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Published: Sat, 19 Aug 2017 09:38:43 +0000

Last Build Date: Sat, 19 Aug 2017 09:38:43 +0000

Copyright: Copyright 2005 - Steal what you want
 



‘I hope Trump is assassinated’: A MO Dem lawmaker’s Facebook comment leads to calls for her resign.

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 20:56:06 +0000

Where do we stand?

I understand the emotion leading to this comment after Charlottesville, but what is our moral stand in situations like this? We often say that elected officials should be held to a higher stander.

We have castigated anyone who made comments like this about Obama or any of our Dems.

We were incensed by the bulls eyes imprinted on Hillary and others.

Should we be silent? Can we be silent?




Top Democrats demand briefing on Trump administration plans for 2018 Obamacare enrollment

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 18:45:25 +0000

Open enrollment for 2018 in Obamacare starts November 1, and thus far the Trump administration has shown not just a lack of interest in making an effort to make it successful, but every intention of doing what they can to make it fail. The top Democrats on the committee overseeing health care are fighting back to the extent that they can, demanding that administration officials answer concerns about their sabotage officially in a briefing.

In a letter sent to Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma, the lawmakers expressed concerns over what they see as the White House’s efforts to undermine the Affordable Care Act’s marketplaces.

"Rather than encouraging enrollment in the Marketplaces, the Administration appears intent on depressing it, which we fear will contribute to destabilizing insurance markets and drive up costs for consumers," the lawmakers wrote. […]

By Aug. 31, the lawmakers would like a briefing with HHS on a variety of matters related to open enrollment, such as the administration’s outreach and enrollment strategy, if it plans to operate call centers, when the administration will award certain grants and more.

The letter was sent by Reps. Frank Pallone Jr. (NJ), of the House Energy and Commerce Committee; Richard Neal (MA), of the House Ways and Means Committee; and Sens. Patty Murray (WA), of the Senate Health Committee, Ron Wyden (OR), of the Senate Finance Committee, and Bob Casey (PA), of the Senate Aging Committee. The greatest point of leverage here is the Senate Health Committee, where Murray and Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) have already announced hearings to figure out how to stabilize the ACA's markets. Democrats could put enough pressure—and possibly shame—on their Republican counterparts to make the administration answer.




An open letter to my Republican and Trump-supporting friends

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 17:29:24 +0000

To my Republican and Trump-supporting friends: We live in tumultuous times. Not since the 1960s has our political system been strained so close to the breaking point, have our emotions run so high, has our nation so deeply questioned its most basic values and most sacred beliefs. But there is one thing I want to say to you: I love you. If you are my friend, you are probably sick to death of hearing me spout about what a proud native New Yorker I am. You know that I grew up and lived in New York City for 30 years. Every one of those years I lived within a few miles of Donald Trump. Every day for at least 20 of those years I saw his name on buildings and read about him in the local papers. While the rest of the country may have barely heard of him or known much about him before the election, New Yorkers are very familiar with him and his history. None of his behavior is a surprise to us. It's nothing more than an extension of exactly who he has always been. Those who thought he would rise to the occasion and grow into the position of president have never seen him in action as New Yorkers have. The presidency is not rehab. It is the gravest job on the planet, and it was given to someone who cannot do it, who never was able to do it, and who never will be able to do it. Period. Full stop. If you are my friend, you know that I am a proud Democrat and a liberal. I support labor unions, government-provided healthcare and higher education for all, abortion rights, voter rights, veterans' rights, estate tax, a living minimum wage, equal pay for men and women, abolition of the Electoral College, and protection of the environment from industrial damage. If you stab me in the chest, my heart will bleed blue. If you are my friend, you know that my father was a passionate Democrat who went to his grave fighting for the things he believed in. You know that I will do the same. You know that, like my father, when I open my mouth about politics, I will never shut up until a) you get tired and go home, or b) we find even a molecule of common ground. If you are my friend, you also know that you and I have spent much time together laughing, crying, comforting each other, seeing each other through tough times. We have celebrated together, learned together, worked together, and grown together. Our friendship is one of the most precious things in life to me and, I hope, to you. There are those who say, “If you voted for Donald Trump, I automatically know these things about you,” such as, you are a racist, you agree with authoritarian rule, you are a misogynist, and on and on. If you are my friend, I automatically know these things about you: You care about me. You have stuck by me through the darkest days of my life. You have my back. You are a decent person. You work hard, you value your family, you try to do what's right. You are not stupid. You have strong opinions about many things, politics included. You have shared your opinions with me, you have listened to my opinions, and you have not let our differences define our friendship. You are not a Nazi, a racist, or a white supremacist. You want what's right and good for yourself, your community, this country, and the world. You are my friend. You were my friend before Trump assumed the office of president, and you will be my friend after he is gone. I will not allow this mere individual to come between me and the people I have always held close to my heart. If you want to discuss politics with me, let's get together and talk face to face instead of having flame wars online. Let's find points about which we agree and explore ways we can arrive at solutions rather than label and stereotype each other. Let's keep our discourse civil. Let's not give in to the seduction of hate. If you are my friend, most of all, know this: I love you. We will get through this. Peace out. [...]



MT-Sen: Jon Tester (D) Goes After Betsy DeVos For Shortchanging Montana Students Again

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 17:30:16 +0000

Received this e-mail today from U.S. Senator Jon Tester’s (D. MT) re-election campaign:

(image)
Sen. Jon Tester (D. MT)
 

We know Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is failing Montana children. Her department already tried to deny the University of Montana critical funds because their application wasn't double-spaced.

Well, DeVos just struck again.

A report in the Billings Gazette reads: "A handful of Montana's smallest rural schools lost out on a federal grant after changes required schools to go through a cumbersome application process."

More red tape. More Montana schools deprived of vital funds. And more Montana children paying the price for bureaucratic nonsense in Washington.

I'm fighting to get DeVos and the Department of Education to, once again, reverse this ridiculous decision. I need you to join me.

Demand Betsy DeVos do her job and make sure Montana schools have the resources they need to help students succeed. Add your name to mine.

Stuff like this really hits home. I was a teacher. It's hard enough for schools in Montana -- especially small, rural schools -- to buy the things they need for students. Many go into their own pockets.

This shouldn't be a partisan issue. There shouldn't be a million hoops for schools to jump through. Betsy DeVos's job is to give schools what they need -- not to be the formatting police.

I won't stand back and watch Montana students get shortchanged. The last time DeVos tried to take resources from our students, we came together. We fought back. And the Education Department reconsidered their decision.

Let's do it again.

Add your voice to mine and demand DeVos reinstate these vital funds for Montana schools.

Thanks,

Jon

Click here to add your name.




Pelosi backs censure of Trump over his 'repulsive defense of white supremacists'

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 17:22:21 +0000

Campaign Action House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi on Friday endorsed a growing push to censure Donald Trump for his repugnant defense of a white supremacist and neo-Nazi protest that led to deadly violence last weekend. “The President’s repulsive defense of white supremacists demands that Congress act to defend our American values," she said in endorsing a censure resolution introduced by several House Democrats. "Every day, the President gives us further evidence of why such a censure is necessary," she said. Voting to censure Trump would be a purely symbolic condemnation of Trump, but it certainly challenges Republicans to make an on-the-record expression of what many have been saying privately for months. This week has even driven some GOP lawmakers to speak out publicly, like when Republican Sen. Bob Corker notably admitted Trump hasn't demonstrated either the "stability" or "competence" to be president of the United States. Democratic Rep. Jerrold Nadler told MSNBC’s Ari Melber Thursday that an official censure would send the message that “the United States is a moral country even if it has an immoral president.” Trump has now effectively ceded all of the moral authority attached to the office he holds—not that he ever had any inkling about the meaning of morality to begin with. But this week, he may have actually made himself toxic—only time will tell. Regardless, Democrats should absolutely push this effort and make all Republicans, especially Speaker Paul Ryan and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, answer for their complete and total failure in leadership on all things Trump. Friday, Aug 18, 2017 · 8:04:22 PM +00:00 · Kerry Eleveld UPDATE: Censure introduced…  xProud to be introducing #censure of @realDonaldTrump for his outrageous #Charlottesville comments w/ so many colleagues. More to follow! pic.twitter.com/WTaanvsM1I— (((Rep. Nadler))) (@RepJerryNadler) August 18, 2017 [...]



Bannon's GONE, now where will the orange beast get his direction? Who will keep him happy?

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 17:48:00 +0000

It’s official, released information … Bannon resigned from Trump’s god awful team about two weeks ago … Ursulafaw nailed it before, Bannon was at the top of her list …. she’s having a rough time right now, but I think she will enjoy reading all the news about this … you might send her a note of encouragement at  ursulafaw@gmail.com

Trump is standing on a rickety old train trestle over one of the deepest mountain gorges like the narrow gauge route from Durango to Silverton Colorado, clinging to the rock cut ledges with straight down views hundreds of feet of flat face rock … if you have or will ride this route someday, you have a good idea how things are going for him now … what do you think should happen now and who will be the major players ?  What about family … Ivanka and her husband, Dink and Donk sons and the remaining swamp … do the Generals have a chance to control him ?




VA-05: Jason Kander (D. MO) Jumps In To Help Defeat White Supremacist Sympathizer Tom Garrett (R)

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 17:07:42 +0000

Received this e-mail today from former Secretary of State and U.S. Senate candidate, Jason Kander (D. MO), in support of Marine and fellow Iraq & Afghanistan War Veteran, RD Huffstetler’s (D. VA-05) campaign:

This is who’s representing Virginia’s 5th District in Congress right now. He’s the one posing for a photo with Jason Kessler, an organizer of last weekend’s Unite the Right rally that brought violence and racism to Charlottesville.

(image)
Republican Tom Garrett has voted against legislation to remove Confederate memorials, and he’s cozied up to white supremacists.
We must take a strong stance against the hatred and violence that was marched into Charlottesville last weekend by white supremacists. That means holding peaceful protests, speaking out in our communities and defeating politicians who fight to keep emblems like Confederate statues around.
Thanks,
Jason Kander

Click here to donate to Huffstetler’s campaign.




To Defeat Nazis, We must Do What it Takes to Remove their Allies at the Ballot-Box

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 18:19:47 +0000

I meant to write a policy-post about women’s reproductive health and rights. When I started to think about my next blog-post last week, I wanted it to be about really important policies, like reproductive rights and women’s health.  I wanted to draw attention to the unacceptably high rates of maternal mortality in Texas caused by reduced access to health care for women, especially low-income women. I wanted to talk about the skyrocketing rates of teen-pregnancy in Texas—we have the highest rate of repeat teen-pregnancy in the country.  Teenagers who’ve already had a child get pregnant again in Texas in large part because they are not allowed to get their own birth control—even though they’re allowed raise a child—without the red tape of their parents signing off on it.  In Lubbock County, the overall rate of teen births is more than one in every 20 teenage girls.  That’s about the same as places like Eritrea, or Papua New Guinea.  When half of all high school students in Texas are having sex, the approach of abstinence-only sex-ed, cutting of access not only to contraceptives, but even to information about them, has shown itself to be an abject failure.   I wanted to write about that, and about how we need to bring back Planned Parenthood, the gold standard of women’s reproductive health care and a leader in lowering teen birth rates, to our part of Texas.  I wanted to write about my policy ideas for expanding access to health care, enshrining it as a universal right, which would help teenagers-being-teenagers avoid unplanned motherhood years before they’re ready. Nazis in Charlottesville, where I used to live and have lots of friends. But then, Nazis happened As we all know, Nazi White Supremacists invaded Charlottesville, Virginia over the weekend.  They came to advertise their hatred, to push it into the mainstream. They came to intimidate the mostly liberal population of this college town, a small city where progressive politics thrives, and where I used to live. They came to use violence on people of color (graphic), to call for the killing of Jews, to send 19 people to the hospital, and to murder a young woman from nearby Greene County.   Although I never met Heather Heyer, I got to know Greene County a little bit when I lived in Charlottesville, first as a volunteer, and then working as a Field Organizer for the Bernie Sanders campaign.  Greene county is pretty small and rural compared to suburban Albemarle and Charlottesville—I lived right across the county line from Greene.  It’s a lot like the 27 counties in my Congressional district here in Texas that lie outside of Lubbock and Abilene.  I met a lot of nice people who helped on the Bernie campaign, and indeed, Greene County went for Bernie in the primary as did Charlottesville, which meant a lot to me and my friends who had worked hard volunteering. Living and working with the progressive activists of Central Virginia was a wonderful, exhilarating (and also exhausting—like any election is) experience.  I met lots of wonderful people, old and young, people like Nic McCarthy, who were there last weekend going eyeball-to-eyeball with Nazis, never raising a hand of violence.  People like my friend Mike, a father of two grown daughters and one of the gentlest people I know, who told me on the phone this week what it was like being at a church meeting which he later found out Nazis surrounded, walking though the once-peaceful liberal town that had now been assaulted by gun-toting Nazis and White Supremacists who came looking for war and violence. And then the man in the White House had the effrontery to speak up on behalf of the Nazi White Supremacists! [...]



Make America Safe Again

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 13:20:09 +0000

Through six months of Donald Trump the progressive resistance has been united by opposition to his policies.  The good news is that we have stopped his legislative program.  The bad news is that most Americans don't understand what progressives stand for, other than opposing Trump.  Now's the time to bring forward an  agenda that emphasizes safety. During the next six months, Trump won't change.  He'll continue to lie, bloviate, and feather his own nest.  His racism and resentment will become more obvious.   And congressional Republicans will careen from issue to issue without challenging Trump or accomplishing anything of significance. This six-month period provides a golden opportunity for progressives and Democrats, in general, to tell voters what they stand for.  So far, the results have been underwhelming. Democrats have responded with "A Better Deal." (https://democrats.senate.gov/abetterdeal/#.WZGuAHeGOE0)  Washington Progressives have their own "Progressive Agenda." (http://www.21stcenturydems.org/index/the-progressive-agenda-in-13-steps/#.WZGiCHeGOE3)  Both documents are too complicated.  They follow the losing HRC prescription: "when in doubt hand the voter a policy paper." An affective progressive agenda should contain only a handful of objectives. And, hopefully, one or two memorable phrases. Affordable Healthcare: The obvious place for progressives to begin is with healthcare.  The resistance has beaten back Republican attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act.  Progressives believe in strengthening Obamacare and expanding Medicaid into the 19 states that do not have it. We should aim higher.  Progressives should advocate Medicare for All; a concept easy to remember.  We stand for safety through the democratization of healthcare. Economic Equality: Most Americans believe the system is rigged.  61 percent feel "the country is headed in the wrong direction."  Voters continue to rank "the economy" as the number one problem. While the stock market is booming and total employment is at record levels, most Americans do not believe capitalism is working for them.  Consumer-credit is at near-record levels; Americans carry more than $1 trillion in credit-card debt. The Progressive Agenda offers a thirteen-point proposal "to restore an economy that works for working Americans.”  While they are all good important, progressives need to identify one or two memorable ideas that differentiate them from Republicans.  Two suggestions: Feature the slogan: Give America a raise.  The Progressive Agenda suggests: "Raise the federal minimum wage, so that it reaches $15/hour, while indexing it to inflation."  Republicans have shown no interest in this measure but it's one that resonates with most voters.  (A recent poll [http://thehill.com/homenews/335837-poll-bipartisan-majority-supports-raising-minimum-wage ] found that 74 percent of respondents favored raising the minimum wage.) Safety through better wages. The second suggestion is adopt the slogan: Make Capitalism work for everyone.  One of the unnoticed sections of "A Better Deal" is the section on "Cracking Down on Corporate Monopolies" (https://democrats.senate.gov/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/A-Better-Deal-on-Competition-and-Costs-1.pdf) which states: The extensive concentration of power in the hands of a few corporations hurts wages, undermines job growth, and threatens to squeeze out small businesses, suppliers, and new, innovative competitors... A Better Deal on competition means that we will revisit our antitrust laws to ensure that the economic freedom of all Americans—consumers, workers, and small businesses—come before big corporations that are getting even bigger. This break up monopolies stance represents a dramatic change from previous Democratic platforms.  It differentiates progressives from Republic[...]



Neo-Confederate Corey Stewart Started The Charlottesville Madness, and We're Going to Finish it.

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 12:01:25 +0000

Despite being just the chairman of the Prince William County Board, Corey Stewart is known far beyond the borders of Virginia. Last year, he proclaimed himself “Trump before Trump was Trump” and Trumped so hard that Trump Trumped him from being campaign chair of our Commonwealth.  He wasn’t lying about being “Trump before Trump was Trump,” either. One of the key players highlighted in the documentary 9500 Liberty, Stewart spearheaded a series of racially-charged initiatives designed to terrorize communities of color in our county… and he succeeded. A large segment of our Latino immigrant population — most of which were documented, mind you — packed up and moved out as a result of the hateful rhetoric and xenophobic policies spewed out by Stewart and his comrades. This year, Stewart came terrifyingly close to becoming the GOP nominee for Virginia governor, losing by less than 1% to Ed Gillespie. The margin of victory wasn’t the actual terrifying part, though, it’s the fact that he came that close while running an overtly Neo-Confederate-friendly campaign. Some people thought this was photoshopped. We wish it was. How does all of this connect to Charlottesville? Well, in February, he organized a rally centered around protecting Confederate statues and the "heritage" they represent. During his time down there, Stewart encouraged and literally embraced white supremacist Jason Kessler, who went on to become one of the chief organizers of this past weekend’s “Unite The Right” Hate Rally. In short, even if Stewart didn’t directly organize the atrocities of this past weekend, he help build the foundation for it. Worse yet, he put out two videos this week pulling a Trump — victim-blaming liberals for the violence and saying that there were "many sides" at fault. Most folks you talk to in Prince William County nowadays — both Democrats and Republicans — are sick of being embarrassed by Corey’s antics. Now he seeks to challenge Tim Kaine for Senate, but it’s time we took him down a peg… or several hundred. Last night, the Occoquan Democratic Committee (a sub-group of the Prince William County Democratic Committee) passed a resolution condemning the atrocities in Charlottsville, the white supremacist terrorists who orchestrated them, and calls upon our elected officials to act. Similar to resolution recently passed by the Illinois State Senate, our resolution seeks to put pressure on local officials to call what happened in Charlottesville for what it is — domestic terrorism. It also goes on to call upon our state legislature to instruct law enforcement to label the Neo-Nazis, Neo-Confederates, Klansmen, and other white supremacist groups as terrorist organizations, and engage with them accordingly. We also urge our county officials to work with state officials and law enforcement to devote resources toward combating these hate groups and educating the public about the threat they pose. With luck and a bit of work, the hope is that our county committee passes a similar (if not an identical) resolution, which we can use to put pressure on Stewart and has band of Neo-Confederates. We could also begin working with neighboring counties to pass similar resolutions, the ultimate goal being a regional or even state resolution by the party. Corey is only so powerful because we as Democrats couldn’t take him out of power in 2015. We own that, and we’re not waiting until 2018 or 2019 to do something about it. We’re making him answer for what he’s done here and now. Here’s the full text of our resolution, passed as amended: Occoquan District Democratic Committee Topic: Condemning and Combating White Supremacist Domestic Terrorism Sponsors: Kenny Boddye, Hank Foresman   Whereas The General Assembly of the Common[...]



Senator Menendez's Trial Could be Trouble for Democrats

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 03:24:55 +0000

What with all the drama I’d forgotten about Senator Robert Menendez, (D) New Jersey, who and is soon to go on trial for federal corruption charges and could be expelled from the Senate if he’s convicted.

The thing is, if he’s found guilty he’d be replaced by Governor Chris Christie, who is bound to choose a Republican; and that could impact health care and a host of other issues dear to the Democratic cause.

I have no idea if Menendez is guilty or not but let us pray he is not.

I’m beginning to wonder at the wisdom of a system that puts so much power in a the hands of so few people.  Millions of lives can be destroyed if ONE, one of them votes a certain way.  The land and water can be destroyed at the whim of Scott Pruitt and his evil supporters in the White House and Congress.

For that matter the people’s voice was taken from us by the Electoral College which in its infinite wisdom put a crazed neoNazi moron into the White House.

What to do.

I’ve seen arguments calling for the Senate to be disbanded.  Yet, the Senate has proven less insane than the House.  On the other hand, we have Mitch McConnell (no further comment necessary).

Maybe we should have powerful regional governments, super-states as it were?

Or what about permitting equal representation in Congress for all?  This would mean increasing representation to reflect population.  Right now the citizens of California, for example, have far fewer representatives in Congress than they should resulting in gross under-representation.  And since the EC is tied directly to the number of representatives the Presidential election is skewed to lower population Red states.  Meanwhile the District of Columbia has no representation in Congress at all, and the fate of its citizens frequently resides in the grubby paws of people like Trey Gowdy.

Fact:  as long as a minority of people is allowed to hold power over the majority, and especially if they have malign intent, such as stripping Americans of our voting rights, gerrymandering to assure fortress districts regardless of actual population, but finally as long as an evil political party, which is also a minority party ie the Republicans holds so much power over the majority we are going to have big problems.

I sure hope ol’ Senator Menendez isn’t guilty.  If he is I hope his trial lasts until Christie is replaced with a Democrat.

www.nytimes.com/...




Fighting for Free Speech For and Against Nazis, Trump, and Israel: 'BradCast' 8/17/2017

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 00:18:43 +0000

Guest: Aniqa Raihan of the Institute for Policy Studies | Also: Bannon interview's revelation on North Korea; Fox 'News' buckling under stress... On today's BradCast: Constitutional free political speech matters, especially speech we may disagree with. There's seems to be a lot of confusion about that of late. [Audio link to show follows below.] But first today, after breaking news on Thursday's deadly terror attack in Barcelona, new evidence, via Steve Bannon of all people, that at least some inside the White House appear to understand that "there's no military solution" for North Korea, despite President Trump's dangerous militaristic posturing over the past two weeks. Then, we move on to a number of free speech issues regarding last weekend's white supremacist rally in Charlottesville and those protesting against them, a wildly intrusive warrant from the Department of Justice demanding personal information on some 1.3 million Americans who visited an anti-Trump website, and a bill working its way through Congress that would seem to call for a wildly unconstitutional ban on the free speech of those wishing to peacefully protest the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories. We're joined by ANIQA RAIHAN of the Institute for Policy Studies to discuss her article, recently published by The Nation and Foreign Policy in Focus, detailing the proposed "Israel Anti-Boycott Act" which is currently being co-sponsored by nearly 50 Republican and Democratic U.S. Senators. "Leading Republicans and Democrats in both parties," Raihan stresses, including many on the Right who pretend to advocate for both free speech and free markets. The bill would make it a felony -- assessing harsh financial penalties and even jail time -- for Americans who boycott Israeli-owned business and companies which do business with them. "What's really scary about it is that it tells you -- no matter what your views are on Israel-Palestine, whether you support a two-state solution or a one-state solution -- as long as you don't do business with Israel, we're going to criminalize you," Raihan explains. "There are tons of people who go through their lives and, for whatever reason, don't happen to buy products made in Israel, and there's no problem with that. But the second that you say 'I'm doing this because I believe in XYZ, I  believe in Palestinian human rights', that becomes a problem. Which is completely criminalizing people for their political action, and their commitment to living their values out in their lives." The legislation, on its face, appears to be in direct contrast with a unanimous 1982 U.S. Supreme Court opinion, finding that penalties assessed against Mississippi civil rights advocates in response to a 1960's civil rights era boycott of white-owned businesses, was an unconstitutional violation of political free speech rights. Last month, the ACLU blasted the bill in a letter to lawmakers, leading one Democrat, New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, to remove her co-sponsorship. We discuss all of that, as well as the origins and controversies behind the new proposal. Finally today, yet another Fox "News" personality breaks down in tears on air in response to the controversies and related racial issues following Charlottesville and Trump's disturbing response to it. Is the original fake news channel finally being to crack under the stress of the wildly unfit and arguably racist President that they created?... 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 n[...]



VA-Sen: Watch CNN's Kate Bolduan Shut Down Corey Stewart's (R) "Both Sides" BS On Charlottesville

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 22:18:17 +0000

What an asshole: x YouTube Video CNN anchor Kate Bolduan and Corey Stewart, former Virginia chairman for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, had a heated debate about who’s to blame for the violence in Charlottesville, with Stewart trying to relentlessly condemn the left. Bolduan originally started things off by asking about Steve Bannon‘s interview, where he called the right a collection of “clowns, fringe and losers.” Stewart, a Republican running for a Virginia Senate seat, turned it to immediately talk about how the conversation surrounding Charlottesville has been wrong. “What the left is trying to do is conflate the two things, they’re trying to say that conservatives, those who oppose the removal of historical monuments are somehow are tied to the right wing, far, far right wing groups, Neo-Nazis, KKK, etc,” he said. ‘Which the Republican Party has nothing to do with. That was the point he was trying to make.” Bolduan was ready for the change in topic and brought up a Stewart quote to the Washington Post saying he doesn’t believe the violence wasn’t caused by white supremacy. Stewart used his response to back what the President said about the event, that both sides were to blame. “There were some groups there, the KKK and Neo-Nazis but there were also normal people, not necessarily the conservative end of the spectrum, who don’t want to see these historical monuments removed. Once the rally began, you had this far left group, this violent group, antifa, which attacked them. They were out to start a fight. They got the fight. They got the attention they wanted. Both of these groups should be condemned for this violence, which is completely unjustified.” Here’s where it gets really heated: He claimed “not even establishment Republicans have come out and condemned the far left group, antifa, which has been espousing violence and attacking people.” Pressed on why that might be, Stewart said, “Because establishment Republicans are afraid of being labeled by CNN as racists and bigots. And they know that that’s exactly what you’re going to do and there’s only a few of us that are going to stand up to you.” “Is it possible that it’s because someone died who was counter-protesting?” Bolduan said. “You’re trying to use this poor women’s death to say that Confederate monuments should be taken down,” Stewart retorted. “That’s exactly what you’re trying to say, Kate.” “Corey. In no way, if you’re — if we could all be a little intellectually honest here, in no way am I conflating the two,” Bolduan began. “Intellectually honest? Coming from CNN, I just don’t — I don’t see that at all,” Stewart interjected. “I am the anchor of this show. I’m asking the question. Hold on a second. In no way am I conflating two things,” Bolduan fired back, speaking over Stewart as he tried to interrupt again. “Stop talking. Stop talking. Stop talking for a second. You’re the guest on my show. I would like to continue the conversation with you, respectfully.” And kudos to Bolduan for calling out Stewart on this: What’s more, Bolduan noted that Stewart himself had appeared at a rally with Kessler just five months ago in Charlottesville. “I’m confused when I see images of you showing up as recently as, i think it was February… showing up at events with Jason Kessler, a white nationalist,” she said. “The most recent interview he did, promoting the rally, he said. ‘I am pro-white. I want to stand up for my people. Right now, there is an ethnic cleansing against white people in the United States.” “Well, look, he’s got to speak for himself,” Stewart responded. “Well, you can al[...]



WI-01: DFA Mounts Pressure On CNN To Let Randy "Ironstache" Bryce (D) Debate Paul Ryan (R)

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 20:04:16 +0000

Received this message today from Democracy for America:

Paul Ryan has been hiding from Wisconsin voters for way too long -- but thanks to CNN, we might have the opportunity to change that next week.

It’s been nearly two years since Paul Ryan held a public town hall that was open to his own constituents. But Randy Bryce's grassroots-powered campaign has Paul Ryan running scared -- so much so that Ryan just agreed to attend a "town hall" hosted by CNN.

This televised event -- which will only be open to a specially invited audience -- is set to take place this Monday, August 21.

After years of dodging his constituents, we don't think Paul Ryan deserves to get a huge national stage all to himself for a fake “town hall." That's why Democracy for America members are joining with the Working Families Party and NARAL to call on CNN to turn this into a real debate by letting Randy take the stage with him.

Sign the petition with Democracy for America, the Working Families Party, and NARAL telling CNN to invite Democratic candidate Randy Bryce to debate Paul Ryan this Monday, August 21.

Working families in Ryan's district haven’t heard from him in person at a public town hall for more than 650 days. Yet somehow he has found time to attend countless events with his Wall Street billionaire friends and funders.

Paul Ryan's rich campaign donors get to talk to him about anything they want. Voters in Wisconsin deserve the same access Ryan gives to the millionaires and billionaires who back him.

We all know Paul Ryan will do everything possible to dodge and weave his way around any tough questions -- and the specially selected audience won't be able to hold him accountable. The only way to make sure the voters get real answers from Ryan is for CNN to let Randy Bryce join Ryan on stage.

Democracy for America is proud to stand with Randy Bryce -- aka @IronStache on Twitter. He is a union ironworker, veteran, and cancer survivor. He’s a lifelong Wisconsinite, and his first campaign ad went viral because of his ability to expose Paul Ryan as the phony Wall Street shill that he is.

A real debate between Ryan and the toughest Democratic challenger he has seen in years would be must-see TV. Will you sign the petition with Democracy for America, the Working Families Party, and NARAL calling on CNN to invite @IronStache to share the stage with Paul Ryan on Monday, August 21?

Thanks for helping us hold Paul Ryan accountable.

- Karli

Karli Wallace Thompson, Campaign Manager
Democracy for America

Click here to add your name.




FL-Gov: Gwen Graham (D) Slams Gov. Rick Scott's (R) Silence On Trump's Remarks Defending Neo-Nazis

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 15:46:14 +0000

Received this e-mail today from former Rep. Gwen Graham’s (D. FL) gubernatorial campaign:

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Gwen Graham (D. FL)
 

Public officials from coast to coast -- both Democrats, and even some Republicans -- have condemned Donald Trump’s outrageous remarks on the violence in Charlottesville.

But there's at least one glaring exception: Florida Governor Rick Scott, who has remained deafeningly silent -- and it has just been revealed will be having lunch with Donald Trump today in New Jersey.

Silence is unacceptable in the face of a president who called white supremacists and neo-Nazis “very fine people” and claimed “many sides” were responsible for the violence that left three people dead.
 

I am calling on Governor Scott to immediately denounce President Trump’s remarks and confirm that white supremacists are not welcome in Florida. Will you add your name to my petition?

Thanks,
Gwen

Click here to add your name.




OH-Sen: Sherrod Brown (D) Continues To Build Momentum For The Medicare At 55 Plan

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 15:30:54 +0000

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

Republicans have been so set on repealing the Affordable Care Act, the discussion has drifted away from what we really need to be talking about: increasing quality of care and bringing down costs.

Let's get back on track.

Too many still struggle with high insurance premiums, unaffordable deductibles, and limited options. Especially Americans between the ages of 55 and 64.

Right now, 41 million Americans fall into this category. They pay an average of more than $1,200 a year in out-of-pocket costs. And they're more likely to experience chronic conditions.

These individuals and families often have trouble finding quality, affordable care. Many either can't get insurance through their job, or are ready to retire but are too young to qualify for Medicare.

We can fix this problem with a straightforward solution: Make them eligible for Medicare.

I have a plan to make those 55 and over eligible for Medicare. If you’re with me on Medicare at 55. Add your name >>

This plan won't only be good for those who would now qualify for affordable, quality care. It's good for Medicare as a whole.

Pre-elderly adults ages 55 to 64 are generally in better health than those 65 and over. According to a report on Cleveland.com: "Broadening enrollment with healthier people could help shore up Medicare's finances."

This is the kind of fix our healthcare system needs right now. I’m working to get people on board because I think it’s a solution that can do real good for millions of Ohio families.

Join me and support the Medicare at 55 plan. Become a citizen co-sponsor.

I know we can get this done. Thank you for your support.

With gratitude,

Sherrod

Click here to add your name.




Our “Turnout” Problem Has Been 40 Years in the Making

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 15:00:58 +0000

An argument constructed after the last election says that our problem is turnout.  Get the base out, and we’ll be fine.  Well, let’s see.  The Republican Party controls the presidency, the Senate, the House, 34 governorships, 32 state legislatures, 68% of state legislative chambers, and the Supreme Court. It also is making inroads into local government and is nearing its goal of rewriting the constitution. I have trouble seeing that as a “turnout” problem.  That looks more like a “we’ve been doing something fundamental wrong for a long time” problem.     Yes, Democrats tend to be AWOL during mid-term elections.  Still, are we really on the verge of oligarchy because of a bloc of voters that are on our side but not so you could tell?  If the current level of Republican dominance is due to a failure of turnout, it is a failure so pervasive and so persistent as to suggest, well … something fundamental being done wrong over a long time.         After Richard Nixon’s resignation, the 1974 mid-terms brought a new generation of Democrats to power,  the “Watergate Babies”.  They would be our undoing.  Libertarian economists were busy deciding that monopolies are our friends, and the Watergate Babies, prodded by some of our own economists, bought that silliness whole hog.  They would move Democratic economic thought so far right as to be unrecognizable.   A doctrine of The New Deal — a doctrine of the Founders — said that that the concentration of wealth and of corporate power leads to despotism.  By the end of the 1970s, much of the Democratic establishment had rejected that doctrine.  They rejected forty years of liberal economic thought.  They rejected economic policies that had created the world’s largest, most stable middle class.  And they did so in favor of libertarian speculation that disparaged regulation and anti-monopoly safeguards.   Our two-party system became, in economics at least, a one-plus-change-party system.  But the apostasy of the Watergate Babies did not elevate the Democratic Party.  It elevated finance and business over labor and unions.  It elevated  wealth over any sense of proportion or decency.  It elevated Donald Trump by creating the void that he would stumble into. Trump filled that void with more than economic lies, and to win, we must counter the rest of his lies, his fear-and-loathing lies.  Even that won’t be enough, though.  We never will reverse the Republican grip on government unless we embrace a once defining trait of the Party – policies that unite rural, working-class, and middle-class voters of all races against corporate power and inequality.   Therein lies the problem with the turnout argument.  Turnout always is an issue, but the current argument is used to absolve us from rethinking our policies and to prop up the self-indulgent notion that we can tell entire blocs of voters, many of whom used to be ours, to go to hell.   That is not a strategy.  That is how not to regain the House or the state houses.  And if we lose a few more state houses, conservatives will get themselves a brand new constitutional convention.  We will lose our rights, our liberties, everything.  The concentration of wealth and of corporate power leads to despotism.  Q.E.D. Reaching out to people you do not like is not the issue.  The Founders’ doctrine is.  Economic and social policies that make the lives of all Americans better and our democracy safer are the response.  They also are the outreach: the outreach to non-voters and to swing voters, the outreach to the base, and the outrea[...]



NV-Sen: Dean Heller (R), "Tarkanian will lose the primary; I'm in a pretty good place with Trump"

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 22:46:33 +0000

He is just writing his own political obituary: Republican Sen. Dean Heller — considered widely to be one of the most vulnerable senators up for reelection in 2018 — has taken some of his first public shots at his likely primary opponent Danny Tarkanian and reaffirmed his support for the president amid a swing of conservative talk radio appearances defending and explaining his votes on attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Heller tackled those topics and more in a 16-minute radio interview with conservative talk show host Kevin Wall on Tuesday, hitting on a broad range of topics from the need for Congress to focus on tax reform to his muddled position on federal funding for Planned Parenthood. He also dismissed a recent Daily Caller poll showing him neck-and-neck with Tarkanian as one of several “fake polls,” and took some of his first public shots at his primary opponent. “First of all, it was a Republican year, and he couldn’t win in a Republican year,” he said of primary foe Danny Tarkanian, referring to Tarkanian’s loss in 2016 to Rep. Jacky Rosen in a district that swung toward President Donald Trump — but also a year in which many Nevada seats went Democratic. “He’s certainly not going to win in an environment that’s much tougher,” said Heller. “There’s only two guarantees when Danny Tarkanian runs for office: one is he’s going to lose, and number two is he’s going to sue whoever he runs against.” Tarkanian — who publicly announced his entrance in the Senate race last week — won a suit against former state Sen. Mike Schneider in 2009, winning $150,000 in damages over misleading advertisements used in a 2004 state senate race. He’s also filed suit against his 2016 opponent, Democratic Rep. Jacky Rosen, for character defamation in a case that’s still active. Heller said that although Tarkanian is trying to make it sound as if he and Trump have a “chasm” between them, his relationship with the president is in a “pretty good place” in spite of his former criticism of then-candidate Trump. “I supported the health-care legislation that he supported at the end, I supported his Cabinet, I supported his Supreme Court justice, I supported getting rid of all those eleventh-hour regulations from the Obama administration,” he said. “So overall we do work together, we do have our differences and we’ll continue to have our differences because I’m fighting for the state of Nevada, he’s fighting for America. I get it, and inherently there’s going to be some differences when you’re doing that.” The senator also continued to push for the so-called “Graham-Cassidy-Heller” amendment, an alternative Affordable Care Act replacement that would effectively remove federal spending on Medicaid expansion and marketplace subsidies and transfer it into a block grant, giving states wider discretion on how to use the funds. Heller said the amendment could lead a 47 percent increase in federal health-care spending in the state, though other analysis of the bill have indicated it could have a varying effect on states due to the complex block grant formula. Though the amendment never came to a floor vote, Heller called it the “one piece of legislation that really matters” on efforts to replace the Affordable Care Act, and promised to continue working to repeal the federal health insurance law. “When we find that 50th vote, we’ll be going right back to health-care reform, and I want to see something get passed,” he said. The attack ads just write themselves. Let’s not take anything for[...]



What Do You Call Hating Leftists More Than You Fear Nazis and White Supremacists?

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 21:19:17 +0000

Seriously.

What would be the accurate term for ostensible Democrats who evidently hate certain Leftists more than they fear the threat posed by Nazism/White Supremacy? Who, faced with the reality of torch and swastika brandishing Nazis laying siege to an American City with mayhem and murder, can think of no better use of their time than to provoke a debate over what the “acceptable” term/insult would be for an undetermined fraction of Leftists they dislike?

Even today, when the bereaved Mother of Heather Heyer has spoken out despite her grief?  This is the thing foremost on their minds? This is what they think is important?

I really don’t know what to call them. Moreover, I don’t think it really matters what you call them. Their actions and obsessions speak for themselves. I’ve gone record with my opinion of them elsewhere.

I do have some idea of what they would have been called in Germany in 1933 though.

I certainly hope most will choose not to follow them down that path.




WA-Sen: Maria Cantwell (D) Mounts Pressure On AG Jeff Sessions To Create Anti-Hate Task Force

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 20:50:33 +0000

Received this e-mail today from U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell’s (D. WA) re-election campaign:

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There's only one way to describe the violence perpetuated in Charlottesville by white supremacists: hatred and bigotry, plain and simple. It was deplorable, and should have no place in our country or discourse.

But President Trump's delayed condemnation -- and mixed reactions -- to the violence has been shocking. He has had ample opportunity to crack down on the surge in hate-based violence, but his administration has taken zero action to combat it.

Earlier this year, thousands of you joined me and my fellow senators in calling on the President to create an Anti-Hate Task Force. But Trump failed to respond, and his administration has since even decreased funding to combat white extremism.

The events of last weekend have shown that we can't afford to let them stonewall us again. That's why I am leading 11 other senators to renew the call for an Anti-Hate Task Force.

Join us today in calling on Attorney General Jeff Sessions to make combating hate-related crimes a top priority, and demand that he establish an Anti-Hate Task Force now!

The Trump administration has promised to take action on hate-based violence before, but has let us down time and time again. While the Department of Justice does currently have a subcommittee on hate crimes, it is far too weak to be effective. In contrast, Trump's own rhetoric and policies have only encouraged the voices of hate to grow ever louder.

We need to keep up the pressure for a real commitment to combating hate-based violence. We can't accept half-measures and empty condemnations. That's why I'm leading 11 of my fellow senators in demanding that the Department of Justice act immediately to address the rise in hate crimes. Will you add your voice?

Join me, and tell Attorney General Jeff Sessions to establish an Anti-Hate Task Force NOW.

We can't afford to wait.

Thank you,

Maria Cantwell
U.S. Senator

Click here to add your name.




CA-Sen: Dianne Feinstein (D) Mounts Pressure On Trump To Fire White Nationalist Steve Bannon

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 20:17:11 +0000

Apologies for not getting a chance to post this yesterday. Received this e-mail yesterday from U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein’s (D. CA) re-election campaign:

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Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D. CA)

The history of our nation is one of constant struggle. While there have been stumbles along the way, when we unite against forces of evil, they have always been defeated.

The events in Charlottesville over the weekend require us to stand united again. We must fight back against white supremacists, white nationalists, and Nazi sympathizers and the venomous rhetoric they spout.

And we will.

The president has a duty to bring our country together in times like these, but his responses have stoked more anger and sowed more divisions. It is clear we must make a stand and show that the White House is no home for those who promote division and hate. The president needs to take action to show he is on the side of the people, and not the white supremacists. The way to do this is to remove the leader of the alternative right from the White House staff.

Join me in calling for the immediate dismissal of white nationalist Steve Bannon from the president’s administration.

We must draw a clear line in the sand that this cannot be tolerated while our police departments across the nation prepare for future acts of violence stemming from this vile hate.

To be attacked for the color of your skin is a battle that we’ve faced throughout our nation’s history, and we must root out this evil once and for all.

A steady march toward progress must not cease. We can’t sit back. We must take action. Will you join me?

Thank you for standing with me against this evil. It has no place in our nation.

Sincerely,
Dianne
 

Click here to add your name.




VA-Gov: Ralph Northam (D) Calls For Removal Of All Confederate Statues In Virginia

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 18:34:44 +0000

Like the rest of the community I have been sickened and outraged over what happened in Charlottesville. A mixture of that and an insanely busy week at work have prevented me from posting my normal election diaries. But don’t worry, I will be returning to my normal diaries soon. But I do want to focus not just on Charlottesville but how it might play a role in the upcoming Governor’s race in Virginia. First off, I want to praise this: Lt. Gov. Ralph S. Northam, the Democratic nominee for governor, said in a statement on Wednesday that Confederate statues "should be taken down and moved into museums." "I support city of Charlottesville's decision to remove the Robert E. Lee statue. I believe these statues should be taken down and moved into museums," Northam said. "As governor, I am going to be a vocal advocate for that approach and work with localities on this issue. "We should also do more to elevate the parts of our history that have all too often been underrepresented. That means memorializing civil rights advocates like Barbara Johns and Oliver Hill, who helped move our commonwealth closer towards equality." Northam released his statement following a memorial service in Charlottesville for Heather Heyer, the 32-year-old woman struck and killed Saturday by a car that plowed into counterprotesters at the white nationalist rally. Jeff Schapiro of the Richmond Times-Dispatch has a great article out about how the events Charlottesville are more likely to be significant drag on Ed Gillespie’s (R. VA) chances of defeating Lt. Governor Ralph Northam (D. VA) in November. Schapiro already notes that Trump was already complicating things for Gillespie’s campaign but Charlottesville was the last thing Gillespie needed: For Gillespie — facing Democrat Ralph Northam, whom pre-Charlottesville polls showed leading by about 5 percentage points — this past weekend’s events complicate the already-complicated arithmetic of his candidacy. His near-loss in the June primary for the Republican nomination to Corey Stewart, a Trump-soundalike, spotlighted Gillespie’s narrow path to the governorship — one that may now be even narrower. Gillespie must assemble an unlikely coalition from the dwindling number of Main Street Republicans, independents and the GOP’s ascendant neo-Confederates and nativists — an element he sharply criticized after the turmoil in Charlottesville — a clear gamble for swing voters rattled by the disturbing images out of the leafy university town. But it’s not just Stewart Gillespie has to worry about. It’s also the fact that Gillespie is to blame for the direction the Republican party that gave us Trump: Denunciations notwithstanding, Gillespie may be faulted by Democrats with empowering the far right in his past roles as a strategist, chairman of the Republican National Committee, presidential adviser, and leader of the push for GOP legislative and congressional majorities through gerrymandering that gives narrow bands of conservative voters disproportionate influence. Quentin Kidd, political analyst at Christopher Newport University, said that having helped create the contemporary Republican coalition, Gillespie will be closely scrutinized for “any wink or nod” that might align him with individuals or organizations defined by their intolerance. This is why Stewart, Republican operatives said privately, is a nagging problem for Gillespie. Stewart, who has refused to formally endor[...]



Trump Mini-Me Dave Brat (VA7) Answers to the White Supremacist Dogwhistle, Just like Papa

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 01:40:52 +0000

  Donald Trump may claim ignorance of white supremacists from time to time, but it’s so not true as this WaPo story from 2016 about his father's KKK membership makes clear (and yes, I say “membership,” because the man was arrested wearing a long white robe).  Trump’s “both sides” rhetoric has influenced Trump Mini-Me Dave Brat, who created a moral equivalency between armed and hateful white supremacists and his own constituents gathering to question and protest his policies.  This was noticed by Emily's List and this excellent diary gives the details. While we in Brat’s district have become somewhat inured to his whingeing and declarations of victimhood — while not once, to my knowledge, expressing sorrow for Heather Heyer’s death — he surpasses himself with his lame statements on Charlottesville, which follow Trump’s timing and rhetoric perfectly.  For example, after criticizing white supremacists and neo-Nazis The Kessler-Stewart-Brat nexus explicitly (late to the wedding, just like Papa), he just can’t resist saying:  “It is important to note that these race-baiting groups have extremist counterparts that also thrive on hate and division.”  You can read all of his statements on his website in the FB posting section. Just like Trump, Brat draws from a white supremacist base.  These photos tell the story in brief (though see further below):  Jason Kessler, Charlottesville Nazi organizer, loves Corey Stewart (local Virginia white supremacist) who loves Dave Brat and hosted a fundraiser for him. Brat’s reliance on this base is no doubt also behind his hiding behind the First Amendment and refusing to criticize Nazi Richard Spencer, as if the First Amendment protects people against criticism!  On the contrary, it grants the right to criticize!  Had Brat sought to keep Spencer from speaking that would have been another story; but nothing prevents him from taking a principled stand against the likes of Spencer.  Well, nothing in the First Amendment, at any rate. Following is a diary I posted last year when Brat was running for re-election.  It gives some of the KKK background on Trump and Brat and includes links to articles showing Brat’s intricate ties with Bannon, Breitbart, and other hateful people and groups. *************************************** Dave Brat loves all people - not I once overheard Dave Brat say sarcastically: "I ran on 'I love all people,' right?".  I was at an event of his during his 2014 campaign for the VA-7 seat.  He was in a conversation with his staff and was rejecting out of hand the idea that his immigration stance could lead to an accusation of bigotry. Stormfront logo But already then, and increasingly ever since, Brat has been aligned with the Ku Klux Klan and other white nationalist and supremacist hate groups.  Brat's unexpected primary victory over Eric Cantor, the first Jewish House Majority leader, was joyfully trumpeted throughout such deeply anti-Semitic and racist social media networks as Stormfront. Warning: these examples from Stormfront are highly offensive. In a shout-out to such sentiments, Brat himself said of his victory: "It was basically a miracle, you know, from God straight through the people who worked so hard for me."  Subtext:  God was working towards having a Christian in office; after all, how could he work through a Jew?  You can't expect them to be anything other than "crony capitalists" who want chea[...]



PA-Sen: Just Like Trump, Lou Barletta (R) Also Earned Former KKK Leader David Duke's Endorsement

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 03:33:33 +0000

A few weeks ago, Mother Jones had a great article out about how xenophobic Congressman Lou Barletta (R. PA-11), who is planning to run against U.S. Senator Bob Casey, Jr. (D. PA), serves as Donald Trump’s “Political Godfather: His candidacy is significant for reasons beyond the electoral math. Something as monumental and era-defining as the election of President Donald Trump has many authors and origin stories, but you could make a case that the nation’s current arc began in Hazleton, Pennsylvania, in 2006, when Barletta, then the city’s mayor, found himself on the defensive after passing a harsh new city ordinance designed to force undocumented immigrants to flee town. (As the Washington Post noted at the time, “Barletta wore a bulletproof vest [to the vote] because, he says, Hazleton is menaced by a surge in crime committed by illegal immigrants.”) The so-called Illegal Immigration Relief Act targeted immigrants where they lived by making it a crime to lease housing to anyone without proper papers, and it was one of the first of what would become a nationwide push by conservative municipalities and states to encourage “self-deportation” by making life impossible for immigrants. Looking for help, Barletta placed a call to a young law professor in Kansas City named Kris Kobach. Barletta’s ordinance was going to get thrown out in the courts, but Kobach helped him draft a new one that he believed wouldn’t, and agreed to represent Hazleton in the face of the subsequent legal challenges. The ordinance was not a win for Hazleton—which spent millions to unsuccessfully defend its ordinance in the courts—but it succeeded on a much larger stage. Kobach’s legislation formed a template that was replicated across the country, and as Kansas’ secretary of state he helped Republican-run states like Arizona draft legislation that would likewise scare immigrants away. By 2011, Barletta was a member of Congress, having unseated an incumbent Democrat in the tea party wave. By 2012, the Republican presidential nominee was being advised by Kobach and speaking openly about nudging immigrants to “self-deport.” And by 2016, the nativist politics that drove Hazelton and Fremont, Nebraska, and other such towns to call in Kobach for help took over the Republican party completely. And yes, Barletta’s entrance has the potential to make this a high profile race: So, a 2018 race featuring a conservative Republican who is “Trump’s political godfather” vs. the state’s legacy Democrat — son of a two-term governor, slayer of Rick Santorum, twice-elected U.S. senator — is pretty likely to draw national attention. The Associated Press on Monday reported that Mr. Barletta told GOP officials and others that he’s in the race. Mr. Barletta hasn’t confirmed that. But let’s say it’s on. If so, what will be the effect of Mr. Barletta’s alignment with Mr. Trump? Mr. Trump is self-immolating. By next year, Senate candidates won’t want him stumping for them. He may be suffering the fires of impeachment proceedings. Even if Mr. Trump is in better shape than that next year, remember, the party in the White House tends to lose seats in Congress in midterm elections? Plus, Mr. Casey is much livelier now than when he entered politics and is highly re-electable. He’s a pro-life, pro-gun, pro-labor Democrat in a state where that’s a pretty good mix. Then again, what if newly[...]



Running mate of Dem IL Gubernatorial candidate endorsed far-right GOPer in 2016 U.S. House race

Tue, 15 Aug 2017 15:16:52 +0000

AUTHOR’S NOTE: The author of this story is an election judge in Vermilion County, Illinois who may be called to serve as a poll worker in the 2018 spring primaries in Illinois, in which major political parties will nominate joint tickets for Governor and Lieutenant Governor of Illinois. The story contains personal opinions from the author, and the story is not connected with the author’s election judge duties in any way.


Ameya Pawar, a Chicago alderman who is one of several candidates seeking the Democratic nomination for Governor of Illinois, picked Tyrone Coleman, who is the mayor of Cairo (pronounced KAY-ro), Illinois, the southern-most city in the state and a city that lost most of its population over the last several decades due to racism, to be his lieutenant-gubernatorial running mate. In Illinois, major-party primary voters vote on joint gubernatorial/lieutenant-gubernatorial tickets in the primary election, with the ticket receiving the most votes among tickets within a particular party’s primary advancing to the general election.

Having done a small amount of research on who Mayor Coleman is, it looks like he has some serious ties to far-right Republicans, including racist U.S. Rep. Mike Bost (R-IL-12). As a matter of fact, the Chicago Tribune included a reference to Coleman’s support for Bost in its piece about Pawar picking Coleman to be his running mate:

Coleman has been mayor of the community of about 2,400 people since 2011. He is a retired Marine, former pastor and radio host. While Coleman is joining a Democratic ticket, last year he endorsed the re-election of Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Bost of Murphysboro.

Ameya Pawar picked a running mate who endorsed a far-right Republican Congressman who gave a racist explanation for why he doesn’t like doing town hall events with his constituents. That is a valid enough reason for any reasonable Illinois Democrat to not vote for the Ameya Pawar/Tyrone Coleman ticket.




NV-Sen: Fearing A Primary Loss, Dean Heller (R) Finally Reveals That He Actually Did Vote For Trump

Tue, 15 Aug 2017 14:35:15 +0000

I can’t say that I’m surprised: Sen. Dean Heller has revealed that he wound up voting for Donald Trump for president last November. "Yes, I voted for Donald Trump," he said in a statement texted to a reporter, according to The Nevada Independent newspaper. The Nevada Republican told reporters in the month before the election that he was 99 percent sure he would oppose Mr. Trump for president, the report notes. Heller, 57, has served in the Senate since 2011 and previously served in the House and as secretary of state of Nevada. He's considered one of the most vulnerable Senate Republicans up for re-election in the 2018 midterm elections. He was highly critical of the Senate Republican leadership's plan to repeal and replace Obamacare in June, arguing that it would have taken health care coverage away from millions of Americans and tens of thousands of his constituents. Last week, Danny Tarkanian, the son of former University of Nevada, Las Vegas, basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian, announced that he's launching a campaign to challenge Heller in the party's primary next year. So why did he wait nine months to finally admit this? Because he was pressured into doing it: The acknowledgement follows nearly a year and a half of criticism and cautious public statements made by Heller about Trump throughout the 2016 election. Most notably, he told reporters in October 2016 that he was 99 percent certain he would oppose the Republican nominee for president. Heller also donated campaign donations from Trump to charity in 2015, and said during the campaign he was “vehemently opposed” to Trump, whom he described as a man that “denigrates human beings.” But unlike several of his Senate colleagues, Heller never fully closed the door on supporting Trump, and had kept his presidential vote a secret until now. He told a Reno Gazette-Journal reporter in December that “I don’t think anybody cares” how he voted. Heller has generally been supportive of Trump’s agenda since the president took office, voting about 90 percent of the time in favor of policies or appointments that line up with Trump’s position. He has described the president’s proposed budget as “anti-Nevada,” and has staunchly opposed the administration’s moves toward establishing a nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain. “When President Trump or my party is right for Nevada, I’ll support them,” he said during an April speech to the Nevada Legislature. “But when they’re wrong for Nevada, I’ll try to change their minds. I’ve always put Nevada first.” The revelation comes on the same day that Tarkanian’s campaign unveiled an attack website highlighting many of Heller’s cautious statements toward Trump, and asking readers to vote in a poll as to whether Heller is “100% Never Trumper,” “99% Never Trumper,” or “Almost Positive Never Trump.” Tarkanian’s wife, Amy Tarkanian, is a former Nevada Republican Party chairwoman and this is how she responded: xHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA...breathe...HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA #DeceitfulDean #DodgyDean #HypocriteHeller #WindIsBlowing #MAGA https://t.co/QPBEdycMur— Amy Tarkanian (@MrsT106) August 14, 2017 Heller doesn’t want to suffer the same fate as Rep. Joe Heck (R. NV) did in last year’s election. He knows he’s the most vulnerable Republican Sena[...]



Making America Hate Again: From Charlottesville to Oklahoma to the White House: 'BradCast' 8/14/2017

Tue, 15 Aug 2017 01:34:07 +0000

Guest: Former neo-Nazi Tony McAleer on the new rise of white nationism | Also: U.S., North Korea remain on the knife's edge of World War... On today's BradCast, the disturbing and tragic weekend events in Charlottesville, how they came about, the failure by Donald Trump to single out white nationalism in their wake, and what some former domestic extremists are trying to do about it all. And, the world remains on edge of war as the Trump Administration continues its aggressive threats in response to North Korea's. [Audio link to show follows below.] With the weekend's tragic events in Charlottesville, Virginia, it's easy to lose sight of the fact that the leaders of North Korea and the United States are still promising annihilation at one another and, as discussed today, should the U.S. shoot first, China has a longstanding treaty obligation to side with its ally North Korea. So, yes, we remain on the brink of what could quickly become another World War under the deft leadership of President Donald Trump today. Also today, an alleged anti-government militant in Oklahoma attempted to set off what he believed was a 1,000 pound bomb at a Federal Reserve bank, in the fashion of Timothy McVeigh's 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, according to the FBI. The domestic terrorist was charged over the weekend. And, speaking of aggrieved white men, we get caught up with the White Supremacist march which led to violence and death on Saturday in Charlottesville, Trump's refusal to declare any of it a terrorist incident or single out the armed and dangerous white nationalist neo-Nazi groups, as well as the condemnation of both him and Rightwing hate groups by other officials, including top Republicans. All of that before Trump's "mulligan" remarks today in which he finally condemned the hate movement by name...sort of. Then, for insight and perspective on all of this, we're joined by TONY MCALEER, co-founder and board chair at LifeAfterHate.org, a non-profit group formed by former members of violent American far-right extremist movements, with the goal of "countering the seeds of hate" they once planted. Life After Hate was promised federal grant funding by the Obama Administration, as part of their anti-extremist efforts targeting both domestic extremism and Islamic terror. But, funding for the domestic Rightwing extremist groups was pulled by the Trump Administration's DHS in June, despite the mountain of evidence revealing that such homegrown terrorists pose a greater immediate threat to Americans. McAleer, a former skinhead and organizer for the White Aryan Resistance (WAR), explains what the rather well-to-do white nationalists parading in Charlottesville -- and those in the White House and elsewhere who seem to support them -- are actually angry about (it doesn't have much to do with Confederate statues), and why it is that their message is so appealing to some. "The removal of the statues, I think, is deemed as a battle line that has been drawn, and their perceived threat of political correctness," McAleer tells me. "I think they perceive it as erasing white history. The memory of the Confederacy is being erased. I think that's a philosophical and political battle line that they've drawn. [But,] I think most of the people that were there [in Charlotte] aren't even from the South, so it doesn't make sense fr[...]



MD-Gov: Ben Jealous (D) Calls For The Removal Of Pro-Confederate Statue Of Roger Taney

Tue, 15 Aug 2017 00:53:25 +0000

Received this e-mail today from former NAACP Chairman Ben Jealous’ (D. MD) gubernatorial campaign: This morning I stood in front of a statue I walk past with my daughter every weekend on the way home from church, of former Supreme Court Justice, Roger Taney. She’s asked me a number of times why we erected a statue of this man. Each time I’ve had to explain to her that our country, and more specifically our state, used to value black folks so little, that the man who wrote the Dred Scott v. Sandford decision that stated slaves, "had no rights which the white man was bound to respect,” was immortalized in bronze. We’ve continued to tolerate these statues for far too long out of the misguided belief that to remove them would be to erase our history. But like the Confederate monuments that were placed by the movement of The Lost Cause, the one of Taney was placed to define slavery and segregation as necessary, a benefit to the country, and to rewrite history for our children. Following the tragic white supremacist terrorist attack in Charlottesville, we can no longer afford to tolerate this revisionism of American history. Add your name if you agree: Replace the statue of former Supreme Court Justice Roger Taney and replace it with one of Frederick Douglass, a man who lived during the same times, but was forward looking in his values and vision for an America that was equitable for all. While the Taney monument represents the worst of America, it’s made of good metal than can be repurposed, cast of the same bronze, in Douglass’ image, just in time for the bicentennial of his birth in 2018. Baltimore City is taking action to remove these symbols of hate, and we need this kind of progress across our state, but that requires a governor with the courage to lead. Frederick Douglass said America's destiny is to be "the [most] perfect national illustration of the unity and dignity of the human family that the world has ever seen." This is what we should strive for in our actions. Larry Hogan should stop equivocating because we have seen the message we send to terrorist groups when we do not forcefully and clearly denounce hate in all forms. So far, when asked about these monuments, the Governor has said removing them would be “political correctness run amok”. The Governor doesn’t understand that removing these monuments is not about political correctness, rather it is about setting an example for our children and showing them that hate and bigotry in America will no longer be honored. Sign my petition: Demand Maryland remove and replace the Confederate monument of Robert Taney >> Charlottesville reminds us with great urgency, that we are not living in ordinary times - the same old approaches to bridging the racial divide in our country aren't working. We can no longer accept half measures. There are forces at work who want to take our country backward and we must realize that the struggle for civil rights is never-ending. We need strong, courageous leadership to move our state forward. Join me, Ben Click here to add your name. [...]



VA-Gov: Mother Jones Reminds Us That Ed Gillespie (R) Is A Big Fan Of Keeping Confederate Monuments

Mon, 14 Aug 2017 23:06:59 +0000

Thank you Mother Jones for this: Ed Gillespie, Virginia’s Republican gubernatorial nominee, spent the spring and summer campaigning against Charlottesville’s decision to remove a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. Following this weekend’s outbreak of white supremacist violence in Charlottesville, Gillespie is remaining silent on whether his views have changed. Confederate monuments became a major issue in the Virginia GOP primary after the Charlottesville city council voted in February to remove a sculpture of Lee. Gillespie responded by saying he opposed removing Confederate statues, but that it was ultimately a local issue. His primary opponent, Corey Stewart, a Trump-acolyte who considers General Lee a hero, interpreted that to mean Gillespie “would do nothing as governor to stop a locality from removing a statue.” Gillespie fought back by saying he believed the Charlottesville city councillors who voted to remove the sculpture should be voted out of office.   The issue became more heated after white nationalist Richard Spencer led a torch-lit demonstration in May to oppose the removal. “What brings us together is that we are white,” Spencer said at the Charlottesville protest. “We are a people, we will not be replaced.” Gillespie called it an “ugly display of divisive rhetoric and intimidation tactics,” but didn’t change his views about the monument. One day before the primary election, his campaign published a post on Gillepsie’s website titled: “No, Ed Gillespie Doesn’t Support Removing Confederate Statues.” The post said “Ed does not support removing any statues—including Charlottesville’s Robert E. Lee statue.” Gillespie reaffirmed his support for keeping Civil War monuments after winning the primary.   Following this weekend’s violence, Gillespie, once again, condemned white supremacists’ hate speech and violence. “I agree with Governor McAuliffe; they need to go home,” he said in an interview posted on his Twitter account. “And they need to take that vile hatred with them. It does not belong here in the Commonwealth of Virginia.” But Gillespie’s office has not responded to requests for comment from Mother Jones,as well as BuzzFeed, about whether he still supports keeping the Lee sculpture in place. From BuzzFeed: Those unheard from include Ed Gillespie, who in June narrowly beat a pro-Confederate candidate in Virginia’s Republican gubernatorial primary. The posturing by his rival, Corey Stewart, forced Gillespie to take a more explicit position on the Lee statue. (“No, Ed Gillespie doesn’t support removing Confederate monuments,” read the headline on a Gillespie campaign statement that pushed back on a Stewart claim.) On Saturday, Gillespie condemned the “ugly events” in Charlottesville. “Having a right to spew vile hate does not make it right,” he said in a campaign statement. “These displays have no place in our Commonwealth, and the mentality on display is rejected by the decent, thoughtful and compassionate fellow Virginians I see every day.” On Sunday, he went a step further: “We've seen evil in white supremacist torches and howling neo Naziism,” Gillespie said in a Twitter post honoring state troopers killed in a helicopter crash during[...]



VA-Sen: Corey Stewart (R) Tries To Blame "Lefties" For "Half The Violence" In Charlottesville

Mon, 14 Aug 2017 21:56:18 +0000

Fuck. You. As political leaders from both sides of the aisle speak out against the weekend violence that happened in Charlottesville, Virginia, between white nationalists and counter-protesters, one local Republican claims only half the story is being told. “It’s time to end the hypocrisy,” said Corey Stewart, chairman of the Prince William Board of Supervisors. Stewart, who will challenge Democratic U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine for his seat next year, said there is plenty of blame to go around. “People condemned all those far-right agitators, but no one seemed to condemn the left wing,” he said. “Clearly, half of that violence was committed by left-wingers.” Based on Stewart’s past actions, I can’t say that I’m surprised: "All the weak Republicans, they couldn't apologize fast enough," Stewart said in an interview with The Washington Post. "They played right into the hands of the left wing. Those [Nazi] people have nothing to do with the Republican Party. There was no reason to apologize." However, Stewart has made several joint appearances with Jason Kessler, the organizer of the "Unite the Right" rally that sparked the unrest in Charlottesville. Stewart met Kessler at an event earlier this year to protest the removal of the statue of Robert E. Lee from Emancipation Park in Charlottesville. And at one point during the primary race, Stewart attended a Charlottesville news conference with Kessler and Isaac Smith, founders of Unity and Security for America (USA), a fledgling group that calls for "defending Western Civilization." Smith sometimes introduced Stewart at events and appeared at his side with alt-right symbols. Kessler and Smith also joined Stewart at a protest at the University of Virginia. And this idiot spewed even more bull shit: He warned mostly about “the left’s attempts to crack down on free speech” and made a brief statement condemning the violence and alleged murder that took place at the "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville on Saturday. He made no mention of the Virginia State police helicopter crash that took the lives of two veteran troopers, but thanked law-enforcement officials for their service today. In a Facebook Live video filmed in his historic Bel Air Plantation home in Woodbridge, Stewart, who is now running for U.S. Senate, began his five-minute talk by declaring that “the left has never condemned their own violence.” Stewart, chairman of the Prince William Board of Supervisors, went on to criticize U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine (D), saying he “applauded" his son when he was arrested “as a member of Antifa” after a protest in Minneapolis in May. Stewart is seeking the Republican nomination to unseat Kaine in 2018. Linwood “Woody” Kaine, 24, was among five people arrested in connection with setting off smoke bombs or fireworks during a pro-Trump rally there. The attorney general declined to file charges against the younger Kaine or the other arrestees, according to news reports. Kaine said in a prepared statement the displays of "violence and bigotry" seen today in Charlottesville are "sickening." "The fact that people like David Duke cited the president to justify their views is a disturbing reminder that divisive rhetoric has sadly contributed to a climate wh[...]



A young woman's death shouldn't be used as a call to kill liberals. This is shameful.

Mon, 14 Aug 2017 18:41:32 +0000

A young woman was the target of a hate crime by a Neo-Nazi. She died, and she was a proud member of the IWW. She was an ally in the fight against racism, hatred, and fighting for equal rights for all.  Her death is being used by some to call for the death of liberals for not standing up against capitalism. I don’t think this is what Heather Heyer would ever have wanted in having her name being used by Democratic Socialists to attack leftist organizations like Indivisible who have been instrumental in helping save the Affordable Care Act.    xwent to a vigil for Heather tonight and with more certainty than ever I can say: fuck liberals. line em up against a goddamn wall.— Barbarossa ☭ (@copcemetery) August 14, 2017 xHeather's name was only said once, a rabbi claimed the Founding Fathers weren't white supremacists, and another speaker claimed that the— Barbarossa ☭ (@copcemetery) August 14, 2017 xagainst - racism, sexism, anti-Semitism, not once was capitalism or even that milquetoast bullshit term "classism" mentioned.— Barbarossa ☭ (@copcemetery) August 14, 2017 xThis was organized by Indivisible. I've only known this organization existed for about 12 hours - my take is already "grind them to dust"— Barbarossa ☭ (@copcemetery) August 14, 2017 xIt was a gathering of white people in pastel clothes doing ritual autofellatio to the tune of how woke they are.— Barbarossa ☭ (@copcemetery) August 14, 2017 xA lot of people are saying don't politicize Heather's death - bullshit considering she died a martyr for socialism. But if anyone is guilty— Barbarossa ☭ (@copcemetery) August 14, 2017 xof using this for political gain, its liberals. At the end, the speaker effectively endorsed a candidate in Alabama's election on Tuesday.— Barbarossa ☭ (@copcemetery) August 14, 2017 xMy point is this: don't waste time on the Dems. Organize the workplace, train with a militia, read theory. All are better uses of your time.— Barbarossa ☭ (@copcemetery) August 14, 2017 Train with a militia? Creating an armed group is not helpful. MLK spoke out against violence and he was for nonviolent protesting. Calling for the death of liberals, and saying not to work with Democrats in electing a Democratic majority to impeach Trump is not helpful. This sort of reactionary activism is not helpful. It only sets us back, delegitimizes actual peaceful protests, and creates unnecessary conflicts and fractures for Trump and his Russian pals to exploit.  I refuse to be a part of this. I refuse to use a young woman’s death to organize resistance to the one party who is fighting and standing up for us, and to work against peaceful organizations like Indivisible, Dailykos, Swing Left, and Flippable who are working towards the goal of a Democratic majority in 2018.  [...]



Want to know what love is?

Mon, 14 Aug 2017 17:18:16 +0000

You know, I’ve written a little bit about a lot of different subjects. Intolerance, hate, bigotry, racism, religion, Trump, Republicans and Democrats, My upbringing.  But one thing I haven’t wrote about is Love. It seems like a tough subject to write about, especially in light of current events and the current political arena. Like Foreigner used to sing “I want to know what love is” What is real love? Growing up was tough. My Mom married my "real" father twice. He was never a part of my life, except when he was forced to be. He was sexually perverted. He was a thief who spent years in our prison system, learning "his craft". I and my brother are alive, because he chose to have sex with a teenage girl, against the law even then, and my Grandfather, a tough, no nonsense truck driving Teamster, gave him a choice, Marriage or prison, and knowing my Grandfather, more than likely "death" was a possibility probably offered too. He was 22. She was 16. He "was" a sailor, she was in high school. This was the late 50's. Sex education was summed up in 3 words. "Just say no." It worked as well now as it did then. I’m somewhat different than a lot of people I know. My memories go back to when I was two or three, and they are more nightmares the good. I can remember him trying to kill us as a little child. Waking up in the middle of a cold, Indiana winter, after he had turned the heat off, opened all the doors and windows and took the phone and left the three of us to freeze to death. He chose to go to Chicago, in the middle of the night, and didn’t want a "Family" when he returned. He may deny it, because I was three, but I can describe the trailer, my bed, where they slept and even the girlie magazines he kept at the time. I remember it all. My mom "verified" what I remembered, after I asked her about it, not before. She said" You can’t possibly remember that, you were only three." I described it, in detail to her and she cried. It was one of about a thousand memories she had hoped we would never remember, as we got older. But what does his evil have to do with love? Well I’ll tell you. She was a 19 or 20 yr. old girl with two children abandoned in the dead of winter to die. Yet she walked to the nearest phone, after closing the windows and doors, getting her sons dressed and putting them in the back bedroom, under all the blankets and coats she could find, and made it to a phone through the snow and wind to call my grandfather to come and get us. She didn’t have a coat, or winter shoes. She loved her sons so much, she risked death to get them help. A lesson I never forgot. That love meant putting others safety and welfare above your own, even at the risk of death. His actions made my Mom my hero. My grandfather who had always been a hard drinking hard living truck driver, took us in; no questions asked. He treated me and my brother like his own kids, except without the alcohol and anger. He taught us manners, etiquette, respect. He became a hero of mine too. Even after my Mom remarried, he was an enteric part of my life and someone who listened to the typical rantings of a teenager and young adult, and was quick to teach me about moral choices, often through his rough upbrin[...]



Democrats - Now More than Ever, We Need a Steadfast Togetherness

Mon, 14 Aug 2017 22:01:08 +0000

Over the past couple of days, I’ve seen Democrats from multiple places on the spectrum blaming each other for the terrorists in Charlottesville. Before I say anything else, remember: Above all, the atrocity of this weekend is the fault of those who perpetrated it. No one forced the Neo-Nazis, KKK, Alt-Right, and whoever else who came out of the wordwork at “Unite The Right” to show up at all. No one forced them to take torches out into UVA like a lynch mob and beat people up like cowards while most folks weren’t even on campus. No one forced them to show up the next day – many of which in tactical gear and wielding weapons no one would take to “peaceful protest” – and march as if they were an occupying army. No one forced them to loiter outside of black-owned businesses, or force church-goers to stay inside because they lurked outside. Nor did anyone force them to seek out the affordable housing projects and harass black people there despite being nowhere near where the statues were. No one forced the driver to kill Heather Heyer, and injure over a dozen more. We can also lay blame at the feet of those who lead these bigoted cowards. That means people like Donald Trump, Corey Stewart, Richard Spenser, and David Duke. They are also to blame as they not only fail to condemn the actions of their flocks, but actively encourage their actions through dog whistles and outright orders. We can also blame people who voted for Trump, because everyone knows that his campaign’s opening message was one that painted Mexicans as rapists, drug dealers, and murderers. It painted the first black president as other. Between that and his endorsement by the KKK, there was no secret in the kind of people who supported Trump, so to act surprised now would be dishonest. But for Hillary supporters to universally blame Bernie supporters, and vice versa, is proof that too many people would rather “be right” than actually fight hatred. There are people who voted for Bernie and then voted for Trump. They make up a remote fraction of Bernie progressives, and should not be used as a means to place blame on the entirety of people who supported (or continue to support) him. Again, the ones who actually voted for Trump do share blame in this, but not every single Bernie supporter. Nor is Bernie Sanders himself to blame. Conversely, Hillary and her supporters are not responsible for this either. I have never met anyone who voted for Hillary in the primaries and then voted for Trump in the General Election, nor have I heard that happening at all. That said, the DNC was caught red-handed favoring one candidate over the other. That weakened the trust between wings in the party, but is still not solely responsible for Donald Trump’s election nor the racist rally in Charlottesville. To fracture now and play the blame game on our side of the fence is to prove that you learned nothing from last year. It also proves that you’re unwittingly aiding Gillespie, Vogel, and all of the GOP candidates this year. It proves that you’re more willing to spend your time attacking each other rather than attacking literal Nazis and their enablers. I’m not saying we all need t[...]



The Echoes of Charlottesville Appear in Florida Special Election

Mon, 14 Aug 2017 15:55:52 +0000

On Sept. 26th a major special election  will be occurring in Florida’s 40th State Senate seat that will determine whether Democrats will be in the drivers seat for potential statewide wins in 2018. Democrats have fielded Annette Taddeo (D) a two-time congressional and Lt. Governor candidate, meanwhile Republicans have put up State Rep. Jose Felix Diaz (R).

The 40th Senate District voted for Hillary Clinton (D) in 2016 by a 57.64% — 39.78% margin, however, the seat is ancestrally Republican due to Cuban-American loyalty to the Republican Party for several decades. In fact, the Republican Party picked up the seat in 2016 despite Clinton’s massive win in the seat. It is also almost completely encompassed by the 27th U.S. Congressional District, were U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R) is retiring, making the seat an important test to see if Democrats are prepared to take FL-27 as well.

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State Sen. Artiles (R) Resigns After Used Racial Slurs Against Fellow Senators

The previous occupant of the seat, ex-Sen. Frank Artiles (R), resigned his seat earlier this year after using racial slurs against Democratic colleagues in the State Senate. This brings us to how this special election could become a referendum against white nationalists, racists, and Nazism in what recently occurred in Charlottesville, VA. With a victory here for Taddeo (D) we can show this scum that you not only should leave office as Sen. Artiles (R) did, but if these actions occur there are political consequences.

Let’s help PICK-UP this crucial State Senate seat on Sept. 26th and help Annette Taddeo (D), a progressive champion, win this seat and continue to improve Democratic chances in November. Not only that, let’s send a message to white nationalists that if they rear their ugly heads that they will not like the response that they are given. Donate $5 to Annette Taddeo today!

Send Annette Taddeo $5 HERE

Follow Annette’s Campaign through Ready2Vote HERE

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Send $5 to Annette Taddeo!




Where are the Democrats? Especially after Charlottesville

Mon, 14 Aug 2017 03:05:41 +0000

Earlier today I replied to someone in another diary who said tRump hadn’t seen anything yet… implying some wrath would rain down on the Führer.  At the recommendation of hpg, I’ve turned it into this diary because there’s a complete vacuum in the realm of leadership in this country.  The pResident can lead nothing more than his band of merry terrorists; And the Democrats have abdicated all responsibility of leadership to….. thin air, I guess. So without further ado and with only minimal changes/additions… Black Max Aug 13 · 12:09:00 PM The little pissant hasn't seen anything yet. VisiterFromEarth -> Black Max Aug 13 · 01:02:44 PM Really?  I think he’s seen it all.  The women’s march was the best the left has been able to muster.  I don’t see anything coming down the pipeline.  Where are the Democratic billionaires buying up television stations and newspapers?  Where are the Democratic billionaires blanketing the airwaves with truthful advertising?  Where are the wealthy buying billboards in red districts and putting up positive Democratic messaging (or truthful negative GOP messaging.)  Where are the Democrats with talking points, press conferences, and rallies?  Where is the Democratic agenda that will actually help those voting against their best interest for economic reasons?  Where is the Democratic agenda that will get the minorities to vote?  Where is the sustained Democratic push against the current regime?  And where the fuck are the Democrats standing on every street corner, in front of every court house and state capital, calling the GOP what they are, a terrorist organization that must be wiped off the face of the planet?  Where are the Obamas, Bidens, HRCs, Bernies creating the media attention we need?  Where are the Democrat Senators, Representatives, Governors on the Sunday talk shows? A dozen polls & surveys in our email box on a daily basis, 25 emails begging for more and more and more money on a daily basis, a ‘liberal’ news network espousing as much right wing crap as they can (except for 4 hosts,) and social networks that are complicit with the right are not going to do anything to make america great again… and that’s because America was diagnosed with stage 4 terminal brain cancer on Nov 8th, 2016.  A cure is possible, but not with out a very fast, very well organized response.  Why do we need 100’s of left/liberal/Democrat groups dividing our influence among them instead of all working as a handful of organizations? Am I pessimistic?  Hell yes.  Our future was penciled in on the calendar in June of 2015 with the terrorists messiah announcing his plan to end our democracy.  It was inked on Nov 8th, 2016.  It will be Sharpied in on Nov 6th, 2018 if those with power, money, influence and military experience don’t act and act now.  Every day the story isn’t that Adolf tRump is giving his approval to his terrorist organization to carry out more attacks, to further degrade the constitution, to further dismantle our society, is a day lost to the future. Democrats have the ideas and beliefs that ca[...]



Charlottesville Protests Conceal The Unspoken Truth

Mon, 14 Aug 2017 15:20:48 +0000

A month after a Ku Klux Klan rally in Charlottesville, Virginia ended with the police using tear gas on protesters, The New York Times reported Charlottesville braced this past weekend for white nationalist demonstrations and counter protests. Friday night, several hundred torch-bearing men and women marched on the main quadrangle of the University of Virginia’s grounds, shouting, “You will not replace us,” and “Jew will not replace us.” They walked around the Rotunda, the university’s signature building, and to a statue of Thomas Jefferson, where a group of counter protesters were gathered, and a brawl ensued. A planned protest for Neo Nazis, Alt-Right, and White Supremacists march through the University of Virginia Campus with torches in Charlottesville, Va. on August 11, 2017. Saturday afternoon by white nationalists was abandoned Saturday morning before it got started, after a spate of violence prompted Governor Terry McAuliffe to declare a state of emergency and ordered law enforcement officers to clear the area. These racist demonstrations are un-American, cause loss of life and serve as a distraction, they conceal the true reason for the hidden tension that threatens to divide America. The true reason is simple, it’s the changing demographics of America. American whites, some racist the majority of them non-racist, are concerned about the population changes that are occurring in America. Changes that mean that American whites will no longer be the majority in a country whose society is built on the principle of one person one vote majority rule. America is approaching a transformational point, due to the changing racial/ethnic demographics that have traditionally defined the cultural values, behavior, beliefs, language, arts and symbols of American society. The population in America is shifting from a racial majority of Caucasian or White people (American Whites), to a blend of American Blacks, Hispanics and Asians constituting the future majority. The changes to American society that could potentially occur is a legitimate non-racist concern for American whites. Unfortunately the legitimate conversation about this is not taking place because it’s overshadowed by the alt-right’s distractive racist behavior, making anyone attempting to have the legitimate conversation subject to being tainted as a part of the alt-right’s racist ideology. The absence of the legitimate conversation has not stopped the anxiety American whites feel from expressing itself. One way those anxieties expressed itself was the large white American vote to elect Donald Trump President. According to a post 2016 election analysis done by The Atlantic and the Public Religion Research Institute white Americans carried Donald Trump to the White House. He won college-educated white voters by a four-point margin over Hillary Clinton, according to exit polls. But his real victory was among members of the white working class, Twice as many of these voters cast their ballots for the President as for Clinton. In the wake of Trump’s surprise win, some journ[...]



Topiary

Mon, 14 Aug 2017 01:57:34 +0000

When we get a break from rallying and protesting against the obscenities and stupidities of the Trump administration, we get to enjoy the topiary art in our downtown park. [...]



Send a Message to White Supremacists With an Election Victory!

Sun, 13 Aug 2017 22:54:23 +0000

We are all shocked and have been horrified by what we have seen in Charlottesville, VA. But we all know that we in order to continue the momentum we have we must show these white nationalists the COSTS of showing their faces and trying to refuel their movement.

We have a chance to do this with a special election on Sept. 5th. Josh Adjutant (D), is our nominee for New Hampshire’s Grafton 9th State House seat special election, he won the nomination as a WRITE-IN after defeating a fellow Democrat by over 200 votes in the primary! This state house seat voted for Trump 54.92%-39.56% in 2016. It also voted for President Obama 49.70%-48.19% in 2012. We have already proven, however, on multiple occasions this year that we can win seats Donald Trump won by over 60% last year with the right strategies, resources, and momentum.

After recent special election wins in 2017 in New York, Oklahoma, and New Hampshire we have a chance to take our 5th pickup from the GOP in a special election and a chance to show White Nationalists the costs of them trying to regain any form of attention.

Help Josh Adjutant win in New Hampshire on Sept. 5th. He needs our support and our help to win this seat. Send him $3, New Hampshire is on the verge of going BLUE again! Send a message!

Donate $3 to Josh Adjutant HERE

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Donate $3 to Josh Adjutant!




Jacob Rosecrants Can Deliver Another Win for Democrats in Oklahoma

Tue, 15 Aug 2017 12:15:59 +0000

Edited by: Annie Phan Oklahoma Democrats have the wind at their back. Last month, they won Oklahoma's 44th State Senate seat and Oklahoma’s 75th State House seat with decisive margins. Both Democrat victors, Senator-Elect Brooks-Jimenez and Representative-elect Gaddis centered their platforms on Oklahoma’s growing education crisis. Continuing with the platform theme, Democrats rally behind Jacob Rosecrants, an educator and contender for House District 46. A native Oklahoman, Rosecrants currently teaches at Roosevelt Middle school and has spent the past years advocating for better public education. Rosecrants faces Republican Darin Chambers, a former naval officer, and entrepreneur. There are stark differences between the candidates. While Rosecrants has four main platform points- education reform, new strategies to address Oklahoma’s budget shortfall, criminal justice reform, and fighting ALEC/corporate influence over Oklahoma’s state legislature. On the other side, Chambers’ platform has three points that literally mean NOTHING, calling for vague entreaties like “responsible leadership,” “right motivations,” and “reasonable actions,” without addressing a single issue facing Oklahoma at this present time. When Ready2Vote reached out to Rosecrants’ campaign, a spokesperson expressed Rosecrants’ motivation for running in this special election: “Jacob is running because he’s tired of being a teacher that gets ignored. Legislators don’t really care about what’s going on in our schools and the proof is all over. They make cuts to lunch and after school programs and at times it feels like they’d just rather everyone go away.” OK-HD-46 is anchored in the Norman area and is southeast of OKC Rosecrants and Chambers are running to represent Oklahoma’s 46th State House district. The district is open since former State Rep. Scott Martin (R) resigned to head up Norman’s Chamber of Commerce. For once, a seat in Oklahoma isn’t open due to sexual harassment or illegal activities with minors. Last year, the district voted for President Trump (R) 51.65% to Hillary Clinton’s (D) 41.33%. This is a significant downward shift for Republicans since 2012 when Mitt Romney (R) won the seat 59.73% to President Obama’s 40.27%. Compared to Oklahoma’s 75th State House district, a seat picked up by Democrats last month and went 58-36 for Trump, the shift in HD-46 bodes well for Rosecrants. Jacob Rosecrants is the perfect candidate to fight for the educational needs of all Oklahomans. Democrats CAN win this special election on September 12th. Send him $5 to help continue the Democratic momentum in Oklahoma and help Team Blue retake the Plains! Learn More about Jacob Rosecrants HERE Follow Jacob Rosecrants on FACEBOOK Follow Jacob Rosecrants on Twitter DONATE $5 to Jacob Rosecrants HERE! Donate $5 to Jacob Rosecrants Today! [...]



Dispatch from the Alt-Left, A.K.A The Left: You Bet Your Ass It's The Economy!

Sun, 13 Aug 2017 22:38:40 +0000

I’m going be brutal here, because there just isn’t any nice way to say it: Democrats are trading on social progress to advance neoliberal economics, while Republicans trade on social regression to advance more extreme and toxic to the poor and middle class economics. I am unabashedly progressive.  That means real left, “New Deal” type left, and as far as most people like me are concerned, party performance for the middle class has been terrible.   A majority of Americans struggle economically today.  Their cost and risk exposure continues to climb, while wages stay flat, and or decline as more new jobs pay less than the ones we are losing. Frankly, the idea of this being a race issue is laughable!  I do not intend to marginalize social matters.  We’ve got a lot of trouble in this nation, and electing Trump didn’t help any of that at all.  There is no real debate on any of that, and “the left” as a whole knows it. That all said, yes!  There is a very significant divide, and it’s rooted in economics, not racism, or social issues. In fact, here is another brutal reality: Tepid economic performance has done more to put the social agenda at risk than anything else!  Democrats, and I am a Democrat who is super pissed over all of this, have lost over 1000 seats since Obama was elected! Social progress isn’t good enough people!   Today, Americans can be roughly characterized into three economic classes:  Elite, professional, and that majority of struggling Americans.   There are two parties, and neither party actually represents the majority of struggling Americans, which includes everyone below the upper middle class Americans!  Put another way, neither party appears willing or able to represent the majority of Americans economically, and that is a much bigger problem for Democrats than it is Republicans!  Everyone expects the right to do what it’s doing.  That is who they are.  But what excuse do Democrats have for saying they are the left party, the opposition, but not actually being that left economic party, that meaningful opposition? None. That is the root cause behind so many seats lost too.  People have checked out, they don’t believe in the party, they don’t see reasons to get out there and vote, and many of them have had to resort to working more jobs, or more time, or living with a lot less, just struggling to get by.  All of which leaves a lot less time and motivation for politics, right when the left really needs all of that to happen, and needs it in a big way! The biggest way actually. Notice nobody is talking about the possibility for the GOP to call for an Amendment Congress?  Why is that when we are just one State legislature away from that happening? Does anyone actually believe we, the left, progressives, Democrats will come out ahead on all that given how little power we currently hold in government today? Does anyone hold any illusions on how toxic that process will be to basic ideas like health care, w[...]



FFX County, VA special election Aug. 29 - another skirmish in VA important for the State and Nation.

Sun, 13 Aug 2017 17:06:51 +0000

After yesterday’s mess in Charlottesville, the stakes are even higher in Virginia and the nation to correct course.

The first chance to do so comes soon — in two weeks, in fact, with a special election to fill a seat on the Fairfax County school board.

“A school board race,” you say with incredulity, “Are you kidding me?”

No. Not kidding. Not in the slightest.

On the practical side, this is one of the largest, wealthiest, best educated counties in the country, and so it carries an outsized importance in the Commonwealth and the country.

On the personal side, I grew up in Fairfax County, went to school there, and know how important these positions are. So getting it right is important.

On the political side, with Virginia having elections for basically every elected position in the state coming up just over a month later, this election will help with momentum in the lead-up. And that lead-up is incredibly important as those statewide elections with be a true barometer of what’s going on in this country.

And finally, on the candidate side, Karen Keys-Gamarra is a good candidate, period. A lawyer, a member of the Fairfax County Planning Commission (another job of outsized importance), and a parent, she gets it. The link above is to a candidate debate and outlines the candidate’s positions. You’ll find her positions there for your own evaluation.

So if you can, please help out this candidate with a couple bucks, which you can do so following the links below. Thanks for listening, but don’t listen to me — listen to the candidate herself in this video.

There’s a lot at stake.  Please contribute if you can — and spread the word.  When we vote, we win.

Website - $$ DONATE $$ - Facebook - Twitter




Bannon, Gorka, Miller, and Sessions Must Go. Trump Must Go.

Sun, 13 Aug 2017 14:48:08 +0000

Renounce them and remove them: Bannon, Gorka, Miller, Sessions, and Trump.  That should be the new mantra of Democrats.  None of these pieces of wretched, human detritus belongs in a twenty-first century White House.  Demand that people choose: basic human decency or hate and racism.  That those are the choices always was clear, and to pretend that it was not is a lie.  After Charlottesville, the consequences are clear as well.  

These deranged losers never would have been accepted in any other administration.  That is how far the media and the Republican Party have come in normalizing Trump – who owes his victory to an anti-democratic electoral construct that was a nod to the slave power.  It is time to reverse that normalization.

Demand that people take a side.  No more passes.  No more limp, un-American excuses for lethal irresponsibility.

For those who openly choose racism, so be it.  For those who refuse to choose, those cowards who would crawl through the gutter to avoid choosing, hammer them.  Aggressively label them for what they are: enablers if not supporters of hate and of racism.  Then, pound that label into them relentlessly.  

Some won’t care.  Some won’t believe anyone else will care.  But we can make this an issue – if not the issue it should be – if we follow through with unceasing intensity from this day until we win.  

It is time for the Democratic Party to demand that Republicans choose.  

It is time for every Democratic candidate to demand that his or her opponent choose.

Demand that friends and acquaintances choose.  Every post to social media must begin and end with the new mantra.

Renounce Bannon, Gorka, Miller, Sessions, and Trump.  Remove them from the White House.  Choose: humanity or hatred, decency or racism.  There is no middle ground anymore.  Take a stand or be labeled forever a cowardly supporter of racism and hate.      




Donald Trump is responsible for what happened in Charlottesville. Edwin Santana VA-01

Sun, 13 Aug 2017 14:57:22 +0000

I send my condolences to those killed in the violence, and to the state troopers who perished while in the line of duty trying to keep others safe. Below is my statement on the events in Charlottesville on Saturday, August 12. I’ve shared the video link as well.




Trump, Oppenheimer and his scrambled grass

Sun, 13 Aug 2017 07:46:12 +0000

A score of entrepreneurs listened in a grid of San Telmo to the journalist of the CNN in Spanish Andrés Oppenheimer . Obviously everyone wanted to know his opinion on the future of the American president Donald Trump . "If you think of throwing the Justice Department special prosecutor Robert Mueller, who is investigating him for possible obstruction of justice over Russian meddling in the 2016 elections, I think Trump will jeopardize his presidency and could suffer an impeccable" , He added, adding that "not only will the Democrats want to cast it but also the Republicans." He even related a timely fact: "The only president in the history of the United States who threw out a state attorney was Richard Nixon.In October 1973, Dismissed the prosecutor Archibald Cox, in charge of the case Watergate, and had to resign a few months later. Trump delays a thousand years, "he concluded as the roasted sweetbreads arrived and the special grit of which he is fanatical, and said that after interviewing Mauricio Macri for his program was met with 'guru' Jaime Durán Barba . With the polls, "he revealed. Jaime Durán Barba . "I saw him very calm with the polls," he revealed. Jaime Durán Barba . "I saw him very calm with the polls," he revealed. On rainy Saturday Florencio Randazzo spent it with family and friends. He played basketball, among others, with his eldest son, in the neighborhood club neighborhood of La Plata. The rest of the day was "quiet", they say close to him, with his family. "The fact is that at the end of his term as a minister, Randazzo moved from Chivilcoy to La Plata and now, for the first time, he votes near his royal residence. He lives in Gonnet for many years and has his business nearby. The paperwork and the vote, now closer and easier. On the day before the election Sergio Massa played football with his former schoolmates Agustiniano de San Martín. Most of them went with their children. So far, the pre-candidate for senator was happy. They say that the boys played better than the big ones and the big ones had to assume. Works are loves and not good reasons, usually say those who have good gestures and do not ask anything in return. Throughout Saturday, at the campus of Tecnopolis, the traditional Un sol para los chicos event was broadcast on TV, with many sponsors and celebrities helping to receive donations. In the previous to the day of the election would have been a stained glass that the entity preferred not to contaminate. In fact, it transpired, very privately that there was a politician (or politicians) who offered (offered?) To make some donation. But ... they asked to take the stage and in the refusal of the organizers the generous donors repented. To avoid misunderstandings UNICEF ​​would have suggested then that there were no officials present. The VIP reserved for businessmen and other important figures was empty. Only Minister Hern[...]



#Charlottesville Raises the Stakes for Fairfax Special Election

Sun, 13 Aug 2017 16:02:22 +0000

The race for the at-large seat on the Fairfax County School Board (VA) is heating up.  The special election is August 29 and we need to make sure every Democrat in Fairfax gets out to vote for Democrat Karen Keys-Gamarra (who introduced herself here).  Please spread the word! 1.  Karen supports the successful student-led effort to rename J.E.B. Stuart High School.  In the wake of #Charlottesville, this takes on added importance.  If the poisonous hatred, the loss of innocent life, the ugliness and violence and pain of what we saw doesn’t show us the harm in commemorating these traitors to our country, then what will?  78% of the children who attend J.E.B. Stuart High are African-American, Asian-American, or Latino/Hispanic-American, but no child should grow up believing these important figures in our history are to be honored.  Studied, yes, but not honored. Chris Grisafe, Karen’s Republican opponent, thinks it costs too much money to spare children the No wonder the far right is supporting Grisafe. pain and humiliation of attending a school named to honor the memory of a man who killed and died in order to oppress their ancestors.  This is from a press release: “The cost estimates associated with the name change have ranged between $700,000 up to $1 million. The Fairfax County School Board faces very public budget challenges each year with the Board of Supervisors,” Grisafe added, “so maintaining trust with stakeholders is essential when demonstrating priorities in the $2.8 billion budget. What kind of Pandora’s Box has the School Board opened and what could other name changes cost the county in the future?”   Pandora (Odilon Redon, Metropolitan Museum of Art).  Large image I know; tried to downsize her, but she resisted! Oh my, oh me!  Slippery slope! Whee, whee!  You know, what everyone forgets about Pandora’s Box (which was really a jar, but never mind), is that one good remained in it and didn’t escape with the evils:  Hope.  Hope is always with us, so we can HOPE that some day soon we will consider it an incalculable good to confront our racist and oppressive past and present and lance the boil. 2.  Karen Keys-Gamarra is the better-qualified candidate:  she is a lawyer with years of experience working as a guardian ad litem representing at-risk children in court, with three sons graduated from Fairfax public schools.  She has served on the Planning Commission where she had to deal with complex budgets — unlike some people.  Read on.  Her opponent does not have that close experience with the Fairfax schools and has lived in the area for only a decade.  More to the point has this to say about budgets: “The budget presentation is too difficult to understand, even for me who has an MBA. It must be made accessible and readable at the 8th grade level because most parent[...]



Sinclair Broadcast News exposed its white nationalist agenda today

Sun, 13 Aug 2017 03:01:13 +0000

At about 6:15 AM, my wife and I were getting ready for Church and paused for a moment to have coffee.  I turned on the television on KOMO (an ABC affiliate in Seattle), and the first program we saw was Mark Hyman’s “Behind the Headlines” episode called “Ignoring History”.  In the episode, he compared the drive by minorities and liberals to remove statues celebrating Confederate “heroes” from the Civil War to the decision by the Taliban to blow up the 2000 year-old “Buddha of Bamiyan” statues in Afghanistan.  I immediately began fretting and fuming — Hyman actually had the temerity to compare the removal of statues of what were by definition traitors from taxpayer-funded government property to the destruction of archaeological treasures!  Before about two years ago, KOMO never broadcasted tripe like this, but it was obvious that Sinclair Broadcast Group is forcing its subsidiaries to broadcast right-wing and white nationalist stories.  After Hyman’s story was over, the news began...and the first story was presented against a glaring red background with oversized white letters stating “THE WAR ON TERRORISM”.  It was not about what’s going on stateside, nothing about the latest insane nuclear saber-rattling by Der Furor Trump, but about how the battle is going in Raqqa, Iraq. By that time I had not yet heard the biggest news of the day, concerning the white supremacist march in Charlottesville, Virginia which has as of this writing resulted in two police deaths (from a helicopter crash) and one death and at least nineteen injuries from a car that drove into the crowd of counter-protesters who were opposing the white supremacists.  Most politicians and VIP’s have denounced the white supremacists conducting the march — except, of course, Donald Trump, who refused to condemn the white supremacists and refused to call the vehicular homicide and assault an act of terrorism. But what bothers me most is the glaringly-obvious link between the white supremacists’ march and the Sinclair Broadcast Group:  the statues of Confederate war “heroes”.  Why?  CNN is quite clear on the matter: So how did Charlottesville, which previously has been of little interest to white nationalists,become the rallying ground for what appears to be the third such event in the city this year? Saturday's "Unite the Right" event would bring white nationalists, neo-Confederates and alt-right activists to the statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee at Emancipation Park, which had recently been renamed from Lee Park.  The same park was the site of a May demonstration in which a group carried torches led by white nationalist Richard Spencer around the Lee statue to protest its removal. Now ask yourself this:  WHY would Sinclair Broadcast Group require its subsidiary stations to air a right-wing[...]



To hell with identity politics in the Democratic Party

Sat, 12 Aug 2017 23:53:22 +0000

Would you believe there are things for which I do not agree with you. Even though in the aggregate, we may have very compatible thoughts, I have little doubt that on somethings we are not compatible. So what do we do? Do we continuously fight about the few things that are disagreements between us? Or, do we work together on the things on which we do agree while tollerating our differences? We have two major political parties. One leans conservative from just a little conservative to the far right. One party leans liberal (progressive) from just a little liberal to the far left. The conservatives can bicker all they want. They can split-up, factionalize, hold circular firing squads or do whatever they choose to do, but that doesn’t mean that the liberal/progressive party should do the same. With the current disunity of the Republican Party as a model of how not to run a Party, a government, can’t the Democrats do a little better? It is OK to speak passionately about the things that you believe-in, but it is not OK to condemn the person within your Party who has a different point of view on one or another issue. If disagreements among any groups within the Party are across a broad spectrum of ideas, values, strategies, etc., then quite probably the Party should disassemble and reform into multiple groups with people sharing like views ...fragment the liberal / progressive agenda. The house divided scenario will destroy the current Party, so, if that is the desired outcome, it would be better to get ahead of the game and break-up. Is it too late to recapture the Democratic Party? The rhetoric seems to support that conclusion. In my adult lifetime, I have supported the Democratic Party. I felt it the Party that advocated policies most in line with my way of thinking. My passion for: the dignity of all individuals; the right to speak-out, but not the liberty to injure others in my speech or actions; the right to basic public education; the right to compete for higher education based on my skills and abilities; the right to choose the way I will live within the bounds of our society’s laws and norms; the right to live where I want (within my means, of course); the right to work where I want (within my skills / my abilities and a call for my labor); the right to healthcare in times of illness and wellness; the right to food and drink ...protection against hunger ...housing, protection from the elements; the right to peacefully coexist with others foreign and domestic, but the responsibility to take action when called on to defend our way of life, serve our country. I thought the Democratic Party was most closely aligned with my thinking, my passions. I well understand that individuals within the Party will feel more or less passion on the individual items that I [...]



Hillary showed leadership today. Trump did not.

Sat, 12 Aug 2017 22:09:33 +0000

Leadership matters. The choices voters make matter, whether they vote or not. All of that is clear today.  xBut the incitement of hatred that got us here is as real and condemnable as the white supremacists in our streets.— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) August 12, 2017 xEvery minute we allow this to persist through tacit encouragement or inaction is a disgrace, & corrosive to our values.— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) August 12, 2017 xNow is the time for leaders to be strong in their words & deliberate in their actions.— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) August 12, 2017 xWe will not step backward. If this is not who we are as Americans, let's prove it.— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) August 12, 2017 And this? Remember what choosing to sit out elections get you -— a President who does not condemn white nationalism and white supremacy. xWe ALL must be united & condemn all that hate stands for. There is no place for this kind of violence in America. Lets come together as one!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 12, 2017 Elections matter. Voting matters. Vote straight Democratic no matter what. A House majority is vital to removing Trump and his fellow Nazis from office.  No more purity tests. A Democrat in a red district is better than a Republican. A Democratic incumbent in a blue district is better than a political neophyte against a salivating Republican.  Without a Democratic majority, all is lost. Period.  [...]



Wisconsin Politics August 2017

Sat, 12 Aug 2017 21:02:33 +0000

Foxconn    Over the last couple weeks, Wisconsin news has been smothered with coverage about Taiwanese tech giant building a plant in either Racine or Kenosha.  According to this deal.Foxconn has agreed to invest $10 billion to bring their business to Wisconsin. Governor Scott Walker is in re-election heaven over this announcement. Before Wisconsinites get excited about jobs lets dig a little deeper into what Wisconsin has to do to make this work.    Under the current agreement, Governor Walker has asked the Legislature to approve around $3 Billion dollars over the next 15 years. This includes a mix of refundable tax credits and a sales tax exemption if they build in Kenosha.  Just in the 2019-21 state budget alone, Foxconn would cost $301 Million. We don't have enough revenue to pay for roads in the current overdue budget that have not even been passed yet. My question is are we going to bond $301 Million to subsidize Foxconn.    Secondly, Foxconn has promised around 13,000 jobs to be created from this proposal. Sounds good right. Here are some questions that are being raised. How many of these jobs are employees who are going to commute from Illinois?  Is there going to be a timetable for them to create these jobs? According to the legislative fiscal bureau if Foxconn creates 3,000 jobs the bare minimum. The state could not break even until after 2045. Governor Election 2018.    Governor Scott Walker has not formally announced he is running as of yet. He wants to wait to after the budget. However with the budget being overdue that is creating some issues with his re-election announcement. His approval rating is in the mid-40s but we all know about his fundraising abilities.    A criticism from Democrats in the past is that the party chooses a candidate and force feeds progressives a candidate that we "have " to support.  The state party is doing a really good job of trying to put that behind them.  Democrats have a wide open field for the 2018 governor ship. Milwaukee Businessman Andy Gronik, State Representative Dana Wachs, Eau Claire Native Bob Harlow, Small Businesswoman Michele Doolan are all announced, candidates. Candidates who have filed but no formal announcement are Blue Jean Nation founder Mike McCabe, State Superintendent Tony Evers, and State Senator Kathleen Vinehout. Madison Mayor Paul Soglin is " testing the waters" for a bid. Wisconsin Politics Stock Report Rising - U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D)    This is not how I imagined that this race would shape up.  Former Democrat and Emily's List and Naral Pro-choice advocate Kevin Nicholson is running as a Republican against Baldwin.  Baldwin's response is that Nicholson is an opportunist who is backed by an out of state billionaire. I don[...]



Is the Democratic Party Disappearing?

Sat, 12 Aug 2017 18:26:33 +0000

Ever worry about this? “What if we gave a party and no one came?”  Right now, I’m worried that many of us are invited to support a party that we don’t really want to be part of and don’t feel good about voting for, and the disturbing thing is the problem is of their own making. When Democratic leaders like Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and others blathered about “A Better Deal” recently I, and I’m sure others, despaired. It’s not just about the economy, Stupid! I wanted to tell them. It’s not just about the middle class and working (white) people! It’s not about more of the same blah, blah, blah we’ve heard since the 1990s. And I’m not sure who’s writing their copy, but what were they doing using a Trump-loaded word like “Deal”? At a time when the Democrats should be about to launch a vigorous, inspired campaign designed for a major takeover of Congress, why are they poised for self-defeat yet again? When will the leadership realize who their constituents are and understand how they are failing them?  Where is the vision for a better future, not a better deal? To put it another way, where is our next “Yes We Can” moment? Without a bit of inspiration, how can the majority of us come together as a nation that can feel proud of itself again as we regain our stature in the world? To illustrate just how pathetic the Democratic party is right now, consider this. An extensive online search for “Democratic Party platform” yielded the campaign rhetoric and plan for 2016! It’s 2017 and we’re heading into a crucial election year. Where are you, Mr. Perez, Mr. Ellison, Nancy, Chuck, et al? Enough with the continuous calls for contributions. It’s time to tell people of color, people explained in the book Hillbilly Elegy, people terrified of losing their health care, the LBGT community, women and others who once trusted you what you stand for and what you’re going to do to insure that their futures are healthy, safe, and yes, economically sound while also ensuring that their Constitutionally protected rights are not going to be snatched from them behind closed doors by a creeping and creepy autocracy. Speaking of creepy, how could any Democrat in leadership possibly dare to violate women’s right to control their own bodies by endorsing anti-abortion candidates?  Are they really ready to throw women under the bus for a few votes?  And what’s next – embracing racist candidates? Homophobic candidates? Islamophobic candidates? I doubt it, which underscores the point that betraying a major constituency is, in this case, tantamount to political pimping. “There is not a litmus test for Democratic candidates,” according to Rep. Ben Lujan ([...]