Democratic Senators Side With Trump?

The Washington Post reports that six Democratic senators from states that went for Donald Trump are supporting punishing corporations that outsource labor.

Six Democratic senators from Rust Belt states won by President-elect Donald Trump called Tuesday for a swift congressional crackdown on U.S. companies that send manufacturing jobs abroad, claiming common cause with Trump’s crusade against outsourcing.

Trump on Sunday tweeted that “any business that leaves our country for another country, fires its employees, builds a new factory or plant in the other country, and then thinks it will sell its product back into the U.S. without retribution or consequence, is WRONG!” He threatened to impose a 35 percent tariff on goods those companies seek to import.

I don’t think that this is sound economic policy…whether Mr. Trump is saying it or my senator is saying it…and what I find troubling is…my senator is saying it.

The Democratic senators from Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin stopped short of calling for a protectionist tariff regime. But in a letter to congressional leaders Tuesday, they applauded “the recent attention President-elect Trump has brought to the issue of outsourcing and its impact on middle-class families” and called for legislation that would penalize companies that send jobs abroad.

Those penalties, they say, should include taking into consideration any history of outsourcing while awarding federal contracts and potentially keeping outsourcers from receiving tax breaks and other federal incentives, and “clawing back” those incentives if companies later ship jobs out of the country.

“The loss of manufacturing jobs in our states has contributed to the decades-long trend of the declining middle class,” the letter reads. “We believe these principles — which we intend to introduce as legislation — are critical to our shared commitment to encourage companies to invest in the United States and in American workers.”

Yes it is time to have a national discussion on economic issues in this country…a discussion on trade…on tariffs…on sanctions…on inducements. But there needs to be sound discussions. Educational discussions. Not shoot from the hip emotional reactions. There is far more going on in corporate decisions that deserve to be examined and discussed.

But I have to wonder if the six senators are serious? Or calling Mr. Trump’s bluff? Or patronizing their local constituency who voted for Mr. Trump? All three possibilities make me even more uneasy about the future relationships between Congress and the White House.

The lead signer of the letter was Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), who praised the decision last month by Carrier Corp., under pressure from Trump, to reverse its decision to send hundreds of Indianapolis manufacturing jobs to Mexico. Also signing the letter were Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Robert P. Casey Jr. (D-Pa.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.) and Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.).

Short Note to Democratic Party Associated Organizations

Just damn stop it. If you want/need some money from me just ask. Send out a well written fund raising letter/email and ask.

I am fed up with the scare headlines and messy looking emails with the 10 different suggested donation amounts. Act like grown ups…act like professionals…treat me with respect. I know we have a big challenge coming up. But you aren’t trying to work with me…you are trying to scare me into opening my wallet again and again and again.

Enough!

This is a email subject line that is supposed to get me to act?: “Milwaukee eliminates Medicare?!?!” Really?

or “Need to stop this”. or “Obamacare repeal announced” or “Whoa, we’ve got to be ready:” or “UPDATE: Donald Trump attacks Medicare”.

Enough!

Nancy Pelosi Has Got To Go

I have no axe to grind with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. I respect her accomplishments as a member of the House, as the first woman Speaker of the House, and most recently as minority leader.

But if we haven’t learned from the 2016 presidential election cycle, particularly from the insurgent campaign of Senator Bernie Sanders and the eventual win of Donald Trump. that the electorate wants change, what are we doing here?

There is no way we can think about winning 2018 if we roll out the same ole some ole. We need new leadership. We need someone fresh who can take on the GOP majority. We need someone who can inspire the newly franchised, the newly involved. We need someone who will take on Donald Trump.

I don’t have a dog in this fight…other than Nancy Pelosi should not be re-elected to her house minority leadership position.

For another take on her leadership and her apparent plan to consolidate her power: Black Caucus member knocks Pelosi over leadership shakeup.

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.

Hillary Clinton’s #basementdwellers

Yesterday the hashtag #basementdwellers gained a lot of traction on social media after leaked audio of Hillary Clinton speaking to donors about Bernie Sanders’ supporters appeared online.

While Hillary Clinton never actually used the term “basement dwellers” exactly, she came pretty darn close.

“Some are new to politics completely. They’re children of the Great Recession and they are living in their parents’ basement. They feel they got their education, and the jobs that are available to them are not at all what they envisioned for themselves, and they don’t see much of a future,” Clinton said. “I met with a group of young black millennials today, and, you know, one of the young women said, ‘You know, none of us feel like we have the job that we should have gotten out of college, and we don’t believe the job market is going to give us much of a chance.’”

While I’m not nearly as outraged as many Bernie Sanders are regarding Clinton’s comments, I’m not one bit surprised. After all, this is the same candidate who referred to many of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s supporters as a “basket of deplorables.”

HuffPo: Are Democrats Blowing Their Chance To Take Back The House?

Last week Matt Fuller of the Huffington Post wrote a great piece outlining how national Democrats may be snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, thanks in large part to their lackluster candidate recruitment efforts.

House Republicans are currently defending their largest congressional majority since 1929. And in the year of Donald Trump, it’s possible that Democrats could pick up a considerable number of seats, taking back control of the chamber.

But after Election Day, if those gains are more modest than considerable, Democrats might rightfully ask if thoughts that they could win the House were less of a possibility and more of a dream.

There’s no shortage of theories on why Democrats would have a hard time taking back the House. Ask aides at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and you’ll likely get some combination of factors including a gerrymandered map and some close districts ― take Staten Island, New York, for example ― where Trump isn’t such a drag on the ticket.

But ask aides at the National Republican Campaign Committee, and they’ll give you a simple answer: Democratic candidate recruitment.

“The DCCC’s recruitment efforts have been an unmitigated disaster, and that’s being kind,” said Katie Martin, a spokeswoman for the NRCC.

On Thursday, NRCC Chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.) told reporters at a National Press Club event that Democrats had “multiple recruitment failures” that will help Republicans keep a healthy majority in the House.

Over at DownWithTyranny!, Howie Klein cites just one example of Democrats failing to recruit a good candidate and then giving up on a winnable seat once their preferred candidate did not prevail.

Let me start with an example: PA-07, the suburban Philly district– large swathes of Delaware, Montgomery, and Chester counties and slivers of Berks and Lancaster counties– that was formerly represented by Joe Sestak and is now held by weak and vulnerable Republican Pat Meehan. Obama won the district in 2008 with 53% and then lost it narrowly in 2012 with 49%. (On the same day Democratic Senator Bob Casey swept the district, running up massive landslides in Delaware and Montgomery counties and respectable wins in Berks and Chester.) Current polling shows Hillary likely to crush Señor Trumpanzee by at least 2-1 in the district. Earlier in the cycle, the DCCC pointed to PA-07 as exactly the kind of district it had to win back to take back the House. They recruited some Wall Street schnook, Bill Golderer, to run against the local grassroots candidate, Mary Ellen Balchunis, put Golderer on their laughable Red-to-Blue list, made sure he was loaded with cash– he spent $351,551 against Mary Ellen– and told Democratic donors to not contribute to Mary Ellen, aggressively sabotaging her campaign. Her door-to-door grassroots campaign spent less than a tenth of what Golderer and his DCCC allies spent but on primary day, she kicked their asses from Skippack and Whitmarsh down through Springfield, Upper Providence, Marple and Radnor and all the way up and around the gerrymandered district into the suburbs south and east of Reading. On primary night, Pelosi and Israel and Lujan were left in shock as their silly puppet candidate’s massively expensive campaign drew just 18,276 votes (26%) to Mary Ellen’s 51,525 votes (74%).

Goal ThermometerSo what does Pelosi, Inc do? Embrace Mary Ellen– when women win, America wins or something– and buckle down in a display of party unity to beat Meehan? Don’t be silly. Pelosi and her wretched DCCC left the district and wrote it off– the must win suburban district Hillary is crushing Trump in. Mary Ellen Balchunis is a mainstream progressive political science professor who backed Hillary in the primary but she’s too independent-minded, too much like Elizabeth Warren, for a DCCC that’s looking for zombie followers instead of dedicated leaders with actual ideas about serving their constituents. And… that was the end of the Beltway press ever mentioning PA-07 again. Right down the Cook Report memory hole– BOOM!… disappeared off the face of the map.

If Hillary Clinton wins the presidency in November and Democrats don’t win control of the House, it’ll be interesting to see who the Democratic blame, because it certainly seems like they have no one to blame but themselves.

What’s up with Assembly candidate Julie Meyer’s husband? (VIDEO)

Yesterday Randy Bryce of the excellent Iron Stache blog posted a piece questioning why Julie Meyer decided to challenge incumbent Democratic State Rep. Christine Sinicki in the 20th Assembly district. In his piece Bryce pointed out the many positive things Rep. Sinicki has done during her time in office, but he also noted the recent behavior of Julie Meyer’s husband Michael Meyer, who showed up at a campaign event for Rep. Sinicki and then seemed to challenge one of Rep. Sinicki’s sons to a physical altercation following the event as seen in the video below.

To add context to the video, the person taking the video is Jim Sinicki, one of Rep. Sinicki’s sons. The person yelling from his vehicle at Jim Sinicki is Michael Meyer, husband to Julie Meyer, Rep. Sinicki’s challenger in the Democratic primary. At one point in the exchange, Meyer yells, “If you’re feeling froggy sir jump” at Jim Sinicki. I was present during the exchange between Michael Meyer and Jim Sinicki, and Meyer’s statement seemed to me to be an attempt to provoke a physical altercation with Jim Sinicki.

In addition to his behavior after Rep. Sinicki’s event, Michael Meyer got into a confrontation with Sinicki’s supporters during her event, as you can see in the video below.

What’s truly troubling about Michael Meyer’s behavior during and after Rep. Sinicki’s event is that he has a history of engaging in harassing behavior, resulting in a harassment restraining order being issued against Michael Meyer until September 25, 2016. According to the Wisconsin Circuit Court Access website the court found Michael Meyer had engaged in a pattern of conduct against an individual that established grounds of harassment on his part, and a harassment injunction was issued against him.

Court finds that there has been a pattern of conduct that respondent has engaged in and finds that the petitioner has established grounds of harrassment by the respondent. Court therefore affirms the decision entered on 9/25/12 by Comm. Honrath and that the injunction shall remain in full force and effect.

As I noted above the harassment restraining order against Michael Meyer is in effect until September 25, 2016.

Chris Abele endorses his favorite kind of Democrat

In a move that should surprise absolutely no one, Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele has endorsed State Senator Lena Taylor for reelection.

“I’m proud to endorse Senator Lena Taylor’s reelection on August 9. Lena has the track record of getting things done that we need in the State Capitol. Whether it’s Democrats or Republicans in the majority, Lena has always been able to work with anyone to get bills passed.”

Notably, Lena Taylor has worked with Wisconsin’s Republicans to pass Castle Doctrine laws that provide legal protections to people who shoot home intruders and to make concealed carry of firearms legal, and she also supported Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s plan to increase the per-pupil aid to voucher and charter schools.

VIDEO: Bernie Sanders gets booed for urging his supporters to support Hillary Clinton

Watch as Democratic Sen. Bernie Sanders gets booed by his own supporters after he called on them today to support presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and her running mate Tim Kaine.

As many of you know I was a strong and proud supporter of Sen. Sanders’ presidential campaign, but I can’t support this kind of behavior. While I appreciate the disappointment so many of Sen. Sanders’ supporters feel at the lengths the Democratic establishment went to hinder Sanders’ campaign, there will come a time when the Democratic establishment is held accountable for their undemocratic behavior.

This election is too important to “sit it out” or vote for a third party candidate, because we can’t allow Donald Trump to win this election and turn our country into the worst version of itself.

Don’t Like How The Democrats Pick Their Presidential Candidate?

So over the past 9 or 10 months of the primary season there has been a great deal of wailing and gnashing of teeth on how the Democratic Party selects their candidate for president. Many people and a candidate have complained about the rigged process and the unfairness of super delegates and closed primaries and caucuses and debates and such…on and on and on…although these things have been a known quantity in one form or another for decades.

Now let me repeat part of this with emphasis added: “…how the Democratic Party selects “their” candidate for president”. And let me stress one more time: CANDIDATE

Should the process be reviewed? Are there places for improvement? Sure, without a doubt. But be careful what you wish for…

The one overreaching complaint of course is that the process isn’t democratic (well it is within the party but for the overall population not so much…but that’s how it should be). But compare the American process for selecting a candidate to the British process of actually electing the next leader of their nation, the Prime Minister!

First, the Conservative Party holds the majority in Parliament. Three Conservative Party members wanted to be Prime Minister…so a primary was held to narrow the field down to two. Did the great population of Great Britain vote in the primary? No, it came down to the 329 Conservative Party members of Parliament…they voted the first round:

Britain is on course to get its second female prime minister, after Conservative lawmakers chose Home Secretary Theresa May and Energy Minister Andrea Leadsom on Thursday to fight a runoff contest for leadership of the country’s governing party.

May received 199 votes in a ballot of Conservative members of Parliament, while Leadsom received 84. Justice Secretary Michael Gove got 46 votes and was eliminated from the race.

Incredibly democratic so for, hey?

So the Conservative Party has their candidates…what about the other parties? Well they get no say whatsoever. None, nil, nada. So who gets to vote? Well the 150,000 members of the Conservative Party:

Some 150,000 Conservative Party members will now vote by postal ballot on the two candidates, with the result announced Sept. 9.

The winner will replace Prime Minister David Cameron…

Wait, what? No other parties get to put forward candidates? Labor Party can’t vote? Wha?

So despite the fact that millions of Americans got to vote for the Democratic candidate for president…it’s not democratic…well compared to what? A nation that is sometimes held up as an example of the democratic process is going to elect their Prime Minister on the backs of 150,000 members of one single party just because they currently hold the majority in Parliament. Suppose we had something like that here and now in the US. Would you want Rep. Paul Ryan’s cabal selecting your next president.

Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it!