Category Archives: To Save Democracy

Bernie in ‘24?? New Poll Says He’s Got Highest Favorability

The Hill — August 26 2022

CAMPAIGN
Sanders has highest favorability among possible 2024 contenders: poll
BY ZACH SCHONFELD

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) clocked in with the highest favorability rating among a list of 23 potential 2024 presidential contenders, according to a new USA Today-Ipsos poll.

Forty-six percent of respondents said they had at least a somewhat favorable view toward Sanders, while 41 percent said they had an unfavorable opinion.

President Biden had the second-highest favorability rating at 43 percent, although his unfavorability rating was notably higher than Sanders’s, with 52 percent of those surveyed saying they had an unfavorable opinion of the president.

Former President Trump clocked in with the same ratings as Biden.

The three political figures were followed in the poll by other well-known potential candidates, while possible contenders with a smaller national profile were seen as unfamiliar by most voters.

Vice President Harris and former Vice President Mike Pence both received favorable ratings from at least 40 percent of respondents, earning the third- and fourth-highest figures among the candidates, respectively.

Continue reading Bernie in ‘24?? New Poll Says He’s Got Highest Favorability

New NBC Poll: Dems’ Midterm Odd Improve; Ex-CIA Boss: GOP BIGGEST DANGER TO U. S.

NBC News poll: 57% of voters say investigations into Trump should continue

Ahead of the midterm elections, the GOP leads in congressional preference, but Democrats catch up in enthusiasm.

August 21, 2022 — By Mark Murray

WASHINGTON — A clear majority of American voters believe that the various investigations into alleged wrongdoing by former President Donald Trump should continue, according to a national NBC News poll conducted after the FBI searched Trump’s Florida home and recovered documents marked as “top secret” earlier this month.

The poll also shows a dissatisfied public, with three-quarters of voters saying the county is headed in the wrong direction, a record 58% who say that America’s best years are behind it and 61% who say they’re willing to carry a protest sign for a day because they’re so upset.

And it paints a mixed picture of the 2022 midterm landscape, with President Joe Biden’s job rating mired in the low 40s, and with Republicans narrowly leading on congressional preference — but with Democrats nearly tying Republicans on voter enthusiasm — and with “threats to democracy” overtaking the cost of living as the top issue facing the country for voters.

“Politically, for Joe Biden and Democrats, the news is not all bad,” said Democratic pollster Jeff Horwitt of Hart Research Associates, who conducted this survey with Republican pollster Bill McInturff of Public Opinion Strategies.

“Heading into Labor Day, the political dynamics could be worse [for Democrats], but they also need to get a lot better and fast,” he said.

McInturff, the GOP pollster, agrees that the environment has improved for Democrats since earlier this year. But he argues that the main fundamentals — the president’s job rating, the nation’s direction — are breaking against the party.

“America is singing the blues, and that is bad news for the blue team in November,” McInturff said.

The NBC News poll was conducted Aug. 12-16, during and after a tumultuous period for Donald Trump — when the FBI searched the former president’s Florida home, when Trump attorney and ally Rudy Giuliani revealed he is a “target” in the probe of alleged election interference in Georgia, and as a former Trump business executive pleaded guilty for tax fraud.

According to the survey, 57% of registered voters say that the investigations into alleged wrongdoing by Trump should continue, while 40% say they should stop.

By party, 92% of Democratic voters, 61% of independents but only 21% of Republican voters think the investigations into Trump should continue.

While all voters who prefer the investigations continue rather than stop lead by 17 points, the margin holding Trump responsible for the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol is much smaller.

A combined 50% of voters say Trump is solely or mainly responsible for Jan. 6 — up 5 points since the May NBC News poll, before the House committee investigating the attack began holding multiple televised hearings.

That’s compared with a combined 49% saying Trump is only somewhat responsible or not responsible at all for Jan. 6, which is down 6 points from May.

Biden’s job rating remains in the low forties

The poll was also conducted after a strong stretch for President Biden, which included Congress passing climate and health care legislation and the Bureau of Labor Statistics reporting that 528,000 jobs had been created last month.

But the survey doesn’t show a significant improvement in the president’s standing, with 42% of registered voters approving of Biden’s job performance and 55% disapproving.

In May, Biden’s job approval stood at 42% among registered voters and 39% among all adults.

The president enjoys his highest approval rating among Democrats (79%), Black voters (68%), urban residents (50%) and women (47%), while he has some of his lowest ratings among Latinos (40%), men (36%), those 18-34 (36%), rural residents (21%) and Republicans (7%).

On the issues, 40% approve of Biden’s handling of the economy (up 7 points among adults in May), and 39% give him a thumbs-up on foreign policy (down 3 points among adults).

Looking ahead to November’s midterm elections, 47% of registered voters prefer Republicans winning control of Congress, while 45% want Democrats in charge.

In May’s poll, the parties were tied on this question: 46%-46%.

Democrats close the enthusiasm gap

Despite Biden’s approval rating and the GOP’s lead in congressional preference (albeit within the poll’s margin of error), the NBC News survey shows an improvement for Democrats since earlier this year.

For one thing, Democrats have closed the enthusiasm gap.

According to the survey, 68% of Republicans express a high level of interest in the upcoming election — registering either a “9” or “10” on a 10-point scale — versus 66% for Democrats.

That 2-point GOP advantage is down from 17 points in March and 8 points in May.

The pollsters who conducted the survey attribute the increased Democratic enthusiasm to the June Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade.

“The Supreme Court ruling has shaken up the electorate,” said Horwitt, the Democratic pollster.

Indeed, the poll finds that 58% of voters disapprove of the Supreme Court decision that overturned Roe v. Wade and ended the constitutional right to an abortion, compared with 38% who approve.

And the poll finds that “threats to democracy” has overtaken the “cost of living” as the most important issue facing the country, and that the climate and health care legislation Biden signed into law last week is more popular than unpopular (42% call it a good idea, while 31% say it is a bad idea).

Upset enough to carry a protest sign for an entire day

But hovering over the entire poll is a deep dissatisfaction from the American public.

Three-quarters of voters — 74% — say the country is headed in the wrong direction, representing the fifth-straight NBC News survey showing this number in the 70s.

Additionally, 58% believe America’s best days are behind it, which is the highest percentage on this question dating back to 1990.

Another 68% of voters think the United States is currently in an economic recession.

And six in 10 — 61% — say they’re so upset by something that they’re willing to carry a protest sign for an entire day.

Asked what their protest sign would say, the top responses among Democratic voters are “Women’s rights,” “Equal rights,” “Prosecute Trump” and “Abortion rights.”

And the top responses among Republican voters are “Impeach Biden,” “Protect our freedom,” “Protect 2nd Amendment,” and “Stop Democrats.”

The NBC News poll was conducted Aug. 12-16 of 1,000 registered voters — including 750 reached by cell phone — and it has an overall margin of error of plus-minus 3.1 percentage points.

© 2022 NBC UNIVERSAL

 

GOP Is Most ‘Dangerous’ Political Force in World, Michael Hayden Says

Retired Gen. Michael Hayden, a former director of both the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency, has called out the Republican Party as extremist and dangerous, on an unprecedented level.

Hayden was responding Wednesday to an Aug. 11 tweet by the British journalist and author Edward Luce, who had said: “I’ve covered extremism and violent ideologies around the world over my career. Have never come across a political force more nihilistic, dangerous & contemptible than today’s Republicans. Nothing close.”

Luce is the chief U.S. commentator for the Financial Times.

“I agree. And I was the CIA Director,” Hayden responded via quote-tweet.

The tweet sparked immediate debate online, and drew more than 35,000 “likes” in its first three hours.

Hayden, a retired Air Force general who was named director of the NSA during the Clinton administration and was then tapped as CIA director by President George W. Bush, was among five former top military officials who penned a USA Today op-ed last month warning that American democracy “is in real peril” following the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol insurrection and by the manner in which the Republican Party has embraced conspiracy theorists, 2020 election deniers and extremist elements.

Also see: Trump lost — 2020 election wasn’t stolen, group of ultraprominent conservatives says

“For those of us focused on domestic security, the forces of autocracy now trump traditional foreign threats, hands down,” the former military officials wrote, citing a study earlier this year that found one in three Americans believe violence against the government could be justified.

A number of prominent Republicans have also gone on record decrying the state of the Republican Party and Donald Trump’s ongoing influence over it. On Wednesday, Rep. Liz Cheney — who lost her Wyoming Republican primary Tuesday after vigorously opposing Trump — vowed to fight to prevent Trump from becoming president again.

“I am absolutely going to continue this battle,” she told NBC News. “It’s the most important thing I’ve ever been involved in, and I think it’s certainly the most important thing, challenge, that our nation has faced in recent history, and maybe since the Civil War. And it’s one that we must win.”

Separately, former Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday pleaded with fellow Republicans to tone down their rhetoric against the FBI following last week’s search of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago private club in Palm Beach, Fla.

Law-enforcement officials have warned in recent days that angry words from Trump and his allies are putting agents, officers and federal employees at risk. Violent rhetoric may have contributed to at least two deadly encounters involving law enforcement over the past week.

Arizona’s Unbroken Election Hero: Rusty Bowers Speaks

The Guardian — Sun 21 Aug 2022

Interview
Ousted Republican reflects on Trump, democracy and America: ‘The place has lost its mind’

Ed Pilkington in Mesa, Arizona

Rusty Bowers is headed for the exit. After 18 years as an Arizona lawmaker, the past four as speaker of the state’s house of representatives, he has been unceremoniously shown the door by his own Republican party.

Last month he lost his bid to stay in the Arizona legislature in a primary contest in which his opponent was endorsed by Donald Trump. The rival, David Farnsworth, made an unusual pitch to voters: the 2020 presidential election had not only been stolen from Trump, he said, it was satanically snatched by the “devil himself”.

Bowers was ousted as punishment. The Trump acolytes who over the past two years have gained control of the state’s Republican party wanted revenge for the powerful testimony he gave in June to the January 6 hearings in which he revealed the pressure he was put under to overturn Arizona’s election result.

This is a very Arizonan story. But it is also an American story that carries an ominous warning for the entire nation.

Six hours after the Guardian interviewed Bowers, Liz Cheney was similarly ousted in a primary for her congressional seat in Wyoming. The formerly third most powerful Republican leader in the US Congress had been punished too.

The thought that if you don’t do what we like, then we will just get rid of you and march on and do it ourselves – that to me is fascism
In Bowers’s case, his assailants in the Arizona Republican party wanted to punish him because he had steadfastly refused to do their, and Trump’s, bidding.

He had declined to use his power as leader of the house to invoke an “arcane Arizonan law” – whose text has never been found – that would allow the legislature to cast out the will of 3.4 million voters who had handed victory to Joe Biden and switch the outcome unilaterally to Trump.

Continue reading Arizona’s Unbroken Election Hero: Rusty Bowers Speaks

An Icon of Occupy Wall Street Remembered


AP News: Dorli Rainey, symbol of Occupy movement, dies at 95

SEATTLE (AP) — Dorli Rainey, a selfdescribed “old lady in combat boots” who became a symbol of the Occupy protest movement when she was photographed after being peppersprayed by Seattle police, has died. She was 95.

Dorli Rainey, in the days of Occupy Wall Street, in Seattle

The longtime political activist died on Aug. 12, the Seattle Times reported. Her daughter, Gabriele Rainey, told the newspaper her mom was “so active because she loved this country, and she wanted to make sure that the country was good to its people.” Continue reading An Icon of Occupy Wall Street Remembered

Sri Lanka: What Goes Around Is Coming Around?

Sri Lanka Collapsed First, but It Won’t Be the Last

Mr. Samarajiva is a Sri Lankan writer who publishes at his blog Indi.ca.

As a Sri Lankan, watching international news coverage of my country’s economic and political implosion is like showing up at your own funeral, with everybody speculating on how you died.

The Western media accuse China of luring us into a debt trap. Tucker Carlson says environmental, social and corporate governance programs killed us. Everybody blames the Rajapaksas, the corrupt political dynasty that ruled us until massive protests by angry Sri Lankans chased them out last month.

But from where I’m standing, ultimate blame lies with the Western-dominated neoliberal system that keeps developing countries in a form of debt-fueled colonization. The system is in crisis, its shaky foundations exposed by the tumbling dominoes of the Ukraine war, resulting in food and fuel scarcity, the pandemic, and looming insolvency and hunger rippling across the world.

Sri Lanka is Exhibit A. We were once an economic hope, with an educated population and a median income among the highest in South Asia. But it was an illusion. After 450 years of colonialism, 40 years of neoliberalism, and four years of total failure by our politicians, Sri Lanka and its people have been beggared.

Continue reading Sri Lanka: What Goes Around Is Coming Around?