Amy Klobuchar's masterful response to Ted Cruz's SCOTUS nomination argument is a must see

The recent passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg not only marked the end of an illustrious life of service to law and country, but the beginning of an unprecedented judicial nomination process. While Ginsburg's spot on the Supreme Court sits open, politicians and regular Americans alike argue over whether or not it should be filled immediately, basing their arguments on past practices and partisan points.

When a Supreme Court vacancy came up in February of 2016, nine months before the election, Senate Republicans led by Mitch McConnell refused to even take up a hearing to consider President Obama's pick for the seat, arguing that it was an election year and the people should have a say in who that seat goes to.

Four years later, a mere six weeks before the election, that reasoning has gone out the window as Senate Republicans race to get a nominee pushed through the approval process prior to election day. Now, they claim, because the Senate majority and President are of the same party, it makes sense to proceed with the nomination.


It's a stunning display of hypocrisy, even by the political world's standards.

In a recent Senate Judiciary Committee meeting, Senator Ted Cruz (TX-R) attempted to paint the Democrats' objections to pushing through a SCOTUS nominee as "political theater." But Senator Amy Klobuchar (MN-D) wasn't having it. In a nine-and-a-half minute speech, Klobuchar laid out exactly why this SCOTUS nomination goes beyond political theater—and she did so with an authentic eloquence that earned her viral status.

The full transcript of her speech shared on Senator Klobuchar's website:

"Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I sit in a position on this committee where I often follow Senator Cruz and I often have to throw out my entire plan for what I was going to say because of what he said. But I have never had an experience quite like this one. I could choose to start by taking on his interpretation of history because of the fact that the only other time that we have had a justice die this close to an election was when Abraham Lincoln—a wise wise leader—was president. What did he do?

He waited until after the election.

What is unique in your words, Senator Cruz, about this situation? People are voting right now. Democracy is happening right now and we in this room are supposed to be stewards of this democracy. What else is unique in your words about this situation? It is the precedent that was set just a few years ago by the very people sitting here, by the very leader who is still the leader of the Republican Party.

He said this—Mitch McConnell—the American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president. Those are the facts that you live with. But to me, none of those arguments even compare to what I just heard and what I must respond to. Our democracy, what's happening right now.

What this President said yesterday and Joe Biden has said he will abide by the results of this election. It is this president, President Trump who refuses to commit to make sure there is a peaceful transfer of power after the election if he is not re-elected. Instead, as he has done for months, just yesterday, he again worked to undermine confidence in our election.

He has repeatedly told people, the citizens of this country that it's not safe to vote by mail. That there's something wrong with it, except for in Florida where he has voted by mail. This is what he says almost every single day. And to have the chairman of this committee lead this discussion on this solemn day, when tomorrow the first woman in the history of the nation will lie in state and raise the fact that yes, this may end up in court and then to hear you, Senator Cruz talk about how this is because of some war game that you're talking about that I've never even heard about that this can end up in court.

Well, guess what, I will not concede that this is going to end up in court. You know why? Because the people are voting in droves right now. They are voting all over this country because President Trump is behind in states, in red states that no one even thought he could be behind in. Why? Because the people of this country are fighting back because they know what's on the line. Do I think this is a tragic death at this moment? Yes, it's tragic because we lost this woman who is an icon way ahead of her time, someone who opened doors for women at a time when so many insisted on keeping them shut.

Well, we are not keeping our democracy shut this year. This was a woman who would never as Senator Durbin explained would not take no for an answer. She literally applied for law school when there were no women hardly in her law school, when she had to go to a dinner with the dean of Harvard Law School. And he had each woman explain why they were allowing a man to be taking this seat, taking the chair of a man and taking it away from a man.

She then goes on to Columbia and graduates, number one in her class. She then comes up with theories that no one had even conjured up before to argue that women should have equal protection under the law. And when they say a man should argue it, she goes and does it herself. And she wins five out of six times setting landmark law for this country.

She then goes to the Supreme Court, is respected across the land, becomes a cultural icon with her own hashtag—Notorious RBG—in her 80s. She never gave up and I am not going to give up on this democracy. Despite these false lies about the Democratic candidate for president. It is President Trump who chose to clear out peaceful protesters and wave a Bible in front of a church.

It is President Trump who after Charlottesville said there are two sides. Well, there's not two sides when one side is the Ku Klux Klan. It is President Trump who has put out there that military and soldiers should be at the voting places in a pure attempt to suppress the vote. So don't go telling the people this committee who know better, who is the divisive person, who is the one that has been inciting violence in this election.

And even if they don't believe us in this room, the American people have seen through it. That's why just today you saw nearly 500 military leaders join together—former military leaders—and civilian national security leaders, Republicans, Democrats and independents to say that they did not support this president, because they were afraid of what was happening to our country and our democracy.

So this hearing that we are about to have is about that very democracy. And so I don't think people really care about the fights we've had about this before. I think we missed a really important ingredient in what I've been hearing my colleagues say from across the aisle and that is people are voting right now.

They are voting on health care right now. The fact that we have a court case out of Texas that is coming up for oral argument on November 10th, in which yes, pre existing conditions are on the line because the argument was made that the whole Affordable Care Act should be thrown out. You cannot just fix that when you haven't been able to even take up the Heroes Act to do something about the pandemic. Yet, in fact, we see that we've got time to ram through a Supreme Court hearing in two weeks instead of spending those two weeks to actually take up the Heroes Act and hope the people of this country.

What else is on the line? Well, civil rights is on the line when you look at the decisions and all the money that has flowed into our politics from the outside as a result of this current court's decision that is dominated by nominees put forward by Republican presidents.

Women's rights. Oh, yeah, they are on the line and as those fires were blazing on the West Coast of our country, even the right to regulate our environment and do something to protect our air and water, that is on the line. So this hearing will not be divorced from what is happening right now because this president has put it right in the middle of a political campaign.

That's his choice, not our choice.

So, I don't see this as theater as you describe, Senator Cruz. I see this as the real world. I see this deeply personally because I know that we have a President in place that knew that this virus was deadly. He knew that it was airborne and yet my family, we were just trying to clean off the surfaces all the time and wash our hands. And then my husband ends up in the hospital with COVID on oxygen because this President didn't share with us the information he had at the time. All of that is going to be on the line.

So we will look at this nominee and we will look carefully at this nominee that is our job, but we cannot get away from the fact that the process that puts her before us will be one that is not respecting the democracy that we are supposed to cherish.

So I just—I have listened to this for too long and I think the American people see through this raw use of political power. That is why they're voting in droves. So if you think you can get away from this just by trying to get this nominee through and no one's going to notice what she stands for or what her views are and how that's going to play into decisions that are made that affect people's lives. They already know. They're voting now.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman."

Senator Klobuchar Has Had Enough youtu.be

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2020 was difficult (to say the least). The year was full of life changes, losses, and lessons as we learned to navigate the "new normal." You may have questions about what the changes and challenges of 2020 mean for your taxes. That's where TurboTax Live comes in, making it easy to connect with real tax experts to help with your taxes – or even do them for you, start to finish.

Not only has TurboTax Live helped millions of people get their taxes done right, but this year they've also celebrated people who uplifted their communities during a difficult time by surprising them with "little lifts" to help out even more.

Here are a few of their stories:


Julz, hairdresser and salon owner

"As a hairdresser and salon owner, 2020 was extremely challenging," says Julz. "Being a hairdresser has historically been a recession-proof industry, but we've never faced global shut down due to health risk, or pandemic, not in my lifetime. And for the first time, hairdressers didn't have job security."

Julz had to shut down her salon and go on unemployment benefits for the first time. She also had to figure out how she was going to support herself, her staff and her business during this difficult time. But many other beauty industry professionals didn't have access to the resources they needed, so Julz decided to help.

"My business partner and I began teaching basic financial literacy to other beauty industry professionals," she says. "Transitioning our business from behind the chair to an online academy was a challenge we tackled head-on so that we could move hairdressers into this new space of education, and create a more accessible curriculum to better serve our industry.

Julz connected with a TurboTax Live expert who helped her understand how unemployment affected her taxes and gave her guidance on filing quarterly estimated taxes for her small business. "I was terrified to sit at a computer and tackle this mess of receipts," Julz says, so "it was great to have some virtual handholding to walk me through each question."

In addition to giving Julz the personalized tax advice she needed, TurboTax Live surprised her with a "little lift" that empowered her to help even more beauty professionals. "When my tax expert Diana surprised me with a little lift, I was moved to tears," says Julz. "With that little lift, I was able to establish a scholarship fund to help get other hairdressers the education they deserve."


Alana, new mom

Alana welcomed her first child in 2020. "I think my biggest challenge was figuring out how to be a mom, with no guidance," she says. "My original plan was to have my mom by my side, teaching me the ropes, but because of COVID, she wasn't able to come out here."

She was also without a job for most of 2020 and struggled to find something new.

So, Alana took it as a sign: she decided to launch her own business so she could support her new baby, and that's exactly what she did. She started a feel-good company that specializes in creating affirmation card decks — and she's currently in the process of starting a second, video-editing business.

TurboTax Live answered Alana's questions about her taxes and gave her some much-needed advice as she prepared to launch her businesses. Thanks to their "little lift," they provided her with a little emotional support too.

"I got my mom a plane ticket to finally [have her] meet [my daughter] for her first birthday," Alana says. "I was also able to get a new computer," which helped her invest in her new business and work on her video editing skills. "It's helped my family and me so much," she says.


Michael, science teacher

When schools shut down across the country last year, Michael had to learn how to adapt to a virtual classroom.

"As a teacher, I had to completely revamp everything," he says, so that he could keep his students engaged while teaching online. "At the beginning, it was a nightmare because I had no idea. I had to go from A-Z within a couple of weeks."

Michael's TurboTax Live expert answered his questions about how working from home affected his taxes and helped him uncover surprising tax deductions. To top it all off, his expert surprised him with brand new science equipment and supplies, which allowed him to create an entire line of classes on YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook. "Now I can truly potentially reach millions of children with my lessons," he says. "I would never have taken that leap if not for the little lift from TurboTax Live."



Ricky, motivational youth speaker

As a motivational speaker, Ricky was used to doing his job in person, but, he says, "when COVID-19 hit, it altered my ability to travel and visit schools in person [because] schools moved to fully virtual or hybrid models."

He knew he had to pivot — so he began offering small virtual group workshops for student leadership groups at middle and high schools.

"This allowed me to work with student leaders to plan how they would continue making a positive impact on their school community," he says. He wasn't sure how being remote would affect his taxes, but TurboTax Live Self-Employed gave him the advice and answers that he needed to keep more money in his pocket at tax time — and the little lift he received from them has helped him serve even more students.

"[It] has been a major blessing," he says "There will be multiple schools and student groups from across the country that I can hold leadership workshops with to empower them with the tools to be inspirational leaders in their school, community, and world."

Plus, he says, it was great knowing he had an expert to help him figure out how being remote affected his taxes. "I felt confident and assured in the process of filing my taxes knowing I had an expert working with me, says Ricky. "There were things my expert knew that I would not have considered when filing on my own."

Filing your taxes doesn't have to be intimidating, especially after a year like 2020. TurboTax Live experts can give you the "little lift" you need to get your taxes done. File with the help of an expert or let an expert file for you! Go to TurboTax Live to get started.

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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