Nancy Pelosi and Elijah Manley

Although further reliable information needs to be known before I can write more about the recent event in Florida, based on the facts known to me now, it appears a gay African American man was thrown out of a Nancy Pelosi - Debbie Wasserman Schultz event by agents of the US government. Elijah Manley - reportedly the only African American person in the room - was seated in the second row of the audience when he was “asked” to leave by what appeared to him to be government agents. Mr. Manley’s apparent transgressions were (1) being a African American man and (2) live streaming the event with his mobile device. The agents informed Mr. Manley there had been “threats” against Ms. Wasserman Schultz. However, when he asked on what basis he had been chosen to be removed, the agents had no answers.

I don’t know whether Ms. Pelosi was aware of what was happening. If she was, she is personally accountable for the disgraceful action taken against Mr. Manley. I have not seen any report of either Ms. Pelosi or Ms. Wasserman Schultz extending any apology to Mr. Manley or even acknowledging the despicable conduct directed to him at the event. If Ms.Pelosi was not aware, her failure to do so is an omission of character.

So, I ask my fellow San Franciscans: Based on this incident, does Ms. Pelosi reflect your values, opinions and principles? Or is it time for a change? Elect me and I will not tolerate the kind of conduct inflicted on Mr. Manley as your Representative.


Progressive Values

Because I am on many Democratic Party email lists and contribute money, I get email blast messages “signed” by Nancy Pelosi. I get about two a day. Of course, her emails are highly partisan, laced with exaggeration and hyperbole and always praising Ms. Pelosi. They appear to be written for a 12-14 year old mentality and are usually based on Pelosi’s fear of some horrible consequence if the email recipient does not immediately donate money to her.

The email I received today contained the following statement: “Give $5 right now to defend Nancy and our progressive values.” Whoa. Did that really say, “Nancy and our progressive values?”

What progressive values? Is this the same Nancy Pelosi who refuses to unequivocally state that she supports single-payer health care reform and co-sponsor Representative John Conyers bill for universal health care? Is this the same Nancy Pelosi who accepts millions of dollars from corporations, insurance companies and health care companies? The same Nancy Pelosi who supports the continued use of superdelegates in the Democratic nominating process to thwart the will of Democratic voters who cast their votes in good faith in the primaries, as they undeniably deprived Bernie Sanders of the 2016 presidential nomination? The same Nancy Pelosi who said, “We’re capitalists” to a young man’s question about economic reforms? And the same Nancy Pelosi who says a woman’s right to choose whether to have an abortion is “kind of fading as an issue” in the Democratic Party and the same Nancy Pelosi who prayed on national television for a return to the days of George W. Bush?

The truth is that Nancy Pelosi is not a progressive in any sense of that word. She is a corporate establishment elitist whose politics do not even remotely resemble, reflect or represent the values, hopes, dreams and culture of the City of San Francisco, the congressional district she was elected to represent.

I am a proud progressive. I first came to San Francisco in 1970. I have listened to the people of the City and learned what issues are the most important to them. I do not aspire to become a national political figure and I will not forget who elected me. As your representative in Congress , I promise to always listen to San Franciscans and do everything possible at the federal level to address those issues for my constituents.


Ellis v. Bauman

This weekend’s CA DEM convention ended in controversy and chaos. The CA DEM Chair election result was about 1% apart. Understandably, the supporters of Kimberly Ellis (of whom I am one) are crying foul over the election procedures, results and the response of the CDP to the uproar.

The Ellis camp has demanded an audit of the election to which the Party has reportedly agreed. There is no way to know what the audit will show. However, I do know that this internal Party Chair election gives rise to the same accusations and suspicions of misfeasance, malfeasance and chicanery which characterized the entire 2016 national primary process. Ultimately, thanks to WikiLeaks and/or the Russians, it was established beyond any doubt that the DNC, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, and Hillary Clinton acted in immoral and possibly illegal ways to hijack the primary process and deliver the nomination to Clinton. Indeed, as recently as earlier this month, lawyers for the DNC argued in court that the DNC had a legal right to lie, cheat and steal the nomination from Bernie Sanders. That transparently absurd argument should not prevail in court and is a despicable one for the DNC to make in any event.

The Party is at war with itself, which is only good for our opponents. Nothing good can come of this. How did this happen?

My theory. Since Reagan, the Republican Party has moved steadily to the right of the political spectrum. In 2016, that movement eventually produced the orange buffoon and his cronies now occupying the White House. The rightward drift of the Republicans left a void in the middle of the American politics, formerly occupied by what was known as the moderate wing of the Republican Party. Sensing the opportunity, formerly liberal and progressive Democrats drifted to the right to fill the void, producing a group of DINOs – Democrats in Name Only. DINOs are Republican-Lite, allying with Wall Street, Big Oil, Big Pharma, the insurance, and health care industries. They resist truly progressive programs and ideas because, to do so would cost them the financial support of their corporate contributors and sponsors.

The CA DEM Chair election reflects the schism within the national Democratic Party. Big Pharma money funded Bauman. I heard Bauman speak three times during the campaign for Chair. His speeches were all about his claimed past accomplishments, whereas Ellis spoke of the future. I support the immediate and neutral audit of the CA DEM Chair election and doing whatever is necessary to shine the bright light of truth on what really happened last Saturday. I pledge to do whatever I can to assist that effort.


Progressive Army

When listening to the town hall, we appreciated how straightforward and direct Jaffe’s answers were. Prompted with a question, Jaffe didn’t try to dance on where he stood. He made a clear, bold stand with each answer. Link to the article

Paste

“Single-payer is the only path forward,” he explained, echoing Sanders and explaining that he saw this as a moral issue as well as a political one. “I think there is a human duty to keep all of us healthy, and not allow people to become sick and die due to financial issues. Having private insurance companies make profits off the illness of people is immoral.” Link to the article

Down With Tyranny

Sixteen minutes in and they were still jibber-jabbering about the details of Trump's revelations to the Russian spies--great for breathless CNN coverage but mostly a waste of time in terms of what Pelosi's constituents--both in San Francisco and even nationally--are really interested in. Link to the article

The Jimmy Dore Show

"Nancy Pelosi gets a great deal of her support from insurance companies, Big Pharma, and entities that have a stake in the perpetuation of the status quo. Ms. Pelosi is often described as an epic fundraiser for the Democratic Party, and I concede she certainly raises a lot of money. But that’s only half the question…" Watch the video

President Trump yuks it up with the Russian Foreign Minister and Ambassador to the United States

Amendment XXV, Section 4

Both the Washington Post and New York Times have reported Trump disclosed highly classified information to a known Russian spy (the Russian ambassador) and the Russian foreign minister. If anyone else did that, he or she would be subject to serious criminal prosecution. But Trump is likely immune from criminal prosecution because he, as President, has the power to instantly declassify information at will. Therefore, his acts are not “high crimes and misdemeanors,” the constitutional grounds for impeachment.

However, there is another way to remove Trump as President. Section 4 of the Twenty-Fifth Amendment states: “Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.” The remainder of Section 4 describes the procedure by which the President can be removed under the foregoing circumstances.

Note that Section 4 provides for the involuntary removal of the President without impeachment and trial.

The events of the past two weeks raise serious questions whether Trump “is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office,” Whether this is because he is devoid of good judgment, entangled with Russian intrigue, colossally inept or suffering from a mental illness, Pence and a majority of the Cabinet can act to begin the removal. It is time for that process to commence.


Progressive Army

"Pelosi is a super-wealthy neoliberal corporate Democrat funded by the same corporations and business entities she claims to oppose. The people of San Francisco deserve a representative in Congress who actually represents them, not someone politically indebted to corporate interests." Link to the article

Statement on Comey Firing

In 1974, I was a new lawyer. As the events of Watergate unfolded like the layers of a disintegrating onion, I was glued to the TV, newspapers and radio new sources. I could not get enough of it, especially the Senate hearings with Sam (“I am just a country lawyer”) Ervin, Howard Baker, and John Dean. It was history happening before my eyes.

The events since Trump’s inauguration are beginning to feel the same to me as Watergate did 40+ years ago. Today’s firing of FBI Director Comey is just the latest chapter in a long series of events which genuinely feel like a dismantling of the office of the presidency and the very fabric of our government itself. As Occam’s Razor teaches us, things are usually exactly what they appear to be. In this case, Comey’s firing appears to be transparently designed to stall, impede or quash an impartial and full investigation of expanding incriminating evidence of likely illegal Trump-Russia connections.

We could use men like Sam Ervin and Howard Baker now. Hopefully, there are Republicans in Congress who, like Baker did almost half a century ago, place country before party and step up to address the potentially catastrophic situation we now face. A first step would be the immediate appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate RussiaGate. John McCain has already come out for that and I think Lindsey Graham may follow. Whatever else you may think of Senator McCain, I applaud his courage for taking that stand.

I encourage all Americans to emulate Howard Baker and also place country before party. The issues before us are far too important to us to do otherwise.