Tag Archives: DailyKos@Politicaldog101

As Americans learn how policies affect their personal economies, they will activate

When residents of the Humble Independent School District in Texas realized their board was not acting in their interest and that it would affect their kids for years to come, they activated.

Why would any politician come up with a budget and policies that hurt the citizenry at large? They must know it is career suicide, right? But Republicans and the power structure that rule them are quite adept at what they do.

This week Donald Trump released a draconian budget proposal that would slash the social safety net, increase welfare for the defense industrial complex, and transfer the wealth of the masses to the wealthy through tax cuts. The budget is a Paul Ryanesque/Ayn Randian dream.

Robert Reich’s piece titled “Trump’s Cruel and Deviant Budget” said the budget displayed deviancy in three respects: it imposes huge burdens on people already hurting; it sets a new low bar for congressional and public debate over social insurance in America and the government’s role; and it eviscerates the notion that an important aspect of patriotism involves sacrificing for the common good.

The goal of many in power is to make sure that you feel powerless. When people feel powerless or inconsequential, they will often stay home or take fallacies at face value. That is why many vote against their interest or don’t vote at all. But every single American can make a choice to change our political condition and be engaged.

We are all different and have different abilities. Whether you are shy, like to be with people or not, are computer savvy or not, you can be a part of out political solution.

I have conversations with hundreds of individuals a week over social media, email, and phone calls. I interact with thousands via activism networks like DailyKos, the Politics Done Right radio show on Pacifica’s KPFT 90.1 FM Houston network, Facebook Live feeds, Coffee Party USAIndivisible Houston, and others.

I hear two distinct messages. The first comes from those that are politically active, are fighting the good fight, and at the same time are upset at those who vote against their interests or don’t vote at all. The second comes from those who feel depressed or unworthy, who state they don’t believe they can make a difference.

It is important that those fighting the good fight get over their disgust for non-voters, or those voting against their interests. The fighters must encourage the others through education framed in their realities, in a non-threatening and empathetic manner.

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Do Democrats need Trump voters for next years Midterm Elections?

Who needs Trump voters? Not Democrats.

Stop me if you’ve seen a headline (or five) that proclaims something along the lines of: “Most Trump voters still support Trump.” Typically, the article includes quotes from Trump voters in Pennsylvania or Michigan. Sometimes it revolves around polling showing people don’t “regret” voting for Trump. The takeaway is usually: Trump still has the support of his base, which means Democrats haven’t cracked the Trump nut yet.

But here’s the thing: Democrats don’t need to crack that nut by 2018; Trump can hang on to most — if not all — of his base, and Democrats could still clean up in the midterm elections…

Let’s start with the basic fact that Trump won just 45.9 percent of the vote in 2016. That doesn’t make his victory any less legitimate — winning (the Electoral College) with a plurality rather than a majority is still winning — but Trump has a smaller base than every president elected since 1972, except for Bill Clinton in 1992. Trump voters are not a majority.

More importantly for the sake of 2018, they don’t represent the majority of voters in the majority of congressional districts. Trump won more than 50 percent in 205 of 435 districts. If House Republicans won every district where Trump won a majority in 2016 but lost every other one, Democrats would control 230 seats. Among seats won by a Republican in 2016, Trump fell short of a majority in 40 districts. Democrats need to win only 24 of those to win control of the House.

As Enten notes at the beginning of his article, recent polling shows Trump voters still overwhelmingly support Trump. And Enten’s review of the last eight midterm elections shows the GOP will hold them, because Trump voters are rank and file GOP…..

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I Love It: Hillary Throws Shade on NY Times While Praising French Election

By Bethesda 1971  @ Daily Kos…
Hillary.jpg

5/7/17, 4:32 PM
Victory for Macron, for France, the EU, & the world.

Defeat to those interfering w/democracy. (But the media says I can’t talk about that)

Hmm.  Could this be a response to the (failing) New York Times editorial this morning Two Presidential Candidates Stuck in Time? in which the Times juxtaposes HIllary’s interview last week with the worst of Trump’s lunacy? In which she dared to respond to Amanpour’s questions about the election and North Korea?  To quote one commenter:

This editorial is one of the most disturbing that I’ve read in the NYT, ever. The false equivalency between Donald Trump’s inability to let go of the election compared to Hillary Clinton’s occasional statements on the subject is breathtaking.

Did the French election hack stir up feelings around the NYT role in publishing the hacked DNC emails? If so it might explain why the editorial board is anxious to say, “move along folks, nothing to see because nothing has happened here, Hillary did not lose the election because of anything we might have said or done.”

Or the Times editorial and the talking heads on cable all week not being able to deal with Hillary’s honest responses and completely misunderstanding how she could blame both herself and Comey?

Hey Times — this only proves your election malfeasance — At least Hillary reminds us how you helped deprive us of a President who (among so many other things) has a sense of humor….

Source…

Note….

The NY Times also ran a pice that appiauldes the French Media for NOT running around with it’s hair on fire when  just elected Emmanuel Macron’s hacked stuff showed up…

Hillary Clinton should be more than a little bitter at the American Media for treating her vastly different than Trump….

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The opioid overdose epidemic hypocrisy of Donald Trump…Daily Kos…

As both a former drug researcher, and former user, I am not in denial about the rising number of overdose deaths in the U.S. To sit and watch the Orange Killer in the oval office hold a “listening session” using the families of overdose victims and tearful recovering addicts as a front for his public relations scam made me want to puke. His announcement at the end of March that he is launching “The President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis,” flies in the face of his attempts to get rid of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in collusion with Republicans in the House and Senate—which would have dropped the addiction treatment mandate covering 1.3 million Americans.

Mother Jones has been on his case like white on rice. In “Remember When Trump Said He Cared About the Opioid Crisis? Fast Forward to Now” they point out:

The purpose of the commission, which will report to Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, is to write a report by October of this year on the status of the epidemic and make recommendations for the future, after which it will cease to exist. The Surgeon General’s office under President Obama published a very similar report last November. Trump has yet to appoint a “drug czar”, or director of the Office of Drug Control Policy, which is charged with evaluating and overseeing federal anti-drug efforts.

Meanwhile, Trump has repeatedly proposed taking resources away from the programs that could stop the epidemic. For example:

  • The president’s proposed 2017 budget would cut $100 million from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s mental health block grants, which help provide substance abuse services across the country.
  • His proposed 2018 budget would cut 16.2 percent of funding from the Department of Health and Human Services, the umbrella agency that funds things like SAMHSA and other mental health and substance abuse programs.
  • The 2018 budget claims it would include a “$500 million increase above 2016 enacted levels to expand opioid misuse prevention efforts and to increase access to treatment and recovery services.” When pressed by Rep. Katherine Clark (D-Mass.), HHS Secretary Tom Price admitted that this $500 million is reference to funding from the 21st Century Cures Act, which Congress enacted under Obama signed into law late last year.
  • Though it didn’t ultimately pass, Trump was hard-set on repealing the Affordable Care Act, which would have left nearly 3 million Americans without often life-saving addiction treatment.

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Trump and Ryan could lose Trumpcare battle—and still destroy Obamacare

 By Egberto Willies   @  Daily Kos

The Trumpcare bill, which seeks to replace the Affordable Care Act, seems to be hanging by a thread. Public opinion polls now show Obamacare above water and Trumpcare under water. Gambling types would surely bet that the bill—in just about every form—will fail. But that would be nothing more than a short-term gain, and it is important that progressives understand that—right now.

Rejoicing in this likely upcoming win is a fool’s errand. Why? Because for many Americans, specifically those who are not on Medicaid, Obamacare is a financial strain. I am self-employed, and I’m paying about $1,200 a month with a family deductible of $12,000. My plan is an HMO. But in past years a program like this would be considered a “catastrophic” plan. I would have to spend $26,400 before the insurance kicks in. To be fair, the doctor fees are an affordable $40.00 to $100.00, and labs and medicine are discounted.

I understand these costs intellectually, in the context of the corrupt health care system that we have. I understand that the drug companies, the hospitals, and the insurance companies are businesses with shareholders. They all want to show growth, regardless of whether they provide more value or services. That growth consists of an unwarranted increase in health care costs across the board.

University of Houston professor Seth Chandler wrote a piece titled “Republican Stalemate Will Test Whether Obamacare Is Indeed Collapsing” that pointed out a reality about Obamacare. He predicts that we are headed for a stalemate—and progressives should not consider that a win….

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Steve Bannon under active criminal investigation for… get this… residency fraud.?

 By DiesIrae   @ Daily Kos

Bannon_Trump_Signing_Big_Boy.JPG

[Changed image – original was a distraction. This is always appropriate for any Bannon story.]

Courtesy of O’Harrow and Boburg at the Washington Post. Trump’s chief strategist Steve Bannon, a white nationalist who has repeatedly pushed false claims of massive voter fraud by minorities voting in jurisdictions where they do not actually live, is now the subject of an active criminal investigation in Florida, centering on Bannon’s “residency” and “qualifi[cations] to vote in the state”:

The Post learned that state prosecutors in Miami have an active investigation into Bannon’s assertions that he was a Florida resident and qualified to vote in the state from 2014 to 2016. In late August, investigators subpoenaed Bannon’s lease of a Coconut Grove home and other documents. They also contacted the landlords of that home and another that Bannon leased nearby, and sought information from a gardener and handyman who worked at one of the homes, according to documents and interviews.

The problem for Mr. Bannon is that it seems he may have actually been living in California (or possibly in Washington, or New York, but definitely not Florida):

[Bannon] owned a house and condo in Southern California, where he had entertainment and consulting businesses, a driver’s license and a checking account. He claimed Florida as his residence, registering to vote in Miami and telling authorities he lived at the same address as his third ex-wife….

He did not get a Florida driver’s license or register a car in the state. He never voted in Florida, and neighbors near two homes he leased in Miami said they never saw him. His rent and utility bills were sent to his business manager in California.

Even if the Florida investigation comes up empty, the story might not be over. There is significant speculation, previously reported in an August 2016 Guardian story (and re-upped by the Post article) that he may have been trying to avoid California taxes.

Dear Attorney General Becerra: this seems worth taking a look at, doesn’t it?

Note….

But proving wrongdoing in Bannon’s case could be difficult because state law does not clearly define residency, according to an official who spoke on the condition of anonymity….

Source…

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Betsey DeVos confirmed as Education Sec on VP Pence tiebreaker Senate vote…

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 17: Betsy DeVos, President-elect Donald Trump's pick to be the next Secretary of Education, arrives for her confirmation hearing before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill January 17, 2017 in Washington, DC. DeVos is known for her advocacy of school choice and education voucher programs and is a long-time leader of the Republican Party in Michigan. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Betsy DeVos

For the first time in American history, a vice president had to vote in the Senate to break a tie on a Cabinet nominee, and Betsy DeVos was confirmed as Donald Trump’s education secretary. DeVos has no experience as an educator, or even as a public school student or parent of public school students, but she sure does donate a lot of money to Republicans.

Republican Sens. Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski could have stopped DeVos in committee, but instead they voted for her there, waited to ensure she would have enough votes, then took the opportunity to grandstand about how they couldn’t vote for her. Democrats were united against DeVos, and senators were flooded with calls opposing her nomination, but in the end, there weren’t three Republicans to vote against an unqualified, unpopular nominee. Republicans whose offices were getting so many calls against DeVos that voters couldn’t get through or even leave voicemails nonetheless voted for her.

Republicans own Betsy DeVos and all her works. They tried to hide her from the public, burying her speedy confirmation hearing in the evening. They blew off massive numbers of their constituents who let them know she was unacceptable. They brought Mike Pence in to cast a historic (not in a good way) vote to confirm her. She’s theirs.

Unfortunately, now she’s in a position to ruin American public education…..

image…Chip Smodevilla/Getty Images

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Russian crime bosses kept Trump empire afloat?

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks at the Trump Soho Hotel in New York on June 22, 2016. / AFP / KENA BETANCUR (Photo credit should read KENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty Images)

In 2008, Donald Trump Jr. attended a real estate conference, where he stated that

Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets. We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.

As it turns out, that may have been an understatement. Human rights lawyer Scott Horton, whose work in the region goes back to defending Andrei Sakharov and other Soviet dissidents, has gone through a series of studies by the Financial Times to show how funds from Russian crime lords bailed Trump out after yet anther bankruptcy. The conclusions are stark.

Among the powerful facts that DNI missed were a series of very deep studies published in the [Financial Times] that examined the structure and history of several major Trump real estate projects from the last decade—the period after his seventh bankruptcy and the cancellation of all his bank lines of credit. …

The money to build these projects flowed almost entirely from Russian sources. In other words, after his business crashed, Trump was floated and made to appear to operate a successful business enterprise through the infusion of hundreds in millions of cash from dark Russian sources.

He was their man.

Yes, even that much seems fantastic, and the details include business agencies acting as a front for the GRU, billionaire mobsters, a vast network of propaganda sources, and an American candidate completely under the thumb of the Kremlin.

It reads like the a B-grade spy novel, a plot both too convoluted—and too bluntly obvious—for John le Carré. The problem is it may not be a conspiracy theory. It may be a conspiracy.

 Horton’s analysis comes from piecing together information in three Financial Times “deep reports.” One of these focused on Sergei Millian, the head of the Russian American Chamber of Commerce in the US at the time of Trump Jr.’s “money pouring in from Russia” claim….

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Note…

There are reports that President trump will make his first trip out of the country to Iceland to meet with Russian President Putin….

Update….

I guess that was too much…

The report has been denied....

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Bernie Sanders will help Democrats rally against Medicare/Medicaid cuts

 By Meteor Blades   @ Daily Kos
ESSINGTON, PA - JULY 27:  Senator Bernie Sanders exits the stage after addressing the New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont delegation breakfast at the Democratic National Convention (DNC) on July 27, 2016 in Essington, Pennsylvania. The convention officially began on Monday and is expected to attract thousands of protesters, members of the media and Democratic delegates to the City of Brotherly Love.  (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Bernie Sanders doing the Democratic Party job of persuading congressional colleagues to help organize nationwide pre-inaugural protest rallies over potential cuts in Medicare and Medicaid, as well as other health matters Republicans are likely to take up in Congress come January.

In what Tim Fernholz at Quartz calls the Democrats’ “first major gesture of opposition” to the incoming Trump regime, Senator Chuck Schumer, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, and Senator Bernie Sanders have put their signatures on a letter to congressional colleagues Wednesday that might have come as a surprise to many of them. It encourages them to join with Sanders to help organize pre-inaugural rallies in their states to rouse opposition to a Republican-driven budget bill “that will severely undermine the health needs of the American people.” Leftover money from the Sanders campaign will fund the organizing effort.

The expected budget bill provisions, as you see in the full letter below, are a direct attack on Medicare and Medicaid, the three say, and will likely include hikes in prescription drug prices and a threat to nursing home care for millions of Americans.

Called “Our First Stand: Save Health Care,” the resistance rallies are slated for Sunday, Jan. 15. Here’s Fernholz:

Sanders, whose run for the Democratic presidential nomination this year emboldened the left wing of the Democratic party, has seen his cachet rise in a party looking for leadership following Hillary Clinton’s defeat in November. Amidst the recriminations and a messy race to head up the party’s national committee, it hasn’t been clear who would be the face of Democratic opposition to Trump. Now, we have an answer.

While Sanders’ harsh critique of the millionaire and billionaire class turned off professional Democrats who benefit from the global economy during his primary run, the election results have convinced party leaders that they need to better articulate how their economic policies will lead to broadly shared prosperity.

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‘We the People’ Concert to counter to Trump Swearing-In?

The ‘Resistance will continue…..
By Walter Einenkel   @ Daily Kos

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - FEBRUARY 08: A performer dances during Mangueira performance at the Rio Carnival in Sambodromo on February 8, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Despite the Zika virus epidemic, thousands of tourists gathered in Rio de Janeiro for the carnival. (Photo by Raphael Dias/Getty Images)

Maybe not this “awesome,” but equally so in a different way… 

Politico’s Playbook is reporting that a concert promoter is putting together a “we the People” concert to compete with Donald Trump’s inauguration.

MARK ROSS, a concert promoter and the son of the late Time Warner CEO Steve Ross, is in the process of putting together a large-scale concert called “We the People” to DIRECTLY compete with Donald Trump’s inauguration. The organizers are looking to hold the event in Miami on Inauguration Day. “The talent is banging on our doors to do this,” according to a source familiar with the planning, although not a single act has been revealed as of yet. Ross is in the midst of lining up funding, according to a source.

If true, it would definitely make Donald Trump sad. The bad news is that it might speed up his administration’s plans to ban public gatherings. Of course, that fight seems to have already begun.

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November 8 Elections poll closing time’s map….

ClosingEastern.png

Bookmark Daily Kos Elections’ handy map of poll closing times for the Nov. 8, 2016 general elections so that you can know when to start checking returns in each state on election night. Note that all times on the above map are Eastern, not local, but you can download large-format maps for each U.S. time zone below:

EasternCentral | Mountain | Pacific | Alaska | Hawaii

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2016 Early Voting….

Daily Kos does a maps supported good look at early voting in the 2016 election…..

States that have various early or absentee voting options.

Election Day is just four weeks from Tuesday, but millions of Americans will cast their ballot before then—and hundreds of thousands already have. Overall, early votes and absentee ballots accounted for roughly 36 percent of all votes cast four years ago, and there’s a good chance that that proportion will increase this year, given the growing popularity of early voting and moves in several states to expand it since the last presidential election.

With so many early or absentee voters, candidates at all levels have a limited amount of time remaining to persuade voters to support them. While federal law mandates all states allow absentees for voters with a legitimate excuse, some states still don’t offer early voting or absentee ballots without an excuse, as you can see in the map at the top of this post. That means the time remaining for persuasion will vary from state to state.

And even states ostensibly in the same category have vastly different election rules and conditions. For instance, it’s easier to obtain an excuse for a mail absentee in some states than others; some states offer weeks of early voting and others just mere days; and three states—Colorado, Oregon, and Washington—even conduct their elections entirely by mail. It’s a dizzying array of alternatives, as you can see, so in this post, we’ll explore the broad contours of how and when early voting operates across the nation….

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The Ballots are printed ALREADY….People are voting already….

The Republicans are stuck with Donald Trump….

And his sexual touching issues….

And what every MORE is gonna come out about him 

BERLIN, GERMANY - OCTOBER 04:  In this photo illustration a person holds a pencil over a genuine U.S. expatriate's Maryland voting ballot for the 2016 U.S. presidential elections on October 4, 2016 in Berlin, Germany. Voters will choose between Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and Republican candidate Donald Trump in elections on November 8.  (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Over the summer, when Donald Trump made the superlative decision to go to war with Gold Star mother and father Khizr and Ghazala Khan, nauseous Republicans began praying that they could somehow replace their rancid nominee with someone slightly less odiferous. Of course, they couldn’t do so against Trump’s will: The GOP can only pick an alternative if The Donald himself chooses to drop out. But at least back then, had Trump done so, Republicans could have gotten someone else’s name printed on the ballot.

Not anymore. Republicans are busy dry-heaving over Trump’s “grab ‘em by the pussy” grotesquerie, but they are utterly without alternatives. Even if Trump were to voluntarily cast himself into Mount Doom, his name would still be stuck on almost every ballot put before voters nationwide—because they’ve already been printed. In fact, the deadlines for states to certify candidates for the November election have all passed. What’s more, federal law mandates that ballots be sent to overseas and military voters no later than 45 days before Election Day, which was over two weeks ago. And on top of that, at least 400,000 voters have already cast their ballots thanks to the popularity of early voting.

Some Republicans are pretending to be outraged right about now because they’re secretly nursing a false hope that they can somehow wake up from this nightmare with a different candidate representing them. They can dream on. They built this—and they own it…..

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Trump Changes on Immigration…Daily Kos…

 Donald Trump reboots his immigration policy (again)

So now that Trump has spent 45 minutes in “Mexico is not our friend,” he’s totally sympatico with our neighbors to the south. Where sympatico means he didn’t just dodge the question of who would pay for his great, great wall—he flat out lied about it. Because in his first chance to play deal-maker with a world leader, he got shot down.

And now he’s prepared a slide show so he can tell the nation about his adventures in darkest Mexico City.

Odds are that you shouldn’t expect much from Trump’s speech this evening. Don’t expect any definitive answer about 11, or 16 or 30 million undocumented workers being hauled away, and certainly don’t expect to hear any of the how this impossible task might happen. Don’t expect a “deportation force.” Don’t expect Trump to admit he was given a big fat no from Mexico on wall funding.

Do expect that he’ll attack HIllary Clinton. Do expect he’ll claim that her plan is “open borders” and that she wants to flood America with job destroying, citizen murdering, terror-rapists.

And do listen closely for something that amounts to having immigrants do a “touch back” by briefly leaving the country—a policy that Trump previously belittled, but which his surrogates are now trying to pretend was always part of the plan.

Overall, expect the speech to be 99% Hillary bashing, 1% Trump policies, and 104% “wasn’t I so brave for spending an hour in awful, awful Mexico?”

Wednesday, Aug 31, 2016 · 9:36:18 PM EDT · Mark Sumner

Starts off with the Trump’s “love” for the people of Mexico. And things they talked about. And … and …

He’s not going to talk about them paying for the wall. Nope. Not gonna.

Ah, now he’s moving on to how the immigration is really terrible, and the media is keeping it secret from you.

Here comes the truth.

Wednesday, Aug 31, 2016 · 9:36:57 PM EDT · Mark Sumner

The immigration system “serves the needs of wealthy donors.” Donors to what? For what? How does that make sense?

Wednesday, Aug 31, 2016 · 9:38:43 PM EDT · Mark Sumner

“The record pace of immigration.”

That’s true. It is at a record pace—it’s a record low over the last twenty years. But hey, that’s not the Trump Truth.

Wednesday, Aug 31, 2016 · 9:41:35 PM EDT · Mark Sumner

So we’re going to pull up the parents of the people who lost their kids to immigrants. And Hillary Clinton killed them in advance! Those who thought Hillary only killed 85 people really underestimated.

Trump is back at 110% volume and 214% hate.

San Francisco gets an extra big boo.

Wednesday, Aug 31, 2016 · 9:43:12 PM EDT · Mark Sumner

Okay, I’m bugging out. This episode of CSI Trump has gone on way too long. Have fun, folks.

Wednesday, Aug 31, 2016 · 9:51:39 PM EDT · Mark Sumner

Whoever has the pitchfork and torch concession at this speech is going to clean up.

This is the most hate-driven speech imaginable. It’s like Trump distilled down to a sticky black tar of ugliness.

Wednesday, Aug 31, 2016 · 9:53:18 PM EDT · Mark Sumner

He’s at the wall bit. And he’s going to say it. Here it comes.

He’s going to say it. Even though he just got slapped like a baby and went slinking home.

Yup. He said it.

Wednesday, Aug 31, 2016 · 9:55:27 PM EDT · Mark Sumner

This is Hatemageddon.

Their wonderful wonderful president will pay for our wall, with towers, and super technology, and sharks, and orges, and sharks with laser beams.

Wednesday, Aug 31, 2016 · 9:56:20 PM EDT · Mark Sumner

He is talking about Operation Wetback.

I take it all back. This is an astounding speech. Because it burns every, every, every bridge to sanity.

Wednesday, Aug 31, 2016 · 9:59:48 PM EDT · Mark Sumner

There is going to be a sieg heil here any moment. You just know there is.

This is the most important speech of the campaign—because there’s no walking back to reasonable from this.

Wednesday, Aug 31, 2016 · 10:03:02 PM EDT · Mark Sumner

“Maybe they’ll be able to deport her” he says, talking about Hillary.

Trump unchained.

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Donald Trump and his Russian Connection…

CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 21: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump (L) and his daughter Ivanka Trump (R) work with campaign manager Paul Manafort (2nd R) while testing the teleprompters and microphones on stage before the start of the fourth day of the Republican National Convention on July 21, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. Ivanka will introduce her father before he gives his acceptance speech tonight, the final night of the convention. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

That’s not Chris Christie standing at Trump’s shoulder: It’s a man who makes his money grooming dictators.

If there was any evidence Donald Trump was capable of thinking beyond the next moment, it would be easy to suspect that 90 percent of what’s bubbled from his lips over the last three days is a diversion. Attacking the Khans. Hints that he won’t accept the results of the election. Complaints that the polls are fishy. Saying that women should run away from sexual harassment. Even kicking a baby out of a rally. All of it.

Because as bad as all this is, if it serves to fend off media attention from the thing Trump’s campaign has suddenly gone quiet about, it could be worth it. Because the thing they’re not talking about is Russia.

While Donald Trump may now claim that his request for Russia to interfere in the election was just an example of sarcasm, it certainly didn’t seem that way to those listening on that day. And even if you wave that away—including the calls for a Senate hearing on the topic—other aspects of this story simply can’t be passed off as a joke.

In particular this is one place where both Donald Trump and campaign manager Paul Manafort are deliberately, publicly, and obviously lying. And that should be setting off major alarms.

Donald Trump campaign Chair Paul Manafort denied Sunday a two-week-old report that the campaign pushed for changes in the Republican platform that softened the party’s stance on helping Ukraine defend itself against Russian aggression. …

When asked once more if anyone on the campaign was involved, Manafort said, “No one, zero.”

The problem with Manafort’s claim is that there are hundreds of witnesses to the contrary.

Inside the meeting, Diana Denman, a platform committee member from Texas who was a Ted Cruz supporter, proposed a platform amendment that would call for maintaining or increasing sanctions against Russia, increasing aid for Ukraine and “providing lethal defensive weapons” to the Ukrainian military. …

Trump staffers in the room, who are not delegates but are there to oversee the process, intervened. By working with pro-Trump delegates, they were able to get the issue tabled while they devised a method to roll back the language.

It wasn’t just Trump delegates who objected. It was members of Trump’s campaign staff. And those Trump staff made it clear they weren’t working on their own….

More….

Note….

It is NO coincidence that nearly EVERY American Intelligence veteran has come out STRONGLY against Donald Trump for President saying that they are afraid of what he would he would do as President….Some even saying they would NOT follow his orders…..

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Hillary Clinton leads the Race for President…

It’s post email Comey….

The Republican Convention starts….

And Hillary Clinton STILL leads Donald Trump in the race to be President 3 1/2 months out from election day….

Amen!……

CniiUSwWEAARS0r.jpg

Consider  these margins for Clinton in RCP averages as of 8 AM this morning [Sunday 7/17/16]

2-way national    2.7

4-way national    4.0

which for RCP translates to a 209-164 advantage in the electoral college with following states as toss-ups

Arizona (11)

Florida (29)                         Georgia (16) Iowa (6) Michigan (16)
Nevada (6)
New Hampshire (4)
North Carolina (15)
Ohio (18) Pennsylvania (20) Virginia (13) Wisconsin (10)

Maine CD2 (1)

But then, even from RCP, note her advantages in some of those states:

PA    45.5    42.3    Clinton +3.2 FL     44.0    43.4    Clinton +0.6 OH   43.3    42.0    Clinton +1.3 WI    44.3    38.7    Clinton +5.6 IA     43.0    39.2    Clinton +3.8 VA    44.0    39.4    Clinton +4.6   Trending Down largely bc ofpoll fr Hampton showing  a tie NC    44.0    42.0    Clinton +2.0 GA    40.8    45.0    Trump +4.2 NH    44.5    41.8    Clinton +2.7

And FWIW, current margins on some of those states from Pollster.com followed by Nate’s % of win

PA    42-39       Clinton  +3       66.0-33.9

FL     43-41       Clinton +2        56.1-43.9

OH   41-40       Clinton +1        54.1-45.8

WI    46-37       Clinton +9        77.1-22.8

IA     41-38       Clinton +3        57.1-42.8

NC   45-41       Clinton +4        50.1-49.9

VA    42-37       Clinton +6        67.0-32.9

GA   40-43       Trump +3         27.3-72.6

NH  44-40        Clinton +4       60.7-39.0

Taking that all together, I still think VA, WI, NH and PA are clearly off the table for Trump.

Then consider — if he holds GA and NC (the latter in some doubt), and you were to give him out of the above IA, OH, FL, and NH, you would take 57 from the 332 electoral votes won by Obama in 2012, and Clinton would have 275, and still win the election.

And oh by the way

–  this is pretty much as bad as it is likely to get

– I do not see Trump winning any of those four states, except on an outside chance OH, and that is likely to disappear after the convention, and remember Pence opposed the auto bail-out

– even with the new efforts at voter suppression, I look at numbers for Governor and Senator and feel inclined that Clinton will carry NC.

Yes, I know I have not included NV or CO, but I think the Latino vote puts both out of reach for Trump.

Remember, do not panic on any one poll.  Do not get super-elated on any one poll.  We still have the Republican convention, the Dem VP pick (which apparently will come the day after the Republican convention), the Dem convention, and the debates, plus whatever news from around the world that might impact this race.

UPDATE  given a number of national polls released this morning

Pollster national average, including all (yes even Rasmussen) Clinton 44 — Trump 40

RCP  2-way    43.8 — 40.6  +3.2 for Clinton

4-way     40.8 — 36.3  +4.5 for Clinton    both showing an increase

538:  Polls Plus  63.3% chance for Clinton v 36.7 for Trump

Polls only   65.3-34.6

now cast — if election held today  66.6% for Clinton to win versus 33.3% chance for Trump

And adding what I put in several comments:

2008 Obama + 7.2   won 365 EVS

2012 Obama + 3.9   won 332 EVs

At a 5% margin, you would probably project Clinton to pick up NC and have 347 EVs —  there is some relation between national margin and what happens state by state…

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