Donald “drain the swamp” Trump to name Wall Street executive to head Treasury Department

Remember during the presidential campaign when president-elect Donald Trump promised to “drain the swamp” that is Washington, D.C.?

I do, but what I don’t remember is when on the campaign trail he promised to put the foxes in charge of guarding the henhouse, but that’s exactly what he seems poised to do, as multiple reports have Trump naming former Goldman Sachs executive Steven Mnuchin as Treasury secretary.

President-elect Donald Trump is expected to name investor and former Goldman Sachs executive Steven Mnuchin as Treasury secretary, opting for an industry insider with no government experience to helm the agency that serves as the backbone of the nation’s financial system, according to people familiar with the matter.

Mnuchin joined Trump’s whirlwind campaign in May as finance chairman, despite the fact that he has never worked in politics and that he donated to Democrats in the past. He quickly earned Trump’s trust as he worked closely with the Republican National Committee to raise substantial amounts of money in a short period of time.

Mnuchin is the latest member of Trump’s top advisers to secure a high-level and influential post in the nascent administration, highlighting the importance the president-elect places on loyalty as he builds out his White House team. Last week, officials confirmed that industrialist billionaire Wilbur Ross would be nominated for Treasury secretary.

Mnuchin’s close ties to Wall Street could undermine Trump’s campaign promise to “drain the swamp” of special interests. Trump frequently lambasted big banks while on the stump – and Goldman Sachs in particular – and advocated the reinstatement of Glass-Steagall legislation that once separated retail and investment banks. In addition, Mnuchin’s involvement in the purchase in 2009 of a failed bank at the heart of the housing bust could create conflicts of interest down the road.

I hope all those folks who voted for “change” when they voted for Donald Trump are happy, because instead of a change agent they got a man who first and foremost will look out for folks like himself – the rich and entitled.

Christine Welcher: The 2016 election is over – where do we go from here?

The election is over. My mind is slowly coming out of its frozen, numb state. I’m beginning to do some deep soul searching as to what happened on Tuesday. While many are mourning over Trump’s election, my tears have been for the State of Wisconsin. Dems did not pick up any seats, in fact we lost some. Russ, our progressive leader, lost to a do-nothing candidate. I lost to an even worse do-nothing candidate. How could this have happened?

I declared my candidacy for Representative to Wisconsin’s 32nd Assembly District in December of 2015. We knew we needed time to build our reputation and get the word out about our campaign and our message of bi-partisan reform. From the very beginning I found myself fighting with the state party and the local, county party over resources, access to the VAN and training. I finally realized none would be coming and I honestly think that’s what saved my sanity through the next 10 months.

We formed a grassroots movement made up of fabulous letter writers, activists and volunteers willing to knock doors and make phone calls and people willing to make videos for us and design websites, flyers and banners. We held listening sessions starting in February. We attended community events and fundraisers. We knocked doors every weekend and even during the week, all while I worked 40+ hours farming and teaching at Michael Fields Agricultural Institute. During the last 2 months we upped our game. Wednesday and Friday we held signs and waved at busy intersections throughout the district as people were coming home. Thurs, Sat and Sun we knocked doors to build relationships and let our neighbors know we were going to be there, right by their side, until things improved. Whenever I got a few minutes I worked on my call list of targeted possible Trump Supporters. You see, we knew the stats and reality. Dems can’t win in these districts by only getting out the Dem vote. WI isn’t the 5th worst gerrymandered state in history because of unwillingness to vote. It’s the 5th worst because they (the GOP) did a damn fine job making sure they would never lose a seat.

Even with all of this, I lost. The silver lining is we did do better than both Hillary and Russ in our district so we know we are on to something. This year the anti-establishment craze was so strong, no one even remotely connected to it was safe. My sin was I had a “D” behind my name. Hillary Clinton has 30+ years of ties to Washington and government. While in most years that would be seen as an impressive resume, this year it was the cement shoes that sunk us all. Of course hindsight is 20/20, but some of us have been saying this from the beginning.

I know this will ruffle some feathers, but I don’t blame the people who voted for Trump. I blame the DNC and the DPW. I especially blame the DPW because we all knew how much we needed to pick up some seats in both the Assembly and Senate. There was no mention or support for Assembly or Senate races in the Monday Messages, or the weekly Chair’s Report. Nothing! At the county level, things are so disorganized and short staffed the parties just stood back and let the coordinated campaign take over. Somehow with their fancy “science” and numbers they (The Coordinated Campaign – CC) was able to convince local people, who know the breakdown of D vs R, that it’s ok to just target Dems because, “When people turn out, Dems win!” YAY!!!! Except that didn’t happen. Not only did that not happen, but somehow the GOP got the majority of new voters to come out and vote against someone, instead of for someone, for the first time in a long time.

There were not voter registration drives in my area. There were no listening sessions or town halls to try to spread a message of empowerment and togetherness. Hell, we didn’t even try to talk to people on “the other side” because it was seen as “a waste of time.” A waste of time??? A waste of time to try and pitch your side? To try and see where they are coming from and give them a better option? I was pretty much blown over when I got that response from my local CC organizer. That’s the day I stopped coming into the county office and decided I was officially 100% independent of the party and their support.

Where exactly does the blame lie? I don’t know. I’ll be honest; I don’t know how this whole party thing works. I was naive enough to think if you put yourself out there and sacrificed a year of your life Dems would support you as best as they could. Turns out you have to be in the “inner circle” or a “sure thing” in order to get support and that’s really sad. I honestly don’t know what we could have done differently. We worked our butts off and my opponent literally did nothing.

That’s been the hardest pill to swallow. The fact that an incumbent can have a reputation for not attending district meetings, not responding to citizens’ concerns, and then not even attempt to campaign and still be elected by 20+ points. The reputation of the Democratic Party is so tarnished in the rural areas that a good candidate with an amazing team can’t even have a shot at winning. Where do we go from here?

1) Stronger County Parties
In my experience, county party boards last for a few years, get burnt out and then everyone quits. There are so few volunteers or members the same handful of people gets stuck doing everything. When they do quit there’s no records or continuity so the whole county has to start over. This is the same for candidates who try to run. No notes on where to leave signs, who’s willing to organize, make calls, knock doors, etc. Even though I declared in December of last year, it really wasn’t until July/August that we finally got things semi-figured out and organized. That’s a lot of wasted time.

The state party needs to re-allocate their budget. All counties should be able to apply for grants and assistance to keep an office open all year, every year. Parties and party members should get involved in the community on off years by volunteering, helping with community fundraisers or holiday meals, you name it. The more active the party is with their community the more support and resources they get from the state. We need our neighbors to see we value them every day, not just 2 months every 4 years.

2) More resources for training and outreach
We need a new message. We need big ideas and we need the courage to stand behind them. This is going to take a whole new approach to messaging, outreach, and basic community building. We need our neighbors to know we are just like them. We, too, want a brighter future for our kids, roads that don’t send our cars to the shop for alignment problems, better paying jobs.

We need monthly workshops on communicating with other viewpoints, on messaging and organizing. We need committees for aspiring writers who can channel their pain and anger into letters to the editor or opinion pieces. We need small subgroups to keep people involved, engage and active. I don’t know about other areas but we go from 200 members in an election year to 80 members a year later. This has to stop. We have to keep our members and continue to grow our county parties, especially with younger blood! (Sorry, not sorry!)

3) Whole New Approach to Elections
We cannot continue to pander to people for their vote. We need to start building relationships, lasting relationships. Not just to get through the presidential elections. We also need to change our focus from top of the ticket to bottom of the ticket! We need the majority of resources going to local and state races. The presidential candidates can raise their own money and can pay for their own volunteers. We are going to keep ours!

We live in this state. We don’t get to move back to some other area once the election is lost. Start investing in Wisconsin! Start emphasizing the importance of local candidates, assembly candidates, senate candidates. These are the people who are responsible for the majority of legislation that affects our daily lives. Once we turn the focus to local elections and make people understand how important they are, we don’t have to worry about low voter turnout in mid-term years. Every year is important!

This might be a good place to start, but the important thing is we start. If the state party won’t listen, we do it ourselves. What happened on Tuesday can never happen again! Democrats either need to become the Party of We, the People, or we need to replace them with a party who will. I have to say at this point I’m fine with both options. I’m done talking and thinking and “let’s see-ing.” I want change and I want it now.

Christine Welcher
East Troy, WI

From the files of “This is why we can’t have nice things” Peter Barca re-elected Assembly minority leader

Apparently Assembly Democrats aren’t content to hold the fewest seats they’ve held since 1957, as they re-elected Rep. Peter Barca to serve as their leader for the next two years.

State Rep. Peter Barca will continue as the state Assembly’s Democratic leader.

Barca, D-Kenosha, was re-elected by his colleagues Tuesday, a week after voters increased Republican majorities in the Legislature and made Donald Trump the first Republican presidential candidate to win the state since 1984.

The vote was made through a secret ballot. No one ran against Barca.

I’m not sure why Peter Barca was unopposed for minority leader, given the miserable showing Democrats had last week, but it certainly seems to me establishment Democrats really don’t care if they win back the majority – they seem to have given up.

That’s a shame, and it’s exactly what we don’t need right now.

Welcome to Donald Trump’s AmeriKKKa!

Welcome to Donald Trump’s America, where white supremacy groups are emboldened thanks to his hateful rhetoric.

One of the largest Ku Klux Klan groups in the country has announced a parade to celebrate President-elect Donald Trump’s win.
The Loyal White Knights of Pelham, N.C., says on its website that its parade will take place on Dec. 3.
“TRUMP = TRUMP’S RACE UNITED MY PEOPLE,” says the website’s front page.

No time or location for the event is listed, and a phone call to the number on its website was not returned.
The group has between 150 and 200 members and is “perhaps the most active Klan group in the United States today,” according to the Anti-Defamation League. Last year, it was part of a South Carolina protest against the Confederate flag’s removal from the state Capitol.

I suspect we’ll see more of these types of activities from hate groups who are now emboldened by Donald Trump’s hateful and divisive rhetoric, and no doubt hate speech and attacks from those who feel Donald Trump has given a powerful voice to what they’ve been feeling.

Donald Trump shows yet again that he has zero class (VIDEO)

On Thursday night Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump each gave speeches roasting the other at the annual Alfred E. Smith Dinner to benefit charity, as has been an election year tradition for a number of years.

However, Donald Trump’s remarks about Hillary Clinton were notable in that they seemed to cross the line from roasting to attacking, drawing boos from the crowd in attendance.

Donald Trump was booed Thursday night at the annual Alfred E. Smith Dinner after delivering a series of jabs at his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton, including trying to riff on a controversial remark he made at the latest presidential debate about her being a “nasty woman.” Clinton also didn’t play nice, however her jokes appeared to be more well-received by the crowd.

The dinner in New York, to benefit charity, is supposed to be a light-hearted roast where the presidential candidates take jabs at themselves and each other, but the event came just a day after the particularly nasty third presidential debate.

During the debate, the candidates didn’t shake hands or acknowledge each other before or after the forum.

Trump, who spoke first, tried at first to keep things light-hearted, but quickly turned to harsh criticism about Clinton, who he described as “corrupt.” His remarks drew boos from the crowd, unprecedented for the event in the memories of observers.

If you’d like to watch for yourselves, here’s full video of Donald Trump’s speech at the Alfred E. Smith dinner, with Trump’s remarks crossing from roast to attack at about the 10:41 mark.

And here’s video of Hillary Clinton’s roast of Donald Trump.

I know it goes without saying, but after watching and re-watching Donald Trump’s speech, it’s clear to me that he’s completely and utterly incapable of being anything other than a small, petty, spiteful man.

Donald Trump’s firsts

Just something I’ve been pondering tonight…

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has set a series of firsts during the 2016 election cycle, and I think those firsts are worth noting.

Donald Trump is….

  • …the first presidential candidate in 40 years not to release his full tax returns.
  • …the first presidential candidate to threaten to jail his opponent if elected.
  • …the first presidential candidate to admit on tape to having engaged in inappropriate and possibly illegal sexual behavior.

The fact that Donald Trump is the Republican Party’s standard bearer doesn’t bode well for the future of that party, to say the least.

Remember that time George W. Bush’s White House lost 22 million emails?

For all the caterwauling by conservatives about the deletion of 33,000 emails off the private server of former Secretary of State and current Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, I don’t remember those same conservatives voicing the same level of outrage about the fact that the administration of Republican president George W. Bush “lost” 22 million emails.

For 18 months, Republican strategists, political pundits, reporters and Americans who follow them have been pursuing Hillary Clinton’s personal email habits, and no evidence of a crime has been found. But now they at least have the skills and interest to focus on a much larger and deeper email conspiracy, one involving war, lies, a private server run by the Republican Party and contempt of Congress citations—all of it still unsolved and unpunished.

Clinton’s email habits look positively transparent when compared with the subpoena-dodging, email-hiding, private-server-using George W. Bush administration. Between 2003 and 2009, the Bush White House “lost” 22 million emails. This correspondence included millions of emails written during the darkest period in America’s recent history, when the Bush administration was ginning up support for what turned out to be a disastrous war in Iraq with false claims that the country possessed weapons of mass destruction (WMD), and, later, when it was firing U.S. attorneys for political reasons.

Democratic Assembly candidate Jack Redmond: Why is Jessie Rodriguez silent about her support for Donald Trump?

From my email inbox comes this press release from Democratic State Assembly candidate Jack Redmond, the challenger to incumbent Republican State Rep. Jessie Rodriguez. In the release Redmond questions why Rep. Rodriguez has remained silent about her support for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

Here’s the full release.

OAK CREEK, WI – During Sunday’s Presidential debate, Republican candidate Donald Trump stated – “Nobody has more respect for women than I do.”

Candidate for Wisconsin Assembly District 21, Jack Redmond, has this official response:
“Donald Trump is a liar. His monstrous statements revealed last week are shocking and promote violence against women. I married my high school sweetheart Margie, and raised two daughters with Wisconsin values – honoring hard-work, sacrifice and cultivating a sense of duty to one’s neighbor. For 7 years I chaperoned Oak Creek High School marching band events for my kids. I encouraged them to excel at track and cross-country, promising them their focus and dedication were the only limits to their success. My wife worked her tail off: she was a bus driver, a paralegal and a armored car driver throughout the years. Anyway that you look at it, my wife Margie respects women more than Donald Trump.

As parents we sacrificed for decades to save and help pay for college, and because of their commitment and guts, both my daughters marched Big Ten football fields as proud Badgers in the UW-Madison Marching Band. For 17 years, for seventeen Christmas Eves, I was knocking on doors with UPS until 9pm to deliver last-minute packages, suffering through coughs and colds during the Holidays so folks could share Holiday cheer with their kids and loved ones. I told my girls that if they wanted to be Generals, astronauts, lawyers, professors, doctors or entrepreneurs – there was no ceiling to their achievements. I respect women more than Donald Trump. I’m shocked to share a ballot with this buffoon.

I’ve knocked on thousands of doors since last Winter, talking to voters and neighbors about changing the way Madison does business. Folks are constantly asking me: Does Representative Jessie Rodriguez support Donald Trump? Rep. Rodriguez has recently turned down a forum with South Milwaukee parents, and has refused to debate or discuss in public our contrasting views.

Why is Rep Rodriguez silent about her support for Donald Trump? My team has produced and marketed a campaign video to show our total disgust with the Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump – and we’ve received over 10,000 Facebook video views from district voters we’ve targeted.”

Is Rodriguez with Team Trump? – Video link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WMjw0hv25Mw

Report: three women accuse Donald Trump of touching them inappropriately

Another day, another account of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump engaging in sexually inappropriate behavior.

Donald Trump is facing a blizzard of fresh allegations of boorish physical behavior, days after denying during Sunday’s presidential debate that he had ever groped women.

At least three women came forward in stories published Wednesday to say — on the record — that the Republican nominee had touched them inappropriately.

Story Continued Below

In an explosive new report by The New York Times, two woman said that Trump made unwanted sexual advances during incidents decades apart. His campaign is denying the story as “fiction.”

A third woman, 36-year-old Mandy McGillivray, accused Trump, in an interview with the Palm Beach Post, of grabbing her posterior 13 years ago. The Trump campaign has not commented on that allegation.

Also Wednesday, CBS News unearthed footage from a 1992 “Entertainment Tonight” Christmas special that shows Trump talking to a young girl on an escalator at Trump Tower, then turning to the camera to say, “I am going to be dating her in 10 years. Can you believe it?”

Earlier, BuzzFeed reported that four women who participated in Trump’s Teen USA beauty pageants said he would frequently barge into their dressing areas as they were changing.

C’mon conservative supporters of Donald Trump – defend this behavior. Defend your nominee!