Published: Mon, 24 Oct 2016 23:29:37 +0000
Last Build Date: Mon, 24 Oct 2016 23:29:37 +0000Copyright: Copyright 2005 - Steal what you want
Mon, 24 Oct 2016 19:22:01 +0000
Gov. Scott Walker's administration is going all in on suppressing the 2016 vote—and from all angles. That even includes absentee voting, a favorite of young people attending college, because the state has quietly moved up the deadline for receiving ballots.
Under the law the absentee ballots must be received by 8 p.m. on Election Day, Nov. 8, in order to count. Previously, mail-in absentee ballots had to be postmarked by Election Day and received by a clerk’s office by 4 p.m. on the next Friday. […]
The new deadline for absentee ballots could catch the most stalwart voters by surprise because it wasn’t in effect during the August primary. The law was enacted in March, but it wasn’t set to take effect until September. […]
Reid Magney, spokesman for the state Elections Commission, urged mail-in absentee voters to send in their ballots as soon as possible, and definitely no later than Nov. 1.
“The post office can take up to one week to deliver mail now, and their vote is too valuable to risk to a late mailing because it has to be at the clerk’s office on Election Day,” Magney said.
The USPS is indeed advising voters to allow one full week for delivery. This is a pretty big and apparently unannounced change, and one more way Gov. Scott Walker's Wisconsin is screwing over voters. So far, early voting in the state is going gangbusters, tripling the count at this point in 2012, when early voting restrictions were in place. Those were struck down by a federal court, allowing a longer early vote period. But voters who might be trying to avoid polling hassles by voting absentee—or all those college students who can't make it home to vote—face this new restriction.
So if you or someone you know or love is voting absentee in Wisconsin, make sure they’re aware of this new deadline.
The Election Protection Coalition is mobilizing thousands of volunteers to help Americans navigate the voting process—overcoming difficult roadblocks and dangerous conservative voter suppression tactics. Sign up today to help make sure all Americans have a chance to vote.
Mon, 24 Oct 2016 16:51:16 +0000
It’s not unusual for employers to offer a signing bonus, especially when the demand for workers is high. That’s exactly what the California National Guard did a decade ago.
Short of troops to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan a decade ago, the California National Guard enticed thousands of soldiers with bonuses of $15,000 or more to reenlist and go to war.
More than 10,000 volunteers received such a bonus. They weren’t being deceitful, greedy, or dishonest in any way. They took what was offered, and many of these soldiers went on to serve multiple tours in Afghanistan or Iraq.
But now, the Pentagon has determined that California Guard officials mishandled the bonuses, giving them out too readily in order to keep recruitment and retention numbers high. So the Pentagon is going after the money, but not from the officials and not from the military’s $600 billion budget. They’re taking it from the veterans.
... soldiers say the military is reneging on 10-year-old agreements and imposing severe financial hardship on veterans whose only mistake was to accept bonuses offered when the Pentagon needed to fill the ranks.
The Pentagon isn’t just forcing the soldiers to produce money that was spent long ago, but threatening fines, interest charges, and tax liens for those who don’t cough up the money promptly.
Mon, 24 Oct 2016 13:53:47 +0000
If Kellyanne Conway wasn’t lying and calling for something that will never, ever happen, she might be in real trouble with her boss. Conway claims that Donald Trump would just love to see even more debates: “the country benefits from those type of forum and we’d be willing to do another one if somehow they can squeeze it in.”
Oh, sure. Having lost three debates in humiliating fashion, having watched his poll numbers tank through the weeks of the debates, having had his stamina badly taxed by the task of standing and listening to other people and responding to what they say for 90 whole minutes, no doubt Trump is eager to do it all again.
But Conway didn’t even mean it in a campaign spin kind of way. She just saw it as a way to roll out an attack on Hillary Clinton. See, the desire for another debate is out of deep concern for voters, because “unless you are a money donor, you are not going to have much access to Hillary Clinton out on the stump now. So, to give people a free opportunity to see them side by side and have them really mix it up on the issues to me is the purest form of democracy.” Uh huh. Whereas, who exactly has access to Donald Trump right now? Unless by “out on the stump,” Conway literally means that a debate is equivalent to a stump speech, which … would explain a lot, actually.
This is a stupid attack wrapped in a ridiculous lie. And it’s especially stupid because it reminds us all just how badly Trump lost the debates. All three of them. The only way he got any good reviews at all was by bombing the first debate so historically that he got credit for not tripping over his own shoelaces in subsequent debates. Yeah, sure, he wants another debate.
Mon, 24 Oct 2016 17:48:57 +0000
Democrat Suzanna Shkreli continued to make Michigan’s 8th District a race to watch as she received a key endorsement from none other than President Obama. In a statement released Monday, Obama hailed Shkreli as the kind of candidate “Michigan families can count on” to advocate for them in Washington.
“In Congress, Shkreli will be the kind of leader we need to create a stronger, safer, fairer country for working families,” Obama said. “Suzanna Shkreli is a fighter for Michigan’s working families, and (will) work to level the playing field so that everyone has a shot at the American dream. In Congress, I know that Shkreli will stand up and fight to protect Social Security and Medicare, protect a woman’s right to choose, and end the crushing burden of student loan debt.”
Shkreli said she was “beyond honored” to receive the president’s endorsement.
“In Congress I will take on the tough fights just as I’ve done in the courtroom prosecuting criminals,” she added.
Mon, 24 Oct 2016 20:01:58 +0000
Donald Trump is concerned that people are taking Donald Trump too seriously when he says little things like how he might not accept the outcome of the election, leading to tiny fears that he intends to try to delegitimize the next president, turn his rally circuit into a tent revival of unrest, and generally force us all to keep paying attention to Donald Trump—which is the last thing that anyone wants. He wants us to know that he really, truly means it, but we shouldn't take it so hard.
“Yes, I think too much is being made,” Trump told Bo Thompson on WBT-AM’s “Charlotte’s Morning News.” “But, you know, everybody had me winning the third debate and the second debate handily, easily. And when I made that statement, I made it knowingly, because what’s happening is absolutely ridiculous.”
He threatened democracy "knowingly,” but "too much is being made” about it. I mean, you had your little democracy for a couple of centuries. Really, who’d have thought it would last that long? Oh, and the "everyone” who had him winning the last two debates would be Eric, Bannon, and an army of twitter bots. He’s learned not to ask anyone else. But wait, there’s more. There’s … this.
“You have — first of all, you have a media that as you see has obviously been very unfair, which is, I guess, fine, but it’s not really appropriate,” he said Monday. “But you have a media that’s a very, very — you know, it’s really a pile-on, the likes of which nobody’s ever seen, because I’m going to protect the people, and the media are the exact opposite and they represent the, you know, opposite.”
The media are the exact opposite and they represent the … opposite. Forget the threat to democracy—that sentence alone is horrifying.
Mon, 24 Oct 2016 15:29:05 +0000
President Obama just isn't holding it in anymore. Eight years into having to deal with an increasingly insane Republican party means he has no more fucks to give, and he's going out by setting the record straight about Republicans. Here's some of what he had to say about Republicans and Donald Trump while he was on the stump in Nevada over the weekend.
The president said they had flirted for years with a strain of bare-knuckled partisanship that appealed to people who sought to delegitimize him by falsely asserting that he was born outside the United States and was plotting to take Americans' guns and impose martial law.
Now, he said, they should be held to account for the consequences.
"They just stood by and said nothing, and their base actually began to believe this crazy stuff," Mr. Obama said. "Donald Trump didn't start this. He just did what he always does, which is slap his name on it, take credit for it and promote it."
"Now, when suddenly it's not working," he added, "suddenly that's a deal breaker. Well, what took you so long? What the heck?" He went on to repeat the phrase several times.
This is why when President Obama campaigns for Hillary, it's in states where there's also a critical Senate race. He knows better than anyone how a Republican Congress can hamstring any attempt at progress, and how their rabid adherence to the extremist base and winning at all costs means representing their constituents comes second—or third, because they also have to answer to the Kochs before the country.
If anyone can make that argument, it's Obama. And his message is to take back Congress. In his words: "Do it big—don’t leave any doubt!"
Mon, 24 Oct 2016 12:31:46 +0000
You might have noticed there’s been one thing consistently missing from my writeups about the Daily Kos Elections forecast model: gubernatorial races! Or, maybe you haven’t noticed. After all, there’s a presidential race going on, which always vacuums up most of the attention in leap years; and maybe even more so than usual this year, with a presidential race that is, at best, very weird, and, at worst, poses an existential threat to democracy. While that threat is fading in the rear view mirror, now our focus has turned to taking back the Senate and, remotely but tantalizingly, also the House.
On top of that, there just aren’t a lot of gubernatorial races in a presidential year. Most gubernatorial races … and almost all of the ones in the biggest states … take place in midterm elections. The only one of the ten most populous states that has a gubernatorial election in a presidential year is North Carolina. This year, there are 12 gubernatorial elections. There are the nine that regularly occur in presidential years (Delaware, Indiana, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Utah, Washington, and West Virginia); the two states where gubernatorial terms are only two years (New Hampshire and Vermont); and Oregon, where Kate Brown faces a special election after having taken over after John Kitzhaber’s resignation in 2015.
Don’t overlook the importance of the gubernatorial races, though. For one thing, governors make up a big part of the bench for future presidential elections. In addition, although you don’t get any sort of policy-related bonus for controlling a majority of state houses (unlike the Senate or House, where a majority is for all the marbles), the states are an important laboratory of policy experimentation. And that can have ramifications at the federal level; the still-too-high number of uninsured persons left in America is, in large part, due to the big number of Republican governors who rejected Medicaid expansion in their states.
Along those lines, we have been dutifully compiling data on gubernatorial races all along. And the eagle-eyed among you might have spotted, at the top of the Daily Kos Elections landing page, in the top bar, along with a projected number of electoral votes in the presidential race and a projected number of Senate seats, we have a projected number of Democratic-controlled governor’s seats. Currently, that number stands at 20. There are currently 18 Democratic governors, so that means we’re expecting a net gain of two.
The main reason I haven’t had much to say about the gubernatorial races, though, is a simple one: until last week, two of the important races had simply no data. There were zero polls of those races (Montana and Vermont, neither of which has attracted any attention at the presidential level, so pollsters have had no impetus to go there), and therefore we had no way of modeling them. Happily, we got polls in both of those races last week. We’re still waiting on a North Dakota poll, but no one has treated that race as competitive, so we’re just leaving it as Safe R.
Mon, 24 Oct 2016 19:23:41 +0000
If Democrat Jason Kander doesn’t win the Missouri Senate race, it won’t be because the military veteran didn’t run enough good ads. His latest offering stars retired Army Col. John McCracken Sr., who identifies himself as Kander’s commander in Afghanistan. McCracken tells the audience that, “In the Army, we don’t care if you’re a Democrat or a Republican. We just want to know that you’re going to be there when the going gets tough.”
McCracken continues by saying that in Afghanistan, Kander’s military intelligence work “saved lives, and he always chose the toughest assignments. We need that kind of courage in Washington again.” McCracken then insists that attack ads are trying to make Kander something he’s not, but “he’s a solider. And he’s the kind of change we need in the Senate.” This ad doesn’t mention Republican Sen. Roy Blunt. However, Team Blue has been trying to frame this contest as a battle between a veteran who risked his life in combat and a political insider who has gotten rich in D.C., and ads like this are a key part of that strategy.
Republicans have a pretty simple strategy too. Polls show that Donald Trump is likely, though not certain, to carry the Show Me State, and Republicans want to do everything they can to make sure Kander doesn’t pick up enough Trump votes to win. The conservative Senate Leadership Fund is out with their latest spot, and it once again ties Kander to Hillary Clinton.
Mon, 24 Oct 2016 19:48:29 +0000
Outgoing Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said he is confident that he has laid the groundwork for Democrats to nuke the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees if they win back the Senate in November. […]
"I really do believe that I have set the Senate so when I leave, we're going to be able to get judges done with a majority. It takes only a simple majority anymore. And, it's clear to me that if the Republicans try to filibuster another circuit court judge, but especially a Supreme Court justice, I’ve told 'em how and I’ve done it, not just talking about it. I did it in changing the rules of the Senate. It’ll have to be done again," Reid told TPM in a wide-ranging interview about his time in the Senate and his legacy.
"They mess with the Supreme Court, it'll be changed just like that in my opinion," Reid said, snapping his fingers together. "So I've set that up. I feel very comfortable with that."
There's little in Mitch McConnell’s—or almost any other Republican's—behavior to suggest they'll do anything less than block President Hillary Clinton's nominees. At this point, that's just what they do. They may not know any other way of operating with a Democratic president.
Now, Reid won't be there to make sure it happens, and thus far heir apparent Chuck Schumer hasn't commented. At least not on this story. But he is on the record saying this: "A progressive majority on the Supreme Court is an imperative, and if I become majority leader, I will make it happen. I will make it happen."
Mon, 24 Oct 2016 19:19:28 +0000
A very popular President Obama is switching on the afterburners in the final weeks of this election in hopes of helping Democrats retake the House of Representatives. It's an uphill climb, but Obama and Democrats are mounting an all-out offensive in 30 more congressional districts—exactly the number needed for Democrats to flip the House. Edward-Isaac Dovere writes:
The endorsements “make the case to voters that Democrats will put people first and make real progress for our country, while Republicans will continue to put party over country by supporting Donald Trump as their standard-bearer,” said Kelly Ward, executive director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee on Sunday evening.
Obama has already recorded endorsements for several Democrats, such as Daily Kos-endorsed Bryan Caforio in California's 25th District. His new slate of candidates also includes seven Daily Kos endorsees:
CA-10, Michael Eggman
CA-49, Doug Applegate
KS-03, Jay Sidie
MI-08, Suzanna Shkreli
NH-01, Carol Shea-Porter
PA-16, Christina Hartman
VA-05, Jane Dittmar
Mon, 24 Oct 2016 18:41:52 +0000For two solid weeks now, the Daily Kos Elections presidential forecast model has found that Hillary Clinton has at least a 95 percent chance of beating Donald Trump, and other prognosticators view the race similarly. Now, 95 percent is not 100 percent, and no one can relax or take anything for granted. But it does mean that Clinton and her No. 1 surrogate, the very popular Barack Obama, can concentrate their energies on making sure that the next president has a Democratic Congress to work with: xDuring plane gaggle, Clinton says she'll spend next 17 days "emphasizing the importance of electing Democrats down the ballot"— MJ Lee (@mj_lee) October 22, 2016 It’s not talk. Clinton’s backing this up with real resources: Hillary Clinton is pouring $1 million into Indiana and Missouri in the campaign’s final weeks — not because the Democratic presidential nominee thinks she can carry those reliably Republican states, but because she believes that, with an extra push, Democrats can win the Senate and governors’ races there. In Michigan, the Clinton campaign is propelling a late surge by Democratic state legislative candidates to regain their House majority. In parts of Maine, Nebraska, Virginia and other states, Clinton volunteers are touting Democratic congressional candidates in their phone calls and fliers to voters. And as Clinton rallied supporters across Pennsylvania on Saturday with running mate Tim Kaine, she touted Senate hopeful Katie McGinty and attacked her GOP opponent, Sen. Patrick J. Toomey, as beholden to presidential nominee Donald Trump. And it’s not just Clinton—Obama’s putting his back into it, too: Please donate $1 to each of these Daily Kos-endorsed Democrats so that Hillary Clinton can have the progressive allies she needs on Capitol Hill next year. [...]
Mon, 24 Oct 2016 18:36:41 +0000
If you are reading this site, you are going to vote. No one here has to tell you to be involved. But, you might be like me, with the ballot sitting on my kitchen counter, waiting for my procrastinating ass to get to it “eventually.” I have time! Why rush?
Well, I’m done procrastinating, and if you haven’t voted yet (and can), you shouldn’t either. Why? Because a vote today is more valuable to Democrats than a vote on Election Day.
How can that be, you wonder. A vote is a vote, right? Nope!
1) You vote now, and that vote will count. If something happens to you, like you fall ill, or a family emergency takes you out of town, it doesn’t affect your electoral voice.
2) You vote now, and GOTV efforts can be directed at people who actually do need to be persuaded to vote. Do you want that volunteer knocking on your door or calling you, or do you want that time spent more efficiently on genuinely iffy voters?
3) You vote now, and you shrink the voter lines on Election Day, making it easier for others to vote and cutting down on voter disenfranchisement.
4) You vote now, and all those GOTV efforts will finally stop bothering your ass and you can get some peace and quiet.
5) You vote now, and you can work on getting your friends, family, and co-workers to also vote early. In other words, you get to do your own GOTV. And you are at your most persuasive when you are working within your social circle.
6) You vote now, and you can help drive the media narrative of collapsing Trump support (in states where we lead), while reversing negative trends in states where we don’t lead (like Iowa and Ohio).
Voting early is an unmitigated victory. You get to lock in your vote at your best convenience, you get to improve the efficiency of our GOTV efforts, and you get to make it easier for others to vote. So stop procrastinating, like I am today, and vote!
Here’s a list of when early voting starts, by state:
Mon, 24 Oct 2016 18:14:07 +0000
This is what Republicans like Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer think of the Latino vote:
“Nah. They don’t get out and vote. They don’t vote.”
Normally, she’d be right. But that was before Donald Trump.
After years and years and years of “sleeping giant” metaphors, Trump is finally waking us Latinos up. And if we see these kind of numbers replicated in places like Georgia, Arizona, and Texas, the GOP’s ability to win in the future will be severely compromised. And they might as well forget about Colorado and Florida.
Mon, 24 Oct 2016 19:01:15 +0000Today’s comic by Tom Tomorrow is It’s alive: Fifteen days remain until the election. Click here to make sure you're registered to vote. In the majority of states, if you haven’t yet registered, you’ve missed the deadline. Below is a list of deadlines in the 22 states where there is still time to register, including the 13 where you can register on Election Day or don’t need to register. Today is the last day to register in Alabama and California, on line, by mail, and in person and in South Dakota by mail and in person. Colorado: Nov. 8 in person, Oct. 31 on line and by mail; Connecticut: Nov. 8 in person, Nov. 1 on line and by mail; Idaho: Nov. 8 in person; Illinois: Nov. 8 in person; Iowa: Nov. 8 in person, Oct. 29 on line; Maine: Nov. 8 in person; Maryland: Nov. 3 in person; Minnesota: Nov. 8 in person; Montana: Nov. 8 in person; Nebraska: Oct. 28 in person; New Hampshire: Nov. 8 in person, Oct. 29 by mail; North Carolina: Nov. 5 in person; North Dakota: No registration required; Utah: Nov. 1 on line and in person; Vermont: Nov. 2 on line, by mail, and in person; Washington: Oct. 31 in person; Washington, DC: Nov. 8 in person; Wisconsin: Nov. 8 in person; Wyoming: Nov. 8 in person: Oct. 25 by mail. What you missed on Sunday Kos … 'Man of the World': An interview with Joe Conason on his new book about Bill Clinton, by Armando What does it mean that the Philippines just dumped the U.S. and embraced China and Russia, by Ian Reifowitz Paul Ryan has three great ideas to improve Obamacare*, by Jon Perr Damn those dress codes! Young feminists are taking a stand, by Denise Oliver Velez Success comes with more responsibility, not less, by David Akadjian Why will Hillary Clinton be a good president? She knows how to listen, by Sher Watts Spooner This is an exciting year to be a woman, by Susan Grigsby Book review: Earth in Human Hands, by DarkSyde The poorly educated made a poorly informed decision, by Propane Jane Selling fear ... because they have no ideas, by Mark E Andersen Gerrymandering could cost Democrats the House in 2016. Why? Because it probably did in 2012, by Stephen Wolf Despite the polls, I am still uneasy about this election, by Egberto Willies Tom Hayden has died: Tom Hayden, who burst out of the 1960s counterculture as a radical leader of America’s civil rights and antiwar movements, but rocked the boat more gently later in life with a progressive political agenda as an author and California state legislator, died on Sunday. He was 76. [...] During the racial unrest and antiwar protests of the ’60s and early ’70s, Mr. Hayden was one of the nation’s most visible radicals. He was a founder of Students for a Democratic Society, a defendant in the Chicago Seven trial after riots at the 1968 Democratic National Convention, and a peace activist who married Jane Fonda, went to Hanoi and escorted American prisoners of war home from Vietnam. Good Lord: It’s become a familiar routine by now: Trump supporters haranguing the press at rallies, booing them and screaming at them. “Tell the truth!” and “CNN sucks!” have become staples at nearly every Trump rally.On Saturday night, a new and foreign accusation came to the fore: “Lügenpresse!” The term, which means “lying press” in German, has a history dating back to the mid-1800s and was used by the Nazis to discredit the media. In recent years, it has been revived by German far-right anti-immigrant groups. And on Saturday, it made an appearance at a Trump rally in Cleveland, Ohio. A match made in heaven hell: In what sounds like a match made in far-ri[...]
Mon, 24 Oct 2016 18:21:58 +0000
Sen. Elizabeth Warren stumped for Hillary Clinton and Maggie Hassan in New Hampshire today, and boy, did she stump. She is giving no quarter to her Republican colleague and neighboring Sen. Kelly Ayotte. None at all. Finally, after the whole "absolutely” debate fiasco, when Ayotte embraced Trump as a role model, she's decided that she can't stick with Trump. It’s too little too late, says Warren:
You know, for more than a year, Donald Trump has made headlines almost every day, and where has senator Kelly Ayotte been? Donald Trump, calls Latinos rapist and murderers. Kelly stuck with him. Called African-Americans thugs and Kelly stuck with him. Trump attacked a gold star family and Kelly stuck with him. Trump compared himself to dictators, and praised Vladimir Putin. Kelly stuck with him. Trump even attacked Kelly Ayotte, and called her weak. And Kelly stuck with him. You know—during a debate a couple of weeks ago when she called Donald Trump a role model for kids, you just can't believe this.
But now, Donald Trump's not doing so well, and Kelly is running as fast as she can away from him. I will say one thing. Donald Trump sure has made Kelly Ayotte dance. Day one she loves him. Day two, hates him. Day three she's back with him. Boy, spins around and around. But one of the things I love about the people from new Hampshire that you value guts. You make the right decision and then you stick with it. Donald Trump is right. Kelly is weak. And that's why a tough, smart fighter like your governor Maggie Hassan is going to win on November 8th.
Watch Warren below.
Mon, 24 Oct 2016 18:00:32 +0000
National Rifle Association lunatic-in-chief Wayne LaPierre is out with a new video message from the group explaining that America is doomed and Obama destroyed us and Hillary Clinton is going to double-destroy us and people are going around saying he's lost his marbles but NOW WHOSE MARBLES ARE LOST, AMERICA? NOW WHOSE MARBLES ARE LOST?
When I said Barack Obama would come for our guns and do everything in his power to sabotage the Second Amendment, they savaged me. They called me a liar. But every one of those predictions came true. [...]
While radical Islamic terrorists shot, bombed and butchered innocent Americans on our own soil, Barack Obama attacked you harder than he attacked ISIS. He used the terrorism his own weakness and failures made possible to try to gut your right to shoot back at the terrorists he refused to kill.
Thank God we stopped him in his tracks. But while his term ends in a matter of months, his two Supreme Court appointees—easily among the worst justices to ever sit on that bench—will come after our guns for the rest of their lives.
People say the NRA is a paranoid cesspool of conspiracies, but Wayne LaPierre would like you to know that that's just because you can't see how America is destroyed now. But the NRA can see it. They issue special glasses for that.
Mon, 24 Oct 2016 15:53:34 +0000
Hillary Clinton is done with Donald Trump. “I debated him for four and a half hours,” she told reporters on Saturday. “I don’t even think about responding to him anymore.” Clinton’s electoral strategy echoes that stance: as she moves to lock up the race by urging supporters to vote early, Clinton is also turning her attention to the Senate.
After lashing Senator Patrick J. Toomey of Pennsylvania in a speech on Saturday, Mrs. Clinton urged voters at an outdoor rally on Sunday in Raleigh, N.C., to elect a Democratic governor and to turn Senator Richard M. Burr out of office.
Calling Mr. Burr’s Democratic challenger, Deborah Ross, “exactly the kind of partner I need in the United States Senate,” Mrs. Clinton upbraided Mr. Burr for failing to reject Mr. Trump.
“Unlike her opponent, Deborah has never been afraid to stand up to Donald Trump,” Mrs. Clinton said, adding, “She knows that people of courage and principles need to come together to reject this dangerous and divisive agenda.”
It’s not that Clinton is taking anything for granted—she’s saying this as she campaigns in battleground states where early voting has started. She’s visiting black churches, joined by Mothers of the Movement. Her appearances are backed up by a formidable ground game. The dangers Trump poses to the country are in no way forgotten. But the task is now bigger—can be bigger—than responding to every petty swipe and snarl from Trump.
Mon, 24 Oct 2016 17:07:49 +0000
NBC News has an incredibly stupid take on “How Republicans ended up with Trump” that’s worth a close look, since we’re likely to see more of its kind over the next few weeks. Coming from the crackerjack analysis team of Chuck Todd, Mark Murray, and Carrie Dann, it has five points:
In the final point, there’s a moment of truth:
But not all Republicans spoke out against Trump. Some -- perhaps fearful of the GOP base they helped create and won midterm elections with -- stood on the sidelines, like House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Emphasis added—because, yeah, you think? We can never for a second lose track of the fact that Republican elites created this base. President Obama made exactly that point in Nevada on Sunday:
“They just stood by and said nothing, and their base actually began to believe this crazy stuff,” Mr. Obama said. “Donald Trump didn’t start this. He just did what he always does, which is slap his name on it, take credit for it and promote it.”
Damn straight. And it applies throughout the NBC analysis. That first item, that “immigration trumped all”? That didn’t come out of nowhere. That came out of Republicans using immigration as a wedge issue for years. “GOP voters discarded the advice to focus on reaching out beyond the base to minorities”? Gosh, which advice was that? Answer: “the advice from the RNC"s 2013 ‘autopsy’ that the party needed to reach out to minority voters.”
The RNC did that autopsy because they were already losing non-white voters so badly.
Beyond winning the White House, we must also elect more progressive Democrats in Congress. With the PCCC and Daily Kos, you can now make phone calls to voters in the key districts that will get us more and better Democrats. Click here to start.
Mon, 24 Oct 2016 16:23:24 +0000
Embattled North Carolina Republican Sen. Richard Burr has made an awfully questionable strategy decision for the final two weeks of this campaign: he's gluing himself to Donald Trump.
"There's not a separation between me and Donald Trump. As a matter fact, there's an ad on TV saying I'm too cozy to him," Burr said at a rally for the Gaston County GOP, according to tracking video from the liberal group American Bridge.
"You might have seen that lately," he continued. "I'm cozy to Donald Trump because I know Hillary Clinton. Hillary Clinton would be a disaster to my children and my grandchildren. And though I have, when appropriately, spoken up, maybe in opposition to something that was said by our nominee, make no mistake that that's not a lack of support to our nominee."
Okay then. That might just be the first nail in his coffin, because Democrats are kicking some major ass in the early vote. PPP checked in on what's happening there.
PPP's newest North Carolina poll finds that Democrats are running up large leads already during early voting. Among those who say they've already voted, 63% say they cast their ballots for Hillary Clinton to only 37% for Donald Trump. […] The big Democratic advantage holds down ballot as well. […] Deborah Ross leads Richard Burr 52-34 for Senate, with Libertarian Sean Haugh at 7% among those who say they have already cast their ballots. [emphasis added]
VoteRiders and Daily Kos are teaming up to find local volunteers to take eligible voters to the DMV to get their ID to vote in the states with voter ID laws including North Carolina, which has been ground-zero for voter suppression. Sign up here if you can help.
Mon, 24 Oct 2016 16:34:35 +0000
Remember that positively desperate (not to mention deceptive) mailer GOP Rep. Darrell Issa pushed out depicting him and President Obama as besties? Apparently, Obama does too, calling it both "shameless" and "the definition of chutzpah" during a DCCC fundraiser Sunday in La Jolla, California. It seems Obama isn't all that charmed by Issa's election-inspired conversion after the California representative made it his primary goal in life to repeatedly launch baseless investigations into the Obama administration and question the president's citizenship. Edward-Isaac Dovere writes:
Obama said Issa’s “primary contribution to the United States Congress has been to obstruct and to waste taxpayer dollars on trumped-up investigations that have led nowhere.”
Obama called out to Democratic candidate Doug Applegate, the former Marine colonel who’s challenging Issa, sitting at one of the tables in front of him.
“I think somebody called Darrell Issa — was this you, Doug? — that Darrell Issa was Trump before Trump,” Obama said.
Issa returned fire Monday, saying that he was "disappointed but not surprised that the president, in a political speech, continues to deny accountability for the serious scandals that happened under his watch."
Right. So serious, in fact, that despite wasting millions in taxpayer dollars, Issa turned up absolutely zip.
Mon, 24 Oct 2016 15:41:48 +0000
What’s “the the Trump”? We can only assume that it’s like ZZ Top without the beards—though it likely has even more interest in legs.
Trump has taught us that polls are bad—except, of course, for online polls in which you can vote as often as you want. Those are peachy. But what’s behind Trump’s fresh poll-related tweet? The alt-right has discovered a secret that means Trump is going to win for sure!
ZeroHedge is normally an economics-focused blog, but in recent months it has joined the sprawling galaxy of Trump-friendly outlets. In this particular article, the site's anonymous author, Tyler Durden (a pen name used by several writers), dips into an email sent by Democratic activist Tom Matzzie in 2008.
From this ZeroHedge has deduced that the polls are all intentionally adding too many Democrats, effectively—say it with me now—skewing the polls.
“Durden” declares that this is “how you manufacture a 12-point lead for your chosen candidate and effectively chill the vote of your opposition.”
Except that this Tyler Durden must have taken one too many punches in Fight Club, because this is an absolutely ridiculous reading of what’s going on.
Mon, 24 Oct 2016 13:51:17 +0000Campaign Action It’s that time of year again: The World Series of baseball. For some fans, it’s the most exciting event in all of sports. And this year it will be the Chicago Cubs, who have only seen the series from the stadium bleachers since 1945 and haven’t won since 1908, and the Cleveland Indians, who won the series in 1948, losing in 1954, 1995, and 1997. It’s a dream contest for sports writers and fans alike, two long-standing underdogs pitted against each other for the title of champion of The Big Show. For some Americans, however, the fun is going to be at least partly spoiled by the Cleveland team’s stubborn defiance in continuing to display their vile racist logo, a caricature of an American Indian, Little Red Sambo Chief Wahoo. Although Cleveland adopted the name of the team 101 years ago, a cartoonish depiction of an “Indian” mascot with yellow skin emerged more than 80 years ago. This was reengineered in the late ‘40s and soon everybody was calling him Chief Wahoo. In 1951, the caricature was tweaked again, this time with red skin. Since then, it’s been rejiggered only slightly. As usual, those who say there’s nothing wrong with the caricature, from the owner to the fans who show up at the games painted in garish red face and woo-woo-whooping, it’s supposedly all about respect and honor of America’s Native peoples. This would be laughable if it weren’t so moronic. Chief Wahoo epitomizes the disrespect engendered by Indian mascots and logos. If the series goes the full seven games, it will overlap with November’s Native American Heritage Month. What a fabulous way to kick that off. As usual, there will be those who say American Indians and others who think the Chief Wahoo logo and the Washington R*dsk*ns nickname ought to be dumped in a landfill should focus on Indian-related issues that “really matter.” Uh huh. As if we don’t already multitask. Where are those critics when it comes to actually raising such issues—like the horrendous rate of cops killing Indians, or the continuing violation of treaties that are supposed to have been be the law of the land for at least the past 135 years? They’re AWOL. And, as usual, enterprising PR operators will trot out some Indian or pretendian to claim that the name and logo don’t bother him and that all the protesters are just looking for attention. Throughout American history, the protesters have been called “renegades” and the go-alongs have been called “the good Indians.” [...]
Mon, 24 Oct 2016 14:39:37 +0000
President Obama gave Catherine Cortez Masto a hand in Nevada this weekend, helping her bury Republican Joe Heck in her race to take the Senate seat Harry Reid is leaving. After finally deciding he had to dump Trump, Heck is in hot water with Republicans. But no one is letting him off the hook for his long, long support of the Donald, least of all Obama.
"Now that Trump's poll numbers have cratered, he is saying I am not supporting him," Obama said of Heck. "Too late. You don't get credit for that."
He mocked Heck for backing family values throughout his political career, but continuing to back Trump earlier in the campaign when he made denigrating comments about women. Heck pulled his support for Trump after the controversial video of him appeared earlier this month. In the video, Obama described Trump as "bragging about actions that qualify as sexual assault."
"What the Heck?" he asked, referring to the congressman.
The crowded responded by chanting, "Heck no!"
He also made the case for Cortez Masto and the career she’s made standing up for victims of sexual assault, among others, and reminded voters that they would be electing the first Latina to serve in the Senate. You can watch an exuberant Obama take on Heck below the fold. He was having fun, but also making a critical point: don't elect Hillary Clinton only to "saddle her with a Congress that is a do-nothing, won't-even-try-to-do-something" Congress. He also pointed out that the Koch brothers have been all-in for Heck. "They are spending millions of dollars here because they know he is going to do what they want," he told the crowd.
Keeping Harry Reid's seat in Democratic hands? Giving Hillary Clinton a Democratic Senate? Electing the Senate's first Latina? This is a big one.
Mon, 24 Oct 2016 14:51:01 +0000
After the election, when the depths of Reince Priebus’ humiliation during the campaign are being charted, this Sunday’s interview on Face the Nation will definitely feature. Priebus had a tough assignment: try to defend Donald Trump’s refusal to say he’ll accept the results of the election when he loses. There may be no good way to defend that, but this is definitely not the best way:
What he’s saying is, he wants to reserve all options, and if there is grounds for a recount, I will exercise my options. I know where his head is at. He is not willing to not concede if he loses and there’s no fraud.
“He is not willing to not concede”? That has to be one of the most tortured phrases uttered in a campaign cycle that has involved both Donald Trump and Ben Carson. Also, note the giant if: “if he loses and there’s no fraud.” No fraud in whose judgment? Because Trump has made it clear that he will take losing as evidence there was fraud. Face the Nation host John Dickerson pressed the point:
DICKERSON: But his mouth is in a different place than where you think his head is.
He said, if he loses Pennsylvania, a state Republicans haven’t won since ‘88, it will only be because the state was stolen for him.
PRIEBUS: I don’t think that’s where he’s at. That’s not where I’m at.
I think that if -- losing by 100 votes is one thing. Losing by 100,000 is a different thing. I think we can reasonable on this issue.
“We can be reasonable”? Tell me about this “we,” please.
You might want to talk to your candidate about that one, since he’s the one running around claiming the election is rigged. And Trump is not being so careful to talk about 100 votes vs. 100,000 votes—that there sounds like Priebus rehearsing his Election-Night pleas to Trump. “If they were saying you’d lost by 100 votes, I’d be fighting for a recount, but it’s 100,000 votes, so please, you have to concede.”
And I say this sincerely: Good luck with that. The country needs people like Priebus and Kellyanne Conway, who have been trying to cover for Trump by claiming that of course he’ll concede if he loses fair and square when he obviously plans no such thing, to succeed. We need them to convince him to concede and tell his supporters that the election was not rigged or stolen. So no matter how craven they’re being in defending him by pretending that’s not what he’s saying now, let’s wish them good luck on the night of November 8.
Mon, 24 Oct 2016 13:47:37 +0000
Donald Trump has made it clear that he and the Second Amendment are best buds. It’s the only portion of the Bill of Rights he mentioned in any of the debates, and his go-to response when asked about the Supreme Court.
We need a Supreme Court that in my opinion is going to uphold the Second Amendment and all amendments. But the Second Amendment, which is under absolute siege.
So much siege. But Donald Trump apparently starts counting his concerns at two, because the First Amendment isn’t getting any Trump love.
“Well in England they have a system where you can actually sue if someone says something wrong. Our press is allowed to say whatever they want and get away with it.”
What is it they don’t have in England? Oh yeah. But Trump has been laying siege to the First Amendment for years, threatening both reporters and the media, in his ongoing effort to see that only his voice can be heard.
Mon, 24 Oct 2016 13:51:34 +0000
As we close in on Election Day at last, take a look back at how we got here with my new book, collecting cartoons from 2014 through the summer of 2016!
Mon, 24 Oct 2016 12:01:37 +0000Leading Off: ● AZ-01: The DCCC is out with a Global Strategy Group poll giving Democrat Tom O'Halleran a wide 46-36 lead over Republican Paul Babeu. While Mitt Romney carried this northern Arizona seat 50-48 en route to a 53-44 statewide win, this sample gives Hillary Clinton a 47-42 edge here. That seems reasonable, though, given that most polls have shown her locked in a tight race for the state's 11 electoral votes. Last month, an earlier GSG poll for the D-Trip had O'Halleran up 45-38. This seat is one of the very few Democratic-held congressional districts in the nation that Romney carried, and we expected Team Red to make this a top target. However, as we've noted before, Republican outside groups have barely reserved any money to help Babeu, who has less money than O'Halleran. Early voting, which is popular in Arizona, began Oct. 12, and Babeu has been getting badly outspent on TV by O'Halleran and his allies since Labor Day. And while Democrats are continuing to air ads, House Majority PAC canceled $301,000 in planned spending here over the last week, which reads like a sign of confidence. Even Babeu has acknowledged that he's down: A few weeks ago, his campaign released a poll showing O'Halleran leading 39-36. Team Blue has been relentlessly highlighting the child abuse that happened under Babeu's watch at a Massachusetts school he once ran; Babeu has denied that he knew what was happening, but court documents, the testimony of his former students, and Babeu's own words contradict that. It seems that national Republicans have just decided that someone with Babeu's past is just too damaged to be worth spending money on. With polls and both sides' spending pointing to an O'Halleran win, Daily Kos Elections is moving this race from Tossup to Lean Democratic. We'll still want to see if Team Blue keeps spending here or if a well-funded GOP group like the Congressional Leadership Fund gets involved in the next few weeks, but the signs are good for O'Halleran. [...]
Mon, 24 Oct 2016 12:51:36 +0000
First Donald Trump said that Aleppo had already fallen, which would be news to the 400,000 people still living in the city. Now, after months of mocking the United States in general, the military in particular, and daily rolling his eyes over the idea that we would allow ISIS forces in Mosul to know that an assault was on it’s way, Donald Trump is ready to declare defeat.
The problem with Trump’s statement isn’t just his running down the United States and implicitly cheering for ISIS. It’s that he’s wrong. The attack on Mosul is proceeding well.
Kurdish Peshmerga forces are within five miles (eight kilometers) of Mosul, commanders said Sunday, after days of fighting and sweeping territorial gains in the operation to free the key Iraqi city from ISIS control.
A coalition of 100,000 troops have been closing in on Mosul since Monday, liberating surrounding communities village by village and making quicker-than-expected gains.
The battle has even made for some unlikely allies, as the Kurdish Peshmerga over the weekend received assistance from Turkish troops and artillery.
Trump’s “disaster” is not a disaster, but even that bit of armchair generalship wasn’t Trump’s worst call in this fight. Taking Trump’s advice in the battle planning? That would have been a real disaster.
Mon, 24 Oct 2016 12:31:42 +0000Happy Monday! Are you happy? If so, bottle it! Then give it away for free, because as you know, we’re all commie socialists here! I can’t even remember if anything truly horrible happened over the weekend. All the days are running together, now. But, Monday mornings are for getting grounded, with Greg Dworkin’s headline roundup. And then from there, well, nobody knows! And that’s the point of it all. Wanna see hear what happens? Listen LIVE right here at 9:00 AM ET! Oh, right! It’s probably time to craft a new shtick for this middle part, here. This is the bit where I remind you that we need your help in order to make a living at this. If the show is something you enjoy, or just want people to think it is, why not pitch in and keep alive our hopes of one day fully justifying to our families the time we spend on it?* You can make a one-time donation, or subscribe via PayPal or Patreon to provide ongoing, monthly support! Not sold yet? How about a FREE SAMPLE of our show, in convenient YouTube format? Like what you see? Why? It’s just a logo! How about what you hear? Well, then, consider subscribing to our YouTube channel! Our goal is to have so many of you listen to the show each day via YouTube, that we’ll then punish you by running ads at the beginning, in exchange for even more money, but from other people’s wallets! x YouTube Video YouTube | iTunes | LibSyn | Support the show: Patreon; PayPal; PayPal Subscription It’s not Halloween for 10 days, and Donald Trump is already horrifying millions. KITM is your Trump Terror headquarters going into the weekend, and today, David Waldman delivers the latest shocks. Jaws dropped in horror at an Al Smith dinner no one will ever forget as Donald Trump delivers his campaign eulogy. And, no one has recovered from Donald’s frightening and stupid refusal to endorse the election, except the elites on Morning Joe. Greg Dworkin brings us more scary news for the Gop: Trump’s electoral map is getting tinier and tinier, because no one likes a loser. Donald self immolated at the last debate, but Hillary handed him the matches. Clinton probably finished off Trump, no not probably, it’s over. And not just for Trump. Kelly Ayotte is down 8 points now. Josie Duffy Rice makes her Friday KITM visit to remind us to always scrutinize the down ticket races, and to check with her if there is a DA race. Joe Arpaio isn’t the only bad public servant in AZ, they also have a really bad prosecutor, Bill Montgomery. Russia has been preparing a vast, covert, and unprecedented campaign of political sabotage against the United States and its allies for more than a year. John Podesta and Colin Powell’s accounts were hacked when they clicked that e-mail link they shouldn’t have. So, on to next week’s Trump scandals: A Russian-born, mafia-Trump-Putin-linked businessman came over to Trump tower for some undisclosed stuff, and dropped off 5 grand. The Trump Foundation moved 10 grand over to James O’Keefe. And, the Financial Times finds links between Trump and an international money laundering network. Meanwhile Trump’s kid steals lemonade at the In-N-Out. David discovers the Red/Blue divide dates back to the early Cretaceous period. (Thanks again to Scott Anderson for the show summary!) Need more[...]
Mon, 24 Oct 2016 12:16:19 +0000
From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE…
Election Season Reminder for America
If by a "Liberal" they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about the welfare of the people---their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights and their civil liberties---someone who believes we can break through the stalemate and suspicions that grip us in our policies abroad, if that is what they mean by a "Liberal," then I'm proud to say I'm a Liberal.
---John F. Kennedy
“I believe in a relatively equal society, supported by institutions that limit extremes of wealth and poverty. I believe in democracy, civil liberties, and the rule of law. That makes me a liberal, and I’m proud of it.”
"Reality has a well-known liberal bias."
“Today’s so-called ‘conservatives’ don’t even know what the word means. They think I’ve turned liberal because I believe a woman has a right to an abortion. That’s a decision that’s up to the pregnant woman, not up to the pope or some do-gooders or the Religious Right. It’s not a conservative issue at all.”
"Everybody knows God is nonpartisan, but I swear Jesus was a liberal---the best, the biggest, the original bleeding heart---the one who embraced the outcasts, the model for us all. Just read the stuff in the New Testament written in red."
Please vote responsibly.
Cheers and Jeers starts below the fold... [Swoosh!!] RIGHTNOW! [Gong!!]
Mon, 24 Oct 2016 11:18:19 +0000
Here’s data from the new ABC tracker from Sunday, with a couple of key points:
- Clinton has doubled her lead to 32 points, 62-30 percent, among college-educated white women, a group that’s particularly critical of his response to questions about his sexual conduct. (Seventy-six percent disapprove, 67 percent strongly.)
- That said, Clinton's also ahead numerically (albeit not significantly) among men, 44-41 percent, a first in ABC News and ABC/Post polling.
- Trump is just +4 among whites overall, 47-43 percent, a group Mitt Romney won by 20 points in 2012. Broad success among whites is critical for any Republican candidate; nonwhites, a reliably Democratic group, favor Clinton by 54 points, 68-14 percent.
The share of registered Republicans who are likely to vote is down 7 points since mid-October.
We don’t know if the lead is still growing.
Mon, 24 Oct 2016 03:01:28 +0000For the Republican Party, Trump's candidacy may have an impact well beyond this next election. And it's not because of what Trump's done, but what the rest of the party hasn't. “I’m over it; I’m done. I’m tired of defending these people. You may not be a sexist, but you are OK with people who are,” said Brittany Pounders, a conservative writer and activist in Texas. [...] In interviews with the Globe as well as a flurry of social media screeds, essays, and blog posts, once-proud Republican women say not only are they disgusted at Trump’s words about and behavior toward women, among other things, but that they have grown equally angry with House Speaker Paul Ryan, Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, and other elected Republicans who have not fully repudiated the Republican nominee — especially after Trump’s sexually predatory comments on the “Access Hollywood” hot mic in 2005. [...] “It feels like betrayal or abandonment,” [Marybeth Glenn] said in an interview, recalling her volunteer work for Republican candidates at the state and national level. “The fact is that a lot of these men, we worked very hard to get [them] to where they are. They’ve basically turned their back on us.” Sixteen 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. THE WEEK'S HIGH IMPACT STORIES • HIGH IMPACT STORIES TOP COMMENTS TWEET OF THE DAY xThis would account for the administrations of President Dracula, President Slutty Nurse and President Elsa From Frozen pic.twitter.com/YW5OxHFiZy— Dave Itzkoff (@ditzkoff) October 23, 2016 BLAST FROM THE PAST At Daily Kos on this date in 2008—There Is Just One America: Barack Obama in Richmond, Virginia, on Wednesday, was making his closing argument, offering his vision of one America and affirming his view that we are all in this together: With the challenges and crises we face right now, we cannot afford to divide this country by race or class or region; by who we are or what policies we support. There are no real or fake parts of this country. We are not separated by the pro-America and anti-America parts of this nation - we all love this country, no matter where we live or where we come from. It's amazing—despite all of McCain's "Country First" bluster, it's actually Barack Obama who seems to have a better understanding of the great promise of this nation. Monday through Friday you can catch the Kagro in the Morning Show 9 AM ET by dropping in here, or you can download the Stitcher app (found in the app stores or at Stitcher.com), and find a live stream there, by searching for "Netroots Radio.” [...]
Mon, 24 Oct 2016 01:51:26 +0000
We’re two weeks away from Election Day. Do you still have an uneasy feeling? People are already early voting and given that Hillary Clinton is up in the polls, she is likely banking a plurality of the vote. But I am still uneasy.
Why? Because of Brexit. Because of Colombia. Because of Donald Trump.
The democratic populace is making bad choices these days, because our democratic leaders throughout the world are failing the poor and the middle class. The British made a bad choice with their Brexit vote, a choice that will hurt the poor and middle class more so than the plutocracy. The Colombians' rejection of the peace deal with FARC may feel good for those who want to extract maximum pain out of the “rebels,” but it hurts the masses.
Here in the United States, the Republican Party made a poor choice. Despite what the latest polls say, will we as Americans elect our first (in the words of Democratic Primary presidential candidate Martin O'Malley) fascist president? The polls say no—but I am still uneasy.
Donald Trump has a passionate voter base that will continue to support him and vote for him even if, as he says, he “shoots someone on Fifth Avenue.” No one else with the ethical problems, the demeaning statements made on audio and video, and such a caustic personality would remain a viable candidate. But he has.
Hillary Clinton's supporters do not seem as passionate toward her. Yes, so far most say they are voting for her. But I am still uneasy.
I have very liberal friends who continue to talk about blowing up the electoral system by dissing Hillary Clinton, because she has not lived up to their ideals. They decided to vote for Jill Stein or Gary Johnson. They attempt to convince themselves that these votes are a moral choice, and not an implicit vote for Donald Trump.
Mon, 24 Oct 2016 00:41:19 +0000
Right now, the majority of us are paying most of our attention to the presidential election. Given the possibility that a sociopath who appears willing to destroy our democracy if he doesn’t win could become president, that’s a pretty reasonable thing to do. When the candidates have discussed foreign policy, they have mostly focused on the Middle East/ISIS/terrorism, along with Russia. China has come up on occasion, but largely around the issue of trade and currency manipulation.
Over the past few weeks, however, important new developments in Southeast Asia have been taking place, and they have not come up during the presidential or vice presidential debates. Let’s put aside, for now, the question of whether or not Mr. Trump could identify the Philippines on a map, and explore these developments a bit further.
On Thursday, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte—who was elected this spring and took office on June 30—went to China and made clear that his country had changed the way it sees its relationship with the U.S.:
In this venue, your honors, in this venue, I announce my separation from the United States.
[snip] Both in military, not maybe social, but economics also. America has lost.
[snip] I've realigned myself in your ideological flow and maybe I will also go to Russia to talk to (President Vladimir) Putin and tell him that there are three of us against the world - China, Philippines and Russia. It's the only way.
Sun, 23 Oct 2016 23:31:34 +0000
There’s a very fundamental difference in the beliefs of our two candidates this election. It has to do with success and responsibility.
In short, the two choices we have look like this:
- Success comes with more responsibility.
- Those who succeed have no responsibility other than to themselves and their business.
This is what we’re talking about in this election. It’s not a choice between two evils. It’s a choice between two very different beliefs and visions for our country.
Don’t believe me? If you want to know what people really believe, look at how they spend money. Look at their budgets.
Sun, 23 Oct 2016 22:21:27 +0000
“Somethings wrong, shut the light, heavy thoughts tonight, and they aren't of Snow White. Dreams of war, dreams of liars, dreams of dragon's fire, and of things that will bite, sleep with one eye open, gripping your pillow tight …” — Metallica, Enter Sandman
They are coming for your guns. The election is rigged. America is not great. Murderers, rapists, and other criminals are coming to take your job. Hillary Clinton will repeal the Second Amendment. Crooked Hillary! Lock her up!
These are just some of the things that Donald Trump has said in the past year while campaigning for president. He is selling the lie that America is some kind of dystopian society. Just look at his campaign ads: they don’t tell you anything that he is actually going to do for the country. All they do is tell us what bad shape our country is, and how bad Secretary Clinton is, and how America is some third-rate, two-bit banana republic.
Sun, 23 Oct 2016 21:46:31 +0000
Republican money groups may be shying away from the seemingly doomed Trump campaign, but America's most well-financed militia group is going all-in and then some.
National Rifle Association committees making independent campaign expenditures to oppose Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton have spent more than $14 million on the race, surpassing the spending of the most active pro-Trump Super PAC. [...]
As of October 12, the NRA had already spent a record-breaking $21 million attempting to get Trump elected, nearly double the $12 million the group spent in its failed “all in” effort to elect Romney in 2012.
The NRA's move to the top of that pro-Trump money pile comes even as other key Republican groups have all but ceded the election.
Two outside groups aligned with Republicans, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Senate Leadership Fund, have begun running television commercials in Senate races implying that Mr. Trump’s defeat is likely and asking voters to send Republican lawmakers to Washington as a check on Mrs. Clinton.
And the Congressional Leadership Fund, a powerful “super PAC” that supports Republicans in the House of Representatives, will begin running ads in the coming days that attack Democratic candidates as “rubber stamps” for Mrs. Clinton, and urge voters in swing districts to support a Republican instead.
So let's review: The now-leading money group for the candidate who claims the election might be stolen from him by illicit forces is a conspiracy-peddling group fond of explaining that Americans need guns so that they can start murdering people if they believe their government to be conspiring against them in illicit ways.
Yeah. I don't think it's going to work out well either.
Sun, 23 Oct 2016 21:11:28 +0000I feel cheated by this election. Every time I log onto Twitter or scroll my online news feed, I’m not only disgusted at the content (or lack thereof) but also disappointed that this is all there is. Instead of an elaborative discourse on policy and problem solving, the 24-hour news cycle has devolved into a steady stream of “breaking news” that reads more like a criminal record than a presidential campaign. With mere weeks to go before election day, one party’s candidate is spending more of his time firing off a litany of mean-spirited tweets than he is laying out a concrete agenda to educate the American people about how he wants to “lead” us. In the absence of such explicit guidance, the mainstream media fills in the blanks with every tawdry morsel of Trump’s dysfunction they can find. As such, we find ourselves deciding one of the most important elections in recent times based on the latest tabloid scandal, not the most pressing policy imperatives. It's become an all-too-common refrain: the reckless candidate and the feckless mainstream media that aids and abets him. But how did we get here? Trump's stranglehold on the GOP and the political narrative have often been likened to a chicken coming home to roost, but what of the egg from which he hatched? On the heels of his Nevada caucus victory on Feb. 24, 2016, Donald Trump famously said “I love the poorly educated.” As it turns out, he had very good reason to, because his greatest source of support comes from Americans with limited education. Ironically though, this obvious correlation has become the third rail of political analysis, because the risk of offending this particular subset of the electorate is now deemed way too high. As we watch the punditry clumsily walk on eggshells around Trump’s poorly-educated coalition, it’s easy to wonder if they remember the last 20 years of the Republican assault on reason and public education. In other words, why is the media so afraid to merely discuss the lowered expectations the GOP has explicitly stated it has—of its own voters? [...]
Sun, 23 Oct 2016 20:36:40 +0000The talking point has been omnipresent this weekend: Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump never said he wouldn't accept the results of a fair election but-oh-by-the-way doesn't it seem impossible that the election is going to be fair? “He didn’t say he wouldn’t accept,” Eric Trump said. “My father will accept it 100 percent if it’s fair. If it’s fair.” He rattled off statistics that reportedly show "2 million people on the voter rolls right now who are dead" and "14 percent of all non-citizens in this country are registered to vote." Those are the exact talking points echoed by campaign manager Kellyanne Conway today, and repeated ad nauseam by whichever other of the campaign grifters have managed to wedge themselves in front of a camera. They have been debunked, which means approximately nothing a Trump crowd far more likely to believe that the fact-checkers are themselves part of the global conspiracy against them. Let us please, please not give the slightest bit of credit to any Republican who promises that Donald Trump will accept the results of a "fair" election while simultaneously pushing the narrative that the election will not be fair. The first bit is intended to sooth pundits and luminaries stunned that an American presidential candidate is threatening not to accept the outcome of our nation's democratic process; the second bit is meant to dismantle the first bit, and sow claims that the next Democratic president will be just as illegitimate as Republicans have pretended the current president to be. It is what they do. It is why Sen. John McCain even now is hedging on whether a future President Clinton would be allowed to fill the Supreme Court slot left in limbo for, come the next inauguration day, nearly an entire year. It is why Donald Trump, birther, became the party's candidate to begin with. It is why even now top Republicans do not distance himself too far from his rhetoric or his bizarre claims. No matter how soundly the Trump candidacy is crushed at the polls come election day, his voters will believe it was because the whole nation plotted against him, and legislators like Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell plan to use this paranoia to their advantage as they have "death panels" and countless other similar false claims. Trump will lose the election. All that's left is for the party to either distance themselves from the movement that spawned him or continue to embrace it, and we all know very damn well which of those they've already decided to pick. Frustrated you don’t live in a swing state? Click here to sign up for a phonebanking shift with MoveOn. You’ll be calling voters in the swing states in no time. [...]
Sun, 23 Oct 2016 20:01:25 +0000
Earth in Human Hands: Shaping Our Planet’s Future
By David Grinspoon, Grand Central Publishing
Earth in Human Hands is a page-turning masterpiece of speculative nonfiction that will keep new and veteran science aficionados spellbound for hours at a time. It is quite simply the kind of book that can change a young reader’s life, or inspire parents and teachers to do the same.
When I first saw my advance copy, there was more than a little anxiety. Such a thick tome! I’m happy to report that is not a problem thanks to the brilliant writing and impressive organization found within. Grinspoon ties together a dozen disparate themes pulled from a host of sub-fields seamlessly, making the book a delightful, flowing feast of science and commentary.
The book is downright Sagan-esque—which is closer to home than you might expect, as the late Dr. Carl Sagan was a personal friend of the author and his family for years.
Come below to learn more about what kind of a read is in store for you, or what a great gift it would make for any budding or experienced science lover in your life.
Sun, 23 Oct 2016 18:51:24 +0000
Why? Because this year, we have an unapologetic misogynist, who has no filter between his brain and his mouth, running for the presidency of the United States of America. We have never before seen a campaign that is as rich in utter bullshit as this one has been, nor have we ever before been given such an exceptional enemy to unite us.
And unite us he has. According to the conservative Chicago Tribune:
An NBC/Wall Street Journal national poll released Sunday showed that women have propelled Hillary Clinton to an 11-point lead over Trump, 48 percent to 37 percent, among all likely voters. Among female voters, Clinton has a 20-point lead over Trump, 55 to 35 percent. Among men, however, Trump still is the preferred candidate, 48 to 45 percent.
In the 13 "battleground" states that could ultimately decide the race, Clinton has a 15-point lead over Trump among women voters, significantly higher than the 5-point lead she held a month ago, according to a new CBS poll. In addition, Trump's support among Republican women has fallen to 77 percent from 84 percent a month ago.
A new CBS poll, released last Monday, showed a 19-point Clinton lead among women voters.
Clinton’s 19-point lead among female voters, according to CBS, “would be the largest margin for a Democrat among women going back to 1972 when exit polls were first conducted.”
Even more interesting, the CBS poll discovered that news reports about the transcripts of Clinton’s Wall Street speeches are not resonating with the public. Frankly, it seems that the only people who ever wanted to see the transcripts were those who either followed politics closely, or those who repeated what they heard from right-wing radio/television sources. The general public did not appear to be paying much attention. However, that same broader public does appear to pay attention to misogynistic vulgarities.
Sun, 23 Oct 2016 18:11:37 +0000Appearing on Meet the Press to win voters and close the deal for Donald Trump in these waning days before November, Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway promised her future president would indeed sue all those many many women who have been saying nasty things about him—but only after the election. When asked by "Meet the Press" host Chuck Todd, "Why not sue them now?" Kellyanne Conway responded: "Because we're busy winning the presidency." "We're a little bit busy over here doing that," she said. "He's just putting people on notice that they can't just falsely accuse him." So Dear Leader's hesitation in suing the we-forgot-how-many women who have come forward to accuse him of acts of sexual assault is not that he is lying about the encounters or worried about the process of legal discovery that would shed more light on them, but because all the arrayed forces of Dear Leader and company, all ten "billion" dollars worth plus whichever Republican functionaries can be pried away from the ol' porcelain throne on any given day, can't walk and chew gum at the same time. Once the election is over and Donald Trump is president, though, he'll have plenty of time. Lots and lots of time. As long as two important events never happen at the same time, during his presidency, he will be on top of things. A reminder: Please do not feel sorry for Kellyanne Conway. She knew what boat she was boarding when she hoisted her luggage over the side. It is a difficult job, being the chief explainer of what the words coming out from Donald Trump's face-hole really mean and why they really make sense, but this is the path she has chosen. As long as she remembers to cash the checks before November, this will all work out for her. Oh, she also pushed the notion that dead people will be voting in the election and admitted her team is behind because Hillary Clinton has more money than her boss, but whatever. Frustrated you don’t live in a swing state? Click here to sign up for a phonebanking shift with MoveOn. You’ll be calling voters in the swing states in no time. [...]
Sun, 23 Oct 2016 17:41:26 +0000
What follows is a conversation with Joe Conason about his new book on Bill Clinton, which covers his post-presidency and the election.
Joe, this is definitely an election where you have become maybe the invaluable resource given your "institutional memory" about the media and its relationship with Bill and Hillary Clinton. We talked about a year ago on the release of your book The Hunting of Hillary. What has struck you the most about the coverage?
Armando, thanks. Two aspects of the campaign coverage have been most striking to me: First, the tendency to “investigate” Hillary Clinton and emphasize the most negative stories about her, up to and including the invention of falsehoods about her in otherwise reputable media outlets. The prevalence of fraudulent, exaggerated, and unfair stories about the Clinton Foundation, for instance, has continued for many months—ever since the release of Clinton Cash, the largely debunked right-wing book about the Clinton Foundation by Peter Schweizer, in May 2015.
On the other side, we saw very little effort in mainstream news outlets to investigate Donald Trump, his businesses, and his “foundation” until recent weeks. The result of such skewed coverage is that, absurdly, millions of people believe Trump is more honest and trustworthy than Clinton.
Your new book, Man of the World: The Further Endeavors of Bill Clinton, is about his years post-presidency. Tell me about the book.
Man of the World grew out of a profile of Bill Clinton as ex-president that I wrote for Esquire magazine in 2005, when he was about to debut the Clinton Global Initiative. Reporting that story, I traveled to Africa with Clinton and saw what he and his foundation were accomplishing, early on, in providing AIDS treatment to victims in poor countries—who had been abandoned by the West to die by the tens of millions, despite the fact that treatment was broadly available in rich countries. He had taken a stand against this in 2002, but went beyond speech-making to create a solution.
Tue, 18 Oct 2016 20:17:26 +0000Donald Trump’s presidential campaign has imploded after he was caught on tape bragging about committing sexual assault. Many Republican Congress members have disavowed him, while party elites like House Speaker Paul Ryan stopped defending him. This abandonment has set up Trump for a decisive loss, and Hillary Clinton currently leads by 7 points in the national polling average. Her lead could expand even further, particularly if Republican turnout drops thanks to growing disgust with Trump, and if his bogus cries of a “rigged” election discourage Republicans from voting. And on top of Clinton’s likely victory, many analysts—including Daily Kos Elections—project that Democrats are modestly favored to retake the Senate. Very few, however, expect Democrats to win the House, despite the polls showing voters favor Democratic candidates. Why is that the lower house, supposedly designed to be the more democratic of the two chambers, is more insulated from public opinion? There are many reasons, but one one of the most crucial is gerrymandering. Some critics contend that gerrymandering is unimportant and largely a consequence of geography—Democrats are heavily packed into dark-blue cities while Republicans are more efficiently spread out in light-red suburbs and rural areas—but this argument doesn't bear deeper scrutiny. Gerrymandering is indeed a serious problem. In 2015, Daily Kos Elections published a series of articles where we attempted to draw entirely nonpartisan congressional maps for every state—the sort of maps you’d expect a court or a non-political redistricting commission to produce. These hypothetical maps take into account traditional nonpartisan redistricting criteria, such as respect for the Voting Rights Act, city and county integrity, communities of interest like shared culture or demographics, and geographic compactness, and they ignore things like partisanship or where incumbents live. We then calculated the 2012 election results for president and other races for these hypothetical districts on the map shown at the top of this post (you can find a larger version here). From there, we estimated how the 2012 House elections might have turned out under these nonpartisan districts to try to measure the impact of gerrymandering. Our conclusion was both astounding and infuriating: Gerrymandering likely cost Democrats a net of 25 seats in 2012, more than the 17 they needed to claim a majority that year, and far more than the eight they actually did gain. With only some small exceptions, the same maps will be used again this year, and Daily Kos Elections and other analysts currently project Democratic gains of only around 10 to 20 seats, well short of the 30 the party now needs for a majority, following heavy losses in 2014. As a result, gerrymandering could once again cost Democrats a majority in 2016 even if t[...]
Sun, 23 Oct 2016 15:21:20 +0000
When you think of Hillary Clinton on the campaign trail, chances are you think of her at a scene like the one above.
In a diner or a cafe. In someone’s living room or kitchen. In a small group or on a small stage. Around a table, taking people’s questions and listening to people’s concerns.
Listening is a skill that most women have had to master, because too many men tend to interrupt, seldom giving women a chance to put in their two cents. Not everyone is a good listener. Hillary Clinton, however, is very good at listening to people.
Some candidates have large rallies with wildly cheering supporters. Hillary Clinton certainly has had her share of rallies and speeches. But Clinton has always preferred the smaller venue, the town hall meeting, the sitting-around-the-table talk. Instead of just telling people what she wants to do, she asks people what issues affect them, what topics she should tackle, what actions they want her to take. Then she uses those answers to broaden her policies. As a story in The Atlantic put it, the strategy is to “build the candidate's credentials as one that connects with voters, knows the issues they care about, and makes it clear she isn't taking anything for granted.”
Sun, 23 Oct 2016 14:11:23 +0000In less than three weeks, Americans will head to the polls to pick their next president. With the start of the open enrollment period for Obamacare, millions of them will also soon be selecting health care coverage for 2017. By most measures, the Affordable Care Act which made health insurance possible for some 25 million Americans has been an overwhelming success. More than 10 million people have purchased private insurance through the Obamacare marketplaces, with about three-quarters receiving subsidies to help cover the cost. States which chose to expand Medicaid have, as predicted, extended coverage to millions more of their residents, slashed their costs for uncompensated care for the uninsured, and improved the financial stability of their hospitals. At less than 9 percent, America's uninsured rate is at the lowest level on record. And the ACA hasn't just remained under budget even as the rate of health care cost growth has slowed. Obamacare, it turns out, has helped reduce income inequality. But that doesn't mean Obama's Affordable Care Act is not facing serious challenges. Most of Obamacare's health insurance co-ops have failed, as actuarial misjudgment and Republican sabotage of the ACA's "risk corridors" program left them exposed by billions of dollars the federal government had promised to provide. The withdrawal of major carriers and minor players from some states has left more than 1 million Obamacare subscribers needing to select a new insurance plan for 2017. As a result, many counties (especially in rural areas) are down to a single insurer offering exchange plans, the very kind of market consolidation the GAO and American Medical Association warned about years before the passage of the ACA. Combined with the insurers' ever-narrowing network of providers and the rapid pace of hospital mergers and acquisitions, higher deductibles and pre-subsidy premiums are making affordable care unaffordable for many. There is no mystery regarding the diagnosis and prescription for the ailing American health care system. Ultimately, the United States must treat health care less like a market and more like a utility. As we'll see below, that means doing the very thing every major economy outside the U.S. does to control health care costs: set rates. But in the near term, the president and Congress can take three steps to help American consumers and stabilize the Obamacare exchanges: Establish a "public option" for health insurance Increase the insurance subsidies provided to individuals and families Redesign the ACA's risk corridor program along the lines of Medicare Luckily, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan—like President Obama—supports all three. [...]
Sun, 23 Oct 2016 13:01:21 +0000Much of the focus here in the U.S. is on the upcoming election of our first female president and her opponent’s ugly behavior and language—and his shaming of women has struck a chord with young women and girls. Hillary Clinton’s campaign ad, titled “Mirrors,” speaks to it. Recently, I had a discussion about this with the young women (and one young man) in my introduction to women’s studies class. Most of them are first-year students, so their memories of high school and middle school are fresh. All of these young women shared stories about being sent to detention, or shamed, or being sent home, or having parents called to school because they had a shirt on that showed their collarbones or shoulders, or because they wore leggings or yoga pants. They shared about themselves, their younger sisters, and friends, and how this made them feel. My response was: “Collarbones? Collarbones? Shoulders? WTF?” I’m ashamed to admit that I had no idea. I asked, “Was this Catholic school?” and most answered no—this was public school. I listened and then headed off to do some research, promising them I would blog about it. One of the first things that popped up was very recent, and I promptly tweeted it. xMiddle School Girls Wear 'I Am More Than a Distraction' Shirts to Protest Dress Code https://t.co/7BpQHVVULd via @sheilabotÃ¢ÂÂ Denise Oliver-Velez (@Deoliver47) October 6, 2016 From the story: The students created their homemade shirts after they say the school’s new principal, Peter Daddone, forced anyone in violation of the dress code to wear an oversized yellow T-shirt, according to the Frederick News-Post. They argue that requiring students to wear one of the oversized shirts as punishment is actually against the dress code, which states that students “who are in violation will be addressed privately by an administrator or staff member.” The protestors are also frustrated that the dress code mostly focuses on girls’ clothing – banning spaghetti straps, shorts under a 4-inch inseam and shirts that reveal cleavage – not boys’. “They’re telling us it’s our responsibility not to be distracting, when it should be their responsibility,” eighth-grader Abby Carioti told the Frederick News-Post, adding that the school shouldn’t be teaching boys that it’s inappropriate for girls to show their shoulders. I’ve invited my students to join in the comments below and share some of what they shared with me, and I hope other young people and parents will do so as well. [...]
Sun, 23 Oct 2016 11:01:17 +0000
Dana Milbank thinks it’s not enough to beat Donald Trump.
As a matter of math, Arizona is irrelevant: If Clinton is doing well enough to win here, she will already have locked up the election elsewhere. But if Trump is to be denied in his bid to subvert democratic institutions by claiming a rigged election, he needs to be defeated resoundingly, removing all doubt. Clinton needs to run up the score.
The need to deal Trump a humiliating defeat has a sociological basis in the “degradation ceremony,” in which the perpetrator (Trump) is held by denouncers (officeholders and others in positions of influence) to be morally unacceptable, and witnesses (the public) agree that the perpetrator is no longer held in good standing.
To put it in terms that Trump would understand, he doesn’t just need to lose. He needs to be voted off the island, no chairs turn. He needs to be fired.
Trump’s recent actions — talking about a “rigged” election while laying the foundation for a Trump TV network — suggest that he will attempt to defy the degradation ceremony that a loss typically confers. Hence the importance of a landslide.
Protecting democracy requires that Donald Trump be completely humiliated. Proving once again that one good thing leads to another.
Now come on in. Let’s see what the rest of pundit land has to say.
Sun, 23 Oct 2016 03:01:39 +0000
What’s coming up on Sunday Kos …
Fri, 21 Oct 2016 20:17:36 +0000
Donald Trump was campaigning on Friday—check that—was out on the trail whining about all mean ads Hillary Clinton is running against him. Trump sobbed:
They have different things. The — I won’t go into things because my people go crazy. They say, ‘Don’t be particular, just’ — I like to deny things. Like, I like to deny — because — but they say, ‘Oh, talk about jobs.’ But these things are so false. All of these things, they’re so false. They’re such lies.
Of course you can appreciate why his people go crazy when he gets specific, considering that most of the ads are simply video of Donald Trump spewing his particular brand of idiocy and/or hate. And now “Hillary for America” has an ad to address Trump’s fondness for denying his own words—or as many people would call it, lying—titled “Google it.” Head below the fold and watch.