Monday, November 30, 2015

NSA's Bulk Domestic Surveillance Ended Last Night? If You Believe That...


Officially, the NSA's "authorization" to to collect so-called "metadata" by a massive domestic surveillance program ended yesterday at midnight. And they say they stopped moments before the deadline. Do you believe them? They never actually had the authority to spy on American citizens and the "new program" that started at midnight... who knows how much less spying that will be doing anyway. Every single call was electronically monitored and no one knew-- until Ed Snowden, heroically, blew the whistle on the NSA. Instead of being rewarded for his service to the country, he's been hunted and forced to live in exile and under threat for his life.

This is what set in motion yesterday's "changes." The fascistic Patriot Act expired on June 1 of this year and the USA Freedom Act was meant to replace it with some changes, including the slight limitations on bulk collection of data on American citizens by the NSA. Actual mass surveillance of the content of Americans' communication doesn't-- even theoretically-- explore until 2017. "Littered with loopholes," according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the House bill passed in 2014 and was rejected by the Senate. It was modified slightly and passed May 13 338-88 with 41 Democrats and 47 Republicans voting against it. Lots of really bad Democrats-- from Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Steve Israel, Donald Norcross, Jim Cooper, Steny Hoyer, Jim Costa, and Collin Peterson to Patrick Murphy, Kathleen Rice, Scott Peters and John Delaney voted for the flawed bill while most of the good Democrats-- Alan Grayson, Ted Lieu, Keith Ellison, Jan Schakowsky, Raul Grijalva, Barbara Lee, Mike Honda, Donna Edwards, Mark Pocan-- voted against it. (There were some good Democrats who felt it was the best deal they could get and voted with the Republicans for the bill.) Most of the Republicans who voted no were from the Freedom Caucus. A few weeks later, after lots of drama, it also passed the Senate 67-32, again with a bizarre combination of the best Democrats (Bernie Sanders and Tammy Baldwin) joining with many of the worst of the Republicans, from nitwits like Joni Ernst, Pat Toomey, Rob Portman and Marco Rubio to the hardcore obstructionists like Tom Cotton, Jeff Sessions and Richard Burr. Obama signed it.

After it passed Jameel Jaffer, the deputy legal director of the ACLU said that the "bill would make only incremental improvements, and at least one provision-the material-support provision-would represent a significant step backwards" and that "the disclosures of the last two years make clear that we need wholesale reform." Jennifer Granick, Director of Civil Liberties at Stanford Law School, had been even even blunter and more direct when the legislation was proposed: "The Administration and the intelligence community believe they can do whatever they want, regardless of the laws Congress passes, so long they can convince one of the judges appointed to the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) to agree. This isn't the rule of law. This is a coup d'etat."

This week the corporate media is painting this charade as "a long-awaited victory for privacy advocates and tech companies wary of broad government surveillance at a time when national security concerns are heightened in the wake of the Paris attacks earlier this month." It isn't.
Under the Freedom Act, the NSA and law enforcement agencies can no longer collect telephone calling records in bulk in an effort to sniff out suspicious activity. Such records, known as "metadata," reveal which numbers Americans are calling and what time they place those calls, but not the content of the conversations.

Instead analysts must now get a court order to ask telecommunications companies like Verizon Communications to enable monitoring of call records of specific people or groups for up to six months.

"The act struck a reasonable compromise which allows us to continue to protect the country while implementing various reforms," National Security Council spokesman Ned Price said.

Some Republican lawmakers want to preserve bulk collection until 2017, citing the Nov. 13 Paris attacks in which 130 people died. The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the killings.

But any new surveillance measures are unlikely to become law ahead of the November 2016 presidential elections.

A presidential review committee concluded the surveillance regime did not lead to a single clear counter terrorism breakthrough that could be directly attributed to the program.
I asked Grayson, one of the handful of Democrats with the guts to vote against it. "It’s progress," he told me. "But I still question the need for the government to photograph every piece of mail, and the NSA needs to come clean regarding its monitoring of internet use and personal spending (if any, of course)."

UPDATE: Letter From Justin Amash (R-MI)

December 1, 2015
Stop Spying on U.S. Citizens: Vote “NO” on H.R. 4127

Dear Colleague:

This afternoon, the House will consider the Intelligence Authorization Act (IAA) for Fiscal Year 2016, which fails to address an expansive new authority recently granted to the intelligence community with virtually zero scrutiny or debate.

Last year, House and Senate leadership used the IAA to rush through a provision that permits the government to acquire, retain, and disseminate nonpublic telephone or electronic communications (i.e., content) of United States persons without the consent of the person or proper legal process. The section contemplates that those private communications of Americans, obtained without a court order, may be transferred to domestic law enforcement for criminal investigations.

The administration has historically conducted such surveillance under a claim of executive authority, such as E.O. 12333. However, Congress has never before approved using executive authority in that way to capture and use Americans’ private telephone records, electronic communications, or cloud data.

This provision received little media attention because of the unusual way in which it was adopted. During consideration of an earlier version of the FY 2016 IAA in June of this year, I offered an amendment in the Rules Committee to strike this provision from law. The committee ruled my amendment out of order without explanation. Here’s the timeline for how this provision came to be adopted: At 8:50 p.m. on December 9, 2014, the Senate passed a substitute amendment to H.R. 4681, the IAA for Fiscal Year 2015, which included a new provision (Section 309) that was not part of the original bill that moved through the House several months earlier. The Senate adopted the substitute amendment by unanimous consent and passed the bill by voice vote at 8:51 p.m. At 1:13 p.m. on December 10 (the next day), then-Chairman Mike Rogers attempted to suspend the rules and agree to the Senate amendment by voice vote—passing into law a provision virtually no one knew about and that had thus far received no real vote or been subject to any real debate. I rushed to the floor to demand the yeas and nays. Less than four hours later, the House voted on the measure with most members still unaware of this provision.

As noted above, I offered an amendment to the IAA in June to strike from law the words, "which shall permit the acquisition, retention, and dissemination of covered communications subject to the limitation in subparagraph (B)". The intelligence committees and intelligence community have claimed that this provision does nothing. If that’s the case, removing these words should be uncontroversial.

Congress and the American people deserve real substantive debate on these important issues, and we should reject reauthorization of surveillance authorities until our Fourth Amendment concerns are addressed. I urge you to join me in voting “no” on H.R. 4127, the IAA for Fiscal Year 2016, when it comes before the House this afternoon.

Justin Amash
Member of Congress

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Is There A Connection Between Patrick Murphy's Over-The-Top Corruption And His Campaign Emails?


The DCCC may be stupid-- or even very stupid (as well as utterly incompetent)-- but their e-mail strategy is very well-planned out. Their overarching goal is not primarily to rake in cash-- although, obviously, they love that-- but to destroy the capacity for grassroots Democrats to have an independent means of raising money for progressive and independent-minded candidates. They have bragged about "burning the lists" and they force the mostly lame-- and loser-- candidates they endorse to implement that strategy without even knowing what they are doing.

This morning I was awakened by a text from a former Democratic congressional candidate complaining about another of the insufferable e-mails he had just gotten from Florida conservaDem Patrick Murphy. "Patrick Murphy," the candidate wrote, "believes in sending out bullshit emails every day, a tactic he likely learned from Israel's DCCC." Last week a current congressional candidate admitted to being concerned about the DCCC controlling the campaign's (extremely lame) email messaging.

Emails from Beltway organizations that have subject lines like "Please Open Before Dinner" are always immediately deleted, at least by me. A friend of mine opened on From a Mandi Karp the other day whose subject line was No-Politics-On-Thanksgiving. And it was from the execrable Patrick Murphy campaign! "Here's my promise to you. Thursday is off-limits," it began.
When you’re watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, or enjoying turkey at the dinner table, or relaxing in the evening-- you won’t be receiving any emails from Team Murphy.

We have a strict no-politics-on-Thanksgiving policy (although we can’t control your relatives), so I’m going to say what I have to say right now. Patrick is our best chance to win Florida’s Senate seat and take back the Senate for Democrats.

As Patrick’s finance director, I’m constantly looking at our numbers and figuring out what we need to keep our momentum up. And we NEED to hit our fundraising goal this November.

Give $3 or more and head into the holidays knowing we’re that much closer to turning the Senate blue. We’re still $15,125 away from our goal.

Despite what the Koch Brothers believe, the foundation for successful campaigns is built on the small contributions of many. If anyone appreciates this, it’s Patrick. One of his first jobs as a teenager was pouring concrete on construction sites. He knows the importance of a strong foundation.

We’ve made progress on building a good foundation so far, but recent polls have Patrick neck-and-neck with Republican candidates and barely polling stronger than his primary opponent Alan Grayson.

This race is still much too close to get comfortable. Bloomberg Business said the “War for the Senate will be decided in Florida,” and the Kochs and their ultra-wealthy conservative friends won’t be giving up without an expensive fight.

Help us strengthen our foundation for victory by making a contribution right now. We have 5 more days to reach $50,000.

Thanks and have a happy Thanksgiving,


Actually most polls show Grayson beating Wall Street's #1 errand boy in Congress, Patrick Murphy, but that's beside the point. The real point is that the next day-- Thursday, Thanksgiving Day-- just when my poor beleaguered friend was sitting down to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and enjoy turkey at the dinner table and relax in the evening, there was another e-mail from the disgusting, vile Murphy, ostensibly not from the campaign but from the family and ostensibly not a campaign request, just a happy Thanksgiving card (that mentioned on the bottom it was paid for by the campaign).

Awful, horrible people-- the DCCC, the DSCC, Patrick Murphy, Patrick Murphy's campaign, Patrick Murphy's criminal family (who are in business with the Trump organization). I don't get emails from the Murphy operation any longer because I did the only rational thing and unsubscribed. You should too. There'll never been anything of value coming from them-- or the DCCC or the DSCC-- except shrewd (or moronic) attempts to separate you from your money, which is especially odd coming from the House Democrat who has taken-- by far-- the most in blatantly, albeit legalistic, bribes from predatory Wall Street banksters in return for his grotesque support of their horrific agenda of ripping off the public.

Every time you get a Patrick Murphy email, you should delate in at once and then donate $10 here. [Someone reading over my shoulder just now, pointed out that another "ex"-Republican recruited by Steve Israel, Monica Vernon from Iowa and EMILY's List, has an even more repulsive email program than Murphy's. That may be true and we'll examine that next.] Congress' most corrupt Members-- all of these Members of Congress belong in prison for taking quid pro quo bribes:

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Is It Fair To Label Fiorina A Conspirator In The Colorado Springs Terrorism At Planned Parenthood?


"Victims of Our Games" by Chawky Frenn

Much like Illinois Republican Adam Kinzinger said on CNN while the terrorist was still inside the Planned Parenthood clinic shooting people, Herr Trumpf, while having his candidacy boosted by another Meet The Press interview yesterday, pronounced him (not Kinzinger, the other terrorist) sick and a maniac rather than a right-wing domestic terrorist or just some guy going overboard in carrying out the Republican Party agenda.
Trump did not respond directly when asked about reports that the alleged shooter, Robert Lewis Dear, discussed “baby parts” during an interview with law enforcement officials.

"This was a man who they said prior to this was mentally disturbed," he said. "So, he's a mentally disturbed person. There's no question about that."

Trump did, however, cite "tremendous dislike" for Planned Parenthood.

"Well, I will tell you there is a tremendous group of people that think it's terrible, all of the videos that they've seen with some of these people from Planned Parenthood talking about it like you're selling parts to a car. I mean, there are a lot of people that are very unhappy about that," he said.

"I see a lot of anxiety and I see a lot of dislike for Planned Parenthood. There's no question about that."
Fiorina and Huckabee, who enabled the terrorist with their constant barrage of lies and Planned Parenthood selling "baby parts," have been unapologetic-- even aggressively assertive, after their tragic handiwork. Fiorina, perhaps an even more calculating, malignant and bold-faced liar than Trumpf, referred to people connecting the dots between her hate speech and the Colorado Springs murderer as "typical left-wing tactics." Fiorina admonished what she called "pro-life" demonstrators to "always be peaceful" and then implied if they weren't they'd be like BlackLivesMatter protestors (who, as far as I've seen, haven't been running around murdering people the way at least one Fiorina follower, so far, has, but instead have been murdered themselves, in all likelihood inspired by outrageous Republican rhetoric). She's a very sick and very dangerous person and, fortunately, even the Republican base, which, recall, embraced Sarah Palin, has rejected her. Fiorina's polling numbers have continued to plummet as her inability to speak truthfully became clearer and clearer. Now in 6th place at 3.7%, RealClearPolitics documents her breathtaking slide from a high of 15% in a CNN poll in September to a mere 3% in the latest Fox News poll last week.

Yesterday on ABC's This Week with George Stephanopoulos Michael McCaul pronounced the mass murder at the Planned Parenthood clinic "not an act of terrorism," but, in his words, "a mental health crisis." Right-wing Texas congressman, NRA-fanatic, anti-choice extremist and Boehner's Homeland Security Committee chair, McCaul, married into the Clear Channel fortune and is now the 5th richest Member of Congress with an estimated average net worth of $137,611,043. Since first winning the GOP nomination in 2004 for the then brand new 10th district, he has never faced a serious challenge and the DCCC hasn't recruited candidates to run against him. His district connects northern Austin-- Highland, Brentwood, North Loop, Rosedale, Allandale, Crestview, and North Shoal Creek-- to the western suburbs of Houston (Katy, Park Row, Cypress, Rose Hill, Tomball, and Hufsmith) with nothing much in between other than rural towns like La Grange, Brenham, Giddings, Round Top and Bastrop. When it looked like McCaul would be in jeopardy from an expanding Mexican-American population, the Republican state legislature illegally drew Hispanic voters out of his district. The DCCC didn't take them to court over it.

Jennifer Markovsky, mother of two.
Ke'Arre Stewart, father of two.
Garrett Swasey, father of two.

All murdered by a right-wing terrorist shouting "no more baby parts," inspired by self-serving Republican Party garbage Mike Huckabee, Carly Fiorina, Adam Kinzinger, Marco Rubio and Mike McCaul. Now these Republican scumbags refuse to say their names, let alone take responsibility for their deaths. In honor of Giving Tuesday, Blue America will be matching all contributions to our candidates up to $1,000 by writing a PAC check to Planned Parenthood. You can read all about that here-- why we're doing it, what our candidates think and how to get involved yourself.

Millionaire terrorist enabler Michael McCaul (R-TX)

UPDATE: Ted Cruz: "Rhetoric and language has consequences."

Yeah... they sure has! Jodi Jacobson of RH Reality Check reminded us that Ted Cruz, who adamantly rejects and relationship between right-wing hate speech and the murders and terrorism in Colorado Springs overrated weekend, didn't always feel that way. Well, he may have but he was once outspoken about the relationship between rhetoric and dire consequences. He tried blaming President Obama for the death of a police officer based on a spurious interpretation of something the president said.

"The violence we’re seeing directed against law enforcement," Cruz told the media,"is a direct manifestation of the harsh rhetoric and the vilification of police officers and law enforcement that sadly has come all the way from the top. Senior administration officials have chosen to vilify law enforcement."

There was no connection between anything Obama said and the deaths of police officers, of course-- Cruz was lying as usual-- but, as Jacobson wrote, "for Cruz and others in the GOP, this indictment of Obama serves a far-right meme percolating since at least the beginning of this year when, in response to Black Lives Matter (BLM)—the organic movement against police brutality that coalesced after the killing of Michael Brown in 2014—the right countered by blaming the victims of excessive police violence for their own deaths, denying the persistence of racism in our society, and claiming that efforts by Black people to assert their basic humanity were resulting in 'unprecedented' dangers for police.
Last Friday, two civilians and one police officer died and nine others were wounded in a vicious and wholly predictable attack at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The alleged gunman, Robert Lewis Dear, who used what the New York Times described as an assault-style rifle to blast his way into the health-care facility, reportedly said “no more baby parts” during his arrest.

This would be a direct reference to false and defamatory rhetoric ceaselessly repeated by GOP candidates and the anti-choice movement over the past six months to claim Planned Parenthood profited from the sale of fetal body parts for research, when not a shred of evidence of illegal or unethical activity has been produced.

It’s no secret that the GOP, now fully co-opted by what was once a radical Christian fringe, long ago set its sights on destroying access to reproductive health care in the United States. With callous disregard to the effects on the nearly three million a year who receive primary reproductive health care at Planned Parenthood clinics, the right has made a religious crusade of efforts to shutter Planned Parenthood, persistently threatening to shut down the entire U.S. government in an effort to do so. State legislatures and governors throughout the country have voted to strip funding from family planning and other forms of reproductive health care, destroying an essential keystone of public health. And an entire industry now exists devoted to, among other things, manufacturing lies about abortion and contraception; passing laws to reduce access to abortion care and make criminals of doctors and patients; picketing clinics; harassing and threatening providers and patients; and denying women medically accurate information.

In this environment, heated rhetoric about abortion providers is only one lit match away from a raging forest fire of hatred and violence culminating in unstable people taking matters into their own hands.

...In July... Cruz released a statement saying:
Today’s news regarding allegations that Planned Parenthood is possibly selling the body parts of the babies it has aborted is sickening. There is no place for taxpayer funding of organizations that profit from taking away innocent life, much less profiting off the bodies of the lives they have stolen. Congress should immediately begin an investigation of Planned Parenthood’s activities regarding the sale and transfer of aborted body parts, including who is obtaining them and what they are being used for. And it should renew efforts to fully defund Planned Parenthood to ensure that its morally bankrupt business receives not one penny of taxpayer money.
Cruz has continued to hammer this theme on the campaign trail. In a September op-ed, Cruz wrote about the “horrifying and barbaric nature” of Planned Parenthood, asserting, among other things, that “American taxpayers are currently forced to fund this likely criminal organization, which barters and sells the body parts of unborn children.”

Well after the videos were found to be falsified, GOP candidate Carly Fiorina, who as noted by University of California researcher Carole Joffe, “has the habit of forcefully doubling down on her [false] claims [even] when she is confronted with the truth,” continued to claim Planned Parenthood was guilty of “harvesting baby parts,” despite evidence that the video to which she pointed was falsified.

Mike Huckabee has made attacks on abortion providers and on Planned Parenthood a centerpiece of his campaign, claiming that clinics are “selling babies’ body parts like the parts of a Buick.” Huckabee has variously called Planned Parenthood a “kill for hire organization,” compared abortion providers to Hitler, and stated that “only since the Nazis have we seen such coldblooded indifference to human life.”

Variations on this theme have been endlessly repeated for months by presidential candidates Ben Carson, Donald Trump, Marco Rubio, and Jeb Bush on TV, radio, and in print, and continued well after threats to clinics were directly linked by the FBI to the release of the CMP videos.

“Since the release of the initial video by pro-life organization Center for Medical Progress in July, investigators say there have been nine criminal or suspicious incidents across the country,” according to a report on the FBI findings by Jeff Pegues of CBS News.

Yes, Ted Cruz, rhetoric and language have consequences. And over and over again we’ve seen that the GOP and the anti-choice movement writ large blatantly disregard the likely consequences of their own rhetoric, and then cry foul when asked to do some soul-searching.

But by its own yardstick, the anti-choice community has this blood all over its hands.
And please don't forget to check this out as a means of just saying NO to ugly Republican hypocrisy and violence.

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What Passing 400 ppm CO2 Means to Climate Scientists


NASA | A Year in the Life of Earth's CO2 (source). Note first that emissions are greater in the industrialized northern hemisphere, which probably explains why the Arctic is melting first. Then note the difference between winter emissions in the north, which remain airborne, and summer emissions, which are partially withdrawn by growing vegetation.

by Gaius Publius

This is written for anyone who is climate-concerned, but specifically for our DC readers in the policy-making community. This is the issue at which cautious incrementalism collides with urgency. If a meteor were headed for earth and due to crash in a year between 2020 and 2040, I doubt our policymakers would be talking about how long to delay before acting.

The climate emergency is that meteor. 2020 is five years away. I don't know about anyone else, but I'm not feeling lucky. Neither are these folks.

What Passing a Key CO2 Mark Means to Climate Scientists

From Andrea Thompson and Brian Kahn at Climate Central comes this, a series of comments from prominent climate scientists on our passing a key climate milestone, a persistent 400 ppm of atmospheric CO2.

As the animation above shows, CO2, one of several greenhouse gases and the longest lived, passes into the atmosphere from the burning of fossil fuels (primarily), then is partially draw out by the activity of plants in the summer, and other factors, such as dissolution in the ocean. More remains in the air than is drawn out, however, which counts for increasing atmospheric concentrations, year by year.

Here is the authors' introduction to the scientists' comments:
Humans have burned enough fossil fuels to drive atmospheric CO2 to levels that world hasn’t seen in at least 400,000 years. That’s driven up temperatures, melted ice and caused oceans to acidify. Some extreme weather events around the world have become more likely and stronger because of it, and some will likely only get worse as the planet continues to warm. [Note the unnecessary conservativism in the use of "likely." The word they want is "certainly."]

Because CO2 sits in the atmosphere long after it’s burned, that means we’ve  likely lived our last week in a sub-400 ppm world. It also means that the reshaping of our planet will continue for decades and centuries to come, even if climate talks in Paris in two weeks are successful.

To get some perspective on what this means for the world, we asked leading climate scientists for their insight on passing this milestone as well as what it means for their particular areas of research. Below are their answers, some edited lightly for clarity or length.
And now a few of the comments:
How Do You Feel About CO2 Levels Passing This Threshold?
Ralph Keeling, director of the Scripps CO2 Program: “It will take some getting used to psychologically, like a round-numbered birthday. For someone who remembers when CO2 was only around 330 ppm, it's a pretty big change.”

Jason Box, ice researcher at the Geologic Survey of Denmark and Greenland: “I feel very concerned because the last time atmospheric CO2 was this high, global sea levels were at least six meters higher. You can see a recent study by Andrea Dutton and others on sea level rise due to polar ice-sheet mass loss during past warm periods.”

Katharine Hayhoe, atmospheric scientist at Texas Tech University: “As a scientist, the difference between 399 ppm vs. 401 ppm is negligible.

As a human, though, passing both the 400 ppm and (potentially) the 1°C threshold within such a short time period makes it clear we are already living in a different world. We have blown past targets that were being considered as viable when I entered graduate school. We have significantly reduced the options available to us in the future. If we aren’t going to blow past the next set of thresholds — 500 ppm and 2°C — within just a few more decades, we have a lot of work to do in Paris in two weeks and beyond.”

Peter Gleick, president of the Pacific Institute: “In some ways, the number 400 ppm is no different than 395 ppm or 390 ppm — it is just that we like watching our odometers turn over at even numbers with lots of zeros. But this feels far more important than pure symbolism. The truth is, when I was born, atmospheric CO2 levels were around 300 ppm. Today — maybe even this week — will be the last time anyone alive experiences a level below 400 ppm, and no one born in the coming century or even longer will ever see less than 400 ppm again. That is a deep, deep observation, with ramifications for our children and for every future generation.”

Pieter Tans, head of the Carbon Cycle Greenhouse Gases Group at the Environmental System Research Laboratory: “What do I feel about this? Awe! To me, it demonstrates the continuing and unavoidable rise of CO2 as long as mankind continues to burn coal, oil, and natural gas in quantities so large that natural systems are being overwhelmed.”
There are more questions and more comments, all of them interesting. The questions include "What Does Reaching This Level Mean For Your Area Of Climate Science?" and "Do You Think This Milestone Will Spur Action On Climate Change?" Please read the rest.

Four Takeaways

To make it simple, here are four takeaways from the article:
  1. From Jason Box, quoted above: The last time atmospheric CO2 was this high, global sea levels were at least six meters higher.
  2. Katherine Hayhoe, above: If we aren’t going to blow past the next set of thresholds — 500 ppm and 2°C — within just a few more decades, we have a lot of work to do in Paris in two weeks and beyond.
  3. John Church, from an unquoted part of the article: The oceans, glaciers and ice sheets are all out of balance so sea level will rise for centuries, and more.
  4. Julienne Stroeve, from an unquoted part: Any action on climate change will be driven by economics; sadly that's the way the world currently works.
All four statements are true — "we have a lot of work to do" is of course a huge understatement — but the fourth statement is only conditionally correct. In "incremental times" the fourth is spot-on. In revolutionary times, however, times in which the villagers opt for an "Easter Island solution," there are choices other than protecting the wealth of our "leaders":
You're a villager on Easter Island. People are cutting down trees right and left, and many are getting worried. At some point, the number of worried villagers reaches critical mass, and they go as a group to the island chief and say, "Look, we have to stop cutting trees, like now." The chief, who's also CEO of a wood products company, checks his bottom line and orders the cutting to continue.

Do the villagers walk away? Or do they depose the chief?

There's always a choice ...
Six meters or more of sea level rise before 2100 is at least 19 feet. The seas continuing to rise "for centuries" is the end of coastal living worldwide, the absolute end, except in easily moved villages. Me, I like the Easter Island solution more and more. Simply depose the chief.

What Does "Depose the Chief" Mean?

Until the Democratic primary is over, "depose the chief" means replacing the "carbon friendly" and "solution at the margins" Barack Obama with only Bernie Sanders, at least until Hillary Clinton stops being a carbon candidate herself.

You can help in two ways. First, contribute to Bernie Sanders campaign, and optionally, the campaigns of all candidates who have endorsed him. (Adjust the split any way you like at the link.)

Second, understand that moving quickly means just that — a World War II-style national mobilization. Consider adding your name, voice and effort to this group and signing the pledge to mobilize.

Otherwise, we could end up here:

Climate translation:
"I know what you're thinking, Mr. & Ms. American. You're thinking, 'Do we have until 2020 to stop making Exxon and Big Oil rich, or can we wait till 2040 to take them on?' Now, to tell you the truth, no one really knows. But being this is civilization-ending CO2 emissions we're talking about, which will blow your grandchildren right back to the stone age while you watch, you've got to ask yourselves a question — Do you feel lucky?" 
Me, I don't feel lucky.

"You are here" and rising at >2.1 ppm/year. Atmospheric CO2 across a span of time longer than our species has existed (source; click to enlarge).

Not lucky at all. (One solution here.)


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What's Wrong With The DCCC? How Do You Count The Ways? Let's Begin With Kyrsten Sinema


A few days ago, a major DCCC contributor, Blake Byrne, realized he's been had. Over the years, Byrne has contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars on nauseating conservative congressional candidates that the DCCC has assured him share his values as well as to the DCCC (and the DSCC and DNC). After he recognized so many of the conservatives he'd been tricked into donating to had voted against the Syrian refugees, he closed his checkbook to the DCCC, hopefully forever-- or until they do a real and thorough house-cleaning and get all the Rahm Emanuel/Chris Van Hollen/Steve Israel garbage out of there. Byrne wrote to some of the sickening and cowardly conservatives he'd been tricked into helping bankroll through his DCCC contributions-- like Scott Peters, Kyrsten Sinema, Sean Patrick Maloney, Steve Israel and Julia Brownley-- and told them, "What a disappointment you are to me and all the others who fight for equal rights for our fellow Americans! I too want a majority of Democrats in the House of Representatives, but not people who use others hardships as their stepping stones. I know you’re in a very competitive district, but reelection at the expense of the Syrian refugees is not worth reelection."

In the last few years, beyond his generous contributions directly to their candidates, he's written just over a dozen checks to the DCCC alone-- totaling $275,000. Among the wretched candidates the DCCC steered him to are revolting conservatives like Patricl Murphy (New Dem-FL), Pete Aguilar (New Dem-CA), Sean Patrick Maloney (New Dem-NY), Loretta Sanchez (Blue Dog-CA), Jane Harman (New Dem-CA), Kathleen Hochul (Blue Dog-NY), Brad Schneider (New Dem-IL), Ann Kirkpatrick (New Dem-AZ)... many of the worst Democrats in Congress (i.e., the Steve Israel Dems).

Last week, the DCCC announced that they had outraised their GOP counterpart, the NRCC, in October, $5.4 million to $5.1 million-- and so far this cycle, $56.9 million to $50.9 million. How do they spend all that loot-- and still manage to lose so consistently?

Well, I've tried explaining how the corruption inside the DCCC funnels donors' money into the pockets of the crooks who work there. But a lot of the catastrophe that defines the DCCC has to do with how they decide to spend their money. Most money earmarked for races goes to incumbents on their Frontline list. These are the Members so far this cycle:
• Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (Blue Dog-AZ)- 51%
• Rep. Ami Bera (New Dem-CA)- 51%
• Rep. Julia Brownley (CA)- 54%
• Rep. Pete Aguilar (New Dem-CA)- 57%
• Rep. Raul Ruiz (CA)- 51%
• Rep. Scott Peters (New Dem-CA)- 52%
• Rep. Gwen Graham (Blue Dog-FL)- 47%
• Rep. Cheri Bustos (Blue Dog-IL)- 57%
• Rep. Rick Nolan (MN)- 52%
• Rep. Brad Ashford (Blue Dog-NE)- 46%
• Rep. Annie Kuster (New Dem-NH)- 54%
• Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (New Dem-NY)- 51%
There's exactly one decent Democrat on the entire list, Rick Nolan. The percentage next to each name is how much of the vote Obama got in their district in 2012. Of the dozen districts, Obama won all but 2. And some by very wide margins, like in Cheri Bustos' district and Pete Aguilar's district. But all these Democrats, except Nolan, have such conservative voting records-- and vote so frequently against progressive ideas and with the GOP-- they they have a hard time with grassroots Democrats in their districts. Many, like Sinema, Aguilar and Maloney are hated by the activists in their districts. Last year this is how much the DCCC and Nancy Pelosi's related House Majority PAC spent on each of these miserable conservatives' election campaigns:
• Rep. Kyrsten Sinema- $696,408
• Rep. Ami Bera- $5,857,853
• Rep. Julia Brownley- $2,022,152
• Rep. Pete Aguilar- $1,465,598
• Rep. Raul Ruiz- $202,235
• Rep. Scott Peters- $3,399,795
• Rep. Gwen Graham- $3,594,956
• Rep. Cheri Bustos- $1,267,369
• Rep. Rick Nolan- $6,229,257
• Rep. Brad Ashford- $1,522,408
• Rep. Annie Kuster- $4,134,157
• Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney- $2,143,862
If you contribute to the DCCC the biggest portion of your money that doesn't get eaten up by endemic corruption, goes to ultra-conservative candidates with whom you probably share very few values. Most of these candidates didn't just vote against the Syrian refugees; they are also actively working with the Republicans and Wall Street lobbyists to gut significant portions of Dodd Frank consumer financial protection bill. In his concise piece last week about the Democrats working to block new regulations while taking a flood of campaign cash from the banksters, Andrew Perez, writing for the International Business Times, singled out Arizona Blue Dog Kyrsten Sinema as one of the most venal and corrupt Members of Congress.

A Democrat in a competitive district, Sinema sits on the House Financial Services Committee-- known as a “money committee,” where members regularly raise large sums with ease. She has pulled in roughly $895,000 [now up to $905,071] from the financial industry since 2012 and has been a reliable vote for Wall Street interests.

Early this year, Republicans sought to jam through pro-Wall Street legislation combining the texts from 11 deregulatory bills. While the initial effort failed, it passed the House on a second try. On both attempts, Republicans had Sinema’s support.

Sinema has backed Republicans’ efforts to remove new mortgage rules issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the regulatory agency created by the Dodd-Frank law. She co-sponsored a bill in April to kill borrower protections for mobile-home loans [one of only 4 corrupt conservative Dems to do so], just weeks after the Center for Public Integrity exposed the abuses those borrowers face. That same month, Sinema co-sponsored a bill to block the CFPB from trying to stop discrimination by auto lenders, even though some lenders have settled with the agency for charging minorities extra fees.
If you want to contribute to progressive candidates for Congress who aren't like Kyrsten Sinema or the other conservative hacks Steve Israel recruits, you can find them here, on this page Or, just click on the thermometer.

Goal Thermometer

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Sunday, November 29, 2015

Do Airbnb And Uber Herald The End Times?


When we've been warning readers in San Francisco about Airbnb there were numerous reasons. This week former Secretary of Labor, Robert Reich, took on the whole idea of the sharing economy-- aka-- the "gig economy" or the "on-demand economy"-- and the inherent dangers at least in the transition. Obviously, it's not just Airbnb. Another example everyone is aware of is Uber (as well as Lyft). Reich is concerned because so few people are talking about what it'll mean for the social safety net built in this country, built with so much effort, over the past century. "In five years," he insists, "this new economic trend will encompass 40% of American workers"... in a society where "already 2/3s of American workers live paycheck to paycheck."

He wrote to his followers that "that's why it's important that we take action now to figure out how to provide critical labor protections, even as our economy undergoes massive changes. We have to help make sure the changing economy works for workers by preventing the elimination of worker protections such as unemployment insurance, health insurance, worker safety, family and medical leave, and more."
In this holiday season it’s especially appropriate to acknowledge how many Americans don’t have steady work.

The so-called “share economy” includes independent contractors, temporary workers, the self-employed, part-timers, freelancers, and free agents. Most file 1099s rather than W2s, for tax purposes.

...This trend shifts all economic risks onto workers. A downturn in demand, or sudden change in consumer needs, or a personal injury or sickness, can make it impossible to pay the bills.

It eliminates labor protections such as the minimum wage, worker safety, family and medical leave, and overtime.

And it ends employer-financed insurance-- Social Security, workers’ compensation, unemployment benefits, and employer-provided health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

No wonder, according to polls, almost a quarter of American workers worry they won’t be earning enough in the future. That’s up from 15 percent a decade ago.

Such uncertainty can be hard on families, too. Children of parents working unpredictable schedules or outside standard daytime working hours are likely to have lower cognitive skills and more behavioral problems, according to new research.

What to do?

Courts are overflowing with lawsuits over whether companies have misclassified “employees” as “independent contractors,” resulting in a profusion of criteria and definitions.

We should aim instead for simplicity: Whoever pays more than half of someone’s income, or provides more than half their working hours should be responsible for all the labor protections and insurance an employee is entitled to.

In addition, to restore some certainty to people’s lives, we need to move away from unemployment insurance and toward income insurance.

Say, for example, your monthly income dips more than 50 percent below the average monthly income you’ve received from all the jobs you’ve taken over the preceding five years. With income insurance, you’d automatically receive half the difference for up to a year.

It’s possible to have a flexible economy and also provide workers some minimal level of security.

A decent society requires no less.
You uncomfortable with all the Trumpf supporters now? This is a trend that will inevitably bring a lot more of the kind of anger, frustration, anomie and hopelessness that turns ordinary people into Trumpfists.

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The TPP And Terri Sewell, The Only Democrat Elected To Federal Office In Alabama


Sometimes Democrats aren't even the lesser of two evils

Thanksgiving reminder. On June 12, the House passed H.R. 1314, a bill to allow the TPP to move forward without congressional scrutiny. Pushed strenuously by Paul Ryan, it passed in a close vote, 219-211, 54 Republicans joined the 157 Democrats who opposed it. The list below is of the fake-Democrats who joined Ryan and the GOP majority to push this trade legislation through the House:

Brad Ashford (Blue Dog-NE)- R+4
Ami Bera (New Dem-CA)- even PVI
Don Beyer (New Dem-VA)- D+16
Earl Blumenauer (D-OR)- D+22
Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR)- D+7
Gerry Connolly (New Dem-VA)- D+10
Jim Cooper (Blue Dog-TN)- D+5
Jim Costa (Blue Dog-CA)- D+7
Henry Cuellar (Blue Dog-TX)- D+7
Susan Davis (New Dem-CA)- D+10
John Delaney (New Dem-MD)- D+4
Suzan DelBene (New Dem-WA)- D+4
Sam Farr (D-CA)- D+21
Jim Himes (New Dem-CT)- D+5
Rubén Hinojosa (D-TX)- D+5
Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX)- D+27
Derek Kilmer (New Dem-WA)- D+5
Ron Kind (New Dem-WI)- D+5
Rick Larsen (New Dem-WA)- D+8
Greg Meeks (New Dem-NY)- D+35
Beto O'Rourke (New Dem-TX)- D+12
Scott Peters (New Dem-CA)- D+2
Jared Polis (New Dem-CO)- D+8
Mike Quigley (New Dem-IL) D+16
Kathleen Rice (New Dem-NY)- D+3
Kurt Schrader (Blue Dog-OR)- even PVI
Terri Sewell (New Dem-AL)- D+20
Debbie Wasserman Schultz (New Dem-FL)- D+9
Often, an excuse is floated that a Democrat has no choice but to vote against working families and with Wall Street and the Republicans because their district is so red and they would be defeated if they didn't badly. For that reason I've included the PVI of each of the offending congressmembers' district. In Terri Sewell's D+20 district for example, the chances of her being defeated by a Republican are non-existent. Ditto for Debbie Wasserman Schultz in her D+9 district, not to mention overtly corrupt Greg Meeks' D+35 district. Matter of fact, only one of these bad Dems represents a red district and only 2 others are even in competitive districts.

In fact, speaking to Sewell and her perfectly safe seat and horrible Republican-lite voting record, Andrew Perez, in his article for International Business Times a few days ago about Wall Street Democrats who are working to block consumer protection legislation in return for legalized bribes, has Sewell right up there with the most corrupt Democrats in the House, Patrick Murphy (New Dem-FL), Kyrsten Sinema (New Dem-AZ), Jim Himes (New Dem-CT) and David Scott (New Dem-GA).

Sewell, who has raised over $1 million from the financial industry, joined Sinema in co-sponsoring the bill to eliminate protections for borrowers with mobile-home loans. Like Sinema, she also voted in favor of the Wall Street grab-bag bill combining language from nearly a dozen pieces of legislation to deregulate the financial industry and roll back Dodd-Frank. In 2012, Sewell signed on to a letter requesting the Federal Reserve amend the so-called Volcker Rule in Dodd-Frank, which would prohibit banks from making speculative trades with their own money.
Sewell, a member of the House Financial Services Committee, has taken more in legalized bribes from the Financial Sector this year than any other congressmember from Alabama. She's already scooped up $151,500 and second-most-corrupt Alabamian, Republican Martha Roby, hasn't even gotten half that, "just" $60,800. Since first entering Congress in 2011, Sewell has taken $1,067,970 from the Finance Sector alone. Last year she had no general election opponent and only token primary opposition; the last time a Republican challenged her, she beat him 232,520 (76%) to 85,106 (27%). So why sell out to Wall Street for all that money? Even with no opponent last year, she reported spending $1,468,013-- after taking in a shocking $899,949 from pro-business PACs. Something doesn't smell right.

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A Message For Our Republican Amigos-- Christie? Trumpf? There's A Better Solution To Your Anguish


Artist Darkblack foresees a Jersey Bounce in New Hampshire

The funnest news Saturday night was the announcement that New Hampshire's Union Leader has endorsed New Jersey Governor Chris Christie-- generally written off as an also-ran in the mode of a Pete du Pont, Steve Forbes, Pat Buchanan and Newt Gingrich. Du Pont, Forbes, Buchanan (1992), Forbes and Gingrich were each endorsed by the Union Leader and each went on to lose the primary, although the Union Leader stuck to its guns in 1996 and endorsed Buchanan again and he did manage to win the New Hampshire primary, although went on to lose 44 states to Bob Dole (and 2 states to Steve Forbes before Forbes withdrew). Buchanan had already won the Alaska and Louisiana caucuses before the New Hampshire primary gave him a 27- 26% win over Dole. Eventually Dole prevailed nationally with 1,928 convention delegate votes to Buchanan's 43, Forbes' 2, Alan Keyes' 1 and Robert Bork's 1. What a Grand Ole Party it's been! And if you want to see more of Darkblack's poignant and pointed artwork, you can check out his website.

Today publisher Joseph McQuaid, without so much as a hint about any bridge scandals, wrote that Christie "is the one candidate who has the range and type of experience the nation desperately needs," before going on to slam the other contenders in the primary. In a harsh critique of prohibitive frontrunner Trumpf, McQuaid wrote that "the one reason [Christie] may be best-suited to lead during these times is because he tells it like it is and isn't shy about it. Other candidates have gained public and media attention by speaking bluntly. But it's important when you are telling it like it is to actually know what you are talking about. Gov. Christie knows what he is saying because he has experienced it. And unlike some others, he believes in what he says because he has a strong set of conservative values," implying that Trumpf neither knows what he's talking about nor bases what he spouts on a strong set of conservative values. Fair enough.

McQuaid was thought to be describing Rubio when he wrote "We don't need another fast-talking, well-meaning freshman U.S. senator trying to run the government," though that could also have been a back-handed slap at Ted Cruz or even poor Rand Paul. He handled both Fiorina and Dr. Ben, deftly, with the line "We don't need as President some well-meaning person from the private sector who has no public experience."

The most recent Fox poll of New Hampshire Republican voters has Trumpf up 2 at 28%, Dr. Ben down 5 at 18%, Cruz up 3 at 14%, Rubio also up 3 and also at 14% and no one else in serious contention. Christie's tied for 6th place with Huckabee and Fiorina at 3% each-- Huck down 1, Fiorina steady as she goes and Christie with the Big Mo, up 1. The Jebster has the same Big Mo as Christie, up a point from 4% to 5% but in 5th place, still the top choice of those who prefer an establishment hack. Kasich, like the Jebster and Christie, is spending all his money in New Hampshire but he's fallen from 4% to 2%, although that was before he released his startling new ad equating Herr Trumpf with Herr Hitler and forever burying Godwin's Rule.

It was also before the Jebster went on CBS' Face the Nation this morning to assert that, although he would vote for Trumpf over Hillary Clinton, Trumpf is not a serious candidate and that he is "scary" and "uninformed," which, poor Jeb apparently still hasn't noticed is exactly how his party's base voters want their candidate to be. "Anybody is better than Hillary Clinton," quoth the Jebster, who probably isn't a Bernie Sanders backer, "but I have great doubts about Donald Trump's ability to be commander in chief. I really do." He really does. But he'd vote for him anyway. Now that is scary! Maybe he's just saying' it and, in the privacy of the voting booth, would really cast his ballot for Hillary, with whom he has much more in common.

Overshadowing McQuaid's silly endorsement, though, was the more serious speculation that many from the GOP Establishment, unlike the Jebster, will not support Trump if he gets the nomination, including many of the big money GOP donors. Kasich-- who makes a lot more sense than the pusillanimous Jeb-- obviously won't, but The Hill has started asking establishment types not running for office. Former L.A. mayor Dick Riordan, who's spent over half a million dollars on GOP candidates over the years told them, given the choice between Trumpf and Hillary he "would probably go find a deserted island. I think Hillary is disgusting. And I think Trump is crazy." They didn't report what he would do if Bernie were the nominee.
Riordan is not alone. In conversations over the past month, GOP establishment donors have confided to The Hill that for the first time in recent memory, they find themselves contemplating not supporting a Republican nominee for president.
Max Boot knows what a fascist is, although he would never call himself one. After all, he works at the right-wing establishment's Council on Foreign Relations and he's toiling away for the Rubio campaign on the side. Boot did, however, label Herr Trumpf a fascist. "Trump is a fascist. And that’s not a term I use loosely or often. But he’s earned it." Indeed. At a recent Beverly Hills lunch for major West Coast GOP fatcats-for-Jeb at the Hotel Bel-Air the .001 percenters giggled about being forced to chose between Trumpf and Hillary. "One version," reported The Hill, "has it that most of the Republicans at the table put their hands up for Clinton."
Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski says he is not surprised that establishment GOP donors are sour on Trump.

"The GOP establishment will do anything they can to stop Mr. Trump from being the GOP nominee," Lewandowski said in a telephone interview Tuesday.

"Mr. Trump is the only one who is not controlled by the special interests. ... They want a puppet that they can control, and Donald Trump will never be that person."

While Trump flaunts the fact that he is uninterested in the support of elites, there have also been reports that he has privately wooed billionaires such as Las Vegas casino magnate Sheldon Adelson.

Trump says he has turned down multiple offers of $5 million-plus from lobbyists who he says would have wanted favors from his administration if he took the money.

When The Washington Post broke a story about a pro-Trump super-PAC with closer-than-advertised connections to the Trump campaign, the billionaire front-runner and his aides pushed back forcefully.

The super-PAC ultimately shut down, and Trump called on all super-PACs supporting him to return their donations. [Neither The Post more any other corporate media sources have acknowledged that Trumpf himself solicited huge contributions from friends, family and business associates for one off his SuperPACs before he was caught and exposed.]

The most generous Republican donors appear to be taking note of Trump's hostility. When The Hill studied the donation patterns of 190 donors and their families connected with the powerful conservative network founded by billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch, not a single contribution could be found to Trump's campaign.

But some opinions are changing, if ever so slightly, the longer Trump stays atop the polls.

A number of Republican donors interviewed by The Hill, including Minnesota billionaire Stanley Hubbard-- who is himself part of the Koch network-- are making peace with the fact that there is some chance Trump could win the nomination.

When interviewed several months ago, Hubbard said he would "really have to think about" whether he could bring himself to support Trump.

But in a more recent interview, Hubbard was adamant that he would support whomever the Republican nominee is because they would make a better president than Clinton.
Republicano fatcats (and others), listen up! ¡Escucha! Forget Trumpf and forget Hillary and forget the whole idea of being forced to pick the lesser of two evils. How about a truly great president who will actually make America a better place? Try this. What do you have to lose? Really. Max out; feel good. Do it for your grandchildren and for humanity. Et maintenant, la voix de l'établissement d'en haut nous, simples mortels

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Can Alan Grayson Keep Ted Cruz Out Of The White House?


Does this schmuck from New York pick Florida's senators?

De facto DCCC chair Steve Israel is contemptible and utterly worthless. Chuck Schumer, incoming Democratic Senate Leader is also contemptible and utterly worthless but because Israel is as dumb as a brick and Schumer is anything but, Schumer is far more dangerous. Once the entire Senate Democratic caucus played down and kissed his ring, Schumer immediately moved to affirm control over the schmuck from Montana ostensibly running the DSCC. The DSCC, which tried, under then chairman Little Chucky Schmucky, to sabotage Tester's candidacy when he first ran for the Senate in 2006 against one of Schumer's Wall Street shills, John Morrison. We loved the fiery, populist Tester back then and Tester detested Schumer-- with a passion. He changed quickly-- really quickly.

A few months after he beat Schumer's primary candidate and then the Republican incumbent, and was sworn in as a United States Senator, I had dinner with Tester. At the time, I wrote that "back in 2006 Tester was the populist underdog in the Democratic primary race to the DSCC's anointed candidate, State Auditor John Morrison, a DLC hack. Blue America endorsed him and raised money for him from 900 of our members; he beat Morrison and went on to beat the very corrupt and entrenched reactionary incumbent, Conrad Burns. The ostensible raison de etre for the get together was so Tester could raise some money for his new leadership PAC. He wants to support Democratic candidates running for the Senate. Admirable goal. I asked him a question though. Would he be using his PAC to help real Democrats-- populists and progressives like himself-- or if he'd be using it to support any ole generic Democrat like John Morrison, the DLC hack the Establishment ran against him?"

I pointed out Oklahoma state Senator Andrew Rice, then running for U.S. Senate against far right lunatic Jim Inhofe, as an example of someone who I found very much like Tester in so many ways. Tester didn't address the part of the question that draws a distinction between good Democrats and bad Democrats but said he was following Rice's campaign and that if it looked like he had a real shot to win, he'd be there to help! He never helped Rice and Rice didn't win and Tester got progressively worse as a senator month by month. By the time he became chair of the DSCC, there was absolutely nothing to distinguish him in any way from the Wall Street shill he beat in the 2006 primary.

Tester and Schumer do little else now besides undercutting Alan Grayson's Senate campaign on behalf of a worse Wall Street shill than John Morrison ever was, Patrick Murphy. I'm confident, though, that Florida voters-- despite Schumer and Tester-- know the difference between a real Democrat like Grayson and one who barely even tries to be one, like Murphy. Schumer has been working the phones like a madman, calling Grayson's donors and telling them not to help fund his campaign. If Grayson, who was the most effective member of the House this year, is to beat Murphy, who was one of the least effect, he's going to need to stay competitive financially. So I want to ask DWT readers to give to Grayson's campaign. Why should you? We've been writing about how he fights for peace, fights for justice, battle for seniors and the less fortunate for a full decade. But how about this? Grayson had pledged that if the Republican Party tries putting Ted Cruz up as their nominee for president, he will sue on constitutional grounds since Cruz admits he was born in Canada. Born in Canada= not constitutionally eligible to be president of the United States. Schumer isn't suing, Tester isn't suing, Murphy isn't suing. Their heads are so far up Wall Street's ass that none of them are aware that Cruz is even in position to win the GOP primary.

Grayson was a guest on the Alan Colmes Show on Wednesday. When Colmes asked him what he thought about Cruz coming polling ahead of Dr. Ben in Iowa, Grayson mentioned that the Republican primary race has "resolved itself into this weird reality show. It’s not 'The Biggest Loser' that they’re choosing, it’s 'The Biggest Bigot,' which quickly led to a discussion of Cruz's qualifications to be president.
GRAYSON: I don’t know, the Constitution says natural born Americans, so now we’re counting Canadians as natural born Americans? How does that work? I’m waiting for the moment that he gets the nomination and then I will file that beautiful lawsuit saying that he’s unqualified for the job because he’s in eligible.

COLMES: So you’re saying should he get the nomination, Alan Grayson will file a lawsuit against his candidacy.

GRAYSON: Absolutely! Call me crazy but I think the President of America should be an American.
Although the Supreme Court has never ruled on it, the Constitution states plainly that "No person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President." Like many Americans, Grayson says "It’s interesting to me that the people who had a problem with Obama’s birth certificate don’t have a problem with Ted Cruz, who literally was born in another country and renounced his Canadian citizenry." Cruz waited until this year when he decided to run for the presidency to renounce his Canadian citizenship. Dullish media lackeys of the political establishment will, of course, mock and attack Grayson, but this is a serious matter for people who actually believe in the Constitution. Meanwhile please consider helping save the country and the Democratic Party from the likes of Chuck Schumer. Here's how, the only hope I see on the horizon (other than a Bernie Sanders primary win, of course).

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