Our 4th in the series of Democrats announcing they are running for president — next up is Cory Booker.
Our 4th in the series of Democrats announcing they are running for president — next up is Cory Booker.
It won’t come as a surprise to anyone who has been keeping their ear to the ground about the 2020 presidential primaries, that Senator Kamala Harris announced she is putting her name in the race for president.
This is number 3 in our series –
“I’m running for president of the United States, and I’m very excited about it,” Harris, 54, told ABC’s “Good Morning America.”
Harris paired the announcement with the release of a campaign video on Twitter in which she said, “Truth. Justice. Decency. Equality. Freedom. Democracy. These aren’t just words. They’re the values we as Americans cherish. And they’re all on the line now.”
The former California attorney general was elected to the Senate in 2016. Since then, she has worked to establish a national profile — by aggressively questioning President Trump’s judicial nominees, writing a book and stumping for Democrats in last year’s midterm elections.
Her announcement comes as some Democrats, emboldened with their new majority in the House, have suggested impeaching the president. Asked on ABC on Monday if she believes Trump has committed an impeachable offense, Harris wouldn’t say, but said it’s important that Special Counsel Robert Mueller continue his investigation into whether the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians in the 2016 race.
She plans a formal campaign launch in Oakland on Jan. 27. The campaign will be based in Baltimore, with a second office in Oakland.
Harris, who is black, launched her presidential as the nation observes what would have been the 90th birthday of the slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.
Still, her record as a prosecutor and state attorney general has attracted new scrutiny from liberals as she has inched closer to a presidential run.
University of San Francisco associate law professor Lara Bazelon recently argued in an op-ed piece that the perception that Harris acted as a “progressive prosecutor” during her tenure as the district attorney of San Francisco and then California’s attorney general contradict her actions.
“Time after time, when progressives urged her to embrace criminal justice reforms as a district attorney and then the state’s attorney general, Ms. Harris opposed them or stayed silent,” Lara Bazelon wrote in the New York Times.
But Republicans are taking her seriously as a top-tier candidate.
“At 54, Harris is two decades younger than some of her septuagenarian competitors – an age that enables her to appeal to the Instagram crowd without being painted as inexperienced,” said Colin Reed, a Republican strategist who worked for former Republican Sen. Scott Brown. “A child of immigrants, she brings diversity to a party obsessed with racial and gender politics.”
Harris’ announcement comes as a slew of Democrats have begun making plans to run for the White House in 2020.
In recent weeks, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and former San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro have moved forward with plans to seek the party’s nomination.
Other prominent figures, including former Vice President Joe Biden, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, are also mulling possible campaigns.
Fox News’ Louis Casiano and Jennifer Girdon and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Kamala Harris is running for president on a platform of raising taxes on the wealthy, implementing a Socialist healthcare system and reforming state cash bail systems in favor of poor inmates, The Washington Post reports.
The U.S. senator from California will compete with other Democrats for the chance to challenge President Donald Trump in 2020. Harris announced the start of her campaignMonday. (RELATED: Top Hopeful To Take On Trump Wins Porker Of The Year Award)
Harris intends to make taxes a focal point of her campaign, contrasting her tax package with the legislation Trump and Congressional Republicans passed in December 2017.
Harris’s tax plan, proposed Oct. 18, is a Robin Hood-type plan that would hike tax rates on wealthier Americans to cover the cost of tax credits, up to $3,000 for individuals and $6,000 for families, offered to people making under $100,000 a year. The tax credits would not be available for Americans who do not earn a paycheck.
Harris’s tax plan would overwhelmingly benefit poor and lower middle-class individuals and families, while increasing the tax burden of those over the $100,000 cutoff. It would reduce federal revenues by roughly $2.7 trillion over a decade, according to an analysis by the Tax Foundation.
Harris publicly backed the Medicare-for-all plan of self-proclaimed socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders in August 2017, arguing that “It’s not just about what is morally and ethically right, it also makes sense just from a fiscal standpoint.”
The Manhattan Institute, a conservative think tank, estimated that a Medicare-for-all plan could cost as much as $42 trillion over a decade and more than five-times that amount over the course of 30 years.
Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., and Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., listen as Dr. Christine Blasey Ford testifies during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the nomination of Brett M. Kavanaugh to be an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, focusing on allegations of sexual assault by Kavanaugh against Christine Blasey Ford in the early 1980s, in Washington, DC, U.S., September 27, 2018. Tom Williams/Pool via REUTERS
Proponents of the plan say the immense cost would be offset by freeing Americans from paying for health plans and premiums, but skeptics and critics say that argument is not backed by any sort of data. Massive tax hikes and spending cuts in other programs would have to come with the single-payer system to make it financially feasible, according to the Manhattan Institute.
Harris also plans to push reforms to cash bail systems to favor poor Americans. Harris, along with Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, introduced a bill in July 2017 that would offer a three-year, $10 million grant to states that reform or abolish their cash bail systems.
The push may stave off criticism coming from fellow Democrats over Harris’s career as a federal prosecutor for actions such as criminalizing truancy, which disproportionately affected poor families.
Here is the 2nd post for a Democrat forming an exploratory committee for a possible presidential run.
PS – I am in no way endorsing or agreeing with her views or comments in this video by sharing it.
In the first of what will likely be many of these posts, I thought I’d share details about the Democrats that will be challenging the Republicans – and presumably President Trump in 2020.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) announced on Tuesday that she will form a 2020 presidential exploratory committee, a precursor to officially seeking the Democratic nomination.
“I’m filing an exploratory committee for the president of the United States tonight,” she said during a taped interview on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.”
Gillibrand mentioned health care, better public schools, taking on institutional racism and “corruption and greed in Washington” as motivators and goals for her run.
“I know that I have the compassion, courage and the fearless determination to get that done,” she said.
Asked by Colbert as to whether what she was doing was a formality for actually running, she said: “It’s an important first step. It’s one that I’m taking because I’m going to run.”
The Senator was also asked about swearing on the campaign trail and she said she’d try not to do so. When Colbert asked what word she’d miss the most, Gillibrand joked that it “rhymes with duck.”
He proceeded to give her a corn cob for a trip to Iowa, a plane ticket to Michigan and a button saying she announced on Colbert.
Using Colbert’s late-night show as the avenue to announce news is not all that uncommon among prospective candidates. In November 2018, following her easy Senate re-election, where she actually over-performed the result for the state’s House Democrats and performed well in rural pro-Trump counties, Gillibrand told Colbert that she would give serious consideration to running for president. More recently, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) made an appearance on the show as part of her book tour, though she did not officially commit to running. She is widely expected to launch her bid soon.
There had been indications, prior to her Colbert appearance, that Gillibrand was launching a campaign. Just four days ago, The New York Times reported that she recruited aides from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, and the former digital director for recently-elected California Governor Gavin Newsom. Gillibrand is also reportedly set to visit Iowa this weekend and her camp has signed a lease for office space in Troy, New York, where she lives and where the campaign will be headquartered.
The 52-year-old New York Democrat joins a broad field of candidates that will likely expand through the end of January until the end of the first fundraising quarter.
On New Year’s Eve, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) announced the formation of her exploratory committee, which was quickly followed by a trip to Iowa and more recently a New Hampshire swing. This past Friday, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) said on CNN that she will soon formally announce a run. She was followed Saturday by an official presidential announcement from former HUD Secretary Julian Castro. Those candidates are in addition to Rep. John Delaney (D-MD), the first declared candidate who has been traveling early primary states; and former West Virginia state senator and congressional candidate Richard Ojeda.
But Gillibrand—who was appointed to fill a Senate vacancy when Hillary Clinton became secretary of state in 2009—is one of the more high-profile names to enter the field, at least among progressives. Before holding office, Gillibrand was an attorney and forged a relationship with Clinton while the latter ran for Senate in 2000.
In 2006, Gillibrand defeated Republican incumbent John E. Sweeney to represent New York’s 20th congressional district, an area including Albany and Schenectady counties that traditionally leaned conservative. She easily won re-election despite questions in both campaigns about Gillibrand’s prior legal representation of the tobacco giant Philip Morris and contributions she received from the industry.
During her tenure in the House, Gillibrand was part of the Blue Dog Coalition, voting in favor of legislation that would withhold funds from sanctuary cities and opposing amnesty for undocumented immigrants. Additionally, she advertised on her website that she had a 100-percent voting record with the National Rifle Association.
For those just getting acquainted with Gillibrand in the Trump era, in which she has voted with the president’s position less than 12 percent of the time (the lowest among her colleagues), her past views may come as a surprise.
She was confronted with her ideological shift during a 60 Minutes segment last February, explaining how she went from having an “A” rating from the NRA to an “F.”
“I went down to Brooklyn to meet with families who had suffered from gun violence in their communities,” Gillibrand recounted. “And you immediately experience the feeling that I couldn’t have been more wrong—you know, I only had the lens of upstate New York.”
She went on to say that she was “embarrassed” because she had in fact lived in New York City for a decade.
On immigration, the New York Democrat explained her shift: “I came from a district that was 98 percent white,” Gillibrand said. “We have immigrants, but not a lot of immigrants… And I just didn’t take the time to understand why these issues mattered because it wasn’t right in front of me. And that was my fault. It was something that I’m embarrassed about and I’m ashamed of.”
Gillibrand’s recent Senate tenure has been defined by this forthright, confrontational approach, one that has—at times—pitted her against powerful members of her own party. In Dec. 2017, she was the first Democratic senator to call for the resignation of her colleague Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) after he was accused of sexual misconduct. After Gillibrand’s initial statement, a number of her colleagues joined in and eventually forced his ouster.
She had also recently said that President Bill Clinton should have resigned following the revelation of his affair with intern Monica Lewinsky, a statement that put her at odds with the political family she had been so closely aligned with throughout her career.
These flashpoints lent added credibility to Gillibrand’s cultivated reputation as an advocate for women and sexual-assault victims. She has pushed legislation on sexual assault in the military and on college campuses and more recently served as a lead sponsor of the Me Too Congress Act, which aimed to ease the process for victims within Congress to come forward. And prior to that, nearly as soon as she entered the Senate, Gillibrand secured hearings on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” for the first time in 16 years.
It was her recent action against Franken that was taken especially hard by Democratic donors, whose animus could actually prove useful for Gillibrand in a 2020 Democratic primary: As a handful of mega-donors have griped about her role in torpedoing the Minnesota Democrat’s career, Gillibrand’s small-dollar contributions have spiked. She raised more than $27 million in the 2018 cycle with $8.2 million coming from online contributions, with an average donation of $20. Gillibrand has also raised millions for women candidates via her Off the Sidelines PAC, with some 50 supported candidates winning in the 2018 cycle.
She has also co-sponsored Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) Medicare for All legislation, backed Sen. Cory Booker’s (D-NJ) Marijuana Justice Act, swore off corporate PAC contributions and said last year that the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) needs to be dismantled.
“I believe that it has become a deportation force,” she told CNN at the time. “And I think you should separate out the criminal justice from the immigration issues. And I think you should reimagine ICE under a new agency with a very different mission and take those two missions out. So we believe that we should protect families that need our help and that is not what ICE is doing today. And that’s why I believe you should get rid of it, start over, reimagine it and build something that actually works.”
I’m sharing this post from a friend of mine – we’ll let her be known as “A Patriot Grandmother”.
To tell you a little about her… The writer is a wife, mother, grandmother, author and political observer.
Be warned. I’m about to go on a rant. Probably a long rant. So, you might just want to keep scrolling. Nothing to see here. Nothing new anyway. Same old stuff. Same old destructive garbage that’s been dividing the American people and destroying our trust in our country and one another. Exactly what is that garbage? I think it’s hatred, agendas and flat-out lies. I think we, as a society, are losing the willingness to try to understand other points of view much less empathize with them. And the election of Donald Trump seems to have shown a spotlight on that inability.
I did not vote for Barack Obama. And yet for eight years I fully believed that he was my President and I hoped that he would make decisions that were in the best interest of the country, not just the Democratic Party or his own political career. One can always hope, right? I have read what many of you have written about your belief that the Obama family was delightful to have in the White House and without scandal. I actually agree with some of that. The Obama daughters seem to be delightful, articulate, accomplished young women. As a family, they did appear to be without scandal personally. Professionally and politically, however, the Obama Administration was far from scandal free. I have no intention of citing those scandals here. I simply want to do a little comparing and contrasting.
While Barack Obama was in office the Democrats in the House, Senate and Media repeatedly told the American people that Republicans were obstructionists if they didn’t go along with and vote for every policy and bill put forth by the Democrats. If Republicans, Conservatives or your average Joe or Josephine disagreed with an Obama policy they were called hate-mongering, knuckle-dragging racists. While George W. Bush was President they considered it patriotic to disagree with the President and his Administration. Disagreement with Obama however, was punishable by severe name-calling and shunning. Enter Donald Trump. And the Left has changed the narrative, again. It’s cool, once more, to “resist”, to stand up to the evil that has taken over our government. Well, I’m resisting your resistance and waving the BS Flag.
Donald Trump calls the left-leaning-media to task, accuses them of being partisan, having an agenda, downplaying stories that put the Right in a good light and spotlighting the ones that make the Left look righteous. Hmmm? I’ve heard all that before, except it was Obama saying the exact same things about the right-leaning-media. He wanted Fox News removed from the White House Press Corps. For months and years, he refused to call on any right-leaning media representatives in his press conferences. He ignored them and their questions and seldom agreed to be interviewed by any of their news people or pundits. He said Fox News was not a legitimate news organization and that they were destructive to the growth of the country. You know what I think is really destructive to the growth of our country? Left and right leaning media promoting their agendas.
Another example. Kellyann Conway and her use of the word massacre. How many times a day can the Left Wing Media replay that video? Clearly often enough to make everyone on the planet believe that Kellyanne Conway is a lying sack of blithering incompetence. “She should know better. What an idiot.” Okay. Shouldn’t our President know how many states we have? Simple question with a straightforward answer. Go to YouTube and type in “President Obama says we have 57 states.” Huh? Guess I must have slept through seven of them. Blithering incompetent or exhausted and misspoke? The difference? The Left Leaning Media didn’t shove that video down our throats by the hour. Their guy got a pass. They pick and choose who they promote and who the skewer. I happen to believe that both were exhausted and had a word-slip. Goodness knows I slip up and I understand that other people do as well.
Now, let’s make a distinction between a word-slip and a straight up lie. Fifty, not fifty-seven = word-slip. Massacre, not terrorists = word-slip. “I remember landing under sniper fire. There was supposed to be some kind of a greeting ceremony at the airport, but instead we just ran with our heads down to get into the vehicles to get to our base.” Straight up lie. Never happened. None of it. How about “We’ve seen rage and violence directed at our embassies because of an awful Internet video.” Word- slip or straight up lie? You decide.
And then Hollywood jumps on the “Resistance Bandwagon” and Meryl Streep goes on her well-publicized tirade. “What bravery.” “What courage.” “Truth to power.” I’m scratching my head saying, “What bravery?” “What courage?” “Truth to power?” Meryl Streep IS the power in Hollywood and she was speaking to a group of predominantly like-minded people. What courage did that take? For future reference, Meryl. Please just learn to say, “Thank you” graciously.
Compare and contrast. So, here’s my example of truth to power. Her name is Patricia Smith. Who is she? She is Sean Smith’s mother. Sean Smith was murdered in Benghazi. Patricia Smith had no money, no power, no influence, no connections, no authority, no platform. She had only her voice and her convictions. And she took on the Secretary of State, the Obama Administration and the Clinton Machine. Why? Because she wanted the truth about what happened to Sean. She wanted justice for her son. She didn’t want what happened to her child to happen to anyone else’s. So, she stood up. She spoke. She demanded answers. And she was vilified by the Left for it. But she didn’t let that stop her. Courage. Bravery. Truth to power.
I happen to believe in our Constitution and in our system of checks and balances. That system gives the authority to write law and change law to the Legislative Branch of government. That means the Congress and Senate should be responsible for enacting new laws. Our system also gives the President (the Executive Branch) the authority to, from time to time, write laws using Executive Orders or Executive Memorandums. It does not, however give that authority to the Judicial Branch. That means judges are responsible for UPHOLDING the law, not changing it. President Trump starts issuing Executive Orders and the Left goes crazy. I’ve read several posts questioning whether or not the current President understands the Constitution and who has the authority to write law. I wondered the same thing during President Obama’s two terms in office. Look at the number of Executive Orders and Memorandums that he wrote. Look at the number George W. Bush wrote. And check out Bill Clinton’s whopping numbers. The precedent is set, people. If you don’t want someone from the other team taking the law into his own hands, then you can’t let your guy do it either. No one gets to have it both ways.
And while we’re on the subject of who has the authority to do what…where on earth, or in the Constitution, did Michelle Obama get the authority to change dietary policy in our public schools and our military? Her involvement with nutrition actually cost the taxpayers money! Schools had to meet her dietary guidelines. Many complained that it was costing them more, they were throwing away too much of it and had hungry kids going home at the end of the day. For some of those children school was the primary source of their daily meals.
Michelle’s food initiative also changed the “chow” in the military “chow halls”. I attended a Basic Training graduation in 2010 right after the changes were implemented and had the chance to talk to some of the graduates. Let’s just say that many of them were not happy campers. Basic Training is grueling mind and body training. Imagine yourself doing hours of classwork, sit-ups, push-ups, pull-ups, obstacle courses and forced marches. Every day for roughly ten weeks. Now imagine not being fed enough to have the strength and stamina to do that. I heard more than one graduate say, “The Chow Hall sucks. Thanks, Mrs. Obama.” The First Lady. A powerful role model and spokesperson, but NOT an elected or appointed official. So where did she get the authority to change policy? You might want to hope that this doesn’t set another precedent because you’re not going to like it when the other side does it.
Speaking of not liking it… when the Right didn’t like President Obama’s policies, they protested them. There were protests all over the country that were completely nonviolent and without profanity or demonizing of the Left. There was one in Washington DC that close to a million people attended. The media and President Obama largely ignored those protests. Why? Maybe so they could focus on the handful of protestors who truly were violent racists. Then they painted everyone who disagreed with the President with the same brush. Now, the Left disagrees with President Trump. Some of the protests are nonviolent and make their points admirably. Many, however, are straight-up riots. There is an attitude of entitled lawlessness that has taken over this country. Once more, is a precedent being set? My way or you can watch the place burn down around you?
Now let’s talk about free speech for a minute. Safe zones so you don’t have to hear things you don’t want to hear, shouting down guest speakers you don’t agree with, name-calling and demonizing those who voice politically incorrect ideas and opinions. Seriously? Do you not see that all those behaviors are destroying free speech? And guess what? We have Freedom OF Speech, not Freedom FROM Speech. That means that I can speak from the Left or the Right, about religion or atheism. I can talk about Pollyanna or the devil. I can be kind or offensive. If you do not like what I have to say, you have the right to walk away. You do NOT have the right to stop me from saying it. I hear many people talking about their fear of losing their right to free speech. Everyone in this country has been losing that right for years. But no one cared, as long as they agreed with what people were being told not to say. If we want the right to speak freely, we must give the right to speak freely. Even if we find it offensive.
I’ve seen several posts recently offering ideas for confronting bullies, particularly those bullying Muslims. Bullying of any sort is unacceptable. That means Muslims, Jews, Christians, Atheists, Agnostics, Buddhists, children, teenagers, adults, Democrats, Republicans, Hillary Supporters, Trump Supporters, Liberals or Conservatives, Vegans and Meat Eaters! I’ve seen zero videos of Muslims being bullied since Donald Trump’s election but I’ve seen several of Trump supporters being yelled at, harassed, spit on and even beaten. Some of the antibullying suggestions will work very well in those situations.
Some of them might even be applicable to the bullying I’ve seen on FB the last couple of years. Check your Newsfeed. Look at the last time someone turned their back on their child at the zoo for just a moment and that child fell…into a gorilla cage or a pond. The vile, hateful comments are beyond belief. On the worst days of people’s lives, the scars they are left with are not just the memory of what they did do, didn’t do or could have done. Now, it’s also the memory of the judgmental cyber hatred that rained down on them while they went through it. We are becoming a nation of faceless bullies, brave enough only to be nasty from behind a computer keyboard. Wake up, people! The Left says “Love Trumps Hate”. But all I see is hate. And it’s not trumping anything.
Today President Donald Trump was sworn into office and I’d like to share the content of his inaguration speech. It was unique and is definitely worth sharing –