Sep 17 – General Membership Meeting

Sep 17 – General Membership Meeting

2016SeptemberNewsletter_pagesOur General Membership Meeting will be held on Saturday, September 17 in the Winn Room of the Coronado Library, 640 Orange Avenue, Coronado. Coffee and light snacks will be served beginning at 10:30 am, and our program begins promptly at 11:00.

Democratic Party-nominated and/or endorsed candidates for office (or, if unavailable, their senior aides) representing Coronado, will address the membership and be available to answer questions. We’ll also have some exciting opportunities to get involved in their campaigns for a Get Out the Vote (GOTV) drive.

Scheduled to appear are:

  • Toni Atkins, Assembly Speaker Emeritus and candidate for the 39th State Senate District
  • Todd Gloria, San Diego City Council Member and candidate for 78th State Assembly District
  • Kate Lyon, Deputy Campaign Manager will represent  Congressman Scott Peters,  who is running to maintain his seat in the 52nd Congressional District

Don’t miss this exciting meeting! Encourage your family, friends and neighbors to attend and get involved in this year’s campaign. While a Clinton victory in California is expected, we have a close race in the 52nd Congressional District. Our next President needs a Democratic Congress to move forward our Party’s progressive vision. Let’s make it happen!

Sep 17 – Beach Clean Up

Sep 17 – Beach Clean Up

international-coastal-cleanup-dayEnthusiastic, civic-minded Democrats with good eyesight and walking skills will meet at about, sorta, kinda, around, approximately, 9:00 AM on September 17th at the main lifeguard tower on the beach (it’s the tall one) at 919 Ocean Blvd.  Purpose is to clean OUR beach for the annual I Love a Clean San Diego Beach Clean-up.  There is no set amount of time you need to do this. So, join us for half an hour, an hour, an hour and a half or  whatever.  The “I Love a Clean San Diego” folks will not throw you in volunteer jail if you cut out early.  One cigarette butt picked up could make all the difference.  Join us and feel good for the rest of the day, including  the time you come to the Democratic Club Meeting at the Winn Room at 11:00 AM that same day.  No need to register, as I have taken the liberty of signing up the entire Coronado Dem Club.  Just sign the waiver available below and bring it to the lifeguard tower with a smile and some sunscreen.

Download English waiver here.

– Tom Bernitt

Jan 23 – General Meeting

Jan 23 – General Meeting

2016JanuaryNewsletter_pagesThe next meeting of the Coronado Democratic Club will be held on January 23, 2016.  The meeting will feature a debate between Marty Block and Toni Atkins, Democratic candidates for the State Senate, 39th District, which includes Coronado.  Marty Block is our incumbent State Senator and Toni Atkins is currently Speaker of the Assembly, but she will be termed-out in 2016.

The Club will conduct an Endorsement vote immediately after the debate. As per our Bylaws, in order to win our Club’s Endorsement, a candidate must attain a super-majority of 60% of the votes cast with a minimum of 30 affirmative votes. If a Club member cannot attend but would still like to participate in the Endorsement vote, please contact Mercy Mandelbaum at (619) 435-1911 or at to request an Absentee ballot.

Also on the agenda will be our U.S. Congressional Representative, Scott Peters.  He will review some of his recent accomplishments and share his plans for the next legislative session.  There will be time for a few questions.

The meeting will be held on Saturday, January 23, 2016 at 11:00 AM in the Winn Room at the Coronado Public Library. Refreshments will be served beginning at 10:30AM.

For more information, please contact Jim Rosania at
(619) 435-1685 or

January 23, 2016 11:00am – refreshments from 10:30am

Winn Room at the Coronado Public Library


Oct 8 – DIRECT eZine for Democrats #900

Oct 8 – DIRECT eZine for Democrats #900


The United States criminal justice system could be improved if we sell poor people convicted of crimes into slavery. — Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee. 10/15/15

“It amazes me and it actually kind of scares me. I’ve been spending more time going after Bernie and socialism because I don’t want America to succumb to the notion that there’s anything good about socialism. I think it’s not an accident of history that most of the times when socialism has been tried that attendant with that has been mass genocide of people or any of those who object to it.” — Rand Paul warning the a Sanders presidency could lead to “mass genocide.”

“I own guns. I’m planning on keeping them. But there’s a problem… Obama is coming for our guns.”— Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), in a fundraising letter. 10/16/15

“I would have taken her to task for that, and if she wins the nomination and if I win the nomination, trust me, this is not going to end.”— Jeb Bush, on Hillary’s email problem.

“OK, so here’s the deal. First of all, The Wall Street Journal was bought for $5 billion [in 2007]. It’s now worth $500 million, OK? They don’t have to tell me what to do.” — Donald Trump, after the WSJ called him “the most anti-trade candidate since Herbert Hoover.” 10/18/15

“Trey Gowdy is delusional if he thinks the Benghazi Committee’s partisan curtain hasn’t been lifted. The investigation into the tragic events in Benghazi stopped long ago, while the true focus of the Committee’s partisan, taxpayer-funded effort being to target Hillary Clinton. Through their actions, the Republicans have guaranteed that this Committee’s work will be remembered as a political witch hunt, spurred by leaked information, cheap partisan hackery and the long-debunked notion that this would ever be a fair investigation.” — David Brock 10/18/15

“We’re seeing our freedoms taken away every day and last night was an audition for who would wear the jackboot most vigorously. Last night was an audition for who would embrace government power for who would strip your and my individual liberties. Every one of the Democratic candidates is agreed on doubling down on the failed Obama strategies. So it was really quite interesting for America to see each and every Democratic candidate explain how they’re every bit as socialist as Bernie Sanders is.” — Ted Cruz, who acknowledged that he hadn’t actually watched the Democratic debate. 10/14/15

“I would say in some ways these have been among the worst weeks of my life. Attacks on your character, attacks on your motives, are 1,000-times worse than anything you can do to anybody physically — at least it is for me.” — Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), on suggestions that his Benghazi investigation is only a political attack on Hillary Clinton.

“And in my judgement, with respect to Hillary Clinton, she will be a unique president if she is elected by the public next November, because the day she’s sworn in is the day that she’s subject to impeachment because she has committed high crimes and misdemeanors,” — Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) preparing to impeach Hillary Clinton, should she get elected.10/19/15

“I just don’t like the guy.” — George W. Bush about Ted Cruz. 10/19/15

“Absolutely. Good. I would do that.” — Donald Trump, about closing mosques as a measure to fight ISIS in the US. 10/21/15


1. GOP Gerrymandering Is Disrupting the House

Thanks to gerrymandering, all but two of the 45 anti-Boehner rebels are guaranteed re-election in politically engineered monopoly districts that insulate them not only from Democratic challengers but also from the dictates of their party leadership, as John Boehner learned in five tormented years as Speaker. 10/01/15

2. GunFAIL CXLI: Week of 9/25 – 10/01/15

53 guns were discovered by TSA agents at airports around the country.

Twenty-four people shot themselves or a family member/significant other. Eleven kids were accidentally shot, ranging in age from two to 17. There are three hunting accidents and three “home invasion” shootings, and a “thought she was an intruder” shooting.

The story of the week was the two women were accidentally shot and killed this week by boyfriends posing for Snapchat photos with their guns and training their laser sights on them.

For the rest of this week’s list go to

3. Andy Borowitz: Benghazi Hearings Cancelled After Clinton Drops Out of Race

Washington was in turmoil on Tuesday morning as a House select committee abruptly cancelled its Benghazi hearings shortly after former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced that she was withdrawing from the Presidential race.

“As you know, we have been preparing for this week’s hearings for months,” Gowdy said. “However, after meeting with fellow committee members over the past four minutes, we’ve come to the conclusion that we know all we need to know about Benghazi.”

But shortly after Gowdy’s announcement, Clinton called an impromptu press conference at 9:13 to announce that she was jumping back into the race. “I was just trying to prove a point,” she told reporters, before heading off to campaign stops in Iowa and New Hampshire.

Minutes after Clinton’s second announcement, an irate Gowdy called her decision to reenter the race “beyond unethical” and revealed that the committee’s investigators had just uncovered fresh evidence about Benghazi.



“‘When you talk about George Bush – I mean, say what you want, the World Trade Center came down during his time. …He was president, OK? Don’t blame him, or don’t blame him, but he was president. The World Trade Center came down during his reign.’ — Donald Trump 10/16/15


“How pathetic for @realdonaldtrump to criticize the president for 9/11. We were attacked & my brother kept us safe.” — Jeb Bush@JebBush who has always avoided the fact that the period of time during which Bush kept us safe includes 9/11 itself.

“It’s time for people to stand up and proclaim for what they believe and stop being bullied.” — Ben Carson, defending free speech on campus. 10/21/15


“I actually have something I would use the Department of Education to do. It would be to monitor our institutions of higher education for extreme political bias and deny federal funding if it exists.” — Ben Carson, opposing free speech on campus. 10/21/15

5. From MEDIA MATTERS (They watch Fox News so you don’t have to)

Fox Regular: Democratic Endorsement Of Black Lives Matter Is “Plantation Politics,” “Whoring For Votes”

Limbaugh: Women Of The DNC Support Hillary Clinton Because They Are “Harboring A Secret Rage,” And The Men Kowtow “To Feminazis”

New York Times Fails To Explain Right-Wing Ties Of Obama Critic (The New York Times allowed retired F.B.I. senior official Ron Hosko to criticize President Obama over his recent comments concerning the FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email server without explaining that Hosko is the president of a right-wing organization.)

Rep. Elijah Cummings Debunks Right-Wing Media’s Claim That Clinton Sent “Classified Information” About CIA Source Over Private Email

Fox’s Kilmeade Encourages Donald Trump To Blame Bill Clinton For 9/11 Attacks

6. CIA Debunks Gowdy’s Allegation That Clinton Email Contained Classified CIA Source


Dear Mr. Chairman:

On October 7, 2015, you sent me a 13-page letter making a grave new accusation against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Specifically, you accused her of compromising national security and endangering lives.

The problem with your accusation—as with so many others during this investigation—is that you failed to check your facts before you made it, and the CIA has now informed the Select Committee that you were wrong. I believe your accusations were irresponsible, and I believe you owe the Secretary an immediate apology.

Contrary to your claims, the CIA yesterday informed both the Republican and Democratic staffs of the Select Committee that they do not consider the information you highlighted in your letter to be classified.  Specifically, the CIA confirmed that “the State Department consulted with the CIA on this production, the CIA reviewed these documents, and the CIA made no redactions to protect classified information.”

Unfortunately, you sent your letter on October 7 without checking first with the CIA.  Now that we have done so, we have learned that your accusations were incorrect.

Unfortunately, the standard operating procedure of this Select Committee has become to put out information publicly that is inaccurate and out of context in order to attack Secretary Clinton for political reasons.  These repeated actions bring discredit on this investigation and undermine the integrity of the Select Committee and the House of Representatives.

Sincerely, Elijah E. Cummings,
Ranking Member

7. SNL Cold Open: Democratic Debate

8. A Petition For Stronger Gun Laws (video)

America’s lax gun laws are often based on a reading of the Second Amendment that makes it hard to pass restrictive gun laws, even as our weapons get much, much deadlier.

9. Late Night Jokes for Dems

“Moderator Anderson Cooper asked Lincoln Chafee why he switched parties from being a Republican, and Chafee called himself a ‘block of granite.’ When asked what he meant by that, Chafee said, ‘I meant that I’d make a better countertop than president.” –Jimmy Fallon

“Turned out it was the highest-rated debate for the Democrats ever. More than 15 million people tuned in to watch Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and the three high school principals they invited to fill out the stage.” –Jimmy Kimmel

“Sanders supporters pointed to the fact that Bernie was the most googled of all the candidates during the debate. Sounds like a big thing until you realize the top questions they googled included, who is Bernie Sanders? And, is Bernie Sanders Jewish?” –Jimmy Kimmel

“Anderson cooper tried to make a case that Bernie Sanders isn’t electable because he calls himself a socialist. I think that’s the least of his problems. I think he isn’t electable because he calls himself Bernie.” –Jimmy Kimmel

“Donald Trump was live tweeting the debate last night. This morning he told ABC News he thought Clinton got through it ‘fine.’ Which is the highest compliment he can give a woman without marrying her.” –Jimmy Kimmel

“Sheryl Crow performed the National Anthem before last night’s debate, but many Twitter users were unhappy with her performance. Mostly because they thought the National Anthem was Uptown Funk.” –Seth Meyers

“During the debate, the candidates mentioned the middle class eleven times. Once for each remaining member of the middle class.” –Seth Meyers

“One of Bernie Sanders’ campaign advisers said they wanted him to tone down his yelling at tonight’s debate. You could tell he was yelling too much because I had to keep turning the volume UP to hear the commercials.” –Jimmy Fallon

“A new analysis of recent political speeches found that George W. Bush actually used longer and more complex words in his speeches than President Obama does. Granted none of those words were actually in the dictionary. ‘Don’t be condescencious. My vocablulation is completely misunderestimated.'” –Jimmy Fallon

10. Mark Fiore Cartoon: Conservatives gone wild

11. “The Daily Show” with Trevor Noah — Post-debate Exhilaration

12. Presidential Debate Schedule

Republican presidential debate schedule

October 28, 2015, in Boulder, Colorado. To be aired on CNBC
November 10, 2015 in Milwaukee. To be aired on the Fox Business network.
December 15, 2015, in Las Vegas. To be aire aired on CNN.
Next, sometime in January, in Iowa. To be aire aired on Fox News.
There will be 3debates in February, and at least two more expected afterward.

Democratic presidential debate schedule

November 6, 2015: First in the South Candidates Forum. To be aired on MSNBC. Details here.
November 14, 2015: Des Moines, Iowa. Hosted by CBS, KCCI, and the Des Moines Register.
December 19, 2015: Manchester, New Hampshire. Hosted by ABC and WMUR.
January 17, 2016: Charleston, South Carolina. Hosted by NBC and the Congressional Black Caucus Institute.
February 11, 2016: Somewhere in Wisconsin. Hosted by PBS.
March 9, 2016: Miami, Florida. Hosted by Univision and the Washington Post.

General election debate schedule

September 26, 2016: First presidential debate in Dayton, Ohio, at Wright State University
October 4, 2016: Vice presidential debate in Farmville, Virginia at Longwood University
October 9, 2016: Second presidential debate in St. Louis, Missouri, at Washington University in St. Louis
October 19, 2016: Third presidential debate in Las Vegas at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas

13. Fox News ‘Terrorism Expert’ Was Just Arrested For Fraud

Wayne Simmons was arrested by the FBI for what the agency called “major fraud” — lying about having worked for the Central Intelligence Agency for nearly 30 years, and then using that lie to obtain government security clearances.

Before his arrest Simmons was a frequent contributor on Fox News, which billed him as a “former CIA operative.” As might be expected, he used his claimed experience to make provocative assertions – such as telling Fox News that the Speaker of the House (Nancy Pelosi) is a pathological liar. 10/16/15

14. CIA shrugs off Clinton’s ‘classified’ email

The credibility of the Republican-led Benghazi committee came under fresh attack Sunday after the CIA informed the panel that it does not view a 2011 email forwarded by then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as including any classified information. The committee chairman, Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., had cited Clinton’s handling of the March 18, 2011, email as a prime example of her misusing her private email server to receive and send highly classified information. 10/19, 2015

15. Poll: Obama’s approval rating hits an 18-month high, is back over 50 percent

51 percent majority of the public approves of President Obama’s job performance in a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, while 45 percent disapproves. Although tepidly positive, those are Obama’s best numbers since May 2013 in Post-ABC surveys. 10/19/15

16. Americans’ Desire for Stricter Gun Laws Up Sharply

Fifty-five percent of Americans say they want laws covering the sale of firearms to be stricter than they are now, a distinct rise of eight percentage points from 2014. Fewer Americans than last year want the laws to be less strict, and the proportion who want the laws to stay the same has also declined slightly. 10/19/15

17. MarkFiore: Conservatives Gone Wild

18. Ted Cruz comments on the Democrat’s debate – that he hadn’t watched

Ted Cruz, who acknowledged that he hadn’t actually watched the Democratic debate, said:

“It was more socialism, more pacifism, more weakness & less Constitution. It was a recipe to destroy a country.”

“We’re seeing our freedoms taken away every day and last night was an audition for who would wear the jackboot most vigorously. Last night was an audition for who would embrace government power for who would strip your and my individual liberties.”

“Every one of the Democratic candidates is agreed on doubling down on the failed Obama strategies. So it was really quite interesting for America to see each and every Democratic candidate explain how they’re every bit as socialist as Bernie Sanders is.” October 14, 2015


1. Heather Digby Parton: The resurrection of the “liberal”: How the right tried to destroy American liberalism — and how it came back from the dead

What a difference a decade makes. On Tuesday night, the Democratic presidential candidates not only openly identified themselves as progressives, they embraced gun control, support for Planned Parenthood, criminal justice reform, LGBT and immigrant rights, and a long, impressive list of progressive economic reforms. The moderators even asked if the candidates considered themselves to be capitalists, a question so startling it would have drawn gasps from the audience in the not too distant past. Instead of rushing to defend their all-American capitalist bona fides as they once would have done, Bernie Sanders matter of factly said he didn’t consider himself a “casino capitalist,” and Hillary Clinton said she hope to save capitalism from itself. These comments from front-running Democratic candidates would have once been the headlines in the morning papers. Instead, it pretty much passed unnoticed. Indeed, it appears that even the word “socialism” is once again respectable, a development which would have caused the political establishment to collectively call for the fainting couch just a few years ago. 10/15/15 Read more at

2. Jamelle Bouie: An Empty Conspiracy

At this point, the House Select Committee on Benghazi is a dead letter. Democrats will dismiss it entirely, Hillary Clinton—in her upcoming testimony—will likely treat it with contempt, and the media will disregard its claims. Indeed, there’s a chance this could spread beyond the committee to Clinton’s email controversy.

For all the noise over her server, there’s been no evidence of wrongdoing or legal misconduct in Clinton’s emails. And President Obama has challenged the idea that Clinton harmed national security by using a private system. Barring genuine revelations, the collapse of the Benghazi committee might create skepticism around future email releases. In other words, it could kill the story or at least make it less critical to Clinton coverage.

For months, the Benghazi Committee was the sharpest tool in the GOP’s fight against Hillary Clinton. Now, thanks to missteps (and a little hubris), it’s almost dull beyond use.

3. Lanny Davis: Real Winner in Vegas Was the Democratic Party

There are a lot of ways to contrast the Democratic debate Tuesday night with the Republican debates, but one thing would likely get agreement across the spectrum – from voters in red states and blue states, liberals and conservatives: Democrats avoided personal attacks and insults and debated the issues; Republicans have spent much more time during their debates attacking one another, with the vitriol and bile of Donald Trump leading the race to the bottom.

Tuesday night in Las Vegas, Senator Sanders exemplified what all the Democrats in the debate conveyed: He refused to attack Hillary Clinton personally and refused to make an issue of the email controversy.  He received a standing ovation from the crowd, and he deserved it.

Sen. Sanders said that most Americans care more about hearing discussions about solutions to their most important problems. Of course he is right, according to all the polls.

So good for Sen. Sanders – the handshake with Hillary Clinton was the high point of the evening.

Why? Because most Americans want civil disagreement – a debate about the issues – not personal attacks.

Republicans ought to learn this lesson. The problem is, with Trump on the stage, it appears that most (though not all) can’t resist sinking down to his level. 10/15/15

4. Dana Milbank: The House Benghazi committee unravels

If this were one of Trey Gowdy’s murder prosecutions, it would be declared a mistrial.

For 17 months, the former prosecutor who leads the House Benghazi committee has labored to give the appearance of diligence and impartiality. But, in an inexplicable and ruinous outbreak of honesty in recent weeks, the thing is unraveling just in time for Gowdy’s moment in the spotlight: Hillary Clinton’s testimony Thursday.

The ham-handed targeting of Clinton predates the Gowdy panel. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), who led an earlier Benghazi investigation, suggested, falsely, that Clinton had issued a “stand-down” order to block a military response the night of the Benghazi attack. Issa also alleged, falsely, that Clinton personally authorized security reductions in Libya with her “signature” on a cable.

The contretemps have continued under Gowdy. The chairman claimed that he had “zero interest” in the Clinton Foundation and hadn’t issued a subpoena related to it or interviewed a “single person” about it other than the staffer who set up Clinton’s private email server. But Gowdy had armed marshals serve a subpoena at the home of Clinton adviser Sidney Blumenthal, and Gowdy and others asked Blumenthal numerous questions about the foundation.

Could such a skilled prosecutor and his experienced staff really be so hapless? Or are the mistakes more purposeful? Consider the damaging New York Times story this summer that initially reported, incorrectly, that federal inspectors general had requested a “criminal investigation” into whether Clinton “mishandled sensitive government information.”

The “senior government officials” responsible for the two false allegations were anonymous. But there are some likely suspects. 10/20/15

5. Edward Maibach: Voters to GOP: ‘I’m not a scientist’ won’t cut it on climate change

If the Republican Party wants to win the White House in 2016, it should take climate change seriously.

Republicans have been groping for the right way to talk about global warming. They want to satisfy their big donors — fossil fuel companies and executives, for example, which don’t want regulations imposed on carbon pollution — without frustrating or alienating voters. Until recently, this quandary yielded tortured statements from politicians like “I’m not a scientist.”

A wiser approach for GOP candidates would be to walk out of the corner they have painted themselves into and embrace the handful of congressional GOP climate realists who recently issued a resolution recognizing human-caused climate change and calling for debate on how best to limit it.

The data are clear: Most Americans, including most Republicans and most Latinos, want to limit carbon pollution. There is only one winning position for the GOP candidates: embrace climate change, and make a forceful case for the policies that they feel will be most effective in addressing the problem. Anything else is likely to make it harder for Republicans to take back the White House in 2016.

6. Eugene Robinson: Democrats debate issues people care most about

The main event was Clinton versus Sanders, and what should worry Republicans is that the two leading Democrats spent so much of the evening on the issues Americans say they care about. To cite one representative survey, a recent CBS poll asked registered voters what they most wanted to hear the candidates discuss. “Economy and jobs” came in first at 24 percent, while “immigration” was a distant second at 11 percent and “foreign policy” third at 10 percent.

But what do Republicans talk about in their debates? Who is going to be toughest on illegal immigration, who is more opposed to President Obama’s foreign policy, who is more determined to defund Planned Parenthood. On the economy, they fight to establish who is more opposed to raising the minimum wage.

The GOP establishment candidates have no economic message to offer beyond the party’s standard prescription of tax cuts for the wealthy and deregulation for businesses. That may be why the front-runners are Trump and Carson, who have never held public office and whose economic prescriptions are more populist.

The Democratic candidates understand that these are the issues people care most about. Trump gets it, too, in his own bombastic way. A party that goes into the election without a compelling message on jobs and incomes — I’m talking to you, GOP establishment — is begging to lose. 10/16/15

7. Kevin Drum: The Benghazi Charade Is Finally Melting Away

Republicans have screwed the pooch on Benghazi. The press can only play along with their faux investigation as long as they maintain plausible deniability about its partisan goals. But now we have (a) Kevin McCarthy spilling the beans, (b) news reports that John Boehner wanted to use the committee to attack Hillary, (c) Richard Hanna agreeing that it was mostly a partisan witch hunt, and (d) no less than the New York Times reporting that the committee has all but given up on Benghazi in favor of holding hearings on Hillary’s email server. We knew all along there was a man behind the curtain, but now he’s actually been exposed. It’s getting harder and harder to play along with the charade. 10/15/15

8. Amy Davidson: Donald Trump and Jeb Bush, the 9/11 Bullies

In the past few days, one thing we’ve been reminded of, as Donald Trump and Jeb Bush have sniped at each other about whether George W. Bush “kept us safe,” is that the two men represent two different schoolyard types. Trump is the sort of bully who relies on a freewheeling instinct for the weaknesses of others—in this case, an opponent who is reduced to befuddled outrage whenever he is called on to speak publicly about his brother. Trump’s aim can be scattershot, but he can hurt. Jeb Bush is a more refined bully, who simply expects everyone to share his amazement that a person who doesn’t fit in would dare show up for a party or for a debate—the sort whose go-to insult is “weirdo.” “Does anybody actually blame my brother for the attacks on 9/11? If they do, they’re totally marginalized in our society,” Bush told Jake Tapper, on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

And that is where Jeb Bush most gets lost. He is setting Trump—and not just Trump—up for the obvious reply: maybe no terrorist group followed up with anything like the September 11th attacks, but George W. Bush launched an invasion of Iraq that crumbled into civil war, destabilized the region, led to the neglect of Afghanistan, and laid the foundation for ISIS. By keeping “us” safe, does Jeb Bush also mean the more than four thousand Americans who died in Iraq, the more than three thousand who died in Afghanistan, and the many thousands more who were wounded? It’s a good guess that “us” does not encompass the Iraqis who died; their estimated number ranges from a hundred thousand to more than half a million. Perhaps by “safe,” Bush only means “complacent.” 10/19/15

9. Brian Beutler: The Benghazi Witch-Hunt Against Hillary Is Backfiring Just Like Bill Clinton’s Impeachment

Back in 1998, House Republican leaders had to dial back an investigation into the Clintons’ campaign finance practices after then-oversight committee chairman Dan Burton tried to hoodwink the press with heavily edited transcripts meant to implicate Hillary. That botched operation forced Burton to fire his top aide David Bossie, who went on to become president of Citizens United, and prompted an angry backlash from Speaker Newt Gingrich on behalf of an embarrassed Republican conference.

The recent blows to the Benghazi committee’s self-styled credibility are at least as severe, beginning with House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s admission that Republicans empaneled it to damage Hillary Clinton’s presidential candidacy, running through well-substantiated allegations that Republicans have been using committee resources to investigate Clinton at the expense of the actual attacks on the U.S. facility in Libya.

In the nearly two decades since the last Clinton investigations went nowhere, social media has made it easier for events like congressional hearings to become defined by key moments, rather than by overall substance, and if Republicans are able to embarrass Hillary on Thursday once or twice, the dividends will dwarf any reputational damage the committee has suffered. Ever since Watergate, Republicans have been consumed with the certainty that a similar scandal will one day befall Democrats, and have gone to great lengths to make it so. But when their inquiries run aground, or devolve into partisan witch hunting, they eventually relent, and allow the investigations to fizzle out. The Benghazi committee is flirting with the same fate. 10/19/15

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Oct 8 – DIRECT eZine for Democrats #898

Oct 8 – DIRECT eZine for Democrats #898


“I want to continue to be a Republican because it annoys them.” — Colin Powell 9/30/15

“African Americans fought for the right to vote in the face of unthinkable hatred. They stood up and were beaten down, marched and were turned back. Some were even killed. But in the end, the forces of justice overcame. Alabama should do the right thing. It should reverse this decision. And it should start protecting the franchise for every single voter, no matter the color of their skin.” — Hillary Clinton on the closure of 31 driver’s license offices in Alabama’s mostly in majority-black counties. 10/02/15

“The only people in the lead in primary are the people who’ve never been in government, because they’ve spent 35 years telling people to hate government. I felt bad for them. In the first debate, it felt like they were taking a theology test in hatred of government, and Trump blew past them.” — Bill Clinton, 10/02/15

“According to multiple sources, it was Biden himself who talked to her [renowned Hillary Clinton-critic Maureen Dowd], painting a tragic portrait of a dying son, Beau’s face partially paralyzed, sitting his father down and trying to make him promise to run for president because “the White House should not revert to the Clintons and that the country would be better off with Biden values.” — Edward-Isaac Dovere in Politico10/06/15

On the Republican Party’s Benghazi investigation:

“To put it simply, the game is over, and they’ve lost. This was supposed to be the big moment for Gowdy and his committee and instead what we have is the person who’s likely the next speaker validating everything critics have been saying. . . . Now everyone can see the fact that this has been a partisan charade all along.” — David Brock about Rep. McCarthy’s Benghazi Committee comment 10/01/15

“You’re now a Benghazi Watchdog. Let’s go after Obama and Hillary Clinton. Help us fight them now.” —  Republican Party’s House campaign fundraising solicitation.

“What he (Rep. McCarthy) said was, it’s very much to the effort to reduce Hillary Clinton’s numbers, her favorability numbers, her trustworthy numbers in the mind of the American people before the election. I don’t think there’s any question that’s what this has been about. She’s testified seven times and they haven’t found anything and they’ve got her coming again in late October to testify.”– Juan Williams

On the mass killings at Oregon’s Umpqua Community College-.

“Stuff happens.” — Jeb Bush. 10/02/15

“I will tell you, I am going to fight for new, effective gun control measures. I gotta tell you it is just heartbreaking, it is sickening to me to see another massacre.” — Hillary Clinton. 10/02/15

The Obama administration … tries to use these tragedies as an excuse to come after the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens. It’s unconstitutional, it’s cynical, and it’s wrong.” — Sen.Ted Cruz 10/02/15
“Meanwhile, the shallow and simple minded liberals will continue to blame pieces of hardware for the problem, and they will long for the days before firearms were invented.” — Bobby Jindal 10/06/15

“Not only would I probably not cooperate with him, I would not just stand there and let him shoot me, I would say, ‘Hey guys, everybody attack him. He may shoot me, but he can’t get us all.'” — Ben Carson, on what he would have done had a gunman walked up to him and asked him to state his religion. 10/06/15

““But no matter what you do you will have problems and that’s the way the world goes.” — Donald Trump 10/04/15

“If you have crazy people who want to kill a lot of individuals, they’ll find a way to do it.” — Mike Huckabee 10/02/15

“How on Earth could he compile 13 guns? How can that happen? They talk about gun laws, they talk about gun control. Every time something like this happens, they talk about it, and nothing is done. I’m not trying to say that that’s what to blame for what happened, but if Chris had not been able to get a hold of 13 guns, it wouldn’t have happened.” — Ian Mercer, the father of Chris Harper Mercer 10/04/15

“Our enemies are armed. We must do likewise.” — Tennessee Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey (R) on Facebook, saying that “fellow Christians who are serious about their faith” should “think about getting a handgun permit.” 10/02/15



1. Democrats Release New Video and Fact Sheet: “Couldn’t Be More Plain”

Democrats on the Select Committee on Benghazi released a new video and fact sheet rebutting claims made by Chairman Trey Gowdy that the Committee is not focused on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.  The new video and fact sheet come after Republican Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy admitted on national television that the purpose of the Select Committee has always been to damage Hillary Clinton’s bid for President.

Watch the video here:

The fact sheet is at

2. Hillary Clinton Does ‘Saturday Night Live’

3. The Borowitz Report: Americans Opposed to Being Shot Seek Representation in Washington

Carol Foyler, founder of the lobbying group Americans Opposed to Being Shot, believes that the right to not be shot, much like women’s right to vote, the right to same-sex marriage, and other rights that were deemed controversial in their day, may be an idea whose time has finally come.

“For years, we’ve been talking about the right to not be shot and people have been looking at us like we’re out of our minds,” she said. “But recent polls show that a vast majority of Americans, in fact, do not want to be shot.”

While Foyler and other anti-being-shot activists believe that Washington may finally be receptive to their radical ideas, Wayne LaPierre, the executive vice-president of the National Rifle Association, is doubtful. “People who don’t want to be shot are a very narrow interest group,” he said. Read more at


“Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right? But we put together a Benghazi special committee, a select committee. What are her numbers today? Her numbers are dropping. Why? Because she’s untrustable [sic]. But no one would have known any of that had happened had we not fought and made that happen.”- House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’ (R-CA) (Check out Correct The Record’s newest video on Kevin McCarthy at


“We are writing to ask you to disband the House Select Committee on Benghazi after House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s recent comments admitting that the Select Committee was put together to serve the political purpose of defeating Secretary Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Presidential elections by hurting her in the polls, rather than conducting a serious investigation into a terrorist attack that killed four Americans. We should not disrespect their sacrifice by further politicizing this tragedy.” — Letter to Speaker Boehner from Sens. Reid, Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Patty Murray (D-WA), and Barbara Boxer (D-CA) 10/01/15

“Let’s just get through this thing, and whatever it costs, it costs.” — Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) asking for federal aid for his home state of South Carolina as it battles raging floods. 10/06/15


“Graham was among the Republican senators who opposed a federal aid package in January 2013 to assist states hit by Hurricane Sandy, but now he doesn’t remember why.” —Eric Bradner on CNN 10/06/15

5. From MEDIA MATTERS (They watch Fox News so you don’t have to)

Limbaugh Suggests Parents Are “Trying To Transgender” Their Children In A “Quest For Fame,” And It’s Caitlyn Jenner’s Fault

Rush Limbaugh: “The People That Are Shooting Up Schools More Than Likely Vote Democrat”

Fox Anchor Blames Obama For GOP’s Unwillingness To Pass New Gun Laws

Fox’s Hannity Claims Obama’s Response To Oregon Mass Shooting Is “A New Low” For The Administration

Fox Correspondent Criticizes Obama For “Politicizing” Gun Violence In The Wake Of Oregon Mass Shooting

Meet Judicial Watch, A Driving Force Behind The Clinton Email Story That Keeps Duping The Press

The New York Times published in print a story about the International Association of Firefighters backing away from an endorsement of Hillary Clinton, but only published in a blog online that the National Education Association (NEA), the biggest union in the country, announced its support for Clinton on Saturday.

PunditFact Rates As “False” Conservative Media’s Claim That Cecile Richards Said 86% Of Planned Parenthood’s Revenue Comes From Abortion Services

Bill O’Reilly Denies The Existence Of Child Hunger: “It’s A Total Lie”

Megyn Kelly Defends Police Shown Punching Unarmed Woman In The Head: “You Can’t Resist Arrest”

6. Late Night Jokes for Dems

“The story says that Donald Trump gets so little sleep, he actually suffers from sleep deprivation. Then again, so do most people who think about Donald Trump becoming president.” –Jimmy Fallon

“NSA leaker Edward Snowden joined Twitter yesterday, and immediately got more followers than the NSA. Which raises an interesting question: Who’s following the NSA on Twitter?” –Jimmy Fallon

“While visiting America, Pope Francis secretly met with Kim Davis, the county clerk who denied marriage licenses to gay couples. At first she refused to meet with the Pope because she was told, ‘There’s a guy in a dress named Francis here to see you.'” –Conan O’Brien

“Donald Trump’s wife, an immigrant from Slovenia, says she lets Trump be himself. She said, in return, he lets me be in America.” –Conan O’Brien

“Governor Bobby Jindal’s presidential campaign is angrily insisting that the “Duck Dynasty” cast supports him and not Donald Trump. And that is the current report on the state of the Bobby Jindal campaign.” –Conan O’Brien

“After their meeting got off to a tense start, Obama and Putin wound up talking for 90 minutes, and Putin described the talks as ‘surprisingly open.’ Putin said it was the most productive conversation he’d ever had with someone who wasn’t tied to a chair.” –Jimmy Fallon

“While in New York City, President Obama and Vladimir Putin met and the meeting was described as awkward. Apparently Obama was upset that he looks nothing like his Tinder photo.” –Conan O’Brien

“In a speech Marco Rubio talked about the danger of electing a president who does not understand technology. Unfortunately, Rubio’s speech was interrupted when his beeper went off. He had to get to a pay phone.” –Conan O’Brien

“Donald Trump came out with this proposal for a new tax plan yesterday. Just like a real presidential candidate would do! It’s kind of adorable.” –Jimmy Kimmel

“Trump plans to raise taxes on the very rich — which doesn’t include him because he’s very, VERY rich.” –Jimmy Kimmel

“Under Trump you won’t have to pay any income taxes if you make less than $25,000 a year, if you and your spouse make under $50,000 a year, and if you capture an illegal Mexican you won’t pay any taxes at all.” –Jimmy Kimmel

7. Majority of House Republicans vote to shut down government over women’s health, and lose

Five out of eight Republican House members voted to shut down government over women’s health care on Wednesday. Just 91 of them voted with Democrats and, in the words of Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, “[o]ne-hundred and fifty one Republicans decided their obsession with women’s health was more important than the thousands of disabled veterans, disadvantaged children and working families who would pay the price of another government shutdown.” That vote, and how candidates for leadership voted, doesn’t bode well for the future of the Republican conference and a functioning Congress.

8. Late Night with Seth Meyers: A Closer Look: Planned Parenthood

9. Gun violence

America’s unique problem with gun violence: Homicides by firearm per 1 million people:

Australia (the lowest): 1.4
Canada 5.1
Switzerland (the next highest): 7.7
US (the highest): 29.7

According to the Harvard School of Public Health’s Injury Control Center the reason is simple: The US is an outlier on gun violence because it has way more guns than other developed nations.For the full chart see

American deaths in terrorism vs. gun violence: From 2004 to 2013, 316,545 people died by firearms on U.S. soil. (2013 is the most recent year CDC data for deaths by firearms is available.) This data covered all manners of death, including homicide, accident and suicide.

Meanwhile during that same period, there were 36 people killed in domestic acts of terrorism. 10/02/15 Read more at

10. The Late Show with Stephen Colbert: Thoughts On Pretending And Honesty

11. Daily Show w/Trevor Noah: Donald Trump: America’s African President–america-s-african-president

12. Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Mental Health

13. Poll: Clinton leads Sanders, Biden, and the entire Democratic fantasy team

There has been seemingly endless discussion over the last few months about potential big name Democratic primary challengers entering the race to take out Hillary Clinton. So Public Policy Polling newest national poll tested Clinton not just against Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden, but also against Al Gore and Elizabeth Warren and John Kerry and to make sure we were covering all our bases even Michael Dukakis.

Clinton leads the Democratic race with 42% to 24% for Sanders, 20% for Biden, 2% for Jim Webb, and 1% each for Lincoln Chafee and Martin O’Malley. Among Biden voters, 44% say Clinton would be their second choice to only 21% who say Sanders would be. If Biden doesn’t get in and you reallocate his backers to their second choice, Clinton leads Sanders 51 to 28. 10/06/15 Read more at

14. Alabama Demands Voter ID–Then Closes Driver’s License Offices In Black Counties

Because the same Alabama Legislature that could not raise enough money to properly run the state in three sessions this year decided in 2011 that all voters must have a photo ID. It was such a great idea that Gov. Robert Bentley signed that bill into law despite complaints that such a move would disproportionately disenfranchise black voters.

It went into effect last year. And now this.

So Alabama closes 31 driver license offices. And while the cuts come across Alabama, they are deepest in the Black Belt. The harm is inflicted disproportionately on voters who happen to be black, and poor, in sparsely populated areas.

That Alabama refuses to pay for its own government, and used it as an excuse to keep black people from the polls. That Alabama hasn’t changed a bit. 10/01/15 Read more at


1. Josh Marshall: LOL

Perhaps Kevin McCarthy is clumsy enough to be a Speaker Democrats can really get behind.

After McCarthy’s candid admission that the House Benghazi committee only exists to beat up Hillary Clinton, House Oversight Committee chair Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) is rebuking McCarthy for saying something so totally outrageous as what everybody knows to be obviously true. But let’s go a little further in stating the painfully obvious. The “Benghazi” story, issue, whatever you want to call it, has always been about and solely about exploiting the death of four Americans for partisan political gain.


From day one.

The exploitation and conspiracy derp predated having any idea what happened because that was what it was about: working a political angle. What actually happened, good or bad, was a secondary detail – facts of whatever sort which could be used or arranged in such a way to advance the core goal: exploiting the deaths for political gain.

We know this. Thanks you, Kevin McCarthy for stating the obvious.

McCarthy for Speaker. 10/01/15 Read more at–4

2. Leonard Pitts Jr.: The adult has left the building. Now what?

Republican Rep. Peter King probably put it best when he said of Boehner’s resignation: “I think it signals that crazies have taken over the party.”

Ya think? Heck, some of us — including some Republicans — have been saying that for years. Moreover, the unruliness of the tea party seems part and parcel of a more general lawlessness that has afflicted the once-upon-a-time party of law and order. Consider how GOP presidential candidates rushed to lionize Kentucky bureaucrat Kim Davis, who, in declining to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, did only what George Wallace and Orval Faubus did once upon a time: refused to abide by a Supreme Court ruling. Unable to vindicate their ideals within the rules, conservatives seem increasingly unwilling to be constrained by rules or, indeed, by much of anything.

These are the forces that felled Boehner, and you might describe it as a case of just deserts given that the speaker once supported, and saw political benefit from, the unleashing of those selfsame forces. But what happened here is not good for any of us. Governance in a democracy requires give and take between at least two political parties. More and more, we seem to find ourselves one party short, the GOP choosing instead to function as a cult or belief system.

Boehner’s departure does not help. It only removes one more adult from the equation in a party that doesn’t have any to spare. Read more here:

3. LA Times Editorial: Demand an end to gun violence, now

Gun violence is a singular issue in this country, grotesquely defended by the cult of the gun and enshrouded in a romanticized interpretation of the 2nd Amendment that the Supreme Court wrongfully endorsed in its 2008 District of Columbia versus Heller decision recognizing an individual right to bear arms. It’s sobering to note the Washington Post’s analysis that not a calendar week has gone by in President Obama’s second term that has not included at least one mass shooting (identified as four or more victims killed or injured). counts 375 people (including gunmen) killed and 1,089 wounded this year as of Thursday in 294 incidents in which four or more people were shot though not necessarily killed. And the carnage continues: Associated Press reports that on Thursday night in Florida, three more people were killed, including the gunman, and a fourth wounded.

Yet elected officials in state legislatures and Congress largely do nothing, clinging to a near-religious embrace of the right to bear arms in a political theater owned by gun manufacturers and their gun-worshipping acolytes. Not only is that a dereliction of the elected officials’ duty to keep the American people safe, it is a horrific disregard for human life. And the shame is shared by an electorate that doesn’t demand more. 10/02/15 Read more at

4. Kathleen Parker: The New McCarthyism is dead on arrival

The consequences of McCarthy’s sleight of tongue can’t be overstated. It wasn’t just a Washington gaffe — when someone accidentally tells the truth. It was a self-inflicted, potentially fatal wound, not just to McCarthy but to Republicans more broadly, including those running for president.

One minute McCarthy was the near-certain next speaker of the House; the next he was persona non grata as GOP colleagues, their own minds hurtling through various apocalyptic scenarios, hammered him.

McCarthy has since tried to cram the bad genie back into the bottle, but the damage has been done and can’t be undone.

Essentially, he had handed Clinton the keys to her prison cell. Held hostage these past three years by a series of Republican interrogators about the September 2012 attack in Libya that killed our ambassador and three others, she has been liberated.

The Benghazi hearings that led to the private server, that led to the missing 30,000 e-mails, that led to the FBI investigation that thus far has led only to the conclusion that she was hackable — have been reduced in the public mind to a political hit job organized to damage her chances of becoming the Democratic presidential nominee.

This isn’t necessarily the whole of it — House Select Committee on Benghazi Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) and others certainly believe there’s more to know — but the cement has set on what McCarthy implied. At the very least, any previous suspicions that Republicans were just out to get Clinton have cleared the bar of reasonable doubt.

One can imagine, meanwhile, that Clinton is performing mental pirouettes and grand jetes, dancing circles around the vast right-wing conspiracy, even as she conveys almost sorrowfully how “deeply distressing” McCarthy’s admission is. 10/02/15 Read more at

5. Paul Waldman: Why Kevin McCarthy’s ‘gaffe’ enraged reporters

There was not a single reporter in America who heard McCarthy’s comments and said, “Wait a minute — the Benghazi committee is political? My god!” So why would McCarthy’s remark get so much press attention when it’s merely stating the obvious? The answer lies in reporters’ frustration.

Nobody likes to be lied to, even if the lie is exactly what they expect, and even if the lie can be dismissed as mere spin. Politicians are constantly spinning to reporters, so in response, the reporters look for any opportunity to uncover, refute, or discredit those lies, whether they were trivial or momentous. That’s one reason that so much political coverage is about strategy, coverage that essentially says, “This is what politicians are saying, but the more important truth can be found in their motives.” It characterizes all politics as theater, a great big fiction meant to mislead and manipulate. By talking about politics that way, reporters not only assert their own agency but assure themselves and their audience that they haven’t been taken in, that they’re no suckers.

But every once in a while, a politician gets caught in a lie but refuses to act properly contrite. So it is with Carly Fiorina, who for the last couple of weeks has kept repeating falsehoods about what was on those Planned Parenthood “sting” videos, no matter how many times she gets corrected. Fiorina’s calculation, which may well be accurate, is that it’s working, so why stop? Her poll numbers are rising and anti-abortion Republicans are treating her like their new hero, so who cares what a bunch of fact-checkers say? Read more at

6. E.J. Dionne Jr.: The conservative evasion on guns

Conservatives might usefully listen to former Australian prime minister John Howard, who has noted that he led “a center-right coalition” whose parties represented “virtually every nonurban electoral district in the country.” In other words, his party is a lot like our Republicans.

After a psychologically disturbed man killed 35 people in Tasmania, Howard championed state bans on the ownership, possession and sale of all automatic and semiautomatic weapons by Australia’s states, along with a federal ban on their importation. He also sponsored a gun buyback scheme that got almost 700,000 guns — the statistical equivalent of 40 million in the United States — off the streets and destroyed. “Few Australians would deny that their country is safer today as a consequence of gun control,” Howard wrote in the New York Times shortly after the Newtown killings.

Politicizing this struggle means being unrelentingly candid in calling out an American conservative movement that proudly champions law and order but allows itself to be dominated by gun extremists who deride every gun measure that might make our country a little bit safer — no matter how many mass killings we have.

Conservatives all over the world are aghast at our nation’s permissive attitude toward guns. Is a dangerous and harebrained absolutism about weaponry really the issue on which American conservatives want to practice exceptionalism? 10/04/15 Read more at

7. Norm Ornstein: How GOP Radicals Made the Speakership Unappealing

The huge election victory in 2014, which included recapturing the Senate, emboldened the radicals—the government shutdown they had pushed in 2013 did not cost them at the polls. But it left party leaders in both houses realizing that now, with Republicans controlling all of Congress, the need to show responsibility, no longer playing games with shutdowns or debt limits, was even greater. The growing strength of populist radicals resulted in the ironic primary defeat of the head Young Gun, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, by Tea Partyite Dave Brat.

It was inevitable that these two forces—radicals flexing their muscles, demanding war against Obama from their congressional foxholes, and leaders realizing that a hard line was a fool’s errand—would collide violently.  The party outside Congress, including at the grass roots, has itself become more radical, and angrier at the party establishment for breaking promises and betraying its ideals. When polls consistently show that two-thirds of Republicans favor outsiders for their presidential nomination, it is not surprising that Ted Cruz would call his own Senate leader, Mitch McConnell, a liar on the Senate floor. Even insiders like Marco Rubio and Chris Christie have been eager to treat McConnell and Boehner like pinatas.

By any reasonable standard, John Boehner is a bedrock conservative—opposed to big government, pro-life, and in favor of big tax cuts. Boehner would have been placed at the right end of his party a couple of decades ago. But as a realist operating in the real world of divided government and separation of powers, he became a target within his own ranks. Now he is almost at the left end of a party that has gone from center-right to right-center to a place that is more radical than it is conservative—what Tom Mann and I called “an insurgent outlier.” On the verge of losing complete control, Boehner bailed. Boehner, with a month to go, may try to avert a shutdown and make the job of his likely successor, Young Gun Kevin McCarthy, easier. That won’t last long. In the new tribal world of radical politics, the first constitutional office has lost its luster. 9/25/15 Read more at

8. Paul Krugman: Voodoo Never Dies

So Donald Trump has unveiled his tax plan. It would, it turns out, lavish huge cuts on the wealthy while blowing up the deficit.

This is in contrast to Jeb Bush’s plan, which would lavish huge cuts on the wealthy while blowing up the deficit, and Marco Rubio’s plan, which would lavish huge cuts on the wealthy while blowing up the deficit.

For what it’s worth, it looks as if Trump’s plan would make an even bigger hole in the budget than Jeb’s. Jeb justifies his plan by claiming that it would double America’s rate of growth; The Donald, ahem, trumps this by claiming that he would triple the rate of growth. But really, why sweat the details? It’s all voodoo. The interesting question is why every Republican candidate feels compelled to go down this path.

You might think that there was a defensible economic case for the obsession with cutting taxes on the rich. That is, you might think that if you’d spent the past 20 years in a cave (or a conservative think tank). Otherwise, you’d be aware that tax-cut enthusiasts have a remarkable track record: They’ve been wrong about everything, year after year.

Never forget that what it’s really about is top-down class warfare. That may sound simplistic, but it’s the way the world works. Read more at

9. Paul Waldman: Ben Carson is ready for the coming American apocalypse

As someone who has never run for office before and who seems to neither know nor care much about the substance of what a president does, Ben Carson’s appeal among Republican voters can be a little hard to discern. He’s outwardly devout, appealing to evangelical voters — but so are many of the other presidential hopefuls (Mike Huckabee is even an actual Baptist minister). He has an inspiring life story, which is great, but that doesn’t necessarily make you choose him over other candidates. He’s an “outsider,” but so are lots of other contenders (even some who currently serve in Congress claim that mantle).

But there’s one thing that distinguishes him from other candidates that hasn’t gotten a lot of attention, and may have something to do with the fact that Carson is firmly in second place in the GOP race: only he fully embraces an apocalyptic vision of the American nightmare that is upon us. More than anyone else, he represents a particular fringe faction of the conservative movement, one that saw its prominence increase during the early years of the Obama administration, but as of late has been fading somewhat.

If you listen to Carson, you won’t have to wait long before he references some bizarre conspiracy theory or says something indicating that he thinks everything is about to turn to hell. This a marked contrast with Donald Trump, for instance, who insists that America is already a dump, where our leaders are idiots, China stole all our jobs, and we never win anything. Carson, on the other hand, says that the real cataclysm isn’t here yet, but it’s on its way. Read more at

11. Eric Boehlert: Benghazi, Emails, Planned Parenthood: How D.C. Press Keeps Enabling The GOP’s Orchestrated Distractions

Within the span of just 12 hours this week, multiple Republican-sponsored political pursuits partially unraveled in plain sight.

The long-running investigations were the Benghazi select committee and the related probe into Hillary Clinton’s private emails, and Republicans’ crusade targeting Planned Parenthood. Journalists would be wise to take note of the pattern of plain deception and ask themselves if they want to keep sponsoring these planned distractions.

One reason these Groundhog Day scenes keeping play out, again and again and again, is the fact that too many journalists are absolutely wed to the very simple definition of what constitutes news: What are conservatives angry about?

As Media Matters can attest, virtually none of the often-hysterical allegations attached to those distractions were ever proven to be true. Instead, the pursuits imploded under their own weight. Yet too often, these supposed scandals broke out of the Fox News bubble and became mainstream “news.”

So when’s the press going to get the message and stop enabling these charades? 10/03/15 Read more at


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Sep 19 – Coastal Cleanup Day

Sep 19 – Coastal Cleanup Day

It’s a well-known fact that Democrats are for doing, and Republicans are for trumping, right?  Well, here’s your chance to show your true colors by doing a beach cleanup at our very own Coronado Beach.  While the Donald flies to Iowa to eat chicken-fried Joni Ernst hog-bellies, you can stroll, drive, run or fly to the Nado beach and participate in the 31st Annual Coastal Cleanup Day.

Where: Near the Lifeguard Station off Ocean Blvd

When: September 19th

What time: 9 – Noon (but you can stay as long as you want).

What to bring: Nothing but a smile and a signed waiver (but your own bucket and gloves would be nice). Download WAIVER here.

What to say: You’re a volunteer for the Coronado Democratic Club

And if we get enough to gaggle, we’ll even take a photo and send it to the Eagle-Journal and Trump, Inc. See you there!
Tom Bernitt  921-7224

Sep 3 – DIRECT eZine for Democrats #893

Sep 3 – DIRECT eZine for Democrats #893


“Extreme views about women? We expect that from some of the terrorist groups. We expect that from people who don’t want to live in the modern world. But it’s a little hard to take coming from Republicans who want to be the president of the United States.” —  Hillary Clinton comparing the Republican presidential field to “terrorist groups” where women’s issues are concerned.

The more you look at the Biden bandwagon, it looks more like a ghost ship being pulled through the mist by a combination of hungry political reporters, Hillary haters (including most of the conservative media), and Delaware-based Friends of Joe who, of course, would love to see him run.” — Ed Kilgore 8/26/15

“Look, nobody knows the tax code better than I do. OK. I know it better. I’m the king of the tax code.” — Donald Trump, 8/28/15

“If we were to elect someone who’s been part of the problem creating the socialism, really there is no hope.” — Sarah Palin 8/27/15

“In addition to saying “hateful things” about immigrants, he “also insults and dismisses women. Just yesterday he attacked me once again and said I didn’t have a clue about women’s health issues. Really? I mean you can’t make this stuff up, folks. Trump actually says he would do a much better job for women than I would. Now that’s a general election debate that’s going to be a lot of fun.” — Hillary Clinton 8/28/15

It is “the height of irony that a party which espouses small government would want to unleash a massive law enforcement effort – including perhaps National Guard and others – to go and literally pull people out of their homes and their workplaces, round them up, put them, I don’t know, in buses, boxcars, in order to take them across our border. I just find that not only absurd, but appalling,” — Hillary Clinton 8/28/15

“Yes, I believe we can pray potholes away. Moses prayed and a sea opened up.” — Jackson, Mississippi Mayor Tony Yarber, on his cities’ need for $743 million worth of repairs to its crumbling infrastructure.

“The party of Lincoln has become the party of Trump.”— Hillary Clinton. 8/29/15

“Look, Jeb Bush was a very successful governor, he’s a thoughtful man, he was a good, conservative governor. But every day, Donald Trump is emasculating Jeb Bush, and Republican primary voters are not going to default to the establishment candidate who is being weakened by these attacks that go unresponded to.” — GOP strategist Steve Schmidt. 8/31/15


1. The Borowitz Report: Cutting Losses, Kochs to Sell Scott Walker

Saying that “things just didn’t work out,” the billionaire Koch brothers have decided to put Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker up for sale.

The Kochs, who earlier had purchased Gov. Walker with great fanfare, announced their plan to sell the politician in a terse statement from Koch Industries headquarters in Wichita.

“Scott Walker is a fine individual, and we wish him well,” the Kochs’ statement read. “We are confident that he will be a good fit for some other billionaire industrialists.”

In Iowa, an aide to Walker said that the Governor was “still processing” the news that he had been put up for sale. “It takes a while for Scott to understand things,” the aide said.

Elsewhere: As America’s bridges, roads, and other infrastructure dangerously deteriorate from decades of neglect, there is a mounting sense of urgency that it is time to build a giant wall.

Harland Dorrinson, the executive director of a Washington-based think tank called the Center for Responsible Immigration, believes that most Americans favor the building of border walls over extravagant pet projects like structurally sound freeway overpasses.

While some think that America’s declining infrastructure is a national-security threat, Dorrinson strongly disagrees. “If immigrants somehow get over the wall, the condition of our bridges and roads will keep them from getting very far,” he said. Read more at

2. Poll: Trump Supporters Think Obama is A Muslim Born in Another Country

PPP’s newest national poll finds that 66% of Trump’s supporters believe that Obama is a Muslim to just 12% that grant he’s a Christian. 61% think Obama was not born in the United States to only 21% who accept that he was. And 63% want to amend the Constitution to eliminate birthright citizenship, to only 20% who want to keep things the way they are. 9/01/15

A new Des Moines Register poll in Iowa finds 47% of likely GOP caucus goers say it’s a good idea to gather up an estimated 11 million immigrants who are in the United States illegally and send them to their home country. Among Donald Trump supporters, nearly three-fourths (73 percent) say so. 9/01/15–want–round-up-immigrants/71532432/

3. New poll showing Clinton beating everyone is reported as bad news for Hillary

A new Quinnipiac University poll shows Hillary Clinton coasting to a crushing victory in a three-way race against Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden, winning 45 percent of the vote, compared with 22 for Sanders and 18 for Biden.

And the good news for Clinton doesn’t stop there.

— The poll shows Clinton beating Jeb Bush head to head.

— The poll shows Clinton beating Marco Rubio head to head.

— The poll shows Clinton beating Donald Trump head to head.

— The poll shows Clinton winning in a landslide in scenarios where Trump runs as an independent.

So how did the media report this poll showing that if the election were held this week Hillary Clinton would win? Well, as bad news for Hillary Clinton!

Bloomberg: “Biden More Competitive Than Clinton Against Leading Republicans: Poll”

Politico: “Poll: Biden outperforms Hillary in general election; Trump leads GOP field”

Time: “Voters open to Joe Biden presidential bid in new poll”

CT Post: “Q poll: Trump numbers soar, Hillary continues slide”

Two things are happening here. One is that “Clinton is still winning” is a boring headline, so there’s a tendency to grasp at straws to come up with something else. The other is that the press as a whole doesn’t like Clinton very much (and the feeling is mutual), so there’s a bias toward believing that the public feels the same way. So somehow her campaign is struggling even when it’s winning, and polls that show her winning are reported as showing her losing. — Matthew Yglesias 8/27/15

4. From MEDIA MATTERS (They watch Fox News so you don’t have to)

NRA News Tries To Shut Down The Debate: Calls For New Gun Laws Show “A Lack Of Shared Humanity”

Fox Guest Recycles Debunked Clinton Email Myths To Call For Criminal Investigation

Whether Fox News Acknowledges A Hate Crime Depends On The Race Of The Shooter

Fox Guest Recycles Debunked Clinton Email Myths To Call For Criminal Investigation

CLAIM: The FBI “Grabbed Control Of The Server.” — Jay Sekulow 8/27/15
FACT: Clinton Voluntarily Handed Over Email Server To The FBI,

CLAIM: Clinton’s Server Was Stored “In The Bathroom” Of A Colorado Company. — Jay Sekulow8/27/15
FACT: Clinton’s Server Was Not Kept In A Bathroom Closet

CLAIM: Investigators Have Found “Hundreds Of Classified Emails” — Jay Sekulow 8/27/15
FACT: Emails Were Flagged For Review And May Not Contain Classified Information

CLAIM: Clinton’s Lawyer Lacked Security Clearance To Handle Emails. — Jay Sekulow 8/27/15
FACT: Clinton’s Lawyer Has “Top Secret” Security Clearance

Limbaugh Conspiracy: Hillary Clinton Blackmailing Obama To Avoid Indictment Over Emails

Media Debunk Misinformation Surrounding Clinton’s Use Of Private Email

Fox & Friends Distinguishes Itself From Jorge Ramos Who Is “Advocating For A Certain Point Of View” And “Not A Reporter”

A Comprehensive Guide To The Deceptively-Edited Videos Used Against Planned Parenthood

Fox & Friends Relies On Flawed Timeline In Attempt To Revive Baseless Attack On Clinton’s iPad Use

James O’Keefe Targets Clinton Campaign For Legally Selling A T-Shirt

5. The Feud: The Donald vs. Jeb



A list. of the mogul’s 33 jabs at the Bushes is at:

6. Jimmy Kimmel: Donald Trump’s Newest Campaign Ad


I found it surprising that somebody as high ranking as secretary of state, who’s dealing with classified and sensitive information all the time, would think that it was OK to have a private server in your phone where you put information and so forth — where you send emails. — Dick Cheney on CNN. 8/31/15


“To complement the official State Department computer in my office, I installed a laptop computer on a private line. My personal email account on the laptop allowed me direct access to anyone online. I started shooting emails to my principal assistants, to individual ambassadors, and increasingly to my foreign-minister colleagues who like me were trying to bring their ministries into the 186,000-miles-per-second world.” — Former Sec. of State Colin Powell, in his book “It Worked For Me: In Life And Leadership.”


Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server at the State Department is a criminal problem.” — Donald Trump8/15/15


“Her decision not to segregate her email accounts was regrettable, but unlike the actions and prosecution of Petraeus, there has been no evidence of criminal conduct.” —  Petraeus prosecutor Anne M. Tompkins 8/31/15

Fully, 53% have an unfavorable impression of Hillary Clinton, the highest since April 2008 in Post-ABC surveys. That mark is eight percentage points higher than in July, though not as far from a Post-ABC poll in late May (49%).” — The Fix 9/02/15


“But it also shows something else: Clinton continues to be popular among a broad coalition of Democrats, and is still better liked than GOP heavyweights Donald Trump and Jeb Bush with the public at large.” —The Fix 9/02/15

8. Pollsters Dumbfounded by Trump

Polling experts agree on one thing when it comes to Donald Trump’s presidential run: They’ve never seen anything like it.

The billionaire businessman’s dominance of the Republican presidential race is forcing experienced political hands to question whether everything they know about winning the White House is wrong.

The shocks have come in quick succession, with Trump first rocketing to the top of national polls, and then taking double-digit leads in the early voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.

In another act of political magic, Trump managed to flip his favorability rating from negative to positive in one poll during the span of a month — a feat that Monmouth University’s Patrick Murray called “astounding.”. 8/27/15

9. Clinton Camp Says One-Fifth of Delegates Secured for Nomination

The total number of delegates to next summer’s presidential nominating convention will be about 4,491, meaning that a candidate would need 2,246 votes to win. The Clinton camp claims to already have more than 440 delegates committed, or more than 60 percent of the approximately 713 superdelegates who, under party rules, are among those who cast votes for the nomination. 8//28/15

10. The GOP lurches to the far right: Trump, Cruz to attend event hosted by radical anti-Muslim group

Texas GOP senator Ted Cruz’s campaign announced Thursday that he’s invited Trump to join a rally planned at the Capitol soon to pressure lawmakers on opposing the nuclear agreement. The rally is sponsored by Tea Party Patriots, Center for Security Policy, and the Zionist Organization of America.

11. Mark Fiore Cartoon: Smokey the climate scientist

12. Late Night Jokes for Dems 

“Today is a special day. Today is women’s equality day. Donald Trump calls it, that time of the year again.” –Conan O’Brien

“At a press conference yesterday, Donald Trump kicked out a Latino reporter but the man returned a few minutes later. Yeah, so already Trump’s deportation plan isn’t working.” –Conan O’Brien

“Donald Trump presided over a rally in Dubuc, Iowa, where he touted his strong skills as a negotiator and showed off his considerable skills as an impressionist. I don’t know if Donald Trump will make America great again but he has certainly made CNN great again.” –Jimmy Kimmel

“Donald Trump got into it with a well-respected Spanish language news anchor, Jorge Ramos from Univision, who made Donald upset when he tried to ask a question. ‘Go back to Univision,’ he said as he kicked him out of the place. He’s not even president yet and he’s already kicking Mexicans out.” –Jimmy Kimmel

“It’s come out that Donald Trump’s grandfather owned a brothel. When reached for comment Trump said, screwing people for money is a long family tradition.” –Conan O’Brien

“South Korea has agreed to stop broadcasting insulting propaganda over the North Korean border. They’ve agreed to stop doing it. They’ve also canceled their Comedy Central roast of Kim Jong Un.” –Conan O’Brien

“There was a time when it seemed unimaginable that Joe Biden could ever be taken seriously enough to win his party’s nomination, but Donald Trump just blew that idea right out the window.” –Jimmy Kimmel

“A lot of people are upset because Jeb Bush used the term ‘anchor babies’ to describe children born of illegal immigrants. Calling a child an anchor baby is almost as derogatory as calling a child Jeb. But he was in McAllen, Texas, defending himself, reminding everyone that his wife is Mexican. You don’t mention that your wife is Mexican as much as Jeb Bush.” –Jimmy Kimmel

“Bill Gates alone, lost $3.2 billion on the stock market yesterday. To put that in perspective, that’s like a regular person losing a dollar in a vending machine.” –Jimmy Kimmel

“The CEO of Starbucks sent the message to Starbucks employees yesterday, instructing them to be sensitive to customers who might be feeling stressed out about the market. I like that the place that charges $5 for a cup of coffee is concerned about our finances.” –Jimmy Kimmel

“Donald Trump had a rally at a football stadium in Mobile, Alabama, after planning to have it in a hotel ballroom. It got too big for the ballroom, so they moved it to the convention center. It got too big for the convention center, so they moved it to a football stadium. Apparently the strategy of saying whatever crazy thing pops into your head is really paying off for him.” –Jimmy Kimmel

“President-elect Trump discusses all of the big issues, China, opponents, Univision, Mexico, Oreos … everything. He even talked about the weather and how the weather might affect his hair. ‘You know if it rains I will take off my hat and I will prove, I will prove once and for all that it’s mine. Okay.’ Sounds good to me. Why not just dip it in a bucket? You don’t have to wait for the rain.” –Jimmy Kimmel

“Jeb Bush has photo shopped a photo for an ad which gives him a black left hand and a much different looking body. Jeb just can’t get it right. I wonder if his black hand handshake is different from the white hand handshake.” –Jimmy Kimmel

“In an interview this week, Jeb Bush said that if he had a magic wand, there are at least ten things that he would like change about the Constitution. Then Jeb Bush was given the prize for ‘lamest use of a magic wand.'” –Jimmy Fallon

“Donald Trump had an interview with CNN in the lobby of the Trump Tower Hotel this week, and apparently someone yelled, ‘You’ll never win the Latino vote.’ And then immediately, Trump had the guy deported over to La Quinta Hotel.” –Jimmy Fallon

13. Hillary Clinton Really Is Coming For Your Guns

“I vow on this day the NRA will stand shoulder to shoulder with you and good, honest decent Americans, and we will stand and fight with everything we’ve got and in 2016, by God, we will elect the next great president of the United States of America and it will not be Hillary Rodham Clinton.” — NRA chief Wayne LaPierre in April at the NRA convention. 8/29/15

14. How not to win the Latino vote

“Mr. Trump, I have a question,” — Jorge Ramos, news anchor at Univision and one of the country’s most recognizable Mexican-Americans.

“Excuse me. Sit down. You weren’t called. Sit down.” — Trump

“I’m a reporter, an immigrant, a senior citizen. I have the right to ask a question.” — Ramos, calmly trying to ask Trump about his plan to combat illegal immigration.

“Go back to Univision.” — Trump motioning to one of his bodyguards, who walked across the room and physically removed Ramos from the room. 8/25/15 

15. Trump’s Insults Shock Even Seasoned Politicians

Donald Trump “is turning the schoolyard taunt into a political art form – these aren’t gaffes or off-script asides. They are part of a strategy, people close to Mr. Trump say, of knocking his Republican presidential rivals off their game. That, at least for now, is getting him the attention and poll ratings he wants among voters looking for an antidote to the artifice of U.S. politics.”

“But the intensely personal nature of Mr. Trump’s insults, sometimes mocking his rivals by mimicking them, is startling even to those who have grown accustomed to the sometimes low levels of civility in politics today.” 8/27/15

16. Only 3 of 45 House Democrats who voted “no” on Obamacare are still there

Voting for Obamacare was supposed to be lethal for congressional Democrats from conservative districts. But five years after it passed the House, only three Democrats who voted against its final version still remain. 9/01/15

17. Hillary Proposes $10B Drug War Overhaul

Hillary Clinton on Tuesday unveiled a $10 billion drug and alcohol treatment plan, in which the federal government would match state dollars by as much as $4 to $1. The plan includes “alternatives to incarceration for low-level and nonviolent drug offenses,” and aid to get people back on their feet. 9/01/15


1. Evan Osnos: The Fearful and the Frustrated

Trump’s candidacy has already left a durable mark, expanding the discourse of hate such that, in the midst of his feuds and provocations, we barely even registered that Senator Ted Cruz had called the sitting President “the world’s leading financier of radical Islamic terrorism,” or that Senator Marco Rubio had redoubled his opposition to abortion in cases of rape, incest, or a mortal threat to the mother. Trump has bequeathed a concoction of celebrity, wealth, and alienation that is more potent than any we’ve seen before. If, as the Republican establishment hopes, the stargazers eventually defect, Trump will be left with the hardest core—the portion of the electorate that is drifting deeper into unreality, with no reconciliation in sight. 8/31/15

2. Paul Waldman: Why Nothing Can Quell the Media’s Addiction to Clinton Scandals

The important thing to understand about the politics of what’s happening now is this: There is nothing—nothing—that Hillary Clinton could have said or done differently since this became a public issue that could have made this go away, or that she could do now to “put it to rest.”

That’s not because it’s such a dreadfully serious issue, or because the American people care so deeply about the question of State Department email security that they’d never elect anyone to the White House who exercised anything less than the greatest of care with their communications, adhering to not just the spirit but the letter of every regulation. If you asked most voters what this is all about, they’d probably say “Um … something about emails?” No, it’s because Hillary Clinton is Hillary Clinton, and because she’s running for president.

That means that Republicans will never be satisfied with any answer she gives on this topic, or any other for that matter. She could read Trey Gowdy every email she ever wrote while giving him a foot massage, and it wouldn’t change their conviction that there was still something nefarious hidden somewhere in something they hadn’t seen. She could have personally delivered her server to Roger Ailes’s office on the day the story broke, and it wouldn’t change their determination to figure out what she’s hiding.

Multiple investigations of what occurred in Benghazi on September 11, 2012, have shown that it was a terrible tragedy, but there was no “stand-down order,” there was no criminal negligence, and there was no impeachment-worthy malfeasance, no matter how fervently Republicans might wish it. Yet their investigations go on. In fact, at this point it’s impossible to see how anything other than Clinton losing the 2016 election will ever stop them. If she becomes president, they’ll go on investigating it for the length of her time in the Oval Office. 8 31/15

3. Washington Post Editorial: Will America finally do something to stop our gun-fueled carnage?

The dramatic shootings that make the news remind us that guns are not noble instruments of freedom; they are highly dangerous machines that have some legitimate uses and many illegitimate ones. Any rational government would carefully regulate them. Instead, our leaders have declined to fix obvious loopholes in background-check systems, refused to ban wholly unnecessary high-capacity magazines, thwarted efforts to study the effects of having a society saturated with firearms and generally cowered before the lobbying might of a political fringe.

Congress must act. And if not Congress, then state leaders who want to finally do something about the gun-fueled carnage. 8/26/15

4. Jonathan Allen: Hillary Clinton really did call Republicans terrorists. But here’s the real issue.

The question, posed by both Clinton and her Republican rivals, is whether it’s more extreme for the government to subsidize abortion and Planned Parenthood, which uses its private funding for abortion services, or for the government to ban abortion and deny funding to groups like Planned Parenthood that are otherwise eligible for grants because they are engaged in providing abortion services.

This battle has tremendous implications for the 2016 presidential election, the outcome of which will make a big difference in how the US deals with abortion and funding for women’s health clinics.

If Clinton and her allies win, poor women are sure to have equal or greater access both to abortion and to that set of health care services that Democrats say make the debate about a much larger philosophical divide between the parties over women’s rights. 8/29/15

5. Dean Obeidallah: Behind Trump, the GOP Really Is Becoming the Racist Party 

We are, seeing a bone chilling attraction to Trump by white nationalist groups. It’s almost like they view Trump’s candidacy as their last stand against the changing demographics of America. He’s become the poster child for their philosophy that “White Lives Matter More.”

The issue is not just that these hate groups see something they like in Trump. These groups have the right to endorse anyone they like. The more alarming issue is Trump’s failure to publicly to condemn them.

Isn’t it time for the GOP leaders to make it clear where they stand on white supremacists supporting their party’s frontrunner for the presidential nomination? I, for one, very much look forward to hearing what they have to say on this issue. 8.31.15

6. Madeleine Albright: Iran deal is a win-win

Many people I respect have voiced concerns about this agreement, but I believe the administration has provided solid answers to their questions. It troubles me that many opponents came out against the JCPOA before even reading the text.

The advocates for a vote of disapproval in Congress have also not put forward a viable alternative or any plan to deal with the consequences of rejection. And make no mistake, those consequences would be grave.

Rejection of this accord would leave the United States isolated and Iranian hardliners empowered. It would be practically impossible to reassemble the coalition that united against Iran’s nuclear activities and imposed the robust sanctions regime that brought Iran to the table. Many of our tools of influence in the region would be rendered useless, and it would hurt our ability to lead on a range of pressing global issues.

Rejection of this agreement would be a strategic setback for the United States, one that our rivals and adversaries would not ignore.

In a turbulent Middle East, there is no way to predict what the next decade will bring. But the United States will be in a far better position to shape events in the region with this nuclear agreement in place than without it. This accord is a bold stroke of diplomacy, and an opportunity we must not waste. 8/31/15

7. Robert Creamer: Out of Touch Punditry Should Get a Grip — Hillary’s Email Is Non-Story

A message to the out-of-touch Washington pundit class: get a grip. What was or was not on Hillary Clinton’s email server when she was Secretary of State is not a game-changing news story.

In fact, no one outside the chattering class — and right-wing true believers — could give a rat’s rear about this story — and there is a good reason: there is no “there” there. If someone really thinks the great “email” story — or the Benghazi investigation — are going to sink her candidacy, I’ve got a bridge to sell them.

At the time Ms. Clinton was Secretary of State there was no prohibition against the Secretary of State having a private email server. In fact, no Secretary of State before Ms. Clinton had a government email account.

None of the emails on the Secretary’s personal account were classified at the time they were sent or received. That is not in dispute. There is an on-going controversy between various agencies of what ought to be classified in retrospect as the material is released to the public by the State Department, but that does not change the fact that none of it was classified at the time. In fact, one of the several emails at issue actually says the word “unclassified” in the upper left hand corner and can still be accessed by the general public on the State Department web site.

Finally, no one has ever pointed to an instance where the fact that something was on her server instead of a government server had any negative consequences whatsoever.

There is no issue here, period.

It’s time for the media to resist continuing to play its role as enabler of baseless right wing attacks like the great email and Benghazi “scandals” of 2015.

8. Matt Latimer: Trump Is Setting the GOP Agenda

Remember way back to two weeks ago when the Donald Trump candidacy was the best thing to ever happen to Jeb Bush?

The billionaire business mogul would distract the other contenders for the nomination, the Bush team assured pundits all over Washington. Trump is “other people’s problem,” declared Mike Murphy, chief strategist of the pro-Bush Super PAC Right to Rise. The Donald would allow Jeb to just keep on chugging along. Bush would become the safe and responsible brand—the Honda Odyssey of 2016—to which panicked Republicans would eventually flock.

That didn’t last long. A week after boasting that it would ignore Trump, with its usual Clouseau-like finesse, JebWorld decided to hit Trump every day. Which means every GOP candidate is now playing Donald Trump’s game instead of their own—and doing about as well as you’d expect.

The decision to engage him has outsized consequences for the GOP “brand,” whatever that is these days. Not since Joan Collins sauntered onto the set of “Dynasty” or Gary Coleman uttered his first “Whatch talkin’ about, Willis,” has anyone so dominated a universe as Donald Trump has the GOP. Trump single-handedly has moved the GOP to the right on immigration, to the left on free trade and in circles on pretty much everything else. He has the other candidates so confused that they are stepping all over their own messages. After all, how else can one explain Bush’s latest effort to show he is not an establishment loser by going flaunting an endorsement from Eric Cantor, the most notorious establishment loser in history? 08/30/15


9. Eugene Robinson: Republicans are digging themselves a hole over immigration

The catalyst for the current eruption of anti-foreigner bombast is, of course, Republican front-runner Donald Trump. His rhetoric blaming undocumented Mexicans for a crime wave and insisting — without a shred of evidence — that the Mexican government is deliberately sending miscreants across the border has struck a nerve. What Trump says about immigration is nonsense and his proposed remedies are infeasible. Yet GOP voters are eating it up.

Among Trump’s rivals, only Bush is forcefully pushing back. “He wants everyone deported, which would tear family lives asunder,” Bush said Sunday. “It’s not conservative and it’s not realistic and it does not embrace American values.”

But as long as other candidates are competing to sound tougher-than-thou, as long as the conversation is about how high to build new walls and blame is ascribed to immigrants for not assimilating quickly enough, the GOP is digging itself a hole that will be hard to escape.

In his last election, President Obama won 73 percent of the Asian American vote and 71 percent of the Hispanic vote. If the message Republicans send to these groups sounds like “we don’t want any more of your kind,” the Democratic nominee, whoever it is, will have a hard time losing. 8/31/15

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Benefits Far Outweigh Costs When it Comes to Climate Action

Benefits Far Outweigh Costs When it Comes to Climate Action


I’m no scientist. But you don’t have be an expert to acknowledge climate change and start doing something about it.

That’s why, when Republican’s claim they aren’t scientists (as if we should all be shocked by that), the rest of the world answers, “So what?”

All you need is a basic understanding of a thermometer and the fact that ice melts, and you’re about 85% of the way there.

But since this is so complicated for some of our “leaders” on the other side of the aisle, let’s start with a few facts.

The average temperature of the earth is rising drastically, primarily because of greenhouse gas emissions. Globally, 2014 was the hottest year on record, and 2015 is on pace to break the record yet again. As a matter of fact, ten of the hottest years ever recorded have been since 1998.

Climate change puts lives at risk: heat waves that lead to stroke and dehydration are the most common cause of weather-related deaths. Extreme storms like Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy killed over 2,000 people combined. Poor air quality leads to asthma and lung disease. All these risks are projected to increase over time unless we act to reverse climate trends.

Climate change is also a national security risk. Storms, droughts, and floods have a destabilizing effect on society. According to the Council on Foreign Relations, “Domestically, the effects of climate change could overwhelm disaster-response capabilities. Internationally, climate change may cause humanitarian disasters, contribute to political violence, and undermine weak governments.”

Climate change costs hurts our economy, from property damage to lost productivity, from water and energy costs to effects on agriculture and fisheries. Even tourism dips during and after climate events. According to the White House, extreme weather disasters in 2012 alone cost our economy over $100 billion.

To address some of the challenges that lie ahead of us as a nation, President Obama unveiled a Climate Action Plan earlier this month.

The plan sets national standards for carbon pollution from power plants, which are the largest source of carbon pollution in the United States. It will create a unique energy portfolio for each state, allowing California to adapt differently than Alabama while working toward the same goal: cutting 870 million metric tons of carbon pollution and increasing renewable energy by 30% by 2030.

In California, we feel the impacts of climate change drastically. Our drought has left entire towns without running water, has increased the length of fire season, and is hurting our agricultural industry.

With rainstorms becoming less frequent and more extreme, we’ve seen an increase of flooding taking lives and destroying infrastructure. As the Washington Post put it, we now burn and flood at the same time.

California has made progress under Democratic leadership. We have cut carbon emissions in our power sector by 8 percent since 2008 and increased energy generation by 74 percent in the same period. We have instituted cap-and-trade and created 46,169 renewable energy projects.

Studies show that San Diego is particularly susceptible to the effects of climate change. Even the Department of Defense is studying the issue due to our strategic importance to the United States military and increased risks from sea level rise.

Many local agencies are taking action to do their part in this massive effort. The City of San DiegoPort of San Diego, and San Diego County Water Authority have Climate Action Plans that will not only help fight climate change, but also create jobs and promote access and equality to vulnerable populations in the process. In July, the San Diego Unified School District, which is the second largest school district in the state, voted to adopt a plan calling for 100 percent renewable energy for its 200 schools by 2035.

But the policy work isn’t done. The courts struck down the County of San Diego’s Climate Action Plan because it didn’t live up to state standards.

By reducing emissions, creating clean and renewable energy, making our buildings water and energy efficient, increasing mass transit and bikable and walkable infrastructure, adopting a zero-waste policy, controlling storm water, implementing brush management, fostering urban food systems, implementing smart land use, and increasing adaptability, we can improve air quality, protect public health, increase water supply, increase food security, reduce the rate and effect of wildfires, protect ecosystems, ensure proper emergency response to climate events when necessary, and create thousands of jobs.

While climate change is a global problem, many of the solutions are local. We can’t afford denial or delay. Isn’t San Diego worth it? “Sorry, it was just too hard” isn’t an acceptable answer when the consequences are so grave.

Francine Busby
Chair, San Diego County Democratic Party


Aug 13 – DIRECT eZine for Democrats #890

Aug 13 – DIRECT eZine for Democrats #890


“It violates the essence of what made America a great country in its political system. Now it’s just an oligarchy with unlimited political bribery being the essence of getting the nominations for president or being elected president. And the same thing applies to governors, and U.S. Senators and congress members.” – Former President Jimmy Carter. 8/03/15.

“Their ruling really says anybody can marry anybody — and eventually it will be in any combination. I had a strong, Christian lawyer tell me yesterday that, under this decision that he has read, what it brings about is: It only requires one human being in this relationship — that you could marry your lawnmower with this decision. I think he’s right.” Rep. Steve King (R-IA)

“She couldn’t run a Fortune 500 company and now she wants to be president of the United States? She got fired. Obviously her board of directors did not think she was doing a very good job.” — DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz on Carly Fiorino’s tenure as CEO at HP, during which the stock lost half its value and “tens of thousands of people” lost their jobs. 7/28/15

I’ve got a record in Florida. I’m proud of my dad, and I’m certainly proud of my brother. In Florida, they called me Jeb, because I earned it. — Jeb Bush taking credit for his name! 8/07/15

“Donald Trump proved something last night. Fox News threw everything they had at him, they did it on national television, and he didn’t flinch. Donald Trump proved that you cannot embarrass Donald Trump. He is a man who lives entirely without shame or self-doubt. It’s like a superpower. And every time he refuses to back down, every time he shows what you can do and say if you have no shame, his supporters thrill to him a little more. After all, if the media can’t stop him, then what chance do the Democrats have? What chance do America’s enemies have? — Ezra Klein 8/06/15

“There’s an unspoken accord between Trump and his supporters that Thursday’s debate can only have intensified. Trump rants and raves in language that upsets and scandalizes the establishment. In return, his fans annoy the elite know-it-alls by rallying to him anyway. Together, they raise a big middle finger to everyone. That’s the art of the deal.” — Joshua Green 8/07/15

“The word came down [from Roger Ailes], ‘Get Trump! Kill this fucking Rosemary’s Baby monster in its black crib! I swear, that’s exactly what he said. So, they let Trump speak three times more than anybody else—and he did. He revealed himself to be nasty, boorish, sexist, ignorant, smug. What they forgot is that’s what the Republicans love about him!” — Bill Maher. 8.07.15

“Everything is being placed in jeopardy by the antics of Mr. Trump and we’re at a crossroads as a party. The good news is that 24 million people watched the Republican debate. The bad news is that 24 million people watched the Republican debate.” — Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC) 8/08/15

“Do you have any idea what year it is? Did you fall down, hit your head, and think you woke up in the 1950s or the 1890s? Should we call for a doctor? Because I simply cannot believe that in the year 2015, the United States Senate would be spending its time trying to defund women’s health care centers. You know, on second thought, maybe I shouldn’t be that surprised. The Republicans have had a plan for years to strip away women’s rights to make choices over our own bodies. Just look at the recent facts.” — Sen. Elizabeth Warren responding to the latest tiresome Republican attempt to defund Planned Parenthood. 8/04/15

“We don’t want to destroy people’s jobs based on some theory that’s not proven.” — Gov. John Kasich on whether humans have caused climate change. 8/09/15

Roger Ailes just called. He is a great guy & assures me that “Trump” will be treated fairly on @FoxNews. His word is always good! Donald J. Trump@realDonaldTrump 8/10/15

“I think that if no one stands up to a bully, a bully will just keep doing what they’re doing. We’ve got an empty suit here, full of bravado but not full of anything really meaningful for the country.” — Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) on Donald Trump. 8/10/15

“The Republican Party and Fox permitted and encouraged Trumpian vitriol for years. All that talk over the years about birth certificates and Kenya and terrorist fist-jabs (remember that one?!) and the moocher class and the scary brown people and all the rest of it…all of it created a need for a Trump, and for other Trump-like candidates, to flourish. Now it threatens to overtake them. If they’re wondering who created Trumpism, I have someplace they can look. The mirror. — Michael Tomasky in the Daily Beast 8.11.15


1. The Borowitz Report: Trump Fails to Back Up Misogynist Slurs with Anti-woman Proposals, Rivals Say

Tempers flared in the aftermath of Thursday night’s Republican debate, as rival candidates accused the billionaire Donald Trump of failing to back up his misogynist slurs with concrete and workable anti-woman proposals.

“As governor of Florida, I defunded Planned Parenthood,” Bush said. “Donald Trump is good at creating misogynist sound bites, but I’ve actually rolled up my sleeves and gotten things done.”

Governor Walker piled on, touting his own anti-woman achievements during his time in office. “In Wisconsin, I used my power as governor to repeal a law supporting equal pay for women,” he said. “No offense to Mr. Trump, but nothing on his résumé compares with that.”

The attacks by Trump’s rivals seemed to sting the hotheaded billionaire, who hit back hard on Friday. “When it comes to coming up with solid anti-woman solutions, I do not intend to be lectured by Jeb Bush and Scott Walker,” he said, noting that the wall he intends to build on the border with Mexico would keep out many women. More at

2. A debate without moderation

— Mike Huckabee suggested he would defy the Supreme Court in order to ban abortion, because it’s “not the Supreme Being.”

— Marco Rubio denied that he supports abortion rights for rape and incest victims.

— Scott Walker defended his opposition to abortion when the mother’s life is at risk.

— Ben Carson came out for a tithe-like 10 percent across-the-board flat tax, because “God’s a pretty fair guy.”

— Huckabee suggested he would tax “pimps, prostitutes and illegals” to raise money for Social Security.

— Sen. Rick Santorum said the same-sex marriage ruling is not settled law “any more than Dred Scott was settled law to Abraham Lincoln.”

— Bobby Jindal said he would direct his Internal Revenue Service to investigate Planned Parenthood on Day One, which sounded like a potentially impeachable way to start a presidency.

3. Fox News Had Its Own GOP Debate Agenda: Narrow Down The Field

Fox News’ purpose in the main 10-candidate event was made plain with the first question: an in-your-face spotlight on Donald Trump’s refusal to promise not to run as an independent candidate. And the relentless pounding of Trump—on his bankruptcies, his past support for single-payer health care and abortion rights, his “specific evidence” for claiming Mexico has dispatched criminals to the U.S. (slurs about immigrants by other candidates didn’t come up) and even his sexist tweets-—continued right on through to Frank Luntz’s post-debate focus group, designed to show how much damage Trump had sustained. It was by far the least impartial showing by debate sponsors I have seen, up to and including the disgraceful ABC-moderated 2008 Democratic event that involved a deliberate trashing of all the candidates. 8/07/15 Read more at

4. Moody’s Forecasts a Democratic Win

“Moody’s newly released analysis for the next election, titled “A Nail-Biter in 2016,” predicts that the Democratic nominee for president will win with exactly 270 votes from the U.S. Electoral College — the minimum amount required to win. Meanwhile, the Republican nominee is forecast to earn 268 votes.” 8/15 Read more at


“Hillary Clinton, I said be at my wedding, and she came to my wedding. She had no choice because I gave to a foundation.” — Donald Trump


Trump’s comment “hurts [Sec. Clinton’s] feelings. That’s the only reason he invited her?” —Clinton spokeswoman Jennifer Palmieri


“I was appointed U.S. Attorney by President Bush on September 10th, 2001, and the world changed enormously the next day, and that happened in my state. This is not theoretical to me,” —Chris Christie in his closing remarks, repeating the claim and date.


Christie was not sworn in as a federal prosecutor until January 17, 2002, over 3 months after the attacks. —  Marcy Wheeler,


“Barack Obama became president, and he abandoned Iraq. He left, and when he left Al Qaida was done for. ISIS was created because of the void that we left, and that void now exists as a caliphate the size of Indiana.” — Jeb Bush


The so-called Status of Forces of Agreement between the United States and the government of Iraq regarding the long term U.S. military presence was sealed not by the Obama administration but George W. Bush, the former Florida governor’s brother. It required U.S. combat forces to withdraw from Iraqi cities by June 30, 2009 and for all U.S. combat forces to leave the country by December 31, 2011. — Politico


“I governed as a conservative, and I govern effectively. And the net effect was, during my eight years, 1.3 million jobs were created. We left the state better off because I applied conservative principles in a purple state the right way, and people rose up.” — Jeb Bush


Home prices in the Sunshine State fell 47 percent from 2006 to 2009, the unemployment rate climbed from 3.5 percent in January 2007 to as high as 11.2 percent by the end of 2009. The Florida courts are still working through the fallout of the housing market’s collapse there. More than 105,000 foreclosures were completed in the 12 months ending in April, the most of any state.. — Politico


For what may be the first time in Donald Trump’s surprisingly successful campaign for president, his popularity has slipped. A national poll released by Rasmussen Reports on Tuesday found that Trump slipped 9 points from the same poll conducted in July. — The Hill 8/11/15


There is no sign that Donald Trump’s raucous first presidential debate is hurting his support among party voters, with the latest Reuters/Ipsos poll showing he still has a big lead over his rivals for the Republican presidential nomination.” — Reuters 8/11/15

6. From MEDIA MATTERS (They watch Fox News so you don’t have to)

On Fox, Ben Stein Suggests Obama’s Defense Of Iran Deal Stems From Poor Mental Health

Fox Business Turns To Anti-Immigrant Sheriff Joe Arpaio For Post-Debate Analysis On Immigration

GOP Presidential Field Criticized For For Courting Serial Sexist Erick Erickson

George Will On Fox News Sunday: Obama’s Comments On Iran Deal “Extraordinarily Unpresidential”

GOP Presidential Field Criticized For Courting Serial Sexist Erick Erickson

Two Big-Name Iowa Conservative Radio Hosts Slam Fox News’ GOP “Inquisition,” Accuse Network Of Self-Promotion And Favoritism

Fox Host Neil Cavuto Calls Out Fox’s Erick Erickson For Sexist Comments 

Rush Limbaugh: Transgender People Are Mentally Ill

After Banning Trump For Sexism, Erick Erickson’s RedState Calls Clinton A “Homely Woman” Who Slept “Her Way Into Power”

7. Jon Stewart: You Can’t Prove That On Television

8. Democratic National Committee Announces Six Primary Debates

– October 13 – CNN – Nevada

– November 14 – CBS/KCCI/Des Moines Register – Des Moines

– December 19 – ABC/WMUR – Manchester

– January 17 – NBC/Congressional Black Caucus Institute – Charleston

– February or March – Univision/Washington Post – Miami

– February or March – PBS – Wisconsin

9. Late Night Jokes for Dems

“A new study finds that Michelle Obama’s ‘Let’s Move’ program may have caused people to actually gain weight. Many mistook the slogan to mean, let’s move next door to a Cinnabon.” –Conan O’Brien

“Over the weekend in Iran, temperatures reached 165 degrees, one of the highest temperatures ever recorded on earth. In fact, it was so hot in Iran, American flags burst into flames on their own.” –Jimmy Fallon

“Thursday night is the first Republican presidential candidates’ debate. Just like ‘Celebrity Apprentice,’ you’ll see Donald Trump on TV yelling at people you barely recognize.” –Conan O’Brien

“Donald Trump’s phone number has been leaked. When you call Trump’s cellphone number it plays a campaign message. If you want to hear Trump’s message in English, press one. If you want to hear it in Spanish, you probably don’t follow the news.” –Conan O’Brien

“Ben from Ben & Jerry’s has endorsed Bernie Sanders for president. After hearing this, Chris Christie said, ‘After all we’ve been through together?'” –Conan O’Brien

“After Donald Trump gave out Lindsey Graham’s personal phone number a couple of weeks ago, the website Gawker gave out Trump’s personal cellphone number. Which backfired when Trump just speed-insulted everyone who called him: Loser. Moron. Idiot. Loser.” –Jimmy Fallon

“Chris Christie, John Kasich, and Rick Perry are currently fighting for the final two spots in Thursday’s Republican debate. It’s going to be tough – Chris Christie really wants those two spots.” –Jimmy Fallon

“Donald Trump has fired a campaign adviser for posting racist remarks on Facebook. Isn’t that shocking? Donald Trump has a campaign adviser.” –Conan O’Brien

“It seems like everybody’s weighing in on Trumps campaign – even Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. He said that Trump is ‘probably the best thing to happen to politics in a long, long time.’ Then Trump was like, ‘Well, at least one Cuban loves me.'” –Jimmy Fallon

“Jeb Bush participated in his first Spanish-language interview with Telemundo this week, where he said he’s more optimistic than the other candidates. And you can tell he’s optimistic, cuz he thinks speaking in Spanish will help him with REPUBLICANS.” –Jimmy Fallon

“We’re in the middle of a heat wave here in New York City, and temperatures are supposed to be in the 90s for the next several days. In fact Donald Trump was so mad about the weather, he actually gave away Al Roker’s personal phone number.” –Jimmy Fallon

“Trump said if his presidential campaign fails, he will ‘ride into the sunset.’ And if Donald Trump WINS the presidency, Hillary says she’s gonna ride off a cliff like Thelma and Louise.” –Jimmy Fallon

“Chris Christie attended the Italian-American Heritage Festival street fair in Iowa this weekend, where they celebrated Italian culture and Italian food. The street fair involved two of Christie’s favorite pastimes – eating, and shutting down traffic. It’s a combo platter.” –Jimmy Fallon

10. The left responds to Chuck Schumer’s opposition to Iran deal

— “Chuck Schumer, who said it was a mistake to pass Obamacare, now comes out against the Iran Deal. This is our next Senate leader?” — Former Obama speechwriter Jon Favreau. 7/06/15

— “Our country doesn’t need another Joe Lieberman in the Senate, and it certainly doesn’t need him as Democratic leader. The vast majority of Democratic voters — the people who elected President Obama in part because of our shared belief that war must always be a last resort — will not stand for it.” — MoveOn political action executive director Ilya Sheyman. 8/08/15

— “We’re going to get the Iran deal done with or without Sen. Schumer or anyone else who insists on being trapped in the past when it comes to conflict resolution in the Middle East. Senator Schumer was wrong when he voted to back the war with Iraq and he’s wrong to work with Republicans to kill this nuclear deal with Iran, period.” — Charles Chamberlain, executive director of Democracy for America. 8/07/15

— “You can imagine a scenario where, let’s say Republicans win the presidency and Democrats are not only in the minority but there’s a Republican in the White House, and who will the Democratic Party want to lead them? The guy that said ObamaCare was a mistake? A guy that championed the first Iraq war? A guy that helped Republicans take us into, if successful, a new war of choice in the Middle East? That’s not going to be the guy the Democrats need to lead.” — Becky Bond, political director for Credo Action. 8/07/15

— He’s the senator from Wall Street, not Main Street. In 2002, he voted to authorize the invasion of Iraq. In 2006, he supported George Bush’s nomination of John Bolton as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, reportedly telling his fellow Democrats that “a vote against Bolton was a vote against Israel.” As leader, his job would be to unite Democrats, not divide them. Yet now, given a chance to stand with President Obama, he’s chosen to stand instead with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), with Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), with Netanyahu.” — Bill Press 8/10/15

11. Jimmy Fallon: Donald Trump Clarifies Megyn Kelly Comment

12. Donald Trump Is Winning The Polls — And Losing The Nomination

Twelve years ago, in August 2003, Joe Lieberman led in most polls of the Democratic primary. Eight years ago, in August 2007, Rudy Giuliani maintained a clear lead in polls of Republicans, while Hillary Clinton led in polls of the Democratic nomination contest. Four years ago, in August 2011, Mitt Romney began with the lead in polls of Republican voters, but he would be surpassed by the end of the month by Rick Perry, the first of four Republican rivals who would at some point overtake Romney in national polling averages.

Lieberman, Clinton, Giuliani and Perry, as you’ve probably gathered, are not the faces atop Mount Rushmore. Only Clinton came close to winning the nomination.

It’s possible that Trump has already peaked — or that he’ll hold his support all the way through Iowa and New Hampshire, possibly even winning one or two early states, as similar candidates like Pat Buchanan and Newt Gingrich have in the past.4 Our emphatic prediction is simply that Trump will not win the nomination. It’s not even clear that he’s trying to do so. 10/11/15

13. Myths And Facts On Hillary Clinton’s Email And Reports Of “Top Secret” Materials

MYTH: Clinton Received Emails Marked As “Top Secret”
FACT: None Of The Emails Sent To Clinton Were Labeled As “Classified” Or “Top Secret”

MYTH: Emails Weren’t Marked As “Classified” Because Clinton Used A Private Server Instead Of State Dept. Email
FACT: Emails Originated In State Dept. System, And Questions About Retroactive Classification Would Have Occurred Regardless Of Clinton’s Server Use

MYTH: Hillary Clinton’s Email Use Is Comparable To David Petraeus’ Crimes
FACT: Experts Have Debunked The Comparison — Petraeus Knowingly Mishandled Classified Documents, Whereas Clinton Had Authorization To Use Private Email, And There’s No Evidence She Knowingly Emailed Classified Information

MYTH: Clinton Is The Subject Of A Federal Criminal Investigation
FACT: IG Referral To Justice Department Was Not Criminal, And FBI Isn’t Targeting Clinton Herself

More facts about Hillary’s emails at


1. Paul Krugman: From Trump on Down, the Republicans Can’t Be Serious

This was, according to many commentators, going to be the election cycle Republicans got to show off their “deep bench.” The race for the nomination would include experienced governors like Jeb Bush and Scott Walker, fresh thinkers like Rand Paul, and attractive new players like Marco Rubio. Instead, however, Donald Trump leads the field by a wide margin. What happened?

The answer, according to many of those who didn’t see it coming, is gullibility: People can’t tell the difference between someone who sounds as if he knows what he’s talking about and someone who is actually serious about the issues. And for sure there’s a lot of gullibility out there. But if you ask me, the pundits have been at least as gullible as the public, and still are.

For while it’s true that Mr. Trump is, fundamentally, an absurd figure, so are his rivals. If you pay attention to what any one of them is actually saying, as opposed to how he says it, you discover incoherence and extremism every bit as bad as anything Mr. Trump has to offer. And that’s not an accident: Talking nonsense is what you have to do to get anywhere in today’s Republican Party.

Until now, however, leading Republicans have generally tried to preserve a facade of respectability, helping the news media to maintain the pretense that it was dealing with a normal political party. What distinguishes Mr. Trump is not so much his positions as it is his lack of interest in maintaining appearances. And it turns out that the party’s base, which demands extremist positions, also prefers those positions delivered straight. Why is anyone surprised?

Can Mr. Trump actually win the nomination? I have no idea. But even if he is eventually pushed aside, pay no attention to all the analyses you will read declaring a return to normal politics. That’s not going to happen; normal politics left the G.O.P. a long time ago. At most, we’ll see a return to normal hypocrisy, the kind that cloaks radical policies and contempt for evidence in conventional-sounding rhetoric. And that won’t be an improvement. 8/07/15 Read more at

2. Eugene Robinson: Do-Nothing Republicans on Climate Change

The vast majority of scientists who have devoted their professional lives to studying the Earth’s climate believe human-induced warming is an urgent problem requiring bold action. Republican candidates for president insist they know better.

With one possible exception — Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who barely registers in the polls — GOP contenders either doubt the scientific consensus on climate change or oppose attempts to do anything about it. This promises to be one of the starkest ideological divides facing voters next year.

No pressure; it’s only the fate of the planet hanging in the balance.

Before President Obama could even announce his administration’s tough new curbs on carbon emissions from power plants, Republican hopefuls launched pre-emptive attacks. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, who flat-out denies that climate change is taking place, accused scientists of “cooking the books” and Democrats of choosing “California environmentalist billionaires and their campaign donations” over “the jobs of union members.” Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida charged that the new rules “will make the cost of electricity high for millions of Americans.” Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush called the regulations “unconstitutional” and claimed they would cost jobs.

These comments came at Sunday’s Freedom Partners forum, organized by conservative billionaires Charles and David Koch to give GOP candidates a chance to strut their stuff. In that setting, I suppose, reality-based rhetoric would be too much to hope for.

Democrats Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders both promise even tougher action against climate change than Obama has taken. This is a very big reason why elections matter. 8/04/15 Read more at

3. Noam N. Levey: How Medicare fulfilled a president’s half-century-old promise

Half a century after President Lyndon Johnson signed legislation creating Medicare and Medicaid with a pledge that seniors no longer would “be denied the healing miracle of modern medicine,” the promise has been largely fulfilled.

The two entitlements – one for the elderly and one for low-income Americans – have kept generations of seniors in their homes and extended life-saving insurance protections to poor children and families. The share of uninsured seniors, which was 48% in 1962, is now less than 2%.

Yet, the two programs today look far different than they did in 1965, as Democrats and Republicans have each expanded and reshaped them over the last five decades.

The evolution has been at times contentious, and often unexpected, with GOP presidents presiding over some of the biggest expansions of the government healthcare plans.

That history may offer clues about what lies ahead for the sweeping health law that President Obama enacted in 2010.

Since the ’80s, the federal government has used its power as the largest single payer for healthcare to drive medical providers around the country to improve quality and efficiency.

“We’ve had Republican presidents expanding benefits and imposing cost controls,” said University of North Carolina political scientist Jonathan Oberlander, a Medicare authority. “The politics of Medicare aren’t entirely predictable.”

Whether the Affordable Care Act will follow a similar trajectory remains unclear.

Unlike Medicare and Medicaid, which were ultimately backed by Republicans and implemented with relatively little controversy, the 2010 law remains deeply polarizing, even five years after its enactment.

But around the country, there are some signs that GOP officials are quietly making accommodations, and even putting a conservative stamp on elements of the law, such as the Medicaid expansion.

“Once you have government insurance programs, they tend to stay around,” said Oberlander. “Lots of people have screamed about socialized medicine over the years, yet on marched Medicare and Medicaid.” 7/29/15 Read more at

4. Van Jones: Busted: 3 myths about Obama’s climate plan

On Sunday morning, President Obama released a video “memo to America.” It pointed to droughts, super-storms and increases in asthma as evidence that climate change is not just a problem for future generations, but our own.

Today, the administration ispublishing the plan to do something about it.

If you live, work or breathe in the United States, Obama’s new national Clean Power Plan is good news for you. Unfortunately, you would never know that — if you listened to all the big polluters screaming bloody murder about it.

The clean power plan is a smart approach — because it is both powerful and flexible. It requires that U.S. power plants reduce their emissions 32% below 2005 levels by 2030. But each state gets to decide how best to do that. They can invest in renewables like solar and wind, switch to natural gas, or simply upgrade coal plants to produce more electricity with lower emissions.

This is smart federal policy-making. President Obama is setting a clear goal, but he is leaving it to the laboratories of democracy to decide how best to get there.

Of course, that fact will not stop the bellyaching from fossil fuel companies and their puppet politicians. Big polluters are already pulling out all the stops, trying to convince you that this plan will somehow doom the republic.

But the free ride for dirty energy is coming to an end. The clean power plan is dramatic leap toward a healthier, more prosperous America. If anyone tells you otherwise, help them get their facts straight. 8/03/15 Read more at

5. David Shorr: We Need Real Options For An Iran Deal, Not Unicorn Fantasies

What do unicorns and a perfect agreement to constrain Iran’s nuclear activities have in common? The question is rhetorical of course, but it makes a serious point about the deal recently reached by Iran, the U.S., and six other key international players, and is currently being debated in Congress.

By any reasonable standard, the deal places stringent limits on the Iranian nuclear program and subjects it to highly intrusive verification—under penalty of re-imposed sanctions if Iran fails to comply. But that hasn’t stopped critics from judging the agreement by unreasonable unicorn-like standards and the fantasy of walking Iran back to the tiny program it had ten years ago.

An honest and healthy policy debate focuses on realistic options, not unicorn fantasies. Iran will not offer a better deal. The rest of the world will not go along with continued sanctions if we reject this deal. Even the advocates of military strikes admit Iran could rebuild its nuclear capabilities within just several years after being attacked. So if a war would bring us back to square one after just three to five years, how is that preferable to limits set for 15 years?

Some critics of the agreement simply don’t want to deal with Iran at all. They’re correct that the agreement won’t stop Iran’s leaders from oppressing their own people or sewing instability in the region. There are two big problems with this position. First, Iran’s leading dissidents are on-record supporting the nuclear deal. And second, anyone arguing this case and rejecting the deal cannot then complain about the special dangers of a nuclear-armed Iran. The deal does not solve all problems with Iran, but it does an excellent job with most urgent one. 8/03/15 Read more at

6. Matt Taibbi: Republican Assault on Trump May Only Make Him Stronger

The main argument of all of Trump’s conservative critics seems to be, “He’s not a real Republican! He’ll destroy the party establishment!” The people making these criticisms seem to assume that conservative voters will see this as a bad thing.

But there are plenty of Tea Party-type voters out there who hate the Republican Party establishment almost as much as they hate the Democrats. There are also plenty of right-wing voters who think George Will and Charles Krauthammer are smug media weasels only slightly less disgusting than the Rachel Maddows and Keith Olbermanns of the world. A know-it-all is a know-it-all.

Trump’s followers are a gang of pissed-off nativists who are tired of being laughed at, belittled, dismissed, and told who to vote for. So it seems incredible that the Republican establishment thinks it’s going to get rid of Trump by laughing at, belittling and dismissing him, and telling his voters who they should be picking.

These hysterical critics are making one of the world’s most irredeemable bullies look persecuted and like a victim, a difficult feat. The desperation to get rid of him may just feed more and more into the right wing base’s crazy victim complex, and in turn get Trump even more support.

The Republican party and its allies at Fox, on afternoon radio and in the blogosphere have spent many years whipping audiences into zombie-style bloodlusts. When it suited them, party insiders told voters across middle America that foreigners were trying to crawl through their windows to take their wives, and that stuffed suits in Washington and in the media were conspiring to enslave their children in Marxist bondage.

Now all of that paranoia is backing up on them. They created this monster, and it’s coming for them now. Trumpenstein lives. He is loose in the town and on his way to the doctor’s castle. We may not be laughing two years from now, but for the time being, man, what a show. 8/07/15 Read more at

7. Tom Blanton: America classifies way too much information — and we are all less safe for it

The inspectors general of the State Department and the intelligence community have made a security referral to the Justice Department regarding Hillary Clinton’s emails on the grounds that some of them were “potentially classified.”

So is this column.

Watch out: Your clearance is at stake.

Here at the National Security Archive, in our “Dubious Secrets” series, we have published hundreds of U.S. government documents that one office or official considers declassified, while another insists must stay secret. Whom do you listen to?

But let’s talk about Clinton. Thank goodness she used a private email server when she was secretary of state. If she had used the State Department system, practically none of her email would survive. That’s how bad State’s electronic archiving was then. Instead, the State Department has 30,000 of her messages, and history is becoming much the wiser. Her critics, not so much.

Now, the same folks who clamored to see those messages seem to want to lock them up in classified vaults. Foolishness. They intend to redact the emails, thus putting red flags right on messages that circulated for years in unclassified form, thus highlighting the secrets they contain, if there really are any. Keeping the emails unclassified would actually be the best way to protect anything sensitive – through obscurity.

There were significant efficiency gains for our national security when the secretary of state ran her main email account in unclassified form. No artificial barriers to information sharing. A bright line against including truly classified documents. A standing rebuke to the massive overclassification all around her.

I’ve seen a couple-million pages of documents that were classified when the government put them on paper or computer screens. I can say from experience that few deserved such consideration.

The best defense of an open society is open information. We are not safer in the dark.

Those inspectors general poring over Clinton’s emails need to get back to their transparency and accountability jobs, where they should focus on opening – not closing – the files that will empower a free citizenry to protect our country and ourselves, and hold our leaders to account. 7/31/15 Read more at

8. Jennifer Granholm: GOP candidates’ fatal problem

I used to chuckle when people claimed that voters make decisions based upon how much they like a candidate and not on a candidate’s policies. But after last night’s debate, I’m starting to think that the GOP candidates must believe that policies don’t matter much to voters at all.

However, if people actually do vote based upon policies, you only need to look at public opinion polls to realize how destructive these positions will be with the general electorate.

The debate took place on the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, yet not a single candidate expressed support for the freedom to vote. Candidates in the first debate did not utter the words “middle class” even once. The words were uttered only twice in the prime time debate. You’d think with all of those candidates, one could afford to spare a moment for issues that are so important to so many Americans. Unfortunately, you’d be wrong.

In 2008 and 2012, the Republican Party lost presidential elections because its candidates hitched their campaigns to an unpopular, out-of-touch and out-of-date agenda. This time around, some Democrats privately worried that, perhaps, they had finally learned their lesson and would moderate positions.

If last night was any indication, the Democratic nominee may not have anything to worry about. 8/07/15 Read more at

9. Paul Krugman: G.O.P. Candidates and Obama’s Failure to Fail

What did the men who would be president talk about during last week’s prime-time Republican debate? Well, there were 19 references to God, while the economy rated only 10 mentions. Republicans in Congress have voted dozens of times to repeal all or part of Obamacare, but the candidates only named President Obama’s signature policy nine times over the course of two hours. And energy, another erstwhile G.O.P. favorite, came up only four times.

Strange, isn’t it? The shared premise of everyone on the Republican side is that the Obama years have been a time of policy disaster on every front. Yet the candidates on that stage had almost nothing to say about any of the supposed disaster areas.

And there was a good reason they seemed so tongue-tied: Out there in the real world, none of the disasters their party predicted have actually come to pass. President Obama just keeps failing to fail. And that’s a big problem for the G.O.P. — even bigger than Donald Trump. 8/10/15 Read more at

10. Josh Marshall: The Declining Marginal Value of Crazy

Several days ago, perennial presidential candidate Mike Huckabee charged that President Obama was ready to lead Israeli Jews “to the ovens.” A few days later, he said he might use not only the FBI but even the US military to prevent abortions. And around the same time, Ted Cruz called Obama the world’s biggest funder of Islamic terrorism. There was a day when cracks like these would have stopped the political world in its tracks, spurring transgressive glee from supporters and outrage from liberals and normal people. But this summer, they’ve struggled to break through. And the reason is obvious: Donald Trump has flooded the market with a new, purer brand of Crazy that has left the other candidates scrambling and basically unable to compete.

Trump is now in the lead in virtually every national poll of the Republican primary race. It’s easy to overstate what that means since, in such a populous field, he can do that handily with something like a mere 20% support. But it’s worth stepping back to see how we got here. Because Trump is in many ways the logical end result of seven years – really two-plus decades – of Republican cultivation of anger and grievance as a method of conducting politics.This is what brought us the 2010 and 2014 election triumphs on the one hand, but also government shut-downs, debt crises based on nothing, and more.

That novelty and lack of normal political constraints is what is allowing him to run circles around his competitors who had hoped to play in the Crazy space. Showmanship, lack of touch with reality, and a palpable handle on the grievance and unrestrained self-assertion that is at the center of modern Republican base politics have made Trump, for now, almost impossible to outdo in a crowded field. 8/10/15 Read more at

11. Matt Taibbi: Inside the GOP Clown Car

On the campaign trail in Iowa, Donald Trump’s antics have forced the other candidates to get crazy or go home

Politics used to be a simple, predictable con. Every four years, the money men in D.C. teamed up with party hacks to throw their weight behind whatever half-bright fraud of a candidate proved most adept at snowing the population into buying a warmed-over version of the same crappy policies they’ve always bought.

Pundits always complained that there wasn’t enough talk about issues during these races, but in reality, issues were still everything. Behind the scenes, where donors gave millions for concrete favors, there was always still plenty of policy. And skilled political pitchmen like Christie, who could deftly deliver on those back-room promises to crush labor and hand out transportation contracts or whatever while still acting like a man of the people, were highly valued commodities. pagebreak

Not anymore. Trump has blown up even the backroom version of the issues-driven campaign. There are no secret donors that we know of. Trump himself appears to be the largest financial backer of the Trump campaign. A financial report disclosed that Trump lent his own campaign $1.8 million while raising just $100,000.

There’s no hidden platform behind the shallow facade. With Trump, the facade is the whole deal. If old-school policy hucksters like Christie can’t find a way to beat a media master like Trump at the ratings game, they will soon die out.

In a perverse way, Trump has restored a more pure democracy to this process. He’s taken the Beltway thinkfluencers out of the game and turned the presidency into a pure high-school-style popularity contest conducted entirely in the media. Everything we do is a consumer choice now, from picking our shoes to an online streaming platform to a presidential nominee.

The irony, of course, is that when America finally wrested control of the political process from the backroom oligarchs, the very first place where we spent our newfound freedom and power was on the campaign of the world’s most unapologetic asshole. It may not seem funny now, because it’s happening to us, but centuries from this moment, people will laugh in wonder.

America is ceasing to be a nation, and turning into a giant television show. And this Republican race is our first and most brutal casting call. 8/12/15 Read more at

12. Scott Lemieux: Anti-abortion hysteria: the new norm for Republican presidential candidates

Roe v Wade wasn’t overruled in the 1992 US supreme court case Planned Parenthood v Casey, but the justices did give states the power to regulate and restrict the procedure. In the years since, many states did make abortion much harder to obtain without officially outlawing it. But the pro-life movement means to push until restrictions turn into bans. And as the electoral primaries heat up, it’s becoming clear that that radicalism has moved into the mainstream in the Republican Party.

The latest anti-choice move: try to take custody of a woman’s fetus

Followers of policy at the state level could see all this coming. Opponents of reproductive freedom, especially in the reddest states, are no longer satisfied with merely making abortion less accessible (especially for poor and rural women). They want it all. And those awful ideas from the state level are floating to the top. Some of the frontrunner Republicans are explicit about wanting women to have even fewer reproductive rights than 19th-century American women did.

American women, then, face a stark choice. Two of the frontrunners would seek to extinguish a woman’s right to choose entirely. If Scott Walker had his way, women who get pregnant would potentially face a state-imposed death sentence. Given that the next president could be in a position to replace Supreme Court justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer – two of the members of the razor-thin five-vote majority supporting Roe v Wade – Americans who don’t want to return women to the reproductive dark ages should vote accordingly come November. 8/10/15 Read more at

13. David Denby: The Three Faces of Trump

People are constantly surprised and shocked by Trump because he doesn’t play by any known set of political rules. Even the three formidable Fox moderators (including Chris Wallace) were limited in their understanding of him by what they expected of political candidates—acknowledgment of some minimal level of consistency, plausibility, and accountability. They thought they could trip him up, even trap him, Tim Russert-style, in his contradictions and political changes. But he answered them with gibberish—silly jokes, non sequiturs, and irrelevant assertions. It’s impossible for Trump to contradict himself, since, as many have said, he has no beliefs, in the sense of ideological beliefs.

He exploited the country’s bankruptcy laws when his hotel-casino investments in Atlantic City went sour, and anyway, he got out early and made a lot of money. Got it? He made money. A single-payer system, often known as socialized medicine, “works in Canada. It works incredibly well in Scotland. It could have worked in a different age, which is the age you’re talking about here.” (i.e., fifteen years ago). Got it? It works. But the Affordable Care Act, which could be seen as a hesitant first step toward a single-payer system, “is a disaster.” You can’t argue with reasoning like this because it always circles back to Trump’s triumphs over the naïve. He’s gone past contradiction, beyond tautology, into infallibility. In advance of the debate, he stopped studying policy papers. He doesn’t need answers; his temperament is the answer. My guess is that he will persist as long as he’s having fun, not spending much of his own money, and enjoying high poll numbers. Which could be right into the primaries next winter. The Republican Party and the media can’t begin to understand him until they look at his face. 10/12/15 Read more at


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The Fight to Vote Lives On

The Fight to Vote Lives On


In 2013, a Texas woman was told that she now needed an ID to vote. No big deal, right? Wrong.

In order to get the necessary ID, Bates would have to pay $42 for a birth certificate. The cost was too much for her poverty-stricken family.

“We couldn’t eat the birth certificate,” she said in court, “and we couldn’t pay rent with the birth certificate.”

In Ohio, an 86-year-old World War II veteran was denied the right to vote in the 2012 election because his ID from the Department of Veterans Affairs didn’t contain his address.

In Wisconsin, an 85-year-old disabled woman had never needed an ID, because she was never able to drive. When she tried to get one to vote, the DMV quoted her a price up to $200 because there was a name discrepancy.

These stories are representative of millions (yes, millions) of people across the United States who have been denied their right to vote because of laws passed by conservative legislatures designed to suppress voter turnout.

Voter ID laws are only part of the battle. Restricting voter registration, illegally purging voter rolls, reducing or eliminating early voting, requiring birth certificates, denying college students the right to vote at school, moving polling places and making them less accessible — all are suppression tactics used by Republican state legislatures.

Republicans can’t win with a level playing field, so they change the rules of the game and rig the system to reduce voter turnout.  As Senator Lindsey Graham admitted in 2012, they don’t generate “enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term.”

A Supreme Court decision in 2013 essentially gutted the Voting Rights Act of 1965. It invalidated the provision that required federal oversight of laws that affected voting in states and counties with histories of voter suppression. That opened the floodgates.

Since 2011, 49 states have considered legislation that would make it harder for eligible Americans to vote. Half of those states passed new voting restrictions. By 2014, voters in 21 states faced tougher voting rules than they did in 2010.

The usual rationale given for these restrictions is to eliminate “voter fraud.” However, of the more than 1 billion ballots cast across the country in primary and general elections in between 2000 and 2004, only 31 were deemed to be cast by the wrong person. That’s less than 0.0000039%.

Millions of voters are being disenfranchised to “fix” a problem that doesn’t exist.

Technically, these restrictions apply to everyone, but we all know that Voter ID laws disproportionately disenfranchise black, Latino, poor, elderly, and student voters. All of whom happen to be more likely to vote for Democrats.

Right here in San Diego we’ve had problems with the Registrar of Voters not counting legally valid provisional ballots. A patchwork of policies that vary from county to county has created inconsistencies in California that allow ballots to be counted in some counties and left uncounted in others.

San Diegans are working with the legislature and Secretary of State to standardize procedures for the counting of votes in every county. In collaboration with Secretary of State Alex Padilla, three of the six voter-related bills were introduced or co-authored by Senator Ben Hueso and Assemblymember Lorena Gonzales.

Fortunately, we live in California, and under Democratic leadership, we are fighting to defend voter rights and expand voter access. An entire package of voter rights legislation was proposed in the legislature this year, including:

  • A bill to allow same-day voter registration.
  • A bill that will automatically register people to vote when they apply for a drivers license or state-issued ID.
  • A bill that will require mail-in ballots to be counted as long as they are postmarked by Election Day.
  • A bill that would require a recount in state and federal races if the margin of the race is less than or equal to 0.1%.
  • A bill that would begin a pilot program to automatically send all registered voters ballots in the mail, rather than only sending them on request.
  • A bill that effectively requires political jurisdictions to consolidate local elections with statewide elections in order to maximize turnout.

On this day in 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the single most effective piece of civil-rights legislation ever passed by Congress, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. This was the culmination of decades of persistent efforts — organizing, marching, court challenges, lobbying and even dying by African-Americans and allies. They refused to stop fighting for the right to vote.

Fifty years later, the fight continues. It is now up to Congress to repair the damage to the Voting Rights Act done by the Supreme Court. But it’s up to each of us to be vigilant and continue to protect every eligible voter’s right to cast a ballot and have it counted.

Without voting there is no democracy. Without democracy there is no America. It’s really that simple.

Francine Busby
Chair, San Diego County Democratic Party