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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: Sat, 17 Mar 2018 07:01:37 +0000


Midnight Meme Of The Day!

Sat, 17 Mar 2018 07:01:00 +0000

by Noah

Actually, Señor Trumpanzee has stated that he'll be running for "re-election" in 2020 several times. He's already been holding private fundraisers with the nation's finest sleazebags to entice those who want a piece of the action to cough up some dough. He's even said that he'd like to be "President for life." That would be fine with me if it meant that his life ended by the time I finish writing this. How fitting would it be if he choked on a piece of chicken or rodent bone from a bucket of his beloved KFC? Still, tonight's meme has a nice ring to it, and, can you imagine watching Trumpanzee literally trying to run from the law, 300+ pounds of fat shaking, bloodied knuckles dragging on the pavement, tripping over his bright red tie? Mueller would have to call one of those animal rescue trucks. Get out the guys with the tranquilizer rifles! Would the NRA approve?

Midnight Meme Of The Day!

Sat, 17 Mar 2018 07:01:00 +0000

by Noah

The yesterday referred to in tonight's meme is, of course, Tuesday. Even though Rex Tillerson is such a close personal friend of Putin and was obviously chosen by Senor Trumpanzee to be his Secretary of State for that very reason, Trump wasn't going to tolerate Tillerson being critical of the man he fears most in the world. And, so, Tillerson had to go. Trump had to show Putin that there would be swift punishment if anyone in his chaotic crackpot administration dared say a word against him.

As I write this on Thursday night, it's worth noting that only today did the White House manage to issue a statement regarding the obvious Russian attack in England. I guess they just felt that they better say something. They also had U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley take some time off from studying up on Binomo and issue a few insincere words of support for England. But, have there been any stern rebukes issued to Russia coming out of the mouth of our so-called president? Not yet, and don't hold your breath waiting. The last thing Trumpanzee wants to do is piss of his master in Moscow.

Could Trump Stop Himself From Lying If He Wanted To?

Sat, 17 Mar 2018 04:00:00 +0000

Why would Trump be jealous?Trump has told intimates that he doesn't want to fire Defense Secretary James Mattis because Mattis "looks" like a general. Appearances mean a lot to the imbecile illegitimate "president." I've heard from someone in the office of one of Trump's cosmetic surgeons that Trump is painfully aware of how ugly he's become over the years no matter how many nips and tucks he gets. That's why he absolutely loathes Justin Trudeau, who is both handsome and, unlike the lard-assed couch potato Trump has turned into, vigorous. On Wednesday evening at a private fundraiser for a right-wing goon, Josh Hawley, running for Claire McCaskill's Senate seat, Trump boasted to the enraptured donors that he just made up shit when he was negotiating with Trudeau.Someone made a tape and leaked it and Trump told the morons in the room that he insisted that the U.S. had a trade deficit with Canada, but had no idea if he was lying or telling the truth. This is what the crazy orange pig said to the prime minister of our closest and most important ally: "Trudeau came to see me. He’s a good guy. Justin. He said 'No, no, we have no trade deficit with you, we have none. Donald, please,'" Trump said. "Nice guy, good looking guy, comes in-- 'Donald we have no trade deficit.'""I said, 'Wrong Justin, you do.' I didn’t even know... I had no idea. I just said 'You’re wrong.' You know why? Because we’re so stupid... And I thought they were smart. I said, ‘You’re wrong Justin.'""He said, 'Nope we have no trade deficit.' I said, 'Well in that case I feel differently,' I said, 'but I don’t believe it.' I sent one of our guys out, his guy, my guy, they went out, I said 'Check because I can’t believe it.'""'Well sir you’re actually right. We have no deficit but that doesn’t include energy and timber… And when you do we lose $17 billion a year.' It’s incredible."Trump was lying again-- this time to the donors. The U.S. actually has a trade surplus with Canada, not a deficit. How can anyone deal with this raging psychopathic liar? Jeet Heer pointed out in the New Republic that Señor Trumpanzee is worse than a liar and that his clownish perforce for the Hawley donors "reveals the depth of his pathology." Heer asserts that Señor T is "a full-fledged bullshit artist. There’s a difference: Lying involves conscious deception, whereas bullshitting is a more insidious attempt to blur the lines between truth and falsehood." “It is impossible for someone to lie unless he thinks he knows the truth,” the philosopher Harry Frankfurt wrote in his 2005 book On Bullshit. “Producing bullshit requires no such conviction. A person who lies is thereby responding to the truth, and he is to that extent respectful of it. When an honest man speaks, he says only what he believes to be true; and for the liar, it is correspondingly indispensable that he considers his statements to be false. For the bullshitter, however, all bets are off.... He does not reject the authority of the truth, as the liar does, and oppose himself to it. He pays no attention to it at all. By virtue of this, bullshit is a greater enemy of truth than lies are.”In 2015, I drew on Frankfurt’s work to argue that Trump, then in the early stages of his presidential campaign, had all the characteristics of a bullshit artist: He not only frequently made false statements, but was indifferent to whether they were false or not. In doing so, he undermines the very idea that the truth is relevant or even knowable.There are several layers of untruth here. There’s the initial statement to Trudeau about the trade deficit, which Trump knowingly makes up (“I had no idea”). But Trump lied again when he said his lie turned out to be true. As The Post notes, “The Office of the United States Trade Representative says the United States has a trade surplus with Canada. It reports that in 2016, the United States exported $12.5 billion more in goods and services than it imported from Canada, leading to a trade surplu[...]

Randy Bryce And Kaniela Ing Set The Tone For Progressive Democrats And An Environmental Agenda

Sat, 17 Mar 2018 00:00:00 +0000

allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="255" src="" width="420">Progressive candidates are starting to rollout impressive environmental platforms. Two of the greatest hopes for a stronger progressive future in Congress are Kaniela Ing in Hawaii and Rand Bryce in Wisconsin. Both have impressive plans that will make up for Trumpanzee's decision to pull the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Accords-- and then some. Let's start with Kaniela's 7-point plan, which he calls the most aggressive/progressive plan for climate action in the nation: • Net-zero carbon emissions by 2035• No fossil fuel powered cars by 2030• Escalating carbon tax, to fund dividend to households making under $150,000• $95 of all miles traveled required to be powered by electricity by 2035• End fossil fuel subsidies• Ban styrofoam containers and plastic bags at grocery bags and stores.• Federal Job Guarantee to efficiency refit appliances and homes/plant tree It's worth noting that as a state legislator he already holds one of the strongest environmental records in Hawaii's State House and has a proven record of defending his state's air, land, and water. Watch: allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="255" src="" width="420">He's the only candidate in his race who does not accept fossil fuel money or any corporate money. Hawaii Gas is a big donor there. He also holds an unrelenting record of standing up to corporate polluters and anti-solar electricity monopolies, and championing positive climate solutions on the state level like community solar and the nation's first statewide 100% renewable energy goal. One conservative Dem running against him, Donna Kim, and many in the corporate wing of the party, "supported the takeover of Hawaii's utility by an anti-solar mega-corporation, opposed the Obama-proposed expansion of papahanaumokuakea, and supported bringing in fracked natural gas from the mainland. I stood on the right side of all of these battles, and we won. That's the kind of leadership you can expect form me in Congress."I'm eager to see Kaniela and Randy Bryce both elected in November working on environmental issues. Both guys are predominantly committed to the interests or working families Both are union guys through and through and both put the lie to the claims that environmentally progressive platforms work against the interests of working families. This week Bryce's campaign put out his own 10-point plan. Please read it over and see if it represents the kind of leadership you want in Congress. If you do, please consider contributing to Randy's and Kaniela's campaigns by clicking on the Blue America ActBlue congressional thermometer on the right-- and donating what you feel you can. Fund a Green New Deal. As a Congressman, Randy would support a massive investment in green infrastructure that would generate tens of thousands of new jobs and transform Wisconsin communities into energy manufacturers. One model for this Green New Deal is the 100 by 50 Act, which provides a framework to move the nation towards 100 percent renewable energy by 2050. Another is the Climate Change Adapt America Fund Act of 2017, which would create a fund administered by the Department of Commerce for green infrastructure and to adapt existing infrastructure for climate change. That bill would also provide Americans who want to take on climate change the opportunity to buy up to $200 million in “Climate Change Bonds.”  As an ironworker, Randy got to see firsthand how labor could lead the way on solar technology and other renewable energy sources. Watch this clip tp see why he thinks labor can lead in the way in creating good, family-sustaining green energy jobs. allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="255" src="" width="420">End Subsidi[...]

Tough Love For The DCCC

Fri, 16 Mar 2018 20:00:00 +0000

Ever since Rahm Emanuel was handed the reins of the DCCC-- the beginning of Pelosi's downfall as a force for good-- this blog has spent a good deal of time exploring what's wrong with that organization. In the last few weeks the eruptions have been so frequent and vitriolic that DCCC-connected congressmen and staffers have been asking me to cool it and one even called a friend of mine and asked him what they had to do to stop. My friend was savvy enough to tell them if they stop the crap, like what they've been doing to Laura Moser and Levi Tillemann, to mention just two-- I'd have nothing to denounce them for. (Sure, sure...)But don't get the wrong idea... the Republican dirty tricks are, at best, just as bad. In fact, the DCCC staffers don't have the brain power to think up their own dirty tricks and have been using the Lee Atwater/Karl Rove playbook to come up with how to savage progressives. But... the Republicans: horrible. I recall how Debbie Wasserman Schultz used to deploy this one when she was trying to sabotage the Democratic Party's efforts to dislodge her amiga, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. Matt Volz reported on how the Republicans are employing it this cycle in their fervor to defeat centrist Montana Democrat Jon Tester from the Senate.On Monday Timothy Adams filed to run as the Green candidate in the Senate race that pits Tester against... well either Troy Downing, Matt Rosendale or Russ Fagg. Adams registered as a Green, which qualified as a political party in Montana 3 days ago, but he's was an employee of the state Republican Party’s-- on their payroll-- from 2013 to 2015. The GOP is clearly using Adams to siphon votes from Tester. He also heads an anti-tax "group," Montanans Against Higher Taxes. (Montanans Against Higher Taxes is a new legal entity formed to oppose a legislative referendum on the ballot this fall for a 10-year property tax extension for the state’s university system.)15 year old me in the middleMaybe I don't spend as much time attacking the NRCC, NSCC and RNC as I spend on the DCCC, DSCC and DNC because I don't give a damn about the Republicans and don't care if they reform themselves or not. I was born a Democrat, made it onto the front page of the New York Post with a sign about Brooklyn liking LBJ at the Atlantic City Democratic convention in 1964 (yep, above; I was 15), worked as an elevator operator for Bobby Kennedy when he was running for the Senate that same year, and was president of my college's Young Democrats the following year. I rode a horse into Kabul from the mountains once so as not to miss a chance to vote in a midterm election at the embassy. Yeah, it's tough love-- albeit no love at all for Blue Dogs, New Dems and others from the Republican wing of the Democratic Party-- like Brad Ashford in Omaha. We haven't held his feet to the fire for a while. This story below was written by one of his "ex"-staffers. The gloves are off in the Democrats’ Omaha House race, well at least one set of gloves.As Kara Eastman picks up the backing of the progressive “Blue America” group she has some choice words for her opponent, former Congressman Brad Ashford.• (Ashford’s) taken contradictory stands on almost every important issue over his long political career.• People in the district tell me they are unhappy with Ashford’s voting record.And then there was this:• They also feel like he is not in it to win it.Now, Ashford, the handpicked candidate of the whole Republican wing of the Democratic Party-- the Blue Dogs, New Dems and DCCC (EMILY's List is staying out of this one, for obvious reasons.) All he ever talks about is how he can work with the Republicans. No kidding! Why is the DCCC backing him? For the exact same reasons they're backing, another wretched Blue Dog, Dan Lipinski, in Illinois.[...]

Trump's Chaotic Regime Is Driving The Country Crazy-- They Told Him To Calm Down This Week By Electing A Generic Democrat In A Deep Red District

Fri, 16 Mar 2018 16:00:00 +0000

Every time I go out recently I wonder who Trump will fire by the time I get back home. And he's been hiring really bad ones again. Remember The Mooch? That bad. People he saw on TV, like the coke addict who took Gary Cohn's place and it looks like Pete Hegseth from Fox will be replacing Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin. Maggie Haberman reported in yesterday's NY Times that Trump's reveling in keep everyone off-kilter. Lot's of fun for him. Is McMaster next?Remember when he had boasted at his first Cabinet meeting how he had assembled the greatest and most talented cabinet in history? Since then he's fired 6 of them. Haberman wrote that the purge at the top may not be over. Señor Trumpanzee is "famously fickle [and] appears to have soured on additional members of his senior leadership team-- and his frequent mulling about making changes has some people around him convinced that he could act soon."And the really bad news for the country is that the imbecile now feels like he's mastered the presidency and doesn't need to listen to anyone about anything. Haberman wrote that the idiot "is relying more on his own instincts, putting a premium on his personal chemistry with people and their willingness to acknowledge that his positions are ultimately administration policy, rather than on their résumé or qualifications for the job. If people are unwilling to do what he wants... now believes that he can get things done himself." “There will always be change. I think you want to see change,” Mr. Trump said, ominously, on Thursday. “I want to also see different ideas.”John F. Kelly, his second chief of staff, and Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster, the national security adviser, are on thin ice, having angered the president by privately saying “no” to the boss too often. White House insiders predict that Mr. Trump could decide to fire one or both of them soon.Ben Carson, the secretary of housing and urban development, and David J. Shulkin, the secretary of veterans affairs, have both embarrassed the president by generating scandalous headlines. Mr. Carson could be axed over an eye-popping $31,000 dining set, and Mr. Shulkin might be replaced over a 10-day, $122,000 European trip with his wife.And then there’s Attorney General Jeff Sessions, whose original sin-- the decision to recuse himself from oversight of the Russia investigation-- made him the regular target of presidential ire. The attorney general has threatened to resign at least once, but has more recently indicated his determination to resist Mr. Trump’s obvious desire for him to leave his post at the Justice Department.Trumpanzee insists that reports of impending doom for more senior staffers are "a very exaggerated and false story" but in the next breath said that his choices for a cabinet might have been different had he known then what he knows now. Haberman wrote that he "has a long habit of musing about staff changes that he doesn’t enact. He does his own version of poll-testing different possibilities, asking aides what they think of one another and asking outside friends and top advisers whether different people would be better in specific jobs, but he often drops the topic without acting." That was certainly the case with Rex W. Tillerson, whom he needled for months before finally firing him in a tweet on Tuesday. It has also been true of Mr. Sessions, who has had to endure a series of Twitter attacks from the president, each of which prompts new stories about whether Mr. Trump is about to dump his top law enforcement official.“It’s devastating,” said William M. Daley, who served as former President Barack Obama’s chief of staff for about a year. “No business could handle this, much less the government. It’s supposed to be about stability and continuity. That’s just not in his lexicon.”Just last month, Mr. Trump lamented that Mr. Sessions had failed to investigate the Obama administration’s han[...]

I Doubt We Can Get Rid Of Him Before 2020-- But We Can-- And Must-- Then

Fri, 16 Mar 2018 12:00:00 +0000

The DWT art director is very intuitive. The date stamp on the Deutsche Bank Washing Machine money laundering gif is August 1, 2017, 7 months ago. We've been using it ever since. On Wednesday it would have thrilled us if the Martens would have used it to illustrate their incredible reporting on how the Deutsche Bank money laundering was what caused Nunes to pull the plug on the House Intel Committee Investigation. [The Intel Committee vote was secret and no one knows who voted how. Several Intel Committee Republicans-- including Trey Gowdy, Will Hurd and Tom Rooney-- have said they disagree with shutting it down, but they must've voted with Nunes because there are 13 Republicans and 9 Dems on the committee so the GOP could only afford to lose 2. So... what the fuck?] Oops, I wandered off track. Back to the Martens and Wall Street On Parade. So why did Trump order Nunes to shut the circus down? The Dems on the committee were "getting too close to Trump’s dealings with Deutsche Bank and Deutsche Bank’s dealings with Russia." The draft report released by the Democrats after belatedly learning that their Republican colleagues had abruptly ended the probe, included this paragraph: “Donald Trump’s finances historically have been opaque, but there have long been credible allegations as to the use of Trump properties to launder money by Russian oligarchs, criminals, and regime cronies. There also remain critical unanswered questions about the source of President Trump’s personal and corporate financing. For example, Deutsche Bank, which was fined $630 million in 2017 over its involvement in a $10 billion Russian money-laundering scheme, consistently has been the source of financing for President Trump, his businesses, and his family. We have only begun to explore the relationship between President Trump and Deutsche Bank, and between the bank and Russia.”Deutsche Bank’s “$10 billion Russian money-laundering scheme” which became known by the shorthand term “mirror trades,” was the subject of a May 23, 2017 letter sent by Maxine Waters, the ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee and other House Democrats to John Cryan, CEO of Deutsche Bank. The letter began: “We write seeking information relating to two internal reviews reportedly conducted by Deutsche Bank (“Bank”): one regarding its 2011 Russian mirror trading scandal and the other regarding its review of the personal accounts of President Donald Trump and his family members held at the Bank. What is troubling is that the Bank to our knowledge has thus far refused to disclose or publicly comment on the results of either of its internal reviews. As a result, there is no transparency regarding who participated in, or benefited from, the Russian mirror trading scheme that allowed $10 billion to flow out of Russia. Likewise, Congress remains in the dark on whether loans Deutsche Bank made to President Trump were guaranteed by the Russian Government, or were in any way connected to Russia. It is critical that you provide this Committee with the information necessary to assess the scope, findings and conclusions of your internal reviews.“Deutsche Bank’s failure to put adequate anti-money laundering controls in place to prevent a group of traders from improperly and secretly transferring more than $10 billion out of Russia is concerning. According to press reports, this scheme was carried out by traders in Russia who converted rubles into dollars through security trades that lacked any legitimate economic rationale. The settlement agreements reached between the Bank and the New York Department of Financial Services as well as the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority raise questions about the particular Russian individuals involved in the scheme, where their money went, and who may have benefited from the vast sums transferred out of Russia. Moreover, around the same ti[...]

Midnight Meme Of The Day!

Fri, 16 Mar 2018 07:01:00 +0000

by Noah

The problems of rampant greed and psychopathy that Robert Reich has expressed in tonight's meme have certainly existed throughout the history of humankind. That, of course, includes our country, especially during the robber baron period of the later 19th century. This disease has never gone away, but the likes of those in charge right this moment, from Jamie Dimon down to lesser corporate scum like Martin Shkreli and, on the political front, Señor Trumpanzee, Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, and Chuck Schumer, just to name a few, will always do their best to keep the disease alive. That's especially easy to do when you pull the levers of the most powerful country on the planet.

Unfortunately, the disease grew so virulent that the arrival of Donald Trump as President was inevitable. The cancer that Robert Reich implies has metastasized and now grown exponentially. Trump is as good of a symptom, cause, and result of that as we get to see. The only questions now are: How much chemo, radiation, and surgery do we have to bear until we, as a country and as individuals, are healthy again? And, how bad will it get until this country either rejects the tumors or throws in the towel and dies?

DFA Moves Quickly To Make Sure Howard Dean Can't Disgrace The Group

Fri, 16 Mar 2018 04:00:00 +0000

Long before he sold out and became a Big Pharma lobbyist, Howard Dean started DFA-- then Dean for America, now Democracy for America, and run by Howard's brother Jim Dean. After Howard Dean embarrassed himself and everyone else by endorsing very right-wing Blue Dog Gwen Graham for Governor of Florida, DFA felt compelled to refute Howard Dean's outrageous bullshit about Graham being a progressive.Like Blue America, DFA has endorsed Andrew Gillum, the actual progressive-- the only progressive-- in the race. Yesterday, Graham's campaign sent out an endorsement e-mail ostensibly from a hero-turned-lobbyist: "I got to know Gwen more than 10 years ago when she joined our fight for progressive values. We worked together for universal healthcare, to end the Iraq War, and to empower the American people. I am proud to give Gwen Graham my full support today because she has spent her life fighting for those same shared values. Will you chip in to help Gwen win the primary and take back control of the Governor’s Office? ... As governor, she will fight for a public option to expand healthcare, ban assault weapons, and defend Florida families from Donald Trump's attacks.A congressman who served with Graham during her single term in Congress was nearly doubled over with laughter when he got the Howard Dean e-mail. "This is shocking to me," he said. "I have nothing against her personally, but Gwen even refused to vote for Nancy Pelosi for Speaker. I guess that 'progressive' now means 'Blue Dog who wants progressive votes and contributions.' Dean says 'she will fight for a public option to expand healthcare.' She never did when she was in Congress.  This is disingenuous."It's also embarrassing. I mean I can see a centrist sell-out like Dean backing a conservative Democrat like Gwen Graham in November against a Republican, when-- if she wins the primary-- she's the lesser of two evils. But calling her "progressive" is just pure bullshit and demeans the word "progressive," the way people like Howard Dean watered down the word "liberal" and made it useless. But in primary season, there's no reason to back someone like Gwen Graham, and certainly not when there's a candidate like Andrew Gillum in the race, who, unlike Graham has a long record as a progressive, not someone who just calls himself one. I'd like to see her or the other crappy conservative dare to run on the kind of progressive platform Andrew is running on. By all means read it-- and if you agree with it, please consider tapping on the Blue America gubernatorial thermometer on the right and contributing what you can to Andrew's very grassroots campaign.[...]

Elizabeth Warren Marks The 10th Anniversary Of The Financial Crisis With A Proposal: Jail Criminal Banksters

Fri, 16 Mar 2018 00:00:00 +0000

allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="255" src="" width="420">Yesterday after months of careful vetting, Blue America endorsed the progressive candidate in the CO-06 race, Levi Tillemann. I was struck by one of the points on his website about making banksters-- not just bank shareholders-- pay for bank criminality. "[W]e need to ensure," he wrote, "that ALL Americans are treated equally under the law. This includes white collar criminals from powerful banks on Wall Street. The Justice Department's failure to prosecute the very bankers who plunged America into the Great Recession is a moral outrage and sends the message that you can break the law-- so long as you're wearing a suit. That's unacceptable. It's why I support Elizabeth Warren's Too Big to Jail Act to hold crooked executives accountable."Another Blue America-endorsed candidate, Michigan's Paul Clements (out in Kalamazoo) had a similar perspective when I spoke with him yesterday. "When a black man can be jailed for a year for smoking a j while a rich banker whose fraud helps to crash our economy goes free, something is terribly wrong. Our so-called criminal justice system is a travesty. For-profit prisons, lack of public defenders, guilt by plea-bargaining, draconian sentences for anyone who can’t afford a lawyer, a system rigged at each stage against people of color, draconian sentences, the school to prison pipeline… and a free pass for guilty bankers. Thank you, Senator Warren, for the Ending Too Big to Jail Act! For figuring out how those guilty for the 2008 crash, that hurt so many so badly, certainly in my state of Michigan, could be held to account, and drafting the legislation. We need to keep striving for the ideal of equal justice under the law. In my campaign I often speak of how we can move a million people from incarceration into the community, into productive employment, with no loss of public safety, increasing fairness, strengthening families, communities, and the economy, and redressing historic injustices. But equal justice also means accountability for the wealthy when they put profit above morality and self-interest above honesty."Elizabeth Warren is marking the 10th anniversary of the financial crisis by introducing comprehensive legislation to hold banksters criminally accountable when the banks they lead break the law, the Ending Too Big to Jail Act. "Ten years ago today," she wrote, "the Federal Reserve announced action to try to save Bear Stearns from failing, marking the beginning of a financial crisis that would cost the U.S. economy as much as $14 trillion. Wall Street scams and risk-taking were a main driver of the crisis, but no senior executive from a Wall Street bank went to jail... When Wall Street CEOs break the law, they should go to jail like anyone else. The fraud on Wall Street won't stop until executives know they will be hauled out in handcuffs for ‎cheating their customers and clients. Instead of passing the Bank Lobbyist Act, Congress should be marking the tenth anniversary of the financial crisis by strengthening rules on banks and bankers so Wall Street can never again get away with cheating Americans and crashing the economy." The Ending Too Big to Jail Act creates a permanent law enforcement unit to investigate crimes at financial institutions, requires senior executives at banks with $10 billion or more in assets to certify annually that they have conducted due diligence and found no criminal conduct or civil fraud within the financial institution, and mandates judicial oversight of deferred prosecution agreements (DPAs).The Ending Too Big to Jail Act:• Creates a permanent investigative unit for financial crimes: The bill creates an investigative unit within the Treasury Department that [...]

The DCCC Is Trying To Pull Another Laura Moser Stunt In Colorado-- This Time Against Levi Tillemann

Thu, 15 Mar 2018 20:00:00 +0000

You think what the DCCC has done-- is doing-- in undermining Laura Moser is unique? It isn't. It's been fairly standard operating procedure since 2006 when Rahm Emanuel and Steny Hoyer decided they should determine who Democratic nominees should be, not local Democratic voters. The only thing unique about the Laura Moser incident was how incompetently it was handled and how embarrassingly public it became.More "normal" DCCC interference in local primaries is better illustrated by how they're trying to destroy another progressive, Levi Tillemann, for another corrupt New Dem from the Republican wing of the Democratic Party, Jason Crow, in the Denver suburbs (CO-06). The Republican incumbent, Mike Coffman, is one of the most vulnerable Republicans in the country. Hillary beat Trump 50.2% to 41.3% in this district, which has a D+2 PVI. It is ready to flip from red to blue and there is no need for a corrupt, conservative Democrat as a nominee.Levi Tillemann, who Blue America has endorsed today, asked if we remember in 2016 when Washington insiders confidently predicted an overwhelming victory for Democrats up and down the ticket? "Well," he reminded us, "that didn’t happen-- we lost, up and down the ticket. Remember how Democratic insiders spoke confidently about 'viability' and tried to stigmatize candidates who challenged the establishment? It turns out those 'viable' candidates weren’t so viable after all. That broken system got us to where we are today." Levi is confident that we can fix it. "First, we must stand for our progressive agenda; Second, we must push back against the backroom Washington dealers who got us here." This is a guest post from Levi: Let’s start with the progressive agenda. Before I decided to run, I spent months listening and here’s what I heard people say: too many workers are being squeezed by the modern economy; hard work should mean a good life; the excesses of extreme capitalism and inequality are threatening the American Dream; things need to change. I agreed.Like you, I believe ●  Universal healthcare is a right●  Americans deserve a living minimum wage of at least $15/hr●  The future of our planet and the U.S. economy requires a transition to renewable energy by 2035● All Americans must be treated equally before the law● Donald Trump is a criminal (and Democrats need to fight to remove him from office)Voters are crying out for an economic and social agenda that delivers economic justice and equal opportunity for all. Progressives demand that these policies address the crushing inequality in America today. I’m committed to fighting for that agenda in Washington.But we’ll never get there if we don’t push back against Washington insiders. Lobbyists and establishment politicians are trying to slow-walk our fight for equality. They peddle half-truths, influence and big money donations on behalf of candidates and causes that don’t represent you. Those candidates fit the Washington mold-- and that’s not a good thing. They will go with the flow and won’t stand up for what’s right when it really matters. If we keep sending that type of person to Washington, they’ll keep rigging the system against us. That’s exactly what’s happening in CO-06.In CO-06 the DCCC decided they wanted a white collar criminal defense lawyer (who has represented payday lenders, fracking companies and defended scammers who have targeted senior citizens) to represent us. What we’ve seen is a textbook case of Washington working to rig a primary. Despite our opponent’s crippling weaknesses as a general election candidate, the DCCC is determined to inflict their candidate upon primary voters by creating facts on the ground.This has been going on for more than a year (they have supplied him with staff, data[...]

There's A Reason I Avoid Washington DC Like The Plague: It's A Truly Disgusting Sausage Making Factory Town

Thu, 15 Mar 2018 16:00:00 +0000

The most powerful political brand of 2018 belongs to Randy Bryce, the iron worker, single dad, caring son and veteran running against Paul Ryan in southeast Wisconsin: IronStache. He's raised over $5,000,000 in small contributions and he's so popular among ordinary working folks that incumbents are asking him to come to their districts and campaign with them! The Republicans had a military vet with a mustache running as well... and on Tuesday his red, red district swung 20 points blue and he lost to some mediocre woos Democrat named Conor Lamb in 2018's first mega-upset... first of many in all likelihood. Republicans are looking for a reason they got creamed. My favorite excuse was in the Washington Examiner. "Frustrated by Saccone’s performance, some Republicans have gone so far as to zero in on his mustachioed appearance. 'It's a porn stache,' said one Pennsylvania-based GOP strategist. 'He should have lost the mustache.'" Tell it to Randy Bryce. Women of all ages seem to swoon over his mustachioed everyman appearance. And, unlike Saccone-- or for that matter Lamb-- Bryce has something to say, something voters pay attention to... and find relatable.The PA-18 race was pretty simple. The Republicans spent $10,000,000 to make the election about Nancy Pelosi. You don't think so? This is what voters in Allegheny, Washington, Westmoreland and Greene counties were seeing for the last six weeks: allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="200" src="" width="300">and this: allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="200" src="" width="300">and, when they wanted to get out of the gutter (a little), this: allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="200" src="" width="300">But Trump, more than the DCCC, more than the Pennsylvania Democratic Party, and far more than Lamb's campaign, made the PA-18 election about Trump. Trump-- who can't help himself, made the special election (in a district he had won by over 19 points) all about him. Tuesday was a referendum on Trump and Trump lost-- BIGLY! Trump is a fool-- and he won't listen to anyone. He's president so he believes everyone under him is also stupider than him, because... they're under him. In remarks delivered at a private fundraising event for Missouri right-wing nut Josh Hawley on Wednesday and obtained by The Atlantic, Señor Trumpanzee attributed Lamb’s success to the fact that he "sounds like a Republican."After the GOP spent millions painting Lamb as a Frankenstein monster made up of pieces of Obama, Pelosi, Bernie, Pocahontas and... did we mention Pelosi?, Trump told the Hawley supporters that "The young man last night that ran, he said, 'Oh, I’m like Trump. Second Amendment, everything. I love the tax cuts, everything.’ He ran on that basis," Trump said. "He ran on a campaign that said very nice things about me. I said, 'Is he a Republican? He sounds like a Republican to me.'"Actually, what Lamb sounds like is exactly what he is, a wishy-washy Blue Dog Democrat with no political courageousness. He's not a Republican; he's from the Republican wing of the Democratic Party. And he doesn't sound like Trump at all, although they agree-- to some degree-- on a few issues. [T]he day after Saccone lost by a razor-thin margin against Lamb, a square-jawed Marine veteran who was careful not to make anti-Trumpism the central tenet of his campaign, Trump’s Twitter feed was empty of any mentions of the race. The president did return to one familiar self-congratulatory mode: He argued at the Hawley fundraiser that his last-minute rally for Saccone on Saturday in[...]

Is No One Noticing The Greatest Economic Mismanagement In History?

Thu, 15 Mar 2018 12:00:00 +0000

Yesterday, there was a trial balloon about decision to appoint deranged coke freak Larry Kudlow to replace Gary Cohn as Trump's chief economic advisor. Kudlow is a greed-and-selfishness crackpot who can only make the vibrant economy that Obama left Trump worse-- and more rapidly. Trump has already been sowing the seeds for a big downturn himself. As Alan Grayson, a former economist as well as a former congressman, pointed out this week: "Trump’s 'fiscal policy' bears a striking resemblance to Trump’s real estate business model: borrow your way to bankruptcy, and hope to leave someone else holding the bag. Four Trump subsidiaries have gone bankrupt. Or is it six?  And all exactly the same way: borrowing more than they could afford to pay. And Trump himself? In 1990, his net worth was NEGATIVE $900 million-- making Trump possibly the 'poorest' individual in history. Although I’m sure Trump has heard the old saying: 'owe the bank $10,000, and you have a problem. Owe the bank $1,000,000, and the bank has a problem.' And look at what Trump is doing to our government’s 'business model': something very similar.  FY2017 federal borrowing: $519 billionFY2018 federal borrowing (est.): $955 billionAnd that, continued Grayson "is BEFORE the Trump tax cuts for billionaires kick in fully. After that, the federal deficit is $1,000,000,000,000.00+ per year, for as far as the eye can see. And that’s assuming that there will be someone out there-- the Martians, maybe?-- who are going to remain willing to lend that kind of money to a government run by Putin’s Papaya Pawn. It’s the greatest economic mismanagement in history. Which is saying a lot, given the fact that we already have a foreign debt of more than $10 trillion."Grayson, who is running for Congress again, is warning that Trump's merry-go-round will spin faster and faster, until everyone is thrown off and asking the American people to "prevent Trump from putting us all on line at the Trump Soup Kitchen."And, don't get me wrong, a deficit isn't a terrible thing... if it's being used to create more wealth for the general public. Trumponomics is all about discredited, failed trickle-down theories that creates more wealth for the very rich and leaves the rest of us on the side of the pot-holed road to rot.Tim Canova, the progressive attorney running for a South Florida congressional seat occupied by Wall Street ally Debbie Wasserman Schultz, found it easy to fit the shortcomings of Trumponomics into the news of the day: The appointment of TV commentator Larry Kudlow-- the latest episode of celebrity White House apprentice-- returns the office of chief economic advisor to the clownish tradition of past administrations. Kudlow's main qualification is his adherence to extreme supply side economics, opposing estate taxes and taxes on dividends and capital gain, even in the face of gaping and growing inequalities in income and wealth. This trickle-down fiscal policy is mirrored by a trickle-down monetary policy in the form of trillions of dollars in Federal Reserve quantitative easing (QE) programs for Wall Street banks and wealth holders. This is also bubble economics, cheering on the gross inequalities and exploitations that inevitably result in bust. Not to worry, to supply siders like Kudlow this becomes yet another opportunity for plunder, from enormous Wall Street bailouts and corporate subsidies to a strategy of austerity for Main Street and relentless privatizations of public services.Kudlow is not the first clown or blowhard to serve as White House economics advisor. Glenn Hubbard, Larry Summers, Austen Goolsbee all strutted and fretted their hour on the stage only to reveal more clearly the tragicomedy o[...]

Midnight Meme Of The Day!

Thu, 15 Mar 2018 07:01:00 +0000

by Noah

Sean Hannity, the FOX "News" version of Alex Jones, at his "best." Perhaps some day in the near future, Madame Tussauds will have a special exhibit of anti-American propagandists and other enemies of the state. The all too lifelike wax statue of Sean Hannity will have its lips firmly affixed to the huge orange baboon ass of Donald Trump, or perhaps somewhere else.

Why Did Gillibrand Really Chase Al Franken Out Of The Senate?

Thu, 15 Mar 2018 04:00:00 +0000

The other day a friend of mine in Congress told me I missed an important part in my Gillibrand vs Franken coverage. "You're not following the money, Howie," he told me. "Franken was leading the charge on Comcast, right? Check out the Comcast money flowing into Gillibrand's campaign." So I did. Comcast spends an immense amount of money bribing corrupt politicians from both parties-- both in lobbying (last year alone: $15,310,000) and in campaign contributions (last year: $2,627,152). The 2012 cycle was huge for them-- over $34 million in lobbying and $5,431,065 directly to politicians. And guess who the two top Senate recipients were: Bob Casey (D-PA, where Comcast is based) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY). They gave her $48,850. That's a lot-- and way more than any Senate leaders. So far Comcast has given Gillibrand a hefty $83,254. Why?The only senator really leading the charge against the Comcast's number one legislative priority, their merge with Time-Warner was Al Franken. Roll Call: "In attacking the proposal, no lawmaker was a bigger player than Franken, the Minnesota Democrat who sent three letters to regulators and caught a Comcast executive in embarrassing obfuscation at a Judiciary Committee hearing... He argues that media consolidation, and in particular combinations of content providers and content creators, disserve consumers by raising prices and diminishing the quality of the content." Franken says he’s an advocate of net neutrality for a similar reason. It prevents Internet providers from favoring some content over others.When the merger was announced in February 2014, conventional wisdom had it that Comcast’s lobbying, along with its generosity to members of Congress, would ease the path to completion. Comcast’s nearly $5 million in contributions to candidates in the last election cycle placed it among the top corporate donors. Its political action committee was more generous than those of all but five other firms. Its $17 million in lobbying expenditures in 2014 were No. 1 among corporations....He also argued that regulators should scrutinize Comcast’s compliance with the conditions it accepted when it was allowed to merge with NBC Universal in 2011.Franken said he was confident that regulators would find that “Comcast has a history of breaching its legal obligations to consumers.”According to reports this week, the proposed merger fell apart after the Justice Department raised questions about Comcast’s merger with NBC, and over concerns that it would control too big a piece of the Internet service market-- as much as 40 percent....Comcast couldn't find support in Congress. A coalition of groups opposed to the deal ginned up grassroots support. Franken said last year that he had heard from 100,000 people who opposed the deal.The Stop Mega Comcast coalition, which included groups like Common Cause and Consumers Union but also rival businesses such as the Dish Network, hired its own lobbyists at the Glover Park Group, a well-connected Washington firm, and cultivated support for its position among members of Congress. Congressional letters opposing the deal outstripped those in favor.Franken said the grassroots opposition made the difference. Comcast “hired an army of more than 100 lobbyists and spent millions of dollars on advertising to sell the deal,” he said in a statement Friday. “But more and more people came to see it the way I did and joined the fight."I don't doubt Gillibrand had plenty of other things in mind when she went after Franken and forced him to resign from the Senate. The 2024 presidential nomination, for example, or sincere #MeToo issues. But Comcast is what my friend in the House said is wha[...]

When Should Pelosi Retire?

Thu, 15 Mar 2018 00:00:00 +0000

The DCCC's and Pelosi's Blue Dog in Chicago, Dan Lipinski, faces the voters in a week, on March 20th. The DCCC and Pelosi are supporting someone who is anti-Choice, anti-LGBTQ, anti-immigrant, anti-healthcare, someone who votes with Trump more frequently than almost any other Democrat. Does the Pelosi Party even mean anything any more. How many they throw core constituencies under the bus like this? Where would they draw the line? If Lipinksi was anti-Semitic? Anti-Catholic? Anti-Wall Street? IL-03 is a safe blue seat-- Hillary beat Trump 55.2% to 39.9% there and the PVI is D+6. This year the GOP line went to an actual Nazi and not even the Illinois Republican Party is supporting their own candidate! So why are the DCCC and Pelosi trying to block a progressive like Marie Newman from unseating Lipinski?Lynn Sweet, Illinois' savviest political reporter, wrote this week in the Sun-Times that Chicago mega-donors are financing Lipinski through No Labels, a shady right-wing outfit that backed Trump in 2016. Pelosi is addicted to money. She can't help herself. It's horrifying to watch and she's sold the Democratic Party out to plutocrats. No Labels has created a network of black money SuperPACs and one, "United for Progress Inc.," wrote Sweet, "has spent $740,334 as of Sunday to bolster Rep. Dan Lipinski, D-Ill., in his March 20 Illinois Democratic primary battle with Marie Newman in the 3rd Congressional District... United for Progress, Inc., is playing political hardball, attacking Newman in the commercials and direct mail pieces it paid for... Lipinski is part of a No Labels offshoot, the congressional "Problem Solvers Caucus," which is a refuge for right-wing Democrats who vehemently oppose a progressive agenda.Walter Shapiro didn't beat around the bush in his latest Guardian column, Why it's time for Democrats to ditch Nancy Pelosi. Yesterday's contest in PA-18, he points out was largely a chance to look at who is more toxic politically, Trump (+ Ryan) or Pelosi. The thoroughly mediocre Blue Dog the Dems chose as their standard bearer was squawking right up to the end, "My opponent wants you to believe that the biggest issue in this campaign is Nancy Pelosi. It’s all a big lie. I’ve already said… that I don’t support Nancy Pelosi." Saccone clung to Trump like a life raft. As the House Democratic leader since 2005, Pelosi is unpopular (her approval rating was 29% in a national Quinnipiac University poll in February) and extremely well known (83% of voters in the Quinnipiac survey knew who she was). That twofer of familiarity and voter fatigue is why the demonization of Pelosi remains a staple of Republican attack ads.Even when Democrats try to escape Pelosi, as Lamb has done in his campaign, partisan politics grants limited wriggle room. As the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette put it in a snippy editorial endorsing the Republican, Rick Saccone, in the congressional race: “Mr Lamb … attempted to distance himself from ultra-liberal Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and says he would not vote for her to lead his party. But who would he vote for? An abstention will not win him independence from the Democratic caucus.”This Pelosi pushback will be repeated across the country in the fall as the Democrats’ road to a House majority follows Trump terrain. But why have Democrats decided that Pelosi’s quest to become the first person in American history to return as House speaker after an eight-year gap is more important than depriving Trump of a rubber-stamp Congress?After more than 13 years as the House Democratic leader, Pelosi has written enough feminist history to fill the Capitol dome. Any doubts about her stamina as she[...]

Is Dean Phillips A Good Candidate? How Will He Be If He Gets To Congress?

Wed, 14 Mar 2018 20:00:00 +0000

How would a New Dem "repair" the government? Turn it over to the banksters?Last night one of my favorite candidates of the cycle was in town and we had dinner. He was very enthusiastic about another candidate he had just met in Minnesota, Dean Phillips, the DCCC-favored candidate to take on Republican incumbent Erik Paulsen in the suburbs west of Minneapolis (MN-03), an arc that goes from Bloomington, Edina and Eden Prairie, through Minnetonka, Plymouth and Maple Grove up to Champlin, Brooklyn Park and Coon Rapids. Obama won the district both times and Hillary beat Trump by 9 points. The district's PVI is D+1. Still, Paulsen was reelected with an even bigger margin-- 56.7% to 43%-- than the Clinton win over Trump. He ran against a weak DCCC/EMILY's List centrist candidate, Terri Bonoff. The DCCC spent $3,330,152 attacking Paulsen and Pelosi's SuperPAC threw in another $568,897. And the DCCC wants to make sure it runs another centrist (of course). There are 4 Democrats running but the DCCC isn't waiting for MN-03 DFL voters to pick one; they've already added Phillips to their Red to Blue page in an attempt to clear the field of the other, more progressive, candidates. Voters don't like when the DCCC does this, but the DCCC is incapable of learning anything. They exist in a self-referencing DC bubble and have no understanding of America at all-- which explains why they've been on an uninterrupted losing streak since Pelosi took over.Phillips' bio says he's the grandson of Dear Abby and that he went to work in the Phillips Distilling Company warehouse and rose to be CEO... albeit without mentioning his dad owned the company. His bio also doesn't mention he's a New Dem. The graphic above is from the DCCC website and the one below is from the New Dems website.I have to admit, I've never spoken with Phillips and he may be a lovely man. But I do know that the New Dems have very stringent vetting process and they will not endorse anyone who doesn't fit the Wall Street agenda they are all about. Along with the Blue Dogs,the New Dems are the heart and soul of the Republican wing of the Democratic Party. An overwhelming number of New Dems, in fact, are also Blue Dogs, and almost every Blue Dog is a New Dem. Good members of Congress-- those fighting for ordinary working families-- are not in the New Dems. The New Dems exist to serve special interests, especially Wall Street special interests.I met Harley Rouda, one of the candidates running to replace Putin's favorite congressman, Dana Rohrabacher, in Orange County's CA-48, a few months ago. He came over to my house and we had a great chat and he seemed like a personable guy and a decent candidate. Then the New Dems endorsed him and I started viewing him through that prism. He's probably going to win his race-- and he's decidedly better than the DCCC's first choice in that district, Hans Keirstead-- but I already know what his voting record is going to be like in Congress. The New Dems don't endorse people unless they're very sure there won't be any tendencies to be "too" progressive. It's a Wall Street-owned PAC and they don't fool around. So far Rouda, an ex-Republican, has self-funded 60% of his campaign ($730,500). That kind of attitude about buying a congressional seat should always set off alarm bells.In CA-48, I've spent time-- online, on the phone and in person-- with Laura Oatman, the progressive in the race. My bet is that she's make a much better member of Congress, but she's being drowned out by the 2 New Dems, Harley ($1,225,534) and Hans ($855,340, of which $220,400 is self-funding). Another candidate in that race, carpetbagger Omar Si[...]

California Democratic Party Welcomes Señor Trumpanzee To The Golden State

Wed, 14 Mar 2018 16:00:00 +0000

Yesterday, when Señor Trumpanzee arrived in California for the first time since Putin installed him in the White House, he was greeted by an open letter from the state Democratic Party. Some say it's over the top-- but, then again, so is Señor T. The Party, of course, is eager to tie congressional Trump enablers to him in the minds of independent voters, especially vulnerable incumbents like Jeff Denham, Devin Nunes, Duncan Hunter, David Valadao, Mimi Walters, Steve Knight and Paul Cook. We heard from Katie Porter, the progressive Democrat running for Mimi Walter's seat in central Orange County. She reminded us that Trump came to California "bringing with him his hateful and harmful agenda. And while Donald Trump is the big focus of the day, let's not forget that in our own backyard Rep. Mimi Walters continues to support Donald Tump, voting for his agenda 98% of the time. Mimi continues to side with the powerful special interests in Washington and forgets about her constituents here in Orange County. Just last year, Mimi voted to raise taxes on middle-class families in California. She has consistently fought to take away a woman's right to choose and voted for the AHCA where 33,700 people in CA-45 would have lost their health insurance. Mimi even sided with big oil and signed a letter to Secretary Zinke urging him to allow drilling off our beaches. Not to mention after the most recent tragedy in Parkland, Florida, all Mimi could do was offer her thoughts and prayers while she continued to hold on to the nearly $20,000 she has received from the NRA... I am running to stand up to Donald Trump and Mimi Walters, and to be the congresswoman that fights for middle-class Orange County families, not powerful special interests." Marge Doyle is running for the gigantic, sparsely-populated seat the starts in the San Bernardino suburbs and runs along the Nevada border almost as far north as Sacramento. Like Katie she is running a strong campaign tying her opponent to Trump and his policies. "We know that Paul Cook marches to the drumbeat of this administration and is nothing more than a rubber stamp for its policies that threaten our neighbors' health, jobs, and economy.  We need someone with better discernment to represent our district."Dear Mr. Trump,We know it’s been a while since you visited California. Is it because we’re the reason you lost the popular vote?Or  the fact that the world looks to us as the leader on climate change?Are you intimidated by our Governor who speaks Latin better than you speak, period?Well, regardless of why you stayed away your first year in office, you’re coming here today.And since it’s your first trip in a couple of years, we thought you might appreciate some tips on how to have a productive and successful visit. Following these simple, easy-to-understand rules will help you navigate your way around a state that proudly lives in the 21st Century:Tip #1 – DON’T PRAISE NAZIS. Seriously. Nazis are not popular anywhere, but they’re incredibly unpopular in California. We know this has been an issue for you in the past, so to be absolutely clear: DO NOT PRAISE NAZIS, WHITE SUPREMACISTS OR MEMBERS OF THE KKK WHILE YOU ARE IN CALIFORNIA.Tip #2 – Take a moment and enjoy our beautiful coastline. It’s breathtaking, and we’re very proud of it. In particular, please notice that we have (more than) enough oil rigs on our coast. WE DON’T NEED MORE OIL RIGS ON OUR COAST.Tip #3 – Don’t try and divide people while you’re here. We’re incredibly diverse. We’re one of the most diverse and inclusive places in the wo[...]

DCCC Clearing The Field For Rich "Ex"-Republican Gil Cisneros? Jay Chen Withdraws

Wed, 14 Mar 2018 12:00:00 +0000

DCCC doesn't care what OC voters want-- they insist on the corrupt lottery winner I was worried about the open CA-39 race (northeast Orange County) when Jay Chen, a solid progressive, suddenly jumped in (immediately after Ed Royce announced his retirement). Jay is a very strong candidate and my fear was that he would split the progressive vote between himself and Sam Jammal, allowing one of the self-funding carpetbaggers to win or-- worse, trigger a race pitting 2 Republicans against each other-- in November. Polls have been showing Jay as the front runner, with Sam close behind and the self-funders left in the dust. Nonetheless, the DCCC is ruthlessly trying to clear the field for the most pathetic candidate in the race, the conservative, incompetent "ex"-Republican lottery winner from Newport Coast, Gil Cisneros. It's all about the grotesque DCCC corruption and the money Cisneros is spreading around. He can't win but the DCCC doesn't care. they will do whatever they have to do to deliver the nomination to the weakest candidate.Yesterday early in the morning, two e-mails arrived on Jay Chen letterhead. First a note from Jay explaining why he is dropping out and less than 5 minutes later one from Judy Chu and Mark Takano. Here are the relevant parts of both e-mails. First Jay's note: [T]he reality is that with the top-two open primary system in California and a crowded field, the path for a Democratic victory is a narrow one. As of now 9 Democratic candidates and 7 Republican candidates have filed for a primary in which Republican turnout may remain higher than Democratic turnout. The probability of two Republicans advancing in November, and Democrats squandering a historic opportunity, is real.We cannot let this chance slip by. The stakes are far too high, not just for our country, but also for a world that once looked to the United States as a beacon of hope and democracy. Instead, we are seeing a movement towards authoritarianism across the globe that is not just being condoned, but mimicked by the President of the United States.  The Republican-controlled Congress has done nothing to stop this degradation, which is why we must flip Congress, and we cannot flip Congress unless Democrats win this seat.The greatest contribution I can make right now is to help consolidate the field, by stepping away from it. We cannot afford to let this seat slip away, and we must all put the greater good over personal ambition.This was not an easy decision to make. Polling and endorsements show that I am the strongest Democrat for the open primary.  We have opened our office, hired staff, and made significant investments in this race. Many have upended their lives and made major contributions to see this campaign succeed. But after close consultation with mentors, friends, family and staff, we believe this difficult decision is the right decision, for us, for our district, and for the Democratic majority we need to guide our country.So the DCCC pushed out the frontrunner for a rich carpetbagger. I wonder what they offered him? Backing in 2020 for Grace Napolitano's seat? Help with a run for the state legislature? God knows what these characters are up to! Speaking of which... Judy and Mark: As Asian American leaders in Congress, we were very excited when Jay Chen announced his candidacy for the 39th Congressional District.As the only Democratic candidate in this race that has ever run or held local office, and as the candidate that has lived in the district the longest, we are confident that Jay Chen is t[...]

Midnight Meme Of The Day!

Wed, 14 Mar 2018 07:01:00 +0000

by Noah

Rexxon Tillerson, we hardly knew ye! But, we certainly knew enough. It's come to this: A corrupt oil man was just being too sane and reasonable, compared to his boss at least, and so he's gone. Apparently, Tillerson thought he could work with other nations and make some slight improvements to the Iran deal to save it. How dare he, as Secretary of State, work with other countries to make the world a little safer? Unfortunately, Senor Trumpanzee wants no part of that idea. Now, CIA chief Mike Pompeo will be the new guy.

Pompeo will be even worse, but, come on, I know you're surprised that Trumpanzee didn't choose David Nunes, Dana Rohrabacker, Betsy DeVos, or some hooker for the job. If Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were still alive, he might have even chosen them. Hell, I would have expected Jared Kushner, since he's in charge of "Mid-East peace." Still, I worry sooo much about what will become of Tillerson. I know you share my concerns about his future. In my mind's eye, I see poor Rexy running along some pristine beach with a big bucket of crude, trying in vain to catch up with the birds so he can cover them in oil. Oh, I'm sure he'll find a way, just as he's found a way all his slimy life. He'll even find a way to get Congress to give him subsidies of our tax dollars to help him continue his career of mayhem and sleaze. Worry not for Rex Tillerson.

Personally, I would like to see Tlilerson host Saturday Night Live this weekend, and do a sketch or two with Alec Baldwin.

How Funny Would It Be If The Utah Republicans Inadvertently Bared Their Own Candidates From The Ballot?

Wed, 14 Mar 2018 04:00:00 +0000

Kathie AllenNo, that's not a scenario from The Onion; but from the Salt Lake Tribune. "Imagine," wrote Lee Davidson, "this year’s ballot with no Utah candidates listed as Republicans. Or, alternatively, the ballot listing only those Republicans who gathered signatures, while others who went through the GOP convention are shut out." Sounds good to me. And deserved. Republicans say those scenarios are a growing possibility now that the Legislature failed to pass a bill designed to fix problems caused by a recent bylaw change adopted by the Republican State Central Committee.The fix-it bill, HB485, passed the House. It was on the Senate calendar awaiting action Thursday night when the Legislature adjourned as required at midnight-- so it died.Now, “I think there’s certainly a cloud over this election,” Rep. Mike McKell, R-Spanish Fork, sponsor of the bill, said Friday.The questions swirling in the wake of HB485’s demise include which, if any, Republicans eventually may appear on the ballot, whether the party may be listed at all-- or whether GOP hopefuls might be forced to run as unaffiliated candidates.The turmoil stems from a recent party rule change forced through by hard-liners on the GOP State Central Committee that would kick out of the party candidates who gather signatures to qualify for the ballot in some races. Signature gathering, they argue, decreases the power of state delegates and infringes on the right of the party to choose its own nominees.The problem is that the GOP last November filed to operate this election cycle as a “qualified political party,” which under state law means it would have to allow candidates to gather signatures, use the caucus-convention system, or both.“It’s clear they [Central Committee members] made an effort to break the law with their bylaw change,” McKell said, which could lead to lawsuits to revoke the GOP’s qualified political party status. That, in turn, could decertify the party, or lead it to be declared a “registered political party,” which under law allows only those candidates who gather signatures to appear on the ballot.McKell’s bill sought to solve problems by making clear that once a party files as a qualified political party, the party has no power to change midstream in an election cycle.Sen. Curt Bramble, R-Provo, Senate sponsor of the fix-it bill, said many of his colleagues lost interest in it after its narrow passage in the House, 40-31. Had it achieved 50 votes, it could have become effective immediately-- instead of in May.Bramble said immediate implementation was important to provide clarity as people begin filing their candidate declarations.Candidates must decide whether they go though the caucus-convention system, gather signatures or both. And without HB471, Bramble said, it remains murky whether the party actually has power to kick out those who gather signatures.If the party tries to enforce its new rule by ousting signature-gathering candidates, McKell said, it could trigger punishment by the state....[Lt. Gov. Spencer] Cox (R) warned that the new party bylaw “puts every Republican candidate at risk, as a judge could revoke the party’s qualified political party status.”Alex Cragun, executive director of the Utah Democratic Party, said Friday that Cox “cannot pick and choose which laws he can enforce,” and should now move to strip the GOP of its qualified political party status. “They can choose whether to violate the law, but they have to face the consequences.”Cragun said D[...]

Randy Bryce Gets Some Time Off-- Kind Of

Wed, 14 Mar 2018 00:00:00 +0000

Randy Bryce by Nancy OhanianL.A. and New York are towns with lots of celebrities. It's an unspoken rule-- you leave them alone. You don't bother celebrities at a club or shop or restaurant or on the street in either city. When I was president of a record company with offices in both cities, sometimes I would be having dinner with some of the biggest music stars in the world; people were always cool-- well, except Morrissey fans, who would become hysterical and couldn't control themselves-- and would be respectful of the quasi-privacy of "public" figures. It's somewhat similar with political figures. Certainly no one bothers them in DC. But it's usually pretty cool in L.A. and New York for them too. At the height of all the craziness over Mark Foley's resignation from Congress over child molesting I took him for dinner at a very high profile Hollywood restaurant, Jose Andres' place, Bazaar. I could see people staring out of their corner of their eyes, never blatantly, but that was all. No one came over to say anything nasty or ask for an autograph or punch him in the face. Just another quiet night in L.A. If celebrities in L.A. want notoriety, they can go to Katsu Ya in Hollywood, where the paparazzi hang out and tourists hang out on the street. Otherwise, its hands off.Last weekend, though, Randy Bryce was in town. He was here for a speech to the Labor Council convention. After he landed we went for dinner at Rao's, the L.A. branch of the East Harlem mob restaurant. Not a lot of subtlety there. It was early and the staff is over-the-top friendly. One waiter recognized Randy as soon as we walked in. He told the rets of the staff and I could see everyone was passing by the check him out. The floor manager walked over to break the ice and congratulate him and curse Paul Ryan. Then a waiter came over and told him America is counting on him and that he had sent him a contribution. Woah, I thought. That's heavy! What about the privacy rule? When we left, everyone wanted to slap Randy on the back and wish him well and tell him they were counting on him. A lot of these guys look like they're in The Godfather. On the way to the door, one guy looked more like Luca Brasi than Lenny Montana did and I can't repeat what he had to say about Ryan.The next day, we decided to surprise Sam Jammal, like Randy a labor-oriented progressive who's running for an open seat in Orange County. Sam was having a house party in Santa Monica and I brought Randy along unannounced. Everyone recognized him instantly and the reaction was overwhelming. Sam introduced him to the crowd and they cheered heartily. Everyone wanted to wish him luck and tell him how meaningful his race in Wisconsin was to them. One woman came up to him and slipped him a campaign check. Most-- literally, most-- told him they had already sent him money. "I grew up near you," one woman said, "in Michigan. The country needs you in Washington." Nothing seems to ever fluster Randy. He always seems on the same level as everyone who speaks to him. There was one woman during Jammal's speech who was loud and very forward with her progressive values. After the speeches she came up to Randy to ask if they could take a selfie. His response was to tell her that every event like this needed someone like her to focus everyone's mind on the issues the way she had.When we were driving back he asked me if I could pull over someplace where he could get beer. I don't drink so I'm not sure about this but I was thinking there's something ab[...]

Does The DCCC Have Its Own Troll Farm?

Tue, 13 Mar 2018 20:00:00 +0000

So who is Patrick Karlsson? No really... who is he (or who are they)? If he were a person, he would be a superman who doesn't need any sleep and who would "automatically" tweet as soon as someone would say anything positive about Laura Moser (like "Patrick Karlsson"-- not a Swede-- does). About 3 or 4 days before the primary, he popped up and went on the warpath against Moser. A pseudonym for Ben Ray Lujan or Nancy Pelosi? Nah. Jason Bresler? That sounds possible.I never heard of him until today when I was told he's part of what looks like a concerted effort to continue the DCCC's shocking smear of Laura, one of the 2 Democrats-- the progressive one-- who made it into the TX-07 runoff. When I looked him up to read his tweets myself, this popped up on my screen:So I had a friend look him up and BOOM! No problem at all finding tweets like this by the troll:So I guess I'm blocked... by an account I never heard of and that doesn't appear to belong to an actual person. Wouldn't that be just like the DCCC (or EMILY's List)? I guess no one at the DCCC cares that Bernie said he's "especially distressed that the DCCC tried to do negative attacks against a very respectable and intelligent candidate who is running a serious campaign. That’s just not acceptable. I suspect that it backfired on them, and I hope they don’t do it again." They keep going with the negativity-- except not on their own website this time. They're trying to destroy Laura's character, using really vile tactics right out of the Lee Atwater/Karl Rover playbook-- going right for her strengths and turning them into weaknesses. Laura is the progressive in this race, running against an anti-union corporate Dem, EMILY's List shill Elizabeth Pannill Fletcher. So the DCCC trolls are painting her as a racist, tearing her down and tearing her down in the ugliest possible ways. [Don't quote me on this but I think her husband is a person of color.] Someone told me about another possible DCCC troll, an account called Paradigm Shift Suki (@freeandclear1). I had never heard of it and went to check it when I was told the account was the source of endless smears against Laura. When I did, this was the message:You are blocked from following @freeandclear1 and viewing @freeandclear1's Tweets. Learn more.The DCCC and EMILY's List are setting the table in such a way that will absolutely guarantee one winner in November, John Culberson-- and what's most tragic about all this is that THEY KNOW IT AND DON'T GIVE A RAT'S ASS. They would much rather have a conservative Republican in Congress than a progressive.The DCCC is the worst den of iniquity in Washington. As Bernie said over the weekend in Texas. "I detest that type of politics and I think most Americans do... That is to my mind, absolutely unacceptable. And it’s got to end." But it won't stop, not while unaccountable, corrupt DC characters like Pelosi, Hoyer and Crowley control the party. Please consider helping to teach the DCCC a lesson they badly-- oh so badly-- need to learn by contributing to Laura's campaign at the Take Back Texas ActBlue thermometer on the left.[...]

The House Intelligence Committee Republicans Screwed America. Can America Screw Them Back?

Tue, 13 Mar 2018 16:00:00 +0000

The Republicans suddenly decided that the investigation into Putin-Gate is over and that Trump and Putin didn't do anything wrong. Pretty horrifying that these people are attempting a white-wash and putting Trump ahead of America. There are 13 Republicans on the House Intel Committee but many of them are in deeply red districts and not really likely to be held accountable for this. Mike Conaway, for example represents TX-11, a district so red that the PVI is R+32. Trump beat Hillary there 77.8% to 19.1%. And that wasn't an aberration of some kind. Romney beat Obama 79.2% to 19.6%. Conaway usually gets reelected with around 80%. There was no Democrat running against him in 2016, 2014 or 2012. This cycle Democrat Virginia Louise Leeder has raised $17,117 to go up against Conaway's $1,536,342 war chest.Early yesterday morning, Eric Swalwell (D-CA), a member of the committee, was on CNN with Chris Cuomo. He told Cuomo that he hopes "the public gets to see these transcripts (of the hearings). They will see... how much they tried to protect the President when our job was to protect the ballot box." In terms of voter accountability,3 Republicans on the committee are retiring voluntarily-- Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL) , Frank LoBiondo (NJ) and Trey Gowdy (SC). There are 4 other intelligence Committee Republicans who are in severely gerrymandered districts that are considered very safe: • Rick Crawford (AR-01)- PVI R+17• Chris Stewart (UT-02)- PVI R+16• Tom Rooney (FL-17)- PVI R+13• Brad Wenstrup (OH-02)- PVI R+9 So that leaves 5 who either are or could be vulnerable in November. Voters should focus on defeating these five: • Will Hurd (TX-23)- PVI R+1• Peter King (NY-02)- PVI R+3• Elise Stefanik (NY-21)- PVI R+4• Michael Turner (OH-10)- PVI R+4• Devin Nunes (CA-22)- PVI R+8 Will Hurd andPeter King look like they have probably reached the end of their roads, politically. The big fish, of course, would be Nunes-- but, by the numbers, his district is the toughest. Trump beat Hillary there by 10 points... a pretty steep-- albeit not impossible-- climb. The Democratic establishment is behind an uninspiring Republican-lite candidate, Andrew Janz, who venerates the death penalty and an NRA interpretation of the 2nd Amendment. The candidate who could actually beat Nunes is Ricardo Franco, who has a good connection to the voters but who is severely underfunded-- please help him here. "Today I spoke to a Poli Sci class at Fresno State," he told us, "where they are learning about Congress as well as propaganda techniques people use to get elected. Nunes calling local news outlets 'fake news' was a prime example and tonight's headlines did not go over well with them at all. Our local students are smart. Our constituents are smart. However, our youth are particularly keen on sniffing out BS when they see and hear it. Devin Nunes can spin things all he wants, but won't pass through the thorough lens of the students and constituents I talked to tonight. In fact, they sniff it out and reject it from the left as much as the right. Nunes' partisan political games and Dems that fall into the trap turn them off very quickly. You know what they did like speaking about? How for years Washington has been taking from the poor to feed the rich. These students know a statutory corporate tax rate of 20% effectively means zero. They know 'tax cuts for the middle class[...]

Winning In Red States With Marijuana Legalization

Tue, 13 Mar 2018 12:00:00 +0000

allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="255" src="" width="420">Remember a couple weeks ago there was an amazing legislative seat flip in Kentucky? Democrat Linda Belcher beat Rebecca Johnson for the open state House seat (49th district). On February 20th, Belcher won 68.4% to 31.6% in a district Trump had won 72% to 23% (and which Romney had won 66-33%). That's a really red district and Belcher's 45-point improvement on Hillary’s performance was engineered by a legendary Kentucky political figure, Mike Ward. Ward was Belcher's campaign manager. He had served in the state legislature himself, from 1989 to 1993 when he confounded a GOP wave election and won an open congressional seat, serving in Congress until 1996 when Bill Clinton appointed him Associate Director of the Peace Corps.Today, Mike's son, Jasper Ward, is working on legalizing marijuana in Kentucky and, through his Greenwave PAC, helping candidates-- primarily in red states-- use the marijuana legalization issue to campaign for Congress. The PAC released two ads this week, one for Dan Canon in Indiana (up top) and one for Kendra Fershee in West Virginia (below). I thought this would be a good time to re-run a guest post that Jasper did for DWT last summer:Green Wave-by Jasper WardThis waking nightmare that is America in 2017 is a disaster caused not just by President Trump, or even the criminal enterprise that is the Republican Party. Yes, Democrats share plenty of blame here, and 8 years of Obama in the White House covered up massive losses at the state and local level, like in my home state of Kentucky.Democrats here managed to actually implement a popular health care program that drastically improved the lives of a lot of Kentucky voters, and then steadfastly refused to admit it on the campaign trail. Alison Lundergan Grimes famously refused to even cop to voting for Obama, which helped her with precisely no voters and lost her plenty of others. Now Republicans control the Governor’s mansion and both state houses for the first time in forever, and are going about ruining the lives of the people who put them in when they aren’t too busy going after trial lawyers and unions.And who can blame them? Our esteemed Sen. Mitch McConnell has taught them that they should seek power for power’s sake, and then deftly manage using that power to reward contributors but not so much that you don’t have a reason to keep extorting money from them for the next cycle. It’s exhausting and depressing seeing how much bad Republicans can do in Kentucky and in Washington in such a short amount of time, and how hard it is to undo it.Back to the Democrats. My God, the Democrats. I’m no stranger to Democratic politics, having worked as an intern and low-level staffer for the Gore campaign in Nashville, research director for Don Siegelman in Alabama in 2002, and then for various campaigns thereafter both as a staffer and wearing the dreaded “consultant” hat. Watching them steal Florida from Gore, Alabama from Siegelman (and then put him in jail on trumped up charges for good measure) and Democrats lose race after race from 2003 to the present, I come by my cynicism and despair honestly.There are very few silver linings in the constant ongoing disaster that has befallen America. One that keeps me going is that there is a single issue that Republic[...]