Thursday, August 17, 2017

​ The Liberal Meritocracy at Work

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Liberal meritocracy in action. Slick new buses like these ferry high tech workers to and from Bay Area jobs, using city bus stops as pickup points. The city gets "a pittance" for each "stop event" while the city's less-connected citizens get no right at all to ride them (source).

by Gaius Publius

Thomas Frank has made the point many times that the modern Democratic Party has abandoned the working class, and indeed most of the middle class, and that today its true constituency is really just the "professional" class, the upper 10%, more or less.

That makes a kind of sense if, cynical electoral financing decisions aside, people who actually run the Democratic Party inhabit a culture that considers only the "smart" and "accomplished" truly deserving. Consider the constant praise from mainstream Democrats, for example, of the "entrepreneurial" or "creative" class and how these wannabe billionaires — riders of Google Buses in San Francisco, a kind of alt-transportation system to which only high tech workers have access — can be counted on to lift the rest of the country out of the depths and into a new age of job creation (in China).

There could not be a more striking example of this kind of meritocracy than the following email from the Podesta Wikileaks archives (h/t commenter John Wright in this Naked Capitalism thread). It was sent from Clinton supporter and UC Berkeley Professor Brad DeLong during the primary season to Clinton supporter and Center for American Progress chief Neera Tanden:
From:brad.delong@gmail.com
To: ntanden@americanprogress.org
CC: john.podesta@gmail.com
Date: 2015-07-31 15:42

Subject: So my 25-year-old Michael DeLong has applied for a Firearms Safety Policy job at CAP…

Dear Neera (and John)—

So my 25-year-old Michael DeLong has applied for a Firearms Safety Policy job at CAP…

I think he is a very, very strong candidate on the merits, given what he has been doing in Portland at Ceasefire Oregon in the three years since he graduated from Reed College, and how effective he has been there. But I find myself somewhat anxious [that] somebody already in Washington and with better connections might crowd him out…

May I beg you to reassure me?

Yours,

Brad DeLong
When the working class does this, of course, it's called nepotism. I'm sure at Neera Tanden's level it's called "networking."

There were several notes about DeLong's son's job availability sprinkled among the Podesta emails that involved Professor DeLong, and it's certainly true that fathers and mothers everywhere have attempted to ease their children's entry into the job market by asking for a boost from friends. I don't fault the act.

What makes this stand out, though, is not DeLong's interest in seeing his son hired, but his stated fear that his son would be lose his slot at CAP, not to someone better qualified, but to someone better connected.

Thus the "meritorious" competition seems recognized as not between the talented and connected; just between the connected. "I find myself somewhat anxious [that] somebody already in Washington and with better connections might crowd him out… May I beg you to reassure me?"

A small thing perhaps, and certainly not a strike against DeLong for asking. Every father should love his children, and DeLong's son does sound accomplished.

Nevertheless, this is a striking reminder of what concepts like "democracy" and "rights" mean to mainstream (Clinton wing and Obama wing) Democrats as a group, as they struggle with the problem of offering to the rest of us — or working to deny it — the same "rights" that the Party elite and its servicing ecosystem already enjoys as privileges of class, like access to affordable, quality medical care.

Schedule note: I'll be reading but not writing for about two weeks, restarting after Labor Day.

GP
 

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Jimmy Kimmel: "I Would Feel More Comfortable If Cercei Lannister Was Running This Country At This Point"

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Tuesday night, reported Maggie Haberman, Señor Trumpanzee was in a very good mood after his press conference. Her White House sources told her he felt liberated after doing what he wanted. The next morning, Heather Heyer was buried. Neither Trump nor Pence bothered to attend. Not one of the "very fine people?" Haberman also reported that Gary Cohn is said to be deeply upset by the events of the last few days and Trump's responses, "per multiple sources," but that he's not leaving administration-- not happy but not leaving. One twitter wag came up with this:



Jonathan Chait's account about the horror that gripped the non-Bannonites on White House staff when Trump unmasked himself in front of the media Tuesday is worth reading. These staffers, he wrote "have rarely registered their dismay as nakedly as they did Tuesday night, when he spontaneously altered a plan to deliver remarks on infrastructure without taking questions into a free-form defense of white supremacists. One official told NBC News that Trump had 'gone rogue.' Mike Allen reports that chief economic adviser Gary Cohn is 'between appalled and furious,' and that there is a danger one or more high-level officials could resign." Chief of staff John Kelly looked like someone kicked him in the stomach while Trump decided it was acceptable to call his Nazi supporters "fine people" and to equate them, morally, to anti-Nazis-- or even not as good as the Nazis because the Nazis had a permit and the counter-demonstrators didn't.
But it is important to understand the precise nature of their distress. It is emphatically not because they are shocked to learn their boss is a racist, a fact that has been established through numerous episodes, such as Trump’s insistence a Mexican-American judge was inherently biased against him, his call for a Muslim immigration ban, his slander of Ghazala Khan, and so on. They are angry that Trump revealed beliefs they wish to keep hidden. “Members of the president’s staff, stunned and disheartened, said they never expected to hear such a voluble articulation of opinions that the president had long expressed in private,” reports the New York Times.

This raises the question once again of why they are working for Trump at all. A legitimate public rationale can be made for serving the administration in certain roles. The federal government plays a vital role in domestic and global security, Trump is a dangerous and erratic figure, and somebody needs to try to steer him away from decisions that would provoke unalterable tragedy. That justification covers serving Trump as a foreign-policy adviser, or as homeland security and disaster-response officials.

But what what justification can the domestic and political advisers offer? Any benefit they can get by helping produce what they regard as better policies is surely offset by the cover they (and their policy successes, should they produce any) provide him.

Suppose yesterday’s remarks had gone off as planned. Suppose Trump had pushed his message of infrastructure. Suppose further every subsequent step also worked as planned-- Trump manages to build political support for the huge infrastructure build-out he campaigned upon, and created millions of jobs and the backdrops for several powerful reelection campaign ads. All they would have done is fulfill Steve Bannon’s dream of a worker’s party uniting economic populism with ethnonationalist grievance. “Shipyards, ironworks, get them all jacked up,” he told Michael Wolff after the election, “We’re just going to throw it up against the wall and see if it sticks. It will be as exciting as the 1930s, greater than the Reagan revolution-- conservatives, plus populists, in an economic nationalist movement.” ... Preventing Trump from doing something damaging is a legitimate and even noble calling. But that admirable motivation can easily mutate into rationalization. Are Trump aides really working to protect the country from him? Or are they working to keep the country from seeing his real nature?
Haberman and Glenn Thrush noted that never before had Trumpanzee gone as far in defending the actions of his Nazi and KKK supporters "as he did during a wild, street-corner shouting match of a news conference in the gilded lobby of Trump Tower, angrily asserting that so-called alt-left activists were just as responsible for the bloody confrontation as marchers brandishing swastikas, Confederate battle flags, anti-Semitic banners and 'Trump/Pence' signs... No word in the Trump lexicon is as tread-worn as 'unprecedented.' But members of the president’s staff, stunned and disheartened, said they never expected to hear such a voluble articulation of opinions that the president had long expressed in private. The National Economic Council chairman, Gary D. Cohn, and the Treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, who are Jewish, stood by uncomfortably as the president exacerbated a controversy that has once again engulfed a White House in disarray."

Last Supper by Nancy Ohanian

And, sadly, as James Hohmann pointed at for Washington Post readers Wednesday morning, false moral equivalency isn't a bug of Trumpism; it's a feature. He wrote that it's "part of a pattern" for Trump to be unable to discern between Nazis and those who oppose Nazis. Just a few months ago Trump compared the U.S. intelligence community to Nazis, something he no doubt got by listening to Alex Jones, his bestie who claimed this week that there were no Nazis or KKK members in Charlottesville, just "Jewish actors" trying to make Trump, Pence and the Republican Party look bad. Trump's fulsome embrace of the gangsterism, thuggish Putin should have alerted everyone in America of that pattern long ago.
“The president’s rhetorical ricochet … seemed almost perfectly designed to highlight some basic truths about Donald Trump,” observes Marc Fisher, who co-authored The Post’s Trump Revealed biography last year. “He does not like to be told what to say. He will always find a way to pull the conversation back to himself. And he is preternaturally inclined to dance with the ones who brought him …Trump said Tuesday that Saturday’s confrontation ‘was a horrible day.’ And he made clear again that ‘the driver of the car’ that plowed into pedestrians in Charlottesville ‘is a disgrace to himself, his family and this country.’ But then the president turned to one of his favorite rhetorical tools, using casual language to strip away any definite blame, any clear moral stand, and instead send the message that nothing is certain, that everything is negotiable, that ethics are always situational. ‘You can call it terrorism,’ he said. ‘You can call it murder. You can call it whatever you want.’”


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The Midnight Meme Of The Day!

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-by Noah

Last year, when NFL quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, then of the San Francisco 49ers franchise, famously took a knee during a pre-game playing of the National Anthem, he did it to call attention to racial and economic injustice. That caused Republicans, all too predictably, to go ballistic. How dare he protest injustice! Injustice is our creed! It’s why we live!

In short order, the braying hounds of hypocrisy twisted Kaepernick’s dastardly deed into some sort of insult against police, the military, the banks, white America, the entire country, Miss America, deep dish apple pie, you have it. It was and remains a frenzy bordering on their insane claims that ol’ “Lock her up” HRC is running a child sex slave business out of a pizza shop in suburban Maryland and some guy was born in Kenya, or something.

Since then, Kaepernick, who was good enough to lead his team to the 2013 Super Bowl, first got demoted to second string. When he did appear on the field, he was booed by his now brainwashed former fans and others who felt the need to pile on. Despite his talent, he is now not even a second stringer. He is a free agent, looking for a job in the NFL while other quarterbacks of lesser talent are eagerly scooped up. It appears that he is being blackballed from playing in the NFL. Joe McCarthy is smiling way down in the depths of Hell.

In the meantime, a variety of players who beat their wives, girlfriends, and/or children, or, have been arrested on gun or drug charges have merely served a brief suspension or paid a fine, and been forgiven and reinstated to take the field and play every week, but not Colin Kaepernick. He took a knee!!!

Colin Kaepernick: That guy! There’s something way more wrong with that guy! The fans who boo Kaepernick have no problem wildly cheering for their reinstated criminal wife-beating, child abusing heroes. It makes one wonder what would happen if O.J. Simpson still had enough youth and ability to play.

It now gets even worse: Those same people who had soooo much to say about Colin Kaepernick; those same Republicans and media hacks have zero problem with people who raise their hands in a Nazi salute and chant anti-Semitic and racist slogans to their charred little hearts’ content. They remain eerily and disgustingly silent about all of that. Where does NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell stand on all of this? Who knows? Except for a few excruciatingly bland statements, he’s strangely silent, too, or just completely gutless.

Now that the NFL pre-season is underway, this seems to be an appropriate day for this meme. Don’t forget to share with your friends. Why not even tweet the meme to Roger Goodell, and that mentally ill goon in the White House, too? Ooooh, and I bet Sean Hannity would absolutely love it! Think how torn and confused he’ll be when he sees a black man and some neo-Nazis suddenly appear on his phone at the very same instant! He won’t know what to do. 10 to 1 odds, he burns his phone and goes out to get a new one. Then you can send it to him again.

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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Trumpanzee's Jews Aren't Anything Like Normal Jews

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I wonder if all the vehement anti-Semitism on display from a newly empowered fascist movement-- they call it "alt-right" these days-- is making the modern day Bugsy Siegal-- Vegas mob boss Sheldon Adelson-- just a little nervous. If the Steve Bannon wing of the Republican power ever gains ultimate power, I'm sure there's a gas chamber that even someone as grossly rotund as Adelson can be stuffed into. Maybe that's why he's getting a little nervous about the fascist campaign to demonize H.R. McMaster. Normal people don't hear much about it, but the Bannon vs McMaster brawl is center stage in the fever swamps of the far right and inside TrumpWorld. Adelson weighing in is a big deal since he routinely funnels millions of dollars annually into the Republican Party from the Mafia, from interests in China and from interests in Israel.

Writing for Axios yesterday, Jonathan Swan reported that the virulently anti-union billionaire "has disavowed a campaign against National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, which is being pushed by a group Adelson funds, the Zionist Organization of America. Andy Abboud, who represents Adelson, tells me: 'Sheldon Adelson has nothing to do with the ZOA campaign against McMaster. Had no knowledge of it. And has provided zero support, and is perfectly comfortable with the role that McMaster is playing.'"

Since then Adelson has updated his position with a telephone clarification to Axios which emphasizes that Adelson doesn't know McMaster and hasn't developed an opinion about him. Adelson doesn't want his intervention to be interpreted as a political endorsement; but rather that he has had nothing to do with, and doesn't support, the campaign against McMaster.

This is of interest and some import because Adelson is one of the biggest financial contributors "in Republican politics, and his influence over national security and Israel-related matters is substantial. His is a voice listened to by President Trump and other senior White House officials like Jared Kushner." Not by serious policy experts, of course, but by grifters like Trump and Kushner. Zionist Organization of America represents the far right of Israeli politics in America and the Adelsons give them immense sums of money. Somewhat ironically, they have thrown their lot in with the alt-right, the center of American anti-Semitism and their completely deranged crackpot president, Mort Klein, is about one step away from buying a tiki torch and waving a swastika banner at shuel. Klein is very tight with Trump's neo-Nazi and anti-Semitic chief strategist, Steve Bannon, who accuses McMaster of being "soft on Israel and unserious about the threat of radical Islamic terrorism. He's called for Trump to 'reassign' McMaster 'to another position where he can do no further harm on these critical national security issues.' Klein is increasingly isolated in his opposition to McMaster. His only senior ally inside the White House is Bannon; the rest of the senior staff has united in disgust at the outside campaign against McMaster. David Friedman, Trump's staunchly pro-Israel ambassador, is vouching for McMaster, though he was unable to convince Klein."


David Frum noted on Twitter this morning that his rabbi had posted this comment (above) on his Facebook page. It's from a Charlottesville resident. Did Señor Trumpanzee think these were some of the "very fine people" marching around Friday and Saturday with Nazi and KKK symbols and waving "Elect Trump-Pence" signs? Virginia's governor certainly didn't think they were very fine.



As Emma Green pointed out for Atlantic readers yesterday, Trump's very fine Charlottesville marchers were obsessed with Jews. Trumpanzee can insist all he wants that the "Unite the Right" activities were about protecting their cultural heritage and the Robert E. Lee statue, but what does that have to do with "Jews will not replace us?" She wrote that "Marchers displayed swastikas on banners and shouted slogans like 'blood and soil,' a phrase drawn from Nazi ideology. 'This city is run by Jewish communists and criminal niggers,' one demonstrator told Vice News’ Elspeth Reeve during their march. As Jews prayed at a local synagogue, Congregation Beth Israel, men dressed in fatigues carrying semi-automatic rifles stood across the street, according to the temple’s president. Nazi websites posted a call to burn their building. As a precautionary measure, congregants had removed their Torah scrolls and exited through the back of the building when they were done praying... [T]he connection between African Americans and Jews is clear. In the minds of white supremacists like David Duke, there is a straight line from anti-blackness to anti-Judaism. That logic is powerful and important. The durability of anti-Semitic tropes, and the ease with which they slide into all displays of bigotry, is a chilling reminder that the hatreds of our time rhyme with history and are easily channeled through timeless anti-Semitic canards... [T]he violence in Charlottesville was part of a broader political context. The fringe right is reacting to other political movements with nostalgia, Feld said-- a yearning for people, including minorities like Jews and blacks, to 'know their place.'"

And while normal people were horrified by Trump trying to equate Nazis and the Klan with those protesting Nazis and the Klan, actual Nazis and the Klan applauded their president. KKK leader David Duke tweeted his gratitude to Trump: "Thank you President Trump for your honesty & courage to tell the truth about #Charlottesville & condemn the leftist terrorists in BLM/Antifa." A Nazi leader (Tim Gionet) of the Unite the Right movement who goes by the nom de guerre "Baked Alaska" tweeted that "President Trump is right! One side had a permit to speak, one side charged with clubs & weapons! Look at the facts people." So that's their crazy world. All these people really, really deserve each other. But the country doesn't. I'm sensing an uptick in the number of Americans who now think Trump needs to be impeached.


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Economic Inequality Matters

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This afternoon, Alan Grayson, who had just watched the video above, told us that "Since the Enlightenment began, people have been fishing around for some kind of extrinsic validation of the concept of 'justice' For instance, the first two sentences of the Declaration of Independence appeal to 'the Laws of Nature,' 'Nature’s God,' the 'opinions of mankind' and the 'Creator.' What the de Waal experiment shows is that there is no need to look outside of ourselves to justify justice; we can look inside. If it’s in capuchin monkeys, then surely it’s in us, too. All of us."

David Gill is an emergency room physician running for Congress in Illinois' 13th congressional district against hapless rubber stamp Republican Rodney Davis. There was no one I could think of better to help explain the experiment in the video above. "Economic inequality," he told us this morning, "has been an ever-expanding problem in America for two generations now, with so many Americans coming to realize that no matter how hard they work, they will never have the opportunity to better their lot in life. And the driving force behind this loss of the American Dream for the majority of us is this: for at least the past three decades, we've had both major political parties groveling at the feet of Wall Street banks and large multi-national corporations. This corporate ownership of our politics and our government leaves the vast majority of us without proper representation and results in overwhelming economic injustice.

"The consequences of having both parties selling themselves to Corporate America are numerous: lack of a single-payer healthcare system, a ridiculously inadequate minimum wage, an incredibly bloated defense budget at the expense of needed social programs, a tax system designed to maintain the concentration of wealth and power in the hands of a select few.

"The chronicity and the ever-widening nature of our economic inequality takes its toll-- it feeds a hopelessness and a political apathy that then results in the election of individuals even less concerned with the well-being of ordinary Americans, and resulting in turn in a vicious cycle. I'm running for Congress to be a part of breaking that cycle."

Please help Dr. Gill get his message out in IL-13 by contributing to his entirely grassroots campaign here at the Blue America ActBlue page.

Yesterday, Nate Cohn tried explaining to NY Times readers what the 9.2% of Trump voters who backed Obama in 2012-- basically white voters without a college degree-- have in their minds. He reminds us that these voters are pivotal-- and up for grabs. Hillary isn't president, he wrote, "primarily because of the narrow but deep swing among white working-class voters who were overrepresented in decisive battleground states... Just 74 percent of white Obama voters with a high school diploma or less backed Mrs. Clinton in the voter study group study cited by Mr. Milbank... The data from these surveys sends a mixed message. Strong evidence suggests a lot of these voters will lean Republican for the foreseeable future, and certainly will lean toward Mr. Trump. But Democrats can still win a meaningful and potentially decisive share of these voters, many of whom probably voted Democratic down-ballot in 2016. Here’s what one survey, the C.C.E.S., says about these voters:"
THEY HAD SOURED ON MR. OBAMA Just 29 percent of white, no-college Obama-Trump voters approved of his performance, and 69 percent disapproved. Similarly, 75 percent said they would repeal the Affordable Care Act. Only 15 percent believed the economy had improved over the last year, and just 23 percent said their income had increased over the last four years.

THEY LARGELY BACK THE TRUMP AGENDA The Obama-Trump voters generally support Mr. Trump’s key campaign pledges on immigration, police, infrastructure spending, trade and the environment. This isn’t too surprising: Surveys conducted long before the 2016 election showed that a large share of white working-class Democratic-leaning voters backed the conservative-populist position on these issues.

THEY’RE NOT NECESSARILY RELUCTANT TRUMP VOTERSAmong those who voted in the 2016 primary (65 percent of the Obama-Trump vote), 54 percent of Obama-Trump voters reported backing Mr. Trump in the Republican presidential primary, according to the C.C.E.S., a sign that many of them are pretty strong and consistent supporters of Mr. Trump. Only 9 percent supported another Republican, less than the share that supported Mrs. Clinton or Bernie Sanders.

Taken together, the data indicates that Mr. Trump had considerable and possibly unique appeal to an important slice of Democratic-leaning voters. Mr. Trump adopted a platform tailored to white working-class Democrats. In doing so, he neutralized many traditional Democratic lines of attack against typical Republicans like Mitt Romney. Many of these voters backed him in the primary and seemed to prefer his brand of populism, suggesting they probably would have backed Mr. Trump no matter which Democrat he faced.

MANY NOW CONSIDER THEMSELVES REPUBLICAN-LEANERS A Pew Research Center panel study found that fully 18 percent of white working-class voters who leaned Democratic as late as December 2015 reported leaning Republican by December 2016. That timing is significant: It implies that these voters continued to tilt toward the Democrats all the way until the 2016 campaign.

Similarly, the C.C.E.S. found that 45 percent of Obama-Trump voters identified as Republican-leaners in their postelection study.

The voters who both voted for Mr. Trump and say they lean Republican have probably taken a big step toward becoming consistent Republican voters. They seem relatively difficult for Democrats to lure back.

RACIAL RESENTMENT WAS A BIG FACTOR Using this and other data, political scientists have argued that racial resentment is the strongest predictor of whether voters flipped from Mr. Obama to Mr. Trump, and the biggest driver of Trump support among these voters.

Yes, racial resentment is the strongest predictor of the Obama-Trump vote in this survey data. White, working-class Obama voters with racially conservative views were very likely to flip to the Republicans. For example, Mrs. Clinton won just 47 percent of white Obama voters without a college degree who disagreed with the idea that “white people in the U.S. have certain advantages because of the color of their skin.” In contrast, she retained 88 percent of white Obama voters without a college degree who agreed that white people have certain advantages.

Nonetheless, voters with high racial resentment did not necessarily represent the preponderance of the Obama-Trump vote, because Mr. Obama had already lost nearly all such voters by 2012. To take the prior example: 49 percent of white, no-college Obama-Trump supporters at least somewhat disagreed with the notion that white people had certain advantages.

MANY REMAIN PERSUADABLE The C.C.E.S. found that 26 percent of Obama-Trump voters identified as Democrats in their postelection study, while 35 percent were Republicans and 37 percent were independents. Including those independents who lean toward a party, Republicans led by a wider margin of 45 percent to 30 percent. Even so, that’s a significant share who continue to identify with the Democratic Party despite voting for Mr. Trump.

Democrats were probably still winning a lot of these voters in 2016. The results speak for themselves to some extent. Jason Kander lost his Senate race in Missouri by just three percentage points, even as Mrs. Clinton lost by 20 points. Even Democrats who didn’t run ahead of Mrs. Clinton over all-- like Tammy Duckworth in Illinois, Russ Feingold in Wisconsin or Katie McGinty in Pennsylvania-- nonetheless ran far ahead of Mrs. Clinton in traditionally Democratic, white working-class areas.

Mrs. Duckworth’s performance is probably the most telling. She won Illinois’s 12th Congressional District-- a downstate, working-class district now held by Republican Mike Bost-- by nine points. Mr. Trump won it by 12 points.

Mr. Bost might seem like a fairly safe Republican for re-election, if you judge the partisanship of his district strictly by his party’s performance in the last presidential election. He certainly would be safe if Democrats wrote off Obama-Trump voters. But the willingness of these voters to support a Democrat for federal office against an incumbent Republican in a fairly decent year for Republicans suggests that at least these Obama-Trump voters remain in play, and Mr. Bost is more vulnerable than it might initially seem.

More generally, there is reason to think these voters are likelier to vote for a Democrat against a more traditional Republican who hasn’t developed a message to match Mr. Trump’s appeal to white working-class Democrats. These voters, for instance, tend to support abortion rights and same-sex marriage. They support a higher minimum wage.

All considered, it does seem likely that at least a portion of the Obama-Trump vote can be lured back to the Democrats-- especially against traditional Republican candidates who emphasize small government, free markets and social conservatism.

Whether that means it should be the crux of the Democrats’ path to power is another question. But it will most likely be a part of it, and will probably need to be for Democrats to secure parts of the Rust Belt that continue to play an outsize role in American elections.

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Dems Need To Learn From The Failures The Bad Policies The Corporate Wing Of The Party Have Saddled Them With-- CA-22 Mea Culpa

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Ricardo Franco (D)

You may recall that a few days ago we looked at the race for the Democratic nomination for the Central Valley district (CA-22) occupied by increasingly despised Trump crony Devin Nunes. The DCCC has never contested this district before. At the time, we promised to get you more information about the two most recent candidates, Ricardo Franco and Bobby Bliatout. We're just starting discussions with the latter but we've been talking with Franco since then.

When I asked Franco if it is OK to campaign specifically on Medicare-for-All he responded-- too late for Sunday's post, that he's "been using the the phrases 'Universal Healthcare' and 'single-payer' system, but I think 'Medicare-for-all' is a much better phrase. I believe in it, it's a clear policy position to solve an important issue and I think voters are intelligent enough to know what it means. I'm going to start using it now!" He added that he's "not convinced that being a moderate in a district like mine will win swing voters, but rather being upfront and honest about your progressive values will show a genuineness that's attractive to moderate voters (I spoke with other voters over the weekend that said they would have voted for Bernie if it was him versus Trump!) You must also develop a plan. I believe voters are tired of talking points and want to see a concrete plan from candidates to spur discussion. No more wishy-washy statements generalized for broad appeal, but rather concrete plans of actions based upon your morals." So I asked him to pen a guest post for us. This is it:
I Voted For Hillary Over Bernie. I Was Wrong.
-by Ricardo Franco,
congressional candidate, CA-22

www.ricofranco.com

Back in November I cast my vote for Secretary Clinton with enthusiasm. She was the most experienced candidate in history. She would be the first female president. I had campaigned, donated and phone banked for her more than anyone else in my life. Love would surely Trump hate.

And then we lost.

It was inconceivable. I had gone to my parent's house so I could share Hillary's historic win with my family--  a day they thought they'd never live to see. We have hosted funeral receptions in their house that didn't feel as bad as that night. Somehow I muttered the words, "I was wrong."

In 2006 the house I had been living in at the time burnt down to the ground. I broke my foot and suffered burns jumping from a second story window. Eight hours later as I was getting discharged from the hospital with a cast on my foot I muttered to myself, "well, looks like I'm homeless."

Being wrong in 2016 felt worse than being homeless in 2006.

When reality bites, you have to admit you've been bitten. For me that meant admitting that Bernie could have beaten Trump, that moderate Democrats continue to lose swing territory elections and that all the polling experts know nothing about which they speak. It's time to stop listening to other people and listen to your neighbors and your gut.

I have met so many conservatives in my district that have told me they would have gladly voted for Bernie over Trump, but the Democratic party didn't give them that chance. "Bernie was a cool guy! I would have voted for him. Trump's an asshole, but there's no way I'd ever vote for Hillary," they tell me. Now, as a businessman, when clients and customers tell you exactly what they are willing to pay for I will tell you that you better listen. It's time for the Democratic party to do the same.

The more progressive platform that Senator Sanders is proposing is one that almost all Democrats would love to have enacted as well as being appealing to other non-traditionally Democratic voters. It's time we accept this bite from reality and find candidates that message it from the heart. Why have we not evolved as a party with the changing electorate and world around us? Why do we not discuss underemployment rather than unemployment? Why do we not emphasize the global  economy is going green whether we like it or not and economic success for America means understanding this trend? The electorate is not falling for any false tricks nor promises from career politicians or newcomers with no spine nor honesty. If you truly want Medicare-for-all, then say it.

I want Medicare-for-all!

Now, help me make it a reality!
The establishment favors a very conservative Republican-lite candidate, Andrew Janz, whose message in primarily, "I'm not Trump, I'm not Nunes." That's proven a bad gamble for the DCCC but it's who they are and what they are all about. Ricardo Franco isn't Trump or Nunes either, but he's offering a real alternative to their conservatism, while Janz says he'll be just like his hero, Jim Costa down the road.

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Trump-Supporting Crackpots In Indiana Are Destroying Each Other-- Can That Save Joe Donnelly's Senate Seat

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Mess of Indiana conservatism

Before we get into the Indiana Senate race, there's some breaking news I want to share. Randy Bryce, the progressive Democrat and iron worker running for the southeast Wisconsin congressional seat occupied by Paul Ryan just moments ago issued a statementcalling on Ryan to initiate censure proceedings in the House against Trump for his divisive 'both sides' comments. "There is no moral equivalence between the repugnant peddlers of hate and violence, and those who bravely stand up to them," said Bryce. "Yesterday President Trump used the presidential seal to give political cover to vile racist extremists. The forces of deadly bigotry will only be emboldened by Trump's comments. When former Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan David Duke thanks you for your remarks-- as he did to the president yesterday-- you are on the wrong side of history, decency, and American values. These comments yesterday require more than statements of outrage.  They demand an official expression of denunciation from Congress, on the record for all the world to see, and made permanent for history. Speaker Ryan," he said, addressing his opponent directly, "it is time to put action to your words. Only you as the leader of the House can compel that body to move decisively. Demonstrate courage and leadership, not only rhetoric. Initiate censure proceedings now in the U.S. House of Representatives against President Trump for the chief executive's outrageous, unacceptable and un-Amercian remarks."

And now back to our regularly scheduled programming:

Neither of them had to do this-- they each have a safe, comfy, congressional seat-for-life in red parts of Indiana-- but their rivalry is going to cost one of them-- perhaps both of them-- his career in politics. Todd Rokita was elected to Congress in 2010. The 4th congressional district west of Indianapolis has a PVI of R+11. Hillary didn't even hot a third of the vote last year in the district. This is one RED seat. And Luke Messer's 6th district, east of Indianapolis, is even redder. The PVI is R+12. It's Mike Pence's old House seat and Messer took over in 2012 when Pence became governor of Indiana. The district gave Trump a huge win, his biggest in the state-- 67.7% to 27.4%. Both are right-wing extremists and total Trump rubber stamps. Rokita's ifetime ProgressivePunch crucial vote score is 6.10 and Messer's score is 2.62. Politico termed their primary for the Republican Party nomination to go up against vulnerable and unpopular Blue Dog Joe Donnelly the GOP's nastiest Senate primary. And it's personal. The two right-wing goof-balls went the same sub-par college, the all-males Wabash College in Crawfordsville. "The slugfest underway between Republican Reps. Luke Messer and Todd Rokita in Indiana isn’t just for the right to compete for possibly the GOP’s best opportunity to seize a Senate seat from Democrats in next year’s midterms," wrote Maggie Severns and Kevin Robillard. "It’s a chance to finally settle the score between two ambitious pols who’ve been vying to outdo one another politically since they graduated from the same small college more than 25 years ago. Yes, this one is personal. Their campaign didn’t officially get underway until last week, but Messer, 48, has already accused Rokita of attacking his wife and 'spreading lies' about his record. Rokita, 47, has questioned his rival’s mental health, calling Messer 'unhinged' and a 'ticking time bomb.'"

Indiana is Trump country-- he beat Hillary 1,557,286 (56.8%) to 1,033,126 (37.9%)-- and Donnelly is disliked by significant numbers of Democrats for his right-of-center approach. He's the GOP's easiest target for 2018. Donnelly only won in 2012 because he was up against a certifiably insane person, Richard Mourdock, who kept destroying his own chances-- and even then, Donnelly would have lost if not for Libertarian Andrew Horning winning 145,282 votes (5.7%), Donnelly's margin of victory. He took 1,281,181 votes (50.0%) to Murdock's 1,133,621 (44.3%).




Over the years, Messer has enjoyed the full embrace of Indiana’s political elite, which appointed him to a seat in the state Legislature and embraced him as part of its leadership. That same elite has always kept Rokita at bay.

Rokita became one of the nation’s youngest statewide elected officials when he was elected Indiana’s secretary of state at age 31. But he made enemies among Republicans in the state Legislature, which years later redrew Rokita’s congressional district in a way that put his home on the wrong side of the new boundary. Many of Indiana’s most prominent political leaders, including Vice President Mike Pence’s brother Greg, have lined up behind Messer. And when Rokita put his name forward for governor last year when Pence became Trump’s vice presidential nominee, the state Republican central committee instead went with now-Gov. Eric Holcomb, a former party chairman.

“Todd has a sense that ‘Messer gets all the breaks and I don’t,’” said one GOP operative. “Now they’re placed in a zero-sum game, and their underlying feelings come out.”

Those feelings reached a boiling point in May and have not calmed since. Messer had been considering a challenge to Donnelly since at least last summer, according to allies, and at first, Rokita waited quietly in the wings. But early this year, Rokita started raising money and meeting with Republican leaders in Washington. Then, a May Associated Press story revealed that Messer’s wife, a lawyer, was being paid a $240,000-a-year consulting fee from a small Indiana town.

The attack struck a particular nerve with Messer, who thought it was prompted by Rokita, according to two people familiar with his thinking. And he didn’t hold back.

"Frankly, I've known Todd a long time and very little surprises me," Messer told a local TV station. "But I would say it's not typical that someone starts a campaign by coming after someone's spouse.”

Rokita kept needling Messer in public, about that story and for relocating his family to Virginia. Messer distributed a lengthy email accusing Rokita of “spreading lies and half-truths,” which Rokita’s campaign responded to by calling Messer “unhinged” and a “ticking time bomb.” Soon, as both candidates lashed out at each other in the press, a dozen edits appeared on Messer’s Wikipedia page echoing one of Rokita’s main lines of attack on Messer: his work as a lobbyist.

...[M]any of the men who helped Rokita defeat a slew of other prominent Republicans in the primary have since abandoned him and are backing Messer for Senate, including his campaign manager Tom John and Grand. Rokita has gone on to earn a reputation as an exacting boss, prone to calling staff late at night.

“Todd has been more of a squeaky wheel than Luke,” said Dan Dumezich, chairman of Rokita’s finance committee. “Sometimes the squeaky wheel gets the grease, and sometimes the squeaky wheel just irritates people.”

Rokita and Messer declined to comment for this story.

Rokita ran particularly afoul of the state Legislature-- where Messer had quickly risen up the ranks during a stint several years earlier-- in 2009, as lawmakers began preparing for the once-in-a-decade redistricting process. Then in his second term as secretary of state, Rokita proposed making it a felony for lawmakers to consider politics when drawing political boundaries. He toured the state promoting his idea and drew up sample maps with new boundaries.

The Legislature bristled at Rokita’s suggestion, which would have given his office new power and disrupted lawmakers’ safe seats. The state Senate president-- a fellow Republican-- said Rokita had “crossed the line.”

Two years later, lawmakers gave Rokita his due: The Legislature drew Rokita, who by then was serving his first term in Congress, out of his district. His home sat just 500 yards from the line-- a slight that lawmakers called coincidental and Rokita publicly labeled as “comeuppance.” (Rokita would later move into his new district.)

Messer had a very different experience in the Legislature: He was appointed to a state House seat in May 2003, and by 2005 was serving in the chamber’s leadership. After a Time magazine story spotlighted Indiana as a center of the high school dropout crisis, Messer embraced school reform and found support from Gov. Mitch Daniels, as well as Indiana’s elite donors.

Rokita eyed running for Senate in 2010, but opted instead to run for the House. He arrived on Capitol Hill in 2011 and within months found himself at the center of a national clash after he joined other newly elected conservatives in refusing to vote to raise the debt ceiling, enraging House leaders. Messer ran for Congress in 2010 unsuccessfully, but succeeded two years later on his third try. The Wabash grads then found themselves rubbing elbows-- and at times, throwing them-- on Capitol Hill.

Messer again rose up the ranks fast: Within two years he was elected as chair of the House Republican Policy Committee. And he again embraced education by leading a school choice caucus, hosting rallies attended by John Boehner and Eric Cantor that featured Messer as the smiling emcee.

While Rokita appears endlessly willing to take on unpopular-- but important-- fights, Messer has been quick to build coalitions and quickly rose to leadership positions in both the state House and in Congress.

But Messer’s skill at listening to people and building coalitions can have downsides as well, a GOP strategist warned. “Luke’s personality is to try to placate both sides. You may not ultimately satisfy anybody,” he said.

And Rokita, who led an education subcommittee, jockeyed with Messer for prominence on their key issue. In 2015, he was working diligently on a major education bill when Messer nearly unraveled a year’s work. Messer made a stand in favor of adopting school vouchers, a controversial issue that jeopardized the bill; Rokita fumed to colleagues until Messer backed down.

Today, both men are fuming in public as they launch their campaigns. Both say they’re focused on running campaigns that can eventually defeat Donnelly-- but they frequently fall back into a now-familiar habit, nipping at each other instead of their Democratic foe.

But there’s also an upshot for people like Grand, the Indiana lobbyist, who happens to share an alma mater with the two Indiana congressmen.

“Either way,” Grand said, “Wabash College wins.”
The most recent poll by right-wing polling firm, GS Strategy, shows Rokita leading significantly. It's going to take a really gi-mormous anti-Trump/anti-McConnell/anti-Ryan tsunami for the Democrats to hold Donnelly's seat. Having strong Democratic candidates down-ballot-- like Dan Canon in the 9th district, for example-- will, ironically, help turnout for Republican-lite Donnelly.

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Business Leaders And Political Leaders Abandon Trump In Disgust

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The Last Supper by Nancy Ohanian

If you've never heard of it before, Trump's Manufacturing Jobs Initiative council has come into the public eye in the last couple of days-- and for all the wrong reasons. He established the council in January to informally advice him on job creation issues. This is the list of the initial roster of executives:
Andrew Liveris, Dow Chemical
Bill Brown, Harris Corporation
Michael Dell, Dell Technologies
John Ferriola, Nucor Corporation
Jeff Fettig, Whirlpool Corporation
Mark Fields, Ford Motor Company
Ken Frazier, Merck & Co.
Alex Gorsky, Johnson & Johnson
Greg Hayes, United Technologies Corp.
Marilynn Hewson, Lockheed Martin Corp.
Jeff Immelt, General Electric
Jim Kamsickas, Dana Inc.
Klaus Kleinfeld, Arconic
Brian Krzanich, Intel Corp.
Rich Kyle, The Timken Company
Thea Lee, AFL-CIO
Mario Longhi, U.S. Steel
Denise Morrison, Campbell Soup
Dennis Muilenburg, Boeing
Elon Musk, Tesla
Doug Oberhelman, Caterpillar
Scott Paul, Alliance for American Manufacturing
Kevin Plank, Under Armour
Michael Polk, Newell Brands
Mark Sutton, International Paper
Inge Thulin, 3M
Richard Tumka, AFL-CIO
Wendell Weeks, Corning
Trump's policies on immigration and Climate Change have alienated some of the members and some, like Tesla's Elon Musk, Uber's Travis Kalanick and Disney's Bob Iger saw the writing on the wall long ago and resigned. When anyone leaves, Trump curses them out and adds new members. Typical Trumpy-the-Clown tweet from yesterday:




His response to the tragedy in Charlottesville was widely seen as too sympathetic to domestic terrorists, the KKK and Nazis and more members quit, infuriating Señor Trumpanzee and driving him into a rage. Ken Frazier, the CEO of Merck was the first to bail, issuing this statement that left Trump climbing the walls at Bedminster. When Trump read "America’s leaders must honor our fundamental values by clearly rejecting expressions of hatred, bigotry and group supremacy, which run counter to the American ideal that all people are created equal," Trump immediately tweeted menacingly-- in a Queens middle school playground kind of way-- "Now that Ken Frazier of Merck Pharma has resigned from President's Manufacturing Council,he will have more time to LOWER RIPOFF DRUG PRICES!" Trump is such a douche bag!




And his bullying tactics didn't seem to deter anyone. Right after his screed against Frazier, Kevin Plank, founder and CEO of Under Armour announced that he had "joined the American Manufacturing Council because I believed it was important for Under Armour to have an active seat at the table and represent our industry. We remain resolute in our potential and ability to improve American manufacturing. However, Under Armour engages in innovation and sports, not politics. I am appreciative of the opportunity to have served, but have decided to step down from the council. I love our country and our company and will continue to focus my efforts on inspiring every person that they can do anything through the power of sport which promotes unity, diversity and inclusion."

Next came Intel CEO Brian Krzanich with this statement condemning the "very fine" racists at the core of Trump's support, something that further enraged the already enraged Trump: "Earlier today, I tendered my resignation from the American Manufacturing Council. I resigned to call attention to the serious harm our divided political climate is causing to critical issues, including the serious need to address the decline of American manufacturing. Politics and political agendas have sidelined the important mission of rebuilding America’s manufacturing base. I have already made clear my abhorrence at the recent hate-spawned violence in Charlottesville, and earlier today I called on all leaders to condemn the white supremacists and their ilk who marched and committed violence. I resigned because I want to make progress, while many in Washington seem more concerned with attacking anyone who disagrees with them. We should honor-- not attack-- those who have stood up for equality and other cherished American values. I hope this will change, and I remain willing to serve when it does."




Scott Paul, CEO of the Alliance for American Manufacturing, Scott Paul, announced his resignation from The Trumpist panel on twitter. About a quarter of the panel, including Mark Fields of Ford Motors, Mario Longhi of U.S. Steel and Klaus Kleinfeld of Arconic, have resigned. Still left are:
Andrew Liveris, Dow Chemical
Bill Brown, Harris Corporation
Michael Dell, Dell Technologies
John Ferriola, Nucor Corporation
Jeff Fettig, Whirlpool Corporation
Alex Gorsky, Johnson & Johnson
Greg Hayes, United Technologies Corp.
Marilynn Hewson, Lockheed Martin Corp.
Jeff Immelt, General Electric
Jim Kamsickas, Dana Inc.
Rich Kyle, The Timken Company
Thea Lee, AFL-CIO
Denise Morrison, Campbell Soup
Dennis Muilenburg, Boeing
Doug Oberhelman, Caterpillar
Michael Polk, Newell Brands
Mark Sutton, International Paper
Inge Thulin, 3M
Richard Tumka, AFL-CIO
Wendell Weeks, Corning

Bankster Jamie Dimon of JP Morgan Chase is still hanging on as a Trump outside adviser (on the Strategic and Policy Forum). He claims he's doing it because, for all his flaws, Trumpanzee "the pilot flying our airplane. We’re trying to help. I would try to help any president of the United States because I’m a patriot. We do not-- it does not mean we agree with all the policies that the administration comes up with." Andrew Liveris of Dow, is a true believer and a dyed-in-the-wool Trumpist. He gave a million dollars to the Trump inauguration slush fund and Trump made him chairman of the Manufacturing Jobs Initiative council. When Trump is holed up in the Oval Office refusing the accept the subpoenas from Mueller, Liveris will be with him, as will Michael Dell who just wants to keep Trump focused on tax breaks for billionaires and Marilyn Hewson, who wants nothing more than to have Trumpanzee buy lots more of the over-priced military equipment Lockheed Martin sells, like the F-35 fighter jet Trump has stopped criticizing.

As for the AFL-CIO's Richard Trumka and Thea Lee, they've never even been informed about where meetings subsequent to the first one have been held so they're not being treated by Trump as members anyway. [UPDATE: Lee and Trumka resigned late yesterday. And Inge Thulin, president of 3M dumped Trump this morning: "Sustainability, diversity and inclusion are my personal values and also fundamental to the 3M Vision. The past few months have provided me with an opportunity to reflect upon my commitment to these values... After careful consideration, I believe the initiative is no longer an effective vehicle for 3M to advance these goals. As a result, today I am resigning from the Manufacturing Advisory Council. At 3M, we will continue to champion an environment that supports sustainability, diversity and inclusion. I am committed to building a company that improves lives in every corner of the world."]




Trumpanzee had an actual press conference yestreday. Expect more resignations soon. Here are some nuggets from the transcript of that shit-show:
Reporter: Why do you think these CEOs are leaving your manufacturing council?

Trump: Because they are not taking their job seriously as it pertains to this country. We want jobs, manufacturing in this country. If you look at some of those people that you're talking about, they're outside of the country. They're having a lot of their product made outside. If you look at Merck as an example. Take a look where-- excuse me, excuse me. Take a look at where their product is made. It's made outside of our country. We want products made in the country. Now, I have to tell you, some of the folks that will leave, they are leaving out of embarrassment because they make their products outside and I've been lecturing them, including the gentleman that you're referring to, about you have to bring it back to this country. You can't do it necessarily in Ireland and all of these other places. You have to bring this work back to this country. That's what I want. I want manufacturing to be back into the United States so that American workers can benefit.

Reporter: Why did you wait so long to put that last statement out?

Trump: I didn't wait long. I didn't wait long. I didn't wait long.

Reporter: It was at least 48 hours.

Trump: I wanted to make sure-- unlike most politicians, that what I said was correct. Not make a quick statement. The statement I made on Saturday, the first statement, was a fine statement. But you don't make statements that direct unless you know the fact. It takes a little while to get the facts. You still don't know the facts, and it's a very, very important process to me, and it's a very important statement, so I don't want to go quickly and just make a statement for the sake of making a political statement. I want to know the facts. If you go back to-- I brought it. I brought it. I brought it. As I said-- remember this, Saturday-- we condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence. It has no place in America, and then I went on from there. Now, here's the thing. Excuse me, excuse me. Take it nice and easy. Here's the thing. When I make a statement, I like to be correct. I want the facts. This event just happened. In fact, a lot of the event didn't even happen yet, as we were speaking. This event just happened. Before I make a statement, I need the facts, so I don't want to rush into a statement.

So, making the statement when I made it was excellent. In fact, the young woman, who I hear is a fantastic young woman-- and it was on NBC-- her mother wrote me and said-- through I guess Twitter, social media-- the nicest things, and I very much appreciated that. I hear she was a fine, really actually an incredible young woman. But her mother on Twitter thanked me for what I said. And honestly, if the press were not fake and if it was honest, the press would have said what I said was very nice. But unlike you and unlike-- excuse me-- unlike you and unlike the media, before I make a statement I like to know the facts.

...Reporter: The CEO of WalMart said you missed a critical opportunity to help bring the country together. Did you?

Trump: Not at all. I think the country-- look, you take a look. I've created over a million jobs since I'm president. The country is booming, the stock market is setting records. We have the highest employment numbers we've ever had in the history of our country. We're doing record business. We have the highest levels of enthusiasm. So, the head of WalMart, whom I know, who is a very nice guy, was making a political statement. I mean, I do it the same way. You know why? Because I want to make sure, when I make a statement that the statement is correct, and there was no way-- there was no way of making a correct statement that early. I had to see the facts, unlike a lot of reporters-- unlike a lot of reporters. I know, David Duke was there. I wanted to see the facts, and the facts as they started coming out were very well-stated. In fact, everybody said his statement was beautiful. If he would have made it sooner, that would have been good. I couldn't have made it sooner because I didn't know all of the facts. Frankly, people still don't know all of the facts. It was very important-- excuse me, excuse me. It was very important to me to get the facts out and correctly, because if I would have made a fast statement-- and the first statement was made without knowing much other than what we were seeing. The second statement was made with knowledge, with great knowledge. There's still things-- excuse me, there's still things that people don't know. I want to make a statement with knowledge. I wanted to know the facts. Okay.

...Reporter: Senator McCain said that the alt-right is behind these attacks, and he linked that same group to those who perpetrated the attack in Charlottesville.

Trump: Well, I don't know. I can't tell you. I'm sure Senator McCain must know what he's talking about. But when you say the alt-right...uh, define alt-right to me. You define it. Go ahead... define it for me. Come on, let's go.

Reporter: Senator McCain defined them as the same groups.

Trump: OK. What about the alt-left that came charging at... Excuse me, what about the alt-left that came charging at the, as you say, the alt-right. Do they have any semblance of guilt? Let me ask you this. What about the fact they came charging-- that they came charging, with clubs in their hands, swinging clubs? Do they have any problem? I think they do. So, you know, as far as I'm concerned, that was a horrible, horrible day... Wait a minute. I'm not finished. I'm not finished, fake news. That was a horrible day.

Reporter: Is it the same level as neo-Nazis?

Trump: I will tell you something. I watched those very closely, much more closely than you people watched it, and you have-- You had a group on one side that was bad and you had a group on the other side that was also very violent. And nobody wants to say that, but I'll say it right now. You had a group, you had a group on the other side that came charging in without a permit and they were very, very violent... Those people were also there because they wanted to protest the taking down of a statue of Robert E. Lee. So … Excuse me. And you take a look at some of the groups and you see and you'd know it if you were honest reporters-- which in many cases you're not. But many of those people were there to protest the taking down of the statue of Robert E. Lee. So, this week it's Robert E. Lee. I noticed that Stonewall Jackson is coming down. I wonder is it George Washington next week and is it Thomas Jefferson the week after? You know, you really do have to ask yourself where does it stop? But they were there to protest- excuse me. You take a look the night before, they were there to protest the taking down of the statue of the Robert E. Lee... I do think there's blame-- Yes. I do think there's blame on both sides. You look at both sides. I think there's blame on both sides and I have no doubt about it and you don't have any doubt about it either and-- and- and-- and if you reported it accurately, you would say it.

Reporter: Neo-Nazis started this in Charlottesville. They showed up at Charlottesville, they...

Trump: Excuse me.

Reporter: To protest the removal of that...

Trump: ...You have some very bad people in that group, but you also had people that were very fine people on both sides. You had people in that group-- excuse me, excuse me-- I saw the same pictures as you did. You had people in that group that were there to protest the taking down of, to them, a very, very important statue and the renaming of a park from Robert E. Lee to another name.

Reporter: Do you support white nationalists, then?

Trump: Well, George Washington was a slave owner. Was George Washington a slave owner? So, will George Washington now lose his status? Are we going to take down- Excuse me. Are we going to take down, are we going to take down statues to George Washington? How about Thomas Jefferson? What do you think of Thomas Jefferson? You like him?

Reporter: I do love Thomas Jefferson...

Trump: OK, good. Well, are we going to take down the statue? Because he was a major slave owner. Now, are we going to take down his statue? So, you know what? It's fine. You're changing history. You're changing culture and you had people, and I'm not talking about the neo-Nazis and the white nationalists because they should be condemned, totally. But you had many people in that group other than neo-Nazis and white nationalists, OK? And the press has treated them absolutely unfairly. Now, in the other group also, you had some fine people, but you also had troublemakers and you see them come with the black outfits and with the helmets and with the baseball bats. You got a lot of bad people in the other group, too.
Meanwhile... Trumpanzee yesterday, clarifying his remarks about Charlottesville after he hurt the feelings of his Nazi supporters: "Many of those people were there to protest the taking down of the statue of Robert E. Lee. This week, it is Robert E. Lee and this week, Stonewall Jackson. Is it George Washington next? You have to ask yourself, where does it stop? ... I've condemned neo-Nazis. I've condemned many different groups. Not all of those people were neo-Nazis, believe me. Not all of those people were white supremacists by any stretch."

But they were. New Hampshire's progressive member of Congress, Carol Shea-Porter spoke out immediately after Trump backtracked. "There are," she made clear, no 'very fine' neo-Nazis. I never thought we would hear such disgusting and outrageous comments from a President of the United States-- comments that were immediately praised by David Duke, the former leader of the Ku Klux Klan. Today’s comments from President Trump are a disgrace to our nation. Over the past week, the President has twice failed to condemn white supremacists’ violence and terror, and today, he went so far as to suggest there is moral equivalence between neo-Nazis and those who protest hate. If President Trump and his pro-white-supremacist staffers in the White House think they can tear down everything America stands for, they are wrong. We will not let them extinguish America’s beacon of hope and tolerance."

Carol was one of the nearly 3 dozen members of Congress to sign on as co-sponsors of Pramila Jayapal's resolution demanding Trump fire the neo-Nazis working in the White House. Co-sponsors include Barbara Lee (D-CA), Ro Khanna (D-CA), Mark Pocan (D-WI), Jerry Nadler (D-NY), Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) and Judy Chu (D-CA). The resolution
Condemns the role of white supremacist, neo-Nazi, KKK and other hate groups in the “Unite the Right” rally and domestic terror attack in Charlottesville, Virginia;
Denounces the increase in organizing, fear-mongering, racism, anti-Semitism, bigotry and violence perpetrated by white supremacists, neo-Nazis, the KKK and other hate groups;
Offers condolences and sympathies to the families of Heather Heyer, Lt. H. Jay Cullen and Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates, and urges a quick recovery to those injured;
Strongly urges the president to:
Fire individuals in the White House and Trump administration who have supported or encouraged support for white supremacists;
Quickly and publicly repudiate and denounce white supremacist, neo-Nazi, KKK and other hate groups;
Use all available resources of the Office of the President and the Cabinet to address the growing prevalence of such hate groups domestically;
Use his office to unite all Americans against hate.


Needless to say, none of the Trump-aligned Blue Dogs are co-sponsoring Pramila's resolution. And, of course, that includes Chicagoland conservative Dan Lipinski. Blue America is backing his primary opponent, Marie Newman, who told us that she was "horrified by Trump's comments today. When white supremacists and neo-nazis are supporting a politician's comments both verbally and visually, it is extremely clear that politician, Donald Trump and those disgusting groups are in agreement and alignment. Therefore, from here forward I will place Donald Trump and those groups in the same despicable category: racist and vile. I would have gladly and immediately signed onto Pramila Jayapal's resolution today. I am shocked and deeply disturbed that congressman Lipinski did not sign on to Jayapal's resolution and continues to support Trump, but not support America, freedom and human rights."

Similarly, Randy Bryce, the progressive Democrat running for the southeast Wisconsin seat currently occupied by Paul Ryan-- who has refused to condemn Trump's racism-- said he would have been an initial co-sponsor on Pramila's resolution. Last night he told us that he "would have happily signed on. I plan on making a bigger table that includes everyone, not begging to be seated at one where those who support racists are seated."


UPDATE: Trump's Candidate Failed In Alabama's GOP Primary Last Night

Mitch McConnell spent over $3,000,000 on bolstering incumbent Luther Strange and a Trump PAC spent another $500,000 in the last 2 days. But last night Roy Moore whipped Strange's ass 162,570 (38.9%) to 136,910 (32.8%), with another right-wing crackpot, Mo Brooks, taking 82,363 votes (19.7%). Trump endorsed Strange loudly and publicly several times and begged Alabama voters to back him. Last year Trump won Alabama's 9 electoral votes with 62% to Hillary's 34%. Looks like even voters there think he's a loud mouthed a-hole. Moore and Strange will face off in a primary September 26.

Decrepit right-wing freak David Bozell attacked McConnell, but noticeably left Trumpanzee out of his hateful screed: "Alabama's GOP primary results should serve as a bucket of cold water for Mitch McConnell and his cohorts in the DC Establishment. Unequivocally, the Republican base will not support Mitch McConnell's weak kneed, devoid of principals, pay-for-play, brand of politics. McConnell's political toxicity infects all of those around him, including  six-month-long Senator Luther Strange. We looking forward to Roy Moore, the next U.S. Senator from Alabama, and encourage him to join our chorus of conservatives who want to end McConnell's leadership reign in Washington."


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