Monday, July 23, 2018

Will Congressional Republicans Suffer From Trump's Disastrous And Pig-Headed Trade Policies?


In the last post, we looked at how Republican chances to hold onto Congress continue to collapse, largely because of who leads their party. That post was about his failures in regard to Russia. But the trade war he's provoked might be much worse for the GOP. Politico reporter Megan Cassella pointed out the bad timing of his trade policies and how they will be impacting consumers as they head to the polls. "Market analysts, industry experts and economists warn," she wrote, "the economic fallout of the president’s tariffs could peak around election time."

A few weeks ago we focussed in on how Trump is inadvertently helping Democrat Phil Bredensen win the open Tennessee Senate seat and how his trade war could change Iowa's House make up from 3 Republicans and one Democrat to 4 Democrats.

Cassella posits that "Trump's trade wars could become a major political drag for Republicans, with job losses and price increases piling up just as voters head to the polls in November. Trump jolted markets once again early Friday when he said he’s prepared to impose penalties on some $500 billion in Chinese goods regardless of the consequences that might ensue, economic or political."
[M]arket analysts, industry experts and economists warn that the economic fallout of the president’s tariffs-- those that are already in effect and those he’s threatening to impose-- is only going to intensify over the coming months and could reach a peak around election time.

“We’re already hearing complaints now from companies, so by the time we get to the midterms, you’re going to be hearing governors, mayors, Congress complaining about jobs, about cost increases, about problems,” Carlos Gutierrez, the former Commerce secretary under President George W. Bush, told POLITICO. “The question is: Will that be strong enough to offset the idea that we have to get tough on our trading partners, and that our jobs are being stolen overseas?”

It takes months for most consumers to feel the impact of tariffs, but as the fall approaches, everything from groceries to appliances could start to cost more at major retailers across the country. Democrats could use these price increases as a political cudgel against Republicans in swing districts as they try to take back control of Congress.

Trump has so far suffered little political blowback for his tariffs and trade threats, saying that he is simply following through on promises he made during the campaign to crack down on trading partners, even close allies, and put America first. Since March, he has imposed blanket tariffs on nearly all imports of steel and aluminum and placed penalties on $34 billion in goods from China, a total likely to increase to $50 billion next month and into the hundreds of billions later this year.

In return, countries have retaliated with tit-for-tat duties on everything from U.S. agricultural goods to Kentucky bourbon and Harley-Davidson motorcycles, aiming to sway top Republican lawmakers by hurting constituents in their districts.

But Trump and his party could soon begin to face consequences as companies in the coming months start reporting lower earnings, reassessing their supply chains and holding back on investment, all of which will begin to ripple throughout the economy and could lead to a slowdown or full-blown recession, experts say.

If all of the tariffs that have been proposed take effect, they would bring down long-run U.S. GDP by 0.47 percent-- about $118 billion-- in the long term and cost more than 364,000 jobs, a new analysis from the Tax Foundation shows. The International Monetary Fund also warned this week that trade tensions could cut global output by some $400 billion by 2020, and that the U.S. is "especially vulnerable" to effects of an international slowdown.

Price increases would vary by product, ranging anywhere from a few cents on a can of beer or soup to around $6,000 on a family car, if the administration moves forward with auto-specific tariffs it has threatened.

Even if Trump doesn't move forward with any additional duties, the uncertainty caused by his policies and rhetoric is leading some companies to begin pulling back investments in research and development. They're afraid that if they develop products for foreign markets, those markets might no longer be accessible to them in six months or a year.

The agricultural industry has been particularly vulnerable: Countries like Mexico have begun to diversify their import markets by buying more corn and soybeans from Brazil instead of the United States, in an attempt to reduce their dependence on a country that could erect new trade barriers at any time based on the president’s whims.
How's this going to go over in swing districts in Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Florida, Tennessee, Kentucky...?

Trump is playing game of chicken with President Xi Jinping of China. Xi knows exactly what's happening here in November and he's not likely to give Trump a way out of the mess he's created. Political leaders in the EU, Canada and Mexico all hate Trump and are all eager to see him take a big fall. So... unless Trump can suddenly made some kind of deal with a couple of small fascist governments like Hungary, Saudi Arabia and the Philippines, Republicans in Congress are going to increasingly get blamed for being Trump enablers.

This kind of research by PEW (below) shows that Trump-- in swing districts like Mimi Walters (R-CA), Bruce Poliquin (R-ME), Don Bacon (R-NE), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Andy Barr (R-KY), Jeff Sessions (R-TX), Dave Brat (R-VA), Mia Love (R-UT), Erik Paulsen (R-MN), Pete Roskam (R-IL), every New Jersey Republican, Steve King (R-IN) and dozens more-- will be an albatross around the necks of House candidates perceived as rubber stamps, enough to swing elections towards Democrats.

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Blue Wave And Putin-Gate


Pointless, meaningless national generic go up and go down. Nervous candidates, campaign operatives, radio hosts, reporters ask "Do you think there will be a blue wave?" My opinion has changed all year. The answer is yes. The question is just about how big will it be. Big enough to win back the House? Absolutely. Big enough to defeat 50 House Republicans? Probably. 75? Possibly. 100? That would be very optimistic and would mean Trump does some stuff even crazier and more odious than usual in October. So... could happen. Win back the Senate? Possibly.

And what do I base this optimism on? Sure I look at polls too-- trend-lines, local polls in swing districts, most importantly. How independents are trending. (Republicans are going to vote for Republicans; Democrats are going to vote for Democrats. Independents are going to decide the midterm swing districts.) And I look closely at special election results. When Democrats are winning in deep red districts, when Democratic turnout is through the roof, even when Democrats aren't winning but "just" increasing their share of the vote by 15-20 points... that should be a major alarm signal for congressional Republicans to start looking for new jobs. What about the flood of cash coming in from crooked right-wingers like Adelson and the Kochs and Mercers. That's a factor... but not enough to make a difference against a wave. Only one thing is: Kremlin tampering-- and I don't mean Facebook ads.

ABC News, along with the Washington Post released a new poll early yesterday morning. It doesn't ask any questions about the single biggest factor in the midterms, the issue that's bigger than the economy, bigger that healthcare, bigger than immigration-- Trump's favorability. At least it didn't ask that question directly. The poll was about Helsinki and Trump's "Treason: The TV Reality Show" performance.
A majority of Americans disapprove of Donald Trump casting doubt about U.S. intelligence on Russian interference in the 2016 election, with relatively modest support for the president even in his own party and among conservatives in a new ABC News/Washington Post poll.

The public by a 17-point margin also says America’s leadership in the world has gotten weaker, not stronger, under Trump. And just 33 percent approve of his handling of his summit with Vladimir Putin last week, with four in 10 saying he went too far in supporting the Russian leader.

Fifty-six percent disapprove of Trump, in a post-summit news conference with Putin, expressing doubt about U.S. intelligence conclusions that Russia tried to influence the U.S. election; just 29 percent approve. Indeed 41 percent disapprove “strongly,” vs. just 14 percent strongly approving

In terms of intensity of sentiment, the survey, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates, finds that 70 percent of Democrats and 61 percent of liberals strongly disapprove of Trump questioning U.S. intelligence on the matter, while just 28 percent of Republicans and 24 percent of conservatives strongly approve.

...Trump loses the middle, with independents seeing weaker rather than stronger U.S. leadership by 47-22 percent (as do moderates, by 54-17 percent). Moreover, while 72 percent of liberals say the United States has grown weaker in terms of world leadership, fewer conservatives say the opposite, 55 percent.
Big news> Not really-- not by itself. It's just another one of the factors-- the many factors-- adding up to an historic ant-fascist swing back towards the center in November.

And... as long as we're talking about Trump's Putin debacle, it's worth taking a look at last week's Adam Davidson essay for the New Yorker, A Theory Of Trump Kompromat. He's not one of the journalists who seems Trump as a Kremlin agent. "If Trump were truly serving as a Russian intelligence asset," he wrote, "there would have been an obvious move for him to make during his joint press conference with Putin. He would have publicly lambasted the Russian leader, unleashing as theatrical a denunciation as possible. He would have told Putin that he may have been able to get away with a lot of nonsense under Barack Obama, but all that would end now: America has a strong President and there will be no more meddling. Instead, Trump gave up his single best chance to permanently put to rest any suspicion that he is working to promote Russian interests... [BUT] There is no need to assume that Trump was a formal agent of Russian intelligence to make sense of Trump’s solicitousness toward Putin."

What's more likely is that Trump's behavior, his "solicitousness toward Putin" is based on what Putin has on him-- kompromat. And it's not there pee-pee take. Trump knows he based could care less about some hookers peeing on him.

Some think what Putin has over Trump is criminal financial activities-- including money-laundering. Does Trump's base even understand what that is, let alone care about it? His financial crimes would have to be pretty special for Trump's base to give a hoot. "If there truly is damaging kompromat on Trump, it could well be in the hands of Trump’s business partners, or even in those of their rivals. Trump’s Georgian partners, for example, have been in direct conflict with other local business networks over a host of crucial deals involving major telecommunications projects in the country. His Azerbaijani partners were tightly linked to Iranians who were also senior officers in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. The work of Ledeneva and Darden suggests that Trump’s partners and their rivals would likely have gathered any incriminating information they could find on him, knowing that it might one day provide some sort of business leverage-- even with no thought that he could someday become the most powerful person on Earth.
The scenario that, to my mind, makes the most sense of the given facts and requires the fewest fantastical leaps is that, a decade or so ago, Trump, naïve, covetous, and struggling for cash, may have laundered money for a business partner from the former Soviet Union or engaged in some other financial crime. This placed him, unawares, squarely within sistema, where he remained, conducting business with other members of a handful of overlapping Central Asian networks. Had he never sought the Presidency, he may never have had to come to terms with these decisions. But now he is much like everyone else in sistema. He fears there is kompromat out there-- maybe a lot of it-- but he doesn’t know precisely what it is, who has it, or what might set them off.

Trump and many of his defenders have declared his businesses, including those in the former Soviet Union, to be off-limits to the Mueller investigation. They argue that the special counsel should focus only on the possibility of explicit acts of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. This neatly avoids the reality of sistema. As Pavlovsky wrote, “Under Putin, sistema has become a method for making deals among businesses, powerful players, and the people. Business has not taken over the state, nor vice versa; the two have merged in a union of total and seamless corruption.”

Ledeneva explained to me that, in sistema, when faced with uncertainty, every member knows that the best move is to maintain whatever alliances he has, and to avoid grand steps that could antagonize powerful figures; in such times, the most one can hope for is simply to survive.
I have no reason to dispute anything from this theory; it all makes sense to me-- and I have a feeling that when all is said and done, we'll find out that what Putin has on Trump that keeps Señor T supine and relatively in control of himself is the illegitimacy of Trump's "election" itself. Trump didn't win in 2016. Putin stole the election for him and put him on the throne. Even some of Trump's base (maybe 15-20%) would look askance at that. Will this be a factor in the defeat of dozens of Republican incumbents in November? Not a big factor-- just some of the background noise. Although... NeverTrump Republicans have been running this video on Fox this weekend. Anyone who watches that channel capable of understanding what it means? Or is it too abstract?

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Midnight Meme Of The Day!


by Noah

Putin's Favorite Ride Is Our President

Now is the time for all good men and women to come to the aid of their country. Yeah, I stole that from an old typing drill devised by Charles E. Weller 100 years ago. I don't do the twitter thing but I suppose that it might work for that as well. Certainly the sentiment works regardless of how it is conveyed. The fact is that Donald Trump would have been a bad man 100 years ago or at any time in our history. We already know he would have sided with the Confederacy and, going back further, his mental doppelganger Mad King George III in 1776. Ironically, if you went back to the Salem witch hunts and trials of 1692 and 1693, you'd find him leading the proceedings.

When it comes to Donald Trump, the time for all good men and women to come to the aid of their country was the moment Trump joined up with FOX "News" to promote birtherism. That was the moment where he really launched his candidacy for President. Instead, all of the corporate news media made the decision to make him their nightly anchorman by broadcasting his nightly KKK rallies into the homes of the gullible millions. The corporate media deliberately gave him the biggest platform imaginable and I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for them to do much of anything to undo the damage to this country that lies, in great part, on their shoulders. Like Trump, it's money before country with them. Greed Kills. But, corporations don't care about countries. They are their own countries. Add in Putin and you have a perfect storm of evil.

Today is the one week anniversary of Traitor Don's Say Of Infamy In Helsinki. As if it wasn't always obvious before Helsinki, Trump proved there, once and for all, that he is nothing more than a ventriloquist's dummy in the lap of Vladimir Putin as he apologized for America's role in the worsening relations with our adversary Russia, smeared or patriotic intelligence people who protect us, our national security and our way of life, and said that turning our people over to Putin "for questioning", even our former ambassador, was a swell idea. And, in regards to the 12 Russians just indicted:
...President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today, and what he did is an incredible offer. He offered to have the people working on the case to come and work with their investigators with respect to the 12 people. I think that's an incredible offer.
Traitor Don's whole European trip was the apology tour that rightwing nutballs once accused President Obama of. Only this time it was all too real. Just meeting with Putin and giving him equal status was bad enough but displaying his weakness and ass kissing was even worse. It was more than weakness. It was, as they say "tantamount to treason." Then there were the usual comments about having beat Hillary Clinton. There was even the OCD habitual "Hillary's emails" mention. He had to get that in because he is nagged by the knowledge of his own illegitimacy. Helluva job Donnie! All through it, the man who has poisoned his opponents inside Russia and outside Russia smiled; sometimes it appeared that he could barely keep from laughing. Now, he's got an invitation to come to the White House.

Lost in all of this is that no one is putting the brakes on Traitor Don being allowed to pick a Supreme Court justice whose number one purpose will be to protect Traitor Don from the long arm of the law, even ahead of demolishing health care, a woman's right to choose, voting rights, and even the air that we breathe and the water that we drink; no one, least of all his treasonous accomplices in Congress and his staff. They aren't driving this car, Putin is.

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Sunday, July 22, 2018

Most Brits Want A Brexit Do-Over So The U.K. Could Stay


The headlines about the new YouGov poll for The Times is bizarre. 38% of respondents prefer a further right government-- so Boris Johnson rather than Theresa May. OK, so 62% don't? And 24% of respondents are out-right racists. Ummm... so 76% aren't? Yet the headlines are all about the right-wing loons. Why not about how a new referendum on Brexit would come up with 54% remaining and 46% wanting to leave. Odd.
Former Tory Prime Minister Sir John Major has said a second Brexit referendum is “morally justified”-- as a new poll revealed support for staying in the EU over crashing out without a deal.

Sir John said PM Theresa May was “boxed in” by hardline Brexiteers and warned stalemate in the Commons could leave Britain facing a no-deal scenario.

His comments came as polling showed support for staying in the EU over leaving with no deal if a new referendum was held.

Remaining in the EU would beat leaving with no deal by 54 per cent to 46, according to a YouGov poll for the Sunday Times.

Just 11 per cent of voters would back leaving the EU on the terms put forward by Mrs May in her Chequers deal, with 38 per cent backing a no-deal Brexit and 50 per cent saying they would vote to remain in the EU, the poll showed.

Former Conservative PM Sir John admitted a second referendum has “democratic downsides”, adding: “It has difficulties. But is it morally justified? I think it is.

"If you look back at the Leave campaign a great many of the promises they made were fantasy promises. We now know they are not going to be met.

"A referendum isn't an easy option, but it's not one at this stage that I would rule out."

Referring to the "irreconcilable" stance taken by hardline Tory Brexiteers, Sir John said: "That has boxed the Government and particularly the Prime Minister into a corner.

"They are a minority of the House of Commons, a substantial minority of the House of Commons, but they are larger than the Government's majority.

"The danger at the moment is that they will frustrate every move the Government seek to make and by accident, because nothing can be agreed, we will crash out without a deal."
It's like the Freedom Caucus and the Republican Study group holding the U.S. House hostage to the crazy far right ideas while being a minority of Congress but with the power to control the GOP. This all seems like very bad news for Theresa May but perhaps good news for Jeremy Corbyn, as the Conservative government splinters and falls apart.

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It Looks Very Much Like Harley Rouda Will Finally Rid Congress-- And Orange County-- Of Putin's Favorite Congressman


Harley Rouda is one lucky guy-- and not just because his Orange County opponent happens to be Putin's favorite congressman-- just ask Republican Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy-- but because of a brand new campaign hire. The new hire is Jack D'Annibale, formerly communications director for Ted Lieu, who's district is just a few miles up the coast-- on the other side of Trump National Golf Club in Rancho Palos Verdes. D'Annibale just started but he's is up and running in a big way-- best campaign outreach of the week:

Harley Rouda’s Top 5 Moments This Week (A.K.A. Dana Rohrabacher’s NOT Top 5)

Hi, there! Jack D'Annibale, Harley Rouda's Director of Communications here.

It’s been a momentous week for Harley’s campaign to replace Rep. Dana Rohrabacher in California’s 48th Congressional District-- and that’s an understatement.

In case you missed it, below are Harley's Top 5 Moments this week.
1. A+ rated Monmouth poll declares Harley’s campaign for Congress is "neck and neck" with incumbent Dana Rohrabacher

Harley registered 46% support to Rohrabacher’s 43%-- and that’s despite Republicans’ natural registration advantage in the district.

The poll also signaled higher Democratic enthusiasm in the district, which isn’t hard to believe given the other candidate spent his week endorsing the notion of arming children (See Number 2).

Why is Harley leading the race? Rep. Ted Lieu had some ideas:

2. Rohrabacher Endorses Arming Children on Sacha Baron Cohen’s Who Is America?

That’s not a typo.

This week, in footage from Sacha Baron Cohen’s new SHOWTIME show Who Is America?, Rohrabacher advocated for arming kindergarteners with weapons.

Not only was Rohrabacher duped into taking a fake interview with an extremist pro-gun group, Rohrabacher’s shameful testimonial in support of the fictional “Kinderguardians” program horrified just about everyone, including the hosts of The View. They vocalized the nation’s thoughts about Rohrabacher with choice quotes such as…

“This scares the HECK out of me!”-- Sunny Hostin

“I full-heartedly reject [Rohrabacher] on EVERY level.”-- Meghan McCain

And, a personal favorite… “WHY do they keep on electing him?”-- Sunny Hostin

In response to Rohrabacher's troubling comments, Harley said, "Instead of radical, deeply disturbing proposals that make our children less safe, families across the U.S. and in California’s 48th district deserve a Congressmember who will fight tirelessly to see that Capitol Hill finally does something to protect our communities by passing common sense gun safety reforms."

“Dana can try to walk back his comments or call them fake news, but that’s just a sad, cynical move straight out of the tired, politics-as-usual playbook. I am fighting to protect children from gun violence, not put them in the cross-hairs. That’s why I’m running for Congress.”

3. Rohrabacher confirmed as part of Russian Spy Investigation

Surprise, surprise…

On Wednesday, news broke that Dana Rohrabacher met with ally of Vladimir Putin in Russia in August of 2015, matching the account of accused spy Maria Butina’s FBI affidavit.

"The news that Dana Rohrabacher is now entwined in an FBI investigation of an accused 'Russian NRA spy' is deeply disturbing,” said Harley Rouda in a statement.

“The full truth about the connection between Dana's pro-Russian politics, his 2015 trip to Russia, and Moscow's relationship with the National Rifle Association must be known-- that's what every CA-48 family, what every American family, deserves."

What was Rohrabacher’s response to all of this? Panic.

4. “Putin’s Favorite Congressman” one-ups Trump in denying Russian hacking indictments and defending Putin’s right to look out for his interests

What prompted this Harley tweet? Let’s start from the beginning...

10 days before the US Department of Justice indicted 12 Russian military intelligence officers for the infamous hacks that roiled the Hillary Clinton Presidential campaign, Dana Rohrabacher gave an interview to Fox 11’s Elex Michaelson saying the hacks were an “inside job.”

1 disastrous press conference, 2 weeks, and 12 indictments later, Rohrabacher is still denying Russia’s role, while simultaneously defending Putin’s right to “[look] out for the interests of Russia.”

We agree, Dan. Folks in the 48th District should get to know Harley.

5. Last but not least-- Harley out-raises Rohrabacher 5-1 in second quarter fundraising haul

The cherry on top of a great week for Harley?

The fact that Harley outraised Rohrabacher 5 to 1 in the second quarter, raising $1.4 million to Rohrabacher’s $294,000.

And this is just the beginning.

With weeks like these, the momentum behind Harley’s is sure to continue growing at break-neck speed.
I had hardly finished reading D'Annibale's e-mail when the L.A.Times piled on with a Rohrabacher story of their own, this one about the on edge Republican "lashing out" at the press again. Reporters asked him about his involvement with arrested Russian spy Mariia Butina. When a reporter asked him about the meeting he had with the spy he spanned and accused the reporter of trying to divert attention away from something or other. Rohrabacher's office confirmed that he did meet with the spy in his office 3 years ago. The Times reported that "Rohrabacher ended the press conference without answering any questions on the Russia matter or immigration."

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Republican Traitors Are Making Sure The Doors Are Open For Russian Election Hacking In November


Polling the other day was very clear: most normal Americans are very concerned about Russian interference in the 2018 midterm elections-- and most Republicans are not concerned at all. Before we get into the current Russian tampering with the elections on behalf of the GOP, I just want to mention that during the American war of independence, Patriots weren't only facing the British, they were also fighting American conservatives who sided with the British.

During the American Revolution, colonists like Benjamin Franklin who supported republicanism and eventually, independence, came to be known as Patriots. Historians estimate that about 40-45% of white men were patriots. Those men who chose to continue supporting the king, like William Franklin, were called Loyalists, or Tories. They made up about 15-20% of the white male population. The last 35-45% never publicly chose sides.

Just like political affiliations today, loyalists, patriots, and neutrals came from all social and economic classes, and many people took sides based not on principle but on who they thought was going to win or which side would profit them the most personally. But then, as now, there were demographic trends.

Poor farmers, craftsmen, and small merchants, influenced by the ideas of social equality expressed in works like Thomas Paine's Common Sense, were more likely to be Patriots. So were intellectuals with a strong belief in the Enlightenment. Religious converts of the Great Awakening made strong connections between their faith and a developing sense of nationalism. Loyalists tended to be older colonists, or those with strong ties to England, such as recent immigrants. Wealthy merchants and planters often had business interests with the empire, as did large farmers who profited by supplying the British Army. Some opposed the violence they saw in groups like the Sons of Liberty and feared a government run by extremists.
The U.S. intelligence community has been warning for over a year that the Kremlin, successful at placing their candidate into the White House, intended to steal the 2018 congressional elections as well. There's no reason to think that Trump isn't encouraging them-- collusion on steroids. The Kremlin is not going to steal deep blue seats in New York City and Chicago and Los Angeles. That would be silly. But they may well put an electronic thumb on the scale in swing districts like ME-02, which we talked about earlier today. If I had to pick a dozen districts-- and I think there are at least 2 dozen Trump wants them involved with besides ME-02-- I'd expect the Kremlin to tamper with these:
CA-48- Rohrabacher v Rouda
NE-02- Bacon v Eastman
CA-25- Knight v Hill
PA-17- Rothfus v Lamb
TX-07- Culberson v Fletcher
Wi-01- Steil v Bryce
IL-06- Roskam v Casten
CA-45- Walters v Porter
TX-17- Sessions v Allred
NC-09- Harris v McCready
WA-05- McMorris-Rodgers v Brown
KY-06- Barr v McGrath
On Friday, Lily Hay Newman, writing for Wired, reported that "early signs of attack have already arrived-- just as the US intelligence community warned. And yet Congress has still not done everything in its power to defend against them." In fact, congressional Republicans refusing to spend more money on increasing election cyber security! The Democratic motion to protect our elections failed 182-232, every single Republican voting to leave the doors open for the Russians to do it again!
At the Aspen Security Forum on Thursday, Microsoft executive Tom Burt said that phishing attacks-- reminiscent of those carried out in 2016 against Hillary Clinton's campaign-- have targeted three midterm campaigns this year. Burt stopped short of attributing those efforts to Russia, but the disclosure is the first concrete evidence this year that candidates are being actively targeted online. They seem unlikely to be the last.

“The 2018 midterms remain a potential target for Russian actors," said Matt Masterson, a senior cybersecurity adviser to DHS, at a Senate hearing last week. "The risks to elections are real."

Meanwhile, a trend of destabilizing denial-of-service attacks against election-related systems has also emerged, including one that caused a results-reporting website to crash during a municipal primary in Knox County, Tennessee, in May, along with two reported DDoS assaults on unnamed Democratic campaigns. DDoS attacks have become common enough that both Alphabet's Project Shield and Cloudflare's Athenian Project have been offering free DDoS protection to election-related groups, like political campaigns, state and local governments, and boards of elections.

Homeland Security assistant secretary Jeanette Manfra noted this week that DHS has so far not seen the volume of phishing activity and election infrastructure probing it recorded at this time in 2016. But that could simply mean that attackers have already done their reconnaissance, or have moved on to more refined techniques. And in addition to evolving threats, reports continue to surface new, critical vulnerabilities in areas like voting machines-- several of which have inadvisable remote-access software installed-- and voter data handling.

Top officials have made it clear that they are bracing for attacks. "The warning lights are blinking red again," said director of national intelligence Dan Coats last week during a talk at the Hudson Institute think tank. "Today, the digital infrastructure that serves this country is literally under attack." On Thursday, deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein echoed this conclusion. "These actions are persistent, they are pervasive, and they are meant to undermine America’s democracy," Rosenstein said.

Despite these active, ongoing concerns, the Trump administration's mixed messages about the extent of the Russian threat have hampered momentum on defense. President Trump indicated on Monday that he still doubts that Russia attempted to disrupt US democracy in 2016, and on Wednesday he appeared to dismiss the current threat from Russia as well. He later walked back some of those statements, and the White House released a compendium of its work on election defense, stating, "President Donald J. Trump and his Administration are defending the integrity of our election system."

The National Association of Secretaries of State said in a pointed response on Tuesday, "Secretaries of State ... across the nation are working hard each day to safeguard the elections process ... We ask, however, the White House and others help us rebuild voter confidence in our election systems by promoting these efforts and providing clear, accurate assessments moving forward."

...Five states, Delaware, Georgia, Louisiana, New Jersey, and South Carolina, use only paperless voting machines. A bill to replace the machines in Georgia failed in March. Pennsylvania, which has paperless machines in some counties, has committed to eliminating them before the 2020 election. In a recent survey, only 13 states told Politico this week that they plan to use federal money to replace voting machines.

More money could be on the way soon; a promising bill specifically tailored to promoting election and voting defense, known as the Secure Elections Act, gained two cosponsors this week in the Senate, South Dakota Republican Mike Rounds and Florida Democrat Bill Nelson. But experts agree that realistically, no more funding will be available to states in time for the midterms. And in a Thursday House of Representatives vote related to a 2019 spending bill, Republicans shot down an effort by Democrats to appropriate another $380 million in election security funding. Republicans said that the March HAVA distribution was adequate and that states have the funding they need.

Analysts are clear, though, that federal funding is still urgently needed to prepare for 2020, even if it's too late for 2018 now. "There seems to be more of an understanding among lawmakers than there was before the 2016 election that Congress has a responsibility in this area," Norden says. "But some members have a mindset that paying for elections is the responsibility of the states. And while that’s defensible up to a point, I think it hasn’t quite sunk in for them that this is now a national security issue and Congress actually does have a responsibility in that arena."

In the final weeks before the midterms, experts have advised states to work on their contingency plans and emergency procedures so they can handle whatever problems or attacks arise. While widespread attacks on the midterms are not a foregone conclusion, there are plenty of signs that at least some have already started.

"We’re going to have to see what happens with the 2018 election-- will there be any meddling? Will there be any things that go awry in 2018?" says Marian Schneider, president of Verified Voting, a group that promotes election system best practices. "Because to the extent that things don’t go swimmingly, unfortunately, that may be an impetus for Congress on funding."

Schneider notes, as do many security analysts, that though election process issues are often mired in bureaucratic and political controversies, the stakes transcend party lines. "I want to underscore that this is not a political issue-- it’s not partisan," she says. "It really is a national security issue. This is about standing together shoulder to shoulder to protect our democracy against external threats. That’s what we have to do."
Tell it to the American Royalists (or Tories) in 1777 who shot Patriots in the back on behalf of the British. According to Wikipedia "When their cause was defeated, about 15 percent of the Loyalists (65,000–70,000 people) fled to other parts of the British Empire, to Britain itself, or to British North America (now Canada). The southern Loyalists moved mostly to Florida, which had remained loyal to the Crown, and to British Caribbean possessions, often bringing along their slaves."

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The Key To Winning In Maine This Year-- A Guest Post By State Rep. Jared Golden


Maine's second congressional district isn't white collar Portland or ritzy Kennebunkport. All 10 of Maine's wealthiest towns are in York and Cumberland counties, part of ME-01. Meanwhile ME-02 is an all-American blue collar district. And it's a swing district that Obama won by about 10 points both times he ran but that Hillary lost by about 10 points to Trump. The Democratic establishment was looking for a Blue Dog to run, a Republican-lite character who would sound like a less extreme version of the current congressman, Trump enabler Bruce Poliquin. Instead, Mainers chose one of their own, Jared Golden, a populist leader who doesn't act like anything... he's an authentic working class guy and marine veteran very much the same way Randy Bryce is. Golden has a great record of accomplishment as one of the leaders in the state House. He has a well-rounded platform, but his primary issue seems to be healthcare. We asked him why and urged him to write another guest post. And he did:

Mainers Want To Talk About Healthcare
-by Jared Golden

As I travel across Maine's 2nd Congressional District-- the largest district geographically east of the Mississippi River-- the one issue voters want to talk about most is healthcare. When speaking with small business owners, private building contractors, those working in Maine's fishing industry, the best shipbuilders in the world at Bath Iron Works, and Mainers of every stripe, more often than not, the discussion turns quickly to healthcare. And it's no wonder. For years, the hard-working people of Maine-- and America-- have struggled under the ever-increasing challenges associated with ensuring they and their loved ones have access to affordable, quality care.

Hearing their stories has given me both hope and determination. Hope because the folks I meet remind me of how ruggedly independent the people of Maine are; determination because these same people need a representative who has their back in Congress. Unfortunately, the current office-holder, Republican Bruce Poliquin, has turned a deaf ear to these stories. In fact, Poliquin refused to even meet with the people he is elected to represent about the issue when, last year, the Congress was debating the repeal of the ACA. Ultimately, Poliquin voted to pull the rug from under his constituents that would have left more than 100,000 without healthcare. Fortunately, this partisan effort failed due to three courageous Republican Senators but, if Poliquin had been successful, devastating consequences would have soon followed.

The American Health Care Act of 2017 passed the House of Representatives in May of 2017 with the help of my opponent. The AHCA would have made dramatic changes to Medicaid, a program, that for 50-plus years, has served the needs of the poor and disabled, including low-income seniors, and children living in low-income homes. Despite the fact that the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projected 23 million additional Americans would become uninsured, Poliquin still voted for this flawed legislation. And the bad news didn't stop there.

Maine is a rural state but, in the 2nd District we take rural to another level. Mainers living far from the urban centers of the state rely heavily on rural healthcare clincs and hospitals located throughout the district. Poliquin's vote would have devastated that network leading to a large percentage-- if not all-- of  these facilities closing their doors. That would have left many of his constituents without care, plus led to the elimination many good-paying jobs thus causing a double-whammy to local economies. And you don't need to take my word for it. “We’re all worried,” Jeffrey Austin, vice president of government affairs at the Maine Hospital Association said in an article published by the Portland Press Herald. “The average operating margins in Maine hospitals are about 1 percent. There just isn’t room for dramatic negative impacts.”

The Maine Hospital Association opposed the repeal Poliquin voted for. And then there is the looming opioid crisis that Maine is facing. Poliquin's repeal would make a terrible situation even more unbearable. In a March 2017 piece published in Perspective Magazine, doctors Peter Friedman, Christina M. Andrews and Keith Humphreys laid out the need to preserve the healthcare tools provided by the ACA in fighting the scourge of the opioid crisis-- a crisis that has led to more than a death per day in my home state. The doctors wrote "Although the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was not designed with the opioid epidemic in mind, it provides valuable tools for expanding access to medication treatment." They went on to point out "...inclusion of addiction treatment as an essential health benefit that existing insurance plans must cover, and requirements that benefits for treatment of opioid use disorder be provided at parity with coverage of medical and surgical procedures" were among the reasons the ACA should not be repealed. Despite the impact on his constituents, despite the real damage repeal would have wrought upon local communities, and despite the heartbreak of the on-going opioid crisis, my opponent still broke from the rest of our state's Congressional delegation in voting to repeal the ACA.

Goal ThermometerI've served my country as a U.S. Marine; I've served as a staffer to a U.S. Senator; I've served as an elected office-holder in the Maine Legislature; and I've served in a leadership role in my caucus. In each and every one of those roles I was told to remember the people I was serving and, to the best of my ability, I have. If elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, I will take the lessons I've learned in my previous roles with me-- most important among them, to remember the people I'm serving. But I need your help. This race has recently been moved from 'leans Republican' to 'toss-up' by the non-partisan Cook Report. That's encouraging-- and serious. We can win this seat and return the voice of Maine's 2nd Congressional District back to the hard-working people who call it home.

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Turning Kansas Blue? Nah... Just The Two Biggest Cities-- Alexandria And Bernie In The Sunflower State


Jim Thompson with Bernie and Alexandria in Wichita

Hillary Clinton didn't campaign in Kansas. 427,005 people voted for her there anyway (36%). She won the Kansas City area-- Douglas County 31,195 (62.28%) to 14,688 (29.32%) and Wyandotte County 30,146 (61.80%) to 15,806 (32.40%) in landslides and did well enough in Johnson and Shawnee, respectively 129,852 (44.76%) to 137,490 (47.40%) and 33,926 (44.99%) to 35,934 (47.65%). She took the 3rd congressional district up there 47-46%. Sedgwick County (Wichita) was a bummer for her though-- 69,627 (36.88%) to 104,353 (55.28%). For whatever reasons, Clinton wasn't a popular political figure in Kansas. The state primary caucuses saws Bernie beat her in every district and his statewide total was an astonishing 67.7% to 32.3%. Bernie is very popular in Kansas. Who'da thunk?

The Republican wing of the Democratic Party-- the corporatists-- had a convention last week in Columbus Ohio to plot out a way to prevent Bernie and Elizabeth Warren from winning the 2020 presidential nomination. The same wing of the party and their media shills have been spending more time smearing Alexandria Ocasio than on defeating Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan since she defeated one of their own, corrupt New Dem powerhouse Joe Crowley, a few weeks ago in a primary. Bernie and Alexandria were in Kansas City and Wichita Friday, campaigning for progressives Brent Wilders and James Thompson.

Reporting for The Intercept yesterday, Briahna Gray wrote that "the gestalt of the day’s remarks was something bigger than any one race. The speeches-- particularly Sanders’-- announced a unifying theme that felt too coherent to have been thrown together for a House primary or two. Individually, the remarks were compelling. Together, they comprised an unabashed declaration of post-partisan movement building-- a rebuke to those in power who fetishize every identity-based division in order to diffuse the largest coalition in the country: the working class."

In the 3rd district (Kansas City), Welder has a primary from a heavy-funded EMILY's List moderate and some very right-wing Democrat coming up before he can get to Trump rubber-stamp Republican Kevin Yoder. In the 4th district (Wichita), "Thompson is an even better opportunity to prove the Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez case. Thompson is looking to fill the Wichita seat-- home of Koch Industries-- once held by CIA Director Mike Pompeo. Thompson made waves last year when he came close to defeating Republican Ron Estes in a special election in a solidly red district, falling seven points short ahead of this year’s rematch. A civil rights attorney with no prior electoral experience, his near-win is evidence, to some, that Sanders’s platform is as pragmatic as it is progressive. “They say we should be more centrist,” Thompson said to supportive boos before arguing that if Kansans wanted a moderate, or a 'Republican-lite,' they would’ve voted for Clinton in 2016."
Where electoral battles have long been viewed as a struggle over red states and blue states-- an effort to dominate the map like advancing armies, on Friday, that partisan dichotomy was evoked only to be dismissed in favor of a narrative that highlights the universal struggles shared by residents in locales as diverse as Kansas and Vermont and the Bronx. Yes: Trump is a racist. Critiques of his immigration policy and calls for criminal justice reform received enthusiastic applause. And yes: Kansas went red in 2016. But Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez, and Thompson each emphasized that the enemy was not a color-- not red or blue, nor black or white. It was the 1 percent, people like the three families who, as Sanders pointed out, have more wealth than the bottom half of Americans.

Where there are working-class people, exhorted Ocasio-Cortez, there is hope for the progressive movement. Later, Thompson echoed that sentiment. It’s not about Republicans or Democrats, he said, but about working people coming together.
Thousands showed up in Wichita and the venue had to be moved to a bigger space to accommodate everyone. You can help Jim Thompson win his race against far right Republican Ron Estes here. There were around 4,000 in the middle of a workday. To Welder, Thompson, Ocasio and Bernie, politics is all about a strategy for economic-justice that is firmly rooted in a commitment to working-class empowerment. When they talk about Medicare-For-All, Job Guarantee and free public universities, that's what they're talking about-- and that's what it means to be a progressive in 2018. Watch... please:

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Midnight Meme Of The Day!


by Noah

Tonight's meme is a rhetorical question, of course. Obviously, Republicans reached the point where treason became acceptable to them quite a while ago. They look at their treason on the one hand and the money to be made through the additional "tax reform" they aim to pass in September on the other, and guess which hand wins! They also long to work with Traitor Don to remove what's left of the Affordable Care Act, cut Medicare and Social Security, tell women what they are allowed to do, not just with their bodies, but with every aspect of their lives, and, of course, make voting even more difficult; all things that their master wants and will gleefully sign off on.

Republicans aim to leave the 98% in the gutter. But, those things have been their goals for the last 50 years. It's just that, now that they have the most fascist president of all and they control the $enate, the Hou$e, and, soon, the $upreme Court, they see their chance to be fully who they really are and they aren't letting go. When it comes to treason, Republicans ask "Where do I sign up?"

This is why we hear nothing about impeaching of Traitor Don. Republicans wiped their asses with the constitution long ago. Their oath to uphold and protect the constitution was given with fingers crossed and a big smirk. There are no better examples of that than Traitor Don and the two complicit traitors pictured here. You can throw in the entire White House staff and administration, too. The funny thing is, they didn't even need their embrace of Putin to do all of this against the American people. They just needed the majorities. Having Putin help install a wannabe autocrat enabler in the White House could be seen just a means to an end to them, but, now, it's more obvious than ever before that Republicans see treason as icing on the cake and the more they see it the more they like it. That's why they continue to enable it. Even just a few days ago, Hou$e republicans voted against a subpoena for the Trump/Putin interpreter's translations and notes. There can be no other reason, but reason doesn't enter into it.

Republicans have always pushed the envelope because they know they can. You can bet Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan eagerly saw this day coming when Democrat Nancy Pelosi was $peaker of the Hou$e and said impeachment for the war crimes of Bush and Cheney was "off the table." Right then, he knew that it was just another step to ignoring impeachment even for treason. Traitor Don was right when he said he could shoot people on Fifth Avenue and get away with it. That's next.

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Saturday, July 21, 2018

Hearings On Confirming Kavanaugh? Not 'Til After Trump's Treason Trial


I bet Señor Trumpanzee wishes he had given a Russophile and suck-up like Devin Nunes the DNI job instead of ex-Senator Dan Coats (R-IN), who he nominated and who is now serving. Nunes is, after all, an unpatriotic self-server. Is "anti-patriotic" a word? In the House Intelligence Committee on Friday, Nunes defeated an attempt by the Democrats to subpoena Trump's interpreter at his Helsinki meeting with Putin, an idea proposed by Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-MA). Adam Schiff proposed it to the Intelligence Committee and Nunes refused to recognize Schiff’s motion, adjourned the committee to huddle with all the Republicans in secret and then reconvened. The committee then voted along party lines, 11-6, to shit-can Schiff’s proposal.

Meanwhile Bloomberg reported yesterday that Putin told Russian diplomats that he made a proposal to Señor T in Helsinki "to hold a referendum to help resolve the conflict in eastern Ukraine, but agreed not to disclose the plan publicly so the U.S. president could consider it... Details of what the two leaders discussed in their summit in Helsinki, Finland, remain scarce, with much of the description so far coming from Russia... If Putin’s account of Trump’s reaction is accurate, it would suggest a more flexible approach than the U.S. has shown to date on the issue. At the Helsinki meeting, Trump also agreed to consider a Putin request to question the former U.S. ambassador to Moscow over U.S. campaign-finance violations that critics say Trump should have dismissed outright."

So far Putin hasn't confirmed or denied that he has proposed a similar referendum for citizens in Alaska west of a line starting at Anchorage, going through Fairbanks and ending in Barrow. Citizens in Nome and Bethel are likely to be concerned once this leaks out.

As everyone knows by now Trump asked Bolton to invite Putin to Washington in the fall, presumably right before the midterms. Trump said he's looking forward to meeting again with him to "begin implementing" whatever it was they discussed during their summit.

Putin is leaking information that in the wake of the summit with the imbecilic Trump that the two of them have reached some mysystrerious agreements that no one knows about and that there is no record of. Apparently neither Trump nor the White House-- ket alone the State Department (remember then?) have confirmed any substantive agreements between the two countries.

Jonathan Chait, who is certainly onto Trump's gaslighting, wrote in New York Magazine that in in Trumplandia, Russia is a Friend and Journalists Are The Enemy. He wrote that the Trumpanzee is "depicting the news media, not Russia, as the genuine adversary of the public, while repeating his most authoritarian formulation for it ('enemy of the people,' a Soviet term that prefigured arrest or liquidation)."
Trump met secretly with Vladimir Putin, endorsed his denials of having hacked Democratic emails to help elect Trump, blamed his own country rather than Russian aggression for poor relations, praised Putin’s “offer” to interrogate an American diplomat he loathes for having stood up for human rights, and is announcing that American journalists rather than Russia are the true enemy.
So who gets fired first, Coats or Kelly? The NY Times reports that Trumpanzee's "disastrous performance since his news conference alongside Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin has sent West Wing morale to its lowest level since the Charlottesville fiasco almost a year ago. 'People are just depressed,' said one Republican close to the White House. 'Nobody wants to take on the public heat of resigning right now, but there are a bunch of people who were thinking maybe they’d leave after the midterms who are very seriously starting to consider accelerating their timetable.'"

If the Times' reporting is correct-- and I'm mistrustful about everything and anything that comes out about Michael Cohen-- I bet Trump would fire Cohen even before Coats and Kelly. The Times reported that Cohen "secretly recorded a conversation with Mr. Trump two months before the presidential election in which they discussed payments to a former Playboy model [Karen McDougal] who said she had an affair with Mr. Trump... The F.B.I. seized the recording this year during a raid on Mr. Cohen’s office... The recording’s existence further draws Mr. Trump into questions about tactics he and his associates used to keep aspects of his personal and business life a secret. And it highlights the potential legal and political danger that Mr. Cohen represents to Mr. Trump." From all the polling I've seen, only normal people care about any ofd this. Trump's based doesn't. He was 100% correct when he said he moron base would still support him if he went out into the middle of 5th Avenue and shot someone.

Earlier today Jonathan Swan reported that Michael Cohen is being more open about questioning Señor Trumpanzee's fitness for office. Like most people, he's wondering if Trump is a traitor. We have a chicken/egg situation now: "The Trump-Cohen relationship broke down a while ago, but now the investigation of Cohen is heating up-- with the NYT reveling that Cohen secretly taped Trump-- the two have dispensed with the public pretense of loyalty. The question of what Cohen knows about Trump is now a far more compelling question than it was in the days when Cohen would tell anybody who'd listen that he'd take a bullet-- and, no doubt, lie-- for his boss."

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Neil Young-Alan Grayson Contest Ending-- "They Can't Kill Us All"


Our Alan Grayson-Neil Young contest ends this evening at 9 PM (PT), midnight on the East Coast. The randomly selected winner get a really beautiful double platinum RIAA-certified award plaque that was awarded for Neil Young's 1972 masterpiece, Harvest. It's very rare and would make an amazing Christmas present for the Neil Young fanatic in your life. (Yes, this triple digit weather will be ending in the not too distant future.) This page will explain how to win-- although it;'s easy: just qualify by contributing any amount to Grayson's campaign on that same page and then pray your name gets randomly selected.

Goal ThermometerAnother way to access that contest page, is by clicking on the ActBlue HARVEST thermometer on the right. I've worked with both Neil Young-- when I ran Reprise Records, where he was one of our top artists-- and with Alan Grayson, here at DWT while he was the best member of Congress. A couple of years ago Grayson gave up his House seat to run for the U.S. Senate. He didn't win and now he's running for his old Orlando-area House seat. The current incumbent, Darren Soto, is a nightmare who voted against women's Choice and for the NRA over and over again. He doesn't stand for anything at all except his own career-- the polar opposite of the kind of leaders we need in Congress.

Alan and his wife Dena are committed Neil Young fans. "Neil Young and I," Alan wrote to his supporters on Friday, "were both deeply moved by the tragedy at Kent State, when the National Guard shot and killed four anti-war students.  And we both felt compelled to say something about it, each in our own way. In Neil’s case, he wrote 'Ohio,' one of the most famous political songs in American history":

Tin soldiers and Nixon coming,
We're finally on our own.
This summer I hear the drumming,
Four dead in Ohio.

Gotta get down to it.
Soldiers are cutting us down.
“Should have been done long ago.”
What if you knew her,
And found her dead on the ground?
How can you run, when you know?

Gotta get down to it.
Soldiers are cutting us down.
“Should have been done long ago.”
What if you knew her,
And found her dead on the ground?
How can you run, when you know?

Tin soldiers and Nixon coming,
We're finally on our own.
This summer I hear the drumming,
Four dead in Ohio.
"In my case, I gave the following speech. (A blogger who wrote about it said 'break out the tissues.')
Earlier today, we voted on memorializing the events-- the tragic events-- that took place 40 years and one day ago at Kent State University. Americans today, most Americans, are too young to remember what happened then, but I think that those of us who lived through that time and many others who thought about it, or saw afterward what happened, have this picture in their mind. This is Mary Ann Vecchio kneeling over the body of Jeffrey Miller at Kent State that terrible day, when four students were shot by American soldiers. I think we would honor them by remembering how and why they died, and that’s what I propose to do now.

In 1968, Richard Nixon ran for President. He said he had a secret plan to end the war.  That plan was so secret that apparently even Nixon himself didn’t know what it was; because when he was elected, he simply expanded the war.  In November of 1969, the My Lai massacre exposed to the whole world, not just to Americans but to the whole world, the sheer brutality of the war in Vietnam. The following month in December of 1969, the draft was instituted. American college students and others, everyone of a certain age, everyone knew that they would have to serve in Vietnam unless the war was ended.

And then on April 30th of 1970-- the first war ever announced on TV-- President Nixon announced the invasion of Cambodia by US forces. Almost immediately, there were protests at universities all around the country, including at Kent State.  And those protests grew and grew day-by-day. And the right wing immediately mobilized against these protests. In Ohio, the governor, Governor Rhodes, said quote, “They’re the worst type of people that we harbor in America.”-- these students protesting against the war-- ‘I think that we’re up against the strongest, well-trained militant revolutionary that’s ever been assembled in America,’ and President Nixon chimed in by saying that the anti-war protesters were ‘pawns of foreign communists’.

And so it was that four days after the announcement of the invasion of Cambodia, there was a protest that took place at Kent State University, Ohio.  20,000 students collected-- assembled peaceably-- to protest, and the National Guard was called in to drive them away. First, the National Guard attacked them with tear gas. The students took the tear gas canisters and threw them back at the National Guard. The National Guard drew its bayonets and charged the students, and forced them to a different location, but they still didn’t disperse, so at that point they shot them.  Four Americans died that day, including Jeffrey Miller.

The protests continued.

In fact, they grew.  Almost a thousand universities were shut down all across the country. For the only time in American history, we had a national student strike, everywhere in the country.  And at Jackson State ten days later, two more students were shot by the National Guard.  Shot dead.  And the thing that I remember most from that time is this sign written on a bed sheet and dropped from a dormitory window outside of New York University in New York, this noble sign: ‘They can’t kill us all.’

Let’s take a closer look: ‘They can’t kill us all.’

Now, then as now, together both times, there are people all around the world, and especially people in America, who want to live in peace-- who think that no war is better than two wars, who think that we voted to end war, not to continue it.  And after all, we know in our hearts, they can’t kill us all.

There are people who think that we should be concentrating on education and not war, and we know they can’t kill us all.  There are people who think that we should be concentrating on our health, our own bodies, improving our living standards, rebuilding America instead of war, and they can’t kill us all.  There are people who believe, not only in America but all over the world, that we should be striving every day toward peace…toward peace-- not toward war-- and they can’t kill us all.
"When I read this myself, I feel that Neil Young is my brother from another mother.  I want you to know what an honor it is, for me, to have this platinum award, this symbol of Neil Young’s greatness be part of our campaign. Please make a contribution and show your support for Neil, for me, and for PEACE."

The contest for the platinum record award ends in a few hours. Meanwhile... WARNING: wonderful in its own way but absolutely not Neil Young music, not even close:

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