Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Who's Embarrassed By Devin Nunes?


What does "off the deep end" mean exactly? The Urban dictionary's take: "To degenerate cognitively, to be in the process of having a mental breakdown, the process of going crazy." The Cambridge Dictionary is a little more formal and less emotive: "to get very angry about something or lose control of yourself." And Wikipedia had the best take of all, although, alas, unrelated to my purpose: Off the Deep End is the seventh studio album by 'Weird Al' Yankovic, released in 1992. This album was the first album self-produced by Yankovic, after six albums with Rick Derringer. Recorded between June 1990 and January 1992, the album was a follow-up to the unsuccessful soundtrack to Yankovic's 1989 film UHF. Off the Deep End and its lead single 'Smells Like Nirvana' helped to revitalize Yankovic's career after a lull in the late 80s."

The reason why everyone was buzzing about the phrase yesterday is because Chuck "Chucky Schmucky" Schumer gave a speech on the Senate floor and said the "White House has put extraordinary, unusual and inappropriate pressure on the Department of Justice and the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election... A man like Devin Nunes, who, I hear privately from my Republican colleagues-- they think he's off the deep end."

Is Nunes literally off the deep end? People in his district-- CA-22, a compact Central Valley district that stretches from Clovis and the northern and eastern outskirts of Fresno south through Dinuba and Visalia past Tulare-- tell me they see him as infrequently as everyone else does. He's another absentee Representative. An old friend who I met while I was attending UNLV inherited his parents dairy farm near Visalia. He told me everyone he knows voted for Nunes in 2016 and no one he knows he sure they're going to do so again. "Tulare County," he told me, "is the more Republican party of the district. Trump beat Hillary by double digits here. And Nunes' vote gets up around 70%. It won't be that in November... People think he drank the kool-aid. Everyone I know thinks he's more concerned about Trump than about us. We have problems here-- water is what we're concerned with, not getting Trump off the hook with all that Russia stuff."

Eric Bauman, chairman of the California Democratic party is no fan of Nunes, to put it mildly. This morning he told me that "Nunes has all the time in the world to serve his number one constituent, Donald Trump, but never has even five minutes for his district-based constituents. It’s time we help him spend all of his time with number one." And, it isn't only Democrats like Bauman who are sickened by Nunes' Trump-worship. Jeff Flake is a Republican too, an Arizona senator nothing like Devin Nunes. He's giving the commencement address this year at Harvard Law. Among his assertions: "Our presidency has been debased by a figure who has a seemingly bottomless appetite for destruction and division and only a passing familiarity with how the Constitution works. And our Article I branch of government, the Congress is utterly supine in the face of the moral vandalism that flows from the White House daily." None of that bothers someone with a low sense of ethics and lower sense of integrity like Trump lackey Devin Nunes.

I caught up with Nunes' progressive opponent yesterday, Ricardo Franco, the guy who made that awesome video up top. [If you haven't watched it, please do.] This is what he had to say about this race. If you'd like to help him win his campaign, please click on the ActBlue "Bluer California" thermometer on the right, below.

Nunes' refusal to do anything about immigration shows you he doesn't work for his constituents. His lack of opposition to the President's trade war shows he doesn't care about local farmers and other commodity industries. Now, with his fellow Republicans calling him out on not helping the cause of his own party it's clear that Nunes only works for one person: Trump.

Goal ThermometerOur region has some of the highest concentrations of poverty in the United States. Instead of working to get us access to clean drinking water, clean air or access to healthcare Nunes is hijacking a traditionally non-partisan oversight committee to act as the political bodyguard of the Trump administration. This is exactly what we DO NOT want our tax dollars funding. The investigation should be left to Mueller. Congressman Nunes would do better to work on solving real, local issues that we have instead of spending all of his time out of the district fundraising for his friends like Rohrabacher or making a celebrity of himself on Fox News at our expense.

I am out talking to voters in the district every single day. Most of the Baby Boomers now admit that the country will be worse off for the next generation of millennials and it will take a progressive agenda to fix it. On the international stage our biggest threat is economic: China will surpass us as the world's largest economy and we must find a way to make sure the basic needs of our citizens are attended to. Domestically, our largest threat is Devin Nunes and others that are trying to destroy our democratic institutions. It's frustrating for all of us as we see our tax dollars going to the destruction of America as we know it instead of preparing ourselves for the challenges on the near horizon.

This district and the country at large deserve better. Someone who will passionately fight for Medicare for All, protect our environment while helping small businesses thrive and ending our system of welfare for American's wealthiest corporations. The government should be there to work for all of us, not be the piggy bank for the top 1%. Lastly, we all deserve a representative that will WORK for us, not alienate themselves by name-calling the opposite side of the aisle. More than resistance, what we demand is immediate action. Nunes doesn't have an ounce of it in his body.

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At 12:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not Devin Nunes!


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