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Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit Area, MI
Home country: USA
Current location: San Francisco, CA
Member since: Wed Oct 29, 2008, 02:53 PM
Number of posts: 31,646

About Me

Partner, father and liberal Democrat. I am a native Michigander living in San Francisco who is a citizen of the world.

Journal Archives

NJ-06: Tuesday's primary features N.J.'s 1st Muslim woman candidate for Congress

Like many challengers to sitting House Democrats in Tuesday’s Democratic primary, writer Amani Al-Khatahtbeh supports Medicare for All and the Green New Deal and wants to end U.S. involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan.

What makes her different is that she is the first Muslim woman to run for Congress from New Jersey, according to Jetpac, a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based group that trains American Muslims to run for public office and become active in politics.

Al-Khatahtbeh is one of two progressive Democrats challenging Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. in New Jersey’s 6th District. Also running is Russ Cirincione, a housing lawyer with the New York state government, who is on a slate of supporters of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

At a time when President Donald Trump ran on a platform of banning Muslims from entering the country and went all the way to the Supreme Court to impose restrictions on visitors from several Muslim majority nations, Al-Khatahtbeh said her candidacy was “a moral obligation to this moment in time.”

“It’s reclaiming our place here,” she said. “We need more representation at the table. I grew up with my family’s Arabic satellite at home. Most kids are saying, ‘I want to be lawyer, I want to be a doctor.' The earliest notion of what I wanted to do was, ‘I said to myself, I want to stop a war from happening one day.‘”


Bonus Tweet of the Day


Tweet of the Day


NJ-08: As Oseguera picks up steam in N.J.'s 8th District race, Sires' campaign comes to life

For months, Sires seemed to take no notice of the progressive challenger. Asked last month how he was campaigning, Sires said he was focusing on “policy not politics” during the coronavirus pandemic.

That has changed in recent weeks. Apparently seeing a threat in the 32-year-old lawyer, the Sires campaign has gone on offense, as the two candidates trade barbs and accusations.

“I’m not taking anything for granted,” Sires said in an interview Monday. “I want to make sure that my story is out there.”

Will Sheehan is also on the July 7 ballot in the race, but Sires’ recent attention has been on Oseguera.

Since June 19, the Sires campaign has sent out eight press releases, touting high-profile endorsements and leveling criticisms of Oseguera.

“Hector Oseguera calls himself a progressive, but the truth is he’s a fraud,” one release began, slamming Oseguera for accepting a $1,000 donation from a donor to a Trump PAC. The same press release notes that Oseguera was once registered as a Republican.


NJ-02: What you need to know about the 2nd Congressional District primary

Five Democrats are vying for the right to try to unseat Van Drew, while Van Drew faces only one Republican opponent, who pundits say has little organizational support or financing.

Gov. Phil Murphy ordered the election to be mostly vote-by-mail in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, to minimize close physical contact at the polls by voters to avoid spreading the coronavirus. He moved the primary to July 7 from its traditional June date to give counties more time to get vote-by-mail ballots and information to voters.

One candidate has asked for federal oversight of the election because of a history of alleged vote-by-mail irregularities in the district, but the U.S. Attorney's Office has not responded to the request.

The three leading candidates are two women and a Black man, and if any of them prevail in the fall it would be historic. Only white men have represented the district throughout its history.

The 2nd District is geographically the state's largest, requiring primary candidates to vie for the support of eight different county party organizations, requiring candidates to travel a great deal to meet with voters. The pandemic, however, has forced candidates to do most of their campaigning since March online.


NC-GOV: Republican nominee declares that masks do not work with viruses.

Forest also shared his opinion on how Cooper has handled the state's reopening in phases.

"Once we got all the PPE we needed for the health care workers, which was the most critical point, that's fine now. The hospitals are fine; they're not out of beds, they're still doing elective surgeries and filling up their ICUs, making money again, and they're able to prepare for the worst if something did change," Forest said.

"The original goal was to flatten the curve, and then we've had order after order after order when the curve was flat so there was no reason for the other orders other than Mandy Cohen saying, 'We want to do this until the virus is eliminated from our state.' That's just not possible or practical. We have to learn to live with viruses."

Throughout the event, about 10 to 15 people were counted wearing a mask or face covering, as handshakes, hugs and little to no social distancing of at least six feet apart occurred.

Forest addressed the lack of masks being worn at Saturday's event, saying it was a matter of personal responsibility and that the people who attended the event did so willingly. He added that they wouldn't be there if they were worried about Covid-19.

"I think what's happening with masks is the same thing that's happening with everything else. We started off with Fauci saying, 'People are walking down the street with masks on and that's ridiculous. It doesn't help you, it doesn't help them; it may make them feel better about the virus.'


Trump campaign promoting a free trip to Florida, the current epicenter of a global pandemic.


Matt Novak
The Trump campaign is sending fundraising emails promoting a free trip to Florida, the current epicenter of a global pandemic. It’s like getting an email from a parallel universe.

Kansas governor calls on GOP county chair to remove cartoon comparing mask order to Holocaust

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly (D) is calling on a Republican state official to remove a cartoon from his newspaper's Facebook page that compares her recent order requiring face masks in public to the Holocaust.

The cartoon was published on Friday on the Facebook page of the Anderson County Review, a newspaper owned by Anderson County Republican Party Chairman Dane Hicks. The cartoon features a woman wearing a mask with a Star of David attached to it in front of a line of people entering a cattle car.

“Lockdown Laura says: Put on your mask … and step onto the cattle car,” the caption reads.

Kelly, whose executive order requiring face masks went into effect on Friday, said in a statement to The Associated Press that Hicks's decision to "publish anti-Semitic imagery is deeply offensive and he should remove it immediately."


Trump Campaign Will Encourage Masks at Rally

The Trump campaign will be providing face masks and hand sanitizer for all attendees at an upcoming rally Saturday in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Axios reports.

The campaign said in an email on Sunday that attendees are “strongly encouraged” to wear the masks.


Minnesota Democrats' 2018 successes give party plenty of targets in GOP-held state Senate

Smith won her special election by a 53-42 margin and took 39 districts, while Republican Karin Housley carried the other 28―a mirror image of the Clinton/Trump numbers from two years before. Walz won the gubernatorial race 54-42 against Republican Jeff Johnson, and he won all of Smith’s seats as well as an additional two. Klobuchar, meanwhile, pulled off a landslide 60-36 victory and took a total of 52 of the 67 Senate seats: Altogether, Klobuchar carried all of those Walz constituencies, plus an additional 11.

Eight Republicans sit in Walz/Smith districts, though only two of them supported Clinton. The two Walz/Housley seats, including Housley’s own district, are also held by Team Red, and both also went for Donald Trump. The one Democrat in a Trump/Johnson/Housley district is Matt Little, whose SD-58 backed Trump 54-38 before going for Housley and Johnson 52-44 and 51-45, respectively; Klobuchar, though, won 53-44 here.

Over in the House, Clinton took just 62 of the 134 seats, but once again, Walz, Klobuchar, and Smith carried all her constituencies as well as plenty more. Smith carried 76 districts to Housley’s 58; Walz once again took all of Smith’s seats, as well as another two. Klobuchar, for her part, took 102 of the 134 seats.

Just a pair of Republicans sit in Walz/Smith districts, while both Walz/Housley seats are also held by Team Red: All four of these seats also supported Trump. And just like in the Senate, there’s one Trump/Johnson/Housley seat in Democratic hands. After backing Trump 57-35, state Rep. Paul Marquart’s HD-4B went for Johnson 53-44 and Housley by a smaller 49-46. (Smith ran further ahead of Walz here than in any other House seat in the state). Klobuchar, though, won it 53-43.

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