Thursday, February 20, 2020

Midnight Meme Of The Day!


by Noah

But not to worry Trump fans! You may miss the grifting, overt insanity, insecurity, and incessant whining if Money Mike takes the place of your man, but don't worry too much! Money Mike has plenty of scams, misogyny and racism to spread around! Plus, if he gets elected, his presidency will be a titanic failure just like Trump's! And then you can elect Don Jr., David Duke, Lou Dobbs, or even James Fields and take your dreamy Great American Fascism even further!

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Wednesday, February 19, 2020

How Long Will It Take For Señor Trumpanzee To Pardon Roger Stone?


In preparation for pardoning some of his cronies-- particularly Roger Stone who has a lot of serious dirt on Trump-- Trump continued pardoning random corrupt people this week, yesterday San Francisco 49ers owner Edward DeBartolo Jr., a real estate developer who was convicted in a huge gambling fraud scandal that sounds very much like something that could have been Trump. He also commuted Rod Blojojevich's sentence yesterday, four years early and pardoned Bernard Kerik and Michael Milken. Last week Caleb Ecarma, writing for Vanity Fair noted that "The standing pardon request line at Fox News, the pipeline through which Donald Trump has granted clemency to everyone from war criminals to racist cops, may be poised for another W. Since the outset of Roger Stone’s legal troubles, which started with the Mueller probe and culminated in conviction on charges of obstruction, making false statements, and witness tampering, Fox’s Tucker Carlson has frequently aired segments vouching for Stone’s innocence and claiming that he’s the target of shadowy, Trump-hating federal law enforcement officials."

Over the past year, a revolving cast of Stone allies has appeared on the network, including his daughter Adria Stone, who used her time on Carlson’s show in November to directly address the president: “Donald Trump-- if you can hear me, please save our family. He does not deserve this. Nobody deserves this.” Carlson also appeared to cite his sway with Trump: “I honestly do think that after watching a series of people, some of whom are not deserving at all, get pardons from this White House, in effect or literally, you know I think people are going to be watching really carefully to see if your dad is pardoned. I’m going to be, that’s for sure.”

By all accounts, the ploy worked. After Trump tweeted on Tuesday that the Justice Department’s recommended sentence for Stone-- seven to nine years-- was horrifically unfair, the DOJ rescinded it, causing all four prosecutors on Stone’s case to withdraw. Sources close to Trump told the Daily Beast that Carlson seemed to have a direct influence on this chain of events: after watching Carlson’s pro-Stone segments, the president reportedly approached aides and confidants to ask, “What do you think?”—a phrase that a source noted is actually Trump “code for ‘I’m interested or looking into doing’ this.”

But Carlson isn’t content with a reduced sentence. On Tuesday night, he aired a segment condemning “so many on the left, howling for Roger Stone to die in prison. A 67-year-old man with no criminal record caught up in the Russia hoax, farce, caught up in an investigation that proved to be fruitless... this man needs a pardon.” For Stone, there may still be hope. Mere minutes later, the president posted a tweet ripping U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson, who Stone once seemingly threatened by posting a photo of her face under crosshairs, and who will ultimately decide his fate. “Is this the Judge that put Paul Manafort in SOLITARY CONFINEMENT, something that not even mobster Al Capone had to endure?” Trump wrote. “How did she treat Crooked Hillary Clinton? Just asking!” The following day, Trump praised Attorney General William Barr “for taking charge of a case that was totally out of control and perhaps should not have even been brought” and took a shot at the four “rogue prosecutors” in a separate post tagging “@TuckerCarlson.”

Carlson’s influence over the president has already been proven; both his show and his personal conversations with Trump reportedly played a role in the White House not seeking further military action against Iran earlier this year. The Fox host also reportedly criticized former national security adviser John Bolton, whose interventionist bent is opposite Carlson’s, while speaking with Trump in the weeks prior to Bolton’s departure from the administration. But when it comes to lobbying Trump for judicial mercy, the appeals have become more and more blatant. Former Trump adviser Michael Caputo, who has appeared on the primetime show to defend Stone, told the Daily Beast on Tuesday that he intended for the president to hear him out. “Tucker has longer segments where he makes convincing arguments about issues the president’s base cares about,” he said. “Nobody knows that better than the president.” Caputo’s most shameless plug came in a Carlson segment that aired in March, in which he said, “Pardon General [Michael] Flynn. Pardon George Papadopoulos. And pardon Roger Stone right now, Mr. President… Do it right now. Do it right now on Twitter.”

Judge Amy Berman Jackson announced yesterday that she'll be sentencing Stone tomorrow, though, she said, "execution of the sentence will be deferred" while she decides whether Stone deserves a new trial. "I’m willing to make sure that there are no consequences that flow from the announcement of what the sentencing will be."

Despite all Trump's carrying on and lunatic assertions that the jury forewoman has "significant bias," yesterday DOJ prosectors filed a sealed motion-- with Barr's approval-- opposing Stone’s-- and Trump's-- request for a new trial that.

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How Dangerous Do You Think Facebook Is To Democracies?


On Monday, the Financial Times published a letter from George Soros calling for Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sanderberg to be removed from controlling Facebook:
Mark Zuckerberg should stop obfuscating the facts by piously arguing for government regulation ("We need more regulation of Big Tech," February 17).

Mr Zuckerberg appears to be engaged in some kind of mutual assistance arrangement with Donald Trump that will help him to get re-elected. Facebook does not need to wait for government regulations to stop accepting any political advertising in 2020 until after the elections on November 4. If there is any doubt whether an ad is political, it should err on the side of caution and refuse to publish. It is unlikely that Facebook will follow this course.

Therefore, I repeat my proposal, Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg should be removed from control of Facebook. (It goes without saying that I support government regulation of social media platforms.)
I hope that works-- before the election. Watch this video interview with a former Trump campaign executive that was posted by the BBC in 2017 that explains how the Trump campaign used Facebook to worm his way into the White House.

Q: What were Facebook and Google and YouTube people actually doing here; why were they here? (at Trump's digital campaign headquarters)

A: They were helping us... They were basically our hands-on partners as far as being able to utilize the platform as effectively as possible... When you're pumping in millions and millions of dollars to these social platforms, you're going to get white glove treatment. So, they would send people to the Project Alamo to ensure that all of our needs were being met. Without Facebook, we wouldn't;'t have won. Facebook really and truly put us over the edge. Facebook was the medium that proved most successful for this campaign.

Last month, a Facebook executive, Andrew Bosworth, made a similar claim, namely that Facebook out Trump in the White House.
Bosworth, a close friend of the firm's chief Mark Zuckerberg, made the remark in an internal memo last week.

Mr Bosworth said Mr Trump was not elected because of "misinformation," but "because he ran the single best digital ad campaign I've ever seen from any advertiser. Period."

...Bosworth's note discussed many of Facebook's high-profile scandals, including alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Mr Bosworth told staff that it was not foreign interference that helped Mr Trump get elected, but his well-planned campaign.

"So was Facebook responsible for Donald Trump getting elected?" questioned the long-time employee. "I think the answer is yes, but not for the reasons anyone thinks."
Political manipulation through Facebook is probably here to stay and by "here," I mean the planet earth. ZDNet Tuesday: "Facebook has called out the Singapore government for its use of the country's Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act to block access to a page on the social networking platform. The move goes against an earlier pledge that the legislation will not be used to censor voices, says the US internet giant. Singapore's Ministry of Communications and Information on Monday instructed Facebook to block access to the States Times Review page, after the latter repeatedly refused to comply with previous directives issued under POFMA. The 'disabling' order, outlined under Section 34 of the Act, requires Facebook to disable access for local users. The order came two days after the ministry served a directive for the STR page on Facebook to be tagged a 'Declared Online Location.' This required the author of the page, Alex Tan, to publish a notice on the page stating it had 'a history of communicating falsehoods.' The order, which was to take effect from February 16, was not complied with, prompting the directive for Facebook to block access to the page. The page is no longer accessible in Singapore... In defending the decision to issue the disabling order against the STR page, Minister for Communications and Information S. Iswaran said the government needed to 'act swiftly' against falsehoods amidst the coronavirus outbreak. 'Because if we don't, then these falsehoods can cause anxiety, fear, and even panic,' the minister said Tuesday during a media doorstop."

Republican oligarch Michael Bloomberg has been spending a million dollars per day on manipulative Facebook ads that seem to be working very well for him.

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Status Quo Did So Much More Than Just VOTE For The War Against Iraq-- But Now He Lies About His Role


If you're considering voting for Status Quo Joe in a primary in your state, it's very important for you to watch this video above about why the Senate authorized the war against Iraq-- which included Biden attacking fellow Democrats who realized what a terrible idea starting that war was. Without the help from Biden (and the other worthless Joe, Lieberman) George W. Bush and Dick Cheney could never have started that war-- and would certainly not have had the catastrophic Authorization for Use of Military Force, which still is in place and still haunts U.S. foreign policy. Why does Status Quo Joe lie about his role today when he's running for the Democratic nomination for president?

His latest presidential run looks like it's unwinding and the chances of him being in the running after March 3rd are almost nonexistent. Every poll shows him losing steam... everywhere-- and at a time when Democratic prospects against Trump are rising. This morning, in an analytical piece by Chris Kahn for Reuters, we saw that the Blue Wave-- or, more accurately, the anti-Red Wave-- that swept the country in 2018, is still strong and growing. "Americans’ interest in voting is growing faster in large cities dominated by Democrats than in conservative rural areas... If the trend lasts until Election Day on Nov. 3, it would be a reversal from the 2016 election when rural turnout outpaced voting in urban areas, helping Trump narrowly win the White House."
Even as Trump commands rock-solid support among Republicans, voters’ interest in going to the polls appears to be growing faster among those who disapprove of Trump than among those who approve of him, according to experts who reviewed the data.

The advantage in urban political engagement extends deep into the most competitive battleground states that Trump won by razor-thin margins four years ago, the data shows.

In large urban areas of the upper Midwest, a region that includes swing states Michigan and Wisconsin, for example, the number of people who said they were “certain” to vote in the upcoming presidential election rose by 10 percentage points to 67% compared with survey responses from 2015.

In smaller upper Midwest communities, the number of people similarly dedicated to voting rose by only about 1 point to 60% in that same four-year period.

Overall, the number of “certain” voters rose by 7 percentage points nationally from 2015 to 2019. It increased by more than that in the largest metropolitan areas, rising by 9 points in communities with between 1 million and 5 million people and 8 points in metros with at least 5 million people.

Smaller and rural communities lagged behind. The number of “certain” voters rose by 5 points in sparsely populated, Republican-dominated “non-metro” areas.

The rise in urban political engagement helped Democrats win political victories last year, including governor’s races in conservative-leaning Kentucky and Louisiana.

It may have also contributed to elevated voting levels in some of the more heavily populated communities and college towns in Iowa and New Hampshire, which held their presidential nominating contests earlier this month.

“Democrats are very angry,” said Nicholas Valentino, a political scientist at the University of Michigan, who reviewed some of the poll findings for Reuters.

“Many see this administration as an existential threat to the constitutional order. They’re standing ready to participate to try to change the course of this country.”

...In a “battleground” region that included Florida, Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Arizona and Colorado, the number of “certain” voters rose by 9 percentage points in large metropolitan areas that have a population of at least 5 million, and 8 points in areas with 1 to 5 million, while it rose by 4 points in smaller, non-metros.

Among those living in the Upper Midwest, a region that includes Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin, the poll found a jump in political engagement in some of the same urban areas where Democrats fell short in 2016.

Altogether, 67% of people living in metro areas of at least 1 million people rated themselves as a “10” or “certain to vote” in the 2019 poll. That is up by about 10 percentage points from 2015.

In comparison, 63% of those who lived in smaller communities of less than 1 million rated themselves as similarly certain to vote, which is up 2 points from 2015.

Trump won Michigan and Wisconsin by less than 40,000 votes combined, in part because of depressed turnout in Wayne County, Michigan, and Milwaukee, the largest city in Wisconsin.

In the Southeast, voter engagement is surging in large metros like Miami-Dade in South Florida and Atlanta where Democrats outnumber Republicans by double-digit margins.

In 2019, about 60% said they were certain to vote in the presidential election, up 8 points from 2015. In metros with less than 1 million people, 64% said they were certain to vote, up by 7 points. In smaller non-metropolitan areas, the number of people who were locked in on voting rose by 6 points from 2015 to 60%.

The poll found that 65% of residents in the Phoenix, Denver, Salt Lake City and other big Southwestern metro areas planned to vote in the upcoming election. That is up by 9 percentage points from 2015. Political engagement rose by nearly the same amount-- 8 points-- in smaller metros, but it was unchanged in rural areas of the Southwest.

These numbers-- and the political demise of dull centrists with no vision beyond their own careers, like Biden and Mayor Pete-- is also predicative of big wins for Democratic candidates running for Republican-held Senate seats in Iowa, Colorado, Arizona, Georgia, North Carolina and maybe even Texas.

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The Qualcomm Heiress Is About To Get A Lot Richer Off The Patents On The Next Generation Of Cellular Antennae -- But Let's Make Sure She Never Gets Into Congress


Dishonest heiress, Sara Jacobs

California's 53rd congressional district offers Democrats an opportunity to flip a district-- not from red to blue but from pale blue to deep, beautiful blue. The incumbent congresswoman, centrist New Dem Susan Davis, is retiring, and although there 11 Democrats running, the race seems to be coming down to San Diego City Council President and district-shopping, female mini-Bloomberg, Sara Jacobs, who we've run into before.

The compact district includes the eastern half of San Diego, from Serra Mesa, Mission Valley, Balboa Park and El Cajon, through La Mesa and Lemon Grove, almost as far south as San Ysidro on the Mexican border. It's ethnically diverse, 40% white, 34% Latinx, 13% Asian and 8% African-American. The PVI is D+14 but Obama won it both times with around 64% and Hillary beat Trump 64.5% to 29.6%. Davis was elected in 2000 and has never had a competitive reelection battle.

The last time Jacobs ran for Congress, it was in the Orange County/San Diego County district that Darrell Issa had abandoned as "too blue." It also turned out to be "too blue" for the Qualcomm heiress. She spent gigantically in the primary-- $2,714,931, of which $2,125,798 (78%) came out of personal money her family gave her. The biggest single candidate expenditure-- by FAR (like nearly by a factor of 10!)-- that EMILY's List made-- $2,362,544-- in 2018 was for Jacobs. They sure love supporting rich women with big rolodexes, richer the better, which has become their top priority and their trademark. All those millions of dollars bought her just 28,778 votes. That's $176.43 per vote. At what point will trashy rich politicians like Jacobs and Bloomberg just directly hand out $100 bills to voters on their way to the polls?

Jacobs is still up to her old tricks, pretending to be a progressive, while involved with swimming in PhRMA and bankster money. Her investments make her one of the most conflicted politicians in history, with immense investments in Merck, Gilead and Medtronic. She may be promising lower pharmaceutical costs and universalish health care, but when these companies make money, her wealth increases. Same with her tens of millions invested with some of the most predatory banks and hedge funds on Wall Street. It makes it hard to believe her when she whines about "the inequalities in our current economic system" and how they "didn't happen by accident. They are the result of a concerted, long-term effort by powerful special interests-- and the Members of Congress they bankroll-- to write the rules in a way that benefit themselves," no doubt why her grandfather is spending so many millions trying to get her into Congress-- as well as $2.25 million on the anti-Bernie SuperPAC.

If you've been reading DWT coverage about Jacobs for the last few years, none of this is new to you. But I found a couple of interesting local San Diego reports that are new to me, so maybe to you too. The Union-Tribune caught her lying about her resume, which she is doing again this cycle, hoping the voters are too stupid to figure out what a phony she is. She pretended to have a high-level job in the Obama administration. In reality she was given junior make-work job to please the rich grandfather/campaign donor, something that was exposed when she got caught up in the wikileaks papers as a humorous footnote.

Union-Tribune reporter Joshua Stewart wrote that "Jacobs called herself a 'policy maker' who worked at the State Department under President Barack Obama [and Hillary]. But Jacobs was a junior-level government contractor who was prohibited by federal regulations from making policy." In other words, she lied to make herself look important, a trait that Congress doesn't need more of. She even released an ad claiming she was an expert in international affairs. On MSNBC she boasted, falsely, as the very rich always feel entitled to do (and as Trump and Bloomberg always do) that "I worked at the State Department under President Obama and her deceitful website "says she was a 'policy maker' who worked in 'key policy positions at the State Department.'"
Jacobs actually worked for 19 months at IEA Corporation, a firm that counts the State Department as one of its clients. She worked in State Department office space alongside government employees, and was involved in projects that focused on security in sub-Saharan Africa.

While she hasn’t mentioned the contractor during her campaign, she listed her employment at IEA on a resume she e-mailed to John Podesta, the head of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s campaign for president, that was hacked and later published on WikiLeaks.

Like Bloomberg, Sara Jacobs is trying to mislead voters about her Obama connection

And although Jacobs referred to herself as policymaker on the campaign trail and used that claim as a point to distinguish herself from other candidates, her former supervisor said that Jacobs did not create policy. Rather, Jacobs held a position slightly above entry-level and she conducted analysis and reports that were later used by people several steps above her who could make policy, according to her supervisor at the time, Cindy Huang.

“My understanding of the regulations is that contractors can conduct research and provide advice and recommendations, and ideas, but they cannot be decision makers in the policy process,” Huang said.

Huang, who now works for a think tank that specializes in international development, also appeared in a recent commercial by the Jacobs campaign at the state Department, and the campaign connected her to the Union-Tribune for an interview where she spoke very favorably of Jacobs’ abilities to conduct analysis and offer advice.

Jacobs’ spokeswoman said that while she told Podesta she worked as a contractor it’s more transparent to not mention that detail to voters.

“[T]he way we describe her position to voters is the most accurate and transparent about what she did every day,” Jacobs’ spokeswoman, Chelsea Brossard, said in an email.

“She was heavily involved in the policy making process, which includes advising, so it would be accurate to say that was an experienced policy maker,” Brossard said. “Of course all of the advice she offered needed to go up the chain of command for decisions, as would be true anywhere in government.”

While Jacobs’ actual resume diverges with her claims on the campaign trail, she has worked in international affairs. She studied international relations as an undergraduate, and has a master’s degree in international security policy and international conflict resolution from Columbia University.

She has worked both as a regular employee and as an intern at United Nations departments, and at UNICEF as well. She most recently founded a non-profit organization that measures internet access at schools around the world in an effort to increase connectivity.

If Jacobs is elected and serves the term to completion, her two years in Congress would be the longest she has held a job, according to her resume. Between various internships and regular positions, Jacobs had about 35 months of international affairs experience before she started at IEA in February 2014. She stayed with the contractor for about 19 months, and then later worked for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
More recently, the Times of San Diego caught her lying about something else. Reporter Chris Jennewein wrote that Will Rodriguez-Kennedy, chair of the San Diego County Democratic Party-- which is backing San Diego City Council President Georgette Gómez-- accused Jacobs of "attempting to mislead voters about the party’s official endorsement."
Will Rodriguez-Kennedy said wording on both a mailer and a door hanger includes the words “endorsed by California Democrats” with a red-white-and-blue donkey logo.

City Council President Georgette Gómez is the candidate who was endorsed by both state and local Democratic parties in the race to succeed nine-term Rep. Susan Davis in the 53rd District.

“We find it deeply disappointing that Sara Jacobs is trying to fool voters,” said Rodriguez-Kennedy at an afternoon press conference at party headquarters in Murphy Canyon.

“She is doing this because she lost the Democratic Party endorsement,” he said. “This is a strategy that has been executed by some of the best political consultants.”

Rodriguez-Kennedy was joined in his remarks by Jess Durfee, chair of the western region caucus of the Democratic National Committee.

“It is important to set this record straight,” said Durfee. “It was always very obvious and undisputed that Georgette Gómez was the endorsed candidate.”

Rodriguez-Kennedy said he asking the Jacobs campaign to change the wording, noting that "our party and our voters are very forgiving."
Like I said, there are a lot of candidates-- even a lot of progressive candidates. We're heavy on the trail of who would be best for Blue America to endorse. Stay tuned; it won't be a plutocrat... or a liar.

Jacobs is proud to be endorsed by Abby Finkenauer, one of Congress' worst freshmen, who also endorsed  Status Quo Joe, just before he started his losing streak

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Despite MSNBC's Best Efforts, Bernie Is Still Surging And Is Now The Front-runner


The latest in a series of amazing polls for Bernie was released by ABC News and the Washington Post early this morning. Like every other poll, it shows Bernie soaring and Biden crashing. "Bernie Sanders has soared and Joe Biden’s crashed in national preference for the Democratic nomination for president, while the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary helped to clear some running room for a candidate who’s not yet been on the ballot: Mike Bloomberg. Sanders advanced to 32 percent support among Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll, up 8 percentage points from late January. Biden fell to 17 percent, down 11 points to his lowest of the campaign. And Bloomberg, who takes the stage for the first time in tonight’s debate in Nevada, now has 14 percent support, up 6 points... Sanders’ newfound 15-point lead over Biden nearly doubles Biden’s biggest lead of the campaign, 8 points over Sanders in early September. That said, the most dramatic shifts aren’t in vote preferences but in views of who has the best chance to defeat Donald Trump in November. Electability’s been a cornerstone of Biden’s campaign, yet just 19 percent now say he’s likeliest to win, sliced in half from 38 percent in January. Instead 30 percent of leaned Democrats now see Sanders as most electable, up 12 points, and 18 percent say this about Bloomberg, up 10 points. The rest of the field is in single digits on the question. Among groups, Biden’s support among blacks has declined from 51 percent last month to 32 percent now; he’s been looking for support from blacks as a boost to his campaign in the South Carolina primary Feb. 29. He lags with just 11 percent among whites. Sanders, meanwhile, is prevailing among Hispanics, potentially an influential group in the Nevada caucuses this Saturday. Nonwhites overall-- who account for half of all Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents-- have gone from 35-28 percent, Biden-Sanders, last month, to 35-22 percent, Sanders-Biden, now."

Anyone wonder by Status Quo Joe hasn't commented on the Bloomberg-Obama ads. Maybe he'll do so tonight? Maybe he's the only person in the country who hasn't seen one yet. He is, after all, a little cut off from the rest of us in his consultant-woven cocoon. But, hey, Mini Mike has spent, according to the L.A. Times, over ten times more than his closest rival on advertising in the 14 Super Tuesday states. The only other candidate to advertise across most of those states so far is Bernie, who has spent just under $10 million on ads in those March 3 states. Bloomberg has targeted African-American voters in Tennessee, Alabama, North Carolina, Arkansas, Virginia, Oklahoma... As of January 29, he had spent $3,174,910 on ads in Alabama-- $3,174,910 more than all of his opponents combined. He spent $1,988,050 in Oklahoma, $3,411,500 in Tennessee, $1,527,530 in Arkansas and a whopping $6,244,540 in North Carolina. Not to mention $24,090,200 in Texas. Oh, yeah... and since January 29, he has ramped up the spending gigantically.

And because the first one worked so well for him, Bloomberg now has his second ad up pretending Obama has endorsed him. Too bad normal people don't under unlimited pin-money to run ads like this:

If someone did, someone could run an ad that shows what Bloomberg said he really thinks of Barack Obama and his presidency. This is from an OpEd Mini-Mike wrote himself for his own news service a few days before the 2012 election:

New national polling from Marist released yesterday by NPR shows that Bloomberg has surged past the other conservatives-- Biden, Mayo Pete, Klobuchar-- in the race.
Bernie- 31% (+9)
Mini Mike- 19% (+15)
Status Quo Joe- 15% (-9)
Elizabeth- 12% (-5)
Klobuchar- 9% (+5)
Mayo Pete- 8% (-5)
Steyer- 2% (+1)
The poll also did head to head matchups showing most of the Democrats beating Trump, Biden by 6 points, Bloomberg by 4 points, Bernie by 3 points, Mayo Pete and Klobuchar each by 2 points, and Elizabeth by 1 point. Why the differences? Why is Bernie leading? The pollsters found him leading among Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents, while Republicans were more likely to vote for Bloomberg (8%) and Biden (7%) to Bernie's 6%. These are the general election numbers among Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents:
Bernie- 90%
Elizabeth- 89%
Status Quo Joe- 89%
Klobuchar- 88%
Mini Mike- 88%
Mayo Pete- 87%
Rural support for Democrats isn't strong, although, in the Democratic primaries, it's highest for Bernie (who happens to come from the second most rural state in the U.S. and who happens to have put forward the best plan for rural America that anyone has seen since the New Deal):
Bernie- 28%
Bloomberg- 24%
Status Quo Joe- 13%
Klobuchar- 10%
Mayo Pete- 10%
Elizabeth- 9%
Steyer- 1%
Trump is ahead of all the Democrats among rural voters-- Trump beats Biden by 20 points, beats Bernie by 21 points, beats Bloomberg by 22%, beats Elizabeth by 22 points, beats Mayo Pete by 24 points, beats Klobuchar by 27 points. But if you want to see rural voters flock to Trump in even greater numbers-- perhaps ending Democratic hopes in Iowa, North Carolina, Michigan, Wisconsin and Georgia-- just nominate Bloomberg. Watch this elitist asshole talking about farmers to Oxford students in December of 2016:

Reporter Reed Richardson for Mediaite: "Democratic president candidate Michael Bloomberg drew mockery from both sides of the ideological spectrum after a viral clip of him showed the billionaire media tycoon belittling farming at a 2016 business school talk and contrasting it with the 'gray matter' necessary to work in the modern information economy... The former New York City mayor-- who has never farmed-- claiming 'I could teach anybody in this room' to be a farmer."

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Midnight Meme Of The Day!


by Noah

I don't know about you but I wasn't invited to the wedding of Trump's Directer of Neo-Nazi Outreach Stephen Miller and Mike Pence's Secretary of Bullshit Spinning Katie Waldman. The event was held this past weekend at some dubiously-financed hotel Trump owns. I wonder if the band will ever get paid. Actually, no, i don't wonder at all. Same for whatever suckers catered the food, and, hopefully that wasn't just hamberders and cold fries.

Alas, we have no dirty dancing photos of Trump and his daughter Ivanka, nor can we tell you if Miller had any spray painted hair since he kept his hood on the whole time. However, we at DownWithTyranny are proud to show you this "Official White House Photo" of the wedding. You'll just have to imagine the rest. One thing's for sure, I can't wait until the guest list goes public. I bet it was a Who's Who of Grand Wizards, FOX "News" ass kissers, porn stars, child torturers, Chinese spies and Russian diplomats. I think I heard that Robert Kraft was there but left early to get a hand job in the adjacent massage room. He had to wait. There was a line of Trump donors and republican $enators that extended out the door, down the street and around the corner.

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Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Who Is More Likely To Have Been Created In A Right-Wing Super-Lab, Fox-bot Marie Bartiromo Or Arkansas Closet Case Tom Cotton?


The Democratic Party is giving far right extremist crackpot Tom Cotton a free ride this cycle, not bothering to run an opponent against him, although Dan Whitfield, who calls himself a "progressive independent," is running on an independent line. Cotton has raised $7,583,447 for his reelection campaign. Whitfield hasn't raised the $5,000 that would trigger an FEC report. Cotton, who had presidential ambitions before he was outed as a closet case, is a garden variety Trumpist with nothing to recommend him.

Sunday, the NY Times noted that he's been spreading a conspiracy theory that the coronavirus was manufactured in a high-security Chinese biochemical weapons lab near Wuhan, although he admits he has no proof of this. The Times noted that "The rumor appeared shortly after the new coronavirus struck China and spread almost as quickly: that the outbreak now afflicting people around the world had been manufactured by the Chinese government. The conspiracy theory lacks evidence and has been dismissed by scientists. But it has gained an audience with the help of well-connected critics of the Chinese government." It looks like another psychopath from TrumpWorld, Stephen Bannon, started it.

Cotton has been carrying on about it for weeks and Maria Bartiromo had him on her show Sunday to spread it further, despite the rumor having been debunked by the scientific community. Yesterday, for example, Chemical Biology Professor Richard Ebright (Rutgers University) told the Washington Post that "there's absolutely nothing in the genome sequence of this virus that indicates the virus was engineered. The possibility that this was a deliberately released bio-weapon can be firmly excluded."

Cotton on Fox: "We don’t know where it originated, and we have to get to the bottom of that. We also know that just a few miles away from that food market is China’s only biosafety level 4 super laboratory that researches human infectious diseases. We don’t have evidence that this disease originated there but because of China’s duplicity and dishonesty from the beginning, we need to at least ask the question to see what the evidence says, and China right now is not giving evidence on that question at all." This of course, is a perfect explanation to a typical low-IQ Fox TV viewer incapable of independent thought.

Russian versions of Tom Cotton are blaming the U.S. in the same way he is blaming China.
[I]n Russia the misinformation has been particularly pointed. Russia’s spin doctors have capitalized on the fear and confusion of the epidemic to point the blame at the United States, following a well-established pattern of previous Russian disinformation campaigns and evoking a Cold War-era plot by the KGB to paint HIV as a U.S. biological weapon... [I]n Russia these theories are appearing on prominent mainstream news discussion shows such as Big Game and Time Will Tell on Channel 1, rather than just being confined to squalid corners of the internet. In late January, the firebrand leader of the far-right Liberal Democratic Party of Russia party told a Moscow radio station that he thought coronavirus was an American bioweapon or a big plot by pharmaceutical companies to get richer.

...The overarching theme of the stories that appear across the Russian media, from fringe websites to prime-time television, is that the virus is the product of U.S. labs, intended to kneecap China’s economic development. Some articles have flirted with the idea that Bill Gates or Kremlin nemesis George Soros might have had a hand in the outbreak. In one of the more bizarre turns, a host on Russia’s state-funded Channel 1 floated the idea that the name “coronavirus,” is a veiled reference to its American origins, because U.S. President Donald Trump once handed out crowns at beauty pageants, and corona means crown in Latin. (Coronaviruses are, in fact, a well-established group of viruses whose name is a reference to their shape.)

There is, however, no agreement between Russia’s propagandists about who foretold the virus, with some claiming it was Nostradamus, others say it was the blind Bulgarian mystic Baba Vanga, or maybe even Stephen Hawking.

The Russian messaging fits a now well-established pattern in that it doesn’t look to persuade audiences of a single alternative truth. That would take effort, planning, and persuasion. Modern-day Russian propaganda has instead been described by the Rand Corp. as a “firehose of falsehood,” a steady stream of underdeveloped, sometimes contradictory conspiracy theories intended to exhaust and confuse viewers, making them question the very notion of objective truth itself.

Right now, the main audience is largely domestic, with a sprinkling of conspiratorial reports across the different language services of Sputnik, the more tabloid of Russia’s international broadcasters. The conspiracy theories haven’t featured prominently on English-language Russian government-backed international broadcasters such as RT and Sputnik, however, according to Bret Schafer, a fellow at the German Marshall Fund’s Alliance for Securing Democracy who studies disinformation. While these channels have historically played around the edges of conspiracy theories, “they still want that veneer of being a legit international broadcaster,” Schafer said.

...[W]hile the Russian media has speculated wildly about the virus, the Russian government has taken the threat seriously, closing its land borders with China and checking the temperatures of reporters and officials at events attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin. Two people in Russia were diagnosed with the virus, having contracted it on trips to China, but they are reported to have since recovered. While disinformation doesn’t appear to have hamstrung Russia’s response to the virus, the lasting danger may be in its continued erosion of trust in the notion of truth itself.

“Where I do think is it’s unhelpful is that it flies in the face of facts and science,” said Schafer. “The real danger is more the impact it has on trust in information.”
I wonder if someone has been whispering in Trump's ear yet that this could be a plausible excuse to cancel the 2020 elections.

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GreenPeace Finds Bernie Is The Best Candidate On Climate And Bloomberg The Worst


Bloomberg's campaign has been writing endorsement quotes for the elected officials who want to announce they are backing him. One talking point the campaign wants to float is that he's great on Climate. But he isn't great on Climate. The Sunrise Movement has vetted his plan carefully and doesn't seem impressed. And over the weekend, GreenPeace released an updated scorecard for all the presidential candidates. All of the Democrats did better than Trump, of course. Trump scored an F. But not all the Democrats have equally good plans and records. Bernie's at the top with an A+ and Bloomberg... way at the bottom of the pack.

Of Bernie, GreenPeace noted that he "has committed to take on the fossil fuel industry and enact a Green New Deal. He’ll halt new fossil fuel drilling and phase out existing coal, oil, and gas production. He’ll prioritize vulnerable workers and communities in a well-managed transition to a 100% renewable society. He’s championed climate justice in the Senate for years and has a detailed plan to continue his legacy if elected president."

At the other end of the spectrum, their comments on Bloomberg aren't great. "Bloomberg supports reaching 100% clean energy before 2050. He supports eliminating fossil fuel subsidies and halting drilling on public lands. However, he does not fully support a Green New Deal, nor has he put forward a detailed plan to phase out fossil fuel production for good while supporting working families and frontline communities along the way."

Klobuchar was also seen as lacking although she "supports ending oil and gas drilling on public lands and eliminating fossil fuel subsidies. She set a goal of reaching net-zero U.S. emissions by 2050. But her climate plan lacks the level of detail and ambition She co-sponsored the Green New Deal resolution in Congress but has called it 'aspirational.'"

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The Democrats Completely Control Sacramento-- So Why Is It Such A Cesspool Of Corruption?


If the old maxim is true that absolute power corrupts absolutely, then California Democrats have a very real problem. As the power and legitimacy of the GOP has waned, Democrats have seized control of a supermajority in the state, with both hands. With their power now left unchecked by a viable opposition party, the party politics of the left have drifted into corruption, led by party power players like Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon and Christy Smith, an unaccomplished freshman legislator running for the CA-25 seat abandoned by Katie Hill, as well as a wide cadre of party apparatchiks.

Their goal has been to put their thumbs on the scales of primary elections across the state in order to elect moderate back benchers who will maintain the status quo and not rock the boat for party leadership. The internal party bias has been especially hard on the progressive wing of the party, where the California Democratic party routinely tries to pick the winners of primary races.

The Young Turks recently reported one such story of unethical influence into races that are supposed to be democratic in nature. The story featured Eric Ohlsen who is running for State Assembly in District 36, the Antelope Valley district that is contained within the boundaries of CA-25. According to Ohlsen, he was told at a meeting with Christy Smith that the decision had already been made behind the scenes to support his opponent, Jonathan Ervin, so Ohlsen should just try again in a few years. She also took umbrage with his messaging to get big money out of politics and fight corruption. Ohlsen had said in a speech-- up top-- at the California Democratic Convention, "Democrats have a supermajority in Sacramento and they keep telling us that we need to learn how to compromise. We’re not compromising with Republicans to pass legislation, we’re compromising with industry because they’re donors." Regarding that anti-corruption stance, Ohlsen said, "Christy told me that my anti-corruption messaging was 'personally offensive' to her." Which is probably a good self-assessment because both Smith and Rendon had pushed Ervin from behind the scenes and made sure that opposing candidates did not get any endorsements, which gave Ervin a $121 thousand advantage over everyone else in his race.

Ohlsen confirmed in a follow up interview that during his meeting with Smith, she had noted that both herself and Rendon had endorsed Jonathan Ervin before any primary races had even begun, effectively removing any democracy from the Democratic Primary.

Rendon has a long track record of using his influence with the unions and special interest groups to deny funding and endorsements to any candidates that he does not hand pick. His position as Speaker of the House in the State Assembly gives him leverage over groups that may potentially offer endorsements to candidates. By offering to reduce access to legislators, Rendon can control or eliminate the flow of money to candidates that he does not approve of. Encouraging his membership in the Assembly to direct funds at particular candidates is another tactic that Rendon has used to starve out competition from progressive candidates, and favor ones, like Ervin, who will act as an empty vessel for his agenda.

Threats of the denial of funding have also been used against other progressive candidates such as those who support Cenk Unger. Alaina Brooks, SEIU delegate for California's 36th Assembly District, executive board member for Local 2015, made it very clear to the Ohlsen camp that if he continued to support his fellow progressive candidate that his political future would be in jeopardy.

Goal Thermometer"The amount of pushback that we have gotten is surprising to me," Ohlsen said, "Nearly every Democrat in Sacramento ran on talking points to get money out of politics, but as soon as you ask, 'that sounds great, so where is your bill?' they start working like crazy behind the scenes to block you from competing." With a supermajority of Democratic votes in the California Legislature, passing any anticorruption measures would be a simple task, the problem is that the measures would need the support of people who have spent their careers benefiting from the money in politics.

This is the reason why many states have enacted publicly funded elections, which limit the ability of party elites and special interests to pick and choose the winners of elections before they have even began. It is a proposition that has been supported on the national level by several Presidential candidates including Tom Steyer, who said, "I think the point about publicly funded campaigns means that if you are running, the public will fund a campaign that’s at least comparable to what anyone’s going to spend on their campaign," Steyer told reporters. "And that’s actually I think the easiest way to go about this and the proper way."

Also on the national level, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) has faced many of the same problems by bucking the party establishment. She rose to prominence by defeating Joseph Crowley, a corporate Democrat who portrayed himself as being a progressive liberal while simultaneously taking money from Goldman Sachs, Facebook, Google, BlackRock, amongst others. AOC has continued to garner criticism from her own Democratic colleagues for holding House Democrat’s feet to the fire regarding financial corruption within the party.

The GOP lost their position as a viable opposition party in the state, but by quashing the voices of opposition within their own ranks, Democrats could undo any gains they have been given. The activities of Rendon and Smith to put their thumbs on the scales of party elections could create a culture of corruption that will bring down their own house. Matt Stoller summed the problem up nicely in a 2019 column for the Washington Post, "For too long, disagreements in the Democratic Party have been kept behind closed doors, and the result was the protection of powerful financial interests. It is time to start talking about this dynamic, so that voters can make a democratic choice about what kind of politics they actually want to build. That, in the end, is why it’s called the Democratic Party."

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Trump To Campaign For Congressional Republicans? Kara Eastman Says "Bring It On!"


Hole-in-One by Nancy Ohanian

During the 2016 election, a putative Democrat from the South Bronx, Rubén Díaz, Sr., backed Ted Cruz for president and invited him to speak in his district. It didn't do Cruz much good. In the Republican primary, Cruz came in third-- with just 1,022 votes, in New York's bluest county. Trump won the county in the primary with 2,702 votes but in the general election, Hillary eviscerated him 318,403 (88.7%) to 34,424 (9.6%). Today, still running as a Democrat (or some kind of Democrat), Díaz Sr. is trying to sneak into the NY-15 congressional district from which progressive icon Jose Serrano is retiring.

NY-15 doesn't have many white conservatives. In fact, only 2.5% of the district's population is white. And when Republicans run there, it's usually just a vanity run or a publicity stunt. NY-15 is the bluest district in America. Obama won it with 95% the first time he ran and with 97% the second time. In 2016, Trump performance in the district was just 4.9%-- his worst results in the Bronx, in New York City, in New York State and in the U.S.A. This cycle, though, conservatives might get lucky. One of their own, Díaz Sr., is running for the open congressional seat... and running as a Democrat.

A a 77-year-old, cowboy hat-wearing Pentecostal minister known for his constituent services and ugly controversial statements on social issues, Díaz Sr. has a clear path to victory-- a split among a dozen progressive and mainstream candidates that could actually leave the crackpot with a primary win. Díaz was the only Democrat in the state Senate to vote against a bill legalizing same-sex marriage in 2011. He is vehemently anti-Choice and against stem-cell research. And last year he told New Yorkers that the City Council is "controlled by the homosexual community," which led to him being stripped of his chairmanship of the For-Hire Vehicle committee. City Council Speaker Corey Johnson told him to resign.

The best way of beating Díaz is for progressives and normal Democrats to get behind Tomas Ramos... but that isn't going to happen, especially not with political careerists like Ritchie Torres and Michael Blake. But there's another way to beat Díaz, Sr.-- and Ramos told us about it today. An Alayna Treene post at Axios over the weekend pointed out that "In the lead-up to the 2018 midterm elections-- buoyed by Republican control of both chambers-- President Trump viewed campaigning for the House as a lower-tier priority and instead poured his energy into rallying for the Senate. But after the GOP reckoning in 2018, and experiencing firsthand how damaging a Democratic-led House has been to him, Trump is now personally invested in helping Republicans regain the majority in November. If Trump wins re-election and Republicans are able to hold the Senate and take back the House, Trump will essentially have free rein to do whatever he wants in his second term." Tomas Ramos, like many Democrats running for Congress, hopes Trump will come to his district to campaign.

It isn't likely to happen, but a Trump-Díaz rally would be an immense GOTV moment for real Democrats in the Bronx. "This," Ramos told me, "would give my campaign a huge boost. My district consists of 98% people of color from all over the world. It would expose Rubén Díaz, Sr. for what he really is, a conservative Republican who has been running as a Democrat in the most Democratic congressional district in the country. Remember, this is the same guy who brought Ted Cruz to the Bronx in 2016."

Goal ThermometerOmaha, Nebraska is very different from the Bronx and the congressional district there, NE-02, is a quintessential swing district. It went for Obama in 2008 and for Romney in 2012. Last cycle, Hillary lost NE-02 by less than 2 points. But Trump is incredibly unpopular there now. In 2018, progressive Kara Eastman won Douglas County (Omaha convincingly). Like Tomas, she would love to see Trump come to Omaha to campaign with his Nebraska-clone, Don Bacon. "If Trump wants to come to my district-- where polls show him under water by 14 points-- to campaign for Bacon," she told me, "I say bring it on!"

Liam O'Mara is less certain what a Trump visit to Riverside County to bolster endangered Republican Ken Calvert would mean. "Trump being here could energize Calvert's base and mine. Trump won the 42nd by 12 points," Liam continued, "But remember, he was running as a populist and talking about the working class. Yes, the district has a conservative history, but many of its independent voters have a populist streak. And Republicans make up only 38% of the electorate, and falling. The answer to a right-populist is a left-populist who knows how to frame the issues well." O'Mara thinks that if Calvert campaigned in the district with Trump, he could win with a campaign stop by Bernie. "Standing with him would do the most good... and his popularity in the district is growing. His appeal crosses party lines and scoops up the independent populists more easily than Trump. It is worth remembering that about 12% of Bernie's 2016 primary voters went for Trump in the general. These are swing voters that we can only win with the right kind of candidate."

Tom Winter is the progressive Democrat likely to take on Matt Rosendale for the open at-large Montana House seat. He reminded me that in 2018 Trump was in Montana four times campaigning for Rosendale when he was running against Democrat Jon Tester. "One of these campaign rallies was in a state legislative district Trump had won by 11 points the previous election and the one I was running in to replace an incumbent Republican that was seated right behind him as he spoke. While that local GOP lawmaker was enjoying his VIP tickets to that rally, I knocked dozens and dozens of doors that day right across the street. I talked with my neighbors about how politics was failing the working families of Montana. I laid out my progressive policy agenda that I felt would make it more affordable for all of us to live in the place we love. With loud cheers in the background as the president complimented our incumbent Congressman, Greg Gianforte, for body slamming a reporter that had asked him a tough question, I spoke with my neighbors about the need to restore civility in our politics. Gianforte, Rosendale, and that local legislator all laughed as the president praised the assault on journalists, 'Any guy who can do a body slam is my kind of guy.' They laughed and Jon Tester and I won. We won because we had not lost faith in Montanans and laid out our cases for how we would fight for them, each in our own way. Our good Senator won that year by his largest margin ever in his three statewide election victories. So, as I run to replace that body slamming Congressman I welcome the president to stop by our great state for as many times as he'd like. He can find me speaking with my future constituents."

Other districts where Trump visits would likely kill GOP chances include seats currently held by John Katko, Peter King, and Lee Zeldin in New York; Fred Upton in Michigan; And Barr in Kentucky; Jaime Herrera Beutler and Cathy McMorris Rodgers in Washington; Chris Smith in New Jersey; Ann Wagner in Missouri; Brian Fitzpatrick and Scott Perry in Pennsylvania; Denver Riggleman and Rob Wittman in Virginia; Rodney Davis and Mike Bost in Illinois; Bryan Steil in Wisconsin; Pete Stauber and Jim Hagedorn in Minnesota; Devin Nunes and Tom McClintock in California; Mario Diaz-Balart, Ross Spano, Brian Mast and Vern Buchanan in Florida; Dan Crenshaw, Michael McCaul, John Carter, Chip Roy and Roger Williams in Texas; and Steve Chabot, David Joyce and Mike Turner in Ohio.

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Vote For A Republican-Lite Democratic Candidate And Don't Complain When You Get Republican-Lite Laws-- Conservative Democrats Defeat Assault Weapons Ban In Virginia


Last Thursday night-- in a post called Scrub From Your Mind: Any Blue Will Do"-- we looked at how the much ballyhooed new Democratic majority in the Virginia legislature failed to repeal the state's venal, anti-union right to work law. Yesterday the state Senate again sided with the GOP, failing to pass a ban on the sale of assault weapons. The House of Delegates had passed the bill 51-48 last week, even though 3 Democrats voted against it (Steve Heretick, Roslyn Tyler and Lee Carter) and one, Kelly Convirs-Fowler of Virginia Beach, abstained. Yesterday, conservative Senate Dem Creigh Deeds-- backed up by fellow Senate conservaDems John Edwards (Judiciary Committee Chair), Chap Petersen and Scott Surovell-- got it tabled in the Senate Judiciary Committee, while the NRA-packed crowd in the visitors bleachers cheered and applauded.

Creigh Deed's name might sound familiar, since he was the Democratic candidate for governor in 2009, when he lost to crooked conservative Republican Bob McDonnell, 58.6% to 41.2%. He is well known as one of Virginia's worst xenophobes in the Democratic Party, having voted to make English the official language of Virgina as well as for bills that would prevent undocumented immigrants from applying for state and local benefits and to prohibit them from paying in-state tuition rates. In 2005 Deeds he had run against McDonnell for Attorney General, losing narrowly, after being endorsed by his pals at the NRA.

He represents a solidly blue Senate district (the 25th) that includes the City of Charlottesville and much of surrounding Albemarle County, stretching to also include all of Alleghany County, Bath County, Highland County, Nelson County, Rockbridge County, and the cities of Buena Vista, Covington, and Lexington. The district gave Obama a 55.5% victory over Romney and gave Hillary a 54.7% win over Trump, who scored only 39.3% there. Kaine and Warner both took the 25th in their Senate runs and Ralph Northam won it in 2017 (59.7- 39.2%) when he was elected governor. The district is way more progressive than its state Senator.

State Senator Louise Lucas, a Judiciary Committee member, said she was "deeply disturbed" by the vote and said Deeds and the 3 other Democrats who voted with the GOP had "wimped out... I want you to count now, start now, and start counting the number of people who would’ve died based on us not passing this legislation. A lot of people are going to die because this body didn’t have the spine to do what two million voters wanted us to do."

The corporate Dem who serves as House Speaker, Eileen Filler-Corn, called the Senate vote "a disappointment... The Democratic platform last fall was very clear. Limiting access to weapons of war used in mass murder was a key part of that platform."

Goal ThermometerNo one should really be surprised though. This is exactly what you can expect by electing Democrats from the Republican wing of the Democratic Party. On the federal level, that would be Blue Dogs and New Dems. And that's why Blue America hosts this ActBlue page, supporting vetted progressives who are running in primaries against the worst Democrats in Congress. I asked some of them what they think about the Virginia Democrats decision to betray the people who voted for them. Michael Owens, the progressive Democrat taking on reactionary Blue Dog David Scott in the suburbs south and southwest of Atlanta, made the right connection: "Blue Dog Democrats and other conservative members of the Democratic Party do their constituents harm each and every time they bow down to a corporation or special interest lobbyist and put their profit-driven greed above the need of the people."

"Today," wrote Rachel Ventura last night, "I had a debate against Corporate Democrat Bill Foster. In it I pointed out that many Democrats are watching how the news media is casting the presidential race and defining it as a fight between progressives and moderates. It's not though. Instead, it is a struggle between the corporate wing filled with politicians who are bought and paid for, versus the people’s wing. Blue Dogs Democrats and Republicans are bought by the same industries. They both have taken money from Big Oil, Big Pharma, Big Banks, and the list continues… my opponent is no different. These corporate politicians make us believe that our tax dollars must continue to go to endless wars and corporate bailouts. But they don’t. We can choose where are dollars are spent by sending a true representative to Congress. Incrementalism has only eroded the middle class and resulted in a president like Donald Trump. Since I first entered the political arena in 2016, my tagline has been 'no strings attached.' I have signed the 'no fossil fuel money' pledge and the 'patients over profit pledge.' My opponent cannot say the same. It is past time to send true representation to Washington D.C. as well as individual local and state reps like in Virginia!"

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