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Swing State Project

Star of new ad for Missouri Republican made rape jokes on Facebook, called Muslims 'goat humpers' (September 27, 2016, 07:47 PM)

When you're an inexperienced candidate whose main qualifications are raising huge sums of money from sketchballs and blowing shit up on camera, you're bound to make mistakes. But this screwup is particularly awful, even for Missouri Republican Eric Greitens.

The image above was shared on the Facebook page of Army veteran Robert Murphy, who stars in Greitens' newest TV ad as the grizzly-voiced narrator of a diatribe against Democrat Chris Koster, Greitens' opponent in this November?s race for governor. But Murphy's social media preferences pretty much ensure that now he, rather than Koster, is going to be the story. And that ghastly "rape" meme was far from the only revolting piece of garbage Murphy's posted recently:

Other memes Murphy has re-posted in the past year announce, "No to gun control, Yes to Muslim control," and decry having to fear offending "some 7th Century Islamic goat humpers."

Several other memes falsely allege Obama is a Muslim who wasn't born in the United States, including one showing Obama's face on a "wanted" poster with the words: "Missing from Kenya."

Greitens' campaign responded by carping that "Robert Murphy fought for the media's right to write dumb gotcha stories, and for his own free speech right to say things that aren't politically correct, even things others, including Eric, don't agree with," which is the same thing as saying, "We don't really care that our surrogate trivialized rape." But as Kevin McDermott of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch notes, that kind of attitude didn't exactly help another Missouri Republican?a guy you all know named Todd Akin.


Ad Roundup: This Karl Rove protege says she's from "the American side of the beltway" (September 27, 2016, 06:22 PM)

CA-24: The NRCC argues that Democrat Salud Carbajal voted to raise other people?s taxes while failing to property pay his own.

CA-26: In her first ad, Democratic Rep. Julia Brownley talks about her work helping military families.

CA-52: In her first general election ad, Republican Denise Gitsham delivers some very vague statements about how career politics suck and she?s different. Gitsham used to work for Karl Rove, which of course she doesn?t mention in this spot, though she does declare that ?San Diego needs a representative from the American side of the beltway.?

CO-03: In her first ad, Democrat Gail Shwartz tells the audience how she lost her young daughter in a car accident, but she fought to be able to stand up again when she was told her she?d never walk. Schwartz goes on to say that she stood up for schools, and she will stand up to Republican Rep. Scott Tipton to ?stop him from selling off our public lands.?


For Donald Trump, the rest of the world might as well be Narnia (September 27, 2016, 05:35 PM)

Most of the things that Donald Trump says about domestic policy are nothing more than conservative mythology that?s become hard-baked into the alt-right. So it shouldn?t be surprising that much of what he said about foreign affairs in the first debate had more to do with beliefs circulating around Breitbart than anything that?s happening in the real world. Trump?s version of world events is based on a fantasyland composed of half-heard rumors and deeply-held conspiracy theories.

And it makes less sense than talking animals.

China

There is no diacritic available to adequately evoke the hate-bite Trump puts into the name ?China.? But there are plenty of facts to show how he?s wrong when talking about them. For example ...

Trump: You look at what China is doing to our country in terms of making our product. They're devaluing their currency, and there's nobody in our government to fight them. And we have a very good fight. And we have a winning fight. Because they're using our country as a piggy bank to rebuild China, and many other countries are doing the same thing.

It?s true enough that for a long time, China was criticized for keeping the value of the yuan artificially low. However ?

Beijing allowed the RMB to appreciate against the dollar for about a decade until 2014, leading the IMF to judge the RMB as fairly valued in May of last year.

So there?s no more juice to be had from that rock. Also, with its own economy falling from the lofty heights of double-digit growth, Beijing has actually been selling off dollars to keep the price of the yuan from plummeting. So ? no. 

Both actions by Beijing have made the U.S. trade deficit lower. And when it comes to the trade deficit, Trump has the number wrong.

Lester, we have a trade deficit with all of the countries that we do business with, of almost $800 billion a year. You know what that is? That means, who's negotiating these trade deals?

Well, thank goodness it?s not Donald Trump. The actual trade deficit was about $500 billion in 2015 with a similar number expected this year. As usual, Trump was making things much worse than they actually are. 

42 days remain until the election. Click here to make sure you're registered to vote. And while you're at it, make sure your family and friends are registered too. 


Deborah Ross fires back hard against GOP claims she opposed North Carolina's sex-offender registry (September 27, 2016, 05:26 PM)

Goal Thermometer

Well, we knew this would happen?it was only a question of when: Republicans have finally started attacking Democratic Senate candidate Deborah Ross in earnest over her advocacy as head of the North Carolina ACLU, a post she left 14 years ago. In particular, new ads from both GOP Sen. Richard Burr and the Senate Leadership Fund slam Ross for a memo she wrote in the mid-1990s raising questions about the state's sex offender registry. Burr's spot features a Marine Corps veteran and rape survivor who says Ross "wants to protect sexual predators over victims." The SLF ad, meanwhile, castigates Ross for putting her "left-wing ideas ahead of our families' safety" and claims Ross "repeatedly objected to making the sex-offender database publicly available."

Those certainly seem like they could be devastating lines of attack, but at least we know that Ross was completely prepared for this day. In a very effective response ad, Ross features former state Sen. Fountain Odom, who identifies himself as "the sponsor of the law creating the sex-offender registry," and adds that "Deborah Ross helped me," praising her for making the law stronger. Odom blasts Burr for "flat-out lying" about Ross's views and slams the senator for voting "against funding the federal sex-offender registry." Ross wisely focuses on the work she did on behalf of the law and avoids repeating the GOP?s attacks against her, and Odom's emphatic, sincere delivery, combined with his soft drawl, make him a perfect messenger.

The question, of course, is which message voters hear more?and which they wind up believing. In a recent piece in the National Journal written just before these new ads came out, Andrea Drusch observed that "the sex offender registry hasn't been the weapon that Republicans had hoped," at least not yet, and she suggests that the full-throated support of guys like Fountain is part of the reason why. One unnamed Republican operative claims there's more material on Ross from her time at the ACLU that hasn't been deployed yet, but let's see if this initial salvo gains traction first.

Polls show a tight race, and the GOP is getting desperate. Please chip in $3 for Deborah Ross today.


NRA gears up to drop $1 million-plus attacking Cortez Masto in Nevada (September 27, 2016, 04:21 PM)

Goal Thermometer

The National Rifle Association is trying to sway the Nevada Senate race to replace Sen. Harry Reid with the GOP's Joe Heck, via a new ad urging voters to "defend your freedom." The gun lobby clearly doesn?t like the way Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto, a Daily Kos endorsee, has voted on gun issues. Wesley Juhl writes:

The ad draws a connection between Cortez Masto and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., who the ad says voted for gun control and anti-gun judges. The NRA is spending more than $1 million to run the 30-second ad in Reno and Las Vegas from Tuesday to Monday.

The gun rights advocacy group grades lawmakers on their records on gun issues and gives Cortez Masto an ?F? rating, an NRA spokeswoman said. The group endorsed Republican U.S. Senate candidate Joe Heck, whom it gave an ?A? ranking.

If there?s anyone we don?t want in the Senate, it?s a candidate backed by NRA money. The gun lobby should never dictate our gun policies because with them, it?s always money over safety. If you can stomach it, watch the ad below.

Please contribute $3 to help turn the Senate blue and give common-sense gun laws a chance. 

42 days remain until the election. Click here to make sure you're registered to vote. And while you're at it, make sure your family and friends are registered too.


Mike Coffman's a birther in the Trump mold, and Morgan Carroll won't let him forget it (September 27, 2016, 03:49 PM)

Goal Thermometer

In early August, Republican Rep. Mike Coffman ran an attention-grabbing commercial where he pledged to stand up to either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. However, Coffman had no exit strategy and he soon found himself in trouble when he admitted that he hadn?t actually ruled out voting for Trump. Colorado?s 6th District is the type of well-off and well-educated area where Trump smells like electoral rat poison, so we know why Coffman is trying to distance himself from his party?s nominee. But Democrat Morgan Carroll is trying to make sure that he fails.

Carroll is out with a new commercial explicitly linking the top of the ticket to the bottom. The narrator argues that Trump wants to defund Planned Parenthood, while saying that Coffman actually did vote to defund it six times. The spot then shows a clip of Trump declaring that immigrants are ?bringing drugs? and ?they?re rapists,? before the narrator says Coffman told immigrants to ?pull out a dictionary.? And no, that Coffman quote was not taken out of context. The ad also assails Coffman for saying nothing when Trump mocked a disabled reporter.

But perhaps the most dangerous part of the ad for Coffman comes at the end, when the narrator points out that Trump has questioned Barack Obama?s birthplace before an audio clip plays of Coffman says that the president is ?just not an American.? That?s a reference to a 2012 incident where Coffman shoved both feet in his mouth and bit down hard:

"I don't know whether Barack Obama was born in the United States of America. I don't know that. But I do know this, that in his heart, he's not an American. He's just not an American."

Coffman went on to claim he misspoke and said he apologized, but he added, ?I don't believe the president shares my belief in American Exceptionalism.? Some apology.


Supreme Court vacancy watch Day 226: Three days to a government shutdown (September 27, 2016, 03:43 PM)

It's Tuesday, September 27, and Day 226 since Justice Antonin Scalia died and Mitch McConnell decided no nominee would get any Senate attention: No meetings, no hearings, no votes. It's also Day 195 since Merrick Garland was nominated by President Obama to fill that vacancy. Days until the government runs out of funding: 3.5. 

So what's the Senate doing today? Still not funding government,  because Republicans continue to refuse to help the people of Flint, Michigan with clean drinking water.

The Senate failed to approve a procedural vote, 45-55, for the continuing resolution.

Several Republicans also objected to the bill that would fund the government only until Dec. 9. The largest sticking point, however, appeared to be Republicans? failure to deal with Flint?s lead crisis, even as they rushed to help flood victims in other states, especially Louisiana.

"Would it be asking too much for the speaker of the House, the leader of the Senate, the Republican leader of the Senate, to stand and say, 'We're going to get that thing done, we're going to pass it, we're going to make sure that the bill that passed overwhelmingly in the Senate is going to become law?" asked Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), referring to a separate bill, the Water Resources Development Act, that includes funding for Flint and other lead mitigation efforts. "But they ignore that. They ignore the people of Flint."

By the way, twelve Republicans also voted against moving to proceed on this bill, so McConnell's going to have a hard time blaming anything on Democrats alone. But just to prove how much of a monster he is, McConnell is now suggesting that flood-ravaged Louisiana won't get any funding either. "We keep hearing their position is 'no Flint, no floods.' Well that's certainly an option worth discussing," he told reporters.

Yep, if he can't get his way, he'll take more hostages. He's a horrible, horrible person. He's Donald Trump if Donald Trump had impulse control and political experience. This man should not be in charge of the Senate. This man should not be in charge of a convenience store.

Can you chip in $3 today to help turn the Senate blue?

Are you a member of MoveOn? No matter where you live, help defeat Donald Trump and take back the Senate by texting MoveOn members in swing states to knock on doors where they live.


Hillary Clinton revels in her debate win with a point-by-point replay of Monday night (September 27, 2016, 03:37 PM)

Goal Thermometer

Hillary Clinton spent much of her Tuesday rally in Raleigh, NC, touching on Donald Trump's greatest hits from Monday night's debate, pounding them home one by one with gusto.

One of her best advances reflected on Trump's assertion that not paying any federal taxes is "smart," seemingly a confirmation that he hasn't paid them. What that means, as Clinton noted, is that he's been traveling the country trashing the state of our military and our veterans care and our schools, but he probably hasn't contributed much, if anything, to improve those services. In fact, the self-proclaimed billionaire has likely helped choke off the very resources necessary to run them.

Here's Clinton:

He actually bragged about gaming the system to get out of paying his fair share of taxes. In fact, I think, there's a strong probability he hasn't paid federal taxes a lot of years and this is a man who goes around calling our military a disaster. Who goes around criticizing every institution from healthcare to education, our vets but he probably hasn't paid a penny to support our troops or our vets or our schools or our healthcare systems.  

This is a brilliant progression of the narrative that was set up about Trump?s taxes last night during the debate. Trump not only gamed the system, he helped rig it to lose, and now he's calling it a loser at the expense of millions of Americans who depend on those very services. 

If you're fired up, please pitch in $6 to help Hillary Clinton end Donald Trump's short but terrible political career.

42 days remain until the election. Click here to make sure you're registered to vote. And while you're at it, make sure your family and friends are registered too.


Louisiana Republican John Fleming attacks his Senate opponents for attacking one another (September 27, 2016, 03:27 PM)

The race to replace retiring Louisiana Sen. David Vitter has been a chaotic affair, and now Republican Rep. John Fleming, a favorite of outsider groups like the Club for Growth, is hoping to take advantage of that chaos. Following a recent spat between Rep. Charles Boustany and state Treasurer John Kennedy, Fleming is out with one of those commercials that attacks his opponents for attacking one another.

The spot features a cafeteria full of well-dressed men throwing food at one another, as the narrator explains, ?First, Kennedy attacks Boustany as a wasteful-spending liberal. Then Kennedy attacks Boustany on character.? By contrast, the narrator declares that Fleming ?is fighting the real enemy: Obama and Clinton? and praises him for standing with Donald Trump on immigration and terrorism. And of course by repeating Boustany and Kennedy?s charges against one another, Fleming is giving them more oxygen.

Fleming doesn?t go into much detail about Kennedy?s attacks on Boustany?s character, though a newspaper flashes on screen reading, ?Kennedy operatives spread Boustany story.? A few weeks ago, an investigative journalist named Ethan Brown released a book in which he claimed that Boustany was the client of several prostitutes who were later murdered. (Brown does not allege that Boustany had anything to do with their deaths.) Boustany denied everything and no new information has emerged. However, Kennedy took advantage of the situation to spread the story around while denying he had anything to do with spreading it around.

Boustany was not amused, and he held a press conference bashing Kennedy as ?the only candidate who has spread this false story against me.? Fleming mostly stayed quiet during all this, so he?s hoping that Boustany and Kennedy will just pulverize one another. Senate hopefuls need to win first or second place in November to advance to a likely December runoff (assuming no one takes a majority in the first round) and, aside from a recent Fleming internal, polls consistently show him taking less than 10 percent of the vote. However, there are still plenty of undecideds, and Fleming is relying on his image as a hardcore conservative champion to help him break through.


Pot, meet kettle: Absentee Sen. Marco Rubio attacks Democrat Murphy for being 'ineffective' (September 27, 2016, 02:37 PM)

Goal Thermometer

The last time we checked in on Little Marco Rubio and his last-minute Senate campaign, he was lying about Democrat Patrick Murphy's support for Zika research and prevention funding. The fact-checkers have dinged Rubio and his allies repeatedly for lying about his opponent, but that's not slowing Rubio down. He's still at it with two new ads released this week that attack Murphy's résumé and congressional career.

Never mind that Rubio's claims have been debunked for months now. What about the gall of Rubio accusing Murphy?who is in the minority in the Republican House?of being "ineffective" in Congress?

Let's review Marco's performance. He's this session's least effective and most absentee senator, and it isn't just us saying so. Oh, and this, too:

The Tampa Bay times reported last week  that Rubio missed 20 of 23 Senate Select Committee on Intelligence meetings between Oct. 2015 and March 2016, the time he was campaigning for president. In February, the newspaper reported that Rubio had missed hundreds of hearings?seven in 10?on four different Senate committees he joined as freshman lawmaker 2010.

And how about all the times?at least nine of them?he justified not showing up to work because he found the job so frustrating and he hated it. Oh, and when he said this: "And I'm not going to have an exit strategy premised on the idea that I'm going to pivot back to a Senate race. We have quality candidates in the state on the Republican side who could run and make great senators." And this: "You don't run for president with some eject button in the cockpit that allows you to go on an exit ramp if it doesn't work out."

He's actually trying to convince the voters of Florida that he'll be committed to them this time. That he'll be the effective one in the Senate?while he's also refusing to commit to finishing his six-year term if he's re-elected. Because the Senate is nothing more than a launching pad for him.

Yep, it takes a fucking lot of gall to have Rubio?s record and run the ads he's running against Murphy.

Can you pitch in with $3 to help Patrick Murphy oust Rubio once and for all?

Marco Rubio's presidential dreams crashed and burned. Now, let's make sure he also loses the U.S. Senate race. Sign up to get out the vote for Patrick Murphy.


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