Why Are You Still Running?Bernie Asked

In case you missed it Sen Bernie Sanders appeared on ABC’s popular daytime show The View where one of the co-hosts Whoopi Goldberg confronted him about the rationale for his still active presidential campaign.

Whoopi Goldberg was simply echoing the sentiment by many Democrats that as the race currently stands, Sen Sanders has an extremely narrow path to victory and his campaign at this juncture is only hurting the eventual Dem nominee (presumably Biden) in much the same way it hurt Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Whoopi Goldberg dove right into it :“I have to ask you this question now because I’ve been watching to see what you’re going to do and I’m told that you intend to stay in this race for president because you believe there’s a path to victory. I want to know what that path is because this feels a little bit like it did when you didn’t come out when Hillary Clinton was clearly the person folks were going for.”

Sen Sanders pushed back on Whoopi’s characterization, pointing out that he worked for Hillary Clinton’s campaign in 2016 to which Whoopi interjected, “Bernie just so we’re clear, you worked for Hillary but it took you a very very long time to hop in and your people also, it took a very long time for them to hop in.”

Sen Sanders then addressed the question as to why he’s still in the presidential race saying, “Last I heard, people in a democracy have a right to vote and they have a right to vote for the agenda that they think can work for America especially in this very very difficult moment [coronavirus]. We are assessing our campaign as a matter of fact, whether we want to go forward. But people in a democracy do have a right to vote.”

Sen Sanders then appeared to suggest that questions brought about by the current coronavirus pandemic justified his presidential campaign–that voters needed to decide which candidate provided the best solutions to the current crisis. Whoopi Goldberg correctly shot down this argument saying Sen Sanders can still work on coronavirus solutions in the senate even if he ended his presidential campaign.

It cannot also be left unsaid that Sen Sanders campaign is unnecessarily burdening beloved Democrats Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) and Sen Elizabeth Warren, who have clearly seen the writing on the wall but are reluctant to urge Bernie to step aside. Sen Sanders should do both AOC and Sen Warren a favor by ending his campaign thereby freeing them to throw their weight behind Biden without being villified by progressives.

Bottom line Democrats, we have to be careful not to repeat in 2020 our “sin” in 2016 and that is, engaging in an unnecessarily protracted presidential primary that ultimately helps only one person–Trump. The results of the recent presidential primary elections show very clearly that Dems have settled on Biden and that Bernie has an extremely narrow path to victory. There is absolutely no valid reason why Bernie should still be prolonging the Democratic presidential primary, especially now that the coronavirus pandemic is complicating efforts by the states to conduct primaries.

For those of you very happy with @Emolclause’s activism don’t shy away from the “tip jar” below on your way out.

You may reach the author via email at author@grassrootsdempolitics.com or author@emolumentsclause.com

Biden Says Bernie Didn’t Think Hillary Was Entitled To Nomination Despite Delegate Lead

Former Vice President and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, riding off his big primary win in South Carolina, was on the Sunday show circuit doing a much-deserved victory lap. On one of his circuit stops–ABC This Week with George Stephanopoulos–Biden made a notable dig against his chief opponent Bernie Sanders when he was asked whether Democrats should hand Sanders the nomination if he is leading in delegate count when the convention comes around.

Host Stephanopoulos :“Senator Sanders is likely to have a large delegate lead and it could open the possibility that he has the most pledged delegates going into the convention but not a majority. Why shouldn’t the candidate with the most pledged delegates going into the convention be the nominee?”

Biden:“For the same reason he[Sanders] didn’t think when Hillary[Clinton] had the most pledged delegates that she should be the nominee. The process is laid out….He wanted to make sure that the one with the most delegates didn’t become the automatic nominee when he was running against Hillary and all of a sudden he’s had an epiphany……”

The inconsistency Biden is pointing out is a very important one but you rarely hear it from the mainstream political punditry class. This is an especially important issue this year because there is a very good chance Democrats are headed for a contested convention. This idea usually put out there by Sanders’ surrogates in the media, that he must get the nomination if he is leading in delegates by the time the convention comes around or else there would be a “revolt”, needs some serious push back and Yours Truly was very happy to hear Joe Biden do exactly that.

Asked what argument he would use to convince super delegates to pick him over Sanders, Biden made yet another powerful argument that you rarely hear from the paid political punditry class and that is, Democrats also need to win down-ballot, and he’s the candidate best suited for delivering that outcome. Specifically, Biden said, “I can win the United States Senate as the candidate on top of the ticket. I can win the House and increase the number in the House. I can go into every state in the nation, I can go into purple states and we can win. I can win in places that I don’t think Bernie can win in a general election. In 2018…I went into 24 states, purple states for over 65 candidates they wanted me in and we won. They were asking me to come in. I don’t know if they asked Bernie, they may have, I doubt it, because they know I can be value added to their campaigns. I can pick up independents, I can pick up liberals, as well as moderate Democrats.”

Bottom line folks, this may sound rude/mean and will probably be interpreted as such by Bernie Sanders’ fans, but it is a fact that during the 2018 midterms, a lot of Democrats in purple states came to Biden and not Sanders for help with their campaigns, as Biden correctly pointed out. Democrats won big as a result. The question the paid political punditry class should be posing to Bernie Sanders’ surrogates is why Dem candidates, needing to win in purple states in 2018, never asked him for campaign help like they did Biden? The bigger question however should be why Bernie Sanders should be handed the nomination simply because he is leading in delegates by convention time, when he was totally opposed to that idea in 2016 when he was trailing Hillary Clinton? These are serious questions that Democrats need to address as the nomination contest heats up.

For those of you very happy with @Emolclause’s activism don’t shy away from the “tip jar” below on your way out.

You may reach the author via email at author@grassrootsdempolitics.com or author@emolumentsclause.com

Republican Legislators In Oregon Subverting Democracy

A must read piece on Vox shines the light on a very troubling but growing pattern among state GOP lawmakers of crippling state legistature business whenever voters put Democrats in charge. Turns out in Oregon, where voters have recently given Democrats super majorities in both chambers of the state’s legislature, Republican legislators have resorted to sabotage–literally refusing to show up for work thereby crippling the legislature due to lack of quorum. As the Vox piece correctly points out, these tantrums by Republican legislators beg for mainstream media attention not only because they are patently undemocratic, but also because they are a good reflection of Trump’s GOP tactics.

Republican legislators in Oregon are apparently sabotaging the legislature’s business by not showing up for work because they are opposed to climate change bllls currently being pushed by the majority Democrats. According to the Vox piece, this is the fifth time in the last 10 months that Oregon state Republicans have resorted to this undemocratic sabotage tactic, having employed the same tactic when Democrats, exercising their electoral mandate, were pushing bills related to guns, forestry, the state budget and healthcare.

As the article correctly points out, this is not just a state GOP phenomenon, but rather an accurate depiction of the current state of mind of Trump’s GOP, especially when one looks at it in light of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s conduct.

We have witnessed time and time again where McConnell and other Republicans in Washington ram through partisan bills using the argument “elections matter”. They are currently ramming through partisan/unqualified federal judges using the same rationale. It is interesting how elections matter only when voters put Republicans in charge and are seemingly meaningless when Democrats take over.

Democrats nationwide are looking forward to the elections in November hoping that a Democratic House, Senate and White House will automatically lead to enactment of Democratic Party policies. However, going by this Vox piece, Democrats prevailing in the upcoming November polls may not be enough. Democrats should expect sabotage by Republican minorities in both state legislatures and Washington, and should start seriously calling out these undemocratic sabotage tactics.

Bottomline folks,as the Vox piece correctly points out, this troubling GOP trend begs for more maindtream media attention especially now that we are in an election year. Republicans both at the state level and in Washington, must not be allowed to make elections matter only when they have majorities while rendering them totally meaningless when voters give Democrats the majority. Simply put, this troubling, patently undemocratic sabotage tactic currently employed by the GOP must either end or get seriously called out by the mainstream media.

For those of you very happy with @Emolclause’s activism don’t shy away from the “tip jar” below on your way out.

You may reach the author via email at author@grassrootsdempolitics.com or author@emolumentsclause.com

Sen Joni Ernst Busted Again Talking About Cuts To Medicare, Medicaid, SS

Sen Joni Ernst (R-Iowa)

An audio recording of Sen Joni Ernst(R-Iowa) telling a group of GOP donors that there needs to be “changes”(read cuts) to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security has surfaced. You’ll remember that Sen Ernst made similar remarks at a town hall in September 2019 where she said Congress needs to meet behind closed doors to address these programs–essentially gut Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security in secret.

In the latest audio, a person at the GOP event can be heard saying, “Even without the additional spending we’re already going bankrupt…the biggest driver of that being entitlements. It is interesting hearing your classmate [Sen]David Perdue. He’s been pretty frank about the changes that need to happen with Medicare and Medicaid. Are you on the same page with him on that?

Sen Ernst responded, “I think we [Republican Senators]all are because we all understand our non discretionary spending is growing like this. Everybody focuses on the discretionary spending because that’s what we have control over in Congress. The rest is on auto pilot and it’s out of control. So we have to figure out ways to honor the commitments that have been made and make changes for the future.”

For the record Sen David Perdue(R-GA) has been very vocal about his desire to reign in Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security spending in an effort to address the ballooning federal deficit. Sen Joni Ernst has also flirted with this idea previously but unlike Sen Perdue, is afraid to say so in public. Why won’t Sen Joni Earnst, who is up for reelection in 2020, look Iowans in their eyes and tell them that she wants cuts to their Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security benefits?

Bottom line folks, Americans elect politicians and send them to Washington with the understanding that the said politicians will in turn look out for their interests. All national polls indicate that Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security remain very popular programs among Americans, including Iowans. Where, as here, Sen Joni Earnst appears hell bent on gutting such programs, she owes Iowans an explanation–publicly. Simply put, Sen Ernst should tell Iowans in public, what she says all the time at private GOP gatherings and that is, she wants cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security programs. Iowans deserve a Senator who will level with them.

For those of you very happy with @Emolclause’s activism don’t shy away from the “tip jar” below on your way out.

You may reach the author via email at author@grassrootsdempolitics.com or author@emolumentsclause.com

GOP’s Joe Walsh:”Republicans Want Trump Gone, They Are Just Afraid To Say It”

Former Congressman and Tea Party Republican Joe Walsh announced today that he will be seeking the party’s nomination for President in 2020. This bring to three the number of Republicans who have declared a primary challenge to Trump in 2020–Former Congressman Joe Walsh, former SC Gov Mark Sanford and former Massachusetts Gov Bill Weld.

In announcing his candidacy, Joe Walsh made the bombshell revelation on ABC’s This Week show that most Republicans are sick of Trump and want him gone, but are just afraid to say it. The entire Joe Walsh segment is available here but the relevant clip is below.

Specifically, Joe Walsh told ABC’s This Week host George Stephanoupolos; “Most of my former colleagues think Trump is going to lose in November[2020] and they want him to lose in November. And then they think they are done with him and everything can go back to normal.” Host Stephanopoulos interjected, “then they lose the courts, they lose the Supreme Court, they lose the next vacancy, they lose taxes, that’s the argument the President’s been making” to which Joe Walsh replied, “They [Republicans] want Trump gone, they are just afraid to say that he is unfit.” This just adds another wrinkle to the growing public sentiment that Trump is simply unfit for the office he currently holds, an argument another Republican Anthony Scaramucci made just this week when he said we have “a full blown lunatic in the White House.”

All in all there is a lot of buzz about a possible serious primary challenge to Trump in 2020 and Democrats are hoping that a big name Republican will soon step up to the plate. Among the names thrown out there are former SC Gov Nikki Haley and former Ohio Gov John Kasich who is apparently scheduled to make a speech in the key primary state of New Hampshire soon.

Bottom line folks, even though we already have three Republicans who have declared a challenge to Trump in 2020, all eyes are on two big name Republicans–Nikki Haley and John Kasich. We can all agree however that it is only after either Gov Haley, Gov Kasich or some other GOP “big fish” jumps into the race that we will, to use a football analogy, “have a ball game.” Until then, it’s recruitment season and Yours Truly is certainly playing his part.

For those of you very happy with @Emolclause’s activism don’t shy away from the “tip jar” below on your way out.

You may reach the author via email at author@grassrootsdempolitics.com or author@emolumentsclause.com

Top Trump Donors In The Houston Area

A firestorm erupted recently after Rep Joaquin Castro(D-TX) shared on his tweeter feed the names of prominent Trump donors who come from his home city of San Antonio, Texas. Republicans swiftly fired back at Rep Castro, accusing him of among other things, endangering the lives of the said Trump donors given the fact that emotions in Texas are still raw after the racist El Paso shooting. Sen John Cornyn(R-TX) led the assault on Rep Castro lashing out with this angry tweet.

Naturally, Rep Castro’s move left Yours Truly wondering. “Hmm–I wonder who are Trump’s biggest donors from the Houston, Texas area”. A simple google search led Yours Truly to this October 9, 2018 Houston Business Journal piece aptly titled, “See which Houstonians have donated the most to Trump’s 2020 campaign.” The Houston Business Journal piece has a slide listing some 25 prominent Houstonians, their business ties, and the dollar amounts they have contributed towards Trump’s 2020 campaign–excellent work.

It would be an exercise in redundancy to go through all the names listed in the slide and Yours Truly will certainly not do that. However there are some very prominent Houston personalities that deserve a separate mention chief among them, Jeffery and Melinda Hildebrand of Hillcorp Energy Company. Businessman Farouk Shami, a Palestinian-American and a staple in Houston’s hair products industry also caught Yours Truly’s attention. James Brookshire of S & B, one of the largest construction companies in the world is also on the list. As the article correctly points out, Ivanka Trump visited S & B’s offices in Baytown, Texas in September 2018 as part of her initiative to promote industrial craft training (a testament to S & B’s clout in the construction industry). Last but not least, Jim Flores, a big name in Houston’s oil and gas industry also caught Yours Truly’s attention.

It is fair to assume that because Rep Castro was severely criticized for sharing the names of Trump’s San Antonio donors, Yours Truly will also face similar criticism. For the record Yours Truly totally agrees with the reasoning given by Team Castro when defending their actions. Team Castro correctly pointed out that this is already public information that can be easily accessed on the FEC website so nobody is being “outed”. Yours Truly is further insulated from attacks by the fact that he is simply referencing a Houston Business Journal article that has been out there since 2018. If nobody raised an “outing” issue with the Houston Business Journal piece, then nobody should raise similar issues with this blog post.

Aside from the fact that this is already public information and therefore no donor is being “outed”, reasonable people will also agree that the Trump Presidency has led to the rise of hate groups–especially White Supremacy groups. Some of these groups have openly expressed support for Trump. Reasonable people will also agree that Trump has not done nearly enough to totally disavow the kind of politics that divides Americans along racial lines. As a matter of fact several paid TV pundits have come out and openly accused him of running a presidential campaign based on racism. It is therefore very important for people, certainly Houstonians, to know who is funding his campaign. Whether the people funding his campaign endorse the attendant racism is a different question altogether. The point is, it is in the public’s interest that people know who is funding him.

Bottom line as we approach 2020 the public needs to know where this President stands in regards to these hate groups. Unless and until he comes out and forcefully condemns these hate groups both in his deeds and his words, then the list of prominent Houstonians who continue to send him large donations will remain a topic of great interest and they will quite frankly be viewed by many as sponsors of hate.

For those of you very happy with @Emolclause’s activism don’t shy away from the “tip jar” below on your way out.

You may reach the author via email at author@grassrootsdempolitics.com or author@emolumentsclause.com

Russia Was In A Position To Delete Or Change Voter Data

CBS Face The Nation‘s host Margaret Brennan made a bombshell revelation today when reading from a bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee report she said, “Russia likely targeted election infrastructure in all 50 states. The first known breach was in July 2016 in Illinois where Russian cyber actors scanned state election systems. They were in a position to delete or change voter data. The report does say some progress has been made but the threat is imperfectly understood…”

This mirrors the recent troubling revelation made by Rep Jackie Speier (D-CA) who said Russia likely tampered with our voting machines in 2016 in ways we may never know.

The idea that Russia tampered with our voting machines in 2016 is still largely treated by the mainstream media as some wild conspiracy theory yet time and again we get evidence showing that it is anything but a conspiracy–the latest being this bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee report. The question as to what exactly Russia did in 2016 is one House Democrats and the mainstream media should still be digging into even though the Mueller investigation is now over

Bottom line, if we are going to successfully defend ourselves against another foreign attack on our voting infrastructure in 2020, we need to fully understand what Russia did in 2016 so that we know where our vulnerabilities lie. As it currently stands, the stance taken by House Democrats and the mainstream media is that we need to move on now that Mueller probe is over. Yours Truly strongly disagrees and believes that instead of “moving on”, now is the time we need hunker down and dig deeper into the Mueller findings for clues at to what exactly Russia did in 2016 and ways to stop them in 2020. This issue has to be front and center of mainstream media coverage as we head into 2020.

For those of you very happy with @Emolclause’s activism don’t shy away from the “tip jar” below on your way out.

You may reach the author via email at author@grassrootsdempolitics.com or author@emolumentsclause.com

Harris-Warren The Emergent Dem Power Ticket

The results of the popular #Dem2020Poll not only show a meteoric rise for Senator Elizabeth Warren but also that grassroots Democrats are very open to an all-female Harris-Warren/Warren-Harris ticket in 2020.

Yours Truly began running the popular #Dem2020Poll to gauge who grassroots Democrats wanted to win the 2020 Dem nomination for president way before the November 2018 midterm elections. As expected, there have been a lot of twists and turns as to who grassroots Democrats want to go up against Trump in 2020. In the beginning it was very clear that grassroots Democrats wanted Kamala Harris at the top of the Dem ticket with Joe Kennedy III as her running mate. This later changed to Joe Biden being the favorite, with Kamala Harris as his running mate. After the November 2018 elections, Beto O’Rourke became the favorite, with grassroots Democrats favoring a Beto/Harris or Harris/Beto ticket. Notice that whatever Dem ticket is hot at any given time, Kamala Harris is somehow always in the mix–something Yours Truly predicted from the very beginning—TeamHarris better pay Yours Truly for this expert punditry folks.

Yours Truly memorialized all these #Dem2020Poll twists and turns in this November 2018 post. Well it turns out that we have yet another twist—the Elizabeth Warren twist. In previous #Dem2020Polls, Elizabeth Warren did not perform well and was consistently unable to secure more than 10% of the total votes cast. Recently however, it’s a whole new story. Elizabeth Warren appears to have found her stride and is at this juncture one of the hottest names in the #Dem2020Poll. Yours Truly will leave it to the paid pundits on the Sunday morning talk shows to figure out the real reason behind Elizabeth Warren’s meteoric rise in the polls. Notably however, there appears to be a great appetite for an all-female Harris-Warren/Warren-Harris ticket so much so that they are crushing a Biden-Buttigieg ticket. Yours Truly didn’t see this coming.

Naturally, valid questions have been raised about the viability of an all-female Dem ticket going up against chauvinist Trump in rural and middle America, the tweet below serving as Exhibit A. Again Yours Truly will let the paid pundits on the Sunday morning talk shows wrestle with the viability of an all-female Dem ticket in 2020.

Bottom line, Warren’s 2020 stock is clearly on the rise. How higher up she goes remains to be seen. There’s still a lot of time from now until the Iowa caucuses and many other twists and turns are bound to happen before then. All Yours Truly can leave you with at this juncture is the famous Trumpian phrase, “We’ll see what happens.”

For those of you very happy with @Emolclause’s activism don’t shy away from the “tip jar” below on your way out.

You may reach the author via email at author@grassrootsdempolitics.com or author@emolumentsclause.com

The 22 GOP Senators Up For Reelection In 2020

22 GOP U.S. Senators are up for reelection in 2020. This gives a tremendous advantage to Democrats who only have to defend 12 Senate seats, especially given the concerns a lot of Americans have about the Trump presidency in battleground states. Below is a Handy List of the 22 GOP Senators up for reelection in 2020

As it currently stands the U.S. Senate comprises 52 Republicans and 46 Democrats with 2 Independents who caucus with Democrats, so technically 52-48. To take over the U.S. Senate in 2020, Democrats will need a net gain of 3 Senate seats–a very achievable goal.

Of the 12 Senate Democrats up for reelection, Doug Jones of Alabama is the most vulnerable. The other 11 are in states that typically lean Democratic.

On the Republican side the most vulnerable Senators are Susan Collins(ME), Cory Gardner(CO) and Martha McSally(AZ) plus there are two open seats in Kansas and Tennessee where the incumbent Republicans have chosen not to run in 2020.

It’s also worth pointing out that even though Texas has traditionally voted Republican in Presidential cycles, the recent cliffhanger between Beto O’Rouke and Republican senator Ted Cruz means incumbent Senator John Cornyn’s seat is not a sure bet for Republicans in 2020. This means Dems have a very good shot at flipping 4-5 GOP senate seats in 2020

Bottom line, 2020 presents Democrats with a great opportunity to recapture the U.S. Senate. Dems however must not be complacent but instead contest every U.S. Senate seat to get as close as possible to the magic 60 number.

For those of you very happy with @Emolclause’s activism don’t shy away from the “tip jar” below on your way out.

You may reach the author via email at author@grassrootsdempolitics.com or author@emolumentsclause.com

What Is McConnell Hiding In His Military Records?

An interesting 2008 Huffington Post piece took a deep dive into Sen Mitch McConnell’s past and came out with the startling revelation that there are glaring inconsistencies surrounding the official reasons given for the Senator’s military discharge. Even more startling is the fact that these glaring inconsistencies have strangely escaped the attention of the mainstream media, given the over-the-top attention the same mainstream media gives to the backgrounds of less powerful political figures.

It is interesting that in 2008 when HuffPo took a look at Mitch McConnell’s past, it was because it was feared McConnell would become the most influencial Republican politician under the Obama presidency. Specifically, this was the reason given, “Under what appears more and more likely, under an Obama administration, McConnell – the Senate Minority Leader – is poised to become the highest-ranking Republican in the country. He deserves the same level of scrutiny as other top elected officials. The apparent standard bearer of his party, this anti-gay politician sets policies and national priorities that have a far-reaching impact on us all. The American people deserve to know the truth about this man and what these records indicate from his past.”–excerpt from the 11/22/2008 HuffPo piece.

Well if HuffPo feared in 2008 that McConnell was about to become a very influential politician whose background needed to be seriously scrutinized, its fair to say those fears have been realized a million times over in 2019 because Sen McConnell has become so powerful, he is single-handedly tinkering with the federal judiciary and affecting the lives of Americans in much more ways than even the sitting President Trump does. This means it is even more important now than in 2008 for the truth about his military record to come out.

According to the HuffPo piece, McConnell enlisted in the military in March 1967 and shortly thereafter(4 months) was discharged for an eye condition called optic neuritis–a very treatable medical condition both now and in 1967. Interestingly, McConnell’s military discharge was effected by a letter then U.S. Senator John Sherman Cooper(R-KY) who McConnell had interned for in 1964, wrote to Major General A.D. Surles saying McConnell needed to be “released quickly” in order to attend New York University (NYU). Turns out NYU has no record of McConnell ever applying there but more importantly, in 1967 McConnell already had his law degree. This means there was no urgency for him attending NYU justifying his military discharge.

Naturally, the secrecy surrounding Sen McConnell’s military discharge has spawned a whole host of conspiracy theories, including the kinky one below that was included in a 2013 Daily Kos piece.

Think about that folks, poor Blacks and Browns today cannot get a job at a warehouse to provide for their families because after being subjected to extensive background checks, they are found to have committed inconsequential infractions like possessing marijuana or petty theft. Yet Americans are not allowed to know what is in Mitch McConnell’s background, a powerful politician who makes consequential decisions affecting their every day lives–a total travesty.

Bottom line, because Sen McConnell has become way too powerful and is single-handedly affecting the lives of Americans in ways the founding fathers would never have approved, it is only fair that a serious inquiry be done into his secretive military record. Why was he discharged from the military? Simply put, it is in everybody’s interest that the truth about Sen McConnell’s military record be unearthed, especially now that he is running for reelection in 2020.

For those of you very happy with @Emolclause’s activism don’t shy away from the “tip jar” below on your way out.

You may reach the author via email at author@grassrootsdempolitics.com or author@emolumentsclause.com