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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, 17 Dec 2017 16:22:46 +0000

 



The Plundering Of America

Sun, 17 Dec 2017 14:00:00 +0000

I didn't realize that urbanologist Richard Florida was overtly political. I guess Trump is pissing him off as much as he's pissing off the rest of the country-- and the world.. Yesterday Florida tweeted that "It is the sole motivation of our plutocratic president & leadership. They look at Putin & say: "I can do a lot better plundering the US ..." He was commenting on this David Sirota report at International Business Times. The just of Sirota's article was that on Friday night Trump added a little clause into the Tax Scam bill to further enrich himself. Has any other president ever done anything like that? "Republican congressional leaders and real estate moguls," wrote Sirota, "could be personally enriched by a  real-estate-related provision GOP lawmakers slipped into the final tax bill released Friday evening, according to experts interviewed by International Business Times. The legislative language was not part of previous versions of the bill and was added despite ongoing conflict-of-interest questions about the intertwining real estate interests and governmental responsibilities of President Donald Trump-- the bill’s chief proponent."The Trump organization and the Kushners (the family of Ivanka's husband, Jared) have overseen vast real estate empires, and top GOP lawmakers writing the tax bill collectively have tens of millions of dollars of ownership stakes in real-estate-related LLCs. The new tax provision would specifically allow owners of large real estate holdings through LLCs to deduct a percentage of their “pass through” income from their taxes, according to experts. Although Trump, who became famous for his real estate holdings, has transitioned into branding in recent years, federal records show Trump has ownership stakes in myriad LLCs.The new provision was not in the bill passed by the House or the Senate. Instead, it was inserted into the final bill during reconciliation negotiations between Republicans from both chambers. The provision, said experts, would offer a special tax cut to LLCs with few employees and large amounts of depreciable property assets, namely buildings: rent generating apartment and office buildings.“This helps people who have held property for awhile, like Donald Trump,” David Kamin, an New York University law professor who served as a special assistant to the president for economic policy  in the Obama administration, told IBT. “If you’ve got an LLC that’s a trade or business with a bunch of real estate holdings and few employees, [I] think you’re now golden. You get the deduction.”Similarly, Urban Institute tax expert Steve Rosenthal told IBT the provision would specifically benefit real estate investors.“It would benefit real estate businesses especially, which typically operate as pass-through businesses, most often LLCs,” said Rosenthal, a former tax attorney at Ropes & Gray. “An LLC's building, and other depreciable property, would be ‘qualified property’ for purposes of the new test, as long as the LLC had not fully depreciated the property. That would be unlikely, as commercial real property is currently depreciated over 39 years.”IBT previously reported that 13 GOP lawmakers directly sculpting the bill-- including U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan-- have between $36 million and $163 million worth of ownership stakes in real estate-related LLCs. Those entities generated between $2.6 million and $16 million in “pass through” income and could benefit from the new provision.Sen. Bob Corker, who was considered a potential “no” vote on the bill, abruptly switched his position upon the release of the final legislation. Federal records reviewed by IBT show that Corker has millions of dollars of ownership stakes in real-estate related LLCs that could also benefit.“Pass throughs” are business entities that don’t pay corporate income taxes, like partnerships, LLCs and S-Corporations. Instead, they “pass through” income to partners, who then pay personal income taxes on the money they receive. The S[...]



Midnight Meme Of The Day!

Sun, 17 Dec 2017 08:01:00 +0000

-by Noah

I've heard it said that everyone has, somewhere on this Earth, a doppelgänger. Doppelgängers are our doubles and they are usually seen as harbingers of bad luck or as an evil twin. How sad would it be if you had a good heart like the Munster family and your doppelgänger was a prominent Republican, or any Republican for that matter. But these three? Well, that's just going way too far! You could never do enough good work to make up for these.




If Aliens Decide To Visit, Would You Want Trump In Charge? Just Asking For A Friend

Sun, 17 Dec 2017 05:00:00 +0000

allow="encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" gesture="media" height="255" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/t8Rl6hC2ZFw" width="420">For some reason, the government wants to keep its UFO programs secret. The Pentagon hides the UFO office and makes it almost impossible to find in its budget requests. Congress obliges with increasingly secretive appropriations for the military UFO hunters, even though the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program went the way of the dodo bird with the retirement of its greatest advocate, Harry Reid. Yesterday, the NY Times had a team on the case, which reported that "For years, the program investigated reports of unidentified flying objects, according to Defense Department officials, interviews with program participants and records obtained by the New York Times. It was run by a military intelligence official, Luis Elizondo, on the fifth floor of the Pentagon’s C Ring, deep within the building’s maze. The Defense Department has never before acknowledged the existence of the program, which it says it shut down in 2012. But its backers say that, while the Pentagon ended funding for the effort at that time, the program remains in existence. For the past five years, they say, officials with the program have continued to investigate episodes brought to them by service members, while also carrying out their other Defense Department duties." The shadowy program-- parts of it remain classified-- began in 2007, and initially it was largely funded at the request of Harry Reid, the Nevada Democrat who was the Senate majority leader at the time and who has long had an interest in space phenomena. Most of the money went to an aerospace research company run by a billionaire entrepreneur and longtime friend of Mr. Reid’s, Robert Bigelow, who is currently working with NASA to produce expandable craft for humans to use in space. allow="encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" gesture="media" height="255" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/bY2OYSDYsVI" width="420">On CBS’s 60 Minutes in May, Mr. Bigelow said he was “absolutely convinced” that aliens exist and that U.F.O.s have visited Earth.Working with Mr. Bigelow’s Las Vegas-based company, the program produced documents that describe sightings of aircraft that seemed to move at very high velocities with no visible signs of propulsion, or that hovered with no apparent means of lift.Officials with the program have also studied videos of encounters between unknown objects and American military aircraft-- including one released in August of a whitish oval object, about the size of a commercial plane, chased by two Navy F/A-18F fighter jets from the aircraft carrier Nimitz off the coast of San Diego in 2004.Mr. Reid, who retired from Congress this year, said he was proud of the program. “I’m not embarrassed or ashamed or sorry I got this thing going,” Mr. Reid said in a recent interview in Nevada. “I think it’s one of the good things I did in my congressional service. I’ve done something that no one has done before.”Two other former senators and top members of a defense spending subcommittee-- Ted Stevens, an Alaska Republican, and Daniel K. Inouye, a Hawaii Democrat-- also supported the program. Mr. Stevens died in 2010, and Mr. Inouye in 2012.While not addressing the merits of the program, Sara Seager, an astrophysicist at M.I.T., cautioned that not knowing the origin of an object does not mean that it is from another planet or galaxy. “When people claim to observe truly unusual phenomena, sometimes it’s worth investigating seriously,” she said. But, she added, “what people sometimes don’t get about science is that we often have phenomena that remain unexplained.”James E. Oberg, a former NASA space shuttle engineer and the author of 10 books on spaceflight who often debunks U.F.O. sightings, was also doubtful. “There are plenty of prosaic events and human perceptual traits that can account for these stories,” Mr. Oberg said. [...]



Eminem May Not Be A Trumpanzee Supporter

Sun, 17 Dec 2017 02:00:00 +0000

frameborder="0" height="280" scrolling="no" src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/571171947/571364245" title="NPR embedded audio player" width="70%">This afternoon, NPR had a special guest: Eminem. NPR isn't a rap station but Eminem's new album, Revival, is socially significant enough for NPR to just just interview him but to promote the interview all day Friday. They knew it would be a big deal, even beyond the (mostly) good music reviews. It should be no surprise that Em is no fan of Señor Trumpanzee-- but if it is... it won't be any longer, not after this album. There's even a fantasy, "Framed," about Ivanka in the trunk of his car, referring to her as "the dumb little blonde girl that motherfuckin’ baton twirler that got dumped in the pond."Here's a verse from "Like Home," which Alicia Keys joins him on: Someone get this Aryan a sheet
Time to bury him, so tell him to prepare to get impeachedEverybody on your feet
This is where terrorism and heroism meets, square off in the streetsThis chump barely even sleepsAll he does is watch Fox News like a parrot and repeats
While he looks like a canary with a beakWhy you think he banned transgenders from the military with a tweet?He's tryin' to divide usThe shit's like a cult, but like Johnny he'll only unite us'Cause nothin' inside drives us like this fight doesSimilar to when two cars collide 'causeOur spirit's crushed, and this spot's a tight oneBut here the jaws of life come
To pull us from the wreckage that's what we get pride fromWhen we can't wear stars and stripes 'cause'Cause this type of pickle we're in is hard to dealBut there's always tomorrow still
If we start from the scratch like a scab, get the scars to heal
 And band together for Charolettesville
And for Heather, fallen heroes, fill this wall with murals
Nevada get up, hit the damn resetter
Let's start from zero, this is our renewal
Spray tan, get ride of, get a brand new, better
America, and here's to where we're fromOK, ok, one more verse... but that's it: Didn't wanna piss your base off, did ya?Can't denounce the Klan, 'cause they play golf with yaYou stay on Twitter, way to get your hate off
Nazi, I do not see a way y'all differAnd all you got are race cards
Better get the swastika with your name carved in it
Should be your trademark, 'cause hate's all you played off
And you just lick the plate off
So I guess it pays to feed off of chaos
So basically, you're Adolf Hitler!But you ain't ruinin' our country, punk
Or takin' our pride from us, you won't define us
'Cause like a dictionary, things are lookin' upSo much, got a sprained neck, know we would rise up
Against this train wreck and take a standEven if it mean sittin' when they raise the flagThis ain't the Star Spangled BannerThis man just praised a statue of General Lee
'Cause he generally hates the black people, degrades hispanicsTake it back to the Shady national convention
Wish I woulda spit on it before I went
 To shake his hand at the event
Or maybe had the wherewithalTo know that he was gonna try to tear apartOur sacred land we cherish and stand forSo, hands in the air, let's hear it forThe start of a brand new AmericaWithout him, and be proud of where we're fromAnd here's to where we're from allow="encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" gesture="media" height="255" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/9Nohvg-A6QQ" width="420">[...]



Will The GOP Tax Scam Hurt Them On Voting Day?

Sat, 16 Dec 2017 22:00:00 +0000

Ryan is so excited about being so close to passing his Tax Scam that he was talking about retiring from Congress this week. And Trump is giddy-- first for being close to finally having something he accomplished legislatively-- and second, because of all the money he will save in a plan written specifically to benefit multimillionaires and billionaires like himself. But as the Alabama-based political research firm ALG noted in a memo this week, while Trump, Ryan and their GOP allies rejoice, "polling suggests they could be in for a rude awakening next November after voters have learned more about it. Voters want tax reform that provides relief to the middle class, makes the wealthy and corporations pay their fair share, and does not increase the deficit. They are unlikely to reward Republicans in Congress when they discover that the GOP plan delivers the opposite."On Friday ALG analyzed recent national polling and concluded that Americans' top priorities for tax reform are "a tax cut for the middle-class and low-income working families, higher taxes for the wealthy and corporations, and no increase in the deficit. The Trump/Ryan Tax Scam bill "not only fails to meet all three of these priorities, but actually delivers the opposite. It provides massive tax cuts to the wealthy and corporations, raises taxes on millions of middle class households next year alone (and nearly half of the middle class over the next ten years), and will increase the deficit by more than $1.4 trillion (triggering $25 billion in funding cuts to Medicare)." A recent ABC / Washington Post poll highlights just how out of touch the Republican tax reform plan is with what Americans are looking for. It finds that 73% of Americans already believe our tax system favors the wealthy, and that while over three-quarters (78%) support reducing income taxes for middle and lower-income people, 62% oppose reducing taxes for higher income people. As for corporations, it finds that nearly two-thirds (65%) already believe that they pay too little in taxes.These results are consistent with findings from a recent poll of likely 2018 voters in Senate battleground states that we conducted for Center Forward. In an open-ended question on their top priorities for tax reform, these voters were most likely to volunteer "reducing taxes for middle and lower income Americans," and "raising taxes on the wealthy" as what they most wanted to see from tax reform.While most Americans are not yet familiar with the details of the Republican tax plan, they already oppose it by a 14-point margin, based on an average of recent polling on the plan compiled by FiveThirtyEight, with 32% supporting it, 46% opposing it, and 15% undecided.Even though most are still uninformed about the plan, the ABC / Washington Post poll found that a majority of Americans (51%) already believe it is designed to reduce taxes on the wealthy, not the middle class, while only 24% think it will treat the wealthy and the middle class equally, and even less (10%) believe it will mainly reduce taxes on the middle class.Based on how out of step this plan is with the public's priorities for tax reform, we expect opposition to rise once the bill is finalized and the public learns more about what's in it. But compared to other recent tax bills, the current GOP bill is already historically unpopular. In fact, it is the only major tax cut in recent years found to have negative support, and is even less popular than the tax hikes passed in the 1990's.Additionally, an analysis by George Washington University political scientist Chris Warshaw found that this tax plan is less popular than almost every major piece of legislation since 1990. The only less popular piece of legislation over that period was the GOP's recent failed plan to replace Obamacare.While Congressional Republicans' commitment to reining in the deficit seems to have vanished, deficit ne[...]



Illegal Ballot Destruction In The Midst Of A Law Suit Means Wasserman Schultz Stole The FL-23 Primary Election Afterall

Sat, 16 Dec 2017 18:00:00 +0000

Donna Edwards became a member of Congress-- one of the best members of Congress-- in 2008. But, truth be told, her constituents elected her in 2006... only to see the victory snatched out of her hands on election night with last minute stuffed ballot boxes from corrupt conservative Al Wynn and his Machine. Donna got to work on the 2008 campaign the next day and after Donna eviscerated him in the primary-- 59% to 37%-- he resigned to become a corporate lobbyist.Last year Tim Canova ran a similar grassroots progressive race against the female counterpart to Wynn-- Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the same crook who, as DNC chair, was fired for fixing the primaries for Hillary Clinton. She fixed the election for Hillary; did she fix her own election against Canova? He always thought so but the media and DC establishment went bonkers when he mentioned it and nearly drove this good man out of politics with all their vitriol and venom. Polling was showing him ahead but on primary day Wasserman Schultz beat him 28,809 to 21,907 in a very low turnout election.Friday, Marc Caputo broke the a story at Politico about how Brenda Snipes a crooked Wasserman Schultz crony and ally and the Broward County elections chief broke the law by destroying ballots cast in the tight primary election between Wasserman Schultz and Tim Canova after Canova sued to get access to the ballots. Canova, according to Caputo "wanted to inspect the optical-scan ballots cast in his Aug. 30 primary race against Wasserman Schultz because he had concerns about the integrity of the elections office." Under longstanding federal law, ballots cast in a congressional race aren’t supposed to be destroyed until 22 months after the election. And under state law, a public record sought in a court case is not supposed to be destroyed without a judge’s order.Snipes’ office, however, destroyed the paper ballots in question in October-- in the middle of Canova’s lawsuit-- but says it’s lawful because the office made high-quality electronic copies. Canova’s legal team found out after the fact last month.“The documents were not destroyed because they were maintained in an electronic format,” Snipes’ attorney, Burnadette Norris-Weeks, told Politico. “They have the documents... They did a two-day inspection of the ballots.”But Canova, a Nova Southeastern University law professor, and his attorney say they wanted originals to make sure they weren’t tampered with. Digital copies can be altered, they said.Seven election-law lawyers interviewed by Politico do not share Snipes' attorney's interpretation of the statute. Nor does the Department of Justice’s voting division, which is in charge of enforcing the federal law.“If it’s a federal election, i.e., there is at least one federal candidate on the ballot, the custodian must keep the ballots for 22 months,” Brett Kappel, a Washington lawyer with Akerman LLP, said in an email to Politico. “State law may require a shorter time for retention, but federal law would pre-empt any such state law with regard to ballots cast for federal candidates.”Kappel said evidence in an active court case should never be unilaterally destroyed. He said actual paper ballots are superior to imaged copies, and he pointed to the legal wrangling over Florida’s now-discarded punch-card ballots that were banned after the disputed 2000 presidential elections in Florida....Hans von Spakovsky, an elections expert with the conservative Heritage Foundation, said the ballots must be preserved in paper form for 22 months. He said there’s a simple reason that original ballots are superior to an electronic image: “These electronic systems can be hacked.”According to Snipes’ office, however, the ballot copies are of high quality for a review. Her attorney also dismissed Canova as a sore loser who’s trying to create a name for himself as he challenges Wasserman Schultz a second time.“Mr. Canova [...]



Trump Deserves No Loyalty-- Quite The Opposite

Sat, 16 Dec 2017 14:00:00 +0000

Michael Gerson, Bush's chief speech-write and a self-described "pro-life conservative," got it right at the Washington Post yesterday, when he described his elation at the defeat of Roy Moore and the election of Doug Jones in Alabama. "Trump and his admirers," he wrote, "are not just putting forth an agenda; they are littering the civic arena with deception and cruelty. They are discrediting even the good causes they claim to care about. They are condemning the country to durable social division. In Trump’s GOP, loyalty requires corruption. So loyalty itself must be reconceived." What would weaken the grip of Trump on the GOP? Obviously not moral considerations. The president has crossed line after line of decency and ethics with only scattered Republican bleats of protest. Most of the party remains in complicit silence. The few elected officials who have broken with Trump have become targets of the conservative media complex-- savaged as an example to the others.This is the sad logic of Republican politics today: The only way that elected Republicans will abandon Trump is if they see it as in their self-interest. And the only way they will believe it is in their self-interest is to watch a considerable number of their fellow Republicans lose.It is necessary to look these facts full in the face. In the end, the restoration of the Republican Party will require Republicans to lose elections. It will require Republican voters-- as in Alabama and (to some extent) Virginia-- to sit out, write in or even vote Democratic in races involving pro-Trump Republicans. It may require Republicans to lose control of the House (now very plausible) and to lose control of the Senate (still unlikely). It will certainly require Trump to lose control of the presidency. In the near term, this is what victory for Republicans will look like: strategic defeat. Recovery will be found only on the other side of loss.Even if moral arguments do not suffice, the political ones are compelling. Trump and his allies are solidifying the support of rural, blue-collar and evangelical Christian whites at the expense of alienating minorities, women, suburbanites and the young. This is a foolish bargain, destroying the moral and political standing of the Republican Party, which seems complicit in its own decline. It falls to Republican voters to end this complicity....In GOP losses such as the Alabama Senate race, it is not rogue Republican voters (or non-voters) who are at fault. It is the blind ideologues who gave them an impossible choice. Similarly, if Republicans lose the House, the Senate, the presidency and (for a time) the country-- and incur some policy losses in the process-- Trump’s Republican opponents will not be to blame. It would be Trump and his supporters, who turned the Republican Party into a sleazy, derelict fun house, unsafe for children, women and minorities.A healthy, responsible, appealing GOP can be built only on the ruins of this one.Such political disloyalty to the president is now the substance of true loyalty to the Republican Party-- and reason enough to welcome Sen. Jones with cheerful relief.Sounds like he's no fan of Steve Bannon, but before we get to Bannon, let's take a little detour over to Harry Enten at FiveThirtyEight and the mathematics that show an anti-Trump/anti-GOP wave forming. The Alabama debacle for the GOP wasn't just because of what a terrible candidate Moore was, but "part of a larger pattern we’ve seen in special elections so far this year, one in which Democrats have greatly outperformed expectations." He wrote that the Democratic margin in the 70 special elections for state and federal legislative seats in 2017 has been 12 percentage points better, on average, than the partisan lean in each race. "Democrats are doing better in all types of districts with all types of candidates. You don’t see this type of consistent outperformance unless th[...]



Midnight Meme Of The Day!

Sat, 16 Dec 2017 08:01:00 +0000

-by Noah

When FDR's funeral train was making its way to his final resting place in Hyde Park, NY, a man who politicians like to refer to as an "ordinary American," famously said "I didn't know him, but FDR knew me." Judging the FDR quote in today's meme, FDR knew scum like Donald Trump and Paul Ryan, too, even though he never met them.




#MeToo Caught Up With Itself Today... In Kansas

Sat, 16 Dec 2017 05:00:00 +0000

Pelosi's closeted DCCC chair demands purity, but not due processYesterday, repulsive Texas sex predator, Blake Farenthold, finally felt enough pressure-- both from his district and from his congressional colleagues-- to raise the white flag and announce his retirement from Congress. Obviously, he should resign at once, the way Trent Franks was forced to do last week. Ryan and NRCC chair Steve Stivers repeatedly told Farenthold to resign. Pig man still insists he's not guilty; his excuse: "I'd never served in office before. I had no idea how to run a congressional office. And as a result, I allowed a workplace culture to take root in my office that was too permissive and decidedly unprofessional. I understand fully that this issue has become a political distraction and I would be forced to engage in a monthlong campaign for personal vindication. Quite simply, my constituents deserve better... Therefore I'm announcing my decision not to run for re-election... It accommodated destructive gossip, offhand comments, off-color jokes and behavior that in general was less than professional. And I allowed the personal stress of the job to manifest itself in angry outbursts and too often a failure to treat people with the respect they deserved. That was wrong." Too bad he didn't wear his ducky pjs when he made this pathetic video, a classic case of denial and typical patriarchal, conservative misleading: allow="encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" gesture="media" height="255" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/BoB5kM0lxJY" width="420">Next up: Wyoming's Secretary of State-- and, until today, a probably candidate for governor-- Republican Ed Murray, sexually assaulted a young female intern, Tatiana Maxwell, in his law office. Maxwell said in a Facebook post Monday that she was working at Dray, Madison and Thomson during the summer after she graduated from high school in Cheyenne. She said Murray was five years older than her and had taken a job at the firm after recently graduating from law school.“He was older, handsome and from an old Cheyenne family but I didn’t really know him,” she wrote.According to Maxwell, Murray invited her to meet him at the office after working hours and said she sat with him in the reception area of the law office. She recalled there being Domino’s pizza and beer.She said that Murray put his hands on her and attempted to kiss her but that she resisted, told him she was a virgin and stopped him from taking off her pants.“Ed wrestled me down to the carpet in front of the receptionist desk, opened his pants, lifted up my blouse and ejaculated on my stomach,” Maxwell wrote. “I was disgusted and horrified.”Murray (R-Denial): "This baseless claim about an encounter from thirty-five years ago is unequivocally false. There is no basis to this falsehood whatsoever and it is deeply hurtful to me and to my family, as well as to everyone I serve." (Maybe we'll find his body on a bridge tomorrow after he blows out his brains.)And that brings us to one of the worst stories of Thermidorian Reaction yet-- the DCCC's conservative corporate recruit to run against Republican Kevin Yoder, Andrea Ramsey. KS-03 (all of the Kansas part of Kansas City plus all of suburban Johnson and Wyandotte counties and part of rural Miami County) is a swingy district that Trump lost to Hillary 47.2% to 46.0%. The DCCC ran one of their terrible GOP-lite candidates, Jay Sidie, and he lost in a rout. He's running again, but the DCCC found another Republican-lite corporate shill instead, Andrea Ramsey. Maybe-- just maybe-- the DCCC should have been paying attention when Bernie won every district in Kansas, including KS-03, where he beat Hillary 62.1% to 37.9%. Maybe that indicates what Kansans what in their candidates. Maybe? And EMILY's List candidate Andrea Ramsey isn't that. No worries, though. S[...]



The Terror Strikes Again-- Suicide In Kentuckiana

Sat, 16 Dec 2017 02:00:00 +0000

allow="encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" gesture="media" height="255" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Pht6zv5aSKw" width="420">The other night, I was at a political fundraiser and some vanity candidate in another race in another state crashed the event. One of her supporters who came with her told me that another candidate in the primary race is a womanizer and strongly insinuated he harasses women. They apparently have every intention of destroying this guy's career, although he has already accomplished significant things and she... as far as I can tell, hasn't accomplished anything at all in the public sphere, nothing bad, nothing good... nothing at all. Vanity candidates are the strangest bunch. I Need to do a post about them. But that isn't what we're talking about tonight.Instead we're here to note the passing of Dan "Danny Ray" Johnson, an evangelical minister and a crooked Republican racist state Rep. from the Knobs (Bullitt County, just south of Louisville). He narrowly won the seat against a Democratic incumbent, Linda Belcher, last year in the Trump landslide in Kentucky. He won by 156 votes, less than 1%. He shot himself Wednesday evening after being accused on Monday of of having molested a member of his church in 2012 when she was 17 years old. He refused to resign, insisting the allegations were false. Suicide followed.In this lynch mob climate it doesn't matter if the allegations are false. Just that someone is accused is enough. A Republican pastor in Kentucky? If I had to bet, I'd bet he was guilty. And isn't a little due process in order? Even for a Republican pastor in Kentucky? Bullitt County Sheriff Donnie Tinnell says Johnson drove to the bridge over the Salt River on Greenwell Ford Road in Mt. Washington, parked on the north side of it and shot himself in front of his car.His body was found on the bank of the river, just past the bridge.Just before 5 p.m. Wednesday, Johnson posted the following message on his Facebook page: The accusations from NPR are false GOD and only GOD knows the truth, nothing is the way they make it out to be. AMERICA will not survive this type of judge and jury fake news . Conservatives take a stand. I LOVE GOD and I LOVE MY WIFE, who is the best WIFE in the world,My Love Forever ! My Mom and Dad my FAMILY and all five of my kids and Nine grandchildren two in tummies and many more to come each of you or a total gift from GOD stay strong, REBECCA needs YOU . 9-11-2001 NYC/WTC, PTSD 24/7 16 years is a sickness that will take my life, I cannot handle it any longer. IT Has Won This Life . BUT HEAVEN IS MY HOME. “PLEASE LISTEN CLOSELY, Only Three things I ask of you to do,if you love me is (1)blame no person,Satan is the accuser, so blame the Devil himself. (2) Forgive and Love everyone especially yourself .(3)most importantly LOVE GOD. P.S. I LOVE MY FRIENDS YOU ARE FAMILY ! GOD LOVES ALL PEOPLE NO MATTER WHAT !The coroner said police were alerted after someone saw the Facebook post. Officers then pinged Johnson's phone and found his body.On Tuesday, Johnson held a press conference at his church on Bardstown Road, where he denied the molestation allegations. According to court documents obtained by the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting, the alleged molestation took place on New Year's Eve in 2012. The alleged victim, who was 17 at the time, told authorities that she was staying in a living area of the Heart of Fire City Church where Johnson was pastor, when Johnson, who had been drinking a lot, approached her, kissed her and fondled her under her clothes....Jeff Hoover, the former Kentucky Speaker of the House who resigned after sexual assault allegations, also tweeted a statement Wednesday night:And now his wife wants to run for his seat. She's mad as hell: "These high-tech lynchings and half[...]



Derek Cressman For State Senate-- Guest Post

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 22:00:00 +0000

Derek Cressman, a veteran of the voting rights movement best known for his work to overturn Citizens United with Common Cause, is challenging incumbent Democratic state senator Richard Pan. Only three senate Democrats have a higher ranking by the California Chamber of Commerce than Pan, one of the most conservative Dems in the California legislature. Those three, Cathleen Galgiani, Steve Glazer, and Richard Roth, come from districts more conservative than Pan’s deep blue Senate District 6, which has more Bernie voters than Republicans. This arguably makes Pan the Democrat most out of sync with his district in the entire California legislature. Pan, a physician who was elected with massive financial support from the California Medical Association and the pharmaceutical industry, is one of just three faux-Democrats in the Senate who have not supported single-payer healthcare.This greater-Sacramento region district sent two Democrats to the November general election in 2014 and the prospects are good for that again in 2018, setting up a showdown between a progressive Dem and one who relies upon corporate money in a real test for the new leadership of the California Democratic Party. State Democrats will decide early next year whether to endorse a candidate who will champion the party’s platform of single-payer healthcare, or stick with an old boys’ network that circles the wagons around incumbents who undermine the party’s principles. Read Derek’s guest post below and check out his website at www.DerekCressman.com. You can donate to his campaign by tapping on the legislative elections thermometer on the right.California Democrats Must Stand for Single-Payer Healthcare-by Derek CressmanDemocrats in California have the power to enact a “Medicare for All” style of healthcare reform that would eliminate wasteful profiteering by private health insurance firms and provide basic healthcare to every Californian. Unlike at the federal level, where Senator Kamala Harris has joined Bernie Sanders and others to stake out a righteous policy position by co-sponsoring federal legislation only to be blocked by Republicans, our state legislature, which has a two-thirds democratic majority, could actually make it happen.First off, it’s the right thing to do. If your house is threatened by wildfires, firefighters arrive within minutes with an implicit message that they are from the government and they are here to help. Even stingy conservatives are happy to pay for this important public service with our tax dollars because it’s the most efficient way to protect everyone. Yet if you are struck with a heart attack or cancer, you get help only if you can produce an insurance card and shell out big money for co-pays and deductibles. As the most prosperous society in history, California can and should meet our moral obligation to care for one another in the most cost-efficient way possible—government provided health insurance for everyone. Private health insurance companies add little value to our economy but exact huge costs with wasteful profiteering and outrageous CEO salaries. We know government provided insurance works from Medicare and Medi-Cal. In fact, the government is already providing funds for 71% of healthcare costs in California. It would be better, and ultimately cheaper, to bring that up to 100%.Secondly, it’s imperative that Democrats strengthen trust with voters by standing firm on our beliefs. The California Democratic Party platform calls for “legislation to create and implement a publicly funded (single-payer), privately delivered, fiscally tractable, affordable, comprehensive, secure, high-quality, efficient, and sustainable healthcare system for all Californians.” But our overwhelmingly Democratic legislature has refused to enact [...]



The Iowa Pendulum Is Ready For Another Swing Back Into Blue Territory

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 18:00:00 +0000

The Des Moines Register released a new Iowa Poll that bears out what many are taking away from the incredible surge in support for Democrats in beet red Alabama this week. Iowa is a purple swing state that had swung very blue in recent years-- and then swung back. Obama beat McCain in 2008, 828,940 (54%) to 682,379 (44%) and beat Romney in 2012, 822,544 (525) to 730,617 (46%). Last year however, Hillary gave up on Iowa early and didn't give Trump a real contest in the state, which backed him 800,983 (51.15%) to 653,669 (41.74%). The state PVI is now R+3 and each of the state's 4 congressional districts look-- at least out the rear view mirror-- redder than ever. Here are the PVI changes from 2015 to 2017: • IA-02- Rod Blum (R)- D+5 to D+1• IA-02- Dave Lobsack (D)- D+4 to D+1• IA-03- David Young (R)- Even to R+1• IA-04- Steve King (R)- R+5 to R+11It looks scary, right? Looks can be deceptive and in Iowa's case, they definitely are. First of all, Iowans are over Trump. Other than with brainwashed evangelicals, he's pretty much toast there. Bottom line: Iowans believe the country’s headed in the wrong direction and that Trump isn’t doing a good job. Sixty percent of respondents to this month’s Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa Poll say the United States has gotten off on the wrong track, and 60 percent likewise disapprove of the job Trump, a Republican, is doing as president.“It just seems like it’s one big mess,” said poll respondent Nick Ford, a Navy veteran and businessman from Cedar Rapids.Ford, a 49-year-old political independent, lamented the “general craziness” of the country’s political arena and the “unprofessionalism” he sees in the White House.The president, he said, “seems overwhelmed by the task. I didn’t vote for him, but I was hoping some things would change. I don’t think anything’s really changed-- for the better, anyway.”Trump’s 35-percent job approval rating marks a sharp decline from earlier this year in Iowa. In the July Iowa Poll, 43 percent of respondents approved of Trump’s effort, while 52 percent disapproved, a differential of 9 percentage points. Now, he’s 25 points under water....Sixty-nine percent of women, 68 percent of Iowans making less than $50,000 a year, 67 percent of city-dwellers and 62 percent of independents disapprove of his performance.“He’s not really a leader,” said Diana Fern, 56, a homebirth midwife from Fairfield. “Because he doesn’t have experience, he’s not really leading. I feel like he’s reacting to situations, and he hasn’t really stated a clear vision. And I think his integrity is in question.”Fern described herself as a political independent, but said she favors female candidates and more often votes Democratic than Republican.Across all the demographics recorded in the poll, just two show a majority approving of Trump: Republicans, at 78 percent, and evangelical Christians, at 51 percent....Iowans’ concerns about the direction of the country are even less optimistic than their views on Trump: Just 29 percent say the country is headed in the right direction.That view is consistent across Iowans of different ages, incomes and locations. The only outlier is political affiliation: 62 percent of Republicans see the U.S. headed in the right direction, against 25 percent who say it’s on the wrong track.Among independents, views are almost exactly the opposite: 26 percent say the U.S. is on the right track against 63 percent who say it’s on the wrong track.After a wild 2017 that saw Trump take office, bruising congressional fights over health care and taxes, an ongoing investigation into Russian election meddling and, in recent weeks, rising attention on sexual harassment, a strong majority of Iowans say they[...]



Ajit Pi Alone Can't Kill Net Neutrality-- It Takes A Village... A Corrupt Conservative Village

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 14:00:00 +0000

allow="encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" gesture="media" height="255" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/79nQqqbrXxg" width="420">Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggioOur nation turns its lonely eyes to youWu wu wuWhat's that you say, Mrs. RobinsonJolting Joe has left and gone awayHey, hey, hey, hey, hey, heyActually it's Lyin' Ryan who's gone away... or, at least, going away. And he's leaving behind the mess over net neutrality. "Oh, but it isn't Ryan's mess," you claim. It;'s just that horrid, slimeball lobbyist Ajit Pai. Pai, a former" Verizon lobbyist, was just doing his job, clearly for his "former" employer. It's Ryan who isn't doing his job, if you consider the people in southeast Wisconsin his employer. We'll get to that in a second. First a little update from Tom McKay at Gizmodo. On Thursday, the Republican-dominated Federal Communications Commission and its chairman, Verizon BFF Ajit Pai, will hold a vote on whether to repeal Barack Obama-era net neutrality rules. If passed, the FCC would allow ISPs to begin setting up a tiered internet designed to suck as much money from customers’ pockets as possible while screwing with their ability to access competitors’ content, or really anything that might suck up amounts of bandwidth inconvenient for their profit margins.The plan is immensely unpopular, even with Republicans. This type of situation would typically call for a charm offensive, though Pai has apparently decided to resort to his time-honored tactic of being incredibly condescending instead. In a video with the conservative site Daily Caller’s Benny Johnson [above]-- the dude who got fired from BuzzFeed for plagiarizing Yahoo Answers-- Pai urged the country to understand that even if he succeeds in his plan to let ISPs strangle the rest of the internet to death, they’ll let us continue to take selfies and other stupid bullshit....All of these claims on what users “will still be able to do” are actually questionable, seeing as under Pai’s plan, ISPs could easily hit up their customers with crushing fees to let them access any of these services at reasonable speeds-- particularly those binge-watching streaming services he claims to love so much. Strangely, Pai didn’t mention torrenting, one of the applications of the internet he believes ISPs should be able to turn off entirely to save on bandwidth.The debate over net neutrality isn’t whether people are literally going to be unable to upload photos of cute puppies to the internet, but whether they’re going to be able to do so on fair terms or arcane, extortionate ones dictated entirely by a handful of ultra-wealthy service providers. But that’s beside the point; just like with a previous video mocking Twitter critics he filmed with the right-wing site Independent Journal Review, the intent seems to be finding friendly last-minute venues for Pai to publicly laugh off the intense criticism being directed at his plan.He’s trying to buy precious cover by painting everyone who disagrees with him as a simple-minded idiot.Beto O'Rourke, an ardent defender of net neutrality, is running for the Texas Senate seat held by the odious Ted Cruz, a fanatic anti-neutrality backer. He's been working on a bill and so has Sean Patrick Maloney. But no one is deluded into thinking Ryan-- who has taken oodles of cash from the telecomms; this cycle $59,195, more than anyone else in Congress other than Greg Walden (R-OR), chairman of the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology ($105,100). allow="encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" gesture="media" height="255" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/1rYuMqXwleU" width="420">Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), everyone's favorite congresswoman, also emphasized that "thi[...]



Midnight Meme Of The Day!

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 08:01:00 +0000

-by Noah

This meme should be made into stickers that we can place everywhere, and I mean everywhere. I imagine them plastered to the hallway, office, and bathroom walls of the White House, just in case there are any women who work there who would actually object to being grabbed by Señor Trumpanzee or one of his sons. It should become the White House equivalent of that "what to do for a choking victim" poster we see in restaurants. I'd also like to see it plastered all over and all around any Trump hotels, casinos, etc. We could even affix them to those huge dump trucks they use as barricades at Trump Tower here in NYC.

I realize the print instructions are small, but if someone printed the sticker up to bumper sticker size, that should suffice. Certainly the visual depicts what to do, but, if you, like me, have a little trouble reading the small print, here are the steps to take to protect yourself. Keep in mind that, given his reported diet, Trump's breath and body odor is probably so awful that you may faint before you can act. Best not to be in Trump's proximately anyway.

Step 1: Don't panic. Swerve to the right wile breaking perpetrator's tiny fingers. I would add that you can probably go for a full elbow dislocation fairly easily.

Step 2: Follow with a knee to the groin. Precision is required due to small target area. Hell, at this point, he's probably got a roll of protective blubber covering up his genitals. And, why do you think he wears such long ties?

Step 3: Spray attacker in the eyes with his own aerosol hair spray. I suggest that, if his hairspray is not readily available, you should look for his spray tan or just grab a can of his always present diet coke, shake it up and pop the tab.




Let's Forget About Trump For A Moment And Think About Otto

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 05:00:00 +0000

Harvey Meets The Resistance by Nancy OhanianYou may not think this is funny-- and you may be pissed because I'm not going to name any names-- but I'm going to muse a little on the guys I know who are getting busted for predatory behavior. I live in L.A, and have worked in the entertainment business (and in politics) for long enough so that it was inevitable that I'd know some of these creeps. And I don't mean having had an experience or two with them. I mean really knowing them. (Yeah, Warners had a corporate jet and I once shared a flight with Harvey Weinstein. But I don't recall ever saying anything more than "hi" to him, either on the flight or in the studio's executive dining room. That's not what I mean.)What I mean is when a major scandal broke about one entertainment top name I had to recall that I knew him when he was just a kid and I figured out exactly why he thought he could get away with using his power inside the power dynamic to prey on women. He managed a band, wanted a deal and a predatory monster executive showed him-- still a teenager at the time-- how it's done: "You want your band signed, bend over... here's the lube." Poor kid, it must've traumatized him and-- decades later-- he was pulling the same crap on your women looking to get ahead in the biz.Today my phone lit up and I must have had at least a dozen messages about an old friend of mine-- let's call him Fred-- whose name was splashed across the headlines for being a pig. I've known him since he was in college. I still think of him, fondly, as a kid. But a pig, first and foremost, a pig I don't stay in touch with much either. Do you want to play around with a pig? The first time I met him, I was managing a band and he was the chairman of his school's concert committee and booked the band. After the show, I wandered over to the box office and he was stuffing cash into his pocket. That was late 70's. He hasn't changed, although his field of activities has gotten way bigger.So, many years ago, I met this guy, Otto-- totally my... um, type. At least for a date. I wasn't his type at all. He was basically straight. But... it was late at night and he had no place to stay and it was cold and... one thing led to another. He never admitted he was gay but was sort of my on-again-off-again-on-again boyfriend for the better part of a decade. Otto was a smart guy... very, very smart-- an actual chess master in fact. But he got off to a bad start in life. Half German, half Japanese, he was recruited by a gang when he was 12 and he shot two policemen. The gangs used very young kids like that because the kids would get off easy. Otto had a rough few years but he didn't get the electric chair or even a real prison sentence and by the time he was 21 he was given a "fresh start" in life. Except whenever he did something wrong-- which he did-- they would throw the book at him. I used to send him chess sets to whichever prison he wound up in.Anyway, one day, we were backstage at a Prince concert-- or maybe in was a Bangles concert that Prince was playing at as a surprise guest or something. It doesn't matter. Fred was working for the promoter and he was backstage too. No one else was around and he came over and started insinuating Otto was gay. He didn't understand that Otto could have killed him. Fortunately he didn't, but he did set his pants on fire. Bad, Otto! Bad, bad, bad. Fred thought putting Otto down wasn't like a "real world" thing-- just words-- and was totally shocked when the response was very "real world"-- being set on fire. Poor, Fred... recently, ladies who worked for him came forward with some pretty sordid stories that are laying his life's book open now. He's [...]



Marianne Williamson's Love America Tour

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 02:00:00 +0000

allow="encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" gesture="media" height="255" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/3iknxhy8E_k" width="420">Our old friend and comrade in arms, Marianne Williamson, is starting a tour of the U.S. in which she'll be-- among other things-- introducing some of the Blue America candidates to her followers. She's just setting the dates now. In fact this morning she started working with Kaniela Ing to set up an event in Honolulu. So far though, these are the set dates: • Richmond Virginia, Huguenot High School Auditorium- Saturday, January 6, 2pm• Winston-Salem, Benton Convention Center- Sunday, January 7, 4pm with Jenny Marshall• Houston, Texas, Unity of Houston- Thursday, January 11, 7:30 pm• Austin, Wyndham Garden Hotel- Friday, January 12, 7:30 pm with Derrick Crowe• Las Vegas, Center for Spiritual Living- Saturday, January 20, 7pm• Miami, Unity of the Bay- Friday, March 2, 6pm• Phoenix, Unity of Phoenix Spiritual Center- Friday, March 16, 7:30pm• Raleigh, Unity Church- Friday, March 31, 7pm• Denver, Mile Hi Church- April 20, 7pmJenny Marshall, in a touch battle with far right incumbent Virginia Foxx in North Carolina, has been getting tremendous help from Marianne. "We are thrilled," she told us, "to have the help of Marianne as we fight for change in the 5th district. Since meeting Marianne back in June, she has shown us unwavering support.  We were thrilled to be included in the Sister Giant slate of endorsed candidates and now Marianne is coming to North Carolina as our special guest for a fundraiser.  The event is called Ignite the Change NC with Marianne Williamson.  It will take place on January 7th, 2018 at the Benton Convention Center 301 West 5th Street Winston-Salem, NC 27101.  We are hosting a private reception from 3:00-4:00pm for select ticket holders. the main event will be from from 4:00-6:00pm. Tickets can be purchased at this link.Inviting her followers, Marianne noted that "The times in which we’re living are dramatic and unstable, yet pregnant with new possibilities for a future released from the shackles of fear. At a time when fear and hatred have been turned into a political force, is it possible to harness the powers of love and decency for political purposes as well?" And she has an answer: Our task is to create a new, whole-person politics, breaking free of a paradigm based on a decidedly outdated view of the world and embracing a more enlightened understanding of our relation to the universe. We need a deeper, multi-dimensional understanding of our national story: where we have been, where we are, and where we need to go now.As with other extraordinary times in our history-- from our Founding to Abolition to Women’s Suffrage to the Civil Rights era-- it is time once again to break free of an old way of being and embrace a new story going forward. As in the words of Abraham Lincoln, “… we must think anew, and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country.”I will be touring the country this year, discussing how a revolution in consciousness paves the way to both personal and national renewal. In the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., “Our goal is to create a beloved community and this will require a qualitative change in our souls as well as a quantitative change in our lives.”This just came in as an email from Marianne as we were about to publish. And just as David Feldman was telling me that Derrick Crowe (TX-21) was the most effective guest I had gotten him for his podcast: [...]



Odious Wisconsin Granny Starver Retiring-- Too Late For GOP Incumbents Bracing For A Tsunami?

Thu, 14 Dec 2017 22:00:00 +0000

Every Beltway insider who read the DWT predictions for the last couple of months-- once I started seeing the WI-01 internal polling numbers-- that Ryan would retire, rolled their eyes. Then, today, Tim Alberta and Rachel Bade went with the story at Politico-Pro: Paul Ryan Sees His Wild Washington Journey Coming To An End.Last night I was at a fundraiser here in L.A. for Kaniela Ing. Kaniela told his life story and how that story turned him into a progressive. While he was telling it-- he came from a modest background and his father passed away when he was young and he was dependent on a then-strong social safety net to make it and, in his case, escape from the pineapple fields. Except for the part about the pineapple fields--and the conclusion-- it's almost the same as Paul Ryan's life story. But Kaniela internalized the struggle and decided to devote his career to helping others struggling the same way he ands family struggled. Ryan took a different approach, working tirelessly, after reading and internalizing Ayn Rand's simplistic adolescent novels, to pull up the ladder behind him and shred the social safety net that helped him escape from poverty.Ryan's Tax Scam was carefully written to eventually end what's left of the New Deal and completely shred what remains of the social safety net, which, he has said many times, makes people lazy. Alberta and Bade were more generous about how they phrased it: "Having spent a quarter-century in Washington-- as an intern, waiter, junior think-tanker, Hill staffer and, since 1999, as a member of Congress-- he had never wavered in his obsession with fixing what he viewed as the nation’s two fundamental weaknesses: its Byzantine tax system and ballooning entitlement state... The speaker has since gone public with this aspiration, suggesting that 2018 should be the year Washington finally tackles what he sees as the systemic problems with Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid." Tinkering with the social safety net is a bold undertaking, particularly in an election year. But Ryan has good reason for throwing caution to the wind: His time in Congress is running short.Despite several landmark legislative wins this year, and a better-than-expected relationship with President Donald Trump, Ryan has made it known to some of his closest confidants that this will be his final term as speaker. He consults a small crew of family, friends and staff for career advice, and is always cautious not to telegraph his political maneuvers. But the expectation of his impending departure has escaped the hushed confines of Ryan’s inner circle and permeated the upper-most echelons of the GOP. In recent interviews with three dozen people who know the speaker-- fellow lawmakers, congressional and administration aides, conservative intellectuals and Republican lobbyists-- not a single person believed Ryan will stay in Congress past 2018....He would like to serve through Election Day 2018 and retire ahead of the next Congress. This would give Ryan a final legislative year to chase his second white whale, entitlement reform, while using his unrivaled fundraising prowess to help protect the House majority-- all with the benefit of averting an ugly internecine power struggle during election season. Ryan has never loved the job; he oozes aggravation when discussing intra-party debates over “micro-tactics," and friends say he feels like he’s running a daycare center. On a personal level, going home at the end of next year would allow Ryan, who turns 48 next month, to keep promises to family; his three children are in or entering their teenage years, and Ryan, whose father died a[...]



Campaigning On A Guaranteed Jobs Program Makes Sense-- And More Candidates Are Catching On, Although The DCCC Has Never Heard Of The Idea

Thu, 14 Dec 2017 18:00:00 +0000

allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="260" mozallowfullscreen="" src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/83813741" webkitallowfullscreen="" width="420">The Guaranteed Income (UBI) proposals floating around, courtesy of the Silicon Valley aristocracy, is a dangerous trap, fraught with right-wing austerity dangers. Progressives who have put any time into it are far more interested in the Job Guarantee models, as we discussed here on Tuesday. In fact, if you missed Pavlina Tcherneva's explanatory video of JG, I've posted it again (just above).Progressive candidates need to shut down the Pavlovian impulse to repeat Peterson’s talking points because, let's face it, there is no progressive agenda in a deficit-neutral world-- and, even if liberals aren't, the Peterson people are very aware of that, exquisitely so. Candidates who accidentally reinforce the idea that everything must be "paid for" in a deficit-neutral way are falling into a trap and killing the progressive agenda and any semblance of the kind of bold game-changing actions that will shake up the status quo. Several of the Blue America candidates have already been campaigning on Job Guarantee as part of their platforms. Dan Canon (IN-09), for example, has this up on his campaign website: A guaranteed public-jobs program that provides meaningful work to those who are willing and able to take it, primarily in rebuilding and improving American roads, bridges, public transportation, energy grids, rural broadband access, and in environmental cleanup/preservation; ultimately the program would aim to result in 100% (voluntary) employment over time.When I spoke with him yesterday, he told me that "Ultimately, I think we're going to have to come up with some kind of solution to the massive job drain that we are about to face due to the rise of automation. I don't hear very many politicians talking about this, but it's a huge concern. We're looking at millions of over-the-road trucker jobs disappearing overnight, probably within the next 5 years. This is a problem that we need to get out ahead of, and a guaranteed job program is one possible solution that we need to consider. The added benefit is that it allows us to make much-needed investments in our crumbling infrastructure; we could put people who want good-paying jobs to work rebuilding roads, bridges, and water systems, and expanding broadband access. Even if you're terrified of deficit spending, it's hard to see this as a losing proposition, since you're investing directly in the working-class and in America's infrastructure, and those investments will pay dividends for the economy over the long haul."And Tim Canova, who's in a tight race with crooked New Dem Debbie Wasserman Schultz in South Florida has been a supporter of a federal job guarantee for many years." He told me that "In the 1990s, at the National Jobs For All Coalition, we called for this approach. The need for a federal job guarantee has been even greater since the 2008 financial collapse and the trickle down recovery that has followed. New Deal public works programs helped build so much of the country’s infrastructure while providing hope and dignity to millions of people. Today there are millions of Americans, particularly among our youth, who are unemployed or underemployed in bad part time jobs. We need to provide them with opportunities in public jobs programs, building our crumbling infrastructure, in conservation projects, and in service to others. This is a big part of our agenda."But not every candidate feels they can campaign on the issue. One guy we're still vetting told me that h[...]



Can A Progressive Former Marine Colonel Disloge Republican Crook Darrell Issa?

Thu, 14 Dec 2017 14:00:00 +0000

allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="253" src="//embed.crooksandliars.com/embed/aKJTj8sf" width="420">The slimiest of California's "Democratic" political consultants, slate vendor and ping-pong player Parke Skelton, is being paid a great deal of money to undermine Doug Applegate, in effect, guaranteeing that Darrell Issa retains his seat. I don't know exactly who's paying him but first, let's look at a little background. Issa, a former car thief and the richest member of Congress, was first elected in 2000. Currently his district spans northern San Diego County and coastal southern Orange County, from a thin strip of coastline in the northern reaches of La Jolla up through most of UC, through Torrey Pines, Del Mar, Solana Beach, Encinitas and Carlsbad up along the 5 Freeway to Oceanside, right through Camp Pendleton to San Clemente, Dana Point, San Juan Capistrano and Ladera Ranch. CA 49 meets Rohrabacher's district, CA-48, at Three Arch Bay. In 2015 the district's PVI was R+4. Obama had managed to scrape out a 50-49% win over McCain but lost to Romney 52-46%. Last year the residents were horrified by the loutish Trump and Hillary won 50.7% to 43.2%. The PVI is now a more electorally attractive R+1.The DCCC had never been remotely interested in challenging Issa and has studiously avoided the district. In 2014 the candidate was Dave Peiser and Issa creamed him 98,161 (60.2%) to 64,981 (39.8%) a race that saw Issa spending $1,749,467 to Peiser's $85,321. The DCCC spent zero, as usual. But last year a remarkable candidate jumped in against Issa, former Marine Colonel Doug Applegate. The DCCC ignored, ignored, ignored... until Applegate started raising some real money and making some significant headway in the polls. The DCCC kept waiting and watching and making nice noises about Applegate. When he was within a few polling points of Issa, a couple of months before the election, the DCCC jumped into the race-- too little too late. Issa raised $2,854,882 but panicked and dug deep, spending a gargantuan $6,275,754 to Applegate's 2,041,091. The DCCC + Pelosi's Super PAC bought about $3.5 in broadcast spots, primarily to enrich consultants/staffers from their inner circle. It was the year's last election called because it was so close, but in the end Issa won 155,888 (50.3%) to 154,267 (49.7%).2 of Skelton's in-it-for-the-money conservaDem clients, Schiff and LevinApplegate and his grassroots army of supporters decided early to finish what they had started and defeat Issa in 2018. However several multimillionaires have other ideas, thinking it looked so easy. One Pelosi crony who never lifted a finger to defeat Issa, a transplanted failed politician and fixer from Virginia, Ira Lechner, persuaded a friend of his, Mike Levin, to run. Members of Skeltons staff say it is Lechner who has been paying Skelton to undermine Applegate, primarily by having Levin run around with Issa's discredited opposition smears as though they were knew. Skelton specializes in seedy conservative clients and he's gotten a batch of them-- Blue Dog Adam Schiff, legislative conservaDems Tom Daly and charter school shill Laura Friedman, to endorse Levin. Without any honor whatsoever, Lying Levin has spread manure on Capitol Hill saying that Applegate has Domestic Violence baggage and more will come out. That’s apparently enough manure to have multiple congressional Representatives who are pawns of Skelton to refer to Applegate as a "wife beater." Court records clearly show that (1) no violence (or even threats of violence) allegations were ever made against Applegat[...]



Midnight Meme Of The Day!

Thu, 14 Dec 2017 08:01:00 +0000

-by Noah

Well, now that the horrid Alabama Senate race is over (more or less), and the Republican Party won't have its chosen wunderkind to swear in, it will be back to scary, sicko business as usual for the still Republican-controlled, McConnell-run Senate. The above cartoon got the election result wrong but it sure nailed everything else. And, now that Missy McConnell has announced that Doug Jones won't be sworn in just yet and the state of Alabama will drag its heals on certifying the election, that means that it will still be Republican incumbent Luther Strange casting a vote for whatever Trump's Repug Party wants and not Democrat Doug Jones. After all, they still want to ram their evil Tax Scam down our throats and start pocketing the money they'll get from their benefactors for that.

The Untied States Senate is still infested with 52 Republicans. That means that, when it comes to voting on the final version of the Tax Scam, 3 of them will have to vote with the Democrats and independents Angus King and Bernie Sanders on the side of decency and morality is this country isn't to go down the path of destruction. Who are those 3 who will step up, resist the pressure, and put country over party? Corker? He did it last time. Who else? 2 more. Who? Collins? Remember when McCain ran for president using the slogan "Country First? Flake? Who, if any of the 52, will find the guts to be real Americans? Who will decide that they don't want to go down in history as being living, breathing piles of shit?

Time to put the pressure on like never before.




'Tis a Fearful Thing To Love What Death Can Touch

Thu, 14 Dec 2017 05:00:00 +0000

allow="encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" gesture="media" height="255" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/mMUiRYoc76A" width="420">Judah Halevi-- first name also spelled Yehuda and second named sometimes spelled ha-Levi-- was an 12th Century Jewish philosopher and poet living in Spain. Among those who keep track of such things, he's considered one of the greatest Hebrew poets. There's even a statue of "him," in Toledo, although I suspect that was put up relatively recently. That's the statue next to the poem 'Tis A Fearful Thing.‘Tis a fearful thingto love what death can touch.A fearful thingto love, to hope, to dream, to be--to be,And oh, to lose.A thing for fools, this,And a holy thing,a holy thingto love.For your life has lived in me,your laugh once lifted me,your word was gift to me.



Guess Who 2017's Liar Of The Year Is

Thu, 14 Dec 2017 02:00:00 +0000

Trumpanzee so, so, so wanted to be Time's Man of the Year. But he wasn't. Instead he was, in effect, PolitiFact's Liar of the Year. Or, to be more precise, he told-- over and over and over-- the lie of the year. A mountain of evidence points to a single fact: Russia meddled in the U.S. presidential election of 2016.In both classified and public reports, U.S. intelligence agencies have said Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered actions to interfere with the election. Those actions included the cyber-theft of private data, the placement of propaganda against particular candidates, and an overall effort to undermine public faith in the U.S. democratic process.Members of Congress, both Democrats and Republicans, have held open and closed door hearings to probe Russia’s actions. The congressional investigations are ongoing.Facebook, Google and Twitter have investigated their own networks, and their executives have concluded-- in some cases after initial foot-dragging-- that Russia used the online platforms in attempts to influence the election.After all this, one man keeps saying it didn’t even happen."This Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story. It's an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should've won," said President Donald Trump in an interview with NBC’s Lester Holt in May....Trump continually asserts that Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election is fake news, a hoax or a made-up story, even though there is widespread, bipartisan evidence to the contrary.When the nation’s commander-in-chief refuses to acknowledge a threat to U.S. democracy, it makes it all the more difficult to address the problem. For this reason, we name Trump’s claim that the Russia interference is a hoax as our Lie of the Year for 2017.Readers of PolitiFact also chose the claim as the year's most significant falsehood by an overwhelming margin....Trump’s labeling of the Russia story as a hoax fits in with his pattern of dismissing critical coverage as "fake news." He’s used the term when he believes his administration doesn’t get complimentary coverage, such as hurricane cleanup in Puerto Rico, or even when his comments have been reported accurately, such as his remarks about white supremacists in Charlottesville, Va.Since the beginning of 2017, President Trump has publicly invoked the phrase "fake news" more than 170 times. Virtually every instance has been in response to critical news coverage.Trump has insisted there was no collusion between his campaign and Russia.And that will turn out to be the year's most consequential lie of all. Of course there was collusion-- massive collusion by Trump and his disgusting family and all the monstrosities around him... every single one of them.This Ted Lieu tweet would indicate, quite credibly, that Putin is still intering in U.S. domestic politics with complete impunity-- and at all times on behalf of the Trumpist Regime... and their goals. Writing yesterday for Business Insider Natasha Bertrand reported that a jailed Russian hacker testified he had hacked the Democrats under the command of Putin's FSB. A Russian hacker believed to be a member of a hacking collective called Lurk said in court over the summer that he was ordered by Russia's security services, known as the FSB, to hack the Democratic National Committee.The hacker, Konstantin Kozlovsky, told a Moscow court in August of this year that his nine-member hacking group-- which has been accused of stealing over $17 mill[...]



Zephyr Teachout Has A Practical Solution Rather Than A Gillibrand-Trump Type Lynch Mob

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 22:00:00 +0000

Trump is such a detestable excuse for a human being that his ugly criticism of Kirsten Gillibrand makes it impossible for even her harshest critics not to rally to her defense. On the other hand, nothing could have buoyed Gillibrand's opportunistic quest for the presidential nomination more than Trump's deranged and vicious tweet rage Tuesday morning. That said, a far better-- in every conceivable way-- New York political leader than Gillibrand or Trump will ever be, Zephyr Teachout, published an OpEd in Monday's NY Times, I'm Not Convinced Franken Should Quit, imparts both Trump and Gillibrand, each of whom is quite convinced Franken should, albeit for vastly different reasons. Like all progressives, Teachout is a backer of the #MeToo movement and wrote that "women are routinely demeaned, dismissed, discouraged and assaulted. Too many women’s careers are stymied or ended because of harassment and abuse. In politics, where I have worked much of my adult life, this behavior is rampant. I also believe in zero tolerance. And yet, a lot of women I know-- myself included-- were left with a sense that something went wrong last week with the effective ouster of Al Franken from the United States Senate. He resigned after a groundswell of his own Democratic colleagues called for him to step down." Keep in mind what Eugene Puryear said last week-- in part, "This moment is bigger than the Democrats or the Republicans, it is bigger than partisan politics. We are seeing truly mass steps towards an extremely necessary, critical, indispensable cultural change in this country. We need to fan the flames. The time to fight to take on (and hopefully crush) the patriarchy is now, women are fighting and leading, we need to join them not lament that some pissed off dudes are gonna vote next year." And now read Zephyr: Zero tolerance should go hand in hand with two other things: due process and proportionality. As citizens, we need a way to make sense of accusations that does not depend only on what we read or see in the news or on social media.Due process means a fair, full investigation, with a chance for the accused to respond. And proportionality means that while all forms of inappropriate sexual behavior should be addressed, the response should be based on the nature of the transgressions.Both were missing in the hasty call for Senator Franken’s resignation. Some might point out, rightly, that Congress doesn’t have good procedures for dealing with harassment accusations. In fact, the congressional process to date has gone something like this: Lift up the rug and sweep the accusations underneath. It’s delay, deny, pay hush money and avoid the consequences.Instead, here’s what a fair system might look like: Congress should empower an independent arbiter to investigate complaints-- like a Government Accountability Office, with trained experts in the field. Clearly understood mechanisms for reporting should be established. A timetable should be set that ensures complaints receive a prompt response. Both the accuser and the accused could submit questions and would have access to trained advocates and free legal consultation.The independent arbiter would then make a nonbinding proposal addressing what happened and what should be done. It could include a call to resign or for censure, or a range of other responses tailored to the findings.This isn’t just about Senator Franken. Other lawmakers have also been accused of harassment. We need a syst[...]



Everyone Agrees That Trump "Is Not Fit To Clean Toilets In The Obama Library"-- What Does The Alabama Election Tell Us About The Midterms?

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 18:00:00 +0000

Alabama's 4th congressional district-- it's whitest and most Appalachian district-- seat of dull right-wing backbencher Robert Aderholt, is likely to disappear after the next census. It's easily the reddest and most politically and socially backward part of Alabama-- cutting clear across the state from Mississippi (east of Tupelo) to Georgia northwest of Rome. There are no real cities, the biggest population center being Gadsden with 100,000 residents. Last November AL-04 gave Señor Trumpanzee his biggest margin in Alabama, 80.4% to 17.5% and Tuesday, it gave Roy Moore his biggest margin too-- 30.8% to 67.7%. What a hellhole! But even that was a 13.3% increased performance for Doug Jones over Hillary Clinton. As you can see from the map above, each of the Alabama congressional districts had significant performance increases from Clinton to Jones. The biggest increase was in Gary Palmer's 6th district-- suburban Birmingham and, by far, the wealthiest district in the state-- where the 2015 PVI of R+28 sent down to R+26, still the second reddest after the 4th but trending, ever so slightly, in the other direction. Trump won it with 70.8% last year. Moore with only 51.0%.The increased Democratic performance was 20.6%.Do you know what would happen to the GOP in next year's midterms if every Republican-held seat saw a 20 point performance increase from 2016's congressional race? First let's look at the 16 House candidates in GOP-held districts who have been endorsed so far by Blue America. • CA-49- Doug Applegate would beat Darrell Issa with 69%• WI-01- Randy Bryce would beat Paul Ryan with just over 50%• IN-09- Dan Cannon would beat Trey Hollingsworth with 60%• MI-06- Paul Clements would beat Fred Upton with 56%• TX-21- Derrick Crowe would beat whichever Republican they pick with 56%• IA-03- Austin Frerick would beat David Young with 60%• IL-13- David Gill would beat Rodney Davis with 60%• ME-02- Jared Golden would beat Bruce Poliquin with 65%• OK-05- Tom Guild would beat Steve Russell with 57% (Yes that OK stands for Oklahoma)• CA-25- Katie Hill would beat Steve Knight with 66%• CA-39- Sam Jammal would beat Ed Royce with 62%• PA-16- Jess King would beat Lloyd Smucker with 63%• NC-05- Jenny Marshall would beat Virginia Foxx with 61%• TX-32- Lillian Salerno would beat Pete Sessions but it isn't clear by what percentage since the DCCC didn't run a candidate against Sessions. Hillary did win the district though• KS-04- James Thompson would beat Ron Estes with 66% (using this year's special election as the baseline)• TX-07- Jason Westin would beat John Culberson with 64% And these numbers don't take into account how much better the 2018 candidates are and how much better financed they are. For example, in WI-01 Ryan didn't have a serious opponent last year at all, just a vanity candidate who spent $16,890. Polling already shows Randy Bryce beating Ryan and as of the September 30 FEC reporting deadline he had already raised $1,460,210.Now let's just look at the state of Texas. Using the results in Alabama as a comparison, Beto O'Rourke would beat Ted Cruz and can you guess how many of Texas' 25 Republican congressmembers would be reelected? Maybe 9! Louie Gohmert, John Ratcliffe (although he had no Democratic opponent in 2016), Jeb Hensarling (another one with no Democratic opponent in 2016), Kevin Brady (no Democratic opponent in 2016), Mike Conaway (no Democratic opponent in 201[...]



Another Democrat Running To Prevent Monopolies From Destroying The American Way Of Life-- Meet Jess King (PA-16)

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 14:00:00 +0000

A few days ago, we compared the endorsement questionnaires that Lancaster Stands Up sent out to the PA-16 candidates. The differences between the garden variety corporate candidate, Christtina Hartman, who the DCCC is pushing, and who was unable to respond to even simple policy questions, and the progressive grassroots candidate, Jess King, were startling. Right after that we started thinking that we needed to endorse Jess' campaign. Monday we ran a post about the dangers inherent in monopolies, Why Aren't More Democrats Using Anti-Monopoly Arguments In Their Congressional Campaigns? Well, Jess is one who is. She wrote this guest post for DWT readers. If you like the list of what she has to say, please consider contributing to her campaign by tapping on the Act Blue thermometer on the right.Guest Post-by Jess KingI grew up in a small business family. My parents-- neither of whom had college degrees-- launched a paint store and painting business in 1980 and raised me and my three siblings on it. I learned an incredible number of lessons there-- about hard work, cash flow, conflict resolution, customer service. That business sustained my parents for over 30 years and sent all four of us kids to college. I clearly remember the moment-- probably in the late-1990s-- when my mom realized she could get gallon cans of Kilz primer at Home Depot for less than the wholesale price at the locally owned paint distributor. I remember realizing for the first time that there was no way my parents could compete with the new, big retailers. They hung on for another 10 years or so but eventually closed their doors in the face of the growing dominance of big box stores: Home Depot and Lowes. As an adult, I’ve worked to support Pennsylvanians to start and grow more locally owned small businesses-- with a focus on women and people of color, so that our economy can look more like our community. But in the almost 40 years since my parents launched their small business and struggled to grow it, the rules of the economy have been rewritten to favor the biggest players. Since 1980, our economy has grown, but the entire bottom half of Americans have seen none of that growth-- it all went to the top. I continue to see first hand how much harder it is to compete as a small business in this country, to get a loan, to hire workers, to make ends meet, to climb the ladder into the American middle-class. The business development nonprofit I directed for the past seven years and others like us have tried numerous strategies to support locally owned small business-- from community-based business network and buy-local campaigns that encourage consumers to voluntarily shift their purchasing to locally owned small business, maximizing the impact each dollar can have as it circulates within our local economy. But in a world where Amazon provides everything delivered to your door for free, local business can’t compete with the aggressive cost-cutting strategies of the aspiring monopolies. With the closing of more and more locally owned businesses like my parents’, even if consumers WANT to purchase from a local small business, sometimes they can’t find an alternative to the corporate giants like Amazon and Walmart. These giants also collect vast data about every decision we make, to inform exactly how to market to us even more efficiently and effectively, stacking the deck even more against the little guy.[...]