told the media outlet.

Business Insider

Brexit: as half its sales are wiped out, silk firm joins exodus to Europe

Covid-19 was a disaster for sales, but then came Brexit. “Having spent the last 25 years developing a successful sales operation throughout the EU, which until recently accounted for about 50% of our sales, we are now facing the prospect of our EU business being wiped out due to the complications of the Brexit deal,” says Bennett.

“Feedback from our clients on the continent is that they will not accept the extra customs charges and duties, and will simply switch to our competitors who remain in the EU. Who can blame them? I would do the same.”

Like many other UK small businesses – the British Chambers of Commerce said last week that half of small businesses that export to the EU from the UK were struggling with Brexit rules, regulations and costs – Bennett says he has no option but to shift part of his company from Stockport to France, so it is back inside the EU’s single market.

“Our only chance to retain EU business is to create a distribution centre in France,” he said. This, unfortunately, will have the effect of taking jobs and economic activity away from north-west England.

The Guardian

‘Slavery Has Never Been Properly Addressed’: Reparations Bill Reintroduced to Congress

On Juneteenth in 2019, lawmakers met with Black activists and scholars to discuss H.R. 40—a bill to create a reparations commission to examine the impact of slavery and the possibility of compensation for the descendants of enslaved Africans—during a hearing by the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties.

But way back then—before the seemingly endless time warp that was the year 2020—the nation was still run by Donald Trump and his Republican enablers who were all about making America great again by maintaining its traditional roots of being a land of the white people, by the white people and for the white people. Then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) expressed that he didn’t support “reparations for something that happened 150 years ago.” He followed that statement with other passages from the Congressional Code of Caucasity saying (and I’m paraphrasing, of course) that “no white people alive today owned slaves,” that “America said ‘I’m sorry’ with the Civil War,” and, of course, “But…but…but we elected a Black president.”

So back then, bill H.R. 40 was pretty much dead before it was even seriously considered, but now that there’s a new administration running the White House and a political shift in congressional control, the bill’s 2019 sponsor, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), has reintroduced the legislation ahead of a new hearing on reparations.

The Root

Arizona legislator compares transgender people to farm animals

An Arizona state representative is facing an ethics complaint after he compared transgender people to farm animals at a Wednesday committee hearing.

The hearing was for House Bill 2725, which would require state identification documents to contain only a male or female gender marker. The bill pre-emptively bans nonbinary people, who are neither exclusively male nor female, from using gender-neutral X markers on their IDs, even though Arizona law doesn’t currently permit that.

NBC News

Pedro Pascal Celebrates His Sister Lux Coming Out as Transgender

Pedro Pascal is showing people how it’s done when it comes to being a supportive family member. The Mandalorian star took to social media on Tuesday to celebrate his sister Lux coming out as a transgender woman.

Lux appears on the February cover of Ya magazine, a Spanish-language publication, under the headline, “The Transition of Lux Pascal.” In the accompanying feature, Lux discusses her transition publicly for the first time. The 28-year-old actress previously identified as nonbinary but over time says she came to understand herself as a woman. “Moving through the world as a woman is much more simple for me, but I still advocate for nonbinary identities to have a space in society,” she said.

As for Pascal, he is very clearly a proud older brother. He posted a photo of Lux’s cover on Instagram with the caption, “Mi hermana, mi corazón, nuestra Lux,” which translates to, “my sister, my heart, our Lux.”