Friday, February 23, 2018

DCCC Comes Out Of The Closet As The Progressive-Hating Attack Machine It's Been For Over A Decade


Jason Westin: Above the ugly DCCC fray in Houston
It isn't hard to figure out why I'd be attracted to Jonathan Tilove's headline in the Austin American-Statesman a few days ago... Nancy Pelosi’s 'cold-blooded' warning to Democratic primary voters: 'If the person who can’t win, wins, it’s not a priority race for us anymore.'. That's old DCCC standard operating procedure: if their corrupt conservative candidate doesn't win the primary, the DCCC abandons the district to the Republicans. Ever since Pelosi took control of the DCCC, that's how it's been run. She never admits it though. So why did she in Texas? Senility?

Tilove didn't understand what she was even doing in his office sitting around for an interminable interview. "She had done public events in Houston over the weekend, and had another, later in the day Monday, in San Antonio. In Austin," he wrote, "it was just private meetings, and this interview. They talked about TX-21, the open Austin/San Antonio district where a wealthy Republican, Joseph Kopser, is pretending-- a little-- to be a Democrat during the primary so that he can beat progressive stalwart Derrick Crowe. The establishment-- par for the corse-- favors Kopser. Tilove had written that story a couple weeks ago. At the time, he had written that "The race for the party’s nomination in the 21st Congressional District has emerged as a microcosm of the sharp division among Democrats across the nation in how to respond to Trump-- do they nominate a candidate like Joseph Kopser, a former Army Ranger turned tech entrepreneur who the smart party money says can appeal to folks in the middle who rarely if ever vote Democratic but are offended by Trump, or go with a candidate who taps the outraged passions on the left, like Derrick Crowe, Elliott McFadden or Mary Wilson?"

Pelosi explained the DCCC theory of the battle for control of the House:
[I]f you’re an incumbent and you’re a chairman, and your votes have been terrible this last year you go home and masquerade as some kind of a moderate but you’ve been up here enabling nothing to come up on guns, nothing to come up on immigration, all these terrible things, well you’re thinking, “I’ve had a nice career, I’m respected in my community, nobody knows how I’ve voted, but they’re going to tell them in this election and I’m going to have to spend a lot of money to win, and I’m probably going to be in the minority, I think I’ll teach in the university.

So they get the retirements. We get the A-plus recruits. And so 36 of them, I think, maybe it’s changed since this morning, around 36 of them have said they are not running, 7 or 8 of them are committee chairman who are not running. So they see the handwriting on the wall.

... [I]t’s not even a recruitment because so many of these people self-recruited-- veterans, academics elected officials, private sector people, so many people coming forward. Forty-five happens to be one of our best recruiters. I have never in my whole political life seen anything like the energy at he grassroots level. You saw that at the march and that was organic, it wasn’t political, they did it and now they’re showing how they want to participate And this past year, all of those people helped us fend off the challenge to the Affordable Care Act, we couldn’t defeat the tax bill, but we won the argument so far.

So we have something like a hundred races, a hundred races, far too many, that are better than any of those special elections, because those special elections were in Republican districts, where hates those Cabinet officers, or Murphy had to resign, right away, your computers turned off, get out of the building kind of resign.

...So, out of that hundred, we have to reduce that down about two-thirds of that to get down to the 24 we need, perhaps 30, 35, you know I’d like to have more than the 24. Right now, today  we could do that. But 100 is too much. In other words, we’d rather double down and win than spread too thinly and lose by a little.

The value of that is, say you’re a slacker, you’re not the candidate we need you to be, you say, “Sunday’s I always play golf.”

“Oh really, not on our time.”

And then we say, we have other places we can go.

So many women candidates.

So candidates know, this is almost like a competition. They have to do their share. This isn’t an entitlement program. We need people to run, oh you’re good, you look good for the district here’s the money, No, they have to work. How do you connect with your constituents. That’s the most important thing. First of all, it’s you would win, but even before that, chronologically, show you are going to represent them. How are you going know them, how are they going to know you.

We have  a great (Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee) chairman, Ben Ray Luján, who is from New Mexico, very talented, very respected by the members.
She's completely delusional... living in her own fantasy world. She got one thing right: Luján is from New Mexico. But he is not "very talented"-- he's the opposite of that-- and he is not "very respected by the members." Many of them think he's an idiot.

Back to her endless babbling to the poor reporter in Austin: "Forgive me for using this word,  you have to be very cold-blooded about how you make these decisions about the races because everybody’s so great, but one in five children lives in poverty in America and we have to have our best fighters go out there to win.So today we would win. Texas is really  important to us. We have always invested in Texas because Texas will make the difference as to what the future of our country is. Imagine Texas just turning purple even. Wow. We’re one of the few national committees that actually does invest in Texas because we have prospects, and we believe in turning Texas blue, purple, whatever the color."

She's crazy as a loon. The House Democrats elected Jared Polis DCCC Regional Vice Chair for the area that includes Texas, Colorado and New Mexico. He ignored his duties 100% and then decided to run for governor of Colorado. He resigned as regional vice chair. Luján, Pelosi and Hoyer decided to ignore pleas to replace him immediately from people who really did think Texas is key to the 2018 midterms. They refused. It's been over a year and it's the only region without a vice chair. It allows the notoriously corrupt DCCC staff to run wild. And it allowed Luján, Pelosi and Hoyer to handle the area directly. Here's what that means to Hoyer, for example.
PELOSI: We have five races.

(The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has targeted five seats in Texas, now held by Republicans, that it would like to flip. In addition to Smith’s seat in the 21st, they are John Culberson’s seat in the 7th CD, Will Hurd’s seat in the 23rd, Pete Sessions’ seat in the 32nd, and, most recently, John Carter’s seat in the 31st.)

I’ll talk to you  after the primary or the runoff. We think we have a couple of prospects in the Houston area, one in  Dallas, in the Valley. I have a little broader list than the cold-blooded list of the committee, so I’m still hopeful of a little more.

Pelosi is handed a binder by Aguilar, the aide, who executive director of Nancy Pelosi for Congress, with a list of the races and the Democratic candidates competing in each.

So they’re all multi-candidates. So we’ll see. this is about the choice of the people in those districts about who they want.

Could she identify the preferred candidates?

PELOSI: I wouldn’t think of doing that.

There are candidates who match the districts.

...How can I say this in a nice way? We have to be cold-blooded in what we do. In other words, if the wrong person wins-- well nobody’s wrong-- but if the person who can’t win, wins, it’s not a priority race for us anymore, because we’ve got 100 races.

For the Democratic aspirants in the Texas 7, 21, 23, 24, 31 and 32, the March 6 primary is the time to show and prove.

...Show us your strength or your weakness in a race.

Now people have their own enthusiasm, their own enthusiasm that they bring to it and they might be able to created something.

I hope for a wave, but I believe you make your wave. You make your wave.

Since it’s the Olympics, this is what I tell them. In one second, you’re gold, silver, bronze or nothing. These races are tough. They are tight, you win by 300 votes, 1,000 votes, this isn’t like, I’m riding a wave here and it’s just a question of hail fellow well met, combed hair. You have to go door to door to door to door, over and over again so people see what’s in your heart your sincerity, Authenticity is bigger than any amount of intellectual prowess, because people think you can buy that anyway. You can hire that. But conviction, courage, that’s who you are.

It’s always that way but even mores this year because of our friend in the White House, the great organizer.
Her theory behind the races exploded yesterday in Houston when the DCCC did something publicly that it usually only-- and always-- does behind the scenes where no one can watch. It viciously attacked a progressive candidate, Laura Moser, to benefit an establishment corporate shill in the primary. And DCCC appendage, EMILY's List, joined, albeit to benefit it's own establishment corporate shill. [Note: Blue America isn't backing any of these candidates. Our candidate is the other progressive, award-winning cancer researcher and doctor, Jason Westin.] But what the DCCC and EMILY's List are doing to Laura is a story that must be told.

Let's start by going right to the source, Ben Ray Luján, who the delusional Pelosi says is "from New Mexico, very talented, very respected by the members." She forgot to mention "very bloodthirsty" when it comes to progressives. Right on the DCCC website... ammo for the Republicans if TX-07 voters decide to nominate Moser:
Democratic voters need to hear that Laura Moser is not going to change Washington. She is a Washington insider, who begrudgingly moved to Houston to run for Congress. In fact, she wrote in the Washingtonian magazine, “I’d rather have my teeth pulled out without anesthesia” than live in Texas. As of January 2018, she claimed Washington, DC to be her primary residence in order to get a tax break. And she has paid her husband’s Washington, DC political consulting firm over $50,000 from campaign contributions; meaning 1 of every 6 dollars raised has gone to her husband’s DC company.


Moser just moved to Texas from Washington, DC. (BACKUP)

In a November 2014 article, Moser said she’d rather have her “teeth pulled without anesthesia” than live in Texas. (BACKUP)

As of January 2018, Moser was still receiving the DC Homestead Exemption on her property in Washington, DC. (BACKUP)

In 2017, Moser paid over $50,000 in campaign money to her husband’s DC consulting firm. More than 1 of every 6 dollars spent by her campaign went straight into her husband’s DC company’s bank account. (BACKUP)
No one has ever seen the DCCC go after a legitimate Democratic primary candidate so viciously in such a public way before. And Ryan Grim pointed out how the despicable EMILY's List piled on immediately.
EMILY's List is dumping big money into an upcoming Democratic primary in Texas’s 7th Congressional District, pitting the women’s group against a pro-choice woman who was, in the months after the election of Donald Trump, a face of the resistance.

Laura Moser, as creator of the popular text-messaging program Daily Action, gave hundreds of thousands of despondent progressives a single political action to take each day. Her project was emblematic of the new energy forming around the movement against Trump, led primarily by women and often by moms. (Moser is both.)

It was those types of activists EMILY’s List spent 2017 encouraging to make first-time bids for office. But that doesn’t mean EMILY’s List will get behind them. Also running is Lizzie Pannill Fletcher, a corporate lawyer who is backed by Houston mega-donor Sherry Merfish. EMILY’s List endorsed her in November.

The 7th District includes parts of Houston and its wealthy western suburbs, and Merfish and her husband, Gerald Merfish, are among the city’s leading philanthropists. Gerald Merfish owns and runs a steel pipe company in the oil-rich region and Sherry Merfish, who worked for decades for EMILY’s List, is a major donor to the Democratic Party and to EMILY’s List.

...The Houston district is one of scores where crosscurrents of the Democratic Party are colliding. Democrats, who in the past have had difficulty fielding a single credible candidate even in winnable districts, have at least four serious contenders in the race to replace Republican John Culberson. Moser, who has more than 10,000 donors — more than 90 percent of whom are small givers — and cancer researcher Jason Westin make up the progressive flank, while Fletcher and Alex Triantaphyllis are running more moderate campaigns. Triantaphyllis, a former Goldman Sachs analyst who doesn’t live in the district, has the backing of some establishment elements of the party.

“Alex T has been open about being the chosen candidate of the [Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee],” said Daniel Cohen, president of Indivisible Houston, who is not endorsing any particular candidate. (The DCCC has not officially endorsed a candidate in the primary, though its support can come in less public ways.)

...With both Fletcher and Moser battling for a spot in the two-person runoff, and Westin surging in the race, EMILY’s List’s endorsement of Fletcher could end up having the paradoxical effect of producing a runoff between the two men. EMILY’s List, while expending resources in several competitive primaries between women, has also stayed out of other races that pit a pro-choice woman against an anti-choice man. Despite significant pressure, the group held out on endorsing Marie Newman against Democratic incumbent Daniel Lipinski, only shifting course when it became clear the SEIU would be breaking with Lipinski.

The group has also declined to endorse the pro-choice Kara Eastman running against anti-choice Democrat Brad Ashford; the same is true for Lupe Valdez running against Andrew White for Texas governor. (White says that he believes Roe v. Wade is the law of the land and that his religious beliefs would not influence how he approached the issue, but he is far from a champion of reproductive rights.)

The support of first Merfish and then EMILY’s List for Fletcher raises questions about whether the endorsement was made at the behest of a major donor or because the organization truly believed Fletcher is the stronger candidate.
Abby Livingston, political reporter for the widely read Texas Tribune is covering this disgraceful attack by the establishment against Moser. "The campaign arm of Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives set its sights on a surprising target Thursday: Democratic congressional hopeful Laura Moser. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee posted negative research on Moser, a Houston journalist vying among six other Democrats in the March 6 primary to unseat Republican U.S. Rep. John Culberson. Democrats locally and nationally have worried that Moser is too liberal to carry a race that has emerged in recent months as one of the most competitive races in the country."
DCCC spokeswoman Meredith Kelly went even further in a statement to the Texas Tribune.

"Voters in Houston have organized for over a year to hold Rep. Culberson accountable and win this Clinton district," Kelly said.

Then, referring to a 2014 Washingtonian magazine piece in which Moser wrote that she would rather have a tooth pulled without anesthesia than move to Paris, Texas, Kelly added:"Unfortunately, Laura Moser’s outright disgust for life in Texas disqualifies her as a general election candidate, and would rob voters of their opportunity to flip Texas’ 7th in November.”

Later Thursday evening, Moser obliquely responded to the allegations on Twitter, quoting former First Lady Michelle Obama: "When they go low, we go high."

Later in the evening, she expanded her comments in a statement.

"We're used to tough talk here in Texas, but it's disappointing to hear it from Washington operatives trying to tell Texans what to do. These kind of tactics are why people hate politics," she said. "The days where party bosses picked the candidates in their smoke filled rooms are over. DC needs to let Houston vote."

"This is a landmark year in Texas and in states all across the country," she added. "We have a real chance to not only flip District 7, but bring some sanity back to Congress and resist the erratic extremism holding our White House hostage."

"It's a lot to ask, and we can't do any of it by throwing mud and tearing each other down. This is not the time to be a house divided."

Until this point, the DCCC so far this cycle has gone to great lengths to avoid the impression it was taking sides in primaries across the country. A Democratic source did point out to the Tribune that the campaign committee made a similar effort in a 2014 California House race.

A former Democratic operative emailed the Tribune suggesting that the posting was intended to signal to allied groups where and how to make paid attacks.

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Re-rigging Wall Street Against America


Yesterday, we started the day off looking at how conservative Democrats are joining with the Republicans to gut Dodd-Frank and set Wall Street free to rip off America and Americans again, Elizabeth Warren and progressive House candidates Austin Frerick (IA), Tim Canova (FL), Lillian Salerno (TX), DuWayner Gregory (NY), Ellen Lipton (MI) and Sam Jammal (CA) explained why that's a terrible idea. "Giant regional banks," wrote Canova, "are trying to mischaracterize this bill as an effort to help small banks and rural communities. In reality, this legislation would relax regulatory oversight of dozens of huge banks with more than $50 billion in assets. This may well undermine not just consumer protections, but the safety, soundness, and stability of the financial system. Instead of deregulating big banks, Congress should be creating public banking alternatives, including a national infrastructure bank, to serve the needs of our local communities." And Ellen Lipton added that "If there's any issue to take a stand on, and NOT engage in bipartisan hand-holding, it would be this one. The elimination of this regulation would allow an institution like Countrywide off the hook."

Do you ever read Wall Street on Parade. On Wednesday Pam and Russ Martens wrote that "nothing buttresses Senator Bernie Sanders’ position that fraud on Wall Street is not a bug but a feature better than the news last week that the Citigroup Board was bumping up CEO Michael Corbat’s pay by 48 percent to $23 million for 2017." I'd like to see Elizabeth Warren take on Corbat at a Senate hearing, wouldn't you?

Corbat has sat at the helm of the bank since October 2012 as the bank has paid more than $12 billion in fines and restitution for serial abuses of the public and investors, including its first criminal felony count in more than a century of existence. The felony count came on May 20, 2015 from the U.S. Department of Justice over the bank’s involvement in a bank cartel that was rigging foreign currency markets. Numerous other charges against the bank have focused on money-laundering. Citigroup’s long history of involvement in money-laundering also gives the appearance of being a feature not a bug.

Aside from the feeling that overseeing a business model of fraud on Wall Street is a road to riches for Wall Street’s mega bank CEOs, there is the disquieting question as to whether this strangely uniform obscene pay of the top dogs on Wall Street is being orchestrated by another invisible cartel.

On October 14, 2016 Bloomberg News’ reporters Greg Farrell and Keri Geiger landed the bombshell report that the top lawyers of the biggest Wall Street banks had been meeting secretly for two decades with their counterparts at international banks. At the 2016 secret meeting, held in May at a posh hotel in Versailles, the following were among the big bank lawyers: Gregory Palm, part of the Management Committee at Goldman Sachs; Stephen Cutler of JPMorgan (a former Director of Enforcement at the SEC); Gary Lynch of Bank of America (also a former Director of Enforcement at the SEC); Morgan Stanley’s Eric Grossman; Citigroup’s Rohan Weerasinghe; Markus Diethelm of UBS Group AG; Richard Walker of Deutsche Bank (again, a former Director of Enforcement at the SEC); Robert Hoyt of Barclays; Romeo Cerutti of Credit Suisse Group AG; David Fein of Standard Chartered; Stuart Levey of HSBC Holdings; and Georges Dirani of BNP Paribas SA.

Reuters reported last Friday how Corbat’s $23 million pay compared to his peers on Wall Street. It noted that Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase is now making $29.5 million. (Dimon has presided over three criminal felony counts at the bank within the past four years while keeping his job and watching his pay skyrocket.) Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman is making $27 million. Lloyd Blankfein, whose bank is tiny compared to JPMorgan Chase, is making $22 million. And Bank of America’s CEO Brian Moynihan is being paid the same as Corbat, $23 million after recently getting a 15 percent pay boost.

Every one of the top lawyers of these banks were at that secret confab in 2016.

The most recent proxy filed by JPMorgan Chase goes to inordinate lengths to justify what it is paying its CEO Jamie Dimon. It includes a graph comparing his pay to peer bank CEOs and another graph that shows what percent of profits he and the CEOs of peer banks are receiving. (How that became a relevant metric is anyone’s guess. These are not, after all, family-owned businesses but banks that are subsidized by a taxpayer backstop for their trillions in insured deposits which typically earn less than one percent interest as the banks simultaneously charge 10 to 20 percent interest on their credit cards issued to the struggling middle class of America.)

A better metric would be how much shareholders have lost from fines and settlements under the reigning CEO. In Jamie Dimon’s case, it’s north of $36 billion since the financial crisis in 2008. Additionally, there’s those three criminal felony counts, the first in the bank’s more than century-old existence. Two felony counts were leveled by the U.S. Justice Department in 2014 for the bank’s role in Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme. Another felony count came the very next year for the bank’s role in the foreign exchange rigging.

The era of obscene pay on Wall Street has occurred side-by-side with the era of serial charges of crimes. There is only one way to interpret this: the Boards of Directors of these banks have lost their moral compass.
Katie Porter, a professor at UC, Irvine, has worked closely with Elizabeth Warren on bankster problems-- in fact they co-authored a book about Wall Street abuses. Today she told us, regarding the bill to gut Dodd Frank, "This is unacceptable. This bill is a disaster for consumers and shows just how much power Wall Street banks, powerful special interests, and their high priced lobbyists have in Washington. Congressional action to weaken and erode banking rules protecting consumers is what fueled our financial crisis, and, once again, we are seeing history repeat itself. I’ve spent my career fighting for middle-class families, and now I want to take that fight to Washington." Katie is running for the Orange County seat currently held by Wall Street shill Mimi Walters. Please consider helping Katie's campaign here. And... how about Bernie/Elizabeth 2020?

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Midnight Meme For The Day!


by Noah

And isn't it strange that we have a so-called "president" who did away with a law that made it tougher for mentally ill people to get guns. Was it because that so-called "president" was so determined to undo any of the good things that his predecessor did for the American people that the idea of making it easier for the mentally ill getting their hands on war weapons didn't matter? Or, was it because we obviously have a severely mentally ill so-called "president." Or, both? That's a rhetorical question. We have a madman in the oval office.

Now, after 17 more are dead at the hands of a mentally ill gunman, it's not so strange that that so-called "president," only out of some sort of political expediency, now claims that, maybe we should "look into" making it harder for mentally ill people to get guns by having background checks that might trip up some of them. Oh wait, that is pretty strange. Should we just have laws that enable the mentally ill to buy guns every other year? Every 2 years? Just during leap years?

And isn't it strange that the mentally ill inhabitant of the oval office still has the whole-hearted support of his party and that fellow psychotics like House Speaker Paul Ryan still say, after every damn mass shooting, including the one last week, that "now is not the time" to discuss the problem? Well, not really, if, like Ryan you don't see mass shootings as enough of a problem, not when you have more important things to do like strip people of their Social Security and Medicare. "Now is not the time" has become as much of a mantra and defining point of being a republican as being anti-abortion. That's pretty confusing, if you think about it. To Republicans, a woman doesn't have the right to choose to terminate a pregnancy via abortion but a mental case has the right to terminate a fully-formed, living, breathing, laughing, learning teenager, or any of us, via a gun?

And, isn't it strange that any politician who takes bribes from the NRA continues to value that cash in the pocket more than they value the lives of our children, or us, and continues to do so as the bloody corpses pile up?

And, isn't it strange that the so-called "president's" party and media allies react to the protests of children whose friends and teachers got shot in their schools by saying they are being paid to protest by the other party? Can you imagine being so personally whacked out that you actually believe that and say that aloud, in public? You'd have to be mentally ill yourself. Imagine that, a whole party of the mentally ill, for the mentally ill. Would you let your congressperson buy a gun?

And isn't it strange that so many Americans vote for people who act so strangely and don't give a damn about them? It's that the ultimate case of voting against your own self-interest. It's a Death Wish.

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Thursday, February 22, 2018

Missouri Governor Eric Greitens Career In Politics Is Ending Ugly


Greitens is another one of those fake Democrats the DCCC and DSCC love so much but who found his true calling when, like so many Blue Dog types, he officially became a Republican (in 2015). A much-decorated former Navy Seal, now 43, he was elected governor of Missouri in 2017. He was a Rhodes scholar who earned a doctorate from Oxford University. When he switched parties and decided to run for governor, he wrote a scathing OpEd for Fox, denouncing Democrats as "world-class hypocrites." In 2016 he beat Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster 1,424,730 (51.29%) to 1,261,110 (45.40%). Today he was indicted by a St. Louis grand jury on a felony charge of invasion of privacy involved in an extramarital affair in 2015 to which he has already admitted. His is a case of #MeToo ugliness on steroids. Where is Kirsten Gillibrand when someone actually needs her?

Greitens seems his military service entitled him to break the law at will. During the campaign, he was constantly getting into financial trouble for the unethical ways he ran his very sleazy political operation. . But Missourians weren't ready for the scandal that started when he threatened to release a nude photograph of the woman he had being boinking, taken while she was blindfolded and her hands were bound, if she ever spoke publicly about the affair.
St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner launched a criminal investigation of the allegations last month shortly after they become public. The indictment accuses Greitens of not only knowingly photographing the women with whom he had an affair, but also transmitting the image “in a manner that allowed access to that image via a computer.”

...The allegations against Greitens surfaced shortly after he delivered his annual State of the State address last month. The ex-husband of the woman with whom Greitens had an affair gave St. Louis TV station KMOV an audio recording of her confessing the affair and accusing Greitens of threatening to blackmail her.

...The investigators, both of whom have FBI experience, were back in Jefferson City this week interviewing more lawmakers.

According to lawmakers who were interviewed, the questions focused on the conversations and interactions legislators had with the governor about the affair and alleged blackmail before and after the story went public.

The allegations facing Greitens have hung over the Capitol for weeks.

A handful of Republican lawmakers quickly called on Greitens to resign. And earlier this week, while debating a bill that would outlaw “revenge porn,” Republicans overwhelming supported amending the bill to make it a felony to threaten someone with releasing a sexually explicit photo.

Greitens has bucked calls for his resignation, but the indictment could lead lawmakers to begin impeachment proceedings and potentially force him out of office.

Sen. Rob Schaaf, a St. Joseph Republican, said that the Missouri House “should move quickly to resolve the issue. They should investigate and let the process work… They should act quickly.”

Rep. Nate Walker, a Kirksville Republican, called news of the indictment “tragic for the state of Missouri.”

“I think it’s tragic for Gov. Greitens and his family,” Walker said. “I find no joy in it, but sometimes people have to be held accountable for their actions.”

Walker, an early Greitens supporter, called for him to resign in the days after the allegations surfaced. He renewed those calls Thursday when asked whether the House should pursue impeachment.

“I called for him to step down three weeks ago because I thought this was going to happen… My understanding was he was led off in handcuffs and that’s not a good sign for our executive of the state of Missouri,” Walker said. “He should resign.”


Flippable: CA-39... With The Right Candidate


As it had for cycle after cycle, in 2016 the DCCC ignored CA-39 entirely. But as Hillary beat Trump there-- 51.5% to 42.9%-- Brett Murdock, the un-funded Democrat who ran (spending $76,014 to incumbent Ed Royce's $3,640,434), managed to win 42.3% of the vote. This cycle the DCCC decided to use the 39th-- a district in the northeast corner of Orange County that spills into L.A. and San Bernardino counties-- as a dumping ground for multimillionaire self-funders from other districts. They hadn't counted on an actual grassroots, policy-driven local, Sam Jammal, running. Meanwhile, Royce sniffed around and, despite a massive warchest, decided not to seek reelection. He bowed out, leaving half a dozen Democrats with 6 or 7-figure warchests. Blue America surveyed the field and endorsed Sam Jammal, who released his first video today, which he describes below-- and which you can watch above.

Piss Off Trump-- Send a Latino/Arab American to Congress
-by Sam Jammal

Imagine next January when the House begins taking up the articles of impeachment against Trump. What if the deciding vote was the son of immigrants? What if this vote was the son of Latino and Arab American parents? Is there anything that would piss off Trump more?

Right now, we can do that in the 39 th district. A new poll from Public Policy Polling has a Democrat ahead by 2%. But, while Hillary Clinton won this seat by 8.6%, not just any Democrat can win. We house the Nixon birthplace and library here in the 39th. Our demographics are changing, but voters are only starting to take a look at Democrats.

My story is that of the 39 th district-- a welcoming community with immigrants from all over the world and a desire to make sure the next generation can succeed. I am not an out of district millionaire – I am from the community.

Goal ThermometerUp top is my first ad of the campaign telling the story of why I decided to run for Congress: We can do better than today’s politics. Washington is broken-- I saw it in my roles in government and experienced it in business. You see I grew up in a working class home where we had to learn to stretch a dollar. We never had the luxury of doing nothing, so I can’t wait for Congress to fix itself. We fix it by electing new people who are actually from their communities and will fight.

But change first starts with stopping Trump. And we can do that while also infuriating him. With your support, I can be Trump’s worst nightmare-- a Latino and Arab American in Congress.

Join my campaign at sam4congress. Please help us flip the 39th district and bring new voices to Congress.

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Has Gun Control's Moment Come Again-- Despite Cowardly Politicians?


Cameron Kasky, one of the students who survived the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School brought down the house at the CNN forum Wednesday night when he asked his senator, Marco Rubio, if he would stop taking NRA money. Rubio-- like every single blood-soaked member of Congress from either party who takes NRA bribes and votes for their sick, murderous agenda, said that the NRA buys into his agenda, not that he buys into theirs. Maybe Rubio even believes that. But the kids didn't. They boo-ed him loudly and repeatedly. Rubio's not up for reelection again until 2022. It was gracious and somewhat courageous of him to jump into the lion's den.

Trump immediately went for the most simple-minded and idiotic right-wing suggestion-- arm the teachers. Even Rubio said he wouldn't support that idea. I asked my friend who works at a public school in Compton. He said that it's a crazy idea that not only wouldn't work but that would result in more than half the teachers he knows retiring. "You think there's a teacher shortage now," he said, if Trump manages to push this through, the whole school system will collapse. Maybe that's just what DeVos wants to see happen." He also told me he's buying bulletproof clothing for school.

Rubio told the audience he's going to try-- an impossible task?-- to get unanimous consent to bring the background check bill-- FIX NICS-- to the floor. I can't see that happening... and even if it does, Ryan will stop it in the House by keeping it attached to the concealed carry reciprocity bill, an NRA strategy which will prevent Democrats from voting for it. Rubio said he favors raising the age for legal assault rifle purchases from 18 to 21-- a total non-started for the gun manufacturers lobbyists-- and says he will back mental health background checks gun violence restraining orders and limiting the size of magazine clips. When confronted by a student on his refusal to back limits on large capacity magazines in the past, he said he's "reconsidering that position... While it may not prevent an attack, it may save lives in an attack." That would be enough for the NRA to go to try to make an example of him for other Republicans.

This morning, Marc Caputo termed that "a striking turnabout for Rubio, who never met a gun-rights bill he didn’t vote for in the Florida legislature and in Congress."
Rubio said he would leave it to law enforcement to suggest what the right magazine size would be.

That wasn’t enough for the audience, even as Rubio chided them that politicians should be allowed to change their minds. And it wasn’t enough for the other people on stage.

“The time for talking in Washington about to do about guns is over. It’s over. We know what to do,” said Rep. Ted Deutch, who represents the district where the school is located, in the city of Parkland.

But Rubio steadfastly refused to consider banning semiautomatic rifles outright. And he said he would not refuse money from the National Rifle Association, which has steered $3.3 million in contributions to him over the course of his career and given him an A+ rating-- support he might not be able to count on after Wednesday night.

In June 2016, Rubio cited the mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando as a major reason he leapt back into his Senate race, which he’d been weighing doing for months after failing in the presidential primaries. Rubio said that massacre had “impacted” him and made him feel he had to return to the Senate. He won, with NRA support. But in the nearly two years since, he has not championed any new gun legislation in Congress.

...The evening didn’t start particularly well for Rubio, either, when he was questioned by Fred Guttenberg, whose 14 year-old daughter, Jaime, was killed last week in school.

“Were guns the factor in the hunting of our kids?” Guttenberg asked.

“Of course they were,” Rubio replied. “Number one, Fred, I absolutely believe that in this country if you are 18 years of age you should not be able to buy a rifle and I will support a law that takes that right away.”

Rubio was met with applause and went on to say he supports banning “bump stocks,” which can make a semiautomatic fire like a machine gun. He also voiced his support for better background checks and mental health funding.

But when Rubio said an “assault weapons ban” would not have prevented last week’s murders, the boos rained down.

“It is too easy to get,” Guttenburg said. “It is a weapon of war. The fact that you can’t stand with everybody in this building and say that, I’m sorry.”

Yesterday we looked at Ron Brownstein's ideas about what kinds of districts the Democrats could win to build a House majority. This morning, writing for The Atlantic, he reiterated his analysis in the light of the reinvigorated national gun debate. Trump-hatred in the suburbs is going to help the Democrats and the gun issue is going to amplify that.

Despite the widespread Democratic defection from outside the major urban centers, the Brady and assault-ban bills passed because Clinton drew support from dozens of suburban Republicans inside those metropolitan areas. Fifty-four House Republicans backed the Brady bill in 1993, and 38 supported the assault ban the next year; the latter number grew to 46 when the ban was included in the final version of Clinton’s crime bill. Of those 46 Republicans backing the overall bill, most were from heavily suburban, Democratic-leaning states, including eight from New York; five from New Jersey; and three each from California, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania.

In the years since, the GOP’s geographic base has shifted away from major metropolitan areas and its demographic base has tilted further toward older, blue-collar, evangelical, and rural voters. Reflecting those changes, GOP congressional leaders have tightened their alliance with the NRA and hardened their opposition to gun control. The remaining Republicans from suburban districts, even in the bluest states, have bent compliantly to that current. Compared with their counterparts in the 1990s, suburban House Republicans now vote much more in lockstep with the NRA.

In December, all but 10 suburban House Republicans voted for legislation to override individual state gun laws and require every state to honor a concealed-carry handgun permit issued in any state. In February 2017, all but two House Republicans (New York’s Peter King and Dan Donovan) voted to overturn a regulation from former President Barack Obama that required the Social Security Administration to share information with the national background-check system about anyone deemed incapable of managing their benefits because of mental illness.

Many of the Republicans who voted with the NRA on both measures represent white-collar suburban seats atop the Democrats’ 2018 target list. That includes GOP legislators near Denver (Mike Coffman); Los Angeles (Dana Rohrabacher, Mimi Walters, and Steve Knight); Minneapolis (Erik Paulsen and Jason Lewis); New York (Lee Zeldin); Northern Virginia (Barbara Comstock); Omaha (Don Bacon); Des Moines (David Young); Houston (John Culberson); and Dallas (Pete Sessions). Except for King and Donovan, every other top-target metro Republican-- from Carlos Curbelo in Miami to Leonard Lance in New Jersey-- who voted against the concealed-carry reciprocity bill voted for the repeal of Obama’s Social Security regulation.
Goal ThermometerAmong those Republican politicians Brownstein wrote are now vulnerable because of their unswerving support for the NRA is David Young, the pius hypocrite who Austin Frerick is taking on in Des Moines and southwest Iowa. Austin ripped into him this morning: "I’ve personally become even more driven to defeat Congressman Young knowing that’s he’s taken the 3rd most money from the NRA and continues to do their bidding tragedy after tragedy. He's just a do-nothing hollow man who does the bidding of his largest donors. After the Law Vegas massacres, Congressman Young said that he couldn't think of a good reason why bump stocks exist. His solution was to write a letter to the ATF, but the ATF doesn't think it can act. Did he do something after that ATF decision? No, but he did have time to visit a gun store whose owner was very concerned about his comments on bump stocks, and wanted to show him why they were fine."

Katie Porter is running for the Orange County seat NRA ally Mimi Walters claims to be representing-- although she doesn't live there. Katie told us she's "tired of seeing our elected officials like my opponent Mimi Walters offer her thoughts and prayers after every mass shooting, and then voting however the NRA wants-- regardless of our families’ safety.The gun lobby has spent decades perpetuating this idea that there’s nothing we can do to stop gun violence in this country. That is just ridiculous. To reduce deaths from lethal weapons, our leaders in Congress just need to find the courage to stand up to the NRA and its special interest money. Not only has my opponent received thousands of dollars of contributions from the NRA, but she is voting against the will of her constituents. 60% of CA-45 voters voted for Proposition 63, a common sense gun initiative, in 2016-- more proof that Mimi Walters votes with special interests, not her constituents."

Lillian Salerno, the progressive in the race to replace Pete Sessions in Dallas, has a similar perspective. "Pete Sessions," she told us today, "has been in the pocket of the NRA since his initial run for Congress twenty years ago, and there is no sign he will change course now. Even after hundreds of children have lost their lives to gun violence, the NRA knows they have an unwavering ally in Sessions. And what did it take to secure his allegiance? $150,000 in contributions and outside spending from the NRA. $150,000 is the price Sessions puts on the lives of children and families. And as a member of Congress, I will never, under any circumstance, take money from the NRA."

Another GOP incumbent Brownstein singled out: extremist Steve Knight (CA-25). And his progressive opponent, Katie Hill, has been reminding voters in Santa Clarita, the Antelope Valley and Simi Valley what a danger he is. "Steve Knight has prioritized special interests like the NRA over constituents since he joined Congress," she told us. "We need an elected official willing to stand up and do the right thing. I support the immediate ban of bump stocks, silencers, and assault weapons. There is no compelling reason for a civilian to own weapons of war and it is time that the law reflected it."

Now watch Derrick Crowe:

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"The Death Merchant of the World," An Exercise in Cognitive Dissonance


Former CIA director James Woolsey unironically admitting that the U.S. continues to interfere in global elections. If anyone would know, he would — he runs the shop that does it (source).

by Gaius Publius

Though we're tilting at windmills, we in the Chair by the Window, it's difficult not to write this. Cognitive dissonance, like the torpedoes, be damned.

Consider these four data points.

1. "We are the death merchant of the world" — Lawrence Wilkerson on U.S. Foreign Policy

Col. Lawrence Wilkerson is a longtime top aide to Gen. Colin Powell. This is from Ben Norton's write-up of an interview he did with Wilkerson in 2016:
"I think Smedley Butler was onto something," explained Lawrence Wilkerson, in an extended interview with Salon.

In his day, in the early 20th century, Butler was the highest ranked and most honored official in the history of the U.S. Marine Corps. He helped lead wars throughout the world over a series of decades, before later becoming a vociferous opponent of American imperialism, declaring "war is a racket."

Wilkerson spoke highly of Butler, referencing the late general's famous quote: "Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents."

"I think the problem that Smedley identified, quite eloquently actually," Wilkerson said..."I think the problem is much deeper and more profound today, and much more subtle and sophisticated."
Just one example, not the obvious one, but pertinent to the news (emphasis added):
"Was Bill Clinton’s expansion of NATO — after George H. W. Bush and [his Secretary of State] James Baker had assured Gorbachev and then Yeltsin that we wouldn't go an inch further east — was this for Lockheed Martin, and Raytheon, and Boeing, and others, to increase their network of potential weapon sales?" Wilkerson asked.

"You bet it was," he answered.
Wilkerson concludes: "We dwarf the Russians or anyone else who sells weapons in the world."

We dwarf them in our wars as well, he could also have said, at least since the Cold War era. To start, think just of the millions killed in Iraq from the two Bush invasions. Then consider the destruction in Afghanistan and Libya under Obama, and the seven countries he was at war with, as we are today.

Wilkerson: "We are the death merchant of the world."

2. The U.S. Intervened in 81 Global Elections Between 1947 and 2000

In an academic study of "Partisan Electoral Interference by the Great Powers," Professor Dov Levin has created a dataset listing and detailing just what the title says — partisan electoral interference by the Great Powers, both covert and overt, between 1946 and 2000.

Joshua Keating at Slate (emphasis added):
Using declassified documents, statements by officials, and journalistic accounts, Levin has found evidence of interference by either the United States or the Soviet Union/Russia in 117 elections around the world between 1946 and 2000, or 11.3 percent of the 937 competitive national-level elections held during this period. Eighty-one of those interventions were by the U.S. while 36 were by the USSR/Russia. They happened in every region of the world, though most commonly in Europe and Latin America. The two powers tended to focus on different countries, though Italy was a favorite of both, receiving eight interventions by the U.S. and four by the Soviets.
Let's not play tit for tat. Foreign interventions are common:
The U.S. and Russia aren’t the only countries that do this. China has interfered in several Taiwanese elections, for instance, and the late President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela gave support to several preferred candidates throughout Latin America[.]
Just note the numbers — at  81 U.S. interventions in foreign elections since 1946. As a percent of all interventions studied, it's more than two-thirds of them, a fraction shy of 70%. As a percentage of all competitive elections studied, the U.S. intervened in more than 10% of them.

This fails to account for 21st century interventions, such as the disaster we created in Honduras.We seem to do this for a living, or as a regular way of running our business.

3. We Intervene Gladly and Smugly

Watch the video above, again if you've already seen it. The "manly men" — the realists, the hard-nosed protectors of our freedom — who run these operations are blasé to the point of proud about them. Even smug. Note the laughter near the end of the clip.
Ingraham: We don't do that now, though? We don't mess around in other people's elections?

Woolsey: Well ... [smiles, makes deliberate muttering noises]

All laugh knowingly.

Woolsey: Only for a very good cause in the interest of democracy.
Smedley Butler was told he was acting in the interest of democracy as well.

4. An Act of War

Was presumed (still unproved, though not disproved either) Russian interference in the U.S. election an "act of war"? Mainstream Democrats have been saying so early and often.

From The Hill:
“I actually think that their engagement was an act of war, an act of hybrid warfare, and I think that’s why the American people should be concerned about it,” said Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.).

“This past election, our country was attacked. We were attacked by Russia,” said Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.). ...

Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.), the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s ranking member, has similarly described the election meddling as an “attack” and likened it to the United States’ “political Pearl Harbor.”
Would James Woolsey agree that meddling in elections is a "political Pearl Harbor"?

Are We at War with the World? Should the World be at War with Us?

Consider three questions:

     • If Russian interference, should it be proved, is an "act of war," a new "Pearl Harbor," how should we respond to that?

     • Have we committed "acts of war" against the world — 81 and counting by Dov Levin's dataset? If so, how should the world respond to us?

     • How should we respond to the world's response? By crying "no fair" and continuing as before, or admitting fault and stopping?

Then ask:

     • How would a principled, moral person answer the first three questions?

     • How is the government and corporate establishment answering them?

     • Whose pockets are you swelling if you agree with them?

This story is not what it appears to be. The real story is the story behind the story you're being told.

Some dissonant thoughts for your day's cognition, sent from The Chair by the Window. Sorry about that.


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Wall Street Makes A Move-- With Corrupt Conservatives From Both Parties On Board


Happy Anniversary? This year it will be one full decade since the Wall Street meltdown-- triggered by greed-driven, irresponsible banksters and the politicians who allowed them (for a regular flow of bribes) to get away with murder-- that threw the economy into the Great Recession. Austin Frerick is running for an Iowa congressional seat occupied by a garden variety corrupt conservative incumbent, Wall Street ally David Young. Austin isn't beating around the bush when he discusses Young's lock-step subservience to the banksters, who have done so much damage in southwest Iowa. "How sad is this reality. I don't even bother to first look at Congressman Young's website anymore for his position on things. I just look at a list of his donors. It's an easier way to figure out his position on things I've learned. In 2017, he took $4,500 from Wells Fargo so there's your answer and another example of the Congressman putting corporate America ahead of working Americans." Can you imagine what would have happened had we had as incompetent a bunch of imbeciles then as we have now with the Trump Regime? Well... you may not have to imagine-- and it won't just be the fault of the Republicans this time. Let me start with two lists of senators:
Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND)
Joe Donnelly (D-IN)
Jon Tester (D-MT)
Mark Warner (D-VA)
Tim Kaine (D-VA)
Chris Coons (D-DE)
Tom Carper (D-DE)
Claire McCaskill (D-MO)
Joe Manchin (D-WV)
Gary Peters (D-MI)
Michael Bennet (D-CO)
Doug Jones (D-AL)
Angus King (I-ME)
Those are the senators who have already vowed to cross the aisle and vote with the Republicans to give the banksters the power to rip off consumers and crash the system again. Below are the Democratic senators who say they are still "on the fence."
Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)
Bill Nelson (D-FL)
Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Chris Murphy (D-CT)
Tammy Duckworth (D-IL)
Maggie Hassan (D-NH)
Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)
What does Elizabeth Warren think about this? She boiling-- albeit mostly quietly. (The bolding was hers, not mine) Mostly-- but not entirely. "In 2008, Wall Street’s reckless greed crashed our economy," she reminded Massachusetts voters yesterday. "While millions of hard-working people lost their jobs, their homes, and their life savings, the big banks got a $700 billion no-strings-attached bailout from the American taxpayers. A bailout and nobody went to jail for causing the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. After the crash, Congress passed legislation called Dodd-Frank, which put new rules in place for the biggest financial institutions to stop another crisis and taxpayer bailout. But now, less than a decade later, Senate Republicans-- and some Senate Democrats-- are getting ready to gut a lot of those rules for some of the country’s biggest banks. The bank lobbyists have been hitting Capitol Hill hard, and they have a Dodd-Frank rollback bill lined up with the support of every Republican and twelve Democrats. We need to make some noise about this big wet kiss to the big banks by reminding Senators as loudly as possible: they work for the American people, not for big bank lobbyists."
...Dodd-Frank said that every bank with more than $50 billion in assets-- that’s roughly the 40 biggest banks, or the top 0.5% of all banks by size-- would have tougher rules than smaller banks. That means mandatory stress tests to analyze how they would react to another financial crisis and plans for how they would break apart, sell off assets, and liquidate in bankruptcy if they started to fail.

There’s a reason for this common-sense oversight of big banks: They are so big that they could potentially bring down the whole economy again if they failed and taxpayers didn’t bail them out again.

The bill that could be up in the Senate in the next few weeks would let almost 30 of the 40 biggest banks in the country could go back to looser rules like the ones that let them run wild before the 2008 crisis.

What could possibly go wrong?!?

The big bank lobbyists want you to believe that this bill is protecting poor little mom and pop banks from getting buried under red tape. But this bill is aimed at helping the big guys. These 30 banks got nearly $50 billion in taxpayer bailouts during the 2008 crisis.

And remember Countrywide? It was at the heart of the financial crisis. At its peak, Countrywide was financing one out of every five mortgages in the country. It was a major player in blowing up the economy. You know how big Countrywide was when it was leading the toxic mortgages that blew up our economy? About $200 billion-- smaller than some of the banks that would be turned loose by this bill.

Let’s be clear: Banks of all sizes are making record profits right now. And if that wasn’t enough, the Republican tax bill just gave away billions to the big banks. They are swimming in money. There is no reason at all to roll back the rules on these big banks so they can pad their pockets even more-- and cut them loose to take on wild risks again.

The American people-- Democrats, Republicans, and Independents-- want tougher rules on big banks, not weaker ones. It’s time to hold Republican AND Democratic Senators who support this bill accountable for siding with their big bank donors instead of working families.

I get it: Wall Street has money and power. But there are a lot more of us than there are of them. The only way to slow down this Bank Lobbyist Act is if we speak out and fight back... The big banks will do anything they can to pass this dangerous bill into law. We need you out there giving everything you’ve got.
It's not easy for a senator to attack members of her own party. Candidates for Congress may be reluctant to do it as well, but we asked some of the Blue America-endorsed candidates. Orange County progressive Sam Jammal was up early this morning tweeting about it and I asked him to expand on his comments. He was happy to: "Congress is once again reverting back to its old ways of being a body by and for the big banks," he told us. "The Senate is now attempting to roll back policies explicitly put in place to avoid another financial meltdown. This is just plain stupid. These rules were put in place to stop another crisis. You don't get rid of them because they have been working so well that we haven't had another financial crisis, so they are no longer needed. This is like going on a diet and then once you lose all the weight you needed to lose, you declare you are fit and revert back to a hamburger every day since the original diet worked and is no longer needed."

Same for Tim Canova, the south Florida progressive going top against Wall Street ally Debbie Wasserman Schultz. He's worked for years on this program and pointed out that "Giant regional banks are trying to mischaracterize this bill as an effort to help small banks and rural communities. In reality, this legislation would relax regulatory oversight of dozens of huge banks with more than $50 billion in assets. This may well undermine not just consumer protections, but the safety, soundness, and stability of the financial system. Instead of deregulating big banks, Congress should be creating public banking alternatives, including a national infrastructure bank, to serve the needs of our local communities."

Goal ThermometerEllen Lipton, is running for Congress in an open Michigan district. She's not having any of the Republican-lite nonsense: "If there's any issue to take a stand on, and NOT engage in bipartisan hand-holding, it would be this one. The elimination of this regulation would allow an institution like Countrywide off the hook. I served in the Legislature when over 10,000 Michigan homeowners were cheated out of over $120 million dollars because of Countrywide's predatory lending practices. Communities decimated by the actions of these banks are just starting to rebuild after a decade. Since these senators seem to be in such a giving mood, maybe they should think about providing relief to these REAL communities. And calling these mega-corporations 'community banks' does not make them any less culpable or in need of continued oversight."

DuWayne Gregory is the progressive Democrat running for the Long Island South Shore seat occupied by Peter King. He gas his eyes on Republicans, not on the demented Democrats making common cause with them. "The Republicans are at it again," he said today. "This is proof positive that the so called Trump Make America Great Again agenda is all about bringing the country back to perilous times. The time when unscrupulous banks acted carelessly and crashed the economy which lead to turmoil where millions of people lost their jobs and homes. Peter King supported the bailout of Wall Street banks last time while voting against help for the auto industry and there is no doubt he will bail them out again. This attempt brings new meaning to the phrase 'fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.' Republicans in Congress have to be sent a message loudly and clearly their agenda is wrong for America and vote them out this November."

This week Zack Warmbrodt's Politico piece that was behind their pay wall and laid out the parameters of the problem, went public. We've discussed it already... even before was written, bit the mainstream media calls the paid off senators "bipartisan" and the senators who are standing up to fight for Americans and for America as the ones "driving a wedge between Democrats and threatening to magnify the party's divisions as it fights to win back Congress this year." Of course Politico refers to the bribe-happy extremists as "moderates," instead of corrupt conservatives while disparaging "Elizabeth Warren, Sherrod Brown and their activist allies" as "working to undercut the party's centrists before the vote, with several of the moderates" before "tough reelection campaigns this year."

Do voters want banksters to be able to rip them off again? Will that make it easier to win reelection for corrupt conservatives like Heitkamp, McCaskill, Donnelly, and the rest of the Bail-out Caucus? Who feeds this narrative to a gullible, thought-free media? Lobbyists? Over drinks?

UPDATE: A Texas Dem Who Wants To Stop Bankster Fraud

Lillian Salerno, the progressive candidate running in the north Dallas seat held by Wall Street shill Pete Sessions, pointed out that "Rolling back protections crafted specifically to guard against a repeat of the 2008 financial crisis is the wrong way to go. I believe there are ways to ensuring rural communities and entrepreneurs have ample access to credit without exempting financial institutions of up to $250 billion from requirements that are designed to limit systemic risk and guard against another Great Recession. Ten years after the financial crisis, it's smart to take a critical look at what changes have worked, and which ones could use an update, but citizens know the difference between providing small businesses with some flexibility and a giveaway to powerful corporations. The Banks and financial institutions with household names like American Express that this legislation exempts are hardly mom-and-pop shops. I am more concerned with the financial well being of American families, creating opportunities for entrepreneurs, and the stability of the American economy than providing relief to Wall Street."

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Midnight Meme Of The Day!


by Noah

I've often said in my posts that FOX "News" is a modern day equivalent of Tokyo Rose. For those younger readers that may not know who Tokyo Rose was (due to cuts in education and censored textbooks no doubt), Tokyo Rose was a "radio personality" who broadcast out of Tokyo during World War II. Her role, was to essentially sweet talk American and Australian military personnel into believing that, not only were the allies losing the war but they would be rewarded if they laid down their weapons and surrendered. Even swearing allegiance to Emperor Hirohito was, at times, suggested. Tokyo Rose offered an extremely twisted reinterpretation of things occurring in both naval and land battles, even events leading up to the war. If you believed Tokyo Rose, you would wonder why you were fighting. You might have even thought that it was us who had attacked Japan's navy on December 7th 1941. The whole Tokyo Rose thing was aimed at lowering the morale of the troops and weakening the war effort against Japan. It was propaganda put out even in hopes of influencing our political leaders to stop fighting Japan.

Sound familiar? Substitute Russia for Japan and the likes of Sean Hannity for Tokyo Rose and you pretty much have it. Throw in Alex Jones, Rush Limbaugh and fellow traveling accomplices like Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell and the rest of their party for good measure, but FOX "News" is their epicenter. It is their oracle, their oracle of bullshit, treasonous bullshit. Whether it's crackpot Nunes memos, Seth Rich conspiracies, birtherism, Hillary's emails, or, more pertinent to this post, Robert A. Mueller's investigation of Russian influence in our elections, chances are damn close to 100% that the talking points of any Republican politician, Republican voter, or Putin apologist stem from there. If you factor any Russian internet bot "sources" into the conversation, it just becomes a "which came first, the chicken or the egg" scenario. Does it matter? No, because, no matter what the nonsense, FOX "News" is the bigger funnel through which all of this bullshit gets to the larger amount of our gullible, naive, and hate-run fellow citizens.

Notice that I didn't mention Donald J.Trump. I only omitted him because comparing him to Emperor Hirohito would be a grave insult to Emperor Hirohito.

So what set me off about FOX "News" this time? It was their coverage of Friday's announcement that Robert Mueller had issued 13 indictments of people involved in the engineering of swaying public opinion in favor of Comrade Trump in the 2016 election. Their spin was a thing to behold. Tokyo Rose would have been gleeful.

I watched FOX "News" on Friday and Saturday. I know you ask why, but I do it out of morbid curiosity, and so you don't have to. It's not a strictly a morbidity thing. It's just that deranged people and how they got there almost fascinates me. I watched because I wanted to see just how they would twist or ignore such a momentous story. The United States of America has been attacked by a foreign adversary and the evidence of the severity keeps mounting up. Meanwhile our so-called "president" says nothing. I knew how pro-American news outlets would react. The question in my mind was exactly how would FOX "News" react. I wasn't surprised. They sank even lower.

The only question left about FOX "News" now is can we really call them treasonous since they are owned by an Australian and a Saudi or does the visibility and weight of the Tokyo Rose-speak outweigh that? I vote for the later. It's obvious. The majority of those who work at FOX "News" and those who deliver the message are Americans. They are doing the work of Russia but they are Americans. They may think others are prime targets for arrest and deportation (or more) but maybe they should look in the mirror.

The goons on FOX twisted the indictment story so heinously it was breathtaking. What the Mueller indictments actually mean went basically unmentioned. To FOX "News," the indictments somehow showed, in true opposite world fashion, that our fake president is now vindicated. They enveloped the indictment story in their ongoing Nunes conspiracy and, most despicably, tied it to the horrific murders of 14 students and 3 staffers at Parkland Florida's Stoneman Douglas high school which had occurred just 2 days before. Keep in mind that this is the same channel that has been pushing their Nunes conspiracy and anti-law enforcement conspiracies for months. They tied the shootings into those conspiracies to create one all-encompassing super vomitous conspiracy by saying that the Parkland Florida high schoolers who are vocally protesting the shootings are only doing so because Democrats are paying them to do so; George Soros and Tom Steyer, no doubt. Think how deranged and downright evil you have to be to go there in the service of your twisted agenda. And, how dare they protest! All of this was done in order to assault the credibility of the Mueller investigation and protect our apparent Manchurian president.

To FOX and fellow travelers, the indictments were not a reason to discuss what to do and what Señor Trumpanzee should do in response to the attack on our country; they were just all part of a conspiracy to get at their boy Putin, er, Trump. It's obvious that FOX "News" and Comrade Trump don't want us to respond at all, certainly not by imposing the sanctions or investigating how we might defend this country from further attacks.

Just imagine if FOX "News" and wacko social media had existed during World War II. FOX "News" viewers might not even know what actually happened at Pearl Harbor. A Trump version of FDR (sorry Franklin) would have not given his stirring "Day of Infamy" speech. There would have been no Jimmy Doolittle raid on Japan. No Rosie the riveter. No battle for Guadalcanal or the Philippines. Half the country would be speaking Japanese and half would be speaking German. If that's what we really want, we should all probably sign up for Russian language lessons right now. If it isn't, then we need to start having a lot of trials and convictions. Oh, and by the way, Tokyo Rose was an American.

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