Saturday, November 30, 2019

It Isn't Possible To Follow Jesus' Teachings And Support Trump


Personally, I'm not into churches or ritual or even the Bible. But Jesus had some great messages that I meditate on a lot. That said, there are a lot of fake Christians around who seem to think Jesus' message needs to be reversed. And those are Trump followers. My old pal Frank Schaeffer wrote about that on his blog and made the tape above that you might want to watch today instead of going to church. His point: Trumps' white evangelicals are the only Americans who disrespect Jesus.
Based on their support for Trump, American white evangelicals are the only people in America who consistently seem to disrespect, reject and ignore the teachings of Jesus.

Trump-supporting white evangelicals’ enabling of Trump’s Republican politics of lies of, cruelty, misogyny, favoring the wealthy, racism, and unpatriotic disrespect for our military prove that evangelicals are the only Americans we can say with certainty hate Jesus’ teachings.

Liberal secular Democrat-voting Americans seem to follow the teachings of Jesus much more closely these days than do white evangelical Trump supporters. Weird, Huh?

In case you missed it on Friday, I thought I'd include a message from a friend who I met through Frank, a pastor in Wake County, North Carolina who is running for Congress, Jason Butler. It's a swing district but the current Representative is radical Trump enabler George Holding, a fanatic opponent of anything that helps working families or immigrants or minorities or anyone Jesus' gospel was meant for. I asked Jason what he thought about Holding's vote against the DREAM Act. "The Republican Party," he told me, "is in the midst of a decade long campaign to punish and exclude children of color. From voting against Dreamers, to border family separation, to cutting life saving assistance programs, to defunding City schools-- all of these serve one purpose: punish children. But yet, the vast majority of Republican voters and politicians flood into conservative Christian churches this time of year and claim to worship the baby Jesus-- a dark skinned immigrant Jewish boy. There is a massive disconnect happening here and it is time for this hypocrisy to be unveiled. In moderate districts all across the country, exactly like NC-02, where high numbers of voters claim a conservative Christian faith, we need to frame these elections as for the future of our children. Politicians, like Holding, who have consistently voted to punish children of color need to be held accountable. We live in a nation where kids in Flint, Michigan have lead poisoning from unsafe drinking water; where over 5,000 kids are homeless in the wealthiest county in North Carolina, Wake county; where Dreamers are pushed out; and where tens of thousands of immigrant children are living in detention centers. And all of this is being driven by Republican politicians who are supported by conservative Christians. It must stop. And it can. I believe that if Democratic candidates in moderate districts frame their progressive policies as providing the brightest future for our children then the Republican position can crumble and those like Holding will see their cruel positions that harm children be their undoing. We must make this happen as we are not only fighting for our own positions-- we are truly in a fight for the future of America's children."

Labels: , , , ,

Trump's Swamp Is Worse Than Even Harding's And Grant's Administrations Combined!


Last year USA Today columnist Paul Brandus reminded his readers that "We’ve had presidents who were used by members of their own family for personal gain, like Ulysses S. Grant. We’ve had presidents who stocked their Cabinet with greedy, self-serving mediocrities who took advantage of the public trust, like Warren G. Harding. We’ve had presidents who swore to 'preserve, protect and defend' the Constitution, only to then abuse it, like Richard Nixon. And we’ve had presidents who, thanks to a presumptive sense of entitlement, lived slimy private lives, using countless women before tossing them aside-- Harding again, plus John F. Kennedy and Bill Clinton."

But Trump, he continued, "falls into every single sleazy category, squarely and shamelessly... Much worse than Richard Nixon... A grifting family. A sleazy what’s-in-it-for-me Cabinet. Trampling on our beloved Constitution. And all these women. All the boxes, checked."

Last month David Mora, writing for ProPublica, attempted to examine one contour of the ever-expanding fetid Trump Swamp: lobbyists. He wrote that at the halfway mark of Trump’s occupation of the White House, "his administration has hired a lobbyist for every 14 political appointments made, welcoming a total of 281 lobbyists on board, a ProPublica and Columbia Journalism Investigations analysis shows. With a combination of weakened rules and loose enforcement easing the transition to government and back to K Street, Trump’s swamp is anything but drained. The number of lobbyists who have served in government jobs is four times more than the Obama administration had six years into office. And former lobbyists serving Trump are often involved in regulating the industries they worked for."

Even government watchdogs who’ve long monitored the revolving door say that its current scale is a major shift from previous administrations. It’s a “staggering figure,” according to Virginia Canter, ethics chief counsel for the D.C.-based legal nonprofit Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. “It suggests that lobbyists see themselves as more effective in furthering their clients’ special interests from inside the government rather than from outside.”

We tracked the lobbyists as part of an update to Trump Town, our database of political appointees. We’ve added the names of 639 new staffers with the administration and the financial disclosures of 351 political appointees who have filled different positions over the past year, and we tracked the careers of 338 who departed government during the same period.

The full extent of the lobbying industry’s influence is hard to measure because federal agencies decline to share details of recusals granted to officials who disclose potential conflicts with their new government roles.

Consider Colin Roskey. Days after leaving a two-decade career as what one former employer called the “smartest” health care lobbyist, he joined the Department of Health and Human Services in January. As deputy secretary for legislation for mandatory health, he headed the portfolio that he tried to influence for most of his career.

HHS declined to reveal any recusals he signed while appointed. A spokesman said that “all employees are expected to abide by the ethics rules.”

Just days before joining HHS, Roskey listed among his clients major dialysis providers that receive federal payments through Medicare, including Fresenius Medical Care-- an industry juggernaut, with more than 330,000 patients in thousands of dialysis clinics in the U.S. A third of the company’s billion-dollar revenue comes from Medicare. A recent revamp in the dialysis industry ordered by Trump, expected to shift millions of dollars from dialysis centers to cheaper home-based options, put Roskey’s office at the heart of regulating how much profit or loss some of his former clients will see in coming years. Roskey said in an interview that he recused himself from this matter.

Public records show that Roskey lobbied for at least 27 clients between January 2017 and December 2018 on an array of issues other than dialysis involving public health care programs, from prescription drugs to palliative care.

In early October, Roskey stepped out of government and went straight back to work for his old lobbying firm, Lincoln Policy Group, which specializes in health care policy. “Spending time at HHS will make [Roskey] even more valuable to our team-- and we are so excited to have him back,” the lobbying firm announced in a statement.

Roskey said he had no knowledge of how the new kidney care regulations will be implemented.

After his monthslong stint with the Health Department, Roskey said he plans to lobby the legislative branch, which is not prohibited by the current ethics rules. “While working with the government I gained knowledge and background, intellectually and professionally, and I intend to unapologetically utilize those skills for my employer and clients,” he said.

The senior-level appointment of a key lobbyist raises concerns for ethics experts like Canter. “There’s no way [he would’ve been hired under Obama] because Trump dropped a key provision of the Obama ethics pledge,” she said.

Indeed, an Obama-era ethics pledge clause absent in Trump’s prevented registered lobbyists from seeking or accepting employment with any executive agency that they lobbied the two years prior.

Federal laws forbid government employees who have served as registered lobbyists in the two years prior to their appointment from handling the particular matters or the specific issue areas that they used to lobby. Similarly, after leaving the government, all appointees-turned-lobbyists are barred from seeking to influence their former agencies and engaging in behind-the-scenes work with other senior officials across the administration.

The revolving door, of course, has been spinning since well before the Trump administration. In 2009, after President Barack Obama took office, ProPublica built a smaller version of Trump Town. During his administration, government watchdog groups also decried the conflicts of interest brought by some political appointees, and the Washington Post tallied 65 lobbyists among Obama’s ranks in five years.

One Obama-era alum, for instance, has gone on to lobby for the nation’s largest pharmaceutical industry trade group, according to public records. Bridgett Taylor, who occupied Roskey’s position until Trump took office, left the government to lobby Congress and federal agencies on matters related to those she oversaw at HHS. Taylor declined to comment. A spokesperson for the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, Taylor’s employer, said that “her lobbying contacts have been confined to Congress,” and that she has not lobbied HHS in her new role.

If it’s certainly not new, the enforcement of ethics provisions has lagged under Trump. In governmentwide surveys conducted by the Office of Government Ethics, federal agencies reported only 106 registered lobbyists who joined the administration. In their answers, ethics officers argued that they “don’t know” how many registered lobbyists had been hired or that they didn’t “track the number of individuals who fell into this category.” When asked about referrals for further enforcement of ethics violations, an officer admitted that they “don’t maintain a centralized database of the bases of proposed disciplinary actions.”

Jeff Hauser, who heads the Revolving Door Project at the nonpartisan Center for Economic and Policy Research, contends that “Trump has organized the executive branch as a mechanism to reward allies and their political power. Lobbyists are hired not because they’re great at the specific matter that they lobby for but because their specialty is delivering political results.”

Corporations also see value in hiring former government staffers, as they bring connections within the agencies and exceptional knowledge about regulation. Among the staffers who recently left their administration positions, 29 went to work for K Street firms-- as registered lobbyist or not. At least 59 former employees have done so over the past three years.

One is Laura Kemper, a former HHS senior official who, within days of leaving her post in March, was hired by Fresenius. Now vice president for government affairs, Kemper heads the company’s policy group.

According to lobbying records, she is listed among the in-house lobbyists who have visited Congress, the White House and HHS since March, pushing everything from reimbursement for dialysis services to home dialysis. The records show Fresenius shelled out more than $2.2 million for lobbying activities during the first half of the year.

Kemper had also spent years lobbying Congress and federal agencies on behalf of health care companies before joining HHS in March 2017.

Her pass through the revolving door tests the boundaries of ethics rules. Indeed, Trump’s pledge prohibits staffers-turned-registered lobbyists from advocating for the special interests of their corporate bosses before the agencies where they used to work for at least five years. It also restricts former employees from behind-the-scenes lobbying with any senior federal official for the remainder of Trump’s presidency. Kemper signed that pledge.

Kemper declined to comment. In a statement, Fresenius said Kemper “has strictly followed her legal and ethical obligations and has not been involved in lobbying the administration or anything related to the Executive Order.” Disclosure forms filed by Fresenius “cite the general activity of a team and do not ascribe any particular lobbying activity,” according to its statement.

Recently, during an earnings call to investors, Fresenius CEO Rice Powell said that the company has talked to the “appropriate people in Washington,” without naming any particular Fresenius or government staffer. “We are in the midst of commenting and asking questions” with HHS officials, he added.

As ProPublica has reported, political appointees who return to lobbying have found ways to tiptoe around ethics rules. Some register as lobbyists but limit their interactions to Congress, leaving colleagues to lobby the executive branch. Ethics restrictions don’t apply to congressional lobbying.

One such case is Geoffrey Burr, a lobbyist who joined the Labor Department early in the Trump administration. More recently, he was chief of staff to Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao. He left the Transportation Department in January and soon became policy director at one of the nation’s largest lobbying firms.

According to records, Burr now lobbies for clients with a stake in transportation issues, including The Northeast MAGLEV, the company behind what would be the first high-speed train in the U.S. A January press release announcing his hiring praised Burr’s “high-level involvement with Transportation and Labor [that will] provide clients with the strategic guidance they need to navigate business issues with the administration.”

Burr signed the ethics pledge and, according to records, lobbies only Congress, abiding by the rule of not contacting the executive branch. Other partners at his firm lobby the Transportation Department and the White House’s Office of Management and Budget.

The Transportation Department didn’t respond to requests for comment, and Burr declined to talk.

There are also former Trump administration staffers who go back to K Street but don’t register as lobbyists-- the Lobbying Disclosure Act only requires those who spend 20% or more of their time lobbying to register.

Rebecca Wood and Brooke Appleton held senior Trump administration positions for more than a year at the Food and Drug Administration and the Agriculture Department, respectively. Both left the administration and returned to their former employers-- this time, in more senior positions.

Wood now leads the food and drug practice at Sidley Austin, a powerful law and lobbying firm in Washington, where her colleagues lobby the FDA for various clients. Appleton went from being director to vice president for public policy for the National Corn Growers Association; she leads at least six people lobbying the Agriculture Department and other federal agencies.
And, of course, it isn't just Trump on his own. His congressional allies are behaving just as corruptly. J.D. Scholten, the Iowa progressive running against neo-fascist Steve King pointed out that in terms of his district, the "administration is full of oil lobbyists that have created policy that clearly has benefited the oil industry while hurting farmers and rural America. Their actions in August alone depressed corn prices by 10%, a record drop for that month."

Julie Oliver, a progressive reformer taking on Trumpist used car salesman Roger Williams in a gerrymandered district (TX-25) that stretches from Burleson, split between Tarrant and Johnson counties south of Fort Worth, straight down into the heart of Austin. "Congress," she told his today, "is supposed to represent people-- real human beings. Not corporations, not lobbyists, not PACs, not special interests. There's a reason for the dysfunction and mistrust we feel about Congress-- just look at how bought-and-paid-for our congressman is. Roger Williams doesn't sit on the Rural Broadband caucus. He doesn't sit on the Beef caucus. He sits on Finance, where he looks out for big banks, and big money. Most of his contributions come from PACs. A lot of Democrats claim to not take corporate PAC money-- but we don't take a single dime from any PAC. It's because you have to know that when I'm in Congress, and I'm considering legislation on taxes for corporations, or pharmaceutical pricing, or Medicare for All, I can't have my arm twisted. We have to end the cancer of public corruption in our politics and get corporations and big money out of Congress."

Goal ThermometerKara Eastman, the progressive Democrat taking on Trump enabler Donald J Bacon in Omaha has a very similar perspective: "I have rejected all corporate PAC contributions, and will continue to do so once in office. In contrast, my opponent, Rep. Don Bacon, votes entirely with his corrupt donations at the forefront. The most egregious example occurred in early 2019. As the House contemplated voting to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act, Rep. Bacon was a supporter. But then, when it came down to a final vote, he voted 'no.' We later learned that this was due to the fact that the reauthorized legislation contained improvements to protections afforded to victims where their abusers owned or possessed firearms. The National Rifle Association opposed these protections, and communicated this displeasure to Don Bacon. Then, he voted no. It's well-documented that the NRA has sent him over $25,000 in direct contributions, plus more by way of independent expenditures in his races for Congress. It's this kind of pay to play that I oppose and will fight strongly against in Congress."

Kathy Ellis is running in a deep red southeast Missouri district which both parties take for granted. But no one likes corruption. "Representatives should be accountable to their constituents-- not their corporate donors and lobbyists," said Kathy this morning. "My opponent, Rep. Jason Smith, is open about his corporate ties. Just this cycle, he’s taken thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from organizations like ExxonMobil and the Koch Brothers. His loyalty lies with them-- not with the people of the 8th District-- and his votes against healthcare access, the rights of working-class people, and human rights clearly demonstrate this. My vote can’t be bought, and I’m not taking a single dime of corporate PAC money. My loyalty lies with my neighbors in the 8th District."

Labels: , , , , , ,

Can Bloomberg Buy The Democratic Nomination?


Since Bloomberg's $35 million TV blitz started this week, one friend of mine told me that he's considering him and another told me she had made up her mind and that she's all in-- 100%-- on Bloomberg.

Last week, journalist and activist Zaid Jilani penned a tweet storm about rich people buying elections that is very much worth reading. I'm putting the thread in narrative style while keeping it as close to his original as possible. (I think Jilani is supporting Elizabeth Warren, although I'm not 100% sure. I'm positive he isn't supporting Michael Bloomberg.) Jilani:

In 2011 I was working at the Center for American Progress, the main Democratic party-aligned think tank. I was at the weblog covering Occupy Wall Street. So obviously Bloomberg was a hot topic.

I wrote a story about how Michael Bloomberg's then-girlfriend was on the board of Zucotti Park which is where the protesters were. I noted she was drawing over $100,000 in compensation from them, which to me was a lot of money (money at that point my career I'd never seen).

It turned out CAP was soliciting money from Bloomberg. So its president, Neera Tanden, wrote some emails to me and my boss scolding me over the story. She asked if we were aware that CAP was soliciting money from Bloomberg. We said yup, we are. Then she said it was low to go after his girlfriend. I mean, she was pulling in $100,000 from the park he just ordered police to clear of protesters. He deployed riot police to do this!

It was a clear conflict of interest. Then she explained that December was always a tough time of year to be raising money for CAP... Bloomberg has given tens of millions if not more to liberal organizations, campaigns, nonprofits, I think over the course of his campaign you will find a lot of folks are hesitant to say or do anything critical towards him because he has so much money and he's a giver.

Let's remember he funds basically the entire gun control movement in the U.S. (Everytown, Moms Demand). He also entire news conglomerate.

I don't think Bloomberg has much of a chance winning his race. It's extremely weird to try and win a Democratic primary by entering on Super Tuesday. He'd be better off doing a Perot-style independent run, provided he had popular issue positions (be he doesn't).

But he has more favorable position than anyone else who could possibly try this gambit because a big part of the liberal/Democratic sphere will just lay off of him because he has so much of his money in everyone's pockets. This kind of situation feels unique in American politics.

To some extent this is what the Bernie Sanders candidacy has been about since 2016. The idea that American politics is dictated by money and the need to raise it. Sanders is the first candidate in history to prove you don't need big money.

Money is how the Dem/Republican establishment operates, it's what Michael Bloomberg, Neera Tanden, Joe Biden, etc. know from working in politics for decades and I can hardly blame them for adopting this view given their experience. But Sanders proved another path is possible too.

It's the same reason only Martin Scorcese was willing to come out and say the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies are meh. Disney owns so much of the market you can't actually afford to offend Bob Iger.

...Will anyone ask Bloomberg to divest from all of his business interests and philanthropies as he runs for president? That was a real issue for Trump, Bloomberg is like 50 times richer than Trump... You'll notice there haven't been a lot of Congressional Democrats who have said much against Bloomberg in the past few days. Well, he spent $100 million on House Democratic elections in the 2018 cycle. They can hardly argue that Bloomberg's big TV spending on himself ($30 million over this week, whereas Bernie Sanders is slotted to spend $500,000) is undemocratic when a single man was allowed to spend so much money on them.

1) Michael Bloomberg spends $200 million on an initiative announced at US Conference of Mayors

2) Columbia, SC Mayor Steve Benjamin hosted by Bloomberg Philanthropies in 2018 initiative (he's head of conference)

3) Benjamin endorses Bloomberg

I'm not saying any of these people are endorsing Bloomberg because he spent some money giving them some trips around the country, I'm saying that the money helps build relationships which are part of how you get endorsements.

I doubt people in Augusta are clamoring to vote for Bloomberg. But through all his philanthropic giving he has built a relationship with the mayor.

Labels: , ,

AOC And Pramila Take On Mayo Pete And Status Quo Joe And Their Slick Conservative Talking Points


If the Democratic primary is about picking the slickest, smoothest liar, there's no contest. Well... Status Quo Joe is certainly the biggest liar among Democrats, but Mayo Pete is the slickest and smoothest. That's what working as a McKinsey consultant teaches you. If you can't look someone straight in the eye and persuade them that up is down, the moon is made of green cheese and 2 + 2 = 5, you don't last as long as Mayo Pete did at McKinsey.

When Mayo began his p.r.-driven campaign, he hadn't yet decided which lane to run in. Not having much of a record, and with no values or principles-- other than personal careerism-- weighing him down, he flip-flopped between running as a progressive reformer and as a conservative establishment defender. For him is was deciding on which tie to wear on any given day. In the end, the flood of cash was just too much for him to resist and he's now in it as a full-fledged advocate of the status quo establishment, every bit as much as decrepit class warriors Joe Biden and Michael Bloomberg.

One of the crucial debates in the 1940's over Social Security-- rabidly opposed by conservatives on both sides of the aisle-- was over including rich people. After all, the super-wealthy didn't need Social Security payments, why include them in? It was a shrewd move by the conservatives, but progressives understood how excluding people based on any factor would guarantee that there would always be a class of people-- and the rich are a powerful class of people-- dedicated to destroying the system and repealing it. In the end, Social Security is so successful-- despite what conservatives predicted so hysterically and vehemently-- because it is universal. Mayo is using the same old divisive conservative talking points to try to undermine Medicare-for-All and undermine reinstating free state colleges. He's slick but he isn't fooling everyone. He sure isn't fooling AOC.

Thursday, Congress' most popular member let loose a twitter storm against Mayo Pete's sneaky elitism. This is it-- AOC sounding like FDR-- in narrative form:

Universal public systems are designed to benefit EVERYBODY! Everyone contributes and everyone enjoys. We don’t ban the rich from public schools, firefighters, or libraries becauce they are public goods. Universal systems that benefit everyone are stronger because everyone’s invested! When you start carving people out and adding asterisks to who can benefit from goods that should be available to all, cracks in the system develop. Many children of the elite want to go to private, Ivyesque schools anyway, which aren’t covered by tuition-free public college! Lastly, and I can’t believe we have to remind people of this, but it’s GOOD to have classrooms (from pre-k through college!) to be socioeconomically integrated. Having students from different incomes & backgrounds in the same classroom is good for society & economic mobility.
Is Mayo using GOP talking points? Well... to be fair, his talking points are more conservative, neo-liberal and corporatist than specifically Republican. Mayo is a Democrat, maybe a Democratic from the Republican wing of the party but, still, a Democrat. His kind of Democrat doesn't have to turn to the GOP for talking points when they can get them from the Blue Dogs, New Dems, Third Way, the DCCC, the DSCC, Forward Center, Problem Solvers, etc. And, remember, the 3 B's-- Biden, Bloomberg and Buttigieg-- are all packaging these same conservative talking points to undermine the progressive agenda that appeals to the working class whose interests each is essentially running against.

Labels: , , ,

Two Democratic Billionaires Are Making A Mockery Of Democracy


Here in California, we don't usually get inundated with campaign ads, at least not the way Iowa and New Hampshire-- and more recently, Nevada and South Carolina, do. California has always been too late in the campaign season. And California is, by far, the country's most expensive media market. But that all changed. California is a SuperTuesday state now and early voting will already be in full swing by the time tiny Iowa caucuses. So... this past weekend Bloomberg blanketed the airwaves of the state with millions of dollars in ads. One politically-unsophisticated but fired-up anti-Trump friend was sold. She's voting for Bloomberg... if she remembers to vote. Everyone else who mentioned having seen the ads was disgusted and turned off. "The billionaire is trying to buy the election" is what I heard most. Bloomberg's strategy is to crush Status Quo Joe and Mayo Pete and then present himself as the alternative to either of the two actual Democrats in the race, Bernie and Elizabeth. His greed-driven, ravenous consultants say he has enough money to achieve just that and force America into a general election pitting two billionaires against each other and making everyone pick between two evils.

Yesterday Politico published a piece by Trent Spiner, New Hampshire voters to Steyer: Make it stop!, along the same lines. In New Hampshire, he sat through 17 Steyer ads in an hour of watching Pentatonix music on YouTube. "Some Granite staters," he wrote, "said they’re seeing Steyer’s ads dozens of times a day-- and it’s become more grating than ingratiating... Even some of Steyer’s local staff privately acknowledge the volume of ads has gone overboard."

Steyer has massively outspent other Democratic candidates on social media in an effort to gain traction in polls and ensure he makes the debate stage. But the recoiling of some New Hampshire voters suggests there are limits to the strategy-- Michael Bloomberg beware. Indeed, some residents feel like they can't touch a piece of technology without seeing his face.

“There is a point of no return in terms of visibility," said Scott Spradling, a New Hampshire media analyst. "At some point, you become the uninvited guest. He uniquely is becoming dangerously close."

Steyer has spent $55.6 million in advertising nationally so far this election, with a heavy focus on digital, according to Advertising Analytics. In New Hampshire, he has purchased several multitudes more Facebook advertising than the campaigns of Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders combined. His Facebook ads over the last three months represented more than a third of all political spending-- from both parties-- on the platform, according to a review of Facebook’s database.

At the national level, Steyer has spent $6.5 million on Facebook in the last three months, $2.8 million more than the next biggest spender, Mayor Pete Buttigieg. He also outspent Warren by $4.2 million; Sanders by $4.7 million; and Biden by $5.7 million, according to tracking provided by the social media platform.

He outspent President Donald Trump’s reelection effort by $700,000 in the same period.

Steyer has also spent millions on Google advertising, especially YouTube video ads. His campaign declined to discuss their strategy beyond stating he is committed “to communicating with voters about the importance of this election across a multitude of digital platforms.”

Without much of a national profile before the election, Steyer has tried to target the four early-nominating states in an effort to introduce himself to voters. In one way, it has worked just enough to get him a podium on nationally-televised debates. But on the ground, the ads don’t appear to be moving the needle much with voters. Steyer has steadily polled at about 2 percent in New Hampshire since the summer.

In contrast, Bloomberg is using his estimated ad buy to blanket the country. The former three-term New York mayor’s first ad focuses on his leadership after 9/11. He has ad buys scheduled in the lower 48 states, including one that will air in the media market of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort.

Joe Trippi, a veteran Democratic strategist who has worked on several high profile presidential campaigns, said of Steyer: “Spending this kind of money in the early states and being still in the single digits, that tells you he is having trouble connecting. You could spend $100 million like that and it may not work.”

Steyer was asked directly in a recent radio interview whether he’s passed the point of saturation to annoyance.

“I hear a lot of complaints about your social media ads blocking their YouTube videos,” the host told the candidate, referring to her teenagers. “You apparently got the high-end ones that you have to watch.”

“If people actually hear my message, they do respond,” Steyer replied. “I’m ... someone who people don’t know anything about and trying to make a very specific point and introduce myself.”

The two billionaires, one-- Bloomberg-- a moderate Republican pretending to be a Democrat and the other-- Steyer-- a moderate Democrat, are competing to spend the most personal money. The view from the right is that Elizabeth and Bernie are the ones trying to buy the election because they are offering to help the working class with their popular policies. Listen to the GOP slob in the red vest on CNBC's right-wing propaganda show, Squawk Box:

Labels: , , , ,

Midnight Meme Of The Day!


by Noah

This is what we get when war criminals like George W. Bush and Dick Cheney aren't held accountable and thrown in the brig. Once they were allowed to walk free without so much as a trial, it was inevitable that a future president would come along and feel he or she had permission to push the envelope further. If draft-dodger Cadet Bone Spurs is now allowed to get away with pardoning three war criminals, at the behest of his advisers at FOX "News" no less, we can easily imagine what some future president will try. Meanwhile, it's easy to imagine, right now, who might be on Trump's "People To Pardon" list. Since the current administration views it as OK to have our men in uniform assassinate Muslims in foreign lands outside of the rules of engagement and without due process, how long before he pardons cops who murder here, or "very fine people" who deliberately run over protesters with their cars, or white supremacists who shoot black parishioners worshipping in their church? We already know that he's so inclined. Now that Trump has done what he did, there's no telling what he might authorize, tacitly or otherwise.

To bad we can't court-martial a president. After all, a president is the Commander-in-Chief. So, in a logical military justice system, Trump would be tried, found guilty and busted down to military latrine cleaner for the rest of his days. Here's your toothbrush Donnie. Get to it!

Labels: , ,

Friday, November 29, 2019

Bernie Supporters: Let's Help Professor Warren Be Student Of Her Own Mistakes


- A guest post by emorejahongkong

Core question for Berners to flesh out and spread to Warren-land: “Can Professor be Student of Her Own Mistakes?”

A. History: Warren was a newbie, in electoral politics, who allowed herself to be persuaded that:
1- If Warren’s profile as a female Bernie-lite could peel off 1/3 of Bernie’s supporters,
2- Then a grateful establishment would support Warren and her 1/4 loaf of Bernie-style reforms (mainly of abusive lending-cum-bankruptcy on which Warren is an expert).
B. Now, Warren has personally experienced the shameless fraudulence of predicted establishment gratitude:
1- Warren's MSM friends gave her no cover for her gymnastic avoidance of fully echoing Bernie’s honesty that “middle class taxes will rise BUT much less than premiums, co-pays and deductibles, etc. will fall”;
2- Warren received no endorsements from centrist candidates who have withdrawn or (notably Booker and Harris) are deferring their inevitable withdrawals largely in order to hedge bets on who inherits their endorsers;
3- Warren is now targeted by new establishment candidacies from Michael Bloomberg and Deval Patrick (Patrick’s single most predictable impact is undermining Warren in New Hampshire and Massachusetts, and, perhaps unlike Bloomberg, could not possibly have entered the race if many establishment figures had told him “we must honor the deal we made with Warren for her to divide Bernie’s base”).
C. Learn-able lessons (for Prof. Warren):
1- Establishment will never honor any deal that surrenders even 1/4 of its gravy trains.
2- “Time for a Woman” rhetoric out of establishment is 100% fraudulent, unless a particular Woman is 100% loyal to establishment.
D. Choices: Stay Senator in Massachusetts vs. ride Bernie train to DC?
1- Statewide office elections in Massachusetts will get much uglier as Warren-endorsing Joe Kennedy pursues his 2020 challenge to Warren-endorsed incumbent U.S. Senator Ed Markey, and then Warren-endorsing Cong. Rep. Ayanna Pressley rushes to grab higher office before her weathervane core becomes more obvious to more voters.
2- On the ideological spectrum in Massachusetts, Warren will be squeezed in crossfire between Left (Markey and Berners), Right (Joe Kennedy and Seth Moulton) and Center (starting with weathervane Ayanna Pressley and Warren-sabotaging vulture-capitalist Deval Patrick).
3- Warren must be wondering how to escape this snake-pit-- not what she signed up for in her late-career first candidacy drafted by virtually all Democratic factions agreeing to leverage Warren’s name recognition to oust popular Republican incumbent Senator Scott Brown.
4- Warren's clearest escape path to DC would be as Secretary of the Treasury, an appointment she could only receive from President Bernie. (BTW, Warren is not an attractive VP running mate for Bernie under the key calculation of strengthening his general election ticket by delivering more states in the electoral college). Serving as Treasury Secretary, besides enabling Warren to refocus on her core competencies, would give her the last laugh against the Obama appointees such as Tim ("foam the runway") Geithner and Larry ("insiders don't criticize insiders") Summers, who have clearly played a role ensuring that no deal with candidate Warren would ever be honored by big money elites.

Labels: , ,

The Trumpist Regime Is Falling Apart. Of Course, It Has Been Since Its First Day


David Nakamura's piece on White House neo-Nazi Stephen Miller, No Consequences For White-Supremicist Ties, in the Washington Post over the Thanksgiving holiday, was a far cry from the OpEd penned by former Navy Secretary Richard Spencer. "In case there were any doubts over his White House standing," wrote Nakamura, "Stephen Miller offered his critics the ultimate power move Tuesday as he boarded Air Force One to accompany President Trump to a campaign rally in South Florida. Miller’s reserved seat was another sign that the White House senior adviser has suffered no internal consequences in the two weeks since a social justice website published a trove of his old emails that showed him promoting political material and talking points linked to white-supremacist groups."
The disclosures in the exposé from the Southern Poverty Law Center have prompted scores of Democratic lawmakers and civil rights groups to publicly demand his resignation over what they view as smoking-gun evidence that the Trump administration’s hard-line immigration policies are rooted in white nationalist ideologies.

But the White House has vigorously defended Miller, one of Trump’s longest-serving and most influential aides, and congressional Republicans are staying mum, signaling that they will not break with the president over the revelations at a time when Trump is eager to demonstrate momentum in stemming illegal immigration.

Navy Secretary-- former Navy Secretary; Trump fired him Sunday-- Richard Spencer wants to share what he learned about working inside the Trumpist Regime. It's been a quandary for me since Trump took over the government how any self-respecting patriotic American could work for him. I spoke with an official at the Department of Justice a few days ago who had called me to get some help on a drug scam that we may all be reading about in a year or two. At the end of our conversation I asked him how he could work for Trump. He said he doesn't. He works for America and the American people.

Spencer served in the Marine Corps from 1976 to 1981 and then worked for a series of banksters, Goldman Sachs, Bear Stearns, Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, A. G. Becker, Paine Webber and Merrill Lynch. Trump appointed him Secretary of the Navy in 2017 and he was unanimously confirmed by the Senate on August 1, 2017. Here's his OpEd:
The case of Chief Petty Officer Edward Gallagher, a Navy SEAL who was charged with multiple war crimes before being convicted of a single lesser charge earlier this year, was troubling enough before things became even more troubling over the past few weeks. The trail of events that led to me being fired as secretary of the Navy is marked with lessons for me and for the nation.

It is highly irregular for a secretary to become deeply involved in most personnel matters. Normally, military justice works best when senior leadership stays far away. A system that prevents command influence is what separates our armed forces from others. Our system of military justice has helped build the world’s most powerful navy; good leaders get promoted, bad ones get moved out, and criminals are punished.

In combat zones, the stakes are even higher. We train our forces to be both disciplined and lethal. We strive to use proportional force, protect civilians and treat detainees fairly. Ethical conduct is what sets our military apart. I have believed that every day since joining the Marine Corps in 1976.

We are effective overseas not because we have the best equipment but because we are professionals. Our troops are held to the highest standards. We expect those who lead our forces to exercise excellent judgment. The soldiers and sailors they lead must be able to count on that.

Earlier this year, Gallagher was formally charged with more than a dozen criminal acts, including premeditated murder, which occurred during his eighth deployment overseas. He was tried in a military court in San Diego and acquitted in July of all charges, except one count of wrongfully posing for photographs with the body of a dead Islamic State fighter. The jury sentenced him to four months, the maximum possible; because he had served that amount of time waiting for trial, he was released.

President Trump involved himself in the case almost from the start. Before the trial began, in March, I received two calls from the president asking me to lift Gallagher’s confinement in a Navy brig; I pushed back twice, because the presiding judge, acting on information about the accused’s conduct, had decided that confinement was important. Eventually, the president ordered me to have him transferred to the equivalent of an enlisted barracks. I came to believe that Trump’s interest in the case stemmed partly from the way the defendant’s lawyers and others had worked to keep it front and center in the media.

After the verdict was delivered, the Navy’s normal process wasn’t finished. Gallagher had voluntarily submitted his request to retire. In his case, there were three questions: Would he be permitted to retire at the rank of chief, which is also known as an E-7? (The jury had said he should be busted to an E-6, a demotion.) The second was: Should he be allowed to leave the service with an “honorable” or “general under honorable” discharge? And a third: Should he be able to keep his Trident pin, the medal all SEALs wear and treasure as members of an elite force?

On Nov. 14, partly because the president had already contacted me twice, I sent him a note asking him not to get involved in these questions. The next day, White House Counsel Pat Cipollone called me and said the president would remain involved. Shortly thereafter, I received a second call from Cipollone, who said the president would order me to restore Gallagher to the rank of chief.

This was a shocking and unprecedented intervention in a low-level review. It was also a reminder that the president has very little understanding of what it means to be in the military, to fight ethically or to be governed by a uniform set of rules and practices.

Given my desire to resolve a festering issue, I tried to find a way that would prevent the president from further involvement while trying all avenues to get Gallagher’s file in front of a peer-review board. Why? The Naval Special Warfare community owns the Trident pin, not the secretary of the Navy, not the defense secretary, not even the president. If the review board concluded that Gallagher deserved to keep it, so be it.

I also began to work without personally consulting Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper on every step. That was, I see in retrospect, a mistake for which I am solely responsible.

On Nov. 19, I briefed Esper’s chief of staff concerning my plan. I briefed acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney that evening.

The next day, the Navy established a review board to decide the status of Gallagher’s Trident pin. According to long-standing procedure, a group of four senior enlisted SEALs would rule on the question. This was critical: It would be Gallagher’s peers managing their own community. The senior enlisted ranks in our services are the foundation of good order and discipline.

But the question was quickly made moot: On Nov. 21, the president tweeted that Gallagher would be allowed to keep his pin — Trump’s third intervention in the case. I recognized that the tweet revealed the president’s intent. But I did not believe it to be an official order, chiefly because every action taken by the president in the case so far had either been a verbal or written command.

The rest is history. We must now move on and learn from what has transpired. The public should know that we have extensive screening procedures in place to assess the health and well-being of our forces. But we must keep fine-tuning those procedures to prevent a case such as this one from happening again.

More importantly, Americans need to know that 99.9 percent of our uniformed members always have, always are and always will make the right decision. Our allies need to know that we remain a force for good, and to please bear with us as we move through this moment in time.

Extraordinary! What could Trump possibly do without the Stephen Millers of this world-- the Heinrich Himmlers, the Hermann Görings, the Walther Funks, Joseph Goebbels, Martin Bormanns and, eventually the Speers and Eichmanns... Yesterday, on CNN's Newsroom, ex-Congressman Charlie Dent (R-PA)-- who retired last year in disgust over Trump-- claims that in private, his former colleagues are "'wrestling' with whether it was more important to win their next election or preserve their legacy for years to come... Dent said he would have certainly 'voted for the impeachment inquiry based on the facts as I understand them now' and 'would probably support' the impeachment of Trump." He said Republicans members are basically afraid of the party's base voters but "there’s no question, having spoken to many of them privately, they’re absolutely disgusted and exhausted by the president’s behavior. They resent being put in this position all the time." They'll resent it for more when they lose their seats next November.

Labels: , ,

We Don't Get Our Money's Worth If Our Representatives In DC Are On The Phone All Day Asking Rich People For Money


There are 4 clowns challenging AOC's reelection as Democrats, including right wing, anti-Choice, viciously homophobic coke freak Fernando Cabrera. He's a typical "ex"-Republican. There're also 8 Republicans running, one of whom, Antoine Tucker, was a coke dealer who may have been supplying Cabrera, widely considered NYC' absolutely worst City Councilman. None of these vanity candidates poses any real danger to AOC's reelection.

AOC is close to 6 million Twitter followers, not just more than any other member of Congress, but more than the entire Republican leadership team combined. @SpeakerPelosi has 3.4 million followers, while @LeaderHoyer has 122,800 followers. Two of the presidential candidates have more followers than AOC:
Bernie: 10 million
Elizabeth: 5.5 million
Cory Booker- 4.4 million
Status Quo Joe: 4 million
Mayo Pete: 1.6 million
Yang: 1 million
Kamala: 977,400
But the stat political professionals want to see, of course, is money. Who's bringing in the most money from contributors? AOC is. Last quarter she brought in more money than any other Democratic member of the House-- $1.4 million, almost all of it ($1.1 million) in small contributions (under $200). The next two biggest recipients of campaign contributions were Adam Schiff (1.26 million) and Pelosi (1.1 million). AOC's campaign war-chests is now $1,909,866, more than any freshmen other than Josh Harder (CA- $2,001,018) and Katie Porter (CA- $1,991,004), each of whom is in a swing district being heavily targeted by the NRCC.

Why is this notable? Let's look at a tweet storm from AOC a couple days ago:

I intentionally built my campaign to rely on small-dollar grassroots support without any corporate money because I felt that’s the best way to be accountable to everyday people.

It has impacted how I work in Congress in powerful ways-- ways I couldn’t fully appreciate until I got here.

There is, of course, much more time for me to be fully present at my job.

In Congress, this is a luxury. Since I don’t spend hours each day asking for money, I spend a lot more time legislating, studying, & preparing/sitting in hearings.

This has cumulative effects over time.

Instead, your support allows me to spend hours each day studying issues & exposing abuse of power.

So while Fox continues to laugh that I’m "just a bartender," I’ve spent the whole year studying Big PhRMA, private equity, military contractors, and Mark Zuckerberg’s shady deals.

Our political system’s reliance on huge sums of money has many negative impacts, but one of the largest is that it takes lawmakers’ time away from lawmaking.

That’s a feature, not a flaw-- the less time lawmakers have, the more special interests can slip in harmful provisions.
She ends with a gratuitously nice smile towards her colleagues: "None of this is a critique on lawmakers who dial for dollars-- they don’t want to be doing it in the first place. But to change this system, we must push hard to change the corrupting role of money in politics. And yes, those forces exist among all parties." Actually, some of them do want to do it and actually love it. A crooked conservative like Josh Gottheimer has $6,397,771 in his campaign war chest. I think that's more than anyone other than Adam Schiff $6,794,307) and Raja Krishnamoorthi ($6,349,992), each of whom is saving up for a Senate campaign.

Pelosi and Hoyer and the DCCC keep the freshmen out of their hair-=- and away from policy-- by encouraging them, to put it mildly-- to spend all their time dialing for dollars. The process turns dialers more conservative and more sympathetic to rich people and it doesn't give them time to work on issues the way AOC describes herself doing. Look at some of the other high-raising freshmen. Ever hear of any of these actually doing anything to merit being in Congress? Of course not; they're on the phone all day begging rich people for contributions... as are virtually all of their colleagues.
Chrissy Houlahan (PA)- $1,841,041
Elissa Slotkin (MI)- $1,729,528
Mikie Sherrill (NJ)- $1,683,939
Max Rose (NY)- $1,666,201
Haley Stevens (MI)- $1,608,391
Harley Rouda (CA)- $1,530,320
Antonio Delgado (NY)- $1,525,203

Labels: , , ,

A Do Nothing Congress? Well, A Do Nothing Senate, Compliments Of Moscow Mitch


I didn't go to Thanksgiving dinner last night. I just didn't want to political arguments with friends. Oh, obviously all my friends hate Trump's guts and they all want to see him impeached and removed. The only arguments there would be between those who want to see him in prison and those who want to see him face... well something more final. No, the political arguments I didn't want to face have to do with the primary. Not everyone is a Bernie supporter. I can handle that. But on Wednesday night one told me she is fully backing Bloomberg. That's too much for me. I don't eat turkey anyway and these kinds of holidays are always good times for Chinese, Japanese, Thai or Indian food.

But if you were at a gathering where someone gets all his news from Fox or Hate Talk Radio, you would have needed to be prepared for the inevitable claim that because of impeachment mania the Democrats hadn't accomplished anything in Congress. Trump and his media allies hammer on that fabrication daily and his dull-mind supporters-- remember, 36% of Americans are unaware that Trump is a congenital liar-- have bought into that.

The Democrats have passed scores of bills, some with bipartisan majorities, that have been blocked by Moscow Mitch from even being debated-- let alone voted on-- in the Senate.

Let's start with an important piece of legislation that has widespread public support-- and that even some House Republicans backed: the Equality Act (H.R.5). It passed with a 236-173 majority, every single Democrat plus 8 Republicans voting for it. The Republicans who voted for it:
Susan Brooks (IN), retiring
Mario Diaz-Balart (FL), moderate district
Brian Fitzpatrick (PA), swing district
Will Hurd (TX), retiring
John Katko (NY), blue district
Tom Reed (NY), moderate district
Elise Stefanik (NY), moderate district
Greg Walden (OR), moderate district
The bill prohibits employment and housing discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Although some on the far right claim it is their "religious freedom" to oppress the gay community, opposing the bill is akin to a declaration of war against gay and trans men and women and their friends and families. Voting against something like this isn't going to hurt Republicans like Louie Gohmert and Patrick McHenry (ironically, a closet case himself) in backward districts filled with primitive hate-mongers. But there are a number of Republicans who voted against this bill who will be hurt politically in more moderate districts-- Fred Upton in Kalamazoo, Devin Nunes in Fresno, Lee Zeldin in Suffolk County, Ken Calvert in Riverside County, Michael McCaul in Austin, Rodney Davis in Champaign and Springfield, Tom Emmer in St. Cloud and the Minneapolis exurbs, Jaime Herrera Beutler in Vancouver and the Portland exurbs...

The Dream And Promise Act (H.R. 6) was another one that passed the House with a bipartisan majority-- 237-187-- and was then thrown in the garbage by Moscow Mitch with no debate and no vote. Every Democrat and 7 Republicans voted for it. Popular with voters, the bill would provide legal protections to hundreds of thousands of young, undocumented immigrants brought to the country illegally as children.

Goal ThermometerJason Butler is the progressive Wake County pastor running for a swing district seat occupied by radical right Republican George Holding who, of course, voted against the Dreamers every time he's had the opportunity to do so. Jason has a very different perspective and he shared it with us this morning: "The Republican party is in the midst of a decade long campaign to punish and exclude children of color. From voting against Dreamers, to border family separation, to cutting life saving assistance programs, to defunding City schools-- all of these serve one purpose: punish children. But yet, the vast majority of Republican voters and politicians flood into conservative Christian churches this time of year and claim to worship the baby Jesus-- a dark skinned immigrant Jewish boy. There is a massive disconnect happening here and it is time for this hypocrisy to be unveiled. In moderate districts all across the country, exactly like NC-02, where high numbers of voters claim a conservative Christian faith, we need to frame these elections as for the future of our children. Politicians, like Holding, who have consistently voted to punish children of color need to be held accountable. We live in a nation where kids in Flint, Michigan have lead poisoning from unsafe drinking water; where over 5,000 kids are homeless in the wealthiest county in North Carolina, Wake county; where Dreamers are pushed out; and where tens of thousands of immigrant children are living in detention centers. And all of this is being driven by Republican politicians who are supported by conservative Christians. It must stop. And it can. I believe that if Democratic candidates in moderate districts frame their progressive policies as providing the brightest future for our children then the Republican position can crumble and those like Holding will see their cruel positions that harm children be their undoing. We must make this happen as we are not only fighting for our own positions-- we are truly in a fight for the future of America's children."

Rosa DeLauro introduced the Paycheck Fairness Act (H.R.7) as soon as the 116th Congress was sworn in. It has 239 co-sponsors, starting with Pelosi, Hoyer and Clyburn. In the end, even the most backward conservative Blue Dogs like Jeff Van Drew, Henry Cuellar, Anthony Brindisi, Tom O'Halleran, Jim Costa, Kendra Horn, Dan Lipinski, Joe Cunningham and Collin Peterson signed on as co-sponsors. This should have been easy for everyone to vote for. Women make, on average, 82 cents for every dollar a man makes doing the same job. DeLauro's bill aims to end that by ending gender wage discrimination in the workplace. The bill would have definitely passed the Senate so, once again, Moscow Mitch just refused to allow a vote. Voting against this is going to cost Republicans like Fred Upton (MI), John Katko (NY), Lee Zeldin (NY), Don Bacon (NE), Roger Williams (TX)...

Kara Eastman, who would have co-sponsored DeLauro's Paycheck Fairness Act is hardly the only woman in Omaha who was unhappy with his vote against it. "Bacon consistently gives excuses as to why he does not support women and equality," she told me this morning. "His voting record on women’s issues has been abysmal and yet he touts himself as 'bipartisan'-- which is completely false since he votes 96% with Trump. For me, this is not about identity politics; it’s about being a fair representative to the women in our district. We should not have to keep fighting against the Republican Party dominance in Nebraska that serves to diminish women’s roles, jobs and service. It’s time for new leadership now."

H.R.8 was another one the Democrats passed with bipartisan support that Moscow Mitch has kept bottled up. This one, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act, passed 240-190 last February. Two reactionary Democrats-- Collin Peterson of Minneapolis and Jared Golden of Maine-- were the only Democrats to oppose it, but 8 Republicans voted for it. Suburban district Republicans who voted no, like Lee Zeldin (NY), Ken Calvert (CA), John Carter (TX), Debbie Lesko (AZ), David Joyce (OH), Tim Walberg (MI), Roger Williams (TX), Tom Reed (NY), Michael McCaul (Texas), George Holding (NC), Duncan Hunter (CA)... could have a hard time explaining their votes to wrathful parents next year. This is another one that would pass the Senate if it were not being battled up by Moscow Mitch (and Trump).

Younger voters see the Climate Crisis as the most important topic Congress should be dealing with. They hate Trump because of it and Republicans who backed in by opposing H.R. 9, Kathy Castor's very moderate Climate Action Now Act, made a big mistake. This one passed the House on May 2 with a 231-190 bipartisan majority. It was technically bipartisan; every Democrat voted yes and 3 Republicans joined them. McConnell laughed when it was sent over to him and, as usual, refused a debate or a vote.

Do you want me to keep going? H.R. 397-- the Rehabilitation for Multi-employer Pensions Act-- passed 264 to 169, every Democrat plus 29 Republicans on board. The bill is meant to stabilize a crisis in pension plans covering about 10 million workers, particularly truck drivers and coal miners by creating a federal trust fund providing low-interest government-backed loans. Republicans, most of whom voted to bail out Wall Street banksters, called this a government bailout for private-sector pension plans. In West Virginia, Republican David McKinley was smart enough to vote for his own constituents instead of his party's vicious anti-worker ideology. His fellow Republicans in coal country Carol Miller and Alex Mooney, weren't as smart and both are counting on the DCCC running incompetent candidates against them who don't make the case.

The Raise the Wage Act (H.R. 582) was another important bill the Democrats passed with a bipartisan majority that was shit-canned by Moscow Mitch. The purpose was to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour and it passed in July 231-199, just 3 Republicans voting with the Democrats. It's worth mentioning that 6 of the most repulsive anti-worker Blue Dogs voted with the Republicans on this one: Anthony Brindisi (NY), Kurt Schrader (OR), Kendra Horn (OK), Ben McAdams (UT), Xochitl Torres Small (NM) and Joe Cunningham (SC).

Another Moscow Mitch special was to refuse to allow a vote on The Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (H.R. 1585), which passed with a huge majority, 263-158, 33 Republicans abandoning their woman-hating party to vote with the Democrats. (One woman-hating Blue Dog Dem, Collin Peterson of Minnesota, voted with the GOP.)

We could spend the whole day doing this. Maybe the DCCC and DSCC should. It would go a long way in helping Americans understand why every single Republican in Congress needs to be defeated-- along with the Blue Dogs-- in 2020. In private, Republicans say they have to vote against the interests of their constituents in order to support the "president." That should be enough reason to vote against them all. Are you looking for a Republican to spare? Brian Fitzpatrick (PA) might not be the best candidate in his race this cycle but he only voted with Trump 36.4% of the time-- the only one who voted against Trump more than with Trump.

Boycott Whole Foods? Not So Fast

Moscow Mitch is probably the second biggest existential threat to our country after Trump. So WholeFoods Magazine decided it would be a smart move to name him 2019 Person of the Year (for championing a hemp in Kentucky). That sparked calls for a boycott, but... By all means, boycott WholeFoods Magazine. But the magazine has nothing to do with the supermarket chain. Better idea: do whatever you can to defeat McConnell's reelection next year.

Labels: , , ,