Showing posts with label Martin O'Malley. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Martin O'Malley. Show all posts

Friday, September 4, 2015

[VIDEO] Dem outreach to Black Lives Matter meets rejection

Democratic officials and presidential candidates are running into a hostile reception as they try to reach out to Black Lives Matter, a movement that has become a political minefield for the party. 
On the other side of the aisle, Republicans have largely shunned the group.South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley said this week that "black lives do matter," but they've been "disgracefully jeopardized by the movement that has laid waste to Ferguson and Baltimore." 
By contrast, the Democratic National Committee passed a resolution last Friday implicitly endorsing the cause. 
"Therefore it be resolved that the DNC joins with Americans across the country in affirming 'Black lives matter' and the 'say her name' efforts to make visible the pain of our fellow and sister Americans as they condemn extrajudicial killings of unarmed African American men, women and children," the resolution reads, according to Buzzfeed.
However, the Black Lives Matter group released a statement on Facebook Sunday rejecting the Democrats’ advances.
The response was the latest example of a rocky relationship between the party and the movement, which started with the George Zimmerman verdict in 2013 and significantly expanded after the 2014 death of Michael Brown.
As the movement has built itself into an effective, albeit fringe, grassroots force -- comparable in some ways to Occupy Wall Street -- Democrats have sought to bring them on board, or at least make peace. 
But it has not been an easy ride.
Black Lives Matter activists stormed the stage in July while former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley was speaking at a Netroots Nation conference in Phoenix, Ariz. After O'Malley listened to them talk for several minutes, he agreed to calls from the audience to a civilian review board and said he would roll out a criminal reform package. Receiving applause, he then said “Black lives matter, white lives matter, all lives matter.” The crowd erupted in boos at O'Malley's statement and O’Malley later apologized for saying “all lives matter.”

Sunday, August 30, 2015

[AUDIO] Democratic challengers launch attacks against Clinton, party leadership

 Hillary Rodham Clinton sought to cement her standing as the rightful leader of the Democratic Party here Friday, but two of her challengers launched a fierce counterattack against her and a party establishment they see as trying to hand her the 2016 presidential nomination.
What began as a routine forum of candidate speeches evolved into a surprisingly dramatic day at the Democratic National Committee’s summer meeting, as Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley issued thinly veiled attacks on Clinton and the party leadership.
Speaking from the dais, with DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz sitting a few feet away, O’Malley blasted the party’s limited number of sanctioned debates as a process “rigged” in favor of the front-runner. The DNC is holding six debates, only four before February’s first caucuses in Iowa, which O’Malley argued is a disadvantage for all the candidates and a disservice to Democrats generally.
“This sort of rigged process has never been attempted before,” said O’Malley, who has struggled to gain traction in the polls. He added: “We are the Democratic Party, not the undemocratic party.”
Sanders — who later told reporters he agreed with O’Malley — lamented low Democratic turnout in last year’s midterm elections and said the party must grow beyond “politics as usual” if it hopes to produce the level of voter enthusiasm required to retain the White House in 2016.
“We need a movement which takes on the economic and political establishment, not one which is part of that establishment,” said Sanders, who is an independent but caucuses with Democrats in the Senate.
Asked later whether he was speaking specifically about Clinton, he told reporters, “I’ll let you use your imagination on that.”
The barbs from Sanders and O’Malley came as Clinton and her campaign flexed their organizational muscle here. The front-
runner and her top aides worked aggressively behind the scenes this week to secure commitments from party leaders pledging to be delegates for her in next summer’s nominating convention in Philadelphia.

Clinton’s organizational push sent a clear signal to Vice President Biden, who has been weighing a late entry into the 2016 campaign, that he would begin far behind her.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Could A Middle-Aged White Man Ever Become President?

Martin O'Malley was standing on a chair, shouting in a dark bar in Iowa City. He may have been nearly a thousand miles from Baltimore, but for him, that wasn't far enough.
It was a stormy summer evening, and about 150 people had come to hear O'Malley make the case that he should be president—a case that had gotten frustratingly tricky. Not that long ago, O'Malley, the former governor of Maryland and a perpetually rising star in Democratic politics, seemed like the no-brainer alternative to Hillary Clinton. “The best manager working in government today,” theWashington Monthly called him, a problem solver who had slashed crime as mayor of Baltimore. But now those rosy urban achievements had taken on the stink of controversy, complicating his pitch for the presidency.
A young woman in a peasant skirt raised her hand. “As mayor of Baltimore, you oversaw an era of mass arrests of nonviolent offenders,” she told the candidate, citing statistics—“110,000 arrests were made in one year in a city of 620,000 people”—before getting to her question. “What are we supposed to expect from you on the issue of mass incarceration and institutional racism?”
As he listened, O'Malley's smile grew forced and his jaw began to bulge. He has a temper. Plus, he doesn't like to be called out. As mayor, O'Malley once paid a visit to a couple of radio hosts criticizing him for being insufficiently concerned about crime. “Come outside after the show,” he scolded them, “and I'll kick your ass.”
Now, in Iowa City, O'Malley seemed on the verge of unloading again. He'd been on edge since April, when riots erupted in Baltimore after cops were implicated in the killing of an unarmed black man named Freddie Gray. Years of mistrust between the city's police and its black citizens were glaringly exposed—and suddenly the two terms O'Malley spent as the city's mayor from 1999 to 2007 were subject to brutal re-examination. O'Malley—who had always taken plenty of credit for slowing crime by employing tough “zero tolerance” policing techniques—found himself being blamed for the city's racial acrimony.
David Simon, the former Baltimore Sun reporter and creator of The Wire, declaimed that “the stake through the heart of police procedure in Baltimore was Martin O'Malley.” On Meet the Press, Chuck Todd incredulously asked O'Malley, “Do you think you can still run on your record as mayor of Baltimore, governor of Maryland, given all this?” And when O'Malley launched his presidential campaign, protesters crashed the festivities, chanting “Black Lives Matter” and burnishing NOMALLEY signs. In the wake of police violence in Ferguson, Cleveland, New York, and now Baltimore, the old-school good-governance dictates about getting tough on crime seemed out of touch. Suddenly Democrats were scrambling to take up the mantle of police reform, and O'Malley was stranded on the wrong side of one of the defining issues for liberals today.
“You weren't in Baltimore in 1999, but I was,” he told the young woman, with more than a hint of contempt in his voice. “It looked more like Mexico City than an American city, and the gutters quite literally ran with blood.” There was no applause. These people didn't get it, he seemed to be thinking. What he'd done in Baltimore was worthy of their respect and not, as the woman in the peasant skirt suggested, part of “the long history of brutalization” of “communities of color.” He was the guy, he wanted to tell them, who could save those communities—the guy who knows that you don't stop criminals by asking politely and that turning around a city isn't as easy as replacing open-air drug markets with shabby-chic condos. But that kind of talk had fallen out of fashion. The political hand O'Malley had been planning to play was now a loser. The man who wanted to be president swallowed hard and tried to pivot to something else.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Maryland’s GOP Governor Larry Hogan: Conservative Getting Things Done

Defeating the political machine in one-party Democratic stronghold Maryland, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan went from nobody to overnight (and still going) sensation among conservatives across the country, especially for Republicans in a state where, aside from a Congressman here and there plus a celebrity governor, Republicans never fared well. With “Change Maryland”, his non-partisan interest group with bipartisan support,  Governor Hogan pushed tax and spending cuts, supported education, and killed expensive public projects.

A team player interested not just in furthering his career but helping his fellow Republicans, the son of a former Congressman has invested time and energy improving the Republican brand and increasing GOP outreach to otherwise unknown or untapped constituencies, particularly young voter and minorities. With Republicans nearing majority status in select counties, plus the growing weariness of voters taxed and regulated beyond reason, Hogan declared joyfully on the steps of the state house: “It’s a great day to be a Republican in Maryland”. With majority control over five of nine county executive boards, the new Governor is setting his sights on long-term growth and development for a state which barely survived eight years of uber-liberal Martin O’Malley.

Hogan has issued executive orders to require state officials and legislators to end the endless gerrymandering which marginalizes the most resolute of Old Line State residents. Despite the current push-back from the still Democratically dominated state legislature in Annapolis, Hogan is gaining prestige and strength. People want change, and Hogan is bringing it. One of his most recent and popular measures? Reducing the tolls and fees for Marylanders as well as visitors traversing the state.  Following the Baltimore riots, the governor exulted with national press that Baltimore would celebrate its world famous horse race. Residents stepped out to clean up and improve their city. The port of Baltimore is open for business, and bringing in major commerce with the largest shipping firm in the world.

Law and order has become the order of the day under the Hogan Administration, too. Recently, he has shown some muscle against illegal immigration, particularly in cases where a violent crime has occurred, despite the two-to-one Democratic voter registration in the state and previous Democratic Governor Martin O’Malley’s relentless policies to promote illegal aliens and transform them into “new Americans”.

Departing from the previous governor’s policy of non-cooperation, Hogan informed Marylanders that he would change the course of the state’s non-compliance legacy, comply with the federal government, and detain illegal aliens for Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.

The Washington Post reports:
Immigration advocates in Maryland are criticizing a decision by Gov. Larry Hogan to notify federal immigration officials when an illegal immigrant targeted for deportation is released from the state-run Baltimore City Detention Center.

Advocates consider Hogan’s stance to be a departure from the policy of his predecessor, Democrat Martin O’Malley, who last year joined other elected officials in refusing requests from the Obama administration to coordinate with federal law enforcement whenever a detainee was being released.

With a latent political savvy determined not only to thwart amnesty proponents but coalesce widespread general support for his decision, Hogan’s office responded:

When pro-amnesty group CASA de Maryland protested outside Governor Hogan’s mansion, hisoffice released another statement:

The Baltimore City Detention Center is simply complying with a request from the Obama administration in regard to individuals who have already been detained. If CASA has concerns about Obama’s Priority Enforcement Program, I would recommend they take those concerns to the White House.

“Priority Enforcement” comes in light of President Obama’s executive amnesty in late November last year, when he announced to the United States that he would defer deportation and permit five million illegal aliens to remain in the country who had not broken any other laws.
What a supreme and gratifying irony: A Republican governor in a deep blue state is enforcing the law,, rounding up illegal aliens who endanger the public; an executive —whoa—enhances public safety all while rebuffing critics by referencing the President’s own unconstitutional order to expand immigration and benefits to illegal aliens. Even the “shrilly, shrilly liberal” Washington Post had to concede to the Republican governor’s “common sense” on immigration.

Following those bold measures, Governor Hogan took unprecedented action and shut down a corrupt, inefficient, and dysfunctional detention center in Baltimore City, too. Fiscal prudent and morally sound, Hogan practices fiscal discipline without sacrificing the safety and security of his citizens. Surviving and thriving in spite of non-Hodgkins lymphoma, the (once considered unlikely) conservative Republican Governor of Maryland has become the face of the growing conservative upswing sweeping the country, a nation fed up with government serving itself instead of taxpayers, hardworking men and women who just want a leader who will get things done.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

O'Malley wants to debate Clinton on Wall Street, trade, XL pipeline

O'Malley wants to debate Clinton on Wall Street, trade, XL pipeline | Washington Examiner
Former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley wants a debate with Hillary Clinton so that he can get the Democratic front-runner to commit to positions on Wall Street, trade, and the Keystone XL pipeline.
"I would ask Hillary Clinton what sort of ideas she has to make our economy work again for all of us and whether or not she has the independence to rein in the sort of recklessness on Wall Street that has tanked our economy once and threatens to do it again," the former Maryland governor and Democratic presidential candidate said Sunday morning on CBS.
O'Malley, who has strenuously argued for more debates in the Democratic primary, went on to recite a list of issues on which he has staked out a position and Clinton has hedged her responses.
"I am in favor of re-instituting Glass-Steagall," he said of the Depression-Era separation of commercial and investment banks. "I am in favor of putting robust prosecutorial efforts back on Wall Street."

Saturday, August 15, 2015

What If Martin O'Malley or Bernie Sanders Disobeys the DNC on Debates?

When the Democratic National Committee first announced in May it would sanction six primary debates in 2016 and punish candidates who went to unsanctioned events, the party said the schedule was “consistent with the precedent set by the DNC during the 2004 and 2008 cycles.”
In both of those cycles, the DNC also only sanctioned six debates. But those elections were filled with dozens of unsanctioned debates, too, that started at least six months earlier than the DNC plans to kick off its debate season this year, on Oct. 13.
That frenzy is what the committee is trying to prevent from happening this year, and it's what lower-ranking candidates, who would benefit from more chances to appear in nationally televised debates on the same stage as front-runner Hillary Clinton, are rebelling against. Senator Bernie Sanders said he’s “disappointed” with the schedule, while former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley called it “unprecedented” and “outrageous.”
“The DNC may threaten to keep somebody out of a future debate, but it isn’t their invitation.”
Alan Schroeder, a journalism professor at Northeastern University
Maybe the solution for lower-polling candidates isn’t to push the DNC to sanction more debates, says Kathleen Jamieson, a University of Pennsylvania professor of communications who has studied and written about presidential debates and political rhetoric. “O’Malley’s attacking the wrong villain,” Jamieson said. “If anyone wants to stand up and sponsor a debate and the candidates want to go to it, you’ll have a debate that the DNC hasn’t sanctioned.”
For example, if a Spanish-language television network said it was going to host two debates, one for Democrats and one for Republicans, Jamieson says it is likely the candidates would ignore the rules set by their committees. “They would accept and go, regardless of whether the RNC and DNC said yes or no, because they want to reach the Hispanic vote,” she said. 
O’Malley appears to be hinting he would do just that. In a memo released Tuesday, O’Malley legal counsel Joe Sandler challenged the DNC's exclusion rule, which says that if a candidate attends an unsanctioned debate, they will be barred from future DNC primary debates. The rule is “legally unenforceable,” Sandler said, and if candidates attended an unsanctioned debate, “it is highly unlikely that any of those sponsors of the sanctioned debates would ultimately be willing to enforce that ‘exclusivity’ requirement.” 
Alan Schroeder, a journalism professor at Northeastern University and the author of Presidential Debates: 50 Years of High-Risk TV, agrees, noting that on the Republican side, it has been the debate hosts, not the Republican National Committee, that set the rules for the debates. “The DNC may threaten to keep somebody out of a future debate, but it isn’t their invitation,” he said.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

[VIDEO] O'Malley says Dems 'outrageous' for limiting debates

Former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley continued to rail against the Democratic National Committee Monday for limiting the number of primary debates to six during the 2016 campaign.
Appearing on "Andrea Mitchell Reports," O'Malley blasted the DNC for their "outrageous" decision to cut down on the number of debates from 20 in 2008 to six this cycle.
"My message to the party is this: We're making a big mistake as Democrats if we try to limit debate and have an undemocratic process," O'Malley told host Andrea Mitchell. "There were 24 million people who tuned in to the Republican debate, and there were very few ideas that would serve our nation moving forward that were offered in that debate.
O'Malley says Dems 'outrageous' for limiting debates | Washington Examiner

Appearing on "Andrea Mitchell Reports," O'Malley blasted the DNC for their "outrageous" decision to cut down on the number of debates from 20 in 2008 to six this cycle. (AP Photo) 
"It was like the greatest hits of the 80s and the 90s. What our party has to offer are the actual ideas that will move our country forward that will get wages to go up again instead of down. That will move us to a 100 percent clean energy future, and create 500 million jobs along the way."
"Shame on us as a party if the DNC tries to limit debate and prevents us from being able to put forward a better path for our people that will make the economy work for all of us again," O'Malley said. "So I believe we need more debates — not fewer debates, and I think it's outrageous, actually, that the DNC would try to make this process decidedly undemocratic by telling Iowa and New Hampshire that they can only have one debate before they make a decision."
"This election's too important to cut off debate," O'Malley argued. "People want debate, Andrea. They don't want a coronation."
The former Maryland governor has struggled to gain traction in the 2016 primary thus far. According to the latest RealClearPolitics national polling average, O'Malley pulls only 1.6 percent support. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton continues to lead with 55 percent support, while Sen. Bernie Sanders snags 19 percent. In addition, Vice President Joe Biden, who will likely announce his 2016 intentions in September, is at 12 percent.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

DNC Announces Six Debates; O’Malley Camp Slams Slim Schedule as ‘Faciliating a Coronation’

DNC Announces Six Debates; O’Malley Camp Slams Slim Schedule as ‘Faciliating a Coronation’There are only six DNC-sanctioned debates, with the only Iowa debate two months before the caucus and only one debate scheduled in New Hampshire.

    The schedule is:
    • October 13 – CNN – Nevada
    • November 14 – CBS/KCCI/Des Moines Register – Des Moines, IA
    • December 19 – ABC/WMUR – Manchester, NH
    • January 17 – NBC/Congressional Black Caucus Institute – Charleston, SC
    • February or March – Univision/Washington Post – Miami, FL
    • February or March – PBS – Wisconsin
    DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) said in a statement that the debates “will not only give caucus goers and primary voters ample opportunity to hear from our candidates about their vision for our country’s future, they will highlight the clear contrast between the values of the Democratic Party which is focused on strengthening the middle class versus Republicans who want to pursue out of touch and out of date policies.”
    Wasserman Schultz said all five Democratic presidential candidates “have been briefed on the debate schedule and agreed to participate in the DNC sanctioned debate process.”
    “If any additional Democratic candidates decide to enter the race, they will need to meet the same criteria for participation as the existing candidates: receiving at least 1% in three national polls, conducted by credible news organizations and polling organizations, in the six weeks prior to the debate,” she said.
    That could drop former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee from the field, as he currently has a polling average of 0.9 percent. And that would make Wasserman Schultz happy, as Chafee has gone after Hillary Clinton’s ethics and got rebuked by the DNC chairwoman for doing so.
    “Our debate schedule reflects the diversity of the Democratic Party, and in particular, we are proud to announce today the first ever party-sanctioned Univision debate,” she added.
    O’Malley senior strategist Bill Hyers fired off an email to supporters beginning with the sentence: “I can’t believe this just happened.”
    “The DNC just released their debate schedule, and it is one of the slimmest that I have ever seen. Literally. What they’re proposing does not give you, the voters, ample opportunity to hear from the Democratic candidates for president,” he said.
    “The DNC has no place determining how many times voters in early states can hear from presidential candidates, and what’s ironic is that their schedule has made this process much LESS democratic. They’ve tried this before and failed—but this year, they’re threatening to ban candidates who participate in ‘unsanctioned’ debates from participating in any other debates.”
    Hyers encouraged supporters to tweet disapproval at the DNC. O’Malley campaign leaders in Iowa and New Hampshire were also holding press briefings today to call for more debates.
    “For decades, the tradition and importance of robust debates has defined and enriched our election process–especially in early states,” Hyers continued.”In the 2004 presidential election cycle, there were 15 primary debates. In 2008, there were 25. This year, the DNC’s schedule proposes just four debates before the Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary, and their arbitrary rules of exclusion are not only contrary to our democracy, they are clearly geared toward limiting a debate on the issues and instead facilitating a coronation.”
    “It’s ridiculous. The campaign for presidency should be about giving voters an opportunity to hear from every candidate and decide on the issues, not stacking the deck in favor of a chosen candidate.”
    Republican National Committee press secretary Allison Moore said that “rather than follow the RNC’s lead of having an inclusive and neutral process, the DNC is clearly putting its thumb on the scale for Hillary Clinton.”
    “It’s clearer than ever the Democrat Party wants nothing more than a coronation for Hillary Clinton,” Moore said

    Monday, August 3, 2015

    [VIDEO] Chuck Todd Lectures Ben Carson Over ‘Black Lives Matter’ Movement

    In an interview with Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson on NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday, host Chuck Todd demanded to know why the GOP contender had been critical of the left-wing “Black Lives Matter” movement: “ were also, in an earlier interview this week, asked about the Black Lives Matter movement. And you called it ‘silly.’ Why did you call it silly?”

     Carson explained how Todd had taken his words completely out of context: “I don't recall calling it ‘silly,’ but what I called silly is political correctness going amuck. That's what's silly....I guess it was Martin O'Malley who said, you know, ‘black lives matter, white lives matter,’ he got in trouble for that and had to apologize. That's what – that's what I'm talking about is silly. Of course all lives matter.” - 

    Carson added: “You know, for a young black man, the most likely cause of death is homicide. That is a huge problem that we need to address in a very serious way.”
    Todd proceeded to parrot the liberal movement’s talking points:
    Well, and that is what the Black Lives Matter movement is doing and why they criticize politicians for saying all lives matter because their point is, until – that there is inequality here. That particularly – you brought up African-American men and that overall stat – but think about the issue of police custody, that an African-American is more likely to die in police custody than any other race or ethnicity.
    Carson pushed back: “Yeah, but, again, I think we need to look at the whole picture. One of the things that I always like to point out to people is, how about we just remove the police for 24 hours? Can you imagine the chaos that would ensue?...We need to be a little more mature...”
    Wrapping up the interview minutes later, Todd plucked out a question from social media: “Alright, I'm going to close here with a question from a Facebook poster. And this one came from Victor Roush. Simple question, ‘Does the Bible have authority over the Constitution?’”
    Carson replied: “He said that's a simple question? That is not a simple question by any stretch of the imagination.”
    Todd rephrased: “A simply worded question, how's that?”
    Carson observed: “I think probably what you have to do is ask a very specific question about a specific passage of the Bible and a specific portion of the Constitution. I don't think you can answer that question other than out of very specific context.”

    Monday, July 27, 2015

    The State GOP Wave

    Republican governors and local lawmakers push back against Obama-era progressivism with an array of pro-growth policies.
    Shortly before leaving office in January, former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley found himself speaking on the phone to a utility-company employee about setting up an account for his family’s new private residence. Asked how he spelled his last name, O’Malley, a Democrat, responded: “Like the outgoing governor.” The woman on the other end of the line quipped, “Ah, yes. The tax man.”

    O’Malley himself tells this story, perhaps to burnish his left-of-Hillary credentials for a 2016 presidential run. But the tax-happy reputation he gained in Maryland—by one estimate, he hiked taxes and fees 40 times during his two terms—probably cost his party the governorship last November. Republican challenger Larry Hogan, founder of the antitax group Change Maryland, defeated the Democratic candidate, then–lieutenant governor Anthony Brown, in a state that Gallup recently declared America’s second-most Democratic. Hogan wasn’t the only 2014 GOP gubernatorial candidate to win in deep Blue territory. Republicans also captured the governor’s mansion in Massachusetts (the country’s most Democratic state, according to Gallup) and in Illinois (the ninth-most). Republicans picked up a governor’s seat in GOP-leaning Arkansas, too, with Asa Hutchinson succeeding term-limited Mike Beebe. The Democrats, by contrast, took only one governorship from Republicans, in Blue-tinted Pennsylvania.
    . . . and Larry Hogan in Maryland.
    The victories continued a remarkable state winning streak for Republicans since Barack Obama became president. Pundits initially described the 2008 election as a major leftward shift in American politics, and it’s easy to see why: as the Obama era opened, the GOP held just 22 governorships and 14 state legislatures. But voters almost immediately began electing Republican lawmakers who rejected Obama’s call for bigger government and higher taxes. And they kept electing them last year, despite failed efforts by Democrats’ union allies to unseat incumbent Republican governors like Scott Walker in Wisconsin and John Kasich in Ohio. Today, Republican governors rule in 31 states, and the party has gained nearly 900 state legislative seats, giving it control of 30 state legislatures; Democrats hold the majority in 11, with eight split, and one (Nebraska’s) unicameral and officially nonpartisan.

    That leaves the Republican Party with an array of highly visible elected officials in states likely to decide the 2016 presidential election. Further, if the GOP maintains momentum through the next election cycle, it will control a majority of state governments during the upcoming redistricting process, which will determine the election map for Congress and state legislatures throughout the 2020s. The long-term balance of power in American politics may well rest, then, with how the Republican governors perform during the next few years. And the Democrats know it: the national party’s Legislative Campaign Committee has launched a special fund-raising campaign—Advantage 2020—to help state parties retake state capitols.

    Republican candidates’ recent success resulted partly from local voter backlash against state tax increases during the Great Recession. Confronting budget crises back in 2009, with tax collections plunging 8 percent as the economy reeled, many governors assumed that voters would accept a bigger government pinch on their income. After all, Obama had just won the presidency decisively, running on a liberal platform. States proceeded to pile on $29 billion in new taxes in 2009, according to the National Conference of State Legislators—collectively, the largest single-year state hike ever recorded. It turned out to be a bad move politically. Republican gubernatorial hopefuls ran successfully against the rising taxes and in favor of restraining spending in New Jersey, where Democratic governors had raised taxes by approximately $5 billion over eight years; in Wisconsin, where Democrat Jim Doyle had boosted them by $3 billion over the same period; and in six other states with tax-friendly Democratic governors.

    Saturday, July 25, 2015


    At the annual NetRoots Nation gathering, two leading progressive candidates for the Democrat nomination were booed and heckled by protesters. The event could easily be remembered as a water-shed moment that confines the Democrat Party, at least in the near-term, to a weak national party that is only competitive in certain regions of the country.

    NetRoots Nation is a conference of the Democrat Party’s most progressive and left-wing activists and bloggers. As part of its meeting, NetRoots hosted a “Presidential Town Hall” featuring socialist Vermont 
    Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT)

     and progressive former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley.

    Few national political figures have embraced the full kaleidoscope of leftist policy proposals as eagerly as Sanders and O’Malley. The panel was even moderated by a celebrated leftist journalist who is also famously an illegal immigrant. Only a drum-circle and piped-in scents of patchouli were missing from what ought to have been a leftist dream-team of Presidential politics.
    For the NetRoots activist crowd, though, it wasn’t enough. The event was loudly interrupted by a throng of activist from #BlackLivesMatter who challenged the panels’ commitment to progressive change. Both O’Malley and Sanders were flummoxed, with Sanders, at one point, asking the illegal immigrant moderator if he had “control” of the event.
    O’Malley tried to address the activists by assuring them that, of course, “black lives matter.” He went on to make the equally true statement that “all lives matter.” For this “gaffe,” he had to make an awkward apology tour.
    In the aftermath of the debacle, both the Sanders and O’Malley campaigns sought one-on-one meetings with the organizers of the #BlackLivesMatter protest group.
    The entire episode could have been a farce out of a Tom Wolfe novel, but is, in fact, a sad reality facing today’s Democrat Party.
    After more than a decade of cynically manipulating class and race rhetoric for short-term political gain, the Democrat Party faces a growing cadre of activists who bought into the rhetoric. For them, only the most extreme leftist or progressive policies will satisfy their political blood-lust.
    In this brave new world, all lives matter, but some matter more than others.
    For the past six years, the media have been obsessed with concern-trolling over whether a resurgent conservative movement would push the Republican Party “too far to the right.” The Establishment Republican class, fueled by its donors at the US Chamber and other corporate groups, have bought into this narrative.
    While this silly debate has played out in the salons of 6th Avenue, K Street and Capital Hill, a far more dramatic political story has unfolded.
    Since Obama won the Presidency, the Democrat party has been eliminated from large swathes of the country. When Obama was sworn in in 2009, Democrats controlled over 30 Governors’ mansions. After the 2014 elections, they hold just 18. They have been wiped out in the South and most of the Midwest.
    The current political make-up of Congressional and state legislative seats is even more dramatic. Outside of the coasts and urban areas, the Democrat party is simply not competitive in most of the country.
    “The national Democratic Party’s brand makes it challenging for Democrats in red states oftentimes and I hope that going forward, the leaders at the national level will be mindful of that and they will understand that they can’t govern the country without Democrats being able to win races in red states,” Paul Davis, who lost a close race against Kansas GOP Gov. Sam Brownback last year, told Politico.
    Obama won office largely on the strength of historic levels of voter turnout by minorities and very young voters. Even with those high levels of turnout, he would have lost if the GOP hadn’t failed to motivate working class white voters to support its candidates.
    The GOP presently has at least a decent chance of nominating a candidate conservative enough to attract working class voters. If it does, the Democrats will again need historic turnouts from minorities and college-age voters to be competitive nationally. It is not at all clear that any candidate other than Obama has that electoral power.
    It isn’t even clear that Obama himself still has that draw. Obama’s last-minute campaign push for Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel in his political home base wasn’t enough to save Rahm from an historic run-off. Rahm was crushed in the very same minority precincts where Obama campaigned.
    Rahm ultimately survived his run-off with a deluge of campaign spending and strong support from Republican voters, but, for Democrats, it was a clear warning shot that their activist and minority base wants far more change than the party is willing to deliver. Even attempting to deliver than change will further alienate the party from a large majority of the voting public.
    Vincent Sheehan, who lost the South Carolina Governor’s race to Republican Nikki Haley, worries that recent party rhetoric reflects an “antagonism toward or a hostility toward the moderate elements of the Democratic Party.”
    If self-described socialist, former activist organizer, Bernie Sanders is deemed to passive or even moderate for this new breed of progressive activists, then the long-nightmare of the Democrat Party is just beginning.

    Tuesday, July 21, 2015

    Monday, July 20, 2015


    Appearing on CNN Newsroom with Poppy Harlow on Sunday evening, liberal CNN contributor and Morehouse College Professor Marc Lamont Hill asserted that it was "stupid" for former Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley to declare that "All lives matter" during a far left Netroots Nation event over the weekend.
    Hill went on to compare the Maryland Democrat's comments to declaring that "all houses matter" when there is only one house on fire that needs immediate attention.
    After fellow guest and conservative talk radio host Ben Ferguson jabbed Hillary Clinton for refusing to show up at the Netroots event, Hill complained about her absence:
    I understand Ben's point, which is that, as a political calculus, it's better to run from this stuff than to take it head on because you end up saying something stupid like, "All lives matter," like Martin O'Malley did.
    Poppy Harlow requested clarification from him as she posed:
    Real quick, explain to those who might not understand why it was offensive to say, "All lives matter."
    Hill began:
    Well, outside of context, saying, "All lives matter," is reasonable, right? All lives do matter. The Black Lives Matter movement has never been about denying the legitimacy of other people's suffering. It's never been about saying all lives don't matter or that black lives are superior to other lives. The point is that there's a crisis going on. There is a crisis in the black community of state violence. There's a crisis of extra-judicial violence against black bodies. There's a crisis of mass incarceration, of poverty.
    The liberal professor continued:
    All these things are happening and they're targeted, disproportionately targeted toward black people. And to develop a movement and say black people need support in this way, black people's lives need to be affirmed and confirmed and protected in this way, to make that movement, and then to have people say, "Hey, but what about white people?" to me is to avoid the point. It's almost as if saying we can't affirm the humanity of black people without also bringing in some white people, we can't talk about the value of black life unless we talk about something else.
    If there are two houses on a hill, one is on fire, I'm not going to scream out, "All houses matter!" I'm going to put out the fire in the one that's on fire. Right now, there's a fire in the black community.

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