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Vidal's Journal
Vidal's Journal
June 5, 2019

Democrats plan Capitol Hill event to put Trump's mental health under fire

Democrats are planning to host a Capitol Hill event featuring psychiatrists who will warn that President Trump is unfit for office based on his mental health.

The event will be led by Dr. Bandy Lee, a Yale School of Medicine psychiatrist and editor of The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump, a book that argues psychiatrists have a responsibility to warn the public when a president is dangerous. The position is controversial because psychiatric associations urge members never to diagnose patients they haven't personally evaluated, saying it undermines the scientific rigor of the profession.

But Lee and others who agree with her stance say that their description of the president's behavior, of his showing mental instability and dangerousness, shouldn't be interpreted as issuing a diagnosis.

“The president's condition has been visibly deteriorating to the point where there's a lot of talk right now about his mental state beyond mental health professionals," Lee said. "It no longer takes a mental health professional to recognize the seriousness of the current presidency."

The date for the town hall hasn't been set but would be held "imminently soon within the next couple of weeks," said Lee, who said the event was meant to be bipartisan. Budget Committee Chairman John Yarmuth, D-Ky., who has called for Trump's impeachment, confirmed the event was in the works, but said it would be more likely to occur in July because lawmakers have a full plate in June with spending bills.

Read More: https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/policy/healthcare/democrats-plan-capitol-hill-event-to-put-trumps-mental-health-under-fire?utm_source=breaking_push&utm_medium=app&utm_campaign=push_notifications

June 5, 2019

Gallup: Trump's Job Approval Trending Down, Now at 40%

The Gallup tracking poll shows Trump underwater by 15 percentage points in a new poll published today. The poll shows just 40% of American voters approve of Donald Trump, while 55% do NOT approve of the job performance of our so-called president.

No matter what you read elsewhere, this is very bad news for Trump, as his approval ratings continue to slide to historic lows. It's hard to imagine anything he can do (or will do) to get back in favor with the majority of American voters. This is especially true since everything he does to fire up his base (immigration policy, tariffs and trade policy, etc.) only make up less popular with the majority of voters.

Link to Gallup poll: https://news.gallup.com/poll/258026/trump-job-approval-trending-back-down.aspx

June 5, 2019

Former GOP Rep Urges Nancy Pelosi To Give A Primetime Address Making The Case For Impeachment

This seems like a good idea, if she can do it.

Former Republican congressman David Jolly said on Tuesday that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi should deliver a primetime address to the nation making the case for impeachment.

While the former GOP lawmaker said he understands that the public isn’t fully there on moving toward impeachment, he said it is up to Pelosi to make the case.

“Imagine if Nancy Pelosi tomorrow asked to address the nation in primetime at 9:00 P.M.,” Jolly said. “Nancy Pelosi can move the needle for the American people.”

link with video: https://www.politicususa.com/2019/06/04/former-gop-rep-urges-nancy-pelosi-to-give-a-primetime-address-making-the-case-for-impeachment.html

June 4, 2019

Russia Could Unleash Fake Videos During Election, Schiff Says

Source: New York Times

WASHINGTON — The Russian government is likely to try to influence the 2020 presidential election, not through the release of stolen emails and other documents but through faked videos, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee said on Tuesday.

The United States has become adept at quickly identifying the perpetrators of so-called hacking and dumping operations that result in the release of potentially damaging material, increasing the risk for Moscow that Washington will respond, said Representative Adam B. Schiff, the California Democrat who leads the committee.

“The Russians may feel if they are too overt about it, the risk of blowback is simply too great,” Mr. Schiff said at the Council on Foreign Relations. “But there are other ways to have potentially even bigger impact than hacking and dumping.”

Mr. Schiff said he was particularly worried about the effect of falsified videos, known as deep fakes. Such videos could be easily introduced into social media, where they will spread rapidly.

Read more: https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/russia-could-unleash-fake-videos-during-election-schiff-says/ar-AACoq0A

We must be able to counteract this to win in 2020!
June 4, 2019

Does AOC speak for all of America, or just . . .

New York City?

AOC won her seat in a very liberal district, 78% to 14%, so she can go way far left in all of her policies and proposals. She doesn't need to worry about reelection, as do many of the 40 new Dems who "flipped" red seats in the 2018 midterms.

She is in the press a lot, issuing warnings to Democrats, expressing her opinions about how "establishment" Dems who are too centrist must be primaried so progressives can take over their seats.

But it's not clear to me that she has a handle on what Pelosi and the DCCC did throughout the entire country to take back the House. They were very cautious and centrist, and they won, but now AOC is criticizing them.

I have this suspicion that her prescriptions and remedies, including the advice she gives to 2020 presidential candidates, won't work throughout the country in the swing districts we need to retain House control and also take over the Senate and the presidency.

I do think she's having a positive impact on the discussion of issues, such as the Green New Deal, but I'm not sure that if the Dems follow her advice it will really help them win big in 2020.

What do you think?

June 4, 2019

New Polls Have Biden Lead Over Sanders steady at 19%

Biden's lead seems to be holding steady at around 19%.

That is the size of his lead in today's Morning Consult poll.

Also yesterday's Hill/Harris poll

Last week's polls also have him at 19%



So the conclusion is that Biden's lead seems to have settled in at around 19%, and of course that may fluctuate a few percentage points either way.

June 4, 2019

GOP Senate Majority May Be in Peril

This is a very interesting article. It is based on statistical models.

Conclusion: the Repugs senate majority is not guaranteed to hold through 2020, especially if Trump loses by a big margin.

The general thinking about the Republican Senate majority is that it has solidified to the point where Democrats are effectively shut out of gaining control of the upper chamber in 2020. But in truth, the GOP majority is in more danger than many analysts believe. Just how much jeopardy depends on how you think about the overall state of the race: If the election is going to be close, as many analysts (including myself) seem to believe, then the Senate probably leans Republican at best. And if President Trump is likely to lose, perhaps badly (as other analysts suggest), then Republicans will have a very difficult time maintaining control of the chamber.
The bad news for the GOP is that most of the competitive seats are held by Republicans. It is still early, and the list could change if, say, Democratic Gov. (and presidential candidate) Steve Bullock switches over to the Senate race in Montana, or former Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe gets into the Senate race there. But for now, Democratic seats in Alabama, Michigan, Minnesota and New Hampshire are considered potentially competitive, while Republican seats in Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, North Carolina, and Texas have varying degrees of competitiveness.
Looking at individual seats, we see that Republicans would not be favored to be competitive in races for any Democratic-held seats except Alabama’s, which reflects conventional wisdom. If the remaining seats did not flip in the good GOP year of 2014, it is difficult to see them flipping if a Republican president’s job approval is at 42.5 percent.

Republicans start out as underdogs in Maine and Colorado. This probably overstates Susan Collins’ vulnerability, in the same way the simulations overstated Joe Manchin’s vulnerability in 2018. On the other hand, Manchin came within three percentage points of losing his race, though his state is substantially more Republican than Maine is Democratic.

In any event, the key battlegrounds are shaping up to be Arizona, Georgia, and North Carolina, with outside Democratic chances in Iowa, Kentucky, and Texas.

Read More: https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2019/06/04/is_gops_senate_majority_in_more_peril_than_we_think.html

June 3, 2019

House Oversight Committee to vote on holding Bill Barr and Wilbur Ross in contempt

According to CNN congressional reporter Manu Raju, the House Oversight Committee will vote to hold Bill Barr and Wilbur Ross in contempt for refusing to comply with subpoenas.

The probe related to the added question to the Census about the citizenship status of occupants in the home.

June 3, 2019

Page: Joe Biden should tout his role in the 1994 crime bill -- not hide from it

As one who followed and wrote about the crime bill debate, I see no reason for Biden to be defensive about it, flawed as it may appear to be now, some 25 years later.

it is important to remember the high level of public fear, rage and consternation that boiled through the electorate at the time. The constant drumbeat — or gunshots — of gang wars, crack cocaine overdoses and drive-by shootings dominated headlines.

In response, Clinton, Biden, Republican Rep. Jack Brooks of Texas and other lawmakers pulled together a bipartisan consensus to produce the largest anti-crime bill in American history — a sprawling $30 billion package that included such wide-ranging remedies as tougher sentencing, more police on the streets, prison construction, drug treatment programs and community policing. The bill also included a 10-year ban on assault-style weapons that expired in 2004 after gun proponents strongly opposed its renewal.

And crime went down, right? Yes, crime rates went down, but a debate immediately rose up as to whether and how the crime bill had something to do with it. Was it the attack on root causes that liberals preferred or was it the tougher sentencing that conservatives wanted?

That debate goes on. As one source, PolitiFact, put it this past week, “Over the decades, no credible analyst has cast the 1994 crime bill as the trigger for mass incarceration.”

Instead, U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics indicates the 1994 bill was part of a trend that already was underway at the state level. Incarceration rates rose much faster for blacks than for whites, according to the BJS, but that trend began in the mid-1980s and has continued into this century.

Berkeley law professor Franklin Zimring, author of the 2006 book “The Great American Crime Decline,” knocked down the various theories associating the crime drop with the economy, more police, higher imprisonment, more abortions and other popular theories on both political sides and concluded that, alas, it was a combination of many different factors and no single magic bullet or two that explained the drop.

Now, 25 years after the crime bill’s passage, political trends have swung in the other direction, with even conservative states such as Texas beginning to release nonviolent offenders or find alternative sentencing that’s less expensive than prisons and more likely to help ex-offenders re-enter society.

President Barack Obama initiated some reforms in drug prosecutions and sentencing for nonviolent crimes. So has President Trump, whether he mentions Obama’s efforts or not. Instead of trying to hide from his crime bill, candidate Biden would be wise to own it.

After all, it was supported by the Congressional Black Caucus and by Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., who similarly had to answer for his vote under questioning by fellow progressives during his 2016 presidential run.

Democrats, among others, would be wise to follow the advice of Rep. James Clyburn of South Carolina, who during an appearance on Chris Cuomo’s CNN show cautioned fellow Democrats to temper their anger and “do a little more research and see exactly how we got to where we are.”

Indeed, that’s good advice for anybody who is trying to figure out where they’re going.

June 3, 2019

Here are the states where Biden could win 100% of the delegates.

Under Democratic Party rules in order to get any delegates, a candidate must win at least 15% of the vote in a primary. (In some states, it is a state-wide 15% and in some states the 15% is calculated at the congressional district level.)

I just checked some state polling for Democratic 2020 primaries at Nate Silvers www.fivethirtyeight.com where he has polling data for several early primary states.

There are some interesting results, so far. In several states, Biden is the only candidate with over 15% in the polls so far. This of course is due to the fact that there are so many candidates diluting the vote.

Unsurprisingly, several of the states are in the south, where Biden has a great deal of support from African American primary voters.

South Carolina, an early primary, has a recent poll with Biden at 37% and Sanders at 10%.

Other states where Sanders is under 15% include:

1. Alabama

2. Florida

and even

3. Pennsylvania

A lot can happen over the next nine months, and it's possible candidates will drop out and second place finishers will get over 15% in some of these primaries, but as things look right now Biden is positioned to build a very strong early-primary lead thanks to the weakness of his competitors, and the Democratic primary rules which could give him 100% of the delegates in some states.

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