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AOC leaves door open to primarying Schumer in 2022

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In an interview this week, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) left the door open to primarying Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) for his U.S. Senate seat in 2022.

The congresswoman from New York City was asked if she had a timeline for deciding whether or not to challenge Schumer and his more than 20-year tenure in the Senate in 2022 and if she believed he was doing a good job.

“It’s a hard thing to say, too. We’ve had to deal with a fascist president and Mitch McConnell,” Ocasio-Cortez told the newly launched Punchbowl News. “There’s this thing, ‘Are we doing a good job?’ There are things you can do in the minority. There are also things you couldn’t do with this minority because Senate rules changed.”

“I like to think of myself as a good-faith actor and not make unfair critiques. But I do wonder,” she added.

RELATED: AOC says Pelosi, Schumer need to go

“I’m not playing coy or anything like that. I’m still very much in a place where I’m trying to decide what is the most effective thing I can do to help our Congress, our [political] process, and our country actually address the issues of climate change, health care, wage inequality, etc.,” Ocasio-Cortez also said.

When asked about whether her decision would be affected if Democrats appear likely to lose their House majority in 2022, Ocasio-Cortez replied: “I’m not sure about that either. For me, I don’t make these decisions based on these short-term factors.”

The 31-year-old congresswoman also explained to the newsletter that she is looking beyond the next couple of years in her life and career, saying: “If I want to have a child, I would want my child—or my nieces or nephews to have guaranteed health care by the time they’re my age. And freedom from want. I’m also very indecisive.”

When asked about her relationship with Schumer, the most powerful Democrat in the Senate, the congresswoman told Punchbowl that “[h]e and I have an open relationship, we speak to each other regularly.”

These remarks come after the self-described Democratic socialist last month stated that Democrats need “new leadership.” She noted, however, that “the House is extraordinarily complex, and I’m not ready. It can’t be me. I know that I couldn’t do that job.”

Ocasio-Cortez shot to fame during the 2018 midterm elections, when she shockingly unseated the incumbent Rep. Joe Crowley, a then-member of the House Democrats’ leadership who had been in Congress since 1999, becoming the darling of progressives. She easily won reelection in November, and in recent months there has been speculation surrounding what’s next for the 31-year-old rising star.

Despite the viral fame and massive following that Ocasio-Cortez has found on social media, the political power she holds is still finite. Last month, the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee voted to seat Long Island, N.Y. Rep. Kathleen Ricea moderate—on the coveted House Energy and Commerce Committee instead of Ocasio-Cortez, who represents the Bronx and Queens.

Ocasio-Cortez has previously refused to rule out running for Schumer’s seat. When asked back in April if she would rule out a 2022 campaign against Democrats’ leader in the Senate, she responded by saying “I don’t know.”

She has also said in the past that she was not thinking of the Senate “in any serious way.”

The head of the New York State Democratic Party, Jay Jacobs, however, is urging Ocasio-Cortez not to challenge Schumer in 2022. In December, Jacobs told The New York Post that the young congresswoman would “absolutely” lose in such a bid.

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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Shanghai: China’s Potemkin Village

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Following a recent outbreak of COVID-19, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has imposed a month-long draconian lockdown on the residents of Shanghai. The CCP has used the outbreak to persecute its own citizens, including through forced evictions and quarantines, and placing alarms on doors to prevent COVID-19 people from leaving their homes. The harsh measures have resulted in food and healthcare shortages and separation of families.

But of course, we wouldn’t know that by reading the CCP-run press readily available in the United States. Instead of presenting the facts, the CCP engages in a comprehensive propaganda campaign that props up Shanghai as a Chinese Potemkin village. The CCP media asserts that China’s actions in Shanghai are benevolent and wise, while Western criticism is a product of malice. Chinese state-run media also insists that the Shanghai lockdown promotes economic stability in China and the world.

Claim 1: China Has the Best Policy for Combating COVID-19

The CCP media portray the Shanghai lockdown as the best and ideal policy. As cited by a XinhuaNet editorial, “China’s dynamic zero-COVID approach” is “the best option to save lives,” according to a “Rwandan researcher and publisher,” “…a miracle for us to learn,” according to a Kenyan scholar, and “a very ideal response,” according to Ethiopia’s National COVID-19 Response Task Force Coordinator. According to CCP media, Chinese citizens have greeted the Shanghai lockdown warmly, even with “[a] mixed sense of intensity, unity and hopefulness,” according to China Daily.

Claim 2: The West Hypocritically Defames China

The CCP press also accuses the West of lying about the Shanghai lockdown, and using COVID policies for nefarious ends. According to XinhuaNet, “Shanghai…has never imposed what Western media described as a ‘lockdown.’” Other CCP editorials actually accuse the West of malice. One Global Times editorial claims that the lockdown “has been deliberately exaggerated by the West.” Another Global Times editorial asserts that the Western approach of “coexisting with the virus” amounts to a way “…to drive out a large number of the vulnerable people with low immunity,” and a form of “cruel social Darwinism.”

Claim 3: China’s COVID Policies Result in an Economic Windfall to China and the World

The CCP also portrays the lockdown as necessary to achieve great economic growth in China and beyond. One Global Times editorial, while conceding that the lockdown amounted to a “sealing-off,” it is “a temporary measure to better resume work and production and to make the economy and society function more effectively. Its effectiveness has been proven.” According to another Global Times editorial, China’s policy is “widely considered to be the best strategy…to both contain the epidemic and ensure stable economic development.”

In an Orwellian fashion, Chinese press claims that China is solving, not causing, the world’s economic problems. According to XinhuaNet, “China has played a decisive role in stabilizing the global economy and resuming the supply chain disrupted by COVID-19.” Citing a Bloomberg article, the same XinhuaNet editorial claims that China “has prevented a huge number of deaths at home and ensured that everything from iPhones and Teslas to fertilizer and car parts continues to flow to the rest of the world.” Chinese citizens, of course, are collateral damage: Ji Qiwei, vice-general manager of SAIC Motor Passenger Vehicle, stated that “The domestic market may be impacted a little by the COVID-19 outbreak this year, but our export market will continue to see strong growth,” according to China Daily.

While the world continues to suffer economic and human damage as a result of COVID-19, China continues to revise history regarding its role. Through its propaganda in its English publications of Xinhua, China Daily, and Global Times, China seeks to portray itself as a benevolent force in the fight against the virus.

You can follow Steve Postal on Twitter @HebraicMosaic

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