Joe Biden needs you, Jon Stewart. The comedian used strong language coupled with righteous indignation against Republicans who rejected the PACT Act, which provides benefits to veterans of Afghanistan and Iraq who suffered health consequences from exposure to burn pits.
The GOP had originally supported the PACT Act but reversed their position in a snit over the deal between Joe Manchin and Chuck Schumer on the Inflation Reduction Act.
“I’m used to their hypocrisy but I’m not used to their cruelty,” said Stewart on July 28 in front of the Capitol.
He said of the vets:
“These people thought they could finally breathe. You think their struggles end because the PACT Act passes? All it means is they don’t have to decide between their cancer drugs and their house. Their struggle continues.”
He shot down the lie from Ted Cruz that the PACT Act was riddled with “pork.”
Stewart tweeted that the PACT Act is a stand alone bill with no pork. “There is no budget maneuver that then allows Dems to backfill with whatever they want.”
The Senate passed the PACT Act on August 2 by an 86 to 11 margin.
White House communications director Kate Bedingfield reversed her decision last month to step down from her job.
She should change her mind once again. Stewart would be perfect for the post.
Speak up for democracy before it is too late. Steven Luckert, senior curator at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, sees parallels between the Nazi messaging of the 1920s and 1930s to that of the Jan. 6 insurrectionists.
Both the Nazis and Capitol Hill rioters aimed their propaganda at disillusioned, frustrated and angry citizens who felt they suffer at the hands of a rigged system.
Both trade in lies and misinformation.
Hitler set up Jews as part of a global conspiracy aimed to steal Germany’s riches.
The insurrectionists speak of a “stolen election” that deprived Donald Trump of the presidency.
Luckert, who spoke today at a webinar co-sponsored by the Museum of PR and the Rand Corp., noted that the Nazis were only one of 30 political parties in Germany in the aftermath of the end of WWI.
They used radio, which was high-tech in the 1930s, to expand their reach.
The Jan. 6 insurrectionists represent various small right-wing groups that use social media to build their base.
Luckert said the Nazis rose to power through the branding of Adolf Hitler as a strong leader—though he hadn't yet held public office—and the powerful swatzika imagery.
Trump, who led various businesses into Chapter 11 and failed as president, somehow has a persona as a tough guy. It might be his scowl or his constant attacks on perceived enemies.
The Nazis pitched themselves as “outsiders” who were blameless for Germany’s economic malaise.
They marketed themselves as problem-solvers and aimed different pitches to appeal to workers, women and students.
The Nazi party promised to “Make Germany Great Again” by uniting all ethnic Germans into a single movement.
Trump promises to "Make America Great Again" by uniting all his believers against “enemies of the people.”
Luckert said Hitler didn’t play up his “anti-Semitism” until he became chancellor in 1933 and the Nazis became Germany’s sole political party.
Hitler then demonized Jews as greedy outsiders who were part of an international conspiracy aiming to destroy Germany.
The Nazis depicted Jews as an existential threat to Germany, calling for radical measures to eliminate them. He justified concentration camps and the resulting Holocaust as harsh measures required to save the country.
Luckert said the Nazi rise to power was also enabled by its ability to foster “a culture of indifference.”
Germans failed to speak up when they saw Jewish neighbors were being arrested and hauled away to concentration camps.
The attitude was "it's none of my business" or “let the state take care of it.”
Germans excused the excesses of Hitler by saying things like he created a lot of jobs or ran a good foreign policy.
Trump got multiple free passes when he sat in the White House.
Luckert wants Americans to speak up against the anti-democracy wave that currently threatens this country.
It can happen here.
Zuck gets exposed. Nick Clegg, president of global affairs at Meta, has decided to split his time between the company's Menlo Park, CA, corporate headquarters and London.
The former deputy prime minister of the UK and leader of the Liberal Democrats, has served as the public face of Facebook, shielding CEO Mark Zuckerberg from the harsh glare of public scrutiny and governmental watchdogs.
Clegg is moving to London for personal reasons. The Financial Times reported that he wants to spend time with his elderly parents.
He may also sense a comeback opportunity in the unsettled UK political scene in the aftermath of prime minister Boris Johnson’s resignation.
One thing is for certain: Clegg will find life much sweeter once he has settled in 5,000 miles from Meta’s headquarters.