Subscribe: DownWithTyranny!
Added By: Feedage Forager Feedage Grade A rated
Language: English
america  bernie  campaign  congress  house  new  people  president  republican  republicans  tax  trump  vote  world  years   
Rate this Feed
Rate this feedRate this feedRate this feedRate this feedRate this feed
Rate this feed 1 starRate this feed 2 starRate this feed 3 starRate this feed 4 starRate this feed 5 star

Comments (0)

Feed Details and Statistics Feed Statistics
Preview: DownWithTyranny!


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

Last Build Date: Tue, 19 Sep 2017 10:54:23 +0000


Midnight Meme Of The Day

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 07:01:00 +0000

-by Noah

By now, we've all seen multiple clips of reporters and late night TV hosts going out and interviewing Trump supporters in the streets. It's easy. You just go up to some clown that's wearing a Trump hat, turn on the camera, ask your questions, and watch the crazy come pouring out. To be fair, though, (and I'm always fair), it doesn't seem to be just the most fervent Trump supporters. It's Republican voters in general. It has become impossible to tell the difference. If you vote like a Trump supporter, you are one; no hat required. No stupid slogan on your shirt, no confederate flag or white hood either.

As Hurricane Harvey flooded Texas and Señor Trumpanzee toured a couple of firehouses with The Whore Of Slovenia to sell some hats, a common statement by Republicans ran along the lines of "See. Trump is taking real action. Where was Obama during Katrina?" In the alternative fact based Republican World, Obama had been shirking his duties as president and was out playing golf somewhere, never mind that, in the real world of 2005, Obama was not the president and wouldn't be for another 3 years. Not only that, but then Senator Obama actually did go to New Orleans and lend a hand.

All of this leads me to these questions when I see someone wearing a Trump hat, shirt, sheet, hood, or whatever: Should such people, for their own good and ours, be allowed to operate machinery? Should we step up the growth of public transportation for them in order to keep our highways safer? Do they get their own busses? Could it be that there is a beyond intolerable amount of lead in red state drinking water? Or is it all just due to bad schooling and FOX "News"? Well, of course, it could be all of those things, or, it could be just that the Walter White, of Breaking Bad fame, is a real person, that things have been reversed and the Republican Big World of Alternative Facts is actually the real world, and the "real" world that I have been living in is a fictional TV world. If that's the case, then obviously Walter was every bit as wildly successful in selling meth to the real world masses as the show depicted, and Breaking Bad is really all a documentary. Silly me, I thought that was just well-done fiction.

He's Not Conservative, He’s Not Liberal... He’s For His Own Personal Interests

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 04:00:00 +0000

Trump, who didn't write a single word of Art of the Deal, likes to portray himself as the world's greatest deal-maker and negotiator. Those who have been on the other end of the table from deal-making Trump, all have something in common: laughter at his preposterous claims. Trump's a loser who rants and raves, bullies and blusters but who, in the end, is notorious for making bad deals. He's been dragged into bankruptcy court 6 times. One of his own former lawyers, Thomas Wells, actually wrote a blistering indictment of what his unsavory client was all about. But now Trump isn't ripping off shopping malls and contractors, he's ripping off America. And even Republicans in Congress are finally beginning to grow weary of his shenanigans-- and become wary of his treachery.The superficial Trump technique of getting what he wants by asking for double and "compromising" on half, isn't going to work on a fellow shyster like Chuck Schumer but even McConnell and Ryan have begun to catch on. Last week they and their henchmen slashed his patently absurd budget to ribbons. The Regime's moronic proposal-- the laughable "New Foundation for American Greatness"-- was "a jaw-dropping document," containing random and ill-informed cuts to essential programs and agencies meant to keep Americans secure and healthy. When the $1.2 trillion dollar government funding package passed last Thursday-- 14 Republicans voting NO and just one mangy Blue Dog (Collin Peterson of Minnesota) backing it-- tons of his silliest cuts were nowhere to be seen. The funding bills are not expected to become law, but represent a likely starting point for fiscal negotiations between the two parties this fall.“I see the House omnibus as just the first step in an overall process of coming to an agreement,” Reynolds said.Trump’s budget, released well before hurricanes Harvey and Irma devastated portions of Texas, Louisiana and Florida, would have cut FEMA’s funding by $876 million. Instead, the House voted to increase FEMA’s funding by $39 million. Trump also requested cutting the National Weather Service budget by $62 million, or roughly 6 percent. The House cut $25 million.The Community Development Block Grant, which many members of Congress noted helps fund Meals on Wheels, were targeted for elimination in the administration’s blueprint. The House cut $100 million, but left $2.9 billion of the funding intact.Trump’s budget proposal called for eliminating the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which funded the channel that created “Sesame Street” long before it was sold to HBO. Congress left its funding untouched, and only slashed 3 percent from the National Endowment for the Arts, which Trump had also slated for elimination.On healthcare research, the House approved a whopping $1.1 billion increase for the National Institute of Health. Trump proposed cutting the agency’s funding by $7.5 billion.Still, despite the House’s moves, the Trump administration appears to be making some headway in its pursuit of spending cuts.By throwing out an enormous initial proposal for non-defense cuts, Trump may have made it easier for Congress to adopt cuts that are nonetheless significant. Psychologists call the strategy “anchoring,” because it anchors the first number-- in this case $54 billion in discretionary non-defense cuts-- at the center of a negotiation.“It’s a hugely powerful tool, as behavioral economists and psychologists have proven,” says Gabriella Blum, a negotiations expert at Harvard Law School. “Once you throw a number out there, it serves as a very powerful anchor that your mind is drawn to. It forces the conversation around it.”...Overall, while the House package didn’t reach the Trump’s goal of $54 billion in cuts, it does cut $5 billion, a significant figure that touches many parts of the government.The EPA’s funding would be slashed to levels it hasn’t seen in more than a decade, and the IRS would see a $149 million cut. Meanwhile, $1.6 billion would be appropriated to start building Trump’s[...]

Nothing Will Ever Make Señor Trumpanzee "Normal"

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 01:00:00 +0000

Jay Rosen teaches journalism at NYU in New York City. It was no surprise to Rosen when Trump started showing the rest of America what made him someone that very few New Yorkers were willing to vote for-- something like 18%. (Trump did slightly better than that in his own rich white people precinct-- 28.92%, with Hillary taking 67.47%.) Sunday, Rosen penned a short essay for an NYU project, PressThink, about the conflict Trump has embedded in the what he calls the "journalist's code"-- a conflict, he points out, that was created by a president wholly unfit for the job. What he had to say, though, isn't just for journalists, but for all sentient Americans. Most every journalist who covers Trump knows of these things:1. He isn’t good at anything a president has to do. From the simplest, like pretending to help out in flood relief, to the hardest: making the call when all alternatives are bad. (We’re told he can be charming one-on-one. So maybe that’s his one skill.)2. He doesn’t know anything about the issues with which he must cope. Nor does this seem to bother him.3. He doesn’t care to learn. It’s not like he’s getting better at the job, or scrambling to fill gaps in his knowledge.4. He has no views about public policy. Just a few brute prejudices, like if Obama did it, it was dumb. I do not say he lacks beliefs-- and white supremacy may be one-- but he has no positions. His political sky is blank. No stars to steer by.5. Nothing he says can be trusted.6. His “model” of leadership is the humiliation of others-- and threat of same. No analyst unfamiliar with narcissistic personality types can hope to make sense of his actions in office.It’s not like items 1-6 have been kept secret. Journalists tell us about them all the time. Their code requires that. Simultaneously, however, they are called by their code to respect the voters’ choice, as well as the American presidency, of which they see themselves a vital part, as well as the beat, the job of White House reporting. The two parts of the code are in conflict.If nothing the president says can be trusted, reporting what the president says becomes absurd. You can still do it, but it’s hard to respect what you are doing. If the president doesn’t know anything, the solemnity of the presidency becomes a joke. That’s painful. If they can, people flee that kind of pain. In political journalism there is enough room for interpretive maneuver to do just that.This is “normalization.” This is what “tonight he became president” is about. This is why he’s called “transactional,” why a turn to bipartisanship is right now being test-marketed by headline writers. This is why “deal-making” is said to be afoot when there is barely any evidence of a deal.What they have to report brings ruin to what they have to respect. So they occasionally revise it into something they can respect: at least a little. allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="255" src="" width="420">[...]

Why Dan Canon For Congress? Read His Guest Post

Mon, 18 Sep 2017 21:00:00 +0000

allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="255" src="" width="420">Yesterday Blue America endorsed my campaign and sent out a letter to its national membership asking for contributions. I appreciate everything Blue America is doing to advance progressive causes nationwide, and I am honored to have their endorsement. I want to make it clear that this campaign isn't really about me or what I've accomplished. It's about you. It's about building a movement. And it's about bringing real change to the whole country-- the kind of change that I believe has to come from the heartland. I'm running for Congress because I have a vision for a fairer and a better America for working families, and for the kind of world we want our kids and grandchildren to inherit. I think we can make this vision a reality.I'll be taking on some of the big-ticket items our elected officials should have been tackling for decades, such as:Healthcare. As diverse as my district is, nearly everyone is talking about healthcare first and foremost. And for good reason. Every other advanced nation in the world - including nations which Americans have supported with our tax dollars - guarantees healthcare for all of its citizens. And every one of those nations have better health outcomes, including infant mortality, maternal mortality, and overall life expectancy. Not one of these countries would require its citizens to ruin their financial futures just for the privilege of staying alive. But here in the United States, we still can’t even find out what we will pay for a service before we receive it, and working-class families go bankrupt from medical debt every day. That's inexcusable. If there is a silver lining to the Trump cloud, it's that people are really talking about where we ought to be with healthcare instead of where we are. Even the Democrats who opposed a public option in the ACA are starting to see the light on single-payer-type systems (or "Medicare for All," if you prefer). I want to help everyone see that light a little brighter.Paid family and medical leave. Everyone I have talked to in my district knows someone who left to go to the coasts - New York, California, etc. The heartland of America consistently produces top talent in all areas, but we have a tough time hanging on to it. Five states and D.C. have a carrot that the rest of us need: they support working families by offering paid family and medical leave. New York is going to provide 12 weeks of paid leave beginning in 2018. Again, this is an amenity that is enjoyed by most of the rest of the world. Only America expects families to have a baby and then go back to work the next day - or else. Our working families, in all 50 states, deserve better.Campaign finance reform. Very few people of any integrity are interested in getting into politics at this level. That's partially because very few people of integrity can afford it. I’m not wealthy, but I am a self-employed lawyer and am fortunate enough to be able to do this stuff without getting fired or going bankrupt (so far). I don’t see how a worker who gets paid hourly could do it. Maybe 50 years ago, when these races cost a couple thousand dollars at most. Not now, when congressional races cost in the tens of millions. It is next to impossible for the working class to become political leaders, and thus next to impossible to get anyone to earnestly try to resolve the widening wealth gap. To the extent there should be any one issue that should govern whether and how vigorously you back a candidate in any race, anywhere, it should be their stance on campaign finance reform. So ask. Ask us what our position is. Ask us where our campaign's money is coming from. Ask us what specifically we intend to do about toppling American oligarchy. And ask whether we'll remain committed - really committed - to that course of action once we get into office.Dramatic increase in the minimum wage. This has got to happen now. The wor[...]

Medicare-For-All: Open Rebellion, Paid Politicians & Net Family Savings

Mon, 18 Sep 2017 17:00:00 +0000

allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="235" src="" width="420">Bernie Sanders in March 2016 explains "what we will ask for if we lose." Note the list near the end of the clip. His candidacy and policy proposals count as an act of "open rebellion" as defined Gaius PubliusThe Medicare-for-All debate is heating up. Bernie Sanders has introduced a bill in the Senate that's gathering co-sponsorship — though noticeably not leadership support — and John Conyers has a similar, but not identical, bill in the House. Conyers bill has also drawn no leadership support; it has, in fact, drawn leadership opposition. Still, these bills, riding the wave of great poplar support for the Medicare-for-All concept, represent both a great next step for progressive office holders and a gauntlet thrown down by Sanders and Conyers in an act of open rebellion against mainstream — pro-profit, neoliberal — Democratic leadership.As a way of thinking about this phase of the war against "you can't have that" neoliberal economics, I want to offer three points:1. This really is an act of open rebellion by office holders who support Sanders' economic policies. The response of Democratic leaders to that rebellion will have consequences.2. Opposition by Democratic office holders to Medicare-for-All can be predicted by financial support taken from the insurance and pharmaceutical industries. Some of this support works like a bribe, and some works like Thank You money. Either way, there's a real financial benefit to opponents.3. Most of the cost estimates headlined by the mainstream (i.e., pro-corporate) media exaggerate the cost side and completely ignore the savings to consumers. If you keep these points in mind as the debate evolves, you'll be well-positioned to understand what ensues. Closed Rebellion and Open RebellionFor years, progressive Democratic office holders have opposed the "centrist," pro-corporate policies of Party leadership, but have done so primarily within the context of "not splitting the caucus."For example, in the Senate session that began in 2013, with Democrats in charge of the Senate, filibuster reform was strongly considered. Among the proposals was "strong reform" supported by a large group of senators led by Jeff Merkley, and "weak reform" — or no reform at all — supported by a group of the most senior senators in the Party. Harry Reid, then Senate Majority Leader, appeared to have attempted to find a compromise proposal that satisfied both sides, but failed. The Merkley faction was adamant, and the opposition to the Merkley proposal was just as adamant.The Senate ultimately adopted Reid's weak compromise, and the Merkley faction, which at one time appeared to number at least 46 Democratic senators — but less than the 51 needed to pass his reform bill — stood down. The Merkley proposal was withdrawn and the Democratic caucus, including Merkley-proposal supporters, voted unanimously for Reid's compromise.What was the effect of withdrawing the Merkley proposal without first forcing a (losing) vote? To hide from public view the names of Democratic senators opposed what the Democratic base strongly supported. In fact, Merkley himself was upbraided earlier by Reid for revealing those names in a conference call to his supporters:At Tuesday's closed-door caucus meeting, Merkley was upbraided by Reid for breaking unspoken Senate rules and naming specific senators in a conference call with Democratic activists last week, according to sources familiar with the exchange. "He's pissed off so many in the caucus," said one Democratic aide piqued at Merkley. "He has been having conference calls with progressive donors and activists trying to get them energized. He's named specific Dem Senators. Many are furious. He was called out on Tuesday in caucus and very well could be again today."The names of those senators was eventually printed here, in a little-noticed [...]

No One In History Has Ever Presided Over A Swamp Like Trump's Swamp-- The Swampiest Swamp That Will Forever Define Swamps

Mon, 18 Sep 2017 13:00:00 +0000

Yesterday, during the tweet storm that is her life, Ann Coulter reminded the lunatics who follow her online that "The 1 fact (before DACA betrayal) that made die-hard Trump voters hate him: White House full of Goldman Sachs bankers," pointing to the must read essay by Gary Rivlin and Michael Hudson, Government By Goldman. She must really hate Trump by throwing this piece of red meat out to the fan boys she and Trump share. "Gary Cohn is giving Golman Sachs everything it ever wanted for the Trump Administration" is the best description of how Trump has dealt with his draining the swamp campaign promise.It was Kushner-in-law who introduced Trumpanzee to Cohn, then still president of Goldman Sachs, at the end of November, an imperious, insecure man, like Trump, who is "at heart a salesman." They wrote how "Goldman Sachs had been a favorite cudgel for candidate Trump-- the symbol of a government that favors Wall Street over its citizenry. Trump proclaimed that Hillary Clinton was in the firm’s pockets, as was Ted Cruz. It was Goldman Sachs that Trump singled out when he railed against a system rigged in favor of the global elite-- one that 'robbed our working class, stripped our country of wealth, and put money into the pockets of a handful of large corporations and political entities.' Cohn, as president and chief operating officer of Goldman Sachs, had been at the heart of it all. Aggressive and relentless, a former aluminum siding salesman and commodities broker with a nose for making money, Cohn had turned Goldman’s sleepy home loan unit into what a Senate staffer called 'one of the largest mortgage trading desks in the world.' There, he aggressively pushed his sales team to sell mortgage-backed securities to unaware investors even as he watched over 'the big short,' Goldman’s decision to bet billions of dollars that the market would collapse." On the campaign trail, Trump had spoken often about the importance of investing in infrastructure. Yet the president-elect had apparently failed to appreciate that the government would need to come up with hundreds of billions of dollars to fund his plans. Cohn, brash and bold, wired to attack any moneymaking opportunity, pitched a fix that would put Wall Street firms at the center: Private-industry partners could help infrastructure get fixed, saving the federal government from going deeper into debt. The way the moment was captured by the New York Times, among other publications, Trump was dumbfounded. “Is this true?” he asked. Was a trillion-dollar infrastructure plan likely to increase the deficit by a trillion dollars? Confronted by nodding heads, an unhappy president-elect said, “Why did I have to wait to have this guy tell me?”Within two weeks, the transition team announced that Cohn would take over as director of the president’s National Economic Council....The conflicts between the two men were striking. Cohn ran a giant investment bank with offices in financial capitals around the globe, one deeply committed to a world with few economic borders. Trump’s nationalist campaign contradicted everything Goldman Sachs and its top executives represented on the global stage.Trump raged against “offshoring” by American companies during the 2016 campaign. He even threatened “retribution,”­ a 35 percent tariff on any goods imported into the United States by a company that had moved jobs overseas. But Cohn laid out Goldman’s very different view of offshoring at an investor conference in Naples, Florida, in November. There, Cohn explained unapologetically that Goldman had offshored its back-office staff, including payroll and IT, to Bangalore, India, now home to the firm’s largest office outside New York City: “We hire people there because they work for cents on the dollar versus what people work for in the United States.”Candidate Trump promised to create millions of new jobs, vowing to be “the greatest jobs pres[...]

Midnight Meme Of The Day

Mon, 18 Sep 2017 07:01:00 +0000

-by NoahIn case you've ever wondered why Republicans don't like the idea of people smoking weed or taking hallucinogenics, it may be because they are already so "out there" that they don't see anything to be gained. Case in point: One of the biggest reasons that over 60 million head cases voted for Trump is because they believed that his opponent was running a pedophile ring out of a pizza joint just outside of Washington, DC. One Trump terrorist even went there fully armed, intending to "rectify the situation."Republicans believe all sorts of things. Just last week, Rush Limbaugh was telling his devoted followers that Hurricane Irma was fake news being pushed by crazy libtards that believed storms were getting bigger and more devastating due to climate change.Then there's one of Trump's favorite news sources. No, I'm not talking about those kooks on FOX "News." I'm talking about Alex Jones, a major go-to news source for Republicans everywhere. Among the stories that he has broken is the news that the New Town Massacre was a "false flag" operation staged by the government with actors, that it was a hoax, never happened. Republicans often point to lack of coverage of this and similar stories as evidence that the "lamestream media" is not on the up and up. Think about how truly sick you have to be to believe this stuff. Supporting Trump is a manifestation of mass hysteria.Cruelty is often a thread of the stories that Republicans swear to. Just think how cruel you have to be to go around preaching and repeating these things. Many Republicans are too sociopathic to consider the feelings of the parents that lost children at New Town or that a fellow American is just trying to make a go of running a nice pizza place to provide for himself and his family. Then there are those few who do not believe that real but have no problem spreading the stories if it helps get their candidates elected. So much for being pro-family.This meme tells the story of another Alex Jones favorite that is now part of the Trumpworld of Republican alternate facts. How dare they spread this wicked lie! C'mon! Everyone knows the child sex colony isn't on Mars but on Planet Zontar 2 of the 4th Dimension, aka the home planet and birthplace of Barack Hussein Obama![...]

Trumpanzee vs Bannon

Mon, 18 Sep 2017 04:00:00 +0000

allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="255" src="" width="420">Trump is taking on the onus of a losing battle in Alabama against his own base on behalf Mitch McConnell, who he's said to detest. Background: last year Trump pulverized all his Republican presidential primary opponents in Alabama: • Senor Trumpanzee- 371,735 (43.4%)• Cruz- 180,608 (21.1%)• Rubio- 159,802 (18.7%)• Carson- 87,517 (10.2%)• Kasich- 37,970 (4.4%)• Jeb- 3,946 (0.5%)• Huckabee- 2,535 (0.3%)• Paul- 1,879 (0.2%)• Christie- 850 (0.1%)• Santorum- 616 (0.1%)• Fiorina- 543 (0.1%)• Lindsey Graham- 254 (0.0%)Alabama has 5 counties that share a border and media markets with Florida but the Sunshine State's senator, Little Marco, didn't come close to Trump in any of them. (In fact, in Houston, Geneva and Covington counties, Rubio came in 3rd.) Trump went on to obliterate Hillary in the general, 1,318,255 (62.08%) to 729,547 (34.36%). He out-performed McCain 2008 and Romney 2012. Alabama's wide-eyed, slack-jawed bumpkins found the 3-card monte hustler of their dreams. And while Trump's popularity has started drifting downward even in some red bastions... he's more popular than ever in a state where white nationalism and racism are the keys to most Republican voters' hearts.Alabama Republicans have a primary run-off election a week from Tuesday, on September 26, pitting neo-fascist former Judge Roy Moore against almost equally extreme appointed incumbent Luther Strange. Bannon and nearly every bigot and neo-Nazi in America have gotten behind Moore and the Republican establishment has lined up behind Strange. Strangely, Trump wound up backing Strange, something he reluctantly reiterated on Twitter last night, promising to hold one of his crazy campaign rallies in Huntsville next Saturday, 3 days before Moore buries Strange.Moore came in first in the primary, 164,524 (38.87%) to Strange's 138,971 (32.83%). Third place runner-up, far right crackpot Mo Brooks, endorsed Moore last night moments before Trump came out again for the faltering Strange. A poll from Emerson College last week showed Moore beating Strange 40-26%, with 34% of Republican voters still undecided. (Democrat Doug Jones, who will face the winner of the runoff December 12, is in a statistical dead heat with each one of them, but appears to fare best against Strange.)As of the July 26 filing deadline, Strange had spent about $2 million dollars more than Moore-- $2,286,479 to $286,421. Strange had $934,268 cash on hand and Moore had $173,386. But that was before Bannon and Mercer got involved. No one knows quite what to expect from them aside from hot air. So far though, millions of dollars-- approaching $10-- have been spent by McConnell and his allies to bolster Strange. It hasn't done any good at all, as he's lost ground with every dollar the establishment has thrown in in his favor. Not even Trump's endorsement helped Strange in the first round. Last night, Politico's Alex Isenstadt, looked at the Trump vs Bannon aspect of the race. Señor Trumpanzee's decision yesterday "to intervene in the Alabama special election followed weeks of pleas from senior Republicans who fear that a loss will invite a wave of primary challenges against GOP incumbents and damage the party in the 2018 midterms." Yes... Bannon and Mercer have teamed up to destroy the Republican Party establishment-- and have claimed Trump "secretly" backs them. Trump’s unexpected move sets the stage for a showdown between the president and his recently departed chief strategist, Steve Bannon, who is all-in for Moore. Bannon has cast the Alabama race as an-important clash between grass-roots conservatives and the Washington establishment-- and a test for whether other incumbent senators can be successfully challenged by insurgents in 2018.In response, Senate Majority Leader Mit[...]

How About A New Country In The Middle East?

Mon, 18 Sep 2017 01:00:00 +0000

allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="255" src="" width="420">A Kurdish homeland has been a realistic but unfulfilled dream for between 20 and 30 million Kurds living primarily in eastern Turkey, northern Iraq, northeastern Syria and northwestern Iran since World War I. It almost happened then and almost happened after World War II and almost happened after the first Gulf War (1991). Turkey, more than any other country, has always stood in the way. A week from tomorrow, September 25, will see an independence referendum in Kurdish Iraq, home to a largely autonomous 5-6 million strong Kurdish majority (17% of Iraq's total population). And, predictably, Turkey, home to as many as 20 million restive Kurds, is flipping out. Turkey which has moved in a fastist direction in recent years called the referendum a "matter of national security" for Turkey. Over the weekend Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said "No one should have doubt that we will take all the necessary steps in this matter."And Iraq is even more hysterical over the referendum. They are already threatening military intervention. The country's latest Prime Minister, Haider Al-Abadi, said if the Iraqi population was "threatened by the use of force outside the law, then we will intervene militarily," a prepared excuse for any action the Baghdad government decides it can get away with. The government in Baghdad says it won't recognize the results of the referendum and on Thursday the Iraqi parliament voted to fire Najmaddin Kareem, the Kurdish governor of Kirkuk province. He said the order was unlawful and that he will stay in office and the referendum will go ahead as planned." Al-Abadi called the vote “a dangerous escalation” that will invite violations of Iraq’s sovereignty.Iraq’s Kurdish region plans to hold the referendum on 25 September in three governorates that make up their autonomous region and in disputed areas controlled by Kurdish forces but claimed by Baghdad.The United Nations has urged the Iraqi Kurdish leader, Masoud Barzani, to drop plans for the independence referendum and enter talks with Baghdad aimed at reaching a deal within three years.Jan Kubis, the top UN envoy in Iraq, offered international backing for immediate negotiations between the country’s federal government and the autonomous Kurdish region.In a document seen by Agence France-Presse, he proposed “structured, sustained, intensive and result-oriented partnership negotiations... on how to resolve all the problems and outstanding issues” between Baghdad and Erbil, the Kurdish region’s capital.The Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) is embroiled in long-standing disputes with the federal government over oil exports, budget payments and control of ethnically divided areas.Iraqi Kurdish lawmakers on Friday approved holding the referendum in the face of fierce opposition both from Baghdad and the Kurds’ international backers.Kubis called for talks, overseen by the UN Security Council, that would aim to reach a deal defining “principles and arrangements” for future relations between Baghdad and the KRG.In return, Barzani’s administration would agree to postpone the referendum at least until the end of negotiations.The Kurds have been the most effective fighters against ISIS, far more so than the desultory Turks or the incompetent Iraqis. Israel is the only country in the region supporting the Kurdish move for independence. The U.S. and U.K. want the Kurds to postpone their push for independence until the war against ISIS is completed but the U.S. and U.K. have betrayed the Kurds every single time independence has come up, urging patience. The Kurds are aware that the minute the ISIS threat is over, the U.S. will give Iraq (and Turkey) a green light to crush-- or try to crush-- them.[...]

Blue America Endorses Dan Canon (IN-09)

Sun, 17 Sep 2017 21:00:00 +0000

Indiana was Trump country last year, but there is one district, it looks to us, ripe for a red-to-blue flip-- IN-09, which stretches from the suburbs north of Louisville and the Ohio River, due north through Bloomington into the suburbs of Johnson and Morgan counties south of Indianapolis. Freshman Trey Hollingsworth, a complete Trump rubber-stamp, only managed to get 54.1% of the vote last year, seriously underperforming Trump. Next year Hollingsworth is likely to face Dan Canon, the first serious progressive to run in the district in living memory. As of today, Blue America has endorsed Dan. We asked him to introduce himself-- and we're asking you to consider contributing what you can to his campaign here. My name is Dan Canon. I’m a civil rights lawyer. You might know me as one of the attorneys on the Supreme Court’s marriage equality case, or the guy who is suing Donald Trump for turning a mob of white supremacists on a peaceful Black protester, or one of the lawyers on the front lines of attacking the White House’s ban on refugees, but today I’m talking to you as a Congressional candidate for Indiana’s 9th District.When I tell folks I’m running for Congress, the question everyone asks is "Why?" The answer to that question is complicated, but it has a great deal to do with how I grew up. My mother raised me on her own, sometimes working two or three jobs at a time to make sure I was safe, healthy, and well-educated. She made a lot of sacrifices that no one should have to make. But whatever it took, whatever was thrown at her-- my mom stepped up and did more. I dropped out of high school when I was 17, but building on her example, I beat the odds, got my GED, and became the first person in my family to finish college.I learned a lot from my mom. I learned about hard work, fairness, dignity, perseverance, and courage. But I also developed an important belief by watching what she went through: we-- as a society-- can do better. We can do better for working people, we can do better for our families, and we can do a better job of taking care of each other.We can do better. Right now, we have the ability to give everyone the tools and opportunities they need to live their best lives.We can guarantee meaningful work to anyone who's willing and able to take it. We can put people to work rebuilding our roads and bridges, creating smart, renewable energy grids, creating public transportation that works, and ensuring everyone has internet access. And we can make sure that if someone works a full-time job, they have the ability to take care of their family, save money, and reinvest in their community.We can guarantee a safe environment to live in: clean air to breathe, clean water to drink, and secure, reliable housing for everyone.We can guarantee quality education for everyone-- education that isn't only for the wealthy, and doesn't leave our kids with crippling debt for the rest of their lives.We can guarantee healthcare as a basic human right. We cannot tolerate one more American going bankrupt or dying because they can't pay a bill.But this is just the beginning. Our campaign is not only going to be about getting one person elected. It's going to be about changing our culture and fighting our way forward.The incumbent in this seat will largely self-fund his campaign from family money. We won’t outraise him, and we don’t need to. We have a better message. But all this costs money.Bringing our shared beliefs to Congress will take all of us working together to dispel the lies that we have been fed for years by big business and corrupt politicians who put profits before people. That means spending on data, media, travel, and staff. With our platform we won’t be getting contributions from large corporate interests, so I hope you’ll consider helping out with our gras[...]

The New Republican Party Wall Tax

Sun, 17 Sep 2017 17:00:00 +0000

allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="255" src="" width="420">I'm sure you remember that Trump repeatedly promised during the campaign that he would get Mexico to pay for his ridiculous wall. Obviously, Mexico laughed in his face. So now the Republicans are ginning up a way of taxing Americans to pay for the (totally not) Great Wall of Trump. Trump is starting to back away from the wall-- sending some of his most devoted (completely racist and xenophobic) supporters into orbit, people like Ann Coulter, Steve King (R-IA), Joe Walsh, even close allies like Bannon, Miller and others from the lunatic fringe.If Trump ever expects to find "Democrats" to help him with his insane agenda, he knows exactly where ro go-- the Blue Dogs. One Blue Dog he knows he can count onion a pinch is Dan Lipinski, who has a 31.8% Trump adhesion score, one of the highest for any Democrat in Congress-- and the absolute highest for any Democrat in a solid blue district. But if the sleazy right-wing Lipinski has nothing to fear from a Republican challenge, this cycle he has a progressive Democrat rapidly gaining on him. Marie Newman is running a strong campaign for the IL-03 seat and you can contribute to her campaign here. Earlier today she told us that "Voters in my district want no part in this wall, especially paying for it out of their hard earned money. It's about time Congress focus on passing legislation that actually helps working families-- like affordable child care and health care for all-- rather than working to fulfill President Trump's ridiculous fantasy of a Great Wall."David Gill, another progressive candidate in Illinois, is running for a seat held by a Trump rubber stamp that stretches through central Illinois from Bloomington and Champaign through Decatur and Springfield down into the suburbs north and east of St. Louis. He said that "Trump's proposed wall stands in direct opposition to some of the values proudly embraced by myself and the majority of voters in my district: brotherhood, compassion, and respect for others. And given the overall net negative movement of undocumented individuals across our southern border over the last several years, it represents an attempt to manage a problem which does not even exist. It is simply another example of the president's bigotry on display, and I look forward to standing in opposition to it when I get to Washington."Jenny Marshall, who's running for the Piedmont seat in North Carolina occupied by xenophobe Virginia Foxx, isn't amused by Trump's antics. "To raise taxes on Americans to build the border wall is simply outrageous. Most people are just scraping by as it is and cannot afford additional taxes for Trump's wall. But in all honesty, no one on the left is surprised that GOP wants to pass the expense off on the taxpayers. It was just another lie from the Trump presidency and the GOP members of Congress."Jason Westin is an award-winning cancer doctor and researcher and his campaign for a west Houston congressional seat has been focused primarily on solving healthcare problems. That said, he's been outraged by the bigotry he's seen coming out of the House Republicans and the White House. "Houstonians just went through one of the largest disasters in our history with an estimated cost of at least $100 Billion dollars," he told us. "Life in much of TX-07 is far from normal, and it will take years to fully recover. Now, we hear that Trump wants American taxpayers to pay for his silly campaign slogan, wasting as much as we need to rebuild? As we say in Texas, 'bless your heart.' If Trump goes through with this, I will personally invite him down to campaign for John Culberson as he will be even less popular than the name Harvey."Randy Bryce, t[...]

TrumpCare Is Back-- And Ready To Fail Again!

Sun, 17 Sep 2017 13:00:00 +0000

TrumpCare-- basically repealing the Affordable Care Act-- may actually pass the Senate this time. They have 'til the end of the month-- because that's when the 50 vote reconciliation window closes-- and this time it's called Graham-Cassidy, written by a quartet of senatorial fools, Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Dean Heller (R-NV) and Ron Johnson (R-WI). They claim to have 49 votes in the bag-- with Susan Collins (R-ME), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Rand Paul (R-KY) opposed. Paul, who is easily pressured (or bribed) is not a reliable "no" vote.Amazing that they're trying this again after polling has been consistent that incumbents who back repeal with be subject to this statistic: 46% of voters say that if their representative or senator votes for repeal they will be more likely to vote against them. Only 25% say they would be more likely to vote for them. These are a half dozen of the worst things Graham-Cassidy is trying to accomplish: • Takes insurance coverage from 32 million Americans over a 10 year period• Ends Medicaid expansion• Ends all subsidies for ACA exchanges, replacing them with small and inadequate (and declining) "block grants"• Cuts coverage for low income seniors, children and people with disabilities and institutes a "per capita lifetime cap."• Gives insurance companies permission to stop insuring people with pre-existing conditions• Ends funding for Planned ParenthoodThe bill has yet to be scored by the CBO but the Center of Budget and Policy Priorities has analyzed it carefully and concluded that it would have the same harmful consequences as all the other TrumpCare bills that have come up this year. "It would cause many millions of people to lose coverage, radically restructure and deeply cut Medicaid, and increase out-of-pocket costs for individual market consumers. Cassidy-Graham would: • Eliminate the ACA’s marketplace subsidies and enhanced matching rate for the Medicaid expansion and replace them with an inadequate block grant. Block grant funding would be well below current law federal funding for coverage, would not adjust based on need, would disappear altogether after 2026, and could be spent on virtually any health care purpose, with no requirement to offer low- and moderate-income people coverage or financial assistance.• Convert Medicaid’s current federal-state financial partnership to a per capita cap, which would cap and cut federal Medicaid per-beneficiary funding for seniors, people with disabilities, and families with children.• Destabilize the individual insurance market in the short run-- by eliminating federal subsidies to purchase individual market coverage and eliminating the ACA’s individual mandate to have insurance or pay a penalty-- and in the long run. After 2026, once the bill’s block grant funding ends, it would amount to repeal of the ACA’s major coverage provisions with no replacement-- an approach that the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated would cause 32 million people to lose coverage and lead individual markets to collapse in most of the country.Approximately 80 billion dollars is cut out of the nation's healthcare. It's interesting to watch which states are hurt and which states benefit. Naturally, blue states are immediately targeted-- the states the pay the highest taxes to subsidize the poorest states that can't afford healthcare for their Trump-voting, prescription drug-using residents. These 10 are the ones whose citizens would be left reeling. They Except for Massachusetts each one has vulnerable Republican House members who will get slaughtered if they vote for it in the House. • California -$27,823,000,000 (2 Democratic senators)• New York -$18,905,000,000 (2 Democratic senators)• Massachusetts -$5,089,000,0[...]

Midnight Meme Of The Day

Sun, 17 Sep 2017 07:01:00 +0000

-by Noah

Doesn't Señor Trumpanzee always have the best words? Of course, maybe he's doing one of those Jedi mind tricks like "These are not the drones you are looking for."

My personal reaction to this is: You don't want me as president. I am not the president you want.

The DC Dems Should Learn That Working Class Voters Are Not Eager To Re-Embrace Status Quo Candidates

Sun, 17 Sep 2017 04:00:00 +0000

I find Robert Costa's reporting for the Washington Post worthwhile; and his contributions on MSNBC are better than most. He's a 31 year old reporter who comes from a rock background in the Philly suburbs. Only thing... his background wasn't just rock. It was also conservative. When I first noticed him he was the relatively sane writer at the right-wing National Review. He never seemed to be a right-wing hack, not even at the National Review. But if someone wanted me to take a bet on Costa's partisan affiliation, I'd I'd insist on very favorable odds before I'd agree to wager.This morning I woke up to find the tweet storm above about Bernie's Medicare for All proposal and how it may help define electoral politics over the next few years. Over the last months, I've been asserting that Bernie would have won by pointing to the counties and districts that Trump won went for Bernie over Trump in the primaries. This wasn't about Bernie beating Hillary in counties in West Virginia, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, etc... this was about counties where voters went to the polls and cast more votes for Bernie than for Trump, but then-- in the general-- looked at what Trump was offering and what Hillary was offering and decided it was Trump who was the lesser evil.She was unquestionably the candidate of the status quo. What voters had to decide was whether the change Trump was promising was change for the better or change for the worse. People capable of a modicum of discernment and critical thought decided Trump was worse. Nearly three million more Americans saw Trump for what he was and voted for Hillary, whether holding their nose or with some kind of hope and enthusiasm.The kind of counties I'm talking about are like rural and coal counties in West Virginia. Sure Bernie beat Hillary in every single one of them. And Trump beat Hillary in every single one of them, but that isn't what I'm looking at. On primary day counties like Boone gave Bernie 2,410 votes and Trump 1,388 votes (second place Dem was Hillary with 1,244 votes and second place Republican was Cruz with 97 votes). Calhoun Co. gave Bernie 803 votes and Trump 480 votes. Trump crushed Cruz in Clay County 568 (80.8%) to 68 (9.7%) but Bernie beat them both combined with 754 votes. These are rural West Virginia counties. Logan Co. saw Bernie with 3,201 votes and Trump with 1,665 votes. McDowell gave Bernie 1,453 to Trump's 760. Mingo went 2,425 for Bernie to 1,161 for Trump. These aren't college towns; they're coal towns. But even in urban Monongalia Co., the state's third-most populous, which includes Morgantown, Bernie beat Trump 8,096 to 5,971. Voters knew they wanted change and they sensed Bernie change would be better for them and their families than what Trump represented. Now let's look at key counties in the states that swung the electoral college to Trump-- where Trump beat Hillary but where Bernie had beaten Trump. We'll start in Wisconsin where the state's 10 electoral votes went to Trump because he beat Hillary 1,405,284 to 1,382,536 a margin of 22,748 votes. What we're not looking at here are counties where Bernie beat Hillary but where Hillary them went on to beat Trump. A good example would be Dane County, where Hillary kicked Trump's ass, 217,506 (71.4%) to 71,270 (23.4%). A case could be made that Bernie would have done even better. Why? This is how primary day looked in Dane County: • Bernie- 102,585• Hillary- 61,072• Cruz- 26,320• Trump- 20,884• Kasich- 20,055Throw in another 1,500 votes for the other Republicans still in the race (Rubio, Carson, Paul, Bush, etc) and all the Republicans together wound up with around 70,000 votes, far less than just Bernie alone. But we're not looking at counties[...]

Until They Pass Berniecare... Maybe You Can Try A Healthier Diet

Sun, 17 Sep 2017 01:00:00 +0000

allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="255" src="" width="420">I grew up like everyone else from an American working class background-- eating pretty crappy food-- bacon and eggs for breakfast, ham and cheese for lunch, burgers, meatloaf, pot roast or some other crap for dinner. When I got to college I realized for the first time that there's another way of eating. She didn't consult me, but my girlfriend-- a great cook, was a vegetarian and before I ever made a decision to become one, I was one. After college, when everyone around me in Kabul was getting sick and crapping and puking on themselves, too weak to get up off the floor, I was fit as a fiddle (or as fit as a rubab at least). That's because everyone was eating meat-- those fly-covered carcasses we would see, unrefrigerated, hanging in the markets-- and I was still a vegetarian... and not drinking Coke or Pepsi because I was boycotting them over the massacre at Kent State. I still haven't has a sugary beverage since 1970.Eventually, I managed to make my way back to Europe, utterly destitute, penniless. I found a macrobiotic restaurant inside the city-owned meditation center and a meal was a buck. And when I ran out of bucks, they hired me to wash dishes. Eventually I would up as the manager. But first, I was a chef. Me-- who had never heated up a pan of water. I learned how to make food, specifically how to make healthy food... how to shop for it, what to avoid, how to cut it and prepare it... everything. So decades later when I went to the hospital to be treated for cancer, my doctor said I was remarkably healthy for a man my age and would probably live through the treatment-- and I passed every physical test they give you before allowing you to get (expensive) experimental treatments. They check every organ in your body because they don't ant to spend a million bucks on you if you're gonna die anyway. So... lucky me that my girlfriend imposed vegetarianism on me.Yesterday, Newsweek ran a piece, Eating Badly Is A Leading Cause Of Death Worldwide, New Study Shows, that explains how "a long list of benefits is associated with maintaining a nutritious, well-balanced diet, including added energy, weight control and a lower risk of diabetes." A new study outlines the serious toll that poor nutrition can have on our well-being, and in some cases that even means death. In fact, about one in five deaths around the world in 2016 can be attributed to poor diet, making this one of the biggest killers, according to the study, The Global Burden of Disease.“In particular, diets low in whole grains, fruit, nuts and seeds, fish oil and high in salt were the most common dietary risk factors,” the research team wrote in its report, published in The Lancet medical journal. “In addition, high blood glucose, high blood pressure, high body mass index [BMI], and high cholesterol were all in the top ten leading risk factors for death for men and women globally.”All of these factors can be attributed to poor diet, as well as to other causes. Smoking was the only other risk factor to contribute to more deaths, reportedly killing about 7.1 million people in 2016.“This is really large,” the study's lead author, Dr. Christopher Murray, director of the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington, told The Guardian. “It is amongst the really big problems in the world. It is a cluster that is getting worse.”The findings also showed that while people are living longer, more years of their lives are spent being sick.“Death is a powerful motivator, both for individuals and for countries, to address diseases th[...]

Democrats Should Dump Their Failed DC Leaders With Their Outdated Preconceptions And Sweep The 2018 Elections

Sat, 16 Sep 2017 21:00:00 +0000

allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="255" src="" width="420">I was going to put this up as an addendum to an earlier post, but I changed my mind and decided it could stand on its own. Ryan Cooper has a tremendously competent look at Bernie's proposal and why it makes such good politics for Democrats, despite opposition from the party's two clueless-- and failed DC leaders, Schumer and Pelosi. "The plan," he wrote, "would be phased in over a period of four years. In the first year, traditional Medicare would be expanded to cover dental, vision, and hearing aids, as well as people over 55 or under 18, while others would be able to buy in if they wish. In the second year, the age qualification would be lowered to 45, in the third year to 35, and then in the fourth year, everyone remaining would be included. This upgraded version of Medicare would also be a lot more generous in terms of access. There would be no cost-sharing, except for prescription drugs. It is, as Paul Waldman argues, probably best understood as an opening bid-- a symbolic maximal demand rather than the usual pre-compromised [see failed Democratic leaders Schemer and Pelosi] Democratic fare. We spend $3.2 trillion per year-- literally twice as much as the OECD average as a share of the economy. We pay enough in health-care taxes alone-- that is, the government revenue that goes to Medicare, Medicaid, the VA, and a few other things-- to cover a Canada-style Medicare-for-all system for the whole U.S., and then that much again in private money. In other words, if we could simply copy-paste Canada's universal health-care system into America, taxes would actually go down.All that means is that America doesn't have to worry much about costs; it has to worry about allocating existing spending properly. We already have a gigantic pool of resources dedicated to health care-- about half private and half public. We just have to adjust that spending so it can support a single-payer system.So on total spending, for example, BernieCare would have contradictory effects. No cost sharing would make going to the doctor much easier, which would increase spending, while on the other hand it would bring prices down a lot, cutting outlays. It's impossible to know for sure which effect will predominate until detailed studies can be done (and probably not for sure until it is actually implemented). But the fundamental reality is that we are already putting up way, way, way more than enough to pay for a really excellent universal health-care system. Any resource problems we run into along the way-- and there is sure to be quite a lot of disruption during the transition period-- can be solved by adjusting the pot of health-care resources around.For example, Sanders' funding options present several ways you might finance Medicare for all and leave almost everyone money ahead. Administrative savings alone (due to the fact that Medicare is vastly more efficient than private insurance) would run to something like $500 billion per year. Negotiating drug prices might free up another $113 billion. Meanwhile, a 7.5 percent new employer-side payroll tax would raise $3.9 trillion, while cutting health-care expenses per employee by $9,000 on average. A new 4 percent income tax would raise another $3.5 trillion while saving a family of four making the median income about $4,400 after getting rid of premiums....[T]he basic strategy is clear: cut out waste, get prices down, add a few new taxes, and use the resources thus freed up to cover every single American. Even if those details need to be adjusted, it definitely can work, and it will be a sp[...]

Is Mueller Following Up On Kevin McCarthy's Revelation That The Kremlin Pays Rohrabacher? And What About Nunes?

Sat, 16 Sep 2017 17:00:00 +0000

I wonder how staunch conservatives in towns like Huntington Beach, Costa Mesa, Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, Laguna Niguel and Fountain Valley feel about their Representative being referred to as "the pro-Russia congressman." That exactly how the San Francisco Chronicle labeled eccentric-- some would say crackpot-- Orange County Congressman Dana Rohrabacher in a headline Thursday. The picture that reporter Joe Garofoli painted of Rohrabacher was, by his own admission, "surreal." Rohrabacher, he wrote, "greater me in bare feet, sitting on his front step making fundraising phone calls while wearing a stained white T-shirt and khakis he bought at Goodwill. Later, he proudly showed me a blazer he scored there for $10." Roahabacher is likely to need whatever he can bring in from fundraising. Last cycle he didn't have any opposition from the DCCC-- which has ignored his district for... as long as anyone can remember. It has a PVI of R+7 last cycle (safely red); this cycle the PVI is R+4, which is reasonably contestable in a wave election, particularly if there is something peculiar about the incumbent-- like being in bed-- or being perceived as being in bed-- with the Kremlin. McCain beat Obama 51-46% and Romney beat Obama 55-43% but this very red district went for Hillary over Trumpy-the-Clown 47.9% to 46.2%. It was the closest Trump came to winning any of the Orange County districts.Rohrabacher beat his under-funded Democratic opponent, Suzanne Savary, last year 178,701 (58.3%) to 127,715 (41.7%). Outside parties didn't get involved; he spent $646,004 to her $102,133. This cycle he's raised (as of the June 30 filing deadline) $496,494 while his 3 top Democratic rivals have been catching up. Harley Rouda raised $318,334; Hans Keirstead raised $138,504; and Laura Oatman raised $119,399. Rohrabacher has never had a real and sustained national focus on him before. He's 70 and it seems to be wearing him out. When I spoke with him the a couple of weeks ago, he complained about aches and pains "from surfing." My friend asked if he had been surfing in the Moscow River. He grimaced uncomfortably but seemd to worn out to engage. Rouda seems to have the most active campaign so I reached out to him. He seems more interested in talking about jobs and the economy, healthcare and global warming and green energy than about Russia. But Rohrabacher's eccentricities and shenanigans with the Kremlin haven't gone unnoticed. "Congressman Rohrabacher's continued relationship with the Kremlin and Putin," he told me this morning, "are not only dangerous to America's interest and unbecoming behavior for a United States Congressman, they are a disservice to the people in the 48th district. While Dana travels the world meeting with Vladamir Putin and Julian Assange, people back home are concerned about rising costs of prescription drugs and access to health care. We need a Congressman who will stand up and protect our coastal communities from the real-threat of climate change, not one who is doing the bidding of foreign governments and hackers." Back to Garofoli at the Chronicle, who points out that Rohrabacher is "a hero to weed-lovers for being a Republican at the forefront of the pro-marijuana legalization movement, and a pariah to fellow Republicans for being so pro-Russia that House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy once jokingly said that 'Putin pays' him. He wants to cut a deal with Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, and thinks the Charlottesville riots were staged by liberals and were 'a total hoax.'... During our visit, he largely dismissed human influence on climate change." Standing at the corner of Fringe and Conspir[...]

Who Supports Medicare For All? And Who Doesn't?

Sat, 16 Sep 2017 13:00:00 +0000

allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="255" src="" width="420">A couple of days ago, Rick Nolan, a progressive congressman from a district in Minnesota Trump won (54.2-38.6%) tweeted that he and John Conyers had introduced one of the first Medicare-for-All bills in 1978. "America, he wrote, is ready!" Here's a clip of Bernie explaining why the U.S. should aim for single-payer healthcare in 1992. Harvard's School of Public Health conducted a poll for Politico on Americans' top priorities for Congress for the rest of the year. When asked how important each of ten domestic issues being widely discussed in Washington should be for Congress, the top priorities for Republicans are to revisit repealing and replacing Obamacare (53%) and reduce the budget deficit and government spending (36%). The top priorities for Democrats are to take action to lower prescription drug prices (51%) and continue the investigation of Russian involvement in the 2016 election (44%).What I found most interesting about the chart from the poll is how Democrats and independents are so in synch on so many issues. Republicans are consistently the odd-man-out on the issues Americans are most concerned about, not just on healthcare but across the whole policy spectrum. And this is very much in line with what other recent polls have found. Look at this one from a recent PPP survey:This is not good news for Republicans heading into the 2018 midterms. Now that Republicans, with control of both Houses of Congress and the presidency, have failed-- several times-- to repeal Obamacare, interest in Bernie single payer, Medicare-For-All plan is at an all time high. His bill takes Medicare and makes it automatic for all Americans, regardless of age,adds care for teeth, eyes and ears, and eliminates co-pays. It eliminates for-profit insurance companies from the healthcare system-- along with their incentives for denying doctors' requests for care for their patients (although people would be able to buy supplemental private insurance if they wished, which doesn't seem to make any sense). It includes "hospital services, including emergency services and inpatient drugs; ambulatory patient services; primary and preventive services, including disease management; prescription drugs, medical devices, and biological products; mental health and substance abuse treatment services, including inpatient care; laboratory and diagnostic services; comprehensive reproductive, maternity, and newborn care; pediatrics; oral health, vision, and audiology; rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices"-- and it is universal.This is going to take some years to pass-- starting with the election of not just more Democrats to Congress, but progressive Democrats. Many conservative Democrats do not support Medicare-For-All, especially not the money-grubbers who are bribed for the healthcare industry. So far these are the senators who have signed on as co-sponsors: • Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)• Richard Blumenthal (D-CT)• Cory Booker (D-NJ)• Al Franken (D-MN)• Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)• Kamala Harris (D-CA)• Martin Heinrich (D-NM)• Mazie Hirono (D-HI)• Patrick Leahy (D-VT)• Ed Markey (D-MA)• Jeff Merkley (D-OR)• Brian Schatz (D-HI)• Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)• Tom Udall (D-NM)• Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)• Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) No Medicare-For-All supporters on this listChuck Schumer, the picture of senatorial pay-for-play, and a huge taker of bribes from the special interested opposed to the bill, is not supporting it and has hand-picked two corrupt conservative cand[...]

Midnight Meme Of The Day

Sat, 16 Sep 2017 07:01:00 +0000

by Noah

This one is just a simple depiction of what counts for logic and sanity in Trump's Mad White House. 10,000+ patriotic trans military people are to be banned by a man of doubtful loyalties. Meanwhile, the Republican ideal is represented by a convicted wackjob ex-sheriff who dresses his prisoners in pink underwear (think about the implications of that one), feeds them gruel, sleeps them in 120+ degree tents, denies medical attention and "lets" them die. Need I go on? Sheriff Arpaio is a sadist, not unlike the sick man who pardoned him and even wants to get his conviction vacated.

Perhaps, what Trump likes about Arpaio the most is that Arpaio would do great running a prison camp in Siberia. It could also be their mutual love of their press clippings, their mutual birther insanity, the blatant racism... Arpaio and Trump are a match made in Hell. It's a love story, an evil, fascist love story.

All Dems Want Peace And All Republicans Want War, Right? No

Sat, 16 Sep 2017 04:00:00 +0000

Early this summer it looked like the House would vote on Barbara Lee's attempt to repeal and replace an outdated Bush-era Authorization for the Use of Military Force. But then Paul Ryan, secretly-- in the dead of night-- pulled the amendment out of the 2018 Defense Appropriations Bill that had previously been agreed to. Lee's office: "In a desperate and undemocratic attempt to kill Barbara's AUMF repeal amendment, Speaker Paul Ryan stripped it from the Appropriations bill in the middle of the night without even bringing it up for a vote. This shows the extreme tactics Ryan will use to uphold the status quo and avoid debating endless wars. It shows an underhanded move to make Barbara's amendment vanish into thin air. And it shows a new low for the Speaker that requires us to come together and take action... Congress has been missing in action on matters of war and peace for nearly 16 years. What is Paul Ryan afraid of? Why won't he let members of Congress honor their constitutional responsibility to debate and vote on U.S. military intervention abroad? Paul Ryan should be ashamed of himself. This isn't leadership, this is autocracy. If we are going to continue to send our brave servicemembers into battle zones to fight endless wars, Congress must have the courage to take up this debate. With your help, we'll make it clear to Paul Ryan that the American people want Congress to act to stop endless war."Wednesday Rand Paul gave it a try in the Senate. He did little better than Lee had. Senator Paul had hoped "to repeal the war authorizations that underpin the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq as well as military action in a slew of other countries." His amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act was killed 61-36. It wasn't a Democrat vs Republican vote. The only Republicans backing Rand Paul's amendment were Mike Lee (UT) and Dean Heller (NV). Progressive tended to support him as well-- Bernie (VT), Elizabeth Warren (MA), Tammy Baldwin (WI), Al Franken (MN), Jeff Merkely (OR), Sherrod Brown (OH), Harris (CA), Udall (NM), Hirono (HI), Markey (MA), Heinrich (NM)... Democrats who voted against the bill-- the pro-war part of the party-- included Bob Casey (PA), Sheldon Whitehouse (RI), Joe Manchin (WV), Debbie Staben ow (MI), Cortez Masto (NV), Tom Carper (DE), Mark Warner (VA), Jeanne Shaheen (NH), Brian Schatz (HI), Claire McCaskill (MO)... Alan Grayson first ran for Congress on a pro-peace platform and the issue was never far from uppermost in his mind. Today he mention a classic John Lennon line, All we are saying is give peace a chance. "After the WMD farce, I understand that the military-industrial complex is incapable of embarrassment or shame. However, for a Great Power to be going to war against ISIS on the basis of an AUMF issued against Al Qaida-- before ISIS existed-- is embarrassing. Every time a hard decision comes along, 535 voices shout, in unison, 'Duck!' Bipartisanly." In a floor speech Tuesday, Paul torched his fellow lawmakers for refusing to vote to authorize the myriad military actions the U.S. has engaged in since the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington on Sept. 11, 2001."I don't think that anyone with an ounce of intellectual honesty believes that these authorizations from 16 years ago and 14 years ago ... authorized war in seven different countries," Paul said."I am advocating a vote ... on whether or not we should be at war," Paul said. "It should be a simple vote. It is like pulling teeth."But the war powers vote didn't come easy for the senator. Wednesday's vote ca[...]

What Happens If Señor Trumpanzee Refuses To Recertify The Iran Nuclear Deal?

Sat, 16 Sep 2017 01:00:00 +0000

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is the fancy way of referring to the Iran nuclear deal agreed to in July, 2015b by Iran, the U.S., the E.U, Russia, Germany, France, the U.K. and China. It gave Iran relief from U.S., E.U, and UN nuclear-related economic sanctions in return for Iran agreeing to monitored and verified elimination of its stockpile of medium-enriched uranium, while cutting its stockpile of low-enriched uranium by 98%, and reducing by about two-thirds the number of its gas centrifuges for 13 years and not to building any new heavy-water facilities and limiting Uranium-enrichment activities to a single facility using first-generation centrifuges. At the time, the NY Times editorial board wrote that the agreement was "potentially one of the most consequential accords in recent diplomatic history, with the ability not just to keep Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon but also to reshape Middle East politics." And then in lumbering Señor Trumpanzee. Congressional Republicans were hostile to the agreement even before Trump's election. In fact, they had vowed to kill it even before the wording was released.A NYTimes analysis by Jennifer Steinhauer made it clear that Republican opposition to the agreement was "born of genuine distaste for the deal's details, inherent distrust of President Obama, intense loyalty to Israel and an expansive view of the role that sanctions have played beyond preventing Iran's nuclear abilities." Conservatives-- including AIPAC-owned members of Congress like Chuck Schumer-- have never given up their hope to kill the deal. Trump's intense emotional hostility to the agreement is belied by his Regime having certified a month and a half ago, in July, that Iran had upheld its end of the agreement.That said, Trump still wants to decertify the JCPOA. If he does, what happens? If Congress does nothing, the JCPOA stays in effect. If Congress imposes new sanctions on Iran, that would likely blow up the deal. The other signatories would be severely pissed since there's been no Iranian violations. With no JCPOA, Iran would be free to increase nuclear fuel production or even build a bomb. I turned to 3 progressive members of Congress who I knew are watching the developments closely.El Paso Congressman Beto O'Rourke is running for Ted Cruz's Senate seat now-- you can help him defeat Cruz here-- but as a member of the House Armed Service Committee he sits on both the Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities and the Subcommittee on Strategic Forces. I gather than most Democrats in Congress agree with the simple, straightforward assessment he gave me this morning: "Without JCPOA the Middle East and the rest of the world become a lot more dangerous. It's the best way we have to check Iran's progress towards a nuclear weapon. It will be very hard to build a coalition of necessary countries to help us if we unilaterally withdraw."Ro Khanna (D-CA) pointed out, also this morning, that "if Trump does not issue a compliance certification, Congress is NOT required to reimpose sanctions on Iran. Congress still can do the right thing by refusing to impose sanctions. That is why it is so important for progressives to mobilize and have Democrats on the record as saying they will not reimpose sanctions waived under the JCPOA if Trump plays politics in refusing to certify." Mark Pocan (D-WI) is the co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and he represents a district that has a strong bent. "The world needs fewer nuclear weapo[...]

An Open House Seat In Hawaii-- Beware The Fake Progressive

Fri, 15 Sep 2017 21:00:00 +0000

Lobbyist Doug ChinWhether she wins or loses, the biggest wave from Colleen Hanabusa's decision to primary Governor David Ige is that her plum Honolulu-based House seat (PVI is D+17-- won last year by Clinton 63.1% to 30.5%) came up for grabs. Last year Bernie swept the Democratic caucuses in Hawaii, beating Hillary 23,530 to 10,125 (and out-polling Trump's limp 5,677). It would make sense for the Democrats to run a progressive and not some corporate shill. But... well, you know the Democratic Party.They have an anti-Trump candidate and they hope they can confuse voters into thinking anti-Trump= progressive. It doesn't. The establishment pick, Attorney General Douglas Chin challenged the Trump travel ban-- a good thing to do-- and got tons of press for it, but Chin was appointed to the job by the governor and he's never run for office before. A not very sterling former lobbyist, if he runs, you can count on lots of heretofore hidden baggage emerging. He was a lobbyist for Wasserman Schultz's favorite private prison racket, Corrections Corporation of America and he worked under Honolulu's throw-away-the-key Republican Mayor Peter Carlisle for years as deputy prosecutor, where he opposed criminal justice reform and added to Hawaii's overcrowded prisons, eventually authorizing a deal to send Hawaii prisoners to a Corrections Corporation of America prison in Arizona. Cozy! As a corporate lawyer for Carlsmith Ball, Chin worked for Wall Street banksters against the legitimate interests of Hawaii's working families, reason enough to oppose his attempt to get into Congress.This week Karen from Maui wrote at Daily Kos that Chin has "been defending business interests who have violated the law and quite rightly the courts have smacked him down. Don't let his one good act (suing over the Muslim Ban) mislead you into thinking he is not the ultimate corporate tool. He is no progressive. Not even close."While other states and cities have stood up to ICE, Chin has been more than compliant. in fact, under Chin Hawaii's per capita deportation rate has been the highest in the nation. Meanwhile, he has a well-earned reputation for approving lots and lots of pay-to play sweetheart deals with millionaire developers and contractors.Doug Chin isn't a progressive, just an anti-Trump Democrat. There will likely be several actual progressives who do run, one of which-- we're hoping-- will be Hawaii's most progressive state legislator, Kaniela Ing. We'll let you know if he decides to jump into the race. One extremely right-wing fake Democrat who is almost certainly running for the seat is the wretched state Sen. Donna Mercado Kim. Two other state senators, Karl Rhoads and Stanley Chang, are also considering the race.[...]

The Truth About The Trumpanzee Tax Plans

Fri, 15 Sep 2017 17:00:00 +0000

allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="255" src="" width="420">Former CNN Chief Business Correspondent Ali Velshi, now an MSNBC anchor, is not an idiot... but... On his morning show yesterday the Hairless Prophet of Doom introduced a question to Jared Bernstein, once a professor at Columbia and then Vice President Biden's Chief Economic Adviser, by claiming that Trump's plan to eliminate the estate tax would help the middle class. Before Bernstein got to whatever Velshi's question was, he addressed the GOP talking point Velshi had just slipped onto the air so matter-of-factly. The estate tax only impacts .02% of the richest Americans. ZERO is paid, he said, by any estate worth under $11 million. Velshi pushed back with another Republican Party myth: "but the family farms..." Bernstein cited the NY Times exhaustive search for a family farm, GOP congressmen are always whining about, that has been impacted by the estate tax. That found exactly none-- not one.Trump's largely nonexistent tax proposal is entirely based on a tissue of outright lies. At a meeting with lawmakers from both parties in the Cabinet Room this week, Señor Trumpanzee insisted that the so-called Tax reform plan his Regime is still trying to draft "will not lower the amount of taxes paid by the wealthiest Americans." Fox News pushed his lies: allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="255" src="" width="420">Trumpanzee claims the amount of taxes-- even his own-- could even go up. "The rich," he bullshitted, "will not be gaining at all with this plan. We are looking for the middle class and we are looking for jobs-- jobs being the economy. So we're looking at middle class and we're looking at jobs. I think the wealthy will be pretty much where they are, pretty much where they are... If they have to go higher, they'll go higher." Tucson-based GOP mental midget Martha McSally (video up top) bought right into it. She's so fucking stupid-- a Republican version of Blue Dog Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey. Americans For Tax Fairness are not as gullible as McSally. They pointed out that Trump's nonsense might be music to the ears of Congress' most foolish members (the so-called "Problem Solvers Caucus") but that doesn't make any of it real or true.Frank Clemente, Executive Director, Americans for Tax Fairness, replied without mincing words: "That's a lie. Trump's current tax plan will overwhelmingly benefit millionaires, billionaires, and large corporations, at the expense of everyone else. The top 1% will get half of his proposed tax cuts-- $175,000 each on average. Trump plans to pay for his massive tax giveaway with budget cuts to Social Security, Medicaid, public education and other priorities for the middle class. He even plans to cut $667 million from FEMA next year. Unbelievable." Here are the facts about Trump's tax plan as outlined in April 2017: • Half of the tax cuts in Trump's plan will go to the top 1% (those making more than $732,900).• The average tax cut for the top 1% will be $175,000.• The average tax cut for a family making between $25,000 and $48,600 will be $210.• A quarter of all families making between $48,600 to $86,100 will actually see their taxes INCREASE.On top of that, these tax cuts for millionaires will be paid for by Trump's budget cuts to Social Security, Medicaid, public education, and many other priorities for working families and the middle class[...]

Melting Down-- Republican Style

Fri, 15 Sep 2017 13:00:00 +0000

allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="255" src="" width="420">Fox crackpot Sean Hannity blames Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell for Trump "caving" on DACA. He claims they wanted Trump to fail and "pushed him into arms of political suicide." Xenophobic maniac Lou Barletta (R-PA) said almost the same thing Thursday morning: "If we can't get things done, than we're giving [Señor Trumpanzee] no choice but to work with the Dems." "No promise [from Trumpanzee] is credible," said Iowa neo-Nazi congressman Steve King. The Trump true believers-- most of whom saw him as the ignorant boob he is but who felt he would be a vehicle for their own outré agendas and visions-- were freaking out Wednesday night. Not just Hannity. Another hate talk radio host, former congressman Joe Walsh, melted down on twitter:I'm not sure when Mark Krikorian, who many say is a Kremlin spy, decided to pull up the Welcome-to-America ladder after his own family's arrival in America from Armenia, but he heads up an anti-immigration hate group, the so-called the Center for Immigration Studies, that was firmly allied with Señor Trumpanzee during the election. His reputation as a racist pig was cemented in 2010 when he wrote in the National Review that "My guess is that Haiti's so screwed up because it wasn't colonized long enough." He also melted down on twitter yesterday over Trump's agreement with Chuck and Nancy.He wants xenophobes like himself to burn MAGA hats in from of the White House. Former Trump campaign advisor Sam Nunberg might not be ready to burn his MAGA cap yet but, according to Robert Costa's piece in the Washington Post, he said that "the reality is sinking in that Trump administration is on the precipice of turning into an establishment presidency." Even hate talk radio host Laura Ingraham pulled her head out of Trump's ass long enough to get into a twitter rage about Trump's perceived betrayal of his racist base, of which she is a core member.Breitbart's front page really looked like it needed a hug yesterday:Amnesty Don? "At his White House meeting with moderates, as Breitbart News reported, Trump is set to choose a legislative deal that quickly legalizes the nearly 800,000 illegal aliens on DACA, without getting any pro-American immigration reforms in return. Following the report, 'Amnesty Don' peaked at the number one trend in Washington, D.C. on Twitter, the social media outlet the President is most known for using." The ugly and misleading Bannon/Mercer "America First" talking point: "DACA recipients currently hold upwards of 700,000 U.S. jobs. An ultimate end to the program-- with DACA recipients not getting amnesty--would result in a 700,000 job stimulus for American workers. This would amount to nearly 30,000 new U.S. job openings for American workers every month once the program is officially phased out. Although screening for DACA was previously touted as being sufficient in keeping criminals out, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) revealed that more than 2,100 recipients had their status revoked for being criminals or gang members.""Breitbart News the conservative website now run by former White House chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon," wrote Bob Costa in the Washingon Post, "quickly became a gathering place for aggrieved Trump backers. Readers congregated by the thousands in the comments section." Days earlier, Bannon said on [...]

Midnight Meme Of The Day

Fri, 15 Sep 2017 07:01:00 +0000

-by NoahWhat! You haven't had enough of the Republican Party's "Trickle Down Economics?" Well, as Repug icon Ronald Reagan would say, "there you go again." Now that Paul Ryan and his House of Lunatics are back in session, they are planning on what they cynically refer to as "tax reform." Why? Because pirates like Trump and Ryan stand to personally gain, both in income and campaign contributions (bribes). The better deal that Ryan, the psychotic Ted Bundy of politicians, can get on changing our tax code to benefit his benefactors, the more he stands to get from his masters at Koch Industries.It was a senile Reagan who gave us the "trickle down" and his now Trump-led party wants more of the same, and, you know Trump gets excited when he hears those words because pissing on the bottom 99% is what "Trickle Down Economics" is all about. Ryan talks about liberal takers but the biggest takers in our country are not the blue states. The biggest takers of federal tax monies are the red states, and that's where you'll find some of the worst poverty you could ever imagine this country having. I remember an interview with Magic Johnson that shows up on TV sports channels from time to time. In it, he talks about how he thought no one grew up poorer than he and his neighbors in LA's South Central, until he went to visit with his good friend Larry Bird who showed him a tour of rural Indiana. My, my, where does the money go? The saddest thing about it is that the people who were most hurt by Reagan's crackpot or voodoo economics and tax "theories" are the ones who voted for con artists like Trump and Ryan. Those voters are so masochistic that they will just keep on doing it until they starve to death for lack of money to even buy food or bullets to hunt it.Republican politicians and their media mouthpieces love to talk about growing the economy by reducing taxes. The naive think they are talking about the national economy and not the personal economy of the proponents of the trickle down. They've been brainwashed by all sorts of trash about how lower taxes for the wealthy and corporations will result in more investment. Yes. It does lead to more investment, in off shore bank accounts, not in investments that grow the economy. Reagan started the trickle down con 37 years ago. To paraphrase him; ask yourself if you are better off after "Trickle Down Economics" now than you were 37 years ago.So, the coming weeks will give us an onslaught of greedy sleazebag pols and so-called experts, who are really in the employ of those who will gain the most, monopolizing whatever TV time isn't devoted to hurricanes and floods that we'll already have to pay for from what funds the U.S. Treasury has left. No doubt Trump will hold a rally about it somewhere that's been pre-approved by the Koch Brothers or worse. That's the one thing you will actually be able to bank on. Besides The Whore Of Slovenia will be needing some new pairs of Fuck-Me Stilettos.[...]