Saturday, June 29, 2019

Sober up, Democrats, or say goodbye to your dreams.

Updated 7/15/19
Sober up, Dems. I'll be putting my money in this presidential race on a  candidate with appeal in the key electoral states Democrats need to win or liberals can say goodbye to their dreams. What is becoming clear is that the Democrat's winning nominee must appeal to both blue-collar midwest and high African American turn out or Donald Trump will get his second term. What is at stake for Democrats and possible swing voters are policies fundamental to Democrats and independents. Should Trump gain a second term, it is bye, bye Roe v Wade as the Supreme Court gets more anti-Rove v Wade justices. A Trump second term would place in control more energy lobbyists and executives sabotaging climate change green goals., White nationalism would continue undermining meaningful protection of civil and minority voters rights. It means a veto pen in the White House sinking health care insurance, any expansion, more sabotage, if not completely ending any federal program like Obamacare. Trump's record is to kill affordable health care for millions of citizens and neither he nor the GOP has any feasible plan for a replacement. Democrats can quibble over totally replacing Obamacare with Medicare for All or making Medicare a public option and in debates lose any chance at either being implemented if they lose the electoral college vote.
The horse race White House winner is not determined by who gets the most popular votes. If we learned anything from 2016, Democrats won that race but they lost because of the electoral college that weights votes by each state in favor of smaller populated states and against mammoth blue New York and California. So far, the start of this presidential election cycle shows some hope for Democrats to win both the popular vote horse race and the electoral college vote. but it is not only early,  it is also marginal and iffy. In any recent popularity polls, Donald Trump has held onto his base of 42 to 44% losing to several leading Democratic contenders, but he has not expanded it, even with his job approval at 45 to 47%. Recent polls of demographic blocks, issues such as health care and immigration, swing states, and relative position of Democratic aspirants for their party's nomination provide a snapshot of where the race stands today, but as we have seen in these days of modern communication. much can happen quickly to change public opinion.
Early in the election cycle Joe Biden has shown the ability to appeal to win both key demographics and flip some states from red to blue, yet some of Democrats barking at his heels in the announced field have tried to take him down. Democrats should be wary of a circular firing squad of candidates attacking fellow aspirants to boost their own chances. Those lines of attacks could be used by the GOP to defeat them in a general election.

From a July 8 Washington Post email : The economy is the only major issue on which a majority of people approves of how Trump is doing. On foreign policy, it’s 40 percent. On taxes — remember, Republicans passed a tax bill in 2017 to try to get good marks here — it’s 42 percent. On health care — a potent issue Democrats championed to help them win back the House of Representatives last year — it’s 38 percent.
Voters would choose Trump over a socialist
Match-ups between Trump and most 2020 candidates are dead even (except for former vice president Joe Biden, who beats Trump by 10 points among registered voters in this poll). But the pendulum swings clearly toward Trump when voters are asked to choose between Trump and a “socialist." Trump is suddenly decisively ahead.

Where the race stands now
In June, some polls show Biden beating Trump is key states Trump carried in 2016, including Wisconsin, Ohio, and Michigan, as well as Florida, North Carolina and Arizona. A major portion of the Democratic party is the African American vote. Their turnout and enthusiasm are key to determining who becomes the Democratic candidate.
After the first debate, Kamala Harris attacked Biden on not being favorable enough of busing a decades ago as a way to try to paint him as a person not supportive of the Black community. This worked to her advantage and Biden was caught off guard and fumbled the answer. He took a hit in his polls but maintained his lead and support in the African American community.
As of July 13, Biden maintained a 20 point lead among African American voters in spite of Harris' strategy. Biden's 40 years in high profile public office is less a bane and more of a boon when it comes to appealing to the Black community. Not only does he have a record of defending civil rights on many more issues, but he also served as vice president with Barack Obama, America's first African American president, who trusted him explicitly. He is a known quantity which makes Harris' attacks less effective. Biden's track record is a safe one based on years of trust. Harris, African American/Asian, has been under fire for past support of law enforcement issues opposed by African Americans when she was attorney general of California. Her debate strategy of attacking Biden on busing was a breakout moment for her, showing her political acumen and her debate skills that could take on Trump, moving her up the polling ladder.
Trump and the GOP are banking on the white nationalist elements of their base. To solidify that support, they are launching extreme anti-immigrant and anti-minority policies, hyping fears of a large swath of voters, facing a future where whites will be a minority of voters. This month, Trump announced policies and actions to maintain his hate and fear bonafides, including ICE raids, Vice President Pence visited scary looking male migrants crammed into chain linked holding pens being treated badly. Pence did not visit the facilities housing children separated from parents. Trump announced he is planning to remove the ability of asylum seekers to reach US borders. by forcing them to remain in Mexico. He failed in his attempt to get a citizenship question on the 2020 census form as the SupremeCourt ruled against him, but his effort should at least keep his base happy. Trump media is attempting to paint four women Representatives of color who are outspokenly left of the rest of the Democratic caucus, as representative of all Democratic candidates, sending them "back" to where they came from. , The GOP is also attempting to brand all Democrats as being for open borders in spite of a difference among candidates on the issue of criminalization or decriminalization of undocumented migrants. or plans to secure and improve the immigration system. This may work for Trump, but Biden's 40-year history makes that a hard sell as an older white man with a known history and a reservoir of trust as a rational, thoughtful, public servant.
On health care, Biden has carved out the most moderate approach of the top four, whose position was announced July 13 as keeping Obamacare but providing a buy-in to Medicare, while permitting those who like their private, union, or employer-provided insurance to keep it. Advocates of the more extreme version of Medicare for All would do away with private insurance (except for supplementals) and move consumers into a single payer plan. The GOP's obvious strategy is to scare consumers away from any Democratic by charging them as socialists. Polls show that tagging any candidate as a socialist is a very effective strategy, with Trump beating any candidate branded with that term, fair or not. The tag of "socialism" is especially toxic to Democrats in swing states per an Axios poll. Biden's 40-year record makes sticking him with "socialist" a hard sell.
Obamacare was originally designed to have a public option, government-provided insurance plans like Medicare or one offered to federal employees, to provide competition that would force private insurers to become cheaper. Biden's plan for prescription drugs would be to permit Medicare to bargain with drug companies for the best price. Currently, drug companies and Medicare and Medicaid are forbidden by law to bargain, permitting drug companies to continue to gouge consumers with their own price setting. Biden would also allow consumers to get their prescriptions from providers abroad, giving US drug companies competition they do not have now. Both Sanders and Warren would eliminate private and employer insurance for a Medicare for All plan for everyone, a single payer system more like the Canadian model. Harris has supported legislation of both approaches, the public option, and the Sanders/Warren approach..

From a July 8 Washington Post email : The economy is the only major issue on which a majority of people approves of how Trump is doing. On foreign policy, it’s 40 percent. On taxes — remember, Republicans passed a tax bill in 2017 to try to get good marks here — it’s 42 percent. On health care — a potent issue Democrats championed to help them win back the House of Representatives last year — it’s 38 percent.
Voters would choose Trump over a socialist
Match-ups between Trump and most 2020 candidates are dead even (except for former vice president Joe Biden, who beats Trump by 10 points among registered voters in this poll). But the pendulum swings clearly toward Trump when voters are asked to choose between Trump and a “socialist." Trump is suddenly decisively ahead.

Monday, June 24, 2019

Trump's nasty women problem

A version of this was published on line in the Sky Hi News, June 30, 2019

Update August 27, 2019:  He takes his nasty women problem to the international stage and insults the head of Denmark

Trump Says He Canceled Denmark Trip Because PM's Response to Greenland Purchase Plan Was 'Nasty'

  •  As the umpteenth woman comes forward to reveal  Donald Trump raped her years ago, a vast yawn erupted from all but a few. So what else is new. What is not new is that  Donald Trump still has a nasty woman problem. Have you noticed how FOX and social media favorable to Donald Trump have become obsessed with Rep.Alexandria Ocasio- Cortez (AOC)?  In his rally announcing his second term, President Trump spent a significant amount of his speech time, fixated on Hillary Clinton, much to the delight of his audience who chanted “lock her up”. I pinched myself to make sure this was not in the middle of the 2016 campaign. It was the third presidential debate in 2016  when Candidate Trump called Hillary Clinton a "nasty woman". In June this year, he called House Speaker Nancy Pelosi a “nasty, vindictive, horrible person”.  His name calling is not a  problem aimed at a few powerful women.  It is a millstone around his re-election neck.

    Trump supportive media often reports AOC’s inflammatory words, usually with a visual image showing her angry.  So much extensive hackle-raising coverage by media must have explained why I had a strange conversation the other day. A friend of mine, a dedicated Trump supporter and FOX fan, insisted to me that AOC was running for president.  I tried to set her straight that AOC was not running for president. Oh yes, she is, my friend responded. I changed the subject to gardening.  Eventually, my friend would figure it out herself when AOC never appeared on the Democratic candidate debate stage.

    Why I asked me, is there such an obsession with very outspoken women politicians by those in the Trump camp?  Clinton’s ideology, mainstream old fashioned Democrat, more middle of the road and AOC’s democratic socialism, a more radical view expressed in blunt and inflammatory ways, were not the same, either on issue positions or in style. AOC is much younger and more photogenic. Trump is justified in fearing Pelosi because she indeed has the power, skills, and  official position to challenge him, but not because she is “nasty”.

    There had to be some reason that caused such a devotion of time to promote fear and loathing of women who were not running for president in 2020.  You would expect Trump, as a candidate to spend even more time to boasting of the great economy or his method of keeping America free of immigrants. However, “Build the wall” is still a chant at Trump’s recent rally, but even then  AOC became the icon of wall opposition, too.  Hope springs eternal, but Trump’s failure to build it is countered by announced ICE mass deportations and the building of more detention camps. Tongues on both sides of the aisle wagged at AOC’s calling these camps "concentration camps". Granted, no one was being marched off to Nazi ovens, but the image of such facilities is hard to erase. Media coverage of unaccompanied  migrant children crammed into unsanitary facilities, lice infected and dirty, and remaining there far past the few days they were supposed to be kept  there may be a bargaining chip to force Democrats to fund border security, but cruelty to so many so young is a turnoff even to some women who profess to be Evangelical Christians. The Marist poll found 62% of women said that Trump’s emergency declaration at the border  made them less likely to vote for Trump in 2020. 

    I have my theories about this obsession with AOC and Hillary Clinton, but from a political strategy, does it make sense or not?  One way it could make sense is to consider  it a method  to paint  every single woman candidate with the same brush of an uppity, nasty  woman to be feared  as some radical force infecting the entire Democratic field. More likely  Donald Trump is simply ginning up his base that already contains voters hostile to women as a way to increase their enthusiasm and turnout. A study by  a Tuft University professor post-2016 as reported in the Washington Post concluded that "Most voters with hostile sexist views were in the Republican camp, ...; they had been moving Republican for many election cycles."  The researcher found that other factors  were more important in determining the 2016 outcome.

    On the other hand, looking at the results of the 2018 midterms and the failure of the GOP in attracting suburban women that most attribute to flipping the House from red to blue,  it makes no political sense as a strategy to continue vilifying women if the GOP wants to expand its base.  If the GOP is to regain control of the House and keep control of the Senate and White House in 2020, it certainly would not be helpful to continue to vilify women candidates. The gender gap between the GOP and the Democratic party has always been there, but a recent poll by PEW research late spring 2019, as reflected in Trump’s job approval by gender showed there were real problems for Trump’s re-election. PEW research found “..over his first two years in office, Trump’s average approval rating was much higher among men (44%) than among women (31%).  This 13 percentage point gender gap is wider than for any of his recent predecessors, dating back to George H.W.Bush... "


      FOX and Trump favorable media have made much of a Zogby poll was taken just after Trump declared a national emergency at the border, that claimed to show suburban women “want the wall, buoying Trump after fleeing in 2018”. The poll came under immediate fire for using a proven flawed methodology.  Recent NPR, PBS, and Marist polls of suburban women of approval Trump’s national emergency declaration found only 31% of women agreed.    It is hard to believe this one the issue on immigration would offset Trump’s appointment of anti-choice Supreme Courts justices and evidence on tapes and by witnesses of his sexual assault on women.
     “To have clear evidence that Clinton’s gender cost her the election, we would expect to find that the sexist Obama voters from 2012 switched to Trump in 2016,” he tells me. “That is not what we found in our study.”

Friday, June 14, 2019

So what's so wrong with colluding with the Russians?

A version was published in the Sky Hi News, June 17, 2019

So what's wrong with collusion? President Trump just spent two and a half years afraid he would be accused of colluding with the Russians to help him get elected. Trump must have assumed " to collude "was against the law earlier, but after crowing he was cleared of collusion by special counsel Robert Mueller, Trump threw his gears in reverse to claim there was nothing wrong with collusion and he would do it again in 2020. In effect, he laid out the welcome mat for foreign interference from any foreign adversary in future American elections. If he tries to do what he did in 2016 inviting Russian interference and receiving dirt on opponents, he could be accused of a crime, whether or not he conspired or colluded.

Also for the past two and a half years. Donald Trump has been endeavoring to subvert the investigation by firing and attempting to fire the investigators and impugning the integrity of the FBI as some deep state out to get him. Per the Mueller report, there were a dozen incidents of obstructing the investigation, including recruiting subordinates and supporters to fire Mueller, and Mueller could not find evidence to clear him of obstruction. Because of the Department of Justice rules, he also could not indict a sitting president for the crime of obstruction of justice. Trump has continued with his oft-repeated line:" no collusion, no obstruction" and his supporters believe him.

The collusion reference defends on a definition or by whom or by what law defines it. He was pointedly not cleared (exonerated) of obstruction by Robert Mueller.
"Collusion" was not investigated by Special Counsel Mueller. Collusion is a broad, popular term. However, "conspiracy", the actual criminal act named in the criminal code Mueller did investigate. Here is how Mueller defined it in his report: "In evaluating whether evidence about collective action of multiple individuals constituted a crime, we applied the framework of conspiracy law, not the concept of collusion...Collusion is not a specific offense ..found in the United States Code, nor is it a term of art in federal criminal law..taking actions that were informed by or responsive to the other's actions or interests" in election interference. Mueller then cleared Trump of violating his (Mueller's) narrow definition of the "conspiracy" statutes for lack of evidence.

Trump's then tried narrowing the definition of legal collusion was just receiving dirt, opposition research, from anyone (foreign or not) on an opponent. and that was OK. It is not and there was much more contained in the definition of such activities. Oops, President Trump. “It is illegal for any person to solicit, accept, or receive anything of value from a foreign national in connection with a U.S. election.” per the Federal election laws. Now you know, Mr. President, so if you intend to accept dirt from Russia or anything else of value in 2020, you are committing a crime.

 Certainly, dirt about a political opponent is of value to a candidate. In fact, if it is intentional, it can be referred to the FBI for criminal prosecution. If it is by accident or unaware of the law, the penalty can be fines.

When Donald Trump on the stump at a campaign rally famously called on the Russians to find Clinton's missing emails, "Russians, are you listening if you can find Hillary's emails", he was soliciting Russia to get him something of value. If he would have accepted the missing emails, which did not happen, he would have also broken the law by receiving something of value from the Russians, but being a political novice, his ignorance of the law could be excused. After this flap last week, he is no longer ignorant of the law.

Why object to foreigners influencing American elections? Foreign interference in elections harms the sovereignty of the nation, shaping American citizens' opinion and hacking and controlling election results so that citizens are discouraged from voting or being registered or actually changing the votes. in 2016, Russians demonstrated they could hack election tallies in a few counties though there was no evidence they changed voters votes. In 2016 those Russian measures were geared to electing a president who had better and kinder views of their foreign government's policies than Hillary Clinton, even though Trump's policies might be contrary to American national interests. In the case of Russia, candidate Trump favored lifting sanctions, called NATO's mutual defense clauses obsolete, and generally admired Putin so ardently, his relationship with Putin was termed a "bromance". Russia's use of social media was targeted to hurt Hillary Clinton and help Donald Trump, per Mueller. How and who did it was also laid out in detail in Vol 1 of the Mueller report. In fact, twenty-five Russian spies, hackers, and GRU military intelligence operatives, and two Russian companies were indicted by the Grand Jury and the vivid details of how they did it were laid out in the Mueller report and in earlier court filings of indictments. In short, Americans who fell for the bots, ads, and social media postings that intensified mistrust and hatred of Clinton while extolling the virtues of Bernie Sanders, and the Green Party, stayed home or voted Green with an "I don't like either Trump or Clinton" rationale. Post-2016 studies by PEW concluded that the non-voters in the key industrial states actually were decided by potential Clinton voters who did not vote.

In retrospect, many marveled of how sophisticated the Russians were in targeting their social media to suppress the particular potential Clinton voters. In the Mueller report, we learned that campaign manager Paul Manafort had been sharing Trump internal campaign polling data with a business associate in Ukraine, Konstantin Kilimnik, who had training by Russian intelligence and had close connections with Oleg Deripaska,. an oligarch and friend of Putin, one of many oligarchs the Obama administration had sanctioned in 2014 for Russian incursions into eastern Ukraine.

Trump and the FBI got into a quarrel last week about whether in a political campaign, any foreign national attempting to influence an election had contacts with a campaign had to be reported to the FBI. Mueller in over 100 pages of his report had documented over 272 contacts by Trump or his campaign associates with Russians during the campaign. To clarify the requirement, Sen.Mark Warner (D-Va) immediately introduced a bill requiring such reporting which was immediately blocked by the GOP in the Senate.


Mueller came to the conclusion that Donald Trump Jr was unaware of the law so he did not intend to break it when he was lured to the Trump Tower to meet with some Russians who, in a chain of emails with him, hinted they had dirt on Hillary Clinton. Trump from Air Force One lied when asked about it, saying he thought the meeting was about Russian adoptions.

This is what set off this recent firestorm.
"Asked by ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos in the Oval Office on Wednesday whether his campaign would accept such information from foreigners -- such as China or Russia -- or hand it over the FBI, Trump said, "I think maybe you do both." "I think you might want to listen, there isn't anything wrong with listening," Trump continued. "If somebody called from a country, Norway, [and said] ‘we have information on your opponent' -- oh, I think I'd want to hear it."  FBI Director Christopher Wray told Congress that a candidate should offer that kind of information to the agency, but Trump responded: “The FBI director is wrong.”

Trump at Helsinki:

Saturday, June 8, 2019

The special value of remembering Normandy as history repeats itself

A version of this was published by the Sky Hi News, June 12, 2019
The honoring of those who died on the beaches of Normandy 75 years ago triggered some memories of early childhood and some stories told to me later. That war changed the lives of the survivors forever and certainly shaped mine. I confess that it influenced my political thought to this day as I fear the resurgence of fascism and ultra-right populist nationalism at home and abroad.
There are not that many of us left who remember much about the reasons we fought in World War II.  I have often wondered how the blight of Nazi Germany came to be and how so many stood idly by as Nazi power grew. I later married a survivor of the Balkan theater of the war I met when I was a junior year abroad student in post-war Berlin. So many friends I have made since then also shared their stories. Even 12 years after the end of the war, the scars of the battle for Berlin were raw. The rubble had been cleared, but the mortar shell pockmarks were on buildings still left standing.

In Denver, in the 1960s I met Holocaust survivors and adult children who later learned of their Jewish roots because they were left in the care of Christian families as their parents were shipped off to their death in the Nazi ovens. Others from Poland and Germany who had emigrated to the US in the '60s rarely spoke of their tragedies. Some lost their mothers in bombing raids. For me, World War II seemed horrifyingly real. It was about human suffering, survival, and loss. It was not pages and pictures in books of some distant event. I have always wondered if it could happen again. It could, I believe, if we forget this history and how it came about. Ceremonies of remembrance of those who died have a special value so we do not forget why these wars were fought.
I was lucky living in America and so was our family. World War II began for me, as my father told me when I was a year and a half old. My family living in Oklahoma and grandparents from the Ft. Morgan, Colorado area, were vacationing in Grand Lake, not far from where I live now, high in the Rocky Mountains. My father and I were awake and the rest of the family slept in the rented cabin. He took me to the car and turned on the radio. Germany had invaded Poland. The date in Europe: September 1, 1939. It was a couple of years later before the United States became part of the battle. World War II for us had its hardships and sorrows but we never suffered as those in Europe did, though we lost so many "boys" as those who fought in Europe were called. I remember tears and grim faces with news of the death of friends' and neighbors' "boys" Every adult male in both sides our family served abroad except my father who remained to manage essential communication services and a physician uncle. All of our family members who fought returned to our families. However, for four years even as a toddler and a young girl, I remember the tension in the air and on adult faces, muted conversations when I was near, and little laughter, waiting for a dreaded word of a son, brother or father's death in combat.
So excuse me if I seem so very alarmed at the rise of extreme right-wing race-based populist nationalism in Europe. In some instances, followers are openly nostalgic for a Nazi past. It is difficult to imagine so many have forgotten the lessons learned from World War II. The outcome was terrible for all involved.  Forgive me too if I seem so fearful of isolationism in this country. That same withdrawal from the world contributed to the unchecked rise of Hitler. The most extreme politicians recently rising to the highest office in Hungary and Turkey got there by fanning the flames of hatred and fear of immigrants and detested ethnic minorities, as turmoil in the middle east prompted a vast migration of refugees,  These neo-fascists gained office by the ballot box and popular support.  Once in office, their tools of consolidating their power have been subverting democracy by the destruction of an independent judiciary, the control of media and the press. and domination of legislative bodies.  Other far-right political leaders in France,  Austria, Italy, Germany, Croatia, and Poland are successively beating more moderate officeholders at the ballot box. I wonder if their citizens have lost their historical memories of World War II and the tragic results. Something similar is infecting a significant minority in the US. When I see citizens in our own country supporting a President who invites to the White House such extreme right-wing leaders, who  exhorts fear and hate of  immigrants and others of different races and religions, who brands the opposition press as "enemies of the people", who withdraws from alliances and treaties, and who uses cruelty to child immigrants as an anti-immigrant strategy, I fear for the future of American democracy for which so many died.

I wrote this as I remember with gratitude my uncles by blood and marriage who served in World War II: PFC Victor Boillot, Captain Gorden Morrow (Army Air Force), Col. John Burr (World War I and II),
Col. Felix Halstead (Spanish American War, World War I and II). The latter two were career army: Burr taught at the War College, Halstead served in the Pacific.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Democratic Party is on the verge of blowing it

As a variety of candidates take aim at front runner Joe Biden in order to increase their poll numbers by beating down Biden,  it is the usual Democratic party political stupidity. So like in 2016 the party splits, the losers sit on their hands, and Trump wins. Liberals and Progressives:  How did you like the way that worked out? Then what happens in 2020 and beyond to any form of Medicare for a single payer or as a public option...neither. Then what happens to any steps to deal with global warming...nothing. Then what happens to the Supreme Court? For years to come, expect a Trump court ruling in favor of abolishing Roe v Wade, supporting an imperial presidency, and even declaring any federal health plan, including Obamacare unconstitutional. I hope many will join me in this pledge: I will refuse to support any candidate who speaks ill of another Democrat in the race. 
Candidates need to make a case for their platform on issues and let their issue arguments and credentials speak for themselves as a way to differentiate themselves from the rest of the pack. Negative campaigns in primaries are losers for Democrats. They are a circular firing squad.

Recently, some press and candidates are aiming their weapons at the front runner Joe Biden for a history of not being in favor of pro-choice. He has evolved on the issue. In 2008 he announced he was pro-choice. A devout Catholic, he paid a price when the Archbishop of the diocese in Pennsylvania refused to give him communion.  Since 2008  Biden has had a NARAL rating of 100%. He supports Supreme Court appointees who support Roe v Wade. He had supported the Hyde Amendment that bans federal funds for abortions. June 6, he reversed his prior support, citing that formerly free services provided by Plan Parenthood clinics have been so restricted in certain states, that the poor no longer had access. ,  Other attacks have centered on his past hard-line support on law enforcement and other issues. Unlike many of his fellow aspirants,  he has baggage for being a public figure for 40 years at different times,, but what should count is where he stands now on issues and his more recent track record.,_stem_cell_research,_cloning

Not only do politicians going negative on others competing for their party's nomination create sound bites for GOP general election campaign ads and video clips, but it can also divert or suppress votes to hurt the Democratic party candidate.  One fallout of a split party going for the throats of fellow candidates in order to gain a political advantage is that it generates "; a plague on both your houses; I don't like either candidates"  disgust factor. Bernie Sanders famously proclaimed on CNN during the run-up to the nomination that Clinton "was not qualified to be President" because she did not support the same issues as he did.   The result is for a group of voters to flee to a third party, Greens and Libertarians or sat on their hands.  There is a case to be made that votes for third parties swung the election to Trump by splitting the potential Clinton vote in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Florida and costing her electoral college votes.

 Democrats cannot afford to have potential voters sit on their hands in 2020. A recent PEW study of 2016 demographics and attitudes concluded "The data also provide a profile of voting-eligible nonvoters. Four-in-ten Americans who were eligible to vote did not do so in 2016.  "Compared with validated voters,...and nonvoters were much more Democratic." 

 The Russians were very well aware of the importance of the disgust factor and aimed their very significant social media propaganda efforts to paint Hilliary Clinton in a very unfavorable light, even to the extent of targeting bots and lies and conspiracy theories aimed at her potential voters. Some of that social media targeting was aimed at supporting the candidacy of  Green candidate Jill Stein and Bernie Sanders as a way of splitting Democratic votes.  We know this from both the Mueller Report and the indictments of spies and GRU operatives.  This was not a matter of a few well placed online ads, either. Both the indictments of Russians and the content of the Mueller report reveals the significant extent and effectiveness of the Russian interference. 

We have marveled at Russian's sophisticated knowledge of their targeting in key swing states and their knowledge of demographics.  The secret of their sophistication may have been revealed in the Mueller Report as Trump in house polling data was share with the Russians by Paul Manafort's contacts with his business associate, Konstantin Kilimnik, a suspected Russian intelligence operative, but so much of that connection has been  redacted in the Mueller Report version released to the public.  That is why it is important that Congress gets the full unredacted version.,_stem_cell_research,_cloning

"Trump won 290 Electoral College votes to 232 for Hillary Clinton, as of Wednesday evening, with Clinton topping him in the popular vote. But had the Democrats managed to capture the bulk of third-party voters in some of the closest contests -- Wisconsin (10), Pennsylvania (20), Michigan (16) and Florida (29) -- Clinton would have defeated Trump by earning 307 Electoral College votes, enough to secure the presidency."

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Mueller's error: read the report

If the Mueller report had a major flaw, he did not write it in simple, declarative sentences without double negatives and requiring a leap of understanding logic. We have become a nation whose reading comprehension skills have declined in the age of tweets and insulting slogans and 15-second commercials. We would rather see the movie than read the book. That is why Mueller's testimony and McGahn's on TV are so important to Democrats. The Trump administration is counting on the public's lack of reading skills...and they are trying to block such testimony.