Michael Vadon / Flickr Donald Trump Sr at FITN in...
Michael Vadon / Flickr

Yup, you read that right!  Have you been stressing about that pesky 20-30% of the country who not only won’t abandon Trump but love him with all their hearts no matter what he does?  I get you, they worry me too, but I was thinking about it yesterday and I think those folks are going to give us the election.

Why?  Well even though they are not a big enough group to swing a general election (unless we all stay home, which we have shown in special election after special election, ***we will not be staying home***) they are very important to getting the republican nomination.

So what is happening?  Republican primaries are becoming contests for who loves Trump more.

At a church 5K run and a local Republican convention, an early voting station and a panel discussion hosted by a pro-Trump group, the GOP congressman in the midst of a primary battle typically waited between five and 30 seconds before invoking the president as he campaigned last weekend.

It was a constant reminder of the lengths Republican candidates are going to embrace Trump this primary season, from here in Pittenger’s district to Senate races in West Virginia, Ohio and Indiana, all places where primary Election Day comes May 8. It’s more evidence of the president’s grip on the GOP base—and of the perils facing any Republican candidate in a conservative area who is perceived as insufficiently supportive of Trump.

Here is the thing, although that may get their base out and get them the Republican nod, it isn’t going to bring the moderates to their side and it is going to motivate the heck out of *our* base.  And if there is one thing the special elections have shown, it is that no seat is too red to be in play.  So thanks GOP base, for giving us plenty of copy and energy for the November elections!

And there is a Democrat running in that district described above who has a real shot.

Democrat Dan McCready continued to outraise 9th Congressional District rivals and had more than $1 million more on hand at the end of March than incumbent Republican Robert Pittenger.

McCready didn’t think about running for Congress until recently. (“The American dream I fought for overseas is under attack,” he said by way of explanation.)

McCready served in Iraq. He and another Marine later founded Double Time Capital, which invests in solar farms in North Carolina. He also founded an online retail operation that sells goods made by American craftsmen.

Watch out Republicans!  And thanks MAGA base!  We’ll send you a fruit basket when we win in November (no, we won’t).

On to the rest of the promising news for saving our democracy:

Russia Russia Russia, Cohen, and Daniels

The Republicans on the House committee are awful, but they are also idiots.  And the idiocy has saved us again and again from their damage.  They wrote a memo which ended up hurting them more than it helped them.  They forced Rosenstein to release Comey’s notes… which ended up hurting them more than it helped them.  And now they release a B.S. “final” report.  And all indications are… it is going to hurt them more than it helps them.

For example, we now know this: Michael Flynn and Son Met With Russia Ambassador Before RT Gala

Before traveling to Russia in 2015 for a dinner hosted by a propaganda network, retired Gen. Michael Flynn and his son, Michael Flynn Jr., went to the home of Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak for a private meeting.

And later Flynn Jr emailed him thanking him for a “productive meeting.”  This is further evidence of communication between Flynn and Russia.  And remember, if it happened, Mueller knows all about it.

Another tidbit about Flynn from the document:

@wikileaks released DNC emails on 7/22/16. Per House intel report, one week earlier, on 7/15, Flynn wrote email saying: “There are a number of things happening (and will happen) this election via cyber operations (by both hackivists, nation-states & the DNC”)

well that is mighty suspicious….  amazing how he and roger stone were such good guessers!  ????

Another thing the document does:

Shortly after its release, President Donald Trump touted the report on Twitter. But the report includes a stern criticism of his campaign for praising Wikileaks and a debunking of a favorite talking point among the president’s defenders: The report confirms that the investigation into potential coordination between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin began with then-foreign policy advisor George Papadopoulos––not with the so-called Steele dossier.

More big news related to the links between the Trump team and Putin: Lawyer Who Was Said to Have Dirt on Clinton Had Closer Ties to Kremlin Than She Let On

The Russian lawyer who met with Trump campaign officials in Trump Tower in June 2016 on the premise that she would deliver damaging information about Hillary Clinton has long insisted she is a private attorney, not a Kremlin operative trying to meddle in the presidential election.

But newly released emails show that in at least one instance two years earlier, the lawyer, Natalia V. Veselnitskaya, worked hand in glove with Russia’s chief legal office to thwart a Justice Department civil fraud case against a well-connected Russian firm.

why is this important?  well..

The previously undisclosed details about Ms. Veselnitskaya rekindle questions about who she was representing when she met with Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort and others at Trump Tower in Manhattan during the campaign. The meeting, one focus of the special counsel investigation into Russia’s election interference, was organized after an intermediary promised that Ms. Veselnitskaya would deliver documents that would incriminate Mrs. Clinton.

Trump keeps saying he’s innocent. So why does he keep sounding like he’s guilty?

As concern grew inside his orbit that Michael Cohen might become a cooperating witness to federal investigators, President Trump issued a declaration about his longtime personal lawyer and fixer.

“Most people will flip if the Government lets them out of trouble,” Trump tweeted over the weekend. He added: “Sorry, I don’t see Michael doing that.”

By asserting that the government would not be able to “flip” Cohen, Trump invited a question: If the Russia probe is the “witch hunt” the president says it is — and if he is as innocent as he so often proclaims — what incriminating evidence would Cohen have on Trump that would give him leverage to flip?

It was only the latest instance of the president adopting a posture vis-a-vis his legal troubles that is both combative and defensive — and, perhaps unwittingly, seems to assume guilt.

There is some pressure against Trump firing Mueller, which is also good news.

GOP senator: Firing Mueller could trigger impeachment

GOP Sen. Orrin Hatch (Utah) warned on Wednesday that a “crisis” could be triggered if President Trump fires special counsel Robert Mueller, potentially including impeachment.

“Firing Mr. Mueller would be a grave error. It would trigger a crisis, possibly even impeachment,” Hatch, a former chairman and current member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed.

He added that letting Mueller finish his probe into the 2016 election and potential collusion between Moscow and Trump’s campaign is in the country’s and Trump’s “best interest.”

ummm… I suspect it isn’t really in Trump’s “best interest” but it should go on anyway.  ????

Also: firing and pardons won’t make this all disappear

We know an awful lot about Manafort and Russia. Trump can’t make it disappear.

By the time August ended, Manafort was gone — having resigned after allegations that he had received millions of dollars “off the books” to support pro-Russia figures in Ukraine. On the very day he was forced out, the financially strapped Manafort created a shell company that received $13 million in loans over the next few months from people or financial institutions with links to Trump.

The machinations of August illustrate why Manafort is a central figure in special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation. And they show why the probe has deep roots — in evidence already made public, cases filed and plea deals won — that will persist even if Trump moves to fire Mueller.

the article describes the *enormous* amount of info that is already out there about Manafort.  It is staggering.  And things are not improving for manafort:

Manafort just lost a case that would have undermined Mueller’s probe

Former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort tried to use a civil case to block criminal charges special counsel Robert Mueller filed against him as part of his Russia probe. Manafort failed miserably.

On Friday, a federal judge dismissed a long-shot civil lawsuit that Manafort had filed in January. This means that Mueller, who is leading the probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, retains his broad power to investigate any potential crimes he uncovers during his investigation.

The case was widely seen as an attempt by Manafort to avoid the 44 charges he is facing tied to alleged money laundering and tax crimes. So unless he reaches a deal with prosecutors, Manafort will have to face trial on charges that could put him in jail for a combined 305 years.

That is not surprising but is good news.  The best news would be Manafort flipping.  Hopefully that will push him him in the right direction.

We are all also hoping that Cohen flips.  Will he?

Will Cohen Flip? Tenuous Finances May Provide Crucial Clues

In the two weeks since federal agents seized the files of Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s personal attorney and fixer, a question has hovered: Will Cohen cooperate with investigators?

His decision could depend in part on whether he can readily shoulder the enormous legal fees required to fight a federal probe of this magnitude.

At first blush, Cohen looks like a pretty rich man. He drives a white Rolls Royce, sports a $50,000 watch and owns a fair amount of Manhattan real estate.

But just as his loyalty to Trump is coming under scrutiny, a more tenuous financial picture is emerging. A taxi business he and his wife built is deeply in debt and losing money daily, his commercial real estate is throwing off only modest income, and his legal and consulting work is on hold while he remains under investigation.

Donald Trump’s Russia Trip Lies Might Prove Obstruction

On Monday, Bloomberg revealed that President Trump spent at least one full night in Moscow during the Miss Universe pageant in 2013. While Trump’s travel schedule might be unremarkable in most circumstances, his flight plans directly conflict with statements he reportedly made to former FBI Director James Comey. To any prosecutors investigating possible obstruction of justice allegations, this data would seem to provide further evidence of possible “corrupt intent”—the linchpin of any obstruction prosecution—in Trump’s dealings with the Russia investigation.

remember the role the NRA has played in this?  Their fingerprints are all over the Trump/Russia connections and it just leaked out that they are getting nervous about that….

NRA gathers documents amid scrutiny over ties to Kremlin-linked banker

The National Rifle Association is setting aside years of documents related to its interactions with a Kremlin-linked banker, as the gun-rights group appears to be bracing for a possible investigation, according to sources familiar with the situation.

The NRA has faced fresh scrutiny from congressional investigators about its finances and ties to Alexander Torshin, one of the 17 prominent Russian government officials the US Treasury Department recently slapped with sanctions. The gun-rights group has said it is reexamining its relationship with Torshin, who is a lifetime NRA member, in the wake of the sanctions.
The renewed attention has highlighted the close-knit if sometimes uneasy alliance between top NRA officials and Torshin — a relationship that ensnared members of Trump’s team during the presidential campaign, inviting further congressional scrutiny.
Those inquiries could shed light on the tightly held fundraising practices and political activities of the NRA. The political powerhouse shelled out more than $30 million in 2016 to back Donald Trump’s candidacy — more than it spent on 2008 and 2012 political races combined, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Even when we don’t hear about this stuff, remember that Mueller and his team are working around the clock and the truth WILL come out.

In the meantime, we all need to be laser focused on November and there is a LOT of good news there:

Great Election News

The Cook Political Report, a nonpartisan election analysis organization, has shifted its rating of the next major House special election to a toss-up 

Cook shifted the rating of Ohio’s 12 Congressional District, vacated by former GOP Rep. Patrick Tiberi’s resignation earlier this year, from a “lean Republican” seat to a “toss up.”
It’s the latest ominous sign for House Republicans, as this is a district Tiberi easily held during his 17 years in office and one President Trumpwon by 11 points in 2018. But Democrats are targeting highly-educated and wealthy districts like the 12th in the hopes that frustration with Trump can pull voters onto their side.

Democrats are swinging for the fences

There was a time when the GOP liked to consider itself The Party of Ideas, a party of courage and vision. That time is long past; to show how innovative and forward-looking they are these days, their strategy to convince voters to keep them in power this November is to run against Hillary Clinton.

The Democrats, on the other hand, are getting bigger and bolder with their proposals all the time.

The latest is the idea of a federal job guarantee, under which the government would provide a job at a decent wage to anyone who couldn’t find work.

Even their biggest cheerleaders are wondering about this plan to run against HRC Tucker Carlson criticizes GOP for campaigning against Clinton: She ‘doesn’t run anything’

Fox News host Tucker Carlson jabbed Republicans on Tuesday for their continued focus on former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton as they set out on the campaign trail.

That strategy, Carlson said, has a glaring problem: Clinton is not running for office, nor is she currently an elected official.

“The appeal is obvious; nobody really likes Hillary Clinton, even people that are paid to pretend they like her,” Carlson said on the Tuesday night airing of his show “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”

“The downside is, it’s not really a relevant argument. Hillary Clinton doesn’t run anything anymore — she doesn’t represent the modern Democratic Party.”

even though it is dumb, I get why they would want to run against HRC — they have tried every angle in every special election and nothing is working:

Republicans Lost Support in Every Special Election Since Trump Became President

Democratic energy has been on vivid display in a series of special elections since President Trump’s inauguration, including in strongly conservative areas where Republicans usually win elections easily, like Arizona’s Eighth District.

Multiple forces are behind the swing: Republican voters appear demoralized while Democrats are fired up, and some voters who typically lean Republican have been shifting away from the party.

So far, Republicans have benefited greatly from being able to choose most of the spots they have been forced to compete in. Five of the eight special elections arose because Mr. Trump selected the sitting Republican lawmaker there for a position in his cabinet. (In the other three cases, Republicans resigned from Congress amid scandal or to join the private sector.)

But Mr. Trump’s party will have to compete in dozens of more closely divided districts in November. If Democrats enjoy the same enthusiasm gap in those races, Republicans’ control of the House and Senate could be in jeopardy.

And the hope that they can run on the Cut Cut Cut Bill? Nope. People aren’t feelign it.  Poll: Fewer voters say they’re noticing paycheck increases from tax law

The April survey found that 22 percent of registered voters reported seeing paycheck increases, while 55 percent said they hadn’t noticed a bump and 23 percent didn’t know or didn’t have an opinion. When the news outlet asked about paycheck increases in early March, 27 percent said they noticed bigger paychecks, 50 percent said they didn’t and 23 percent didn’t know or didn’t have an opinion.

and our numbers are looking promising all over: Exclusive poll: GOP Senate seats threatened in Arizona, Nevada

Democrats have a real shot at winning two of the three Senate seats where Republicans are most vulnerable in the midterm elections, according to a new Axios/SurveyMonkey poll.

  • The bottom line, from Axios’ Alexi McCammond: The poll provides new evidence that Republicans’ hold on the Senate may not be as solid as it once looked. Democrats could win the open Arizona seat and possibly defeat Republican incumbent Dean Heller in Nevada. The third race, in Tennessee, is a statistical tie.

Remember, we just need to flip two seats to take the Senate!

Professors: Kansas governor race narrowing, Democrats could win congressional seats

Political science professors dissecting this year’s elections following the departure of former Gov. Sam Brownback describe chaos in the Legislature and uncertainty at the polls.

Democrats have an opportunity to win two congressional races, they said in a panel discussion Thursday at Washburn University, and the governor’s race is narrowing to four front-runners.

Another seat we can win: Tenney’s red-meat rhetoric alarms House Republicans

Rep. Claudia Tenney learned last week that she’d been outraised by her Democratic opponent for the second quarter in a row, a sign that her hold on a moderate upstate New York district is in peril.

But if GOP leaders thought that would be a five-alarm reminder for the vulnerable freshman to pursue a moderate path to reelection, they were mistaken. Days later, Tenney called for the jailing of Hillary Clinton and James Comey — embracing a hard-line stance championed by President Donald Trump but shunned by most GOP leaders and virtually all moderates.

yup, that’ll do it Claudia.  Just keep sounding crazy.  Thanks!

Tides are Turning

The Teachers’ Revolt Spreads to Arizona

On Thursday, a historic walkout by teachers and the support staff closed more than 1,000 public schools in Arizona. The state became the latest and the largest to be swept by a labor insurgency among underpaid educators that started in February in West Virginia, then spread to Oklahoma, Kentucky and, also on Thursday, Colorado. As Jason Riley, a conservative writer, noted with disapproval in The Wall Street Journal: “It isn’t just college campuses. The nation’s K-12 schools are also turning into hotbeds of political activism.”

The wildfire spread of the teachers’ movement — in parts of the country that are singularly hostile to organized labor — is one of the more surprising and exciting developments of this otherwise bleak political moment. Conservatives are right to worry: We’re seeing a citizens’ revolt against their policies.

bolded that because HECK YAH!!  And also this from the article:

as we’ve seen all over the country since Donald Trump’s election, protest is contagious, and builds on itself. Ducey, meanwhile, is up for re-election this year in a state that’s trending blue. “Maybe I’m foolishly confident, but we have a ton of power,” Karvelis told me. “We have the truth on our side. We have the people on our side. And we have people who are not afraid to take a risk.”

also, it is not good news that the travel ban is likely to get through the supreme court (not good at all).  But this article made some good points that, I think, do qualify as good news.

Barely a week into his presidency, Donald Trump turned America upside down.

He signed an executive order banning all entries to the US from people from seven Muslim-majority countries and nearly all refugees from around the world on a Friday afternoon.

The epic rupture brought epic resistance. Pro bono law clinics sprang up in airport terminals; massive spontaneous protests erupted outside them. The American Civil Liberties Union collected $24.1 million in donations over a single weekend. World leaders condemned the administration; so did corporate leaders; so did religious leaders. Some Republicans criticized their party’s new president; many retained an (apparently embarrassed) silence. Lawyers swept into court for emergency hearings, first fighting to limit the government’s powers to detain immigrants under the ban and then, within a week, putting the ban on hold entirely.

So we fought back like crazy and showed our strength. And what happened?

The system worked to constrain and moderate the travel ban

While the court battle has raged throughout all three versions of the travel ban that the Trump administration has implemented or tried to implement — the January 2017 executive order, a replacement executive order issued in March 2017, and a September proclamation that set up the current, indefinite ban — the policies in the ban have changed substantially. And it’s hard to deny that the current version of the ban is much, much more moderate than the first.

and this:

These changes are almost entirely the result of the Trump administration’s attempt to build a court-proof travel ban. The current version is as close to court-proof as a policy signed by the man who once called for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States” could possibly get. While that means it’s likely to stay in place, it also represents a victory for the ban’s opponents. The courts (perhaps inspired by the resistance in the streets) forced the administration to keep its ambitions within the scope of what was legally permissible, and the administration complied. The system worked.

so, yah, it is still awful.  But we fought back and we got a lot for our fighting.  Here is the thing: we are not going to win every battle.  But if we win some, and we manage to curtail the damage as best we can on others, we will go a long way to saving our democracy. And THAT is good news ❤️

We’ll Take All the Allies We Can Get

Sessions resumes immigrant legal advice program under pressure from Congress

Attorney General Jeff Sessions reversed course on suspending a legal advice program for undocumented immigrants, saying he has ordered the resumption of the program pending a review of its effectiveness.

Sessions announced the move at the opening of a hearing before the Senate Appropriations subcommittee that funds the Justice Department, saying he made the decision at the request of Congress, which has consistently appropriated money for the program.
friendly reminder: Jeff Sessions is a horrible, awful, despicable human being.  The worst.  I am grateful for allies in congress, on both sides of the isle (but mostly ours) who are forcing sessions to do this.

In his 13th hour as secretary of state, a jet-lagged Mike Pompeo started to establish himself as the antithesis of his predecessor Rex Tillerson.

Several NATO diplomats spoke favorably of Pompeo’s flattering decision to go directly from his swearing-in ceremony to the airport for an overnight flight to make the Friday meeting of NATO’s foreign ministers.

Several NATO diplomats went out of their way to comment on the gesture.

A senior NATO diplomat favorably compared Pompeo’s blitz-speed trip to Tillerson’s stuttering start with the alliance. Tillerson forced the 28 other foreign ministers to make a last-minute change to their schedules so that he would not visit Moscow before talking to his fellow NATO diplomats.

“The fact that a NATO foreign ministers’ meeting is his number one event to attend, and there were not any people that were acting on his behalf, but he was coming by himself, that’s quite a message,” the diplomat said, speaking on condition of anonymity to compare the two U.S. officials.

Look, Pompeo is awful — NOT the man I would want as secretary of state AT ALL.  That said, he is secretary of state.  Given that he is, I would like for him to do the job and actually do some diplomacy (which Tillerson did not do).  So I am grateful for this and I think it is good news.

Other Great News

North and South Korea Set Bold Goals: A Final Peace and No Nuclear Arms

The leaders of North and South Korea agreed on Friday to work to remove all nuclear weapons from the Korean Peninsula and, within the year, pursue talks with the United States to declare an official end to the Korean War, which ravaged the peninsula from 1950 to 1953.

There is a long way to do on this, but it is GREAT news nonetheless.

EU Agrees on Total Ban on Pesticides That Harm Bees

The European Union has agreed to ban the world’s most widely used pesticides because of the harm scientists say they cause to bees. The ban on the insecticides known as neonicotinoids was jointly approved by the 28 member nations Friday and is expected to come into force within six months. It strengthens an existing EU ban on the use of neonicotinoids on flowering crops that attract bees such as oil seed rape. “Banning these toxic pesticides is a beacon of hope for bees,” said Antonia Staats, from activist group Avaaz. “Finally, our governments are listening to their citizens, the scientific evidence, and farmers who know that bees can’t live with these chemicals and we can’t live without bees.” After the ban is introduced, neonicotinoids will only be allowed to be used inside greenhouses.

Now that is great news!

Before I say goodbye, just one request.  If you could, put yourself back two years ago to a few months before the election.  Knowing what you know now about the election outcome, and how very close it was, would you have done anything differently?  Would you have donated more money? Written letters to the editor? Donated more of your time?  Been more outspoken of your praise of our candidate?  Gone door to door to register voters and get out the vote?

I know I would have done all those things.  I did contribute and I did phone bank, but I could have done more. I wish I had done more.  I wish we all had.  Not that this was our fault.  It wasn’t (Comey, Russia, Media, Mysogeny, Racism… I am looking at you).  But even though we aren’t to blame, I wish we had felt the urgency to do more and prevent this awful situation.

**You have the opportunity for a do-over right now***

We all do.

We can make the difference in November.  We can take back the house.  We can take back the senate.  We can take state government back.  And when we do, this will all be a different game.  We will have the power to save our democracy.

Imagine if November comes and we JUST miss taking back the House.  Or we take back the House but JUST MISS taking back the Senate.  Think of the regret that will fill you if you then think “Darn, I wish I had tried harder!”

YOU CAN AVOID THAT!  We all can!  Now is the time!!!!

So what do you say?  Let’s do it!

Donate to ActBlue

Donate to Swing Left

Send postcards to voters in other districts

Sign up to go door to door in your district

Sign up to drive people to the polls

check this out for more ideas

Even more ideas?  Share them in the comments!

Let’s do this!!

So proud and lucky to be in this with all of you!  ❤️ ✊ ❤️

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  1. I read every word and there is reason to be hopeful. The donald has lit a fire under people that ordinarily let a lot pass and with the thought “someone else” will get involved. He made me an activist and my friends and family hardly recognize me,these days. We cannot sit by idly!


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