Category Archives: Infrastructure

House Democrats have won an historic mandate

FiveThirtyEight now projects The Last Unresolved House Race Of 2018, the California 21st is likely to be the 40th Democratic pickup. Democrat TJ Cox will turn out Republican Rep. David Valadao.

NBC News reports, Democrats smash Watergate record for House popular vote in midterms:

Democrats won the House with the largest margin of victory in a midterms election for either party, according to NBC News election data.

While votes are still being tallied, Democratic House candidates currently hold an 8,805,130 vote lead over Republicans as of Monday morning. The Democrats’ national margin of victory in House contests smashes the previous midterms record of 8.7 million votes in 1974, won just months after President Richard Nixon resigned from office in disgrace amid the Watergate scandal.

Of the more than 111 million votes cast in House races nationwide, Democrats took 53.1 percent — retaking control of the House of Representatives by flipping nearly 40 seats — while Republicans received 45.2 percent of the vote.

Brent Budowsky writes at The Hill, House Dems won a historic mandate (excerpt):

In the most important midterm election in a century, after voter turnout of epic and historic proportions, House Democrats won a popular vote majority of more than 9 million votes. By contrast, Donald Trump lost the 2016 popular vote by some 3 million votes, and is now viewed as a great divider and dangerous pariah by peoples and leaders of democratic nations throughout the world.

Politics is about power. Effective January 2019, no bill will be enacted into law, and no dollar will be authorized or appropriated, without the support of the Democratic House. House Democrats have won a dramatic mandate to propose — and ultimately pass — legislation to lift the health, wages and lives of Americans, as well as to set the stage to elect the next Democratic president and Democratic Senate in 2020, when most senators running for reelection will be Republicans.

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Climate Change Deniers Must heed the Lessons of Noah and the Ark

In the telling of the later versions of the Genesis tale of Noah and the Ark (those not in the original Biblical accounts), the people are shown mocking Noah and his family for wasting a century in constructing the large vessel that would sustain them and the selected animals during the flood. In other versions, they ignore Noah’s warnings to build arks of their own so they avoid the cataclysm that God intended for Earth. Today, with a significant portion of the Trump (formerly Republican) Party denying the existence of human-made climate change, it is easy now to see the Genesis Flood story as one of climate change with Noah as the protagonist warning people of the natural catastrophe that was about to be unleashed and the rest of the populace denying and ridiculing him until it was too late. Today, it is the scientists warning of the consequences of our actions and inactions on climate change and it is the Trump Administration, in denying its own far-reaching report, that are not heeding the lessons of history and pursuing policies to combat the problem while it still can be.

We need to pay heed to the environmental lessons of Noah and the Ark.

It is ironic that the now Trump Party in its former Republican Party form once embraced and championed science, land conservation, and environmental protection. It was a Republican President Theodore Roosevelt that helped develop the United States Forest and Park Services. It was a Republican President Dwight Eisenhower, following the launch of Sputnik, who oversaw the creation of N.A.S.A. and the start of the space race. It was a Republican President Richard Nixon that signed the legislation that created the Environmental Protection Agency (E.P.A.) and Clean Air Act.

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Democrats need to start laying the Progressive Foundation for 2020 now.

As other pundits in the national and local media have pointed out, It will be tempting these next several months to focus on the Popular Vote Loser’s (Presidents) tweets, outrageous comments and behavior, and potentially criminal acts that will be adjudicated in the courts.

Now that they will be in control of the House of Representatives, Democrats do have a responsibility to provide oversight of the Executive Branches actions that the Trump (Republican) Party failed to undertake. That is only right and proper.

Democrats and Progressives, in the federal government and in the state government offices they triumphed in, should also take this as an opportunity to advance progressive policies (both incremental and ambitious) that will further attract supporters in the rural, urban, and suburban parts of the country.  They should attempt to create bipartisan consensus with the Trump Party but be prepared to fight for and campaign on what the Trumpists obstruct in the Senate and the Oval Office.

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A Good Beginning Toward Building a Progressive Governing Majority in Arizona

Yesterday was a good beginning toward building a progressive governing majority in Arizona. Democrats appear to  have prevailed in some state house races :

  • Jennifer Jermaine in LD 18
  • Jennifer Pawlik in LD 17
  • Aaron Lieberman in LD 28.

 

Democrats also prevailed in local contests (notably school board) laying the groundwork and foundation for future progressive advances.

Democrats should also take comfort in recruiting many capable and compelling local and congressional candidates who gave Republicans a run for their money and performed well against the odds. Hopefully, many of these candidates will decide to run again.

  • It may take until March but Kate Gallego appears to be the odds-on favorite to be the next Mayor of Phoenix.
  • Jennifer Longdon, a role model for people who can overcome great adversity, coasted to victory as a State Representative in LD 24.
  • Anne Kirkpatrick came back into the political arena to win in Congressional District Two.
  • Former Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, possibly on a career track to run for Governor in 2022, easily won Congressional District Nine.
  • Kathy Hoffman, who went from political novice to perhaps becoming the next Superintendent of Public Instruction, may be a rising star.
  • The races for Katie Hobbs and Kyrsten Sinema, as of Nov. 7, are still too close to call with up to 500,000 votes in Maricopa County still to be counted.

Youth turnout rose dramatically. Yes, yesterday was a good beginning.

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The Arizona Republic: No on Prop. 127 (vote yes)

The Arizona Republic recommends a “no” vote on the Clean Energy For A Healthy Arizona initiative, Prop. 127. Prop. 127, Arizona’s renewable energy initiative, comes down to just 4 words:

One day Arizona will be powered by the sun.

We enjoy such abundant natural light that we seem destined to throw a harness around the sun and use it to pull the greater share of our state economy.

But that day is not here. Not yet.

For now we are moving in the direction of the sun with new knowledge and new technology.

Crusaders for clean power have put on this year’s ballot a proposal to massively accelerate Arizona’s ascension to virtually 100-percent clean energy. But there are reasons to doubt it.

Because there is an entrenched carbon monopoly and special interest “dark money” from APS, its parent company Pinnacle West, and the “Kochtopus” organizations which have bought GOP candidates and captured the Arizona Corporation Commission.

What would Proposition 127 do?

Utilities are now under Arizona Corporation Commission mandate to produce 15 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2025.

Proposition 127 would bump up those requirements to 50 percent by 2030, an increase the utilities say would greatly increase costs that would then be passed on to ratepayers.

Note: California law already requires at least 50 percent of the state’s electricity to come from noncarbon-producing sources by 2030. California took a giant step this past May, by becoming the first state to require all new homes to be fitted for solar power. California Will Require Solar Power for New Homes. The Clean Energy For A Healthy Arizona initiative is not nearly as ambitious.

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