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Published: Fri, 22 Sep 2017 06:32:50 +0000

Last Build Date: Fri, 22 Sep 2017 06:32:50 +0000

Copyright: Copyright 2005 - Steal what you want

Tips From The Hitchhiker's Guide to Persuasion Canvassing in Virginia

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 15:02:41 +0000

As I knocked on what was at least my 1,000th door canvassing for Virginia candidates in 2017, I wondered. Will it be a solid consistently-voting Democrat? An independent? A low-frequency voter?  Would I be able to connect with them? Ever hopeful, as the door opened and I saw someone answering the description of my walk list, I began: “Ms Jones? My name is Jim Shelton. I’m a volunteer with the Democratic Party here in Manassas. We’re reaching out to voters in the neighborhood to talk about the upcoming election in November. We’re interested in hearing what’s on voters’ minds and what’s important to them.” Because I’ve had so many of such conversations, I’ve decided to lay out for you the persuasion canvassing techniques that seem to work for me, also drawing on research and basic behavior change principles. You can find the full write up here – the Hitchhiker’s Guide to Persuasion Canvassing in Virginia. The guide is oriented to the “persuasion” phase, targeting people who might not have made up their minds or be aware of the candidates or election. (Canvassing approaches shift in the later “Get-Out-The-Vote” or GOTV phase.) I’m omitting basic walk list mechanics, because you will pick that up easily or already know them. Although every conversation is different, and the order and content will vary, here are some key concepts: Overriding Principle: Connect with the voter at a genuine, personal and human level. Be open and sincere. Listen and adapt as the interaction proceeds, recognizing differences among people. Not really so hard - something we do every day. Warm Up:  Campaign scripts generally move quickly to the candidate(s) – e.g., asking whether the voter knows and supports the candidate(s.)  That can certainly work. But I like to stay in the listening mode.  Key questions: “Have you been following our election in November?” “As a voter, do you tend to vote in most elections or just selectively?” The Trump Card – the great icebreaker – “How do you feel about how things are going in Washington with Mr. Trump?” Soliciting Voter Views. “Let me ask you, what things or issues are important to you now?”  Typically it is one of these: Health Care Women’s Health Transportation (and overdevelopment) Environment Education Gun Safety Gerrymandering/Voting Rights Bad things happening in Washington Ask them to elaborate. Listen, validate, affirm, connect, and bring in your own experience.  Be respectful and don’t get in debates. Remember, such active listening is really motivating. Use the voter’s issue(s) to focus on the candidate(s.) For each issue it is good to have a simple “sound bite” message contrasting your candidate(s) with their opponents.   For example, for education: “I really agree about the importance of education, Ms Jones. Our children’s futures depend on it.  And my candidate is strongly in favor of much better support to public schools.  But you know the Republicans want to take money away from public schools and give it to private schools through vouchers.”  Then comes a good opportunity to introduce the candidate(s). You can present the campaign literature and point out their faces, reinforcing their support for education as well as personal qualities.   The campaigns provide talking point bullets to help. You don’t have to be an expert on every issue. You are just a volunteer and can refer a question to the campaign if necessary. Target the entire Republican legislature as wasting time on distracting ideological issues like - bathroom bills, transvaginal ultrasound, defunding Planned Parenthood and voter suppression. Voters who are not issue-oriented. They vote more on likability, things in common with the candidate or “character.” Point out positive characteristics, e.g. family background, military service, leadership experience, community service, gender. The campaign literature will help. Closure.   Many “persuasion” voters will at best only move several notches in the blue directi[...]

If Cassidy-Graham Passes, Then Who Got Played?

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 00:50:48 +0000

I guess it’s worth noting that, if Cassidy-Graham actually passes, it will have been Schumer, Pelosi, and Democrats who got played with the three month extension on the budget and the debt ceiling. Without that extension, Republicans would have no time to ram through this horrendous bill that guts Medicaid entirely and strips healthcare from probably around 30 million Americans. In addition, Republicans would not have hundreds of billions of dollars in reduced federal spending to play with for tax cuts for their rich and corporate cronies. McConnell, Ryan, and Trump will have gotten everything they wanted. As David Frum says, Trump’s core competency is swindling people gullible enough to believe him. Hard to believe, but it looks like Democrats fell for it.

Originally published at on September 20, 2017.

VA-Gov: Ed Gillespie (R) Flip-Flops Almost Immediately On Opposing New GOP "Skinny Repeal" Bill

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 22:39:47 +0000

Run away! Ed Gillespie, Republican candidate for governor of Virginia, walked back comments opposing the congressional Republican health care bill mere minutes after he made them Tuesday night. In a televised debate with his Democratic opponent, Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam (D), Gillespie said he did not support the Graham-Cassidy bill, which is the latest attempt by congressional Republicans to repeal the Affordable Care Act. “Virginia cannot be punished in any legislation for not being an expansion state and for being fiscally prudent with our Medicaid dollars,” Gillespie said. “And in my view, Graham-Cassidy falls short of that.” Northam pressed him on the matter, asking him to align himself with the many Republican governors who have publicly objected to the legislation. “I would ask you tonight to join the two Republican governors that have said that this would be a bad idea. I think it would be a great idea ―” Northam said. “I just said we can’t punish Virginia,” Gillespie shot back, implying his remarks had been tantamount to an agreement with those GOP governors. But shortly after the debate, Gillespie appeared to change his tune, claiming he did not have a position on Graham-Cassidy per se, but that he merely opposed any provision that penalized Virginia financially for not using ACA funds to expand Medicaid. “There is a process under way right now. And I want to make sure Virginia is protected from that kind of punishment but I’m not endorsing or opposing any specific legislation,” Gillespie told a reporter after the debate. Might be hard to get a straight answer from Gillespie on this because Northam is exposing how he’s a job killing lobbyist: In Virginia’s contentious gubernatorial race, Democrat Ralph Northam has identified what he sees as a new vulnerability in Republican Ed Gillespie’s political consulting work: His clients included major corporations that laid off Virginia workers. Gillespie or his firms previously advised Bank of America, Anthem and AT&T, companies that shed hundreds of jobs in Virginia, in some cases while Gillespie was advising the clients. “You know a man by the people he serves. Ralph Northam has spent his entire life serving his country and the commonwealth of Virginia, while Ed Gillespie spent over 30 years of his career fighting for wealthy special interests ― including corporations that laid off thousands of Virginians,” Christina Freundlich, the Northam campaign’s deputy communications director, said in a statement. “Virginians shouldn’t have to question whether or not their governor is going to fight for their jobs, or fight for the wellbeing of corporate clients that lined Gillespie’s pockets with cash.” The Gillespie campaign did not immediately respond to a request for a response to the accusation. Gillespie has a long history of advising the three corporations in the past decade and a half, a tenure punctuated by a brief stint in the White House of then-President George W. Bush and two political campaigns. Virginia law does not require candidates for statewide office to disclose the name of every company operating in the state that they have retained as a client. But Gillespie’s campaign revealed that Gillespie’s firm, Ed Gillespie Strategies, advised Bank of America, Anthem and AT&T in 2016, as well as Microsoft. In the 2014 financial disclosure for Gillespie’s failed Senate bid, he also listed Bank of America and AT&T as clients of his firm in the preceding two years. And prior to joining the Bush White House as a counselor to the president in 2007, Gillespie was at the helm of QGA Public Affairs, the bipartisan lobbying and consulting powerhouse that he co-founded. The firm’s many clients included Bank of America, AT&T and Anthem. Bank of America paid QGA at least $780,000 in lobbying fees from 2005 until Gillespie’s 2007 departure for the White House, and retained Gillespie’s cons[...]

My friend, Mike Odum, killed in Vietnam in 1969

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 20:57:07 +0000

Sep 18, 2017 12:59pm Element removed The debut on September 17 of the Ken Burns documentary series on the Vietnam War should stir memories among those of us who lived through those trying times.  It made me thing about my late friend, Capt. Michael R. R. Odum, U.S. Army, who died in combat there on September 11, 1969. I also thought about the devastating impact on his mother, who never recovered from the loss of her only child. Mike was at Leon High School, Tallahassee, FL, when I was across town at Florida High, and we got to know each other through after-school activities. He was a serious student, a bit eccentric, and not easy to get to know, but I made friends with him. I would see Mike from time to time when we were both undergraduates at Florida State University. I was a reservist enlisted sailor then – attending weekly meetings at an off-campus reserve center – while he rose through the ranks of FSU’s Army ROTC to become brigade commander. You couldn’t find anyone more enthusiastic and committed to the Army. His service as an artillery officer later in the 1960s coincided with the height of U.S. combat operations in Vietnam. Mike was on his third tour there when he was killed in action in Phong Dinh province.  The Army awarded him a Bronze Star medal for bravery. More important, he earned our gratitude for giving his all for our country.  But there was another human cost that went mostly unnoticed. When I moved back to Tallahassee from Washington DC and New York City in 1986, my new home in the Lafayette Park neighborhood was around the corner from his. His elderly mother still lived there, a recluse, alone in a house showing years of neglect. Mike had been her only child. She never overcame losing Mike.  His VW was parked in the front driveway, right where he left it before leaving for his last combat tour two decades earlier. It had a heavy coat of grime, which even Tallahassee thunderstorms could not wash off. All four tires were flat.  His car stayed there until his mother died a few years later, a mute reminder of her tragedy. I couldn’t pass by without a great sadness weighing on me. When the new owners renovated and modernized the house, they sent Mike’s car off somewhere, turning a new page of that house. I carry that image to this day as a reminder of the human cost of war, how each life is precious, and how we must never spend a single life of our brave men and women carelessly or cynically.  Mike’s name appears on the wall of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington DC. – halfway down the 18W panel. When I’m near that end of the National Mall, I stop by to touch his name engraved in marble.  I also say his name out loud. Someone once said that everyone dies three deaths: first, when your body gives out; next, when your body is buried, and third and finally, the last time a person says your name. So as long as someone is left to say his name, Capt. Michael R. R. Odum lives on. Bob Rackleff , Tallahassee, FL, candidate for U.S. Congress in Florida’s 2nd District, is a retired Naval Intelligence Officer and longtime political and corporate speechwriter. [...]

Democrats Look to End GOP’s Reign in Albuquerque!

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 18:13:10 +0000

Cross Posted by Ready2Vote Edited By: Annie Phan On Oct. 3rd we have an excellent shot at winning Albuquerque, New Mexico’s mayoral seat with Democratic State Auditor Tim Keller. Prior to his election to State Auditor in 2014, Keller served as State Senator from 2009-2015. Many believe that Keller will be one of two candidates to advance to a nonpartisan runoff election on Nov. 7th. The question is who will be Keller’s opponent. We could see a Democratic or a Republican opponent this year. If Keller faces a Democrat, team blue will already have a pickup secured. The Democratic Party held this seat for nine years until Republican Richard Berry won in 2009. However, Mayor Berry will not seek re-election in 2017, creating the first Albuquerque mayoral election without an incumbent in 20 years. On the Republican side, there are two prime candidates in the race for mayor - City Councilor Dan Lewis and County Commissioner Wayne Johnson. Lewis has been a city councilor for as long as Richard Berry was elected mayor in 2009. Lewis could be Keller’s most favorable opponent due Legacy Church Pastor Steve Smothermon’s endorsement of Lewis. Smothermon stated, “I wholeheartedly support Dan Lewis for mayor. He's the one true believer in the race, and would never in anyway support the homosexual agenda," alienating many voters in Albuquerque's electorate. The other conceivable Republican, Wayne Johnson, who serves as a county commissioner since 2011 in district 5. Johnson seems to be the establishment Republican of the race, however, he faces ethical complaints that he took money from associates that do business with the county. Brian Colón, a former Chairman of the New Mexico Democratic Party, is the other main Democratic candidate in the race. If Colón and Keller advance into a runoff, the Democratic Party would automatically pick up the seat. However, if Colon advances into the runoff as the sole Democratic nominee, he may be more likely to lose as a result of the baggage he brings with his law firm’s activities in defending police officers that are involved in shootings. Consequently, the chairman of the Hispanic Round Table of New Mexico stated he will not support Colón over these activities. A recent survey predicts a runoff election: 25% of respondents support Keller, 14% for Colon, and 13% for Lewis. Keller, as mentioned above, currently serves as State Auditor of New Mexico. Despite the GOP mini-wave of 2014, most of New Mexico’s row-offices remained Democratic, including Keller’s win for the State Auditor position. If Keller wins the mayoral race, he would resign from his office, meaning Republican Governor Susana Martinez would have a chance to put a Republican in the position. However, considering how elections are going in 2017, New Mexico Democratic Party should have confidence in retaking the Auditor’s office next year if need be. Keller centers his campaign on revitalizing Albuquerque's economy, stopping crime, and rejecting BIG MONEY in politics. In the 2016 Presidential election, Bernalillo County (which includes the City of Albuquerque) voted for Hillary Clinton by a 52.2%-34.5% with former Governor Gary Johnson taking 10.8%. In 2012, the county voted 55.6%-39.4%-4.5% for Barack Obama. In between these two presidential elections, Mayor Richard Berry won his second term 67.9%-28.7%, evidence of Republican voter devotion in off-year elections. Thus, the Democratic Party needs to rally its base during this off-year election. Let’s win this mayoral election and lock the GOP out of the largest city in New Mexico. SHARE this post with your friends in New Mexico and remind them to VOTE EARLY, VOTE ABSENTEE, or VOTE IN PERSON! Democrat Tim Keller is our best shot at taking the Albuquerque's mayoral mansion from the GOP! Follow Tim Keller on Twitter HERE  LIKE Tim Keller’s Facebook Page HERE Learn more about Tim Keller’s Campaign HERE [...]

The White Working Class, No Identity Politics Here…

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 18:10:03 +0000

Someone explain to me why the only group not accused of identity politics are, cis-gendered white males? The male, so-called, white working class gets to criticize women’s sexual reproductive rights groups, Black Lives Matter, DACA, LGBTQ and other civil rights consortiums under the banner of economic anxiety. When challenged, they feign outrage, belittle the backlash, point a finger and yell, “IDENTITY POLITICS!” From yelling commies in the 50’s, agitators in the 60’s, pinkos in the 70’s, bleeding hearts in the 80’s, race card players in the 90’s and now amnesty lovers, labels have always worked for the identity-less.  Yes, that is a made-up word, and so is this notion that privilege in America is not being played out as a separate distinctiveness.  With a group willing to embrace, egoism, racism, sexism and just plain, ‘I hate you-ism’ as a cause, the slow grind of pulverized decency from Reagan to Trump was predictable. The media has played its role in this farce as well. For reasons that are far too numerous to name here, corporatism being at the top of the list, we have accepted the depiction of false grievance as normal. Trump descended a golden escalator to denounce people of color and Reagan embraced the town[ Philadelphia, Mississippi] responsible for one of the most notorious racial hate crimes in American history. If you believe this is an accident and not a strategy, think again… I am developing a permanent grimace from being subjected to stories about the poor, economically anxiety riddled, downtrodden white man. In an article penned by Laura Shin, 2015 for Forbes she reported that the average wealth of a white-households is 16 times greater than that of black-households; Be still my bleeding heart for the white working-class guy. Yet the politics of grievance has so permeated the conservative culture that voting against their own self-interest is a badge of honor.  At the beginning of former President Barack Obama’s second term, Republican states took more out of government coffers than Democratic states, “Republican states, on average, received $1.46 in federal spending for every tax dollar paid; Democratic states, on average, received $1.16.” (Dave Gilson, 2012) Mother Jones.    Included in these states are two of the poorest states in the Union, West Virginia and Mississippi both predominantly white.  If you manufacture the weapons of your own demise do not complain when your neighbor shoots you.  So, Southern states, midwestern bastions of conservatism, and pockets of the rust belt have now thrown their fortunes in with an alleged rich New Yorker (remember when Republicans labeled them useless elitist) and are waiting for their runoff share of the daily grift. Can you say “Trickle Down?”     The Trump family is now paying their legal bills with money raised by the RNC and its campaign donors.  They have charged exorbitant rent for protection by the Secret Service for protecting two private properties of the Trump empire, Mar-a-Lago and Trump Tower, that exceeded their budget.   The next time you drive by a Latino in a hard hat, a Black Man with a lunch pail, a pregnant woman with a bus transfer in hand or an immigrant student struggling to board a subway car, loaded down with books, slow down a bit, some of that economic anxiety may lessen. [...]

MN-Sen: Amy Klobuchar (D) Mounts Pressure On Senate To Kill New Trumpcare "Skinny Repeal" Bill

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 17:30:56 +0000

Received this e-mail today from U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar’s (D. MN) re-election campaign:

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D. MN)

Yesterday I took to the Senate floor to oppose the latest version of the repeal of the Affordable Care Act.  The bill is just as "mean" (those are the President's words...remember?) as earlier versions.  It cuts millions off of health care, socks our rural hospitals, and does nothing to reduce the prices of prescription drugs.  Meanwhile it would tube the important bipartisan work being done in the Senate as we are close to an agreement on changes to the Affordable Care Act that would reduce prices for those in the exchanges.

 Republicans and Democrats in Minnesota agreed to a plan and I think we can do the same in the Senate.  But not if this repeal bill passes.

Join me in telling the Republicans in the Senate: Now is the time for bipartisan solutions, not partisan bills that kick millions off of health care.



P.S. Certain states -- including Minnesota -- would be particularly hurt by this bill.  That is why Midwestern leaders, including the Republican Governor of Ohio, have come out against this bill.

P.P.S.  There is no official Congressional Budget Office score on this bill, which means that no one knows exactly how it would impact each state.  Why would we mess around with people's health care without knowing that?                        

Click here to add your name.

VA-Sen: UMW Poll Gives Tim Kaine (D) A 17 Point Lead Over Confederate Corey Stewart (R), 53-36

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 17:17:11 +0000

Some more good news out of Virginia today regarding next year’s U.S. Senate race:

The first statewide poll of the 2018 Senate race, released today, suggests Prince William Board of Supervisors Chairman Corey Stewart faces an uphill battle in his effort to unseat U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine.

Registered voters surveyed favored Kaine  (D) over Stewart by a 53 to 36 percent margin, according to a survey of 1,000 registered Virginia voters conducted earlier this month by the University of Mary Washington.

The poll showed Kaine with similar double-digit leads over other possible Republican contenders, including Congressmen Dave Brat, whose 7th District stretches from suburban Richmond to Culpeper, and Scott Taylor, who represents the 2nd District, which includes much of Hampton Roads.

Those surveyed favored Kaine 54 to 36 percent against Brat and 52 to 37 percent against Taylor.

So far, Stewart, R-At Large, is the only Republican who has officially entered the race.

But the survey found that slightly more respondents said they favored Taylor as the Republican candidate, with 20 percent picking Taylor, 12 percent favoring Stewart and 9 percent supporting Brat. Others said they were undecided, according to a UMW press release issued Wednesday morning.

The survey found the Republicans suffer from limited name recognition statewide.

Let’s take nothing for granted and get ready to win big next year. Click here to donate and get involved with Kaine’s re-election bid.

FL-Sen: Rolling Stone, "Rick Scott (R) has done everything he can to do nothing on climate change"

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 15:57:08 +0000

Rolling Stone has a brutal piece out today on Governor Rick Scott’s (R. FL) response to Hurricane Irma and his record on the environment: Whoever designed the universe must have a twisted sense of humor. It would be hard to cast a more unlikely hero than Scott for this catastrophic event. In fact, Scott's triumph is its own kind of catastrophe, one that says a lot about why the politics of climate change and disaster relief are so screwed up in America. Politically, Scott is Trump without the bluster and the golf clubs. On climate change, Scott refuses to acknowledge its existence. During his 2014 campaign, whenever the subject came up, he would shrug and say, "I am not a scientist" – as if that absolved him of any responsibility for thinking about the risk posed to millions of people in the state he proposed to run. As governor, Scott has done everything he can to do nothing. He made sure the state of Florida contributed zero dollars to Miami Beach's $400 million plan to improve storm drainage. He took more than $1 million from Big Utilities, who tried to stop rooftop solar power in Florida, which could help reduce carbon pollution. He effectively dismantled the Florida Energy and Climate Commission, which had been assembled by Scott's predecessor, Charlie Crist, to help Florida officials think strategically about climate adaptation. As Kathy Baughman McLeod, a conservation expert who served on the commission, told the Washington Post, "There is no state leadership on climate change in Florida, period." In 2014, after months of lobbying, a group of scientists scored a meeting with Scott, hoping to convince him that climate change was real and Florida was in the crosshairs. "He just sat there and stared at us with lizard eyes," one of the scientists at the meeting told me. "I don't think he heard a word we said." On the other hand, maybe he did. The following year, the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting revealed that Scott's administration had commanded state employees not to use the terms "global warming" or "climate change" in any state business. Scott later denied it, but there was plenty of evidence it was true: An epidemiologist was forced to take the words "climate change" out of a study done with the Department of Health; a university researcher was made to pull the phrase from a report summary. Scott supported Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord. He also signed legislation, pushed by real-estate developers, to weaken Florida's building codes, even though the legislation was opposed by Florida's emergency management director, as well as Craig Fugate, the former head of FEMA under President Obama, who argued that by loosening the building codes in a hurricane-prone state like Florida, lawmakers "are putting your state and your citizens at risk." And despite everything that happens, Scott remains unconvinced that climate change is real and man-made: “Clearly our environment changes all the time, and whether that’s cycles we’re going through or whether that’s man-made, I wouldn’t be able to tell you which one it is,” Scott said after twice touring the storm-ravaged Florida Keys this week. “But I can tell you this: We ought to go solve problems. I know we have beach renourishment issues. I know we have flood-mitigation issues.” In not taking a position on climate change, Scott’s views and responses to questions about climate change have remained markedly steady for years. The only major difference, for instance, between his comments Wednesday evening to reporters and his statements before his 2014 reelection is that he no longer says, “I’m not a scientist.” Before that, in his first election in 2010, Scott clearly denied the idea of anthropogenic global warming. “I've not been convinced that there's any man-made climate change[...]

Change the Face of Maine

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 23:00:06 +0000

This is the current face of Maine: Left: Donald Trump, the President of the United States. Right: Paul LePage, the Governor of Maine. This is what it needs to be: Left to right: Hassan Abdi, candidate for Lewiston School Committee in Ward 5; Safiya Khalid, candidate for Lewiston School Committee at-large; Ahmed Sheikh, candidate for Lewiston School Committee in Ward 1. You can help change the face of Maine with as little as a $5 contribution. In 2010, Maine elected Paul LePage. In hindsight, it was a warning sign, but at the time it didn’t seem to say all that much because he won with only 38 percent of the vote. During his first term, LePage referred to the IRS as “the new Gestapo,” told the NAACP to “kiss my butt,” and said that a Democratic state senator was “the first one to give it to the people without providing Vaseline.” It’s easy to see why LePage’s friends and foes alike call him ‘Donald Trump before Donald Trump.’ After four years of tumult, LePage faced an uphill battle against a popular longtime Democratic congressman, Mike Michaud. Shockingly, he defeated Michaud with 48 percent of the vote. At the same time, Democrats lost Maine’s 2nd congressional district for the first time since 1992. In 2016, Maine’s problem comes home to roost at the presidential level. Democrats lost Maine’s 2nd congressional district again along with its electoral vote (Maine is one of two states that divides electoral votes by congressional district winners). Trump came within 20,000 votes of taking the state—Hillary Clinton’s entire margin of victory came from the city of Portland. Despite its narrow vote for Hillary, Maine is a perfect microcosm of what is happening in our politics. The rural areas that were voting for Democrats (President Obama won the 2nd fairly easily in 2012) broke heavily the other way. If we are going to win back the 2nd, win back the House and be a governing party again, we need to start with the people in this state who should be with us—college students and new immigrant communities. That is what we in the Lewiston Democratic Party are doing. We have detailed plans to reach out to students at Bates College this election to help get a progressive city council and force Medicaid expansion through a statewide referendum. We also have three new immigrant candidates running for school committee (hailing from the same Somali community that Trump attacked in 2016). We have the drive, we have the ability, we just need a small amount of money to put our plan into motion. This is how we fight back, this is how we retake Maine. This is how we stop Trump. Give what you can and we will change the face of Maine. [...]

Trump Blusters UN; GOP Repealing Again; Dems 'Look Forward' w/ Medicare-for-All: 'BradCast' 9/19/17

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 01:10:39 +0000

Guest: John Judis of TPM; Also: Hurricane Maria devastates Caribbean, new earthquake devastates central Mexico... Today on The BradCast, its yet another day with an impossibly huge number of important breaking news stories to cover. But we try. Along with some conversation about a potential ray of sunlight for Democrats. [Audio link to show follows below.] First up, the President of the United States threatened to "totally destroy" North Korea and called its leader names from the dias, during his first address to a U.N. General Assembly today. Donald Trump went on to call Iran a "rogue nation", describing the deal struck between between Iran and six other nations (U.S., Russia, China, France, Germany and UK) to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, "an embarrassment" and "the worst" agreement the U.S. has ever made. Allies and adversaries alike pushed back at the U.S. President. * North Korea dismissed "impotent threats by international shouting magnate Donald the twitchings of a Dog licking its flea-riddled scrotum"; Iran's President charged the U.S. would "pay a high price" if it withdraws from the nuclear pact by losing both "trust and credibility" with the rest of the world; and France's Emmanuel Macron chided Trump for failing to mention climate change (speaking of hard-fought agreements that Trump hopes to abandon) during his address, and said that if the U.S. renounced the nuclear deal with Iran, which the French President described as "essential for peace", it would be a "grave error". Meanwhile, in D.C., Democrats and health care advocates are sounding the alarm about the latest frantic Republican attempt in the U.S. Senate to "repeal and replace" the Affordable Care Act before the option to do so with only 50 votes is over at the end of this month. The latest Senate GOP scheme is a bill that would end ObamaCare's premium subsidies and expansion of Medicaid by handing limited block grants to states who, they say, should decide how health care money is best spent. Despite that, one Republican Senator is attempting to add an amendment to the measure that would bar all states from using those federal grants for a single-payer type system, if they so choose. All of that, just after Vermont's independent Sen. Bernie Sanders introduced a "Medicare-for-All" bill last week with the support of 16 Senate Democrats. We're joined today by TPM's Editor-at-Large JOHN JUDIS to discuss the politics behind Sanders' plan, whether its aspirational goals outweigh its "political dangers", and if it might serve to help the Democratic Party overcome the "thinktank incrementalism" in which, Judis charges, the party has long been mired. "Health care is something that really should not be in the hands of private corporations that deal with health care in order to make a profit for their stockholders [and] raise the incomes of their executives," Judis argues. "And I think a lot of Americans are coming to feel that way. And, in fact, I think we've felt this way since 1948. It's a longstanding issue in America." While detailing political perils that Dems will face in pressing the measure and noting that he doesn't believe that support of Medicare-for-All should necessarily be a "litmus test" for every Democrat running for office, Judis explains why "a vision, a horizon to look beyond" is very important to the Democratic Party which, he says, has "been bereft of a kind of visionary component" for many decades. It is the "responsibility of a party to put forward what people might want and not just what you could achieve in Congress over the next month, or year, or two years." Finally, Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report, as Hurricane Maria devastates the Caribbean in Irma's path, Trump continues to deny the link between climate an[...]

NM-Sen: Martin Heinrich (D) Mounts Pressure On The Senate To Kill New Trumpcare "Skinny Repeal" Bill

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 17:26:48 +0000

Received this e-mail today from U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich’s (D. NM) re-election campaign:

Sen. Martin Heinrich (D. NM)

This is urgent.

Senate Republicans launched their last ditch effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

Because of Senate procedures, Republicans have only 12 days to pass their repeal bill with ONLY 50 votes. President Trump and Mitch McConnell are all in to pass this bill before September 30. They’re twisting arms and making promises to get the votes. We have to act now to stop this once and for all.

Here is the message we want to send to Senate Republicans. Please, join me and add your name right now.

Just as Republicans and Democrats began exploring ways to improve our health care system, Republicans offer another attempt to gut Medicaid and rip insurance away from millions of Americans.

Experts are calling this version even worse than the one that failed in the Senate in July. But that does not stop Senate Republicans from doing everything they can to push this bill through without any debate, hearings, or CBO score.

We have stood together before to defeat their attempts of health care repeal, and we can do it again.

Please sign your name and show you oppose the Senate Republicans’ latest attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act.



Click here to add your name.

Asking for hard numbers on M4A does not make a person an Enemy of The Revolution

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 16:59:24 +0000

For heaven’s sake.  People who have no problem demanding CBO scores on various Republican outrages like Graham-Cassidy nevertheless will attack people who want to see the tax bill for M4A or other nationalized health care ideas, because just jumping up and down and claiming that it will be cheaper than what we already have is not good enough; we have to sell this idea and it would be better to get the hard math part done first, right?  So we can promote such an idea in the real world?

I don’t understand the resistance here, you should forgive the expression, because it’s not “the resistance,” it’s a resistance to the idea that we should see some actual figures so that real world bills can be crafted in the event that we actually have a chance to implement such a proposal in that happy alternate universe in which Trump is gone along with the Republican majority; or even sooner, in case some sane Republicans actually want to deliver health care to the people.

I realize that I am a hopelessly nitpicking old lady who believes in facts and reality and getting things done.

Sorry about that.

But the hard nitty gritty work is what gets things done. 

Same with “free” college.  Show us the numbers.  There is no “free.”

Meanwhile, in case people haven’t noticed, we are fighting another last ditch battle to save Obamacare, this time they might actually have the votes because they’ve been literally bribing Red State senators with huge block grants that will do serious harm to Blue States and also, seniors, disabled people, sick people and Medicaid as a program.  

I don’t know why wanting to see actual working numbers makes a person a reactionary.  I don’t.

One reason people reacted so viciously to Obamacare is the mandate.  Americans are famously rebellious.  And we hate paying taxes.  It’s in our national DNA (remember the Boston Tea Party?)

Well, the latter day Tea Party, which has morphed into the dreadful Freedom Caucus emerged from the health care mandate.  People must be persuaded that the numbers add up for them.  Therefore, show us the numbers.  Don’t just preach “oh this is so much more civilized,” and “Canada has a better system!”


We also know from experience that a huge percentage of Americans hates socialism.  Many are Libertarians both Right and Left who hate being told what to do period.  Some still think socialism is Communism, totalitarian style, Soviet authoritarian style communism, which it is not.

Many Americans don’t even believe in “the commons.”

We have an uphill fight here and the truth is our best ally, yet some of us resist a simple request: show me the money.

Show me the money so we can get a majority of voters on our side.

Meanwhile, let’s light up the phone lines and defend Obamacare again before we wind up with Zerocare.

VA-Gov: New Quinnipiac Poll Has Ralph Northam (D) Crushing Ed Gillespie (R) 51-41! Let's Win This!

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 16:30:32 +0000

Great news out of Virginia today courtesy of Qunnipiac University’s latest poll: In the Virginia governor's race, Democratic Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam tops the magic 50 percent mark among likely voters, leading Republican Ed Gillespie 51 - 41 percent, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. Libertarian Party candidate Cliff Hyra gets 3 percent.    Northam leads Gillespie 95 - 3 percent among Democrats, with 1 percent for Hyra, and 50 - 37 percent among independent voters, with 7 percent for Hyra. Gillespie takes Republicans 94 - 4 percent, with no measurable support for Hyra, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe- ack) University Poll finds.    This survey of likely voters can not be compared to earlier surveys of registered voters.  There are wide gender and racial gaps as men back the Republican 49 - 39 percent while women back the Democrat 61 - 34 percent. White voters back Gillespie 49 - 44 percent while non-white voters back Northam 74 - 16 percent.    Northam gets a 47 - 31 percent favorability rating among Virginia likely voters. Gillespie gets 40 percent favorable and 39 percent unfavorable.    For Hyra, 84 percent of likely voters don't know enough about him to form an opinion of him.    "Virginians were just getting used to the idea that the Old Dominion was no longer that tried-and-true, rock-solid Republican bastion that had been the case since the civil rights era of the 1960s and was now a swing state. But as these poll numbers demonstrate, politics in Virginia may be moving further leftward," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.    "If Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam can keep his lead over Republican Ed Gillespie in the race for governor, it won't be long before the state is considered part of the reliably Democratic Blue Wall in the East."    "After all, the state has voted Democratic for president the last three times and reliably Democratic in most statewide elections over the past decade," Brown added.    "Moreover, Republican President Donald Trump is deeply unpopular while Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe is popular. Of course, a come from behind victory by Gillespie would throw a monkey wrench in the Blue Wall talk. At this point, the 3 percent showing by Libertarian Cliff Hyra is not enough to make much of a difference in the race unless Gillespie stages a rally."    For 27 percent of Virginia likely voters, the economy is the most important issue in deciding how they will vote for governor. Another 21 percent cite health care, as 12 percent list education, 11 percent say taxes and 10 percent say immigration.    The poll surveyed 850 Virginia likely voters from September 14th to the 18th with a margin of error of +/- 4.2 percentage points, including the design effect. Live interviewers call landlines and cell phones. Trump’s approval rating is 58/39. Governor Terry McAuliffe’s (D. VA) approval rating is 56/37. U.S. Senator Tim Kaine’s (D. VA) approval rating is 55/40. While this is great news, we cannot take anything for granted. So let’s have a big blue wave this year and turn into a Democratic Blue Wall. Click below to donate and get involved with Northam and the whole Democratic ticket: Ralph Northam for Governor Tim Kaine for U.S. Senate Justin Fairfax for Lt. Governor Mark Herring for Attorney General Virginia Democratic Party [...]

NM & RI-Sen: Al Franken (D. MN) Goes All In To Help These Democrats Keep Up The Resistance

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 02:43:57 +0000

Received this e-mail today from U.S. Senator Al Franken (D. MN) in support of U.S. Senators Martin Heinrich (D. NM) and Sheldon Whitehouse’s (D. RI) re-election campaigns:

The end of the FEC quarter is coming up in 12 days Sam.

So today, I am asking you to click on links and chip in $5 or more. Not for me -- for two great colleagues in the Senate up for re-election in 2018.

Sen. Martin Heinrich (D. NM)

First up, Senator Martin Heinrich of New Mexico. Martin's already gotten a visit from our old friends, the Koch brothers. And by "visit," I mean the Koch Super PAC Americans for Prosperity is already on the ground, working against him.

Martin is an engineer, dedicated to common sense solutions to the big problems facing New Mexico families. He wants to keep public lands open to the public. He wants to protect our environment, combat climate change, and forge a path forward on commonsense immigration reform.

Will you help me help Martin and his team reach their FEC goal before the month is out? Click here to give.

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D. RI)

Next up, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island. No one I know works harder for families in their state (and everywhere else) than Sheldon does.

No one in the Senate is a more vocal proponent for addressing climate change than Sheldon. He wants to make sure every kid has access to a quality education. He wants anyone willing to work hard to be able to find a good job. He wants to protect the middle class and provide a secure retirement for our seniors. But first he needs our help to win his campaign.

Sheldon and his team need to reach his goal by the FEC deadline. Will you make a contribution before then?



Click here to add your name.

ME-Sen: Angus King (I) Mounts Pressure On Congress To Resist Trump & Protect DREAMers

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 02:25:37 +0000

Received this e-mail today from U.S. Senator Angus King’s (I. ME) re-election campaign:

I was deeply disappointed by President Trump’s announcement that he plans to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)program.

The “Dreamers” protected under DACA arrived in our country through no fault of their own, brought by their parents as young children.Dreamers have grown up here, and many now have their own children.They’re college students, lawyers, computer programmers. They’re regular, hard-working Americans who contribute to our economy, who pay taxes and who have been part of our communities for years and years.

Losing DACA protections would mean losing the ability to receivefinancial aid to attend college, to support families, to get healthinsurance and even to drive legally. It could expose nearly 700,000young people to deportation to countries many of them can’t evenremember. As one young woman put it, “Taking DACA away is takingeverything from us.”

While I am upset that the Trump administration has chosen to rescind this program, I believe Congress now has an important opportunity and responsibility to act on meaningful immigration reform. I hope Congress will take this chance to cooperate and find along-term legislative solution to protect these Dreamers from deportation. Will you join me in calling on Congress to act?

Please add your voice: Tell Congress that it’s time for meaningful immigration reform.

I don’t agree with President Trump’s decision here, but I dobelieve his past statements – and even recent Tweets – show that thisis an issue he struggles with.

He has clearly indicated that he wants Congress to work onimmigration, and I think his DACA announcement is an effort to set thestage to finally get something done on this important issue.

This is a chance for Congress to act on our country’s values. It’sa chance to support young people who want to work and liveproductively in the country we all call home. Please add your name totell Congress that Dreamers need to see action:

Add your name to tell Congress to move on immigration and protect Dreamers.

Thanks so much.


Click here to add your name.

WI-Sen: Tammy Baldwin (D) Helps Mount Pressure To Defeat New Trumpcare "Skinny Repeal" Bill

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 02:15:45 +0000

Received this e-mail today from U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin’s (D. WI) re-election campaign:

Republicans, led by Wisconsin’s other Senator, are going full steam ahead to repeal the Affordable Care Act again. That’s right, with two weeks to go before their deadline, the GOP is doing everything they can to sneak by a last minute change that could wrench health care away from millions.

Let Republicans know — we’re paying attention and we’re going to fight this repeal.

This bill would shred the protections for people with pre-existing conditions that Tammy fought so hard for, and so many families depend on. It would allow states to waive requirements from insurers to cover essential services like hospitalizations, maternity care, mental health services, prescription drugs, and more. In short, it’s a travesty.

Millions more people will be uninsured. That’s what we’re fighting. Republicans are in the majority, Donald Trump is pushing hard, and corporate special interests would love to see us lose. That’s what we’re up against.

It’s going to take calls, emails, and a whole lot of pressure to put this to rest for good. We need you to put your name down to say you’re with us and you oppose Trumpcare. Sign now!


Team Baldwin

Click here to add your name.

Lack of 'Convictions': Repubs on Trump, Dem U.S. Senator on Trial for Corruption: 'BradCast' 9/18/17

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 01:18:31 +0000

Guest: Former Asst. U.S. Attorney Randall D. Eliason of George Washinton University; Hurricane Maria on Irma's path of destruction... On today's BradCast, Here come more hurricanes, political and otherwise. [Audio link to show is posted below.] Hurricane Maria, on a similar path to the devastating Hurricane Irma just over a week ago, has now strengthened to a deadly Category 4 before its projected landfall on many of the same Caribbean islands still reeling from Irma. But Maria is hardly the only storm swirling right now in the Atlantic and the Pacific (including Jose, Norma, Lee and Otis!). Then, while Republicans and so-called "conservatives" last week pretended to be furious about the suggestion that Trump was working out an agreement with Democrats to protect some 800,000 kids of undocumented immigrants -- previously protected by DACA until Trump reversed it -- from deportation, in exchange for non-Border Wall border security, it turns out they're not all that angry after all. Evidence to support that argument -- along with the GOP's stated intention to balloon the national debt with massive new tax cuts and military spending -- underscores, yet again, that Republicans, like their President, have no real ideology, other than saying and doing what they believe is necessary to stay in power. Yes, even anti-immigration zealot Rep. Steve King (R-IA) who claimed, after the deal between Dems and Trump was made public last week, that Trump's base was "blown up, destroyed, irreparable, and disillusioned beyond repair," said over the weekend that he was "gonna stick with President Trump". Speaking of a lack of "convictions" (pun intended there), we're then joined by former Asst. U.S. Attorney RANDALL D. ELIASON, now a blogger and professor of law at George Washington University, to explain the ongoing corruption trial of sitting U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ). Given the recent constraints the U.S. Supreme Court has placed on charges of bribery and public corruption by officials (see SCOTUS' dismissal last year of the guilty convictions against Republican Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and the limits on quid pro quo political bribery detailed by Citizens United and related rulings), can prosecutors successfully make charges stick against Menendez, who is charged with a number of felony counts relating to taking a huge amount of "gifts" from a physician friend, allegedly in exchange for "official acts" by the Senator. "It's basically an exchange for these luxury trips, and jet trips, and pretty large political donations over the years, that Senator Menendez was working on these various things on Dr. Melgen's behalf," according to federal prosecutors, explains Eliason. "What the government has to prove is that there was a corrupt link between the two, that it was because of the gifts that the Senator was doing this." Eliason, who headed up the Public Corruption/Government Fraud section at the U.S. Attorney's District of Columbia office for many years, walks us through the legal weeds of the case, which has received shockingly little attention in the corporate media, as storms -- both political and climatic -- have sucked up a lot of press attention in recent weeks. And, though the investigation into Menendez was begun under Obama (on the heels of a completely fake news story, published by a Rightwing "news" outlet), are there any lessons we may take from this prosecution as it relates to potential charges being investigated against Team Trump? As it turns out, there are, as the always-insightful Eliason details today. Finally, Trump's Homeland Security Advisor H.R.[...]

PA-Sen: Bob Casey (D) Sums Up Senate GOP's Zombie Trumpcare Bill In One Hilarious, Spot On Tweet

Mon, 18 Sep 2017 22:27:09 +0000

I want to give a shout out to U.S. Senator Bob Casey, Jr. (D. PA) and his social media team for doing an excellent job for stepping up their digital presence. As we all know, the GOP Senate is back with another Obamacare health care repeal bill. It didn’t take long for Casey to take to Twitter and trash the bill but this is my favorite Tweet that really sums up how we’re all feeling: xWhen the American people reject the GOP's extreme health care bill & they come back with one that's more extreme...— Senator Bob Casey (@SenBobCasey) September 18, 2017 Yep, Casey has been on a Twitter Storm against the Graham-Cassidy bill today. Here are some more good ones: xThis is what we're fighting this week, and next, and for however many weeks it takes to stop this cruel policy.— Senator Bob Casey (@SenBobCasey) September 18, 2017 x.@CenterOnBudget: #CassidyGraham would add millions to uninsured, destabilize individual insurance market:— Senator Bob Casey (@SenBobCasey) September 18, 2017 xUnder #CassidyGraham, PA would lose $36.7 billion in federal Medicaid dollars from 2020-2026.— Senator Bob Casey (@SenBobCasey) September 18, 2017 xSixteen Patient and Provider Groups Oppose Graham/Cassidy Bill— Senator Bob Casey (@SenBobCasey) September 18, 2017 Follow Senator Casey’s Twitter account for more info. I am going to have an even bigger Pennsylvania themed diary out soon. In the mean time, raise Hell to your GOP Senator (looking at you Tea Party Pat Toomey (R. PA)) and tell them to vote against the Skinny Repeal. Click here to contact your Senator. And while you’re at it, click here to donate to Casey’s re-election campaign so he can continue to fight for our health care. [...]

MA-Sen: Elizabeth Warren (D) Helps Build Momentum To Defeat The Cassidy-Graham Health Care Bill

Mon, 18 Sep 2017 19:07:15 +0000

Received this e-mail today from U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren’s (D. MA) re-election campaign: The Republicans want you to believe that their plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act is dead. They want to slip in below the radar and take one more run at repealing health care coverage for millions of Americans. Here’s the reason they are moving now: Senate Republicans have until September 30th to repeal the Affordable Care Act with only 50 votes. And here’s the scary fact: They just might have the votes to do it. The Cassidy-Graham bill that the Republicans pulled out of the trash is their worst “health care” bill yet. It guts funding for Medicaid – so if you need a nursing home or your baby is born with complex medical needs, you’re on your own. It rolls back protections for people with pre-existing conditions – so if you have a heart attack or get a cancer diagnosis, too bad. And it completely eliminates help for families to buy health insurance – so if you can’t afford health insurance, good luck out there. Make no mistake: This Cassidy-Graham “health care” bill is Trumpcare on steroids – and millions of Americans will lose their health care if the Republicans pass this piece of garbage in the next 11 days. Remember everything you did to stop the Republicans from repealing the Affordable Care Act seven weeks ago? We need you to do it again. Share your story again about why the Affordable Care Act or Medicaid matters to you or someone you love. Email it to your friends and family. Post it on Facebook or Twitter. Take a photo or record a video on your phone. Our Senate Democrats are still united against this bill – but if you have family or friends who live in a state with a Republican senator, make sure they know what’s happening to health care this week. Call, text, email, message – check in and then spread the word. Join a group. If you belong to an organization that has been fighting to save the Affordable Care Act, keep your eyes peeled. If you don’t belong to a group, find one. Organizations will be holding events, making calls, sharing content, and keeping people informed about what’s going on. Two voices are more than twice as powerful as one. Ten voices are more than ten times as powerful. And thousands – even millions – of voices working together can stop this ugly bill. Don’t delete all those emails. Let your friends know that you're a part of this fight. Update your Facebook profile picture to add a "#ProtectOurCare" frame – the official hashtag of people and organizations fighting to save the Affordable Care Act. Check out mine below! I know we thought this was over. I know we worked hard and thought Republicans had gotten the message. But they are giving it one more try, and that means we’ve got to jump back in the fight. Health care for millions of Americans hangs in the balance, so we need to get out there and fight one more time. Let’s kill this Republican “health care” bill once and for all. Thanks for being a part of this, Elizabeth Click here to spread the word. [...]

NV-Sen: Save My Care Launches Huge Ad Campaign Hitting Dean Heller (R) On New Trumpcare Bill

Mon, 18 Sep 2017 18:09:49 +0000

Does it just suck to be him? x YouTube Video The progressive health care advocacy group Save My Care launched a digital ad campaign Monday morning targeting Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV) over his sponsorship of a new Obamacare repeal bill that would make deep cuts to Medicaid. Save My Care will not disclose the size of the ad buy, but told TPM it will target independent voters in Nevada on Twitter, Facebook, and other platforms. The ad features a cancer patient and cites a new study by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities finding that the bill co-sponsored by Heller would allow states to waive some of Obamacare’s protections for people with pre-existing conditions. Earlier this summer, Heller opposed two Senate bills that would have repealed the Affordable Care Act and ended the Medicaid expansion that his state and others have used to cover hundreds of thousands of low-income residents, but he voted for a so-called “skinny repeal” bill that Nevada’s Republican governor strongly opposed. And the timing couldn’t be more perfect: Heller, along with Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Bill Cassidy (R-La.), is pushing a bill that would convert states' funding for ObamaCare subsidies and Medicaid expansion into block grants. It would also eliminate the individual and employer mandates. Heller is one of the most vulnerable Republican senators up for reelection next year and has been targeted by Democrats and campaign groups for his support of repeal all year. Heller hedged on whether he would support an earlier repeal bill this summer before eventually casting a vote in favor of it, illustrating the struggle of being a Republican up for reelection in a state won by Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in November. But this bill faces long-shot odds of passing. The Senate faces a procedural deadline in two weeks of getting it done, and Cassidy told reporters Friday they are still short of the votes it needs to pass. And Heller needs to feel the pressure being that he’s the most vulnerable Republican Senator next year: The race involving Nevada’s senior senator could determine which party controls the country’s upper chamber for the next two years. Republicans control the Senate 52-48 and are defending fewer Senate seats in 2018 than Democrats, though Heller is the only member of the GOP seeking re-election in a state Hillary Clinton won in 2016. Of the 34 contested Senate seats in 2018, 23 are held by Democrats. The national health care debate this summer highlighted the importance of Senate control. When just three Republican senators joined Democrats to vote against the so-called “skinny repeal” of the Affordable Care Act, the GOP’s top legislative priority stalled. A Public Policy Polling survey of 847 Nevada voters in July found that Heller had a 22 percent approval rating, with 55 percent disapproving of his job performance. Heller is being challenged by Danny Tarkanian, who won the Republican primary in the 3rd Congressional District over now-lieutenant governor candidate Michael Roberson before losing to political newcomer Jacky Rosen in the 2016 general election. Voters could get to see a rematch between Tarkanian and Rosen, this time for Heller’s Senate seat. Rosen announced her 2018 bid for Senate less than a year after she was sworn into the House in January. Rep. Dina Titus, D-Las Vegas, continues to mull a run for Heller’s seat as well. If you live in Nevada, go ahead and raise Hell to Heller over this:[...]

House Democrats are raising big money aimed at winning in 2018

Mon, 18 Sep 2017 16:41:23 +0000

There are a lot of barriers to Democrats retaking the House in 2018—with Republican gerrymandering and voter suppression at the top of the list—but the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is putting up some very good fundraising numbers:

While their Republican counterparts haven't yet released their August results, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) has outraised Republicans each of the three previous months — a result Democrats say bodes well for their prospects of winning the House in the 2018 midterm elections. [...]

The DCCC raised $6.26 million in August, compared to $4.15 million for August 2015, the last comparable year before a midterm election. Overall, the DCCC has raised $72.46 million in 2017. And the committee touted its online fundraising, which it says has totaled $31.26 million for the year so far, including $2.4 million last month.

Democrats will need bonkers fundraising to stand up to the Republican dark money that will be flooding into competitive races, but if fundraising in the middle of the off year says anything about voter enthusiasm, this is a very good sign.

Can you chip in $1 to each of our funds targeting the most vulnerable House Republicans?

VA-Gov: UMW Poll Give Ralph Northam (D) A 5 Point Lead Over Ed Gillespie (R)

Mon, 18 Sep 2017 15:06:03 +0000

Latest news out of Virginia today courtesy of University of Mary Washington’s latest poll:

Virginia Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam (D) and Republican nominee Ed Gillespie remain locked in a tight contest for governor of Virginia, with 44 percent of likely voters favoring Northam and 39 percent backing Gillespie in a new University of Mary Washington statewide survey.

Libertarian candidate Cliff Hyra received the support of 3 percent of likely voters, with others undecided in the 1,000-person survey of Virginia adults. The statewide poll of state residents was conducted for UMW by Princeton Survey Research Associates International Sept. 5-12.

The 5-point difference between the two major party candidates is within the margin of error for likely voters.

“The latest Mary Washington survey demonstrates that both candidates have a lot of work to do between now and November,” said Stephen J. Farnsworth, professor of political science at the University of Mary Washington and director of its Center for Leadership and Media Studies. “The large number of undecided voters at this stage demonstrates that either major party candidate can become the next governor of Virginia.”

In the Lt. Governor Race, Justin Fairfax (D. VA) leads Jill Vogel (R. VA) 45-40 and incumbent Attorney general Mark Herring (D. VA) leads John Adams 47-40. Things are looking for Team Blue but it’s still close and we can’t take anything for granted. Click below to donate and get involved with the entire Democratic ticket so we can make some huge gains in Virginia this November.

Ralph Northam for Governor

Justin Fairfax for Lt. Governor

Mark Herring for Attorney General

Virginia Democratic Party

Respect (Hillary Clinton)

Sun, 17 Sep 2017 13:02:07 +0000

Here’s a little video that I put together in the interest of Democratic unity.

I hope you find it enjoyable.

Peace and Love to  All.

If We're So Smart, Why Are They in Charge?

Sun, 17 Sep 2017 15:45:59 +0000

This is going to be a rant.  Now, there are many reasons the other side is in charge.  Voter suppression.  Cheating.  Lies.  Misogyny and Racism.  Lack of enthusiasm.  But before we get to any of those... I am tired of people dismissing the other side as stupid. The assumption is that people are rational.  Well, often people are not rational and until we understand that we will lose.  It may be irrational to treat others as rational! Now, I am not against reason and facts.  Not at all!  I think application of them is best for reaching good decisions. But we should realize that rational arguments are often not the best way to actually persuade people to do things.  And for decades we have been losing the persuasion argument. The Elephant and the Rider The rational side can be likened to the rider of an elephant.  It’s on top, supposedly making decisions on where it wants to go.  However, the elephant is much, much larger.  Jonathan Haidt introduces the Elephant and the Rider metaphor.  Dan and Chip write “But to us, the duo’s tension is captured best by an analogy used by University of Virginia psychologist, Jonathan Haidt in his wonderful book The Happiness Hypothesis.  Haidt says that our emotional side is the Elephant and our rational side is the rider.  Perched atop the Elephant, the Rider holds the reins and seems to be the leader.  But the Rider’s control is precarious because the Rider is so small relative to the Elephant.  Anytime the six-ton Elephant and the Rider disagree about which direction to go, the Rider is going to lose.  He’s completely overmatched.” Often, in fact, the Rider, instead of trying to control the elephant, will simply create rationalizations to justify what that damned elephant is doing.  (I love elephants, but I think it incredibly apropos that the elephant is the R mascot in this case.) We are, even though we do not like to admit it, susceptible to persuasion. To button pushing.  And until we learn to reach that elephant, we will keep on losing. How do we reach that elephant?  I don’t know.  Turning off FOX News.  Getting others to turn it off.  And repeating, repeating, repeating our own message. Which wins, hope or fear? FDR said we have nothing to fear but fear itself.  Obama ran on a platform of hope. But do these work consistently?  I’m not so sure.  I think a lot of people vote their fears — especially their fear of “others”. People are generally risk-averse rather than risk-seeking, meaning their fears dominate their hopes with respect to their behavior. But framing makes a huge difference, too.  An example at the link shows: As you can see, framing the choice positively  vs. negatively caused an almost perfect reversal in  choices--saving (or is that 'not losing'?) lives! Clearly, framing can powerfully influence the way a problem is perceived, which in turn can lead to the favoring of radically different solutions. This is just one of the many psychological techniques that we should be using. Identity Politics? Many people have been debating whether or not we should view the electorate as responding to identity manipulation.  Certainly it played a big role.  Racism, misogyny and resentment at elites (incumbents and the educated) are the big buttons that I can think of. I do not know the answer to this.  If there were an easy answer, it might have alrea[...]

The Review – Will the DACA Deal Stick? Can O-care Repeal Succeed? Will Tax Cuts for the Rich Fail?

Sat, 16 Sep 2017 23:47:02 +0000

Attempts by Chief of Staff and former Marine general John Kelly to keep Trump under control seem to be working, at least for now.  This is the longest stretch of time Trump has not spouted something completely outrageous. Unless, of course you’re a Republican and you heard of the DACA deal made between Trump and, as he referred to them, Chuck and Nancy.  Chuck and Nancy, of course, are the Democratic minority leaders of the Senate and House respectively, Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi.   On Wednesday they had dinner with Trump, and came away saying they had agreed in principle to passing a law solidifying the Obama Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) executive order for the “dreamers”.  In return, the Dems agreed to additional money for border security – but not for a border wall.   Predictably conservatives went bananas.  In her typical shy manner, Ann Coulter yelled for Trump to be impeached.  Perhaps that makes her the first Republican to advocate for Trump’s removal, although for very different reasons than the Democrats’.  “He’s a free-range chicken,” said Michael Steele, a former chairman of the Republican National Committee.   It’s hard to argue with any part of that description.   Trump tried to back away from the reports, but actually issued a non-denial denial where he said the wall “would continue to be built” (but not when or how) – and praised the idea of a DACA bill.  Of course, Trump changes his position on issues faster than one can pen a sentence, but if this deal comes through it will be a clear victory for the Democrats.   Trump may have acted because he is desperate to have a legislative win, clear some space for a tax-reform bill, and show Congressional Republicans that he is not dependent on them.  Trump’s base may well accept a DACA agreement by Trump because they seem more loyal to him personally than to specific policies.  That’s not a prospect that pleases Republicans.  Already there are glimmers that Trump is keeping the option of campaigning against Congress as part of his (cough, cough) re-election campaign. Trump also wanted to punish Republicans in the House and Senate for not passing Obamacare repeal.  In response, like Pavlov’s dogs Senate Republicans are going to bark again this week for repeal.  It’s a long shot:  It has to pass by September 30 or it will then require 60 (impossible) votes in favor in the Senate.  (This is due to the complexities of Senate budget rules, which only quantum physicists can fully understand.)  The House is out all this coming week and Republican Senator John McCain has implied again that he may vote against because “regular order” is not being followed with this bill.   Meanwhile, Congressional Republicans are trying to get tax reform, their next main agenda item, underway.  The Congress critters earlier argued that they wanted to cut both tax rates and loopholes, making taxes simpler but not diminishing tax revenues.  Tax reform bills are difficult, though, and there is already infighting among Republicans.  That means “tax reform” many be devolving into tax cuts only.  House Speaker Paul Ryan in particular is dismissing promises that the GOP tax plan won’t add to the deficit.  Still, passing a tax bill that gives huge tax breaks to the wealthy and adds to the national debt is not going to go over wel[...]

VA-Gov: Ralph Northam (D) Outraises Ed Gillespie (R) With 2-1 Cash Advantage, Let's Keep It Up!

Sat, 16 Sep 2017 22:06:04 +0000

Some very good news today out of Virginia: Virginia’s Democratic gubernatorial contender Ralph Northam raised more than twice as much money this summer as Republican opponent Ed Gillespie and had a war chest twice as large heading into the last two months of the campaign, according to new finance reports. In July and August, Northam raised $7.2 million, while Gillespie took in $3.7 million in the same period. That left Northam, the sitting lieutenant governor, with $5.6 million in cash to Gillespie’s $2.6 million as of Aug. 31, according to data released Saturday by the non-profit Virginia Public Access Project. Northam’s summer fundraising erases a 2-1 cash advantage that Gillespie held immediately after the June 13 primary. Northam spent most of his early money on the primary contest to defeat former congressman Tom Perriello for the Democratic nomination while Gillespie had conserved funds in his primary match against Corey A. Stewart. This is great news because Gillespie was outspending Northam on campaign ads: Plus, Gillespie was getting some help from the Koch Brothers: x YouTube Video Americans for Prosperity, the group financed by the billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch, is going on air to attack Virginia Democratic gubernatorial contender Ralph Northam as part of a multi-million dollar campaign. A commercial set to air Thursday on cable networks statewide blasts Northam, the sitting lieutenant governor, for missing board meetings of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership. The partnership, created by the state legislature in 1995 to boost economic development, has long been criticized for waste and dysfunction. In 2014, while Northam served on its board of directors, the agency approved a $1.4 million state grant to a Chinese firm that promised to open a factory in Appomattox County but never did. The money was never returned to the state. Levi Russell, a spokesman for Americans for Prosperity, said the ad buy ranges from $1 million to $2 million, and will run for two weeks. He said the commercial is the first round of paid television advertising, but declined to say how much the organization plans to spend through Election Day in November. In contrast, Northam has been endorsed and received fundraising help from the League of Conservation Voters and Tom Steyer. Northam and fellow Virginia Democrats have also received a lot of support from Planned Parenthood: A slew of liberal groups are teaming up for a $2 million digital ad buy aiming to drive Virginia voters to the polls in November and back Democratic Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam for governor. Planned Parenthood Votes and Planned Parenthood Virginia PAC, the Tom Steyer-backed Next Gen America, Priorities USA Action and the Virginia League of Conservation Voters PAC are all contributing hundreds of thousands of dollars to the effort, which will begin this week and run until Election Day. The ads will aim to reach and turn out more than 1.2 million voters. "When it comes to women’s health in Virginia, everything is on the line, which is why we are doubling down to elect progressive champion Ralph Northam," said Deirdre Schifeling, the executive director of Planned Parenthood Votes. "We are pushing boundaries with the most coordinated and innovative digital program we've seen on this scale. This cutting edge di[...]

MA, WI, MO & NV-Sen: Elizabeth Warren (D) Helps These Dems Keep Up The Resistance Against Trump

Sat, 16 Sep 2017 21:17:35 +0000

Received this e-mail today from U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D. MA) in support of U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin (D. WI), Claire McCaskill (D. MO) & Rep. Jacky Rosen’s (D. NV) campaigns: Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D. MA)   2016 didn’t turn out the way we wanted. 2018 isn’t going to be easier. Half of our Senate Democrats are up for reelection in 2018 (including me). That includes half of all the women in the Senate. The Republicans need to defend only 8 seats. I know what you’re thinking: Those numbers make my heart rate go up, too. Losing just one seat would make it that much tougher to fight for working families. And three of those Democratic Senate candidates need your help right now: Tammy Baldwin (Wisconsin): My friend Tammy Baldwin is a fighter. Ever since we joined the Senate together in 2013, she’s been fighting every day for working families in Wisconsin and across the country. After Russ Feingold’s heartbreaking loss in 2016, the Republicans already have invested millions to knock out Tammy next year. We need to do all we can to keep her in the Senate. Claire McCaskill (Missouri): Nobody speaks her mind and fights for what she believes in like Claire McCaskill, and a lot of people respect that. Even so, Missouri is going to be one of our toughest races in 2018. Last year, Donald Trump won big in Missouri -- so Republicans see it as a prime opportunity to chip away at the Democratic minority. Claire is going to fight as hard as she can -- but she needs our help. Jacky Rosen (Nevada): When I first met Jacky Rosen, I knew she had the fight in her to do something great. Jacky is a force to be reckoned with in the House, and I’m glad she’s taking on a big new fight: Challenging Republican Senator Dean Heller. She’s one of our best shots at picking up a Republican seat in 2018 -- but Republicans are ready to dump buckets of money into Nevada to keep the seat red. Jacky gives us a great chance to pick up a seat, but to do that, she’s going to need our help. Tammy, Claire and Jacky are three strong women who will fight tirelessly, day in and day out, for working families across this country. We can’t let Republicans buy themselves a bigger Republican majority to rig the system even more for the rich and powerful. We need to level the playing field and protect our Democratic firewall in the Senate -- and that starts with supporting Tammy Baldwin, Claire McCaskill, and Jacky Rosen today. Chip in now before their September 30th deadline. Thanks for being a part of this, Elizabeth Click here to donate to Baldwin, McCaskill and Rosen’s campaigns. [...]

OH-Sen: Sherrod Brown (D) Mounts Pressure On Congress To Hold Equifax Accountable

Sat, 16 Sep 2017 20:50:27 +0000

Received this e-mail today from U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown’s (D. OH) re-election campaign:

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D. OH)

Equifax is one of the largest credit reporting bureaus in the country. They're the ones who ding your credit if you miss a credit card payment, are late paying your student loans, or are forced into bankruptcy because of medical debt.

Equifax should be familiar with accountability -- and this time, it's up to us to hold them accountable.

An estimated 143 million Americans had their personal information exposed in a massive data breach at Equifax. They failed to protect the consumers they track, and now the information of millions are vulnerable to criminals.

Equifax must be held accountable for their failure to protect this information. I have a plan that will provide victims of this breach with free credit monitoring and make it easy for consumers to freeze their credit reports, so criminals cannot steal their identities.

I'm gathering grassroots support behind this plan to urge Congress to act. Will you add your name?

With gratitude,


Click here to add your name.

White Supremacy and False Equivalency

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 16:01:48 +0000

White Supremacy has been all the rage in our public discourse of late. Understandable, given that the current occupant of the White House has been tucked up in bed with white nationalists/Nazis/white supremacists throughout his campaign and well into the first year of his Presidency. His odious, morally and politically illiterate comments in the wake of the murderous Nazi/white supremacist violence in Charlottesville, VA only served to underline his alliance with these, the most depraved elements of the Nation’s body politic. He will not escape the onus and odium for this, despite the departure of such political bottom feeders as Steve Bannon from his entourage or the later, pro forma, denials and denunciations extorted from him by political necessity. What has emerged from the spate of commentary on this subject however, is the high level of confusion about this topic that exists in Liberal/Left/Progressive circles. This confusion appears to stem primarily from the use of the term “white supremacy” interchangeably to refer to two distinct, if related, social and political phenomena. In order to examine and hopefully clarify this confusion it’s necessary to go back to the basic questions of definition and usage. The standard accepted definition of white supremacy is as follows: White supremacy or white supremacism is a racist ideology based upon the belief that white people are superior in many ways to people of other races and that therefore white people should be dominant over other races. White supremacy has roots in scientific racism and it often relies on pseudoscientific arguments. Like most similar movements such as neo-Nazism, white supremacists typically oppose people of color as well as people who are members of most religions. The term is also typically used to describe a political ideology that perpetuates and maintains the social, political, historical or institutional domination by white people (as evidenced by historical and contemporary sociopolitical structures such as the Atlantic slave trade, Jim Crow laws in the United States, and apartheid in South Africa).[1] Different forms of white supremacism put forth different conceptions of who is considered white, and different forms of white supremacists identify various racial and cultural groups as their primary enemy.[2] This definition is what might be described as Political/Eliminationist white supremacy and is what most people mean when they use the term. This encompasses the Nazi/white supremacists that came out into the open at Charlottesville. It isn’t the only usage though. There’s also this: The term white supremacy is used in academic studies of racial power to denote a system of structural or societal racism which privileges white people over others, regardless of the presence or the absence of racial hatred. White racial advantages occur at both a collective and an individual level (ceteris paribus, i. e., when individuals are compared that do not relevantly differ except in ethnicity). Legal scholar Frances Lee Ansley explains this definition as follows: “By "white supremacy" I do not mean to allude only to the self-conscious racism of white supremacist hate groups. I refer instead to a polit[...]

That Twitter Diary and David Nir.

Sat, 16 Sep 2017 13:56:15 +0000

The reason I wrote this diary was because of a very honorable diary by a Dkos member. I’m glad it is getting some attention. I can’t refute anything stated which typifies everything he has ever written. Zach’s response was brilliant. Thanks to both of you. It enfuriates me when sh8t like this happens. It absolutely needs to be corrected now, or at least a response given. Invite other DKos members to join in the discussion. Is there a provision against such actions? Does Nir get paid for his writing? Do other people here get paid? There is a big difference. All of a sudden a great diary by a good guy in Ohio became a constipation fest. I’m positive that was not the intent of the OP. Suddenly everything written on DKos became sh8t. Emotionally stuff written thingys unworthy of their standards.  That is the objective of this diary. Emotion is the compelling reason that inspires most people to vote. Or not to vote at all. Although perhaps not ideal until we accept that as a fact and integrate it into every effort we will continue to lose the interest of those that would vote for us. Very, very few people are born good writers and few become good writers. If you get paid to write based on your educational training or your proven ability to write there should be a zero tolerance policy for falsehoods and inaccuracies. Maybe not on Mars but [perhaps on DKos? When you learn how to control auto-correct or whatever spell check program use you deserve a Pulitzer. But that’s another diary. Is Error ridden news as reprehensible as Fake News and are they all propaganda? Did Nir present a false or erroneous item in a front page diary? How about that all Twitter feed posts diary?  Was that error ridden or fake news? Was that fuct up because it appealed almost entirely to emotion or the cathartic response it engendered. Made me feel good. Did it destroy the integrity of DKos? Does David Nir not fessing up to an error and issuing an apology do that? The last thing we should ever want to be accused of is creating stress, drama and extra work for any Democrat anywhere. I have to strongly disagree with anyone that criticized the recent Twitter based diary. It had everything to do with what some people wanted to hear, and it provided a way for some here to vent and express suppressed feelings. People’s emotions and feelings matter. The feelings of unheralded, unprofessional or highly emotional posters matter. Stop fucking attacking each other. Several of the posters in that diary have quite nastily attacked several diaries I have written. Their assaults were gratuitous and not at all helpful. They didn’t address the topic at all. I pulled my diaries down. If you are going to criticize an effort by an unpaid person trying to express themselves perhaps constructive encouraging criticism instead of questioning their mental state, educational level, or substance use status would be a better protocol? That’s the purpose of this diary.  Move on. Don’t read the diary. Hold your tongue and suffer the indignities of being appalled by a lack of adherence to your standards. Some of us here will never meet them anyway. Diaries might be irritating to those that want to keep DKos at a certain level of emotional lit[...]

You've Got your Entrenchment in my Compromise

Fri, 15 Sep 2017 19:19:12 +0000

With all the What Happened? teeth gnashing and the Hillary v. Bernie resurgence, we have lost sight of the truth in this mix.  The truth is, America has a President who is totally incapable of the job.  I listened to the Stephanie Miller liberal talk radio program this morning and heard comic Ron Placone fire a verbal salvo at Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ.). Booker recently described the cyber intrusion of our election process by Russian hackers as, “an act of war.” Placone thought this too provocative or suggestive. From his inference, he seemed to be accusing Booker of promulgating war.  Hillary followers were wondering why Bernie is not beating the drum for Hillary, explaining why and how she could lose; Bernie people wanted to know why Hillary is not on the stump with Bernie, talking Medicare for all? [That whirring sound is my head spinning.] Why do we argue over the things we have come to an agreement on? No liberal, progressive, Hill-bot or Bernie-bro I know, disagrees that everyone needs available/affordable healthcare. To varying degrees, Democrats agree that Russian interference played a role in electing Donald Trump. I have never heard Bernie say, I hate Hillary of Hillary say, I hate Bernie. So why the misplaced anger?  Conservatism is again fiddling in Rome, stir the pot and the crabs will pull each other in.  In the past week, Democrats have either made tangible gains in the Debt Ceiling debate and maybe a precarious deal on DACA. Of course, I am not getting my hopes too high, after all those deals are brokered with a proven liar and con man (but that is beside the point, or is that the point?). Anyway, the concentration should be on holding the GOP’s feet to the fire and pressuring the President into getting something we want. If he thinks he is winning, he will sign anything. Let us not make the term compromise a dirty word.   National consensus, even among Republicans, is that DACA is not the evil conservative pundits make it out to be. Clearly, no rational person thinks, The Wall is feasible and the Tax Reform non-bill already has its Republican detractors. During this time when Democrats could be setting up for the coup de gras, we are wasting time telling a successful woman to shut up and demanding Bernie be more genteel.  I know the adage of, Democrats fall in love and Republicans fall in line is an old cliché, but it is not worn out.  Liberals should never abandon their ideas of free thinking, but on occasion, snapping to and saluting is not a bad idea. Bill Clinton made the phrase, a rising tide lifts all boats popular in the 90’s, it is time for Democrats and like-minded thinkers to build a battleship. Whether we like it or not we are all on deck together and entrenching ourselves in the unnavigable waters of anti-compromise sinks us all. I am a Black man who rode with the tide of bigotry and history when Barack Obama announced his candidacy in 2007, I backed Hillary. A,” by strict definition, African-American man,” with the middle name Hussein, could never be President of the United States, I thought. Fortunately, I was not entrenched in my disbelief, had I been, President McCain and Vice President Palin would have bombed Iran, North Korea,[...]

"A Better Deal" Slogan Will Bring Dems "A Better Ass-Kicking" At The Polls

Fri, 15 Sep 2017 21:17:11 +0000

x1 in 3 families report spending 20% or more of their income on childcare. American families need #ABetterDeal— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) September 15, 2017 I love the Schumer—love him!—so the following rant is not aimed at slamming our top Dem in the Senate. Think of this instead as a strongly worded...errr—love note?—to whichever milktoast liberal/s came up with the slogan “A Better Deal” for the 2018 midterms: {clears throat then smiles sweetly from atop my soap box} Dear Democrats, What the f%$! is wrong with you?! Do you want to keep that “L is for Loser” tattoo brandished into your damn foreheads or do you just suck harder than a fat-assed baby latched onto his mother’s nipple when it comes to messaging? Let’s be clear: “A Better Deal” SUCKS. It is boring. It is beta. It is utterly forgettable and damnably sanitized. The republic has shown you in no uncertain terms that it is voting based on emotions rather than intellect and on feelings rather than facts, yet “A Better Deal” is what you come up with to lure them back from the clutches of The Orange Menace? If I could spew pea soup at whim à la Linda Blair then every single one of you would be covered in exorcist-green this very moment. You will lure back your ever-present companions known as “Jack” and “Shit” with that stupid slogan, but since they’re already at your side you will fail at that too. You have effectively become the Cleveland Browns of politics… L is for Democrats Last year the Browns were on such a bad losing streak that the only solace we fans could find was in knowing our boys were set to break the NFL record for the most consecutive losses. We started to take pride in that fact, knowing we’d get some serious hella picks this season. Then the idiots went and won one game—one!—and the Dawgpound growled its collective roar. We couldn’t believe it. Our team had even managed to fail at being failures—ordinarily a good thing, but not so good in this instance. As a Cleveland fan AND a Democrat I’ve endured enough punishment, thank you very much. I’d like the ginormous “L” on my head to be replaced with a “W” every now and then. Is that too much to ask?!   “A Better Deal” blows more than Trump does when in Russia. I once passed a kidney stone that was less painful than this defeat-waiting-to-happen. “A Better Deal” is so bland that Mike Pence finds it sinfully spicy. I can feel Paul Ryan’s boner from here as he gouges out our eyeballs with it. Mitch McConnell is so pleased by your choice for messaging that he was spotted skipping through fields of wildflowers while holding hands with a smiling Trey Gowdy. In other words, “A Better Deal” SUCKS. Have you ever heard of ad firms? Or—I don’t know—common sense? Bland will not win us our country back. We are fighting Nazis, emotions, and propaganda with a wet noodle. I can think of ten less awful slogans just off the top of my head so I’m pretty damn sure you can pay people who brand for a living to come up with something that doesn’t throw us into a collective coma. Nearly anything would be an i[...]

“He likes me, he really likes me” and other lies.

Fri, 15 Sep 2017 16:59:40 +0000

Trump, really? You want an apology from ESPN? How about you apologize for making fun of a handicapped journalist? How about you apologize to the women you insulted? How about an apology for calling white racist "peaceful" statue lovers? Antifa would never have been in Charlottesville IF the Klan, Nazi's and white racist groups hadn’t announced where they were going to be, AND told there people to "prepare for war" when they did go. Is AntiFa a terrorist organization? I don’t know or care. They would never have been in Charlottesville IF Racist hadn’t called for a war there. They weren’t there for a peaceful demonstration. It was never promoted as such. Because they arrived to defend those who were unprepared "for war “and saved actual lives doing so. If a group of ISIS promoters decided to march in Washington and announced for their member to prepare for war; then an American Militia showed up to protect those who protested against them, would they be "pretty bad dudes" too?  Or would you honor their preparedness and bravery for protecting "peaceful protesters"? If your too stupid you can’t understand anyone who attends a Klan or Nazi or Racist march, isn’t "American Statue lovers", but rather white racist promoting hate of anyone not white, then your to ignorant to be President and should resign. Next year you realize you will in all probability, loose the House and Senate, you suddenly become "buddies" with Democrats you said were "obstructionist" and accused of "crying crocodile tears"? Could it be you’re wanting to now be there buddies, because you know Ryan and McConnell won’t be in charge next year? Schumer and Pelosi need to quit thinking "He really likes me" because he suddenly changes his mind. He is a player. Get real and quit falling for letting him "Bad Girl" you. He "needs" you next year and he knows it. He wants wall that no one outside his "hardcore" supporters wants. If he can get it with you suddenly feeling like your "besties" of his, he will sell you anything. He wants reelected. IF he can’t get his wall built, it won’t happen. Trump doesn’t like you Chuck. He doesn’t like you Nancy. He NEEDS you, so he is willing to say nice things to get you on his side. After next year, he knows he won’t and or can’t get his agenda passed. He needs "friends" in the House and Senate. You were "available." IF you "fall" for his crap, your no better than his idiot followers and deserve to be voted out in 2018. I watched Hillary on Maddow last night. She is blunt and to the point. I liked it. That was the "Hillary" we needed in 2016, not now. But I appreciated what she said for the most part. She isn't "blaming" everyone else "but" herself. Others, including Putin and Russia did help. Comey she "trusts completely" about Russia. Facebook "allowed" way too many "fake news" groups, "fake" profiles, and fake anti Muslim, anti-Hillary and anti-Immigration groups to organize under Russia’s guidance. That Trump "appealed" to the worst fears and bigotry in us, and waged a war he would have never won in any other year. She also "realizes" he "NEEDS" Democrats after this year and as such is "suddenly" [...]

Playing Both Sides on DACA; Also: Equifax and You, Dems and 'Medicare-for-All': 'BradCast' 9/14/

Fri, 15 Sep 2017 00:46:45 +0000

Guest: Gaius Publius of 'Down With Tyranny'; And another hurricane over Mexico, another North Korean missile over Japan... On today's BradCast: The Art of the Scammer; the Equifax outrage, and Dems work to win back the populist Left. [Audio link to show follows below.] Donald Trump is working very hard to have it both ways since reversing Barack Obama's Executive Order last week on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (or DACA). The program had served to protect some 800,000 children of undocumented immigrants, brought here through no fault of their own, from deportation. On Wednesday night, following dinner with the President, Democratic Congressional leaders Sen. Chuck Schumer and Rep. Nancy Pelosi announced they had struck an agreement with Trump to pass DACA legislatively, in exchange for more border security, as long as it didn't include Trump's long-promised border wall with Mexico. Trump has been flip-flopping and flop-flipping on that reported deal ever since, pretending that his wall is already being built, and trying to otherwise appease his angry(ish) base at the same time he's apparently trying to close a deal with both Democratic and Republican leadership in Congress. Then, we're joined by blogger GAIUS PUBLIUS to discuss his coverage of last week's massive Equifax data breach, including what you can and should do to protect yourself in its wake, and whether the massive credit monitoring firm will face any accountability at all for what they did to help cause -- and cover up -- the hack which reportedly exposed the personal information of some 143 million Americans. We also discuss Sen. Bernie Sanders' single-payer "Medicare-for-All" health care bill, introduced in the U.S. Senate this week, with the co-sponsorship of some 16 Senate Democrats, many of whom are thought to be 2020 Presidential contenders. What does the sudden popularity of "Medicare-for-All" in both the U.S. Senate and House signal for Democrats? And will their tepid steps towards economic populism help turn the tide for them at the national level in 2018 and 2020? Finally, Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report, on the long tail of catastrophic devastation left behind by Hurricanes Irma and Harvey.  And, as if all of that isn't enough, also today: Yet another hurricane comes ashore in Mexico (their second in the past week), and North Korea launches another ballistic missile over Japan... CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE SHOW!... * * * While we post The BradCast here every day, and you can hear it across all of our great affiliate stations and websites, to automagically get new episodes as soon as they're available sent right to your computer or personal device, subscribe for free at iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn or our native RSS feed! [Cross-posted from The BRAD BLOG...] [...]

The American people support the Sanders agenda

Thu, 14 Sep 2017 21:54:22 +0000

Just a quick reminder that the progressive agenda which Sen Bernie Sanders has been pushing is extremely popular with the American people. For example, take single payer. Examine these results from Pew polls   As the linked article suggests, ”A majority of Americans say it is the federal government’s responsibility to make sure all Americans have health care coverage. And a growing share now supports a “single payer” approach to health insurance.”   Undoubtedly, a lot of Democrats will likely find a winning electoral message by latching themselves to this position. Al Franken, for example, has stated that “Senator Sanders’ "Medicare for All" bill lays down an important marker to help us reach that goal”  and refers to Sanders’ bill as aspirational. Others will be where Sanders long has been. He has said, for example, that while Obamacare was better than nothing, it “doesn’t go nearly far enough” and is, in fact, a “good Republican program.” Which, it is. The contrast position is this: a universal single-payer Medicare for all, inspired by health care programs in Europe and Canada. Thankfully, as Senator Franken recognizes, this is a goal that now appears to be sufficiently aspirational for Democrats and even sizable numbers of independent leaning voters. Bernie Sanders is many things, but in my eyes, he is also a visionary. But even more than this, the American people actually agree with his agenda.   They agree with reducing economic inequality The agree with tackling climate change They support single payer They know that the wealthy don’t pay their fair share of taxes They want the minimum wage raised They sense that we are increasingly an oligarchy, even if they don’t necessarily use that word They support making public college tuition free They support fair trade, not neoliberal free trade agreements  They want to get big corporate $$ out of elections They are critical of Trump In fact, it may turn out that Americans are more the democratic socialists than they may just realize.  And so, here is a strategy for  Democrats moving forward. Look at what Americans believe and address these beliefs. Look, for example at this and see what people say about vested and powerful interests. Find messengers who can speak to this and the policies that address this. in doing so, move the country forward and contrast this with Trump’s racist and unpopular faux populism.  [...]

'A Threat to the Forces of Denial': Michael Mann on Science Facts After Irma: 'BradCast' 9/13/2017

Thu, 14 Sep 2017 01:39:51 +0000

Guest: Penn State's award-winning climate scientist, author; Also: Dems rack up more special election wins, GOP 'fraud' fraudster face-plants... On today's BradCast: Big wins for Democrats, a public face-plant for a renowned GOP "voter fraud" fraudster, more on Irma's historic devastation, and the scientific facts behind what helped to make it so devastating, from someone who actually knows. [Audio link to full show is posted below.] Before we get to the increasingly disturbing situation on the ground following Hurricane Irma in Florida and elsewhere -- and why that storm and Harvey before it were so terrible in the first place -- a few news items of note today. First up: Democrats took over two different state legislative seats in special elections wins on Tuesday, one in Oklahoma and one in New Hampshire. Both races were in districts that Trump won by very large margins last November. The victories for Dems -- including huge reported vote swings from R to D -- are of a piece with a series of other special elections held so far this year, including four in Oklahoma alone. In, yes, related news, former President Jimmy Carter offered some noteworthy statements on North Korea that President Donald Trump may wish to notice, and also some words about worldwide democracy and the need for public oversight of ballot counting. In the meantime, following some wildly misleading claims about stolen elections and "voter fraud" in New Hampshire from Kris Kobach, the vice-chair of Trump's so-called "Election Integrity" Commission and Sec. of State of Kansas, panelists and members of his own commission, including NH's own Sec. of State, blasted the GOP "voter fraud" fraudster, to his face, during the Commission's second public meeting, held on Tuesday in...NH! While Republicans are very quick to use even the most sketchy threads of "evidence" they can possibly discover to claim that our democracy has fallen victim to a massive Democratic "voter fraud" conspiracy -- and that we must take radical steps to prevent it, even if it means millions of our fellow citizens lose their RIGHT to vote -- there is, apparently, a very different standard for "evidence" when it comes to climate change. On that, decades of peer-reviewed evidence and tens of thousands of studies don't seem to do the trick, for some reason. That evidence, is simply dismissed by the GOP's fossil fuel-funded cronies. Now it's costing the U.S. -- and the planet -- bigly. After an update on the death toll and deteriorating conditions in some parts of Florida following Hurricane Irma, we're joined by Penn State University climate scientist and author DR. MICHAEL E. MANN, to discuss what made Hurricanes Harvey and Irma so historically extraordinary (and deadly) and why now is absolutely the right time, despite claims to the contrary by top officials in the Trump Administration and their fellow wingnut denialist community, to discuss the growing impact of our climate crisis and the relationship between that and hurricanes, flooding, wild fires, drought and more across the globe. "In a word, warmth," Mann tel[...]

TX-Sen: Rolling Stone, "Ted Cruz (R) Has A Punk-Rock Problem Named Beto O'Rourke (D)"

Wed, 13 Sep 2017 19:49:31 +0000

Rolling Stone released a profile piece on former At The Drive-In bassist, Rep. Beto O’Rourke’s (D. TX) U.S. Senate campaign against incumbent U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R. TX). The whole thing is worth a read but here’s a section that really stood out for me: Before he got the idea that he could win a Senate seat in Texas from a Republican incumbent with universal name recognition and a formidable fundraising operation, O'Rourke was a fairly low-profile member of the House. Few people knew of his crusade to combat gang violence by legalizing marijuana, or the years he spent playing bass with Cedric Bixler-Zavala (now a member of the Mars Volta and At the Drive-In) in their old punk band Foss. That started to change last summer, after Speaker Paul Ryan ordered C-Span cameras turned off during Democrats' 25-hour sit-in to protest inaction on gun control, and O'Rourke launched his own broadcast on Facebook Live (Ryan has since passed a measure that would fine live-streaming from the House floor). O'Rourke's profile spiked again earlier this year after a blizzard canceled flights into D.C. – he and a Republican colleague, Rep. Will Hurd, live-streamed a 1,600-mile rental-car drive (#CongressionalCannonballRun) from Texas to the nation's capital. Tens of thousands of people, including dozens of colleagues in the House and Senate, plus Mark Zuckerberg, tuned in for the 36-hour bipartisan "town hall," during which O'Rourke and Hurd grabbed doughnuts, talked health care and border security, and made a detour to Graceland. Besides supporting limits on guns, O'Rourke, who is 44, is pro-choice and a vocal advocate for comprehensive immigration reform. If that sounds like a tough way to win a race in Texas – where political moderation is considered symptomatic of a disease known as "Californication" – O'Rourke has vowed to do it without accepting a cent of PAC money. He has reason to be confident: For one thing, he's never lost a race. He won his first bid for Congress campaigning in a district on the Mexican border, on a platform calling for the legalization of marijuana. His rival in the primary, an eight-term incumbent, had the full support of the Democratic establishment – Barack Obama endorsed him; Bill Clinton came to El Paso to stump – but O'Rourke, whose political career at the time consisted of two terms on the El Paso City Council, stole the seat nonetheless. Still, it's been 23 years since a Democrat won a statewide race in Texas – the longest dry spell anywhere in the country – and nearly 30 years since one captured a Senate seat. The last candidate to do so was Lloyd Bentsen, re-elected to the Senate in 1988, the year he and Michael Dukakis lost a bid for the White House to George H.W. Bush. As recently as 1994, Democrats controlled the Texas state Legislature and the governor's mansion, and held almost twice as many congressional seats as Republicans. That changed in 2005, when a GOP-led redistricting campaign flipped the balance. Today, Republicans hold 25 of Texas' 36 congressional seats, and control nearl[...]

FL-Sen: Bill Nelson (D), "Republicans Who Reject Climate Change Are Denying Reality"

Wed, 13 Sep 2017 18:10:53 +0000

Sounds like fighting words: Republican members of Congress and Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) are “denying reality” by refusing to acknowledge the role that climate change has played in the two recent hurricanes that have rocked U.S. coastal communities in the past month, Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) told Politico Tuesday. “It’s denying reality,” Nelson said. “You can call it politics or whatever, but the Earth is getting hotter. This storm is another reminder of what we’re going to have to deal with in the future.” As a former astronaut, Nelson said climate change and the greenhouse effect have warmed the waters and caused sea levels around Florida to rise in recent decades, which helped fuel the size of Hurricane Irma, he said, saying the issue is not political. “It’s certainly going to be an important issue, and if certain people such as the one you mentioned is my opponent, there’s a significant contrast in what we believe,” Nelson told Politico, referencing Scott, who will likely be Nelson’s opponent in the 2018 Senate race and has questioned climate science in the past. And Nelson is sticking to making climate change the big issue in next year’s race: Florida is a swing state in presidential elections, but its state government and statewide offices tilt heavily Republican; Nelson has been an exception to the red wave, but a well-known, well-funded opponent like Scott would be by far his most difficult challenge to date. He clearly sees climate as a potential wedge issue in a state with a heavily coastal population and increasing vulnerability to Irma-type disasters. Scott did not discuss the issue in his frequent Irma briefings; a spokesperson for the governor, when asked about Nelson’s comments, said, “Now is not the time for politics. This storm is not a partisan issue. Now is the time to focus on helping Florida rebuild.” But in the past, he has questioned climate science—or declined to affirm the scientific consensus that it’s being cause by humans, often noting, “I am not a scientist”—and fossil-fuel interests have supported his campaigns. In 2015, the Miami Herald reported that Scott’s administration had even banned the use of the terms “climate change,” “global warming” and “sustainability” in official documents. Nelson is not known in Washington as a leader on climate issues, but he said he’s focused on them since he was Florida’s insurance commissioner in the 1990s. He’s fought against President Trump’s proposed cuts to climate science at agencies like NOAA, NASA and EPA, and said he helped persuade the Obama administration to launch a satellite, first dreamed up by Al Gore, that takes continuous pictures of the Earth from deep space. But Nelson didn’t really argue that he deserved kudos for accepting the conclusions of the scientific community; he argued that Republicans on the other side of the issue need to explain why they think “99.5 percent of climate scientists” are wrong. Several prominent Republicans i[...]

AZ-Sen: Democratic Internal Poll Has Flake (R) Losing Both The Primary & To Krysten Sinema (D)

Wed, 13 Sep 2017 17:41:17 +0000

One of the many, many, many reasons I love the Daily Kos Election team is in the thread comments, I can find polling info to share with you. One of them was an internal poll from the Democratic Polling firm, GBA Strategies, and they have some awful news for U.S. Senator Jeff Flake (R. AZ). First, the GOP primary: Key Findings – Republican Primary • Flake is deeply unpopular with Republican primary voters. Republican primary voters offer Flake an abysmal 25 percent favorable – 56 percent unfavorable rating. And 59 percent disapprove of the job he’s doing, while just 34 percent approve. • Ward trounces Flake in vote matchup. Kelli Ward leads Flake 58 – 31 percent in ahead-to-head matchup, an outstandingly large deficit for an incumbent. Flake trails by 20+ points with registered Republicans and Unaffiliated voters, men and women, and in every region of the state. • Mitch McConnell is wildly unpopular and his Super PAC is not helping Flake. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has an astoundingly low favorability rating with Republican primary voters in Arizona, 17 percent favorable – 42 percent unfavorable. McConnell’s Super PAC, Senate Leadership Fund, launched a digital attack ad campaign against Ward, but it is not working because, as noted above, Ward leadsFlake by 27 points. Now the General Election: Key Findings – General Election • General election voters disapprove of Flake across the political spectrum. Flake’s troubles with the Republican base are compounded by problems with general election voters. Flake suffers from negative personal ratings, 23 percent favorable – 48 percent unfavorable, and negative job approval ratings, 38 percent approve – 50 percent disapprove. Independents give Flake a 20 percent favorable – 50 percent unfavorable rating, almost as bad as Democrats (17 percent favorable – 51 percent unfavorable). • Flake is losing the general election. Against Kyrsten Sinema, Flake trails 47 – 40percent and is trailing by 13 points among Independent voters. • McConnell unpopular across the board. Senate Majority Leader McConnell has a 12percent favorable – 46 percent unfavorable rating with likely general election voters. Click here for the full results. Democrats smell blood in the water and they are some of the top Democrats are trying to get Sinema in this race: Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) phoned Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) during the August recess and told her he would back her over other primary candidates should she decide to run against vulnerable Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), multiple sources told The Hill. Schumer also placed a phone call with Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, another Democrat who had been eyeing a Senate bid, and told him he was going with Sinema, the sources said. The phone calls are the clearest sign yet that Sinema, 41, a centrist Democrat serving her third term in the House, is gearing up for a Senate run in the Grand Canyon State. An announcement is[...]

NJ-Gov: Quinnipiac Poll Continues To Show Phil Murphy (D) Crushing Christie's (R) Lt. Governor 58-33

Wed, 13 Sep 2017 17:19:31 +0000

Latest news out of New Jersey today courtesy of Quinnipiac University’s latest poll: In the race for New Jersey governor, Democrat Phil Murphy leads Republican Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno 58 - 33 percent among likely voters, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.    Murphy leads Guadagno among every party, gender, education, age and racial group listed, except Republicans, who back Guadagno 78 - 16 percent; white voters with no college degree, who are divided with 46 percent for Guadagno and 42 percent for Murphy, and white men who are split with 46 percent for Murphy and 45 percent for Guadagno, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University Poll finds.    This survey of likely voters can not be compared to earlier surveys of registered voters.    New Jersey likely voters have a 37 - 18 percent favorable opinion of Murphy, with 43 percent who haven't heard enough about him to form an opinion. Guadagno gets a negative 25 - 33 percent favorability, with 40 percent who haven't heard enough to form an opinion.    Taxes is the most important issue in deciding their vote for governor, 30 percent of likely voters say, as 15 percent list the economy; 13 percent cite education and 11 percent say health care.    "As far as candidate qualifications go, New Jersey is holding a stealth election. Democrat Phil Murphy swamps Republican Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, but about 40 percent of voters don't know much about either of them," said Maurice Carroll, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.    "Each of them dominates among their own party's voters, but Murphy gets more Democrats and there are more of them to get in very blue New Jersey.    "Predictably, taxes are the number one voter concern.    "Working for Goldman Sachs hurts Murphy a little. Serving as lieutenant governor to Gov. Chris Christie hurts Guadagno a lot more.    "Are New Jersey voters buying a pig in a poke? It will be an interesting governorship."    For 47 percent of New Jersey likely voters, Guadagno's role as lieutenant governor to Gov. Christopher Christie has a negative impact on their opinion of her. Another 11 percent say it has a positive impact and 40 percent say it doesn't matter.    Murphy's 23 years at Goldman Sachs creates a negative impact on the opinion of 30 percent of likely voters. For 6 percent, it has a positive impact and 60 percent say it doesn't matter.    From September 7 - 12, Quinnipiac University surveyed 875 New Jersey likely voters with a margin of error of +/- 4.5 percentage points, including the design effect. Live interviewers call landlines and cell phones.    Let’s seal the deal and win this race! Click here to donate and get involved with Murphy’s campaign. [...]

PEOPLE OVER PROFITS! It's just that simple.

Wed, 13 Sep 2017 10:01:28 +0000

With everything escalating in the world right now, and Republicans imploding, I don’t understand why Democrats are so inept at the use of media. The Right calls it a “Liberal Media” (if that were true, there would be liberal ideas non-stop)  but we know that is not true.

  • Two of the largest hurricanes ever recorded hit back-to-back and they tell us, now is not the time to talk about climate change, even as islands vanish from the face of the earth. Where is the Democratic voice who will champion the silenced EPA?
  • Republicans in the very states that now need FEMA funding have raged and voted against social disaster relief programs in the past, and while the media points it out, Democrats make only cursory mention of it. Even as the programs take center stage, where is the defender promoting these necessary “big government” social programs?
  • We have been in need of infrastructure spending for so long I can’t even remember how many roads and bridges are in need of repair. Now that even more are destroyed by hurricanes and floods, where is the hero to call for job creating infrastructure legislation? 
  • With so many displaced U.S. citizens in dire need of basic food, water and shelter, healthcare should easily be front and center. Especially since the Trump administration slashed funding for Obamacare sign-up drives and has threatened to end scheduled payments to insurance companies; Trumpcare would be Deathcare. It’s a tragedy in the making. Thanks to Democrats, single payer healthcare is more popular than ever right now, but where is the chorus of voices that got us this far?
  • Now that more workers are needed in disaster reconstruction and skilled labor for regular seasonal food production, it’s the perfect time to praise immigration, work visas and even unions.  Why are the champions of labor silent? 

'Trump the Independent'?! Seriously, MSM?!: 'BradCast' 9/12/2017

Wed, 13 Sep 2017 00:51:40 +0000

Corporate media falls for 'Trump pivot' again. Callers ring on on that, VA finally decertifying touch-screen voting systems, and much more... On today's BradCast, the corporate media fall for it again. They always do. [Audio link to full show follows below.] Over the past several days, following Donald Trump's agreement last week with the Democratic Congressional leadership to extend the nation's debt ceiling (to pay our bills!) and continuing funding the government for another three months, the corporate media have been falling over themselves to declare "Trump the Independent" (AP)! A President who is "upending 150 years of two-party rule" (NYTimes) and out-Bull Moosing even Theodore Roosevelt as a "populist dealmaker able to cut through the mores of Washington to get things done" (WaPo), as he finally carves out a "bi-partisan path" forward! We open the phone lines today to tons of callers to see if they're buying that ridiculous narrative from an easily-played corporate media any more than I am. Also today, as we try to begin catching up with some important news that has otherwise gotten washed away in recent days by Hurricanes Irma and Harvey, the Virginia Board of Elections has finally decertified the easily-manipulated, oft-failed, 100% unverifiable touch-screen voting systems used in some 22 voting jurisdictions in the state. The race is now on, in advance of their gubernatorial election this November, to replace them with verifiable paper ballots systems. Then, after more calls on that as well, Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report, with the continuing aftermath of the devastating and deadly Irma disaster, and a few folks who are pushing back against climate change denialism from several different surprising places... CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE SHOW!... * * * While we post The BradCast here every day, and you can hear it across all of our great affiliate stations and websites, to automagically get new episodes as soon as they're available sent right to your computer or personal device, subscribe for free at iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn or our native RSS feed! [Cross-posted from The BRAD BLOG...] [...]

NM-Sen: Heinrich (D) & Udall (D) Will Co-Sponsor Bernie Sanders' Medicare For All Bill

Tue, 12 Sep 2017 21:23:57 +0000

The count keeps growing with both Democratic U.S. Senators from New Mexico getting on board:



Click here to urge your Senator to back Medicare For All. And click below to donate to Heinrich and Udall’s campaigns to say thank you:

Martin Heinrich

Tom Udall

PA-Sen: Maggie Hassan (D. NH) Helps Bob Casey (D) Get Ready To Defeat Trump's "Political Godfather"

Tue, 12 Sep 2017 21:15:00 +0000

Received this e-mail today from U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan (D. NH) in support of U.S. Senator Bob Casey, Jr.’s (D. PA) re-election campaign:

Rep. Lou Barletta (R. PA-11)

Lou Barletta, who has been dubbed “Trump’s political godfather,” is officially running against Democratic Senator Bob Casey.

Barletta has certainly earned his nickname.

He cut his teeth by trying to force hard-working immigrants out of Hazleton, Pennsylvania.

He was one of the very first members of Congress to endorse Trump’s candidacy.

And, he even came within a hair of nabbing a cabinet position with Trump’s administration.

Sen. Bob Casey, Jr. (D. PA)

Meanwhile, Bob Casey has worked tirelessly for families just like yours.

Barletta just got in, and this race is already being talked about as one of the closest of 2018. So, we need your help.

Donate $3 or more to be part of the team fighting tooth and nail to make sure Democrats hold on to this critically important Senate seat. We’re still short of tonight’s $5,000 make-or-break fundraising goal, so anything you can give makes a difference.

This race is really up to you, so thank you for doing your part to keep Donald Trump’s hand-picked candidate out of the Senate.

— Team Maggie

Click here to donate to Casey’s r-election campaign.

HI-Sen: Mazie Hirono (D) Comes Out In Support For Bernie Sanders' Single-Payer Health Care Bill

Tue, 12 Sep 2017 19:22:07 +0000

Add another one:


Be sure to thank Senator Hirono by donating to her re-election bid. You can click here to do so. Also, be sure to contact our Democratic Senator and let them know you want them to support Medicare For All. Click here to do so.

CT-Sen: Blumenthal (D) Will Co-Sponsor Medicare For All Bill, Time For Murphy (D) To Do The Same

Tue, 12 Sep 2017 18:56:06 +0000

More good news today: xProud to announce my support for single-payer #MedicareForAll led by @SenSanders. Let's make healthcare a right, not a luxury.— Richard Blumenthal (@SenBlumenthal) September 12, 2017 He’s the second Senate Democrat to announce today after U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D. WI). But what about Blumenthal’s colleague, U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D. CT), who faces the voters next year? He’s going a different route: Sen. Chris Murphy, a member of the Senate’s health committee, is taking a different approach, working at the committee level to stabilize the Affordable Care Act while also previewing his own legislation that would allow individuals and businesses to “buy-in” to Medicare, without expanding the program to everyone. Earlier this summer, after Republicans failed in their most recent effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, Murphy held out hope for bipartisan health care legislation. “[Senate Democrats] have 48 members,” he said. “We can help deliver a big bipartisan victory. … It’s not like I would come to the table demanding single-payer. I think there can be a real, actual compromise.” Yeah, I wouldn’t bet on that. Now, if he’s waiting to read the text of the bill, that’s one thing, but hoping for an actual compromise from the GOP is just wishful thinking. If you are a Connecticut resident, I urge you to flood Murphy’s answering machines demanding he get on board with Medicare For All. Below are his office contact numbers: 136 Hart Senate Office Bldg. Washington, DC 20510 P: (202) 224-4041 F: (202) 224-9750 Colt Gateway 120 Huyshope Avenue Suite 401 Hartford, CT 06106 P: (860) 549-8463 F: (860) 524-5091 [...]

WI-Sen: Tammy Baldwin (D) Announces She Will Co-Sponsor Bernie Sanders' Medicare For All Bill

Tue, 12 Sep 2017 17:08:33 +0000

Received this e-mail today from U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin’s (D. WI) re-election campaign:

Health care is a right. It’s past time that we stand up as a country and recognize it.

I ran for office to improve health care — and policies I’ve championed, like coverage for pre-existing conditions and allowing children to stay on their parents' plans longer, have made headway.

But I think it’s time we lead boldly to make health care affordable and accessible for everyone. That’s why I’m proud to announce that I will be cosponsoring Senator Bernie Sanders’ Medicare for All bill. I’m also announcing my support for several other bills my colleagues have introduced to fix our health care system. Because like most Americans, I’m willing to hear any plan that will get health care costs down for families and make sure more people are covered.

The only way we’re going to really make change to our health care system is if we all speak out, will you join me? Please, put your name down to say that you support Medicare for All and finding solutions that makes things better.

Since my days in the House, I’ve been convinced we can find a way to make Medicare for All a viable solution to this country’s health care woes. I’m not saying that this is the silver bullet — but I do believe we have to start the conversation.

And I know where I want to start it — in the most developed and prosperous nation in the world, no citizen should have to fear they’re not going to be able to afford health care.

The fight for health care for all is going to be long, and it’s going to take all of us. Put your name down to stand with Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, and me to say you’re ready for Medicare for All.

In solidarity,


Click here to add your name.

MA-Sen: DFA & Elizabeth Warren (D) Push Congress Stop Trump's NAFTA Corporate Power Grab

Tue, 12 Sep 2017 16:50:42 +0000

Received this e-mail today from Democracy for America: Renegotiations over the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) have begun and already there's a lot to be worried about. Fixing NAFTA is a good idea. But that's not what Donald Trump has in mind. Trump plans to do the bidding of big corporations by taking parts of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and inserting them into NAFTA. Specifically, Trump wants to include a dangerous provision called the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS). This allows major corporations to sue the United States over our environmental, health care, labor, and safety laws. Instead of going to a U.S. court, the decision is made by a panel of corporate lawyers. If the big corporations win, they can wipe away critical legislation designed to protect workers and our environment, all while sticking the American people with the bill. This was one of the main objections to the TPP -- and now Trump wants to add it to NAFTA. Will you join Democracy for America, the AFL-CIO, and a coalition of powerful progressive organizations in opposing this bad deal for the American people? Sign the petition: Tell your representative to vote no on Trump’s NAFTA corporate power grab! Here's how Elizabeth Warren described the Investor-State Dispute Settlement in a Washington Post op-ed: "Imagine that the United States bans a toxic chemical that is often added to gasoline because of its health and environmental consequences. If a foreign company that makes the toxic chemical opposes the law, it would normally have to challenge it in a U.S. court. But with ISDS, the company could skip the U.S. courts and go before an international panel of arbitrators. If the company won, the ruling couldn't be challenged in U.S. courts, and the arbitration panel could require American taxpayers to cough up millions — and even billions -- of dollars in damages." We cannot let Trump include this corporate assault on key environmental reforms and worker protections in NAFTA. Big corporations have already used NAFTA to destroy millions of jobs and communities across the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. If Trump gets his way, the big corporations will have new powers under NAFTA to destroy much more. The good news: Investor-State Dispute Settlement is incredibly unpopular with the American people. It's the kind of rip-off that helped to defeat the TPP. We can do it again, but we need your help. Sign the petition: Stop Trump’s NAFTA corporate power grab that threatens worker safety and our environment! Thank you for standing up against this bad deal. - Jay Jay Henderson, Digital Strategy Manager Democracy for America Click here to add your name. [...]

PA-Gov: Gov. Tom Wolf (D) Helps You Get Registered To Vote To Resist Trump At The Polls This Year

Mon, 11 Sep 2017 03:55:33 +0000

Received this e-mail today from Governor Tom Wolf’s (D. PA) re-election campaign:

The clock is ticking to register to vote in time for November's election.

If you're celebrating your 18th birthday on or before November 7, 2017, or if you've changed your name or moved recently, you have until October 10 to register to vote in time for the general election.

Luckily, it's easier than ever to register to vote or update your registration.

Two years ago, Governor Tom Wolf enacted online voter registration (OVR) in Pennsylvania. OVR isn't just a convenient, accurate, and secure way to register to vote -- it's an important first step toward making the ballot box more accessible.

And it's been a pretty big hit:

Over 950,000 Pennsylvanians have used OVR since Governor Wolf made the portal available -- and in 2016 alone, there were 100,000 more new applicants who used the state's portal than those who used traditional paper applications.

What are you waiting for?


The Wolf Pack

Click here to register to vote.