Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.


At a news conference with Senate Republicans, Mitch McConnell presented the visual aid of a blank check - paid to the order of "Democrats' Socialist Agenda" - to reiterate they will not vote to pass stop-gap legislation just approved by the House to continue funding the government and extend the debt ceiling issue. Photo by
Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Outlive Mitch McConnell and Save America

Abby Zimet

If you haven't heard, there's an ugly if bogus battle underway about keeping the government open by raising the debt limit - which a bipartisan Congress has done multiple times, including thrice for the awful former guy for almost $8 trillion, but which "nihilist-in-chief" Mitch McConnell in his unbounded cynicism is now refusing to do even though with the GOP in power he repeatedly declared not to do so would be "a disaster," because his only core value is hypocrisy and what else is new. Now, #MoscowMitch - "If he’s talking, he’s lying" - says he won't help push through the Senate stop-gap legislation just passed by the Dem-led House to fund the government through this fiscal year and extend the debt ceiling issue through 2022. The new law would simply pay existing bills. If it fails in the Senate -  "Deadbeat GOP Skips Out On $7.8 Trillion Tab" - the government would run out of money by October, default on its debts, and face what's generally deemed a catastrophic fiscal crisis. Making up the self-serving rules as he goes like any seasoned hostage-taker, McConnell says finding the votes to do what every Congress has done before is the Dems' problem: "The debt ceiling will be raised as it always should be, but it will be raised by the Democrats.” His banal game of chicken, many note, is not about ideology or principle, of which he has nada, but "rinky-dink" politics. By making the Democrats "own" more debt, in fact largely amassed by the idiot before them, the GOP can run mean campaign ads in 2022 about their wild spending on health care, child care, education, saving the planet and other nonsense - a slash-and-burn ploy that confirms, one more time, the filibuster has to go.

God knows the soulless front guy for a depraved GOP with no fucks left to give has been here before. In a chilling 2019 profile in The New Republic, Alex Pareene describes a transactional thug who's "in every way a study in stolid depth-resistance...a man serenely unbothered by anything he's done to get his power or anything he's done with it." Despite a mere 21% approval rate at home, he's become the most despotic Senate leader, en route enabling "the worst excesses of an increasingly deranged movement of cranks, bigots, grifters and plutocrats" while "reducing the power of the ballot box as much as possible" because c'mon nobody's gonna actually vote for these evil jackasses. Above all, he seeks to protect his own Senate death-grip and the fat cats who got him there: "In MitchWorld, you pay to play." Thus, the stunning irony of his latest Turtle Stunt: At a presser to again refuse to keep the country running, he unveiled a cartoon-giant blank check representing Biden's Build Back Better "socialist" plan, which 17 Nobel-winning economists and most of the country support, along with its tax on the rich to pay for it. From the "bank of Biden, Sanders, Pelosi and Schumer," it reads. Its memo line: "Reckless Tax-and-Spend Spree." Some wondered how much "this stupid visual" cost us; others, if he's heard of online banking. We gratefully took the counsel of Jarrett Berenstein in his stirring, sort-of-work-out video urging us to survive to "be an old progressive." He eats right and stays healthy, he says, simply "to outlive Mitch McConnell. Mitch is gonna be dead one day, and I want to live in that world for as long as possible." Ditto Grassley, Cruz, etc: "There are a bunch of graves I want to dance on. So i'm healthy, for me and for America." Be like Jarrett. Outlive a Fox viewer.

Abby Zimet

Abby Zimet

Abby Zimet has written CD's Further column since 2008. A longtime, award-winning journalist, she moved to the Maine woods in the early 70s, where she spent a dozen years building a house, hauling water and writing before moving to Portland. Having come of political age during the Vietnam War, she has long been involved in women's, labor, anti-war, social justice and refugee rights issues. Email:

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

In Landslide 1,108-to-387 Vote, Maine Nurses Reject Effort to Decertify Their Union

"They thought because we were a new union, they could manipulate Maine Med nurses and overturn our 2021 election," said one nurse. "But we just showed them the door."

Jake Johnson ·

Dems Threaten to Subpoena FTI Consulting Over 'Blanket Refusal' to Provide Info on Fossil Fuel Work

"FTI's refusal to cooperate with this congressional inquiry shows that they have something to hide, which will reveal the dangerous ways agencies like theirs have promoted fossil fuel greenwash and misinformation," said the Clean Creatives campaign's leader.

Jessica Corbett ·

Bad Day for DeSantis as 'Stop WOKE Act' Hit With Injunction, Lawsuit

"If Florida truly believes we live in a post-racial society, then let it make its case," a federal judge wrote in blocking part of the controversial law. "But it cannot win the argument by muzzling its opponents."

Brett Wilkins ·

US Judge Says Mar-a-Lago Affidavit 'Can Be Unsealed' With Redactions

"This is going to be a considered, careful process, where everybody's rights, the government's and the media's, will be protected," declared U.S. Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart.

Jessica Corbett ·

Federal Judge Orders Starbucks to Rehire Fired Union Organizers in Memphis

"It was a ruling in favor of what's right," said one member of the Memphis Seven. "We knew from day one that we were going to win this, it just took time."

Brett Wilkins ·

Common Dreams Logo