Friday, August 23, 2019

Pelosi Or AOC? Most Democrats Prefer AOC


The DC Establishment doesn't, but most regular Americans agree with AOC on this one

Do you remember last month when Hoyer gave the OK for Henry Cuellar (Blue Dog-TX) and Gregory Meeks (New Dem-NY) to surreptitiously circulate an anonymous memo among House Democrats purporting to have polling info showing that AOC-- and the Squad in general-- are being used, successfully, by the GOP to define the Democratic Party and that the four freshmen congresswomen-- AOC , Ilhan, Rashida and Ayanna-- were toxic for the party? IAs you probably guessed, it was a lie from the Republican wing of the party.

Sure, the NRCC and Trump keep trying to label Democratic Party candidates as:
a- Socialists!!!!
b- best friends with Ilhan (or AOC or Rashida or Ayanna or whoever Trump is busy attacking that week)
c- puppets of Pelosi
Mike Allen helped propagate the bullshit by claiming "that swing voters know and dislike socialism, warning it could cost them the House and the presidency. The poll is making the rounds of some of the most influential Democrats in America. He wrote that so-called "top Democrat"-- presumably as opposed to a bottom Democrat-- that "If all voters hear about is AOC, it could put the [House] majority at risk. [S]he's getting all the news and defining everyone else’s races."

Interestingly it isn't only coming from sleaze balls from the Blue Dogs, New Dems and Problem Solvers. Mark Pocan, the not so progressive co-head of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, instructed his staffers to kill all press inquiries asking for comments or appearances for AOC or the other Squad members. That wasn't ideological though, just junior high school jealousy.

The House establishment's secret poll, supposedly of white people with 2 years or less of college who voted for Trump in 2016-- that's some universe (think of that for a minute)-- claims 74% of that universe knows who AOC is and 53% knows who Ilhan is. 22% have a favorable view of AOC and 9% have a favorable view Ilhan. My guess is that 4% have a favorable view of Pelosi but no one shared that info. Why make a fuss over under-educated white people who voted for Trump (i.e., Republicans). How about putting some energy into turning out people who didn't vote for Trump instead?

In any case, a real poll by a reputable firm (YouGov), not a secret, unnamed one-- or pretend one-- just released some very different data. They polled in these 42 battleground congressional districts:

The findings are not what Pelosi, Hoyer, Cuellar, Meeks, et al want circulating:
On net, among voters in battleground districts, Ocasio-Cortez polls at least as well as other major Democratic figures. Although all political figures had negative net favorability, Ocasio-Cortez is viewed roughly as favorably on net as Joe Biden, and more favorably on net than President Donald Trump and Democratic leadership.

“Clean-energy companies” and “climate activists” both poll more favorably than “fossil fuel companies.”

Senator Elizabeth Warren had the highest net favorable ratings among the presidential candidates we tested.

Each member of “the Squad”-- Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Tlaib-- has a higher net favorability than President Donald Trump, Senator Mitch McConnell, and the Republican Party in battleground districts. While Trump’s net favorability is lower, we note that his raw favorability is higher than each member of “the Squad.”
Let me repeat that: each member of the Squad has a net approval rating higher than Trump's in the battleground districts, which should-- but won't-- make the NRCC stop tying Democratic candidates to AOC and the rest of them. Apparently whenever they do that, they make the candidates they're trying to attack more popular, not less popular! Ditto for McConnell and McCarthy. Ilhan, Rashida, AOC and Ayanna have higher net favorabilities than them too.

Even more fabulous-- AOC is more popular than Pelosi in these battleground districts so making AOC a party spokesperson instead of Pelosi would probably increase the Democrats' success rate. AOC is also viewed twice as favorably as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy and more favorably than Chuck Schumer, who progressives pray she will run against and oust in 2022. She is also viewed more favorably than Kamala Harris and more favorably than both the Democratic Party and the Republican Party. I contacted about two dozen Democratic candidates in this cycle's top battleground districts and asked them-- on condition of anonymity-- if they'd prefer to have Pelosi or AOC in their district campaigning for them. Only two said Pelosi and one made it clear that she wanted Pelosi for fundraising and absolutely not for a public event. 16 said they would like to do a public event in their district with AOC and some begged me to help them set that up. Among candidates, it is completely clear that AOC is far more admired than Pelosi or anyone on her leadership team. No one said they would accept a campaign visit from DCCC chair Cheri Bustos or House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer-- and most of them said they would prefer to see new Democratic leadership in the House in 2021.

Rachel Ventura is the most recent candidate endorsed by Blue America. She's a Chicagoland progressive challenging entrenched incumbent Bill Foster. This is the note I got from her early this morning: "On the record":
Fundamental change will not come without vicious attacks from entrenched  wealthy interests who currently buy access to lawmakers from both sides of the aisle. I’m challenging a corporate Democrat and member of the New Dem caucus with the belief that a win here drives one more nail into the neoliberals' coffin.

We shouldn't listen to the New Dems fear mongering about losing elections because we ran on a populist/progressive message. At the end of the day, it's the kitchen table issues that people are focused on. The household economics and broken system that dictate the freedom to enjoy their health, family, and hobbies.

My first political race disproved this irrational line of thinking. As an elected official representing a swing district, that is represented by two seats, I dominated both over the Republican and the other Ddemocrat in the race because I ran on a platform of making government work for everyone and not just the wealthy few.

If the majority of Democrats got behind a populist message that the squad is sending, then we could create a powerful force that will unite the nation and dominate elections in swing states and swing districts.

Unfortunately, the New Dems will remain loyal to their wealthy donor base until we can defeat a few more through the primary process.
Goal ThermometerMilwaukie Mayor Mark Gamba, challenging Blue Dog Kurt Schrader for the OR-05 congressional seat explained why grassroots Democrats are so excited about AOC and the Squad: "Our political system is largely failing the average American. There are a number of reasons for that, but chief among them is that the primary focus of most politicians has become getting re-elected, which typically translates to raising lots of money. So rather than being utterly focussed the betterment of our country and our people, most of the long standing members of Congress are at best distracted by the pursuit of campaign donations-- the bigger the better. Many are none too fussy about the source of those funds and the strings that come along with them. Which is why millions of Americans are so enamoured of AOC and the rest of the squad.  Suddenly, here are these bright, fierce and apparently fearless young women who seem laser focused on positive change and capable of original concepts with no apparent concern for the deep pocketed toes they might be stepping on. I don't think our forefathers who conceived of this nation imagined for one second that members of Congress would spend great portions of their days dialing for dollars, they imagined people doing exactly what the squad is doing-- listening to the people and working tirelessly to solve serious problems. Why anyone is surprised by their popularity is beyond me."

Kim Williams, the progressive challenging Blue Dog Jim Costa in the Central Valley, put it succinctly: "People are looking for moral clarity in politics and The Squad is delivering that. The public is seeing what representatives look like when they center on the people's agenda-- that's receiving a livable wage for hard work, having workers protections and holding corporations accountable to the trauma and damage they have caused their communities. It definitely scares corporate Democrats and the Republican party because it's challenging those who allowed for corporations to influence and write laws that disproportionately affected communities of color and the working class. So yes, we can win battleground districts. We need to break the myth that certain areas are 'too conservative' for progressive Democrats. If we lay the ground work and build trust, we can show them in 2020."

About the most positive thing anyone could muster to say about Pelosi came from Boston-area candidate Brianna Wu and Atlanta area candidate Marqus Cole. Both spoke on the record. Brianna first: "I deeply respect Pelosi and her accomplishments. But reasonable people can have reasonable concerns about this leadership direction for our party. If the strategy of insider shadow brokering really worked, wouldn’t the American people be in a better position? Why does it feel like Democrats are always losing? I’m not sure status quo strategy can lead us through the next 100 years of American history. What people respond to in AOC is authenticity. When she says she believes in Medicare for All, I trust her. I don’t think there’s a caveat, and I don’t think it’s a poker chip to be traded for a better deal. In the age of Trump people underestimate just how valuable honesty is to the electorate."

And we'll end with Marqus, who wrote that he appreciates the question of if I would 'prefer to have Pelosi or AOC in district campaigning?' "First, I reject the premise that one member is MORE or LESS a Democrat than the other. That is a tool of division that I don’t subscribe to. The truth is that AOC is the most high profile member of Congress in a generation. She came of age at the same time I did and shares priorities and values with many of my voters. I would be honored if she hit the campaign trail to share those priorities and values. It is also true that Congresswoman Pelosi has been a champion of progressive causes throughout her career. This includes the largest expansion of the social safety net, the ACA, within two political generations. Further, as a leader in the party she has led us to the majority twice. If Pelosi were to focus attention and resources on the GA-07 race we would nearly certainly take the seat. I think ultimately, when I get to DC I must remember that I will have a relationship with both of these members and work with them. No one member can speak to, and for, the GA-07 like I can because I’m rooted here. But that doesn’t mean they can’t help, and both have their own strengths, weaknesses and experience to bring to the table. These are intelligent, powerful and compassionate women that I would be honored to stand side by side with pursuing justice with."


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Trump Is Going To Spend Millions To Try Flipping Minnesota, Where He Is 14 Points Underwater


The Chosen One by Nancy Ohanian

If he ever really was, Trump isn't popular in the Midwest ant longer. According to Morning Consult's state approval stats, the bulk of the region's electoral votes are likely to flow to his Democratic opponent. He's underwater in all of the big states but deep red Indiana and Missouri.
Illinois (20)- minus 19
Ohio (18)- minus 6
Michigan (16)- minus 11
Indiana (11)- plus 5
Wisconsin (10)- minus 14
Minnesota (10)- minus 14
Missouri (10)- plus 6
Iowa (6)- minus 11
Kansas (6)- plus 5
Nebraska (5)- minus 1
In 2016, these 10 states gave Trump 82 electoral votes while Hillary only won 30. The Morning Consult polling indicates that if the election were held today, Trump could expect 27 electoral votes , while 85 would go to his Democratic opponent. A reversal +3... actually plus 4, since Nebraska's second district would give the Democrat an electoral vote, one less for Trump. So the real score would be Democrat 86, Trumpanzee 26.

Minnesota is bolded for a reason, by the way. The state, which Trump lost narrowly, has been anti-Trump territory pretty much for his entire bumbling stay in the White House. Let's track it.
January 2017- plus 3
April 2017- minus 9
July 2017- minus 11
October 2017- minus 15
December 2017- minus 20
January 2018- minus 14
April 2018- minus 18
July 2018- minus 14
October 2018- minus 15
December 2018- minus 14
January 2019- minus 19
April 2019- minus 13
July 2019- minus 14

Yesterday Alex Isenstadt took a deeper dive after the Trump campaign announced they would flip Minnesota from blue to red-- with the help of ex-Congressman Jason Lewis. Lewis is running for senator against Tina Smith, who defeated her 2018 GOP opponent by a smidge over 10 points. Meanwhile, Lewis lost his suburban congressional district south of Minneapolis and St Paul 177,958 (52.8%) to 159,344 (47.2%) to a weak Democratic opponent, Angie Craig. Lewis is a former Hate Talk Radio host, often referred too as "mini-Trump." Two of Trump's top political lieutenants, Bill Stepien and Justin Clark, will help guide Lewis' campaign. Isendstadt wrote that Trump is obsessed with Minnesota because he only lost it by a point and a half. The state hasn’t gone for a Republican presidential candidate since 1972. He also points out that Lewis "has embraced Trump’s smash-mouth style as he rails against political correctness. He’s hinted that he’ll run as a Trump foot soldier, recently telling a Minnesota news outlet that 'I don’t think it pays to run away from a Trump presidency.'" That worked out badly for him last year.
Trump’s narrow loss in Minnesota, Stepien noted, was the closest any Republican presidential hopeful came to winning Minnesota since 1984.

“Most importantly, the 2016 results revealed a previously concealed pathway to statewide victory in 2020,” he added.

Republicans concede their odds are long in Minnesota: They haven’t won a statewide race in there since 2006. They acknowledge Trump has done little to repair his standing with suburban voters who remain a key part of the electorate, and Lewis comes to the race with baggage.

As a radio talk show host from 2009 to 2014, he complained that women can no longer be called “sluts” and described people on governmental assistance as “parasites,” among other incendiary remarks.

Lewis has said it was his job as a radio host to be provocative. He lost reelection to his suburban Twin Cities seat in 2018 after a single term. The Democratic incumbent, Sen. Tina Smith, was appointed to the seat after Al Franken resigned. She subsequently won a special election in 2018.

Trump has made clear he thinks Minnesota is within reach. The president mentioned the state during a recent White House gathering with congressional leaders and top party strategists. He wrote on Twitter last month that he “almost won Minnesota” in 2016 and predicted 2020 would be different.

The national party has been pouring resources into the state. The Republican National Committee has nearly a dozen full-time staffers in Minnesota. By comparison, the party had just one full-time staffer in the state in 2016, and that aide was diverted to another battleground before Election Day.

...The Minnesota offensive is part of a broader Republican foray into blue states. Republicans enjoy a massive financial advantage over Democrats, and by playing in places like Minnesota, New Hampshire, and New Mexico they hope to force Democrats to spend resources on liberal-leaning states as opposed to more competitive battlegrounds.

During a presentation to major donors in Jackson Hole, Wyo., earlier this week, senior White House adviser Jared Kushner highlighted the Trump campaign’s organizational and financial advantages and spoke about its efforts to expand the map into states the president lost in 2016. He specifically mentioned the number of staffers the campaign has deployed to Minnesota, according to one attendee.

Republicans are also zeroing in on a Democratic-held House seat in the conservative western part of the state. Senior party officials have been trying to recruit former Lt. Gov. Michelle Fischbach to run against Democratic Rep. Collin Peterson. [So long as it doesn't cost them their large majority, Democrats would be much better off without Peterson, a GOP-backing Blue Dog, in the House.]

Lewis’ allies have been talking up his prospects. Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-ND), who has been informally advising the former congressman, said he recently told National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Todd Young that a major Trump investment in Minnesota could turn Lewis into a serious contender.

While the contest wouldn’t start out as a top-tier pickup opportunity for the GOP, Cramer said in an interview, it could well become one down the line.

“It could be a sleeper,” he said.

Democrats are bound to link Lewis to Trump, a strategy the party used with success in 2018. But those close to the former congressman say his willingness to embrace the president could be an advantage.

Mike Lindell, a major GOP donor and Lewis ally who hails from the state, noted that during the 2018 campaign then-GOP Rep. Erik Paulsen’s aired TV ads in which he distanced himself from the president. Paulsen went on to lose the race for the suburban Twin Cities seat.

“If you distance yourself,” said Lindell, founder of pillow company My Pillow, “you’re going to lose.”
But, if you don't distance yourself from Trump you're going to lose even bigger. Minnesota freshmen Republicans Jim Hagedorn and Pete Stauber are both in precarious situations and it's Trump presence at the top of the ticket that will be what could sink their chances.

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The Older A Voter Gets The Less They Care About The Climate Crisis And The More They Admire Status Quo Joe


I often speak with candidates who tell me they support the Green New Deal, eventually revealing they don't really understand what it is or nit even what the frame work is. AOC's House Resolution 109 is not a proposed law, just a resolution "recognizing the duty fi the federal government to create a Green New Deal. But even that was too much for Pelosi, who buried it in the confines of committees controlled by several of her worst hatchet men, like corrupt New Jersey bribe taker, Frank Pallone, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, as well as far right Blue Dog Collin Peterson's Agriculture Committee and Massachusetts hack Richard Neal's Rules Committee. When AOC originally introduced it on February 7, she had 67 co-sponsors. That has now grown to 94, although several have signed on not because they believe in how Ocasio-Cortez has explained the framework but so they can use it to try to stave off primary challengers from the left-- such as Juan Vargas (New Dem-CA), Stephen Lynch (New Dem-MA), Eliot Engel (New Dem-NY), Gregory Meeks (New Dem-NY) and Ben Ray Lujan, who became a co-sponsor, after he saw polling that showed his primary opponent, Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver was gaining traction with New Mexico voters because of her support for the Green New Deal.

I turned to a few candidates running against this phony Green New Deal "supporters" to get a read. Brianna Wu, running for a Boston area seat occupied by conservative Stephen Lynch told me she sees it as "a being played in Congress. Talk is cheap, and so people like Lynch will SAY they’ll support it. But you have to look deeper and notice what they do. Is Lynch out there spending political capital on the Green New Deal? Is he meeting with activists? Does he speak about why it’s important? Those answers are no, no, and no. Lynch doesn’t care about climate change, he cares about marketing himself. This is personal to me, because I’m going to have to live in the world we’re creating. Lynch won’t step up, but I will." One candidate who didn't want to go on record yet, suggested that there are more than a few co-sponsors who continue to take campaign contributions from fossil fuel executives, lobbyists and interests.

Yesterday in San Francisco-- the day after Jay Inslee dropped out of the presidential race and as he announced he will be running for governor of Washington again-- the Democratic establishment in the form of the DNC voted 17-8 to reject a proposal that they sanction a climate crisis debate. The predominant reason they voted down the proposal is because the Biden campaign threatened to not participate. Biden doesn't understand the Climate Crisis, can't relate to it, knows he'll be dead before the biggest effects are manifest and has literally no idea what the Green New Deal is. His campaign told the DNC the whole idea of a debate about it would be dangerous. Status Quo Joe sees a debate about the Climate Crisis as more dangerous than the Climate Crisis itself. That helps explain that most of his support comes from the very, very old-- like himself-- and that younger people for whom this is an existential threat are threatening to not vote at all if Biden is the candidate. His polling numbers among people under 30 generally has him in 4th or 5th place. His ignorance and lack of interest in the Climate Crisis is one of the main reasons. Hundreds of activists showed up at the San Francisco meeting, activists who now realize their enemies are just Republicans. Oh-- and there was another reason the DNC gave the thumbs down to a Climate Change debate: As Sludgepointed out: the majority of corrupt old DNC hacks always put campaign cash before life on planet earth. Like Biden, they are out of touch with what the grassroots of the party wants. 

Since January, the DNC has taken at least $60,750 from owners and executives of fossil fuel companies. The DNC’s fossil fuel industry donors include George Krumme, owner of Krumme Oil Company, who contributed $20,000, and Stephen Hightower, president and CEO of Hightower Petroleum Company, who contributed $35,500. Other donors include Duke Energy President CJ Triplette, Crystal Flash Energy executive Thomas Fehsenfeld, and Southern Petroleum Resources President David Simpkins.

Unlike the leading Democratic presidential candidates who have all signed the No Fossil Fuel Money pledge, a promise to reject campaign contributions over $200 from fossil fuel PACs, lobbyists, and executives, the DNC is welcoming fossil fuel money. In August 2018 it approved a resolution from Chairman Tom Perez stating that it will accept donations from fossil fuel industry employees and their political action committees. The resolution, which also references “America’s all-of-above-energy economy”-- meaning the burning of coal, oil, and gas alongside renewable energy sources-- was criticized by environmental groups for gutting an earlier resolution that barred the DNC from accepting contributions from fossil fuel PACs.

The DNC has former fossil fuel lobbyists among its leadership. Associate Chairman Jaime Harrison [the establishment-favored Democratic nominee to run against Lindsey Graham next year] lobbied for the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity from 2009 to 2012 while working for Podesta Group. The coalition represents major American coal companies like Murray Energy and Peabody Energy, and while Harrison was lobbying for the group it fought against President Obama’s Clean Power plan and other climate-related regulations.

So guess who released his detailed plans for filling in the Green New Deal framework just when Tom Perez was once again disappointing and de-motivating climate activists? Yep, the candidate the Democratic Party establishment wants to defeat even more than they want to defeat Trump. "The climate crisis," reads Bernie's website, "is not only the single greatest challenge facing our country; it is also our single greatest opportunity to build a more just and equitable future, but we must act immediately. Climate change is a global emergency. The Amazon rainforest is burning, Greenland’s ice shelf is melting, and the Arctic is on fire. People across the country and the world are already experiencing the deadly consequences of our climate crisis, as extreme weather events like heat waves, wildfires, droughts, floods, and hurricanes upend entire communities, ecosystems, economies, and ways of life, as well as endanger millions of lives. Communities of color,  working class people, and the global poor have borne and will bear this burden disproportionately. The scientific community is telling us in no uncertain terms that we have less than 11 years left to transform our energy system away from fossil fuels to energy efficiency and sustainable energy, if we are going to leave this planet healthy and habitable for ourselves, our children, grandchildren, and future generations. As rising temperatures and extreme weather create health emergencies, drive land loss and displacement, destroy jobs, and threaten livelihoods, we must guarantee health care, housing, and a good-paying job to every American, especially to those who have been historically excluded from economic prosperity. The scope of the challenge ahead of us shares similarities with the crisis faced by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in the 1940s. Battling a world war on two fronts-- both in the East and the West-- the United States came together, and within three short years restructured the entire economy in order to win the war and defeat fascism. As president, Bernie Sanders will boldly embrace the moral imperative of addressing the climate crisis and act immediately to mobilize millions of people across the country in support of the Green New Deal. From the Oval Office to the streets, Bernie will generate the political will necessary for a wholesale transformation of our society, with support for frontline and vulnerable communities and massive investments in sustainable energy, energy efficiency, and a transformation of our transportation system."

Dealing with this is almost an anyone but Trump or Biden proposition! "We need a president who has the courage, the vision, and the record to face down the greed of fossil fuel executives and the billionaire class who stand in the way of climate action. We need a president who welcomes their hatred. Bernie will lead our country to enact the Green New Deal and bring the world together to defeat the existential threat of climate change." Here's the plan:
As president, Bernie Sanders will launch the decade of the Green New Deal, a ten-year, nationwide mobilization centered around justice and equity during which climate change will be factored into virtually every area of policy, from immigration to trade to foreign policy and beyond. This plan outlines some of the most significant goals we have set and steps we will take during this mobilization, including:
Reaching 100 percent renewable energy for electricity and transportation by no later than 2030 and complete decarbonization by at least 2050-- consistent with the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change goals-- by expanding the existing federal Power Marketing Administrations to build new solar, wind, and geothermal energy sources.
Ending unemployment by creating 20 million jobs needed to solve the climate crisis. These jobs will be good paying, union jobs with strong benefits and safety standards in steel and auto manufacturing, construction, energy efficiency retrofitting, coding and server farms, and renewable power plants. We will also create millions of jobs in sustainable agriculture, engineering, a reimagined and expanded Civilian Conservation Corp, and preserving our public lands.
Directly invest an historic $16.3 trillion public investment toward these efforts, in line with the mobilization of resources made during the New Deal and WWII, but with an explicit choice to include black, indigenous and other minority communities who were systematically excluded in the past.
A fair transition for workers. This plan will prioritize the fossil fuel workers who have powered our economy for more than a century and who have too often been neglected by corporations and politicians. We will provide five years of unemployment insurance, a wage guarantee, housing assistance, job training, health care, pension support, and priority job placement for any displaced worker, as well as early retirement support for those who choose it or can no longer work.
Declaring climate change a national emergency. We must take action to ensure a habitable planet for ourselves, for our children, and for our grandchildren. We will do whatever it takes to defeat the threat of climate change.
Saving American families money by weatherizing homes and lowering energy bills, building affordable and high-quality, modern public transportation, providing grants and trade-in programs for families and small businesses to purchase high-efficiency electric vehicles, and rebuilding our inefficient and crumbling infrastructure, including deploying universal, affordable high-speed internet.
Supporting small family farms by investing in ecologically regenerative and sustainable agriculture. This plan will transform our agricultural system to fight climate change, provide sustainable, local foods, and break the corporate stranglehold on farmers and ranchers.
Justice for frontline communities-- especially under-resourced groups, communities of color, Native Americans, people with disabilities, children and the elderly-- to recover from, and prepare for, the climate impacts, including through a $40 billion Climate Justice Resiliency Fund. And providing those frontline and fenceline communities a just transition including real jobs, resilient infrastructure, economic development.
Commit to reducing emissions throughout the world, including providing $200 billion to the Green Climate Fund, rejoining the Paris Agreement, and reasserting the United States’ leadership in the global fight against climate change.
Meeting and exceeding our fair share of global emissions reductions. The United States has for over a century spewed carbon pollution emissions into the atmosphere in order to gain economic standing in the world. Therefore, we have an outsized obligation to help less industrialized nations meet their targets while improving quality of life. We will reduce domestic emissions by at least 71 percent by 2030 and reduce emissions among less industrialized nations by 36 percent by 2030-- the total equivalent of reducing our domestic emissions by 161 percent.
Making massive investments in research and development. We will invest in public research to drastically reduce the cost of energy storage, electric vehicles, and make our plastic more sustainable through advanced chemistry.
Expanding the climate justice movement. We will do this by coming together in a truly inclusive movement that prioritizes young people, workers, indigenous peoples, communities of color, and other historically marginalized groups to take on the fossil fuel industry and other polluters to push this over the finish line and lead the globe in solving the climate crisis.
Investing in conservation and public lands to heal our soils, forests, and prairie lands. We will reauthorize and expand the Civilian Conservation Corps and fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Corps to provide good paying jobs building green infrastructure.
This plan will pay for itself over 15 years. Experts have scored the plan and its economic effects. We will pay for the massive investment we need to reverse the climate crisis by:
Making the fossil fuel industry pay for their pollution, through litigation, fees, and taxes, and eliminating federal fossil fuel subsidies.
Generating revenue from the wholesale of energy produced by the regional Power Marketing Authorities. Revenues will be collected from 2023-2035, and after 2035 electricity will be virtually free, aside from operations and maintenance costs.
Scaling back military spending on maintaining global oil dependence.
Collecting new income tax revenue from the 20 million new jobs created by the plan.
Reduced need for federal and state safety net spending due to the creation of millions of good-paying, unionized jobs.
Making the wealthy and large corporations pay their fair share.
The cost of inaction is unacceptable. Economists estimate that if we do not take action, we will lose $34.5 trillion in economic activity by the end of the century. And the benefits are enormous:  by taking bold and decisive action, we will save $2.9 trillion over 10 years, $21 trillion over 30 years, and $70.4 trillion over 80 years.

We cannot accomplish any of these goals without taking on the fossil fuel billionaires whose greed lies at the very heart of the climate crisis. These executives have spent hundreds of millions of dollars protecting their profits at the expense of our future, and they will do whatever it takes to squeeze every last penny out of the Earth. Bernie promises to go further than any other presidential candidate in history to end the fossil fuel industry’s greed, including by making the industry pay for its pollution and prosecuting it for the damage it has caused.

And most importantly, we must build an unprecedented grassroots movement that is powerful enough to take them on, and win. Young people, advocates, tribes, cities and states all over this country have already begun this important work, and we will continue to follow their lead.
That barely skims the surface of Bernie's plan. Click here to read the whole thing. These are more of the three top line bullet points:
1) Transform Our Energy System to 100 Percent Renewable Energy and Create 20 Million Jobs

2. End the Greed of the Fossil Fuel Industry and Hold them Accountable

3) Rebuild Our Economy and Ensure Justice for Frontline Communities and a Fair Transition for Workers
Goal ThermometerPlease consider contributing what you can to Bernie's campaign by clicking on the thermometer on the right. And remember this: "For decades, fossil fuel corporations knowingly destroyed our planet for short-term profits. The fossil fuel industry has known since as early as the 1970s that their products were contributing to climate change and that climate change is real, dangerous, and preventable. Yet, they kept going. Instead of working to find solutions to the coming crisis, the fossil fuel industry poured billions into funding climate denialism, hiring lobbyists to fight even the slightest government regulation and oversight, and contributing to politicians who would put the interests of fossil fuel executives over the safety and security of the planet. Fossil fuel corporations have fought to escape liability for the pollution and destruction caused by their greed. They have evaded taxes, desecrated tribal lands, exploited workers and poisoned communities. Bernie believes this is criminal activity, and, when he is President, he will hold the fossil fuel industry accountable.

"Transitioning to 100 percent renewable energy cannot be done without standing up to fossil fuel corporations. Bernie will make fossil fuel corporations pay for the irreparable damage they have done to our communities and our planet, and he will ensure that all fossil fuel workers affected by the transition are entitled to new jobs, health care, pensions, and wage support. He will not allow fossil fuel executives to reap massive profits while endangering the future of humanity. He will not leave it to the market to determine the fate of the planet. The science is clear on what is necessary. As president, Bernie will take immediate action to end the fossil fuel industry’s greed once and for all.

"As we rapidly move toward renewable energy and energy efficiency, we must ensure that the workers employed in the fossil fuel industry see that their standards of living are not only protected, but improved. A fair transition for workers means guaranteeing the incomes, training, and pensions of affected workers, as well as major targeted investments in fossil-fuel-dependent communities. The clean energy economy, which will create three times more jobs and a full-employment economy, must also build strong unions, high wages, and benefits. Finally, the Green New Deal will redress historical injustices, by tackling poverty, inequality, and the disproportionate impacts of environmental damage on poor neighborhoods, communities of color, First Nations, and rural America."

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There's No Grassroots Enthusiasm For Biden-- Just Listless And Ill-Conceived Resignation That He Can Beat Trump


Thursday morning both the NY Times and Washington Post led their political coverage with stories datelined Prole, Iowa, an unincorporated community in Warren County, northeast of Indianola. In 2016, Trump beat Hillary in Warren County-- just south of Des Moines-- pretty badly, 14,773 (54.9%) to 10,371 (38.5%). Last year Kim Reynolds (R) beat Fred Hubbell (D) there 52.8% to 45.1% in the gubernatorial race. And, although IA-03 flipped blue for virtually worthless conservative Democrat Cindy Axne, Warren County voted red (R+10). Warren County is pretty conservative and it sounds like a good place for Biden in a primary battle. But what Katie Gluek was emphasizing in her Times coverage is that the mighty Status Quo Joe polling numbers mask a yawning enthusiasm gap between the back-to-normalcy candidate and the candidates with a vision for America's future. Glueck asserts that "there are signs of a disconnect between his relatively rosy poll numbers and excitement for his campaign on the ground here, in the state that begins the presidential nominating process.
In conversations with county chairs, party strategists and dozens of voters this week at Mr. Biden’s events, many Democrats in Iowa described a case for Mr. Biden, the former vice president, that reflected shades of the one his wife, Jill Biden, bluntly sketched out on Monday. “You may like another candidate better, but you have to look at who is going to win,” she said, citing Mr. Biden’s consistent lead in early surveys.

The first ad of Mr. Biden’s campaign, released this week in Iowa, flashed some of his positive poll results against Mr. Trump on screen, and voter after voter cited those numbers in outlining their support for him, saying that defeating the president was their most urgent priority.

That stands in stark contrast to the way voters explain their support for candidates like Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, who drew 12,000 people to an event this week in Minnesota, Iowa’s northern neighbor, or Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who also draws large crowds and maintains a core base of die-hard fans.

...[T]he risks of a campaign argument that is heavily reliant on strong poll numbers, which can be fickle in a tumultuous election, were on vivid display throughout Mr. Biden’s trip to Iowa, as voters repeatedly emphasized that their support for him was closely linked to what they perceived as his strength against Mr. Trump.

It’s a case they make even as polls have shown several other candidates, namely Mr. Sanders, Ms. Warren and Senator Kamala Harris of California, running strongly against Mr. Trump, and as strategists caution that such theoretical matchups are hardly predictive of an election that’s more than a year away. The polls at this early stage are also partly a reflection of a candidate’s name recognition.

...A Monmouth University poll from this month showed Mr. Biden leading with the support of 28 percent of likely Iowa caucusgoers-- virtually unchanged from the same poll’s results from April.

But Patrick Murray, the director of Monmouth’s Polling Institute, who recently spent time in Iowa, said those numbers did not give the full picture of Mr. Biden’s support in the state.

“I did not meet one Biden voter who was in any way, shape or form excited about voting for Biden,” Mr. Murray said. “They feel that they have to vote for Joe Biden as the centrist candidate, to keep somebody from the left who they feel is unelectable from getting the nomination.”

And JoAnn Hardy, the Democratic chairwoman of Cerro Gordo County, Iowa, where most of the Democratic candidates recently attended the gathering known as the Wing Ding dinner, attributed Mr. Biden’s lead in part to simply being well-known.

“He’s doing O.K., but I think a lot of his initial strength was name recognition,” she said. “As the voters get to meet the other candidates, he may be surpassed soon. I would not be surprised.”

Asked who was poised to do that, she replied: “Elizabeth Warren has the most incredible organization in this state. I could see it being Warren.”

Some of Mr. Biden’s allies view Ms. Warren as his most significant threat in Iowa for now, aware of the extensive organization she built early, her surge in the Monmouth poll and other polls here this summer, and her ability to connect with progressives who traditionally play an important role in the caucuses.

But representatives for the Biden campaign argued that several candidates have risen this summer, only to see their numbers fall back down to earth. His position as poll-leader has been steady up to this point, they stress, though his favorability rating has dipped since he re-entered the political arena, and his advantage has ebbed in some early-state polls.

“We reject the premise that the only reason Biden is doing well in the polls is because of name recognition,” said T.J. Ducklo, Mr. Biden’s national press secretary. “Voters have genuine affection for Joe Biden. They know him and his character, which is why their support for him has been so durable in the face of relentless attacks by all of his primary opponents.”

Yet there have also been self-inflicted controversies. His trip to Iowa earlier this month was marred by multiple gaffes, a dynamic that dominated coverage of the visit and gave some Democrats here pause.

Matt Viser was also in Prole, also writing about Biden playing the electability card. "His entire campaign apparatus have put an electability argument front and center this week in an attempt to dispel any lingering concerns among Democrats about his ideology, his age or his verbal mistakes," wrote Viser. "As the Democratic primary campaign trundles on, Biden is winning polite applause from audiences that respect him but clearly are not as fired up by his presence as are crowds for other candidates. He has made verbal miscues nearly daily as his more disciplined opponents hew closely to their chosen messages. And yet his standing atop the polls as the candidate seen as most able to defeat Trump-- including in key states needed to secure the presidency-- has been an enduring aspect of an otherwise volatile primary contest."

That's certainly the narrative the corporate media is pushing-- and relentlessly so. Iowa, a caucus state, can't be polled accurately. New Hampshire, the first state with a primary, can be. And Bernie is beating Biden there-- with Warren nipping at his heals and likely to overtake him and his message less campaign. The most recent poll is by highly regarded non-partisan Gravis Marketing:

Yesterday, Emerson released polling for Colorado. Despite the corporate media's persistent, unrelenting anti-Bernie narrative, Bernie is beating Biden there too. What the poll shows is that Bernie is ahead of Status Quo Joe, albeit narrowly:

And both Bernie and Biden-- as well as all the Democrats still considered serious contenders-- are beating Trump in one-on-one matchups in Colorado-- Bernie and Biden by a full 10 points each:

The establishment in DC and in states is completely in the bag for Biden. Their own access to power and bribes depends on it. Take Florida, which has one of the very worse Democratic state parties anywhere in the country. It defines failure on every level-- unable to elect Democrats statewide in a 50/50 state, a pathetic and irrelevant rump in the state legislature and horrifyingly corrupt beyond reason. Democrats would do better in Florida is the Florida Democratic Party ceased to exist. It's almost as bad as the Ohio Democratic Party. Let's turn to a piece Anthony Man wrote for the Sun Sentinel this week, No Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren. We need a moderate, South Florida Democrats tell their party., which demonstrates exactly what I'm talking about. Keep in mind, after she was exposed stealing the nomination for Hillary and fired as DNC chair, Debbie Wasserman Schultz largely disappeared from national politics. But in Florida, she still walks among us. "A group of prominent current and former elected officials in Broward County," wrote Man, "is warning the Democratic Party that defeating President Donald Trump requires nominating a candidate who can appeal to a broad swath of the electorate-- not one of the progressives running far to the left. The group, which is calling itself the Real Solutions Caucus, said defeating Trump is the overriding goal for 2020. It sees 10 candidates-- including former Vice President Joe Biden-- as best equipped to appeal to swing voters in a handful of states that will decide the election.Pointedly not on the list: the two leading progressive presidential candidates, U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Bernie Sanders of Vermont." The stench of Wasserman Schultz, one of the most corrupt on Congress' New Dems-- and the queen of Broward County Democrats-- is all pervasive in this anti-progressive approach.

Although Sanders and Warren consistently poll in second and third place behind Biden and together have the support of one-third of Democratic primary voters, members of the Real Solutions Caucus fear they are too far to the left, and nominating one of them increases the chances of a Trump victory.

“This election will be decided in a handful of swing states, each with significant groups of swing voters,” the caucus wrote in a “statement of principles” it plans to release Tuesday. “We intend to encourage candidates to adopt national positions that will appeal to swing voters in swing states, and we intend to encourage Democratic voters to support candidates that adopt these positions.”

The chairman of the group is Steve Geller, a Broward County commissioner and former Florida Senate Democratic leader. The other members of the steering committee are County Commissioners Mark Bogen and Tim Ryan, School Board member Patricia Good, former county Property Appraiser Lori Parrish, former Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler and state Sen. Perry Thurston, who is also a former Florida House Democratic leader. [More succinctly: Team Wasserman Schultz and a bunch of hacks whose conservative policies and agenda has kept Florida Democrats in a minority position statewide.]

The group, which currently has 26 members, is coming down squarely on one side of a debate that comes up in every election cycle-- but is particularly pronounced as Democrats try to figure out who they should nominate to challenge Trump.

One theory is that the best way to win is by running moderate-centrist candidates in hopes of appealing to middle of the road voters. The other theory is that it’s better to nominate a liberal candidate who can generate excitement among the party’s base and propel the candidate to victory in November.

“It is our judgment that the base has already been energized by Donald Trump,” Geller said in an interview. While appealing to the Democratic Party’s base voters is important, Geller said caucus members believe that swing voters will decide the election because of the importance of a handful of states in the Electoral College.

“This is not a national election. You can pile up a 5 million vote majority in California, a 3 million vote majority in New York, and if you lose by 50,000 votes in Pennsylvania or Michigan, it has the same impact,” Geller said.
The forever Florida state legislature, complements of the so-called "Real Solutions Caucus" and their brilliant strategies. The GOP should be paying them

These people know how to do one thing and one thing only: lose elections by turning off the base with their overly cautious and uninspiring approach. Of course they don't want agents of change like Bernie and Elizabeth Warren. They literally prefer candidates Democratic voters have already shown they are uninterested in like conservatives Michael Bennet (CO with a 0.2% polling average), Steve Bullock (MT with a 0.8% polling average) and Amy Klobuchar (MN with a 1.4% polling average). "Even though many on the list haven’t gotten much traction," write Man, "Geller said even Bennet and Bullock, who are averaging less than 1% in polls, 'showed promise. We think that the candidates that we mentioned have a better chance of winning the swing voters in the swing states,' Geller said. Geller’s brother, Joe Geller, a state representative whose district covers southeast Broward and northeast Miami-Dade County, is a prominent supporter of Biden.
Melissa Ward-Peterson, who is an active volunteer in the Warren campaign, said she found the Real Solutions Caucus’s position “incredibly disappointing," and what looks like the party establishment acting as gatekeepers is the kind of thing that turns off many people. "It’s disappointing to have these leaders say, ‘We know what’s best.’”

Ward-Peterson, who is recording secretary of the Broward Democratic Party, said she was speaking for herself, not in her role as party officer.

Ward-Peterson said she has family members who are swing voters, said it’s also a mistake to assume a progressive candidate would have a harder time winning the general election than one of the moderates. “They are moved by someone with conviction and someone who’s consistent and stands up for what they believe,” she said. “Those are voters who appreciate no-B.S. candidates and are going to be looking for someone who has a consistent message and a consistent voice.”

Mitchell Stollberg, chairman of Broward Progressive Democrats of America, chairman of the Broward chapter of the group Our Revolution, and an active Sanders supporter, said the Democrats pushing for a moderate-centrist are “short sighted. None of those people can beat Trump.”

He doesn’t buy the analysis that moderate, swing voters are the bloc that Democrats needs to cater to.

“They’re full of crap,” Stollberg said. “As far as I’m concerned, the party needs to move to the left. The progressive movement is larger than ever before.”

He said average voters support key elements of Sanders’ platform, such as a Medicare for All government health program. “Don’t talk to me about private insurance. It’s immoral,” he said.

...The 26 members of the Real Solutions Caucus describe themselves as “patriotic Americans who support the armed forces and veterans, capitalism, women’s rights, a well-funded public education system and our ally Israel.”
Now listen to someone who knows what they're talking about, Rachel Bitecofer, who was on MSNBC with centrist Lawrence O'Donnell a couple of times this week:

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Midnight Meme Of The Day!


by Noah

Just when I thought the San Francisco I used to love was totally gone, ruined by tech money and self-absorbed hedge fund types, someone there provides a bit of glorious street theater! In this case, the photo of Swastika Boy Trump projected upon House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's District Office. As you can see, it reveals what's under that freakish Trump hair. Face it, we all knew he has swastikas on the brain. If you put his blood under a microscope you would see that the red cells flowing through his veins are even shaped like little swastikas. That's all part of his "manly" essence. But, there it is, a swastika actually tattooed on his flow-through cranium!

I don't expect that Speaker Pelosi will be moved in any way by the picture being projected on her outside wall. Longtime readers know that I gave up on her years ago. I expect nothing from her, especially since I'm not a lobbyist. I do however commend the patriotism of those who made and projected the photo. I expect that Republicans everywhere are already clamoring for signed and numbered prints of their mind leprosy poster boy that they can proudly hang in their offices and homes. I hear that Lindsey Graham will do anything for #1 or #2.

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Thursday, August 22, 2019

American Jews Are Loyal Americans And Most Agree With Rashida's Grandmother Regarding Vicious Racist Trump: "May God Ruin You!"


Trump's overtly racist campaign for president in 2016 increased Jewish participation and their percentage of the electorate rose from 2% in 2008 and 2012 to 3% in 2016. You know what else rose? In the 2012 election 69% of Jewish voters cast their ballots for President Obama and 30% voted for Mitt Romney. With Trump on the ballot, 71% of Jews voted for Hillary and just 24% voted for Trump. Even though most Jews see Trump as a danger to democracy and a danger to the country, most Jews also believe it is possible for a Jew to support Trump without automatically making them unpatriotic. Recent GOP presidential candidates who did better than Trump include Richard Nixon in 1972 (35%), Jerry Ford in 1976 (27%), Ronald Reagan in 1980 (39%), Reagan again in 1984 (31%), George H.W. Bush in 1988 (35%), George W. Bush in 2004 (25%) and Mitt Romney in 2012 (30%). Why did so many Jews vote against Trump/ Most of us can smell an anti-Semite a mile a way. And Trump-- like his father-- is an anti-Semite, if not an outright Nazi. As the Jewish Daily Forward pointed out a month before Trump was elected Trump knew exactly how to successfully appeal to Jew-haters. On Tuesday Trump told reporters at an official function with the president of Romania-- a country with a deadly anti-Semitic/Nazi history-- "I think any Jewish people that vote for a Democrat, I think it shows either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty."

Jonathan Greenblatt, the head of the Anti-Defamation League, said "charges of disloyalty have long been used to attack Jews," and the American Jewish Committee described the remark as "inappropriate, unwelcome and downright dangerous." Halie Soifer, executive director of the Jewish Democratic Council of America tweeted "If this is about Israel, then Trump is repeating a dual loyalty claim, which is a form of anti-Semitism. If this is about Jews being 'loyal' to him, then Trump needs a reality check."

Yesterday, New York Times reporter Julie Davis wrote that Trump's anti-semitic statement was an intensification of "his efforts to drive a partisan wedge over religion and support for Israel even as he appeared to draw on an anti-Semitic trope." She said he didn't "go into specifics about what he considered to be Jews’ disloyalty, but his language was reminiscent of the anti-Semitic smear that Jews have a 'dual loyalty' and are more devoted to Israel than they are to their own countries."
Trump’s comments were the latest turn in a controversy over religion and politics that erupted last week after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, at the president’s urging, barred an official visit to Israel by the first two Muslim women in Congress. The congresswomen, Representatives Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, both Democrats, have been harshly critical of Israel’s policies toward Palestinians.

The president’s comments were condemned by diplomats and analysts across the political spectrum. They accused him of endangering bipartisan support for Israel in the United States, the country’s most reliable ally, in his zeal to curry favor with some Jewish voters and tighten his alliance with Mr. Netanyahu.

...Logan Bayroff, the communications director for J Street, a progressive Jewish organization, said: “It is dangerous and shameful for President Trump to attack the large majority of the American Jewish community as unintelligent and ‘disloyal.’ But it is no surprise that the president’s racist, disingenuous attacks on progressive women of color in Congress have now transitioned into smears against Jews.”

...The accusation that Jews have dual loyalty is nothing new, but it has become a toxic element of white nationalist philosophy.

The remark was the latest from a president who has a history of using language that stokes racial and religious divisions. That language has been echoed in recent statements and writings of deranged people bent on violence.

On Tuesday, the F.B.I. said it had arrested a Nazi sympathizer who had threatened to butcher a Hispanic woman and had boasted that Mr. Trump would wipe out nonwhites in a “racial war and crusade.” This month, the 21-year-old man accused in the El Paso Walmart massacre wrote a manifesto echoing Mr. Trump’s language that calls migrants crossing the southwestern border as part of “an invasion.”

“This attack is a response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas,” the manifesto said.

The president’s “disloyalty” comment was met by outrage from many Jewish leaders, who called it divisive and dangerous.

Representative Ted Deutch, Democrat of Florida, said Mr. Trump should apologize for using “the kind of language that ends up fueling the anger of white nationalists.”

“What the president is doing is creating an environment in which anti-Semitism can flourish,” Mr. Deutch said on CNN.

Mr. Trump’s remarks had broad implications: According to the Pew Research Center, 79 percent of Jews voted for Democrats in last year’s midterm congressional elections. The president’s comments were in keeping with his strategy of trying to make Ms. Omar, Ms. Tlaib and two other progressive congresswomen of color the faces of the Democratic Party.

“A.O.C. plus three,” Mr. Trump said, referring to Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, whom he has repeatedly attacked in explicitly racial terms along with Ms. Tlaib, Ms. Omar and Representative Ayanna S. Pressley of Massachusetts. “That’s what I call it: Just take A.O.C. plus three. And you should see the things that the four of them have said about Israel over the last couple of years.”

Some of Mr. Trump’s Jewish allies sprang to his defense, arguing that the president was giving voice to a sense of befuddlement among many American Jews that too many Democrats appeared to be tolerating extreme views about Israel within their ranks. Matt Brooks, the executive director of the Republican Jewish Coalition, said the views of Ms. Omar and Ms. Tlaib, both of whom have made remarks condemned as anti-Semitic, were far outside the mainstream of their party and the country as a whole.

...In fact, the Democrat-led House voted overwhelmingly last month to condemn the boycott-Israel movement. During the debate, Ms. Tlaib, who is Palestinian-American, passionately defended the movement as a legitimate economic protest to advance human rights, calling Israel’s policies toward Palestinians “racist” and comparing the campaign to American boycotts of Nazi Germany.

On Monday in St. Paul, Ms. Omar raised the prospect of cutting off aid to Israel, arguing that a central purpose of the Israel visit that she and Ms. Tlaib had hoped to make was to conduct oversight over the $3 billion in funding that United States provides.

Is Trump too stupid to understand how offensive this is to Jews? Or is he purposefully being provocative and divisive... and anti-Semitic?

“We must be asking, as Israel’s ally, the Netanyahu government stop the expansion of settlements on Palestinian land and ensure full rights for Palestinians if we are to give them aid,” Ms. Omar said. “We know Donald Trump would love nothing more than to use this issue to pit Muslims and Jewish Americans against each other. The Muslim community and the Jewish community are being othered and made into the boogeyman by this administration.”

During the news conference, Ms. Tlaib broke down in tears when discussing why she turned down a last-minute offer by Mr. Netanyahu’s government to allow her to visit her 90-year-old grandmother in the West Bank if she promised not to speak out about the boycott during her stay.

“I’m her free bird, so why would I come back and be caged and bow down when my election rose her head up high, gave her dignity for the first time?” Ms. Tlaib said of her grandmother. “You don’t let anybody tell you that you’re less than or humiliate you.”

Mr. Trump ridiculed the congresswoman for the display, saying her grief was not genuine.

“All of a sudden, she starts with tears, tears-- I don’t buy it,” Mr. Trump said. “I don’t buy it for a second because I’ve seen her in a very vicious mood at campaign rallies.”

“I saw a woman who was violent and vicious and out of control,” Mr. Trump added, without elaborating on what violence he was referring to.

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