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"When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross." -- Sinclair Lewis

Last Build Date: Sun, 23 Jul 2017 04:39:07 +0000


The Republican Party's Unspeakable Pig-Sty Of Terrible Ideas

Sun, 23 Jul 2017 04:00:00 +0000

John Calhoun came from a southern colonial family that opposed the federal constitution. He was elected to Congress from South Carolina in 1810 and immediately joined the ranks of the most hawkish, pro-war elements and he was instrumental in dragging the U.S. into the War of 1812. He was named Secretary of War-- the 5th choice-- by James Monroe in 1817. In 1824 he ran for president but found no support but was chosen vice president to John Quincy Adams by the Electoral College. in 1828 he betrayed Adams and ran as vice president on Andrew Jackson' ticket, which won.What Calhoun is most famous for is his nullification doctrine, which he created as a way of countering what he considered central government tyranny. He saw himself a great defender of minority rights-- minorities being the wealthy white slave-owners. His doctrine, of course, was the philosophical undermining of secession. When he talked about using even the most extreme measures to protect "liberty and sovereignty," he was only talking about the liberty and sovereignty of the very wealthy. in 1832 Jackson sent naval warships to Charleston over nullification and threatened to hang Calhoun, who resigned as vice president as was selected by the South Carolina legislature to be a senator. He quit the Senate in 1843 to run for president in 1844 but found no support and quit the race before started. He was selected by the state legislature as senator again and served in that position until he died in 1850, basically Congress' most outspoken advocate of slavery and of secession over slavery.This week, in his fascinating Guardian review of Nancy MacLean’s new book, Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America, George Monbiot brings Calhoun's villainy to the fore again. He writes about how MacLean accidentally stumbled upon the literary legacy of obscure right-wing nut, James McGill Buchanan-- largely a creation of the Koch brothers-- soon after he died. She discovered that Buchanan and the Kochs had been working on a secret plan for suppressing democracy on behalf of the very rich. That plan now dominates the Republican Party and is reshaping politics. Buchanan was strongly influenced by both the neoliberalism of Friedrich Hayek and Ludwig von Mises, and the property supremacism of John C Calhoun, who argued in the first half of the 19th century that freedom consists of the absolute right to use your property (including your slaves) however you may wish; any institution that impinges on this right is an agent of oppression, exploiting men of property on behalf of the undeserving masses.James Buchanan brought these influences together to create what he called public choice theory. He argued that a society could not be considered free unless every citizen has the right to veto its decisions. What he meant by this was that no one should be taxed against their will. But the rich were being exploited by people who use their votes to demand money that others have earned, through involuntary taxes to support public spending and welfare. Allowing workers to form trade unions and imposing graduated income taxes were forms of “differential or discriminatory legislation” against the owners of capital.Any clash between “freedom” (allowing the rich to do as they wish) and democracy should be resolved in favour of freedom. In his book The Limits of Liberty, he noted that “despotism may be the only organisational alternative to the political structure that we observe.” Despotism in defence of freedom.His prescription was a “constitutional revolution”: creating irrevocable restraints to limit democratic choice. Sponsored throughout his working life by wealthy foundations, billionaires and corporations, he developed a theoretical account of what this constitutional revolution would look like, and a strategy for implementing it.He explained how attempts to desegregate schooling in the American south could be frustrated by setting up a network of state-sponsored private schools. It was he who first proposed privatising univer[...]

Sean Spicer Quits. Bring On The Next Goon!

Sun, 23 Jul 2017 01:00:00 +0000

allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="255" src="" width="420">-by NoahThe world’s most famous, amazing, and, tremendous insane asylum, located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, DC, announced Friday that Sean Spicer would be leaving his podium to spend more time with his imaginary playmates, … or something. Bye, Bye, Spicey. Even you just couldn’t take it anymore.So, he’s gone. So what. Seems he left his job as Press Secretary because he just wasn’t gonna report to Senor Trumpanzee’s new, slick, “communications” director, Anthony “Mooch” Scaramucci, no how, no way.Scaramucci is a Wall Street hedge fund guy through and through; another former Goldman-Sachs bozo. Those of you who like to watch the bizarre comedy stylings of FOX “News” may have caught him there, spewing the twisted gospel of Trump; so much for draining the swamp. As exemplified by his introductory presser on Friday afternoon, Mooch is impressively slimy. He’s the son the Trumpanzee wishes he had. He looks like the sons, dresses like the sons. He’s just smarter, slicker, and even slimier. If Trump were ever to be reduced to selling used cars, Mooch would be the guy in the late night TV ads.New member of Politburo/Crime FamilyMooch also seems to do the Trumpanzee hero worship thing even better than Kellyanne Conway. Remember that cabinet meeting where Senor Trumpanzee had his crew praising him over and over? Mooch says all those things Senor Trumpanzee’s massive ego wants to hear and more. Mooch was reading from the script although, in the recent past, he called Trump “a hack politician” and a “big-mouth bully”. But, now that he’s getting a nice check, he went out and backed all of the warped Trumpian world view greatest hits: the news is fake, the hoax stuff, the 3 million (or was it 5, maybe 10!) illegal voters that went for Hillary Clinton. Listening to Scaramucci, you expected him to say Trump shoots a hole in one every damn time he hits the golf course and can bend spoons with his mind while curing your cancer just by gazing at your picture. If Kim Jong-un offers him more money, Moochie will be gone in a second and on his way to a new office in North Korea.Obviously, once the appointment of Mooch was made, it became even too much for the self-flagellating Spicer to stand for. Even Spicer had his limits. Who knew? Having seen this new boss in his gasp-inducing introductory press conference, I can certainly relate, just as I could relate to Spicey’s feelings about previously being replaced by the Ozark inbred (look at those strange, dull, un-matching eyes) Sarah Huckabee Sanders, or being cruelly shut out of meeting the Pope when Senor Trumpanzee knew that that was the most important thing to him, a professed extremely devout Catholic, in the world. It was the final straw, even for a man who had never shown a sign of self-respect.Hell, Senor Trumpanzee, who wears his Chinese-made ties down to his knees like a circus clown, even insulted Sean’s clothes while having nothing to say about Kellyanne Conway’s dried mop hair and cartoonish fashion decisions. Things like that had to be bending Spicey’s psyche sideways.How much could you take? To top it off, I bet Speicy also didn’t want to spend the next few months trying to dodge the onslaught of questions about revolving Attorney Generals and Senor Trumpanzee wanting to pardon himself, his aides, his family, and every mob family in America.Spicer took a lot because he foolishly believed. He believed the con from day 1. That’s why he took the job. So, he took the insults from his boss, while spinning his boss’s lies. He took the insults from the boss’s family and associates. He took the insults from the world at large. The man might be thick but he had to know he’d made himself a joke to all around him, not just the public. I half-expected him to someday just pull out a knife and start stabbing himself at the podium. Maybe that’s the real reason why the White House stopped b[...]

Who Wants More Republican-Lite Candidates? The DCCC Has One For Minnesota

Sat, 22 Jul 2017 21:00:00 +0000

There are six counties that make up MN-02 but the vast majority of voters are in the suburbs and small towns just south of Minneapolis and St Paul in Dakota County. Obama took Dakota County both times he ran and won MN-02 both times as well. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken won those suburbs as well-- and the congressional district. But in 2003 a right-wing crackpot and ideologue, Kohn Kline, won the district and represented the area in Congress until last year, when he finally retired. The Democrats picked a wealthy self-funder Angie Craig as their candidate. She has a somewhat compelling biography and, working with a cadre of loser consultants from DCCC/EMILY's List world, ran an issues-light campaign, depending on Hillary's coattails to sweep her into office-- and a weak campaign about herself but not about the constituents. She had nothing to offer them and their families other than stories about herself and her family. Just what the DCCC and EMILY's List wants from their candidates. She put nearly a million dollars of her own money into it and outspent Republican Jason Lewis $4,012,823 to $1,020,649. But everything went wrong. First of all, Hillary had no coattails in the Twin Cities suburbs. Unlike Obama she lost. She lost to Trump! By over a point-- 46.5% to 45.3%. And Angie did even worse. She lost 173,970 (47%) to 167,315 (45.2%), despite having out-spent him 4 to 1. The DCCC spent $2,174,366 trying to help and Pelosi's PAC threw in another $759,429... all wasted.So... guess who the DCCC wants to run again next year. Yep, Angie Craig. She sent out another anodyne letter announcing her intention to start campaigning in a few months. The letter, once again, is all about her, not about issues, not about the Minnesotans she wants to represent: With the strong support of my wife and our four sons, I’m excited to announce that I will seek the Democratic-Farmer-Labor endorsement in Minnesota’s Second Congressional District in 2018.We deserve a representative who is committed to listening to everyone-- even those we might disagree with-- and then work to create a level playing field for every family. That’s why I’ll spend the upcoming weeks on a listening tour of the district. Following this, I will formally kick off my campaign in the Fall.As Democrats, we must understand better why we have lost these past elections. As I talk with voters, already it has become clearer that we must talk more about how we are going to bring back jobs to the United States and create economic opportunity for more hard-working Americans. We have to be clearer about how we will fix healthcare and acknowledge the problems with out of control costs for many families. I grew up without healthcare. There is no one who knows better if you can’t afford insurance, healthcare doesn’t exist.I would not be making this announcement today if not for the strong support from my wife, Cheryl Greene, a former Minnesota teacher who now works with elementary schools around the country on bully prevention efforts. Our four sons, Josh, Jonas, Jacob and Isaac also have been incredibly encouraging. Our oldest three return to college in August and Isaac will be a freshman at Rosemount High School this year. I also have heard from many of you – encouraging me to make a second run. Thank you for your confidence in me. I will need your help to win.I have been incredibly blessed in this life. I never imagined as a young girl that I would leave the trailer park I grew up in to become first a journalist, and then a healthcare leader-- much less run for the U.S. Congress. I am ready to use my experience to fight to lower health care costs and ensure families have more economic opportunities.I humbly ask for your support to be the MN-2 DFL candidate for Congress in 2018 to ensure that Jason Lewis and Washington no longer ignore our neighbors. We must be heard. I will fight Washington to make sure this district gets what it deserves.I would be honored to have your support. Please, follow me on Facebook to st[...]

A Contract With America It's Not

Sat, 22 Jul 2017 17:00:00 +0000

Last month a witty Democratic operative was heartless: "We no longer have a party caucus capable of riding this wave. We have 80-year-old leaders and 90-year-old ranking members. This isn't a party. It's a giant assisted living center. Complete with field trips, gym, dining room and attendants." Heartless but... determined to rip off one of the scabs that has turned the Democratic Party into something-- at best-- just less horrible than the Republican Party.

The energy and ideas and activism that are propelling the progressive movement forward-- and could help defeat Republicans in 2018-- is unrelated to Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer, Jim Clyburn, Joe Crowley and their incompetent and corrupt House leadership team. None of them are among the members of Congress who have worked with and been inspired by the resistance.

So, of course the new DCCC logo/slogan/whatever is nothing but laughable. Do you wonder why polls show that progressives are less motivated than Trumpists to show up and vote in 2018? I wonder how much consultants were paid to come up with this and how many hours of debate went into the decision. Is the slogan as powerful as "Make America Great Again?" The guy who broke the news that the DCCC had come up with this-- instead of a substantive platform to run on-- Jeff Stein, reported that a member of Congress told him that the DCCC is releasing the new slogan on Monday-- "A Better Deal: Better Skills, Better Jobs, Better Wages." Stein added that the congressmember "noted that this is the result of months of polling and internal deliberations among the House Democratic caucus." Maybe instead of all those internal deliberations and that expensive polling, they should have spent some time paying attention to Bernie and coming to grips with why exactly he's the most popular politician in America while their leader, Nancy Pelosi is tied with Paul Ryan as the least popular-- in the eyes of the voting public-- member of the House.

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Imagine Someone Like Trumpy The Clown Destroying What Took Over 200 Years To Build

Sat, 22 Jul 2017 13:00:00 +0000

allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="255" src="" width="420">Trump's like the guy, pulled over by a traffic cop for speeding, who says to the cop who comes over to write him a ticket, "you better not look in the trunk or else!" The analogy falls apart a little when you realize Mueller had already been looking in the trunk-- even if he isn't putting out press releases or leaking about it. Trump's flipping out that Mueller can examine his tax returns-- i.e., that there's a real sheriff in town who's going after the bad guys. And Trump knows exactly who the bad guys are-- and how bad they are.Yesterday the Washington Post reported that "some of President Trump’s lawyers are exploring ways to limit or undercut special counsel Robert S. Mueller’s Russia investigation, building a case against what they allege are his conflicts of interest and discussing the president’s authority to grant pardons, according to people familiar with the effort... Trump has asked his advisers about his power to pardon aides, family members and even himself in connection with the probe, according to one of those people. A second person said Trump’s lawyers have been discussing the president’s pardoning powers among themselves." That would be... unique. Seems like a big story-- Michael Schmidt, Maggie Haberman and Matt Apuzzo were tasked with covering it for the NY Times, "it" being the pretext Trumpanzee is looking for to fire Mueller and end his investigation into presidential criminal-- and probably treasonous-- behavior. The search for potential conflicts is wide-ranging. It includes scrutinizing donations to Democratic candidates, investigators’ past clients and Mr. Mueller’s relationship with James B. Comey, whose firing as F.B.I. director is part of the special counsel’s investigation.The effort to investigate the investigators is another sign of a looming showdown between Mr. Trump and Mr. Mueller, who has assembled a team of high-powered prosecutors and agents to examine whether any of Mr. Trump’s advisers aided Russia’s campaign to disrupt last year’s presidential election.Some of the investigators have vast experience prosecuting financial malfeasance, and the prospect that Mr. Mueller’s inquiry could evolve into an expansive examination of Mr. Trump’s financial history has stoked fears among the president’s aides. Both Mr. Trump and his aides have said publicly they are watching closely to ensure Mr. Mueller’s investigation remains narrowly focused on last year’s election.During an interview with the NY Times on Wednesday, Mr. Trump said he was aware that members of Mr. Mueller’s team had potential conflicts of interest and would make the information available “at some point.”Mr. Trump also said Mr. Mueller would be going outside his mandate if he begins investigating matters unrelated to Russia, like the president’s personal finances. Mr. Trump repeatedly declined to say what he might do if Mr. Mueller appeared to exceed that mandate. But his comments to The Times represented a clear message to Mr. Mueller.“The president’s making clear that the special counsel should not move outside the scope of the investigation,” Sarah Huckabee Sanders, a White House spokeswoman, said during a news briefing on Thursday. allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="255" src="" width="420">Trump's not normal and nothing about his Regime is. As Jonathan Chait asserted in his New York column yesterday, "Trump has shown himself immune to widespread warnings that certain steps are simply not done. His hiding of tax returns, firing of U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara (who was investigating Russian financial crimes when he was let go), and ousting of FBI director James Comey were all steps that would seem to immolate his career. Ordering the Department of Justice to fire Mueller, or pardoning the targets of his investig[...]

2 New Hampshire Special Elections This Week Have Lessons For Democrats-- Voters Want Progressives

Sat, 22 Jul 2017 04:00:00 +0000

Does this sound like a positive statement from a Democratic candidate in a special election primary?
"I have no 11th-hour plans and will continue to run a positive campaign. I have not met Josh and only saw his campaign info. As union member, I have been a Democrat-- a Kennedy Democrat-- since 1972. District 9 Democratic Primary choices are: a Kennedy Democrat of 40 years who understands decorum and the balance of social programs with the fiscal reality of New Hampshire workers/taxpayers; and a Bernie Socialist. Josh is an ambitious young man who believes he is doing what’s best, and I wish him well."
The hater is Tom Ploszaj of Grafton and the "Bernie Socialist" is Josh Adjutant of Bristol, who ran a write-in campaign and eviscerated Ploszaj 204 (86.4%) to 32 (13.6%). I'm guessing New Hampshire voters saw through his positive campaign bullshit too. It was a state House primary triggered because Republican State Rep. Jack Shackett, suddenly resigned his House right after being reelected. District 9 includes the towns of Alexandria, Ashland, Bridgewater, Bristol and Grafton.

Josh will face off against right-wing Republican Vincent Paul Migliore of Bridgewater and and Libertarian John Babiarz on September 5. Grafton County-- in the west-central part of the state and a much bigger area than just District 9-- is Bernie territory. In the primary Bernie beat Hillary 14,258 (66.6%) to 6,918 (32.3%) and both beat Trump who came in first in the GOP primary but only scored 4,898 votes. County-wide, Hillary beat Trump in the general election handily-- 28,510 (56.9%) to 19,010 (37.9%).

There was other good special election news out of New Hampshire Tuesday night. Kris Schultz won a New Hampshire state House special election in Concord (Ward 9), completely stomping Republican Michael Feeley, 284 (78%) to 82 (22%). Schultz's margin of victory was significantly greater than the Democratic registration advantage in the district, which is 38% Democratic, 26% Republican and 35% independent, third-party and undeclared. The margin of victory, obviously, is pointing at an anti-Trimp/anti-Republican wave that is continuing to build in New Hampshire and across the country. The last election for the seat was won by a Democrat but the margin was only 56% to 44%.

Reddit: A Good Way For Candidates To Get Out Their Message

Sat, 22 Jul 2017 01:00:00 +0000

Hillary didn't win any districts in Oklahoma, so the dependably backward-looking DCCC announced they are ignoring the state again this cycle. That's fine; they're a detriment anyway. OK-05 (Oklahoma City and environs) is the most likely district to flip red to blue and the candidate, Tom Guild, is building a grassroots operation meant to do just that. He's usually busy canvassing. In fact, he plans to knock on every door in the district and talk too as many voters-- one on one-- as he can. This week he also talked to the over 200,000 fellow Berniecrats on the Sanders For President reddit page. They invited him to do his first ever AMA, something I hope all the Blue America candidates will do. I asked Tom to do a guest post about his experience. I suggest you might want to read the archived AMA itself first.Guest Post-by Tom GuildHowie Klein asked if I would like to do an AMA (Ask Me Anything) on Reddit. He introduced me to David Fredrick and David walked me through the process.  David set up the post on Reddit for me and gave me patient advice on how to proceed. Since I was a newbie on Reddit, I was apprehensive and nervous about what I needed to do and how. Jacqueline Propps offered her help, too. Austin Miller from Tulsa, who was active in setting up the subreddit hosting my post, contacted me and patiently explained things to me, and was very helpful, too. It was time to jump off of the high tower at Sunset Lake, or the adult equivalent thereof.That's about the easiest question/answer you'll findMy nerves pushed me to get on the Reddit site about 30 minutes early. There was already a backlog of questions waiting for me to answer.  I posted that I was in favor of a $15 minimum wage, phased in over a period of years, as mandated by the legislation recently filed by Bernie Sanders and Patty Murray. One person insisted that Oklahoma workers didn’t need or deserve a $15 minimum wage, and I held my ground. People asked about the youth employment bill now before the U.S. Senate, and I agreed legislation in this area is needed. A likely troll misled people reading his question and mistakenly suggested I favored right to work. I patiently explained that I not only opposed RTW (for less) when it was up for a statewide vote in Oklahoma, but was the principal speaker at two of the seven press conferences held by the committee opposing RTW in Oklahoma in 2001. He posted again and once again intentionally misrepresented my position and I gently reminded him of my response and position on the issue.I was asked about protecting the environment, infrastructure spending, LGBT rights, the second amendment, and women’s reproductive freedom. On healthcare, I offered that for the time being we need to mend and not end the Affordable Care Act, and need to mend it by offering Americans a public option. That would cure one of the more serious urgencies needed to shore up the health care law. I continued that I support a gradual move to a Medicare for All single payer system, as promoted by Senator Bernie Sanders. That legislation has been introduced in Congress and has a fairly sizable number of co-sponsors in the U.S. House.A number of people thanked me for fully and patiently answering their questions, and indicated that they intended to support me and vote for me. The quality of questions asked and answered was high. The vast majority of people weighing in (except two likely trolls) were well read, reasonable, passionate, and at least reasonably progressive. I answered questions for an extra fifteen minutes beyond the two hours scheduled, and went back later that evening and early the next morning to answer questions posted late. All in all it was a learning experience and gently prodded me to use a new medium and forum that initially was outside of my comfort zone.Without the help of team H[...]

Señor Trumpanzee Just Can't Get No Respect-- Well-Oiled Machine Is Still Sputtering Badly

Fri, 21 Jul 2017 21:00:00 +0000

Crack in the base? Remember, Hillary beat Trump 65,853,516 (48.2%) to 62,984,825 (46.1%)-- so when the new poll from Reuters/Ipsos reported that one in 8 Trump voters are suffering to at least some degree of buyer's remorse, that's a very big deal. His razor thin margins in the midwest-- in the states that somehow gave him the electoral college win-- would immediately disappear. Reuters summed up the poll like this: about one in eight people who voted for Señor Trumpanzee last November "said they are not sure they would do so again after witnessing Trump's tumultuous first six months in office." Worse yet, "[T]he erosion of support within his winning coalition of older, disaffected, mostly white voters poses a potential challenge for the president. Trump, who won the White House with the slimmest of margins, needs every last supporter behind him to push his agenda through a divided Congress and potentially win a second term in 2020." In the July survey, 12 percent of respondents said they would not vote for Trump "if the 2016 presidential election were held today"-- 7 percent said they “don’t know” what they would do, and the remaining 5 percent would either support one of the other 2016 presidential candidates or not vote.This kind of sentiment-- widespread across the country-- is starting, finally, to embolden horrified Republican congressmembers to speak out about Trump and his abnormal regime. Many people woke up Friday and were astonished by the frankness in the Politico interview with conservative Idaho Republican Congressman Mike Simpson. "[S]ome lawmakers," wrote Rachel Bade and Burgess Everett, "are even starting to blame Trump for his handling of the Russia probe, Twitter feuds and attacks on the media... [T]he crux of the problem is pretty clear six months into Trump’s presidency: Unified Republican control of government is a picture of complete disunity." "I don't even pay any attention to what is going on with the administration because I don't care. They're a distraction. The family is a distraction, the president is a distraction," complained Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID). "At first, it was 'Well yeah, this is the guy we elected. He'll learn, he'll learn.' And you just don't see that happening."Maggie Haberman and Glenn Thrush, reporting for the NY Times yesterday, asserted that Republicans are ceasing to fear Trump and his bombastic bullying tactics. One top GOP staffer told me that many of the members have come to see Trump as "a bullshitter" who "says anything that pops into his infantile mind" and then forgets it a few hours later. Haberman and Thrush began their report by bringing up right-wing senatorial sociopath Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, the lunatic that sophomore Congressman Randy Bryce will probably take out in 2022. Johnson, they wrote, "could not be charmed" by Trump's buffoonish antics. "He could not be outbargained. And he could not be scared into supporting the measure for the sake of a president whose inability to bend fellow Republicans toward his political will has become a liability for his young presidency. As the brash Mr. Johnson reminded one associate recently, while Mr. Trump may have stunned the political world in 2016 by winning Wisconsin in the election, Mr. Johnson got 76,000 more votes in the state."In fact, across the country, nearly every Republican senator who ran in 2016 ran ahead of Trump. If anything, Trump was a drag on Republican statewide tickets. Here are 10 typical examples: • AZ- McCain- 1,359,267; Trump- 1,252,401• FL- Rubio- 4,835,191; Trump- 4,617,886• GA- Johnny Isakson- 2,135,806; Trump- 2,089,104• ID- Mike Crapo- 449,017; Trump- 409,055• IA- Chuck Grassley- 926,007; Trump- ‎800,983• KS- Jerry Moran- 732,376; Trump- 671,018• NC- Richard Burr- 2,395,376; Trump- 2,362,631• OH- Rob Portman- 3,118,567; Trump- 2,841,005• UT- Mike Lee- 760,241; Trump- 51[...]

Ryan Unilaterally Kills Barbara Lee's Amendment To Repeal To AUMF, Which Has Already Passed Overwhelmingly

Fri, 21 Jul 2017 17:00:00 +0000

Over the last month, Randy Bryce's now famous @IronStache twitter account has gone from 7,000 followers to 121,000 followers. And he's already using it to promote other progressive candidates as well as policies and actions he believes in. Wednesday I saw him reacting to Oakland Congresswoman Barbara Lee's anger at Paul Ryan's decision to secretly-- in fact, in the dead of night-- remove her amendment to the 2018 Defense Appropriations Bill, which had passed overwhelmingly in committee, to repeal and replace an outdated Bush-era Authorization for the Use of Military Force.In explaining her disagreement with the Speaker to her constituents, her office released this statement: In a desperate and undemocratic attempt to kill Barbara's AUMF repeal amendment, Speaker Paul Ryan stripped it from the Appropriations bill in the middle of the night without even bringing it up for a vote.This shows the extreme tactics Ryan will use to uphold the status quo and avoid debating endless wars. It shows an underhanded move to make Barbara's amendment vanish into thin air. And it shows a new low for the Speaker that requires us to come together and take action....Congress has been missing in action on matters of war and peace for nearly 16 years. What is Paul Ryan afraid of? Why won't he let members of Congress honor their constitutional responsibility to debate and vote on U.S. military intervention abroad?Paul Ryan should be ashamed of himself. This isn't leadership, this is autocracy.If we are going to continue to send our brave servicemembers into battle zones to fight endless wars, Congress must have the courage to take up this debate. With your help, we'll make it clear to Paul Ryan that the American people want Congress to act to stop endless war.Nor is Bryce the only candidate for Congress pissed off at what Ryan has done. Another progressive veteran running for Congress, Kansan Jim Thompson, sees eye to eye with Barbara Lee on this. "Our founding fathers, in their wisdom," he told us today, "vested Congress with the power to declare war as a check on the President being the Commander-in-Chief. For far too long, Congress has abdicated their responsibility, allowing the President power far in excess of anything our founders envisioned. Whenever we send our sons and daughters to war, Congress should engage in vigorous debate before sending them into harm's way. Congress has not declared war since World War II, but rather passed Authorizations to Use of Military Force. The last Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) passed 16 years ago on September 14, 2001 in the wake of 9/11. The new law authorized force against anyone responsible, or any country that harbored those responsible, for the 9/11 attacks. Congress drafted the law with such broad language that Presidents Bush, Obama, and now Trump used this law for attacks on many different countries in multiple situations. The House Appropriations Committee recently approved a bi-partisan Amendment canceling the authority for the 2001 AUMF. Rather than allow a debate, Speaker Ryan pulled the Amendment in the middle of the night and never allowed the Amendment to reach the floor for debate despite its bipartisan support. Congress owes it to our men and women in unform to debate and authorize any military use of force. Since Speaker Ryan never served a day of his life in uniform, he may not realize the weight of his responsibility to our armed forces. Maybe he does not understand that his decisions have very real life and death consequences for our troops. The men and women of our armed forces perform their duties every day, you would think Speaker Ryan could at least fulfill his."Vote Vets is backing Lee up in a big way and contacted their own members, telling them that "Last Tuesday night, in the middle of the night, Republican Speaker of the House Paul R[...]

Randy Bryce-- On The Environmental Challenges That Face Us All

Fri, 21 Jul 2017 13:00:00 +0000

Let me put the bullshit smear about Randy Bryce favoring tar sands to bed right here and now. A political operative being paid to smear Bryce in progressive circles-- something that helps no one but Ryan-- has been running around making up stories about how he was pro-tar sands pipeline and basing it on "his union was for it and he's for his union, so therefor..." The assertions didn't jibe with Randy's very vocal backing for Bernie in Wisconsin, even after his union endorsed and started working for Hillary, nor did it fit in with discussions I've had with Randy before he declared his candidacy for Paul Ryan's congressional seat. His dedication to clean energy and to an environmental agenda to fight global warming, precluded backing tar sands pipelines. Endorsements by Blue America, the Working Families Party and DFA don't go to pro-tar sands candidates. According to a statement to DWT from Working Families Party's Wisconsin Director, Marina Dimitrijevic: We take our candidate vetting process seriously, and especially for high office. When Randy was considering getting into the race, climate was one of many topics we covered. He's firm in his opposition to the construction of dirty energy pipelines. He also wrote in his endorsement questionnaire in support of transitioning to 100% renewable energy by 2050. Who could be a better messenger to make the case for clean energy jobs instead of dirty pipeline jobs than someone like Randy?Randy is the real deal. We don't endorse in every race, but we do when we see someone who shares our values so whole-heartedly and can win. Randy is not just any candidate. He has been involved in the Wisconsin WFP since we launched. I don't know many federal candidates who have been actively involved in building the institutions of the progressive movement than Randy.Beating Paul Ryan is going to be an uphill battle. He'll have all the money in the world from every polluter, banker, union buster, and every other corporate interest. Our early endorsement helps make sure we have the time to build the kind of massive organization that will it will take to rival all that money.The first time I talked to Randy about it he told me, simply that he'd "turned down 100K working in Canada on the tar sands while I was collecting unemployment because I didn’t want to make money by contributing to the project." Last night he gave me a more formal statement: Combatting Climate change is one of my top priorities and it will be a major focus for me as a member of Congress from southeast Wisconsin. Along with that, we must immediately reduce our reliance on fossil fuels by investing in clean, renewable energy. We can create millions good-paying jobs by transitioning to a clean energy economy in which windmill and solar panel construction, installation, and maintenance employ my brothers and sisters in the labor movement.Transporting fossil fuel presents a critical, and immediate environmental danger, whether by pipeline, ship, rail, or road. We need to have strong federal standards and protections to ensure that our natural resources and public health are protected. I do not trust that the CEO’s and corporate boards care about these matters, and as a member of Congress I will be on the side of our communities when a potential hazard is identified.I have specific concerns about alternative dirty energy projects which are becoming all too popular. For example, tar sands are an especially dirty form of oil that are all too often categorized as clean by the entities looking to profit at the expense of our health and safety. As an ironworker, I was once offered the opportunity to work on one of these tar sands projects and immediately turned it down. My first concern is always the ability to take care of my family, and I need work to do so. However, I was taught to h[...]

Trump's Crazy Republicans Have An Arya Stark List Now

Fri, 21 Jul 2017 04:00:00 +0000

Shouldn't Nancy Ohanian be commissioned to do the official Trumpanzee family painting?Drawing on an historical perspective, author and activist Danny Goldberg bemoaned the left's circular firing squad for Nation readers yesterday. He wrote that "With excruciating predictability, mainstreamers blame young people for low turnout and for being seduced by the Libertarian or Green parties, as if finger-wagging at youth has ever been effective. Such lectures are like a rock band blaming the audience for not giving them an encore instead of improving the show. A certain number of low-information young voters struggling with college debt, stressed out by diminished job opportunities, and terrified of global warming were not motivated by charts showing statistical economic growth during the Obama years or by Tim Kaine’s harmonica playing. It is equally absurd when some on the left refuse to admit that the United States and the world would be in a lot better shape today if imperfect Hillary Clinton had won." Democratic Party mainstreamers should stop claiming that they and they alone are pragmatic. (Or as a smug New York Times headline put it, “The Base Wants It All. The Party Wants to Win.”) That argument has long been highly debatable, but after 2016 it is delusional. They have controlled most of the candidate selection and most of the campaigns that have resulted in the weakest presence of Democrats in elective office since the age of silent movies.But you know who's having even worse circular firing squad problems? The political right. Trump is encouraging television ad campaigns and primaries against Republican incumbents he doesn't like for one reason or another. One of his PACs already started running ads in Las Vegas and Reno against Dean Heller (R-NV) and he and his staffers have been meeting with perspective extremists who want to run against Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Bob Corker (R-TN). And the groups that feed the right-wing base its opinions are turning their big guns on Ryan, McConnell and Republicans in Congress. “It’s shocking the amount of pushback he’s getting from his own party,” said Carl Higbie, a former spokesman for the pro-Trump Great America PAC. “It’s time to primary some of these longstanding congressional leaders that can’t get the job done.”Conservative talk radio host Hugh Hewitt trained his ire on Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.), arguably the most endangered GOP Senate incumbent in 2018, for opposing the repeal and replace bill.Hewitt questioned Heller’s intelligence, saying on his Tuesday show that he’s not the “sharpest knife in the drawer” and accusing him of not grasping the damage he was doing to the Republican Party.Hewitt even compared the list of Republican defectors from the bill to a fictional list kept by Arya Stark, a character on HBO’s Game of Thrones, of people who have been marked for revenge after wronging her family.“We know the list to blame. It's like #AryaStark list. And it just keeps getting longer,” Hewitt tweeted.Hewitt said that, along with Heller, Sens. Ron Johnson (Wis.), Susan Collins (Maine), Rand Paul (Ky.) and Mike Lee (Utah) belong on that list for opposing the bill.Tea Party Patriots co-founder Mark Meckler fumed, ticking through the names of senators who he said abandoned conservative voters by opposing a subsequent measure to repeal the Affordable Care Act and put off replacement.“[Alaska Sen. Lisa] Murkowski, [West Virginia Sen. Shelley Moore] Capito and Collins. People are furious. And not one ounce of it is directed at Trump,” Meckler said.The Senate Conservatives Fund (SCF), which funded ads in the past against Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and other Republicans, vowed t[...]

Running For Office? Here's Some Free Advice

Fri, 21 Jul 2017 01:00:00 +0000

allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="255" src="" width="420">A month or so ago, Andy Millard-- a candidate last year against NC crackpot Patrick McHenry-- told me how he wants to share what he learned in his run with other candidates. He's organizing the Democratic Candidates Conference to help with training, networking, resources and support that are often painfully difficult to come by (unless they're one of the select DCCC recruits). As you probably know, I'm always complaining about how the DCCC and the lame consultants who come out of the DCCC instruct their worthless zombie-robot candidates to avoid putting contentious issues on their websites. In an advice to candidates guest post, Andy goes further:7 Online Mistakes Democratic Campaigns Must Avoid-by Andy MillardDr. Kyle Horton’s website includes everything a candidate site needs to be effectiveYou can learn a lot about a candidate from their presence on the web-- and what you learn isn’t always good.Motivated Democrats all over the country are stepping up to challenge GOP incumbents. Part of our mission here at the Democratic Candidates Conference is to uncover new candidates and help them to get off on the right foot. So we’ve been scouring the internet getting to know the early crop of candidates.Sometimes you run across a candidate with an impressive internet presence that immediately makes you sit up and take notice.Kyle Horton, challenging David Rouzer in North Carolina’s 7th congressional district, is one such candidate. She has a terrific website where you can get to know the candidate and her story. There’s a clear statement of why she’s running and where she stands on issues. Her Facebook and Twitter pages are consistent with the website and are updated frequently with fresh and relevant content. In fact the streams from both social media sites appear right on the campaign website.Clearly this is a a candidate to be reckoned with. She has obviously put a lot of thought, time and effort into her candidacy. She means business.Unfortunately, Kyle Horton is the exception rather than the rule. More often we see some variation a one-page website featuring a heroic photo of the candidate, a huge DONATE button, and an invitation join the candidate’s “movement.” And that’s it. Essentially, the message to the visitor is, “I’m a person you don’t know who’s running for office and you should love me.”This is not a knock on those candidates. If you’re a Democrat up against a Republican, you’re our kind of people. We’re all in this together and we want you to be successful. So now is the time-- now, while your campaign is in its infancy, when prospective supporters are getting to know you primarily through your online presence-- right now is the time for you to look for problems and fix them.Here are eight of the most glaring issues we have found. Some are easier to deal with than others. But they are all non-negotiable. If any of them applies to you, don’t expect to be taken seriously as a candidate until they’re addressed:1- No campaign URL or official email addressI’m sorry, but is not an official campaign email address. Go to and spend fifteen bucks on your own URL. Use it for your website, for your email address, and eventually for the addresses of your staff.2- No campaign websiteBelieve it or not, we occasionally run across candidates whose only online presence is through Facebook. You should not pretend to call yourself a candidate until you have a campaign website.3- No contact info on websiteVirtually every candidate website features prominent buttons for making donations and signing up to volunteer, but precious few make it easy for [...]

Even More Orange County Republicans Calling Themselves "Ex"-Republicans To Run For Congress

Thu, 20 Jul 2017 21:00:00 +0000

Gil Cisneros-- Does this look like an "ex"-Republican to you?A trusted political operative told me today about an encounter he had with a scumbag multimillionaire "ex"-Republican who the DCCC is trying to impose on a district filled with progressive Democrats. The "ex"-Republican is running as a Democrat and pretending to take progressive-- or progressivish-- policy positions. He tried hiring my friend and told him that "once [the primary] is over I'll shake off all that blue shit and pivot." They're usually better at hiding their intentions until after the DCCC sneaks them into Congress. Tuesday we saw the DCCC admit that they are recruiting Blue Dogs and Wednesday we looked at how that endangers progressive agenda items like, for example, single payer, and how it's usually only Blue Dogs and New Dems who vote for corporate-sponsored, bribery-triggering GOP legislation like the bill this week to allow more air pollution-- 4 Democrats-- all Blue Dogs of course-- joined all but 11 Republicans to pass this deadly, toxic bill. You want more Blue Dogs in Congress? The DCCC leadership sure does!Let me say something about "ex"-Republicans. I love it when a Republican sees the light based on policy concerns and gives up the GOP and joins the Democratic Party. I know plenty of good people who have done that. But we have to be very careful about elevating them to positions of party leadership and power by quickly moving them ahead of real Democrats to favor them getting party nominations, especially for Congress. I've watched dozens and dozens of them through the years and with only one or two exceptions, they all gravitate to Republicans and vote with Republicans on crucial issues, just the way Charlie Crist ("ex"-Republican Blue Dog-FL) and Tom O'Halleran ("ex"-Republican Blue Dog-AZ) and doing today.How are they even Democrats? ProgressivePunch rates them each "F" and their crucial vote scores are, respectively, 41.94 and 28.12. On crucial issues they vote more with Ryan and McCarthy than with Pelosi. Why are they even considered Democrats? Is enough to just vote to further the career goals of Pelosi and Hoyer? Is that the standard for which someone can claim to be a Democrat? One of the places where the DCCC is recruiting "ex"-Republicans and trying to pass them off as Democrats is Orange County. Yesterday Orange County Register reporter Martin Wisckol exposed the whole charade. The headline seemed non-controversial enough: Republicans-turned-Democrats challenging O.C. GOP Congress members. "The parade of Orange County Democrats running for Congress," he wrote, "is expected to grow to 19 today, July 19, with two former Republicans joining the pack seeking to take out GOP incumbents. Brian Forde, a former technology adivsor in Barack Obama’s White House, planned to announce today that he will challenge Rep. Mimi Walters, R-Laguna Beach, bringing the field of Democrats in that race to six. Navy vet, lottery winner and philanthropist Gil Cisneros on Monday launched his challenge of Rep. Ed Royce, R-Fullerton, who now has four Democratic opponents." DWT first exposed Cisneros (the lottery winner the DCCC wants to sell the nomination to) as an "ex"-Republican. Forde has been making Republican-sounding noises so it was an easy guess before the OC Register spelled it out.Forde, who is 37, blames his parents for his adherence to the Republican Party. He told Wisckol he "had adopted his parents’ party affiliation as a Republican until re-registering as a Democrat"... wait for it last year, age 36, "a change he said was overdue because of changes in the GOP and his own political evolution." Like many Orange County Republicans, he voted for Hillary last year. He didn't mention if he had voted for Mimi Walters o[...]

Telling the Climate Truth — The Pros and the Cons

Thu, 20 Jul 2017 17:00:00 +0000

Cover image from the New York Magazine feature story, "The Uninhabitable Earth." by Gaius PubliusWe need new Cassandras to warn us of new disasters, even though they'll never be believed.—Richard Clarke (paraphrased)We aren’t doomed — we are choosing to be doomed by failing to respond adequately to the emergency.—Margaret Klein Salamon The recent, major New York Magazine article on the coming "uninhabitable earth" stirred quite a response, both positive and negative. The positive response was, in general, "Finally, someone telling the truth." The negative response was, in general, "But it contains these errors," and "Does it really help to scare people this much?"The errors are secondary to the article's main point, but the question about climate communication strategy is both long-standing in the climate activism community and important.If we tell this much truth, are we scaring people into inaction? Or does telling this much truth motivate people more effectively than the message that "we've got until 2050 to get fully in gear" currently does? (Is it even moral not to tell this much truth?) My own thoughts below (click to go directly to them). First, here's one person's unique perspective on this question. The following is from Margaret Klein Salamon, a clinical psychologist and also the founder of the climate action group The Climate Mobilization (TCM), which advocates for starting a "World War II-scale" emergency mobilization to convert from fossil fuels, and starting it now.The following is Ms. Klein Salamon's recent letter to her mailing list, also published here. Please read it through as she considers this critical issue — Does telling the climate truth hurt or help? I've highlighted a few key ideas and reformatted the piece just slightly.As you read, please keep the terms affect tolerance and affect phobia in mind. She'll clarify the definitions. I'll offer closing comments at the end.Allies—Last week, David Wallace-Wells published a cover story in New York Magazine, “The Uninhabitable Earth,” on some of the worst-case scenarios that the climate crisis could cause by the end of this century. It describes killer heat waves, crippling agricultural failures, a devastated economy, plagues, resource wars, and more. It has been read more than two million times.The article has caused a major controversy in the climate community, in part because of some factual errors in the piece — though by and large the piece is an accurate portrayal of worst-case climate catastrophe scenarios. But by far the most significant criticism the piece received was that it was too frightening:“Importantly, fear does not motivate, and appealing to it is often counter-productive as it tends to distance people from the problem, leading them to disengage, doubt and even dismiss it.” –Michael Mann, writing with Susan Joy Hassol and Tom Toles.Eric Holthaus tweeted about the consequences of the piece:A widely-read piece like this that is not suitably grounded in fact may provoke unnecessary panic and anxiety among readers.And that has real-world consequences. My twitter feed has been filled w people who, after reading DWW's piece, have felt deep anxiety.There are people who say they are now considering not having kids, partly bc of this. People are losing sleep, reevaluating their lives.While I think both Mann and Holthaus are brilliant scientists who identified some factual problems in the article, I strongly disagree with their statements about the role of emotions — namely, fear — in climate communications and politics. I am also skeptical of whether climate scientists should be treated as national arbiters of psychological or political questions, in general. I would l[...]

Is Orange County Congressman And Trumpist Dana Rohrabacher An Actual Paid Kremlin Operative? Or Is He Doing This All For Free?

Thu, 20 Jul 2017 13:00:00 +0000

In the wee hours Wednesday, Nico Hines broke an explosive story at the Daily Beast about Orange County crackpot Dana Rohrabacher. The title sounds unbelievable and unplausible-- unless you've followed Dana Rohrabacher's political career: GOP Lawmaker Got Direction From Moscow, Took It Back to D.C..A low-level Reagan staffer, Rohrabacher first won what was then a deep red district in 1988. By 1989 people in his district and on Capitol Hill had already started realizing that he had a screw loose. He skipped freshman orientation so he could go to Afghanistan and play dress-up with the Taliban. He's gotten crazier and crazier over the years-- and his district isn't quite so red as it used to be. In fact, the DCCC is targeting it because Hillary narrowly beat Trump there last year-- 47.9% to 46.2%. We'll come back to that in a moment. First though, this is what Hines reported about Rohrabacher's latest foray into foreign affairs: Members of the team of Russians who secured a June 2016 Trump Tower meeting with Donald Trump Jr. and Jared Kushner also attempted to stage a show trial of anti-Putin campaigner Bill Browder on Capitol Hill.The trial, which would have come in the form of a congressional hearing, was scheduled for mid-June 2016 by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), a long-standing Russia ally who chairs the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Europe. During the hearing, Rohrabacher had planned to confront Browder with a feature-length pro-Kremlin propaganda movie that viciously attacks him-- as well as at least two witnesses linked to the Russian authorities, including lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya.Ultimately, the hearing was canceled when senior Republicans intervened and agreed to allow a hearing on Russia at the full committee level with a Moscow-sympathetic witness, according to multiple congressional aides.An email reviewed by the Daily Beast shows that before that June 14 hearing, Rohrabacher’s staff received pro-Kremlin briefings against Browder, once Russia’s biggest foreign investor, and his tax attorney Sergei Magnitsky from a lawyer who was working with Veselnitskaya.Although House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) had prohibited Rohrabacher from showing the Russian propaganda film in Congress, Rohrabacher’s Capitol Hill office still actively promoted a screening of the movie that was held at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., on June 13, 2016. Veselnitskaya was one of those handling the movie’s worldwide promotion.Invitations to attend the movie screening were sent from the subcommittee office by Catharine O’Neill, a Republican intern on Rohrabacher’s committee. Her email promised that the movie would convince viewers that Magnitsky, who was murdered in a Russian prison cell, was no hero.The invite, reviewed by the Daily Beast, claimed that the film “explodes the common view that Mr. Magnitsky was a whistleblower” and lavishes praise on the “rebel director” Andrei Nekrasov....Rohrabacher’s office was given the film by the Prosecutor General’s office in Moscow, which is run by Yuri Chaika, a close associate of President Vladimir Putin who is accused of widespread corruption, and Viktor Grin, the deputy general prosecutor who has been sanctioned by the United States as part of the Magnitsky Act.That same Prosecutor General’s office also was listed as being behind the “very high level and sensitive information” that was offered to Donald Trump Jr. in an email prior to his now infamous meeting with Russian officials at Trump Tower on June 9-- just days before the congressional hearing. Veselnitskaya attended that meeting with Trump Jr. She also happens to have worked as a prosecutor in the Mosc[...]

Dueling Polls?

Thu, 20 Jul 2017 04:00:00 +0000

PPP's findings on a 2020 contest between Bernie and Trumpanzee were very clear. Bernie would beat him-- and beat him very, very big-- 52% to 39%. I tried to remember off the top of my head the last time there had been a 13 point spread between 2 presidential candidates. Obama beat Romney with a 4 point spread and bear McCain with a 7 pointer. In 2000, George W Bush-- like Trump-- lost the popular vote and in 2004 he won by 2 points. To get into a double digit win you have to go all the way back to Ronald Reagan's 1984 reelection when he beat Walter Mondale by about 18 points. But Bernie beating Trump by a big margin seems like a no brainer. Bernie is the most popular political figure in America and Trump is historically unpopular-- the most disliked president at the 6 month point if his term in 70 years.But for some reason pollsters are now asking about Hillary Clinton again. They asked their respondents who they thought Russia wanted to win the 2016 election, Trumpanzee or Clinton. 24% said the Russians wanted Clinton to win. Reallyy-- 24%. They're allowed to vote and have children-- and home school those children-- and have Twitter and Facebook accounts. Then they wanted to know if people believed the meeting that Fredo admitted he had with a pack of Kremlin spies really took place. Look at this:Should those people be voting in our elections? But even with those people with their determined ignorance as voters, when PPP asked a fantasy question about Trump vs Obama and Trump vs Hillary, this is what happened:Hillary actually beat Trump last year 65,853,516 (48.2%) to 62,984,825 (46.1%)-- slightly over 2 points. In 2020 Hillary would beat he by a far greater margin-- 7 points according to this poll. But not according to a Bloomberg poll, also released yesterday. Bloomberg practically congratulated Trump, claiming even with his shockingly low approval numbers he "can at least find solace in this: Hillary Clinton is doing worse." Trump’s 2016 Democratic rival is viewed favorably by just 39 percent of Americans in the latest Bloomberg National Poll, two points lower than the president. It’s the second-lowest score for Clinton since the poll started tracking her in September 2009.The former secretary of state has always been a polarizing figure, but this survey shows she’s even lost popularity among those who voted for her in November.More than a fifth of Clinton voters say they have an unfavorable view of her. By comparison, just 8 percent of likely Clinton voters felt that way in the final Bloomberg poll before the election, and just 6 percent of Trump’s voters now say they view him unfavorably.“There’s growing discontent with Hillary Clinton even as she has largely stayed out of the spotlight,” said pollster J. Ann Selzer, who oversaw the survey. "It’s not a pox on the Democratic house because numbers for other Democrats are good."...[T]heir comments often reflected the ongoing angst among Democrats about how best to position themselves against Trump and Republicans in 2018 and beyond. Many said they wished Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont had won the Democratic nomination, or that they never liked Clinton and only voted for her because she was the lesser of two bad choices.“She did not feel authentic or genuine to me,” said Chris Leininger, 29, an insurance agent from Fountain Valley, California. “She was hard to like.”Leininger, an independent voter who leans Democratic, said she found Sanders much more likable and with a better story to tell voters.“But I don’t blame her for Trump,” she said. “There were a lot of factors that fed into Trump becoming a president and she was just one o[...]

Does Anyone Ever Win When They Make A Deal With The Devil?

Thu, 20 Jul 2017 01:00:00 +0000

I got stuck in some kind of a traffic jam in the Valley yesterday. The freeway just stopped. It wasn't moving slowly; it wasn't moving at all. And it was humid and around 90 degrees and I hate A/C. The one redeeming part of this little adventure was that Terry Gross had Joshua Green as her guest on Fresh Air and I could concentrate on that. Green's book, Devil's Bargain: Steve Bannon, Donald Trump, And The Storming Of The Presidency had just come out and you can probably imagine what Gross and he talked about. But you don't have to. NPR posted the transcript online. "[L]ife in Trump's inner circle is a constant roller coaster," he told her. "You're either going up or you're going down. Earlier, Bannon fell out of favor when Trump decided that he was getting too much attention. And Jared Kushner kind of rose in his place. But now with the Russia scandal that's embroiled so many members of the Trump family and inner circle, Bannon, almost by default, is kind of back in good standing.And, in fact, Trump sent him back from Saudi Arabia on the foreign trip that he took in May to go and set up the outside legal organization that was meant to hive off the Russia scandal and try and keep Trump himself as separated from that as possible." Gross asked him to describe Bannon's nationalist vision. GREEN: So Bannon's nationalism is something, I think, that grew out of both his Catholic upbringing, his blue-collar background but especially the financial crisis, the rise of the Tea Party. That is when he went from being a Goldman Sachs banker, a Hollywood guy to really moving over into the political sphere. He was one of Sarah Palin's early champions.When I met him in 2011, he was already espousing this kind of populist-nationalist politics that was different from anything you were hearing back then on the left or the right. It was not quite a third way, but it was a different sort of Republicanism than we in Washington were accustomed to hearing about.GROSS: During the campaign, Donald Trump hammered Hillary Clinton for having connections to Goldman Sachs. Bannon used to work for Goldman Sachs. He specialized in mergers and acquisitions. He started doing that in their Hollywood office, then started his own boutique bank dealing with TV and movies. And then he took over an internet gaming company.And you write about how that gaming company helped shape his vision of how to create a base of support for his vision. He saw people there, disaffected young men, who he wanted to mobilize for his cause. Would you describe this untapped group that he came across-- politically untapped group that he came across through internet gaming?GREEN: Yeah, this is a fascinating story about what is the rise of what's known today as the alt-right. And Bannon, who has a fascinating and varied career after Goldman Sachs, wound up as the CEO of a video game company in Hong Kong that didn't actually produce video games. But what it did was to try and formalize a process called gold farming.And what that is is, literally, they would hire people to play video games and win gold and prizes in the game that they would then turn around and sell to people in the real world so they could be more powerful, more successful in these what were called massive multiplayer online games, like "World Of Warcraft."This was a serious business. It had backing from Goldman Sachs. And right out of the gate, it made a lot of money. But what happened next was interesting. The players in the actual games, who tended to be young males, bridled at the idea that people were essentially cheating, that they were buying these weapons and things to get ahead in[...]

Do You Hate The Republicans Who Voted To Allow More Air Pollution? How About The Blue Dogs Who Voted With Them?

Wed, 19 Jul 2017 21:00:00 +0000

allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="255" src="" width="420">Lately, I've been writing a lot about how the DCCC is trying to bring on the dancing Blue Dogs again-- so, like clockwork, I'm hearing from a packing of simpering whiners about what an awful purist I am and how only Blue Dogs can win on this district or that district, ideas born out of nothing at all except the purest and most overwhelming ignorance (with some shear stupidity tossed in for good measure generally speaking).So today Ryan and McCarthy were bragging how they passed corrupt Big Oil-and-pollution-owned Republican Pete Olson's H.R. 806, the Ozone Standards Implementation Act. Ryan said it was a bipartisan effort and, technically-speaking, it was. 11 Republicans refused to vote for the horrific bill-- primarily Republicans in swing districts like Brian Fitzpatrick (PA), Dave Reichert (WA), Bruce Poliquin (ME), Carlos Curbelo (FL), Frank LoBiondo (NJ), Elise Stefanik (NY)... you know, districts where people care something about... well, clean air. And then there were 4 Blue Dogs who crossed the aisle in the other direction and joined the GOP-- as they do on a regular basis-- to pay back the immense bribes they take from pollution industries who wrote Olson's bill. Henry Cuellar (Blue Dog-TX), Jim Costa (Blue Dog-CA), Sanford Bishop (Blue Dog-GA) and Collin Peterson (Blue Dog-MN) all voted for the bill.Naughty, naughty Blue Dogs-- but vote for them anyway? This is what the American Lung Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the National Medical Association. the Children's Environmental Health Network, the American Public Health Association and 10 other non-partisan public health groups told every member of Congress in a letter. Clean air is fundamental for good health, and the Clean Air Act promises all Americans air that is safe to breathe. The undersigned public health and medical organizations urge you to oppose H.R. 806, the so-called “Ozone Standards Implementation Act of 2017.” A more fitting name for this legislation would be the “Smoggy Skies Act,” as it delays lifesaving standards to reduce ozone pollution, or smog, and permanently weakens the Clean Air Act.Clear, up-to-date, scientific evidence documented the need for greater protection from ozone pollution, and drove the stronger limit on ozone that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized in 2015. To meet the updated standard, the states have clear authority and plenty of time to plan and then work to reduce pollution under the Clean Air Act’s long-established, balanced implementation timeline. Despite those facts, the Smoggy Skies Act imposes additional delays and sweeping changes that will threaten health, particularly the health of children, seniors and people with chronic disease. The Smoggy Skies Act also reaches far beyond implementation of the current ozone standards. It permanently weakens the Clean Air Act and future air pollution health standards for all criteria pollutants. Specifically, the Smoggy Skies Act weakens implementation and enforcement of all lifesaving air pollution health standards, including those for carbon monoxide, lead, nitrogen dioxide, ozone, particulate matter, and sulfur dioxide. It would also permanently undermine the Clean Air Act as a public health law.The Clean Air Act requires that EPA review the science on the health impacts of carbon monoxide, lead, nitrogen dioxide, ozone, particulate matter, and sulfur dioxide air pollutants every five years and update these national ambient air quality standards according to th[...]

Paul Ryan's Personal Brand Continues To Stink To High Heaven

Wed, 19 Jul 2017 17:00:00 +0000

Painting by Nancy OhanianWashington is a foreign place for iron worker Randy Bryce. But he was there this week-- just before his featured speech at today's big Iron Workers conference on apprentice training in the Detroit area. But the meetings in DC were important. Midwest progressive champions Mark Pocan and Jan Schakowsky introduced him to members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus-- which unanimously endorsed him yesterday. He sat with Wisconsin legend and former congressman Dave Obey getting advice and tips for the coming race against Paul Ryan. There were meetings with groups like the League of Conservation Voters, National Nurses United, the Latino Victory Fund and Planned Parenthood. And he ended his business meetings Tuesday night with... well, Bernie Sanders, of course.And while he was in DC and then Detroit, actor and progressive activist Mark Ruffalo-- who, like Bryce, was born and grew up in southeast Wisconsin-- endorsed him on twitter... "because when you fall Speaker Ryan has made sure there will be no safety net to catch you." That was helpful. But what do you make out of Trump's far right hand man, Steve Bannon, referring to Ryan as "a limp-dick motherfucker who was born in a petri dish at the Heritage Foundation." It's certainly accurate, at least metaphysically, which is how Bannon tends to speak. It comes right from Joshua Green, the Bannon expert and author of Devil's Bargain, the story of the Bannon-Trump alliance. Green wrote that Bannon’s comment on Ryan came during the spring of 2016, when it became increasingly possible that Trump would become the GOP presidential nominee, to the surprise and concern of establishment Republicans. Some of them had floated Ryan as a possible alternative if the party’s convention were to become contested.“One fleetingly popular scenario to stop Trump from becoming the nominee was for GOP delegates to coalesce around a white-knight alternative at the party convention in July,” Green wrote, noting that Ryan had “emerged as the chattering-class favorite.”This development, according to Green, “sent Bannon into a panic of his own” and the Breitbart chairman who later that summer would lead Trump’s campaign, began “plotting an all-out war to stop Ryan, of whom he was both fearful and dismissive-- sometimes within the same sentence.”Ryan has become increasingly unpopular-- both nationally and in his own district. The national PPP survey released yesterday show that the vast majority of Americans disapprove of how he's doing his job as Speaker. They also disapprove of the way Mitch McConnell handles his job as Senate Leader... but McConnell isn't up for reelection ion 2018. Ryan, of course is. The national polling:But the local polling is even scarier. Ryan's about to get a rare electoral challenge courtesy of someone Wisconsin voters see as authentic and "one of us." Not many people in Janesville, Racine, Kenosha or in the burbs and small towns south of Milwaukee see Ryan as either authentic or "one of us." In fact, the last poll taken of the district's voters, showed them extremely reluctant to vote for Ryan again.Molly Ball, reporting for The Atlantic yesterday, reported that Republicans aren't turning on Trump yet-- They're Turning On Each Other. "The House is mad at the Senate. The Senate is mad at the House," she wrote. "Various factions in the House and Senate are mad at each other or mad at their leaders. Republican lawmakers have yet to turn on President Trump in any meaningful way. But they’re starting to turn on each other." And Ryan i[...]

Will The DCCC Kill Medicare-For-All By Recruiting Enough Blue Dogs Who Oppose It?

Wed, 19 Jul 2017 13:00:00 +0000

The new PPP survey released yesterday, asked respondents if they would vote for various Democrats or Trump in 2020. All the Democrats-- even corporate shill Cory Booker-- beats Trump: • Joe Biden- 54-39%• Bernie Sanders- 52-39%• Elizabeth Warren- 49-42%• Cory Booker- 45-40%• Kamala Harris- 41-40%And when asked if they would vote for a Democrat or a Republican in their own congressional district in 2018, this was the result:On top of that, 57% of respondents said they disapprove of how Speaker Paul Ryan is doing his job and 58% said they disapproved of how Senate Leader Mitch McConnell is doing his job. So is everything coming up roses for the Democrats? Maybe not. Last month a top Democratic congressional operative was widely-- and sympathetically-- quoted after saying that "We no longer have a party caucus capable of riding this wave. We have 80-year-old leaders and 90-year-old ranking members. This isn't a party. It's a giant assisted living center. Complete with field trips, gym, dining room and attendants." When I was a country dj in San Francisco --way back when Pelosi was my congressmember-- I used to play a few songs from a West Virginia band based in Austin-- Asleep at the Wheel. This song was one of 'em-- a Pelosi-era song in my mind... by a band whose name perfectly describes her and her entire failed leadership team. Yesterday we started the day by exposing the DCCC's intention to restock the House Democratic Caucus with the failed and widely loathed Blue Dogs and other candidates from the Republican wing of the Democratic Party. Pelosi, like Wasserman Schultz, thinks the biggest possible tent is all that matters. "Come one, come all... yes, even you anti-Choice, fanatics... and especially all you corrupt Wall Street whores; the Democratic Party should be your home-- and we'll even run you for office. A few minutes later AP ran with a feature by Stev Peoples and Bill Barrow, With 2018 Looming, Demicrats Divided On Their Core Message. Yes, that's what happens when the tent gets too big-- the brand turns to shit and the party-- in this case the great party of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt-- ceases to have any cohesive, coherent message. I'm glad we elected the first woman Speaker in 2006. Her political expiration date has passed and it;s time for her-- and her whole horrible team-- to move along and let real Democrats take over. Under Pelosi and Hoyer and Wasserman Schultz the only thing the Democratic Party is really about is... their careers. And that's not enough, especially not with Bernie and Elizabeth Warren-- not to mention younger members like Pramila Jayapal, Ted Lieu, Jamie Raskin, Katherine Clark and Ro Khanna-- talking about the real issues that motivate and inspire real Democrats.Pelosi, Hoyer, Crowley and Ben Ray Lujan may be hunting for Blue Dogs and New Dems to slip into Congress by riding the anti-Trump wave, but Democrats on the grassroots level are being activated and inspired by candidates like Randy Bryce (WI), Jim Thompson (KS), Sam Jammal (CA), Katie Hill (CA) and Jenny Marshall (NC), not by the nameless, faceless, self-funding GOP-lite shits the DCCC is recruiting. House Democratic Caucus Chairman Joe Crowley hesitated when asked about his party’s core message to voters.“That message is being worked on,” the New York congressman said in an interview this past week. “We’re doing everything we can to simplify it, but at the same time provide the meat behind it as well. So that’s coming together now.”The admission from the No. 4 House Democrat-- that his par[...]

Will Trump's Interference Hand The Democrats The Arizona Senate Seat-- And A Senate Majority?

Wed, 19 Jul 2017 04:00:00 +0000

Painting by Nancy OhanianSeñor Trumpanzee hasn't figured out Republican Party politics-- or GOP congressional primaries-- yet. He's terrible at it. But that hasn't stopped him from jumping in like some kind of a crazed baboon. A few weeks ago we mentioned that Trump's pre-adolescent vindictive, self-destructive nature is endangering Dean Heller's reelection bid in Nevada. Here's the ad that a Trump SuperPAC, which Pence beats the bushes to finance, ran in the Reno and Las Vegas media markets to scare not just Heller but any Republican daring to try to serve their constituents' interests instead of bowing down to Trump's insane megalomania: allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="255" src="" width="420">Arizona Senator Jeff Flake has a long history-- mostly in the House-- as a right-of-center conservative. His record is very conservative but, unlike so many of his colleagues, not unhinged or deranged. He's a Mormon and his very vocal opposition to Trump seems to have been based on the same sense of decency and deep-seated beliefs that most Mormon leaders expressed during the election. Trump did significantly worse in Mormon communities than other Republicans did. In 2004, George W Bush took 80% of the Mormon vote. In 2012 Romney took 78%. The morally reprehensible Trump only managed to win 61% of the Mormon vote nationally.We have written before than Trump's political operatives are hoping to defeat Flake in his 2018 reelection bid, preferably with neo-fascist Trumpist Jeff DeWit, Arizona state Treasurer. Another extremist who would likely be fine with the Trump Regime is extremist former state Senator Kelli Ward, another neo-fascist crackpot. When she challenged John McCain last year, McCain pulverized her 302,532 (51.2%) to 235,988 (39.9%).A Republican mid-November poll looked sketchy for Flake. Trump's favorable rating among Republicans then was 82% and Flake's was just 30%. Wade scored 19% and DeWit came in at 35%. Head-to-head match-ups showed Ward tying Flake 35-35% and DeWit beating him 42-33%. DeWit would have also won a 3-ways primary: • DeWit- 38%• Ward- 15%• Flake- 30%In February, Ward released a poll of likely Republican primary voters from Political Marketing International. It shows Ward pulling ahead of Flake in a head-to-head match-up, 30% to 23%. Ward didn't released any polling that included DeWit, but she did boast that she was the "most conservative member of the Arizona State Senate in 2015" and reminded whomever reads her stuff that Flake is "one of President Trump's biggest foes."[Note: Political Marketing Strategies is not a well-regarded firm and is pretty much considered one of those companies that delivers whatever results they're paid to deliver. Ward paid them $5,000 for this poll. She is touting it in a press release claiming Flake is "in freefall."]That said, Flake, a freshman, could be in trouble with Arizona Republican primary voters. He's been a tad too independent-minded for most knee-jerk Republicans and if Trump really decides to make an example of him, he could be toast, even though Trump doesn't have an impressive track record interfering in GOP primaries. A North Carolina incumbent he strongly backed, Renee Ellmers, was eviscerated, barely coming in third in a 3-way race (George Holding- 53.4%, Renee Ellmers- 23.6%, Greg Brannon- 23.0%, just 207 votes separating the latter two). And Thursday, Trump's candidate to replace Mike Pompeo in KS-04, Alan Cobb, was badly beaten by run-of-the-mill establi[...]

Who Is Kathie Allen And How Does A Progressive Run For Congress In Beet-Red Utah?

Wed, 19 Jul 2017 01:00:00 +0000

Dr. Kathie Allen is a family physician who has practiced medicine in Utah for 30 years. As you probably know, she decided to challenge Jason Chaffetz this past February in the 2018 mid-term elections after, she told sum she "realized he had no intention of challenging the Trump administration or fulfilling his role as Chair of the Government Oversight Committee." But when Chaffetz stepped down from Congress, it set off a quandary in Utah because the state has no specific law for how to implement a Special Election. Both the Federal and state statutes give authority to the governor to call a Special Election, but there is no specified methodology on how to do this. We asked Kathie to introduce herself to DWT readers by bringing us up to date on the state of her race in Utah.UT-03 stretches from the suburbs east on Salt Lake City, like Holladay and Cottonwood Heights, almost to Park City and then down through Heber City, Provo, Spanish Fork and way down through Moab and Blanding to the 4 corners where Utah, Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado all meet. Although there are 7 counties in the district, most of the votes-- by far-- are in Utah County and Salt Lake County. Bernie beat Hillary in every county and took more voters overall that Trump did in the caucuses. In Utah County Bernie beat Hillary 85.3% to 14.2%. He got 6,071 votes to Trump's 3,713 votes. In Salt Lake County, Bernie beat Hillary 78.8% to 20.9% and his 35,610 votes far outstripped Trump's 6,542 on the same day. (Cruz won the county in the GOP caucus-- with 31,164 votes-- and Bernie beat him too. And it wasn't that different in the sparsely populated rural counties. Take Grand-- Bernie beat Hillary 79.6% to 20.2% but he beat Trump 636 votes to 127 votes. Now, keep in mind, Utah's third district has a PVI of R+28. McCain beat Obama 67-29% and 4 years later Romney eviscerated the president 79-20%, one of Obama's weakest performances anywhere. But Trump isn't well-regarded in Utah and UT-03 only gave him 47.2% of the vote (to Hillary's 23.3%). Still, every one of Chaffetz's reelection bids has been won with over 70%. This is going to be a tough race.Kathie has an extensive issues page on her official website and if you like what she stands for and what she has to say below, you can contribute to her campaign here. allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="255" src="" width="420">On The Idiosyncrasies Of Utah Politics In The Special Election To Replace Jason Chaffetz-by Dr. Kathie AllenGovernor Herbert took the quandary about a special election to mean that the authority was completely in his hands. He chose not to call a special session of our state Legislature. His rationale was that several State Legislators had their hats in the ring, and he felt that giving the Legislature a voice in the process would open the possibility that they would manipulate it to their own ends, enhancing the possibility that a Republican State Legislator would be named the Republican nominee. This set off a backlash and a meeting of both Democratic and Republican caucuses of the Legislature who considered suing the Governor for having bypassed their authority. They will no doubt address this fuzziness in the election law when they convene in 2018.However, Governor Herbert prevailed, and he determined that the Democratic nominee could be chosen at the Democratic State Convention by the 3rd Congressional District delegates. Since we had not yet had our Convention, this was easy to im[...]

Tom Wakely Wants To Make Texas Great Again-- A Guest Post By A Gubernatorial Candidate

Tue, 18 Jul 2017 21:00:00 +0000

-by Tom WakelyMy name is Tom Wakely and I am a candidate for Governor of Texas but before we get into that I’d like to tell you a story or two of how I came to the decision to run and why I am running.My wife and I run a private care home for hospice patients in San Antonio. We offer them a place in our home to die. We have been doing this for a little over eight years now and we have helped 48 people to die with dignity and respect. My wife is from Mexico and she just became a US citizen this past spring. I was born in San Antonio and right after high school at the age of 17, I enlisted in the U.S. Air Force. After my discharge, I returned to San Antonio and soon found myself working with Cesar Chávez on the grape boycott campaign in Texas. I was very political active during the 70’s. But all my work, all my idealism, came crashing down in the Fall of 1980 with the election of Ronald Reagan as President. I was 27 years old. I was lost, bewildered, not sure what I should do or where I should do it. For the next few years, I was an aimless wanderer, traveling all over the country. I tried going back to college but it didn’t hold my interest. I became a stockbroker for a while but decided that wasn’t my thing. I flipped burgers for a few months, drove a cab, I even took a job on the Mississippi cleaning the inside of river barges. I eventually drifted back down to Texas with nothing more than a few bucks in my pocket. The political revolution that I had been so much a part of had failed and nothing I did or thought I wanted to do could fill the emptiness in my soul.I was now 32 years old, alone and tired. I had just broken my right ankle in a stupid accident and as I lay in my hospital bed, thinking about my life, I had an epiphany. Of course, at the time, I didn’t understand it to be an epiphany, but it was. Anyway, I healed and after a few phone calls followed by a few interviews, I found myself back in the Midwest, enrolled at the Chicago Theological Seminary. I mention this because it is relevant to why I am running for Governor of the State of Texas.Now, you have to remember when I entered seminary in 1985, apartheid was still the political and social system in South Africa. I had been and was now again very active in the anti-apartheid movement, this time in Chicago. To my surprise my seminary had a relationship with a South African seminary and with Desmond Tutu. It worked like this. When it looked liked an ANC fighter, a college professor or a shopkeeper was about to be arrested and imprisoned by the authorities, they were immediately whisked away, enrolled in the South African seminary, then within a few days, they were in Chicago, in class with me. I became friends with all of them and still maintain that friendship with a few of them today.These men taught me two very important life lessons. The first was don’t give up hope. Don’t let losing a battle discourage you. Keep on resisting. The second lesson was when a political opportunity presents itself, grab on to it as you may not get another chance. Which brings me to the question that everyone is asking me. Why in the hell are you running for Governor of Texas.To answer that question, you need to understand Texas politics. Texas is not a red state; it is a no-vote state. In the 2014 general election that saw the rise of Greg Abbott and his tea-party brethren to power, Abbott becoming Governor and Dan Patrick becoming Lt. Governor, only 38% of our state’s [...]

Two More Democrats Jump Into A Hot Orange County Congressional Race

Tue, 18 Jul 2017 17:00:00 +0000

allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="255" src="" width="420">What a contrast between Gil Cisneros, a fabulously wealthy "ex"-Republican lottery winner from Newport Coast who is bribing DCCC power players to back him, and Sam Jammal, a lifelong homegrown progressive who worked in the Obama administration and then as a clean energy executive. Although Cisneros' $10 million beach-front mansion is as far from CA-39's middle class neighborhoods as if it were in Scarsdale, NY or Darien, Connecticut or any other self-segregated rich-people-only enclave, he now vowing to buy another home in the district. Why not? He won $266 million in the lottery and he can certainly afford to district shop the same way another super-wealthy DCCC loser, Sean Eldridge, used to do.CA-39 is primarily a northeast Orange County district with a chunk of L.A. County and a sliver of San Bernardino County. The DCCC has, for years, studiously avoided targeting powerful-- and very bigoted-- incumbent Ed Royce. Then Hillary beat Trump there 51.5% to 42.9%, her biggest win among the GOP-held Orange County districts the DCCC says they hope to win in 2018. Whites are a minority in this district and the DCCC should have been building a multi-cycle campaign to win it back for years; but they’re way too lame, incompetent and unaccountable to have done any such thing. The district stretches from deep blue Hacienda Heights into La Brea Heights, La Habra, Rowland Heights, Brea, up to Walnut, Diamond Bar and Chino Hills and then south to Buena Park, Fullerton, Placenta, and Yorba Linda.How excited is the DCCC about actually winning CA-39 and ousting Royce? Not very. In fact, they’re already written it off. The powers that be in DC-- "We no longer have a party caucus capable of riding this wave. We have 80-year-old leaders and 90-year-old ranking members. This isn't a party. It's a giant assisted living center. Complete with field trips, gym, dining room and attendants"-- have decided to sell the nomination to Cisneros, who they know will have no chance to win against Royce, no matter how much of his lottery winnings he plans to keep doling out to avaricious DCCC-connected consultants and operatives. Cisneros big accomplishment since deciding to run is having undergone some surgery to remove a couple of layers and a couple of chins-- plus meeting with corrupt lobbyists at a resort outside of DC last month instead of meeting folks in the district the DCCC is selling him. (The Congressional Hispanic Caucus’ Bold PAC, run by Tony Cárdenas, brokered the deal and hosted the weekend event at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Resort in Cambridge, Maryland. Besides all the corrupt lobbyists, attendees included Tom Perez, Steny Hoyer, Ben Ray Lujan, Cárdenas, and reactionary Blue Dogs Jim Costa (CA), Vicente Gonzalez (TX), Stephanie Murphy (FL), Tom O’Halleran (AZ) and Lou Correa (CA). Among the lobbyists were representatives of AT&T, the Pedestal Group, Goldman Sachs, Walmart, Microsoft, Charter Communications, Amgen, Concast, Pepsi, Pfizer, Sempra Energy, Primerica, Loews, Biogen, T-Mobile, Safeway, Johnson & Johnson, Astra Zenica, Sprint, PayPal, and dozens more.The L.A. Times covered Cisneros' announcement by announcing he was a registered Republican until at least 2008 and they used the campaign publicity department's terminology for "rich lottery winner," calling him a "philanthropist." [...]

Pelosi's DCCC Is Now Openly Admitting They Are Recruiting Blue Dogs Masquerading As Democrats

Tue, 18 Jul 2017 13:00:00 +0000

In 2006, the Republicans greeted the midterms as a spent force. George W. Bush was historically unpopular-- bogged down in an unpopular war and-- along with congressional Republicans-- an unending parade of scandals. Democrats defeated 22 GOP incumbents and won 8 open seats that had been held by Republicans who retired. And, for the first time since the GOP was founded, Republicans didn't beat a single Democrat or win a single open Democratic seat. The Democrats' popular vote was 42,338,795 (52.3%) to the GOP's 35,857,334 (44.3%). These were the Democrats first elected that year: • Harry Mitchell (Blue Dog-AZ)• Gabby Giffords (Blue Dog-AZ)• Jerry McNerney (D-CA)• Ed Perlmutter (New Dem-CO)• Joe Courtney (New Dem-CT)• Chris Murphy (New Dem-CT)• Kathy Castor (D-FL)• Tim Mahoney (Blue Dog-FL)- lost 2008• Ron Klein (New Dem-FL)• Hank Johnson (D-GA)• Mazie Hirono (D-HI)• Phil Hare (D-IL)• Joe Donnelly (Blue Dog-IN)• Brad Ellsworth (Blue Dog-IN)• Baron Hill (Blue Dog-IN)• Bruce Braley (D-IA)• Dave Loebsack (D-IA)• Nancy Boyda (rejected Blue Dog-KS)- lost 2008• John Yarmuth (D-KY)• John Sarbanes (D-MD)• Tim Walz (D-MN)• Keith Ellison (D-MN)• Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH)• Paul Hodes (D-NH)• Albio Sires (D-NJ)• Yvette Clarke (D-NY)• John Hall (D-NY)• Kirsten Gillibrand (Blue Dog-NY)• Mike Arcuri (Blue Dog-NY)• Heath Shuler (Blue Dog-NC)• Charlie Wilson (Blue Dog-OH)• Betty Sutton (D-OH)• Zack Space (Blue Dog-OH)• Jason Altmire (Blue Dog-PA)• Joe Sestak (D-PA)• Patrick Murphy (New Dem-PA)• Chris Carney (Blue Dog-PA)• Steve Cohen (D-TN)• Nick Lampson (Blue Dog-TX)• Peter Welch (D-VT)• Steve Kagen (D-WI)Of those 15 Blue Dogs, not one is still in the House. But I'll get into that in a moment. First let's fast forward two years to the 2008 election, with Obama at the top of the ticket for the first time. The Republicans lost 26 seats-- although they did beat 5 Democratic incumbents. The Democrats won a higher percentage of votes in 2008 than they had 2 years earlier-- 65,237,840 (53.2%) to 52,249,491 (42.6%) for the GOP. These were the newly elected Democrats: • Bobby Bright (Blue Dog-AL)• Parker Griffith (Blue Dog-- who turned Republican-AL)• Ann Kirkpatrick (New Dem-AZ)• Betsy Markey (Blue Dog-CO)• Jim Himes (New Dem-CT)• Alan Grayson (D-FL)• Suzanne Kosmas (Blue Dog-FL)• Walt Winnick (Blue Dog-ID)• Debbie Halvorson (New Dem-IL)• Chellie Pingree (D-ME)• Frank Kratovil (Blue Dog-MD)• Mark Schauer (D-MI)• Gary Peters (D-MI)• Dina Titus (D-NV)• John Adler (Blue Dog-NJ)• Martin Heinrich (D-NM)• Harry Teague (Blue Dog-NM)• Mike McMahon (Blue Dog-NY)• Paul Tonko (D-NY)• Dan Maffei (New Dem-NY)• Eric Massa (D-NY)• Larry Kissell (Blue Dog-NC)• Steven Driehaus (New Dem-OH)• Marcia Fudge (D-OH)• Mary Jo Kilroy (D-OH)• John Boccieri (Blue Dog-OH)• Kurt Schrader (Blue Dog-OR)• Kathy Dahlkemper (Blue Dog-PA)• Glenn Nye (Blue Dog-VA)• Tom Perriello (D-VA)• Gerry Connolly (New Dem-VA)Of the 14 Blue Dogs elected that year, just one-- Schrader-- is still in Congress. The following year, 2010-- Democratic voters just stayed away from the polls in droves-- millions of them. All those crap Blue Dogs and most of the New Dems were defeated because Democratic voters realized they had been tricked by the DCCC and by their own leaders into backing Democrats from the Republican[...]