Archive for Democrats

Mar
11

Short Attention Span Theater

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After several years of delays, Short Attention Span Theater will again resume production on Repatriation Tax Holiday 2.

Robert Reich flagged District Studios’ announcement yesterday on Facebook:

I’ve spent the last day in Washington, where Democrats are quietly gearing up to negotiate a “tax amnesty” for American-based global corporations that have parked some $2.1 trillion in untaxed profits abroad (mostly in tax havens) to avoid paying their U.S. taxes. The U.S. corporate tax rate is 35 percent, but Obama is ready to offer 14 percent if they’ll bring the profits home; Republicans want 10 percent; some Democratic senators are willing to go even lower (Barbara Boxer is teaming up with Rand Paul to offer 6.5 percent). Corporate lobbyists are swarming over Capitol Hill, suggesting if they don’t get a great deal they might not just keep the profits abroad but even move their corporations abroad (like Pfizer is doing).
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Mar
02

The GOP’s reckoning

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"What does not kill me, makes me stronger." - Friedrich Nietzsche (By Hartmann, Basel. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)

“What does not kill me, makes me stronger.” – Friedrich Nietzsche
(By Hartmann, Basel. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)

Much digital ink has been spread about how Republicans created Donald Trump and now are paying the price for it. But Trump is not the only nemesis they helped create.

First, writing yesterday from Chattanooga, Tennessee, Charlie Pierce spoke of the Super Tuesday reckoning facing the Republican party:

The facts are as stark as the slopes of Lookout Mountain in the early morning light. It is a consummation devoutly to be wished, especially by those of us who see the Republicans as having been cruising for this particular bruising ever since it so greedily ate the monkeybrains in the 1980s. But, from the people who make their living at being Republicans, we are seeing the kind of existential panic that you only see once or twice in a century. It’s Watership Down, with Super PACs and Mitch McConnell.

Indeed, this morning’s online headline at the Washington Post described it as a “nightmarish Super Tuesday” for the GOP establishment. Trump won seven of the states in play. Hillary Clinton also won seven Super Tuesday states.

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Feb
27

Primarily Al Jazeera

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Al Jazeera America Digital takes a bow

Al Jazeera America Digital takes a bow

South Carolina Democrats hold their primary today. There were neither Bernie nor Hillary campaigners hanging around my Greenville, SC hotel like Ted Cruz supporters last week. It seems Clinton spent more of her time doing small-town, retail politics in downstate, rural areas where she has connections going back years. Sanders campaigned more via arena and college events and phone banks. There will be more to say after the hand-clapping and the shouting are over.

Al Jazeera America is going away soon and will be missed. Tony Karon posted a “valedictory note” about the service yesterday. A sample:

The core principle driving the journalism that distinguished Al Jazeera America online as a unique voice in a cluttered news landscape was the simple — yet radical — proposition that no single human life is worth less than any other.

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Feb
25

Saturday! Saturday! Saturday!

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Want the skinny on how the fall elections go down in Buncombe Co., NC?

Precinct Meeting/Volunteer Recruitment Event

precinct-cluster-infopage.png

An organized and functional precinct is the foundation of the Democratic Party. The BCDP Strategic Plan is based on the DNC’s 50-State Strategy which is “an ambitious effort to build the Democratic Party from the ground up in every single precinct…” Every precinct matters! Every vote counts! In Buncombe County we will “continue an aggressive and forward-looking effort based on the belief that if we invest in people and invest in our party, we can continue to turn once-red districts and states blue in elections to come.”*

To reinforce our efforts, the BCDP established 11 clusters of precincts to further strengthen Get Out The Vote efforts, provide mentors to new leadership, coordinate volunteer efforts and facilitate communication and fund raising efforts. Clusters build camaraderie, friendship and make electing Democrats a lot of FUN!

Every election year is the most important, and 2016 is no different. Democrats need only 4 more seats in the North Carolina House to overcome a veto-proof majority. Now, more than ever, Democrats need to elect a Democratic Governor who will bring respect back to the great State of North Carolina.

That’s why our 2016 Annual Precinct Meetings are Volunteer Recruitment Events! Plan to attend and bring your Democratic neighbors and friends. Volunteer! Vote! ELECT DEMOCRATS!

Agenda for all clusters is as follows:

  1. Message from the State Party Chair
  2. Discussion of Responsibilities and Expectations of Precinct
  3. Election of Precinct Officers ONLY if vacancies exist
  4. Elect Delegates to the County Convention
  5. Collect Sustaining Fund donations  – Checks should be made payable to BCDP
  6. Hot 100 Membership
  7. Volunteer Sign-Up
  8. Proposing and adopting resolutions for consideration at the county convention

Find your neighborhood meeting HERE

Please RSVP To the appropriate Cluster Leader/Precinct Chair found in the PDF.

Categories : Democrats, Local
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Feb
23

An “existential sense of betrayal”

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Democratic leaders have finally figured out that “The Bern” has “tapped into the zeitgeist of college-age voters, a key demographic for the party in a presidential election year,” Politico reported yesterday. In spite of Hillary Clinton’s momentum coming out of her Nevada caucuses win on Saturday, Sanders’ unexpected strength and fundraising ability has Democrats studying his message and trying to figure out how to incorporate it into their own:

… Democrats, particularly in the House, are actively strategizing about how they can reach the young, white voters who propelled Sanders to victory in New Hampshire and a near win in Iowa. And if Sanders can rocket out of obscurity to challenge a political heavyweight like Clinton, they admit it would be wise for Democrats to try and incorporate his most successful messages.

“I think Bernie Sanders has a very positive message,” Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) declared at a recent party meeting in Baltimore, echoing comments she’s made elsewhere. “It’s about fairness, it’s about opportunity. … I’m very proud of the way Sen. Sanders has expanded the universe of young people especially interested in the political process.”

Still, the progressive love for Sanders is something of a catch-22 for House Democrats. The majority of Democrats in the House are liberal but the party needs to win support from blue collar and moderate voters to retake seats in swing districts.

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Feb
04

Elizabeth Warren: Two Legal Systems

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Thank you. Thank you.

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Feb
03

It takes more than an Obama-style campaign

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Photo by Molly Theobald for the aflcio2008 (PA: Working America Voter ID and Persuasion)
[CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

People began asking early in 2015 if the local Democratic party was working on 2016. I told them we started working on 2016 the day after the election in 2014.

Each week I pick up messages at our local Democratic headquarters. For months, people have called to ask how they can get in touch with the Bernie Sanders campaign. (Even a disenchanted Republican now and then.) For months, I’ve directed them to the grassroots group organizing for Sanders here. Several hundred volunteers. On the ground it looks like 2008 all over again. They are phone banking out of our offices twice a week. Bernie Sanders is not a registered Democrat, but the memo from DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz says he’s running on our ticket.

I also get (fewer) calls from people asking how they can get in touch with the local Hillary Clinton campaign. I tell them I wish I knew. They are nowhere to be seen. Unless you’ve got the money to attend a high-dollar fundraiser downstate. Clinton volunteers could use our space too. But so far there aren’t any.

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Jan
24

Falling in love again

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By Alan Light (Own work by the original uploader) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) orCC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons

It is a cliché by now, the observation Bill Clinton once attributed to a friend, “In every presidential election, Democrats want to fall in love. Republicans just fall in line.” But being a cliché does not mean it isn’t true. Mostly. To their great chagrin, the GOP’s base seems to cheating on them by falling in love with Donald Trump.

A flurry of articles in the last 10 days have pointed out both Hillary Clinton’s and Bernie Sanders’ weaknesses as candidates. They also have their strengths. Those are worth debating on their merits (without rancor, please). But as the cliché suggests, what many don’t acknowledge they really want in an elected leader is a soul mate. As Seinfeld would say, not that there’s anything wrong with that. If that’s what you really want. (Cue Mick Jagger.)

I saw this phenomenon up close at ScruHoo when Heath Shuler ran for re-election in 2010. Progressive readers in the Cesspool of Sin by then had had enough of our Blue Dog and cited a catalog of sins for which they would never forgive him (and certainly would never again vote for him). I got curious. A few weeks later I posted:

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Jan
21

No heavier burden than a great potential

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Proving that quote from Peanuts‘ Linus, Ta-Nehisi Coates took Bernie Sanders to task in the Atlantic for failing to support reparations for slavery. When asked in Iowa about the issue, Sanders said he did not support reparations:

“Its likelihood of getting through Congress is nil,” he told Fusion in an interview. “Second of all, I think it would be very divisive.”

Coates questioned why Sanders’ “political imagination is so active against plutocracy, but so limited against white supremacy.” Furthermore:

If not even an avowed socialist can be bothered to grapple with reparations, if the question really is that far beyond the pale, if Bernie Sanders truly believes that victims of the Tulsa pogrom deserved nothing, that the victims of contract lending deserve nothing, that the victims of debt peonage deserve nothing, that that political plunder of black communities entitle them to nothing, if this is the candidate of the radical left—then expect white supremacy in America to endure well beyond our lifetimes and lifetimes of our children.

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Jan
08

Pushing back the crazy in North Carolina

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There is enough crazy (and crazies) in NC to fill several wildlife refuges. Still, Gov. Pat McCrory is rated one of the most vulnerable Republican governors seeking reelection this fall. With state agencies allegedly dragging their feet over complying with federal voter registration laws, activists are not sitting around waiting for Bernie or Hillary to swoop in and save the day. The North Carolina NAACP and Democracy North Carolina are mounting a multi-pronged get-out-the-vote effort across the state. Rev. Dr. William Barber, president of the state NAACP and leader of the Forward Together Moral Monday Movement came to Asheville, North Carolina this week to promote the “It’s Our Time — It’s Our Vote” campaign. The coalition announced the campaign on December 1, the 60th anniversary of Rosa Parks’ protest on a Montgomery, Alabama bus. Mountain Xpress reports:

“Others have had their time over past few years to vote on regressive policies. It’s our time now,” Barber commented. “In North Carolina, we have been fighting the worst voter suppression law in the country.” In partnership with other organizations, the NAACP has challenged new voting laws passed in 2013, including voter identification requirements, the elimination of same-day voter registration and the elimination of out-of-precinct voting. Barber asked attendees to spread the word about a July 2015 change in the North Carolina General Assembly statute which allows voting without ID in the case of a “reasonable impediment” to obtaining identification.

“Go and vote,” urged Barber. “The law has not been fully adjudicated. They had to water it down because they knew what they had passed was totally unconstitutional. That came from our efforts and those of our partners.”

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