And Why That’s a Good Idea
By Doug Porter
Early generic polling on Congressional races, along with what the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee calls (among other things) the “goat rodeo” of Republican governance, have led Rep. Duncan Hunter’s district being added to a list 20 new seats targeted for 2018.
Although the 50th district has a history of being solidly (+16 registration advantage) Republican, Hunter’s legal and ethical troubles give Democrats the opportunity to invest in building political infrastructure in an area once considered hostile territory.
In March, the House Ethics Committee revealed Hunter is under investigation by the Justice Department regarding potential campaign finance violations. A recent trip to Las Vegas included $1,042 at the Cosmopolitan Hotel and $896 at the hotel’s bar charged to his campaign committee, according to the Union-Tribune.
Thus far seven Democrats have expressed interest in running against Hunter in 2018.
Here’s a snip from Jim Newell at Slate:
The list is aspirational. Not all of the Democratic challengers for all of these districts are going to get all of the DCCC’s money and support…
…“It’s an interesting, ambitious list, for sure,” a DCCC official told me Monday. “I think the best way to look at it is: Where are your priorities to recruit the best candidates, to help them build the best infrastructure, to be in a position to capitalize if everything continues to go in the direction it is now?”
The direction it’s going in now, judging by early generic congressional polls, is quite poorly for the Republican Party. For that trend to abate, President Trump would have to show significant signs of personal and professional maturation, and congressional Republicans would have to pivot to a less ideologically unpopular agenda.
So, yeah, best to keep a long list.
San Diego’s other Republican Congressman, Darrell Issa, is also in the news.
Late on Monday, the Union-Tribune posted a story detailing the city of Vista’s attempts to ‘regulate’ ongoing protests targeting the North County Congressman’s office.
Under the new rules — which city officials said were prompted by complaints and safety concerns — the protesters must gather on a dirt path across the street from Issa’s office on Thibodo Road, instead of along the sidewalk in front of the building, which houses a number of other business tenants.
The crowd must also limit the use of amplified sound. If somebody calls police to complain, any costs would be levied against the person organizing the protests, which target Issa’s voting record as well as the policies of President Donald Trump.
Vista authorities unsuccessfully attempted to force relocation of the protests to a lot more than one mile away from the current site and require the volunteer organizer to obtain liability insurance at a cost of $300 per week, according to the UT article.
And if you don’t think Issa has something to do with this, then I’ve got some discount toll passes for the Coronado Bridge that might interest you.
These ‘safety’ concerns echo Republican lawmakers efforts in more than a dozen states to impose restrictions and penalties on citizens expressing their First Amendment rights.
“Some of these bills are so egregious that you don’t need a law degree to conclude they’re unconstitutional,” said Lee Rowland, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union, who has monitored state legislation for more than a decade.
The United Nations has also taken note, releasing a report by the special rapporteur identifying anti-protest bills in 16 states, which the report called “a worrying trend.”
“We are concerned that the above-mentioned bills are incompatible with international human rights law and would unduly restrict the possibility for individuals to freely exercise their rights to freedom of opinion and expression, and peaceful assembly,” it said. “If adopted, the pending bills could have a domino effect on other states, leading to a general crackdown on protests in the United States.”
The Trump budget has been released, and it’s more of a disaster than even I thought it could be.
“The Medicaid cuts would gut health care for the poorest among us. It is a heartless and destructive budget approach that hurts America.” And that’s a Republican response.
Senator John McCain–who will change his mind a month from now and vote for the Trump budget–has already declared it ‘dead on arrival’.
Cancer research, food stamps, and student loan programs, according to the administration, all need to be severely degraded to make way for a border wall and bigger bombs.
I’m not going to obsess about the details of this budget proposal, as the specifics will change as it moves through Congress and various corporate lobbyists protect their interests.
But what IS important here is the vision this budget represents: the gutting of social services, along with any program connected in any way with economic and political justice and a massive transfer of wealth to the already wealthy in the United States.
Regardless of whether Donald Trump remains in office, this budget–save a detail or two–represents the strategy of the party controlling Congress and a majority of the state legislatures.
People with math skills have already pointed out a two trillion dollar math mistake.
— David Wessel (@davidmwessel) May 23, 2017
Yes, it’s RepubliMath™, soon to be taught along with flat-earth theory and abstinence in a charter school near you. As Jonathan Chait at New York points out:
It seems difficult to imagine how this administration could figure out how to design and pass a tax cut that could pay for itself when Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush failed to come anywhere close to doing so. If there is a group of economic minds with the special genius to accomplish this historically unprecedented feat, it is probably not the fiscal minds who just made a $2 trillion basic arithmetic error.
But what about the jobs? Budget expert Robert Greenstein’s analysis at the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, says not so much:
Moreover, despite the budget’s rhetoric about promoting economic growth — and its growth projections that most economists find highly implausible — it contains a series of proposals that could reduce growth over the long term. The budget cuts many of the main areas of investment that are important to raising productivity growth — education, job training, basic scientific research, and the like.
The coverup investigation continues. Events are unfolding faster than even twitter can cover. I’ll shoot for a roundup of what’s new and confirmed later in the week.
Three developments that stand out for me thus far (and it’s only Tuesday morning!):
The Washington Post story saying the Director of National Intelligence and the National Security Agency to refused Trump’s request to publicly deny claims of ties between his campaign and Russia.
Former CIA director John Brennan testifying before Congress about a special group formed on July 16, 2016 to start tracking Russian operations, i.e., “Interactions & contacts between US persons & Russians.”
Lt. General Michael Flynn may have lied to security clearance investigators conducting his background check in early 2016, according to a letter released by Maryland Congressman Elijah E. Cummings, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. That’s a big non-no.
Getting back to the beginning...of this post, the answer to the question about getting rid of Duncan is simple–all these bums need to go.
“President’s Fans Still Fans of President” is a tired old genre.
Here’s one that Newsday ran on 8/1/1974. Nixon resigned eight days later. pic.twitter.com/9M2PsjoKLE
— Kevin M. Kruse (@KevinMKruse) May 23, 2017
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