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Published: Sat, 24 Feb 2018 02:39:22 +0000

Last Build Date: Sat, 24 Feb 2018 02:39:22 +0000

Copyright: Copyright 2005 - Steal what you want

NV-Sen & 03: Harry Reid (D) Keeps Up The Momentum To Usher In A Big Blue Wave In Nevada

Fri, 23 Feb 2018 17:43:47 +0000

I received two e-mails from the former U.S. Senate Majority/Minority Leader Harry Reid (D. NV). The first one came yesterday in support of Susie Lee’s (D. NV-03) congressional campaign: Susie Lee (D. NV-03)   It’s never been more important for Democrats to hold all our seats in the U.S. House. That’s why I’m writing you today: Susie Lee is running in my home state in Nevada’s 3rd district -- one of the most competitive battleground districts in the country. For more than 20 years, Susie spent her career building local organizations to give Nevada children and families in need an opportunity to get ahead. She’s got the tenacity, local experience, and compassion to go to work for Nevada in Congress. Can you join me in supporting Susie Lee by chipping in a donation today? The far-right has taken Congress hostage, and if we don’t stop their agenda, millions could lose health insurance, and they could destroy Medicare as we know it. Susie’s race in Nevada’s 3rd will be instrumental in our fight to win back the House for Democrats, and National Republicans are already making a major play for this seat -- we’re depending on help from supporters like you. Please, chip in to help Susie Lee win Nevada’s 3rd so we can give Nevadans the representation they deserve and take back our House majority. Thanks for helping me out, Harry Reid Click here to donate to Lee’s campaign. The other one came today in support of Rep. Jacky Rosen’s (D. NV) U.S. Senate campaign: This is important: Everyone from Nate Silver to The New York Times is saying that Democrats can take back the Senate this fall – but only if we win in Nevada. The stakes couldn't be higher. If we fail to take back the Senate, we won't be able to stop the GOP's far-right agenda. We'll get more extremist Supreme Court nominees, Planned Parenthood will be gutted, and Medicare will be slashed. And right now, a recent poll shows this must-win race is a dead heat. So if we want to take back the Senate, we need to get off the sidelines today and do everything we can to help Jacky win. I told Jacky I'd help her raise $15,000 by midnight – but with just hours left, we're still falling short. Please give $5 right now to flip Nevada blue and take back the Senate for Democrats! Jacky is exactly the kind of leader we need in the Senate: someone with grit and compassion. Someone who's a fighter, who will work day and night for every single American. But Republicans are desperate to hold on to their Senate majority, so they've already pledged to spend millions to win in Nevada. That means we have no room for error. Jacky can't win without you, so I'm personally asking you to step up today. Please give $5 – whatever you can spare before midnight – to help Jacky fend off Republican attacks and take back the Senate for Democrats. Thank you, Harry Click here to donate to Rosen’s campaign. [...]

Notes from the Campaign Trail! York County, SC!

Fri, 23 Feb 2018 20:33:20 +0000

York County had their Democratic Convention last night. It was fairly crowded and raucous. Three candidates for Governor, Noble, Smith and Willis; one for Secretary of State, Whittenburg; and three for CD-5, me, Parnell, and a newcomer Mark Ali (seems like a nice guy. he is an immigrant from South America, worried about his kids in school, wages, etc.) 

We had two minutes to speak...talked about my mom being 6 months pregnant with me when my dad died of a heart attack (he loved those Lucky Strikes...L.S.M.F.T.). The doctor told my mom that if she thought having 3 children was too much, that he could take care of it for her on the sly. (this was in ‘65, way before Roe). She told me later that since she had the power to make that decision (she discussed it with my dad before he died and they agreed to have me), that when times got tough, she remembered that it was her decision and that helped her get through.  (This is similar to what I have read about people in “right to die” states...90-something % of them never take the lethal cocktail of drugs to end their own lives...but knowing that they have the option helps them bear the pain...knowing that they have control over their lives in some small way)

Tried out the campaign slogan that a clown classmate of mine came up with: Aim High, Vote Lough! It seemed to work pretty well, got some laughs.

Of course, I couldn’t run in Colorado because they’d chant “Aim High...” and play guitar for 4 hours...Hahaha!

Lots of people were shocked that I was a real clown in the circus...that got some big very nice lady (all the candidates for Governor were kowtowing to her) laughed out loud and got me to put my contact info in her phone, so that was cool.

Lots of questions about the little car, the clown car...I said we’d save a lot of taxpayer money by carpooling to the House with 20 members of Congress in one Prius!

Got to explain to John King, state rep, that Single Payer also usually goes along with Universal Voter Registration, it’s a one-stop-shop to be efficient and save taxpayer money...I guess lots of people don’t know that...I think the Republicans might be afraid of that, but my question would be: Don’t you believe in a free market? Universal Voter Registration is the epitome of the free market. If you’ve ever bought a gallon of gas, or for that matter, anything in any store, you’ve paid taxes, you are a taxpayer. This whole notion of “people who pay no taxes” is such a crock. 

We agreed voting is an unalienable right...something you automatically have, that only if you break the law, etc. is taken away from you.

All in all, it was pretty successful. The aunt of the Ringmaster when I was on the Red Unit, Jonathan Lee Iverson, was in the crowd! I had no idea until after! She called me over and told me and then texted Jonathan! What fun!


Senate Republicans have no plans to turn Trump's empty talk on guns into action

Fri, 23 Feb 2018 17:21:07 +0000

While Donald Trump yammers about his dystopian fantasy of arming teachers, there are several bills intended to strengthen gun laws already in Congress, ready to be passed the minute Republicans are ready to stop obstructing and changing the subject and offering thoughts and prayers but no action. Expanding background checks, banning bump stocks, raising the age limit to buy an AR-15—these are all policies that have bipartisan support. There’s also a bill to ban assault weapons, though no Republican is willing to make that obvious, popular step. But will any of them go anywhere? Not likely with this Senate and House:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is loath to allow any debate that splits his caucus, and it’s hard to find one more divisive than guns. Already, proposals backed by the Florida Republican and the president are running into headwinds in the slow-moving Senate. [...]

“Congress is in a mood to finally do something on this issue - I hope!” Trump tweeted.

But the president’s scattered approach is unlikely to translate into quick action in the Senate — or with the methodical majority leader.

“Despite the president’s words, this is going to be harder than he might think,” said a Senate Republican aide.

And that’s just the Senate. Paul Ryan’s House is no more likely to take action. That’s what to pay attention to: what are Republicans going to do? And for all their attempts at distraction, the answer is likely to remain “nothing,” at least without overwhelming, unceasing pressure and electoral jeopardy.

Want to really piss off Donald Trump? I am a Latino and Arab American running for Congress.

Thu, 22 Feb 2018 21:43:21 +0000

 I still remember how I felt at 19 walking to class at USC after the attacks on September 11th. It was an overcast day in LA and I was shaken. Like every other American, I felt fear, anxiety and anger. But as a young Arab American, I was also afraid of how I would be received. Things had changed.

Growing up half-Latino and half-Arab American always meant I was going to be a little different than everyone else. Pita sandwiches made me stand out at lunch and my name was “weird.” But I never felt like an outsider until those weeks after September 11th.

I heard the words of hate and the legitimate fears of my classmates. All I could do was follow the advice of my Latina mom and pray. Pray for advice on what I can do to be a part of the solution.

It’s this desire to be a part of the solution that drove me to become a civil rights lawyer. Its why I got involved in politics and sacrificed years of student debt to be a staffer in the U.S. Senate, work for President Obama and be the only Arab American and Latino Chief of Staff in Congress.

Over the years, those feelings as an outsider went away. I felt troubled by the direction of our country, but no longer an outsider.

All of that came crumbling when Donald Trump was elected. I felt that same fear, anxiety and anger on November 9th. Once again, I decided to be a part of the solution.

Here is my story of why I am running for Congress in California’s 39th congressional district: 

If there is ever a way to piss off Trump, its by sending a Latino and Arab American for Congress. But I am running on more than that. Washington is broken – I saw it in my roles in government and experienced it in business. You see I grew up in a working class home where we had to learn to stretch a dollar. We never had the luxury of doing nothing. But change first starts with stopping Trump. And we can do that while also infuriating him.

Join my campaign and help us spread the word in the 39th district.  

KS-03: PPP's Latest Poll Shows PCCC-Endorsed Brent Welder (D) Beating Kevin Yoder (R) 49-42

Thu, 22 Feb 2018 19:55:00 +0000

Received this e-mail today from the Progressive Change Campaign Committee:

Today, we're releasing a new poll showing that a bold progressive Bernie Sanders supporter is DEFEATING a right-wing Congressman in KANSAS!

With our friends at Bernie's group, Our Revolution, we are proud to endorse Brent Welder for Congress!

Imagine election night if we win. Pundits will scratch their heads and have to acknowledge that Democrats win the heartland when they run as inspiring progressives. Can you donate $3 to Brent's campaign to make it happen?

Brent is a labor lawyer and workers' rights advocate who was appointed by Bernie to be one of his delegates on the official DNC platform committee in 2016, which advanced the most progressive platform ever.

Brent supports Medicare For All, expanding Social Security, debt-free college, taking on Wall Street and Big Pharma, creating millions of good-paying jobs with a real infrastructure plan, and reversing the Trump tax cuts for the wealthy.

Brent impressed us tremendously at our Advanced Candidate Training last week. He led a protest outside the Republican National Committee of Trump's infrastructure scam -- and delivered nearly 100,000 petition signatures directly to Paul Ryan's office with other candidates!

Our new poll shows Brent defeating Republican Congressman Kevin Yoder by 7 points -- 49% to 42%. That means national Republicans will attack him, and he'll need our support...starting right now.

Can you donate $3 or more to Brent Welder's inspiring campaign -- and help progressives flip a red congressional seat blue in KANSAS?

This is a district that many political insiders are ignoring, even though Hillary Clinton won this district by 2 points and Democrats saw a 27 point swing in a special congressional election last year!

We can win this. And we will win this by running on our values.

Thanks for being a bold progressive.

-- Stephanie Taylor, PCCC co-founder

P.S. Click here to follow Brent Welder on Twitter.

Click here for the full poll results.

Click here to donate to Welder’s campaign.

CO-06: Jason Crow (D) & VoteVets Go After NRA Puppet Mike Coffman (R) In First Ad

Thu, 22 Feb 2018 19:43:54 +0000

Received this e-mail today from VoteVets in support of Veteran Jason Crow’s (D. CO-06) congressional campaign:

For a long time, consultants advised Democrats running for office in competitive districts to stay away from the issue of guns.

No more. That time is over. Iraq and Afghanistan Veteran Jason Crow is running in a winnable race against a powerful incumbent and taking this issue head on. Why? Because enough is enough, dammit.

Watch his powerful ad about the weapons of war he carried, and chip in $3 to his campaign right now.

When the gun issue becomes a losing issue for those who protect the NRA, we are going to win change. That's what supporting Jason is about right now.

You can be proud to chip in $3 to his campaign today.


Jon Soltz 
Iraq War Veteran and Chairman 

Click here to donate to Crow’s campaign.

The GOP is looking at an extinction level event. Brought on by #GunControlNow and massacre survivors

Thu, 22 Feb 2018 17:05:54 +0000

The Left has been predicting the end of the GOP since the W Bush Administration invaded Iraq in March of 2003; when 17 of the 19 attackers in the hijacked airplanes came from Saudi Arabia and none of them came from Iraq. All such prognostications were failures, and today the Republican Party is still alive (if not so well) in the United States. They currently maintain a majority in the US Congress and in about 2/3rds of the various Statehouse Legislatures & Governorships, too. They are running the American government at all levels.  Which makes them responsible, in the eyes of the young adults in American high schools, for the continuing firearms violence killing their fellow students — sometimes killing a fellow student crouching in fear of an armed Active Shooter in their school right next to them in a classroom.  The response of the media in the past week to the increasingly loud cry for DO SOMETHING coming from these traumatized young people has been astounding, to me at least. I haven’t seen any talking heads on the TV News-adjacent programming yet predict that this latest uprising of average people over a very public mass murder of kids in American schools will soon peter out and end with a whisper… as every such movement in the past decade or more about these mass public shootings has done.  Instead, it appears that the force and power of this movement is picking up speed and authority with each passing day. CNN hosted a Town Hall with some of the Douglas High survivors, their parents and the Broward County Sheriff and an NRA representative (Dana Loesch, a known NRA apologist and paid promoter). The young survivor, Emma Gonzalez (@Emma4Change) made mincemeat out of Loesch, failing to fall for her hypnotizing word-salad monologue, and repeatedly demanding an actual answer to the question asked — without a single ‘excuse me’ of interruption by the Host, by the way. He let Loesch just ramble endlessly, repeating the same sound bites multiple times in an effort to avoid answering truthfully the question at hand, “ Do YOU believe it should be harder to obtain semi-automatic and fully automatic weapons?” x x YouTube Video So why is this time different? After all, people in America have been seeking more and better gun control for longer than most of you realize…  h/t to Daily Kos user yogibear1963  In which an earlier generation also appears to have left some of the political agitation to the comedians, about an issue as serious as Gun Control:  x x YouTube Video What appears to be different this time around, is that the victims of the latest massacre in a public high school aren’t letting the adults take care of the response to this violent event. They’re doing it themselves. In less than a week, some of them were in the Oval Office with the President and the Vice President, with the Press, bringing their message of “Do Something” to the highest seat of power in the world.  Don’t believe me — listen to these young people yourself: x x YouTube Video While I personally have my doubts that even such an event as this will affect the actions of Donald Trump or this Republican Congress; I am fully cognizant that these young people are also eminently educated about their ability to force change on America at the ballot box which is quickly approaching if not already here for some of them.  Which is why I chose the title I did. It’s not clickbait. I truly believe that should the Republicans, starting with the Oval Office and following down all the way to local Dog Catcher in small towns across the Republic, continue on their path of “I support the 2nd Amendment”, it will spell their doom within five years.  There will be approximately (per US Census data) 4 million new 18 year olds in 2020 alone, increasing at the rate of about 11,000 new eligible voters each and ever[...]

Sen Kirsten Gillibrand voices frustration with her colleagues "the NRA Has A Choke-hold on Congress"

Thu, 22 Feb 2018 07:42:59 +0000

You should take the time to listen to listen to this whole segment. Yes it is that good. 

Steven Colbert:  “This happens not infrequently. There will be something like DACA or individual background checks where the vast majority of both parties (in individual polls) beleive that something should happen, and  nothing happens in Washington DC. And then people throw up their hands in despair, and kind of lose the force of action because they feel that nothing can be done. You’re in Washington, you’re in the Senate.  Is Washington owned by corporations, as we all cynically fear?”

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand:  “Well yeah. I beleive that, first of all we have dark money in politics, we have unlimited corporate spending, with no accountability, no transparency. So we have to get money out of politics. 

Steven Colbert: “What corporations give to you?”

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand: “I just banned corporate PAC checks actually.  Because I think it’s really important that...”

Steven Colbert: “You take no corporate money?”

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand: “No corporate money.”

Steven Colbert: “Is anybody joining you on this Bandwagon?”

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand: “I beleive people have already. Cory Booker joined right away, so did other people who are already doing it, several of my colleges. And the reason I beleive we have to lead by example on this because we have to start taking the money out of politics, because it undermines our democracy. Money is NOT speech. I do not beleive the Supreme Court saying money is speech and corporations have the same rights as Americans. That is not true. It is false. We need publicly funded elections. You need to get the soft corruption out. You need to take the hard corruption out.  You need to take away the voice and the out-sized influence that corporations have over congress.

And the NRA is one of the worst offenders!" 

Steven Colbert: “You’ve been in DC since 2007. What can’t there be any meaningful reform? Or even any meaningless reform? There’s absolutely no action.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand: “First I just want to say my heart is broken. This is unfathomable how many deaths we’ve has to see over and over and over again. And congress has done nothing, the silence is literally defining. And they don’t get anything done because the NRA has a  choke-hold on the Congress. The NRA is concerned only with gun sales. It’s all about the money. It is all about greed.

It has nothing to do with the Second Amendment. 

The Pen is Mightier Than the Gun

Thu, 22 Feb 2018 06:45:46 +0000

Two words that seem to define the same emotional feeling are sad and pathetic.  It was sad to watch and listen to Sam Zeif describe how his life has been torn apart after losing his brother-like friend and pathetic how President Trump went with his prepared remarks — never once mentioning the solution Sam put forth in his agony.  Those words are not the same and while Trump deserves credit for bringing that group of people together at the White House and allowing them to speak in front of cameras, what he does from here on is how he will be remembered. More than any other moment, the President’s words claiming he is going to fix this will determine his fate amongst the next generation of voters.  They have given him an opportunity to abandon his allegiance to the NRA after it gave him the most money ($30 million) for his presidential campaign in the primary (they usually wait until you are a candidate to back up the truck).  Based on his actions thus far as president, it is doubtful they will be voting for him in 2020, if he is still a candidate. The White House budget bill introduced by Trump contains millions of dollars worth of cuts to programs designed to keep schools safe and combat mental illness.  In addition, in February, 2017  President Trump also signed H.S. Res. 40, which made it easier for people with severe mental illness to buy guns legally.  The rule applied to those people that the Social Security Administration (SSA) had determined to have a mental disorder that prevents them from managing their affairs.  The names of those people, approximately 75,000 each year whom the SSA makes such a determination of, were previously required to be reported to the national background check system.   The requirement was based on President Obama’s presidential memorandum issued after the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School and the SSA’s final rule, which was signed in December, 2016.  All of this was a followup to the NCIS Improvement Amendment Act of 2007, signed into law in January, 2008, by then President George W. Bush.  What Trump signed into law undid what President Obama had done to prevent these documented as mentally ill people from being able to purchase a gun.   At today’s White House meeting, President Trump claimed he was going to focus on the mentally ill to keep them from harming themselves and others, as well as looking into raising the age for buying guns.  He also stated he wanted to improve background checks, but didn’t say how.  If his past actions are any gauge as to how he will act in the future, some of the students might want to reconsider their comments that he’s doing “a great job.” There is little hope of banning the assault weapons used for these school killings (the AR-15s) with the current Congress and it is extremely doubtful that President Trump would ever sign such a bill.  The torch has  been passed on to these students to make the changes that are needed to happen.  They have already adopted the slogan #NeverAgain and promise, if legislators don’t pass the ban, they will vote them out.  These students will have much to say until they get their way and their posters are expressing their revulsion for the status quo - bought and paid for politicians who have blood on their hands for the laws they don’t write.    As a teacher myself, I am repulsed by another idea Trump put forth, echoing Newt Gingrich’s call for arming teachers so they can take down an intruder armed with an assault weapon.  The ridiculousness of this argument was initially expressed years back by the NRA’s Wayne LaPierre, who claimed the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun was with a good guy with a gun.  That hasn’t happened, despite all the guns that have been sold to supposedly ‘good guys’ since then.[...]

Do you remember what was the first Flying Fickle Finger of Fate?

Thu, 22 Feb 2018 04:22:15 +0000

A friend brought it to my attention.

From Laugh-In, circa 1968

Does the Presidential Oath apply to Children?

Thu, 22 Feb 2018 02:20:21 +0000

Change that reforms America, is the only comfort for Americans besieged by poorly enforced wage laws, student debt, Russian hacking, white supremacy, sexual assault, inevitable water wars and gun violence masquerading as 2nd Amendment right to massacre innocence, and the innocent. American solutions are waiting in the wings of change, the moment opposing sides across all political POVs, are reformed.  Our children and the families they leave behind, dreamers all, beckon, because gun laws and gun assassins are an American problem in need of legal solutions.   If you have a license to own an AR-15, the FBI can ask to see it, and in a man’s castle, question his social media provocations.  However, until an act of violence is committed, with or without an NRA condoned murder weapon, both FBI and police are powerless – unless you have been targeted by ICE, as an unwanted immigrant. The 1/21/17 Women’s march, #MeToo #TimesUp and Black Panther prove We the People are the change, but will Paul Ryan’s 115th House vote for all-inclusive Background Checks, recognize our union with immigrant heritage and vote to honor America’s Statue of Liberty promise? Upholding justice equality for all life, even after birth, unites us with our children everywhere in lifting a 2018 torch of freedom -- a resounding gauntlet at the feet of a rented Congress, gun profits addicted NRA and a president’s den of iniquity.   Calling out all perpetrators of domestic violence and domestic terrorism, is what true patriots do.   On Saturday 24 March 2018, may America, lift every voice in harmonious chorus:  young and old -- people of color, women of every hue, Asians, Latinos, LGBTQ & Native Americans, letting freedom ring through us, in common cause, so vociferously, our tumult thunders to save our children. Before and after American National Guardsman sent by Nixon, shot and killed four Kent State Students, anti-Vietnam war demonstrations were ablaze on college campuses.  At Peabody Conservative of Music, students and faculty gathered in Peabody’s Concert Hall, in action-oriented peaceful assembly. So, I stand with Cameron Kasky, Emma Gonzalez and all who have suffered because of the reckless combination of too easily procured assault weapons and yet another man incomplete without a gun. America’s violent history teaches:  the Sirens' song calling us to greed, war and power over life and death addiction, most often fails to be controlled by those most powerful.  Civil unity, however, is the key that frees rational thought, sensible pragmatic solutions and all-inclusive purpose.   America remains a work-in-progress, on a journey from bloody revolution & Civil War; through the Wild, Wild West & Jim Crow; to demagogues dictated to by powerful bankers and foreign chefs. However, unlike, obstruction of justice, collusion is not legalized, and being thin-skinned is not an impeachable offense.  Nonetheless, whether, unwitting individuals or overly trusting Americans misplacing their faith in unholy men, voting out of jealousy, fear, hate, or desire for revenge, makes voters powerless against the fox they hail, and vulnerable to the Fakery he projects. Failing to preserve national institutions protecting even the least of these our brethren, is antithesis to presidential oath. Failure to protect us against tragic family destruction by AR-15 villainy, while shooting down our myopic Fourth Estate and imperfect FBI, morphs our Founding Fathers’ American Dream into a Laura Ingram nightmare. Isn’t failure to preserve clean water, protect our Ground-Water reserves and defend occupiers of American territory from Rainmakers:  Securities Industry, Wall Street investment groups, Hedge Funds, making rain from public water for private pools, a brea[...]

Snyder puts party before people with Conyers vacancy

Wed, 21 Feb 2018 14:53:31 +0000

Yesterday I got an e-mail Chanica Adams asking me to sign her petition for a special election in Michigan’s 13th U. S. House district. As you might recall, Rep. John Conyers, Jr. (D) voted against the American “Health Care” Act, the “Cut Cut Cut” Act and other Republican scams against the middle class. Those votes would have been a fitting end to a legacy of service in Congress dating back to 1965. A legacy tarnished by sexually harassing a woman in his staff and later paying her hush money out of taxpayer funds. Allegedly, I should say; just as with Senator Al Franken (D-Minnesota), Conyers stepped down before an ethics committee could investigate. I’m not going to get into the issue of zero tolerance here, what matters is that Franken and Conyers are out now. The rules for replacing a senator are different from the rules for replacing a congressman, and the circumstances are different, too. Gov. Mark Dayton (D-Minnesota) named his lieutenant governor, Tina Smith, to Franken’s seat, which she will hold at least until the special election in November. Meanwhile, here in Michigan, Gov. Rick Snyder (R), who has yet to be criminally charged for his part in the Flint water contamination, set a date for a special election for the House seat vacated by Conyers to take place in… November. Supposedly because real special elections cost too much. That means that the district won’t have a voice in the House until November, assuming the winner is seated in a timely manner. There’s no guarantee of that as long as Republicans hold a majority in Congress. Chanica Adams makes a good point about Snyder and voter suppression: In 2012 Gov. Rick Snyder vetoed legislation calling for voter ID in Michigan, earning praise while Michigan was redrawn into one of the most gerrymandered states in the United States. Our voting power was diluted to the point that a voter ID law wasn’t necessary to suppress our power. I don’t live in the 13th District. But I might, if it was gerrymandered just a little differently. It’s not just part of Detroit that is being disenfranchised, but also other bits and pieces of Wayne County. In particular, looking at the map, notice how Dearborn Heights is split up between the 12th and 13th districts. It’s possible but highly unlikely that a Republican might win the seat. In 2016, Ballotpedia rated the district as “safely Democratic.” And no Republican has filed this year, as of today. Ian Conyers, great-nephew of John Conyers, Jr. There are already eight Democrats heading into the primary for the seat, including Ian Conyers and John Conyers III. After George W. Bush and Coleman Young II, I’m not too keen on voting for relatives. I remember that I stopped voting for Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick soon after the disgrace of her son, though she managed to hold on for a little bit, if I recall correctly. I heard rumors that Coleman Young II’s clumsy run for Detroit mayor was to get name recognition for a U. S. House run, and now he’s filed. But maybe he was expecting Conyers to hang on a bit longer. I’m still not too impressed with Young II, and I damn him with faint praise by saying that he’d be better than whoever the Republicans dredge up. Fortunately there are also candidates I can see myself becoming enthusiastic for, like Michael Gilmore and Brenda Jones. And Rashida Tlaib has a record of standing up to bridge billionaire Matty Moroun during her time in the state legislature. Let’s say the primary was tomorrow, I would probably vote for Tlaib. I have no faith in Michigan Republicans to nominate anyone decent. But the primary is not until August. If this district was a safely red district being denied a timely special election, the Tea Party wackos would alr[...]

New Quinnipiac Poll Gives Democrats A 15 Point Lead On General Congressional Ballot

Tue, 20 Feb 2018 20:15:19 +0000

Some good news today courtesy of Quinnipiac University’s latest poll:

2018 Congressional Elections 

American voters say 53 - 38 percent, including 47 - 36 percent among independent voters, they want the Democratic Party to win control of the U.S. House of Representatives this year. Voters say 54 - 39 percent, including 51 - 38 percent among independent voters, they want the Democrats to win control of the U.S. Senate this year. 

The Democrats can do a better job handling immigration, voters say 52 - 38 percent. Democrats can do a better job handling gun violence, voters say 52 - 31 percent. 

From February 16 - 19, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,249 voters nationwide with a margin of error of +/- 3.4 percentage points, including the design effect. Live interviewers call landlines and cell phones. 

Let’s keep up the momentum and usher in that Big Blue Wave!

80 percent want Dreamers on path to citizenship, nearly 60 percent will blame GOP for inaction

Tue, 20 Feb 2018 20:22:26 +0000

Campaign Action

Eight out of 10 Americans across party lines want undocumented immigrant youth on a path to citizenship, and 58 percent say it’s Republicans who will be “most responsible” if Congress fails to pass legislation ensuring it, according to a new Quinnipiac University national pollThis isn’t a controversial issue. What is controversial is that the Republican Congress won’t listen to them and allow a vote on the bipartisan DREAM Act:

American voters support 80—16 percent allowing undocumented children brought to the U.S. as children, so-called "Dreamers," to remain and eventually apply for citizenship. Every listed group supports Dreamers by wide margins.

Voters think 63 - 27 percent that Trump wants Dreamers to be deported. Only Republicans think Trump wants Dreamers to remain. And voters think 55—32 percent that Republicans in Congress want Dreamers deported. Again, only Republicans think their leaders want Dreamers to remain.

Voters think 85 - 8 percent that Democrats in Congress want Dreamers to stay.

More than, 20,000 DACA recipients have already fallen out of status since Donald Trump had Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III announce the end of the program last September. Ultimately, 800,000 DACA recipients will be at risk of being torn from the only country they’ve ever known as home if Congress fails to pass permanent protections, and Americans will know who is to blame if that happens.


Tue, 20 Feb 2018 18:36:03 +0000

In light of recent debate as a result of the horrific events in Florida, and elsewhere Congress will have to do something, so they will probably pass the absolute minimum to keep crowds from forming outside their offices. They will pass some useless mental health bill with so many holes it will start leaking the first day. Somehow, they believe this is only a mental health issue. MH is important, but it is a very small part of the total problem here. Everyone who pulled a gun on unsuspecting children and adults would not have been stopped by a mental health professional or by mind-altering drugs.  Trump, in his infinite wisdom, will accept any drivel put in front of his face and sign it. In this case, a useless, NRA approved piece of roundabout wording that will go nowhere, but will make sure that any criminal, idiot, or mentally challenged fool can easily get the firing arm of his choice without much more, or maybe somehow less trouble than before. Then Trump will go on a rally tour around the country spreading the lie that this is the answer to all our problems, and that only HE was able to fix it. In reality, he will have done nothing, or managed somehow to move us backwards and turn us further into a third world country, which I believe is his ultimate goal on every front.

The ONLY way to stop this madness is to ban the manufacture, sale and repair of these war-type firearms  and ammunition nationwide with the teeth in the bill to put someone in prison long enough to make them think 2, 3, or even 4 times before trying to get one. Until then, all of these minimal Band-Aid treatments will do nothing to stop this. Change won’t happen immediately, but after a few years when the guns break and there are no spare parts, or no ammunition, they will wind up where they belong, on the wall as an antique, or in the trash can where they belonged in the first place.  I believe that the lives of our children and the lives of our citizens are much more important than the misdirected idea that everyone has the right to own any type of firearm.

Tools to show who funds your members of Congress

Tue, 20 Feb 2018 18:38:37 +0000

I’ve been using Google’s Chrome web browser since it came out and I am quite fond of the extensions to further customize my internet time. One I’ve been using for a while is from The application scans the webpage you’re on and highlights any member of Congress. Democrats get a blue underline and Republicans get a red line. It also works on the presidential candidates of each party. It can make for a colorful read depending on the website. 

Even better, scroll over the underlined name and you see:
-total contributions
-donations broken down by industry in the current election cycle
-small donations of ≤ $200 from 2012

If you have the program installed, you should see that Sen. John McCain has about $21.5 million on hand. How much did the NRA fund that? While you can’t tell via the GreenHouse extension nor as extensive (yet), there is a new app, “Follow the Money”, which will show the total amount the elected official ever got from the NRA (in McCain’s case, it’s $7,740,521). For me, Wikipedia now reads as “Marco ($3,303,355 from the NRA) Rubio”. “Follow the Money” provides a good reminder how much they’ ve taken from those death merchants.

Trolls, Bots, and the Hacking of Democracy...

Tue, 20 Feb 2018 01:44:24 +0000

The internet was designed to be anything but secure... Over a quarter century ago when I first dialed in nobody demanded proof that I wasn't a dog, troll, or a bot that we only dreamed of then. Other than your ISP wanting assurance that you're a paying customer, nobody seems to care if you've got a dozen or better yet thousands of identities... Heck, your driving up their ad revenue! Back in that heyday of usenet I witnessed not even a handful of activists use multiple identities to start a whole little movement that even succeeded in securing a six figure grant to fund their nonprofit.

They were mere amateurs by today's standards of internet hijinks... A horde of shadowy operators will shamelessly sell you thousands of bots to puff up ratings of your products or bash a competitors. Thanks to the rise of increasingly cheaper computing capacity and smarter artificial intelligence, by 2012 foreign elections were being manipulated by social media trolls. Having honed their dubious skills abroad, Russia's trolls attacked our 2016 presidential election, dragging most likely to fail candidate Trump to a technical victory while promoting derision between the Bernie and Hillary supporters and dragging Hillary down with serial lies that though unbelievable looked authentic enough to be believable by the gullible.  Even Daily Kos wasn't immune... I used to have pretty good luck getting my diaries promoted to the Rec or Community Spotlight lists, but looked like Kos' algorithms had been hacked and I got ban threats instead of recs.

So here we are in 2018, the trolls are smarter and the bots are cheaper, and all the publicity will probably make them multiply. The internet is as insecure and anonymous as ever, And here in Minnesota we've got enough enough competitive races to darn near flip the U.S. Hose and Senate alone, AND we're electing the governor who will approve or veto redistricting. The social media manipulating trolls and their bots may have already orchestrated the take down of Franken and there's been a suspicious rise in traffic attacking our leading candidate for governor lately. Our social media will be polluted with the misleading trolling of bots, our websites hacked, and the lazier traditional media will even echo the lies.

Get ready.

Updates on #SC02 2018 election

Mon, 19 Feb 2018 23:27:36 +0000

As of today, the big news is still the Florida shooting and the Mueller indictments and the resulting chaos emanating from an incompetent and unprepared Trump administration.  Hopefully the GOP’s lack of urgency will echo until November and the country can elect enough responsible and ethical people who will take gun control seriously as a solution to the problem of too many people having easy access to too many guns.  The Mueller indictments are just a prelude to the actual crimes that will be eventually be uncovered (even if not prosecuted) over the next year.  I wrote about Joe Wilson’s history with Russia here if you care to read it; he has a long history of defending Russia and Putin that makes me feel uncomfortable. But for now, I’d like to go through some press updates, public statements and news stories  from the past week on the Democratic candidates, Annabelle Robertson and Sean Carrigan, running in the June primary and the current Republican Representative Joe Wilson against whom one of the Democrats will be running.  I plan on doing this regularly up until the November election. Annabelle Robertson: On Twitter:  Robertson hit Trump hard early in the week on multiple issues, including DACA, the Trump budget cuts and of course the Rob Porter/domestic violence disaster.  Unfortunately, she tapered off and only indirectly mentioned the Parkland shooting while completely ignoring the Mueller indictments.  With Wilson’s long association with Russia, it might have benefited her with South Carolina voters to come out stronger than this against the election interference.  On Facebook:  Again, early in the week, there was a very strong statement against Rob Porter and domestic violence but not much else.  On Saturday, Robertson had a minor event at the Aiken Black History parade on Saturday, meeting with the public and spreading the word.  Sean Carrigan: On Twitter:  At the start of the week, Carrigan had firm posts on the Trump budget cuts but really opened up on the Parkland shooting and the GOP’s resistance to taking action on gun control, including an actual plan for addressing gun violence.  He also directly went after Joe Wilson for bragging about receiving a 100% from the Family Research Council (see below for more on that) in multiple tweets, which sparked some real interest.  Connecting Wilson to trending topics like Russia, LGBTQ issues and gun control could generate an uptick in national donations so this is encouraging.  On Facebook:  Carrigan had quite a few posts on Facebook this week, including some on domestic violence, Parkland, and the FRC’s 100% rating for Joe Wilson.  He picked up an endorsement from Demand Universal Healthcare, an advocacy group for “National Improved Medicare for All”.  He also attended meetings with the Richland Democratic Women’s Council and the Irmo Dems, while managing to hit both the Richland County and Lexington County Democratic Party conventions. Joe Wilson: On Twitter:  Wilson spent the early week visiting local businesses in an effort to push the narrative the the Tax Cuts and Jobs act is not just a tax cut for the wealthy but had time to praise the Trump budget for everything except the South Carolina cuts.  He was “deeply saddened” at the Parkland shooting and said “words will never be enough”...then remained silent up until today.  Even though Wilson has not received a huge amount in donations from the NRA, he has a horrible voting record on gun control legislation.  He did have time to brag about receiving a 100% rating from the Family Research Council[...]

New PA Map Changes Make Western PA-17 into an Opening for a Real Progressive

Mon, 19 Feb 2018 22:30:03 +0000

I’ve been holding off on my Campaigning with Aaron series while we all waited for news of the new Pennsylvania district map.  That map dropped today and it changed everything.  I’m more than a little excited.  Since SCOTUS already ruled that the PA Supreme Court has jurisdiction, this is unlikely to be successfully challenged.

The biggest takeaway from this is it means Keith Rothfus (R-GoneFishing) is not going to be reelected.  His his reactionary tea-party style voting record is not going to play well in the new communities in the district.  It’s gone from R+11 to R+3. Penn Hills, Carnegie, Sharpsburg, Etna and other communities new to the district are almost all between lean blue and solid blue.  R+3 with the currently projected November shift, move this seat from likely red to lean or likely blue.

Of the 4 candidates currently running to oppose Rothfus (R-ByeBye) in PA-17 (nee 12), IMO one is right of center, one is a centrist and two are progressives.  I think we can get excited about putting another progressive voice into Congress.  Sure, it’ll take effort, but it just got a hell of a lot more likely.  Aaron Anthony*, one of the progressive candidates, posted this statement a few minutes ago.

The new district also means we have a much better shot a putting a real progressive into Congress.  All of the added inner-ring Pittsburgh communities are a hell of a lot more progressive friendly than the previous makeup of PA-12, which included a lot of South Central PA (aka Alabama North).

Another thing that this map does is it moves both Conor Lamb (D-VoteForHim) and Rick Saccone(R-AbuGhraib) out of the district they are contesting on March 13th.  In the transition from the 18th to the 14th the part of the 18th currently in Allegheny county is split between the new 17th and 18th.  Mike Doyle (D-GoodGuy) should be safe in the 18th.  The new 14th will shift about 2 to R+13 so this will be harder to hold in the fall after Conor wins next month.  But, with the tRump alienation train running full speed, we have a good shot to hold it.

This map is good news for anyone invested in fair districting and the end of one of the worst gerrymanders in the country.

*He happens to be the candidate I’m supporting.

Update:  GoogleMaps outline of new PA-17 (thanks to epic)

PA-18: Gravis Poll Shows A Single Digit Race Between Conor Lamb (D) & Rick Saccone (R)

Mon, 19 Feb 2018 19:08:43 +0000

The latest news out of Pennsylvania courtesy of Gravis Marketing’s latest poll:

As the March 13th special election approaches for Pennsylvania’s 18th congressional district, Gravis Marketing has released a new poll conducted February 13th through the 15th.  State Representative Rick Saccone holds a 45.5%-40% lead over former Assistant United States Attorney Connor Lamb.  The previous poll gave Saccone a larger 46.4%-33.7% advantage.  The two polls used the same demographic weighting.

The managing partner of Gravis Marketing, Doug Kaplan points out that “each candidate is taking away a similar ratio of votes from the opposing party.”  Saccone is taking 16.9% of Democrats while Lamb is taking 13.4% of Republicans. Lamb holds a 39.7%-31.6% lead among Independents.  Kaplan said, “There are still a lot of undecideds for a likely voter sample at this point.  There are certainly enough voters there to turn this into a narrow Lamb victory of a double digit Saccone win.”

Kaplan observes, “Trump is till reasonably popular in the district holding a 50.1%-41.5% approval.  His tax reform law is also above water in this district by a 48.2%-36.4% split.”  Kaplan continued, “With these numbers, it is a little surprising that the race is as close as it is.  Trump is more popular in Pennsylvania’s 18th district than he was among the Alabama electorate in December.”  The previous Gravis poll of Pennsylvania’s 18thdistrict was 54%-38.8% while the Real Clear Politics average at the national level was 40.4%-55.9%.  Real Clear Politics currently has the President’s approval at 42.1%-53.4% nationally.

We have a real shot flipping this seat and we need to be ready to pull off another Doug Jones-style victory. Click here to donate and get involved with Lamb’s campaign.

McMaster's doubletalk about Russian sanctions as Trump takes their side

Mon, 19 Feb 2018 02:52:09 +0000

NatSec advisor McMaster traded barbs with the Russians at a Munich Conference, claiming sanctions were effective in resisting Russian meddling. This was despite the reality that Lord Dampnut is not enacting Congress’s renewed Russian sanctions for nonsensical reasons. So if the Russian interference campaign is in McMaster’s view, not working, Russian collusion seems to have worked and continues to work for 45* It’s now even stranger since Agent Orange seems ready to ridicule the US in favor of Russia’s ‘success’, even as he is the cause of Congressional investigations and ‘Party hatred’. Officials from both countries sparred openly about everything from espionage to nuclear weapons at various events at the annual Munich Security Conference, attended by some 500 high-level diplomats, executives and politicians. McMaster, the U.S. National Security Adviser, told the conference the surprise FBI indictments provided “incontrovertible” evidence of Russia’s actions[ [...] McMaster said Russia was trying to polarize Western societies by backing “the most extreme forms of fascist groups” and left-wing groups, but the result had been to strengthen and unite people in the political middle against Russia. He noted that the deeply partisan and divided U.S. Senate had voted 98 to two to renew sanctions against Russia, calling the vote clear evidence that Moscow’s campaign was not working. xDear @realDonaldTrump: You should read the 37-page Mueller indictment. It doesn't say anything about what you allege below. If it is too much reading, have General McMaster summarize it for you.Also, when are you going to implement the bipartisan congressional sanctions?— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) February 18, 2018 xIf it was the GOAL of Russia to create discord, disruption and chaos within the U.S. then, with all of the Committee Hearings, Investigations and Party hatred, they have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. They are laughing their asses off in Moscow. Get smart America!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 18, 2018 [...]

Federal Congressional Races-it begins in CA.Here are seats that the GOP holds-UNTIL WE TAKE THEM

Fri, 23 Feb 2018 00:30:25 +0000

Federal Congressional Races-it begins in CA.Here are seats that the GOP holds-UNTIL WE TAKE THEM. 2018 federal congressional races. 14 Seats in CALIFORNIA with Republican Incumbents. All seats with all democratic and republican candidates. All seats with Rating from Cook Political Report. All seats with a HISTORY. 2018 FEDERAL CONGRESSIONAL RACES — SEATS IN CALIFORNIA WITH REPUBLICAN INCUMBENTS CA-01: Audrey Denney, Jessica Holcombe, Marty Walters, Larry Jordan (4 Dems now declared)  — against R- Doug LaMalfa(I), Gregory Cheadle Cook Political Report Rating — SOLID R. HISTORY: THIS SEAT WAS BLUE FROM 1998 UNTIL 2010. CA-04: Regina Bateson, Roza Calderon, Jessica Morse — against R-Tom McClintock, Steven Castellano Cook Political Report Rating — LIKELY R. HISTORY: THE LAST TIME THIS SEAT WAS BLUE WAS 1990. CA-08: Marge Doyle, Ronald O Donnell, Rita Ramirez — against R- Paul Cook(I), Tim Donnelly Cook Political Report Rating — SOLID R. HISTORY: THE LAST TIME THIS SEAT WAS BLUE WAS 2010. THIS WAS THE SEAT OF NANCY PELOSI. She won with 80% of the vote. CA-10: Mike Barkley, TJ Cox, Michael Eggman,  Josh Harder, Virginia Madueno, Dotty Nygard, Sue Zwahlen (7 Dems now declared)  — against R- Jeff Denham(I) Hillary Clinton won this district by 3 percents points. Cook Political Report Rating —  TOSSUP. HISTORY: THE LAST TIME THIS SEAT WAS BLUE WAS 2010. CA-21: Emilio Huerta — against R- David Valadao (I) Cook Political Report Rating —  LIKELY R. Hillary Clinton won this district by 15 points. CA-22: Andrew Janz, Bobby Bliatout, Ricardo Franco, Mallory Kremer, B. John-Michael Williams, Paul Vargas (6 Dems declared so far)—against R- Devin Nunes (I) Cook Political Report Rating —  SOLID R — look at the Poll below A Public Policy Polling survey conducted in January 2018 on behalf of the campaign of attorney Andrew Janz(D) found Nunes leading a generic Democratic candidate 50-45 HISTORY: THE LAST TIME THIS SEAT WAS BLUE WAS 2000. CA-23: Tatiana Matta, Wendy Reed — against R- Kevin McCarthy (I), Joe Aleman Cook Political Report Rating —  SOLID R HISTORY: THE LAST TIME THIS SEAT WAS BLUE WAS 2010. CA-25: Katie Hill, Bryan Caforio, Jess Phoenix, Daniel Fleming, Scott McVarish, Michael Masterman-Smith, Kelan Farrell-Smith  (7 Dems declared so far)  — against R- Stephen Knight (I) Cook Political Report Rating —  TOSSUP. Hillary Clinton won this district by 6 points. HISTORY: THE LAST TIME THIS SEAT WAS BLUE WAS 1990. CA-39: OPEN SEAT — (Ed Royce (I) is retiring) Mai-Khanh Tran,Jay Chen, Gil Cisneros, Sam Jammal, Phil Janowicz, Ted Rusk, Cybil Steed, Andy Thorburn(8 Dems declared so far) — against R- Bob Huff, Young Kim, Shawn Nelson, Andrew Sarega, Steve Vargas (5 Rs declared so far) Cook Political Report Rating —  LEAN D. Hillary Clinton won this district by 9 points. HISTORY: THE LAST TIME THIS SEAT WAS BLUE 2010. CA-42: Julia Peacock, Norman Quintero — against R- Ken Calvert (I) Cook Political Report Rating —  SOLID R HISTORY: THE LAST TIME THIS SEAT WAS BLUE WAS 2000. CA-45: Brian Forde, Kia Hamadanchy, Dave Min, Katie Porter, Greg Ramsay, Eric Rywalski, Ron Varasteh (7 Dems declared so far) — against R- Mimi Walters(I) Cook Political Report Rating —  LEAN R. CA-48: Hans Keirstead, Michael Kotick, Laura Oatman, Rachel Payne, Boyd Roberts, Harley Rouda, Omar Siddiqui, Tony Zarkades — against R- Dana Rohrabache[...]

Must Watch - The Epidemic Sweeping America: Nonsensical Rifle Addiction

Sun, 18 Feb 2018 17:45:36 +0000

The video below is a satiric look at America’s addiction to guns. It’s from the Netherlands (Hat tip to Vox for pointing it out.) The laugh track is jarring, the black humor unnerving — but it’s far more honest than the “thoughts and prayers” platitudes. Watch it for yourself.

Via VOX:

...There are things in the video that some Americans, particularly supporters of gun rights, will surely disagree with or even find offensive.

But that’s kind of the point. To the rest of the world, this problem is straightforward: If you have a problem with guns, then you should deal with the guns directly. That’s what other nations have done, from Canada to the UK to Australia to Japan — and they see dramatically fewer gun deaths.

The empirical research shows these are related: Where there are fewer guns, there are fewer gun deaths. And gun control measures are truly followed with a reduction in gun deaths, suggesting that they save lives.

That America as a whole doesn’t seem to get this is baffling to much of the rest of the world. So Sunday with Lubach reaches far for an explanation: It must be a disease.

This may be cloaked in black humor, but the message is compelling. Gun addicts in this country are in denial. Every atrocity brings a knee-jerk call for more guns to ‘solve’ the problem. Denial gets ever stronger as the fact that this is a problem only America suffers from fails to register — or that the problem can be dealt with.

Share this, please. There’s only so much time before the next shooting takes place.

Trump tweets a dozen times about Russia since Mueller indictment. Still no plans to impose sanctions

Sun, 18 Feb 2018 14:20:46 +0000

February 18th, 2018 This Kyle Griffin tweet sums up Donald Trump’s reaction since Robert Mueller’s indictment. Basically, it’s been a ‘no collusion’ collage of tweets and still no plans from Trump to impose Russian Sanctions overwhelmingly approved by Congress. Overwhelmingly approved: 98-2 vote in the Senate 419-3 vote in the House xTrump has tweeted a dozen times about Russia since the Mueller indictment.He still has not indicated any plans to punish Russia for the actions laid out in the indictment (like imposing the sanctions Congress passed in 2017).— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) February 18, 2018 Trump has tweeted a dozen times about Russia since the Mueller indictment. He still has not indicated any plans to punish Russia for the actions laid out in the indictment (like imposing the sanctions Congress passed in 2017). Trump hasn’t done a thing since July 27th, 2017 and well before. Trump eventually signed this bill, but since has declined to enforce the sanctions.  Congress sends Russia sanctions to Trump's desk, daring a veto The Senate on Thursday delivered Donald Trump the first big bipartisan rebuke of his presidency, giving final approval to a package of sanctions on Russia, Iran, and North Korea that constrains his bid to defrost relations with Moscow. The Senate voted 98-2 to approve the sanctions bill that cleared the House earlier this week. Trump must now decide whether to sign a measure that allows Congress to block any attempt to ease or end penalties against Vladimir Putin's government and imposes new sanctions in response to a Russian electoral disruption campaign that the president continues to dispute. The House passed the sanctions package on Tuesday in an overwhelming 419-3 vote, and an intra-GOP squabble that threatened to delay its passage was quickly resolved Wednesday night. January 29th, 2018 White House to Congress: Russia sanctions not needed now The Trump administration informed lawmakers Monday that new Russia sanctions called for in a bipartisan bill passed last year are not necessary yet because the measure is already "serving as a deterrent." The announcement came as lawmakers in both parties nudged the administration to implement sanctions legislation that passed overwhelmingly in July — with only five no votes in both the House and Senate. The sanctions bill requires the imposition of penalties by Monday against entities doing "significant" business with Moscow's defense and intelligence sectors, unless Congress is notified that prospective targets are "substantially reducing" that business. February 16th, 2018 13 Russians Indicted as Mueller Reveals Effort to Aid Trump Campaign The Justice Department charged 13 Russians and three companies on Friday in a sprawling indictment that unveiled a sophisticated network designed to subvert the 2016 election and to support the Trump campaign. It stretched from an office in St. Petersburg, Russia, into the social feeds of Americans and ultimately reached the streets of election battleground states. The Russians stole the identities of American citizens, posed as political activists and used the flash points of immigration, religion and race to manipulate a campaign in which those issues were already particularly divisive, prosecutors said. What we’re seeing now is an increasingly desperate “president” trying to change the narrative. It[...]

Steve Bannon tells journalist he fears ‘Women are going to take charge of society’

Sun, 18 Feb 2018 05:54:32 +0000

"Women are gonna take charge of society. And they couldn't juxtapose a better villain than Trump. He is the patriarch," Steve Bannon  Journalist Joshua Green,  who is also the author of “Devil’s Bargain,” reports on conversations he had with former White House Strategist Steve Bannon. Apparently, Bannon has some fears of women taking over with the new #MeToo movement going strong. Business Insider reports: Bannon thinks Oprah Winfrey is powerful and influential. “Oprah might represent an existential threat to Trump's presidency if she decided to campaign for Democrats in 2018." Bannon also believes the time has come for women to dominate. "The anti-patriarchy movement is going to undo ten thousand years of recorded history. You watch. The time has come.”  Green reports that Steve Bannon also told him: "This is a definitional moment in the culture. It'll never be the same going forward." Bannon says the Midterm elections will not be about Republicans and Democrats, but instead “Patriarchy versus Matriarchy”. He could be right there. Looking back at the Women’s March in 2017 and 2018, it’s clear millions and millions of women are against Trump, his administration and the complicit, contemptible and compliant GOP. Many of us will always beleive, Hillary Rodham Clinton—a woman—won the 2016 Presidential Election. More will be revealed via Robert Mueller’s FBI investigation, but one thing is for certain: if Americans do not demand that our elections systems are protected, that every vote is counted, and voting machines will not be hacked, it matters not how many great candidates Democrats have or how many women show up at the polls. If we don’t demand fair elecitions, we stand to lose again. We may need to switch to paper ballots and a strong voting auditing system if hacking cannot be traced or stopped. But given the massive turn out of protestors since Trump’s inauguration, Democrats should easily win majority in the House, and maybe Senate, if we have fair elections. The 2016 election hacking/collusion worked in favor of Trump, Putin and the Republicans—and it will work again in 2018 if we let it. Now is the time to demand our Democratic lawmakers do something to #ProtectOurVote. Otherwise, it also matters not how many bills we try to stop, Republicans will eventually dominate the outcome if they retain the majority in Congress—and they sure as hell aren’t going to get help from them in trying to stop the hacking. Why? It’s All working for them. I digress. Will women take charge of society? To say they will is a pretty strong  statement. Neither women or men are in charge of society. What counts is who has the majority in government, and right now men have it. That has to change and can’t without more women in office. As to whether Midterms will be between patriarchy and matriarchy, per the opinion of Steve Bannon—we’ll see. For many, the Midterms will be determined upon whether we have “clean elections” or “dirty/corrupted/hacked elections” like in 2016.  I do like that Steve Bannon is scared. I like that a LOT. And for what is about to hit him, he is surely plenty scared.  One thing he is bloody right about, is that thanks to the #MeToo movement and brave women and men coming forward, a woman’s place in society and in goverment will never be [...]

A Clown and Guns: part 2

Sun, 18 Feb 2018 03:54:20 +0000>What The Hell Does A Clown Know About Guns?  part 2 So we got out on the road and heard on NPR there was a shooting at an elementary school in CT. Casualty numbers were not certain, but it looked like multiple casualties, students and teachers. I switched stations so I would not be upset driving. Got home and started watching the TV coverage, overhead video, kids crying, interviews with FBI profilers, etc. Then I got drunk. Little kids. Making Christmas decorations. Brutally slaughtered. I imagined the smell, the loud bangs, the screams...what those kids must have felt...then the stories of bravery...the woman principal running straight at the shooter to protect her kids...the little boy who told others to run when the gun brave as any Medal of Honor winner… The only salvageable piece of humanity was the thought that finally, after this horrendous spectacle, maybe something will get done about gun safety. But days went by. Then Wayne LaPierre made his defiant statement about good guys with guns. I became obsessed and read everything I could find about Adam Lanza, his mom, their guns, etc. The excuses “He stole his mom’s guns!” “ It’s nobody’s fault except the shooter!” etc. made me physically ill. The kid was forcibly medicated. He was OCD. So when those two guys delivered the gun safe, the OCD kid just said “Put it wherever you want” way. His mom bought the guns. Please. You know that kid went with her and pointed to the guns he wanted. The seller knew what was going on. There was an uncancelled check for his next gun! Everybody involved in arming and teaching that kid to shoot should have gone to prison. But nothing. There was nobody even to sue. It was like the whole thing was a tornado or an earthquake. I thought I was losing my mind. So I started to read about guns and mass shootings. The first book was Lethal Passage by Erik Larson the guy who wrote Devil In The White City . It gives a good explanation of how the NRA was taken over in the 1970’s when Jimmy Carter (and the Police Unions) wanted a database of guns to help solve crimes faster. It explains the loopholes of selling kits and parts of guns to get around the law and how gun shops in VA would get around background checks and how students could use their VA college ID to buy guns and sell them in private sales without background checks.  Another great book was Columbine by Dave Cullen. The shooters got a girl they knew, who was 18, to go to a gun show and straw purchase a gun for them.  JP Stevens book on Six Amendments and how we should change them to be more precise has a section on the 2nd Amendment.  I read how gun sales were going way down in the early 70’s...everybody was handing down granddad’s hunting rifle instead of buying a new rifle...gun shops were going out of business...then came the AR-15! Sales were slow at first, then the idea that shooting was a fun hobby instead of a deadly responsibility started to take hold. The whole idea of the AR-15 being just like the rifle soldiers at war use, so you are just like a real soldier! infused the marketing. “Consider your man card reissued!” etc. Sales went through the roof, especially after the Iraq War started. I Googled and studied the AR-15 and all the terminology...the NRA guys will say “There is no such thing as an assault ri[...]

A Question of Intelligence in a Tabloid World

Sun, 18 Feb 2018 17:12:31 +0000

Once upon a time this would just be a tabloid headline. Now it's a ‘serious’ talking point coming from one of the two major political parties we allow ourselves, and the vast media propaganda machine that supports them. But then, they are the same party that once put a B Movie actor in the White House, and now is lined up behind a reality tv show host with a long history as a sexual predator and con man. Yeah, the party of ‘values’. Every day Donald Trump degrades America by his very presence in the Oval Office. Every day his administration is busy looting America and destroying our institutions. Every day the Republican Congress is fully complicit with all of this. And the media? A Clinton email story with nothing of substance was the obsession of the media for months. Trump? Multiple scandals with a lot of hard proof — and they seem to come and go with little effect. The double standard is the default. There are multiple reasons, any one of which should be reason for Trump to step down or be removed from office — but the reality is the Republican grip on our government means nothing will happen. Where are the media headlines calling them out? Indictments confirm what we’ve been warned about for months. Russia has been actively disrupting our elections and sowing division in this country — and Trump is AWOL. Russian interference is amplified by the Republicans own messaging to stir up their base and their strategy to skew elections in their favor. We are being warned Russian efforts continue — the 2018 elections are coming and nothing has been done. Russia has been able to weaponize social media against us; Facebook has been a huge platform for them. Facebook tracks what users are interested in; it shows people what it thinks they want to see — not what they need to know. Facebook delivers them up to advertisers, slicing and dicing to serve them up by whatever criteria the buyer wants. They’ve automated it — and there’s no convincing signs that Facebook has found a way to deal with bad actors using Facebook for their own ends. The ‘personalized’ news feed is a problem all by itself. It’s hard to bring America together on anything when everyone is working from a different set of ‘facts’. Internet search engines that use your search history to rank results for you (as well as what advertisers pay them to promote) amplify the problem. We have a White House with multiple security issues. We have an administration with serious competency issues — if not deliberate criminal intent. We have a Congress whose first concern is to cut taxes on the rich. The rule of law is a joke — thousands of hours and millions of dollars spent by Conrgressional Republicans on hearings whose sole purpose was to delegitimize and discredit Democrats. Crickets, when it comes to Trump. How do they get away with it? Here’s another part of the puzzle. Right now I’m watching Sharyl Attkinson giving Devin Nunes air time to explain how the House Intelligence committee found absolutely no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia — but they found evidence the FBI and the DOJ have been engaged in criminal activity for partisan ends. Nunes is lying through his teeth and Attkinson is spoon-feeding him cues to let him catapult the propaganda. This is on Full Measure, a produ[...]

#SC02's Joe Wilson and Russia--A consistent pattern of support

Sat, 17 Feb 2018 17:43:08 +0000

With yesterday’s news that Robert Mueller filed indictments against multiple Russian nationals for attempting to meddle in the 2016 election, it seems like a good time to take a closer look at Joe Wilson’s past comments on alleged Russian interference, Putin and Russia in general.  Flashback to 2004 when Joe Wilson posted this statement on his OWN WEBSITE: Today, Congressman Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) made the following remarks from the House Floor:“Mr. Speaker, leave it to the former head of the KGB to inject a little common sense into the American presidential race - and leave it to the partisan American media to ignore it,” said Congressman Wilson.“During the recent G-8 summit in Georgia, Russian President Vladimir Putin said to a gathering of the news media - and I quote - "I am deeply convinced that President Bush's political adversaries have no moral right to attack him over Iraq." “I did not find this quote in the New York Times or the Washington Post because they refused to report it.  I didn’t find it broadcast on CBS or NBC or ABC News either.  I found this quote in China Daily, straight from Beijing!“You could have found the same quote in some Russian publications as well, including Pravda and the British-based Reuters News Service.  But you could not find that quote in the American media except for one outlet - CBN.“It's a sorry day for American journalism when they find themselves out-balanced by their counterparts in Communist China and Russia.  It's also a new low for partisan media bias.In conclusion, may God bless our troops and we will never forget September 11th,” said Congressman Wilson. So in one statement, Wilson not only publicly praises Putin for injecting common sense into the American election (which seems insane to read as I type this today) but also denigrates the American media for not giving Putin’s quote the appropriate coverage he felt it deserved.  Why is a U.S. Congressman doing either of those things?  I’m not sure how that helps anyone in South Carolina, much less America in general. The next public comment I could find by Wilson on Russia goes back to 2007, when he wrote an opinion column on The Hill called “We Should Respect the People of Russia and Their Electoral Decision”.  While I appreciate that every country should be allowed a chance at true democracy, this piece seems to say that Putin should be allowed to run as Prime Minister after his initial period as President.  I’m not sure why a U.S. Congressman would say “[a]s President, Putin has maintained strong control over the government” like that is a good thing.  Or “the Russian people have the final say in the individuals they wish to lead their government, and as members of the international community, we should respect their decision” when the 2007 Russian elections are widely considered to have been extremely undemocratic by the global community.  Wilson had to have been aware of Putin’s track record as President going back to 2000 by then; why would he still be trying to convince American citizens that Putin is anything more than an autocratic despot at that point in time? This quote concerns me greatly though:  “As a frequent visitor to Russia...I am hopeful for a brighter future for Russia.”  Why was a Congressman from South Carolina freque[...]

Woman Mails 'Thoughts and Prayers' Check to Congressman

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 23:54:49 +0000

Amid endless calls for “thoughts and prayers” instead of legislative action in response to mass shootings, a woman in Michigan decided to take matters into her own hands. After Wednesday's mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, Fern Malila mailed a letter and a check in the amount of "thoughts and prayers" to Representative Jack Bergman, a Republican in Michigan. “Dear Rep. Bergman,” she wrote. “Since you and your colleagues in Congress seem to feel that this is the solution to mass murder, please accept this contribution.” Element removed With the short letter, which she posted on her Facebook page, she sent a check to the congressman with the popular refrain instead of a dollar amount. "I did it because I'm hearing the same arguments after each and every time this happens," Malila explained to Newsweek on Friday. "Each and every news media person says contact your congressman, and Congress doesn't do anything." The Thursday afternoon post quickly went viral, as commenters indicated they were inspired to follow suit. "My check is going in the mail today to Senator Marco Rubio - another NRA puppet!" one Florida resident wrote. "Thanks for the inspiration!" Another wrote, "I love you Fern!!" Criticism of the "thoughts and prayers" refrain has become increasingly common after each mass shooting, as constituents demand answers about why concrete action has, in large part, not been taken. Related: What Gun Laws Passed in 2017? On Thursday, CNN's Wolf Blitzer grilled Florida Governor Rick Scott, a Republican who also offered his thoughts and prayers, about what he planned to do to prevent future mass shootings in his state. When the governor offered a vague "Everything's on the table," Blitzer fired back, “Including gun control?” Scott responded, “Wolf, I’m going to do—it’s a lot of things...It’s looking at, you know, who should have guns. Should individuals with mental illness have guns? What can we do to create more safety in our schools?" Malila, whose post garnered tens of thousands of shares and likes within a day, said she didn't expect the nation-wide attention or the overwhelmingly positive response, but sees it as a sign that Americans are frustrated with congressional standstill. "Maybe it's because people just feel that it's something they can do and hopefully make some little difference," she said.   "For whatever reason, it has struck a cord." [...]

If there hasn't been a mass shooting in your congressional district, just give it time

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 15:20:46 +0000

Members of the House of Representatives stand a very good chance of having the opportunity and obligation to console family members and victims of a mass shooting—or, if they’re Republicans, offer thoughts and prayers—in their own district in any given year:

This year, 28 different congressional districts have experienced a mass shooting. 

That comes on the heels of 2017, when the numbers were equally staggering. That year, more than 180 congressional districts—roughly 40 percent of the House of Representatives—experienced a mass shooting, according to a Daily Beast analysis using data and research compiled by the Gun Violence Archive. The group defines a mass shooting as four or more people shot, not necessarily killed, in an incident.

If they did want to do something about this beyond thoughts and prayers, there’s something that we know would have a good chance of working, because it already worked once before: an assault weapons ban.

Compared with the 10-year period before the ban, the number of gun massacres during the ban period fell by 37 percent, and the number of people dying from gun massacres fell by 43 percent. But after the ban lapsed in 2004, the numbers shot up again — an astonishing 183 percent increase in massacres and a 239 percent increase in massacre deaths.

It might not be a magic wand to completely eliminate mass shootings, but what if we could again get a 37 percent drop in massacres and a 43 percent drop in resulting deaths? That’s a lot of lives, at the current rate.

But nah, Republicans are happy with their thoughts and prayers.

What The Hell Does a Clown Know About Guns?

Sat, 17 Feb 2018 13:46:06 +0000

“You’re just a clown! What do you know about guns? Hahaha!”… Let me start by saying that I grew up with guns. My grandfather was a cowboy...a real live cowboy out in Oregon. He would ride around on horseback, herding cows and sheep and shooting coyotes whenever he would see them. He knew the habits of coyotes so well they used to hire him to ride around in a helicopter and show them where those little devils would hide. I idolized him. When I was 12, I was a Boy Scout and went to Camp Barstow near Columbia, SC. I tied with one other kid with the highest award for marksmanship. We shot bolt action .22 rifles at paper targets, standing, kneeling, and prone. We had a great instructor. He drove home the point that every single bullet was potentially a life, every shot could take a life. We counted our bullets before each practice and recounted the empty shells. Rifles were to always be pointed down range, never any other direction. The bolt action opened when we were not in the process of shooting. We did breathing exercises...10 slow breaths...listen to your heartbeat...after 10 breaths, hold your breath, aim, and very gently squeeze the trigger, trying to time the shot in between heartbeats.  My mom was so proud when I won that award! My dad died 3 months before I was born, so mom always tried to make sure I had some kind of proper male role model to guide me. The shooting instructor was one of the first. Teachers and sports coaches would follow in later years. Anyway, the point is that when I learned to shoot, I had a good instructor and it was life or death serious business. When my granddad died, my mom brought his guns back from Oregon to our house, a .22, a 30.06, and one other I forgot. He had a German Luger, taken from a German officer in WWII, that was given to him, but that pistol went to his best friend who was a rancher. The 30.06 was my granddad’s favorite. I thought about him every time I held it. We’d look around the neighborhood for an old TV somebody was throwing out, we’d take that old TV and carry it out to the dump/sand berm place in Lugoff, SC and we’d shoot out the screen. We didn’t have any money, so 5 to 7 bullets was an entire afternoon’s entertainment. Every shot was the world! I taught my brothers what I had learned at camp. I was the big shot at shooting! Hahaha! Mom also introduced me to a guy named Fletcher Williams. Target shooting was his thing. He had a .22 with a really heavy thick barrel, like a solid pipe, much thicker than the barrels on any gun I’d ever seen. He told me all about how target shooters work...leather gloves...sandbags...the breathing thing...and how you’d shoot 10 bullets through exactly the same hole, etc. He apparently had some kind of World Record or World Championship for shooting. I guess mom wanted me to follow his footsteps, but I had discovered juggling and Steve Martin, so I didn’t take the hint. Guns kind of went away for several years...I went deer hunting a few times...never shot because it was never a clear was probably my 9th or 10th time before I actually shot a deer. I took two shots and killed two deer in back to back hunting sessions. I found I really enjoyed the waiting part better than the actual killi[...]

Thoughts and Prayers and Nothing Else

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 00:34:41 +0000

On a day when Americans collectively celebrate love, on Valentine’s Day, 17 people, mostly children, lost their lives and their loved ones are now without them.  For the survivors of this mass murder in Parkland, Florida, Valentine’s Day will now carry with it the memories of hearts filled with anguish and terror, not simply hearts filled with love.  This is too close to home for me.  It continues to happen too close to home for all of us, and yet there is no end in sight. One day, one of my loved ones will be taken from me and I will receive thoughts and prayers and nothing else.  One day, one of your loved ones will be taken from you and you will receive thoughts and prayers and nothing else.  One day, perhaps I will be slaughtered or you will be slaughtered and our loved ones will receive thoughts and prayers and nothing else.  Or, perhaps you have already lost a loved one to senseless gun violence and received thoughts and prayers and nothing else. We as a nation cannot continue to allow this to be the accepted response to children being slaughtered at school.  I am sick of the cowardice of our elected officials.  I am sick of the cowardice of our collective political discourse.  This is the 40th mass shooting on American soil this year.  It is the 45th day of the year.  There were 427 mass shootings in 2017 and 477 in 2016.  From 2013 until the present, 1,979 mass shootings have occurred on American soil. These mass shootings have claimed 2,576 lives and injured 7,677 people.  That’s 10,253 lives that have been directly affected by mass shootings since 2013 which doesn’t account for the families of the victims who were also traumatized. Since 2013, we have had 1,979 instances of thoughts and prayers and nothing else. This has to end at some point, but when? When will we collectively say enough is enough?  When will we begin protecting the lives of innocent people?  When will we finally put this chapter in American history behind us? I am sick of the hypocrisy of our politicians.  I listened last night to my governor, Rick Scott, say, “The first thing you ever think about is, ‘God, I hope this never happens to my family.’  Then, you think about, you’re furious.  How could this ever happen in this state?  This is a state that is focused on keeping our children safe.  You come to the conclusion that this is just absolutely pure evil.” Evil. Saying that this was an act of evil takes agency away from the young, broken American who planned and executed this heinous mass murder.  Whoever this young man was, he was once a baby, free from sin and anguish; the son of a mother and a father.  Something went wrong in his life, in his mind, that led him to commit this atrocity.  Something went wrong in the lives of all of the broken men who have chosen to act out their most wicked impulses and end the lives of innocent victims. And every time these heinous mass murders take place, our politicians never want to talk about guns, but rather mental health.  Well, where is the urgency to tackle the mental health issues in America today? The Columbine mass murder occurred when I was still in middle school.  We will reach the 20th anniversary of that tr[...]

How have we let the NRA dominate the narrative about guns?

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 01:38:53 +0000

History can teach us a great deal – provided we study it. The same goes for where we are today regarding gun ownership. In researching the history of the National Rifle Association, I discovered that today’s NRA nowhere resembles the NRA when it was granted a charter on Nov. 17, 1871, by the state of New York. Two former Union Army officers and a former reporter for the New York Times founded the organization to improve the marksmanship of northern urbanites. Apparently, the founders believed that the poor marksmanship of Northern soldiers compared to their Southern Confederate counterparts was so inferior that it prolonged the Civil War. Until the 1960s, the NRA favored gun control legislation and helped draft legislation to that end. Their motto at the time was “Firearms Safety Education, Marksmanship Training, Shooting for Recreation.” The Second Amendment wasn’ t a part of their platform. Don’t believe me? Here’s just a few of the legislation the NRA helped to draft in the first half of the 20th Century. The 1920s The National Revolver Association proposed legislation that required the following: A person had to have a permit to carry a concealed weapon If the gun was used in a crime, five additional years of prison time was tacked onto the sentence Non-citizens were banned from buying guns A one-day waiting period was required between the time of purchase and the receipt of a firearm Guns sales records were made available to the police Nine states adopted the bill proposed by this arm of the NRA, which was responsible for handgun training. The 1930s Due to the surge in violent crimes that broke out during Prohibition, President Franklin Roosevelt made gun control part of his New Deal package. The 1934 National Firearms Act and the 1938 Gun Control Act, which were the first federal gun control laws, were drafted with the assistance of the NRA. The laws did the following: Placed heavy taxes and strict regulatory requirements on firearms associated with crimes, including machine guns, silencers, and sawed-off shotguns. Required gun sellers and owners to register with the federal government. Banned felons from owning weapons. In 1939, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously upheld the law. Then NRA President Karl T. Frederick testified before Congress, stating, "I have never believed in the general practice of carrying weapons. I do not believe in the general practice of promiscuous toting of guns. I think it should be sharply restricted and only under licenses."2 For the next three decades, the NRA continued to support gun control legislation, even working to help strengthen laws in the 1960s in response to the deaths of President John F. Kennedy in 1963, and the deaths of his brother Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King in 1968. Following President Kennedy's assassination by Lee Harvey Oswald, who purchased from an NRA mail-order ad an Italian military surplus rifle, an NRA official testified during a congressional hearing that mail-orders sales should be banned. NRA Executive Vice President Franklin Orth said, "We do think that any sane American, who calls himself an American, can object to placing into this bill the [...]

Steve Bannon's been in Mueller's hot seat this week and Congressman says contempt charge possible

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 21:37:10 +0000

Former Donald Trump campaign manager and Trump White House senior advisor Steve Bannon has been very busy meeting with Special Counsel Robert Mueller and the House Intelligence Committee this week. NBC News has the details:

Bannon spent a total of some 20 hours in conversations with the team led by Mueller, who is investigating possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia as well as other issues that have arisen around the probe.

That’s a lot of time interviewing with the Special Counsel. He also finally appeared before the House Intelligence Committee after they were forced to a subpoena

The committee had issued a subpoena in their initial Jan. 16 interview when Bannon would not address issues that arose during his time on the Trump transition team, in the White House and after he left his top position there. The subpoena deadline was postponed three times as House lawyers negotiated with the White House over what Bannon would be willing to discuss without the White House invoking executive privilege to bar the testimony.

Lawmakers indicated Thursday that his continued non-cooperation might require the committee to take the next step and consider beginning the process of holding Bannon in contempt of Congress.

“The only questions he would answer were questions that had been scripted, literally scripted for him by the White House,” Rep. Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the committee, told reporters. “Whenever we sought to probe anything beyond the four corners of the specific wording of the question, he refused to answer. That’s not how executive privilege works.”

Will Congress move forward with charges of contempt of Congress? Stay tuned.

Stop Playing Pattycake on Guns: Start Demanding Resignations!

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 21:06:15 +0000

In the #MeToo movement, we have come to a point where we demand the resignation of those who protect the abusers.  Should we not have an equivalent standard for those who protect the gun lobby and the murders that they allow to continue to happen? 

Don’t just demand action and legislation. The time for that was after Columbine. After Sandy Hook. After Pulse. After Las Vegas. Also, now, sure, but at this late hour it is also time that we start making it clear that we blame those who are protecting the existing status quo as well.  Thus, you should not be demanding Paul Ryan to act—or not only that. You should also be demanding that he, and anyone else obstructing the gun debate, put up, shut up, or get out of the way. That means persistent ongoing demands that they resign in disgrace immediately for the blood that is already on their hands. Every subsequent gun massacre (which we know will happen as night follows day) should prompt a new round of activism to remind the public of their culpability until they either act or are replaced.

It is time to make it clear that it isn’t just lives, but also, with every death, our leaders’ jobs and reputations that are on the line as well—and they are further imperiled and morally tainted by every single gun massacre from this point forward.   Every event will only increase their responsibility—and correspondingly intense demands/campaigns for their resignations or replacement in the next election. Once that social change happens, THEN we will have gun reform in America. 

contempt for/of Congress - Steve Bannon tries to play the WH executive privilege card

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 20:00:10 +0000

Now that he’s been cut loose by the Mercers and the WH, Steve Bannon must be more worried about being folded into the obstruction of justice charges. He certainly doesn’t need more revelations other than the ones already out, especially to a Congressional committee. More interesting are the multiple Mueller interactions, since Bannon should be smart enough to cut his own deal to minimize damage if/when the real #TrumpRussia materials corroborated by the IC emerge. xFormer White House chief strategist Steve Bannon refuses to answer some of the House's Russia panel’s questions— Bloomberg (@business) February 15, 2018 “He refused to answer almost all the questions,” Adam Schiff of California, the panel’s top Democrat, told reporters. “The breadth of that claim of executive privilege is breathtaking and unsupportable and, indeed, at times, it was laughable.” Schiff said that Bannon only agreed to answer 25 yes-or-no questions that had been written by the White House. xJUST IN: Steve Bannon met with Mueller multiple times over the past week, per @HallieJackson— NBC Politics (@NBCPolitics) February 15, 2018 “There’s often a tendency for observers to think that Trump is just out of control,” Posner told me. “This [Vanity Fair interview] gave more of an impression of him being instrumentally rational in getting what he wants. The more you think that Trump is acting pursuant to a clear plan in his mind to protect himself and his family from these investigations, the more you’ll think that it’s obstruction of justice.” “He didn’t just scream at people and leave it at that,” Posner added of Trump. “He did all kinds of things over many months to try to derail the investigation. In a few cases he was deterred by his aides. But in many cases he was able to act. That strengthens the argument that he acted, as the law requires, with improper purpose or corrupt intent. It means he intended to block this investigation because it threatened him politically.” [...]

Parkland, Florida, politician rages: 'We've seen this show before. My colleagues will do nothing.'

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 21:33:22 +0000

Lifetime Parkland, Florida, resident Jared Moskowitz was in the state capital doing his job as a state representative when he found out his kid’s preschool was on lockdown due to the active shooter situation at his alma mater, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. He immediately caught a plane home to be with his constituents. After Moskowitz arrived and he met with the families waiting for details about their children, he said he began to realize what the families of the Pulse victims also knew: “My colleagues will do nothing.” “You know what is going to happen after this? Nothing,” he said. “Politicians need to look these parents in the face and say: We will do nothing.” Campaign Action Moskowitz, a Democrat, lives just blocks away from the campus where Wednesday’s shooting left 17 dead. He graduated from the school in 1999, just like fallen football coach Aaron Feis, who died protecting students. He knows Parkland. His political career began there, as city commissioner. Since landing in the Sunshine State legislature, Moskowitz has historically stood for increased gun restrictions, long before a mass shooting landed in his lap. “We’ve seen this show before,’’ he said Thursday. “Now it’s in my hometown. While my 4-year-old son was learning to write his name in preschool, his teacher’s daughter was killed in the shooting. We live in the most powerful country in the world and we have failed our children.” Florida is also pretty dang gun-friendly. In 2017, Guns & Ammo placed it at No. 12 on its annual “Best States For Gun Owners” list. It made the same list in 2015, receiving this gushing review: For many years, Florida’s gun laws have been the envy of gun owners nationwide. The Sunshine State places no restrictions upon modern firearms, magazines or NFA items, and the state has a healthy competitive shooting network. Meanwhile, Parkland is known for being the “safest city in Florida, and appears to have no gun shops within city limits, though there are several in nearby Coral Springs, so the city’s zoning choices aren’t likely to keep guns out of anyone’s hands. It’s the laws of the “Gunshine State,” as much as federal laws, that Moskowitz says make it impossible to enact real change at the municipal level. [...]

More GOP "Thoughts and Prayers" instead of "REAL" Policies, Ideas and Solutions.

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 18:07:33 +0000

Feb. 15th, 2018. As of yesterday, we have had 18 mass school shootings. The key word is "school". When I was a kid, we did fire drills. The scariest thing we used to do was "Bomb" drills. Our biggest worry was having nuclear bombs dropped while we were in class. That ended in the late 60's. My kids never had Bomb drills. They never had "code red" drills either. The idea we now do "active shooter drills" at school and in work places should be enough to want to stop the threats before they start. How many more "thoughts and prayers" will we have to get, BEFORE we stop the production of weapons and ammunition solely designed for killing others? Im 59 years old. I am a card carrying Member of the NRA. Have been for decades. I was raised with guns. I hunted with them. I target practiced. My whole family did. My parents taught us about gun safety. About keeping guns out of the reach of children. About responsibility. But we didn’t have AR15s and AR17s. We didn’t have MAC 10s and sniper gear. We didn’t have Teflon bullets and other armor piercing shells. We didn’t horde weapons and ammo. We didn’t "worry" about "the Government" or Democrats trying to "take our guns". We knew it would never happen. We had a second Amendment that protected our freedoms. The difference was then we knew it would NEVER happen, ever. The NRA didn’t push the sale of weapons for manufacturers by inciting fear over the "possible" revoking of this freedom. We KNEW it would never happen. Folks had "common sense". We didn’t have guns designed for the sole purpose of killing humans. We didn’t need to brag and show off. We didn’t send pictures to our friends of our mass collections. It wasn’t deemed "cool" to own Army style guns designed to kill other people. Only stupid, mentally ill, sick people went on killing sprees. They were few and far between. The police developed rapid response teams called SWAT to deal with those shootings when they happened. How did WE as citizens respond? Did we ban the sale of weapons designed to "kill people"? Did we tighten laws against mentally ill folks owning or possessing guns? Did we ban some add-ons or types of bullets that were designed to go through steel or Kevlar? Did we limit Hoarders from possessing extreme amounts of weapons and shells? No. We launched PR campaigns do the exact opposite. We were told "the more guns and shells you own, the less likelihood of violence". That by having everyone carry guns openly, the less likelihood of a mass shooting occurring. That by NOT doing background checks and NOT having rules Against mentally challenged people owning Guns, we would somehow create a "safer space" for our kids and families. That if everyone owned guns and carried openly, NO ONE would "have the guts" to commit a mass style shooting. That the answer to mass killings was to buy more guns and bullets and for everyone to openly carry those guns! Who "benefited" from these policies? The NRA. The weapon manufacturers. SWAT. ERs. Mom and Pop Gun shops. Crooks. Mentally warped people. End time Pre[...]

Pro-Life Until Birth: Five Outrageous New Right Wing Attacks on Reproductive Rights

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 17:30:05 +0000

Seventeen children died in yet another school shooting this week. The party that cares only about children before they are born has done nothing to stop more kids from dying. Instead, their focus on forcing women to birth babies they do not want or cannot care for remains steadfast. Here are five new ways anti-choice zealots are working to control women as they ignore the needs of living, breathing children.  Mississippi House Passes Nation’s Strictest Abortion Ban  Mississippi abortion clinics might soon be prohibited from providing abortions past 15 weeks gestation. The state already bans abortions past 20 weeks, with no exceptions for rape or incest. This week, the majority-Republican house voted to ban all abortions beyond 15 weeks. The measure garnered some support from Democrats, apparently ever willing to throw women under the bus.  Crisis Pregnancy Centers Co-Opt Google Maps Women who seek abortion clinics or a pregnancy test on Google maps may be diverted to crisis pregnancy centers (CPC) instead. CPCs offer little or no medical care, but do tell women lies about the physical and psychological perils of abortion. Some even lie to women about the services they offer, in an attempt to stall a woman’s abortion. In so doing, they may cause a woman to wait until her second trimester, when abortions become more expensive and more legally restricted.  Georgetown University students recently tested what happens to women who call CPCs seeking help. They found that these centers are often dishonest about their intentions. Rather than using overtly anti-choice language, they use covert tactics to stall women seeking abortions, and to instill fear about the procedure. Yet they offer few or no resources or support for women undertaking the Herculean task of raising a child born from an unplanned pregnancy.  Arizona Wants Women to Justify Their Abortions In Arizona, the Health and Human Services committee approved Senate Bill 1394 along party lines. The bill would require abortion providers to review a checklist of possible reasons for abortions, allowing the state to gather data on why women seek abortions. While the law does not ban abortions for specific reasons, the process could make women seeking abortions feel threatened—or even create the illusion that a woman can only seek an abortion if the government thinks her reason is good enough.  Tennessee Votes to Force Women to Look at Pre-Abortion Ultrasounds Legislators in the Tennessee House recently approved legislation requiring women to undergo ultrasounds prior to seeking an abortion. The original version of the bill would have banned abortion after a heartbeat can be detected—usually around 6 weeks gestation. In a new version of the law, abortion providers would be required to perform an ultrasound, then share the results with women seeking abortions. Democratic Representative Sherry Jones, in a floor debate, called the measure “emotional abuse.” Trump Administration Budget Endangers Women The Trump Administration recent[...]

(Lack of) gun control in South Carolina with a little help from Joe Wilson

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 11:41:38 +0000

Yesterday in Florida, another mass shooting occurred and as usual, the Republican strategy of “it’s too soon to talk about gun control” was all over social media and the airwaves.  I disagree; the time to talk about gun control should be immediately after a gun is used to kill people because that is the worst-case scenario that comes along with readily available firearms in a large portion of this country.  The bottom line is that yesterday a gun was uncontrolled and something terrible happened that took lives and will affect even more lives for years to come. South Carolina is one of the worst states when it comes to gun violence and coincidentally, it’s one of the most gun-control free states as well.  Let’s look at some stats (2014 data) and an excerpt that says it all: 15.9 firearm-related fatalities for every 100,000 South Carolinians, the ninth most of any state A gun homicide rate of 5.5 per 100,000 residents that is fourth highest in the nation Violent crime rate: 497.7 per 100,000 (7th highest in nation) Poverty rate: 18.0% (11th highest in nation; higher poverty rates generate desperate people who may be more willing to commit gun violence) “Like most states with the most gun violence, South Carolina’s gun laws are not especially restrictive. Weak gun laws may partially explain the gun violence, and they certainly explain the gun trafficking. According to research from the left-leaning think tank Center for American Progress, the low level of gun control has led to South Carolina becoming a major source of illegal weapons.”   But there’s more!  2015 actually showed an INCREASE in gun deaths in South Carolina.  The 841 deaths set a record for “highest toll of gun deaths for the Palmetto State since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention started tracking it”.  “South Carolina's rate of 7.4 firearm homicides per 100,000 residents in 2015 surpassed the national average of 4 and made it the seventh most violent state in the United States”. You would think the Congresspeople of South Carolina would be extremely motivated to make the state safer and less violent….but Joe Wilson is not that sort of Congressman. Joe Wilson is ex-military and a right-wing leaning Republican (at best) and I don’t really expect him to be a proponent of real regulation when it comes to gun control but you would think he would at least pretend that it is an important issue.  Instead he fights the efforts of others who would try to protect the people of this country; after the 2015 Charleston shooting, Obama put forth a “measure to make it more difficult for people to avoid background checks when buying guns” that Wilson says would have no “serious impact in stemming the wave of mass shootings that have become so prevalent across the nation”.  Why not try it anyway since doing nothing does not seem to be working?  Wilson also believes that “criminals will still arm themselves despite gun laws and that arming the public may mak[...]

Harvard's DACA students fear an immigration plan that could punish their parents and families

Wed, 14 Feb 2018 21:04:37 +0000

Campaign Action Blanca Morales, Dalia Larios, Alma Oñate and and Anthony Tucker-Bartley are the American Dream. Their immigrant parents worked two or three jobs as farm workers, landscapers, appliance technicians, and caregivers to give them a better life. Today, the four are students at the prestigious Harvard Medical School, pursuing paths to become doctors. But, their lives are in limbo. They are Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) beneficiaries, and because Donald Trump is holding them hostage unless he gets his white supremacist immigration wish list, both their families and future could be at risk: For Morales, DACA gave her the courage to chase her dream and win a place at the nation's top medical school, as ranked by US News & World Report. She'd graduated college seven years earlier and done a variety of jobs, including as a Mary Kay beauty consultant to make ends meet. Throughout it all, she says, she had the unwavering support and encouragement of her mother, who developed a respiratory illness that Morales feels is linked to her work in the fields, and her father, who once sacrificed a week's worth of groceries to buy her a calculator for calculus class. Life got a little easier under DACA and then again at Harvard Medical School, where university President Drew Faust publicly opposed Trump's decision last year to end DACA and Harvard Law School scholars offered to help undocumented students. Morales and her fellow medical students found themselves in white coats that doubled as suits of armor, and with a megaphone to boot. "That's why I think it's important for us, having this privilege of the white coat and the Ivy League schooling behind us, to talk about these issues," said Oñate, who crossed the border with her family in a desperate attempt to find a doctor who could save her sister's eyesight. Many young immigrants and the U.S.-born kids of immigrants will commonly tell you about the courage of their parents, who left everything familiar—their language, their friends, their homes, their country—for the hope and promise of the United States. And for many of these parents, their definition of success is to see their kids succeed. But, Trump’s wish list is threatening to tear these families apart, because his proposal could put DACA recipients on a path to citizenship but throw their parents and families under the bus. That’s not a deal these young immigrants are willing to make. [...]

Federal congressional races - seats that Hillary Clinton won - with Republican incumbents

Sat, 17 Feb 2018 18:29:49 +0000

2018 federal congressional races. These are the seats that Hillary Clinton won - with Republican incumbents. We have to win back 24 House seats. It starts with the 23 seats that Hillary Clinton won. All seats with all democratic and republican candidates. Most seats with the distance between Hillary Clinton and her opponent. These are seats that where won by a democratic candidate. One time. This could happen again. It must happen again. All what we need is a turnout as big ( bigger ) as by presidential elections. After what we know now, what gerrymandering did, what RUSSIA did and what Trump did, it is time to take these seats back. ALL OF THEM. 2018 FEDERAL CONGRESSIONAL RACES — SEATS THAT HILLARY CLINTON WON WITH REPUBLICAN INCUMBENTS AZ-02: OPEN SEAT — (Republican incumbent McSally runs for Senate)  Ann Kirkpatrick, Billy Kovacs, William Foster, Matt Heinz, Mary Matiella, Barbara Sherry, Bruce Wheeler(7 Dems declared so far) — against R- Lea Marquez Peterson, Casey Welch CA-10: Mike Barkley, TJ Cox, Michael Eggman,  Josh Harder, Virginia Madueno, Dotty Nygard, Sue Zwahlen (7 Dems now declared)  — against R- Jeff Denham(I) Hillary Clinton won this district by 3 percentage points. CA-21: Emilio Huerta — against R- David Valadao(I) CA-25: Katie Hill, Bryan Caforio, Jess Phoenix, Daniel Fleming, Scott McVarish, Michael Masterman-Smith, Kelan Farrell-Smith  (7 Dems declared so far)  — against R- Stephen Knight (I) Hillary Clinton won this district by 6 points. CA-39: OPEN SEAT — (Ed Royce (I) is retiring) Mai-Khanh Tran,Jay Chen, Gil Cisneros, Sam Jammal, Phil Janowicz, Ted Rusk, Cybil Steed, Andy Thorburn(8 Dems declared so far) — against R- Bob Huff, Young Kim, Shawn Nelson, Andrew Sarega, Steve Vargas (5 Rs declared so far) Hillary Clinton won this district by 9 points. CA-45: Brian Forde, Kia Hamadanchy, Dave Min, Katie Porter, Greg Ramsay, Eric Rywalski, Ron Varasteh (7 Dems declared so far) — against R- Mimi Walters(I) CA-48: Hans Keirstead, Michael Kotick, Laura Oatman, Rachel Payne, Boyd Roberts, Harley Rouda, Omar Siddiqui, Tony Zarkades — against R- Dana Rohrabacher (I), Scott Baugh, Stelian Onufrei, Paul Martin (4 Rs declared so far) Hillary Clinton won this district by 2 points. CA-49: OPEN SEAT — (Darrel Issa (I) is retiring) Mike Levin, Douglas Applegate, Paul Kerr, Sara Jacobs, Christina Prejean (5 Dems declared so far) — against R- Rocky Chavez, Kristin Gaspar, Diane Harkey, Brian Maryott, Joshua Schoonover Hillary Clinton won this district by 8 points. CO-06: Jason Crow, David Aarestad, Erik Stanger, Levi Tillemann (4 Dems declared so far) — against R- Mike Coffman(I), Roger Edwards Hillary Clinton won this district by 9 points. FL-26: Ricky Junquera, Steven Machat, Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, Steve Smith (4 Dems declared so far) — against R- Carlos Curbelo(I) Hillary Clinton won this district by 16 points. FL-27: OPEN SEAT[...]

Representation for Working People

Wed, 14 Feb 2018 19:57:07 +0000

I decided at the beginning of this effort that I was going to make supporting the working people of this country a central tenet of my campaign.

No one in this country should be one broken bone or busted car part away from financial ruin. We are one of the wealthiest nations on this earth and it is inexcusable that there are so many people working so hard and barely getting by. We don't need to bring back yesterday. When we represent the working people of this country, we build a better tomorrow.

In Congress, I will fight for skilled workforce development and critical infrastructure like broadband, and I will fight to make sure no community in my district is left behind.

Feel free to learn more about our campaign by checking out our website at 

You can also check us out on Facebook or Twitter.

Donate at:

Over 250 groups to Congress: 'Focus on protecting Dreamers, not remaking the immigration system'

Wed, 14 Feb 2018 19:14:51 +0000

Campaign Action More than 250 immigrant, refugee, faith, labor, education, health, civil liberties, and progressive organizations—including Daily Kos—are calling on Congress to protect Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients and pass the DREAM Act now. Each day that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan delay, another 122 DACA recipients lose their work permits and protection from deportation. But, just as importantly, the letter states that “protecting Dreamers cannot come at the cost of harming other immigrants or immigrant communities, nor can it entail militarizing the border, keeping families apart, or undermining life-saving humanitarian protections.” Meaning, any bipartisan immigration deal cannot include President Stephen Miller’s white supremacist immigration wishlist cutting legal immigration, something only 17 percent of Americans support. Let’s be clear: The White House Framework would take the country backwards in an echo of restrictive policies not seen since the 1920s, while using the fate of Dreamers as bait. Congress must reject these nativist overtures. President Trump and Congressional Republicans created this moral crisis and it is up to them to work in good faith with Democrats to reach a narrow agreement that pairs a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers with smart and sensible border security measures. Members of Congress must oppose efforts to hold Dreamers hostage in exchange for a nativist wish list. Anything that goes beyond the scope of the original agreement from last fall—namely, protecting Dreamers and making additional investments in reasonable border security—must be rejected. Among the issues the organizations urging resistance to are Trump and Miller’s demands for a stupid border wall, ramping up of the deportation force, dismantling family reunification (derided by nativists as “chain migration”), and eliminating the diversity visa system. “The American people expect Congress to lead in the face of this crisis,” the letter continues. “Polls consistently show that the vast majority of Americans support a path to citizenship for Dreamers. We will be watching how members of both parties vote, and expect them to focus on protecting Dreamers, not remaking the immigration system.” [...]

PPP's Latest Poll Give Democrats An 8 Point Lead Over The GOP In Generic House Battle

Wed, 14 Feb 2018 18:50:46 +0000

Some good news today courtesy of Public Policy Polling’s latest poll: 2018 Landscape Democrats have a solid 49-41 lead on the generic Congressional ballot, although that’s down a shade from December when it was 51-40. Beyond their overall lead, they’re also benefiting from an enthusiasm advantage- 65% of Clinton voters say they’re ‘very excited’ to vote in the election this fall, compared to 58% of Trump voters. Paul Ryan’s seen a bump in his approval rating after the passage of tax reform- in December it was 23-58, and now it’s 29-53. There’s been no such boost for Mitch McConnell though- he was at 13-61 then and he’s at 14-59 now. There are two key issues working in the Democrats favor: Tax Reform Public opinion is more split about the tax bill now than it was before the holidays. 38% of voters say they support the plan to 41% who are opposed to it. Voters are still skeptical about how much they will personally benefit from it though. 35% think it will help their family’s finances, 29% think it won’t have much of an impact on their family’s finances, and 28% think it will hurt their family’s finances. That skepticism voters have about how much the tax bill will help them is probably rooted in the fact that 56% think it will mostly benefit the rich to 31% who think it will mostly help the middle class. One interesting finding is that only 17% of voters realize that more than 80% of the benefits from the tax plan will go to the wealthiest 1%. It will be interesting as Democrats message around that in the midterms this year to see how much increasing awareness of that fact will impact feelings about the bill. And: Health Care While the tax issue isn’t hurting Republicans quite as much as it was a couple months ago, the party’s failed effort on health care last year continues to hurt it quite a bit. Voters support the Affordable Care Act 47-35, and only 34% think the best path forward on health care is to repeal it compared to 60% who prefer to keep it in place and make fixes to it as necessary. A majority of voters nationally- 51%- think that the Trump administration is actively taking steps that will hurt people’s health care and raise costs to only 42% who don’t think it’s trying to do that. This is in conjunction with Democrats’ internal polling: A leading Democratic group — Priorities USA — is warning party leaders they could squander a strong political climate in 2018 if they don't start to emphasize pocketbook issues over loose and unfocused critiques of Donald Trump. According to internal polling by the super PAC, President Trump's approval rating climbed to 44 percent in the first week of February, compared to 53 percent who disapprove. That mirrors Trump's improving position in public polls. In November, the same survey found his approval rating at 40 percent, with 54 pe[...]

Annabelle Robertson: #domesticviolence is horrible. Joe Wilson: (pending).

Tue, 13 Feb 2018 22:45:07 +0000

Just a quick post to note that South Carolina 2nd District U.S. House Representative candidate Annabelle Robertson released a statement on the White House’s apparent failure at covering up Rob Porter’s past issues with domestic violence.  This is a personal issue to her and I would expect her to fight fiercely in Congress for the support this issue deserves. Current #SC02 Republican Congressman Joe Wilson was very busy over the past few days looking for some proof that the GOP tax cut is not meant to further transfer more wealth to the 1% at the expense of the poor and elderly,  He has been so busy that he has not commented on Rob Porter, John Kelly, or the Trump administration with regard to their handling of Porter’s failure to attain the proper security clearance for his position and the ensuing attempt to cover it up.  This should not be surprising that Wilson is not making the time to speak out against domestic violence and stand up for the victims since he has a lengthy track record of taking sides against women who have been abused.  I hope every voter in the 2nd District takes a moment to think about what Joe Wilson would say and do if a woman they knew was a victim of domestic violence.  Do you think he would fight to protect her?  Do you think he would even believe her?  Past evidence would suggest the answer to both questions is a resounding no. Unfortunately, Robertson’s Democratic primary opponent Sean Carrigan has yet to release a statement on the matter.  When or if he does, I’ll be happy to post it as well. FULL ANNABELLE ROBERTSON STATEMENT BELOW: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Democratic Congressional Candidate Blasts GOP Cover-up of White House Aid’s Domestic Abuse Columbia, SC—Congressional candidate, attorney and domestic abuse survivor Annabelle Robertson blasted the White House for protecting, promoting and praising senior White House aide Rob Porter, after the FBI found credible evidence that Porter was guilty of domestic violence against two former spouses. “Joe Wilson, who voted against the #ViolenceAgainstWomenAct, and the GOP have once again shown the women of America, and those who love them, that they care nothing about the millions of women being attacked, raped and killed every year by intimate partners,” said Annabelle Robertson. One in every three women and one in every four men in the U.S. are victims of domestic violence, with costs estimated at $8.3 billion per year. In South Carolina, intimate partners murder women at twice the national average, and each year, South Carolina ranks among the top ten states in the nation with the highest number of domestic violence murders. The Violence Against Women Act (#VAWA) was originally passed in 1994 and reauthorized since. It provides billions of dollars in federal funding for the prosecution of domestic abusers[...]

Cartoon: Elephant in a snake

Tue, 13 Feb 2018 21:59:09 +0000  Like me on Facebook     Follow me at @pschickler

The Death Bell is Tolling on Civility in American Politics

Tue, 13 Feb 2018 02:04:53 +0000

In the United States, the death bell is tolling. The political discourse in America is out of control, filled with vitriol, venom and malevolence. However, the problem lies not with our politicians as we so oft proclaim with self-righteous indignation. Our politicians stand upon platforms built of our principles and ideals. Our politicians are just overt symptoms of the underlying malignancy running rampant through our country. Politicians are representatives not only FOR us, but they are also representative OF us. They have become the obnoxious personification of what we, as Americans, truly and obviously value. Thus, we need look no further than the first three words of our Constitution to find for whom the bell tolls. It tolls not for “they” or “them” or “those people”, but for “We the people.” Meaning all of us: you, me and every other American man, woman and child, whether white, black, gay, straight, religious or atheist. 

“We the people” are the problem. No longer do we the people seek tranquility, justice or “a more perfect union” as our Constitution states, but rather we intentionally divide and segregate ourselves and denigrate one another. When we value keeping up with the Kardashians more than keeping criminals out of office; when we value ridicule more than respect; when we raise ourselves up by pushing others down; then we the people are the problem.

When we support incarceration more than education; when we place blame rather than accepting it; when we find fault rather than forgiveness; we are the problem.  When we hide our eyes rather than helping others; when we close our minds rather than opening our hearts; when we look for the golden ticket rather than practice the golden rule, then WE are the problem. 

Given the minimal respect with which we treat ourselves, is it any surprise that our politicians behave in the same manner? If we can’t even discuss an issue without resorting to name calling, does it shock anyone that our politicians cannot solve our country’s problems even when they control both houses of Congress, the White House and the Supreme Court? Politicians are elected by we the people and are but mere reflections of what we value most in our society. We can do better. We must do better, because when, whether through action or apathy, we allow the death of courtesy, civility, and decorum, in not just politics, but every area of our lives, it diminishes us all, and we the people are lesser as a society for it.

DCCC Supporting Big Money Candidate in Dem Primary for KY-06. I Support Amy McGrath

Tue, 13 Feb 2018 02:12:01 +0000

I loved Amy McGrath’s video last fall when she announced she was running for KY-06. Tonight I searched for current information on her since I haven’t seen much in the news recently. Vox did a great interview with her in January. Democrat thinks she can win in “Trump country” Kentucky. But will national Democrats support her? As I read the article, it noted that the DCCC encouraged Lexington Mayor, Jim Gray, to run against her in the Dem primary. He is a rich, white, businessman, who can self-finance his campaign. The financial contrast between Gray and McGrath has become a crucial narrative of her campaign. “Recruiting the same types of big-city, older millionaires is not the future,” McGrath said. “Especially in the Democratic Party, we cannot keep relying on a staple of rich white people, old men, to save the Democratic Party.” And this from the DCCC The DCCC declined to comment on the record, but one official said the organization believes Gray is more well-positioned to win against Barr. He has a track record of — losing — to Rand Paul in 2016 Senate election. McGrath sees the problem with the established Democratic party leaders. McGrath calls Gray a “strong Democrat” and says she aligns with him on most policy issues, but she’s also frustrated by a dynamic she characterizes as her party not learning its lesson from 2016.   “In the rural areas, many, many people feel left out and left behind by our country. They feel that the Democratic Party is being led by New York City and San Francisco, and they don’t see any leadership in the Democratic Party that speaks to them. That’s where the disconnect is,” McGrath said. McGrath is visiting many small, rural counties in KY to show she cares. These are areas that no one visits, especially Dem candidates. She did an interview with a small town, conservative newspaper editor who told her: “The other primary candidates never come down here. They never bother. They just write us off.” Mcgrath said that the article he wrote was better than the one in HuffPost. I get frustrated and angry that there are so many fresh voices running for office in the Democratic party, yet on a national level, the DCCC is not supporting them. Maybe they are supporting them and I am uninformed, or have they not learned anything in the past year? [...]

Are there progressive candidates you think should get more attention and help? Nominate them here!

Tue, 13 Feb 2018 00:21:29 +0000

I run Progressives Everywhere, a newsletter and website devoted to highlighting and fundraising for strong progressive candidates who are running in local, state, and congressional elections. We started late last year, and already we’re starting to raise real money for candidates!

The good news is that the base is energized, and there are more people running for office as Democrats than ever. The upshot is that there are just so many candidates to comb through, and oftentimes, local coverage doesn’t exactly do a great job of giving information about the candidates (another fallout from the death of local journalism). So I’m hoping the Daily Kos community can help me out.

Could you let me know which candidates you really support and think deserve special focus in our newsletter and in our fundraising? We highlight about two candidates a week, and are starting to do interviews with them (I’m a journalist by day), so anyone who might be willing to talk is especially welcome.

I want to make sure that we are endorsing the right candidates, because as we know, not all Democrats are created equal or equally progressive. Any help you can give would be tremendous. Comments are great, as are emails to

Our ActBlue page is here, if you want to take a look and maybe donate to our existing slate!