Showing posts with label democrats. Show all posts
Showing posts with label democrats. Show all posts

Saturday, September 5, 2015

The Insiders: The murder spike in America’s cities is part of the Obama legacy

The Insiders: The murder spike in America’s cities is part of the Obama legacy - The Washington Post
With headlines about the growing murder rate in our cities becoming more and more prevalent, the contours of the 2016 campaign may be coming into view.  I can see smart GOP campaigns in 2016 taking a three-prong approach to attacking their Democratic opponents. Republican candidates will talk about strengthening our weak economy, reversing the embarrassment of our decline in influence abroad and introducing a plan to put an end to the raging crime wave currently occurring in American cities across the country.
The spike in murders could be every bit as corrosive for the Democrats as our economic woes and foreign policy failures. Simply put, fear of crime could drive turnout up for Republicans and down for Democrats. No one who is worried about crime in their neighborhood or about crime coming to their neighborhood should think that electing more Democrats anywhere to any office is the solution.
The completely unprepared Barack Obama, who was elected to be the nation’s top law enforcement officer, set the tone early in his presidency with a bias that was – at best – skeptical about the police. And his fellow Democrats either remained silent or joined the chorus when radicals in their own party called for less incarceration, fewer arrests and a pullback of police presence in high-crime communities. Well, you reap what you sow.  The spike in murders and violent crime is an issue of the Democrats’ own making. And, oh by the way, pandering to government unions for endorsements isn’t the same as supporting cops on the streets.
The Post’s Courtland Milloy wrote an interesting piece, “We’ve ignored a reason for homicides of blacks: Look at the enemy within.”  Incredibly, Milloy quotes THE Eric Holder talking about violence in 1994, when Holder said, “Crime is generated by a lack of values that has gone largely unaddressed in our nation as a whole and in the black community in particular.  Soaring unwed birthrates, absentee fathers, an aversion to work, an unwillingness to embrace societal standards and time-honored discipline – all these factors have contributed to the problems we must now confront.”  If a Republican said that today, we know how the Democrats would howl.  More than two decades later, speaking as Attorney General under President Obama, Eric Holder was blaming “systemic racism” and “cycles of poverty, crime and incarceration” for the same problem.  Milloy argues those two statements are not contradictory, but I think it shows how the Democrats have capitulated to the most shrill voices in their coalition and adopted the denial and lack of accountability that has been a staple of the Obama Administration.
What we are seeing is the crescendo of the Obama stewardship of race relations in America. It is a fair question to ask if President Obama and the Democrats have contributed to the targets being placed on the backs of police officers everywhere. The naïve community organizer has ushered in the unintended consequences of a police pullback in many American cities. And the reality is, many of these American cities – such as Baltimore – are wholly owned by the Democratic party. ‎

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.”

Taxpayers Fleeing Democrat-Run States for Republican Ones

Taxpayers Fleeing Democrat-Run States for Republican Ones
In 2013, more than 200,000 people on net fled states with Democrat governors for ones run by Republicans, according to an analysis of newly released IRS databy Americans for Tax Reform. 
"People move away from high tax states to low tax states. Every tax refugee is sending a powerful message to politicians," said ATR President Grover Norquist. "They are voting with their feet. Leaders in Texas and Florida are listening. New York and California are not."
That year, Democrat-run states lost a net 226,763 taxpayers, bringing with them nearly $15.7 billion in adjusted gross income (AGI). That same year, states with Republican governors gained nearly 220,000 new taxpayers, who brought more than $14.1 billion in AGI with them.
Only one-third of states with Democrat governors gained taxpayers, compared to three-fifths of states with Republican governors.  
Top 5 loser states for Democrat governors in 2013:
·      Illinois (68,943 people with $3.8 billion in AGI)
·      California (47,458 people with 3.8 billion in AGI)
·      Connecticut (14,453 people with $1.8 billion in AGI)
·      Massachusetts (11,915 people with $1 billion in AGI)
Top 5 winner states for Republican governors in 2013:
·      Texas (152,912 people with $6 billion in AGI)
·      South Carolina (29,176 people with 1.6 billion in AGI)
·      North Carolina (26,207 people with $1.5 billion in AGI)
·      Arizona (16,549 people with $1.5 billion in AGI)
The single largest net migration from one state to another took place between New York and Florida (17,355 people). 

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Obama Set To Force Iran Deal On Congress

U.S. President Barack Obama waves to reporters after returning to the White House on board Marine One September 3, 2015 in Washington, DC. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
President Barack Obama is poised to bypass a congressional majority and voter opinion as he implements the Iran deal.
Obama secured the votes he needs to stop Congress from interfering Wednesday, which is a huge victory that means the deal will almost certainly be implemented. But the lack of support for such a critical matter of national security within and without Congress is striking.
A recent Quinnipiac poll found voters 55 percent of voters oppose the deal, compared to just 25 percent who support the deal. Another survey found deep skepticism of the deal among U.S. active-duty military and civilian government employees in national-security jobs. Only 26 percent of those surveyed by Defense One said the deal is good for the U.S., while 66 percent said the deal is not good for the U.S.
More than 50 senators, including Democrats Chuck Schumer, who is the senior senator, and Robert Menendez, who is the ranking member on the Foreign Relations Committee, do not support the deal. Not a single Republican supports it, and many Democrats remain undecided.
Just 34 senators — all Democrats — openly support the deal.
Democratic Sen. Barbara Mikulski deliberated for weeks before announcing support of the deal, saying it’s “not perfect” but “is the best option available” to stop Iran from making a nuclear bomb.
Congress will vote on a resolution in the coming weeks condemning the deal, and Obama apparently doesn’t have enough support in Congress to block the resolution. With Mikulski’s support he has just barely scraped together the 34 votes he needs to prevent what would be an embarrassing veto override.
Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called support for the deal in Congress “tepid, restricted and partisan,” in a statement Wednesday, and said the fight ahead “will require a bipartisan Congress.”
Supporters of the deal argue it’s the best and only option to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, but critics say lifting sanctions will dangerously bolster Iran’s government and are skeptical Iran will live up to its side of the bargain.

Friday, August 28, 2015

[COMMENTARY] Contentions Hillary Clinton Breaks Silence on Obama’s Decimation of the Democrats

If there was one clear takeaway from Hillary Clinton’s address to the party officials assembled in Minneapolis for the Democratic National Committee’s summer meeting, it was they are certainly Ready for Hillary. Sure, her largest applause lines were for the accomplishments of President Barack Obama or her husband (the majority of which she is now on the record opposing). Still, her workmanlike speech accomplished its modest goal, and the crowd did appear warm to their party’s presidential frontrunner. But while much of Clinton’s address was unremarkable cheerleading for Team Blue, one aspect of her speech was particularly noteworthy. In a rare moment of tough love for her fellow Democrats, Clinton noted that their party has been utterly decimated at the state-level. What she declined to note, however, was that this condition would yield years of hardship when the Democratic Party looks to a farm team that doesn’t exist. A generation of Democrats that were to come of age in the next decade simply will not be there. What’s more, it was Barack Obama who presided over this culling.
“The first thing I would say is we need to elect more Democrats. Okay?” Clinton told a group of Democrats in Iowa earlier this week. “You can’t have a loss like having Tom Harkin retire, and not be really motivated to not get the other Democrats in there who will stand with me.” Apparently, you can. Harkin was just one of the Democrats who were replaced by a Republican in 2014 – in his case, freshman Senator Joni Ernst.
Clinton would not expand on the nature of the Democratic Party’s predicament. Perhaps it was simply too painful to do so. 2014 saw the Democrats lose nine U.S. Senate seats and resulted in a 54-seat GOP majority in the upper chamber. The Republicans confounded political observers who presumed that the party remained overextended in the House following their 2010 landslide victories. The Republicans entered 2015 with 247 seats, up from the 234-seat majority they had heading into last year’s midterms and the largest majority for the party since 1947. But the federal legislature is largely composed of politicians who cut their teeth in state-level legislative bodies, and it was on the local level that Democrats saw their influence contract dramatically.
When Barack Obama took office in 2008, he did so on the crest of a pro-Democratic wave – the second consecutive liberal electoral tsunami – that swept hundreds of Democratic politicians into office along with him. By 2009, Democrats controlled 62 of the nation’s 99 legislative chambers. Come January of 2015, Republicans controlled 69 of 99 of state-level legislative houses – a handful of which were secured when state legislators, sensing the wind’s shifting direction, switched parties. At the gubernatorial level, the scale of the wave was most acutely felt. Republicans were expected to lose at least four executive mansions. Instead, they lost only one and picked up four new governorships for a total of 31. By 2015, 32 lieutenant governors and 29 secretaries of state all called themselves Republicans. In 23 states, Republicans controlled all the elected branches of government.
“It is not just enough to elect more members of the Senate and more members of the House in Washington,” Clinton told her fellow Democrats earlier this week. “We need more members in the state Senate. We need more members in the state house.” But the painful scope of this project is so staggering that even Hillary Clinton could not bear to be fully honest about it.
The former secretary of state revisited the themes of her Iowa address in Minneapolis on Friday. “I’m not taking a single primary voter or caucus-goer for granted. I’m building an organization in all 50 states and territories, with hundreds of thousands of volunteers who will help Democrats win races up and down the ticket. Not just the presidential campaign,” she said. “Look, in 2010, Republicans routed us on redistricting, not because they won Congress but because they won state legislatures.”
We can be charitable and presume that Clinton meant that, because of the GOP’s victories in 2010, the party went on to control much of the reapportionment process in 2011 – at least, in those states that continued to have partisan redistricting commissions. But the scale of the GOP’s victories in 2014 (you can’t gerrymander a state) are indicative of the truism that all the cleverly-drawn districts in the world cannot overcome a decisive mandate from a critical mass of voters.
Republicans were in a fortunate position when decennial reapportionment took place after the 2010 elections, and they took great advantage of their position. They did so, in fact, in the same way Democrats had for generations when their party commanded substantial state-level and federal legislative majorities for much of the 20th Century. But pro-GOP maps aren’t the only things keeping Democratic majorities down. By virtue of the “inefficient clustering” of Democratic voters, as Cook Political Report’s David Wasserman observed, Democrats are going to have trouble converting their popular vote share into a proportionate percentage of seats.
“The way that the districts are packed and the increasing tendency for like-minded people to cluster together means that Democrats have to win upwards of 55 percent of the overall House vote to come close to claiming a majority of the House seats,” theWashington Post’s Chris Cillizza summarized. Hillary Clinton might have coattails if she were to win the White House, but it’s extremely unlikely that the will be that long; particularly given the fact that she is seeking a historically atypical third consecutive term for her party. When the president governs as Barack Obama has, flouting the will of the electorate and enraging his opponents far more than he energized his base (the Affordable Care Act and his unilateral executive actions on immigration, to name two catalysts), it invites the kind of routs that the Democrats experienced in 2010 and 2014.
It may be comforting to contend that the game is rigged and Democrats would do better politically if only the winds of fate had prevented Republicans from controlling the redistricting process, but it’s a fable. Hillary Clinton is taking a step toward being honest about her party’s predicament with its members, but she cannot be entirely forthright about the scale of the problem without indicting Barack Obama’s approach to governance. That is not happening any time soon. Democrats appreciate Barack Obama’s aggressive style, and they have not yet come around to the realization that it has put their party in the worst position it has been in since prior to the New Deal. Hillary Clinton is taking the first steps toward diagnosing her party’s malady, but she cannot accurately prescribe a remedy without alienating the voters she needs to win the nomination.
There will be no emerging from the wilderness anytime soon.


Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke (D) declared, “shame on the left” for “exploiting misery and tragedy for a — to pursue a political agenda” on Thursday’s “Hannity” on the Fox News Channel.
Clarke said, “Well, shame on the left, shame on the Democrats for once again exploiting misery and tragedy for a — to pursue a political agenda. Shame on the president of the United States to invoke terrorism into this horrific incident that happened in Virginia.”
He continued that the Constitution should not be used in a “knee-jerk” fashion, and is not designed to protect from horrific acts, but is rather designed to “freedom and liberty.”
Clarke then argued that the real solution to crime is to arrest criminals, try them, and then give them the harshest sentence allowed by law. He then criticized President Obama’s pardons of federal prisoners.
He added, “This was a chance for the president, Sean, to bring the country together, and once again, the divider-in-chief goes out and further separates us.”
Clarke also said that people should be more “humble” about their ability to prevent every bad incident, but that improving mental health screening and background checks would help.
He concluded that if the president thinks “this is so easy,” he should eliminate his Secret Service protection so he has to fend for himself. And “I am done asking people in my community to outsource their personal safety to the government.”

Legislators Duel Over Impending Gas Tax Hike

Democratic legislators in the state Senate have brought Californians closer to new hikes on the cost of driving their cars. But the committee vote represented little more than a first step in a complex, intense negotiation between Republicans, Democrats and the man trying to stay influential but above the fray — Gov. Jerry Brown.
Republicans have resisted Democrats’ preferred approach, but California’s business lobby has pressed both parties to embrace new taxes and fees. “Last week, business organizations such as the California Chamber of Commerce and the Silicon Valley Leadership Group said any deal should seek to raise at least $6 billion annually by raising gas and diesel taxes and increasing vehicle registration and license fees,” the San Jose Mercury News reported.
Part of the rationale for increasing fees, instead of simply dialing up gas taxes, has centered around the growing popularity of hybrid and electric vehicles in California — and the state’s interest in squeezing revenue out of every car on the road. “We have these Teslas that are being sold and they don’t pay any gas tax,” complained state Sen. Jim Beall, D-San Jose, as CBS Sacramento noted.
Gas in California has remained higher on average than out-of-state, thanks to cap-and-trade fees and the state’s unique environmental rules about the blends of gasoline that must be sold. Current state taxes include an excise tax of 39 cents, between 30 and 42 cents in sales tax, and 10 cents for the cap-and-trade levy, as Watchdog Arena observed.

Brown stays secretive

At a recent news conference that left some observers hungry for detail scratching their heads, Brown refused to hint at a revenue source for the improvements. “I’m not going to say where the revenue’s going to come from, how we’re going to get it,” he said. “We’ll get it done, but I’m not going to put all my cards on the table this morning,” Brown said, according to ABC 7 News.
Brown was joined at the appearance by Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, who signaled separately that negotiations would be tough. “It will be a bumpy road, but our constituents expect us to work together and figure something out,” she toldthe San Francisco Chronicle.
To date, the governor has not let slip whether he would support or oppose a tax hike to make up the difference.

Dueling proposals

That raised the possibility that Republicans might get their way, scrounging up revenue from savings and budgetary jujitsu instead of tax increases. But GOP legislators have been keen on siphoning revenue away from California’s cap-and-trade program, which Brown had availed himself of previously in order to fund construction spending on the state’s much-debated high-speed rail project. That has drawn strenuous objections from Sacramento Democrats.
The current proposal advanced by Assembly Republicans “would raise more than $6 billion a year by eliminating thousands of state employees and unfilled positions and reallocating existing state money, both from the budget and from other projects,” the Chronicle noted, while the plan pushed by Beall would raise billions with a suite of increased gas taxes and fees, including an “annual road access charge of $35 a vehicle,” according to the paper.
It was Beall’s bill that cleared its first committee test in the Senate this week, with Democrats besting Republicans in a party line vote.
For now, just a few broad outlines of an agreement have come into focus. According to the Chronicle, both sides reject the option of a “one-time fix, such as a bond measure that would pile more debt on the state. Any money raised must be earmarked only for road and infrastructure repair, and protected against being siphoned into other parts of the state budget.” Plus, legislators agreed that expenditures should be clearly identified and made public, with some kind of oversight and monitoring built into the arrangement.

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