Monday, February 03, 2020

2020 Primary Calendar

Today is the day of the long-anticipated Iowa caucuses.

So I thought I'd better put up my quadrannual (I just made up that word) Presidential Primary Calendar!

I'm still checking dates and places, and I've largely omitted any Republican contests since Trump obviously has the Republican party locked down to within an inch of its life.

Here is it. Mistakes are likely, and all mine.
February 2020
3 Mon. Iowa caucuses
11 Tue. New Hampshire primaries
22 Sat. Nevada Democratic caucuses
29 Sat. South Carolina Democratic primary

March 2020

Alabama primaries
American Samoa Democratic caucus
Arkansas primaries
California primaries
Colorado primaries
Maine primaries
Massachusetts primaries
Minnesota primaries
North Carolina primaries*
Oklahoma primaries
Tennessee primaries
Texas primaries
Utah primaries
Vermont primaries*
Virginia Democratic primary
Democrats Abroad primary

10 Tue. Idaho primaries*
Michigan primaries
Mississippi primaries
Missouri primaries
North Dakota Democratic caucuses
Washington primaries

12 Thu. Virgin Islands Republican caucus*

14 Sat. Northern Marianas Democratic convention

17 Tue. Arizona Democratic primary
Florida primaries
Illinois primaries
Ohio primaries

24 Tue. American Samoa Republican caucus*
Georgia primaries

29 Sun. Puerto Rico Democratic primary

April 2020

4 Sat. Alaska Democratic primary
Hawaii Democratic primary
Louisiana primaries*
Wyoming Democratic caucuses

7 Tue. Wisconsin primaries

28 Tue. Connecticut primaries
Delaware primaries*
Maryland primaries
New York primaries
Pennsylvania primaries
Rhode Island primaries

May 2020

2 Sat. Guam Democratic caucus
Kansas Democratic primary

5 Tue.
Indiana primaries*

12 Tue. Nebraska primaries
West Virginia primaries

19 Tue. Kentucky Democratic primary
Oregon primaries

June 2020

2 Tue. District of Columbia primaries
Montana primaries
New Jersey primaries*
New Mexico primaries
South Dakota primaries*

6 Sat. Virgin Islands Democratic caucuses

July 2020
13-16 Mon. Democratic National Convention

Tuesday, January 07, 2020

Impeached President Tries to Start War

Trump has been impeached, so to throw off the spotlight he ordered the assassination of a demonstrably bad guy; but since this bad guy was like the number two guy in Iran (a nation we currently aren't at war with) they are understandably pissed.

In the few days after the event, Trump has taken a more war-like stance, by threatening total war if Iran strikes back in any way. Along with threatening to destroy historic and cultural sites in Iran, which by definition is a war crime.

My fear is that there will be one or more attacks on Trump properties, which will send Dear Leader completely over the edge and result in launching nukes. And the Republicans have ensured nobody will stop this mad man, so we'll soon be dealing with a post-apocalyptic hellscape because Trump is a douchebag.

Hell of a time to be alive! (currently 8pm EST on Jan. 7th 2020...I can't tell you if we'll be here tomorrow)

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Round 1: Impeachment Inquiry

Well, all it took was Trump to make a dumb phone call to the President of the Ukraine, and finally we're at the start of something big.

For weeks I've been complaining about Nancy Pelosi and her so-called "long game", which I saw not so much as brilliant planning but more like cowardice. I'm still not convinced she had that much of a plan going when Trump made it impossible for her to delay any longer by pretty much indicting himself with his stupid "explanation".

Just wait until he starts throwing his closest advisers under the bus, like Bill Barr and Ol' Man 9/11 (Rudy, obviously). When they finally realize Trump is serving them up to take the fall, watch how fast they cut a deal to avoid jail and spill the REAL beans on our sociopathic president.

This is the very first step in a long, arduous process. Remember Watergate took over two years to take Nixon down. During that time he easily cruised to a landslide win for a second term. But things are very different now. Nixon only had five months from the arrests at the Watergate until election day, and that simply wasn't enough time to build a case against him that would do any damage to his reelection.

Trump, on the other hand, has been vigorously investigated for well over a year now. Keep in mind that Congress STILL hasn't seen the fully unredacted Mueller report. I'm sure that will change in the near future. And now that the House is moving forward with the inquiry, they have the power of subpoena to get documents and compel people of interest to testify under oath.

Yes, things are looking up just slightly for our democracy. We won't be fully out of the woods until after next year's election, and only if we win both the White House and the Senate, while keeping the House of Representatives.

So, there is hope. To be continued...

Thursday, June 13, 2019

The Ultimate Nightmare

I know it's been over six months since I've posted anything here.

Part of that is the fact that Facebook and Twitter have a much more immediate response.

Another part of that is outrage fatigue, which is a real thing and definitely a problem.

And finally, a small bit is sheer, unadulterated laziness. I will cop to that.

What finally got me to sit down and write something is a nagging feeling that we are witnessing the end of American Democracy as we know it.

Today's Trumpian outrage is indicative of what we can expect in the future, where he basically informed foreign governments that there will be NO penalty for them to interfere in our free elections, and in fact he is encouraging them to attack his opponents.

The way this is going, with it still 17 months to the election, we can assume that unless the GOP steps up and challenges Trump's legitimacy, we will likely have him around forever.

Here's how it will happen: Mitch McConnell will do nothing to prevent foreign interference in voting, as he has repeatedly refused to act on measures to ensure our voting machines are safe. He welcomes foreign hacking into the machine to ensure a Trump victory. And the foreign powers will be delighted at our leader being easily swayed by some cheap compliments and empty promises.

Unless the Democrats win BOTH Houses by overwhelming numbers, Trump will not be removed. Forget the presidential election for a minute; if he loses, he'll use his remaining four months in office to challenge the legitimacy of the results, and will refuse to leave office. If we don't have 2/3 of the Senate, we can't impeach him.

Regardless, he'll invoke an emergency order to suppress the results of the election, and when Congress challenges it, when it ends up before the Supreme Court he'll win with a 5-4 majority.

That's when we'll see "President-for-Life Donald Trump".

And the death of our democracy.

The infuriating thing about all of this is that it'll only take a few dozen men in the Senate brave enough to go against their party. But judging by their fearful actions so far, it looks like a very remote possibility.

I do know that the longer Nancy Pelosi balks at starting impeachment hearings, the more Trump is consolidating his power. If she waits too long, which will be not much later than the end of this summer, it'll be too late to stop him.

We need to hear Trump associates on the stand, under penalty of perjury, answering questions about the President and his family. The more people who testify, the more likely we'll see Trump's support in the Senate start to crumble. Especially when those witnesses realize that Trump will not be around to pardon them.

We are rapidly approaching a tipping point in our nation. I can see a time when the nightmarish fictional nation of Gilead will have a real-world metaphor right here in the USA.

I used to wonder how average people in Germany could sit and do nothing while their nation was taken over by a dictator.

Now, I can see how it happens. It simply takes good men to do nothing for evil to succeed.

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Governor Ned Lamont!

It was a nail-biter last night, but today Ned Lamont is the Governor-elect of Connecticut!

I'll have more later, but right now I want to enjoy this win, and start working towards making Connecticut a great state for all of us!

Thursday, October 25, 2018

The final stretch

Today there's less than two weeks until the election.

The 2018 Mid-terms are shaping up to be a defining moment in the history of our nation. The outcome of this election will almost assuredly chart the path of our democracy for the next decade or longer.

Presently we're at a crossroads. The Republican-majority Congress will not only do NOTHING to limit the wildest excesses of Donald Trump, but they are actively participating in the escalating erosion of our national character.

The recent confirmation of Supreme Court Associate Justice Kavanaugh shows there is almost nothing standing in the way of Trump's vision for America. One that includes complete and total destruction of his enemies, real or imagined, and definitely including the Democratic Party. He's already well on his way towards a Constitutional crisis that may result in widespread suppression of our rights and a suspension of democracy.

We may actually see President-For-Life Donald Trump happen!

The ONLY firewall against this abuse of power is the ability to vote. We need to take back the House of Representatives in order to start the investigations and hearings that the Republican-led majority has been unwilling to do. Once the Democrats have the legal authority to investigate the countless abuses of law that exist in the current administration, only THEN will the pendulum start to swing back from extreme right-wing fascism towards a reasonable center.

But if somehow, through voter suppression, fraud, outright stealing of elections; if somehow the Republicans retain control of the House, it will inevitably spell doom for our nation.

Trumpism will be the new normal, and our ability to have any checks on his power will evaporate like a shallow puddle in Death Valley in August. We will see voter suppression, or even a suspension of voting. There will be justifications for martial law and other ways to control the masses.

And the hatred of the right will spill over into the streets and the nation will become a 3rd-world dictatorship.

I hope I'm wrong about this scenario, and I hope we don't have to find out either way. If the Democrats manage to win a substantial margin in Congress, we'll see a dramatic shift back to sanity and American values in the very near future.

This is why I'm having trouble sleeping lately.

One way to help ensure a Democratic win is to volunteer for campaigns. Go canvassing, stuff envelopes, make phone calls, donate to candidates in especially close races.

And for fuck's sake, don't forget to VOTE on November 6th.

Monday, October 01, 2018

President Obama Endorses Ned Lamont

This is really great news!

Our most popular president of recent times has fully endorsed Ned Lamont in his race for governor of Connecticut!

Former President Barack Obama gave his endorsement to begin the final full month of campaigning:

“When Ned Lamont stood up to his own party and opposed the war in Iraq more than a decade ago, he showed the courage to do what was right. As a businessman who started and ran a successful company in Connecticut, Ned demonstrated how to bring people together and create good-paying jobs – while still finding time to volunteer as a teacher and help students in Bridgeport. That’s why I’m so proud to endorse Ned Lamont for Governor. If elected, Ned will do what he’s done his whole life to turn the state around and ensure a more hopeful future: he’ll protect working families, improve Connecticut’s business climate, and refuse to back down from making the tough choices.

Lamont enthusiastically accepted the endorsement, and he had this to say about President Obama:

“President Obama represents the very best of America. His presidency inspired the country and the world, and demonstrated what real leadership looks like. That’s why I am honored to have earned President Obama’s endorsement. If elected, I will fight for the things he fought for: lowering the burden on the middle class, increasing access to healthcare, standing up for women, and creating jobs and opportunity. I will also reach across the aisle and work with Republicans, as well as leaders in business, labor, and academia to put in place policies that lower the property tax, jumpstart economic growth, and solve the fiscal challenge facing Connecticut. I’m incredibly humbled to receive President Obama’s support as we enter the final stretch of this campaign.”

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Lamont explains disastrous Republican tax plan

Today Ned Lamont issued a detailed press release where he examines and discusses the proposed tax reform plan by Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Stefanowski.

Let's just say it would be an epic disaster for all the people here in Connecticut!

Here is Lamont's statement in full:

Why Bob Stefanowski’s Plan is Radical and Wrong

By Ned Lamont

Six years ago, a Republican politician signed up with far-right economist Arthur Laffer to propose a deceptive, “simple” tax plan. Kansas Governor Sam Brownback would offer his state gigantic new tax breaks that would slash rates across the board and eliminate his state’s top income tax bracket.

It would be like a “shot of adrenaline” to the economy, Brownback promised. Kansans were told it would result in “enormous prosperity” for their state.

Then… reality happened.

When the huge tax cuts went into effect, “their failure was seen almost instantly.” Kansas became a national experiment in extremist economics — and it failed in a spectacular way.

Education was slashed to pay for the tax cut. State aid for education saw the largest decline in two decades, and possibly in state history. The cuts to classrooms were so draconian that they were deemed unconstitutional by a judge.

Budget holes of hundreds of millions of dollars, specifically because of the Republican experiment, ensued. The state’s credit rating was downgraded. Critical services were cut. And eventually the sales tax was hiked, causing “homeowners, workers, and businesses” the most pain.

Facing fiscal turmoil, Kansas lagged far behind the national average in private sector job and GDP growth. It netted only 28,000 new non-farm jobs — fewer than the similar, but considerably smaller, economy of neighboring Nebraska.

The result was a “full-blown disaster for Kansans” because “the governor’s growth strategy is in ruins” as one columnist put it. It put the state “in crisis mode” while actually harming the business climate.

That’s why a supermajority of the overwhelmingly Republican state legislature voted to repeal the income tax cut.

It became a mess, largely because, to use George H.W. Bush’s words, the tax ideas it was premised on were “voodoo economics” (a phrase also popularized here). Kansas has become the national example of what not to do.

Which brings us to Connecticut.

We need to focus on creating jobs and growing the economy — not slashing critical services.

Unfortunately, what happened in Kansas is exactly what Bob Stefanowski is promising as he runs on eliminating the income tax here at home. He promises that it will be a cure-all for our complex economic challenges. And, perhaps unsurprisingly, he’s employing the same economic advisor who was the architect of the failing tax plan in Kansas.

Mr. Stefanowski claims that, like in the Kansas experiment, his plan will “unleash a business boom.”

It won’t.

Why? Tax cuts don’t pay for themselves, and politicians who say they do aren’t telling you the truth.

While my opponent makes these pie-in-the-sky promises, we’ve run the numbers on what will actually happen in our state if the income tax is eliminated.

Similar to Kansas, Connecticut’s income tax accounts for 56 percent of the general fund. That means that basically every line item in the budget will be cut in half or eliminated entirely. Consequently, the following is going to happen if Mr. Stefanowski ever implemented his plan.

First… Property. Taxes. Will. Soar.

It’s guaranteed. State aid represents 27 percent of local government revenue. Without it, property taxes will likely rise in every town. In many, they’ll double.

I believe we need to cut property taxes — because middle class families have been paying too much and deserve relief. I am focused on growing our economy and creating jobs — and that won’t happen by jacking up property taxes in virtually every city and town statewide.

And where property tax rates don’t double, local services — from our educational system, to police, to fire departments — will be gutted.

At a time when we need to be investing in our cities and towns like never before, this plan will make it harder for them to get by.

Mr. Stefanowski’s tax plan, which would cut at least $1 billion in direct state support for local schools, would have devastating effects on our children’s educations, while 8,600 teaching positions statewide would be eliminated under his proposal.

I believe we need to support our teachers, invest in our classrooms, and emphasize STEM so that each of our children receives a world-class education that equips them for the jobs and the industries of tomorrow. Slashing billions in education dollars is a formula for taking us backwards — not forward.

In addition to jeopardizing our children’s ability to succeed in the classroom, Mr. Stefanowski’s plan would adversely affect the most vulnerable in our state.

Mr. Stefanowski’s proposal would slash property tax breaks for 19,669 veterans — or eliminate them entirely for 9,835 Connecticut residents who have served our country bravely.

I believe we have a moral obligation to support every veteran who fought to defend this country — not to roll back common-sense benefits.

We all know that seniors are the anchors of our communities. But the reality is that Mr. Stefanowski’s plan to eliminate the income tax would result in ending tax breaks for 47,000 elderly and disabled residents, or eliminating them entirely for 23,500 individuals.

We need to be a Connecticut where our seniors can age in place and live with dignity. Rolling back these benefits isn’t a roadmap to building a better future for the state.

What’s more, 520 state troopers who protect our communities and 3,500 UConn and Connecticut State Colleges and Universities faculty and staff who educate the leaders of tomorrow would have to be let go.

If we’re going to build a 21st century state, we need to give our state troopers the tools they need to keep driving crime down. And as we do that, we need to give young people the tools they need to get a great education that prepares them for great jobs. It cannot — and should not — be so hard to go to college. Putting barriers on learning is the antithesis to a pro-growth agenda.

When it comes to our kids, 8,788 children of low-income parents will lose child care under this proposal. The 22,000 kids who currently have access to school-based health clinics, and the comprehensive medical coverage they provide, would be denied health care.

That’s just not who we are and who we need to be as a state.

For parents who are saving for college tuition, Connecticut State University tuition would rise by 11% — or $2,604 — under my opponent’s plan. If you’re saving for community college, brace yourself for a 62% spike.

At a time when we need to be preparing everyone with 21st century job training, and just when we need to be delivering Connecticut jobs for Connecticut workers, a massive tuition hike at community colleges simply isn’t conducive to a vibrant economy.

To be clear, this is only some of what would happen — it’s just a partial list….

The impacts of Mr. Stefanowski’s plan are real, and they will be felt across the state. His plan represents an easy answer, rather than a hard choice.

And that’s because my opponent isn’t telling you that your property taxes will skyrocket. Or that the sales tax will have to be jacked up. He isn’t telling teachers they will be fired and parents that school funding will be gutted.

He isn’t telling veterans or the elderly that their tax breaks will go away, or admitting that our already broken infrastructure will crumble as a result.

But it’s the truth under his plan. It’s the false choice, and the bad choice, he’s proposing.

There is no question we need to change how we do business. That’s why I’m a different kind of candidate who’s going to be a different kind of governor.

But the answer isn’t replicating a failed experiment here at home. The answer isn’t to gamble, and treat our budget crisis as a game of roulette.

Instead, I believe the answer lies in being honest and making hard decisions.

I believe in creating jobs and economic growth, and making smart investments.

I believe in cutting your property taxes, while Stefanowski’s plan raises them.

I believe in investing in education, while my opponent will cut it.

I believe in working in a bipartisan way, and in making the kinds of investments that governors of both parties failed to make for decades.

And I believe the choice this November could not be clearer.

It’s a choice between repeating a failed test-case right here in Connecticut with voodoo economics…and building a Connecticut for the future.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Ned Lamont Wins Primary

In the "Nobody Is The Least Bit Surprised Department", Greenwich millionaire and all-around nice guy Ned Lamont cruised to a massive primary win for Governor over Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim.

The final spread was roughly 81% to 19%, with Lamont's message of financial stability and job growth resonating with the voters.

Former Sec. of State Susan Bysiewicz also prevailed in the race for Lt. Governor. Political newcomer Eva Bermudez-Zimmerman had a very good showing with strong grassroots support, receiving around 40% of the vote. I'm sure we'll be hearing more from Eva in the future.

William Tong won for Attorney General and Shawn Wooden got the Treasurer's nod.

In an historic win, 5th CD candidate for Congress and 2016 Teacher of the Year Jahana Hayes won big over Simsbury 1st Selectman Mary Glassman. Hayes is positioned to be the first black Congresswoman from New England should she win in the heavily Democratic district in November.

On the Republican side, GOP newcomer and Madison millionaire Bob Stefanowski upset heavy favorite Danbury mayor Mark Boughton. In the crowded field, Stefanowski's total vote didn't break the 30% mark.

Today President Trump tweeted his support for the recent Democrat who didn't even vote in the 2016 election. I'm guessing with Trump's endorsement we'll probably see Stefanowski get a similar percentage of the vote in November.

I'm sure we'll be hearing a lot more of Stefanowski's message now that he's defeated the other Trumpian candidates. Noteworthy is that not a single GOP candidate has even hinted that any of the President's toxic policies are anything they would disagree with.

But for now, it's really great to bask in a big win with Ned Lamont, and start getting geared up for a bruising campaign with all the SuperPAC money that will flow into the opposition's coffers.

I'd check to see if any of the cash can be traced back to rubles!

Tuesday, August 07, 2018

One Week until the Connecticut Primary

UPDATE 8/11: I've changed my mind on my pick for AG, much to the credit of my FB friends who gave me plenty to think about. See below.


Here we are, approaching yet another significant election.

This will decide who will likely be leading us for the next four years.
I've been quite vocal in my support of Ned Lamont for governor, and for good reason. Ned has a history of wanting to serve the people of Connecticut. He's a true-blue supporter of many issues important to us, and as governor I expect he'll have the right temperament and judgment to lead us through what will likely be a couple of difficult years for the state.

The next governor will inherent a deficit that's possibly running somewhere around $2 billion in the red. I support Ned Lamont to be that next governor, and I look forward to him continuing to connect with the people of the state as we approach the November election. Obviously, I endorse Ned for Governor.
In the other races, Sec. of State Denise Merrill and State Comptroller (and State Nerd) Kevin Lembo are unopposed in the primary, so they'll get to enjoy the evening watching the returns come in.
In the Attorney General's race, Rep. William Tong is the party endorsed candidate, but he expects a significant challenge from former prosecutor Chris Mattei and State Sen. Paul Doyle. I think that his experience as the House Chairman of the Judiciary Committee gives Tong an edge over his opponents, because he's used to working with the State House.

UPDATE: I've learned quite a bit more about Chris Mattei in the last several days. Mattei has been a very solid progressive voice, and he's the prosecutor who sent corrupt governor John Rowland to prison. Plus, learning about William Tong's voting record has troubled me.

To quote Jon Kantrowitz from my FB page:

Tong Votes:
– Voted against two budgets, HB7400 (2007) and SB1801 (2009), which would have raised the income tax on high-income households.
– Voted against HB6715 (2007) to legalize medical marijuana.
– Voted against SB1014 (2011) to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana.
– Voted against HB5291 (2012) that would have increased the minimum wage.
– Voted against SB914 (2015) that would have allowed employees to recover twice the amount of damages associated with an employer’s failure to pay wages.
- Voted against HB6600 to override Republican Governor Rell’s veto of legislation that would establish a public healthcare option in Connecticut.

So, I now officially endorse William Tong Chris Mattei for Attorney General!

For Lt. Governor, it gets very interesting. Former Sec. of State Susan Bysiewicz is the party endorsed candidate, having ended up with about 60% of the convention delegate votes. But Eva Bermudez-Zimmerman, an organizer for the Service Employees International Union, entered the race just days before the final May deadline. She claimed that the Democrats needed more diversity on their slate. Which is a noble reason, but likely not enough to win a primary against an experience opponent.

But something interesting happened. At the State Democratic Convention she got 40% of the vote. These are votes cast by engaged delegates, who tend to be much more knowledgeable than the general public about the issues. She gained a lot of support against a supposedly well-respected former state officer.
Then Eva went on the road and reached out to the voters, and there seems to be a significant swing towards supporting her. Eva was connecting with the voters, and her message would bring a certain balance to the Dem's ticket in November. A Lamont/Bermudez-Zimmerman ticket will likely be unbeatable in November. And yes, I officially endorse Eva Bermudez-Zimmerman for Lt. Gov.

For State Treasurer, I don't really know enough about the candidates to make a choice. That's on me. I'm very busy. Just be sure to vote.

In the Federal primary, Sen. Chris Murphy and the four current House incumbents are unopposed. In the Fifth Congressional District, the race is more wide open. The two candidates on the ballot came to a virtual tie, ensuring an interesting contest.
Former Simsbury First Selectman Mary Glassman is the party (just barely) endorsed candidate for the open seat, vacated by the retiring Rep. Esty.
Jahana Hayes, 2016 National Teacher of the Year, is vying to be the first black Democrat to represent Connecticut in the U.S. House.

Since I can't vote in this contest (me being in Rosa's 3rd CD), I hesitate to endorse a candidate here. I will say that judging from the statements and positions held by the candidates, I think Connecticut will be well-served to have either of them representing our state.

So, that's it. Get out and vote August 14th. Polls are open from 6am-8pm, so no excuses!