Friday, December 30, 2016

The Fight For DNC Chair

When they meet in late February, the 400-plus members of the Democratic National Committee will elect a new chair. They will signal whether or not the party will boldly begin to transform itself back into the party of New Deals and Great Societies sought by the new generation of Democrats. Those 400-plus voting members of the DNC must take stock of the need to strike a bold new direction to reverse the party's losses.

Democrats lost another net 43 seats in legislatures across the country in 2016, after previously losing 910 seats during Obama's administration. Republicans added to their historic 2014 gains in the nation’s state legislatures with the addition of five state House chambers and two state Senate chambers in 2016.

Republicans are now in control of a record 67 (68 percent) of the 98 partisan state legislative chambers in the nation, more than twice the number (31) in which Democrats have a majority, according to the bipartisan National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). Republicans hold more total state legislative seats in the nation, well over 4,100 of the 7,383, than they have since 1920. Democrats now have total control of just 13 state legislatures.

Republicans gained 2 more states' governorships in 2016, after already gaining 12 over the last 8 years, increasing its total to 33, a record high last seen in 1922. Democrats had also lost 69 US House seats and 13 US Senate seats since 2009 and barely managed to stem further losses in 2016.

All that after Democrats had a 58-seat majority in the Senate, a 256 seat majority in the House, and held 28 governorships when Barack Obama took office in 2009. And Democrats face a more challenging election map in 2018 than they faced in 2016. Survival of the Democratic Party is literally on the line.

But the race for DNC chair has become a power struggle between Centrist and Progressive factions of the Democratic Party.

Climate Deniers In Control Of U.S. Government


2016 will officially be the hottest year on the books in more than 120 years of record keeping by U.S. agencies. It will be the third straight record-setting year — and of the 17 hottest years, 16 have been this century — a clear sign of the human-caused rise in global temperatures caused by the buildup of heat-trapping greenhouse gases over the past century.

From January to December, 2016 was marked by record-breaking high temperatures worldwide. Countries like Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Botswana, India, Niger and Iraq experienced their hottest temperatures ever recorded. And heat waves, many of them deadly, charred parts of Britain, France, South Africa, the U.S. and regions like Southeast Asia.
The poles were not spared from the heat. In November, for instance, sea ice extent in the Arctic and Antarctic reached record lows. Scientists called it an “almost unprecedented” event at the time.

In the U.S., high temperatures were a feature throughout the year. Every month in 2016 had significantly more record high temperatures than record lows, according to a Climate Central report this week.
“The blistering pace of record-high temperatures across the country is the clearest sign of 2016’s extreme heat. Record-daily highs outpaced record-daily lows by 5.7-to-1 in 2016,” the nonprofit news organization wrote, citing preliminary data from the National Centers for Environmental Information. “That’s the largest ratio in 95 years of record keeping. Put another way, 85 percent of extreme temperature records set in 2016 were of the hot variety.”
The world is already more than halfway down the road to surpassing the Paris climate pact goal to limit warming to less than 2°C (3.6°F) by 2100

For the year-to-date, 2016 is 1.69°F (0.94°C) above the 20th century average, according to NOAA, and 1.84°F (1.02°C) above the 1951-1980 average according to NASA. Averaging NASA and NOAA’s data, 2016’s temperature through November is 1.23°C (2.21°F) above the average from 1881-1910. (One reason NOAA’s global temperature for November may have been lower than NASA’s is that it doesn’t incorporate Arctic temperatures.)

One major area of warmth during both November and the year as a whole was the Arctic. During November, the Arctic saw an almost unprecedented sea ice retreat, capping off a year that has shocked even seasoned Arctic researchers.

The winter sea ice peak was the lowest on record (beating out 2015) and the summer minimum was the second lowest. Air temperatures in the region have continually been above average by double digits. Another hotspot for November was North America; the contiguous U.S. is poised to have its second-hottest year on record.

These milestones have climate scientists and policymakers concerned as President-elect Trump fills his cabinet with policy makers who reject the established science of climate change. Only one major political party in the world denies climate change, and it's now in total control of the most important political body in the world, the US federal government.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

What Working Class Americans Lose When Trump Scraps Obamacare

Republicans spent the last six years trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), better known as Obamacare. Republicans have passed over 50 bills to repeal the ACA, since gaining control of the House in November 2010, but with Obama in the White House, those Republican Bills were nothing more than campaign rhetoric.

Republicans have warned their voters about the evils of Obamacare for years, calling it a job killer, and claiming it pushes health insurance premium costs sky high for everyone, among other evils. They promised to repeal it immediately if only their voters would vote to give them complete control of the federal government.

Republicans and Donald Trump promised voters their life would immediately improve once the healthcare law is repealed. Now they not only control the House and Senate, President-elect Donald Trump is set to take office, and the GOP may finally get its wish to repeal Obamacare.

Sarah Silverman Post-Election Interview With Bernie Sanders

Comedian Sarah Silverman talks with former Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders on the state of the union after November’s election results. The nearly hour-long conversation touched on a number of contentious topics as the Vermont senator tried to inspire activism and hope.
“You have the right to demand a lot of the world in which you live in,” Sanders told the audience. “Unless you stand up and make those demands, nobody hears you.” 
Watch the unusual but candid conversation between Sarah Silverman and Bernie Sanders on Trump, Standing Rock,  how powerful people control politics and much more.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Texas Democratic Party Refocusing For Party Building

By Michael McPhail, SDEC Committeeman - reposted from FaceBook

I attended the final quarterly meeting of the Texas Democratic Party’s State Democratic Executive Committee Saturday, December 17, 2016. In contrast to our last meeting, which had no committee sessions and no real work done, we had a full and robust committee schedule and an active general session.

Monday, December 19, 2016

BlogTalkUSA: Eyes Wide Open DemBlogTalk Post-Election '16

Three post-election editions of the BlogTalkUSA "Eyes Wide Open DemBlogTalk" talk radio program with cohosts Michael Handley and Rheana Nevitt Piegols worth a listen. First, we talk with Texas Young Democrats President Celia Morgan and other young Democrats leaders. Second, we talk with long time political activist from Fort Worth and 2014 Democratic candidate for the U.S. House, 12th Congressional District of Texas Mark Greene. Third, we talk with Chairman John Richie who chairs the Association of Texas Democratic Party County Chairs, and he is a Committeeman on the State Democratic Party Executive Committee. John is also the Wichita Falls Democratic Party County Chairman. In the three programs we discuss how the Texas Democratic Party moves forward from 2016 to prepare for the 2018 election cycle.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Running For Elected Office In 2018


The Tuesday, March 6th, 2018 Texas primary election to nominate candidates for the Tuesday, November 6th, 2018 general election is little more than one year distant. All primary candidates of each political party must file an application with their respective party's county or state chairperson to have their name placed on the party's primary ballot.

The 2018 primary election filing period runs from Saturday, November 11, 2017 through the filing deadline date of Monday, December 11, 2017 at 6:00 PM. An application for the office of precinct chair may be filed from the 90th day before the date of the regular filing deadline - Tuesday, September 12, 2017. (Texas election code Sec. 172.023, if not changed during the 2017 legislative session.)

It's My Earned Benefit, Not My "Entitlement"

By Rob Tornoe - You can find more of his work here.
Remember, not only did you contribute to Social Security but your employer did too. It totaled a percentage of your income before taxes. If you averaged only 30K over your 49 year working life, that’s close to $220,500.

If you calculate the future value of $4,500 per year (yours & your employer’s contribution) at a simple 5% (less than what the govt. pays on the money that it borrows), after 49 years of working you’d have $892,919.98.

If you took out only 3% per year, you would receive $26,787.60 per year and it would last better than 30 years, and that’s with no interest paid on that final amount on deposit! If you bought an annuity and it paid 4% per year, you’d have a lifetime income of $2,976.40 per month.

Who Will Chair The Democratic National Committee?

Democrats will elect a new Democratic National Committee Chairperson in 2017. The choice is to triple down on strategies of the past 25 years, verses a bold new vision for the future, as advocated by DNC chair candidate Rep. Keith Ellison.

The centrist 3rd way vision of the Democratic National Committee's past leadership, encapsulated by the tenure of Rep. Debbie Wasserman Shultz (D-Fla.) as DNC chair, led to Republicans gaining control of 71 of the nation’s 99 state legislative chambers and 14 governors' offices from the time Pres Obama took office through the 2016 election.

Democrats lost another net 43 seats in legislatures across the country in 2016, after previously loosing 910 seats during Obama's administration. Democrats now hold majorities in only 29 state legislative chambers. Republicans gained 2 more states' governorships in 2016, after already gaining 12 over the last 8 years, increasing its total to 33, a record high last seen in 1922.

Democrats had also lost 69 US House seats and 13 US Senate seats and barely managed to stem further losses in 2016. And now Democrats face a more challenging election map in 2018 than they faced in 2016. All that after Democrats had a 58-seat majority in the Senate, 256 seats in the House, and held 28 governorships when Barack Obama took office in 2009.