Saturday, October 21, 2017

Taking Back The House Is #1 Priority But Winning Open Blue Seats For Progressive Reformers Is Also Crucial


People aren't thinking much about the Albuquerque congressional district, NM-01. It's a safely blue district and the incumbent, dull backbencher Michelle Lujan Grisham is stepping down to run for governor, leaving 8 or so candidates vying for the nomination to take on some Republican destined for defeat (either Michael Hendricks or Janice Arnold-Jones). The candidates I've dug up so far are lobbyist Annie Chavez, retired law professor Antoinette Sedillo Lopez, attorney Damian Lara, former U.S. Attorney Damon Martinez, former state Democratic Party Chairwoman Deb Haaland, physicist Dennis Dinge, Edgewood Mayor John Abrams and Albuquerque City Councilman Pat Davis.

Obama won the district both times, 60-39% against McCain and 55-40% against Romney. Even Hillary managed to win-- beating Trump 51.6% to 35.1%, his worst performance in the state. The PVI is D+7, unchanged from 2 years ago. The district is 49% Hispanic. DCCC chair Ben Ray Lujan, from the district just to the north, has pledged neutrality in the primary and, unlike in many districts, seems to be keeping his word so far.

The frontrunners in the money race are Antoinette Sedillo Lopez ($330,249.14), Deb Haaland ($262,098.06) and Damon Martinez ($211,001.49) who have all had strong fundraising quarters. Superficially all three seem to be qualified in their own ways, two of them come to the race with significant baggage.

Deb Haaland, as state party chair, has a checkered history with the local progressive base. As party chair last year, she committed to administering a straw poll at the state convention, only to reverse that decision and pull the straw poll at the last minute when she saw it would be a big win for Bernie. This decision infuriated local progressives, who saw it as a betrayal and an attempt to suppress Bernie support during last year's primaries. Needless to say, the decision resulted in a disaffected progressive base, and led to calls for her to step down as chair. An ardent Clinton supporter, her machinations led to her being called the Debbie Wassermann Schultz of New Mexico. Bernie went on to win Bernalillo County 38,247 (50.9%) to 36,937 (49.1%) despite Holland's bias and interference.

Former US. Attorney Damon Martinez has also recently gotten in to some hot water over allegations of racial bias in an ATF sting operation that took place during his tenure. In a recent interview with NM In Depth, a local journalist pressed him on the issue, and the former U.S. Attorney offered few answers on the allegations. Their analysis shows some significant over-representation in arrests made by communities of color. Earlier this summer, Martinez was also called out by the Santa Fe New Mexican for his refusal to prosecute bad cops. I suspect that Martinez will continue to have to answer questions surrounding his tenure as U.S. Attorney.

We'll be watching as the race continues to develop, but it does seem that at least some of the leading candidates in the race offer the Republicans needless and dangerous openings to exploit in the general. Meanwhile, it's worth mentioning that Antoinette Sedillo Lopez has been endorsed by New Mexico's former Attorney General Attorney General Patricia Madrid, local progressive icon Eric Griego and by national progressives Raul Grijalva, chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) and Jamie Raskin (D-MD).

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L.A. County Board Of Supervisors Decides To Go Down With The Leaky S.S. DiFi


Kuehl, Solis, Hahn, Barger, Ridley-Thomas

Thursday the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously dissed progressive Angeleno Kevin de León by endorsing conservative Democrat Dianne Feinstein for another 6 year Senate term. You would have thought at least former congresswoman, ex-Labor Secretary Hilda Solis would have had more sense. Kathryn Barger is an actual Republican, plain and simple. Feinstein is as good a pick for senator for someone like her as she's going to find. Sheila Kuehl would endorse any woman-- even a woman's corpse-- over a man, so no surprise there either. Janice Hahn has always been the epitome of the ambitious establishment politician; she is the closest thing to DiFi in Los Angeles politics. Mark Ridley-Thomas is in no position to cross a powerful incumbent-- and neither is his dad. You can check their contributors. And that leaves our old friend Hilda, whose personal trajectory is similar to de León's. Like him she came from an immigrant household and struggled against the odds to achieve incredible success. In 1992 she was elected to the California Assembly and 2 years later to the state Senate, representing an East L.A. district not unlike the state Senate district de León represents today. In the legislature, Hilda, like Kevin, stood out as one of that body's most progressive members and-- like him-- a champion for working families and of environmental justice.

In 2000 Hilda ran against a corrupt and conservative 18-year congressional incumbent Matthew Martínez. The party establishment had a collective freakout and slammed her mercilessly for barging in against an incumbent, no matter that Martinez was the same kind of Republican-lite dirt-bag Feinstein has always been. In fact, Feinstein refused to back Hilda in her race against him, even when Barbara Boxer did. Hilda kicked his ass anyway, winning the seat 69-31%, an incredible achievement against an incumbent with all the establishment support. (He switched parties and re-registered as a Republican.)

When Hilda got to Congress she was hailed as the harbinger of a generational changing of the guard in the Hispanic Caucus. She joined the Congressional Progressive Caucus and continued the work she had been doing in Sacramento as a champion of working families and of the environment. She took on conservative Democrat Joe Baca for acting like a congressional version of Harvey Weinstein and she rose fast in the Democratic ranks. Soon after he was elected, Obama asked her to leave Congress and join his cabinet as Secretary of Labor. The AFL-CIO rejoiced while anti-union groups were furious and Senate Republicans tried to derail her nomination-- and failed. She served for all of Obama's first term and retired in January, 2013 to run for the L.A. Board of Supervisors, which many saw as a stepping stone to higher office, something she just botched by joining with the more conservative Board members in backing Feinstein.

Sarah Wire's report for the L.A. Times emphasized that the unanimous endorsement by the Board members came "as factions of California Democrats begin weighing in on the Senate race... It's a snub for De León, a native Angeleno who has represented part of the city for more than a decade in the Assembly and state Senate... [T]he lone Republican on the board, 5th District Supervisor Kathryn Barger, said in a statement that California needs Feinstein in the Senate.
“I’ve worked with Sen. Feinstein for many years. She’s extremely knowledgeable and always prepared on the tough issues we confront. She’s a problem solver we can count on now and in the future,” Barger said.

Feinstein already has the backing of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, which traditionally backs incumbents. Soon after he announced a challenge, De León was endorsed by Democracy for America, the progressive political action committee formed by former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean in 2004.
This is a battle between a decrepit and corrupt past and a bright reformed future. I'd expect Barger, Ridley-Thomas, Hahn and what Kuehl has turned into in recent years to stick with the former. But Hilda Solis' backing of Feinstein over de León feels like a real betrayal of her progressive base. Big mistake!

left to right: past, future

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Is The DCCC Letting Peter King Off The Hook Without A Fight Again?


Last May there was such a big hubbub when progressive activist Christine Pellegrino won a red legislative district right in the heart of Peter King's Long Island congressional district (Massapequa, West Babylon, Babylon Village, West Islip and West Bay Shore). Romney had beaten Obama in that Assembly district and last year Trump eviscerated Hillary with a 23 point margin there. But Pellegrino, a full-fledged Berniecrat, beat conservative sociopath and Trumpist Tom Gargiulo 5,590 (57.89%) to 4,049 (41.93%). She ran on an unadulterated progressive platform-- none of the Republican-lite bullshit the DCCC tells all of its candidates to run on. And her victory was said to bode well for the Democrats to finally oust Peter King in 2018. So... as 2018 approaches, people are starting to wonder... what happened with that?

NY-02, which covers much of southern Long Island and includes chunks of both Nassau and Suffolk counties, went from a PVI of R+1 in 2015 to R+3 this year, but it is still very swingy and appears ready to swing back-- for the right candidate. Obama won the district both times he ran, but last year the voters gave Trump a stunning 53.0 to 43.9 win over Hillary. At the same time, Peter King was reelected 171,915 (62.4%) to 103,643 (37.6%) for DuWayne Gregory, the head of the Suffolk County legislature. DuWayne spent $372,792 to King's $1,307,660 and the DCCC refused to get involved in the race. This year, after his experience with the DCCC, Gregory-- easily the best shot the Democrats have for replacing King, seems more than reluctant to jump in again.

Instead, we have 3 candidates who know one in the district knows or cares about. Tim Gomes doesn't know if he wants to be a Democrat or Republican and keeps switching his party registration back and forth. This year he's trying the Democrat label. He doesn't have any policy positions on his website, usually a good indication of a bad candidate. And he loaned his campaign $1 million in the first quarter. (He's raised another $39,750 from real people since then.) Mike Sax seems to want to pass himself off as the progressive-- "the Randy Bryce of Long Island" without understanding anything about who Randy Bryce is-- but everyone I asked in the district (where I used to live) sees him as a nice guy who's a little looney. Liuba Grechen Shirley behaves like she's entitled to be congresswoman. But she just moved back to the district to run for Congress after living in New York City for 15 years. Everything I've read about her indicates a candidate reeking of inauthenticity, the opposite of what voters are looking for. No one knows any of them and they will have to work hard in the communities that make on NY-02 to give King a real race. I don't think Peter King could have picked a better contingent of candidates to guarantee his own reelection if he had selected each of them himself.

I'm also hearing that Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone might jump into the race. I don't know about that. He aspires to be governor and I don't think he sees a congressional seat as helpful towards achieving that ambition. He'd at least be a plausible candidate. I bet if Ben Ray Lujan or Pelosi called DuWayne Gregory and apologized for screwing him last time and promised not to do it again, he'd run again. I didn't ask him because those two would rather lose NY-02 again-- and forever-- than ever do anything like that. It's how their "leadership" works and explains why King will be in Congress in 2019 even if there is a mammoth anti-Trump tsunami next year.

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The Democratic Establishment Hates Bernie As Much As Real Democrats Love Him


Lobbyists don't like this kind of language; Americans do though

The new Granite Poll of New Hampshire voters shows Trump to be a very weak candidate, at least among New Hampshire Republicans. I hear they still like him a lot in most of the old slave-holding states. Among New Hampshire Democrats polled, Bernie is the clear frontrunner for 2020. None of the media-created "candidates," your Kamala Harrises, John Hickenloopers, Tim Ryans, Cory Bookers, Amy Klobuchars, Seth Moultons, Jason Kanders, Kirsten Gillibrands or Mark Zuckerbergs are interesting to voters. Most of them are polling at 1%. The Democrats who New Hampshire Democrats are behind are:
Bernie- 31%
Joe Biden- 24%
Elizabeth Warren- 13%
Right after that Zogby Analytics released another 2020 presidential primary poll, but a national one. They polled likely voters and again found Bernie way ahead, with a double-digit lead against any other Democrat. This poll also stuck conservatives Terry McAuliffe and Andrew Cuomo into the sample, neither of whom had significant support.

Bernie, explained the pollsters "is the most popular candidate among almost every sub-group. There are instances where Biden and Warren outshine Sanders, such is the case with older voters (age 50+), where Biden is more popular or in the case of creative class voters-working in STEM or other professional sectors-who favor Warren. Among the democratic base, which consists of women voters, younger voters, voters living in large cities and many minority voters; Sanders performs well among all of these groups. Among women, Sanders beat Warren with a ratio of more than 3 to 1 and Biden almost 2 to 1. When it came to younger Millennial voters age 18-29, Sanders (42%) dominates. He beats Warren (22%) nearly 2 to 1 and Joe Biden (12%) 3 to 1. This pattern changes among African American primary voters. Among our oversample of 247 African American Democratic presidential primary voters, Biden is the clear favorite at 31%, followed by Sanders (19%) and there is a three way tie between Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris and Mark Zuckerberg at 6% each... The former vice president leads every meaningful African American subgroup, including younger African American voters, while Sanders trails in second place among almost every sub-group. Sanders does tighten things up to a virtual tie among African Americans who have a college degree and African American men." When they did the same over-sample of Hispanic voters and Asian voters Bernie is the clear front-runner (41% to Biden's 14%-- including 71% among younger Hispanic primary voters. He also beats Warren and Biden, both 2 to 1, among Asian Democratic presidential primary voters."

Hoping to head off the disintegration of the Democratic Party-- and despite Tom Perez's purge of Bernie backers from the DNC-- yesterday the DNC rejected Bob Mulholland's resolution backed by corrupt conservatives and lobbyists that "would have urged independents such as Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont to 'register or affiliate with the Democratic Party' next year." Bob Mulholland is a well known California dirt-bag despised by activists for being, basically, the worst garbage crawling around inside the California Democratic Party. He managed to kill a 2007 party resolution to censure Dianne Feinstein for helping Bush to get reactionary judge Michael Mukasey confirmed as Attorney General. When Bruce Hershenson ran against Barbara Boxer Mulholland leaked a rumor that Hershenson was into porn and frequented a porn shop, effectively destroying his campaign. It's the kind of guy Mulholland has always been, a typical Democratic Party establishment hack-- pure trash, one of the kind who confuses people about the difference between the 2 parties.

In his attempt to drive progressives out of the party-- his life's work-- he whined yesterday that "I thought we were Democrats here. When the Yankees face off against the Dodgers, the only people who will be independent in that ballpark will be the umpires." No one offered a resolution kicking Mulholland off the DNC, something that would have gone over extremely well with California Democrats who hate this guy almost as much as they hate Trump.
But the negative attention on the resolution helped sink it. Terry Anderson, a DNC member from Vermont, told the committee that the language had been sprung on them without warning and didn’t reflect Sanders’s alliance with his state’s Democrats.

“It’s really troubling when you get your resolution package and you find out your state’s been named in it without any prior consultation,” said Anderson. “We’ve come to a solution that works for us, and we don’t need external voices telling us how to solve our primaries. Next year, Bernie will run for and win the Democratic primary, and he will win reelection-- as an independent.”

The resolution died with a quick voice vote.

Earlier in the day, Sanders supporters scored another win by passing language officially rejecting “corporate donors that conflict with our DNC platform.”

That language had first been introduced in 2016, when the DNC’s quadrennial platform committee met over two days to hammer out differences between supporters of Sanders and Clinton. Christine Pelosi, a San Francisco activist who had backed Clinton in the primary, introduced language that would committed the party to rejecting money from business interests whose interests conflicted with the party’s platform. The platform committee, dominated by Clinton delegates, voted it down.

But on Friday morning, Pelosi took another run at the idea, describing it a way for Democrats to codify their opposition to payday lenders and other businesses the party wants to regulate.

“In our platform, the most progressive platform in party history, we condemn predatory payday lenders,” said Pelosi. “We need to draw bright lines.”

The language ended up passing easily.
This comes right on top of Bernie eviscerating conservative champion Ted Cruz in their CNN debate Wednesday night. Dan Engelke kept score for Alternate. Spoiler-- 8 to 0 for Bernie.
"In two minutes, Senator Cruz is going to tell you that if we give tax breaks to the billionaires like George W. Bush did, like Ronald Reagan did, we're going to create zillions of jobs and you're all going to become very, very rich, that we have a trickle-down economic theory, tax breaks for the wealthiest people, the largest corporations, and, whoa, everything is good. That is a totally fraudulent theory."

"Now, the Trump Republican tax proposal that's before us today, this proposal is being pushed by Senator Cruz's campaign contributors, some of the wealthiest people in this country, by the Koch brothers, who are worth $90 billion. Why are they pushing this agenda? Because 80 percent of the tax breaks in this proposal will go to the top 1 percent."

"Under President Bush, he did it. He gave tax breaks. And you know what happened? He gave tax breaks to the rich. And you know what happened? We lost 500,000 private sector jobs, and the national debt almost doubled under Bush."

"So this idea-- of giving tax breaks to large corporations-- is basically a fraud. Listen to what Ronald Reagan's domestic policy advisor Bruce Bartlett said. He said that virtually every Republican, what every Republican says about taxes today, is a lie. Reagan's OMB director David Stockman said that the idea that closing loopholes and adding growth will pay for trillions in cuts, quote, 'is just completely fanciful and irresponsible.'"

"I happen to believe that if you want to really get the economy moving, you do things like raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, put money into the hands of working people, provide targeted tax breaks to small businesses and working people, rebuild our crumbling infrastructure, creating 15 million jobs."

"Now, Ted, I gather you are a big deficit hawk, yeah? How did you vote on the authorization bill for the Department of Defense which increased military spending by, if I'm not mistaken, $700 billion, so that we are now spending more on the military than the next 12 nations combined? Check—correct me if I'm wrong, Ted—I think you voted for that huge increase in military spending. I think that at a time when we have people working two or three jobs trying to make ends meet, where kids can't afford to go to college and are leaving school deeply in debt, I happen not to think that spending $70 billion more on the military and giving a huge boondoggle to the military industrial complex that Dwight D. Eisenhower warned us about, I happen to think that was not a good idea."

"Let's examine what Senator Cruz really wants to do. He wants to see legislation passed that would give $1.9 trillion in tax breaks to the top 1 percent, significantly increase the national debt being passed on to our kids and our grandchildren. And in order to pay for these tax breaks for billionaires, he wants to throw 15 million people off of Medicaid, cut Medicare by over $450 billion, cut Pell Grants, cut programs like the WIC program, women, infant and children program, designed for low-income pregnant women and their little babies."

"Second point that I want to make, Ted, you said earlier—two points that I want to make here. Number one, we can have a debate about whether you like what's going on in Denmark or not. Don't compare Denmark to Cuba. Don't compare Denmark to communist countries. Denmark has a higher voter turnout rate than we do. They're a vigorous democracy, as are other Scandinavian countries."

The winning team

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Midnight Meme Of The Day!


-by Noah

Republicans love to dole out that corporate welfare. They do it knowing that some of it will come back their way at election time and when there's a vote in Congress on something that might help grow the corporate offshore bank accounts or end the corporate welfare itself. Republican politicians also like to lie about how their corporate CEO benefactors need more and more tax breaks. It's never enough and it never will be. Their media hacks repeat the same tired crap. Just a few days ago, the so-called president was whining in his rose garden about how other countries offer lower tax rates to corporations. It was amazing that those rose bushes didn't just keel over and die. He even lied about Ireland planning on lowering their much criticized corporate tax rate from 12.5% to 8% which is something they are not doing. We shouldn't be surprised. If Señor Trumpanzee manages to put 10 semi-coherent sentences together (highly unlikely), 9 of them will consist of blatant pathological lies. He is, after all, the pathological liar-in-chief.

What CEOs, politicians and their media slaves don't tell you about the dirty little secret regarding U.S. corporate tax rates is that, although, they seem high at the code-written 35%, give or take, U.S. corporations enjoy so many tax loopholes and deduction privileges that that 35% ends up being roughly equal to the rate that most other countries offer. That's called the Effective Tax Rate, in other words, what they actually pay when you strip away Republican lies on the subject. Señor Trumpanzee wants to lower our corporate tax rate to a starting point of 20% which would be lower than the other leading industrialized nations. If the existing U.S. tax loopholes and deduction privileges are left in place, as would be likely after the graft is handed out... well, you do the math. We will end up with a tax system that features corporations paying no taxes at all.

Already, Secretary of State and Putin Best Bud Rex Tillerson's company, EXXON makes billions in profits every year and yet, often pays no taxes at all. Kinda makes you feel real sorry for them, doesn't it? I'm sure it also makes you feel bad that that means we are also subsidizing poor the bonuses of the poor starving EXXON executives. General Electric and others enjoy a similar tax position. On top of that, Congress has been paid to even give EXXON and other oil companies millions in subsidies very year; subsidies that come from our hard-earned taxpayer dollars. I guess there's just not enough prime rib and caviar in the company cafeteria. We pay at them at the pump and we pay them every April 15th. They soak us twice. Señor Trumpanzee approves of this system but thinks subsidies to insurance companies so that Americans can have cheaper healthcare are wrong. Of course, that one is all about his psychopathis desire to inflict pain and suffering on as many non-filthy rich Americans as possible. Goons like Trump and Hannity and their party call subsidies socialism, but only when it suits their psychopathology. Bottom line: If subsidies for insurance companies are socialism, why not call subsidies for companies like EXXON what they are even more so?

Republican voters support this farce. Same for independent and any democratic voters who naively go along. They are so easily manipulated to vote against their own self interests due to not having one single ounce of critical thinking ability. This is a prime example of how not all voters are the same. Manipulated fools look at the top two points of this meme, the ones about food stamps and safety net programs and their bigotries come roaring to the surface as they start whining about minorities getting "free stuff" and "handouts," never mind that the larger percentage of food stamps got to poor rural caucasians. The key, of course, is how they always love to point fingers and look for a group to focus their hate and anger upon, while never having the common sense to point at the douchebags in suits. It's so easy to lead such voters around by the nose; so easy that they have no idea of the contempt in which they are held by those who get over on them. Welfare to billionaires doesn't bother them at all, if only because they maintain their ignorance willfully. But, damn those non-existent welfare queens driving around in Cadillacs that they're told about about! Suckers born to be suckered.

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Friday, October 20, 2017

Even Dubya Recognizes A Dangerous Charlatan When He Sees One! Trump's Stature


Sam Jammal had a fantastic idea about how to use George W. Bush's denunciation of Trumpism against Ed Royce, the rubber stamp Orange County incumbent whose seat he's contesting. And I think most any Democratic challenger could use the same idea. I know Sam well enough to know he wouldn't even mind.

So here's the full text of the speech that someone wrote for Bush to read yesterday. It was such a relief for Washington Post conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin who was hired to give a right-wing perspective on the universe and spends all her time lately denouncing Señor Trumpanzee. Yesterday she blared, proudly, This is what a president sounds like! Yeah, yeah... "Former president George W. Bush gave a speech today-- a bookend, if you will, to Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) address early in the week upon accepting the Liberty Medal. Bush spoke in a tone and with substance so different from what we have become acclimatized to hearing that his address has provoked a huge, bipartisan thumbs-up, as though the country collectively could say, 'Oh, that is what a president is supposed to sound like!'"

Bush surely had President Trump in mind when he addressed conspiracy theories, nativism, incivility and more, but I think it’s safe to say his intended audience was the moribund GOP. We have now seen the party he used to lead decline into passivity and pure partisanship, again and again enabling Trump rather than rallying to American principles and looking to the c0mmon good. We’ve seen Republicans eschew governance in favor of divisive sloganeering. One president like Trump is bad enough; the acceptance of his inhumanity by one of the major parties is a tragedy and national emergency.

...Every Republican who endorsed Trump, turns a blind eye to his unfitness, or excuses his heinous language and conduct should feel shame upon hearing those words.

Bush’s recommendation is simple but hardly simplistic: “We need to recall and recover our own identity. Americans have a great advantage: To renew our country, we only need to remember our values.” He’s talking to you, Republicans, who’ve forgotten what he rightly calls the American creed:
Our identity as a nation-- unlike many other nations-- is not determined by geography or ethnicity, by soil or blood. Being an American involves the embrace of high ideals and civic responsibility. We become the heirs of Thomas Jefferson by accepting the ideal of human dignity found in the Declaration of Independence. We become the heirs of James Madison by understanding the genius and values of the U.S. Constitution. We become the heirs of Martin Luther King, Jr., by recognizing one another not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.

This means that people of every race, religion, and ethnicity can be fully and equally American. It means that bigotry or white supremacy in any form is blasphemy against the American creed.

There is nothing in his four basic recommendations-- hardening our defenses against external threats to democracy, maintaining U.S. leadership in the world, strengthening democratic citizenship and “call[ing] on the major institutions of our democracy, public and private, to consciously and urgently attend to the problem of declining trust”-- that Democrats of good faith should dispute. They’ll have differences in specifics (When should we intervene internationally? Which electoral reforms do we need?) but that is understandable and healthy.

What is critical is that Bush has identified precisely the issues that must be addressed if we are to stave off Trump and Trumpism. Democrats, including ex-presidents, would be foolish not to embrace Bush’s agenda and where possible work together. After all, we are all Americans who embrace the “ideal of human dignity found in the Declaration of Independence . . .  [and] the genius and values of the U.S. Constitution” as well as the commitment to equal rights and justice for all Americans. It’s the current president who doesn’t get it, but there is a solution (several, actually) for that as well.
Bush sees Trump as a threat to American democracy. Why do so many Republicans in Congress claim to not see that threat? Bush says "bigotry seems emboldened." How come he sees it but California congressional Republicans like Ed Royce, Darrell Issa, David Valadao, Mimi Walters, Steve Knight, Jeff Denham and Dana Rohrabacher don't. Why is that? Why?

UPDATE: Bannon Denigrates Bush-- California Republicans Cheer

Friday night, Bannon gave the keynote address at the California Republican Party convention in Anaheim. He depicted Bush as bumbling and inept, faulting him for presiding over a "destructive" presidency during his time in the White House. Bannon said Bush had embarrassed himself and didn’t know what he was talking about.

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Hot Congressional Race In Utah? Don't Write It Off Yet


Ben McAdams visits Mia Love's office

Utah has 4 congressional districts-- all very red. But it would be easy as pie to create a Democratic district. Right now the Republican legislature diluted Salta Lake City's Democratic majority by grafting it onto the very backward, rural, gigantic second CD, basically most of the western and southern part of the state, 13 blood red counties with almost no Democratic votes. If the legislature kept Salt Lake County-- with over a million voters-- whole, it would be a solidly Democratic district, instead of a diluted bit of UT-02, a diluted part of UT-03 and a diluted part of UT-04. In fact, UT-04, even without much of the city itself, just the suburbs south and southwest of the city, makes it the least Republican district in the state. Blue Dog Jim Matheson was still winning congressional races there as recently as 2012. He retired in 2014 and Mia Love beat another Blue Dog, Doug Owens, 50-46%, outspending him $5,159,840 to $866,595. She's been an unobtrusive backbencher and a 100% rubber-stamp for Ryan and Trump.

Wednesday, the mayor of Salt Lake County, Democrat Ben McAdams announced that he's running for her seat next year. (There are 3 other Democrats already running, Darlene McDonald, whose website extols ObamaCare as a good conservative solution to healthcare, Marla Mott-Smith, who doesn't mention healthcare on her website and Tom Taylor, whose website sounds like he's a Berniecrat. McAdams has no issues or positions on his website yet, possibly indicating he's a conservative.

Utah Democrats aren't interested in conservatives; if they were, they'd be Republicans. Last year's caucuses saw Bernie sweep the state. He took 61,333 votes (79.3%) to Hillary's 15,666 (20.3%). Over on the Republican side, Cruz came in first, followed by Kasich and Señor Trumpanzee drew only 24,864 votes, significantly fewer than Bernie. In Salt Lake County. Hillary lost every county to Bernie-- and by huge numbers. Salt Lake County's results were just like the state's:
Bernie- 35,610
Hillary- 9,431
Señor Trumpanzee- 6,542
On election day, Trump crushed Hillary statewide, but not in Salt Lake County, which she won, 154,831 (42.8%) to 117,901 (32.6%). Evan McMullin won 68,209 votes (18.9%).

Yesterday's Salt Lake Tribune seemed very excited by McAdams decision to run, reminding readers that he is "one of the state’s most politically popular and ambitious Democrats." He doesn't sound very exciting to me.
He told the Salt Lake Tribune on Wednesday he’d zeroed in on the House seat because Congress and the federal government have created roadblocks to solving issues Utahns face.

“I would hope that our representatives in Washington rolled up their sleeves and knew what was going on and knew what our challenges were and how they could help to solve our challenges,” he said. “Instead it feels like they’re just enamored with the national spotlight and partisan games that both parties seem to play.”

McAdams lives about a block outside the 4th District, but as mayor he represents about 85 percent of the voters in the district. Because he was re-elected last year, McAdams won’t have to give up his position to run.

As mayor, McAdams has been involved in some of the region’s highest-profile issues. He led a committee that studies how to reform homeless services as the county has spent years grappling with how it can improve services and prevent homelessness.

The issue has proved politically challenging as well. A state law required McAdams to pick a location for a new homeless shelter before the state closes a 1,100-bed shelter downtown and build three smaller ones throughout the county. McAdams picked South Salt Lake, which is in the 4th District, sparking a battle with that city’s mayor and upsetting residents near the shelter.

“My approach has been to dive in and to make the decisions that we need to make to move forward,” he said. “That was a tough process, and I guess we’ll see what people think about that. But I hope people will see that I was faced with some tough challenges that we were trying to solve.”

During a 20-minute conversation, McAdams said Wednesday he was willing to work with anyone to get things done-- including President Donald Trump, whom McAdams also called “overly divisive.”

“I would like to see leaders who bring us together rather than divide us,” McAdams said of Trump. “But that won’t stop me from working to find common ground and bring solutions back to Utah.”

He pointed to the state’s request to expand Medicaid to cover very low-income residents. The expansion is considered crucial to the state’s effort to cover drug treatment under the ongoing Operation Rio Grande. The state is awaiting approval from the federal government.

“We’re waiting for federal approval and we’ve been waiting for federal approval for two years now,” he said. “We cannot get the federal government to take action.”

McAdams’ first choice was a much larger expansion of Medicaid to cover far more Utahns. But when the state showed it wasn’t willing to take on the higher costs of the federal insurance coverage under Medicaid, McAdams says he worked with Republican House Speaker Greg Hughes, R-Draper, to get something through the Legislature that could pass.

...McAdams is uniquely positioned for a challenge given his high visibility in the county, his experience and his ability to mount a campaign close to his home, said Tim Chambless, an associate political science professor at the University of Utah.

“If he can just do fairly well in the other three, more rural counties, campaign well in the highly suburban parts of Salt Lake County,” Chambless said, “he can win.”

McAdams said he expects the campaign will cost about $2.5 million and that he plans to run a positive campaign but expects plenty of outside money that typically funds negative ad campaigns.

“We sat down with our kids and we told them that we expect that this will be ugly. There will be a lot of negativity. And that does give me pause,” he said. “Ultimately, the moment that good people are bullied out of running for office because of fear of the negativity, then Washington really is lost.

“I decided that I believe in the good, human nature of Utahns. That people know me,” he said. “I care about Utah and that’s why I’m doing this.”

And the first poll is already out! It's more a name ID poll than anything else but it shows McAdams pretty close to Love. The Trib reported this morning that "Both candidates are viewed favorably by a majority of voters in the district, which includes portions of Salt Lake, Utah, Juab and Sanpete counties. Fifty-seven percent of voters viewed Love favorably, with 20 percent saying they had a 'very favorable' view of her. Fifty-six percent of voters had favorable view of McAdams. Fewer voters had a negative view of McAdams than Love. Fifteen percent had either a 'somewhat' or 'very' unfavorable view of McAdams, compared to 36 percent for Love. Eighteen percent of voters had no opinion of McAdams, compared to just 6 percent for Love."

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People Who Tell You Trump Can Win Reelection In 2020 Are Using Some Very Powerful Drugs-- Get Some


The Tiki Torch Leader by Hugh Brown

In his Wall Street Journal column yesterday, Steve Bannon’s Motley Crew of Challengers-- One is fresh out of prison. Another held a town hall to discuss ‘chemtrail’ theories, Karl Rove basically said the Republican establishment is fine fighting a war against Bannon's brand of fascism: Bring It On, Asshole! "Steve Bannon, the failed presidential adviser and alt-right sympathizer," he wrote pointedly," has declared war on incumbent Republicans, particularly Sen. Mitch McConnell. From his perch at Breitbart, Mr. Bannon is vowing to defeat officeholders who back Mr. McConnell as majority leader or who won’t sign onto Mr. Bannon’s populist agenda. So what kind of challengers is Mr. Bannon marshaling for the midterms?" Staten Island Mafioso Mikey Suits made great target for Rove's outrage and went on to suggest "Bannon has picked a team... of misfits and ne’er-do-wells."

I would bet Rove didn't read Charles Blow's NY Times column before he wrote it... but he should have. Señor Trumpanzee is certainly laying to rest myriad conventional norms and one is Godwin's Law, which Godwin himself has said is suspended while Trump is in politics. And Blow went there-- pr almost did. I think he isn't aware Godwin has said his Law is more... flexible for Trump than it was for, say, Bush or Cheney. "It is a commonly accepted rule among those who are in the business of argument," wrote Blow, "especially online, that he or she who invokes Adolf Hitler, either in oratory or essays, automatically forfeits the argument. The reference is deemed far too extreme, too explosive, too far beyond rational correlation. No matter how bad a present-day politician, not one of them has charted or is charting a course to exterminate millions of innocent people as an act of ethnic cleansing. Hitler stands alone in this regard, without rival, a warning to the world about how evil and lethal human beings can be, a warning that what he did can never be allowed again."
That said, there are strategies that Hitler used to secure power and rise-- things that allowed his murderous reign-- that can teach us about political theory and practice. And very reasonable and sage comparisons can be drawn between Hitler’s strategies and those of others.

One of those lessons is about how purposeful lying can be effectively used as propaganda. The forthcoming comparison isn’t to Hitler the murderer, but to Hitler the liar.

According to James Murphy’s translation of Hitler’s Mein Kampf:
“In the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad masses of a nation are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily; and thus in the primitive simplicity of their minds they more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods.”

...“It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously. Even though the facts which prove this to be so may be brought clearly to their minds, they will still doubt and waver and will continue to think that there may be some other explanation. For the grossly impudent lie always leaves traces behind it, even after it has been nailed down, a fact which is known to all expert liars in this world and to all who conspire together in the art of lying.”
This demonstrates a precise understanding of human psychology, but also the dangerously manipulative nature that operates in the mind of a demon.

And yet, as many have noted, no person of sound reason or even cursory political awareness can read this and not be immediately struck by how similar this strategy of lying is to Donald Trump’s seeming strategy of lying: Tell a lie bigger than people think a lie can be, thereby forcing their brains to seek truth in it, or vest some faith in it, even after no proof can be found.

Trump is no Hitler, but the way he has manipulated the American people with outrageous lies, stacked one on top of the other, has an eerie historical resonance. Demagogy has a fixed design.

It should be mentioned that Vanity Fair reported in 1990 that Trump’s first wife, Ivana, “told her lawyer Michael Kennedy that from time to time her husband reads a book of Hitler’s collected speeches, My New Order, which he keeps in a cabinet by his bed.” The magazine pointed out that “Hitler’s speeches, from his earliest days up through the Phony War of 1939, reveal his extraordinary ability as a master propagandist.”

...Trump has found a way to couch the lies so that people believe they don’t emanate from him but pass through him. He is not a producer but a projector.

One way he does this is by using caveats-- “I was told,” “Lots of people are saying” -- as shields. Jenna Johnson of the Washington Post addressed this in June 2016, writing about Trump’s use of the phrase “a lot of people are saying”:
“Trump frequently couches his most controversial comments this way, which allows him to share a controversial idea, piece of tabloid gossip or conspiracy theory without technically embracing it. If the comment turns out to be popular, Trump will often drop the distancing qualifier-- ‘people think’ or ‘some say.’ If the opposite happens, Trump can claim that he never said the thing he is accused of saying, equating it to retweeting someone else’s thoughts on Twitter.”
...He even projects his own ignorance onto others with his lies. As Steve Benen pointed out in July on, Trump’s “awkward process of discovery has, however, produced a phrase of underappreciated beauty: ‘A lot of people don’t know that.’ These seven words are Trump’s way of saying, ‘I just learned something new, and I’m going to assume others are as ignorant as I am.’”

This is not a simple fear of the truth; it is a weaponizing of untruth. It is the use of the lie to assault and subdue. It is Trump doing to political ends what Hitler did to more brutal ends: using mass deception as masterful propaganda.

Maybe I have crossed the ink-stained line of the essay writer, where Hitler is always beyond it. But I don’t think so. Ignoring what one of history’s greatest examples of lying has to teach us about current examples of lying, particularly lying by the “president” of the most powerful country in the world, seems to me an act of timidity in a time of terror. It is an intentional self-blinding to avoid offending frail sensibilities.

I have neither time nor patience for such tiptoeing. I prefer the boot of truth to slam down to earth like thunder, no matter the shock of hearing its clap.

The world has seen powerful leaders use lying as a form of mass manipulation before. It is seeing it now, and it will no doubt see it again. History recycles. But the result doesn’t have to be-- and hopefully never will be again-- a holocaust. It can manifest as a multitude of other, lesser horrors, in both protocol and policy, including the corrosion and regression of country and culture.

That is the very real threat we are facing. Trump isn’t necessarily a direct threat to your life-- unless of course you are being kept alive by health care that he keeps threatening, or if you’re in Puerto Rico reeling in the wake of two hurricanes-- but he is very much a threat to your quality of life.

The only question is: Are enough Americans sufficiently discerning to understand that this time they are the ones being manipulated?

Now consider the latest Granite State Poll, released this week. A tad early for 2020 primary polling? Yes, absolutely. BUT... one gets a good look at what New Hampshire Republicans are thinking about their party's leader right now. And it's pretty shocking. Trump almost won New Hampshire last year. The state was certainly not Hillary country. Bernie won the primary 151,584 (60.4%) to 95,252 (38.0%). Although Trump came in first on primary day with 100,406, Bernie bested him and runner up, John Kasich combined (145,315). On election day Hillary pulled 348,521 votes (47.6%) to Trumpanzee's 345,789 (47.2%), the closest state in the country.

Inasmuch as I've seen this poll discussed, it's because of the Democratic presidential primary results, for which-- much to the chagrin of the corrupt Democratic establishment-- has Bernie way out ahead, leading Joe "Mr credit card bankruptcy bill" Biden 31% to 24%. The only declared candidate, self funding multimillionaire New Dem shithead John Delaney (D-MD) is polling at exactly what he deserves to be polling at: ZERO. But today I want to look at the polling of New Hampshire Republicans.
Only 18% of Republican primary voters say they have definitely decided whom they will support for the 2020 Republican Presidential Primary. Five percent say they are leaning toward someone while 77% say they are still trying to decide. Just under half (47%) of likely Republican primary voters say they plan on voting for Donald Trump.

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You Have To Be Crazy To Expect The Institutional Democratic Party To Be Anything More Than The Lesser Of Two Evils-- Two Really Evil Evils


After the massacre in Las Vegas normal Americans thought it would be the perfect time to push for saner gun policies, not just banning bump stock devices (a ban opposed by the NRA)-- which have no other purpose but to turn legal semi-automatics into mass murder machines as they did in Las Vegas-- but to prevent dangerous and mentally ill people from buying guns and ban military hardware from American streets. But Republicans will have no of it-- and neither will the Democrats' Senate Leader, Chuck Schumer. Schumer is telling other Democrats to ignore "pressure from activist groups that argue the party needs to take a stand given the string of mass shootings across the country." Activists are incensed but Schumer is unmoved. He's thinking about reelecting conservative red state Democrats like John Tester (MT), Joe Manchin (WV), Claire McCaskill (MO), Heidi Heitkamp (ND), Joe Donnelly (IN), etc., who, supposedly, will be hurt if Democrats even propose modest legislation that is overwhelmingly popular. Schumer seemed to have bought into the GOP-NRA perspective that banning weapons of mass murder is that same as confiscating everyone's hunting rifles and guns needed for home protection. But, as we mentioned the other day (and most days), there's a reason some people call the party which is supposed to be the vehicle for the legitimate rights of working families, the Democraps. With leaders like Schumer, Hoyer, Crowley, Wassermann Schultz, Emanuel and now even Pelosi, it's too much to expect anything but crap from them.

David Dayen's New Republic piece, The Democrats' Dianne Feinstein Problem this week was a good illustration of the cesspool the DC Democrats are swimming around in. "The 50-year-old president of the California state Senate last week announced his candidacy for U.S. Senate against longtime Senator Dianne Feinstein, who is 84," he wrote. "Like Lieberman, Feinstein occupies the right flank of the Democratic Party, even more so in an era of resistance and progressive resurgence. California’s kooky electoral rules make it likely that Feinstein will face de León in a general election matchup, with similar dynamics to Lieberman vs. Lamont. And every Democrat in the Senate, at a time when they are striving to win back the chamber, will have to answer: Do you support a colleague, or the challenger who best represents the political moment?"
Goal ThermometerFeinstein’s political instincts were apparent when she loudly supported the death penalty at the 1990 state party convention, drawing a chorus of boos—which she subsequently used in campaign ads to prove her distance from the liberal base. Perhaps no Democrat in the past two decades has been as committed to expanding the national security state than Feinstein (again, like Lieberman). On domestic policy, she supported the Bush tax cuts, permanent normal trade relations with China, and the bill that repealed Glass-Steagall’s financial reforms. While strong on gun safety, women’s rights and the environment, Feinstein has openly courted the center and rejected the left since coming to Washington. Just this year, she told the Commonwealth Club of San Francisco that Donald Trump could mature into a “good president.”

...Progressives are likely to make the Feinstein–de León race into a litmus test, as well they should. Feinstein is clearly too conservative to represent one of the nation’s most liberal states. If Democrats who want to lead the party end up siding with her, they do so at their peril.
The DCCC thinks they're smart-- they're anything but smart-- for running Blue Dogs, New Dems others from the Republican wing of the Democratic Party as if they were real Democrats in districts where Bernie beat Hillary. All that will do is hold down 2018 turnout, killing Democrats up and down the ballot. Leave it to a moron, Ben Ray Lujan, who has asked Rahm Emanuel, the architect of that failed strategy, to teach him how to run the DCCC. Meanwhile, the Establishment's DNC puppet, Tom Perez, now appears to be purging the DNC of Bernie supporters.
A shake-up is underway at the Democratic National Committee as several key longtime officials have lost their posts, exposing a still-raw rift in the party and igniting anger among those in its progressive wing who see retaliation for their opposition to DNC Chairman Tom Perez.

The ousters come ahead of the DNC's first meeting, in Las Vegas, Nevada, since Perez took over as chairman with a pledge this year to unite a party that had become badly divided during the brutal Bernie Sanders-Hillary Clinton 2016 primary race.

Complaints began immediately after party officials saw a list of Perez's appointments to DNC committees and his roster of 75 "at-large" members, who are chosen by the chair.

The removal and demotion of a handful of veteran operatives stood out, as did what critics charge is the over-representation of Clinton-backed members on the Rules and Bylaws Committee, which helps set the terms for the party's presidential primary, though other Sanders and Ellison backers remain represented.

Those who have been pushed out include:
Ray Buckley, the New Hampshire Democratic chairman and longtime DNC official who ran against Perez for chair before backing Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn. Buckley lost his spots on the Executive Committee and DNC Rules Committee.
James Zogby, the president of the Arab American Institute and prominent Sanders backer, is no longer co-chair of the Resolutions Committee and is off the Executive Committee, a spot he has held since 2001.
Alice Germond, the party’s longtime former secretary and a vocal Ellison backer, who was removed from her at-large appointment to the DNC.
Barbra Casbar Siperstein, who supported Ellison and Buckley, was tossed from the Executive Committee.
The moves exposed a rift in the partnership between Perez and his deputy chair, Ellison, who have publicly broadcast their "bromance" since Perez tapped Ellison for the post in a show of unity after their hard-fought race this year for the party's chairmanship.

"I’m concerned about the optics, and I’m concerned about the impact," Zogby said of the changes. "I want to heal the wound of 2016."

Buckley said that while he understands Perez, as chairman, can do as he pleases, "it's all just very disappointing."

Germond has been on the DNC since the 1980s and was a vocal backer of Ellison for DNC chairman.

"It is quite unusual for a former party officer who has been serving on the DNC for forever to just be left out in the cold without even a call from the chairman," Germond said. "So I assumed it had something to do with myself support for Keith."

"I understand that I fought very hard for Keith Ellison. And I understand that to the winners go the spoils," she added.

The DNC denied any retaliation, saying that the changes were an effort to diversify and freshen the party’s leadership and that all the party’s officers had a chance to offer input. They touted new additions like Marisa Richmond, a millennial black transgender activist, and the first Dreamer member, Ellie Perez, to point to the DNC's efforts at diversity.
What's the cutoff point for millennials? Perez's black transgender millennial may actually be black and transgender but she's also 57. What what would you expect from any organization so recently run by Debbie Wassermann Schultz but systematic lies and treachery? And somehow, somehow, somehow... don't ask me how, Perez has made sure lots of scumbag lobbyists and power-brokers, hated by Democratic voters, are joining his army of millennial black transgender activists on the DNC. Jennifer Epstein reported for Bloomberg Politics that "The Democratic Party this week plans to name 75 people including lobbyists and political operatives to leadership posts that come with superdelegate votes at its next presidential convention, potentially aggravating old intraparty tensions as it struggles to confront President Donald Trump." We all just love those super-delegates, right? One, Joanne Dowdell, is even a lobbyist for Fox News.
Party spokesman Michael Tyler [a notorious paid liar who could go to work for the Trump White House tomorrow and never miss a beat] stressed the demographic reach of the at-large nominees, saying they 'reflect the unprecedented diversity of our party’s coalition.' The party is doubling the representation of millennials and Native Americans on the DNC and increasing the number of Puerto Ricans, he said.

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Never Heard Of Pat Tiberi? He's A Behind The Scenes Congressional Power Who's Retiring


John Kasich likes to paint himself as the most bipartisan politician in America. That's camouflage. He happily signed one of the most egregious gerrymandering bills in the country, cutting Ohio up, which voted for Obama both times he's ran and elected progressive Democrat Sherrod Brown both times he ran. Because Kasich did, 50/50 swing state Ohio now has 12 Republicans in Congress and 4 Democrats instead of 8 and 8. The state legislature is a joke. The districts are so ruthlessly gerrymandered that there are 24 Republicans in the state Senate and just 9 Democrats and the state House has 66 Republicans and just 33 Democrats.

As you have probably read by now, the quietly powerful congressman who succeeded Kasich when he retired from Congress, Pat Tiberi, is resigning to take a job as head of the Ohio Business Roundtable. Tiberi never makes the headlines but I see his name all the time when I check to see which members of Congress take the extra big bribes from various interest groups. He's always on every list. Take the Finance Sector-- he's a senior member of House Ways and Means so of course the banksters want him on their side. In fact, he was up for the chairmanship but was pushed aside by a more right-wing nut from Texas, Kevin Brady. Since first being elected in 2000, Tiberi has taken $6,734,095 from the sector, the 4th most of any current member of Congress. Last year alone he took in $1,132,932 from the banksters and so far this year-- $520,000, 6th most of anyone in the House.

A mainstream conservative and former Boehner ally, he'll be out of Congress by the end of January, triggering a special election to fill the rest of his 10 month term. In 2016, Tiberi raised $4,555,939 and spent $1,890,368 on his reelection campaign. (He has over $5 million on hand right now). His opponent in 2016, progressive Democrat Ed Albertson, who is running again this cycle, was ignored by the DCCC and only managed to raise $28,450. Right now Albertson has $9,209.27 in his campaign war chest.

OH-12 includes all of 3 central Ohio counties-- Delaware Licking County and Morrow-- and parts of Franklin, Muskingum, Marion and Richland counties. Most of the voters live in Franklin, Delaware and Licking (in that order). In 2015 the district had an R+8 PVI. It's slightly less red now-- R+7. Trump and Clinton both did worse than Romney and Obama in the district, but Trump won, 53.2% to 41.9%.

Tiberi wound up with 251,266 votes (66.6%) to Albertson's 112,638 (29.8%). That looks horrible for the Dems' prospects, right? And it is but I want to point something out. The 435 congressional districts have approximately 711,000 people. They're not exactly the same population-wise but they're not that different either. Last year Albertson did considerably better than many incumbents who were reelected. Blue Dog Jim Costa, a California Central Valley Democrat won reelection with just 72,111 and Republican David Valadao, also in the Central Valley, was reelected with even fewer votes, 68,481. Valadao's Democratic opponent, Emelio Huerta-- who, unlike Albertson, got some very substantial financial help from Pelosi's House Majority PAC ($1,751,651) only got 49,643. And, like Albertson, Huerta is running against this cycle.

Which leads to the question... can Albertson win in the age of Trump? Or will the DCCC recruit a more conservative GOP-lite candidate and muscle Albertson out of the race? In its first-blush report on Tiberi's resignation, the Columbus Dispatch didn't have much to offer on what would happen in the district next.
Sources close to Tiberi said a variety of factors played into his exit. His mother died earlier this year and his father is in ill health. House Speaker Paul Ryan last year bypassed Tiberi to select Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, as the chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, despite the fact that Tiberi had support from the majority of his colleagues on the Republican Steering Committee.

Another loss: the retirement of House Speaker John Boehner in 2015. The two were close political allies, with Tiberi benefiting politically from his close friendship with the West Chester Republican.

And a dysfunctional political environment in Washington made him “miserable” said a source close to Tiberi.

The veteran congressman, who represents Ohio’s 12th congressional district, had considered running for the U.S. Senate in 2018. He ended that speculation in May, announcing that he didn’t want a Senate campaign to take time away from working on tax reform from his position as a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee. Tiberi had more than $6.6 million in campaign funds at the beginning of the month.

Tiberi, 54, was elected to the House in 2000, replacing John Kasich, who had once hired him as an aide in Kasich’s congressional office in Columbus. Tiberi, who grew up in Columbus, also served four terms in the Ohio House in the 1990s.

He is chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee’s subcommittee on health and is currently chairman of the Joint Economic Committee, a House-Senate committee that examines economic issues. And earlier this year, he became the chairman of the House “Main Street Caucus,” a group of moderate Republicans who billed themselves as the “governing” wing of the Republican Party.
Kasich isn't interested in running for the seat and Tiberi already had an extremist lunatic primarying him, Brandon Grisez, someone who Bannon probably would have gotten behind had Tiberi not decided to retire.

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