Saturday, August 24, 2019

Why Is Playboy-Congressman Steve Watkins (R-KS) Suddenly Being Pressured By The GOP To Resign?


Kansas Republican Steve Watkins-- That body language indicates a guy who would get up to no good-- fast... like sending out dick shots

Not counting Kansas City, KS-02 is all of eastern Kansas, from the border with Nebraska in the north to the border with Oklahoma in the south. The district's entire eastern border is Missouri. The second district includes the state capital, Topeka, and Shawnee County is the biggest of the 25 counties in the district-- and one of the two blue ones. The other blue county-- Douglas (the Kansas City suburbs) is also the second biggest in terms of voters. Last year, KS-02 elected Steve Watkins over Republican-lite Blue Dog Paul Davis. Had the Democrats run a real Democrat espousing Democratic issues they would have easily won. It was one of the closest races in the country:
Steve Watkins (R)- 126,098 (47.6%)
Paul Davis (Blue Dog)- 123,859 (46.8%)
Kelly Standley (Libertarian)- 14,731 (5.6%)
Now something's up. Just about a month ago, Bryan Lowry, reporting for McClatchy wrote that Watkins had fired his chief of staff, Colin Brainard-- a former Lynn Jenkins staffer with more than a decade of Capitol Hill experience. "Brainard was one of several ex-Jenkins staffers to join Watkins’ team," wrote Lowry, "which helped smooth relations with GOP establishment figures who were skeptical of Watkins during the campaign. Watkins compared the hires partnering with local guides in Afghanistan and Iraq during his time in the Army. Brainard will be replaced by Jim Joice, a former executive director of the Kansas Republican Party who currently serves as Watkins’ communications director."

OK, not that big a deal; it happens all the time. But this doesn't: Watkins is under intense pressure from Republicans in DC and in Topeka to resign according to Topeka Capital-Journal reporters Sherman Smith and Tim Carpenter. He's been going to great lengths to avoid speaking with the media.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reported he was dating women in Topeka during the campaign while engaged to be married and after he was wed, and identified a Wasilla, Alaska, resident who accused Watkins of unwanted sexual advances. Watkins called the allegations "preposterous." Everyone in Topeka is claiming he was sending out dick-pics-- presumably of his own genitals-- and that's why he's been asked to resign (which he refused to do as of yesterday afternoon). 

During the August 2018 primary in the 2nd District, county GOP officials and Republican rivals in the campaign shared concern about Watkins’ background and were outspoken with doubts he was a dedicated member of the Republican Party. Democrats said Watkins met with them before he filed as a member of the other party.

There are already 5 Republicans lined up tp replace Watkins, including two state senators (Dennis Pyle and Caryn Tyson) and a former state House speaker, Doug Mays. The only Democrat in the race is Abbie Hodgson, who has no issues on her website, a bad sign. It does say, however, that "she loves her state."

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Don't Ever Doubt That Trump's Ugly Racism Has Permeated Down Through The GOP-- Meet Jean Cramer, A New GOP Heroine In Michigan


Trump was never named Michigan GOP Man of the Year like he claimed, but it's just a matter of time before Jean Cramer is named Michigan GOP Woman Of the Year

Marysville, Michigan is a small town, population 9,959. It's a very red bastion of very, very conservative ideas in St. Clair County, part of Michigan's Thumb northeast of Detroit. It's part of the 10th congressional district (R+13), represented by Paul Mitchell who is retiring. In 2016 Bernie beat Hillary in St. Clair Co. but the Democrats are vastly outnumbered by Republicans. Trump won the general election in the county in a rout-- 40,067 (56.5%) to 24,583 (36.9%). Mitchell breezed to reelection last year despite the anti-red wave. St. Clair, the second biggest county in the district, performed especially well for him-- R+22.

When Mitchell announced he is retiring, Republicans began lining up to replace him. Two have already jumped in and another 8 are preparing tp. The two Democrats in the race are Kelly Noland and Kimberly Bizon, neither of whom has much of a chance and both of whom looks pretty progressive. Actually either probably could win... if the GOP puts up it's new Thumb star, Marysville City Council candidate Jean Cramer. On Thursday, Cramer was at a Republican Party candidate forum and was asked "“Do you believe the diversity of our community needs to be looked at, and if so, should we be more aggressive in attracting foreign-born citizens?"

Her response was kind of Trumpy. "Keep Marysville a white community as much as possible," she responded. The other candidates were shocked.
Council candidate Mike Deising and incumbent Councilman Paul Wessel were more succinct in their responses.

“Just checking the calendar here and making sure it’s still 2019," Deising said, while Wessel added that anyone "anyone who can find their way to Marysville should be allowed to live in Marysville."

Mayor Pro Tem Kathy Hayman said she took Cramer’s comments personally.

“I don’t even know that I can talk yet, I’m so upset and shocked. My father was a hundred percent Syrian, and they owned the Lynwood Bar. It was a grocery store at that time. So basically, what you’ve said is that my father and his family had no business to be in this community,” she said. Hayman's late father Joseph Johns, served 55 years as an elected Marysville official. The council meeting room where Thursday’s forum was held is named for him.

"My son-in-law is a black man and I have bi-racial grandchildren," she told Cramer. "And I take this very personally what you’ve said, and I know that there’s nothing I can say that’s going to change your mind... We just need to have more kindness-- that’s it.”

Cramer, a political newcomer who moved to Marysville fewer than 10 years ago, expanded on her comment when she spoke with the Times-Herald after the forum.

"As long as, how can I put this? What Kathy Hayman doesn’t know is that her family is in the wrong," Cramer said. "(A) husband and wife need to be the same race. Same thing with kids. That’s how it’s been from the beginning of, how can I say, when God created the heaven and the earth. He created Adam and Eve at the same time. But as far as me being against blacks, no I’m not."

...Mayor Dan Damman, who isn’t running for re-election in the city, condemned Cramer’s comments in a statement of his own following the forum.

"The racist comments by the City Council candidate at the Marysville city candidate(s) forum were as vile as they were jaw-dropping,” he said in an email. “It must be noted that this person has declared herself a City Council candidate for the November 2019 election but has never served on City Council for the city of Marysville.

“Mrs. Cramer’s disturbing and disgusting ideology is flatly rejected by me, our entire City Council, all of city administration, and our employees. The candidate forum was to be a mechanism to learn about the candidates and their viewpoints, thus empowering our electorate to make an informed decision before voting. The only positive result from this clear expression of overt and unapologetic racism is that this candidate’s views were put on display before our voters go the polls in November."

Damman later called for Cramer to step out of the race in another interview.

UPDATE: Cramer Still Refusing To End Her Racist Campaign

The day after the forum, Cramer spoke with the local ABC News affiliate and insisted she isn't racist, just the way Trump always does after his own blatantly racist outbursts. She told the TV reporter that she wouldn't have a problem with black people moving into Marysville and that it wouldn't bother her as long as they kept their properties looking nice.

Sounding very Trumpy, she said that she didn’t want "pushy" foreigners moving in and that they should "go back" to their native countries and fix issues there. And like Trump, she said her own ancestors were Nazis Germans.

Auschwitz Revisited by Nancy Ohanian-- property was always nicely kept up

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A Raving Lunatic Is Doing Something Terrible To Our Country


He says he's "The Chosen One" and maybe he is-- but not God's Chosen One, Putin's and Franklin Graham's

Immediately after Trump occupied the White House Elizabeth Mica warned that "What we know about malignant narcissists is that they psychologically decompensate once they achieve the ultimate position of power. They worsen in every possible way: become more grandiose and paranoid, more aggressive and demanding, and progressively less in touch with reality (and Trump has never been fully in touch with it). We can expect his narcissistic rage to intensify in proportion to his increasing grandiosity and paranoia. His handlers will have to resort to increasingly more “creative” ways to placate and subdue him-- and it will work, for a while, until it doesn’t. There’ll be blood, symbolic, if not literal, as he’ll fire and destroy his previously 'trusted' associates, maybe even in rapid succession and without any rhyme or reason."

She continued that "His demands for adulation will also become increasingly intense and bizarre, and we’ll be witnessing idiotic and quite possibly dangerous displays of his 'superiority' and might, likely military as well. This is where the possibility of him starting a war or two just to satisfy his ego becomes quite real. It’s not only that he will never get better, but it is certain that he will get worse. There has never been a case of a malignant narcissist in power whose pathology improved, or even remained stable: they always deteriorate, and often rapidly, as they become drunk on (what they see as) now unlimited power and adulation."

Lance Dodes is a professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. He was a guest on Lawrence O'Donnell's show a month after Elizabeth Mica's post. At the time, psychologist John Gartner said "If we could construct a psychiatric Frankenstein monster, we could not create a leader more dangerous mentally ill than Donald Trump. He's a paranoid psychopathic narcissist who's divorced from reality and lashes out impulsively at imagined enemies." Dodes responded that Trump "lies because because of his sociopathic tendencies that Dr. Gartner was talking about. He lies in the way that anyone who scams people does. He's trying to sell an idea or a product by telling you something that's untrue. There's also a kind of lying that he has that is, in a way more serious, that he has a loose grip on reality."

This week O'Donnell had Dodes back for another look at how things have been going for Putin's pick for the presidency of the United States. He said Trump's mental illness has gotten worse since he's occupied the White House. Watch the video... if you dare:

Trump, he explained, can't stand challenges. "It was predictable once he got into a position where people would challenge him-- there are two parties-- he would become more unhinged... The more you challenge him, the more unhinged he becomes, there paranoid and the more violent, potentially."

In his New York Magazine column yesterday, Jonathan Chair noted that the main reason Trump is melting down is because China won't give in to him on trade. (Denmark is still refusing to sell him Greenland and China is responding to his latest onslaught of tariffs against them with more of their own; that's how a trade war works. In response, the U.S. stock market crashed yesterday, the Dow sinking 522.70 points.)
Trump is in the midst of a public meltdown that is humiliating, scary, and banana republic–y even by Trumpy standards. The reason is that Trump started a trade war and China refuses to back down, having announced this morning that it is imposing retaliatory tariffs on $75 billion worth of U.S. goods.

Trump has picked fights with lots of countries. Usually they either placate him or try to give him a face-saving way of de-escalating (e.g., Mexico, which is never going to pay for the wall but doesn’t talk about the fact that it’s never going to pay for the wall anymore). Sometimes they get Trump to fold by stroking his ego (the North Koreans have carried out the most over-the-top version of this tactic).

China is playing it differently. Trump is pressuring China with tariff threats, on the theory that China, which is more export-dependent than the U.S., has more to lose from a trade war. China, apparently, calculates that it is Trump who has more to lose from a trade war, since he is facing reelection next year and Chinese president Xi Jinping is facing reelection … never. What’s more, China has little incentive to cough up permanent concessions in its trade relations with the U.S., given that there’s a better-than-even chance Trump will lose and it can just wait for the next president.

This has provoked one of Trump’s wilder public tantrums. First, he has lashed out at Federal Reserve chair Jay Powell, who has become Trump’s scapegoat for bad economic news despite the fact that it was Trump who appointed him to the job. (“Trump installed a Fed chair who is singlehandedly destroying the economy” sounds like an attack on Trump, but oddly enough it is Trump’s own argument.)

Trump wants Powell to aggressively, quickly, and smoothly reduce interest rates to mitigate the economic harm Trump is inflicting on the economy. As Powell has pointed out, this is hard. “Because the most important effects of monetary policy are felt with uncertain lags of a year or more, the committee must attempt to look through what may be passing developments and focus on things that seem likely to affect the outlook over time or that pose a material risk of doing so,” the Fed chairman said today. “But fitting trade-policy uncertainty into this framework is a new challenge.”

Translation: Monetary policy is always hard, but it’s really hard when the president is erratic.

Trump has accordingly added Powell to his list of Enemies of the People. “My only question is, who is our bigger enemy, Jay Powell or Chairman Xi?,” he tweeted, a message that is unlikely to calm the waters.

Trump followed up that crazy tweet with a series of even crazier tweets, in which he ordered American firms to “immediately start looking for an alternative to China.”

He added a “hereby” to the order, giving it the ring of a presidential decree. Trump does not actually have the power to unilaterally order private firms to redesign their global business models at the drop of a hat just because he is mad online.

The stock market has indicated that businesses have not exactly been enjoying Trump’s anti-China bluster, but their panic has been bounded by the expectation that he will ultimately back down, as he has in his other international confrontations. Surely Trump won’t escalate the trade war to the point where he tips his own economy into recession, right?

The normal rule is that presidents who run for reelection in the midst of a recession lose. Trump may not believe the normal rule applies to him. The Washington Post reported that Trump has been briefed on the ominous economic news but “has told aides that he thinks he can convince Americans that the economy is vibrant and unrattled through a public messaging campaign.” Maybe he thinks his propaganda apparatus can convince voters the economy is good even if it’s bad?

If Trump does believe this, then he might actually continue escalating his trade war with China-- not just with fake presidential decrees but with continued tariff increases. And maybe the assumption by business that this will all somehow end without too much collateral damage might turn out to be misplaced.

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Glad To See Conservatives Frackenlooper And Moulton Gone From The 2020 Race


Two of the worst 2020 candidate bit the dust: Moulton and Frackenlooper

As we saw last week, Seth Moulton's polling numbers are so low-- nationally, in Iowa and even in New Hampshire, which borders on his congressional district and shares media with it!-- that he was buried at the bottom of the 2020 barrel. No debates, no events, no interest, no nuthin'! All Moulton wants is to be Biden's Secretary of State or Defense Secretary. When he dropped out of the race yesterday it barely caused a stir in the news cycle. It wasn't even a blip.

So he dropped out with his head up Biden's ass: "I think it’s evident that this is now a three-way race between Biden, Warren and Sanders, and really it’s a debate about how far left the party should go," he told the New York Times. He announced he will run for reelection for the House.

He added that "I’m not going to endorse anyone right away, but the vice president is a mentor and a friend and I think he’d make a great president. Anybody in this race will be better than Donald Trump and I will enthusiastically support whoever the nominee is." But Moulton is somewhat reactionary and a member of the Wall Street-owned and operated New Dem caucus, so, of course, a Biden supporter. Funny how the whole Republican wing of the Democratic Party in Congress prefers Biden. Moulton has no following and virtually no admirers outside of his immediate circle of cronies. Perfect for Status Quo Joe.

This is how the ProgressivePunch rates the Massachusetts House delegation, by lifetime crucial vote score. Note who's at the very bottom. The number in parenthesis is the district's PVI):
Ayanna Pressley (MA-07)- A 100% (D+34)
Katherine Clark (MA-05)- A 97.03% (D+18)
Jim McGovern (MA-02)- A 96.71% (D+9)
Lori Trahan (MA-03)- A 95.35% (D+9)
Joe Kennedy (MA-04)- B 90.75% (D+9)
Richard Neal (MA-01)- C 85.96% (D+12)
Bill Keating (MA-09)- D 80.52% (D+4)
Stephen Lynch (MA-08)- F 77.98% (D+10)
Seth Moulton (MA-06)- F 73.51 (D+6)

The Boston Globe summed his race up nicely the day before he finally dropped out: Politics is all about timing and it isn't Seth Moulton's time. For the sake of the Republic, hopefully it will never be Seth Moulton's time. Nor is it Frackenlooper's time. He polled better than Moulton, but never got to 1% either. It was good to see him go... except for one thing. He's now running for the very winnable Colorado Senate seat-- and he's been dubbed the "front runner" already.

Blue America has endorsed the progressive in the race: Andrew Romanoff. His response to Frackenlooper's announcement to leave the presidential race and try to get into the Senate as a consolation prize was classy:
We deserve-- and I pledge to run-- a campaign grounded in public policy. I know and respect both Cory Gardner and John Hickenlooper, but I disagree with them on some fundamental issues.

Goal ThermometerAs Colorado’s next senator, I’ll lead the fight for a Green New Deal. They’re leading the fight against it.

I’ll champion Medicare for All. They’ve vowed to defeat it.

Cory and John have attacked these progressive priorities as socialist or Stalinist. That’s outrageous. Would they say the same of Social Security or Medicare itself?

Democrats must decide whether we want to combat the climate crisis and end our reliance on fossil fuel—or allow polluters to bankroll Congress and block reform. Whether we’ll ensure health care for all—or condemn half a million Americans to bankruptcy each year and thousands to an early grave. Whether we’ll build an economy that works for everyone—or force families to work even harder for less.

Those are the stakes in this election. They couldn’t be higher, and we can’t afford to cower now.

The best way to defeat Cory Gardner is to present a clear alternative. Echoing his talking points will achieve nothing and inspire no one.

This is no time to surrender our dreams. Let’s go fight for the world we imagine.
And meanwhile... Trumpanzee's #1 enabler in Washington just got a taste of his own foul medicine from his Democratic electoral opponent in Kentucky, Amy McGrath in the form of a super-powerful one minute TV ad. Believe me, this is very much worth watching:

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Midnight Meme Of The Day!


by Noah

Click on the meme to blow it up to bigly size. If you've ever wondered how Trump can get anyone to polish his silver golf clubs (Pence won't do it anymore), chase the gators off his Mar-a-Lago course, or squeegee bird shit off his limo windows, it's worth it! You'll be able to savor every word. The only question you'll have is "Is this real?" It certainly could be. It's the Trump we know. The "Do as I say, not as I do!" attitude of the Trumpanzee running amok in the White House is well captured. Ideally, someday his recruiters who bring him "illegals" to work for his whole stinking family will be exposed, caged, and not put on suicide watch. But, don't hold your breath. Hmmm, I wonder if they're the same suppliers who cater to the Trumpanzee's other needs and predilections.


Friday, August 23, 2019

Being A Progressive Isn't Like A Clothing Style Change Or A New Hair Do-- And Barbara McGuire Isn't A Progressive


Conservative Arizona Democrats McGuire and O'Halleran

Blue Dog Tom O'Halleran served in the Arizona House of Representatives (as a Republican) from 2001 to 2006. He won a state Senate seat 2006 but was defeated in a GOP primary in 2008. He never served in the same chamber at the same time with conservative Democrat Barbara McGuire. She won a state House seat in 2006 and was defeated in 2010. Two years later she won a state Senate seat and lost it to GOP crackpot Frank Pratt-- the same guy who beat O'Halleran-- in 2016. While she served in the legislature she had "A" ratings from the NRA and a 100% from the Arizona Citizens Defense League. Environmental and immigrants rights groups didn't score her quite as well-- a "D" from the Border Action Network and "D"s and "F"s from the Sierra Club.

When she announced she would challenge O'Halleran for his congressional seat. she admitted she is a conservative, something that would be hard to deny with her crappy voting record. My thought was that her presence in the race would help the Blue America-endorsed candidate, Eva Putzova, since the two conservatives would cannibalize each other's support while stalwart progressive Eva Putzova would be able to appeal to Democratic primary voters who want to see Medicare For All, the Green New Deal, a $15 minimum wage, free public colleges, etc.

This week, Jeremy Duda wrote for the Arizona Mirror that "despite" McGuire's "reputation as a 'moderate' during her years in the legislature, she’s challenging him from the left." Huh? That sounds authentic-- not!
According to the website FiveThirtyEight, O’Halleran votes with President Donald Trump 38.8 percent of the time, more than any of the other four Democrats in Arizona’s House delegation. Nationally, only three other Democratic House members vote with Trump more than O’Halleran.

O’Halleran already has one primary challenger, former Flagstaff City Councilwoman Eva Putzova, a progressive. But McGuire told the Arizona Mirror that she, too, will be running against O’Halleran from the left, despite her own 'moderate' record.

“I am a centrist consensus-building lifelong Democrat where, in my opinion, he is and has become far-right leaning,” McGuire said via text message.

McGuire, who lives in Kearney, declined to elaborate on what issues she believes O’Halleran has become too conservative, and said she’ll comment further when she officially launches her campaign later this week.
Goal ThermometerFunny-- she and O'Halleran are like the Bobbsey Twins. If McGuire was serious as a bona-fide progressive candidate, she would have probably taken down her old website sprinkled with NRA endorsements and pro-Chamber, pro-mining statements. If she was serious as an honest conservative candidate, she would have at least updated her online profile. But she is neither and that begs the question why she is running or who is pulling the strings behind the scene. This is not about her but about the contest between O'Halleran and Putzova. Please consider contributing to the very grassroots campaign of the one progressive champion running in Arizona-- for any federal seat-- so far this cycle: Eva Putzova. You can do that by click on the Blue America 2020 primaries thermometer of the right.

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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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