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Elizabeth Warren dominates Daily Kos Straw Poll, Sanders and rest of field far behind

The Elizabeth Warren consolidation of the Daily Kos Left continues. Yesterday’s straw poll results: 9/17 8/27 8/14 8/2 7/17 7/2 6/11 5/29 5/14 5/1 4/15 4/2 3/18 2/18 2/5 1/22 1/8 WA
Daily Kos

Elizabeth Warren dominates Daily Kos Straw Poll, Sanders and rest of field far behind

The Elizabeth Warren consolidation of the Daily Kos Left continues. Yesterday’s straw poll results: 9/17 8/27 8/14 8/2 7/17 7/2 6/11 5/29 5/14 5/1 4/15 4/2 3/18 2/18 2/5 1/22 1/8 WARREN 43 39 34 33 35 29 34 25 25 19 12 12 12 10 17 18 22 SANDERS 15 17 23 25 20 25 25 34 26 34 40 33 38 44 13 12 11 Yang 11 9 7 5 4 3 2 2 - - - - - - - - - Biden 9 11 10 12 11 7 12 10 14 18 5 8 - 8 11 13 14 BUTTIGIEG 7 7 6 6 7 7 10 9 9 10 21 18 6 - - - - HARRIS 5 6 8 7 14 19 7 11 11 8 9 11 11 15 27 27 14 OTHER 8 9 10 10 9 10 * * * * * * * * * * * UNSURE 2 2 2 2 ** ** 3 2 3 4 3 4 5 4 6 6 9 (VOTES) 54K 58.5K 54K 59.3K 57.2K 63.2K 57.5K 39.8K 60K 53.1K 35.5K 40.2K 52.5K 56K 42.2K 28K 35.5K That’s some impressive spamming by the Yang crowd, pushing Uncle Joe down to fourth place around these parts. Meanwhile, Sanders continues to fade as an option as Warren continues her slow, methodical, purposeful climb—here and in the outside world.  Look at the combined totals from the Warren-Sanders Left the last seven straw polls: 58%, 56%, 57%, 58%, 55%, 54%, and 59%. That’s not to say Warren isn’t growing from other places. Kamala Harris, Pete Buttigieg, and others have slid significantly from their high-water marks. Some of that support has likely landed with Warren. And even the “other” category has inched down. But the consistency of the two-candidate Warren and Sanders vote is striking. 

Trump names his 4th national security adviser in 3 years, a man who didn't want the job or Trump

The only things you can count on in the Trump administration are high turnover and public humiliation on the way out the door. We’ve seen it time and time again, from Omarosa Manigault-Newman to Rex Tillerson to John Bolton. People come into the Trump admi
Daily Kos

Trump names his 4th national security adviser in 3 years, a man who didn't want the job or Trump

The only things you can count on in the Trump administration are high turnover and public humiliation on the way out the door. We’ve seen it time and time again, from Omarosa Manigault-Newman to Rex Tillerson to John Bolton. People come into the Trump administration with high hopes, hitching their wagons to the incompetence and whimsy of Donald Trump, only to be tossed aside and publicly humiliated when the mood strikes their man. And so begins Robert O’Brien’s march to a humiliating end. In a tweet, Donald Trump named O’Brien his fourth national security adviser in three short years. If there was ever a position where you wanted stability, overseeing national security would be the one. During his eight years in the White House, President Obama had three national security advisers, with Susan Rice in the role for the final five years of his presidency.  O’Brien comes to the role from the State Department where he was the chief hostage negotiator. Donald Trump apparently admired his work in Sweden, where he tried to intervene in a case with rapper A$AP Rocky, who was jailed for his role in a skirmish involving his bodyguards and two men who were following them. In the end, it was a judge who set them free, not the work of Robert O’Brien. In April, Donald Trump tweeted praise of himself, praise he said came from Robert O’Brien, but the State Department refused to confirm the source of the quote. 

It wasn't Corey Lewandowski who impaired the impeachment inquiry on Tuesday. It was Jerry Nadler

Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski spent six hours in front of the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, being questioned both by the members and by a staff attorney. It was an extraordinarily frustrating experience, one in which Lewandowski both adm
Daily Kos

It wasn't Corey Lewandowski who impaired the impeachment inquiry on Tuesday. It was Jerry Nadler

Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski spent six hours in front of the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, being questioned both by the members and by a staff attorney. It was an extraordinarily frustrating experience, one in which Lewandowski both admitted that he had no right to claim executive privilege, continued to refuse to answer the critical questions for which he had been summoned, and yet walked away without facing any consequences. In fact, after clearly saying that he was under no obligation to tell the truth and admitting to lying on national media, Lewandowski was immediately booked for a morning appearance on CNN. It was that kind of day. As the first official hearing in the Judiciary Committee’s inquiry into whether there should be an inquiry, the word that best sums it up is “pitiful.” But it didn’t have to be that way. There were two moments that showed that such hearings could be useful, could genuinely produce information, and could genuinely build the foundation necessary to take this mess back in front of the whole House.  The first of those instances was actually the last—the last hour of the hearing, in which Lewandowski faced attorney Barry Berke, a white collar attorney who has taken a leave of absence from a top-ranked New York firm expressly to assist the committee. Berke hit Lewandowski with rapid-fire questions that cut through the wall of smugness to finally knock the sneer from the former campaign manager’s face. As Republican Rep. Doug Collins, who had done everything possible throughout the hearing to cause disruption short of hitting an air horn, tossed papers and stormed from the room “in protest,” Berke did what he came there to do—force Lewandowski to momentarily stop making catty remarks and own up to his lies. That included getting Lewandowski to say, “I have no obligation to have a candid conversation with the media whatsoever.” Which was, of course, the queue for bookers to schedule him at CNN. The other critical moment was when Rep. Eric Swalwell tried and failed to get Lewandowski to answer a simple question for easily the hundredth time and instead got another repeat of Lewandowski claiming that the White House had asked him not to talk about any conversation with Trump, the staff, or pretty much anyone. Lewandowski also made sure to toss in a not-at-all-veiled threat. When asked by Swalwell whether or not he always put his notes in a safe, Lewandowski replied that it was a big safe and that “there are a lot of guns in there.” Shortly after that point, Swalwell turned to committee Chair Jerry Nadler and asked him to hold Lewandowski in contempt. After a morning defined by frustration and stonewalling, there was a glimmer … and then Nadler replied that he would “take it under advisement.” And that was it.

Recent Republican-pushed federal shutdowns gained nothing, but cost taxpayers at least $4 billion

A new Senate report pegs the cost of the last three government shutdowns, from the bizarre 2013 Republican shutdown demanding the end of «Obamacare» to the two 2018-2019 Trump-led shutdowns over whether or not he would be granted taxpayer funds t
Daily Kos

Recent Republican-pushed federal shutdowns gained nothing, but cost taxpayers at least $4 billion

A new Senate report pegs the cost of the last three government shutdowns, from the bizarre 2013 Republican shutdown demanding the end of «Obamacare» to the two 2018-2019 Trump-led shutdowns over whether or not he would be granted taxpayer funds to build his Great Wall of Racism, at about $4 billion dollars. That's $4 billion dollars from American taxpayers that was effectively lit on fire by Republican hostage-takers, in addition to the closure of government offices, national parks, and other non-«essential» facilities. The vast majority of the bill, $3.7 billion, represents back pay to furloughed federal workers. Those workers aren't paid, during shutdowns, often resulting in enormous consequences (missed rent or mortgage payments); when Congress eventually returns with its tail tucked between its legs to solve the self-imposed crisis, they typically restore that back pay in an effort to keep federal workers from quitting en masse. Other costs might include the cleaning and repairing temporarily abandoned public spaces; in an effort to soften public anger at Trump's longest shutdown, the administration attempted to keep some parks open even without staff to monitor them, with predictable effects. The Senate report does not include the costs to all government agencies—such as the Department of Defense. What did the American public gain, in exchange for that $4 billion? Nothing. Not a thing. Closed parks, closed government offices, delays in critical paperwork, licenses and so forth, with a fat bill attached. It was done for no reason other than self-promotion by sets of posturing Republican cranks; none of the three recent shutdowns came with a Republican plan for how «shuttered government offices» would result in «Obamacare goes away» or «Trump gets funding for a boondoggle project so absurd that even unified Republican House and Senate rule had refused to pay for it.» There you go, then. A trillion dollars in tax cuts to the wealthy, a few billion here and there for Ted Cruz or the Idiot in Chief to use as fodder for fundraising letters, and a party-wide commitment to pumping both private and government cash into Donald Trump's pockets via his own still-held for-profit businesses. To be sure, some American taxpayers will find all of this worth it. They are extremely devoted to Republican Party racism and conspiracy-mongering, and are willing to piss away quite a bit of their own paychecks in order to prop those things up. Those costs are getting steep, though. One wonders how many in the Republican base are fully aware of that.

CNN shamelessly booked admitted liar Corey Lewandowski and it predictably went off the rails

Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, appeared before the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday and after hours of questioning, in which Lewandowski stalled, deflected, and at times outright mocked members of Congress and their oversigh
Daily Kos

CNN shamelessly booked admitted liar Corey Lewandowski and it predictably went off the rails

Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, appeared before the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday and after hours of questioning, in which Lewandowski stalled, deflected, and at times outright mocked members of Congress and their oversight finally provided fireworks during the last thirty minutes of the day. Under questioning from criminal defense attorney Barry Berke, who is consulting with the House Judiciary Committee, Lewandowski admitted he lied in media appearances, saying, “I have no obligation to be honest to the media.” You can see that moment in the clip below. Corey Lewandowski admitted he lies on national television, which means he therefore lies to the American public about key issues related to the president, and you’d think that would be enough to get him banned from more appearances, right? Wrong. CNN immediately booked him for an appearance this morning and it went about as well as you would expect. Lewandowski was brash, childish, combative, and again thoroughly proved himself to be a serial liar and a person of unquestionably low character. This is the train wreck CNN willingly booked today: xCNN's interview with Corey Lewandowski was, predictably, a mess. Here he is steamrolling Alisyn Camerota as she tries to ask him questions. pic.twitter.com/ctBFyUxECk— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 18, 2019

Watch as House Judiciary counsel Barry Berke knocks the smug off Corey Lewandowski's mug

Anyone watching the appearance of Corey Lewandowski before the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday was very likely to come away thinking it was a complete waste of time. Or, at least, a waste of time for those who were trying to learn something about Donal
Daily Kos

Watch as House Judiciary counsel Barry Berke knocks the smug off Corey Lewandowski's mug

Anyone watching the appearance of Corey Lewandowski before the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday was very likely to come away thinking it was a complete waste of time. Or, at least, a waste of time for those who were trying to learn something about Donald Trump’s efforts to get Lewandowski to obstruct justice by forcing then-Attorney General Jefferson Sessions to halt the investigation into the Trump campaign in 2016. Those who tuned in to see Republicans roll their eyes, pound their fists, and say “Hillary Clinton” over 40 times while making references to both Stalin and Lenin were richly rewarded. After five hours of watching Lewandowski insult representatives and refuse to answer questions, every news network tuned out. Even C-SPAN moved the hearing from CSPAN 1 to did-you-know-there’s-a-CSPAN-3? But that’s when it got good. Because that’s when Barry Berke—on loan as a consultant to the committee from a top New York law firm—got his chance to question Trump’s former campaign manager. And the result was genuinely electric. Had Berke gone first, it’s fair to say that the Lewandowski hearing would be at the top of every paper on Wednesday, rather than buried somewhere in the depths. The whole point of bringing Berke in to begin with was so he could do exactly what he did on Tuesday. The effectiveness with which he easily threw Lewandowski off balance and ripped away his script of nonanswers is really something to see; it’s too bad almost no one saw it.  The lesson coming out of Tuesday was simple enough: Let Berke go first. The five-minute rule and the back-and-forth nature of questioning by representatives result in a process that’s both ineffective in extracting information and prone to promoting grandstanding. Even from the Democratic side, the questions involved a lot of loud declarations about Lewandowski being a “hit man” or Trump using him as “an enforcer,” which might be good as a shot at getting a line on the evening news, but were utterly useless in getting a response. Watch Berke do his thing … and imagine how these hearings could be.

Post-debate poll: Biden, Warren on the rise; enthusiasm surging for Warren

The first major national poll following last week's Democratic debate showed the basic trajectory of the race virtually uninterrupted. The NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found former Vice President Joe Biden and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren asserti
Daily Kos

Post-debate poll: Biden, Warren on the rise; enthusiasm surging for Warren

The first major national poll following last week's Democratic debate showed the basic trajectory of the race virtually uninterrupted. The NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found former Vice President Joe Biden and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren asserting their dominance at the top of the field, while Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders essentially flatlines and California Sen. Kamala Harris loses steam. Here are the candidates' standings from the poll of Democratic primary voters released late Tuesday as compared to the standings from the same poll released in mid-July.  Joe Biden: 31% (+5) Sen. Elizabeth Warren: 25% (+6) Sen. Bernie Sanders: 14% (+1) Mayor Pete Buttigieg: 7% (0) Sen. Kamala Harris: 5% (-8) Entrepreneur Andrew Yang: 4% (+2) Sen. Amy Klobuchar: 2% (+1) Sen. Cory Booker: 2% (+1) Former Rep. Beto O'Rourke: 1% (-1) Former HUD Secretary Julián Castro: 1% (0) Both Biden and Warren should feel relatively good about their standings in this poll. The data held more good news for both candidates, as Warren topped the «enthusiasm» list and Biden led the «comfortability» list. 

Morning Digest: North Carolina GOP passes new legislative gerrymanders—and some Democrats join them

The Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir, Jeff Singer, Stephen Wolf, Carolyn Fiddler, and Matt Booker, with additional contributions from David Jarman, Steve Singiser, Daniel Donner, James Lambert, David Beard, and Arjun Jaikumar. Lead
Daily Kos

Morning Digest: North Carolina GOP passes new legislative gerrymanders—and some Democrats join them

The Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir, Jeff Singer, Stephen Wolf, Carolyn Fiddler, and Matt Booker, with additional contributions from David Jarman, Steve Singiser, Daniel Donner, James Lambert, David Beard, and Arjun Jaikumar. Leading Off ● NC Redistricting: On Tuesday, North Carolina's Republican-led legislature passed new state House and Senate districts after a state court struck them down earlier this month for discriminating against Democrats in violation of the state constitution. Shown here, the new Senate map redraws the 21 invalidated districts out of 50 total. However, as Daily Kos Elections' Stephen Wolf has demonstrated in an extensive post, many of the districts in both chambers still bear the signs of partisan gerrymandering in violation of the court's order.​ Campaign Action ​Making matters worse, most Senate Democrats voted in favor of the GOP's new stealth gerrymanders of the upper chamber on Monday, undermining the cause for fair maps and giving the GOP political ammunition by praising the process itself. However, Senate Democrats unanimously voted against the new House map on Tuesday, and House Democrats almost uniformly held firm against both maps. Furthermore, the court retains final say over whether to approve the new districts, and it has already appointed a nonpartisan expert to draw the lines for it if necessary. The court's criteria mandated that any new maps make a «reasonable» effort to draw lines that «improve the compactness» of the legislature's districts and split fewer precincts compared to the illegal versions. Mapmakers were allowed but not required to consider preserving the integrity of municipalities and avoid pairing incumbents in the same districts. Critically, they were prohibited from preserving the cores of the illegal districts or relying on any partisan or election data, but Republicans likely found covert ways around that, given some of the choices behind their maps. To assess the impact of any new lines compared to the old districts, we have calculated the 2004-2016 statewide elections results for every district. These results, along with the GOP's failure to strictly follow the court's criteria compared to nonpartisan alternatives Wolf has drawn, indicate that a considerable number of districts still show signs of gerrymandering. That's especially true in the state House, and it's likely that the GOP's new maps will be challenged ahead of the court's Sept. 27 deadline for objections.

Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: Israeli elections and movement in Democratic primaries

Haaretz: Israel Election 2019: Netanyahu Fails to Secure Majority, Gantz Leads, Arabs Surge, Exit Polls Show Two exit polls show Kahol Lavan overtaking Likud, one poll has them tied ■ Labor Party, Democratic Union make it in ■ Kahanist party wiped off
Daily Kos

Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: Israeli elections and movement in Democratic primaries

Haaretz: Israel Election 2019: Netanyahu Fails to Secure Majority, Gantz Leads, Arabs Surge, Exit Polls Show Two exit polls show Kahol Lavan overtaking Likud, one poll has them tied ■ Labor Party, Democratic Union make it in ■ Kahanist party wiped off political map xEarly signs suggest @Netanyahu miscalculated - targeting #Arab voters only produced huge #Arab turnout while he seems to have failed to swallow enough right-wing voters to make #Likud largest party. Fact that #Putin helped him more than #Trump had to be major disappointment.— Robert Satloff (@robsatloff) September 17, 2019 Here is the Putin reference: His ties to Putin, in particular, are seen by him as important in pulling in votes from Israel’s large community of Russian speakers. xBREAKING: In first post elections speech Netanyahu refuses to concede. blames the media for biased coverage— Barak Ravid (@BarakRavid) September 18, 2019 Since establishing a coalition is who “wins”, it will be a while before we know who that is. There are lots of moving parts. Netanyahu opponents intensely dislike each other, and unity moves may lose them voting members. Of course, they intensely dislike him as well, so ¯_(ツ)_/¯. We won’t know who won for a while (think in days, maybe weeks). But it’s clear that Netanyahu lost his bid for a majority.

Elizabeth Warren just held her largest rally so far, and there are 20,000 selfies to prove it

Once upon a time I worked with a down-and-out college football team with a historically bad record. The university hired an assistant coach from a more successful program, and this newly minted head coach set about to turn the ship around. Each day he talke
Daily Kos

Elizabeth Warren just held her largest rally so far, and there are 20,000 selfies to prove it

Once upon a time I worked with a down-and-out college football team with a historically bad record. The university hired an assistant coach from a more successful program, and this newly minted head coach set about to turn the ship around. Each day he talked about how important it was to “do the work,” telling fans and his players to keep their heads down, put aside the distractions, do the work, and “keep sawing wood.” In a few short seasons, that coach and those players sawed so much wood that they won the Orange Bowl. Over the past year Elizabeth Warren has overcome a somewhat sluggish start to her campaign, and man, has she been sawing wood. She’s kept her head down, putting in the work, doing her homework, building a large, qualified staff, releasing one progressive plan after another, making the connections, building the alliances, and meeting voters where they are, one by one. Literally personally meeting damn near every voter along the way in her now-famous selfie lines. And that work is paying off in a big way. Last night in New York City, she drew an estimated 20,000 to her largest campaign rally to date.  Warren used the event to highlight her anti-corruption plan, calling Donald Trump “corruption in the flesh,” before pivoting to labor rights. Warren cited the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, in which 145 workers died in what was the largest industrial disaster in New York City’s history. The workers were mostly immigrant women working in sweatshop conditions. Warren cited the work of social activist Frances Perkins, who witnessed the fire and organized labor movements in the wake of the tragedy, eventually becoming President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s secretary of labor and one of the architects of the New Deal legislation. Warren focused on the similarity between the corruption of today and the factory owners in 1911 buying off their elected officials, who then turned a blind eye to the squalid, unsafe conditions for workers while the owners turned massive profits.  Speaking of Frances Perkins, Warren said, «What did one woman—one very persistent woman—backed up by millions of people across this country get done? Big structural change. Social Security. Unemployment insurance. Abolition of child labor. Minimum wage. The right to join a union. And even the very existence of the weekend! That’s big, structural change! One woman, and millions of people to back her up.»

'It’s a weapon of war’: Democratic veteran dismantles bogus assault weapons argument in eight tweets

When former Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander announced he was stepping away from political life last October—in order to deal with untreated symptoms of PTSD from his military service—he promised that while he was going to focus on getting bett
Daily Kos

'It’s a weapon of war’: Democratic veteran dismantles bogus assault weapons argument in eight tweets

When former Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander announced he was stepping away from political life last October—in order to deal with untreated symptoms of PTSD from his military service—he promised that while he was going to focus on getting better himself, he “fully intend(ed) to be working shoulder to shoulder with all of you again.” In the 11 months since, Kander has been open about dealing with depression, and has begun serving as the face of the Kansas-based Veterans Community Project, which “provides transitional housing and support services for homeless veterans.” He has also stayed active on social media, staying true to his liberal values of mental health advocacy, veteran affairs advocacy, and gun control. After the most recent series of mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton and Gilroy and Odessa, the level of discourse coming from Second Amendment dunderheads has been predictably worthless. It’s the general “thoughts and prayers,” followed by the fake calls for mental health support, followed finally by verbal acrobatics attempting to throw doubt over the term “assault weapon” itself. The AR-15 and its like have been easy-to-use killing machines, made popular recently, by their appearance in the majority of mass shootings. There are some, usually male, self-appointed experts who will insist that, in order for a weapon to be an “assault weapon,” it must be an automatic firing device; in other words, that one can hold down the trigger and bullets just fly. AR-15s, they argue, are merely semi-automatic, since one must continuously pull the trigger to fire. Of course, these semi-automatic guns can be easily rigged to house large ammunition magazines, and modern technology has allowed the pulling of triggers to be a ton easier than it was, say, during the American Revolutionary War. Kander knows these facts, and these guns, intimately. Thus, after watching idiots try and defend opposition to assault weapons bans by dismissively saying guns like the AR-15 are not assault rifles, Kander threw down an explanation on Twitter on Monday night.

ACLU of Michigan lawsuit seeks to help ‘overwhelmed’ special education programs in Flint, Michigan

At just five years old, Jaylon Wakes of Flint was suspended 50 times in a single school year in 2015, the year that the Flint water crisis hit the headlines. When he was in school, his mother, Nakiya, told Daily Kos, at one point three adults restrained him r
Daily Kos

ACLU of Michigan lawsuit seeks to help ‘overwhelmed’ special education programs in Flint, Michigan

At just five years old, Jaylon Wakes of Flint was suspended 50 times in a single school year in 2015, the year that the Flint water crisis hit the headlines. When he was in school, his mother, Nakiya, told Daily Kos, at one point three adults restrained him rather than follow appropriate behavioral interventions to help Jaylon de-escalate when having issues with his ADHD, a condition that worsened after he was exposed to lead in the family’s water. After finding out about three adults piling on her 5-year-old and another incident where a teacher “put her hands on my son” and left marks on the child, Nakiya said that today she homeschools 10-year-old Jaylon. “I just don’t feel safe with him in the Flint schools,” she said. The Wakes family is far from alone in fearing what will happen to their special needs children attending Flint schools in the wake of years of lead poisoning. The situation is so dire that in October 2018 the ACLU of Michigan and the Education Law Center filed suit to stop what they say are ongoing violations of federal law by the state of Michigan and local education authorities. Relief can’t come too soon. An August report in Education Week says that the Flint school system is “overwhelmed” by the number of special needs students in the wake of the water crisis. According to the report, “The percentage of special education students has increased by 56 percent, rising from 13.1 percent in 2012-13, the school year before the water crisis began, to 20.5 percent last school year.” In an August report by a local news station about Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s proposed school budget, Flint Community Schools superintendent Derrick Lopez said that his district had double the state average of students who have individual education plans to deal with learning and behavioral disabilities. The school system’s public relations firm did not respond to Daily Kos’ requests for an interview with Lopez. But while Flint parents are justifiably upset and the ACLU’s lawsuit names the Flint Community Schools district (along with the Genesee Intermediate School District and the Michigan Department of Education), ACLU of Michigan education attorney Kristin Totten told Daily Kos that the point of the lawsuit is to help educators in the Flint schools, not punish them.

16th Republican quits the House so he can seek redder pastures back at home

On Tuesday, Rep. Paul Cook's chief of staff said the congressman would not seek re-election next year to California’s 8th District, making Cook the 16th Republican to retire from the House so far this cycle. Instead, Cook will seek an open seat on the San B
Daily Kos

16th Republican quits the House so he can seek redder pastures back at home

On Tuesday, Rep. Paul Cook's chief of staff said the congressman would not seek re-election next year to California’s 8th District, making Cook the 16th Republican to retire from the House so far this cycle. Instead, Cook will seek an open seat on the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors, a race his team had previously said he was interested in. Cook first won election to the House in 2012 after GOP Rep. Jerry Lewis announced his retirement. At the time a member of the state Assembly, Cook took just 15.3% in a 13-way top-two primary that June, barely trailing fellow Republican Gregg Imus, a tea partier who managed 15.6%. That fall, though, the very conservative Cook beat the even more strident Imus 57-43, in part by offering slightly greater appeal to Democratic voters. Cook easily turned back Democratic opponents in 2014 and 2016, thanks to his district's deep-red lean: This sprawling seat, which hugs the Nevada border and takes in northern San Bernardino County and the High Desert, voted 55-40 for Donald Trump and 60-40 for Republican John Cox in 2018's gubernatorial race. Last year, after Democrats narrowly got squeezed out in the primary once more, Cook again faced another Republican in the general election, former Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, and beat him 60-40. (Imus, incidentally, had worked for Donnelly in the legislature.) Therefore, Republicans are overwhelmingly likely to retain this seat, though it doesn't say much about the party's prospects for regaining control of the House if members in safely red districts don't want to stick around. The San Bernardino board, by contrast, is in Republican hands, making it much more appealing to someone like Cook, who would earn a salary comparable to his congressional pay if he's elected supervisor—and enjoy a much shorter commute.

McConnell trolls us all with his power to wreck the Senate, the judiciary, the nation

Moscow Mitch McConnell is here to remind us why we keep fighting.  xSome Democrats are also threatening to “pack” the Supreme Court if they don’t get the rulings they want. These attacks on judicial independence are not norm
Daily Kos

McConnell trolls us all with his power to wreck the Senate, the judiciary, the nation

Moscow Mitch McConnell is here to remind us why we keep fighting.  xSome Democrats are also threatening to “pack” the Supreme Court if they don’t get the rulings they want. These attacks on judicial independence are not normal politics. My Republican colleagues and I will fight to preserve a fair and independent judiciary.— Leader McConnell (@senatemajldr) September 16, 2019 “Normal politics,” like denying a sitting president a Supreme Court nominee because he’s a Democrat. “Fair and independent” judiciary, like one of Trump’s latest picks McConnell has green-lighted, Steven Menashi who is so arrogantly awful even Republicans on the Senate Judiciary told him he had to tone it down during his confirmation hearing. Like alleged sexual assaulter and proven perjurer Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. McConnell is the ultimate troll, at this point wrecking the Senate and the nation just to own the libs. The only way to fix it is to end his power. Please give $1 to our Senate nominee fund to help Democrats end McConnell's career as majority leader.

Border agents don't like how they're being treated over their treatment of migrant kids, apparently

Thank goodness we’re finally hearing from the victims of Border Patrol’s inhumanity, and it’s not the migrant kids who have been separated from their families and are languishing in U.S. custody. “To have gone from where people didn’t know much abo
Daily Kos

Border agents don't like how they're being treated over their treatment of migrant kids, apparently

Thank goodness we’re finally hearing from the victims of Border Patrol’s inhumanity, and it’s not the migrant kids who have been separated from their families and are languishing in U.S. custody. “To have gone from where people didn’t know much about us to where people actively hate us, it’s difficult,” former Border Patrol agent Chris Harris told The New York Times. “There’s no doubt morale has been poor in the past, and it’s abysmal now. I know a lot of guys just want to leave.” Yes, the policies of separating families at the border and also leaving children to languish and die in cold cells are taking a toll, including on those carrying them out, apparently. “One Border Patrol agent in Tucson said he had been called a ‘sellout’ and a ‘kid killer,’” the Times continued. “We have been pointed at with this broad brush,” complained Border Patrol union president Brandon Judd, “when really the vast majority of our agents are very good people.” He should tell that to the attorney of former border agent Matthew Bowen, who recently pleaded guilty to intentionally hitting a migrant with his truck. Texts revealed he’d called migrants like the one he tried to run over with his truck “disgusting subhuman shit unworthy of being kindling for a fire” and “mindless murdering savages.” Bowen’s attorney, Sean Chapman, defended him by saying that “The use of such words is commonplace in the Tucson, Arizona sector.” Children jailed by Border Patrol have also described being insulted with derogatory language by agents, including the word puto, which is an anti-gay slur in many Spanish-speaking countries. But rather than addressing this and other deplorable conditions, the Trump administration has blocked House staffers from conducting their oversight responsibilities at detention facilities. That is why people are so pissed.  If there’s cynicism about the claims from Harris, Judd, and others, it’s because they created that. Both Judd and Harris have palled around with anti-immigrant groups: Judd with the Center for Immigration Studies of the Tanton network, and Harris with San Diegans for Secure Borders. If Border Patrol agents don’t like the way they’re being viewed by the public, they should do something about it and vocally and publicly challenge what’s happening at their agency. Stopping associations with hateful groups would also be good. Until then, their actions—and lack of actions— speak for themselves.

Daughter of a Ford autoworker, Rep. Tlaib is true to her roots in standing with striking autoworkers

About 50,000 autoworkers are striking against General Motors across the country, including in Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib’s Michigan district. Striking workers have set up picket lines at warehouses and plants as they rally for livable wages and health ca
Daily Kos

Daughter of a Ford autoworker, Rep. Tlaib is true to her roots in standing with striking autoworkers

About 50,000 autoworkers are striking against General Motors across the country, including in Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib’s Michigan district. Striking workers have set up picket lines at warehouses and plants as they rally for livable wages and health care from the corporate giant that flourishes while they struggle to survive.  Unlike Donald Trump, who noted that he feels “sad” about the strike and does absolutely nothing to help workers, Rep. Tlaib is passionately—and consistently—behind workers. And as she told Daily Kos during an exclusive interview in July, her background continues to influence her political priorities. Namely: She’s in office to fight on behalf of the disenfranchised, not to boost her own ego, unlike some people.  “I can tell you,” she told Daily Kos behind the scenes at Netroots Nation, the nation’s largest conference for progressives, held this summer in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, “being not only a proud Palestinian American as well as a Muslim, but also just even as a mother, as somebody that is the eldest of 14, the fact that I am a daughter of a UAW worker at Ford Motor Company, the fact that my mom came here pregnant with me as an immigrant from Palestine … All of those things define who I am and define the fact of why I fight so hard for those in my district that live in poverty, that feel very much they haven't had a seat at the table. All of that is so interconnected.” Today, she hasn’t forgotten her roots—or her constituents. Rep. Tlaib, whose district includes a GM facility in Romulus as well as an assembly plant in Detroit-Hamtramck, stands in strong solidarity with the workers. In a press release, she put it succinctly: «Autoworkers at GM have consistently stood up to help the company stay afloat and reach billions in profits. This is the time for GM to put people first and reject the disease of corporate greed — GM needs to take care of its workers now.»

Pelosi pushes for 'clean' short-term funding bill now, delaying border wall fight for ... later

House Democratic leadership is kicking the can down the road on a big funding fight over Donald Trump’s border wall that could lead to another government shutdown. Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democratic leaders plan to pass a short-term funding bill th
Daily Kos

Pelosi pushes for 'clean' short-term funding bill now, delaying border wall fight for ... later

House Democratic leadership is kicking the can down the road on a big funding fight over Donald Trump’s border wall that could lead to another government shutdown. Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democratic leaders plan to pass a short-term funding bill this week that doesn’t change anything or challenge Trump’s immigration policies, with the big fight to come as that bill expires in November. “Pelosi has been firm in telling her caucus that Democrats needed to back a ‘clean’ funding measure,” Politico reports, “and so far, many progressives and Latino Democrats have agreed to hold their fire for later this fall, unwilling to block the bill and take blame for a shutdown.” Progressive Democrats have been expressing concerns about not pushing back harder on Trump’s military construction money grab. Rep. Lloyd Doggett told Politico in a statement, “A short-term CR may be understandable, but longer-term appropriations that do not contain enforceable limitations on his power grab will only encourage his continued wrongdoing.” The question is when and how and how hard Pelosi will pick the fight—having put it off until November, will she put it off again? Will Trump seize the day and force another shutdown? And while the fight waits, Trump keeps snatching military construction funds for his wall.

Conservative groups rallying to protect their investment in Kavanaugh and Collins dutifully helps

Conservative groups spent a great deal of money on Republican senators in order to get their boy Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court. That includes an investment in one «moderate» Republican senator from Maine, Susan Collins. She's been well-rewa
Daily Kos

Conservative groups rallying to protect their investment in Kavanaugh and Collins dutifully helps

Conservative groups spent a great deal of money on Republican senators in order to get their boy Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court. That includes an investment in one «moderate» Republican senator from Maine, Susan Collins. She's been well-rewarded for her vote, and is still paying back that debt. One of the groups behind the nomination, the Article III Project, has distributed talking points to the White House, key congressional offices, and other groups on how to respond to the newest sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh and the charge that the FBI helped cover his past up by refusing to investigate claims witnesses brought to them. The gist of those talking points are what we saw last time around—blame and shame the victims and cry «fake news.» And guess who ate those talking points up and spit them right back out? Not Collins directly, her spokesperson Annie Clark instead. «These news stories today are not adding anything to what has already been reported,» says Clark. Fake news, in other words. «The only new part of the story was an alleged incident reported by former Clinton aide Max Stier,» Clark said, making sure to get that «former Clinton aide» in there front and center. The talking points sent by Article III Project: «Media reports that Stier was a longtime supporter of the Clintons and an adversary of Justice Kavanaugh. He was a member of President Bill Clinton's defense team during the Lewinsky investigation.» Look at Collins being a good little soldier to the far-right extremists, doing her bit to defend the life-time appointment of a guy who will do everything in his power to destroy pretty much everything she used to run on—LGBTQ rights, women's rights, civil rights, the environment. The whole shebang. And she calls it «integrity.» Enough is enough. Please give $1 to help Democrats in each of these crucial Senate races, but especially the one in Maine!

UAW workers stay on strike in 'battle for the middle class'

More than 45,000 workers remain on strike against General Motors after contract negotiations broke down between the company and the UAW. GM has cut off health insurance coverage for striking workers, while details of the two sides’ proposals remain scan
Daily Kos

UAW workers stay on strike in 'battle for the middle class'

More than 45,000 workers remain on strike against General Motors after contract negotiations broke down between the company and the UAW. GM has cut off health insurance coverage for striking workers, while details of the two sides’ proposals remain scant. But the broad strokes are clear: As one worker told CNN, it’s a “battle for the middle class.” GM has made a public relations push claiming it promised $7 billion in investment and 5,000 jobs, but the UAW’s lead negotiator said GM’s first serious offer came just hours before the deadline, too late to avert a strike. According to one UAW local, GM's pay offer fell short of inflation, while workers’ healthcare costs would have increased. “Two percent is nothing,” a local union leader familiar with the offer told the Detroit Free Press. ”We have not gained back anything we gave up during the bankruptcy.” That’s a critical point: GM workers made concessions in 2009 to help save the company from bankruptcy, but while GM’s profits were $8.1 billion last year, workers are still stuck with the two-tier system that pays new hires substantially lower wages, and many jobs have been turned over to temporary workers who are treated even worse. Meanwhile, workers point out, the 2015 contract between GM and the UAW prohibited plant closures, but GM went ahead and closed plants anyway, simply using a different terminology—instead of being closed or idled, the plans are “unallocated.” Seeing that, workers were ready. “We have been preparing for over a year because we knew that General Motors wasn’t going to budge from their position too much,” one 45-year GM employee told The Detroit News. Other unions from the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees to the Communications Workers of America and politicians like Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown and New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez continue to come out in support of the striking workers.

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