Friday, October 20, 2017

Never Heard Of Pat Tiberi? He's A Behind The Scenes Congressional Power Who's Retiring

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John Kasich likes to paint himself as the most bipartisan politician in America. That's camouflage. He happily signed one of the most egregious gerrymandering bills in the country, cutting Ohio up, which voted for Obama both times he's ran and elected progressive Democrat Sherrod Brown both times he ran. Because Kasich did, 50/50 swing state Ohio now has 12 Republicans in Congress and 4 Democrats instead of 8 and 8. The state legislature is a joke. The districts are so ruthlessly gerrymandered that there are 24 Republicans in the state Senate and just 9 Democrats and the state House has 66 Republicans and just 33 Democrats.

As you have probably read by now, the quietly powerful congressman who succeeded Kasich when he retired from Congress, Pat Tiberi, is resigning to take a job as head of the Ohio Business Roundtable. Tiberi never makes the headlines but I see his name all the time when I check to see which members of Congress take the extra big bribes from various interest groups. He's always on every list. Take the Finance Sector-- he's a senior member of House Ways and Means so of course the banksters want him on their side. In fact, he was up for the chairmanship but was pushed aside by a more right-wing nut from Texas, Kevin Brady. Since first being elected in 2000, Tiberi has taken $6,734,095 from the sector, the 4th most of any current member of Congress. Last year alone he took in $1,132,932 from the banksters and so far this year-- $520,000, 6th most of anyone in the House.

A mainstream conservative and former Boehner ally, he'll be out of Congress by the end of January, triggering a special election to fill the rest of his 10 month term. In 2016, Tiberi raised $4,555,939 and spent $1,890,368 on his reelection campaign. (He has over $5 million on hand right now). His opponent in 2016, progressive Democrat Ed Albertson, who is running again this cycle, was ignored by the DCCC and only managed to raise $28,450. Right now Albertson has $9,209.27 in his campaign war chest.

OH-12 includes all of 3 central Ohio counties-- Delaware Licking County and Morrow-- and parts of Franklin, Muskingum, Marion and Richland counties. Most of the voters live in Franklin, Delaware and Licking (in that order). In 2015 the district had an R+8 PVI. It's slightly less red now-- R+7. Trump and Clinton both did worse than Romney and Obama in the district, but Trump won, 53.2% to 41.9%.

Tiberi wound up with 251,266 votes (66.6%) to Albertson's 112,638 (29.8%). That looks horrible for the Dems' prospects, right? And it is but I want to point something out. The 435 congressional districts have approximately 711,000 people. They're not exactly the same population-wise but they're not that different either. Last year Albertson did considerably better than many incumbents who were reelected. Blue Dog Jim Costa, a California Central Valley Democrat won reelection with just 72,111 and Republican David Valadao, also in the Central Valley, was reelected with even fewer votes, 68,481. Valadao's Democratic opponent, Emelio Huerta-- who, unlike Albertson, got some very substantial financial help from Pelosi's House Majority PAC ($1,751,651) only got 49,643. And, like Albertson, Huerta is running against this cycle.

Which leads to the question... can Albertson win in the age of Trump? Or will the DCCC recruit a more conservative GOP-lite candidate and muscle Albertson out of the race? In its first-blush report on Tiberi's resignation, the Columbus Dispatch didn't have much to offer on what would happen in the district next.
Sources close to Tiberi said a variety of factors played into his exit. His mother died earlier this year and his father is in ill health. House Speaker Paul Ryan last year bypassed Tiberi to select Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, as the chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, despite the fact that Tiberi had support from the majority of his colleagues on the Republican Steering Committee.

Another loss: the retirement of House Speaker John Boehner in 2015. The two were close political allies, with Tiberi benefiting politically from his close friendship with the West Chester Republican.

And a dysfunctional political environment in Washington made him “miserable” said a source close to Tiberi.

The veteran congressman, who represents Ohio’s 12th congressional district, had considered running for the U.S. Senate in 2018. He ended that speculation in May, announcing that he didn’t want a Senate campaign to take time away from working on tax reform from his position as a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee. Tiberi had more than $6.6 million in campaign funds at the beginning of the month.

Tiberi, 54, was elected to the House in 2000, replacing John Kasich, who had once hired him as an aide in Kasich’s congressional office in Columbus. Tiberi, who grew up in Columbus, also served four terms in the Ohio House in the 1990s.

He is chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee’s subcommittee on health and is currently chairman of the Joint Economic Committee, a House-Senate committee that examines economic issues. And earlier this year, he became the chairman of the House “Main Street Caucus,” a group of moderate Republicans who billed themselves as the “governing” wing of the Republican Party.
Kasich isn't interested in running for the seat and Tiberi already had an extremist lunatic primarying him, Brandon Grisez, someone who Bannon probably would have gotten behind had Tiberi not decided to retire.

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Midnight Meme Of The Day!

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-by Noah

Oh, the anguish, the heartache that Donald Jackass Trump and his parents must have felt when little super-patriot Donnie, try as he might, as much as he wanted, just couldn't serve. But, back in those days, before Trump slithered out from under a rusting garbage can in some dark, dank, greasy, reeking New York alley to coat the walls of the White House with an amount of grossly alien slime that even those in Washington could never have imagined, presidents really routinely did write condolence letters. The Trumps must have stood and sung the national anthem to honor their country and the military when they got this letter; don't you think? No kneeling for the Trumps! And forget those alleged bone spurs. Donnie's little hands were just too small to handle a rifle anyway. All the real soldiers would have laughed at him, just like so many would now, if his presence as their commander wasn't so serious.

Mind you, it's not to late to do what's best for the country and the world and put Jackass in a tiger cage and leave him in the jungles of Vietnam where even Rambo can't find him.

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Thursday, October 19, 2017

If You Want To Believe That Only Republicans Are Corrupt, This Is The Wrong Post For You

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I lost count years ago about the number of arguments I've had with lo-info Dems who freak out when DWT turns into an unfriendly environment for Blue Dogs, New Dems and others from the Republican wing of the Democratic Party. I've been hearing the belly-aching for years and I tend to just ignore it entirely now. But I had a call this morning from someone who said she generally agrees with my perspective but in light of the existential danger posed by Señor Trumpanzee, maybe I should change my tone for 13 months. Not gonna happen.

She was trying to get me to lay off the worst Democrat in the House, Kyrsten Sinema (Blue Dog-AZ), who Schumer hand-picked to run for the very winnable Arizona Senate seat. Background: Sinema's a real dirtbag who I've known personally for years. She has no core values whatsoever and as much relationship with morals and integrity as Trump  does-- no more no less, complete narcissist. On top of that, Progressive Punch hasn't just rated her an "F," they've scored her voting record as the very worst for a Democrat-- worse than Henry Cuellar's (Bush's favorite Democrat) and worse than Collin Peterson, who no one even counts as a Democrat at all. When Ryan and McCarthy want to call one of their toxic pieces of legislation "bipartisan," they call Sinema. She's always there for them, often more than some of their own members!

And, if that wasn't enough, she's also one of the most blatantly corrupt members of either party. A member of the biggest single fount of congressional corruption-- the House Financial Services Committee-- she votes against consumers and working families and with Wall Street more regularly than almost any of the other, mostly horrible, members. Since getting into Congress in 2012, she's taken $2,129,639 in bribes from the Finance Sector, more than any Arizona Democrat in history. Last cycle, while her committee was eviscerating Dodd-Frank, she accepted $1,003,940 in bankster bribes, more than any Democrat in the House other than Wall Street's go-to crook, Joe Crowley ($1,064,673). And so far this year, she's taken more in Wall Street bribes than any Democrat in the House ($471,096). Even the crooked Republican chairman of the Financial Services Committees, Jeb Hensarling (TX), notorious Wall Street bribe-taker has only gotten $475,358. She's even managed to outstrip Crowley, who's "only" sucked up $402,295 so far.

Why would any progressive want this garbage in the Senate? But let's move away from Sinema, who I didn't even plan on mentioning in this post which is really about a much less well-known bucket of Democratic slime, Ref Rodriguez, L.A.'s school board president. A little context from the L.A. Times about what happens when you allow corrupt conservative garbage to slip into public office, whining that they're "better than a Republican." On Wednesday, Rodriguez was "charged with three felony counts of conspiracy, perjury and procuring and offering a false or forged instrument, the result of a months-long investigation by local authorities into donations to his successful first-time run for office in 2015."

And his district includes my neighborhhood, which has virtually no Republicans but often falls prey to hustlers who disguise themselves as Democrats, like Rodriguez. He gave more than $24,000 to his own campaign, while illegally representing that the donations had been made by more than two dozen other contributors (who he slipped the cash to). And the best part of this: he's a charter school whore who is trying to destroy the teachers unions and the public school system. He immediately played the "immigrant family card." Sounds like something Trump would say: "As the product of an immigrant family, nobody has more respect for the integrity of the American justice system than I do."
The allegations come at a high point in Rodriguez’s political career. Elected board president in July, he currently presides over the first L.A. school board majority dominated by members who were, like him, elected with major financial support from charter school advocates.

...The case against Rodriguez grew out of an investigation by the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission, which focused on donations to his 2015 campaign. The commission accused Rodriguez of “campaign money laundering” and referred its findings to the district attorney’s office.

The criminal complaint says that in late 2014, shortly after he filed to run for office, Rodriguez cashed out a $26,000 business investment. He gave a check in that amount to his cousin, who was a campaign volunteer, along with instructions on what to do with the money, the complaint says.

The cousin, Elizabeth Tinajero Melendrez, 45, is suspected of depositing the money into a bank account under the names of Rodriguez’s parents. Then, the complaint says, the candidate’s mother signed 16 checks, making them out to friends and family members who were listed as donors to her son’s campaign.

According to the complaint, Melendrez delivered those checks as well as cash reimbursements to people who had made contributions.

Melendrez ultimately persuaded 25 people, most of them Rodriguez’s relatives and friends, to participate by telling them their contributions would be reimbursed, according to a 10-page formal accusation released by the ethics commission on Wednesday. Each gave between $775 and $1,100, for a total of $24,250.

At the end of that reporting period, Rodriguez submitted records “certified under penalty of perjury” showing he had raised $51,001 in individual donations, the document says. “However, nearly half of the reported funds were actually Rodriguez’s own money.”

...If convicted on the felony counts, Rodriguez faces a possible maximum sentence of four years and four months in jail. Melendrez could serve up to three years in jail.
He was a board member of the California Charter School Association Board, so this kind of behavior isn't surprising. That's who these people are-- all of them; every single one of them. They shouldn't be part of the Democratic Party either-- none of them. They're anti-union fanatics and they belong in the GOP. Although Rodriguez was forced to resign as school board president, he refuses to step down from the school board where the charter school scumbagshave a shaky 1 vote majority.

Since the original charges, though, the L.A. Times is now reporting even more serious charges: funneling more than $285k of public dollars from his charter school network to his own non-profit and to a company he had a stake in. 
The charter school network that L.A. school board member Ref Rodriguez co-founded and ran for years has filed a complaint with state regulators alleging that Rodriguez had a conflict of interest when he authorized about $285,000 in payments drawn on its accounts. ...According to the complaint and documents reviewed by The Times, the vast majority of the money transfers that Rodriguez authorized and PUC has flagged went from school accounts to Partners for Developing Futures, a nonprofit under his control.

An attorney who reviewed the records for the school network said he has found little or no evidence so far of services provided for these payments.

...The conflict-of-interest allegations could add to Rodriguez’s legal problems.

Last month, prosecutors charged him with three felonies and 25 misdemeanors for alleged money laundering in his school board campaign. Rodriguez is accused of soliciting people to give him donations and then illegally paying them back... Critics of charter schools called again for more regulation of these schools, which receive public funding but operate largely outside of a public school district’s control.

“This type of behavior is exactly why we continue to push for greater accountability and transparency among California charter schools,” said Frank Wells, spokesman for the California Teachers Assn. “This misuse of public funds is robbing students of resources they deserve.”

Rodriguez no longer works at PUC; he gave up his job there when he joined the school board in July 2015.

On Friday, the school network accepted the resignation of his cousin, senior manager Elizabeth Tinajero Melendrez. In PUC records reviewed by The Times, Melendrez is listed as the person who requested eight of the checks Rodriguez authorized, adding up to nearly $188,000.

In its filing with the political practices commission, PUC contends that the payments to Partners for Developing Futures are a potential conflict of interest because Rodriguez appears to be on both sides of the transaction. PUC’s records indicate that he authorized and signed the checks. Tax filings from 2009 through 2012-- the last year for which one is available-- and records that PUC provided from as recently as 2015, show that Rodriguez was the chief executive of Partners for Developing Futures.

Melendrez also is a defendant in the money-laundering case. Prosecutors have filed charges contending that she helped Rodriguez solicit and illegally reimburse the donations.

Last month, prosecutors charged him with three felonies and 25 misdemeanors for alleged money laundering in his school board campaign. Rodriguez is accused of soliciting people to give him donations and then illegally paying them back.
All of this, of course, comes after a bunch of big "blue chip" Democratic donors (like Netflix CEO Reed Hastings) teamed up with Trump backers to pack the L.A. school board with anti-union board members earlier this year. The funniest part of this is that it comes right as the Charter School Association is lobbying the school board to remove oversight rules on charter schools in Los Angeles, which is totally absurd, since they’re receiving public funds.

So, please, when you want to whine or throw a tantrum about supporting all Democrats, take that crap somewhere else.

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Will Trump's And Ryan's Greed-Driven Tax Cuts For The Rich, Sink The Republican Party?

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This morning's post on Bannon's attempt to steal all McConnell's fat cat donors is about how the whole project hinges on the tax cuts. The fat cats want their tax cuts. If McConnell can't deliver, they want his head. They don't really care about much else-- and Bannon, Ryan and the rest of the Republican caucus have that firmly in mind... as they walk into the eye of the hurricane. Let's start with Mnuchin's moronic threat this week that the Wall Street bubble will burst if Congress doesn't pass the tax cuts. "There is no question that the rally in the stock market has baked into it reasonably high expectations of us getting tax cuts and tax reform done. To the extent we get the tax deal done, the stock market will go up higher. But there’s no question in my mind that if we don’t get it done you’re going to see a reversal of a significant amount of these gains." What an asshole!



Unfortunately for Republicans in Congress a new poll from CNN shows the public is not sold on the Trump-Ryan tax cuts for the rich. 52% are already saying they oppose it and only 34%-- the Trump hardcore basically-- support it. 81% of Democrats are against it; 70% of Republicans favor it and independents are with the Democrats on this-- 50% oppose and just 35% favor the plan.

37% of Americans say the tax plan won't make any significant difference in their lives, while 31% say it will make their lives worse. Just 24% think it will make their families better off. 35% of voters think it will hurt the economy and just 31% think it will help the economy. As for the budget deficit, 38% recognize the plan would balloon the deficit and just 22% are taken in by Trump's lies that it will shrink the deficit.




Meanwhile Burgess Everett and Josh Dawsey, writing for Politico yesterday, reported that the Regime and some Republican members of Congress "are increasingly worried that taxes will go the way of Obamacare repeal in the Senate: Months of bickering ending in extreme embarrassment... [S]ome senators are pushing their own tax proposals, while others are increasingly emboldened to defy the Republican president. It’s a dangerous mix considering that McConnell can lose only two votes assuming Democrats band together in opposition." Trump and everyone else involved is already setting up everything so that McConnell will be the fall guy if this fails.
“We look at the Senate and go: ‘What the hell is going on?’” White House budget director Mick Mulvaney said in an interview Friday.

“The House passed health care, the House has already passed its budget, which is the first step of tax reform. The Senate hasn't done any of that. Hell, the Senate can’t pass any of our confirmations,” Mulvaney fumed in an interview, slapping a table for emphasis. “You ask me if the Republican-controlled Senate is an impediment to the administration’s agenda: All I can tell you is so far, the answer’s yes.”

The revulsion for the Senate’s age-old traditions and byzantine procedure boiled over in public repeatedly on Monday. Trump complained in front of TV cameras that the Senate is “not getting the job done” and said he sees where Steve Bannon-- his former chief strategist now planning to run primary challengers against incumbent Republican senators-- “is coming from.”

And House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), when asked Monday to name the biggest impediment to tax reform, replied: “You ever heard of the United States Senate before?"

...McConnell is expected to hold a vote this week on the budget-- a precondition for tax reform-- and GOP aides expect it to pass. That will relieve some of the pressure on the chamber, which has been receiving flak nonstop from donors, House members and the president since the health care implosion this summer.

Administration officials are hoping that frustration produces enough pressure to force the Senate to pass tax reform. But already, there are signs of trouble.

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) is so skeptical that the Senate can enact the GOP's tax framework that he’s begun pitching his own tax plans to colleagues. It would shift the burden of corporate taxes onto shareholders and allow individuals to opt out of the existing tax code and into a system without the confusing array of tax preferences and deductions that people can now choose.

It’s radically different from what congressional leaders and the president proposed. But Johnson said in an interview that leadership’s plan “is going to be very difficult to pass. We’ve already seen with the outline now, with the principles given, that’s going to be a challenge.”

“I don’t want to be a problem child here, but what I’m offering is a plan B,” Johnson added. “If they can’t get the votes … I’ve got an alternative.”

Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX) brushed off any negativity about the Senate's work, insisting that he never thought the party’s agenda is “off track.” But he said the sniping from Mulvaney and Ryan-- and skepticism from some Republican senators about the prospects for tax reform-- is not helpful.

"I don’t think that sort of thing is very constructive myself,” Cornyn said Monday.

The House is sure to labor to pass tax reform, too. Members from high-tax states are already rebelling against plans to gut the deduction for state and local taxes. But two White House officials said the most serious concerns are in the Senate.
States where the federal deduction for state and local taxes in very important are mostly states with Democratic senators, but Wisconsin's Johnson could be the most likely senator to be in trouble, followed by Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst from Iowa and Pat Toomey in Pennsylvania. Where this could really become an issue though, is in the House, where dozens of Republicans represent districts in states where taxpayers will see thousands of dollars in deductions vaporize. These are three dozen Republicans +1 who would likely be less electable if they vote for the tax plan:
CA-39- Ed Royce
CA-25- Steve Knight
CA-45- Mimi Walters
CA-49- Darrell Issa
CA-48- Dana Rohrabacher
CA-10- Jeff Denham
CA-22- Devin Nunes
CA-21- David Valadao
IA-01- Rod Blum
IA-03- David Young
IL-06- Peter Roskam
IL-13 Rodney Davis
NJ-07- Leonard Lance
NJ-11- Rodney Frelinhuysen
NJ-03 Tom MacArthur
NY-01- Lee Zeldin
NY-02- Peter King
NY-11- Dan Donovan
NY-19- John Faso
NY-22- Claudia Tenney
NY-23- Tom Reed
NY-24- John Katko
NY-21- Elise Stafanik
OH-01- Steve Chabot
OH-10- Michael Turner
OH-12- Pat Tiberi
OH-14- David Joyce
PA-06- Ryan Costello
PA-07- Pat Meehan
PA-08- Brian Fitzpatrick
PA-16- Lloyd Smucker
TX-07- John Culberson
TX-21- Lamar Smith
TX-32- Pete Sessions
VA-07- Dave Brat
VA-10- Barbara Comstock
WI-01- Paul Ryan
3 dozen Republicans +1 and that +1 is Paul Ryan, Trump's top congressional ally on tax cuts for the rich. His Democratic opponent, Randy Bryce has been campaigning on that in a big way. Yesterday he sent a letter to his supporters reminding them that "No matter how many times President Donald Trump and Speaker Paul Ryan may claim differently, the GOP's proposed tax plan benefits the wealthy-- not working people. After Donald Trump announced the framework of the GOP tax reform proposal, his mouthpiece in the House, Paul Ryan, started spouting the same, vague explanation we've heard before. He claimed the plan is about the low- and middle-class and not "about people who are really high-income earners getting a break." I didn't need PolitiFact to tell me Ryan's statement was mostly false, but it was nice to see him held accountable for a moment. Under Paul Ryan's Plan, The top 1% receive 80% of the tax cut. Billionaires like Donald Trump could earn up to 20% more. Multimillionaires like Paul Ryan will earn over 10% more. The middle class, like me and a lot of you, will get at most, just 1% more, and in some cases, actually see a tax increase. Trump and Ryan's plan also includes a loophole that makes it easier for big businesses to avoid paying taxes on money made overseas-- which would encourage them to move more of their business out of the country and away from American workers. Now tell me, which part of that would help working people? Trump and Ryan do not have our best interests at heart-- they care more about padding the pockets of the millionaires and big businesses that fund their campaigns. I promise to fight for working families in Congress because I know what it means to live paycheck to paycheck."

And he didn't even get into the loss of local and state tax deductions which will hit Wisconsin voters harder than it does most states. Illinois voters will be hit even harder-- which isn't stopping the Republican congressmen00 like Rodney Davis-- from backing Trump and Ryan. We asked Davis; progressive opponent, Dr. David Gill, how this impacts the middle and working class voters in IL-13. "I've long argued that it's past time for the millionaires and the billionaires to start paying their fair share here in America. But rather than taking a step toward reducing the overwhelming economic inequality in this country, the Trump Tax Plan moves in precisely the opposite direction. And it amazes me that my opponent, Rodney Davis, supports this tax plan. Our district is filled with people who will suffer real and significant economic pain with the elimination of the federal tax deduction for state and local taxes. Of course, I shouldn't be surprised-- virtually everything that Mr. Davis does is designed to increase the wealth of the already-rich and the large corporations who pour money into his campaign coffers. This leads to overwhelming hypocrisy on his part at times; I remember when I ran against him in 2012, he repeatedly screeched about our $18 trillion deficit and whined that 'It's not fair to leave such a deficit to my children and grandchildren.' Given his zeal to follow the marching orders of his party and his wealthy donors, and the furthering of the deficit caused by the Trump tax plan, it appears that Rodney has grown much less concerned about the future of his children and their children."






UPDATE: They Did It

The Senate passed a budget tonight-- the Republicans in the Senate to be exact-- that cuts Medicaid by a trillion dollars and Medicare by half a trillion dollars so that it will be easier for them to give the richest 1% a tax cut. Unbelievable!

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Back From Fascism

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I have a new friend who I'll be meeting soon in person-- someone I've been writing about for over a decade: Frank Schaeffer. Frank's story is pretty well known. He is the son of right-wing extremist Francis Schaeffer, one of the founders of the religious right. Eventually Frank saw the light and rejected the crazy conservatism he had been raised in. In 2007 he wrote the much-acclaimed Crazy for God: How I Grew Up As One of the Elect, Helped Found the Religious Right and Lived to Take All (or Almost All) of It Back. His newest book is Letter To Lucy: A Manifesto of Creative Redemption In The Age Of Trump, Fascism And Lies. (You can read the first chapter online for free.) Lately, Frank has been busy driving around the country meeting progressives running for Congress as part of his ambitious goal of helping the Democrats win back the House. He started in Racine with Randy Bryce, drove down to Winston-Salem to meet Jenny Marshall and is on his way to film Doug Applegate, Laura Oatman, Sam Jammal and other Southern California Democrats.

I hope Frank's example inspires someone else who now says he's seen the light and has given up on the far right, British neo-Nazi Kevin Wilshaw, who just announced he's giving up on the white nationalism and all the hate doctrines that have been motivating him for 4 decades. Paraic O'Brien reporting:


After a lifetime of involvement with the far-right Kevin Wilshaw announces on Channel 4 News that he is leaving the movement-- at the same time publicly coming out as gay.

The well known National Front organiser in the 1980s was still active in white supremacist groups earlier this year-- including speaking at events.

But tonight on Channel 4 News he explains for the very first time why he is publicly disavowing the movement – sharing his secrets, explaining how he was both a Neo-Nazi and of Jewish heritage , while admitting to violent acts and what motivated his hatred.

Kevin Wilshaw also opens up about his Jewish mother.

“She was part Jewish, maiden name was Benjamin, we have Jewish blood on that side.

On an application form to join the National Front, he wrote about his hatred of “the Jews.”

“That term ‘the Jews’ is the global faceless mass of people you can’t personalise it, not individuals. That’s the generalisation that leads to 6 million people being deliberately murdered.

“I didn’t have many friends at school, I wanted to be a member of a group of people that had an aim, and I thought getting involved in that kind of thing would be comradeship.“

“Even though you end up being a group of people that through their own extreme views are cut off from society, you do have a sense of comradeship in that you’re a member of a group that’s being attacked by other people.”

“On one or two occasions in the recent past I’ve actually been the recipient of the very hatred of the people I want to belong to … if you’re gay it is acceptable in society but with these group of people it’s not acceptable, and I found on one or two occasions when I was suspected of being gay I was subjected to abuse.”

Mr Wilshaw admits that being a Nazi who is gay-- but with a Jewish background-- is a contradiction.

“It’s a terribly selfish thing to say but it’s true, I saw people being abused, shouted at, spat at in the street-- it’s not until it’s directed at you that you suddenly realise that what you’re doing is wrong.”

“You have other members leading National Front who are overtly gay. And nobody could see the contradiction of it that you have an overtly gay person leading a homophobic organisation, makes no sense.”

“Then you have someone like Nicky Crane, one of the hardest people who would be gay.”

“Even when people found out, they’d rationalise it, ‘He’s not really gay’ or ‘gay and ok’.”

He said he had hurt people, “but not unprovoked, in defence. In a by-election in Leeds I smashed a chair over someone’s head.”

But he denied ever having approached minorities and assaulted them.

“I’d never do that, but I have seen incidents where people were singled out because they were black by a group of people. It turned my stomach, I rejected that, I pushed it to the back of my mind.”

Mr Wilshaw was arrested for vandalising a mosque in Aylesbury in the early 1990s-- and in March this year he was arrested for online race hate offences.

He joined the BNP after being part of the National Front and flirted with dangerous fringe groups like the Racial Volunteer Force.

Mr Wilshaw says he remembers meeting David Copeland-- the Brixton and Soho nail bomber. More recently he took to social media-- and until the start of year was still speaking at rallies.

Former National Front activist Matthew Collins, who now works for the anti-racist group Hope not Hate said: “One of things we noticed is there was someone who was struggling, he was becoming more and more extreme.”

“We almost expected the phone call and a cry for help, and that’s what he’s done.”

“I feel appallingly guilty as well, I really do feel guilty, not only that, this is also a barrier to me having a relationship with my own family, and I want to get rid of it, it’s too much of a weight.”

“I want to do some damage as well, not to ordinary people but the people who are propagating this kind of rubbish-- want to hurt them, show what it’s like for those who are living a lie and be on the receiving end of this type of propaganda, I want to hurt them.”

Fearing some level of revenge, Mr Wilshaw says “one or two would want to sort me.. they’d see it as betrayal.”

“I am going to find it difficult, granted, to fill a void that has occupied my life since childhood.”


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European Colonialism Is the Central Fact of Politics on Earth

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"Columbus' treatment of the Hispaniola natives was even worse [than his treatment of natives in the Bermudas] as his soldiers raped, killed, and enslaved them with impunity at every landing. When Columbus fell ill in 1495, soldiers were reported to have gone on a rampage, slaughtering 50,000 natives. Upon his recovery, Columbus organized his troops' efforts, forming a squadron of several hundred heavily armed men and more than twenty attack dogs. The men tore across the land, killing thousands of sick and unarmed natives. Soldiers would use their captives for sword practice, attempting to decapitate them or cut them in half with a single blow" (source; click to enlarge).

by Gaius Publius

I spent the last week and a half on the west coast (Pacific Ocean side) of Vancouver Island in British Columbia, blissfully free of U.S. television and the manufactured-angry social disease we call American political discourse. No hyped-by-hate "God, guns and gays" types among the BC rurals; just nice reasonable people who like living outdoors.

The week off included the U.S. holiday known as Columbus Day, reading about which exposed me to this excellent piece by Jon Schwarz, of Tiny Revolution fame, now writing at The Intercept. This is one of the most perceptive, dot-connecting pieces I've read in a long time, so I'd like to tease it to you, and in the process comment on what I take to be its main point.

First the tease — its intro:
Columbus Day Is the Most Important Day of Every Year

Today, October 12, is Columbus Day. Every year it’s officially the second Monday in October; this year it falls on the exact anniversary of the Niña, Pinta and Santa María’s arrival in the Bahamas 523 years ago.

So to mark today, I’ve made a list. I’m sure to almost all Americans it would seem like a meaningless jumble of things with no connection to each other. But in fact it tells one story, the story of why October 12, 1492, is the most important date in human history — and demonstrates that you have to understand that in order for anything happening on Earth now to make sense:
  • $ (i.e., the dollar sign) — and Cerro Rico, Bolivia’s “Mountain That Eats Men”
  • the movies War of the Worlds and Avatar — and the movies Apocalypse Now and Day of the Jackal
  • the original seal of the Massachusetts Bay Colony — and the “generous offer” made by Israel to the Palestinian Authority in 2000
  • Cinco de Mayo — and the investor-state dispute settlement section of the Trans-Pacific Partnership
  • an abortive 2003 attempt to bring Nelson Mandela to the United Nations to oppose the invasion of Iraq — and South Koreans protesting the 2010 Israeli attack on the first Gaza flotilla
  • Hitler’s October 17, 1941, discussion of the invasion of the Soviet Union — and the Washington Redskins
Confused? Here’s the explanation...
The thread of connections among those bulleted objects and events is a fun ride; to take it, I recommend reading the piece from start to finish.

But let's just focus on this part, its main point:
Columbus’ landfall in the Western Hemisphere was the opening of Europe’s conquest of essentially all of this planet. By 1914, 422 years later, European powers and the U.S. controlled 85 percent of the world’s land mass.

White people didn’t accomplish this by asking politely. As conservative Harvard political scientist Samuel Huntington put it in 1996, “The West won the world not by the superiority of its ideas or values or religion … but rather by its superiority in applying organized violence. Westerners often forget this fact; non-Westerners never do.”

In fact, European colonialism involved a level of brutality comparable in every way to that of 20th-century fascism and communism, and it started with Columbus himself. Estimates of the number of people living on the island of Hispaniola when Columbus established settlements range from 250,000 to several million. Within 30 years of his arrival, 80 to 90 percent of them were dead due to disease, war and enslavement, in what another Harvard professor cheerily called “complete genocide.” Contemporary accounts of the Spaniards’ berserk cruelty really have to be read to be believed.

Formally, of course, European colonialism largely ended in the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s. Yet informally, it has — behind the mask of what Pope Francis recently called “new forms of colonialism” — continued with surprising success.

Thus European colonialism is the central fact of politics on earth. And precisely because of that, it is almost never part of any American discussion of politics. Anthropologists call this phenomenon “social silence” — meaning that in most human societies, the subjects that are core to how the societies function are exactly the ones that are never mentioned. [bolded emphasis mine]
Take just that one idea, which I took for my title — European colonialism is the central fact of politics on earth — take it to heart, and then reflect on the world we see today. Schwarz: "If we maintain the social silence around colonialism, our past and present will always be bewildering..." Indeed.

From the start of the early march into Europe of the Proto-Indo-European people from their home near the Caucasus Mountains, with their father-gods — both "Zeus" and "Jupiter" are derived from proto-Indo-European words that became "deus pater" — and their Bronze Age daggers, spears and axes, the European "West" has been consistently among the most rapacious tribes of our species.

Bringing It All Back Home

This is not about the past, but the past continued in us. What we did, we do — in our Ferguson-like neighborhoods; in our guilt-or-innocence-be-damned, glory-in-punishment courts and prisons; in abandoned storm-torn Puerto Rico; in our eager, invisible bombings and dronings throughout the Middle East and into Asia; in our happy, unironic interference in every election on earth we care about; and so much more. Hillary Clinton, as Secretary of State, certified a coup in Honduras that led to the deaths of many, like activist Berta Cáceres, yet she complains with loud voice and apparent impunity that foreign electoral "interference" may have damaged her own electoral chances.

As Schwarz says, international colonizing by Western Europe and its Sun King offspring, the United States, is entirely invisible to its perpetrators.

Yet nothing about the state of the world today — from a nearly inevitable climate change disaster to wealth inequality beyond the dreams of avarice — can be understood without accounting for the invisible celebrations of rape and plunder that underpin everything done by the West to the rest of the world.

Want proof? Pull out your smart phone and consider where it was made — in factories surrounded by suicide nets to stop the wage slaves working there from killing themselves as the better alternative to their lives and conditions — all so we can have the next benefits of Western life, like faster texting and sexier screen bezels.

Click to enlarge; source.

Or, to bring this full circle, consider Columbus again (emphasis mine):
When slaves held in captivity began to die at high rates, Columbus switched to a different system of forced labor. He ordered all natives over the age of thirteen to collect a specified amount (one hawk's bell full) of gold powder every three months. Natives who brought the amount were given a copper token to hang around their necks, and those found without tokens had their hands amputated and were left to bleed to death.

The Arawaks attempted to fight back against Columbus's men but lacked their armor, guns, swords, and horses. When taken prisoner, they were hanged or burned to death. Desperation led to mass suicides and infanticide among the natives. In just two years under Columbus' governorship more than half of the 250,000 Arawaks in Haiti were dead.
From Columbus' own pen:
"Now that so much gold is found, a dispute arises as to which brings more profit, whether to go about robbing or to go to the mines. A hundred castellanos are as easily obtained for a woman as for a farm, and there are plenty of dealers who go about looking for girls; those from nine to ten are now in demand, and for all ages a good price must be paid."
Yes, that's a proud reference to the availability of nine-year-old native girls.

There's Always a Price...

The only difference between then and now is the timing of the price. The generations before us paid some price for their conquests, but not nearly in proportion to the damage they were doing. The West lives well despite its way of getting there.

I think this generation though, guilty and innocent alike, unlike those previous, will reap the full reward of the Indo-European rape of the world. The "war on (dark-skinned) terror" is already coming home, to Europe as a start in the form of angry and suffering climate and war refugees, and soon I fear to the paranoid, unguardable U.S. Can the United States be considered safe in a globalized world, with our myriad shopping malls and power stations, even if we turn every public gathering place into the airport? Can anyone doubt that the response to global colonial war will be global blowback?

Just as the rich have created this breaking world, so too can they heal it — by standing down. I'm not sure that's in our future though, since our future is still in their hard and grasping hands.

World-historical thoughts as we ponder the next ten years.

GP
 

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A Sweet Part Of 2018's Electoral History Will Be The Mercer Billionaires' War On The Republican Party

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Didn't Iggy Pop have a totally awesome song for this?

The Mercers have hired Steve Bannon to run it for them, but the GOP civil war tearing the Republican Parry to shreds could never happen without the profligate spending of two of America's most odious characters, Robert Mercer, the fascist father, and Rebekah Mercer, the equally crazy crackpot daughter. Tuesday, Bannon was in Scottsdale with Kelli Ward, the neo-Nazi GOP challenger to beleaguered Republican Senator Jeff Flake, who's tops on Señor T's hate list.

Bannon was on the warpath against Mitch McConnell again-- Alabama redux-- pledging that the Republican elite are destined to "reap the whirlwind" and "that whirlwind is Kelli Ward." No one could be less deserving on this bounty than Schumer's handpicked corrupt Blue Dog, Kyrsten Sinema, who is also running and is delighted to see the Arizona GOP eviscerate itself. Bannon wasn't lying when he said the "new aristocracy," could not care less about the economic well-being of Americans. He raged that McConnell and other Republican senators disrespect and try to destroy Trump every day.
His remarks were another salvo in the "war" Bannon has declared on the GOP establishment.

“It’s an open revolt, and it should be,” Bannon said before introducing Ward at her campaign’s formal kickoff event at the Hilton Scottsdale Resort & Villas.

"These people hold you in total contempt," he said. "When they attack a Donald Trump and a Dr. Kelli Ward, it's not Donald Trump and Kelli Ward that they're trying to shut up. It's you they're trying to shut up... They think you're a group of morons."

This revolt, he said, is moving from Alabama, where the Bannon-supported Roy Moore just defeated incumbent Sen. Luther Strange in a Republican runoff, to Arizona, where the first-term Flake is up for re-election in 2018 after refusing to endorse or vote for Trump last year.

"It's going to be their money versus your money," Bannon said.

Ward, a former state senator from Lake Havasu City, last year unsuccessfully challenged incumbent Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., in the primary.

This year, some on the right have been searching for another candidate to take on Flake, who this summer published a book, Conscience of a Conservative: A Rejection of Destructive Politics and A Return to Principle, in which he criticized the Republican Party for embracing Trumpism.

  However, early polls have shown Flake to be deeply vulnerable, and with Ward leading him.

Ward will secure the southern border and build a wall, Bannon said, will repeal and replace "Obamacare," and will negotiate Trump-style trade deals that "represent you and the American people."

"We're building a grass-roots army," Bannon said.
McConnell, who spent something like $10,000,000 against Bannon and Roy Moore in Alabama-- only to lose miserably-- isn't giving up. His team says they will fight back against the threat from the Mercer/Bannon extremists. Crooked Utah Republican Orrin Hatch, who is certainly in Bannon's sites, told the media he thinks Bannon is "going to back off on that. He certainly should. He’s a smart guy, and he’s going to realize that’s unfruitful. Where he ought to be spending his time is going after those who are screwing up the country all these years, and they don’t happen to be Republicans... I like Trump. I endorsed him. I think he’ll endorse me."

Hatch, 83, vowed when he ran in 2016 that he wouldn't run again, but he's addicted to the power and prestige of his corrupt life in the DC swamp, making him easy pickings for Bannon and Mercer. McConnell, who isn't up for reelection this cycle, is trying to portray himself as in control and not freaking out. He isn't in control and he is freaking out. Tuesday he pledged to use the power of the purse to back incumbents, the key to his own power.
“We had an experience in 2010 and 2012 nominating candidates in primaries who couldn’t win the general election,” he said, citing past conservative challengers who defeated candidates backed by the party leadership only to lose to Democrats on Election Day.

One famous instance was in 2012 when conservative candidate Richard Mourdock beat longtime GOP incumbent Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) before losing what was thought to be a safe Republican seat to Democrat Joe Donnelly.

“Our strategy going forward is to protect our incumbents and to help people get nominated who can actually win elections,” McConnell told reporters after meeting with colleagues over lunch.

It was a signal to colleagues that the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) and the Senate Leadership Fund, a super PAC linked to McConnell, would pour money into primaries next year if necessary to protect incumbents.

“The message is that [McConnell is] going to be there and we’re going to be there to back incumbents and candidates that we think are electable,” said Senate Republican Conference Chairman John Thune (S.D.), the third-ranking member of the GOP leadership.

Thune said he expects the NRSC will spend resources in primaries to defend incumbents.

...The committee’s spending on Senate GOP primaries next year will depend on state-by-state coordination limits and how much traction a conservative challenger may be gaining against an incumbent, said a GOP strategist familiar with internal discussions about the 2018 races.

Senate Republicans say they hope McConnell can persuade Trump, with whom he has had a rocky relationship this year, to pressure Bannon to back off loyal incumbents such as Senate Republican Policy Chairman John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) and Sen. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), who are both up for reelection.

Trump acknowledged McConnell’s concerns at a joint press conference with the GOP leader Monday and hinted that he may step in.

“Some of the people that he may be looking at, I’m going to see if we talk him out of that, because frankly, they’re great people,” Trump said Monday of some of the GOP lawmakers in Bannon’s sights.

Senate GOP leaders argue it would be smart for Trump to support the incumbents he will need to vote for tax reform and other items on his agenda.

“I hope he will; I think he will,” Thune said. “They’re the kind of people he’ll need to get his agenda through.”

Barrasso and Fischer, two Republicans on Bannon’s target list, say they will focus on doing their jobs and serving their constituents. Neither said whether they would seek an endorsement from Trump.

But what happens if Miss McConnell opens his purse and there's nothing in it but moths? That's exactly what Mercer and Bannon are trying to make happen. Yesterday Bannon took his circus routine to an event for contemptible billionaires that the Mercers put together in New York. Alex Isenstadt, writing for Politico reported that Bannon and Mercer are persuading big McConnell donors that McConnell is a sinking ship they should abandon before it's too late. Last week Bannon was in Atlanta wooing vile GOP fatcat Home Depot co-founder Bernie Marcus, who's spent millions on Senate Republicans and now complains about "the lack of return on his investment." Bannon has been running around the country talking to the overly entitled GOP sugar daddies like Marcus-- under-taxed right-wing multimillionaires and billionaires, including John Childs, Foster Friess, Susan Gore, Sheldon Adelson, Ed Bosarge, Eric Crown, Dan Eberhart and Scott Bessent.
How many Republican givers will sign on with Bannon is an open question; people close to him declined to say whether he had financial commitments. Ideologically and temperamentally, the pugilistic head of Breitbart News isn't exactly a natural fit with the traditional Republican moneyed set. There is also concern in the donor world that having Bannon-aligned outsiders in the Senate Republican Conference would make it harder, not easier, to reach consensus on legislation.

But Marcus is thinking about joining Bannon. An adviser, Steve Hantler, said the billionaire intends to give his party until the end of the year to pass legislation and then would weigh his options.

“Like many donors, if the gridlock continues in Washington, Mr. Marcus will consider new approaches to breaking the gridlock, including those proposed by Steve Bannon and others,” he said.

Asked whether Marcus is open to funding primary challenges to Republican incumbents, Hantler responded: “You will have to draw your own conclusion.”

...There is serious skepticism at the highest levels of the party apparatus that Bannon's donor initiative will succeed. Some contributors who’ve met with him say the outreach is still in its nascent stage. Others have reacted coolly to the idea, reluctant to go after lawmakers just as the tax reform fight is about to begin. Adelson has told people close to him that he’s not interested in funding primary challengers, though Bannon didn't ask him for money during their meeting.

...The party establishment is racing to lock down financial support. On Thursday evening, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will host a fundraising reception and dinner for Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake, just two days after Bannon attends a donor event for his primary opponent, Kelli Ward. McConnell, meanwhile, has reached out to Adelson in the past month to gauge his interest in giving to Senate Republicans.

Senior Republicans are also trying to assure givers they hear their frustrations. The NRSC, which has seen its fundraising plummet in recent months, held a retreat in Sea Island, Georgia, over the weekend that drew about 300 lobbyists and bundlers.

Tax reform was front-and-center at a breakfast panel discussion that included Georgia Sen. David Perdue, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott and Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner. As the audience piled their plates with eggs and bacon, the senators acknowledged in blunt terms that the political consequences would be dire for Republicans if they don't pass tax legislation, according to two people present.

Bannon declared at a gathering of evangelicals last week that "money doesn't matter anymore" for Republican incumbents trying to fend off insurgent challengers. The message was this: Huge war chests can no longer save incumbents against underfunded outsider candidates with fervid grass-roots support.

But given his activity, Bannon believes his candidates will need some money to take out incumbents.

While Bannon is orchestrating much of the anti-establishment campaign on his own, he has also gotten a boost from the White House. Earlier this month, Nick Ayers, the chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence and a veteran GOP strategist, told a group of Republican National Committee donors they should withhold their financial support to incumbents and instead give to primary challengers if Congress fails to pass President Donald Trump’s agenda.

The message was warmly received by many of the influential donors in the room, including Louis DeJoy. The North Carolina business executive, who has given over $30,000 to the NRSC this year, said he isn’t interested in bankrolling GOP challengers.

But he and other donors are fed up with the failures of the Republican Congress.

"I raise money, and I hear the frustration from everybody," DeJoy said. "Everybody knows the money is drying up."


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Midnight Meme Of The Day!

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-by Noah

While everyone is so intently focused on evil mentally ill slime like Donald Trump and Harvey Weinstein, I thought it important today that we not forget what lies just two heartbeats away from the presidency, House Speaker Paul Ryan. Of course, I am in no way implying that a mass-murderer wannabe like Paul Ryan has anything remotely resembling a heart. When it comes to whatever Paul Ryan is, that "heartbeat away" thing is just a figure of speech. Ryan is a man who, like Trump, is so narcissistic and psychotic that he also lives to cause pain in the lives of as many human beings as he can.

The fact that Ryan loves and worships at the dead armpits of Ayn Rand so dearly is no coincidence. Rand based her whole philosophy on the psychotic ravings of a 1920's mass-murderer named William Hickman who worshipped selfishness to diabolical extremes. You might say that Hickman would feel right at home in today's Republican Party. Ayn Rand was also, like Paul Ryan, a hypocrite of titanic proportions. She railed against government benefits and people who collected them just like Ryan does. She called people who apply for government benefits and "moochers." Paul Ryan calls them "takers." However, Ayn Rand collected Social Security to her dying day. When it comes down to it, that's not unlike her disciple Paul Ryan dedicating his career to destroying Social Security even though he collected it in the form of his father's survivor benefits and used it to go to college.

Evil walks the Earth in many forms. In Paul Ryan's case, it wears a nice suit and tie. That calls for not one but two memes for today. I could be wrong, but I think I smell sulphur.


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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

A New Political Dynamic: Authenticity Vs Inauthenticity

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I don't want to spoil the good feelings because, like everyone else, I loved Michael Hopkins' OpEd for The Hill yesterday about how bright the future of the Democratic Party looks. He even used two friends of mine as the exemplars: Randy Bryce from Wisconsin and Andrew Gillum from Florida. "The next generation of Democrats," he wrote, "are currently working behind the scenes to bolster their resumes and build up their grassroots support. Current Democratic candidates for office like Randy Bryce and Andrew Gillum are laying the blueprint for what the next generation of Democrats will look like. It begins with authenticity." Yes! How wonderful is that! The whole piece is wonderful:
Best known for his viral campaign ad, Bryce has branded himself as a “man’s man,” featuring his hard hat and working class story prominently. Bryce isn’t just another Democrat looking to make a name for himself unsuccessfully challenging a big name Republican. Bryce fully intends on unseating the increasingly unpopular Speaker Paul Ryan and preserving ObamaCare for the people of Wisconsin. Bryce, with his tool belt and 1960 mustache looks every bit the part of union ironworker because he actually is a union ironworker. (Imagine that, running actual middle class people as candidates.)

It doesn’t get much more authentic than Bryce, or “Iron Stache” as many know him as.  Bryce is a veteran who served his country in the U.S. Army. He’s putting his blue collar roots front and center in his campaign. Bryce is the perfect candidate to run against Ryan. The lifelong resident of southeastern Wisconsin and cancer survivor has made his feelings about Ryan well known, famously stating, “Let’s trade places, you can come work the iron, and I’ll go to D.C.”

The optical contrast between Bryce, the middle class warrior, and Ryan, the establishment politician, couldn’t have been cast any better than if Steven Spielberg himself handed them these roles. Bryce fits the part because he’s the real thing. He actually is the guy you want to have a beer with. One can only hope that Ryan falls into the trap and succumbs to a Michael Dukakis moment for all of the Twittersphere to see.

Gillum’s greatest strength is also his authenticity. Voters can relate to him, an often underappreciated aspect of any successful campaign. Gillum, the son of a bus driver and construction worker, has a chance to make history. He was the youngest member of the Tallahassee City Commission at the age of 23 and has served as mayor of Tallahassee for the last three years.

Gillum is running for governor of Florida, an office that no African American in Florida has ever held. That doesn’t appear to scare Gillum one bit. He has unapologetically criticized Republican Wisconsin Gov. Rick Scott and President Trump’s response to issues like immigration, race relations, and repealing and replacing ObamaCare. Gillum recently endorsed the Medicaid for all proposal by Bernie Sanders.

A young progressive Democrat, Gillum has seen his support rise across large swaths of the state as he introduces himself to the electorate. His tried and true method of driving across the state speaking to voters has endeared him to many. Gillum has also openly and passionately spoken about the debate over removing Confederate statues and where he stands on the issue, explaining, “We owe it to our children and grandchildren to acknowledge that while we cannot change history, we do not have to glorify its ugliest moments with displays on public lands.”

In a conservative leaning state like Florida, calling for the removal of Confederate statues in the middle of an election is a risky move, especially for someone building up name recognition. Gillum isn’t shying away from decisions though. The former mayor has chosen to speak truth to power and ignore the political risks.

Bryce and Gillum represent the type of approachable and charismatic Democrat, that can win on the local, regional and national levels. Democratic candidates need to be just as comfortable on the campaign stump as they in a local bar or veterans center. Democrats need to win hearts before they can win minds. Our political system has become so toxic that voters inherently tune out opposing viewpoints. The only way to get voters to tune in is to convince them that Democrats aren’t the opposition.

Bryce and Gillum both have the ability to get voters to tune in to the conversation. Both are the type of candidates that the party would be smart to invest in and cultivate. Democrats can’t just expect another Bill Clinton or Barack Obama to pop up out of nowhere. Democrats have to focus on recruiting and equipping candidates to become the future leaders of the party. The blueprint is already there. It begins with authenticity.


I wish I could just leave it on that high note. I really do. But... damn, I hate to be the skunk at the picnic. But the picnic is being sponsored by, as one of my persistent anonymous commenters loves to put it, "the Democraps." Pelosi and Hoyer have chosen the most corrupt Democrat in the House-- literally, the most corrupt-- to take over leadership when they go: Joe Crowley. There's no one less authentic in Congress. And the Democrap leadership keeps shoehorning the worst possible candidates into key nominations. Schumer picked the Blue Dog with the absolute worst voting record in the House-- Kyrsten Sinema, whose middle name is "inauthentic"-- to be their Arizona Senate nominee and then he and Reid tried their best to find someone as bad for Nevada-- and nearly did: Jacky Rosen.


And in the House, when Pelosi was challenged for not allowing younger members to rise in leadership all she could pull out of her ass was another godawful phony-baloney Blue Dog, Adam Schiff, who she said she's grooming for a leadership role. More inauthenticity. And then there's the professional former potato chip taster who won the lottery, making him the DCCC pick for the red Orange County congressional district where Hillary did the best last year, knowing full well that he would have no shot against Royce but happy to take some of his millions. I'll go back to thinking about Andrew Gillum and Randy Bryce while you contemplate Gil Cisneros, the multimillionaire who lives in a 10 million dollar mansion on the beach and who really, really wants to be elected to represent a middle class district that doesn't have a beach-- or $10 million mansions.



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