Sunday, July 22, 2018

Midnight Meme Of The Day!

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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

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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"

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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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Trump Can't Control Himself But Not Even Depends Will Solve His-- And America's-- Problem

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Trump's motivation has aways been self-enrichment; it's how he experiencing whatever it is he's ultimately looking for: acceptance, status, approval. And since his earliest days he's never been able to control himself, not for anything. And no one else has been able to control him either, which is why he's been such a loser and why's he's always been such a criminal. Half of America saw saw him for what he's always been and puked, many even deciding to hold their noses and pull the lever for a candidate they weren't especially enthralled with but who was unquestionably the lesser evil. About 3 million fewer voters decided-- for whatever twisted reason (greed for some, hatred of life for others, a warped belief that God wanted him on "the throne" for others)-- decided he would be a better occupant of the Oval Office. So now the U.S. government spends inordinate energy on trying to keep him from doing anything too irreparable and horrfic.

Yesterday former NATO Ambassador Nicholas Burns said aloud what so many patriots have been whispering among themselves, that Trump is unfit for office. Republican patriots, meanwhile are starting to admit how much they miss Obama! Max Boot yesterday:
How I miss Barack Obama.

And I say that as someone who worked to defeat him: I was a foreign policy adviser to John McCain in 2008 and to Mitt Romney in 2012. I criticized Obama’s “lead from behind” foreign policy that resulted in a premature pullout from Iraq and a failure to stop the slaughter in Syria. I thought he was too weak on Iran and too tough on Israel. I feared that Obamacare would be too costly. I fumed that he was too professorial and too indecisive. I was left cold by his arrogance and his cult of personality.

Now I would take Obama back in a nanosecond. His presidency appears to be a lost golden age when reason and morality reigned. All of his faults, real as they were, fade into insignificance compared with the crippling defects of his successor. And his strengths-- seriousness, dignity, intellect, probity, dedication to ideals larger than self-- shine all the more clearly in retrospect.

Those thoughts are prompted by watching Obama’s speech in South Africa on the 100th anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s birth. I was moved nearly to tears by his eloquent defense of a liberal world order that President Trump appears bent on destroying.

The first thing that struck me was what was missing: There was no self-praise and no name-calling. Obama has a far better claim than Trump to being a “very stable genius,” but he didn’t call himself one. The sentences were complete and sonorous-- and probably written by the speaker himself. (Imagine Trump writing anything longer than a tweet-- and even those are full of mistakes.) The tone was sober and high-minded, even if listeners could read between the lines a withering critique of Trump’s policies.

...It can be depressing to think about our current predicament under a president whose loyalty to America is suspect but whose racism and xenophobia are undoubted. However, Obama’s speech gave me a glimmer of optimism-- and not only because he cited Mandela’s “example of persistence and of hope.” He reminds me that just 18 months ago-- can you believe it was so recently?-- we had a president with whom I could disagree without ever doubting his fitness to lead. We can have one again.
OK, back to Abigail Tracy's piece at Vanity Fair that first inspired me to write about Trump's control problems today. First though, keep in mind that Putin is 1- the richest man on earth and 2- the head of the most successful kleptocracy in history. "As much as official Washington has become numb to the daily offenses of Donald Trump," wrote Tracy, "there was something uniquely disturbing about the president’s transgressions in Helsinki. After months of combating Trump’s attempts to align himself with Vladimir Putin, the president was alone and unguarded with the man he had long sought to meet. National Security Adviser John Bolton, among other Russia hawks, had traveled with Trump to Finland in preparation for the summit. But when Trump and Putin entered the gilded Hall of State at the Presidential Palace for a joint press conference, the result was a shocking display of servility. Repudiating the hardline positions of his aides and advisers, Trump exonerated Putin for hacking the 2016 election-- and put the blame on 'foolish' Americans for driving the United States and Russia apart. Days later, insiders who know Bolton are still struggling to explain how the man who’s advocated violent regime change in Iraq, Iran, and North Korea could have allowed his boss to bend the knee before one of America’s greatest geopolitical adversaries."
Bolton isn’t the only senior Trump adviser who has been sidelined or subordinated. Defense Secretary James Mattis, an outspoken critic of Moscow, has not appeared in public or made any comments since Monday’s press conference, and the Pentagon has been unable to answer questions about the summit. Top military officials remain largely in the dark about what Trump and Putin discussed. Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats said Thursday that he “[doesn’t] know what happened in that meeting” and “would’ve suggested a different way.”

Meanwhile, in Foggy Bottom, the mood has only darkened since the president attempted to “clarify” his remarks made in Helsinki. “It was so transparently false and done under duress,” a current State Department official told me. “This is uncharted territory in terms of figuring out how you proceed on a whole number of issues when the leadership has gone so completely awry. It is just so stupid and senseless. No one seems to have any idea what to do or pursue following the meeting.” (A spokesperson for the National Security Council told me that they are still “reviewing the discussion between President Trump and President Putin, considering possible next steps, and have nothing further to announce at this time.”)

As the post-summit fallout continues, however, these foot soldiers of the Deep State are coming to a chilling realization: nobody has any control over Trump-- including Trump himself. For the legion of national-security, diplomatic, and military officials trying to smile while white-knuckling through the Trump presidency, Helsinki was a wake-up call. As a current administration official explained, Trump seems to believe that he alone can sit down with dictators and strongmen like Putin and Kim Jong Un to remake the world order-- and experts and advisers will only slow him down. “I don’t know anyone who thought the summit was a good idea ahead of time,” this person told me. “There is a reason why we tried to slow-roll/kill this idea . . . The president might think it’s us being ‘Deep-Staters,’ but the reality is we were trying to protect him. It was a bad idea from all sides: policy and politics.”

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Third Way And The Republican Wing Of The Democratic Party Gears Up For War-- Against Bernie

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A few days ago I went to a fundraiser for a congressional candidate here in L.A. One of the artists you see frequently here at DWT, Nancy Ohanian, donated a huge aluminum rendition of the Bernie Sanders characature you see above. It's spectacular and comes up to my chest. I offered to auction it with the proceeds going to the candidate, a super-duper progressive who, in fact, had endorsed Bernie in 2016. I got to the event early so I could set up. While the host was helping me find a suitable place to display the art, a craggy old man-- let's say 80, but I'm not certain-- ambled over and started growling and barking at either me or the art. His point was one that young people who admire Bernie never make but this nasty old codger was spitting mad and demanded that Bernie retire. To be fair, I should also mention that he also screeched that Pelosi also retire. Anyway, his whole argument seemed to be about age. Later during the event he was snarling again, this time how the Democrats would lose if they nominate a progressive in 2020.

I don't often meet people ignorant enough to spout off like that in celebration of the Blue Dogs and New Dems who make up the Republican wing of the Democratic Party. But ole shit-for-brains was all in for it. I didn't want to upset myself by arguing with him about corruption or policy so I wandered over to another part of the gigantic backyard and thankfully never saw him again. Yesterday, however, Buzzfeed ran a report about the conference the Republican wing of the Democratic Party was holding in Columbus, Ohio. They're desperate to find someone to unite behind who will defeat the Bernie/Elizabeth Warren ticket in 2020. Trump wasn't invited but he's hoping they pick Biden, who, he claimed Obama took out of the garbage heap. asked by Jeff Glor on the CBS Evening News who he thinks his Democratic opponent will be, he said:
Well, I dream, I dream about Biden. That's a dream. Look, Joe Biden ran three times. He never got more than 1 percent and President Obama took him out of the garbage heap, and everybody was shocked that he did. I'd love to have it be Biden. I think I'd like to have any one of those people that we're talking about… You know, there's probably-- the group of seven or eight right now. I'd really like to-- I'd like to run against any one of them, but Biden never by himself could never do anything. President Obama took him, made him vice president and he was fine. But you go back and look at how he succeeded in running, when he ran two or three times, I don't think he ever break-- broke one. He was at the one or less level, 1 percent or less level.
Biden is popular among centrist Democrats, not so much among progressives-- he had a long career as a corporate whore and Wall Street kiss-ass-- and not so much among Independents. Molly Hensley-Clancy wrote that at the centrist conference "the burning question was how to create an economic message that could beat two people in 2020 who have crystal clear economic messages: Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders... Centrist Democrats are eager to take on the party’s ideological left. But nearly 30 years after Bill Clinton won with an explicitly moderate brand of Democratic politics, they are smaller in number, and in a sign of just how much the Democratic Party has changed in the last five years, they're explicitly defining themselves in response to a democratic socialist from Vermont. They’re still searching for their message-- and their messengers. At the presidential election-- focused “Opportunity 2020” conference, hosted by the center-left think tank Third Way, there wasn’t much in the way of presidential candidates. The featured speakers were currently much lower key players in the increasingly serious field of prospective Democratic contenders-- Jason Kander, who just announced his run for mayor of Kansas City, Missouri; Virginia Sen. Mark Warner; Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan."

Third Way is not "center left"-- unless you're comparing the group to neo-fascists like Jim Jordan and Steven Miller. This are the people who use big corporate money and GOP billionaires to defeat progressives in primaries. They're the worst of the worst. You'll notice how how an idiot fake journalist like Hensley-Clancy refers to the furthest right segment of the Democratic Party benignly as "center left" while smearing the people who go to the grassroots Netroots Nation convention as "ultra-progressives," including in her empty-headed smear Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Idiots like Hensley-Clancy make the error of conflating crooked politicians, like Jim Himes, for example, who are whores for Wall Street, with "moderates." Himes, a member of the House Financial Services Committee, has taken $2,869,907 in bribes from Wall Street, more than any Democrat currently serving in the House. So, of course Hensley-Clancy goes right to him for some wisdom.
When it comes to moderate voices in the 2020 election, “I think there is a risk that they get drowned out,” said Rep. Jim Himes, of Connecticut, who chairs the House’s moderate Democrat caucus, the New Dems. “There’s a lot of volume and emotion and energy around the more activist wing of our party.”
Former Delaware Governor Jack Markell is basically a moderate Republican pretending to be a Democrat, like many attendees at the Third Way conference. He was delighted at the opportunity to smear mainstream Democrats like Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris, not to mention Benie. "Right now the only narrative we’re getting is from the far left," growled Markell.
The Opportunity Democrats’ big ideas-- carefully constructed, polled on, and laid out by Third Way in Columbus-- are not nearly as big as the far left’s, though that’s partly by design. There’s a venture-capital-like bank that will lend on a massive scale to underserved areas, an apprentice program modeled in part after land-grant colleges, a universal private retirement fund. Also, an Americorps-like program for retirees, called “Boomer Corps.”

Sanders loomed over much of the conference in Columbus-- as an adversary, a comparison point, and, in some ways, as an inspiration.

“To his credit, Bernie has offered something that is coherent, and big, and is very well-known,” said Matt Bennett, Third Way’s vice president of public affairs. “If you walked out on the street of Columbus, 6 of 10 people could tell you what Bernie’s economic vision is.”

There is a pervasive narrative that the energy in the Democratic Party is mostly among progressives. That’s true particularly when it comes to the looming 2020 presidential election, where most of the party’s buzzed-about contenders, from Harris to Warren to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, have spent their time in the Senate outdoing each other to come out in support of what are traditionally considered very liberal policies on economics.

“It’s accurate to say most of the energy on Twitter is on the far left, and a lot of the energy in Washington is on the far left,” Bennett said. But he believes many are inaccurately conflating the energized Democratic base with Bernie Sanders supporters.

“If you go talk to the resistance, the likelihood is that they voted for Hillary, and they hate Trump to the bottom of their soul," he said. "That doesn’t mean they want a [$15] national minimum wage.”
These right-wing Democrats hate the idea of a living wage almost as much as Republicans do. That's because they are Republicans but with a less right-wing social agenda. They tend to be less racist, less sexist, less homophobic, etc. These right-of-center Democraps attracted to Third Way are furious that progressives like Kara Eastman, Dana Balter and Alexandria Ocasio beat their crap candidates in recent primaries-- and have persuaded the DCCC to undermine them-- but they are basking in the glory of having watched progressive voters march in unity-- a word the right does not realize is a two-way street-- to win seats for Conor Lamb (PA) and Doug Jones (AL). Since winning, by the way, both have scored "F" on their voting records. Jones votes more often with the GOP than any other Senate Democrat, including even Manchin, Heitkamp, Donnelly and McCaskill, who at least have the excuse that they're voting with Republicans because they're afraid of the midterms. Jones has no reelection battle to worry about. Lamb is running in a redrawn district that is way less red than the one he won, but he still votes with a Republicans as frequently as he can.

Goal ThermometerKara Eastman isn't one of them. She's one of us. The Republican wing of the party has no use for her. She vanquished one of their worthless Blue Dog standard bearers. "In our primary race," she explained, "my team knocked on more than 60,000 doors. We know that direct contact with people at their doors is the best way to win votes, but more importantly, this personal touch shows voters in my district that I am sincere when I tell them that I want to work for them, and with them, to create tangible solutions for the concerns they have. I am the kind of Congresswoman who is accessible, compassionate and dedicated to serving people in my district-- not just donors. I believe this sincere effort to connect with voters made a difference in our race, and we will continue spending as much time as possible in the field in the general election."
One name that Democrats in Columbus did, occasionally, offer: former vice president Joe Biden, who has been publicly mulling a presidential run. Jeff Danielson, a state senator from Iowa, said at first that there was “no one” he was excited about when it came to 2020. But Biden, if he would agree to run, was an exception, Danielson said.

“Elderly white men are not necessarily what’s popular in our party right now,” Danielson conceded. “But I think that there will be a shift in the moment. Voters are going to look for stability, and I think he embodies that.”

Others said they were excited by state-level politicians: mayors like Mitch Landrieu of New Orleans, and Los Angeles’ Eric Garcetti, and governors like Deval Patrick, Steve Bullock, and John Hickenlooper. (Bullock, considered to be more moderate, is nonetheless speaking at the progressive Netroots in August.)

Rep. Cheri Bustos, an Illinois moderate who carried a district Donald Trump won handily, said she’d heard a marked shift in the most important issue people brought up to her in the supermarket aisles of her district. For years, she said, it was jobs and the economy; then, for a year, it was health care.

Now, she said, the refrain is simply: “Just get something done. I’m tired of all the fighting.”

Governors and mayors like Bullock and Garcetti are a remedy to that frustration: working in smaller confines and freed from the snarl of Washington, they have a long and detailed record of accomplishments to point to.

But even as they crafted their message in Columbus through polling, strategy sessions, and debate, attendees were aware that, especially against Trump, there’s a necessary piece they’re still searching for.

“How do we compete with ‘we’re bringing the coal mines back’?” said Himes, the Connecticut congress member. “We’re not suited to lying to the American people, and we’re not naturally arbiters of emotion and anger, and so how we tell our story in a way that makes people want to mount the barricades is, I think, one of the biggest challenges that we have. And I’m not sure, sitting here today, that I have the answer to that.”
These  self-proclaimed centrists and "moderates" think they know everything, so they didn't invite any modern economists like Stephanie Kelton or play this Stephanie Kelton interview Derrick Crowe did with her at the conference; but they don't know everything--or much of anything worthwhile-- so they should have. Watch; it'll help you understand what a bad joke the Republican wing of the Democratic Party is.



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Did YOUR Congressmember Join The New Medicare For All Caucus?

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My congressman, New Dem Adam Schiff, didn't join the new Medicare-For-All Caucus. I bet his constituents would freak out if they know. In fact, though I'm not a betting man, I'd bet a lot on that assertion. Some of the most progressive Democrats in the country live in Schiff's district-- West Hollywood, the Hollywood Hills, Los Feliz, Hollywood, East Hollywood, Silverlake, Glendale, and Burbank. Those are Medicare-For-All neighborhoods, even if Adam Schiff isn't. This is the wrong district for him. The 3 progressive Congressmembers from from districts bordering on his-- Ted Lieu, Jimmy Gomez and Judy Chu-- immediately joined the caucus. Two more conservative Democrats from districts bordering on Schiff's district-- throw-back Brad Sherman and child rapist Tony Cárdenas-- also refused to join. What about your member of Congress. Did he or she join? If they're on this list they did (and if they're not, they didn't):
Pramila Jayapal (D-WA)
Keith Ellison (D-MN)
Debbie Dingell (D-MI)
Nanette Barragán (D-CA)
Joyce Beatty (D-OH)
Don Beyer (D-VA)
Earl Blumenauer (D-OR)
Brendan Boyle (D-PA)
Anthony Brown (D-MD)
Michael Capuano (D-MA)
Andre Carson (D-IN)
Kathy Castor (D-FL)
Judy Chu (D-CA)
David Cicilline (D-RI)
Katherine Clark (D-MA)
Yvette Clarke (D-NY)
Lacy Clay (D-MO)
Steve Cohen (D-TN)
Mike Doyle (D-PA)
Eliot Engel (D-NY)
Adriano Espaillat (D-NY)
Dwight Evans (D-PA)
Lois Frankel (D-FL)
Marcia Fudge (D-OH)
John Garamendi (D-CA)
Jimmy Gomez (D-CA)
Vicente Gonzalez (D-TX)
Al Green (D-TX)
Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ)
Alcee Hastings (D-FL)
Brian Higgins (D-NY)
Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC)
Jared Huffman (D-CA)
Hank Johnson (D-GA)
Ro Khanna (D-CA)
Brenda Lawrence (D-MI)
Barbara Lee (D-CA)
John Lewis (D-GA)
Ted Lieu (D-CA)
Zoe Lofgren (D-CA)
Alan Lowenthal (D-CA)
Carolyn Maloney (D-NY)
im McGovern (D-MA)
Jerry McNerney (D-CA)
Grace Meng (D-NY)
Jerrold Nadler (D-NY)
Grace Napolitano (D-CA)
Richard Nolan (D-MN)
Chellie Pingree (D-ME)
Mark Pocan (D-WI)
Jared Polis (D-CO)
Jamie Raskin (D-MD)
Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA)
Tim Ryan (D-OH)
Jan Schakowsky (D-IL)
Bobby Scott (D-VA)
ose Serrano (D-NY)
Adam Smith (D-WA)
Darren Soto (D-FL)
Mark Takano (D-CA)
Dina Titus (D-NV)
Paul Tonko (D-NY)
Marc Veasey (D-TX)
Nydia Velázquez (D-NY)
Maxine Waters (D-CA)
Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ)
Peter Welch (D-VT)
Frederica Wilson (D-FL)
John Yarmuth (D-KY)
Congressmembers Karen Bass (D-CA) and Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) joined early yesterday, bringing the total to 72. Meanwhile, you'd think Jacky Rosen, a conservative freshman House Democrat in Nevada, running, incongruously, for the U.S. Senate, would have the brains to get behind something this popular. Dina Titus (D-NV) sure did.

The idea behind the Medicare for All Congressional Caucus is to help build the evidence base for Medicare for All. As chief sponsor Pramila Jayapal explained, "It will sponsor briefings on topics ranging from the basics of Medicare for All to financing to universal health care systems around the world. In development is also a clearinghouse of resources for members of Congress and their staff. Additionally, the caucus will provide an opportunity for members and their staff to interact with partners and providers across the country to gain a practical understanding of how a Medicare for All system would work. Support for Medicare for All is growing, not only among movement-builders, but within Congress. At its launch, an unprecedented 70 members had joined the caucus.
Health care must be affordable and accessible to everyone in the United States. One of the best ways to ensure health care for all is to use the system that already exists for millions of seniors over the last half century: Medicare. That is why I am so proud to be the founding co-chair of the Medicare for All Congressional Caucus. No one should be one health care crisis from bankruptcy. No one should be worried about obtaining life saving medicine due to cost or access. This caucus is committed to making sure that every American across the country has quality, affordable health care. The path forward is through Medicare for All.
"National Nurses United welcomes the inaugural Medicare for All Caucus in the House of Representatives. Every day, more Americans are rallying behind the need for fundamental reform of our flawed and fragmented health care system that denies health care to millions of our neighbors and family members. Nurses see patients every day that are harmed by this system, and we know that Medicare for All is the best solution to this crisis," said Martese Chism, RN, Vice-President, California Nurses Association / National Nurses Organizing Committee (National Nurses United). "We applaud every member of the Caucus for their commitment to Medicare for All, and extend our thanks to Representatives Jayapal, Ellison and Dingell for taking leadership in forming this caucus. We look forward to working with the caucus to finally achieve equal access to quality, therapeutic health care for every person living in the United States through a Medicare for All, single-payer system."


Nancy Altman, President, Social Security Works added, "It's long past time to improve Medicare and expand it to cover all of us. The creation of the Medicare for All Caucus in the House of Representatives is an important milestone in reaching that long overdue goal. Every person in the United States should have the right to guaranteed, high-quality health care, an essential requirement of economic security."

In a letter to his supporters yesterday, Kaniela Saito Ing wrote, "We are the majority. The majority of us want revolutionary change. We support Medicare for All, tuition-free college, and bold action on climate change. It just requires the courage and political will to stand up to corporate interests. If you believe we can win, then we need to fight together. The stakes are too high to do anything else. We help maintain the rigged status quo when we do nothing or let their cynicism get the best of us." That made me ask some of the candidates who won their primaries already but who are not being backed by the DCCC, which also doesn't back Medicare-For-All, how they feel about Congress' newest-- and most important-- caucus.

Goal ThermometerTexas progressive Dayna Steele didn't leave any doubt where she stands on this. How could she, since every campaign event she does, includes her talking about Medicare-For-All. "I would join the Medicare-For-All Caucus in Congress," she told me yesterday. "We have a lot of work to do in order to get Medicare for All passed and implemented, and part of that work includes building out a political framework in both houses of Congress. The creation of the Caucus is an important step toward our shared goal of health justice, and a healthier America. Ensuring Texans have the healthcare they need is our number one priority. This is one of the most important things Congress needs to address. Healthcare pays dividends-- healthy people work, pay taxes, create opportunities, and give back to their communities."

Mike Siegel is another progressive Texan who won his primary and finds himself abandoned by a DCCC that is very not-enthusiastic about Medicare-for-All. (None of the DCCC heavy-weights, like Ben Ray Luján, Denny Heck and Cheri Bustos, have joined the new caucus.) Siegel is running against anti-healthcare Trump rubber-stamp Michael McCaul. "My first priority will be healthcare for all," he told us. "Too many people in the Texas 10th are at risk, without sufficient care, on the brink of bankruptcy if a health emergency arises. I am horrified that my opponent, Rep. McCaul, celebrates his votes to cut healthcare for tens of millions of Americans. Healthcare is a human right, and I will fight for universal access by joining the Medicare for All caucus, working with nurses and retirees, and putting my shoulder to the wheel in this essential effort to strengthen the safety net and ensure all Americans have a fair shot."

JD Scholten is the progressive Democrat running for the Iowa seat held by anti-healthcare fanatic Steve King. "Healthcare," he told us, "is the number one issue in IA-04, like it is in many places. Take farmers for example, they don’t have employer benefits. They’re worried about healthcare as much as they’re worried about tariffs and low commodity prices. Medicare-for-All will not only provide the care we need, it would also simplify our complicated lives."

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Midnight Meme Of The Day!

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by Noah

What would Traitor Don have to say to Osama bin Laden in some alternate timeline, in secret 'one on one only' meeting? Would it be "Just don't fly any planes into my Trump Towers" or would it be something else; something to do with Kushner properties in Manhattan or Ivanka's shoe factories in China? Would Traitor Don just be treasonous enough to cover up for bin Laden by saying he asked bin Laden if he was behind the 9/11 attacks and bin Laden said no, so he believed him? Who would Señor Trumpanzee believe and support; our intelligence people or bin Laden? Would he send our military personnel to Afghanistan in an act of retribution, or would a new bin Laden-financed Trump Tower-Kabul be going up as you read this?

Step back and imagine a world where Traitor Don had been our president at other times in our history instead of right now. Why not imagine Trump as president back in 2001? After all, he had first thought of running for president in 1998 or so. Or what if the Diaper Don had been our president in 1980? Would he have wanted Russia to "tear down that wall" or would he have taken a different stance? What if Comrade Trump had been president in place of Bush, of Reagan, of JFK, or FDR?

The real present time "President" Trump is a bad enough "president" and even worse humanoid so we don't really need to wonder what Trump would be like if he had been our president at other points in our nation's history but, hey, it pays to learn from history, even if it seems to come from some other weird dimension that's every bit as weird as our own. We know damn well how bad Trump would be in another historical timeline because we're living in this one. Trump as a "president" in another timeline would be (and I don't mean wouldn't) just as frightening as the "President" Trump in our own horrific reality where Trump has repeatedly praised and embraced Vladimir Putin; even covered up for him and equated the character of our intelligence people with the character of Putin himself.

So, with all of this in mind, I present to you the first two in a series of "Alt History Pres. Trumps Of The Past" memes, because the reality we live in is so bad that it's at least a little comforting to know that other Americans, somewhere, sometime, may have shared our misery even before we did. And, of course, even in such alternate universes, FOX "News" is known as The Treason Channel. They wouldn't have it any other way (and I don't mean would).





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Friday, July 20, 2018

What's Worse For The Republicans-- Trump's Russian Adventure Or His Trade War Against China?

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Trumpanzee is furious about his DNI's interview with Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC. Washington Post reporters say that Trump enablers "were in an uproar" over the optics of Dan Coats' making a laughing stock out of a fake president who was in way, way over his head in his dealings with Putin. I assume he'll be even more angry if someone reads the Will Hurd (R-TX) OpEd in the New York Times, Trump Is Being Manipulated By Putin. What Should We Do? to him. "Over the course of my career as an undercover officer in the C.I.A., I saw Russian intelligence manipulate many people. I never thought I would see the day when an American president would be one of them... By playing into Vladimir Putin’s hands the leader of the free world actively participated in a Russian disinformation campaign that legitimized Russian denial and weakened the credibility of the United States to both our friends and foes abroad... Over the course of my career as an undercover officer in the C.I.A., I saw Russian intelligence manipulate many people. I never thought I would see the day when an American president would be one of them."

And a good old slap in the face for Devin Nunes, Trey Gowdy and Paul Ryan who are protecting Trump and his treasonous behavior: "As a member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, I strongly believe in the importance of Congress's oversight responsibilities and will work with my colleagues to ensure that the administration is taking the Russian threat seriously. Without action, we risk losing further credibility in international negotiations with both our friends and foes on critical trade deals, military alliances and nuclear arms."

And then there was the cover of today's Politicom an essay by Blake Hounshell, Why I'm No Longer A RussiaGate Skeptic. He now says that when he wrote back in February, that he was skeptical that Señor Trumpanzee would ever be proved to have secretly colluded with Russia to sway the 2016 election in his favor, he mistyped. "What I meant to write was that I wasn’t skeptical. Last week’s events have nullified my previous skepticism."
Politically speaking, Trump’s devotion to his pro-Putin line doesn’t make sense. Yes, the GOP base is impressionable, and perhaps Republican voters would accept it if Trump came out and said, “You bet, Russia helped get me elected, and wasn’t that a good thing? We couldn’t let Crooked Hillary win!” But nobody would say his odd solicitousness toward the Kremlin leader is a political winner, and it certainly causes an unnecessary amount of friction with Republicans in Congress. He’s kept it up at great political cost to himself, and that suggests either that he is possessed by an anomalous level of conviction on this one issue, despite his extraordinary malleability on everything else-- or that he’s beholden to Putin in some way.

You don’t have to buy Jonathan Chait’s sleeper agent theory of Trump to believe that something is deeply weird about all this. Nor do you need to be convinced that Putin is hanging onto a recording of something untoward that may have taken place in a certain Moscow hotel room. You don’t even have to buy the theory that Trump’s business is overly dependent on illicit flows of Russia money, giving Putin leverage. As Julia Ioffe posits, the kompromat could well be the mere fact of the Russian election meddling itself.

...We might never get clear evidence that Trump made a secret deal with the Kremlin. It would be great to see his tax returns, and perhaps Mueller has evidence of private collusion that we have yet to see. These details matter. But in a larger sense, everything we need to know about Trump’s strange relationship with Russia is already out in the open. As The Donald himself might say, there’s something going on.

If Trump is indeed a tool of Putin, what might we expect him to do next? Well, I wouldn’t be sleeping too soundly in Kiev, Podgorica or Riga right now. If the Kremlin tests America’s wobbling commitment to NATO, watch how Trump responds. And pay attention, too, to what the White House says about Russia’s absurd demand that the U.S. hand over former ambassador to Moscow Mike McFaul—Wednesday’s spectacle of Sarah Huckabee Sanders refusing to immediately rule out the idea flies in the face of decades of American diplomacy. Trump may have grudgingly admitted that Russia did the deed, but nobody should be surprised if he starts shedding doubt on it all over again. Maybe, just maybe, he can’t admit that Moscow tried to put him in the Oval Office because he’s under strict instructions not to.
Meanwhile Señor T may be trying to distract from Putin-Gate by ramping up his trade war with China. He's now threatening to put tariffs on every Chinese good imported to the U.S. That's $505.5 billion worth. Caitlin Owens at Axios this morning: "Trump's tariffs are introducing a new, wildly unpredictable issue into the midterm elections, thanks to their heavy impact on states with critical Senate races as well as their likely role in House races across the country. This puts GOP candidates in a weird position: Speaking out against trade policy that's hurting their state or district could turn off voters who would view that as criticizing Trump." Democrats have a good issue:



And this is kind of funny:
Trump flags and hats made in China are reportedly being held up at US customs amid an intensifying trade war.
Chinese textile suppliers have said delays at US customs is affecting their sales.
Chinese suppliers across China have reported making merchandise for Trump's 2020 bid, although campaign officials insist all their official merchandise is manufactured in the US.

Where do they make the t-shirts though?

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Yes, There Is A Progressive Candidate In Colorado's Reddest District-- Meet Stephany Rose Spaulding

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by Bob Lynch

Having meaningless conversations with boring politicians is something you get used to in my line of work. However, some phone calls are impossible to forget. My phone call with Stephany Rose Spaulding, the Democratic candidate for the House of Representatives in Colorado’s 5th congressional district, was one of those. She is amazing. Colorado Springs is an Evangelical hotbed and Stephany is a Baptist pastor. Oh yeah, she is also a Black Woman with a PhD from the South Side of Chicago...

Stephany Spaulding sits at the confluence of many different concepts that the Democratic Party is currently struggling with. The Cook Report has labeled her district as an R+14 (the reddest in the state) so the DCCC decided it isn’t in play and won’t dedicate any of their resources to helping her give current Representative, Doug Lamborn, the ass kicking he deserves.

She is also not “progressive” enough for certain wings of the Democratic Party. Why doesn’t the media push that story??

Apparently running on a platform of abolishing ICE may work in Queens and The Bronx, but the things that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez ran on won’t necessarily always work in Colorado Springs.

The GOP and the Evangelical institutions that have ruled Colorado Springs have led to a situation where El Paso County is ranked 2nd in the entire nation for suicides, which has been almost entirely driven by the skyrocketing rate of suicides by their young people. According to 2015 UCCCS Economic Forum data, the county had a suicide rate of 21.4 people per 100,000, which is almost double the rate in the state (12.7) and almost four times the national average (5.9).

The institutions have failed the American people-- and the Democratic Party is one of them. The reason that the GOP has a 51-49 majority in the Senate and not a 52-48 one is because of black women in Alabama. Everyone knows this. They are the most reliable base of the Democratic Party, have been for a long time, and need to be listened to. Not just to access a specific demographic.

So we are all just ok with black women being leaders only when they can lead us to black women voters and not white people???

Something Stephany told me really resonated amidst all of the vanilla nonsense we normally hear candidates say.

“In essence my candidacy is a culmination of having persevered throughout my life being told what tables, rooms, and experiences were not for me. Others have tried to tell me when and where I don't belong because of race, class, sex, whatever. This race reflects that we all belong. We all sing America and our nation is made better, stronger, and greater when we inclusively embrace our full diversity and complexity. Our District deserves this level of representation as does our country.“

Many people keep holding out hope that fellow Chicago legends Michelle Obama or Oprah will get involved in politics yet they ignore the fact that Stephany Rose Spaulding IS involved. Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller love it when Dems play identity politics because they know that Dems don’t know how to give a woman an actual political identity. My head is literally about to explode just writing this. Listen to HER!

Maybe the “failing” New York Times should save some money on the complete hoax of a journalist, Jeremy Peters, writing 15 pieces about the left alienating Trump voters and flying all the way to Martha’s Vineyard to have a cup of coffee with the disgraceful Alan Dershowitz and not even bother to ask him about the underage girls on Epstein’s plane. The media is another important institution and they should do their job. Why is nobody writing about someone who has a workable blueprint for 2020?

The die has been cast and it is probably too late for Stephany to win the race for Colorado’s 5th district (although she has collected $187,487, a good start in raising the kind of money she'll need for a grassroots field operation that will get her message out). Going up against every institution possible in one race is a tough task. The Democratic Party has already decided not to listen to her and abandoned a district of the country that has a lot more in common with the Millennials, who got priced out of Manhattan that voted for Ocasio-Cortez, and are experiencing the same exact thing in Denver which is why they are moving to Colorado Springs. In a perfect world some of the $3 million dollars spent on Joe Crowley being sent out to pasture could have been spent on Stephany flipping a seat from Red to Blue. It would only take a fraction of that amount.

The extremely questionable retirement of Justice Kennedy and his son's Deutsche Bank ties to Donald Trump has largely boiled this election down to a referendum on Women’s Rights. Shouldn’t we start listening to them?

She can still win. Let’s help her.



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More On Joe Lieberman’s Shrill Cry Against Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

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by Skip Kaltenheuser

Nice to have Joe to kick around again. As Howie recently did

Of the tragic mistakes Al Gore made that bequeathed us W-- trying to cherry-pick counties in a Florida recount attempt, etc…-- none was worse than picking "Holy Joe" for his running mate.

Gore compounded the fiasco by allowing Lieberman to run for re-election as U.S. Senator for Connecticut at the same time he was running for Vice-President on Gore’s ticket.

Never mind Lieberman’s reputation as a water carrier for the pharmaceutical and insurance/finance industries. Did nobody tell Gore the optics of Lieberman's dual candidacy? How could any person devise a stronger message of lack of confidence in the Democratic national ticket and in Al Gore than simultaneously running for Senate re-election so that Lieberman had a fall-back position? No one thought how that lack of faith in the ticket would resonate throughout Florida and the country?



And what if Gore had prevailed in the election-- as the popular vote indicated he did before Justice Kennedy and the Supremes worked their mischief in Bush v. Gore-- and if the Democratic Party had fared well enough to tie the Senate count? A Republican governor would have appointed a Republican to replace Lieberman, throwing the Senate to Republicans. This assumes one can’t be U.S. vice-president and U.S. Senator at the same time, though settling that might have sparked a legal battle. Connecticut’s appointment law is a bit confusing as to how it might apply in this unique scenario, regarding the length of appointed term before an election, but certainly an appointee would have a leg up in a subsequent election. The Democratic Party didn’t fare well enough to gain or tie the Senate, but losing control of the Senate was a feasible scenario and outcome when Lieberman decided to run for Senate re-election. It’s all about Joe.

After the debacle of W’s win, Lieberman was a major supporter for the invasion of Iraq, and he continues to beat drums on Iran.

The Diplomat by Nancy Ohanian

I suspect a submarine motive behind Lieberman’s desperation to discredit Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and return Joe Crowley to Congress. Years ago I frequented guest politician off-record breakfast briefings the press club used to hold. I attended one featuring Senator Lieberman. I’d never heard anyone jump through the hoops kissing the Israeli far right Likud rump more than Joe Lieberman did that morning, as if following an AIPAC checklist, as if someone was reporting back to relevant backers. He was throwing out this love-fest on his own, not in response to reporters' questions. One of the standout courageous positions Bernie Sanders-- held in disdain by Lieberman-- shares with Ocasio-Cortez is a call for decency in the treatment of Palestinians and concern as their rights and prospects rapidly vanish. In addition to their finance sector fan club, one of the positions Lieberman holds in common with Crowley is a shameless kowtow supporting Israel’s far right government. Any appearance of even-handedness to Palestinians will have alarm bells ringing in Lieberman’s head, and jump-start his urgent desire to derail Ocasio-Cortez.



Here’s the send-off The Nation gave Lieberman when he announced his retirement, another good refresher on his legacy.

It was a sad day when a laudable, authentic Republican maverick, Lowell Weicker, was narrowly defeated by Lieberman and by conservatives like William F. Buckley who bankrolled Lieberman’s campaign.

Holden Caulfield had a term of art that seems tailored for Lieberman.



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Which Democrats Support Anti-Immigrant GOP Stunts-- Very Few... But That's More Than None

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Congress never seems to have the time or energy to work on anything beneficial to the American people... but the Republican leadership always has time for stunts and games-- like the one they did Wednesday. Ryan, McConnell and Scalise put GOP nitwit Clay Higgins up to it. Higgins represents one of the reddest districts in Louisiana, a big swath of the southern coast, from Morgan City through New Iberia, Lafayette and Lake Charles right to the Texas border. The PVI is R+20 and Trump beat Hillary there, 67.3% to 29.2%. There's no accountability for doing idiotic things-- as long as they'll idiotic things that Hate Talk Radio will extol.

It's a foolish non-binding resolution expressing support for ICE, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the kidnappers who act as Trump's Gestapo. Jerry Nadler, the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee and likely to be that committee's next chairman: "It is a meaningless stunt. We have more important things to do." McConnell tried doing the same stunt at the Senate by using unanimous consent but it was blocked by Kamala Harris on the floor.

It passed 244 to 35. Does that look like a strangely low number of votes? Well, it was. 133 Democrats voted "present." Steny Hoyer, the Democratic Whip explained that "This is exactly the kind of 'gotcha vote' which alienates Americans from their government... Democrats refuse to play the Republicans' game. We’re not falling for this trap. But 18 Democrats did fall for this trap, Pretty repulsive that Jacky Rosen (D-NV) and Kyrsten Sinema (Blue Dog-AZ) did but they're both running for the Senate and I guess they think Hispanic voters will have no choice but to forgive them.) Among the 18 Democrats who voted with the GOP on this 14 were Blue Dogs and New Dems from the Republican wing of the Democratic Party, also known as Democraps.
Ami Bera (New Dem-CA)
Jim Costa (Blue Dog-CA)
Charlie Crist (Blue Dog-FL)
Henry Cuellar (Blue Dog-TX)
Josh Gottheimer (Blue Dog-NJ)
Ron Kind (New Dem-WI)
Connor Lamb (Blue Dog)
Al Lawson (New Dem-FL)
Stephanie Murphy (Blue Dog-FL)
Tom O'Halleran (Blue Dog-AZ)
Kurt Schrader (Blue Dog-OR)
David Scott (Blue Dog-GA)
Kyrsten Sinema (Blue Dog-AZ)
Tom Suozzi (New Dem-NY)
The only Republican to vote NO was Justin Amash (R-MI). Most Democrats who want to abolish ICE want to make sure the legitimate work they do-- not the kidnappings and family separations-- are done by another agency. Last week Democrats introduced legislation two abolish ICE which the GOP isn't allowing to come to the floor. Mark Pocan is one of the cosponsors. He said that "Trump has so misused ICE that the agency can no longer accomplish its goals effectively. As a result, the best path forward is this legislation, which would end ICE and transfer its critical functions to other executive agencies." But where and how and who? With the congressional Republicans preferring to weaponize the slogan, "Abolish Ice," to use against Democrats, there is no mature debate about how to go forward.
If signed into law, the bill would set a one-year window before ICE is shut down, while also establishing a commission to undertake a 90-day review that would identify ICE’s essential responsibilities and the agencies that could take over those roles. A second act of Congress would then be needed to establish where its former powers should go. Commission members would also be charged with accounting for any constitutional infringements and abuses of power committed by ICE agents and officials during its existence.

“This legislation would establish a commission to look at transitioning essential ICE functions to a new agency that would have accountability, transparency and oversight built in from its inception,” Washington Representative Pramila Jayapal, another Democrat who introduced the bill, said in a statement. “It’s time to change the system to one that is accountable, efficient, humane, and transparent.”

...At its broadest level, #AbolishICE isn’t just about changing DHS’ most controversial agency. It’s about changing the nation’s deadlocked immigration debate. “Everyone’s entrenched,” [Former ICE director Sarah] Saldana said, referring to Congress. “I don’t blame one side or the other for the lack of comprehensive immigration reform. Both parties are responsible, and I would hope that at some point the public gets serious enough about it to say, ‘You’re not working on a major issue in this country and we need someone who will.’”

By calling for ICE’s abolition, activists on the left are hoping to tilt that debate in their favor. “ICE is now contested,” [Sean] McElwee said. “Detention beds are contested. ICE’s funding in omnibus bills is no longer a given-- a thing that is seen as the thing that’s done automatically. The contesting of deportation is very valuable. We actually have some space now to question the consensus that was fundamentally a center-right consensus.” For those hoping to build a new approach to immigration after Trump, that long-term shift is more important than whatever form ICE takes next.

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