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Attorney in Texas

Attorney in Texas's Journal
Attorney in Texas's Journal
May 31, 2016

What are the ticket, the platform, and the convention theme calculated to win back the Senate?

We don't need control of the House or the Senate to deregulate Wall Street and the rest of the financial and banking sector, to cripple domestic labor by one-sided foreign trade agreements, to boost fossil fuel extraction, to expand the role of private prisons in our justice system, or to create boondoggles for the pharmaceutical industry.

To accomplish Democratic goals, however, we will need to take back the Senate.

There will be a number of close races where we will have an excellent of winning if we can inspire our voters to show up at the polls:

Ayotte vs. Hassan in New Hampshire
Johnson vs. Feingold in Wisconsin
Bennet vs. Glenn in Colorado
Kirk vs. Duckworth in Illinois
Portman vs. Strickland in Ohio

Democrats lose close contests when voter turnout is down, but win close contests when voter turnout is up.

The decisions about the ticket, the party platform, and the convention should be calculated to increase voter turnout among our base in November. Otherwise, we lose.

Ask yourself -

what ticket would increase enthusiasm and voter turnout in November?
what could we do with our party platform to increase enthusiasm and voter turnout in November?
what could we do at the convention to increase enthusiasm and voter turnout in November?
May 27, 2016

Reuters: "Trump, Sanders explore staging unusual presidential debate" (Hillary - it's not too late!)

Before linking and excerpting the article, I want to point out that the Sanders-Trump debate is not set in stone yet and if Hillary simply un-reneges on the agreed upon debate schedule with Sanders, the other debate can be cancelled and Hillary can reap the following benefits:

* she gets primetime access to a huge audience for free
* she has a perfectly timed platform to give her general election message
* she gets a chance to show herself more centrist than Sanders
* she avoids the Trump-Sanders debate that makes her look scared to debate

link to Trump, Sanders explore staging unusual presidential debate; excerpt:

Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Bernie Sanders on Thursday explored staging an unconventional U.S. presidential debate that would sideline Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton and create a television spectacle that could attract huge ratings.

The two men - a billionaire and a democratic socialist - expressed interest in a one-on-one encounter in California even though Republican and Democratic presidential candidates traditionally do not debate each other until the parties have selected their nominees.

"I'd love to debate Bernie," Trump told reporters in North Dakota, after he secured enough delegates to clinch the Republican presidential nomination. "I think it would get very high ratings. It would be in a big arena."... Trump said a debate with Sanders could raise up to $15 million for charity.

"I'd love to debate Bernie, but they'll have to pay a lot of money for it," he said.

Hillary, you are missing a huge opportunity here! Find the smartest person in the room, and ask her: "Am I better off using the previously agreed California debate with Sanders to promote my own general election themes or am I better off reneging on that agreement and letting Trump take my spot in that debate?"
May 26, 2016

Here is a link to a simple easy-to-follow discussion of the Freedom of Information Act:

http://www.foia.gov/about.html; here's a brief excerpt:

Since 1967, the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) has provided the public the right to request access to records from any federal agency. It is often described as the law that keeps citizens in the know about their government. Federal agencies are required to disclose any information requested under the FOIA unless it falls under one of nine exemptions which protect interests such as personal privacy, national security, and law enforcement.
President Obama and the Department of Justice have directed agencies to apply a presumption of openness in responding to FOIA requests. The Department of Justice, in its 2009 FOIA Guidelines, emphasized that the President has called on agencies to work in a spirit of cooperation with FOIA requesters. The Office of Information Policy at the Department of Justice oversees agency compliance with these directives and encourages all agencies to fully comply with both the letter and the spirit of the FOIA.

If that's too complicated, there are videos at the link.

If you set up a private email server and take your communications created as public employee drawing a public salary out of the public sector, you are holding yourself above the law.

This is what the more-than-three-dozen civil lawsuits against the State Department are about. In an effort to get out ahead of the FBI's criminal recommendation, the State Department basically confessed to Hillary's civil violations.

The FBI's criminal report is yet to come. It will be worse than the State Department's report.
May 26, 2016

CNBC: "Trump-Sanders debate would be Hillary Clinton's worst nightmare" (It's not too late Hillary!)

Before linking and excerpting the article, I want to point out that if Hillary simply un-reneges on the agreed upon debate schedule, she reaps these benefits:

* she gets primetime access to a huge audience for free
* she has a perfectly timed platform to give her general election message
* she gets a chance to show herself more centrist than Sanders
* she avoids the Trump-Sanders debate that makes her look scared to debate

Link to Trump-Sanders debate would be Hillary Clinton's worst nightmare; excerpt:

Just when you thought the 2016 election was starting to get a little predictable, a big wrench has been thrown into the works.

A Donald Trump vs. Bernie Sanders debate in the coming days before the June 7th California primary is getting closer to becoming a reality. If this happens, it will likely be a huge boost for Sanders.... He was given no chance to even make a dent in Mrs. Clinton's inevitable coronation, er presidential nomination, by the Democrats. ... Needless to say, if Sanders wins this primary it will wound Mrs. Clinton greatly. ... For a campaign that's been suffering a number of failures lately, its refusal to debate Sanders and setting off this alternative contest vs. Trump is perhaps the biggest failure yet. ... It's also not wise for Clinton to allow any major campaign event to occur without her participation.
May 25, 2016

Senate Dems Fighting for Traction on SCOTUS Nominee

Source: Real Clear Politics

Senate Democrats have thrown everything they have at Republicans in recent weeks to force action on President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, but their GOP counterparts haven’t budged an inch.

As senators prepare to spend a week in their home states for Memorial Day and as the end of the Supreme Court session approaches next month, Democrats hope to keep their foot on the gas by seizing any opportunity to highlight the court vacancy. They’re convinced they’ve got a winning issue in both the near and long term, and that their actions so far have been effective.

But despite Democrats’ varied tactics, not a single Republican senator has switched his position on the nomination of Judge Merrick Garland. ... Both sides insist public opinion is on their side. Democrats point to polls showing independents and even some Republicans favoring hearings for Garland, while Republicans insist that Americans who vote based on the makeup of the court are staunchly opposed to the confirmation.

Democrats have turned to increasingly creative strategies in recent weeks to draw attention to the vacancy. Sen. Ben Cardin of Maryland joined the president of the American Federation of Teachers and other education groups at a press conference last week to highlight the anniversary of the famous Brown v. Board of Education decision and the need for a fully functioning court. Later in the week, Sens. Cory Booker and Al Franken joined national youth organizations for an event on the steps of the Supreme Court calling for Republicans to take up the nomination.... “{Republicans{ were betting on two things: One, that we would just let it go because there’s so much going on, and we haven’t,” said Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota. “Two, they were betting that the public wouldn’t care, and I guess we’ll find that out in November, but overall {polling} still shows the public does care."... Sen. Dianne Feinstein admitted that Democrats probably haven’t raised as much attention for the court vacancy as they would like, but insisted they are exhausting all ways to highlight the issue. ... “We’re doing what we can do and I think that’s important. Everybody’s got a job to do and it’s now out there and people are understanding. Some care more than others, but that’s the way it goes. We can only do what we can do."

Read more: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2016/05/25/senate_dems_fighting_for_traction_on_scotus_nominee_130666.html

The best way to push this confirmation forward would be for a rising voice in the Democratic Party to urge Garland to withdraw if not given a hearing and vote by Labor Day.

The truth is that Garland is a decent guy, but he is (1) WAY too old to be a smart pick and (2) too centrist to make a real mark on the court.

If the Republicans only understood how truly ambivalent progressives are about Garland, and how much stronger (and younger) the replacement nominee will be, they would shut up and eat their peas. By allowing for the possibility of a lame duck appointment, the Republicans believe that they can have their cake and eat it too (not appoint Garland in the hope Trump will win but appoint him during the lame duck period if the Democrat wins). We need to kick that crutch out from under the Republicans in the Senate so they realize that we are going to move on to a younger and more progressive candidate if they don't act over the summer.
May 25, 2016

Everyone understands the purpose of the State Department's report on Hillary's email server, right?

The State Department is on Hillary's side. In fact, the State Department is Hillary's side. The State Department is controlled pretty directly (not as directly as the DoJ but more directly than the FBI) by Obama, and Obama is on Hillary's side.

The State Department report and especially the timing of the report would not happen without a reason.

The only reason for State Department report and for the timing of the report is to get out ahead of the FBI recommendation. Whatever you think of the State Department report, you can bet that the FBI recommendation is on its heels and the State Department report will offer a better spin than wherever can be spun out of the forthcoming FBI recommendation.

Buckle up.

May 25, 2016

It is advantageous for Hillary and for the Democratic Party that Sanders continue his campaign.

How does the continuation of the Sanders' campaign help Hillary? Several ways:

The ongoing Sanders campaign gives Hillary an avenue to dominate news cycles with a story other than her email server problem or whatever bullshit twitter post Trump launched the previous day - this prolongs Hillary's opportunity to discuss how her platform will help the middle class and those aspiring to join the middle class;

The ongoing Sanders campaign gives Hillary a foil against which she can cast herself as the Goldilocks "middle choice" between Trump on her right (at least on domestic issues) and Sanders on her left;

The ongoing Sanders campaign gives Hillary a prime time event to make her general election pitch in a forum worth more than tens of millions of dollars in TV ads - it is crazy to pass up on the California debate, which is a golden opportunity in the Golden State to hit a huge audience with her general election message.

How does the continuation of the Sanders' campaign help the Democratic Party? Several ways:

The ongoing Sanders campaign gives the Democratic Party an opportunity to restore the enthusiasm we will need in the Fall if we are going to have a chance at avoiding a Trump administration - the party would hugely benefit from a vigorous debate about party rules (who wouldn't have some of their faith restored by the reform of a process where lobbyists super-delegates are installed to impose their will over grassroots voters?), the party platform (wouldn't it help with Hillary's key weakness by fighting the perception that Hillary is rudderless to adopt a platform that enshrines her shift to the left during the primary?), and the best role for the FDR-Sanders-Warren wing of the party (imagine how much easier it would be to retake the Senate if we empowered the Sanders-led movement to tap its energy on behalf of our Senate candidates in New Hampshire, Colorado, and Wisconsin?);

The ongoing Sanders campaign gives the Democratic Party an opportunity to find common ground - while Sanders continues to get push-back from the party and from Hillary on important progressive issue, of course he will continue to fight for these goals, but you hear more and more Sanders (and Warren) attacks on Trump, and this helps unite the party by reminding us of our common goals and so we do ourselves a disservice by cutting this process short;

The ongoing Sanders campaign gives the Democratic Party an opportunity to rebut the widely held perception that the party has done everything in its power (and resorted to some means that should have been beyond its power) to mutate the primary into a coronation - democracy is a good thing and the debate between the progressive wing of the party and the establishment wing is a natural part of the democratic process that we should embrace.

We are Democrats and this is democracy. Democrats should not fear democracy.
May 23, 2016

Was Hillary's bigger mistake underestimating Sanders' strength or overestimating her own strength?

What evidence is there that she is not in the process of making a parallel error with regard to Trump in preparation for the general election she assumes she will win?

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