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Daily Kos Elections



Daily Kos's official elections portal.



Published: Thu, 29 Sep 2016 05:10:27 +0000

Last Build Date: Thu, 29 Sep 2016 05:10:27 +0000

Copyright: Copyright 2005 - Steal what you want
 



Ad Roundup: Democrat slams Scott Garrett as "a shameless bigot"

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 23:21:32 +0000

CA-24: Democrat Salud Carbajal argues that Republican Justin Fareed and Donald Trump both hold outdated and dangerous views about women. House Majority PAC features several clips of Trump saying sexist things and insisting that “there has to be some form of punishment” for women who have abortions, before the narrator says that Fareed also supports Trump’s policies. Fareed seizes on a recent story where Carbajal called the city of Lompoc the "armpit" of Santa Barbara County, with the narrator painting Carbajal as an elitist politician.

• CA-25: Republican Rep. Steve Knight talks about helping veterans get treatment.

• FL-26: The NRCC seizes on a story that caused Democrat Joe Garcia problems during his unsuccessful 2014 re-election campaign. Garcia’s former campaign manager went to prison after being convicted in a 2012 voter fraud scheme soon after Garcia took office. The narrator reminds the audience about the whole affair, and says that there’s new evidence that Garcia knew more about the scandal than was previously believed.

The narrator also notes that Garcia “was caught making lewd and sexist comments about Hillary Clinton,” and this time, the NRCC isn’t taking things out of context. A few weeks ago, Garcia actually said that Hillary Clinton "is under no illusions that you want to have sex with her, or that she's going to seduce you."

The DCCC is out with two spots (here and here) focusing on GOP Rep. Carlos Curbelo. In the first ad, they tie Curbelo to Donald Trump, arguing that they both have similar policies on immigration. In the other commercial, they say that both Trump and Curbelo are alike when it comes to the environment.

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Democrat Denise Juneau's historic run for Montana's congressional seat

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 22:51:40 +0000

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Democrat Denise Juneau is running against the odds for Montana's at-large congressional seat, but she's making headway. A Daily Kos endorsee, Juneau caught the eye of the DCCC this spring when the organization moved her race from an “Emerging District” to its “Red to Blue” program. Her election would be historic, making her the first female American Indian—Mandan Hidatsa, to be exact—to serve in Congress as well as Montana's first openly gay representative. MTV's Jaime Fuller has a great profile of Juneau, writing that in some ways her bid against Rep. Ryan Zinke maps the dynamics of the presidential race itself.

Montana was always going to give its three Electoral College votes to Donald Trump, which means Juneau never had a chance of climbing Hillary Clinton’s coattails. That doesn’t mean this long-shot race hasn’t earned some out-of-state attention. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is intrigued enough by what’s happening in Montana that it’s added the Juneau-Zinke contest to its list of Red to Blue target races. Both candidates have been fundraising like mad. And the race, despite its local flavor, shares enough notes with the presidential election that the national contest’s brutality has started to rub off on its forgotten younger sibling.

Juneau’s victory, like Clinton’s, would be historic. Not only would she be the first American Indian woman to serve in Congress, she’d be the first openly gay person to serve Montana in Congress and the first woman to win a House seat in the state since 1940. But she’s going to have to beat an incumbent who talks a lot like Trump — and has proved similarly resilient — to get there. Zinke, a former Navy SEAL, is one of the few politicians who was willing to be seen speaking onstage at the Republican National Convention, and went so far as to say he’d be willing to be Trump’s vice-president. The GOP seems prepared to defend the seat with some national flair if necessary; Representative Trey Gowdy, the chair of the House Benghazi Committee, already campaigned with Zinke in August.

Zinke was vying to be Trump’s VP—need we say more?

Can you pitch in $6 to help Denise Juneau make history and turn the House blue?

Frustrated you don't live in a swing state? No matter where you live, MoveOn has a great way for you to get involved where it matters most. Check it out!

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Democrat Jay Sidie connects Republican Rep. Kevin Yoder to toxic Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 22:40:23 +0000

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A few weeks ago, Democrat Jay Sidie released a poll that initially showed him losing to Republican Rep. Kevin Yoder 49-37 in Kansas’ 3rd District, but with one very persuasive argument for voters in this suburban Kansas City seat. The poll gave Republican Gov. Sam Brownback a horrific 18-70 approval rating, and the memo argued that, when respondents heard negative information about both candidates, "including attacks tying Sidie to Nancy Pelosi and linking Yoder to Gov. Brownback," Sidie moves into a 44-40 lead. 

For years, Brownback has radically slashed the state budget, and his cuts to education have been particularly brutal. It’s gotten so bad that last month, local Republican primary voters revolted against Brownback’s self-described “experiment” and ousted several of his allies in the state legislature in the GOP primary.

Sidie is now testing out his strategy of tying Yoder to Brownback in his first ad of the race. Sidie tells the audience that “earlier this year, I wasn’t sure if there’d be a school for my daughters to go back to.” He then argues that Yoder was “the architect of Sam Brownback’s radical plan to cut education to pay for corporate tax breaks.” Sidie concludes that, “I’m a small businessman, not a politician. But I’d do anything to protect my daughters’ future.”

Yoder wasted absolutely no time responding with his own spot. The narrator claims that Sidie actually “skipped every school funding vote here in Kansas.” (Sidie’s not an elected official; Yoder is referring to ballot measure elections.) Interestingly, Yoder released his own poll in August giving himself a massive 53-36 lead over his challenger. However, the fact that Yoder immediately had an ad on this very topic ready to go is a good indication that, despite what his poll showed, he believes this issue could cause him problems if he doesn’t deal with it properly.

Let's send this Sam Brownback ally packing. Please chip in $3 to Jay Sidie today.

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Nuclear thoughts from Donald Trump

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 19:49:54 +0000

What Donald Trump had to say about nuclear weapons in the first debate caused experts to set the WTF clock back to 0:00 minutes.

HOLT: On nuclear weapons, President Obama reportedly considered changing the nation's longstanding policy on first use. Do you support the current policy? Mr. Trump, you have two minutes on that.

TRUMP: Well, I have to say that, you know, for what Secretary Clinton was saying about nuclear with Russia, she's very cavalier in the way she talks about various countries. But Russia has been expanding their -- they have a much newer capability than we do. We have not been updating from the new standpoint.

I looked the other night. I was seeing B-52s, they're old enough that your father, your grandfather could be flying them. We are not -- we are not keeping up with other countries. I would like everybody to end it, just get rid of it. But I would certainly not do first strike.

Following “I would like everybody to end it, just get rid of it” with “but I would certainly not do first strike,” has caused a lot of people to wonder if Trump really understands what the term “first use” means. It seems possible that he’s actually thinking of “unilateral disarmament”—that is, destroying all or part of American’s nuclear arsenal without requiring equivalent concessions from other nations—and saying that he won’t go first.

On the other hand, Trump says “first strike” rather than “first use.” And he follows this up with …

TRUMP: I think that once the nuclear alternative happens, it's over. At the same time, we have to be prepared. I can't take anything off the table. 

So maybe Trump doesn’t know the difference between first use and first strike.

Does Donald Trump scare you so much that you want to vote early? Request an absentee ballot by clicking here.

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Donald Trump was sued for racial discrimination in the 1970s and he's lying about it now

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 19:43:50 +0000

Donald Trump was not at his most convincing—even in a pretty unconvincing debate—when he said it was no big deal that he and his father had been sued by the Justice Department for racial discrimination in the 1970s because “I settled that lawsuit with no admission of guilt.” Oh, you didn’t admit guilt, eh? But that’s not the only problem with his answer, which the Washington Post’s fact checker has awarded four Pinocchios. 

Trump made two key points: the “no admission of guilt” thing and that “we, along with many, many other companies throughout the country—it was a federal lawsuit—were sued.” In reality:

… the suit was squarely aimed at the Trumps and their company; it was titled: United States of America v. Fred C. Trump, Donald Trump and Trump Management, Inc.

As far as admission of guilt, the point was to change the Trumps’ behavior and get them to rent to black people, because they really were egregious discriminators:

According to Kranish and Fisher, the Justice Department lawsuit was “one of the most significant racial bias cases of the era.” It was based on evidence gathered by testers for the New York City Human Rights Commission, who documented that black people were told no apartments were available in Trump properties while white testers at the same time were immediately offered apartments. In a sampling of 10 Trump buildings, only 1 to 3.5 percent of the occupants were minorities, making it one of the strongest cases the Justice Department had ever seen for violations of the Fair Housing Act.

Trump fought the suit, tried to counter-sue, and finally settled, only to wind up back in court because he and his father weren’t complying with the terms of the settlement. So “no admission of guilt” boils down to “really damn guilty, but not admitting it.” And “we, along with many, many other companies … were sued” boils down to United States of America v. Fred C. Trump, Donald Trump and Trump Management, Inc. 

The man lies. In this case, he lies about his record of racial discrimination. And that’s particularly relevant when you consider the racist campaign he’s running. Donald Trump has both racist words and racist deeds to his name, and there’s every reason to believe President Trump would back racist laws.

Are you a member of MoveOn? No matter where you live, help defeat Donald Trump and take back the Senate by texting MoveOn members in swing states to knock on doors where they live.

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Donald Trump was willing to release his taxes to gain a casino—but not to become president

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 18:57:17 +0000

The AP points out that Donald Trump hasn't always been so reluctant to release his tax returns. When there's a profit to be had, the man does what he’s gotta do.

Pennsylvania gaming regulators were given at least five years' worth and eight boxes full of Trump's tax documents. Nevada, Michigan, Missouri, Indiana and other state gaming officials also had access to multiple years of his returns. Large banks that lent Trump money over the years have also obtained Trump's returns.

We're being facetious, of course. The difference between that and this is in those cases, Donald Trump had to release his returns to regulators in order to do business in their states, whereas in this case we're merely trying to determine whether a potential leader of the most powerful nation on earth is or is not a charlatan, crook, or a fully-owned subsidiary of some unknown foreign government. It's important stuff, but it’s not casino important.

The other difference is that Donald Trump simply doesn't want to be president as much as he wants to be a casino owner. This is indisputable, at this point—not releasing his tax returns in accordance with modern presidential custom is causing his campaign damage, if for no other reason than it is allowing everyone from Clinton to your uncle to broadcast their own speculations for what terrible things might be hidden inside. Releasing them, however—and the Trump brood has said this specifically, so we are not speculating here—would allow Trump's business competitors and others to tease out important details of his businesses, bets, and losses. That, according to the aforementioned brood, would be worse.

The only conclusion, then, is that Trump wants to protect his own business interests more than he's interested in being an actual president. He'll be fine if he loses. He won't be fine if ... random people across the nation see his taxes. Donald Trump very much wants to lead the country, just as long as it doesn't go against his own personal business needs. How ... patriotic?

Of course, this all presumes the hyper-belligerent lunatic is not an actual, genuine crook, and that there's nothing in his taxes worth seeing other than, as he himself insists, business details he doesn't want to share with other businesses. We're probably suckers for granting him even that much.

Can you pitch in $6 to help make sure Hillary Clinton is the next president of the United States?

Frustrated you don't live in a swing state? No matter where you live, MoveOn has a great way for you to get involved where it matters most. Check it out!

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Koch brothers pour even more money into Nevada Senate race

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 18:49:43 +0000

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The Koch brothers are making getting Harry Reid's Nevada Senate seat one of their top priorities this cycle and have already spent at least $6 million just in this state, in the hopes of exacting revenge on the man who has worked so hard to expose them. They're using all their groups—Concerned Veterans for America, Generation Opportunity, LIBRE Initiative, and Freedom Partners—in a combination of ground and field efforts. They’re providing money for ads, and bodies for canvassing. 

Their Concerned Veterans astroturf organization has already spent $700,000 on TV and a digital ad campaign for Republican Joe Heck and are pumping more in now, though they aren't disclosing the money behind it beyond saying it's part of "a six-figure buy spread across the three states" (Florida and Pennsylvania are the other two). 

Keeping the Senate out of Democrats' hands—even if their nemesis Harry Reid won't be there anymore—is their top priority. The fact that Catherine Cortez Masto is the candidate Harry Reid wants in this seat just makes them that much more committed to defeating her. They want—they need—all their lackeys like Joe Heck in office.

And don't think Joe Heck—who is an enthusiastic supporter of Donald Trump—wouldn't also be a completely loyal Koch voter in the Senate. After all, that's what they're buying this election.

Can you pitch in with $3 to help Catherine Cortez Masto beat Joe Heck, and the Kochs?

Senator Harry Reid is retiring. We must keep this seat in Democratic hands with Catherine Cortez Masto. Click here to volunteer on the ground in Nevada today.

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A month after their polls gave Evan Bayh huge leads, national Dems are sending millions to help him

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 18:31:42 +0000

According to Politico, national Democrats are pouring more money into the Indiana Senate race. A few weeks ago, the DSCC diverted $2.5 million to help Evan Bayh, and Politico reports that they’re planning to spend an additional $2.5 million here. Senate Majority PAC recently launched a $700,000 buy, and they’re now reportedly putting another $1 million into this race. On the GOP side, Senate Leadership Fund is dropping another $1 million to aid Todd Young.

When Bayh entered the race for his old Senate seat two months ago, he started with a massive $9.3 million left over from his previous campaigns, while Young only had just about $1 million in the bank. A month ago, both SMP and the DSCC released polls giving Bayh a 16 and 18-point lead, respectively. Democrats may have hoped that Bayh’s war chest and huge leads would allow them to focus their money on other contests, but that dream is dead now. 

Young and his allies have spent millions tying Bayh to the Obama administration, which is not popular in this conservative state, as well as attacking Bayh for joining a lobbying firm after he left the Senate in 2011, as well as for spending most of his time since then outside Indiana. We have very few polls here, but a recent survey by GOP pollster Public Opinion Strategies on behalf of the political newsletter Howey Politics gave Bayh just a 44-40 lead. The Democrats’ new investments in this contest are also a strong indication that the GOP’s attacks are drawing blood. Daily Kos Elections rates this contest as a Tossup.

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Daily Kos Elections 2016 forecast: Now we have a page for every state!

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 18:27:37 +0000

Daily Kos Elections is pleased to roll out an important new feature for our 2016 election forecast model: a page for each state! We’d been displaying day-to-day trendlines for Hillary Clinton’​s overall odds, as well as the median number of electoral votes for each candidate churned out by our simulations, and you could also see the percentage odds for both sides in each state. But to understand how the various parts and pieces of the model add up to the totals that you see on the front page, you need more—and we’re giving you more. You can now click through and get more information about each moving part within the model (i.e., each state), which we hope will make the model itself feel more transparent. To get there, start with the model’s President 2016 page, and look at the “chance of winning each state” graphic in the left column, which shows all the states ranked in order of most likely to go blue to most likely to go red. (We informally call this list the “totem pole.”) Try clicking on any of the states in the totem pole; when you do, now you’ll go to the individual page for that state. From there, let’​s take a closer look at Florida, which is one of the closest states, poll-wise, and also potentially the pivot point for the entire election. As you can see in the image at the top of this post, one feature you’ll see for each state is the average of all the polls conducted in that state, what we call a set of “smoothed trendlines” (similar to what you see if you visit Huffington Post Pollster). That’s only the first step in the process, though. Our model takes the polling average and uses that to calculate odds for Election Day. For Florida, that 46.5 Trump, 45.4 Clinton margin translates into 53 percent chance of victory for Trump to 47 percent for Clinton. You can see this in the chart below: All of our graphics are interactive, so you can mouse over them to see what either the poll average or the odds of victory were on any given day. And Wednesday, actually, is one of the rare days that Trump has been ahead in the Florida aggregate, thanks to the Florida portion of the new UPI/CVoter 50-state survey that dropped a day earlier. But because the Florida trendline has been neck-and-neck for almost all of September, the forecast model still thinks the odds here are almost evenly split, despite Trump’s small uptick in the polls. (Also, Clinton’s odds improved in several other states, especially North Carolina, so because of the way the model correlates state behavior, her odds in Florida improved fractionally overnight even though her aggregate poll numbers worsened slightly.) Finally, you can see the data that actually goes into each state’​s polling aggregate. At the bottom of each page, you’​ll see the most recent set of polls that the ever-assiduous Steve Singiser has entered into our database: The data includes not just the two-way numbers between Clinton and Trump, but also the field dates and the sample size (and whether the poll tested likely or registered voters). This is important perspective, because human nature is to remember either the best- or worst-seeming polls, the one that best confirm our hopes or fears … ​so the trick in aggregating is to include truly all the polls, including the ones with completely mundane, middling results and the ones from little-known pollsters that might not have been blasted out prominently on Twitter. Unfortunately, what I can’t tell you is that hitting “refresh” over and over will cause the new post-debate polls to come in any faster. While the outcome of Monday’s hilariously lopsided debate already seems clear (thanks to snap polls and prediction markets), it’ll take a number of days for the non-snap pollsters to make their calls, sort their data, and post their relea[...]



Marco Rubio never met a tragedy he wouldn't exploit

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 18:15:01 +0000

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Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) is at it again, exploiting a tragedy for his own political advancement. First, it was the mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando. Standing outside the scene the following day, Rubio actually talked political strategy with friends, and decided he could justify reentering the race for this Senate seat on the blood spilled there. Now he's trying to exploit the tragic death of Miami Marlins player Jose Fernandez.

Following the death of baseball player Jose Fernandez, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio is calling on the Coast Guard and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to investigate the safety of the Miami Beach jetty into which Fernandez’s boat crashed on Sunday.

The Miami Marlins pitcher, 24, and two of his friends died after the early-morning collision.

Marlins fans and the Miami Cuban community is mourning the loss of Fernandez, a Cuban immigrant who gained citizenship last year. So of course Rubio is going to try to find some way to connect himself to it and use it to raise his own visibility. Could he be more self-serving, more crass? 

Can you pitch in with $3 to help Patrick Murphy oust Rubio once and for all?

Marco Rubio's presidential dreams crashed and burned. Now, let's make sure he also loses the U.S. Senate race. Sign up to get out the vote for Patrick Murphy.

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The next debate is a town hall: Trump's worst nightmare

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 18:10:27 +0000

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When Hillary Clinton kicked off her campaign, the press corps literally chased her "Scooby" van all over the place trying to catch pictures of her. Why? Because she was talking to actual voters, specifically at round tables like the one she did with young DREAM activists within the first several weeks of her campaign.

It was no accident. She thrived in these one-on-one interactions—connecting with real people played to Clinton’s strengths. And so the entire roll out of her candidacy was orchestrated around them.

Trump, by contrast, did YUGE rallies, bragging about crowd size and touting every new poll that came out. He also literally “phoned it in” to friendly shows and outlets like Morning Joe, Fox News, and compromised his standards on occasion to call in to a Sunday program. He specialized in talking at people, not to them.

The next presidential debate on October 9 will be a town hall format, which holds pitfalls for any candidate. But for Trump, talking to anyone who doesn't absolutely adore him and think he's tremendous(!) is Kryptonite.

Trump doesn't like people who don't believe in his tremendousness. It messes with his worldview. How do we know? Just look at his juvenile effort to shame Alicia Machado—the Latina Miss Universe he once disparaged as "Miss Piggy" and "Miss Housekeeper"—after Clinton wiped the floor with him during the debate for demeaning Machado.

Can you pitch in $6 to help make sure Hillary Clinton is the next president of the United States

Frustrated you don't live in a swing state? No matter where you live, MoveOn has a great way for you to get involved where it matters most. Check it out!

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Not only is 'stop and frisk' unconstitutional, it doesn't work, no matter what Trump or Giuliani say

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 17:36:03 +0000

There are almost as many things wrong with Donald Trump’s defense of expanding “stop and frisk” as there are words in this back and forth between Trump and moderator Lester Holt.

HOLT: Your two -- your two minutes expired, but I do want to follow up. Stop-and-frisk was ruled unconstitutional in New York, because it largely singled out black and Hispanic young men.

TRUMP: No, you're wrong. It went before a judge, who was a very against-police judge. It was taken away from her. And our mayor, our new mayor, refused to go forward with the case. They would have won an appeal. If you look at it, throughout the country, there are many places where it's allowed.

HOLT: The argument is that it's a form of racial profiling.

TRUMP: No, the argument is that we have to take the guns away from these people that have them and they are bad people that shouldn't have them.

These are felons. These are people that are bad people that shouldn't be -- when you have 3,000 shootings in Chicago from January 1st, when you have 4,000 people killed in Chicago by guns, from the beginning of the presidency of Barack Obama, his hometown, you have to have stop-and-frisk.

You need more police. You need a better community, you know, relation. You don't have good community relations in Chicago. It's terrible. I have property there. It's terrible what's going on in Chicago.

The problem, of course, is that America doesn’t require felons to wear a scarlet “F” (or at least, pre-Trump America does not). “Stop and frisk” targets people who look suspicious to the police, and the record shows that looking suspicious is more or less synonymous with being black or Latino. 

And then there’s the fact that “stop and frisk” doesn’t work. ...

Want to reach millennial voters in swing states to win this election? No matter where you live, volunteer with NextGen Climate to make phone calls, texts and other ways to help out.

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New polls give vulnerable Iowa GOP House members some good news

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 17:14:14 +0000

Loras College surveys both of Iowa’s competitive congressional races, and they give the GOP good news in both seats. In eastern Iowa’s 1st District, Republican Rep. Rod Blum leads Democrat Monica Vernon 45-38 even as Hillary Clinton takes this seat 42-33. In the Des Moines area 3rd, Republican Rep. David Young leads Democrat Jim Mowrer 46-36, while Clinton has a 42-38 edge here. This poll was conducted at the same time that Loras’ statewide survey found Clinton and Donald Trump deadlocked 38-38, but these polls were done separately. (The statewide poll had a sample size of 491, while each House survey had more than 300 respondents.)

As we’ve noted in the past, Loras has produced some strange results since they opened their polling operation in 2014. However, neither House poll looks unreasonable. One month ago, Blum released a survey from the bizarrely named "the polling company, inc./WomanTrend,” which is run by Trump’s campaign manager Kellyanne Conway, giving him a similar 50-43 lead in the 1st. Vernon and her allies notably have yet to respond with contradictory numbers. Obama carried this seat 56-42 and Blum only narrowly won during the 2014 GOP wave, but this Loras poll also indicates that Blum is hardly as doomed as he originally looked.

The news is even worse in the 3rd. Over the last two months, two GOP polls and one other independent survey all gave Young a double-digit lead, and Democrats also have yet to respond with better numbers. Both parties are continuing to air ads in both Iowa seats, and the 1st may just end up being too blue for Blum, especially if Clinton’s poll numbers improve in Iowa. However, Democrats don’t have much room for error in the 3rd seat, which Obama carried 51-47, and all the data we have looks good for Young.

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Deborah Ross out-campaigns a lazy Richard Burr, leaving Republicans nothing but desperate attacks

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 17:09:54 +0000

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Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) doesn't seem too interested in running for re-election, and that's allowing Democrat Deborah Ross to surge, making this a real horse race, and panicking Republicans.

To the frustration of national Republicans, Burr is for the most part sticking to the laidback routine he followed during his past two Senate campaigns, waiting until Congress recesses in early October before he starts stumping in earnest. […]

Ross is emerging as a sharp and canny campaigner, energetically traveling the state talking about jobs and needling the Senate intelligence committee chairman for absenteeism.

Burr has done one thing, though, and that's attack Ross with ads claiming she opposed a sex-offender registry when she was as head of the North Carolina ACLU, a job she left 14 years ago. Ross, however, was prepared for this attack, and has a response ad featuring former state Sen. Fountain Odom, who identifies himself as "the sponsor of the law creating the sex-offender registry," and says in the ad that "Deborah Ross helped me," and assisted in making the law stronger. 

Meanwhile, Ross is making real inroads where "a big chunk of the North Carolina electorate also admits not knowing Burr, despite his 12 years in the Senate and a decade before that in the House." That probably has something to do with that "laidback" approach Burr has been taking toward his state.

This is one that can definitely flip. Let's to our part help Ross finish with a win.

Can you pitch in with $3 to help Deborah Ross win in North Carolina?

Hillary Clinton needs Deborah Ross in the U.S. Senate. If you live in North Carolina, click here to get out the vote on her campaign.

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Either Eric Trump has a funny definition of courage or Donald is afraid of some weird stuff

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 17:00:08 +0000

Eric Trump has an … interesting definition of courage. Picking up his father’s line of humble-bragging about Donald nobly having refrained from making an irrelevant attack on Hillary Clinton over her husband’s past infidelity out of respect for Chelsea, Qusay Trump continued:

He continued, “I mean, he really took the high ground where he had the opportunity to go very, very low. And I’m proud of him for doing that. I mean, I’m really proud of him for doing that. And I think people recognize that. I mean, there are a lot of people who came up to me, including many in the media, who said listen, he could’ve just crushed her on that last question. And he would’ve probably hurt a family if he did.

“I don’t know, I think that took a lot of courage in so many regards and I think he really answered that well and took the high ground and kept the high road.”

Courage? It takes courage to steer a quarter inch clear of an old-news attack that’s likely to backfire on you? To say nothing of the idea that repeatedly pointing out that you could have said something, while your surrogates lavish you with praise for not quite having said the thing you could have said—you know the one, wink wink nudge nudge—is a high road.

But I think we should take Qusay as an expert on his father and consider that it really did take courage for Donald to refrain from spelling it all the way out. What does that say about him? He’s so weak it actually scares him not to lash out with a low blow? He thinks almost doing the right thing is frightening? If we take this use of the word courage seriously, it’s a disturbing new angle on a psyche that was already disturbing enough.

Please give even just $1 to help Hillary Clinton beat this guy.

Want to reach millennial voters in swing states to win this election? No matter where you live, volunteer with NextGen Climate to make phone calls, texts and other ways to help out.

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Our amazing and inspiring candidate thinks YOU are amazing and inspiring!

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 16:54:30 +0000

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Ever since we started fundraising for our slate of woman Democratic candidates on the heels of Hillary Clinton’s ass whoopin’ of Donald Trump, you (and me! I contributed too!) have donated nearly $90,000—in a day and a half. 

That number adds to the over $2 million this community has raised for candidates and allied organizations this cycle. TWO MILLION! Amazing! We are all coming together and chipping in to collectively have an impact on our democracy. And while these results mean the world to me, they mean even more to our great candidates fighting the fight. So today, I’m going to share a wonderful handwritten thank you card I received from Christina Hartman, running in Pennsylvania’s 16th Congressional District (just west of Philadelphia). 

Dear Markos, a few weeks ago, on my  birthday, you endorsed my campaign and ignited a fundraising firestorm. As I write this, we have received more than $35,000 from more than 7,000 people—regular, ordinary people. 

What you have built—and shared with us—is nothing short of amazing. But it is also inspiring. As someone who has spent most of her life galvanizing ordinary people around issues in more than 30 countries, it is incredible to be on the receiving end. I have sat at my computer watching $1, $2, and $3 come in from people around the U.S. and I’ve nearly cried. What you have built is not only powerful, it is beautiful. Thank you, with gratitude, Christine.

Of course, I didn’t build this (I only provided the plumbing, you provided everything else), but she is right that what we have here is amazing and inspiring. And her gratitude for what you have done for her is genuine, and shared by all the candidates we endorse. 

If you haven’t done so already, now’s the best time to chip in—to Christina Hartman, and to all the other women on our great slate of amazing Democrats. Let’s get the thermometer to $100,000

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We're no longer debating whether the Iraq War was right, just who supported it

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 16:36:40 +0000

Among so many other things, this election has demonstrated that liberals have brought about one long overdue sea change in public opinion: Finally, we have official confirmation that the 2003 invasion of Iraq has been so completely discredited that it’s no longer even a debatable point that the war was a bad idea in the first place.

And we know this, well and truly, because of the outright lies Donald Trump has proffered in his attempts to disavow his past comments in support of the Iraq War—and because of the spine-popping contortions his water carriers at Fox News are engaged in to give him cover.

For those of us with clear memories of the darkest of the Bush years, it’s surreal to see the very same voices that shouted down opponents of the war and called us traitors now try to rewrite history in favor of those who spoke out against this terribly misbegotten invasion. It’s a remarkable turnaround from a toxic political discourse that once gave us everything from the absurd Freedom Fries phenomenon to the chilling Dixie Chicks boycotts to the president’s own press secretary warning that Americans had better “watch what they say.”

Everyone who took a stand against the invasion when it was politically challenging if not downright scary to do so—from Natalie Maines to Russ Feingold, from Howard Dean to the Raging Grannies—should allow themselves this moment. It’s by no means a moment of triumph, but one of recognition. It’s a terrible tragedy that we had to wage a predictably horrifying war to reach this understanding, but your opposition to it has been completely, and totally, vindicated. May this be a lesson to the future.

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A Democratic poll shows scandal-tarred Arizona Republican Paul Babeu down 7 points in swingy seat

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 16:34:40 +0000

On behalf of the DCCC, Global Strategies Group is out with a poll giving Democrat Tom O'Halleran a 45-38 lead over Republican Paul Babeu in Arizona’s 1st Congressional District. This sample has Hillary Clinton leading 46-43 in this open northern Arizona seat. Romney carried the seat 50-48 and polls consistently showing Donald Trump doing worse in Arizona, so the presidential result is plausible. 2012 Democratic Senate nominee Richard Carmona also won this seat 49-46 while he was losing statewide 49-46, so Clinton could very well take this district even if she doesn’t carry Arizona. An unreleased GSG poll from August also showed O'Halleran leading by 7 points (the actual toplines were not included in the memo). However, the poll says that while Babeu consolidated Republican voters in the ensuing month, he lost ground with independents. This is the first poll we’ve seen here, and we’ll see if Babeu or his allies respond with their own numbers. But interestingly, it doesn’t appear that GOP outside groups have reserved any airtime in this seat. According to our House reservations chart, DCCC and House Majority PAC have reserved a total of almost $3 million here, but the NRCC and Congressional Leadership Fund don’t seem to have booked a dime. At the end of August, O'Halleran held a $472,000 to $116,000 cash-on-hand lead, so it’s even more notable that Team Red seems to be leaving him to fend for himself right now. Early voting, which is very popular in Arizona, begins Oct. 12, so the clock is ticking. It’s very possible that Team Red has just decided that Babeu is not a good investment. As we’ve noted before, Babeu has a long list of scandals next to his name. Most seriously, a home video emerged a few months ago showing Babeu bragging about the abusive "discipline" he dished out to students at a school for at-risk youth he once ran in Massachusetts—after Babeu had long insisted he knew nothing about the mistreatment. The DCCC began airing ads against Babeu on this awful story in early September, while national Republicans have yet to adequately respond. We’ll see if Team Red gets involved here, but with early voting starting soon, they really can’t procrastinate much longer if they actually want to aid Babeu. [...]



Fox News forced to remind its news teams that online polls aren't real

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 16:17:08 +0000

This is not a reminder that professional journalists should ever need:

A Fox News executive sent a memo Tuesday afternoon reminding television producers and the politics team that unscientific online polls "do not meet our editorial standards."

Dana Blanton, the vice president of public-opinion research at Fox News, explained in the memo obtained by Business Insider that "online 'polls' like the one on Drudge, Time, etc. where people can opt-in or self-select … are really just for fun."

It is, however, a reminder that the fine folks on the air at Fox News really did need:

At least three Fox News hosts cited unscientific online polls in the hours after Monday night's presidential debate to suggest Donald Trump emerged as the winner of the political showdown.

But their lapse earned them praise from where it matters (if you’re a Fox personality):

x

This is the 2016 election, folks. The Republican candidate and the Republican network are touting heavily freeped online polls to pump themselves up after a debate loss.

Do you need to register to vote? Deadlines are coming up in several states. Click here to register, and pass it onto your friends and family to make sure they are registered, too.

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Trump aides hope he'll shake things up and practice for next debate. Maybe Roger Ailes can help!

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 15:26:38 +0000

Donald Trump is still flailing around trying to claim he won Monday night’s debate, or would have won if he hadn’t been cheated and done wrong in various ways. But his advisers are crystal clear that he lost, so they are flailing around trying to figure out how to get Trump to prepare for the next debate:

Some of the advisers want to practice getting under his skin, as Mrs. Clinton did, to gauge his response, but they offered no details about doing so. Others wanted practice sessions built around the next debate’s format, a town-hall-style meeting, where Mr. Trump is likely to engage with undecided voters asking him questions and, at times, move from his chair to walk the stage. Mr. Trump has little experience with the format, which can be challenging for people who do not practice managing their body language and movements.

Can you imagine Trump trying to deal with his advisers practicing getting under his skin? Mr. Thin Skin would end up firing everyone on his campaign the moment they succeeded in doing their jobs. 

Several advisers also want to impress upon him the need to stick to a strategy and a plan of battle against a female candidate — the kind of opponent he has less experience facing — rather than spend time polishing a string of disparate zingers that Mrs. Clinton, a skilled debater, was able to easily parry Monday night.

“Don’t be so bluntly misogynist” is another thing it’s going to be hard to train into Trump in the next week and a half. We’re talking about his deepest impulses. You don’t eliminate those in the blink of an eye—which, if his preparation for this last debate is any guide, is all the time they’ll have with him.

Can you chip in $3 to help elect Hillary Clinton?

Millennial voters are key at defeating Donald Trump, and NextGen Climate has a way to reach them in swing states. No matter where you live, click here to volunteer to make calls, texts and find other ways to help out.

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Thrice-married adulterer Trump ready to attack Hillary Clinton over Bill's past infidelities

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 14:54:54 +0000

Donald Trump was very proud of himself for not explicitly attacking Hillary Clinton over her husband’s past infidelities in Monday night’s debate: “When she hit me at the end with the women, I was going to hit her with her husband’s women and I decided I shouldn’t do it because her daughter was in the room.” That was always a veiled way to raise the issue, but it looks like Trump and his team are deciding to go full-on and blatant with that line of attack after all.  Past adulterer Rudy Giuliani thinks past adulterer Trump should definitely go for it. Trump deputy campaign manager David Bossie, of Citizens United fame, is pushing the attack, and: xTrump surrogate Leslie Rutledge, asked about Trump and Machado, says Clinton overlooked "husband's indiscretions." This is happening.— Benjy Sarlin (@BenjySarlin) September 28, 2016 Against them, you have a host of Republican operatives wincing in the knowledge that this is nothing new, it has not worked in the past as an attack on Hillary Clinton—and in this case, it plays into Clinton’s message that Trump is a misogynist creep: If the thrice-married Trump hits Hillary Clinton for her husband's infidelity, he's effectively taking her bait again. "He's walking right into her trap," Packer said. "She's making the case that he bullies, degrades and humiliated women. And this will be Exhibit A." This is Hillary Clinton we’re talking about. It’s not just that she’s been dealing with exactly these attacks for decades. She’ll have practiced how to deal with a Trump-specific version of them. And she’ll have about a dozen easy examples of Trump treating other women in the same way he’s treating her. But even though it won’t work, and even though Clinton will be ready for it, it’s going to be an ugly thing to watch. It’s even uglier when you consider it’s coming from a major party presidential nominee. Can you give $3 to help Hillary Clinton fight this ugliness? Frustrated you don't live in a swing state? No matter where you live, MoveOn has a great way for you to help their on-the-ground efforts to defeat Donald Trump and take back the Senate. Click here to volunteer. [...]



What makes a place special to Donald Trump?

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 14:17:41 +0000

When you think of your favorite places, the cities you’d love to visit again and again, what comes to mind? Do you have friends there? Family you see all too rarely? Maybe there’s a restaurant that serves of the best pizza you ever ate. A museum that has that painting. An energy you’ve never found anywhere else.

Maybe it’s simply a lovely place.

But for Donald Trump, being attached to a city has another connotation. Here’s what he said at Monday night’s debate:

You need a better community, you know, relation. You don't have good community relations in Chicago. It's terrible. I have property there. It's terrible what's going on in Chicago. ...

And when I look at what's going on in Charlotte, a city I love, a city where I have investments, when I look at what's going on throughout various parts of our country, whether it's -- I mean, I can just keep naming them all day long -- we need law and order in our country. [emphasis added]

“I have property there.” “A city where I have investments.” And Trump’s call for “law and order” is attached to that ownership of property.

It sort of says everything you need to know about Donald Trump. And what it says … is kind of sad.


Feeling the need to take a trip? In many states, any registered voter can request an absentee ballot. Check to see if you can get one and vote early this year.

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Crucial battles for state legislatures are underway, and Democrats could pick up several chambers

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 18:41:23 +0000

After taking a beating two years ago, Democrats are feeling pretty good about their chances to make gains in state legislatures nationwide this fall. Indeed, there’s really almost nowhere to go but up: With Republicans dominating legislatures at a level not seen since the Civil War, Democrats pretty much only have room to improve their standing. Both parties are already looking ahead to the 2020 redistricting cycle, but if Democrats can flip some legislatures, they could produce crucial progressive policy gains much sooner. Although widespread Republican gerrymandering sharply hinders Democratic chances in many important states (including Ohio, North Carolina, and Florida), the party is targeting chambers in many other states, as shown on the map above. We’ll take a close look at five of of those states below: Michigan, Colorado, Minnesota, Nevada, and New York. Let’s start with Michigan, where Republicans have completely controlled the state government since the 2010 midterms. They’ve used their majorities to, among other things, pass anti-union “right-to-work" laws, restrict voting rights, and undermine democracy in local governments. On a statewide basis, Democratic candidates frequently win more votes for the state legislature than Republicans do, yet gerrymandering gives the GOP consistent majorities. That helped Republicans win a 63-47 state House majority in 2014. That’s a steep hill to climb, but as recently as 2012, Democrats faced a much smaller 59-51 deficit. And despite the large gap, Team Blue might be able to win back power in the lower chamber this year thanks to presidential-year turnout and GOP Gov. Rick Snyder’s plummeting approval ratings. Republicans are on defense, trying to protect seven seats they hold that Barack Obama also carried. (Democrats only have one seat that Mitt Romney won.) If Democrats can win those seven seats, they’d need just two more to retake the chamber—and finally provide a check against Snyder after six years of damaging one-party rule. Let’s take a look at four more important states where legislative chambers could change hands. [...]



Trump desperately tries to spin away his debate loss

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 13:28:45 +0000

Donald Trump is a bully who was handed a very public loss on Monday night. Naturally, he’s having trouble with that, so he’s making some very public excuses, Zeke Miller reports:

“I was also holding back, “ Trump said, in the familiar wording of a vanquished schoolyard bully. “I didn’t want to do anything to embarrass her.” [...]

But it was at the rally in Melbourne that Trump’s true discontent was apparent. Then in nearly point-by-point fashion off a teleprompter, Trump recounted the debate topics, revised his answers, and tried to offer some of the same falsehoods.

“Does everybody believe me?” Trump asked. “I was against going into Iraq. And it’s so well documented.” (His only public statement from the time of the war’s start — to radio host Howard Stern — was in support of the war.)

Trump also sought a bit of a redo, alternating some of the kinds of lines he could have used against Clinton in the debate with more excuses for why he didn’t perform better. “She’s an insider, fighting only for her donors and insiders,” Trump said.

“The MC was arguing with me, taking up a lot of time,” Trump complained of his inability to make his points.

You lost, Donald. You lost because you don’t know what you’re talking about, because you’re too lazy to study up and know what you’re talking about, because you’re thin-skinned, because your weak points are so predictable that Hillary Clinton was able to get under your skin again and again. And “I was holding back and also here’s what I should have said, yeah, that’s the ticket’ is not exactly convincing anyone that you did anything other than get beaten.

He’s really got nothing but bluster. That bluster is working on a scarily large number of people, but at some point Trump will run out of people eager to put a schoolyard bully in the White House as long as that bully is also racist. And losing very publicly—and to a girl!—on Monday night was not the way to broaden his audience.

Want to reach millennial voters in swing states to win this election? No matter where you live, volunteer with NextGen Climate to make phone calls, texts and other ways to help out.

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Passenger jet shot down over Ukraine was destroyed by Russian missile

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 13:11:14 +0000

Donald Trump has nothing but praise for Vladimir Putin:

"If he says great things about me, I'm going to say great things about him. I've already said he is very much of a leader," Trump said. "The man has very strong control over his country."

Well, Trump can add “great shot” to Putin’s sterling attributes, as an investigation into a Malaysian passenger jet shot down over Ukraine in 2014 has identified Russia as the source of the missile.

 From that and other evidence collected by the Joint Investigation Team (JIT), “it may be concluded MH17 was shot down by a 9M38 missile launched by a Buk, brought in from the territory of the Russian Federation, and that after launch was subsequently returned to the Russian Federation,” Paulissen told a news conference. 

The investigative team includes Dutch police and judicial officials along with teams from Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, and Ukraine. The team prosecutor concludes that there is enough evidence against Russia for a “solid criminal file.”

There were 298 people on board the Boeing 777 when it was blasted out of the sky and crashed into a field in eastern Ukraine.

Donald Trump has repeatedly worked to award Ukraine territory to Russia. Not only did he weaken the RNC platform to make it more Russia-friendly, he has also indicated on numerous occasions that the United States should do nothing to assist Ukraine.

"I think maybe we should do a little following and let the neighbors take a little bit more of an active role in the Ukraine," Trump said.

Well, what do you know. It looks like Ukraine’s neighbors took a very active role in shooting down Flight MH17. Trump should call Putin and send his congratulations.

Frustrated you don't live in a swing state? No matter where you live, MoveOn has a great way for you to help their on-the-ground efforts to defeat Donald Trump and take back the Senate. Click here to volunteer.

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Hillary's numbers among non-college whites go WAY up post-debate (in one focus group)

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 13:00:21 +0000

My operating theory of partisanship is that people’s opinions of the candidates are baked in, and while we may see some movement in the margins, the only question left is who turns out, rather than how they will vote. 

Donald Trump will provide a serious test of my theory. From a Democracy Corps dial-test focus group on debate night:

Clinton produced impressive gains in the vote, squeezing the third party candidates and raising intensity of support with white unmarried women and white working class voters. That alone would be a big night. But just as important, she shifted these voters’ perceptions of her as a person on such key attributes as trustworthiness, having good plans for the economy, jobs, and looking out for the middle class. There was also a huge shift in her overall favorability (+33 points).

The white working class story is almost as impressive. Their lines spiked all through the debate and their favorability towards Clinton also shifted 33 points. The 2-way vote margin shifted 16 points as the 3rd party vote got squeezed [from 47-38 Clinton, to 57-32]. And at the end of the debate she won her biggest gains with these working class voters on the economy, keeping America strong and having the right approach to taxes. Clinton could not have hoped for better.

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Morning Digest: Deborah Ross fires back hard against GOP claims she opposed sex-offender registry

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 12:01:19 +0000

Leading Off:

NC-Sen: Well, we knew this would happen—it was only a question of when: Republicans have finally started attacking Democrat Deborah Ross in earnest over her advocacy as head of the North Carolina ACLU, a post she left 14 years ago. In particular, new ads from both GOP Sen. Richard Burr and the Senate Leadership Fund slam Ross for a memo she wrote in the mid-1990s raising questions about the state's sex offender registry. Burr's spot features a Marine Corps veteran and rape survivor who says Ross "wants to protect sexual predators over victims." The SLF ad, meanwhile, castigates Ross for putting her "left-wing ideas ahead of our families' safety" and claims Ross "repeatedly objected to making the sex-offender database publicly available."

Those certainly seem like they could be devastating lines of attack, but at least we know that Ross was completely prepared for this day. In a very effective response ad, Ross features former state Sen. Fountain Odom, who identifies himself as "the sponsor of the law creating the sex-offender registry," and adds that "Deborah Ross helped me," praising her for making the law stronger. Odom blasts Burr for "flat-out lying" about Ross's views and slams the senator for voting "against funding the federal sex-offender registry." Ross wisely focuses on the work she did on behalf of the law and avoids repeating the GOP's attacks against her, and Odom's emphatic, sincere delivery, combined with his soft drawl, make him a perfect messenger.

The question, of course, is which message voters hear more—and which they wind up believing. In a recent piece in the National Journal written just before these new ads came out, Andrea Drusch observed that "the sex offender registry hasn't been the weapon that Republicans had hoped," at least not yet, and she suggests that the full-throated support of guys like Fountain is part of the reason why. One unnamed Republican operative claims there's more material on Ross from her time at the ACLU that hasn't been deployed yet, but let's see if this initial salvo gains traction first.

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Daily Kos Elections Live Digest: 9/28

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 10:01:29 +0000

Welcome to the Daily Kos Elections Live Digest, your liveblog of all of today's campaign news. Please note: This is a 2016 Democratic presidential primary-free zone. Wednesday, Sep 28, 2016 · 4:33:29 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer AZ-01: On behalf of the DCCC, Global Strategies Group is out with a poll giving Democrat Tom O'Halleran a 45-38 lead over Republican Paul Babeu in Arizona’s 1st Congressional District. This sample has Hillary Clinton leading 46-43 in this open northern Arizona seat. Romney carried the seat 50-48 and polls consistently showing Donald Trump doing worse in Arizona, so the presidential result is plausible. 2012 Democratic Senate nominee Richard Carmona also won this seat 49-46 while he was losing statewide 49-46, so Clinton could very well take this district even if she doesn’t carry Arizona. An unreleased GSG poll from August also showed O'Halleran leading by 7 points (the actual toplines were not included in the memo). However, the poll says that while Babeu consolidated Republican voters in the ensuing month, he lost ground with independents. This is the first poll we’ve seen here, and we’ll see if Babeu or his allies respond with their own numbers. But interestingly, it doesn’t appear that GOP outside groups have reserved any airtime in this seat. According to our House reservations chart, DCCC and House Majority PAC have reserved a total of almost $3 million here, but the NRCC and Congressional Leadership Fund don’t seem to have booked a dime. At the end of August, O'Halleran held a $472,000 to $116,000 cash-on-hand lead, so it’s even more notable that Team Red seems to be leaving him to fend for himself right now. Early voting, which is very popular in Arizona, begins Oct. 12, so the clock is ticking. It’s very possible that Team Red has just decided that Babeu is not a good investment. As we’ve noted before, Babeu has a long list of scandals next to his name. Most seriously, a home video emerged a few months ago showing Babeu bragging about the abusive "discipline" he dished out to students at a school for at-risk youth he once ran in Massachusetts—after Babeu had long insisted he knew nothing about the mistreatment. The DCCC began airing ads against Babeu on this awful story in early September, while national Republicans have yet to adequately respond. We’ll see if Team Red gets involved here, but with early voting starting soon, they really can’t procrastinate much longer if they actually want to aid Babeu. Wednesday, Sep 28, 2016 · 5:12:40 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer IA-01, IA-03: Loras College surveys both of Iowa’s competitive congressional races, and they give the GOP good news in both seats. In eastern Iowa’s 1st District, Republican Rep. Rod Blum leads Democrat Monica Vernon 45-38 even as Hillary Clinton takes this seat 42-33. In the Des Moines area 3rd, Republican Rep. David Young leads Democrat Jim Mowrer 46-36, while Clinton has a 42-38 edge here. This poll was conducted at the same time that Loras’ statewide survey found Clinton and Donald Trump deadlocked 38-38, but these polls were done separately. (The statewide poll had a sample size of 491, while each House survey had more than 300 respondents.) As we’ve noted in the past, Loras has produced some strange results since[...]



Star of new ad for Missouri Republican made rape jokes on Facebook, called Muslims 'goat humpers'

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 23:47:47 +0000

When you're an inexperienced candidate whose main qualifications are raising huge sums of money from sketchballs and blowing shit up on camera, you're bound to make mistakes. But this screwup is particularly awful, even for Missouri Republican Eric Greitens.

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The image above was shared on the Facebook page of Army veteran Robert Murphy, who stars in Greitens' newest TV ad as the grizzly voiced narrator of a diatribe against Democrat Chris Koster, Greitens' opponent in this November’s race for governor. But Murphy's social media preferences pretty much ensure that now he, rather than Koster, is going to be the story. And that ghastly "rape" meme was far from the only revolting piece of garbage Murphy's posted recently:

Other memes Murphy has re-posted in the past year announce, "No to gun control, Yes to Muslim control," and decry having to fear offending "some 7th Century Islamic goat humpers."

Several other memes falsely allege Obama is a Muslim who wasn't born in the United States, including one showing Obama's face on a "wanted" poster with the words: "Missing from Kenya."

Greitens' campaign responded by carping that "Robert Murphy fought for the media's right to write dumb gotcha stories, and for his own free speech right to say things that aren't politically correct, even things others, including Eric, don't agree with," which is the same thing as saying, "We don't really care that our surrogate trivialized rape." But as Kevin McDermott of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch notes, that kind of attitude didn't exactly help another Missouri Republican—a guy you all know named Todd Akin.

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Ad Roundup: This Karl Rove protege says she's from "the American side of the beltway"

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 22:22:20 +0000

• CA-24: The NRCC argues that Democrat Salud Carbajal voted to raise other people’s taxes while failing to property pay his own.

• CA-26: In her first ad, Democratic Rep. Julia Brownley talks about her work helping military families.

• CA-52: In her first general election ad, Republican Denise Gitsham delivers some very vague statements about how career politics suck and she’s different. Gitsham used to work for Karl Rove, which of course she doesn’t mention in this spot, though she does declare that “San Diego needs a representative from the American side of the beltway.”

• CO-03: In her first ad, Democrat Gail Shwartz tells the audience how she lost her young daughter in a car accident, but she fought to be able to stand up again when she was told her she’d never walk. Schwartz goes on to say that she stood up for schools, and she will stand up to Republican Rep. Scott Tipton to “stop him from selling off our public lands.”

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For Donald Trump, the rest of the world might as well be Narnia

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 21:35:37 +0000

Most of the things that Donald Trump says about domestic policy are nothing more than conservative mythology that’s become hard-baked into the alt-right. So it shouldn’t be surprising that much of what he said about foreign affairs in the first debate had more to do with beliefs circulating around Breitbart than anything that’s happening in the real world. Trump’s version of world events is based on a fantasyland composed of half-heard rumors and deeply-held conspiracy theories. And it makes less sense than talking animals. China There is no diacritic available to adequately evoke the hate-bite Trump puts into the name “China.” But there are plenty of facts to show how he’s wrong when talking about them. For example ... Trump: You look at what China is doing to our country in terms of making our product. They're devaluing their currency, and there's nobody in our government to fight them. And we have a very good fight. And we have a winning fight. Because they're using our country as a piggy bank to rebuild China, and many other countries are doing the same thing. It’s true enough that for a long time, China was criticized for keeping the value of the yuan artificially low. However … Beijing allowed the RMB to appreciate against the dollar for about a decade until 2014, leading the IMF to judge the RMB as fairly valued in May of last year. So there’s no more juice to be had from that rock. Also, with its own economy falling from the lofty heights of double-digit growth, Beijing has actually been selling off dollars to keep the price of the yuan from plummeting. So … no.  Both actions by Beijing have made the U.S. trade deficit lower. And when it comes to the trade deficit, Trump has the number wrong. Lester, we have a trade deficit with all of the countries that we do business with, of almost $800 billion a year. You know what that is? That means, who's negotiating these trade deals? Well, thank goodness it’s not Donald Trump. The actual trade deficit was about $500 billion in 2015 with a similar number expected this year. As usual, Trump was making things much worse than they actually are.  42 days remain until the election. Click here to make sure you're registered to vote. And while you're at it, make sure your family and friends are registered too.  [...]



Deborah Ross fires back hard against GOP claims she opposed North Carolina's sex offender registry

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 21:26:57 +0000

Well, we knew this would happen—it was only a question of when: Republicans have finally started attacking Democratic Senate candidate Deborah Ross in earnest over her advocacy as head of the North Carolina ACLU, a post she left 14 years ago. In particular, new ads from both GOP Sen. Richard Burr and the Senate Leadership Fund slam Ross for a memo she wrote in the mid-1990s raising questions about the state's sex offender registry. Burr's spot features a Marine Corps veteran and rape survivor who says Ross "wants to protect sexual predators over victims." The SLF ad, meanwhile, castigates Ross for putting her "left-wing ideas ahead of our families' safety" and claims Ross "repeatedly objected to making the sex-offender database publicly available." Those certainly seem like they could be devastating lines of attack, but at least we know that Ross was completely prepared for this day. In a very effective response ad, Ross features former state Sen. Fountain Odom, who identifies himself as "the sponsor of the law creating the sex-offender registry," and adds that "Deborah Ross helped me," praising her for making the law stronger. Odom blasts Burr for "flat-out lying" about Ross's views and slams the senator for voting "against funding the federal sex-offender registry." Ross wisely focuses on the work she did on behalf of the law and avoids repeating the GOP’s attacks against her, and Odom's emphatic, sincere delivery, combined with his soft drawl, make him a perfect messenger. The question, of course, is which message voters hear more—and which they wind up believing. In a recent piece in the National Journal written just before these new ads came out, Andrea Drusch observed that "the sex offender registry hasn't been the weapon that Republicans had hoped," at least not yet, and she suggests that the full-throated support of guys like Fountain is part of the reason why. One unnamed Republican operative claims there's more material on Ross from her time at the ACLU that hasn't been deployed yet, but let's see if this initial salvo gains traction first. Polls show a tight race, and the GOP is getting desperate. Please chip in $3 for Deborah Ross today. 41 days remain until the election. Click here to make sure you’re registered to vote. And while you’re at it, make sure your family and friends are registered too. [...]



NRA gears up to drop $1 million-plus attacking Cortez Masto in Nevada

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 20:21:45 +0000

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The National Rifle Association is trying to sway the Nevada Senate race to replace Sen. Harry Reid with the GOP's Joe Heck, via a new ad urging voters to "defend your freedom." The gun lobby clearly doesn’t like the way Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto, a Daily Kos endorsee, has voted on gun issues. Wesley Juhl writes:

The ad draws a connection between Cortez Masto and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., who the ad says voted for gun control and anti-gun judges. The NRA is spending more than $1 million to run the 30-second ad in Reno and Las Vegas from Tuesday to Monday.

The gun rights advocacy group grades lawmakers on their records on gun issues and gives Cortez Masto an “F” rating, an NRA spokeswoman said. The group endorsed Republican U.S. Senate candidate Joe Heck, whom it gave an “A” ranking.

If there’s anyone we don’t want in the Senate, it’s a candidate backed by NRA money. The gun lobby should never dictate our gun policies because with them, it’s always money over safety. If you can stomach it, watch the ad below.

Please contribute $3 to help turn the Senate blue and give common-sense gun laws a chance. 

42 days remain until the election. Click here to make sure you're registered to vote. And while you're at it, make sure your family and friends are registered too.

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Mike Coffman's a birther in the Trump mold, and Morgan Carroll won't let him forget it

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 19:49:12 +0000

In early August, Republican Rep. Mike Coffman ran an attention-grabbing commercial where he pledged to stand up to either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. However, Coffman had no exit strategy and he soon found himself in trouble when he admitted that he hadn’t actually ruled out voting for Trump. Colorado’s 6th District is the type of well-off and well-educated area where Trump smells like electoral rat poison, so we know why Coffman is trying to distance himself from his party’s nominee. But Democrat Morgan Carroll is trying to make sure that he fails. Carroll is out with a new commercial explicitly linking the top of the ticket to the bottom. The narrator argues that Trump wants to defund Planned Parenthood, while saying that Coffman actually did vote to defund it six times. The spot then shows a clip of Trump declaring that immigrants are “bringing drugs” and “they’re rapists,” before the narrator says Coffman told immigrants to “pull out a dictionary.” And no, that Coffman quote was not taken out of context. The ad also assails Coffman for saying nothing when Trump mocked a disabled reporter. But perhaps the most dangerous part of the ad for Coffman comes at the end, when the narrator points out that Trump has questioned Barack Obama’s birthplace before an audio clip plays of Coffman says that the president is “just not an American.” That’s a reference to a 2012 incident where Coffman shoved both feet in his mouth and bit down hard: "I don't know whether Barack Obama was born in the United States of America. I don't know that. But I do know this, that in his heart, he's not an American. He's just not an American." Coffman went on to claim he misspoke and said he apologized, but he added, “I don't believe the president shares my belief in American Exceptionalism.” Some apology. [...]



Supreme Court vacancy watch Day 226: Three days to a government shutdown

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 19:43:31 +0000

It's Tuesday, September 27, and Day 226 since Justice Antonin Scalia died and Mitch McConnell decided no nominee would get any Senate attention: No meetings, no hearings, no votes. It's also Day 195 since Merrick Garland was nominated by President Obama to fill that vacancy. Days until the government runs out of funding: 3.5.  So what's the Senate doing today? Still not funding government, because Republicans continue to refuse to help the people of Flint, Michigan, with clean drinking water. The Senate failed to approve a procedural vote, 45-55, for the continuing resolution. Several Republicans also objected to the bill that would fund the government only until Dec. 9. The largest sticking point, however, appeared to be Republicans’ failure to deal with Flint’s lead crisis, even as they rushed to help flood victims in other states, especially Louisiana. "Would it be asking too much for the speaker of the House, the leader of the Senate, the Republican leader of the Senate, to stand and say, 'We're going to get that thing done, we're going to pass it, we're going to make sure that the bill that passed overwhelmingly in the Senate is going to become law?" asked Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), referring to a separate bill, the Water Resources Development Act, that includes funding for Flint and other lead mitigation efforts. "But they ignore that. They ignore the people of Flint." By the way, 12 Republicans also voted against moving to proceed on this bill, so McConnell's going to have a hard time blaming anything on Democrats alone. But just to prove how much of a monster he is, McConnell is now suggesting that flood-ravaged Louisiana won't get any funding either. "We keep hearing their position is 'no Flint, no floods.' Well that's certainly an option worth discussing," he told reporters. Yep, if he can't get his way, he'll take more hostages. He's a horrible, horrible person. He's Donald Trump if Donald Trump had impulse control and political experience. This man should not be in charge of the Senate. This man should not be in charge of a convenience store. Can you chip in $3 today to help turn the Senate blue? Are you a member of MoveOn? No matter where you live, help defeat Donald Trump and take back the Senate by texting MoveOn members in swing states to knock on doors where they live. [...]



Hillary Clinton revels in her debate win with a point-by-point replay of Monday night

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 19:37:34 +0000

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Hillary Clinton spent much of her Tuesday rally in Raleigh, North Carolina, touching on Donald Trump's greatest hits from Monday night's debate, pounding them home one by one with gusto.

One of her best advances reflected on Trump's assertion that not paying any federal taxes is "smart," seemingly a confirmation that he hasn't paid them. What that means, as Clinton noted, is that he's been traveling the country trashing the state of our military and our veterans care and our schools, but he probably hasn't contributed much, if anything, to improve those services. In fact, the self-proclaimed billionaire has likely helped choke off the very resources necessary to run them.

Here's Clinton:

He actually bragged about gaming the system to get out of paying his fair share of taxes. In fact, I think, there's a strong probability he hasn't paid federal taxes a lot of years and this is a man who goes around calling our military a disaster. Who goes around criticizing every institution from healthcare to education, our vets, but he probably hasn't paid a penny to support our troops or our vets or our schools or our healthcare systems.  

This is a brilliant progression of the narrative that was set up about Trump’s taxes last night during the debate. Trump not only gamed the system, he helped rig it to lose, and now he's calling it a loser at the expense of millions of Americans who depend on those very services. Watch the video below.

If you're fired up, please pitch in $6 to help Hillary Clinton end Donald Trump's short but terrible political career.

42 days remain until the election. Click here to make sure you're registered to vote. And while you're at it, make sure your family and friends are registered too.

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Louisiana Republican John Fleming attacks his Senate opponents for attacking one another

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 19:27:22 +0000

The race to replace retiring Louisiana Sen. David Vitter has been a chaotic affair, and now Republican Rep. John Fleming, a favorite of outsider groups like the Club for Growth, is hoping to take advantage of that chaos. Following a recent spat between Rep. Charles Boustany and state Treasurer John Kennedy, Fleming is out with one of those commercials that attacks his opponents for attacking one another. The spot features a cafeteria full of well-dressed men throwing food at one another, as the narrator explains, “First, Kennedy attacks Boustany as a wasteful-spending liberal. Then Kennedy attacks Boustany on character.” By contrast, the narrator declares that Fleming “is fighting the real enemy: Obama and Clinton” and praises him for standing with Donald Trump on immigration and terrorism. And of course by repeating Boustany and Kennedy’s charges against one another, Fleming is giving them more oxygen. Fleming doesn’t go into much detail about Kennedy’s attacks on Boustany’s character, though a newspaper flashes on screen reading, “Kennedy operatives spread Boustany story.” A few weeks ago, an investigative journalist named Ethan Brown released a book in which he claimed that Boustany was the client of several prostitutes who were later murdered. (Brown does not allege that Boustany had anything to do with their deaths.) Boustany denied everything and no new information has emerged. However, Kennedy took advantage of the situation to spread the story around while denying he had anything to do with spreading it around. Boustany was not amused, and he held a press conference bashing Kennedy as “the only candidate who has spread this false story against me.” Fleming mostly stayed quiet during all this, so he’s hoping that Boustany and Kennedy will just pulverize one another. Senate hopefuls need to win first or second place in November to advance to a likely December runoff (assuming no one takes a majority in the first round) and, aside from a recent Fleming internal, polls consistently show him taking less than 10 percent of the vote. However, there are still plenty of undecideds, and Fleming is relying on his image as a hardcore conservative champion to help him break through. [...]



Pot, meet kettle: Absentee Sen. Marco Rubio attacks Democrat Murphy for being 'ineffective'

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 18:37:34 +0000

The last time we checked in on Little Marco Rubio and his last-minute Senate campaign, he was lying about Democrat Patrick Murphy's support for Zika research and prevention funding. The fact-checkers have dinged Rubio and his allies repeatedly for lying about his opponent, but that's not slowing Rubio down. He's still at it with two new ads released this week that attack Murphy's résumé and congressional career. Never mind that Rubio's claims have been debunked for months now. What about the gall of Rubio accusing Murphy—who is in the minority in the Republican House—of being "ineffective" in Congress? Let's review Marco's performance. He's this session's least effective and most absentee senator, and it isn't just us saying so. Oh, and this, too: The Tampa Bay times reported last week  that Rubio missed 20 of 23 Senate Select Committee on Intelligence meetings between Oct. 2015 and March 2016, the time he was campaigning for president. In February, the newspaper reported that Rubio had missed hundreds of hearings—seven in 10—on four different Senate committees he joined as freshman lawmaker 2010. And how about all the times—at least nine of them—he justified not showing up to work because he found the job so frustrating and he hated it. Oh, and when he said this: "And I'm not going to have an exit strategy premised on the idea that I'm going to pivot back to a Senate race. We have quality candidates in the state on the Republican side who could run and make great senators." And this: "You don't run for president with some eject button in the cockpit that allows you to go on an exit ramp if it doesn't work out." He's actually trying to convince the voters of Florida that he'll be committed to them this time. That he'll be the effective one in the Senate—while he's also refusing to commit to finishing his six-year term if he's re-elected. Because the Senate is nothing more than a launching pad for him. Yep, it takes a fucking lot of gall to have Rubio’s record and run the ads he's running against Murphy. Can you pitch in with $3 to help Patrick Murphy oust Rubio once and for all? Marco Rubio's presidential dreams crashed and burned. Now, let's make sure he also loses the U.S. Senate race. Sign up to get out the vote for Patrick Murphy. [...]



President Obama not impressed by Trump's debate performance, temperament, or preparation

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 18:30:11 +0000

Monday night’s debate did not change President Obama’s opinion of Donald Trump, shockingly enough. In an interview with Ryan Seacrest:

… he blasted Trump for not having the “preparations and the temperament or the core values of inclusion and making everybody, you know, have opportunities that would take our country forward.”

Obama singled out nuclear proliferation and climate change as key concerns about a potential Trump presidency:

"When you hear somebody like Trump say he thinks [climate change] is a plot by the Chinese, that this is a fraud and a hoax, when 99 percent of scientists are saying you've got to do something about it," Obama said, "that worries me."

But whatever issues one might choose to highlight, all that overarching stuff—the preparations and temperament and core values of inclusion—is enough grounds for disqualification when it comes to Trump.

Can you give $2 to help elect someone with the temperament and preparation to be president?

Frustrated you don't live in a swing state? No matter where you live, MoveOn has a great way for you to help their on-the-ground efforts to defeat Donald Trump and take back the Senate. Click here to volunteer.

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If you liked last night's debate, it's time to register to vote!

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 17:19:01 +0000

It's National Voter Registration Day and there's no time like the present to sign yourself up! You want reasons? Here's five of the best, most tremendous reasons ever: 1. Hillary Clinton killed last night at the debate. 2. We don't want a president who thinks climate change is a Chinese hoax. 3. We don't want that 3 AM phone call from the White House going to Fox News anchor Sean Hannity. 4. Our next president shouldn't have built a political career on undermining the legitimacy of our first black president. 5. We don't a president who looks like a loser. Anyway, you get the picture. For all that's right and sane in the world, VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! 42 days remain until the election. Click here to make sure you're registered to vote. And while you're at it, make sure your family and friends are registered too. Need an absentee ballot? Many states have ‘em. Check here for information. WANT TO HELP GET OUT THE VOTE (GOTV)? If you’re a MoveOn member? Check here.  Is Climate Change your issue? Check here. How about some phone banking for the Progressive Change Campaign Committee? Check here. [...]



Clinton's most remarkable debate moment got lost in Trump's suckage—but it shouldn't

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 17:12:28 +0000

Let’s not let this moment get lost: She brought up his abuse of one of his beauty-pageant contestants — noting, as an aside, his fondness for hanging around them — and that he called one contestant “Miss Piggy” and, because she is Latina, “Miss Housekeeper.” When Trump fell for the trap by demanding her name, Clinton supplied it: Alicia Machado, driving home the justifiable impression that Clinton sees her as a human being, unlike her opponent, who sees her as a piece of meat.  As the Clinton campaign gamed out the debates, they clearly wanted a big send-off, something with real impact that would close the debate and hopefully dominate much of the post-debate narrative. They had to assume that either Donald Trump would debate her to a draw, simply by meeting his low-low pre-debate expectations, or that he might’ve even scored some points. So this was all pre-programmed, a set-piece, to try and own the night.  The setup was great, “Miss Piggy”? Brutal. That sly side mention about how Trump loved to hang around beauty contestants? Awesome. He is creepy. Sleazy. Old guy hanging around beauty queens? Ew. And he had to buy his way into that.  And Trump, Instead of keeping his mouth shut, did take the bait, demanding to know who Clinton was talking about. That alone was stupid: has he insulted so many women that he can’t keep them straight anymore? (Of course he has …) And at that moment, boom, Clinton humanizes this person. Gives her a name, a face. She’s Latina? Even better, because “Miss Housekeeper” is now further evidence of his racism. So he’s sexist, racist, and creepy. That’s not a winning combination.  That’s some powerful stuff, even if it ended up overshadowed by the rest of Trump’s brutally bad evening. But again, it showed the difference between someone who has had to work twice as hard as any man to get to where she is today, and the guy who has never helped anyone, sacrificed anything, or had to really work for anything his entire life.  Tuesday, Sep 27, 2016 · 5:29:24 PM +00:00 · kos As people are pointing out in comments, this moment isn’t really lost anymore thanks to Trump’s inability to let anything go. Doubling down on his attacks on Machado has given the story big legs. So yeah, it was overshadowed last night, not so much anymore thanks to Trump being an f’n moron. Good! [...]



Hillary Clinton wins the debate—and the next-day trolling

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 16:28:16 +0000

You can tell who won a debate by which one does the best trolling the next day. Here's Trump:

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Yeah, that would be the 62-27 ass-whomping he got in the CNN poll (and the 51-40 PPP poll, as long was we’re counting).  As opposed to all those freeped internet polls he pays attention to. Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton is taking a victory lap, savoring the moment with some expert trolling.

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Whatever the poor, desperate Trump has to do, she can handle. That includes two more debates, which her unworthy opponent might just not be able to handle.

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Trump defends stiffing thousands of people who built his 'unbelievable company'

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 16:22:52 +0000

Right after Donald Trump refused to deny that he doesn’t pay any federal income taxes, Hillary Clinton turned to his business record, saying that “if your main claim to be president of the United States is your business, then I think we should talk about that.” … I have met a lot of the people who were stiffed by you and your businesses, Donald. I've met dishwashers, painters, architects, glass installers, marble installers, drapery installers, like my dad was, who you refused to pay when they finished the work that you asked them to do. We have an architect in the audience who designed one of your clubhouses at one of your golf courses. It's a beautiful facility. It immediately was put to use. And you wouldn't pay what the man needed to be paid, what he was charging you to do… Here, Trump fell back on his usual excuse: “Maybe he didn't do a good job and I was unsatisfied with his work.” Except, Donald, that somehow this has happened thousands of times. Either you’re falsely claiming you’re not happy with people’s work in order to justify refusing to pay them what you owe, what you promised … or you are the world’s worst manager to keep hiring such unsatisfactory people. Clinton continued: CLINTON: Do the thousands of people that you have stiffed over the course of your business not deserve some kind of apology from someone who has taken their labor, taken the goods that they produced, and then refused to pay them? But of course Trump is never going to apologize. He thinks it’s plain, simple, good business sense to cheat people if you can put money in your own pocket that way. “I take advantage of the laws of the nation because I'm running a company,” he answered. In the same way, he thinks it’s good business sense to spend his answer bragging not just about his “unbelievable company” with “some of the greatest assets anywhere in the world,” but specifically advertising his new hotel in Washington, D.C. Grifters gonna grift, and this is one unapologetic grifter. Please give even $1 to help elect Hillary Clinton. 42 days remain until the election. Click here to make sure you're registered to vote. And while you're at it, make sure your family and friends are registered too. [...]



If last night's debate pumped you up, then today you need to DONATE

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 16:20:29 +0000

It's fair to say that Hillary Clinton had the weight of the world on her shoulders Monday night. Lose the debate—or screw up even a little—and a fascist thug with makeup by Chester Cheetah gets one step closer to the White House, edging the world one step closer to the brink. If you weren’t anxious, you were nuts. Feeling a little better today, right? Not only did Clinton avoid even a single stumble, she completely eviscerated Donald Trump and left him gasping and flopping on the debate stage like an orange roughy. Everyone agreed: Debate watchers and political pundits alike said that Clinton totally killed it—and that Trump utterly biffed it. But as long as this campaign season has felt, we're still a long way from Election Day. There’s a lot of game left to be played, and the race is still very tight: Our poll-based forecast gives Clinton a 64 percent chance at victory, which means that Trump still has a 36 percent shot. That’s still way too high for comfort, which means Clinton still needs our help, and plenty of it. We also need to make sure that if Clinton wins, she has a Democratic Congress behind her, because you know the GOP will be out to thwart her at every opportunity. And we need to make sure that our first woman nominee in history has other good women at her side, because heaven knows we're far from enjoying equal representation we ought to have. So if you’re feeling charged up today by Clinton’s performance last night, please give to these Daily Kos-endorsed women candidates, including Hillary Clinton! [...]



Is Trump's slush fund charitable foundation also an old-fashioned tax dodge?

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 16:08:18 +0000

With weeks of diligent, old-fashioned reporting, David Fahrenthold of the Washington Post has been digging through the books of the Donald J. Trump Foundation. He’s discovered that Trump used his fund to buy himself a signed football helmet, that the foundation paid for at least two (2) giant-sized portraits of Donald Trump, and that Trump took more than $250,000 out of the foundation to use for paying personal debts (including an attempt to welch on a golf bet) and political payoffs. But one of the first things that turned up: The money in Donald Trump’s foundation wasn’t coming from Donald Trump. Trump made no deposits to his foundation after 2008. So why were other people putting money in Trump's cookie jar? Donald Trump’s charitable foundation has received approximately $2.3 million from companies that owed money to Trump or one of his businesses but were instructed to pay Trump’s tax-exempt foundation instead, according to people familiar with the transactions. But why would Trump direct funds that were supposed to go to his company into his foundation instead? Does it mean that Trump really was making donations after all? There’s another possibility. Did Trump, in fact, pay income tax in the cases where he directed his own fees to the Trump Foundation? That’s … a really interesting question. Donald Trump has already had to pay a fine for the $25,000 pay-for-play check he cut for Florida AG Pam Bondi. But Trump hasn’t yet paid a penalty for the $100,000 he spent attacking New York AG Eric Schneiderman, or the violations of self-dealing rules in using foundation funds to pay his own bills. Donald Trump has violated the law multiple times by misusing his foundation. Did he also use the foundation to take in payments without paying taxes? We can’t know until we see his taxes. 42 days remain until the election. Click here to make sure you're registered to vote. And while you're at it, make sure your family and friends are registered too.  [...]



Paul Ryan raves about Trump's debate performance, but gets weaselly on 'Miss Piggy'

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 16:05:40 +0000

House Speaker Paul Ryan once again showed what a total weasel he is in his assessment of Donald Trump’s debate performance. Ryan offered up a glowing review:

“I saw Donald Trump give a spirited voice to those of us who don’t like the status quo, and I see emerging in front of us the potential for what a unified Republican government can get you, which can be the solutions,” Ryan said at a news conference Tuesday. “I think he passed a number of thresholds... and showed that for 90 minutes he could go toe-to-toe with Hillary Clinton.”

But then he fell back on his usual excuse for not condemning the condemnation-worthy things Trump says:

Other Republicans said one of Trump's weaker moments came when Clinton attacked him for calling a former beauty pageant “Miss Piggy” when she later gained weight. Trump doubled-down on those Tuesday morning on Fox News.

Asked about Trump's remarks Tuesday, Ryan said “I’m not going to comment on something I didn’t see.”

Isn’t it convenient how Ryan never seems to see the things Trump says that it would be inconvenient for him to see?

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What was Trump's Iraq War position? Only Sean Hannity knows

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 16:03:33 +0000

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Donald Trump wants to phone a friend when it comes to his position on the Iraq War: Fox News anchor Sean Hannity. Trump apparently had some very intricate, top secret, and extensive conversations with Hannity about his views on the war—if only reporters would check into it! Trump assured viewers of that Monday night from the debate stage:

I then spoke to Sean Hannity, which everyone refuses to call Sean Hannity. I had numerous conversations with Sean Hannity at Fox. 

So there you go. We're about to invade Iraq. American lives are on the line. A foreign entanglement that could (and has!) consumed the nation for years to come is about to ensue. Who do you call? Hannity. Of course. A phone call Hannity actually confirmed following the debate.

Can we just note here that less than half of the viewing audience last night probably even knew who Sean Hannity was? Fox News watchers knew, but they're already voting for Trump. They don't care about his Iraq War position or really anything else, other than he's a nasty man who says nasty things about Hillary, about women, about everything. He's just nasty—and they like it! Anyway, back to Hannity, who holds the key to this election, if only reporters would just get him on the horn, STAT!

Can you chip in $6 to make sure that 3 A.M. phone call doesn’t go to Sean Hannity of Fox?

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Trump achieves new personal best in debate: A lie every 2.65 minutes

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 15:41:34 +0000

Donald Trump went for the liar’s gold in Monday’s debate, and scored. Last week he clocked an impressive rate of lying at one falsehood every 3.25 minutes of his public speeches, interviews, and tweets. He blew that record out of the water on Monday night. According to the Toronto Star's count, he had 34 lies in roughly 90 minutes. Doing the math on that, it's a lie every 2.65 minutes. That's pretty damned impressive, in a really bad, non-presidential kind of way. But still. It helps that he racked up three alone in the discussion of whether or not he supported the invasion of Iraq (he did). There were two on his taxes: "you don't learn that much from tax returns," and "as soon as the audit's finished, it will be released" (he's also not releasing returns that aren't under audit). Two of the lies were about his endorsements, but just one (that they count) was about his role as Birther in Chief. He really went to town on foreign policy and national security, with at least 10 lies ranging from whether or not he's praised Vladimir Putin (he has) to my personal favorite of the night: Clinton has "been fighting ISIS (her) entire adult life."  There were a mess of them in which he denied saying things he's definitely said: that pregnancy is an inconvenience for employers; that climate change is a Chinese hoax; that it would be fine if Japan used nukes against North Korea; and that he would negotiate the national debt down. He lied about the murder rate in New York City, and he lied about stop-and-frisk being ruled unconstitutional. He even lied about Palm Beach, Florida, calling it "the wealthiest community there is in the world." There pretty much isn't anything that he won't lie about, given the opportunity. Of course, Clinton wasn't going to be let off the hook, because both sides. They give her four: denying she praised TPP (she did, but is opposed to it now); saying the only tax returns we've seen of Trump's prove he hasn't paid taxes (some of his returns from the 1970s show he paid taxes back then); exaggerating Iran's nearness to being nuclear-capable when she became Secretary of State; and that her tax plan "would not add a penny to the debt." It would add $200 billion, to Trump's $5 trillion. Because both sides. Can you chip in $3 to help Hillary Clinton keep lying liar Donald Trump out of the White House? 42 days remain until the election. Click here to make sure you're registered to vote. And while you're at it, make sure your family and friends are registered too.  [...]



Clinton calls out not just 'that whole racist birther lie' but Trump's discriminatory past

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 14:55:17 +0000

Donald Trump is running the most racist presidential campaign in recent memory, which is the kind of thing that may work for you in a Republican primary, but eventually catches up with you in a general election. That catching-up process got into gear during Monday night's debate, thanks both to Trump’s flailing answers to moderator Lester Holt’s questions—and to Hillary Clinton bringing it. Trump again tried to claim that Clinton was the original birther and that he, Donald, had done President Obama a favor by successfully demanding his birth certificate. Literally. “I think I did a great job and a great service not only for the country, but even for the president, in getting him to produce his birth certificate.” In response, Clinton called it what it was: “the whole racist birther lie.” But it can't be dismissed that easily. He has really started his political activity based on this racist lie that our first black president was not an American citizen. There was absolutely no evidence for it, but he persisted, he persisted year after year, because some of his supporters, people that he was trying to bring into his fold, apparently believed it or wanted to believe it. Birtherism isn’t some isolated blip of racism in the life of Donald Trump, either, and Clinton wasn’t going to let the audience forget that: But, remember, Donald started his career back in 1973 being sued by the Justice Department for racial discrimination because he would not rent apartments in one of his developments to African-Americans, and he made sure that the people who worked for him understood that was the policy. He actually was sued twice by the Justice Department. Trump’s response on that front was … about as convincing as his birther answers: Now, as far as the lawsuit, yes, when I was very young, I went into my father's company, had a real estate company in Brooklyn and Queens, and we, along with many, many other companies throughout the country -- it was a federal lawsuit -- were sued. We settled the suit with zero -- with no admission of guilt. It was very easy to do. Can you chip in $3 to help elect Hillary Clinton? 42 days remain until the election. Click here to make sure you're registered to vote. And while you're at it, make sure your family and friends are registered too. [...]



Trump's answers on climate and energy ranged from simply wrong to strictly illegal

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 14:32:50 +0000

It didn’t take long to establish the rhythm of last night’s presidential debate. Hillary Clinton would respond to a question, providing details of her proposals, then make sure to dangle just a little … shiny thing out there for Donald Trump. For example, at the end of a question on the economy, Hillary made a slight move into energy.

CLINTON: They've looked at my plans and they've said, okay, if we can do this, and I intend to get it done, we will have 10 million more new jobs, because we will be making investments where we can grow the economy. Take clean energy. Some country is going to be the clean- energy superpower of the 21st century. Donald thinks that climate change is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese. I think it's real.

TRUMP: I did not. I did not. I do not say that.

CLINTON: I think science is real.

TRUMP: I do not say that.

Ahem.

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It wasn’t the last time energy came up. And, believe it or not, it wasn’t even the worst thing that Trump said.

Forty-two days remain until the election. Click here to make sure you're registered to vote. And while you're at it, make sure your family and friends are registered too. 

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