There is a lot of good news this week and I’ll get to it in just a moment, but first, let’s think just a little about how the Russians (with their buddies in the far right) are going to target us in 2020.
And let’s think about the ways that we can fight it rather than going along with it.
The more we know, the more we can fight against their disinformation and division and the less effective they will be.
Really, we have a huge advantage this time in that we know they are playing their dirty games so we can be on the lookout for them and fight back.
This isn’t 2016. We can win against them.
Here is what they are likely to try to do:
- strategy one: divide us
This was their key strategy and it looks like they are still planning to work on this. They will plant people in left-wing and social justice groups who will be there just to play on our fighting with one another. If we are arguing about Bernie and Hillary (please, please, don’t do that) they will pipe in on one side or the other. If we are arguing about impeaching or not, they will pipe in on one side and the other.
They want us to fight. They want us to not get along.
How can we fight this? Stop fighting with one another about intra-party issues. Just stop. Stop arguing. Stop rec-ing and sharing articles or diaries that are all about arguing about strategy. Stop commenting on those. Stop fighting with people in the comments sections. JUST STOP.
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t say what you think, but don’t argue with someone else when they say what they think. EVEN IF YOU DISAGREE. Science shows that people are almost never convinced by people who are arguing with them on the internet. If anything, it makes them stick to their original opinion more. So just stop. Its not doing anyone any good.
Plus, are you really arguing with anyone that has any say in what the party does next or are you arguing with some other person just sitting at their computer in some random city (hint: its the second one)? If you feel strongly, call your congressional reps or run for office or support someone running for office who shares your views. Arguing with random people on the internet only wastes our time.
STOP IT. You are doing Putin’s work for him AND making yourself unhappy. Don’t even read that crap.
- strategy two: undermine faith in the democratic system
If people don’t think the system is good, they don’t vote and engage. And they are more likely to turn to fascism if they lose faith in democracy.
and it is easy for them to do because our system isn’t perfect. So, of course, they can find things to point out.
But despite not being perfect, our system is worth fighting for and defending.
Listen to what Obama said about our country and its system:
democracy has never been easy and our Founding Fathers argued about everything. We waged a Civil War. We overcame depression. We’ve lurched from eras of great progressive change to periods of retrenchment.
Out of the turmoil of the Industrial Revolution and the Great Depression, America adapted a new economy, a 20th-century economy, guiding our free market with regulations to protect health and safety and fair competition. Empowering workers with union movements, investing in science and infrastructure and educational institutions like U of I. Strengthening our system of primary and secondary education and stitching together a social safety net. And all of this led to unrivaled prosperity and the rise of a broad and deep middle class, in the sense that if you worked hard, you could climb the ladder of success.
That’s the story of America, a story of progress. Fitful progress, incomplete progress, but progress. And that progress wasn’t achieved by just a handful of famous leaders making speeches. It was won because of countless quiet acts of heroism and dedication by citizens, by ordinary people, many of them not much older than you. It was won because rather than be bystanders to history, ordinary people fought and marched and mobilized and built and, yes, voted to make history.
Of course, there’s always been another, darker aspect to America’s story. Progress doesn’t just move in a straight line. There’s a reason why progress hasn’t been easy and why throughout our history, every two steps forward seems to sometimes produce one step back. Each time we painstakingly pull ourselves closer to our founding ideals, that all of us are created equal, endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights, the ideals that say every child should have opportunity and every man and woman in this country who is willing to work hard should be able to find a job and support a family and pursue the American dream, the ideals that say we have the responsibility to care for the sick and infirm and we have a responsibility to conserve the amazing bounty, the natural resources of this country and of this planet for future generations—each time we have gotten closer to those ideals, somebody somewhere has pushed back. The status quo pushes back.
or listen to what that liberal bastion “Market Watch” said about Democracy:
1.) Protecting our freedoms. Our political and economic rights are the foundation of our democracy and capitalist economy. Without them, we’d be nothing.
2.) Giving away the land. The United States developed as one of the most egalitarian nations in history, mostly because the government gave away millions of acres of land and sold more at rock-bottom prices to regular people who worked that land and made it productive.
3.) Educating everybody. Our economy and democracy would be impossible without an educated, skilled populace. From the beginning of our nation, offering free and universal public education has been one of the most important functions of government. The federal government has always had a role, from the 1785 Land Act and the land-grant colleges established under Lincoln to the GI Bill and beyond. It’s no accident that America leads the world in technological innovation.
4.) Helping us retire with dignity. Social Security and Medicare keep millions of Americans out of poverty, allowing them to live out their lives in dignity. And these essential programs are provided by government at far less cost than would be possible from the private sector.
5) Improving public health. Many of us owe our lives — literally — to the government. The greatest advances in longevity are due to public-sanitation measures such as water treatment, sewer systems and trash disposal. The Food and Drug Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, and thousands of federal, state and local agencies keep us safer and healthier than we’d be in their absence. In addition, public dollars fund most of the basic research that private companies turn into life-saving drugs.
6.) Building our transportation networks. Every major mode of transportation — from canals to airports — has received critical financial support from the government. Transportation networks are hugely expensive, and private investors have had a difficult time justifying investments that mainly benefit others.
7.) Investing in communications. Communications networks, like transportation systems, create lots of external benefits that cannot be easily recouped by the builder. That makes them perfect for public investment. At the beginning, the post office was a government monopoly that was broken only gradually as technology advanced.
8.) Building our energy supply. Most energy investment comes from private companies, but the government has played its role. Government-built hydroelectric dams provide a lot of power in the Northwest and Southeast, and all nuclear-power plants can trace their lineage to the Manhattan Project. Most forms of energy enjoy a public subsidy of one kind or another, including having the U.S. Navy and Air Force protect and guarantee our supply of petroleum.
9.) Inventing the future. The space program and defense research continue to spin off benefits to our economy. Because NASA and the Pentagon demanded (and paid top dollar for) highly reliable and lightweight components, advancements in medicine, electronics, communications, materials and manufacturing were accelerated by decades. Thousands of products in everyday use are spinoffs from the space program, from titanium golf clubs and running shoes to GPS and MRI.
And last (but not least) …
10.) Defeating totalitarianism. The United States has faced few serious external threats in its 235 years of independence. When it did, the government spent trillions of dollars to defend us from the forces of fascism and communism.
Our system is not perfect, but Democracy is the best choice out there. Voting is a necessary part. And anyone arguing otherwise is not a good ally. Pure and simple.
If people argue that the system is so flawed that we shouldn’t even bother, firmly and kindly disagree with them. then move on — don’t stay and argue.
- undermine faith in our candidates
Experts say that the Russians already started doing this. They did it with Harris for example, after she did so well with the debate by spreading BS about her not really being Black.
What can you do about this?
DO YOUR RESEARCH
Don’t share anything about a candidate without making sure it is true. We all want to be the first ones to share a juicy new story so we cut corners and don’t wait to see if it is true. DONT DO THAT
Better yet, don’t share stories trashing our candidates.
And when other people do, DO RESEARCH and kindly but firmly point out that it is not true and is divisive. If people share lies, kindly and firmly point out that they are untrue. then move on— don’t stay and argue.
- voting doesn’t matter
They want us not to vote so they want us to think that voting doesn’t matter. They want us to think that they are going to mess with our systems so much that you might as well not even vote.
DONT FALL FOR IT.
Our systems are so diverse and weird that it would be very hard, if not impossible, to hack into all of them. I am not arguing that it would be impossible for them to do damage in some places. Unfortunately, I think it would.
But that damage is not likely to be widespread. And to be undetected, it has to be a subtle shift in votes.
That means that we can counteract it if we can register enough voters and get enough people to the polls.
Then, when we win, we can enact true reforms to save our democracy.
If people argue that all hope is lost and there is no reason to vote, kindly and firmly disagree with them. then move on — don’t stay and argue.
- democrats and republicans are the same
They love this one because it leads people to waste their votes on third parties or not vote at all.
Next time someone tries it hit them with FACTS like these:
then move on — don’t stay and argue.
- trump is unbeatable
This is meant to keep you from working hard to win. They will argue that incumbents can’t be beaten; that everything is already too broken; and/or that his numbers are getting better.
This is meant to keep you from donating money. This is meant to keep you from donating your time. This is meant to keep you from doing all you can for us to win. Why bother, this argues, we are going to lose anyway. Why waste your time?
THIS IS A LIE.
Will it be easy to beat trump? No. It won’t. But it is 100% within our reach.
We have great candidates. We have the numbers. We have the enthusiasm. We have the right side of history.
Speaking of, lets get to the good news because…..
Promising News for 2020
Six months into Democrats’ control of the House, the “green wave” that helped put them there shows no sign of ebbing, even as the party’s donors look to oust President Trump by contributing to a crowded lineup of two dozen White House candidates.
Key House campaigns reported massive fundraising hauls for this early stage of the campaign cycle, according to federal disclosures filed this past week by congressional campaigns, with all Democratic freshmen but one outraising their declared Republican challengers and several GOP incumbents lapped by Democratic opponents.
All told, Democratic House candidates raised $17.6 million more than Republicans between April and June, according to a Washington Post analysis of quarterly fundraising reports. That gap could close as more GOP challengers announce their campaigns, but it represents a significant head start for Democrats.
Susan Collins is now the second most unpopular senator in America, according to Morning Consult. Collins has a -4 net approval. "This makes Collins the most vulnerable senator up for re-election in 2020."
Collins also had the largest drop in approval of any senator this quarter.
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) July 20, 2019
prosecutors across the state of Florida are contemplating ways to work around the new Republican-imposed restrictions and implement the constitutional change while hewing to its original purpose: to give people the vote. State attorneys in at least three Florida counties, covering major cities like Miami and Tampa, are looking into the possibility of modifying the sentences of some indigent people with felony records, potentially by allowing them to do community service rather than pay off often cumbersome court costs.
There are only 13 Republican women in the House. Two have now announced their retirement. https://t.co/PtVA2Ku7tq
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) July 26, 2019
Former Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis is running for Congress.
Early Monday morning, Davis announced her candidacy for the Democratic nomination in Central Texas’ 21st District. She is challenging U.S. Rep. Chip Roy, a freshman Republican from Austin.
She made her intentions known in a biographical video, narrated in part with archival footage from her late father, Jerry Russell.
“I’m running for Congress because people’s voices are still being silenced,” she said. “I’m running for our children and grandchildren, so they can live and love and fight for change themselves.”
Texas Republican Rep. Pete Olson is retiring from Congress.
"The retirement sets up what will likely be one of the most competitive House races in the country. Olson narrowly won re-election last year against Democrat Sri Kulkarni, who is running again."https://t.co/dWEy2OKnhv
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) July 25, 2019
Former Massachusetts governor and longshot candidate for the Republican nomination for president Bill Weld levied a series of attacks against his primary opponent, President Donald Trump, dubbing him a “raging racist.”“Donald Trump is a raging racist, Okay? He’s a complete and thoroughgoing racist. And he made that choice, a choice a long time ago, when he was engaged in the housing business in New York with his father,” Weld said, speaking at the NAACP convention in Detroit on Wednesday.He added: “The national Republican Party, has a choice. And a lot of them like to think that it’s a political choice. But it’s not a political choice. It’s a moral choice.”“Unless the Republican Party in Washington expressly, expressly rejects the racism of Donald Trump, they’re going to come to be universally viewed as the party of racism in America,” the long-shot challenger to Trump said.
We are the Majority
Our squad is big,” Pressley said in a July 15 press conference, alongside the other three congresswomen. “Our squad includes any person committed to building a more equitable and just world…And given the size of this squad and this great nation, we cannot, we will not, be silenced.”
What is America: the “squad” or the crowds that were chanting “send her back” at Trump’s last rally? The grand experiment that is the United States has historically been an uneasy mixture of both.
But demographic and social data points offer some clues that the future might favor one side more than the other.
white people will be the minority in the US in less than a quarter century, according to an analysis of US census projections.
The data shows that Trump’s presidency has pushed some Americans away from the Republican Party, while the number of Americans who “lean Democratic” has risen at the same time, according to the Pew Research Center.
Right now, more Americans identify as “independent” or “lean independent” than anything else, according to the latest Gallup poll taken in June, before Trump’s insults.
An overwhelming majority told Pew in May that it is “very good” or “somewhat good” that the US is a diverse country. In fact, most Americans feel positive about the US becoming a minority white country, a June 2018 poll shows. Whether this positivity stems from their own diversity or the fact that most white Americans just aren’t as racist as Trump, the divisive rhetoric is unlikely to inspire more voters to join team Trump.
The percentage of Americans who are satisfied with the way minorities are treated in the country has declined since 2016, and hit record lows during Trump’s presidency, according to Gallup polling.
Based on all these numbers, it seems the so-called “squad” is indeed large, as Pressley noted. Whether or not this majority will get a leader who reflects these values will be determined in 2020.
Democrats are Amazing
House passes budget deal to increase government spending by $320 billion, with Trump’s support.
That’s a good deal for Democrats and a big retreat from the Trump administration, which called for $150 billion in spending cuts to domestic programs as a condition for raising the debt ceiling. This bill includes half of that — $77.4 billion in spending cuts, most of which wouldn’t be enacted for nine years, by which point Congress is likely to overturn them.
The ultra-conservative lawmakers in the House Freedom Caucus rejected the budget deal, but they didn’t have enough leverage to tank the bill altogether. The Senate is expected to take up the proposal next week. Trump is expected to sign it.
Sen. Kamala Harris rolled out two new policy proposals Friday aimed at closing the wealth gap among black Americans, focused on investing in higher education and entrepreneurship.
The House Oversight and Reform Committee voted on Thursday to authorize subpoenas for senior White House officials’ communications via private email accounts and messaging applications, a significant escalation in a years-long, bipartisan effort to learn more about potential violations of federal record-keeping laws.
Thursday’s vote by the Democrat-led panel came after the White House refused to turn over the messages voluntarily earlier this month — including senior adviser Jared Kushner’s WhatsApp communications with foreign officials, senior adviser Ivanka Trump’s use of a private email account to conduct official business, and former chief strategist Stephen Bannon’s use of a personal mobile device for White House business.
Democratic presidential candidate Kamala (KAH’-mah-lah) Harris is introducing a bill responding to water crises across the country.
The senator from California says the “Water Justice Act” being introduced Monday is meant to ensure the country’s water supply is safe, affordable and sustainable
House Democrats are preparing to pass a measure intended to strengthen their court case to access President Donald Trump’s personal financial information, a direct response to questions raised by a Trump-appointed judge during an Appeals Court hearing earlier this month.
The proposal, filed Tuesday afternoon by Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), would formally declare that any committee subpoenas related to President Donald Trump, his family, current and former White House officials and the Trump Organization are presumed to have the blessing of the full House of Representatives. The Rules Committee is expected to advance the measure Tuesday night, and the House is expected to pass it on Wednesday.
“We want to make it doubly clear,” Raskin said in an interview. “Essentially, you know, it’s just making it perfectly clear that the committees are acting with the full authorities of Congress.”
Nadler: "We are considering impeachment" https://t.co/G7qGWAI9D5
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) July 26, 2019
the legislation would invest tax revenue from the cannabis industry in communities hurt most by the War on Drugs.
Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler is readying his next step: seeking to compel testimony from former White House counsel Don McGahn, the person considered to be the potential linchpin of an obstruction of justice case against President Donald Trump.
Few names appear more often — more than 500 times in the redacted version of Mueller’s final report — than McGahn’s. The longtime Republican insider who served as both Trump’s campaign counsel and first White House counsel sat for more than 30 hours of voluntary testimony before Mueller’s team.
Nadler: "We're gonna go to court today to ask for the grand jury information underlying the Mueller report and, on Monday and Tuesday, to enforce our subpoena of former W.H. counsel Don McGahn, who was the main witness in front of the Mueller committee." pic.twitter.com/y68h7eYAwv
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) July 26, 2019
- Sen. Elizabeth Warren introduced a bill Tuesday that would forgive the student debt of tens of millions of Americans.
- Under the legislation, all 45 million Americans with student debt would see at least a portion of their balance greatly reduced. Three-quarters of borrowers would have all their loans scrubbed.
- Warren first proposed her plan in April, but the legislation – dubbed the Student Loan Debt Relief Act – offers new details on how the Massachusetts senator would dismantle the country’s outstanding student debt tab, soon expected to exceed $2 trillion.
Trump Continues to be a Failure
first of all, despite the press loving to argue that trump is someone becoming popular he remains historically the most consistently unpopular president since polling began AND his average numbers on 538 are unchanged from how they have been since February. The surge in his numbers being reported is a simply lie designed to make the presidential race more exciting.
Don’t fall for it.
He is, and remains, a pathetic failure:
"Trump vowed millions of immigration arrests in dramatic raids. ICE caught 18 family members." https://t.co/CS2DMBtUnI
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) July 23, 2019
from the right-wing Washington Examiner:
The Trump administration has not installed a single mile of new wall in a previously fenceless part of the U.S.-Mexico border in the 30 months since President Trump assumed office, despite his campaign promise to construct a “big beautiful wall.”
A U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent tried to bring a man in Hermitage, Tennessee, into custody, but neighbors formed a human chain to allow the man and his son to get home.
This happened Monday morning in the area of Brooke Valley Drive and Forest Ridge Drive. The man had entered into his van with his son when an ICE vehicle blocked him in.
Over the next few hours, neighbors came out to support their neighbor, bringing them water, gas and wet rags so they could stay in their van.
“We made sure they had water, they had food, we put gas back in the vehicle when they were getting low just to make sure they were OK,” Felishadae Young, a neighbor, said.
Eventually, after about four hours, the neighbors created a chain to allow the father and son to run into their home. They were able to do so and ICE left.
Back in the 1980s, Donald Trump published his seminal business treatise, “The Art of the Deal.” Should he write a sequel about his presidency, he might accurately title it “The Art of the Cave.”
In recent weeks, President Trump’s record has been a cornucopia of climbdowns. Not since the Paleolithic Period, perhaps, has a man had quite so much day-to-day caving experience.
The White House had demanded $150 billion in cuts as part of current budget talks. But on Monday evening, Trump agreed to a deal that raised spending by $320 billion. The Post’s Damian Paletta and Erica Werner labeled it a “significant retreat” for Trump, who got some accounting changes “that likely won’t constrain any future spending.”
A few weeks ago, Trump declared that he was “moving forward” with efforts to put a citizenship question on the 2020 Census questionnaire despite a contrary Supreme Court ruling. But he then announced with fanfare that he would not, in fact, move forward. Was he backing down? “No, no,” he said. “Not only didn’t I back down, I backed up.”
In May, Trump announced that he would “shortly” impose 25 percent tariffs on $325 billion of imported Chinese goods. But in late June, Trump announced he would not actually be imposing the tariffs “at least for the time being,” and he set no deadline.
Last month, Trump publicly vowed that “millions” would be deported following raids on immigrants living in the United States illegally. He postponed and rescheduled the raids, but the appointed day came and went with scant evidence that the threatened sweep had occurred.
Justice is slow but beautiful
A Louisiana police officer was fired on Monday over a Facebook post he made last week suggesting Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., be shot.
The officer, Charlie Rispoli, a 14-year veteran of the Gretna, Louisiana, police force, called Ocasio-Cortez a “vile idiot” who “needs a round, and I don’t mean the kind she used to serve,” referring to her past job as a bartender, according to a screenshot posted by nola.com, the website for The Times-Picayune in New Orleans. According to the news outlet, his comment was a reaction to a fake quote attributed to the congresswoman claiming that “we pay soldiers too much.” Both his post and Facebook account have since been taken down.
Gretna’s police chief, Arthur Lawson, said in a news conference on Monday that both Rispoli and another officer who liked the post were terminated. He called the situation an “embarrassment to our department” and “very, very disappointing.”
North Carolina’s years-long legal fight over transgender people and bathroom access came to an end Tuesday, when a federal judge approved a settlement that the governor and LGBT rights groups had proposed.
A federal judge blocked three new abortion restrictions in Arkansas minutes before they were set to take effect Wednesday, including a measure that opponents say would likely force the state’s only surgical abortion clinic to close.
Four automakers from three continents have struck a deal with California to produce fleets that are more fuel-efficient in coming years, undercutting one of the Trump administration’s most aggressive climate policy rollbacks
Good Planet News
For the first time ever, wind has surpassed coal as an energy source in Texas.
Data released this month by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas shows wind created 22 percent of the electricity used in the first half of the year, edging out coal by 1%.
And Finally, WE ARE STARTING AN INQUIRY INTO IMPEACHING THE M-FER!!!
In case you missed it. It happened yesterday.
The judiciary committee, the House committee that actually gets to pull the trigger on an impeachment inquiry did so:
House Judiciary's Scanlon, Cicilline, Jayapal, Escobar: "We will move forward with the impeachment process. Our investigation will seriously examine all the evidence as we consider whether to bring articles of impeachment … Our Constitution requires it." https://t.co/5pfoeuJZnS
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) July 26, 2019
Anyone that thinks this is some kind of bluff, just read this. — the actual document leaves no doubt
and Laurence Tribe, one of the loudest legal minds pushing for impeachment all these months agrees:
Here’s the petition formally announcing in DC federal court the impeachment inquiry in which the House is now engaged. No ifs ands or buts. No ambiguity. The eagle has taken flight. https://t.co/3Sr14eVPbg
— Laurence Tribe (@tribelaw) July 26, 2019
And from WaPo
Forget the political optics. As a matter of law, the Judiciary Committee’s actions are clear.
Has the House of Representatives opened an impeachment inquiry? That question is starkly presented by a petition that the House Judiciary Committee filed in federal court on Friday. It is also answered by that petition. No matter what certain House Democratic leaders might say about the politics of the matter, there can now be no doubt that the committee is engaged in an investigation of whether to impeach President Trump.
to those who specialize in these matters, that all-or-nothing vision of the impeachment power is mistaken. The Constitution’s text and structure — supported by judicial precedent and prior practice — show that impeachment is a process, not a single vote. And that process virtually always begins with an impeachment investigation in the judiciary committee, which is already occurring.
Consider the petition itself. In an official court filing, the committee has described its activities as an impeachment investigation. The committee’s word on that matter should be all but final (and subject to substantial judicial deference). After all, under the Rules of the House for the 116th Congress, it alone has clear jurisdiction over presidential impeachment. “We are exercising our full Article 1 authority and continuing our investigation of the president’s malfeasances,” Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) told reporters on Friday.
So LOTS of good news including movement on an issue that we all care about!
Keep heart and keep faith.
We are the majority and we can do this.