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Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit Area, MI
Home country: USA
Current location: San Francisco, CA
Member since: Wed Oct 29, 2008, 02:53 PM
Number of posts: 36,856

About Me

Partner, father and liberal Democrat. I am a native Michigander living in San Francisco who is a citizen of the world.

Journal Archives

No, Wisconsin won't make Democrats lose

Who’s the radical in the race? By a margin of 13 points, voters view Trump as more radical than Biden (34 percent to 21 percent.) Who would handle protests better? Voters prefer Biden 43 percent to 35 percent.

In short, Trump is losing $5 on every sale and hoping to make it up on volume.

Trump’s basic problem is that he doesn’t understand how America has changed. Women who live in the suburbs don’t think of themselves as “suburban housewives.” Your average White teenager in the South looks to Black rap stars as cultural icons more than to Robert E. Lee. Americans who live in the suburbs don’t want to think of themselves as afraid of diversity in their neighborhoods. They want their children to see them as role models who would welcome new neighbors from a different ethnic or religious background.

Nothing in our culture from sports to music to television to films paints a positive view of bigotry and hate. Only in isolated corners of the digital universe do the haters and racists find others who reinforce their anger and bitterness.


Texas sues Harris County to stop it from sending all voters applications for mail-in ballots

Acting at the request of the secretary of state, the Texas attorney general sued Harris County on Monday after it refused to drop plans to send applications for mail-in ballots for the November general election to more than 2 million registered voters.

Attorney General Ken Paxton is asking a state district court to bar Harris County Clerk Chris Hollins from proactively providing the applications to every registered voter in the county, alleging Hollins does not have the authority under state law to carry out the plan.

The lawsuit marks the latest development in a growing battle over voting by mail in Texas during the coronavirus pandemic. That fight had focused on which voters are eligible to cast an absentee ballot, but it has now expanded to include a disagreement between the state and its most populous county over who can even receive the application to request a mail-in ballot.

Until now, the local election officials, including county clerks, actually responsible for carrying out elections had mostly been spectators as Texas’ Republican leadership fought off efforts by state Democrats and civil rights groups to expand voting by mail during the pandemic. Monday’s action marks the most prominent intervention by the state in local election practices.

There is no state law that specifically prohibits election officials from sending out mail-in ballot applications to all voters. Instead, Paxton argues that county clerks are only “expressly empowered” by the Texas Election Code to send out applications to voters who request them, “but there is no statute empowering County Clerks to send applications to vote by mail to voters who have not requested such an application.”


TX-10: GOP operative on McCaul: 'I think he's in trouble.'

McCaul, a reliable GOP vote on domestic issues, bucked his party leaders and voted with Democrats this month on a high-profile bill that would protect the U.S. Postal Service from cost-cutting and projected slowdowns in voting by mail.

Democrats pressed the issue amid questions over plans to overhaul the Postal Service by new Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, a megadonor to President Donald Trump’s campaign, and an expected deluge of mail-in ballots this fall.

“It tells me he’s nervous,” said Democratic consultant Matt Angle, director of the Lone Star Project, a Democratic political action committee, of the Aug. 22 vote.

A Republican operative who has worked for McCaul in the past and spoke on the condition of anonymity in order to speak freely, said of his reelection bid: “I think he’s in trouble. ... This is a real race.”

The election is a rematch of 2018 when McCaul won by 4.3% against Democrat Mike Siegel, then an attorney for the city of Austin, who quit his job and has been campaigning full time since early last year.

McCaul was one of 26 GOP members who joined all Democrats — the only other Texas Republican who voted in favor was retiring U.S. Rep. Will Hurd, R-Helotes — on a bill that GOP leaders “whipped,” meaning that they were not only counting the votes, they were putting pressure on Republicans to stick together and vote against it.

Asked about his vote, McCaul told the American-Statesman: “Back in May I sent a letter with my colleagues to congressional leadership and (Treasury) Secretary (Steven) Mnuchin in support of funding for the U.S. Postal Service. The USPS provides an essential service to my constituents, especially those in rural parts of my district. In fact, I received many phone calls from concerned seniors asking that I vote in favor of this piece of legislation.” Mnuchin has been a Trump administration leader on funding for government programs.


Texas Democrats argue mail-in voting law discriminates based on age

The Texas Democratic Party’s lawyer argued today before a federal appeals court that the state is unlawfully discriminating against the majority of the voting-age population by requiring only those under the age of 65 to have an excuse to receive a mail-in ballot.

It’s one of several last-minute battles playing out in the months leading up to the 2020 election, which is expected to yield historic turnout despite the coronavirus pandemic.

Just Thursday, the state’s elections director sent a letter to the Harris County elections clerk asking him to halt plans to send mail ballot applications to each of the county’s 2.4 million registered voters, calling it an “abuse of voters’ rights” without citing exactly how it would violate the law.

Clerk Chris Hollins has refused to change his plans. The Harris County GOP in a filing Monday asked the Texas Supreme Court to weigh in on the issue, and Monday afternoon Attorney General Ken Paxton filed suit in district court.


Texas Democrats roll out major voter registration push

The Texas Democratic Party (TDP) on Monday rolled out its “Texas Voter Registration Week," a push to get 1 million Texans registered to vote, the latest effort by the party to turn Texas at least partially blue in November.

Based on internal modeling, Texas Democrats hope to reach a high number of young Texans of color who are not yet registered to vote. Of the total number of Texans reached, the party is aiming for around 40 percent to be Black and about 35 percent to be Latino.

Increasing voting participation in the Lone Star State has long been a goal of the TDP.

During the 2018 midterm elections, Texas ranked 41st in voter participation at 46.3 percent, 4 points below the national mark of 50.3 percent.

“Our basic theory is that the more voters that we register, the more likely the state is to turn blue,” Abhi Rahman, director of strategic communications for the Texas Democratic Party, told The Hill in an earlier interview. “We feel like for every Republican voter that’s unregistered, there’s three or four Democrats that are unregistered.”


ME-SEN: Former top Snowe aide: I can no longer support Collins

A former top aide to former Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) said in an op-ed published on Sunday that she would not back Sen. Susan Collins’s (R-Maine) reelection bid, arguing that the longtime incumbent has proven unwilling to break ranks with her party and President Trump.

“Sadly, I can no longer support Senator Susan Collins,” Jane Calderwood, who served under Snowe in both the House and the Senate for nearly two decades, wrote in an op-ed published by SeacoastOnline.com.

“She has proven unwilling to stand up to the President and too enamored of political power to speak up for the good people of Maine,” Calderwood added. “I am tired of hearing about how ‘concerned’ she is. These times demand strength and action and she has shown neither.”
nowe, a centrist Republican, retired from the Senate in 2013 after three terms in the chamber. Collins is now the last remaining New England Republican in Congress.

In her op-ed, Calderwood recalled how she experienced “grief” throughout her career in Washington because she worked for a “moderate” lawmaker. Trump’s election in 2016, however, marked a turning point for her, she wrote, and she ultimately decided to leave the Republican Party.


Swift Boat strategist to oversee huge pro-Trump super PAC: report

A Republican strategist who worked as an adviser to a group behind 2004 attack ads on then-Democratic nominee John Kerry’s military record will lead a pro-Trump super PAC, according to a Politico report.

Longtime Republican strategist Chris LaCivita, who previously served as a media adviser to Swift Boat Veterans, will oversee the new group, Preserve America.

The group is set to spend $30 million on TV advertising for the president in the upcoming weeks. The ads will air in several swing states, including Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Arizona, Iowa and Georgia. The ad buy will comprise about $25 million in TV with the remaining $5 million being used in digital advertising, according to Politico.

The initial ads will echo President Trump’s emphasis on “law and order” messaging and his attempts to tie Democratic nominee Joe Biden to violent protests and nationwide unrest. One of the advertisements features Alyssa Cordova, whose husband was an Arizona police officer killed in the line of duty, accusing Biden of being “part of the problem” and “condoning” attacks on law enforcement.

Although Biden has said he opposes calls to defund the police, Trump campaign advertising has also frequently accused him of being anti-police. Biden has pushed back on those assertions, accusing the campaign of seeking to exploit violence.


GOP anti-Trump group plans multimillion-dollar ad blitz in Florida

A Republican anti-Trump organization is reportedly preparing to spend millions running ads in Florida aimed at swaying moderates in the pivotal swing state.

The group, Republican Voters Against Trump, has assembled several veterans of ex-Gov. Jeb Bush’s (R) presidential campaign, including director Mike Murphy. Murphy told The New York Times that the group’s research indicates numerous retired voters and suburbanites could be persuaded to vote for Democratic nominee Joe Biden despite their histories of voting Republican.

“There are cracks in the wall, but they need a few good sledgehammer blows,” Murphy told the Times.

The group’s strategists said they are focusing their attention on Florida as, unlike other swing states, a loss there would likely put an Electoral College victory out of Trump’s reach.

They also pointed to Florida’s diversity compared to Midwestern states, saying Trump appeals to racial grievances would be less effective there.


Judge extends deadline to return absentee ballots in Georgia

A federal judge on Monday said Georgia absentee ballots postmarked by Election Day must be counted, adding a new wrinkle to ongoing discussions about mail-in voting during the coronavirus pandemic.

The decision from U.S. District Judge Eleanor Ross extends a previous deadline that would have rejected absentee ballots that arrived after 7 p.m. on Election Day. Officials will be required to count absentee ballots postmarked by Nov. 3 and arriving within three business days of it, according to the 70-page order.

“Extending the deadline would ensure that voters who receive their ballots shortly before Election Day are able to mail their ballots without fear that their vote will not count,” Ross wrote in the order.

She issued the order just months after New Georgia Project, a voter registration group, filed a lawsuit seeking a preliminary injunction blocking officials from enforcing Georgia's 7 p.m. deadline.


Democratic Firm Predicts 'Red Mirage' and 'Chaos' on Election Night

Hawkfish, the political data agency funded by Michael Bloomberg, is predicting “chaos” as the presidential election votes are tallied, Axios reports.

“We believe that on Election Night, we are going to see Donald Trump in a stronger position than the reality actually is,” Hawkfish CEO Josh Mendelsohn said, calling the phenomenon a “red mirage.”

That’s because Trump will win “potentially in a landslide” from in-person Election Day votes, “but lose a week later” as mail ballots are counted.


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