Doesn’t it feel like February is fully blurring together AND that it’s lasted about a decade? The New Hampshire primary was this week. THIS week. Feels like a month ago.
Anyway, here’s what you might have missed.
Disgusted with Republicans? You don't have to wait until November—we can beat one next month
By David Nir
At moments like these, November can feel a long way off. But if you want to channel your disgust and your anger into productive action right now, there’s something you can do: Help elect union plumber Harold “Howie” Hayes to the Pennsylvania state House next month.
Of course, we can’t all help but be worried and paying attention to the huge presidential race in November, but we need to make sure that we’re fighting for progressives EVERYWHERE, ensuring that our candidates are getting the resources that they need.
Howie’s race is particularly interesting. Please help out if you can, it’s one of the best ways that we can #resist.
On March 17, the Keystone State will hold a special election in the 18th House District, located in the Philadelphia suburbs. The seat became vacant when its former representative won a different office last year—one of more than a dozen Republicans in the chamber who’ve decided to bail rather than seek re-election.
Better still, this area has a history of supporting Democrats at the top of the ticket: It voted for Hillary Clinton by a 53-44 margin in 2016, and supported Gov. Tom Wolf and Sen. Bob Casey by more than 20 points apiece in 2018. And here’s the key stat: Thanks to big gains two years ago, Democrats need to flip just nine seats to take control of the 203-member House this fall, despite the GOP’s extreme gerrymander. If we win in March, that figure shrinks to eight.
Sanders wins New Hampshire by being the least-weak of a suddenly weak field
In 2016, Bernie Sanders won roughly 50% of the Iowa vote (if not more; no popular vote was recorded). This year? His final vote was 26.5%, essentially halved.
In 2016, Sanders received 152,193 votes in New Hampshire in a 60-38 blowout of Hillary Clinton. This year, he barely eked out a one-point victory over small liberal college-town Mayor Pete Buttigieg, receiving only 75,690 votes, or 25.7% of the vote. Again, he lost half of his 2016 support.
Are you a Sanders supporter? Are you still on the fence? Here at Daily Kos, we are staunch Blue No Matter Who folks. That doesn’t mean that we’re not concerned about the current state of the primary.
No white male has ever gotten 63 million votes in a presidential election. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton both hit 65 million. When our nominees look like our base, we perform better. But this latent fear of the white Republican voter, stoked by Biden, did a real disservice to the women in the race. So he stomps into the race, when no one was asking for him, damages serious, credible candidates by dint of his name recognition, and then runs the most godawful campaign of the cycle, leaving nothing but a damaged legacy in its wake. Unbelievable.
Fascism: CPAC head warns Romney to stay away, saying he would fear for senator's 'personal safety'
It was easy to miss in all the [raises arms, gestures broadly in all directions], but on Sunday Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) Chair and aggressive Trumpophile Matt Schlapp delivered a warning of sorts to Utah Sen. Mitt Romney: Not only are you not invited to this year's CPAC, Mitt, but it could be very bad for you if you dared show up.
Romney dared to do his job and follow his sense of values and ethics. Unfortunately, if you’re a Republican, you now face serious consequences for daring to have any sense of morals.
"We won’t credential him as a conservative. I suppose if he wants to come as a non-conservative and debate an issue with us, maybe in the future we would have him come. This year, I’d actually be afraid for his physical safety, people are so mad at him," Schlapp told interviewer Greta Van Susteren.
What will Trump do if there is violence enacted toward a member of his own party who openly disagrees with him, like Romney? Do we have to look further than to remember how he treated Senator McCain?
Indeed, CPAC is in many ways now the heart of the new Republican fascism. It has always been a den for the crackpots of the far-far-right, but that did not stop it in past years from becoming a must-stop speech location for conservative lawmakers, pundits, hangers-on and archconservative administration officials. The discussion has always been conspiratorial and angry, but in recent years has become more explicitly fascist in nature.
Great. Wonderful. Yikes. That’s no terrifying at all. …
House Judiciary Committee passes NO BAN Act to terminate Trump's Muslim ban
By Gabe Ortiz
The House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday voted 22-10 to advance the NO BAN Act, which would terminate impeached president Donald Trump’s Muslim ban, to the full House floor. Politico reports that the vote was split along party lines, with Democrats voting in favor of ending this discriminatory policy, and Republicans voting in favor of continued state-sanctioned discrimination against Muslims.
Advocates cheered the bill’s passage in committee, with the executive director of the civil rights organization Muslim Advocates, Farhana Khera, saying in a statement, “This historic bill could be the first ever passed by a chamber of Congress to specifically affirm the civil rights of American Muslims.” A hearing held by House Democrats last year on the NO BAN Act was believed to be the chamber’s first-ever hearing on Muslim civil rights.
We’re, of course, worried that this will die in the Senate. But it’s vital that the House and the rest of us activists and organizers keep up the fight. We have to show that we have better values than the current Senate and our racist wannabe fascist president.
This is how democracies die': House Democrats' flagging urgency on Barr's depravity is inexcusable
By Kerry Eleveld
The rule of law is the very virtue that separates a democracy from a dictatorship. Though one’s ability to vote is a feature of democracy, elections are meaningless without a functional legal apparatus to safeguard them. People are allowed to cast votes in virtual dictatorships all the time, but their collective will is ultimately crushed by leaders who rig the outcomes. Without the rule of law America is doomed as a democracy, and the sanctity of the legal system is exactly what Donald Trump and his attorney general, William Barr, are working to dismantle in real time by turning the Department of Justice into a tool of the State.
This was easily the biggest story of the week here in the United States, but it is truly terrifying that it doesn’t seem to be spurring rampant national protests instantly. This is a code red.
Trump is reportedly seething after enduring three years of investigations for which he is constitutionally incapable of taking any responsibility. Sure, he called for Russia to find Hillary Clinton’s emails in 2016, and Russia followed suit almost immediately by hacking the Democratic National Committee. Sure, he asked the Ukrainian president to investigate his political rival Joe Biden and withheld desperately needed funding and political backing to pressure him into doing so. But Trump is never wrong, can never be questioned, and surely has never been held accountable in his life. And now that he will carry the stain of impeachment to his grave, there’s going to be hell to pay and the nation’s top law enforcement officer has proven eager to help wherever possible.
I can not repeat myself enough here: we can not let this stand.
But this goes way beyond the interference Barr ran last year on public release of the Mueller report, which otherwise would have been devastating to Trump. Barr is now intervening in the administration of justice on multiple cases, weaponizing the Justice Department against Trump’s political enemies, and shielding Trump’s allies from the full force of the law.
The list of interventions is simply staggering. In brief, they include a relentless effort to find wrongdoing by the officials at the FBI and CIA involved with launching the Russia investigation in 2016, taking specific aim at former FBI Director James Comey and former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe (who was already denied his pension benefits by Barr’s predecessor after decades of service at that bureau).
And on the leniency side, Barr has moved in recent weeks to lighten the punishment for two Trump loyalists and former campaign advisers, Mike Flynn and Roger Stone. In service of that goal, Barr removed the Senate-approved U.S. attorney in D.C. and replaced her in the interim with a close ally from his office, Timothy Shea, who has gladly done Barr’s bidding. Shea is the guy who earlier this week signed off on overruling the sentencing recommendations made by the four federal prosecutors on Stone’s case who have all since resigned in protest. While all these actions are indefensible, Barr’s interference with the sentencing recommendations of a Trump ally was so unprecedented that it has elicited an outcry from a groundswell of former federal prosecutors and Justice Department officials.
We are living in truly terrifying times. We can not grow disheartened or weary; we have to take care of one another and fight like our republic depends on us; because it does. Now more than ever.
Friends, were there any stories this week you thought we should have highlighted? Are you also totally freaking out but in it for the long-haul to defend our country from the CPACs, the Trumps, the racists?
I’d love to talk to you all below. Let me know.