Gillum ahead in Rasmussen poll; youthful candidates win in NH

At Show Me Progress of Missouri, WillyKay writes—Dr. Gina Loudon – a Missouri Tea Party (not so) golden oldie defends Trump’s mental fitness:

Remember Missouri’s would be Tea Party “glamour couple,” former State Senator John Loudon and his wife, Dr. Gina Loudon? After John was term-limited out of the state legislature, the couple moved to San Diego where Dr. Gina continued to opine on right-wing radio and occasionally opines on national cable news. Apart from a surprising turn on TV’s sleazy “Wife-Swap,” where the ostensibly evangelical Loudons’ “swapped” spouses with a free-living “polyamorous” family, the couple have been relatively quiet.

Quiet, that is, if you ignore the 2,000 word essay Dr. Gina published, analyzing her responses to her adolescent daughter’s relationship with a 57 year old D-list celebrity. There’s been just a little local right-wing rabble-rousing also, which, cognizant of the themes that are most popular with Trumpies, have emphasized immigrant-baiting and sanctuary city slamming in their new home town.

But it would have been too much to expect that a chancer like Dr. Gina would not try to cash in on the Trump phenomena sooner or later. Armed with nothing more than an online Ph.D. in something called human and organization systems, and without any training or certifications in clinical psychology, she has published a book in which she devotes an entire chapter to claims that Trump might be the “‘most sound-minded’ president in history.” To give you a taste of her methodology in assessing Trump’s mental soundness, consider the following assertion:

Citing “anecdotal research,” Loudon writes that one key to Trump’s mental fitness is the fact that he is the fourth of five children. “Birth order seems to be the foundation for all other factors that create and define the psychology of the person” she writes, citing the book Life’s Fingerprint by Robert V. V. Hurst—a trained dentist who studied his dental patients.

A.G. Gancarski at Florida Politics writes—NPAs push Andrew Gillum up six over Ron DeSantis, says Rasmussen poll:

Per Rasmussen Reports, Democrat Andrew Gillum has a six point lead over Republican Ron DeSantis in the gubernatorial race.

The Rasmussen poll of 800 likely voters was conducted Monday and Tuesday.

Florida Politics

Gillum was buoyed by female and NPA voters, and held his own with men and white voters, while DeSantis continues to show difficulty reaching out beyond his base.

DeSantis had just a one point lead (48 to 47 percent) with men, but was 13 points down (50-37) with female voters.

DeSantis likewise was up just one point with white voters (46-45), and down 75-24 with African-American voters. Hispanics, however, favored DeSantis 48-37.

Gillum was up with two of three age cohorts. Though those aged 45-64 favored DeSantis 51-38, Gillum was the favorite of voters 65+ (60-38), and 18-39 (56-32).

Kristie Lea Tingle at the Better Texas Blog of the Center for Public Policy Priorities writes—Our Top Takeaways from the New Census Data:

This week, the U.S. Census Bureau released data from the 2017 American Community Survey (ACS). The American Community Survey estimates are released annually and allow us to track how Texans fare on measures like income, poverty, education, and healthcare. Here are some of the highlights from the 2017 data.

state blogs, stateblog, stateblogs,Better Texas

The median household income in Texas rose to $59,206, meaning that half of Texas households had income above $59,206, and half had income below. Factoring in inflation, 2017 saw a 2.5 percent increase over the Texas median household income in 2016.

But not all Texas families experience gains from economic growth equally. A large wage gap persists by gender for full time, year-round Texas workers, evidenced by the median male worker taking home roughly $9,500 more than the median female worker in 2017.

The Texas poverty rate hit a 10-year low of 14.7 percent, down from 15.6 percent in 2016 (a reduction of roughly 184,500 people living in poverty). The Texas poverty rate remains higher than the national poverty rate though, and over 4 million Texans lived below the official poverty threshold in 2017 (roughly $25,100 for a family of four).

One of every five Texas children lives in poverty—that’s 1.5 million kids—and children of color are disproportionately likely to be in families with income below the poverty line. The 2017 child poverty rates for Texas show that Hispanic and Black children are three times more likely to live in poverty in Texas than White or Asian children. Children growing up in poverty and low-income households are more likely to face challenges like housing and food insecurity, which can affect their ability to learn in school. […]

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Trish Nelson at Blog for Iowa writes—Dave Loebsack Questions Twitter CEO About Online Harassment:

At a recent House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing with Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter, Dave questioned him about the actions his company is taking to keep teens who use the platform safe and free from harassment. While online communities may allow young people to find friendship and community, Twitter may also be creating new unimaginable crisis for many kids. Social media has been used frequently for abusive purposes like harassment and cyberbullying. And Twitter has too often been too slow to respond when victims report abuse and harassment. Dave called on Twitter to publish a review by an outside organization evaluating what steps Twitter can take to protect our kids while they are online. It must be a goal for all of us to stop this kind of bullying.

A staffer at NH Labor News writes—Young Candidates Win Primary Races Across New Hampshire:

Tonight, 15 New Hampshire Young Democrats from across the state won their competitive primary elections to complete a historic General Election slate of young leaders running for state office. These primary election winners join an organized, energized and an unprecedented slate of young democrats running for office this fall.

Following the closing of the polls, the New Hampshire Young Democrats issued the following statement:

NH Labor News, state blogs, state blog

“Tonight’s results confirm what we’ve been seeing the past two years– youth power is stronger than ever in New Hampshire. Young leaders aren’t waiting around for others to make the change we need to make our state better. They are stepping up, organizing and getting ready to lead New Hampshire into a more modern, progressive, and prosperous state.” said NHYD President Lucas Meyer. “We are sick and tired of seeing conservatives in Concord time after time make short-sighted decisions that hurt young people and our families. It’s unacceptable that we have the highest tuition rates in the country, that we lack a common sense paid family leave insurance program, and must fight back against annual threats to a women’s right to make her own health care decisions.

Tonight, we applaud the passion of all young candidates running across the state and thank them for running. But we are just getting started. We are committed to helping all of these inspiring candidates run winning campaigns into November, so we can make sure the priorities most important to young people are front and center in next year’s legislative session,” Meyer concluded.

Sue Prent at Green Mountain Daily of Vermont writes—What has Corey Parent got that Carol Breuer wants? Chapter 2.

Franklin County candidate for state senate, Corey Parent presents himself reasonably enough, as a “local boy,” “family man” and someone who “reaches across the aisle;” but you have to ask yourself why Tom and Carol Breuer, big time far-right conservative donors who have been especially active in opposing gay rights in Massachusetts, have been contributing heavily to Parent, in particular, over the course of the past two election cycles.

Green Mountain Daily of Vermont

Some may recall a blogpost about Parent and the Breuers that I wrote way back in 2016 when I first was made aware of their oversized support for Parent, who ran successfully in that election for the House.

That targeted support suggests to me that Parent is being groomed as another handmaid of the religious right, which, as we have seen on the national stage, is less interested in cooperating in order to do the people’s business than it is in arresting the evolution of our diverse democracy toward more progressive and inclusive policies. […] I’m sorry if this sounds harsh, but here is where it all begins.  Local candidates strike the contribution mother load, then bind themselves ever tighter to an exclusionary special interest, as they rise in political fortune on a sea of easy cash.  

For me, this is not what the democratic process should be all about.

Nick Reisman at State of Politics of New York writes—CWA Calls For Unity​​​​​​:

The Communications Workers of America, one of the labor unions to bolt from the Working Families Party, made a public plea to Cynthia Nixon and Jumaane Williams for unity on Friday a day after Gov. Andrew Cuomo cruised to a primary victory.

State of Politics, state blog, state blogs

“New York State’s primary election is behind us,” said Dennis Trainor, the union’s district one vice president. “Now we must focus on the crucial task which lies ahead between now and November 6th: uniting the labor movement, communities of color, and all progressive-minded voters across the State to re-elect Governor Cuomo and his team, win back as many New York Congressional seats as possible, and ensure that State Senate Democrats arrive in Albany next January with a decisive majority.”

Nixon and Williams, who lost his primary to Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, remain the endorsed WFP candidates. It is not year clear if the WFP will remove them from the ballot, what mechanism can be used to do so (one option would be to place Nixon in an Assembly race, though that presents its own complications) and whether Cuomo, miffed by the the party’s rebuffing him in April, will even accept the line.

The primary was a bruising one for both sides, making such a unity plea potentially difficult.

Rob Schofield at NC Policy Watch writes—The dirty half dozen: What you need to know about all six proposed constitutional amendments

The 2018 midterm elections are upon us and North Carolina voters will soon pass judgment on, among many other things, an unprecedented raft of six constitutional amendments.

state blogs, NC Policy Watch

The proposals include:

  • a proposal to permanently cap the state income tax rate,
  • a proposal to remake the state Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement so as to alter its composition and how its members are selected,
  • a proposal to dramatically alter and limit the Governor’s authority when it comes to filling vacancies that occur on the state courts,
  • a proposal to require some undetermined form of photo identification for in-person voting,
  • a proposal to establish a state constitutional “right” to hunt and fish, and
  • a proposal to enact a multi-faceted “victims’ rights” amendment known as “Marsy’s Law.”

There are many compelling reasons to oppose all six—starting with the absurd and outrageous lack of process that accompanied their approval by the General Assembly during the final harried days of the 2018 legislative session, the hurried rewrite of two amendments in late August, and the deceitful and dishonest way the proposals will be summarized and presented on the ballot.

Still, even if one were to set aside all of the profound problems of process and procedure, there are numerous important substantive deficiencies in each amendment that are more than adequate to justify a “no” vote. [Schofield provides details of each proposal in the paragraphs beyond —MB.]

Regina Willis at Better Georgia writes—Brian Kemp’s incompetence knows no bounds:

As secretary of state, Brian Kemp has been a massive failure. In the past few weeks alone, three new problems have cropped up, only adding to the long list of errors Kemp is accountable for.

state blogs, Better Georgia

Here are three more ways that Kemp’s incompetence is affecting our elections in Georgia:

He’s also leaked the confidential data of every single voter — twice. He’s ignored blatant security problems with our outdated voting machines — also twice. And he’s attempted to purge voters from the rolls in violation of federal voting laws.

But somehow, that hasn’t been enough.

Kemp: This upcoming election will be the biggest performance review of your career so far, and your actions have not garnered much faith in your competence. If you had any other job, you would have been fired a long time ago.

state blogs, stateblog, Tennessee Valley Progressive Alliance

A staffer at Tennessee Valley Progressive Alliance of Alabama writes—Local Policy Platform for Greater Huntsville Area:

We are excited to finally publish this local policy platform for the Greater Huntsville Area. We believe this document can serve as a blueprint for building just, democratic, and sustainable community throughout the Tennessee Valley. We are publishing the platform now to help shape 2018 local elections, but we intend to update the platform as needed with input from community members and allied local organizations going forward. So if you have progressive policy ideas not included here, we would love to hear from you.

The People’s Platform

A political platform for the Greater Huntsville Area and for 2018 local elections.

Economic Justice & Opportunity

  • Attach labor standards and workers’ rights provisions to development projects.
  • Establish an hourly minimum wage of at least $10.10 for all workers performing work on or in connection with local government contracts.
  • Ban predatory lending practices.
  • Create a City of Huntsville Labor and Human Rights Office to parallel the existing Business Relations Office.
  • Stop local government business with big banks that have committed felonies and defrauded customers.
  • Shift local government financial business from big banks to local credit unions.
  • Use business licensing & permitting processes to improve worker standards.
  • Promote the growth of local worker cooperatives.
  • Establish a community land trust to maintain affordable housing and economic diversity.
  • Resist state government preemption of local economic justice initiatives. 

Community Policing & Criminal Justice Reform […]

Education […]

Environmental Stewardship & Sustainable Development […]

Vibrant Local Democracy […]

Ed Heinzelman at Blogging Blue of Wisconsin writes—Have We Experienced a Coup d’etat In the United States:

Now that we’ve had an opportunity to digest the NY Times Op Ed piece by anonymous (I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration), there are actually some very troubling things that we should be thinking about. A number of online posters have questioned whether some of the actions described might be grossly illegal. Should there be an actual Department of Justice investigation? Is there an act of treason here? And from the extreme, are we in the middle of a virtual coup d-etat?

Blogging Blue

Was the original op ed something that was supposed to assuage the fear and anxiety of the resistance? Or an alarm to law enforcement that our government is being subverted from within? Or to our other elected officials that our commander in chief is even more incompetent than we think he is?

I am not assuaged…I am not comfortable…I don’t see anyone doing anything.

I work for the president but like-minded colleagues and I have vowed to thwart parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations.

The dilemma — which he does not fully grasp — is that many of the senior officials in his own administration are working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations.

Although I don’t for a minute, trust President Donald Trump, and cringe at most everything he tweets or speaks…he is right…this is treason. He says its treason because it is disloyal to him…I say its treason because it is disloyal to the presidency and the Constitution. These actions, no matter how ‘noble’ the cause, must not be allowed to become precedent or we will forever have an actual shadow government rather than the perceived one.

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