To Help Democrats With ‘Stiffening Their Spines,’ New Indivisible Guide Details How Trump Resistance Can Switch From Defense to Offense

Published onWednesday, November 14, 2018byCommon Dreams

To Help Democrats With ‘Stiffening Their Spines,’ New Indivisible Guide Details How Trump Resistance Can Switch From Defense to Offense

“We can set the legislative agenda with a bold progressive vision rooted in inclusion, fairness, and justice. But none of this is automatic—we have to demand it of Congress.”byJake Johnson, staff writer76 Comments

“This guide is about using our constituent power to go on offense,” Indivisible notes. (Photo: Indivisible)After more than year of playing defense against President Donald Trump and the GOP’s attacks on healthcare, workers, immigrants, refugees, the LGBTQ community, and the common good, the progressive group Indivisible on Tuesday published a new action guide aimed at helping organizers and constituents go beyond resistance and pressure the new House Democratic majority to fight for a positive, ambitious agenda.“It’s the job of Democrats to repudiate Trump’s agenda and show them what that alternative vision is. It’s the job of the grassroots—all of us—to make sure that they do.”—Indivisible“This guide is for what comes next,” Indivisible notes, contrasting the new roadmap with its viral 2016 Trump resistance guide.”This guide is about using our constituent power to go on offense,” the group states. “Offense is exciting, but it’s more complex than defense. We have the opportunity to use congressional oversight to hold Trump and his cronies accountable. We can set the legislative agenda with a bold progressive vision rooted in inclusion, fairness, and justice. But none of this is automatic—we have to demand it of Congress.”Read the complete guide here and watch Indivisible’s video launching the action plan:

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What Comes NextTitled “Indivisible on Offense: A Practical Guide to the New, Democratic House,” the organization’s guide notes that the Democrats’ control of the House of Representatives is a tremendous opportunity to both investigate the Trump administration’s boundless corruption and set a positive agenda that provides a stark contrast to the GOP’s plutocratic policies of tax cuts for the rich and Wall Street deregulation.”Trump’s America is racist. Trump’s America is corrupt. Trump’s America is sexist. Trump’s America is inhumane. Voters need to see that there is an alternative to Trump’s America,” the guide notes. “It’s the job of Democrats to repudiate Trump’s agenda and show them what that alternative vision is. It’s the job of the grassroots—all of us—to make sure that they do. We can’t win in 2020 if we fail to do this.”“Democrats will continue to need our help stiffening their spines. We’re not going to mince words: Cutting deals could harm Americans and help Trump win re-election.”—IndivisibleOne way Democrats can advance such an agenda, Indivisible suggests, is through progressive “messaging bills” that may not pass the GOP-controlled Senate immediately but would nonetheless signal what the party “will prioritize should they retake Congress and the White House in 2020.”The guide notes that Democrats can also use their leverage to insert progressive priorities into “must-pass” legislation like government funding bills.But, as Indivisible points out, “leverage works only if you’re willing to use it,” and constant grassroots pressure is the only way to ensure that Democrats advance a popular progressive agenda.From office visits to town halls to coordinated phone calls, Indivisible’s guide details a variety of ways constituents can make their voices heard and ensure their representatives are fighting for a bold agenda and refusing to compromise with Trump and the GOP.”Democrats will continue to need our help stiffening their spines,” Indivisible notes. “We’re not going to mince words: Cutting deals could harm Americans and help

‘Stunning’: After Court Rejects GOP Lawsuit, Democrat Wins as Maine Becomes First State to Use Ranked-Choice Voting in National Race

Victory not just for challenger Jared Golden, but for “voters who demand a fair and representative process”byJulia Conley, staff writer19 Comments

After ranked-choice voting was used to determine the winner of Maine’s 2nd congressional district race, Jared Golden was named the winner on Thursday. (Photo: @golden4congress/Twitter)Maine’s 2nd congressional district made history Thursday afternoon as it named Jared Golden the winner of his race for incumbent Rep. Bruce Poliquin’s (R-Maine) seat, after the state used ranked-choice voting for the first time in a national race to determine the winner.Shortly after a federal judge rejected Poliquin’s lawsuit in which he attempted to halt the ranked-choice voting (RCV) process, election officials forged ahead in their tabulation of ballots and found that Golden won 50.53 percent of the vote, compared to Poliquin’s 49.47 percent.

“The first time ranked-choice voting is used in the state of Maine [and] we’ll have an instance where it will have made a difference—this is stunning,” Larry Diamond, a political scientist at Stanford University, told the Portland Phoenix ahead of the vote tabulation. “Either way it’s going to validate the logic of it, and it’s going to make for fairer elections.”Maine voters reaffirmed their support for RCV last June—after a previous vote in favor of the system was blocked by the legislature—ensuring that voters in the 2nd district could rank the four candidates for Poliquin’s seat in order from their favorite to least favorite when they went to the polls on Election Day.One of the candidates would have had to gather more than 50 percent of the first-choice voters in order for the election to be called. When Poliquin won only 46 percent of the vote and Golden won 45.9 percent, election officials prepared to distribute two independent candidates’ supporters’ second and third choices until either the Democrat or Republican gained a majority.Maine’s plan to become the first state to use RCV for a federal election was briefly threatened when Poliquin filed his lawsuit, claiming that it was unconstitutional to allow voters to rank their choices in order to ensure they are represented by a lawmaker with the majority of support.”There is a certain degree of irony because the remedy Plaintiffs seek could deprive more than 20,000 voters of what they understood to be a right to be counted with respect to the contest between Representative Poliquin and Mr. Golden,” wrote Judge Lance Walker in his opinion (pdf). “At oral argument, Plaintiffs emphasized that the First Amendment entitles them to express their support for their candidate. They feel that Maine is giving other voters disproportionate expression…The RCV Act actually encourages First Amendment expression, without discriminating against any given voter.””I am not persuaded that the United States Constitution compels the Court to interfere with this most sacred expression of democratic will,” the judge added.This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License

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Targeted by Smears, Color of Change Rips Facebook for Boosting ‘Anti-Semitic Conspiracy Theories of White Nationalist Trump Base’

Published onThursday, November 15, 2018byCommon Dreams

The civil rights group condemned the social media giant’s reported efforts to deploy “anti-Semitism as a crowbar to kneecap a black-led organization working to hold them accountable.”byJake Johnson, staff writer12 Comments

“Facebook is violating its most fundamental mission of building human connection, as well as the trust placed in it by billions of people, by advancing extremist far-right conspiracy theories that are aimed at denigrating Jews and belittling people of color,” said Color of Change president Rashad Robinson. (Photo: Reuters)After the New York Times published a bombshell report detailing Facebook’s efforts to smear its critics by deploying anti-Semitic conspiracy theories that are commonly spread right-wing extremists, Color of Change—the online racial justice organization that Facebook attempted to discredit as a “puppet” of billionaire philanthropist George Soros—issued a scathing statement on Thursday denouncing the tech giant for “using anti-Semitism as a crowbar to kneecap a black-led organization working to hold them accountable.”“By suggesting to reporters that Color Of Change is acting as the puppet of Mr. Soros merely because he is one of our many funders, they have given oxygen to the worst anti-Semitic conspiracy theories of the white nationalist Trump base.”—Rashad Robinson, Color of Change“Facebook is violating its most fundamental mission of building human connection, as well as the trust placed in it by billions of people, by advancing extremist far-right conspiracy theories that are aimed at denigrating Jews and belittling people of color,” said Color of Change president Rashad Robinson. “It is reprehensible, it is dangerous, and they should be ashamed.”While Robinson notes that Color of Change has worked with Facebook on a variety of civil rights issues in the past, the group has also been sharply critical of the social media behemoth, accusing it of placing “profit over the safety and privacy of millions of Americans, especially black people, Muslims, and other vulnerable groups.”According to the Times, Facebook used the Republican public relations firm Definers Public Affairs to “explore the financial connections between Mr. Soros’ family or philanthropies” and Color of Change in an attempt to discredit the group’s legitimate criticism of the social media giant as Soros-fueled propaganda.”Facebook’s response to our campaign, which challenged them to improve their platform and create safe conditions for black people and other marginalized groups, was to fan the flames of anti-Semitism,” Robinson said.”By suggesting to reporters that Color of Change is acting as the puppet of Mr. Soros merely because he is one of our many funders,” Robinson continued, “they have given oxygen to the worst anti-Semitic conspiracy theories of the white nationalist Trump base. Those theories aim to not only dehumanize Jews, but also seek to deny legitimacy to progressive social movements led by people of color, by suggesting we have no agenda of our own.”Hours after the meticulously detailed Times report was published, Facebook cut ties with Definers Public Affairs—but Color of Change said the company must go much further.In addition to acknowledging and apologizing for its egregious behavior, Color of Change demanded that Facebook:

“Facebook has become part of the same ecosystem that fed the fever dreams of Cesar Sayoc, accused of targeting Soros and others with pipe bombs, and Robert Bowers, the man who massacred 11 Jews in a Pittsburgh synagogue,” Robinson concluded. “The recent New York Times story shows that while we were operating in good faith trying to protect our communities, they were stooping lower than we’d ever imagined… Facebook now must make amends.”This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License

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Massive Voter Fraud

The Old Liberal

We finally have proof of the massive Democrat voter fraud in this year’s election.

As President Donald Trump stated in an interview on November 14, 2018:

“The Republicans don’t win and that’s because of potentially illegal votes,” Trump said. “When people get in line that have absolutely no right to vote and they go around in circles. Sometimes they go to their car, put on a different hat, put on a different shirt, come in and vote again. Nobody takes anything. It’s really a disgrace what’s going on.”

https://www.vox.com/2018/11/14/18095592/trump-voter-fraud-disguises-cars-daily-caller-interview

I live here in Trump country where Donald had massive support and the GOP still does have massive support. So I know what Donald is talking about.

When I went to vote on Tuesday I carefully observed the 6 people in line. One that stood out was 98 year old Thelma Bumbleknickers.

I watched Thelma drive up to the parking…

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Dreamer’s World November 15, 2018 – Sleet On The Window

As lunchtime arrives, the snow has stopped suddenly, only to be replaced by the unmistakable sound of sleet pounding against the windows. This development means that I am not going anywhere after work, because even if the sleet eventually changes to rain, the damage will have been done and traffic will be a nightmare. Thankfully, we have everything we need here for the rest of the day. Even the local schools that were supposed to open two hours late gave up and canceled classes for the day. I know that makes most of the kids very happy, at least until they realize that they will have to make today up in the spring when the weather will be beautiful.

Looking at Google Maps, the traffic jams are still in place, now they will slowly start to reverse direction as the afternoon wears on. I suspect that some people never made it into work at all and will just turn around and try to get back home through the mess. Days like this make me extremely glad that I work from home. Honestly, if I had to commute I would have taken another day because I have been sick rather than mess with all the nonsense out there.

The main thing is that we are safe and warm. Nothing else matters right now as I finish my lunch and listen to the sound of sleet pounding against the window.