consultants are sandburs

Monday, February 19, 2018

The right to bare arms?

This link. If you want to bare arms, go for it. You need no permit nor background check. Perhaps wisdom suggests to wait until spring.

UPDATE: Is there a Trump brand? Like ties, or vodka?

Ken Martin, place a call to the DCCC and the DNC, please. The main gist of your message apart from a single-constituency focus, seems absent there. Also, Ken, watch the video.

Martin, here, writes a salute, which among other things states some generalized [italicized] things apart from the specific constituency being saluted:

DFL Chairman Ken Martin: Black Women are Backbone of Democratic Party

[ST. PAUL, MN] – In honor of Black History Month, Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor (DFL) Party Chairman Ken Martin today released the following statement highlighting the ways black women lift up the Democratic Party:

“Black women are the backbone of the Democratic Party. Of all the dedicated constituencies that make up our party, black women have consistently supported our party at the highest rates. They show up. They volunteer. They empower our candidates, and they have been with us through thick and thin.”

“We cannot take their support for granted. As they lift us up, we must lift them up. [...]

“We are a big tent party that welcomes all people, regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability. We have a responsibility to lift up the voices of the marginalized and underrepresented in our party. We must support people as they build power and run for various leadership positions, including elected office.”

“We cannot ask for the support of these communities time and time again, and then turn a blind eye when they decide to run for office.

posted to YouTube by The Uptake
Ken, watch the video. Dev Crabgrass readers will.

The suggestion is that the backbone of the Democratic Party is a more balanced and less narrow a grouping. Yes, it was a press release salute to a special constituency in a specially focused month. But, "backbone of the party?" There is more backbone, or should be, than a single saluted constituency. Again, Ken, watch the video.

The suggestion is that this press release from Martin was a bit of a platitude of the moment. And many would see it as exactly that. What's the gender and racial make-up of Martin's staff is perhaps a test, a measuring method, but I digress.

Next, look at the italicized text, apart from defining and touting a grouping within the entire electorate.The italicized part of the Martin press release would be great words and sentiments were Martin to sincerely direct those ideas toward progressives. So why the party civil war?

The italicized text would be great sentiments for giving hope and a political voice to young people stuck in low wage jobs. Great for progressives, the old, and the young, even with Martin speaking of a different narrower population segment. It is a sentiment Berniecrats need to see in actions and not mere easily strung together words.

Ken, should progressives stay home or will one of the several progressives still in the contest end up Governor, with a progressive bicameral DFL legislature backing to push for single payer, net neutrality, a fifteen buck minimum wage, tuition and student debt reform, getting money out of politics, and taxing the rich fairly so the burden is not imposed on the less able to pay?

Those are things the DCCC and DNC and their beltway consultant hangers-on seem to turn a deaf ear toward.

Ken, inform those heathen. There is this. The DCCC and beltway types seem to think the things critiqued in that item are just a perfectly engineered status quo, as the world should turn on its axis.

Platitudes aside, action toward a unity of equals is needed instead of money as the beltway yardstick of personal worth. Platitudes are seen for what they are.

Readers are urged to help level the distribution of campaign funds by contributing to the Erdmann campaign, by cutting a check and mailing it to the address given in the footer of the Erdmann campaign online homepage; or via Erdmann's webpage "donate" subpage.

You can bookmark the page, to contribute more than once:

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Payday lender abuse should be a BIG election issue; showing via a face-of-heartlessness appointed henchman, that Trump hates little people. The less-than wealthy exist to be shorn in Trump's world. Lied to first, then after a show of reliance, fleece them. Also, an image related to the henchman, and the adage of two birds with one stone (the friend of my enemy is my enemy).

A more detailed post is anticipated tomorrow or in the next few days, sometime. For now a websearch, given that Dev Crabgrass readers can follow links and read: The CFPB bastardized by a bastard.

Salon payday report - Feb. 17, 2018
read it
That particular bastard being Mick Mulvaney.

This Mulvaney has a history. One Digby roasted, per QOTD, Hullabaloo, Tuesday, March 07, 2017. Roasted about lesser mischief, back then. With a great opening image for when is a wall not a wall? When it's a promise, when it's to be chain link fencing, if even that.

Who could ever like, even associate with, or lend one's name in any way to a scum-sucking bottom feeder like Mulvaney? Yes, a rhetorical question as a lead-in to, "But wait, there's more."

Well start with the obvious, Trump/Pence delegated the guy the powers to destroy along with a top-flight paycheck; two White House administrative agency hats to wear. So ring that as Bell No.1

Again, yes that's a lead-in to "But wait, there's a Bell No.2."

And what might that be; which confederate of ill-will and bad advice? And pay attention if you are a Minnesotan - it rings close to home, a perp moving out of DC, a hint - with the carpet bag packed and Banking Roundtable lobbying for Big Money as recent history; DC in the rear-view mirror; back like a pestilence returned to Minnesota. Now waiting but for the tires to cool off a respectable bit before a plunge into lower-pay mischief. A second hint - not just "a guest," but "a special guest" -

Two birds of a feather, flucking together - one stone. Now will the great Mulvaney reciprocate, at over a hundred bucks a plate? Mick as Tim's special guest?

At Freedom Club. (The Willy Wonka bullshit factory. Where BS is spread on with worn-out fifteen second platitudes.)

Okay, you got it? Pass the news around, Pawlenty Payday wants unsuspecting votes. Representing big banks in the "lobby," was yesterday, 2010 it was selling another brand, Mick Mulvaney; and he'd probably as soon sell you Trump vodka or Trump steaks. As "a special guest."

Ask Tim wherever he stops to speak, ask if after the big banks paid him big bucks is he now a tout for the lending-industrial-complex bottom feeders, for payday loan-sharking?

Or does he regret special guesting for Mulvaney, seven years ago? Or did he just think it would not be remembered? Swept under the rug, all that?

Introducing a new terminology: Cinderella candidates of the Democratic Party.

In further updating of the header of the post below the term struck as proper: including Rob Quist back in his Montana efforts against reporter-body-slammer Greg Ginaforte (who was/is/will continue to wealthy and beloved by the beltway Republicans, especially Trump's Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke of Montana). Surely Rob Quist and Randy Bryce do not immediately conjure up the Cinderella story; but they are the non-wealthy, non-big donor, non-beltway connected ones, without moneyed friends and associates and connections, but with a will to truly serve the people.

In turn the people have to discover a glass slipper, recognize its meaning, and respond appropriately by sending little contribution amounts in droves. Big reform will be stymied by Big Money; as surely as an eastern sunrise and not a western one. If you want people represented, the people need to mobilize their small cash contributions wisely, behind the Cinderella candidate(s) of their choice.

As a suggestion, make each donation a multiple of $27 - as large a multiple as you can conveniently afford. Each such payment will resonate to the good of the good candidates.

Remember it is how Paul Wellstone started in his Green Bus touring; not impoverished as a university professor, but not able to have won without small donor love.


Thursday, February 15, 2018

There is an image going around, in two related variations. Some websites you can word-search: "corporate dems," "blue dogs," or "Republican wing of the Democratic Party." [UPDATED]

FURTHER UPDATE: In the caption paragraph below, two omissions of note; net neutrality as a galvanizing issue where a paid-for mainstream online content bias favors big donor obligors and obligees (who pay the cost to be the boss), and favored "children" of the DCCC/consultancy class; and mention of Jeff Erdmann, candidate in MN CD2, as yet another grassroots person running and relying on individual and not corporate/lobbyist contributions and volunteer canvassing, (as with those others mentioned as grassroots candidates within the post). You can call them Cinderella candidates where the ugly step-sisters are funded and favored. UPDATE: When reading this post, keep in mind the winning issues for Democrats to decisively win the 2018 mid-term elections and to retake both houses of Congess are: single payer, income inequality and the recent tax bill worsening it, money in politics corrupting politics, student debt reform, fifteen dollar minimum wage and cannabis consistency as matters of state regulation and not piecemeal uncertainty under Sessions, payday lending abuses permitted under Trump; and then Trump, Sessions and Paul Ryan personal issues. Trump-Russia as a back burner issue, healthcare reform the main message, high costs and insurance middle-man profiting and arbitrariness. Protecting Medicare, and Social Security for senior voters, who do show up at the polls. The money in politics being a corrupting thing, however, cannot be argued convincingly by those taking it by the barrel-full, as Ms. Clinton's candidacy demonstrated. Curbing Wall Street and the banks from precipitating another economic downturn is another good issue, but one taking Wall Street and bank money again has no credibility on such a key approach. Now, with that argument stated, the post as first written:

Here is the image pair from two Valentine's Day web posts:

Down With Tyrany - this item

Digby - this item

One not knowing for certain might presume somebody did some Photoshopping.

Down With Tyranny has its posts indexed at the end of each, see, e.g., posts indexed per "The Republican Wing of the Demcoratic Party." The authors there name names. Too many names, a list that needs primary thining, ASAP.

DWT, here:

Why The Cult Of Republican-Lite Doesn't Work-- Case Studies In Florida

Republicans are campaigning too-- and with the DCCC as an opponent, you'd think the odds would be stacked in their favor. Problem for the GOP, though is that the NRCC is almost as inept and incompetent as the DCCC. Almost. The letter below didn't come from the NRCC, it came from the campaign of Scott Sturgill, the lead dog among the 4 Republicans who would like to take on wretched freshman Blue Dog Stephanie Murphy in the suburbs north of Orlando. [...]

The NRCC, desperate for candidates nationally, has included Sturgill in their Young Guns program, one off only 3 in Florida, freezing out state Rep. Mike Miller (who's raised nearly as much money as Sturgill) as well as Vennia Francois and Judson Sapp. [...] In his kick-off statement, Miller, generally considered a far right loon, said "This district should no longer be represented by someone whose vote is controlled by Nancy Pelosi and the ultra-left." Odd thing to say about one of the most conservative Blue Dog Dems in Congress? Not at all... if you live in Republican fantasy-land.

In fact, yesterday, I got the same kind of malarky from Sturgill's campaign:

Hey, Howard--

I appreciate you taking a minute to read my email. I wanted to ask you… do you know Scott Sturgill?

Scott’s a true conservative champion running for Congress in Florida, and he could really use your help.

His opponent, Stephanie Murphy, is about as liberal as it gets: she supports Obamacare, sanctuary cities, and-- this is the worst part for me-- abortion after the unborn child is more than twenty (20) weeks old and can feel pain.

The good news is that even with her liberal pal Hillary Clinton on the ballot driving up Democrat turnout in Florida, Murphy was only able to eek out a win with 51.5% of the vote. This year, if conservatives like you and me stand up and make our voices heard, we can send her packing and put a true conservative like Scott in that seat. [...]

I’m proud to call Scott Sturgill a friend, and I know he’ll make a fantastic congressman. Unlike Stephanie Murphy, he takes a strong stand against wasteful spending and demands that politicians must adhere to the same rules as everyone else. He’s not a career politician, and he’s only going to Congress because he’s sick and tired of feeling sick and tired-- and at some point you’ve got to stand up and fix it yourself.

These are some very conventional Republican talking points that they send to their moron followers everywhere in the country. And they underscores something that many establishment Democrats simply do not understand. The GOP will unleash their trip against any Democrat no matter how they actually vote. They’re going to say the same things about you, regardless. Stephanie Murphy, like I said, is about as right-wing as a Democrat can be. ProgressivePunch rates her a solid "F," not even close. [...] In fact, the only Democrats who vote against progressive proposals more frequently than her are Kyrsten Sinema (AZ), Henry Cuellar (TX) and Collin Peterson (MN). When Ryan and McCarthy want to call one of their horrifying bills "bipartisan," they go right to Stephanie Murphy. That's not going to help her with the Koch brothers-financed attack machine goes into action. It may help her-- and eventually it will for sure-- turning off base Democratic voters, once they figure out how she votes.

Another clueless Blue Dog from the area, former Congresswoman Suzanne Kosmas, represented chunks of what is now district. She fretted over every vote, trying not to give the Republicans anything that they could use against her, and then they ran $2 million of ads against her for destroying Medicare. She never saw it coming. And she lost her seat to crackpot teabagger Sandy Adams. Republicans though she was a Pelosi-clone liberal and were willing to vote for the crazy teabagger instead of the conservative Democrat. And progressives in the 2010 midterm election just stayed away from the polls, saying too themselves, "why should I vote for this drunken Republican-lite turd?" (Yeah, she was all that). And she lost-- in a 60-40% landslide-- to a silly extremist, who held the seat for one term, just as Kosmas had.

The DCCC wastes its time recruiting these Blue Dogs and New Dems from the Republican wing of the Democratic Party and they waste their money supporting them. They kill momentum for the kind of legislation that would make the Democratic Party popular (instead of--barely-- the lesser of two evils) and if they're in swing districts they lose anyway, once voters figure out how terrible they are.

If you are getting a sense that the author is frustrated, perhaps that is correct. See the DevCrabgrass sidebar, "MISSION STATEMENT OF THIS BLOG." All the sentiments in that DWT post I share, so quoting at length with actual examples sets the story better than writing on my own would. Moving on - Digby:

It was inevitable that what's left of the Blue Dogs would end up pulling their punches when it comes to Trump:

Moderate House Democrats are launching a new effort to highlight Russian election interference — while not directly tying the issue to President Donald Trump in a way that could alienate crucial swing voters in November.

The push by the Blue Dog Coalition — a group of 18 center-left House Democrats — comes as Democrats have struggled to determine their messaging on the Trump-Russia investigations ahead of the midterm elections. [...]

Liberal Democrats have been happy to talk up the Trump campaign’s potential collusion with Russia in 2016, going so far as to call for his impeachment and forcing impeachment-related votes on the floor. Democratic megadonor Tom Steyer continues to pressure lawmakers to back his multimillion dollar campaign calling for Trump’s impeachment.

But the aggressive progressive push has put centrist Democrats in an awkward spot. They too think the Russia investigation deserves attention, particularly with the looming midterm implications, but worry that tying it too closely to Trump will politicize the issue in a way that will drive away critical voters.

Democratic leaders are also wary of how much to highlight the Russia investigation in the months before the midterms.

This tracks nicely with news from yesterday that "strategists" are warning Democrats not to talk about Trump and instead concentrate on issues that people really care about. Those ladies of the Resistance should just shut up and fill envelopes. They don't know what they're doing. [...]

One would think that a group that fashions itself as national security and fiscal hawks would go hard after the miscreant in the White House on just those issues. He is a disaster on national security and has just hiked the deficit by the trillions. But no. Instead they feel the need to shy away from criticizing the president, just like their cowardly GOP cohorts.

It makes you think that maybe they aren't all that sincere about their "issues" and instead just want to align themselves with Republicans, no matter what they do, without having to say so.

Just like their spiritual twins The Tea party and the Freedom Caucus, that cowardly inability to stand for anything, even their own alleged principles, is leading them inexorably to Trumpism.

If you follow Digby's last link, to a Real Clear Politics, Feb 13 post, you will find which "ladies of the Resistance" make the item's header banner photo, the item, without too extensive an excerpt stating:

The memo comes as Democrats have sought to harness the anti-Trump fervor among their base while crafting a longer-term message to regain voters it lost in the last presidential election. While Trump has energized the opposition more effectively than Democratic leaders could, the party's path to majorities in the House and Senate includes districts and states the president won. And while some fundamentals still favor Democrats ahead of the midterms, the memo warns that the party is losing focus, and could give up those advantages by focusing too much on Trump and not enough on its own message.

[...] The memo argues that majorities of voters share Democrats' concerns that the new tax bill and Trump's economic policies will enrich the wealthy and big corporations while hurting the middle class, but it notes that the party's related messaging isn't penetrating. "When voters have heard messages from both Democrats and Republicans on the tax bill, Democrats have won. Unfortunately, that debate has been relatively one-sided recently and voters have not heard nearly as much from Democrats," reads the memo.

Republican groups, meanwhile, have shown they are prepared to spend what it takes to improve public support for the tax law, which the GOP touts as a key accomplishment. The Koch brothers, for example, announced last month they plan to spend $20 million promoting the tax overhaul as part of a $400 million investment in the midterm campaigns.

That Republican tax dog don't hunt. But it has to be hammered home over the noise that this is so. Rob Porter will fade as news, and a progressive [Feel the Bern] agenda, hammered home by repeating as Bernie did, will resonate and win. Pelosi and Wasserman Schultz unfortunately do not have that fire in their bellies. Pelosi's portfolio income likely will benefit from the Ryan-Trump tax monstrosity, and Pelosi is no deficit hawk to argue the other side of tax and spend.

Progressives can win. Blue dogs are Republican lite, and the Republicans always will vote for real Republicans.

Only dunces would say the election will be about Trump. It might win and include that focus, but not if it is mainly focused on clucking over the Trump persona and personalities. The winning narrative must, instead, focus on how the Republicans, [with blue dog aid and acquiescence] are fucking over the 90%. Never mind Romney's 47%, it's a bigger pool of disadvantaged citizens than the lowest 47% economically. It's Iron Workers like Randy Bryce in WI CD1; or an active campaigner like Leah Phifer in MN CD8, or a bilingual and passionate Central Valley Ricardo Franco running in CA CD22. It is not an election won via the Schumer/Ossoff conjecture nor by pushing nationwiide an image tuned for affluent Wasserman Schultz district denizens, nor one honed for the Pelosi family which is rolling in money. The banner image mentioned earlier, with the little monopoly man with the money bag background, and those two foregrounders is ironic, to characterize it gently.

RCP image

Way, way too few views. Watch this Leah Phifer video so you can see that sending a check would help Congressional District 8, the nation, and the world. (Another reason to help fund her campaign, Stuart Mills III may yet again contest the seat on the GOP side.)

this YouTube video link

Phifer homepage, ActBlue donate page, and news page. If sending a snail mail check, the address is on the homepage footer.

Phifer is running where she lives, CD8, but it would have been great if she'd have run in CD6, since Emmer should be replaced. At least Tom is not Michele Bachmann. Say that in his favor.

But wherever you live, Russia even, watch the video.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Anti-Single Payer lobbyist Howard Dean is Flocking Together with an election loser.

Paid to lobby. Read the story. Same lobbying bunch that pays/paid Newt Gingrich. That's a measure.

Then, Flocking Together (isn't that Hillary's name for her new thing?). For birds of a feather in chasing money.

Still Waiting: As a person of integrity beyond question, Elizabeth Warren quoted last November:

“What we go[t] to do now as Democrats is hold this party accountable,” Warren said. “When Tom Perez was first elected chair of the DNC, the very first conversation I had with him was to say, ‘You have got to put together a Democratic Party in which everybody can have confidence that the party is working for Democrats rather than Democrats working for the party.'”

She continued, “He’s being tested now. This is a test for Tom Perez and he’s going to succeed by bringing Bernie Sanders and Bernie Sanders’ representatives into this process and they’re going to say its fair, it works, we believe it, or he’s going to fail.”

The item, which could have been news a day or two ago - a report of stasis, with the paragraph following the Warren quoting:

So far, Perez and the rest of the Democratic establishment have failed to unify the party. In Trump’s first year in office, the DNC has continued to malign Bernie Sanders supporters and progressives. Rather than embracing progressives as an asset required to recoup the party’s losses, the Democratic Party has tried to push them out. Congressman Adam Schiff (D-CA) and several other Democrats have smeared progressives as the “Tea Party of the left,” and others like Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) have reduced their policy stances to “purity tests.” Obama officials hand-picked Tom Perez to stop progressive Keith Ellison from becoming DNC chair in February 2017, and delegates were reportedly intimidated and threatened into supporting Perez. Once Perez became chair, he loaded DNC staff positions and appointments with former Clinton staffers and lobbyists, while leaving out progressives. Several state Democratic parties, most notably Florida and California, held party chair races this year that were won by establishment-backed candidates under dubious circumstances that further disenfranchised progressives.

[multiple links omitted from original] The Perez report card:


Yet, it is never too late to be smarter. Spoils are Trump's to win or lose in 2020. Perez will see 2018 midterm results, and become complacent. And worse than four more years of Trump would be any years of President Pence. The ball is in the Perez and Flocking Together court. A fine bet, they slam it into the net, Clinton and Dean playing ill coordinated mixed doubles and trying to be too cute.

Trump, as last time, will take what's on a silver platter. Unless a learning curve and reform ambition, in some way, takes hold. One bet is Haim Saban is not at all cheerless over the Trump presidency, Jerusalem salute and Pence visit, all that, while Bibi bribe lover faces indictment; but so what, there's more warhawking where Bibi came from. Saban is a nuisance and should be told where to stow his money.

City of Ramsey special top-two primary election for the vacant city-wide at large open council seat.

Results have been posted by the city, here.Chris Riley had 113 votes,  53%. Ida Theis had 45 votes, 21%. That makes them the top two candidates. If I added correctly, only 212 votes were cast.

 The city website, elections page, notes,
"Following the Special Primary Election, a Special General Election will be held on Tuesday, April 10, 2018. The two candidates who receive the most votes at the Special Primary Election will be on the ballot for the Special General Election."

All for now. When the date that early voting opens for the runoff between Riley and Theis is posted on the city site, this post will be updated with that info.

UPDATE: In-person absentee voting begins on Friday, February 23.

Muck the stable. Vote Out Nunes. No. 2

Earlier much was posted here about Nunes and Democrat challenger, apparent frontrunner, Andrew Janz. This post is less about Nunes than the earlier one. It starts with a contrast.

Janz website, healthcare, as a litmus test:

Important Issues to CA-22

The Affordable Care Act 2019 expanded health insurance to 24 million Americans who didn’t have it before. However, there are flaws in the design. We should keep what works and fix what doesn’t. Unfortunately, the current proposals in Congress would strip millions of their access to healthcare by gutting Medicaid, scrapping the pre-existing conditions mandate and instituting an Age Tax that would make seniors pay more. This is the wrong approach. We must work together to ensure that, regardless of income level, every American is covered. Americans should not be going broke because a family member or they themselves get sick. Healthcare is a right, not a privilege. I also believe Congress must keep its promise to seniors and strengthen Medicare, not cut it. Medicare is not the government's money; it is your money. You earned it.

Aside from "Healthcare is a right, not a privilege," neither "Medicare for All" nor "Single Payer" are mentioned.

Ricardo Franco website, healthcare, as a litmus test:

Medicare for All: I fully support Medicare for All and pledge to cosponsor it if elected to Congress. I believe that healthcare is a human right, and will ensure that we maintain access to emergency, preventative, and reproductive healthcare.

On that last item, "reproductive healthcare," Janz' position:

Women's Health

I strongly support every woman’s right to choose and will stand up to any efforts to criminalize abortion. Reproductive health care decisions should be between a woman and her doctor, not Washington politicians.

Money raised and spent by candidates for the 2018 election cycle, as of yesterday, reported by OpenSecrets:

click image to read

Franco is a focus. This is because Digby wrote; see: Blue America blogging, which after cataloging Nunes' hijinks, (memo mentioned) endorses Franco now, well prior to the June 5 "top-two" California CA 22 primary - quoting at length:

One would think that a smart Republican would keep a bit of a low profile in a state which only gave Trump 31.6 percent of the vote in 2016, the lowest percentage of any Republican nominee to ever run for president. Not Nunes. Despite the fact that Trump remains mired in scandal and embarrassingly low approval ratings, he has taken the role of Trump defender to such an extreme that his face is now the international symbol for Trumpian sycophancy.

Nunes felt the Trump magic early, traveling around the state with him on Trump Force One during the campaign and becoming an influential foreign policy member of the Trump transition. As the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee he immediately took it upon himself to run interference for the White House by trying to help Trump make the case for his inane conspiracy theory that the Obama administration had tapped Trump Tower.

He made a fool of himself, pretending that in conducting his oversight duties he had "discovered" proof and had to rush to the White House to inform the president --- only to be revealed to have conspired with Trump staffers in the middle of the night to produce this information. This supposedly led to him recusing himself from the Russia investigation although his continued involvement shows he understands that in the Trump era, rules, traditions, norms and laws are all optional for Republicans.

Needless to say, the recent drama with what's known as "The Nunes Memo" and his announced intention to write many more in which he promises to name names in the Department of Justice, the FBI and the State Department and complete the "purge" of all government employees suspected of being insufficiently loyal to Trump, means he's going to be very busy in Washington over the next few months.

He should be paying a little more attention to what's happening in his district.

Nunes won comfortably in 2016 but that was before he voted for a tax bill designed to wreak revenge on California residents. It was before the Republicans decided to go to war against immigrants and start deporting people who've been living in the state for years. It was before Trump made fun of climate change and ignored the epic fire season that burned thousands of homes in California.It was before Nunes' Dear Leader decided to open oil drilling off California's coast, even as he exempted Florida a state which narrowly voted for him.

Nunes thinks his district is safe for him but everything indicates that 2018 will be a big blue wave referendum on Donald Trump. Being known as what the Fresno Bee recently called "Trump's Stooge" may just motivate a few more Democrats than usual to come out and vote. If they do, he has a problem. The district is 45% Latino, 42% white, 7% Asian and 3% black.

Luckily, a great young progressive Latino by the name of Ricardo Franco is running to replace him and Blue America has been happy to endorse him. He's a local businessman whose family has been in the area since 1912 and unlike Donald Trump, whose daddy had to pull strings to get him into the Wharton School of Business, Ricardo got in on his own. He has a keen insight on how to communicate progressive ideas to this traditional region in ways that feel familiar and new at the same time. And while Nunes, who is of Portuguese ancestry, says he "doesn't mind" being called Hispanic but thinks the term is "too broad" Ricardo speaks Spanish and is proud to call himself Latino.

Devin Nunes has been in Washington for 16 years and has lost touch with his community. Today he thinks the only person he needs to please in this world is Donald Trump.

He's going to find out this November that he is wrong.

Ricardo Franco is the future of the Democratic Party and Blue America is proud to support him. If we help him beat Trump's most loyal henchman it would send a powerful message to both parties in Washington that progressives in this country have decided that enough is enough.

Please give what you can to help send Ricardo Franco to Washington.

Thank you for your support.

Digby, for the entire Blue America team

[bolding and solicitation link are as in original] Hullabaloo readers know Digby, so if unfamiliar, check Hullabaloo out. The Blue America/Digby item has been carried in several progressive sites and blogs; e.g.,

Snail mail for Franco contributions per his campaign website notes an international reach:

Franco for Congress, P.O. Box 27830, Fresno, CA 93729, United States

Compare Down With Tyranny, here, post dated Jan. 29, - harsh on Janz - again a lengthy excerpt:

So... can a Democrat beat Nunes in November. The party establishment wants to settle on conservative Democrat, Deputy District attorney Andrew Janz. Before Janz hired some consultants to clue him in a little I spoke with him on the phone about his campaign. When I asked him about Mediare-for-All [sic] and single payer, he didn't seem to even know what either one was. Even today, his website touts the preferred DCCC healthcare message: "fix Obamacare." After Janz said he didn't know what single payer is, he said he'd like to tell me what his motivations were for running. I said that would be perfect. Bit [sic] when he started talking, my jaw dropped. First he talked about how the death penalty isn't used enough in this country and that he'd like to make sure its used more frequently but before I could follow up, he was bailing about how the 2nd Amendment needs to be protected. I was dumbfounded and asked him if he was running as a Democrat at which point he said Central Valley Democrats are different. Yeah, I guess so.

The progressive in the race is from a family that's been living in the central valley for generations. He got an Ivy League education and has been working in the private sector in the Central Valley since he graduated. His website's issues page goes right to single payer: "I fully support Medicare for All and pledge to cosponsor it if elected to Congress. I believe that healthcare is a human right, and will ensure that we maintain access to emergency, preventative, and reproductive healthcare." Very clear difference between the two candidates. Now it will be up the the voters of Fresno and Tulare counties, not the Establishment to decide who goes up against Nunes in November. If you want to help make sure it's Franco, please click on the Blue America California congressional thermometer on the right [link location] and contribute what you can to his campaign.

So let's hear directly from Rico. I asked him if he had read the Fresno Bee editorial. You bet he had:
"Nunes has long been missing-in-action for his constituents. Frankly, he's been an embarrassment to the region for a long while. Now, he's an embarrassment to the entire country.

The Democratic establishment, however, hasn't done any better. Otherwise, they would have taken this seat a long time ago. They just don't seem to learn their lesson. Even today at the pre-endorsement conference a party delegate was accused of forging a nomination ballot... for a second time! I was utterly shocked when people 'in the know' tell me that it's not surprising to them and that it's just 'business as usual.'

No. This cannot be business as usual. No respectable voter would tolerate this level of ignorance from their employees, employers, colleagues, etc. It becomes very obvious why the Democratic establishment continues to fail to support a winning candidate that can win: incompetence. They are more concerned with funneling money into the corporate democratic campaign machine than actually winning an election.

Our canvassers have been out for a few weeks now meeting with voters in the district. This type of outreach is crucial in our area as air-time and social media does not turn out the vote like it does in other areas of the country. When you have motivated, passionate volunteers to help you canvass it also becomes extraordinarily cost-effective. It's the only way you can take down Nunes, the most prolific fundraiser in the Republican Party.

The Fresno Bee is spot-on when they mention the district is more concerned about jobs and water than Nunes playing Inspector Clouseau. Nunes is a disgrace to the country, but you must still have a message and platform to lift up the constituents if you want to win. I am the only candidate that offers progressive, viable solutions to lift up our community. I'm also the only candidate that speaks Spanish and that is Latino. So while the establishment continues to deliberate who their next loser to Nunes will be our campaign is drawing out the progressive, liberal base to defeat Nunes. Our candid, no-nonsense message is resonating so well with voters that we are even turning republicans. The Fresno Bee has got the message while the Democratic party hasn't. Rest assured that there will be a Blue Wave across the country, and it will start with a major swell here in the forgotten land of California's Central Valley where grass-root progressive campaigning will elect real people to represent them in Washington."

As noted in earlier "Muck the stable" posting, Janz is getting far more national mainstream media attention than other CA 22 Democratic Party candidates. And the money data reflects that. Franco has endorsements noted on his Facebook page. Those endorsements appear consistent with his being regarded as the "progressive" candidate; again, note that national mainstream has its focus upon Andrew Janz, the top Democrat fundraiser. Janz in turn has a clear DCCC shoutout twit [yeah, I know they call them tweets, but it's Twitter, and I call them twits]:

click image to read

Online, there is a twelve minute YouTube interview with candidate Franco.

Last, for now, website DUMP NUNES!

Five candidates are featured with an opening image showing Franco has learned the Frankenhand [not Frankenstein] lesson.

Beyond that, (make of it what you will), again a somewhat extended excerpt, given that five Democratic Party candidates participated:

Andrew Janz, speaking at a June 16 Congressional District 22 candidate forum in Visalia said that Nunes “is basically pretending to be a local when he really now has become the epitome of a Washington insider. So, what better person to challenge this Congressman who is under an ethics investigation than a local prosecutor.” Janz is a prosecutor with the violent crimes unit of the Fresno County District Attorney’s office.

Five candidates anxious to have the opportunity to run against and defeat Nunes attended the standing-room-only Visalia forum. All of them are Democrats. Tulare County City Council Member Jose Sigala spoke about his deep roots in the area, connection to the civil rights movement, support for LGBTQ rights and how he was the only candidate in Tulare County endorsed by Planned Parenthood. The Central Valley Progressive PAC (CVPPAC) endorsed Sigala in his bid for the Tulare City Council, which he won.

[...] All five candidates at the Visalia forum consistently took progressive positions on important issues such as climate change, healthcare reform, fighting poverty and the need to elect a representative that reflects the values of the majority in the 22nd Congressional District.

Ricardo “Rico” Franco spoke passionately about many specific issues but believes that it is our core progressive values that will take us to victory. He said, “When you start to talk about the things we all want, affordable healthcare, affordable education, help for our veterans, lots of good infrastructure around here so we don’t feel like we are leaving people behind. When we start talking about those morals and those values and we make it less about party politics and all of these catchphrases that anger people, I know that we can bring people together.”

Franco went on to say “that if we get back to our core values this region right here can shine and be a leader for the country. This is the most beautiful piece of gold in this entire state and it can shine for the rest of the country, not just to see who we are, but to actually lead and be a model for progress of what the rest of the country can be.”

Dr. Mallory Kremer talked about driving through the state and sees “that there are really two Californias. I see so much wealth and opportunity in the coastal cities, and in the Central Valley it feels like a completely different state. My vision is to share some of that opportunity with the Central Valley and to make it a destination, to fight the brain drain, to create economic opportunity, to have it be a place where people want to live.” According to Kremer, this can be done by “bringing medical schools to the Valley, improving education and the air quality. This will make this a healthier place to live.”

Candidate Bobby Bliatout is the CEO of the Greater Fresno Health Organization. Bliatout says that he started thinking about running for political office when he watched the attacks on the Affordable Health Care Act in Congress this spring. At the forum, he said that “healthcare is a basic human right. This country already believes that. I don’t care what anyone else says.

The Visalia candidate forum was hosted by the Tulare County–based Progressives United for Social Justice and Human Rights (PUSH). This event was a collaboration among PUSH, Together We Will Fresno, Fresno Indivisible, South Valley Civics, the Fresno County Democratic Party and the Tulare County Democratic Party.

The CVPPAC has not endorsed any of the candidates in the 22nd Congressional District race. According to the group’s president, Pam Whalen, “federal campaign contribution reporting makes it difficult for the CVPPAC to give Congressional candidates money. The reporting is so burdensome that our group has focused on local and regional races.”

[...] Another reason the CVPPAC focuses on local elections is that most members believe their limited resources are better spent supporting candidates running for local office. The millions of dollars it takes to win a Congressional race is not within the CVPPAC’s reach.

Many political observers say that Janz has the early advantage in this race. They say he has a good foundation of support, he is articulate and well-connected and, as a prosecutor in the DA’s office, can win over some moderate and conservative voters. The district typically votes solidly Republican. In 2016, Nunes received 67.6% of the vote against Democratic challenger Louie Campos. In 2014, Nunes won with 72% of the vote. The argument for going with a more moderate Democrat in CD22, one who can appeal to some Republicans, might work now that Nunes has made himself a lightning rod on the national stage.”

Alternatively, an argument can be made that one of the more progressive candidates can inspire the voter base with a populist message and increase voter turnout enough to win the election.

The CVPPAC does not have a position on which strategy has the greatest chance of victory in this district, but one key factor will be fund-raising and getting volunteers to work on the campaign to elect a progressive candidate to CD22. Information from the Center for Responsive Politics ( and the Federal Elections Commission show Nunes already has a war chest of more than $3 million.

Why should corporate lobbyists, the super wealthy and large (yet anonymous) out-of-state Republican PACs be able to buy Central Valley elections, subverting democracy and the electoral process? This is further evidence why campaign finance reform is so important. It is also a reason why more people should get involved in grassroots politics—to elect candidates who share their core values.

A brief Janz interview video. A Franco interview comparable in length, at the Fresno Womens March. The earlier Muck the stable No.1 post included a shorter Janz video, same event. Franco, Spanish Language ten minute interview video.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Trying to gin up more pulp-paper sales, Strib gets it wrong, and insultingly so.

In an article trying to incite a host of CD8 entrants for no apparent reason than to boost circulation, Strib posted, buried five paragraphs down:

“This is going to be an incredibly competitive election ... and this is a district that isn’t solidly blue [Democratic] anymore,” said Anderson, who is thinking about running again.

That hasn’t stopped DFLers from eyeing the race. One, former FBI intelligence analyst Leah Phifer, was already planning to challenge Nolan for the party endorsement. Another, North Branch Mayor Kirsten Hagen Kennedy, announced over the weekend her plans to run.

“Typically women go, ‘Is it the right time? Can I win? Am I smart enough?’ — where men typically just put their hat in the ring and they go for it,” Kennedy said. “I decided this weekend to go ahead and announce.”

Strib simply misstated the truth. Phifer was not "already planning." Phifer has been in it for months. From well before Nolan quit.

Putting a non-candidate a paragraph ahead of that fact, not stating the fact correctly, and putting two women into a single paragraph while giving the second, the presently non-candidate a second paragraph while only mentioning Phifer only in the one sentence is a disservice to readers statewide and in CD8. Phifer is for real, and Dan Burns at MPP nailed it posting:

Of course Minnesota’s corporate media is putting their own tiresome spin on this; let them make fools of themselves yet again. With the way this cycle is shaping up, the DFL could run a wood tick and win. Thankfully, in reality we have a great candidate, Leah Phifer. As long as she doesn’t let corporate tools from the DCCC or wherever swoop in and screw everything up, it should handily be Rep. Phifer as of January 2019.

[link in original]

Anyone who back in the summer toured the district in an eighty day effort to touch base with DFL insiders and regular CD8 citizens deserves more respect over the lazier johnnie-come-lately opportunists. Phifer had NONE of the equivocaton the other woman bemoans. She toured, she decided, and if that was a factor in Nolan stepping aside, the strength of her campaigning, then Nolan decided based on lack of fire in the belly and was right to quit.

Strib owner and corporatist Republican Glen Taylor might not like a candidate as progressive as Phifer, but editorial types at Strib should not let that poison the well. Sad.

This link. Here. Headline, ". . . kicked off her campaign," per an Oct. 15, 2017 post. Again, last October, in-district reporting, headlined, "One of those 'millennials' is running for a seat in Congress - She's a native of Minnesota's Iron Range. By: Declan Desmond, Oct 9, 2017."

Sometimes for getting the outstate truth you have to go to the outstate outlets. This is a paradigm example. From June 19, 2017, Phifer's "Around the Eighth in Eighty Days" post, titled "Kick-off Party Pictures!" At least Strib gets Vikings kick-offs correct, you can say that.

But, clearly, Strib dropped the ball, on the Phifer kick-off.

UPDATE: The Strib link.

FURTHER: In Strib's item, after the above quoted paragraph it really looks as if there's somebody's favored:

Kennedy attended Trump’s recent State of the Union address in Washington, D.C., as Nolan’s guest. She had thought about running in a couple of years, but she said he mentioned during the trip that she might not have to wait that long. Kennedy said she would try to follow Nolan’s example by crossing the aisle to get things done and not drawing lines in the sand.

The good lady should now think of running in a couple of years. As in, stay out of the progressives' way. It sure appears as if Nolan on the way out put a fat and heavy thumb on the scale. Strib deserves recognition for reporting it at all, but if Nolan is wanting out he should just ride off into the sunset, silently, as in the classic western films. That's what heroes do.

FURTHER: Two outstate sources report it right; focusing on the new entrant as "news" but not misstating truth; Aaron Brown, here; Duluth News Trib, here.The DNT item from yesterday, early paragraphs:

As other politicos remained mum through Monday, North Branch Mayor Kirsten Hagen Kennedy entered the race on the Democratic-Farmer-Labor side late in the day Sunday, declaring her candidacy with a short news release.

"I knew this would be a heavy-hitter race," she later told the News Tribune. "I consider myself the Forrest Gump of this race."

Hagen Kennedy joins Leah Phifer of Isanti, Republican Pete Stauber of Hermantown and Independence Party candidate Ray "Skip" Sandman of Duluth as confirmed candidates in the race for the now open seat in the 8th Congressional District.

There figures to be more announcements on the way. Nolan's rival in each of the past two elections, Republican Stewart Mills, said Friday that he was considering entering the race.

Gump with lipstick. Mills III, perhaps again. On whether Mills III has any ongoing ties to Fleet Farm, any duties there, readers would have to do their own websearch. Hits from that search focus on the time of sale news, KKR reportedly having paid a billion so that Mills III has more money than most iron rangers, to run. It is interesting that existing Republican candidate Stauber got his three paragraphs in Strib, in contrast to Phifer's sentence. Glen Taylor was a Republican legislator.

FINAL UPDATE: The Phifer candidacy has been no mystery. Duluth News Trib, Phifer website about and what sets Leah apart. Nolan's withdrawal from his campaign emphasizes a hand-off from one generation to another as a needed DFL transition. (That being said by one in Nolan's generation.)

Salute to Anoka County Library for innovative thought.

This real newspaper link:

As Minnesota’s senior population grows and lives longer, more families are affected by Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.

New “Memory Maker Kits” developed by the Anoka County Library are a resource to help families and caregivers interact in meaningful ways with those who have memory loss.

Created in partnership with the Statewide Health Improvement Partnership (SHIP), each kit includes items such as books, games, conversation cards and CDs featuring older music or radio programs. Each collection is unique, so patrons can check out kits with new and interesting activities.

“They are a way to get a conversation started,” said Janet Kleckner, branch manager at the Rum River Library in Anoka.

Depending on the extent of memory loss, interaction with a loved one can be difficult or awkward, but the kits are designed to help make the most of time spent together.

Dementia is a devastating thing and while much research is happening, this mode of help is one more thing to support and praise.

Minnesota politics: Neither of the legislative district special elections flipped party affiliation. Chris Coleman "suspends" his campaign for Governor.

PiPress and Strib have coverage. Search the web if you care. The Coleman decision is interesting; PiPress quoting:

“The 2018 DFL field for governor is very strong,” Coleman said. “As the candidates continue to campaign, I encourage each of you to stay true to our shared progressive values: good jobs for working families, universal healthcare and a retirement that we can all depend on.”

“We have an opportunity in 2018 to establish a DFL majority in the state Legislature and elect a governor who will continue to advance the cause of progress for all Minnesotans.”

Those are soft wording of issues, which might explain Coleman's not firing up compelling voter interest. Not saying "Single Payer" nor "Healthcare as a right" is mush. Indeed, "Cradle to Grave Federal Government Provided Healthcare as a Right financed by fairly taxing wealth and income of the rich," might be the most unequivocal way to say it; and, why equivocate? It's not motivational to equivocate when others in the running are less prone to try a please-all straddle. Progressives need to be given a reason to show up at polling places in November; equivocation not helping with that goal.

A caveat is that Huey Long got shot dead while running on a theme of "Share the Wealth," so perhaps there may even in our time be cause to equivocate.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Charlie Sheen could play the lead in: Rob Porter - The Movie.

Just saying. From photos they seem to look similar. And the thought is presuming it would be a film that could gross millions.

UPDATE: A question. Now that he's resigned where will they park Porter with a good paycheck? Some law firm? Lobbying would seem indelicate. A position with Mitt Romney, doing whatever? A place on the Marriott board of directors? A job overseas?

(Where is Romney working these days? Officially retired? A church position and duties?)

FURTHER: A saying is that the graveyards are full of indispensable people. Rob Porter will be replaced. Someone who has a permanant already granted security clearance in all likelihood will take over duties. Vetting will be intense, and the likely successor will be someone married to one spouse from being a single person to taking office. Care will be apparent. And publicized.

Domestic abuse is not an easy topic, and stress can make people act out of character. Or an abusive personality may exist, and abuse be in character, but present along with laudable traits, as was claimed to be Rob Porter's situation.

BOTTOM LINE: Rob Porter, like Trump, is not an indispensable person for the job Porter held, and the job Trump now holds.

A thing saddening to some and joy to others is Mike Pence being next in line, should Trump exit office or choose to not seek reelection. And Paul Ryan being in third place.

FURTHER: The New Yorker questions Kelly in all of this. Do you get to be a General by saluting the chain of command, keeping friends close, is the military background a factor or has Kelly a personality fitting the questioning in the item, which squares with what the military might expect? Tulsi Gabbard is a veteran, but never stayed long nor made it high up in the ranks. Is there a personality molding which fits the New Yorker portrait and which also is not unique to Kelly?

And if Porter was an information bottleneck of info getting to Kelly and Kelly one on info reaching Trump, how does that square with some of the tweeting; and with the choice of tweeting instead of other methods. Twitter seems to be Trump's only press secretary. With Huckaby-Sanders doing mop-up and obfuscation. Never forget that Twitter is shallow.

Petey pontificates.

This Raw Story link, featuring a fine opening image suggesting what a troubled tool looks like, in use.

“You get the feeling that they hate Trump more than they hate North Korea and all the atrocities that are going on there,” Campos-Duffy chimed in. “It’s not just that they’re normalizing North Korea, they’re trying to find some sort of connection. We’ve heard it before from the media, ‘Donald Trump is like a dictator.’ It’s the most insane analogy because, if anything, this is a president who’s been trying to take power away from centralized government and give it back to the people.”

“Absolutely,” Hegseth agreed.

A dull tool.

Readership reflections.

This screencapture is minutes old. Russian readership? I am envious. They can read English. I cannot read Russian. They are ahead of our nation's complacency with handling foreign language. But why all the Internet Explorer use? There are options.

To dispel any presumptions. Those view numbers are over some tally period lengthier than today. A regular following of that size, wherever home nation may be, would be welcome. At a bet some Russian types have some auto-alert set. Whenever Russiagate is a posting subject here, counts increase.

Do those Russian readers know something? Or at least have suspicions? There appears to be one unfortunate development. reports on today's two "bonus elections." Ramsey special election primary is tomorrow.

This link. Look to that source, and possibly Strib and PiPress to report results.

Will they be they barometers of any general shift in voter sentiment?

Depending on who wins by how much, there will be spinning by both parties. In fairness to the losers, special elections have lesser turnouts than general elections. Voters who really care and are motivated show up. General elections attract a broader reach of the population; some may think that good, others may think it bad.

Tomorrow Ramsey will have its special election for the vacant city council at large seat. Early voting today is an option. See that City of Ramsey link for detail.

Real Anoka County newspaper - reported. Posted online Feb. 9. Eric Hagan wrote it. Unknown: Whether Harold Hamilton or an affiliate woofed one way or another.

Muck the stable. Vote out Nunes. No. 1

An interesting websearch.

More to come. Scheduled irregularly, short or longer posts on topic shall flesh out the case that Nunes is not merely a Trump lackey, but a counterproductive one. A political pimple on the royal Trump - face.

UPDATE: On the national level, Politico, here. It links to a SacBee editorial. The Politico item has more focus upon Nunes vulnerability, in District, discussing a leading Democrat opponent, similar to the Vally Voice coverage, which levels serious criticism of Nunes partiality in investigating:

As chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, which is currently looking into the possibility members of Trump’s campaign worked with agents of the Russian government to illegally influence the outcome of the US presidential election in Trump’s favor, Nunes has final say on who will be subpoenaed to appear before that investigative body.

Recently, Nunes has refused to grant subpoena requests by Democratic members of the Intel Committee, despite his promise to remove himself from his role in the investigation after the House Ethics Committee began its own investigation of Nunes for his possible mishandling of classified materials last spring. Nunes was cleared of wrongdoing last month.

Nunes’ refusal to act, says Janz, amounts to an obstruction of the investigation.

“Nunes has been sitting on a number of subpoenas, and it looks like the Democrats are going to have to file a minority report,” Janz said. “That conduct sounds, from a prosecutor’s perspective, like obstruction of justice. Many legal experts agree on that too.”

The Intel Committee’s ranking Democrat, Rep. Adam Schiff, said Nunes is setting a “troubling double-standard” with his conduct. He points to accusations by Fusion GPS, the firm responsible for the so-called Steele Dossier, that Nunes leaked or allowed to be leaked information about that company’s banking records. Nunes has since refused to sign subpoenas demanding Trump’s banking records that could reveal his and his companies’ Russian associations.

A grade school child could figure out that if a serious intent is to answer questions of Russian influence on Trump a look at Trump banking records would be more relevant than putting out a memo critical of the FBI and cherry-picking individuals' text messaging. To whatever extent individual FBI personnel had negative opinions of Trump, that is less relevant than "follow the money." Nunes is silent about any rationale for not doing that. Does he know where the money might lead? Ducking that question colors his reelection hopes.

Those two links are from January and this month. They are not stale. Background on challenger Janz from a year ago. Janz campaign site:

Blue America reports Ricardo Franco as another Democrat seeking the seat Nunes now holds. This link gives background on Franco, as does Fresno Bee, here. Earlier this month CNN reported:

"It's important to provide context to what Devin (Nunes) has released," Janz said. "It's important for the American people to get a full picture so they can reach their own conclusions about how well the FBI is doing their job."

Nunes, who has served in Congress since 2003, is being challenged by six Democratic candidates, a Libertarian candidate, and an American Solidarity Party candidate in the 22nd Congressional District race, which includes Fresno.

LA Times offers a separate perspective [links in original omitted]:

Nunes' district sits in the San Joaquin Valley, spanning Tulare, Visalia and parts of Fresno. It is predominantly Latino, although less than 29% of that population is registered to vote, and agriculture is a major economic driver and among the top private employers. In Tulare, a city of nearly 63,000, farmers like to point out that the region feeds the world, with Tulare, Fresno and Kern counties typically running among the top three global agricultural producers for cotton, almonds, wine grapes and walnuts.

The district is home to nearly half a million cows, and 50% of the world's supply of raisins is produced within a 60-mile radius of Fresno.

For growers, Nunes, whose family has been farming in the community for generations, is a longtime vocal advocate for their interests. They say his prior legislation only failed thanks to previous presidents.

Roger Isom, president of the California Cotton Ginners and Growers Assn., said Nunes in his 14 years in Congress has helped bring attention to the water crisis. They cited in particular East Porterville, an unincorporated area of Tulare County, where hundreds of wells went dry and people were forced to flush toilets with buckets of dirty water during the recent years-long drought. The congressman's efforts led to the building of a communal shower, he said, and water supplies were trucked into East Porterville during the drought.

"Devin fought to bring this to the light," Isom said. "He has pushed the conversation, and there is the impact in my community."

Now Isom and other growers are hoping Nunes helps push for more deregulation of the farming industry, funds for research and the creation of more dams, which they say requires state and federal dollars.

One question: Does the Trump White House suppression of the Dem. countermemo hurt Nunes, in the District. LA Times implies local politics matters more. At least among large business and agriculture interests. Yet LA Times also notes fund raising.

In lengthy coverage, Mother Jones reports [links in original omitted]:

Fred Vanderhoof, the chair of the Fresno County Republican Party Central Committee, is sticking by Nunes’ interpretation of the memo. “The shocking thing is that we got what looks like collusion—but it’s between the DNC, the Hillary Clinton campaign, the FBI and the DOJ, colluding to support one candidate, Hillary Clinton, over Trump,” he says. “As we unravel this whole problem, we’ll probably see some people go to jail.” He’s not referring to members of the Trump administration.

Yet there are signs that Nunes’s advantage is weakening. He hasn’t held a town hall meeting since 2010, instead communicating with his constituents by calling into friendly radio stations. Though Nunes has been an advocate for big agriculture and its water needs, he hasn’t delivered many tangible results. “He’s been putting out bills, they pass the House and go nowhere in the Senate,” Holyoke says. (In 2017, none of the bills he authored passed.) His district’s demographics increasingly favor Democrats, too: Nearly 45 percent of its residents are Hispanic, and its white population is getting older.

And Nunes’s awkward behavior in Washington—like telling Fox & Friends that indicted former Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos had never met Trump despite a photo of them at the same table—may contribute to the perception that he’s distracted. “Focusing on the national issues does help Janz,” Holyoke says. “He can paint Nunes as an out-of-touch politician, one who is more interested in raising his own profile and more interested in defending an ethically questionable president than representing his constituents.”

Of course, to really make the November election competitive, says Holyoke, Democrats will have to galvanize a local movement, carry Janz’s message to undecided voters, and raise a lot more money. Though Janz’s campaign has raked in more than $340,000 since the Nunes memo dropped, it’s nothing compared to the $3.8 million Nunes has socked away.

Republicans “are going to be working hard” to reelect Nunes, Vanderhoof says. But, for once, “We’re not taking his race for granted.”

Along those lines, WaPo in Feb. 5 reporting stated:

We are nine months from the midterm elections, and it’s just one poll, and a non-neutral poll at that. That said, Democrats surely will be encouraged by a Public Policy Polling survey (done for the Democrats’ leading candidate). It shows that House Intelligence Committee Chariman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), whose memo has created a fiery backlash against him and his anti-FBI cohorts, is ahead by only five points and has not broken 50 percent. “He was leading a reelection bid by only 50% to 45% against a generic Democratic opponent, with a 4.1% margin of error, according to a Public Policy Polling survey released by his potential opponent Andrew Janz last month.” That was before the memo stunt.

[link and italics in original]

Living at a distance from the battle it appears that neither Nunes nor his challengers have personal conduct skeletons in the closet, wife-beating or such, but November is months away and things have a way of getting to the surface, if there at all.

A sampling of websearch items are presented above. The post is closed with a purely factual link, one helpful to those outside of California and its CD22; Ballotpedia [with links]. At a guess, Janz is the leading opposition candidate going into the June 5 "top-two" primary Ballotpedia describes.

What happens after the top two candidates are determined, between June 5 and the general election, may be up for grabs. Nunes will be acting further in DC in his pro-Trump [not following the money] adventure, and Mueller has yet to report. What is certain, the top-two primary will have the challengers spending while Nunes sits on a mountain of money in anticipation of spending before the general election. Will money talk? Will something of personal impact rise to attention? Will Nunes DC hijinks matter, in District? Wait and see.

Possibly there may be no follow-up post on the theme until after June 5, possibly news may intervene meriting coverage here, sooner.

FURTHER UPDATE: The Nunes Congressional page is here. No campaign website was found. Ballotpedia reports a website link:

That is a dead link. A site believed to be neutral has Nunes voting record info:

Politico reported Nunes had promulgated a "news site" - see Facebook, here. Washington Examiner in Feb. 11 reporting noted an attack on the Nunes "news" site server, the item being scant on details, however this item from an apparent partisan site states, "Someone arranged so that redirects to Janz’s campaign website." There is an archive:

The appearance of the archive is of a partisan outlet.

While trying to find a Nunes site pinning him down on specific issues he would offer as important failed; an issues page was found for Janz stating what is basically a progressive Demcratic branch set of beliefs and promises:

That Janz page joins Nunes in focusing upon water issues for CA22:

Water for the Valley

Water is one of the most important issue areas in the valley, one that Devin Nunes has tried to own during his tenure as our representative. I have spoken with countless local farmers, and I have looked at the state of our aquifer levels and water storage systems; I can tell you that Nunes hasn't delivered. I will work on increasing water storage for our Valley and commit to recharging our underground aquifers. I will work in a collaborative way that does not undermine our environment or our farmers.

Janz leads with Single Payer, and embraces womens' reproductive rights. He marched. In Fresno. With Congress in session Nunes likely was in DC.

A Feb. 11 ten minute FOX segment featuring Nunes. He blinks a lot. FOX same day and same FOX agent, discussion with Newt Gingrich. Neither segment mentions the Mueller inquiry and whether Trump actually will meet with Muller and his investigators. There is nothing substantive and factual about Trump and Russians in either segment. Collateral Republican worries are all in there. There are questions that should be asked about FBI conduct, but that's not the point of Mueller and/or a Congresional committee investigating Trump-Russia. Nunes appears to not have yet addressed suppression of subpoena power use to see Trump banking records - money in, money out, any Russian names in or outside of that nation. Presidential conduct arguably is more important than FBI errors and omissions and hearings meandering to digressionary areas such as allegations of FBI bias. A biased investigation can still reach to critical facts; e.g., Gowdy's Benghazi hearings.

Neither Nunes nor Gingrich in the FOX items from yesterday has made any factual allegations against Mueller and the present incomplete investigation of Trump-Russia by Mueller. A special prosecutor could be accused to investigate the Gingrich "deep state" charge, which is a serious concern. An impartial special prosecutor; not partisan people such as FOX, Gingrich, or Nunes.

Nunes appears to not focus much now upon his district or his reelection, which can be expected to heat up as November approaches. The FBI is not above the law, and looking at it would not be against the needs of the nation. But Trump-Russia has a special prosecutor, so we can look forward to findings on that front.

FURTHER UPDATE: In fairness to Devin Nunes, he would not be abole to pull off any of that crap without a solid committee Republican backing. It is not Nunes alone that is obstructing and misinforming, it is the bunch letting Nunes walk point. Nunes goes to the White House for marching orders, okay, but then the committee majority marches. If the Democrats on committee want the obvious, following the money, and Nunes obstructs that step by denying subpoenaes, does he get away doing that alone? A committee majority, if one is attained to latch onto the money trail would govern, Nunes or not. It is every Republican on the committee playing politics. Surely the letter-agencies, CIA, NSA, and FBI should for the liberty of all be kept on a short leash and the mood of an agency is top down in part, bottom up in part, because the civil service laws entrench positions mid-totem pole.

But there are two separate questions. If there is a get-Trump mood, if he's faultless then no harm, no foul, but clean up any actual investigation bias. If there is a get-Trump mood, and he's at fault, Mueller likely would so report. Has Mueller gone after the money trail, including looking at Trump banking ins and outs? If you or I were a target, they'd even see what books we've checked out of the library and our banking records would be the first thing looked at before we'd even have notice of being a target. Again, short leash would be better, but not how it is for the citizenry.

Back to Nunes. He takes his role with enthusiasm, that role beng cta, even to the extent his cya attention might be deficient.

Has all this "loyalty" to the White House helped or hurt the District? November voting should weigh in on that issue. Until then there will be the top-two primary in California CD22, and outside money, and lots of in-state money, spent on election foolery. It is no wonder that Congress has such low public approval in polling. The puzzling question is why no district public has embraced enough the logic of vote the bastards out. That mood should be welcome among voters in a district - if there is no compelling reason to keep an incumbent in office, try for a better level of representation by changing. It might be too many hot button issues smoke-screened in front of a compliant voting public; the wealthy using Congress to screw the rest of the nation getting obscured by a ceaseless September and October barrage of propaganda pushing divisive hot-buttons, and that too many voters are single-issue rabid dogs, but there are legions of political science university departments and none have explained, to my knowledge, why vote the bastards out is not universally embraced. It would be with an intelligent voting public. That might be the explanation in a nutshell.

Orrin Hatch is the poster child of vote the bastards out, yet the bastard hasn't been ousted, and in passing it is noteworthy that Hatch mentored Rob Porter at one point in time. Why have we not had single payer? Truman said he wanted it. Since then money has steered the nation's Congress to serve money at greater cost to the people. Orrin Hatch a major part of it. Devin Nunes is a late arrival next to Orrin Hatch. What is wrong with the electorate?

FURTHER UPDATE: Two links, here and here, juxtaposed with the caveat that Nunes hijinks could only exist with Republican commmittee fellow travelers travelin with Nunes. No quotes. Read and interpret. The divide is clear. Who should you trust more, that committee of politicians, or Mueller? Vote the bastards out is a principle that should be taught in high school civics classes nationwide.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Mac Hammond. John Hagee. Jonathan Falwell.

Links here and here. There are only three familiar names - those which are headlined. Not worth my time to websearch the others. Surely the First Amendment allows the batch of 'em freedom to assemble and freedom of speech. Whether you trust their motives or character is a personal thing, based on your reading and upon any websearching you may do, given these two links, and reporting.

Reporting: Wikipedia,  WaPo here and here, and this link. The last link references this organization. Downloads. Wikipedia. An article from 2010.

This image.

UPDATE: The image should not apply to the grifters. It is the congregants, looking for authority figures to stand up front, elevated platform, and regularly and repeatedly tell them what to do and to give reassurance. The massive percentage of which voted Trump.  He stood up front and told them, via all that free TV coverage, to vote for him. Done, as told. They want prosperity, and Trump sold his gospel, even saying his favorite book was not "Art of the Deal," but the bible. A clear lie. Until then he'd never made a cent from the bible, but royalties were yielded by "Art if the Deal." A zero gain book over one that flowed cash? Get real.

But that Trump endorsement did yield. Putting the ol' name brand on it, wow. Ignorant believing votes in droves. After all, the Trump voters in that bloc, besides the Mercer money sorts, supported a man with a simple message. Never mind it was a lie and he seeded his administration with billionaires to where it was hard to count them all, it was the promises that counted. Those congregants listening to Mac Hammond or Hagee types wanted their sorry small lives "Great Again." Again, from when?

Yes, Bernie stood up front and said what to do. But get off your butts and push for certain goals, vs. God's loved will prosper, compare the message and understand.

Many born every minute. Too many. In that cartoon Dogbert is the authority figure. With different hair it is Trump.

Politico: FBI surveillance of Carter Page might have picked up Bannon ---The former Trump campaign adviser says he spoke to Trump aide Steve Bannon about Russia in January 2017, at a time when the FBI had a controversial warrant to monitor Page's communications. (By KYLE CHENEY 02/08/2018 06:45 PM EST)

The headline above is that of Politico, this link, this excerpt:

Bannon hasn't been accused of any impropriety. Neither he nor his lawyer would comment on Page's account of the purported conversation.

Experts in national security law said the FBI would have retained the conversation as evidence [if it was captured in monitoring and] if it seemed pertinent to their investigation into allegations that Trump associates coordinated with the Kremlin — an inquiry that has since widened to focus on whether any officials, including Trump himself, tried to obstruct the probe.

Bannon, once among Trump’s most trusted campaign and White House advisers, is expected to meet soon with special counsel Robert Mueller.

In November testimony to the House Intelligence Committee, Page told lawmakers that Bannon called him sometime shortly before Trump's Jan. 21, 2017 inauguration, asking him to cancel a planned television appearance on that day.

If that whets your appetite read the item.

The headline, "Navy SEAL Who Killed Bin Laden: Trump's Parade Is 'Bullsh*t'."

This link. No excerpt. You have to go to the short item; a picture often is worth a thousand words.

Will Equifax skate? That is reported to be a serious worry of Elizabeth Warren.

This link.

Tim Canova, a few weeks ago wrote and op-ed favoring Florida shifting from a closed primary to an open primary.

This link. The rationale is not new, but timely:

Florida needs this political reform. In 2016, independent voters who wanted to vote in the presidential primaries were presented with two bad options: register with a political party they refused to join or stay home. The Schifino proposal will allow 3.4 million independent voters – 26 percent of all voters in Florida – to cast their ballots in either the Democratic or Republican primary elections without being forced to join a party.

All the CRC [the Florida Constitutional Revision Commission] has to do is put the measure before the voters for approval. I hope they listen to the people and do just that.

I’m a passionate advocate on many policy issues, and sometimes people ask me why I devote time and energy advocating for opening our primary system. For me, being a progressive means advocating for a system that is fair to all voters, including people who disagree with me. That’s the kind of leadership that is so lacking in Congress today. Closed primaries are part of a political culture that allows party insiders to thrive at the expense of the people.

In a poll co-conducted by my organization Progress for All, Florida Fair and Open Primaries, 73 percent of Floridians-including majorities of Republicans and Democrats as well as independents supported putting an open primaries measure before the voters in November 2018.

Demographics in our state and in our country are changing rapidly. Independents are the fastest growing segment of voters in Florida, and some surveys suggest more than 70 percent of millennials are independents. We risk losing an entire generation of voters if we don’t embrace them. Democrats can’t win elections without independent voters. Right now we’re saying to them, “You’re not wanted in the primary process, but join us in the general election.” We simply can’t have it both ways.

Two observations: First, saying “You’re not wanted in the primary process, but join us in the general election,” is what progressives hear, we "party insiders thrive" by offering a candidate of our choice, so vote for her/him, however the deck's been stacked; DC money, or otherwise. Second, readers may remember Canova's unfortunate primary loss to the Mother of All Party Insiders, Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

It galled.