Saturday, January 25, 2020

Rep. Adam Schiff Urges Senators, “Give America A Fair Trial”

Lead House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) provides closing arguments in the fourth day of the Senate impeachment trial. He tells senators, "And this is why he needs to be removed. Donald Trump chose Rudy Giuliani over his own intelligence agencies." He goes on to say, "That makes him dangerous to us, to our country." Rep. Schiff concludes by saying, "It doesn't matter how good the Constitution is. It doesn't matter how brilliant the framers were … If right doesn't matter, we're lost. If truth doesn't matter, we're lost. The framers couldn't protect us from ourselves if right and truth don't matter."

Rep. Schiff urged senators to “give America a fair trial” in his final argument in the GOP-controlled Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump over his Ukraine misconduct on Friday.
All over the world, those living under oppressive regimes look to us. They look to us because we have a rule of law. Because in America, no one is above that law. To my Senate colleagues, I implore you: Give America a fair trial. She's worth it.

Schiff’s ‘Moving’ Closing Argument In Trump Trial

Thursday, January 23, 2020

12 GOP Senate Seats Democrats Could Flip

Republicans currently hold 53 of the Senate’s 100 seats; Democrats will need a minimum net gain of three seats with a new, Democratic vice president to flip partisan control of the body. Of the 23 Republican-controlled Senate seats up for election this year, there are currently 13 seats in 12 states that offer plausible prospects for Democrats to defeat their Republican opponent.
  1. Susan Collins (Maine),
  2. Martha McSally (Arizona),
  3. Cory Gardner (Colorado),
  4. Steve Daines (Montana),
  5. Thom Tillis (N. Carolina),
  6. Open R (Georgia),
  7. Kelly Loeffler (Georgia),
  8. Joni Ernst (Iowa),
  9. John Cornyn (Texas),
  10. Open R (Kansas),
  11. Lindsey Graham (S. Carolina),
  12. Mitch McConnell (Kentucky), and
  13. Cindy Hyde-Smith (Mississippi)
Three Republican held Senate seats up for reelection in 2020 are rated as toss-ups by the Cook Political Report. Those at risk Republican seats are held by Colorado’s Sen. Cory Gardner, Maine’s Sen. Susan Collins, and Arizona’s Martha McSally — and the list of “at risk” Republican Senators is growing as members of the Party of Trump.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Can Democrats Extend Their 2018 State Government Trifectas?

Nationally, Democrats lost a lot of ground in statehouses under Barack Obama’s presidency, with about 1,000 legislative seats across the nation flipping to Republican control from 2009 through the 2016 election.

After the 2016 election, Republicans controlled a record 67 (68%) of the 98 partisan state legislative chambers in the nation — 36 senate chambers and 31 house chambers — more than twice the number (31) in which Democrats had majority control, according to the bipartisan National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL).

During 2017 and 2018, Republicans held more total state legislative seats in the nation, well over 4,100 of the 7,383, than they have since 1920. Democrats held total control of just 13 state legislatures. Republicans held state government trifectas — where one political party holds the governorship, a majority in the state senate, and a majority in the state house — in 26 states, and Democrats held trifectas in only 8 states, with divided partisan control in the remaining 16 states.

From 2009 through the 2016 election, Republicans had gained control of the gubernatorial office in 33 states, a record high last seen in 1922, and flipped 69 Democratic seats in the U.S. House seats to Republican control, and flipped 13 Democratic seats in the U.S. Senate to Republican control.

Analysis: How Bernie Could Win Texas

In Texas, a state still undergoing seismic demographic and political shifts of its own, the question for anxious Democratic voters in Texas seeking to make 2020 a decisive year is this: Could Sanders carry the state, and just as importantly, could his political revolution bring the down-ballot energy needed to oust Republicans?

“In Texas and across the country, we are building a multiracial, multifaith grassroots movement of working-class Americans to engage and turn out voters of all backgrounds, especially those who are most marginalized,” Chris Chu de LeĆ³n, the campaign’s Texas Field Director, told the Signal. Since the start of his campaign, Sanders has received 230,000 donations totaling nearly $4 million from Texas, the campaign said. More than one-third of those donations, 87,000, arrived only during the last quarter.

Read the full article at “The Texas Signal.”

Are Texas Republicans Running Out Of Voters?

Texas is on a record setting pace adding new voters to the state’s poll books for the 2020 election cycle. Adding new voters faster than its population is growing, the state has this month topped 16 million registered voters with the voter registration deadline for the March 3rd primaries, still two weeks away.

On this record pace of new voter registrations the state will have two million more registered voters for the primary than it did just four years ago when Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton by 807,179 votes. Most of those two million new voters are younger more left-leaning voters who, if they turn out to voter, will largely vote for the Democrats on their ballot.

Barack Obama lost to Mitt Romney by sixteen percentage points in 2012 and Clinton narrowed the gap to just a nine percentage point loss to Donald Trump in 2016.

Texas Democrats, fueled by the party’s nearly quarter-century search to find a way to win any elected office from Republican control, are executing the largest “left-leaning” voter registration operation in the state's history.

At the core of the registration operation, which is a cooperative effort between state and county level Party organizations, and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the campaign arm for U.S. House Democrats, is an ambitious goal to register at least 2.5 million left-leaning Texans, using data-driven voter targeting tools, deploying more than 1,000 field organizers and canvassers on the ground, and mailing hundreds of thousands of voter registration applications to unregistered voters across the state.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

70% of Americans Say U.S. Economic System Rigged

The notion that the U.S. economy is “rigged” to benefit the wealthy and special interests was a major rallying cry in the 2016 presidential election and is already resurfacing in the 2020 race.

This message is likely to resonate with many Americans. Seven-in-ten U.S. adults say the economic system in their country unfairly favors powerful interests, compared with less than a third who say the system is generally fair to most Americans. Wide majorities of Americans also say politicians, large corporations and people who are wealthy have too much power and influence in today’s economy.

These findings are part of a larger Pew Research Center survey on economic inequality. The survey finds, among other things, that most Americans believe there is too much inequality in the United States, with a majority of those who hold this view saying that major changes to the economic system are needed in order to address inequality.

Monday, January 20, 2020

The Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is a United States federal holiday marking the birthday of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It is observed on the third Monday of January each year, which is around the time of King's birthday, January 15.

The campaign for a federal holiday in King's honor began soon after his assassination in 1968, and the idea was strongly supported by labor unions. After King's death, United States Representative John Conyers (a Democrat from Michigan) and United States Senator Edward Brooke (a Republican from Massachusetts) first introduced a bill in Congress to make King's birthday a national holiday. The bill first came to a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives in 1979. However, it fell five votes short of the number needed for passage.

The bill was finally passed by Congress and Ronald Reagan signed the holiday into law in 1983, and it was first observed on January 20, 1986. At first, some states resisted observing the holiday as such, giving it alternative names or combining it with other holidays. It was officially observed in all 50 states for the first time in 2000.

Dr. King was the chief spokesman for nonviolent activism in the civil rights movement, which successfully protested racial discrimination in federal and state law.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

What A Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders Presidency Would Look Like

What an Elizabeth Warren Presidency Would Look Like

Elizabeth Warren’s ambitions for the presidency are not small. Warren proposes to rewrite the rules of the economy by reining in capital, empowering labor and significantly expanding the welfare state.

To understand how Warren would create big structural changes as president, it’s helpful to look at how she has made change in the past.

THE STANDARD ADVICE TO FRESHMEN SENATORS IS THIS: Keep a low profile and suck up to your senior colleagues. As a newly elected senator in 2013, Elizabeth Warren did neither.

Instead, Warren used her perch on the Senate Banking Committee to excoriate ineffectual regulators, duplicitous CEOs, profiteering student lenders and other financial industry ne’er-dowells (interrogations made famous in videos that went viral). She publicly clashed with establishment Democrats such as Sens. Max Baucus (Mont.) and Joe Manchin (W.V.). She even took on President Barack Obama, leading the fight against several administration priorities, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal and a pharmaceutical bill she described as “a bunch of special giveaways” to Big Pharma. Warren succeeded in getting under Obama’s skin to such an extent that he took the rare step of criticizing her repeatedly by name.

Progressive strategist and Warren supporter Murshed Zaheed says Warren was able to buck the Democratic establishment because she “came to the Senate with a movement behind her.”

Read the full article at “In These Times.”



What a Bernie Sanders Presidency Would Look Like

Sanders’ proposals go beyond piecemeal liberal solutions by targeting the unjust economic system that fuels climate change and pushing an agenda that simultaneously empowers workers and saves the planet. This agenda would help millions of workers join unions, give workers an ownership stake in major corporations, provide universal healthcare and tuition-free higher education, build millions of affordable homes and protect (rather than target) immigrants.

Though President Sanders could execute parts of this agenda on his own, much of it would require Congress. How could it pass, given Republican extremism and likely pushback from even a Democrat-controlled House and Senate? The question poses a serious problem for any program that meets our challenge. And it is one Sanders is uniquely positioned to solve.

Sanders understands that change at this scale will require mass movements to pressure Congress and every level of government—and to change their composition. Americans isolated and atomized by cutthroat capitalism must engage in massive collective action. His political program isn’t just about policy, then, but about the capacity of ordinary people to participate in democracy.

Read the full article at “In These Times.”