Gaetz’s ex-girlfriend testifies in sex trafficking investigation – report
The MSNBC anchor Mehdi Hasan might’ve come up with the most succinct among many appalled reactions to the New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman’s suggestion that Democrats consider a Joe Biden–Liz Cheney ticket in 2024, to promote national unity and keep Donald Trump out of power.
Hasan tweeted: “Kill. Me. Now.”
Using the example of the right-left national unity government in office in Israel in succession to that country’s own Trumpish leader, Benjamin Netanyahu, Friedman enlisted the help of Steven Levitsky, a political scientist and co-author of How Democracies Die:
America is facing an existential moment, Levitsky told me, noting that the Republican party has shown that it isn’t committed any longer to playing by democratic rules, leaving the US uniquely threatened among western democracies.
… So Biden-Cheney is not such a crazy idea? I asked.
“Not at all,” said Levitsky. “We should be ready to talk about Liz Cheney as part of a blow-your-mind Israeli-style fusion coalition with Democrats. It is a coalition that says: ‘There is only one overriding goal right now – that is saving our democratic system.’”
Cheney, from Wyoming, is one of two anti-Trump Republicans on the 6 January House committee. She is also the daughter of Dick “Darth Vader” Cheney, the former vice-president with whom she stood, otherwise alone on her side of the House, through a commemoration of the Capitol attack last week.
Some on the left found the sight of the architect of the Iraq war in common cause with Democrats … disturbing. Oddly enough, Hasan didn’t much like Friedman’s suggestion either.
The Times man, Hasan wrote, was “also one of Obama’s favorite columnists. If you want to understand why US politics, and especially Democratic party politics, is so messed up, consider that the current and previous Democratic presidents have both taken advice from Thomas Friedman. Kill. Me. Now.”
For what it’s worth, Levitsky has been warning of the dangers of Republican fascism, now at a high pitch, for some time. Here’s a Guardian piece with his co-author Daniel Ziblatt from January 2018:
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US inflation jumped 7% in December
The price of goods and services in the US continue to rise at rates unseen in decades, jumping 7% in December compared to the same month last year – the seventh consecutive month in which inflation has topped 5%.
The news represents a blow to the Biden administration and the Federal Reserve, which until recently have characterized soaring prices as a “transitory” phenomenon brought about by supply chain issues triggered by the pandemic.
On Wednesday, the labor department said the consumer price index (CPI) – which measures what consumers pay for a wide range of goods – rose 0.5% last month compared with November and 7% compared with December 2020.
Price increases in housing and used cars and trucks were the largest contributors to the inflation rate, with 0.4% and 3.5% increases in price compared with November, respectively. Food prices also continued to increase, though the 0.5% jump in prices is not as high as increases seen in previous months.