Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Los Angeles Primary Voters Need To Beware Of Imposters Laura Friedman, Elan Carr And Steve Napolitano


An actual endorsement

Fake endorsement by L.A.'s most dishonest politician
The other day I got a piece of mail disguised as a Democratic Party slate card with prominent pictures of President Obama, who isn't running for anything and Kamala Harris who is running for U.S. Senate. The "Democratic Voter Guide" is not put out by the Democratic Party at all and there's no indication of who paid for the mailing, which tries to imply that dishonest conservative candidates like Republicans Elan Carr and Steve Napolitano and the Walmart anti-public school candidate Laura Friedman are running on a Bernie Sanders slate.

A shady outfit called Voter Guide Slate Cards puts this garbage together mails these out to whomever pays them-- and circumvents the law by not reporting who their clients are. There are pull-out quotes from Supervisorial candidates Steve Napolitano, who says "I running for Supervisor for the 4th district to rethink, reinvent, and re-engage L.A. County" and Elan Carr referring to himself as "a criminal gang prosecutor and Iraq War veteran who will put gangs behind bars." Neither mentions he is a partisan right-wing Republican, since each is running in a district with far more Democrats than Republicans and each understands he can only win by stealth and by implying he is a Democrat or even a "Berniecrat." Both are vile Trumpists.

As I was driving home, I was listening to a Supervisorial debate on KPCC between the 6 top candidates. The Democratic Party is united behind Darrell Park for the ostensibly non-partisan office. The 5 right-wing Republicans running are state Sen. Robert Huff, Kathryn Barger, Elan Carr, Glendale Councilman Ara Najarian, L.A. City Councilman Mitchell Englander. The debate moderator asked the whole panel of candidates if any of them have publicly opposed Trump. Najarian mumbled some disjointed nonsense about not being happy with some of Trump's positions but made it clear that he would be voting for him. The other 4 Republicans in the race sat mum, hoping no one would notice. Carr's mailers presenting him as a Democrat speak to his lack of honesty and make it clear how unsuited he is for public office. (last year, running for the open congressional seat on the west side and South Bay-- not remotely near where he's running now-- he had his head handed to him by progressive Ted Lieu, who beat him 108,331 (59%) to 74,700 (41%), despite spending $1,575,540 and despite a barrage of expenditures on his behalf by a huge SuperPAC paid for by Mob-controlled Las Vegas gambling boss Sheldon Adelson ($506,407) and another financed by far right crackpot and wine seller John Jordan and the Koch brothers ($256,485).

Most voters are unaware about the deceptive practices used to trick them into voting for candidates whose agendas they oppose. The most dishonest campaign in Los Angeles is the Laura Friedman For Assembly campaign in Glendale, Burbank, the Hollywood Hills, Los Feliz, East Hollywood, Silver Lake and La Crescenta (assembly District 43). Friedman, the corrupt conservative in the race, is being backed by gigantic expenditures from the Walton family (Walmart), which seeks to destroy teachers unions and end public education, replacing it with charter schools. The endless stream of mailers from Friedman and her charter school superPAC smear the progressive in the race, Ardy Kassakhian. Friedman, best known for her tendency to lie whenever she opens her mouth, implies in her campaign communications that she's been endorsed by Mayor Garcetti (who very forcefully endorsed Kassakhian and has made it clear what a disaster Friedman would be for Los Angeles). She also implies on all her posters and literature than she's been endorsed by the Democratic Party, which is another lie, the state and county Democratic Party (as well as the Democratic Party of the San Fernando Valley and all the Democratic clubs in the district from the Stonewall Democratic Club and the Korean American Democratic Committee to the Glendale Democratic Club and the Hubert H. Humphrey Democratic Club) have all endorsed Kassakhian, as have the AFL-CIO, the California Labor Federation, AFSCME, SEIU and virtually every other labor union in the L.A. area. Since one of Friedman's big lies that all her literature and campaign signs spout is that she's supported by "teachers," it's worth mentioning that the California Federation of Teachers, California Teachers Association, the Faculty Association of California Community Colleges, and the California School Employees Association have all endorsed Kassakhian and have been urgently warning their members that Friedman is the anti-education/anti-teacher conservative imposter in the race.

Yet the gigantic sums being spent by billionaires Eli Broad and the Waltons on her behalf are drowning out debate and deceiving voters into thinking Friedman is a progressive of some kind. And, it turns out, that it was her sleazy campaign that helped the Republicans-masquerading-as-Democrats pay for the Voter Guide Slate Cards mailing I mentioned up top. No, nothing will make Elan Carr and Steve Napolitano Democrats and nothing will separate them from Trump and Trumpism and nothing will ever make Laura Friedman a Berniecrat, no matter how much dark money she spends trying to persuade voters she is.

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What Else Do Donald Trump, Patrick Murphy, Kevin McCarthy And Debbie Wasserman Schultz Have In Common?


Chicken Trump has perfected a snarl as a defense mechanism

Sure, all 3 squirrely Florida self-promoters own homes on the east coast of the Sunshine State, but that's not the answer today; it leaves off McCarthy. Today is about the fear of being exposed in a public debate. Did Trump actually debate when he was up on stage at the 17 ring circus during primary season? When Cruz challenged him to debate ideas, mano-a-mano, Trump's deformed little penis shriveled and he ran for the hills. He never debated any ideas, because he has none. He has catch-phrases and marketing ploys that he intersperses with insults and childish bullying name-calling. That's not a debate.

When he accepted the idea of debating Bernie-- something that millions of voters would love to see-- he immediately flip-flopped on the idea, realizing he is incapable of a debate centered on a clash of political philosophy, since he has no political philosophy on which to base any positions at all. His only philosophy is narcissism. So he sought to worm out of it by putting up an impossible barrier-- a $10 million fee, all proceeds to non-profits helping battered women. Within 48 hours, $21 million had been pledged. Cornered like a rat, Trump mumbled something asinine about him debating Bernie being inappropriate. Does that mean politically incorrect?

I wonder how long the sobriquet "Chicken Trump" will last and if it helps some of his supporters see through his carefully-crafted marketing techniques that have painted him as some kind of a macho superhero, when he's just a frightened little blustering bag of hot air?

And then there are tangled up in blue conservaDems Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Patrick Murphy, who also never engage in debates with opponents. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who did best/worst to sabotage debates between Bernie and her status quo candidate for president as DNC chair, has steadfastly refused to debate Tim Canova in her own congressional district. She's been a politician since 1988-- and an elected official since 1992-- so why is she trembling to debate an ideas-oriented Democrat in a primary race? Why is she so scared to get up in front of an audience of Broward/Miami-Dade voters and defend her long-held positions on payday lenders, Big Sugar, trade treaties, private prisons, medical marijuana, effective Wall Street regulation? She'd much rather hire political snakes like Steve Paikowsky to slither around South Florida spreading false information about her opponent. Much easier for a candidate who thinks campaigning is telling her constituents how she's fighting imaginary Republican opponents with no traction at all.

Patrick Murphy won't debate; instead he campaigns by posing for photos with right-wing extremists like Rick Scott & Chamber of Commerce President Joseph Catrambone

Patrick Murphy... can't even make a case that he's really a Democrat. The thought of debating a brilliant, values-oriented progressive like Alan Grayson turns him into a quivering mess of jelly-like substance. Nor did he ever debate any candidate, ever. He has nothing to say and is petrified of being exposed in front of voters and the media for the charlatan and poseur he is. Even his first opponent, right-wing ideologue Allen West marveled at Murphy's utter lack of substance. Every Democrat in the country wanted to debate GOP crackpot Allen West-- but Murphy hid away from confronting him for the entire campaign, counting on his daddy's and the Saudis' money to speak for him. West laughed that Murphy "doesn’t want to be in front of the public, he has no ideas, he does not address any of the issues, he is the emptiest of an empty suit-- I think he’s just a name on the ballot."

Murphy's been propped up by his rich-- and crooked-- Republican parents, a family of Saudi Arabian billionaires, Wall Street banksters and corrupt Democratic party bosses like Chuck Schumer, Harry Reid and Alcee Hastings.

It doesn't matter if a candidate is a Republican or a Democrat. If he's refusing to debate, he doesn't deserve your support or your vote. On Long Island, entrenched Republican-- and Trump endorser-- Peter King has refused to debate DuWayne Gregory, his Democratic Party opponent and the presiding officer of the Suffolk County legislature, a slap in the face to every voter in the congressional district. There are incumbents all over the country-- from both parties-- who refuse to debate serious contenders. That should be enough of a reason to not vote for them. Probably the goofiest response to a debate came from Republican foot-in-mouth Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy to the debate request in his Bakersfield district by the Chamber of Commerce. The progressive Democrat in the race, Wendy Reed, accepted immediately. McCarthy said he would send an unnamed staffer as a surrogate. Reed pressured the Chamber of Commerce, which had agreed to that absurd proposition, and the Chamber backed down and said no surrogates allowed. So the debate, which was scheduled for tonight, was called off by McCarthy. "If he can't represent himself in an open, public debate," Reed told us today, "why should we think he'll represent the people of the district?" You can contribute to Reed's campaign by clicking the thermometer:
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UPDATE: Miami's Mayor Tomás Regalado Weights In On Herr Trumpf


Who will stand up to Trump's racism in Miami-Dade? Not Mario Diaz-Balart

Yesterday we looked at how Democratic congressional candidates are running against Trump by tying their foolish opponents to Trump hate-filled messaging. Immediately on top of that reporting from the NY Times seemed to bolster exactly what FL-25 Democratic candidate Alina Valdes told us yesterday about her own campaign against Trump-supporter Mario Diaz-Balart. The Republican mayor of Miami made the point.
Had Republicans nominated Marco Rubio or Jeb Bush for president, Tomás Regalado would have hurled himself into the task of electing their candidate.

“I would have been all in,” Mr. Regalado, the Republican mayor of Miami, said in his office overlooking Biscayne Bay.

Instead, Mr. Regalado, a former broadcast journalist, intends to sit out the presidential race. He considers Mrs. Clinton untrustworthy, but views Mr. Trump as a poisonous candidate who has aggravated racial divisions. In Miami, Mr. Regalado said, Mr. Trump is seen as “a bully, as a person who despises people that don’t look like him.”

Mr. Regalado, 69, said he had been inundated with angry email, some of it mentioning Mr. Trump by name. “Sometimes they say, ‘Yeah, Trump is right, you guys have to all go back to your country,’” said Mr. Regalado, who was born in Havana and emigrated as a teenager. “This is my country. I can’t go back to Cuba.”

Since Mr. Trump became the presumptive Republican nominee, he has consolidated support from national party leaders and from many in the rank and file. He has pulled nearly even with Mrs. Clinton in many polls, including in Florida.

But the southern tip of the nation’s most populous swing state has been a blazing exception to the trend-- most of all in Miami-Dade County, a densely populated bastion of diversity that cast about a tenth of the statewide vote in 2012.

If Mr. Trump has effectively staked his campaign nationwide on strong support from whites, Florida may present the most punishing test of his strategy, as Hispanics here, including conservative-leaning Cuban-Americans who twice helped George W. Bush carry the state, turn away from his candidacy en masse.

Mr. Trump has trampled local sensibilities in myriad ways, from his belittling treatment of Mr. Rubio and Mr. Bush to his personal coarseness, slashing comments on immigration and endorsement of open relations with the Castro government.

In addition to Mr. Regalado, two Republican members of Congress from Florida, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Carlos Curbelo, have said they will not back Mr. Trump, as has Carlos A. Gimenez, the Republican mayor of Miami-Dade County. All four are Cuban-American.

Early polls show voters in the area resoundingly rejecting Mr. Trump: A Quinnipiac University poll this month found Mr. Trump about even with Mrs. Clinton statewide, but losing a band of southeastern counties, including Miami-Dade and Broward, by 38 percentage points.
From a long gone era of self-serving corruption

Miami-Dade has been rapidly trending Democratic. Obama won every congressional district in the county except Diaz-Balart's and last time he came close enough in Diaz-Balart's (1%) to predict that Hillary or Bernie would win it in November. Trump's anti-immigrant/anti-Hispanic hate speech goes over very poorly there. Dr. Valdes: "As a candidate for U.S. House of Representatives in the 25th district and, more importantly, as a Latina, I find Donald J. Trump's statements about Latinos and women extremely offensive. We are a diverse group of people who made America our homes from many different countries but the vitriol and contempt the Republican nominee for president has chosen to use goes beyond reason and common sense. I give credit to the two Republican Cuban-American representatives from South Florida who have stated they could not vote for Mr. Trump for president. However, the third, Mario Diaz-Balart, who currently represents the 25th district, has given his support to the current nominee in spite of his hateful and hurtful words. He is no different than the man he is supporting in spite of the insults he has generally hurled at a large proportion of this district, which comprises from 60-70% Latinos. He has no consideration for the constituents that make up the majority of this part of Florida and I believe it is time for him to go home and retire from politics. Maybe then, he will learn a valuable life's lesson he should have been taught a long time ago... generalizations about a group of people should not be condoned and should definitely be exposed as the lies they are. Mr. Diaz-Balart is just as guilty for those insulting words as if he had spoken them himself."

Like Alina said, Diaz-Balart with his support for Trump makes him the odd man out. If she can hammer that message home, she will be the next congressmember from FL-25. If the DCCC wasn't run by venal little fiefdom chiefs like Israel, Lujan, Pelosi and Wasserman Schultz, it would be coming to the aid of Valdes, who is being lopsidedly outspent by the PAC-backed, lobbyist-supported Diaz-Balart. But Valdes is way too progressive, way too independent-minded and way too ethical for a DCCC that consciously sets about to elect conservatives willing to mindlessly take orders from party bosses and who are amenable to the kind of systemic corruption that makes Capitol Hill into a universally despised den of iniquity.

Ready to stand up and slap down the DCCC and the corrupt party bosses who control it by electing anti-corruption progressives like Alina Valdes? Please contribute what you can at the thermometer below:
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Bernstein: The White House Is Terrified the Clinton Campaign "Is In Freefall"


The White House delivers another message via Carl Bernstein

by Gaius Publius

The last time I featured former Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein on these pages, it was to showcase his delivery of messages he received from the White House, to the effect that the "White House" thought Clinton was blowing it with her Wall Street speeches stance, and because of that, the "White House" was freaking out (to put it colloquially) — at least as Bernstein tells it.

Here's part of what Bernstein — a Clinton supporter — said last February (my transcript and emphasis; video at the link):
Bernstein: There is a huge story going on. I've spent part of this weekend talking to people in the White House. They are horrified at how Hillary Clinton is blowing up her own campaign.

And they're worried that the Democrats could blow -- they are horrified that the whole business of the transcripts, accepting the money -- that she could blow the Democrats' chance for White House. They want her to win. Obama wants her to win.

But Sanders has shown how vulnerable she is. These ethical lapses have tied the White House up in knots. They don't know what to do. They're beside themselves. And now, you've got a situation with these transcripts a little like Richard Nixon and his tapes that he stonewalled on and didn't release.
Note the insider tone and access. I'm not writing a hit piece on Clinton; I'm showing this to make a more general point — that Carl Bernstein carries messages from the White House to the public, from Valerie Jarrett perhaps, or someone else just a step removed from the president, and Bernstein is clearly speaking with Team Obama's permission (and likely encouragement). Which has to mean, with President Obama's permission.

In other words, this isn't reportorial digging-and-revealing; this is White House messaging delivered via an intermediary. Read Bernstein as the White House speaking.

In that context, listen to the current "White House" message about the Clinton campaign via Bernstein and video at the top (my italics):
Bernstein: The implications of all of this [the email server issue] are that Hillary Clinton did not want her emails subjected to the Freedom of Information Act or subpoenas from Congress. And that's why she set up a home-brew server.

I think we all know that. People around her will tell you that in private if you really get them behind a closed door.

I was in Washington this week, I spoke to a number of top Democratic officials and they're terrified, including people at the White House, that her campaign is in free fall because of this distrust factor. Indeed, Trump has a similar problem, but she's the one whose numbers are going south.

And the great hope in the White House, as well as the Democratic leadership and people who support her, is that she can just get to this convention, get the nomination — which they're no longer 100% sure of — and get President Obama out there to help her, he's got a lot of credibility, it's an election that's partly about his legacy.

But she needs all the help she can get because right now her campaign is in huge trouble...
Bernstein goes on to pivot the message against Trump, but we can leave it there.

Bernstein Carrying White House Water

This is at least the second time Bernstein has carried White House messaging about Hillary Clinton's campaign to the public (see link above for the first), and both times, the message is the same — again colloquially, "we're freaking out" (Bernstein is nearly as vivid). What freaks them out this time? That "her campaign is in free fall" and they're "no longer 100% sure" that she can get the nomination.

Wow. Wow that they think it, and wow that they're leaking to the public that they think it.

Makes you wonder what the White House and other "top Democratic officials" know that they didn't tell Carl Bernstein, or at least, what he's not telling us. Maybe this story explains the plan all the networks are alleged (by Chris Matthews no less) to have agreed to — that they will declare Clinton the overall winner the minute the East Coast polls close in New Jersey, even though (or especially because) the West Coast polls are still open in California, the largest state and one which Clinton could well lose.

Put these two things together and it's clear there's now just one goal for "top Democratic officials" including the White House — to get Clinton across the finish line despite the fact that her campaign is "in free fall" and she's limping to get there. In White House terms, to get her into the convention and get her the nomination, no matter how or under what condition.

Two takeaways — one is that top Democrats know how precarious Clinton's position is. They're not fooled any more than you are. That's worth noticing. And second, the White House and Bernstein are not blaming Sanders. Whoever crafted this message for us is blaming the Clinton campaign only, and by extension, Clinton herself.

Again, makes you wonder what they know and if they really know it.


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An Impossible Dream Coming True In South Jersey?


Grassroots candidates CAN smash the corrupt machine

When I met Alex Law for the first time last year he seemed like a smart kid with a big dream and a lot of idealism and no money. He kind of reminded me of New Hampshire progressive activist Carol Shea-Porter, circa 2006-- a full decade ago. Carol had an impossible dream. She wanted to defeat a powerful entrenched incumbent, Jeb Bradley, who had a load of money-- and Carol had none. Worse, yet, the head of the DCCC, Rahm Emanuel, decided Carol was "too progressive" and "too anti-war" for New Hampshire and he was backing House Majority Leader Jim Craig, a consummate establishment insider. With Emanuel's help, Craig spent $381,290 on the primary, more than Carol spent on the primary and the race against Bradley combined! Carol beat Jim Craig 54-34% and the DCCC abandoned the district, Emanuel declaring it was unwinable. Bradley barely broke a sweat raising $1,111,590 and Carol had almost no money and was smothered in unanswered ads from the GOP while the DCCC and DNC sat on their hands and sneered. But Carol had a magic weapon: genuine, values-driven grassroots activism-- and in November she beat Bradley 100,899 (51%) to 94,869 (49%). Emanuel was furious-- although he and other DCCC saboteurs ran to the media and tried taking credit for Carol's win!

Goal Thermometer Today Carol-- still as independent-minded and grassroots oriented as ever-- is running for Congress again, against Tea Party extremist Frank Guinta. She's on the same Blue America ActBlue page as Alex Law, which you can access by tapping on the thermometer on the right. As of the May 18 FEC filing deadline, Alex had raised $67,331 to entrenched incumbent Donald Norcross' $1,404,335 (thousands of dollars of which have come from the Trump family-- although Norcross masquerades as a Democrat). The shady Patriot Majority PAC has spent another $174,083 bolstering Norcross, whose brother George controls the corrupt South Jersey Democratic political machine. But Alex's little-campaign-that-could has done so well that a panic-stricken Norcross just left his campaign another $85,000, bringing the total in self-funding to over $100,000.

Norcross' brother George also brought the widest-read newspaper in the district, the Philadelphia Enquirer and then lost control of it. No one thought there was any chance that they would ever endorse against Alex, a leader of the Bernie for President movement in South Jersey. In fact, Sunday, the Inquirer endorsed Hillary-- and Alex, sending shockwaves through New Jersey politics. The congressional primary is June 7, a week from tomorrow. After claiming Clinton "is better prepared for the office," the editorial board, which had done extensive interviews with Norcross and Law, wrote that Law would make a better member of Congress.
South Jersey Democrats will also decide three congressional nominations. The most heated contest is in the Camden County-based First District, whose freshman congressman, Donald Norcross, likes to say he's just an electrician in a tie.

But Norcross harnesses a lot more power than the average working man. The son of a labor leader and brother of South Jersey's top Democratic power broker, Norcross headed the regional AFL-CIO before his path to political office was cleared by the precisely timed midterm retirement of the state Assembly speaker himself. The party organization immediately anointed Norcross the prohibitive front-runner in a safely Democratic district. A week after he was sworn in to the Assembly, he was promoted to a vacated state Senate seat. Four years after that, yet another midterm exit - by U.S. Rep. Rob Andrews amid a campaign-finance probe-- put Norcross on a short circuit to Congress, powered once again by party unanimity.

The spectacle of Andrews being confronted on 60 Minutes helped spark Alex Law's interest in politics and ultimately his challenge to the machine that choreographed Norcross' rise. Law, of Voorhees, is the epitome of an upstart, having just turned 25, the minimum age to serve in the House, and quit his IBM consulting job to seek the nomination. He has raised about $40,000 to Norcross' nearly $1 million. (The winner will run against Bob Patterson, who is unopposed on the GOP side.)

While Norcross, 57, was often in the thick of the legislative action in Trenton, his meteoric ascent hasn't helped his resumé in that respect; his achievements in Washington have been limited. The congressman notes that he introduced a bill to raise the minimum wage and has helped bring federal funds to the district.

Law, a Sanders supporter, has staked out positions largely to the left of the congressman, who sometimes sides with Republicans in favor of industry and defense. The challenger has criticized Norcross' votes against the Iran nuclear deal, consumer financial protections, and refugee resettlement. Norcross says he takes pride in sometimes straying from the party line.

Law's most persuasive critique of Norcross concerns his reliance on donors with government contracts. Pay-to-play politics have been elevated to a dark art in South Jersey, but Norcross addresses the issue by insisting he is just an electrician-turned-politician with no special connection to such machinations.

Democratic voters longing for a genuine departure from the entrenched political establishment that Norcross embodies should choose ALEX LAW.

When Norcross "strays from the party line," as the Inquirer puts it so generously, it;'s to vote with the Republicans against the environment and for pet projects of his wealthy campaign contributors like the Keystone XL Pipeline. In fact, Norcross has voted with the Republicans more than any other New Jersey Democrat in Congress. Just above is the Blue America mobile billboard we have driving up and down the streets and highways of South Jersey all month. (Gas money contributions here please.) Saturday the truck spent the day in Collingswood at the May Fair. This is the billboard on the other side of the truck:

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Monday, May 30, 2016

Who Will Protect Social Security From Paul Ryan? Not Trump-- And Not Any Corrupt Conservatives From Either Party


Over the weekend, the NY Times speculated that the "early optimism" in the Clinton camp for an easy landslide win against a Trump campaign weighed down with so much baggage "is evaporating." The hopeless party hacks and mercenary lobbyists who control her dull, utterly conventional campaign have no idea how to fight Trump. "In the corridors of Congress, on airplane shuttles between New York and Washington, at donor gatherings and on conference calls, anxiety is spreading through the Democratic Party that Mrs. Clinton is struggling to find her footing. While she enjoys many demographic advantages heading into the fall, key Democrats say they are growing worried that her campaign has not determined how to combat her unpredictable, often wily Republican rival, to whom criticism seldom sticks and rules of decorum seem not to apply." Today one of the world's most brilliant men, Stephen Hawkings told a British TV audience that Trump is a demagogue who seems to appeal to the lowest common denominator." Does anyone doubt what Trump's pre-adolescent respond is likely to be?

In any case, Bernie would make a far more formidable opponent to Trump, and not just because independent voters-- as much as 40% of the electorate-- find Bernie the most appealing candidate at a time when they find Hillary and Trump about equally unappetizing. Bernie is a credible opponent for the Establishment Trump and Hillary personify. When Daniel Marans excoriated Trump for his flip-flops and lies on Social Security, he outlined a field of attack that Bernie would use effectively and with fluency against Trump that probably couldn't be carried off by a candidate like Hillary who's lives in a space halfway between Bernie's and Trump's. If Bernie is an FDR Democrat and Trump is an opportunist with fascist tendencies, Hillary is an Eisenhower Republican, all positions going back to each of the candidates' upbringings.

Marans reported that at their May 12th fence-mending meeting, "Trump supposedly told House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) he supports cutting Social Security but will not admit it publicly because it would hurt his election chances, according to a report in Bloomberg Business Week."
“From a moral standpoint, I believe in it,” Trump said of cutting Social Security. “But you also have to get elected. And there’s no way a Republican is going to beat a Democrat when the Republican is saying, ‘We’re going to cut your Social Security’ and the Democrat is saying, ‘We’re going to keep it and give you more.’”

Trump’s professed opposition to cutting Social Security and Medicare has been both a hallmark of his campaign and one of his greatest departures from traditional conservative ideology. And Ryan, who repeatedly criticized Trump before the mogul effectively secured the GOP nomination, has made proposing dramatic reductions in the popular social insurance programs a defining feature of his congressional career.

Many conservative House Republicans told The Huffington Post shortly after the May 12 meeting that that they were unconcerned about Trump’s public posture on the programs. Several members interpreted him as wanting to extend the solvency of Social Security and Medicare solvency through some combination of the benefit cuts and other reforms that conservatives favor.

Trump policy advisor Sam Clovis had already appeared to reverse course on May 11, indicating that Trump would be willing to consider cuts as president.

Of course, what Trump reportedly said to Ryan is consistent with what he told Fox News host Sean Hannity back in 2011.

“Things have to be done, but it has to be done with both parties together,” Trump said at the time. “You can’t have the Republicans get too far ahead of this issue.”

Trump may very well be running his campaign according to beliefs he espoused years ago: Social Security and Medicare must be cut, but telling people that should be avoided, because it is too politically unpopular.

“It is really clear: Donald Trump would 100 percent go along with the Republican donor class position of cutting Social Security,” said Alex Lawson, executive director of Social Security Works, a group that promotes benefits expansion. “He openly says he will lie to the people about it because he knows that the people are against it.”

“In his eyes the ‘moral’ thing to do is to steal people’s hard-earned benefits and not talk about it,” Lawson added.

Social Security, the United States’ public retirement, disability and life insurance program, faces a funding gap beginning in 2034. Without congressional action to either raise the program’s revenues or scale back benefits there will be an across-the-board benefit cut of approximately 20 percent.

The Democratic party has adopted steadily more progressive positions on Social Security in recent years, arguing not only that the shortfall should be closed entirely through revenue increases-- such as lifting the cap on earnings subject to Social Security taxes-- but also that benefits should be expanded to address a growing retirement income deficit.
Of course the first congressional candidate we went to for some insight was Eric Kingson, Syracuse University professor and founder of SocialSecurityWorks. Eric is the progressive candidate vying with 2 random establishment Democrats to take on Republican freshman John Katko. (Needless to say, the DCCC, Pelosi, Schumer, Israel, Gillibrand and the rest of the Democratic Party shitheads are supporting the conservative Democrats.) "No surprise, Donald Trump is now telling Speaker Ryan that he's willing to cut Social Security," Eric told us today. "What else would you expect from the political sociopath who's captured the lunatic fringe and what's left of the Republican Party? He knows that Americans-- conservatives moderates and progressives-- do not want to see our Social Security cut. So he simply lies and says he won't do it. It's the same game many Republican representatives play, like Representative Katko in my district. But when Speaker Ryan demands their vote to cut Social Security, they'll gladly give it."

Bill Ostrander is another Bernie-supporting progressive, like Eric Kingson (above) and Lou Vince (below), who is adamant about protecting and expanding Social Security.He's running for the open seat in Santa Barbara/San Luis Obispo against a gaggle of conservative establishment candidates from both political parties. This morning he told us that "Given that Donald Trump inherited more wealth from his father at a young age than most people earn in a lifetime, and has never suffered from want, he is uniquely unqualified to offer perspective regarding social security. Those among us who choose, or are often confined, to our communities less skilled jobs and services, are still filling necessary functions of our community and deserve to have a basic financial safety net of dignity, gratitude, and access to health care. The contempt and lack of compassion shown to our elderly is not only economically short sighted-- the cost will not go away but be born elsewhere, it reveals a lack of social maturity among us."

Lou Vince, in the district next door, is the progressive opponent to Social Security and Medicare slasher Steve Knight in a district spanning northern L.A. County and eastern Ventura County. Lou is the official nominee of the California Democratic Party but is being violently attacked by a now tragically unhinged Nancy Pelosi and her whacked-out and fully destructive DCCC on behalf of some rich conservative guy the DCCC parachuted into CA-25 from Orange County. Lou has been vocal about protecting Social Security and Medicare from Republicans and from conservative Democrats who make common cause with Republicans. "Steve Knight," he told us, "is one of the biggest dangers to Social Security in Congress. He went so far to say Social Security was a mistake at a recent debate with me. Not only did I disagree, I called him out for his belief that Social Security is an entitlement. It's no such thing. It's an earned benefit that our seniors worked hard for and paid into. With the likes of Congressman Knight in office, Social Security will always be under threat. I will be a steadfast defender of Social Security and attempts to undermine it, like the idea of 'chained CPI' which is just another way to take money from our seniors. I also stand for raising the payroll tax cap so that everyone pays their fair share."

Protecting Social Security-- and Medicare-- isn't going to be easy. That's why it's absolutely essential that we elect members of Congress who are unequivocally committed to doing just that. No one gets on this list unless, like Lou Vince, they are:
Goal Thermometer

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How Do Normal People View Trump And Trumpism In The Rest Of The World?


It's always worth hearing what people across the world are are listening to about our country. And when it comes to mainstream Arab coverage, al-Arabiya's Hisham Melhem's analysis is especially worthwhile. Melhem has been trying to explain the Trump phenomenon to folks in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, Palestine, Algeria and Kuwait. He explains Trump's rise in terms of angry masses of Republican voters. And he predicts that history show "that the United States of America, the strongest, most influential country in history circa 2016 held an election unlike any other. That the nominee of one of its two major political parties was a well-known charlatan, a vulgar, narcissistic, misogynistic and chauvinistic scoundrel who conned his way in his business affairs, and shady relations with dubious associates throughout his life." Anyone who follows U.S. politics should read Fear And Loathing In Trump Nation.

Unlike mainstream American corporately-owned media, Melhem has no problems pointing out that Trump is a classic bully and that that has worked for him against an incredibly weak and incompetent GOP field, the so-called Deep Bench. "During his meteoric rise to political prominence," he wrote, "[Trump] fully employed the tools of intimidation that he had honed in his personal and business dealings, slicing his opponents mercilessly and mostly with sadistic relish, he insulted their physical attributes, distorted their records, denied their experiences, coined epithets for each one, and lied repeatedly about his record and never presented a single coherent policy position, and always, always played on people’s fears and anxieties by manufacturing boogeymen of all sizes and promising to slay them if he is elected." And that was Melhem just starting to warm up!
The nomination of Trump is unprecedented; he was never elected to any office, and his “Republican” credentials are very thin, and throughout his adult life he was not driven by political or ideological considerations but by opportunistic impulses and by his boundless greed. This is a wealthy man-- no one knows the size of his wealth, but certainly it is not as big as he claims-- who prides himself of rigging the system to avoid paying taxes trough declaring bankruptcies, and establishing fake enterprises like his infamous “Trump University”; Trump is the product of the very economic and political establishment that he is telling us now he is running against.

The fact that less than 11 million citizens voted for Trump in the primaries and caucuses representing less than 5 percent of eligible voters is no consolation to those opposing him, because the popular passions he has unleashed by his shameless fearmongering of “others,” be they immigrants, Hispanics, Muslims, Arabs, or Mexicans, his naked exploitation of legitimate economic dislocations, and the alienation of large swath of Americans from the dysfunctional two party system, and his defamation of whole communities inside and outside the United States has already intimidated many of his early critics. There is more than a whiff of George C. Wallace, the late racist governor of Alabama and three-time presidential hopeful, permeated Trump’s rallies, and the threats that he and his supporters have issued against those who dare to demonstrate against them could conceivably lead to bloodshed.

In recent weeks the Republican Party and most of its pliant leaders and many of Trump’s rivals have rallied around him, including Senators Lindsey Graham and Marco Rubio who exchanged personal insults and invective with Trump during the primaries, and other party luminaries like Senator John McCain whose record as prisoner of war was dismissed by Trump. They have invoked party unity and the visceral opposition to the likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. Rubio is now volunteering to speak on behalf of Trump at the Republican convention.

...If Trump is elected, his executive and political power will be so immense and incommensurate with the number of those who voted for him. Historic political hinge moments, good or ugly, are not necessarily achieved by huge majorities of people. In fact small enthusiastic numerical minorities driven by political, ideological or religious passions and led by strong and charismatic leader or leaders have been shaping, building and destroying civilizations since the beginning of organized societies.

The conventional explanation of the rise of Trump nation, (and the Bernie Sanders’ phenomenon on the Left) which reduce his appeal to political alienation from Washington and the economic disparities of many Americans, particularly middle aged white men who are either unemployed or underemployed has merit, but Trump (and Sanders) are about much more than that.

The American society-- because of shifting demographics, the digital revolution and the economic and political impact of globalization and in the wake of the two longest wars in American history-- is changing in a dizzying and on almost every level, and many people are unwilling or incapable of adjusting to these tectonic shifts. By their nature, transitional times are uncertain. The fears and anxiety they create provide fertile land to cunning opportunists like Trump.

When faith in established institutions fades, as represented by the dysfunction of the two party system in Washington, and when governance on the federal, state and local levels fails to efficiently address the people’s expectations particularly in times of economic uncertainties, the appeal of a strong savior willing to act in unorthodox fashion becomes very attractive. Hence, Trump’s appeal to many social constituencies; White low income voters without college degrees, as well as some professional and upper middle class voters, also very conservative voters as well as moderate Republicans flocked to his campaign. Even surprisingly-- given Trump’s ostentatious and promiscuous life style-- some Evangelical groups found in him the answer to their prayers.

Trump nation could not have risen if the Republican Party did not create the toxic environment for such phenomenon. In recent years the Republican tent of olden days has all but disappeared; the socially moderate but fiscally conservative Republicans have been declared extinct. The old healthy conservative skepticism of centralized power was gradually turned into hostility to federal authority. In this environment a trend of anti-intellectualism sets in. Science and the Humanities, as well as critical inquiry, are seen as secular anti-religious tools. About 74 percent of Republicans in the U.S. Senate and 53 percent in the House of Representatives deny the existence of climate change despite overwhelming scientific proof. A Public Policy Polling poll early this year showed that 49 percent of Republicans say they do not believe in evolution. Only 37 percent say they do. And a whopping 57 percent of Republicans would support establishing Christianity as America’s "national religion" which reveals a shocking ignorance of the American Constitution. During the Obama years, these trends became more pronounced.

The leadership of the Republican Party did not challenge the “birther movement’s” implicitly racist claims that President Obama was not born in the United States, or that he is a closet Muslim. The rise of the so-called Tea Party with its armed demonstrations and provocative rhetoric, made the Republican Party more and more entrenched in its ideological rigidity. Donald Trump is in part the product of this Republican universe. Is it Trump that we don’t understand? Or this latest skewed version of the Republican Party that we don’t understand? It is both.

It is a political heresy to question the decisions of the people, or the will of the masses even when the choices of the multitudes are puzzling or disastrous. But it is true that masses in the streets or even at the polling stations make uninformed decisions and vote for illiberal politicians or vote against their economic interests. It is also true that political idiocy and cultural ignorance should not be ruled out when complex political events or phenomena are analyzed.

Every time Donald Trump opens his mouth he celebrates his anti-intellectualism and revels in his parochialism. In Trump nation, supporters are seen as fans, and those who flock to his rallies are expected to act like spectators at a sport stadium. In Trump nation, vulgarity, obtuseness, and implicit racism are seen simply as expressions of political incorrectness.

Regardless of which candidate wins the election come November, Donald Trump will remake the Republican Party and will change America, after an election like no other. Welcome to the strangest and most perplexing election in the world.
Being prepared to effectively resist Trumpism doesn't include Republicans, of course. They had their chance and they blew it-- shamefully and spectacularly. This is brand new (today). This is what it includes... Welcome to the ActBlue #NeverTrump Thermometer, whether you are a Bernie supporter or a Hillary supporter... Trump and Trumpism must be stopped for real:
Goal Thermometer

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#DebtTrapDebbie Loves Corrupt PACs And Corrupt PACs Love #DebtTrapDebbie Back


Is she schmearing cream cheese on your bagel?

This spring we've had occasion to explain the workings of the sleazy lobbyist and consultant-driven CBC PAC. Although many of the PAC's board are conservative Democrats, it really isn;'t about ideology as much as it's about corruption and careerism. Conservative Democrat Angela Rye is on both boards. Recently the Bernie-hating Rye (of Impact Strategies), who is currently angling for a job at the centrist-friendly MSNBC, blasted "white progressives" on her Twitter account for pointing out that the CBC is a virtual vacuum cleaner for bribes from many of the worst corporate interests in Washington. According to investigative reporter Lee Fang, she was responding to Black Lives Matter calling the CBC out for too cozy a relationship with Big Tobacco, although not even Rye could actually think someone is going to equate Black Lives Matter with the "white progressives" she hates with such a passion.

The CBC PAC takes money from the same crooked special interests as... Debbie Wasserman Schultz, so no one was too surprised when they endorsed her Thursday. Leslie Wimes, founder and president of the Democratic African American Women Caucus, writing for the Sunshine State News Saturday noted that a majority of the members of the CBC PAC board are lobbyists, among them some of the sleaziest lobbyists in Washington. Their endorsement of Wasserman Schultz does not signify any confidence from the black community in the corrupt Broward county congresswoman. "The African American community in Congressional District 23 is not feeling Debbie Wasserman Schultz AT ALL," she wrote. "Getting a pseudo-black organization run primarily by lobbyists to endorse Debbie isn’t worth a thing here in South Florida."
Notwithstanding the fact that Debbie’s support of the payday loan industry helps keep the African American community disproportionately trapped in a cycle of debt, paying upwards of 300 percent on predatory payday loans that Debbie doesn’t want legislated, Debbie has not addressed the main thing plaguing the African American community in her district.


In the words of Janet Jackson, “What have you done for me lately?”

What has Debbie done for the African Americans in Congressional District 23? If African Americans in her district held a forum to address issues with her, would she attend?

In reading the press release by the CBC-PAC, all they talked about was what Debbie supposedly did, of any significance, as DNC Chair.

Sorry Debbie, but you can’t mix that job with representing your community in Congressional District 23.

It has become abundantly clear that Debbie hasn’t been present in the African American Community in CD 23.

The fact that there was nothing substantial the lobbyists making up the CBC-PAC could name that Debbie did for African Americans in her district is pathetic.

I’m sure at the 11th hour Debbie will grab some black legislators and run through a few black churches.

She may even get Alcee Hastings and Frederica Wilson to get her a one-day buddy pass into the black community.

We still aren’t buying it.

Here's the fact: Tim Canova is all over Debbie Wasserman Schultz like a cheap suit and she is running scared.

Democracy For America endorsed Tim Canova, so Debbie called up her lobbyist friends and decided to kill two birds with one stone: 1) attempt to appeal to black people and 2) get an endorsement to break up Tim Canova’s string of news releases.

I knew Debbie was desperate for positive news coverage when she announced she had qualified to be on the ballot.


She needed to announce that?

Oh, and in case anyone is wondering, that CBC-PAC board includes the following lobbyists:
Daron Watts: Purdue Pharma, makes OxyContin
Mike McKay: Navient, student loans
Chaka Burgess: Navient, Student Loans
Al Wynn: Lorillard Tobacco, Newport Cigarettes
Those are just some of the lobbyists, but you get the picture.

The CBC-PAC wouldn’t endorse Donna Edwards, an African American woman who was running for a U.S. Senate seat in Maryland, but they endorse #DebtTrapDebbie here in Florida?

Now, that could be because the person Donna beat for her House seat was none other than Al Wynn...

At any rate, the 13 percent African American population living in Congressional District 23 should get behind Tim Canova.

It’s time Debbie did something she has never done before:

Work in the private sector.
I couldn't have said it any better myself! And yesterday, the Tampa Bay Times named her progressive opponent, Tim Canova, Florida's political winner of the week, although #DebtTrapDebbie missed out on the Loser of The Week title by the skin of her teeth thanks to the cascading corruption revelations about her fellow New Dem, Patrick Murphy. So... if you agree with Leslie, please consider contributing to Tim Canova's grassroots congressional campaign-- towards the August 30 primary-- by clicking on the thermometer below:
Goal Thermometer

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"Abortion Can No More Be Legislated Than Niagara Falls Can Be Dammed with a Spoon"


Former right-wing evangelical Frank Schaeffer confesses his sins (seriously)

by Gaius Publius

Another in our series, "They knew and they didn't care." The video above shows ex-evangelical minister Frank Schaeffer talking about the birth of the anti-choice movement and how it's responsible, among other things, for the presidency of George W. Bush. Schaeffer on that:
"We [the anti-choice part of the right-wing movement] created that audience — alienated, angry people convinced of their own victimhood. So, they became a majority while the mainstream media slept, and when everybody suddenly woke up to the fact was when George W. Bush was sitting in the White House as a totally unqualified crazy person who launched two wars we didn't need to be in. So the fallout had a direct ramification on American history."
The title quote —  "Abortion can no more be legislated than Niagara Falls can be dammed with a spoon" — comes after the four-minute mark, as Schaeffer says he's come to think of abortion as simply a fact of life, "like broken relationships, and abortion is no different ... part of the warp and woof of life, part of our mortality as a human being."

It's really a striking clip, both for the admission and for the language it's couched in. And yes, he admits he was in it for the money.

Schaeffer Knows What He Did

Schaeffer and his family are directly and personally responsible for the anti-choice movement in this country, and in this five-minute clip he sees unblinkingly — and profanely (this is not-safe audio if your boss is nearby) — what he, to his deep and passionate regret, helped do to the entire country.

It's not a surprise, this confession, because he's said many of these things before. But it's on the level of Lee Atwater's deathbed regret for his Willie Horton-ization of Republican politics. Schaeffer and his family had that great an impact on the political landscape of, let's face it, almost the length of our lives.

The interviewer is Samantha Bee, though she makes no appearance. Also, it really is a profane clip. Schaeffer is both colorful, a delightful speaker, and effective. Headset warning.


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How Heavy An Electoral Anchor Will Trump Be For Republican Congressmen In November?


While Hillary and Bernie fine-tune their respective approaches to combatting Trump in the general election, it isn't just presidential candidates who will be running against him. Yesterday, Al Franken (D-MN), who won't be up for re-election until 2020, sent out a fundraising e-mail slamming Trump.
What could be worse than a Republican Senate that blocks President Obama’s ideas?

Okay, yes, a Republican Senate that blocks President Obama’s ideas while releasing hundreds of venomous beaked sea snakes into the Senate chamber-- that would be worse. But that’s not what I’m talking about.

No, what I’m talking about is a Republican Senate that passes Donald Trump’s poisonous agenda.

It’s bad enough that this majority is blocking much-needed progress-- but if Trump wins, they’ll be able to erase generations of progress we’ve already made, starting with the Affordable Care Act, Wall Street reform, and everything we’ve achieved since President Obama took office.

It’s up to Democrats like us to stop them – by taking back the Senate this November. Please pitch in to help the DSCC get it done!

I know what you’re thinking. We can't let Trump win. Look, I’m right there with you. And I’m going to fight to make sure he never gets anywhere near the Oval Office.

But if we work our rear ends off to elect a Democratic president and don’t take back the Senate, we’ll be stuck with the same gridlock we have today.

It’ll be another two years of Mitch McConnell and Ted Cruz obstructing nominees, and stopping reforms in their tracks.

In fact, it could be a lot longer than that. The map is in our favor this year-- and we only need to flip four seats to win the Senate. But if we don’t get it done in 2016, there’s no telling when we’ll get another chance this good.

So let’s agree to fight as hard as we can to stop Donald Trump. And, yes, let’s agree to never Google “beaked sea snakes.” But let’s also work to take back the Senate and get our country moving forward again.

...If you want to avoid beaked sea snakes, just avoid the tropical Indo-Pacific. But if you want to avoid a Republican Senate majority passing Trump’s extreme agenda into law, it’s going to take some hard work.

Blue America is suggesting the best way to make sure there's a progressive Democratic Senate to stand up to a bad president and support a good one, would be to replace Marco Rubio with Alan Grayson and to replace Ron Johnson with Russ Feingold-- something you can help accomplish here.

Almost immediately after Franken's e-mail, I got one from DuWayne Gregory, the progressive Democrat running for Long Island's South Shore district that's held by somewhat unhinged Trump supporter Peter King. "King," the e-mail stated, "doesn’t share our values. He shares Donald Trump’s values. King and Trump want America to be governed by those who insult minorities and attack women. We’re working hard every day to let Long Island voters know it doesn’t have to be this way. Building our campaign up is key to turning this district blue in November. And we need your help to make it happen.

Although the DCCC is ignoring DuWayne's race at Steve Israel's instructions-- he's doing his old opal Peter King another solid-- DuWayne has no primary to win; he's the official candidate of the Democratic Party, whether Pelosi and her dysfunctional band of losers give him the time of day or not. Although many of the Blue America candidates are still in primary battles against conservative Democrats preferred by the DCCC, we spoke with several who have already won their primaries and who are now the official candidates of the party.

We met Alina Valdes from South Florida a few days ago and she has an interesting situation in her district. Debbie Wasserman Schultz is protecting her Republican opponent again and the DCCC is studiously ignoring the race. But, unlike Carlos Curbelo and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, in neighboring districts, each of whom has stated unequivocably that they will not endorse Trump, the Miami Herald reports that "Diaz-Balart os more circumspect. Without mentioning Trump, he said in a statement to the Herald on Wednesday that he plans to back his party's choice. 'My intention is to vote for the Republican nominee.'" In a district with a 71% Hispanic voter concentration-- lots of Cuban Americans and the most Venezuelan-Americans of any district in America-- Diaz-Balart is taking a big chance when he puts his party over his country... and over his own constituents.

Trump's racism and bigotry aren't going over well in Miami-Dade. In fact, even reliable Republican voters are offended by Trump. During the Florida GOP primary, Miami-Dade was the only county in the state that Trump didn't win. Although Trump won statewide with 45.7% of the vote, Miami-Dade Republicans gave him an unimpressive 22.5%. Trump won 40,156 votes in the county, compared to Hillary's 129,467 votes and Bernie's 42,009. Yesterday Alina made it clear she has every intention of making sure voters in the district understand the connection between Trump and Diaz-Balart. "As a candidate for U.S. House of Representatives in the 25th district and, more importantly, as a Latina, I find Donald J. Trump's statements about Latinos and women extremely offensive. We are a diverse group of people who made America our homes from many different countries but the vitriol and contempt the Republican nominee for president has chosen to use goes beyond reason and common sense. I give credit to the two Republican Cuban-American representatives from South Florida who have stated they could not vote for Mr. Trump for president. However, the third, Mario Diaz-Balart, who currently represents the 25th district, has given his support to the current nominee in spite of his hateful and hurtful words. He is no different than the man he is supporting in spite of the insults he has generally hurled at a large proportion of this district, which comprises from 60-70% Latinos. He has no consideration for the constituents that make up the majority of this part of Florida and I believe it is time for him to go home and retire from politics. Maybe then, he will learn a valuable life's lesson he should have been taught a long time ago... generalizations about a group of people should not be condoned and should definitely be exposed as the lies they are. Mr. Diaz-Balart is just as guilty for those insulting words as if he had spoken them himself."

Peter Jacob is another official candidate of the Democratic Party who the DCCC is ignoring. The DCCC sure doesn't like anyone behind Bernie, the way Peter is! But he's moving full steam ahead to take on Leonard Lance in a north central New Jersey district that stretches from the border with Pennsylvania (Hunterdon and Warren counties), clear across the state through Somerset and Morris counties and all the way into Essex and Union into the Elizabeth suburbs. This is moderate, swingy area is not likely to be Trump territory and Peter is as disgusted by the Republican nominee as most Americans are. "My Republican opponent, Congressman Leonard Lance," he told us yesterday, "endorsed Donald Trump within 24-hours of becoming the GOP’s presumptive presidential nominee.  Many in New Jersey boast that Congressman Lance is a moderate, but this endorsement proves that Congressman Lance will do anything to get re-elected. While serving in the New Jersey state Legislature, Congressman Lance was seen as someone who was pro-environment, pro-choice, and reached over the aisle to get things done. Congressman Lance was initially equivocal about the construction of a natural gas pipeline in our District, and now takes credit for it’s delay as strong local opposition rises and election season is here-- all the while supporting legislation that makes it easier to construct such pipelines in the first place. It is little wonder why the League of Conservation scored his lifetime voting percentage at just 23% on pro-environment legislation. In 2014, his pro-environment score was a mere 6%! Consistently providing contributions to Congressman Lance’s campaign has paid off for the dirty energy industry to have him support their agenda.  Congressman Lance voted to cut off all funding for Planned Parenthood, including clinics that provide health care with no abortion services. Time and time again, Congressman Lance has proved that he isn’t a leader for our District and our nation. Like Trump, he will say anything at any time out of convenience. Congressman Lance toes the party line as Washington becomes more divisive, partisan, and extreme." He's honing an attack that clearly ties Lance to Trump:
In my opinion, Congressman Lance’s immediate endorsement of Trump is a result of a ‘tea-party’ candidate, David Larsen, who has challenged him in every primary since 2010. Larsen came within single-digit points of defeating Congressman Lance in the 2014 primary. Congressman Lance’s endorsement of Trump is a political move to help secure the Republican nomination and putting an end to this perennial candidate.

This endorsement is also ironic considering Congressman Lance is the kind of bought-and-sold politician that Trump himself has spoken out against, at least during his primary race; one entirely beholden to special interests rather than the interests of the people. Is this the kind of face we want to project to the rest of the world? Do any of these "values" actually represent us? Or do we believe that we can truly make America great by leading the world with a vision that places the needs of the many over the desires of a few? We don’t need any more career politicians in Washington who solely serve special interests. We deserve public servants who will place people over politics and put the public back in public service.
Having won his primary, Tom Wakely is the official Democratic candidate opposing House Science Committee chair Lamar Smith in a district that stretches from downtown Austin to northeast San Antonio to include San Marcos, New Braunfels and the Texas Hill Country. Another Bernie supporter, Tom and TX-21 are being ignored by the DCCC. Tom's pathway to victory is clear, though-- even without the corrupt Beltway party bosses and the DCCC. This morning he told us how Trump fits into his plans. "Two weeks ago my opponent opted to endorse Donald Trump for reasons that seemed cut-and-dry to the Congressman, but they should have raised plenty of questions for all of our constituents. On his own campaign website in a post titled “Triumph with Trump,” he mentioned that although Trump wasn’t among his favorite presidential candidates, our constituents should be able to support his policies." Tom continued with natural fluency:
Cited among his reasons for supporting Trump was the fact that the presumptive Republican nominee’s policies seemingly resonated with the majority of American voters. Claiming to support a candidate who’s willing to say whatever he wants to get elected based on the man’s policies should be enough of a red flag, but Smith actually uses popular opinion polls in his blog post to back this endorsement.

Among my personal favorites listed were Trump’s willingness to rein in political corruption, his skepticism of the “recent trade agreement,” and his recognition of media bias. How can a Congressman who’s taken hundreds of thousands of dollars from the fossil fuel industry in congruence with his rejection of climate science pretend he’s with the American people on reining in corruption? How can a Congressman who voted for the TPP pretend he’s skeptical of our recent trade agreements? And lastly, how the heck can a Congressman recorded this video in a congressional hearing pretend like there’s a media bias working against his party?


Moreover, Lamar Smith became one of the first congressional members to endorse Trump despite our Republican constituents overwhelmingly rejecting the presumptive nominee in the March 1st primary. Trump lost all 10 of the counties that comprise our district, and only garnered over 30% of the vote in two of our counties. That means close to 70% of Republican primary voters were against the idea of a Trump presidency. It’s nearing the end of May, so perhaps some of our Republican voters have changed their mind, but I’m having a hard time believing the majority have come around.

So why did Congressman Smith endorse Trump? It certainly wasn’t because he cared what his constituents, especially his Republican constituents, had to say about the matter. Maybe their policies really do align. Maybe the endorsement runs as deep as the candidate he’s supporting. I’m not sure which is worse.”
Bernie or Hillary-- probably both-- will be fighting Trump and Trumpism right into November. Please consider contributing to congressional candidates like Peter Jacob, Tom Wakely and Alina Valdes, respectively, in New Jersey, Texas and Florida, who will be fighting along side them... by tapping on the thermometer below:
Goal Thermometer

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