N.H. ‘Veterans For Trump’ Co-Chair Indicted For Role In Bunkerville 2014 Standoff


A news worthy item provided by Jeanette Strong, CCDCC:
“Here is a spiffy tie-in between Donald Trump and the Bundys, the low-lifes who refused to pay their grazing fees and then took over the wildlife refuge in Oregon, destroying Native American artifacts along the way. This is the caliber of person Trump attracts. Neat, huh?… (Most real veterans don’t want Trump elected. They recognize how dangerous he is.)..Jeanette”

N.H. ‘Veterans For Trump’ Co-Chair Indicted For Role In Bunkerville 2014 Standoff
Bill Morlin, Southern Poverty Law Center, March 03, 2016

A 61-year ex-Marine who has been co-chair of the Veterans for Trump campaign in New Hampshire is among three additional defendants named in a superseding indictment containing new criminal charges for their roles in an armed 2014 standoff with federal agents at the Bundy Ranch in Bunkerville, Nev.

Gerald A. “Jerry” DeLemus, who has worked as a self-employed carpenter and been a Tea Party activist, was arrested without incident Thursday at his home in Rochester, N.H., by an FBI tactical team.

After a court appearance, he was expected to be taken by federal marshals to the District of Nevada where the charges are filed.

His wife, state Rep. Susan DeLemus, (R-Rochester), spread word of her husband’s arrest, prompting the former chairman of the state’s Republican Party to issue a public call for all New Hampshire “patriots to come together ASAP … to protest this tyranny in the most visible way possible.”

Gerald DeLemus is described in court documents as a key leader and militia “base commander” who provided security at Cliven Bundy’s ranch in 2014. They also disclose that he traveled to Burns, Ore., in January when Bundy’s sons, Ammon and Ryan Bundy, led the takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

“While claiming to the FBI that his avowed purpose was to persuade the occupiers of the [Malheur refuge] to leave, DeLemus remained in close telephone contact with Cliven Bundy, Ammon Bundy, Ryan Payne, and Brian Cavalier from November 2015, the beginning of the conspiracy according to the indictment in that case and onward,” court documents say.

Court documents also point to DeLemus’ social media accounts. On Facebook, DeLemus produced a number of sympathetic videos, documents say.
While DeLemus is not charged at this point with conspiracy for his involvement in the Malheur takeover, he was charged in Nevada with nine federal felonies, including assault on a federal officer; threatening a federal law enforcement officer, obstruction of justice, interference with interstate commerce by extortion and use of a firearm in relation to a crime of violence and conspiracy for his alleged role in the landmark April 2014 standoff at the Bundy Ranch.

Cliven Bundy, his sons Ammon and Ryan, along with Ryan Payne and Peter Santilli were indicted last month in Nevada for their involvement in the 2014 standoff. Besides DeLemus, the new indictment adds Blaine Cooper and Brian D. Cavalier as defendants in the Nevada criminal case.

DeLemus is described in court documents as a 61-year old Marine Corps veteran residing in Rochester, N.H., who is married with children and has no known criminal history. Court documents do not mention DeLemus’ connection with the Trump presidential campaign.

In a press release last July, the Trump campaign announced formation of the “Veterans for Trump” coalition in New Hampshire, naming DeLemus as a co-chairman, along with New Hampshire state Reps. Werner Horn and Dan Tamburello.
Court documents say the criminal charges against DeLemus are grounded not only “in violence and lawless acts, but also in his complete disregard for the rule of law.”

“DeLemus is unapologetic for his role in leading an armed occupation of the Bunkerville area to prevent federal agents from enforcing a court order merely because he disagrees with the order,” a federal court document says.

Prosecutors asked for his detention without bond, saying DeLemus was a flight risk and danger to the community. There is no evidence, they argued, “to suggest that DeLemus will not answer another call to arms should any law enforcement action be taken against the cattle or other co-conspirators.”

“This is especially true given his obvious pride in having taken part in the first armed confrontation with law enforcement,” the motion said.

DeLemus read media accounts of the Bundy Ranch standoff in 2014 and drove 40 hours straight from New Hampshire to Nevada, stopping only to sight his firearms in the Utah desert, court documents filed Thursday say.

He later publicly bragged about his role in the Nevada standoff, but in fact he arrived too late to take part in armed assault of federal agents, court documents say. Instead, DeLemus remained at the Bundy Ranch for three weeks afterwards and was in charge of “Camp Liberty,” one of the militia camps where armed men protected Bundy and his co-conspirators.

“He quickly became a leader and organizer of gunmen on the ground at Bundy Ranch, the ‘base commander’ and a recruiter of other armed gunmen,” court documents allege.

At one point in the 2014 events, DeLemus was photographed holding a 50-caliber machine gun which was part of the arsenal of firearms various militia groups and individuals used to point at federal agents and eventually force them to release Bundy’s impounded cattle and retreat. The photo of DeLemus posing with the military weapon was made part of the court record Thursday when charging documents were filed. That photo is part of a growing mountain of evidence the FBI has been collecting over the past two years.

Court documents disclose the investigators have “conducted hundreds of witness interviews; executed dozens of search warrants; reviewed, organized and analyzed hundreds of thousands of pages of documents (mostly from social media); reviewed, organized and analyzed thousands of pages of telephone records; and organized, reviewed and analyzed hundreds of hours of audio and video recordings.”

“The most damning evidence against DeLemus is his free and unrepentant statements that he has given to interviewers for public dissemination,” the court documents say.

In a video interview with Stewart Rhodes, the founder of Oath Keepers, DeLemus described how he recruited other gunmen to travel to the Bundy Ranch. He agreed with Rhodes’ description that the “Battle of Bunkerville” was “sacred ground” because Americans stood up “because even though we didn’t have to fight, we faced them off.”

In the video DeLemus said, “We will stand and we will fight and we will die if the government tries to oppress the Bundys.”

Hmmm…when President Trump replaces all 50 state governors with more pliable toadies to do his bidding, I suppose this guy will be the supreme ruler of New Hampshire.

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Republicans Whining About President Obama’s So-Called “Failures” Only Need To Look In The Mirror


Statement from Jeanette Strong, CCDCC: “I have written many times that the economy pretty much always does better under a Democratic president than under a Republican. Donald Trump is now saying how he will bring jobs back to America, even though he refuses to bring his own clothing line, now manufactured in China and Mexico, back to the US. (Can anyone say “Hypocrite”?) This graph once again demonstrates that Democrats do better, no matter what nonsense the Republicans spout. The only way Republicans can gain electoral ground is just to lie. So, enjoy, and share with your friends if you feel so inclined.  (And emphasize that this is private job creation, not government)” Thanks, Jeanette”

Excerpt from: Daily Kos

Republicans Whining About President Obama’s So-Called “Failures” Only Need To Look In The Mirror By Dartagnan, Daily Kos, March 5, 2016  

By Dartagnan, Daily Kos, March 5, 2016

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[T]he numbers, the facts don’t lie. And I think it’s useful, given that there seems to be an alternative reality out there from some of the political folks that America is down in the dumps. It’s not. America is pretty darn great right now, and making strides right now. And small businesses and large businesses alike are hiring right now, and investing right now, and building this country brick by brick, block by block, neighborhood by neighborhood, all across the country.

And I don’t expect that these facts and this evidence will convince some of the politicians out there to change their doomsday rhetoric, talking about how terrible America is.

President Barack Obama, March 4, 2016

Of all the fictions peddled by the Republican Party and its candidates in this election cycle, the most ridiculous is the trope that the Obama Administration has “failed” the American people economically. This is a lie which apparently has been poll-tested with Republican focus groups as it has popped up again and again in the GOP debates, expressed almost ritualistically by Trump, Cruz and Rubio alike. Listening to the Republicans tell it, one could actually start to believe that the 4.9% unemployment rate the country currently enjoys (for the second straight month) is somehow beside the point—that hidden beneath this robust reflection on the country’s powerful economic resurgence since the Bush disaster lies some terrible undercurrent of “failure” on the part of this Democratic Administration.

This isn’t entirely unexpected. After all the prattling about Donald Trump’s penis size is long forgotten, the one indicator voters historically look to in deciding whether their government is actually serving their interests is the state of the nation’s economy. And the brutal truth is that the Republican Party has—mostly unsuccessfully, thank God— tried its damnedest to tank the American economy in a concerted effort to repudiate the President’s legitimacy by sucking up to their tiny donor base of oil, gas, and financial industry billionaires. Fortunately for all of us, they haven’t succeeded, but that hasn’t stopped them from trying.

This article by Teresa Tritch, writing for the New York Times, shreds the illusion the GOP tries to spin for its rabid and ignorant voter base, the phony narrative they try to pawn off in every one of their “debates”—that this Democratic Administration (despite all evidence to the contrary) has failed ordinary Americans. It’s telling that the “failures” are never actually spelled out, and the state of the economy itself (which has drastically improved in nearly all indicators since Obama took office) is curiously never mentioned. That’s because in point of fact, it is the Republican Party that has failed Americans, and failed them dismally, not just because of their bankrupt ideology, but through deliberate sabotage:

For example, the economic expansion of the George W. Bush years was the weakest in contemporary times; the Great Recession, which started at the end of 2007, and the financial crisis of 2008 — also both on Mr. Bush’s watch — further devastated any hope for good jobs and good pay.

Since then, Republican resistance to fiscal stimulus has only made economic recovery more difficult. Even in the depths of recession in early 2009, no House Republicans and only three Senate Republicans voted to pass the stimulus bill put forward by the Obama administration. After that, Republicans used strong-arm tactics — like threatening to default on the nation’s debt — to impose federal budget cuts, even though the recession-damaged economy required more spending, not less. They have also blocked, obstructed or watered down other proposed spending measures that could have boosted the economy.

There is no escaping the conclusion that their aim all along has been to foil the Obama presidency, even though it means prolonging economic pain for ordinary Americans.

No other conclusion is possible. The GOP tried to destroy the economy in order to de-legitimize this President. As one former Senator was recently quoted: “If he was for it we had to be against it.” The Republicans are on record as plotting to sabotage the President’s Economic Recovery Plan from day one. Since attaining power in the Congress they have failed to pass a single real jobs bill. Their entire modus operandi has been to oppose and obstruct, halting projects for such things as highways, infrastructure, high-speed rail, all of the projects that generate good paying jobs and would make this country a better place to live.

The Republican excuse for these “policies” has always been that spending cuts (always for domestic spending) and tax cuts (always for the uberwealthy) will magically prompt corporate CEOs to open their grotesquely fattened wallets and spoon out big dollops of largesse to their employees and the society at large; presumably after tiring of basking in their multimillions, they will somehow become inspired by a spirit of generosity.

The truth, crystal clear to every American who is not a multimillionaire—is that this is not, and has never been, the reality. The reality is that when corporate behemoths and their officers and directors are given tax breaks or offered unlimited loopholes to evade paying any taxes at all, the money they “save” goes straight into their own pockets. It’s not used to “create jobs.” It’s money they use to build something they call “generational wealth,” money that they intend to pass on to their own children and heirs, to ensure that their families and future offspring will always be safe and secure members of a permanent aristocracy. Along the way, some tax deductible donations and noble-sounding “charitable’ projects are given a passing nod for public relations purposes. But as it turns out, the rank and file people that work for them—being fungible and replaceable—are the last in line for their consideration, and their pay scales and salaries are often a race to the bottom by design.

That is the world we live in now. The Republican Party wants us to pretend it doesn’t exist.

Of course there are problems with the way the Obama economy has shaken out. As Ms Fitch’s article points out, many of the new jobs that have been created even in the face of the Republicans desire to destroy the economy and ruin this President’s legacy have fallen short of what people need to live what was once sold to us as the ”American Dream:”

One problem is that some two-thirds of the new jobs in February were in low paying fields of retail, restaurants and health care. Another is that average weekly hours fell by two-tenths of an hour. As a result, average hourly earnings fell last month, as did average weekly earnings. Last month’s declines were not enough to wipe out earlier gains, but progress has been slow.

Tritch points out this does not mean America is “failing,” as Republicans (who have just recently discovered economic populism) suggest. It means people are working but they’re not necessarily getting ahead. But the reasons for slow wage growth can be connected directly to policies implemented by the Republican Party at the state level. Slow wage growth means corporations pay as little as they feel they can get away with. One day corporate CEOs woke up, realized they could pay themselves pretty much whatever obscene amounts they wanted without any pushback from the public or their shareholders, and that has been their ethic and driving motivation ever since. The more they paid themselves the less they could pay their workers, assuming the workers would tolerate it.

So to keep their workers quiet they enlisted the Republican Party and state legislatures and governors to destroy the power of unions through “right to work” laws and measures eliminating collective bargaining. That’s all Scott Walker is—a tool of corporate America to keep wages as low as possible. On the other hand, The Obama Administration (and the Democratic Party) strongly supports unions. Likewise, the decline in hours reflects the collective corporate consensus that paying someone part-time is far more profitable than paying them a wage that requires health benefits. To combat this stellar example of corporate greed, the Administration passed the Affordable Care Act, which every single Republican opposed.

It’s true that one reason some jobs—in the manufacturing sector especially—have all but disappeared is the result of NAFTA and “free trade” policies (which Democrats like Bill Clinton along with nearly all of the Republican Party, touted in the 1990’s). These trade policies are the natural result of a worldwide Capitalist economic system that favors corporations over individual human beings by design, on the assumption that corporate success equals economic prosperity for all. It’s become increasingly clear that this assumption is wrong. The major difference between the parties on trade, however, is that Democrats give a voice to the “human beings’ side of the equation, and the Republicans simply do not.

That’s reality. No matter how many times Republicans repeat their lie, the American economy under this Administration has done remarkably well against all efforts of the Republican Party. Indeed this Administration never received the credit it deserved for lifting us out of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, a calamity occurring entirely on the watch of this President’s now-reviled Republican predecessor. As Tritch puts it (very simply):

Policy failures of the last nearly eight years have mainly been failures on the part of Republican lawmakers to act in the public interest.

If the Republican Party wants to talk about “failure,” it needs only to look in the mirror.

When are the American people going to wake up?
The GOP is a party filled with traitors to America.

They plotted to ruin America for the sole sake of making President Obama look bad…That is a FACT!

What’s worse is that they have done this in full voice.They never even tried to hide the fact that their main goal, after Obama was elected, was to make him a 1 term President…See Mitch McConnell.

Not help the country recover from the worst recession in history (once again, caused by GOP policies), not help repair the countries crumbling infrastructure, not help improve the lives of Americans…Destroying Obama is ALL they cared about.

The gop has NOTHING of value to offer this nation.

They are truly evil.

Tell Congress: Don’t Shred Wall Street Reform


Excerpt from: CREDO Action

 

House Republicans just launched a major attack on Wall Street oversight and investor protection.

At least seven new bills unveiled in the House would shred Wall Street reform, undermine regulators, and create gaping loopholes allowing companies to hide from investors.1 House Republicans are joining their Senate colleagues in trying to sabotage financial watchdogs by mandating long and cumbersome new analyses before regulators can act to rein in bad behavior.2 But they are going even further, helping companies avoid transparency – and even making it easier for criminal corporations to avoid punishment for their actions.3

We can’t let House Republicans and corporate Democrats approve these Wall Street handouts under the radar. And we need to make it clear to the Senate that the House legislation should be dead on arrival. At a time when Wall Street is raking in record profits while Americans continue to struggle, we need to show corporate lapdogs in Congress they will pay a price for Wall Street handouts.

The work of Wall Street reform is not done. The big banks are bigger than ever before. Hedge funds and the “shadow banking” system pose new, hidden risks. The 2010 Dodd-Frank law empowered regulators, but we have yet to make big, system-wide changes to a financial industry that is growing larger at the expense of the real economy.

Congress should be taking bold new steps to finish the job, not making things worse. But corporate Democrats have lent their support to efforts by House and Senate Republicans to sabotage Wall Street regulators. Tens of thousands of CREDO members have already spoken out against the Senate proposals. Now, House Republicans have unveiled equally disastrous legislation that would:

  • Sabotage regulators with unnecessary red tape, demanding time-consuming extra work from regulators under the guise of “cost-benefit” analysis, a strategy long-promoted by conservative activists as a way to paralyze financial cops with busy work.4
  • Make it harder for financial cops to crack down on criminal behavior, by limiting the Security and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) ability to directly bring administrative cases against companies with a judge’s approval, instead forcing it to meet far-higher criminal standards.5
  • Undermine investor protections and transparency, extending loopholes that allow some companies to not disclose their financial records for a decade, and creating new ones to help banks avoid rules designed to make sure investors aren’t hurt by dangerous or fraudulent financial products as they were in 2007.6

The House Financial Services committee just started considering these bills, hoping that Americans aren’t paying close attention during a busy election year.7 We need to make it clear to members of the House in both parties that this legislation is nothing more than a Wall Street handout – and send a warning message to senators that they should oppose any bad ideas coming out of the House.

A package of Wall Street handouts in the Senate earlier this year was so extreme, even Wall Street-friendly regulators like Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Mary Jo White oppose it.8. The New York Times Editorial Board said that if the Senate provisions become law, “the winners would be big banks and big businesses. The losers would be ordinary Americans.”9

These new bills in the House are incredibly similar – and in some ways, worse. Republicans and the corporate wing of the Democratic Party are planning to shred Wall Street reform. We can’t let that happen.

  • Petition to the United States Congress:“Don’t shred Wall Street reform. Oppose new House bills shredding Wall Street oversight and reform. The proposed legislation would make it harder to hold corporations accountable for criminal behavior, sabotage financial cops, and create gaping loopholes in investor protections and corporate transparency.”

Go to the below site to sign the petition:

http://act.credoaction.com/sign/house_shred_wall_street_reform?t=7&akid=17107.7785905.RTy-0B

Thank you for speaking out,

Murshed Zaheed, Deputy Political Director
CREDO Action from Working Assets

Americans for Financial Reform, “New House Bills Mean LESS Accountability for Wall Street,” Medium.com, March 2, 2016.
Victoria Finkle, “Proposed Legislation Would Add Scrutiny of Wall Street Regulators,” The New York Times, January 19, 2016.
Americans for Financial Reform, “New House Bills Mean LESS Accountability for Wall Street.”
Ibid.
Ibid.
Ibid.
Ibid.
Finkle, “Proposed Legislation Would Add Scrutiny of Wall Street Regulators.”
The New York Times Editorial Board, “Deregulating Corporate America,” The New York Times, January 19, 2016.

© 2016 CREDO. All rights reserved.

Ensure Natural Gas Stays In The Pipeline–Not In Our Air


Excerpt from: EDF

America has an oil & gas climate pollution problem. We are the world’s largest natural gas producer—and a significant portion of production relies on federal and tribal lands.

But due to outdated rules, $330 million worth of our federal and tribal gas resources are being wasted every year, vented or flared into the atmosphere, emitting dangerous amount of methane—a potent greenhouse gas.

You have a chance to help stop this critical climate problem. Take action today, and support strong limits on oil & gas climate pollution on federal lands.

This isn’t just an incredible waste of resources—an estimated $800 million over the next decade in royalty revenue for the Federal Government and the States that share it—it’s a dangerous release of pollution that we need to stop.

Methane, the main component of natural gas, packs 84 times the power of carbon dioxide in the short term. The Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has proposed a rule putting strict limits on this pollution—a strong start to addressing our country’s oil & gas climate pollution problem.

It has been 30 years since BLM updated the methane rules protecting these precious public lands—and in the meantime, we have made staggering technological advancements. We can cost-effectively cut this problem almost in half with these new technologies.

But first, we need to ensure these regulations are strengthened and finalized—but we’re running out of time. The comment period closes in just one month.

Make sure your voice is heard—add your name in favor of cutting oil & gas climate pollution on federal and tribal lands!

Go to Action Network Manager to ad your name to the petition!

Thank you for standing with us,

Heather Shelby
Action Network Manager

Demagogue For President


Excerpt from: Opinion Page, New York Times

Demagogue For President
Charles M. Blow Charles M. Blow MARCH 3, 2016

Sometimes you have to simply step back from the hubbub and take stock, with cleareyed sobriety, at a moment in history to fully appreciate its epochal import. Now is such a time.

A nativist, sexist, arguably fascist and racist demagogue who twists the truth is the front-runner in the race to become the Republican Party’s presidential nominee, over the protestations of the party’s establishment, who rightly view his ascendance as an existential threat to an already tattered brand.

He is odd and entertaining, vacuous and vain, disarming and terrifyingly dangerous.

And, according to The New York Times, he “could lock up the nomination in May” if he “keeps winning by the same margins.” Furthermore, the Republican Party is seeing record turnout on its way to this end. There is a political revolution in this country but, so far at least, it appears to be one driven in large part by the Republicans.

Let this sink in, America.

Stop thinking that it’s all a joke, a hoax, a game. It’s not. Maybe he began this quest as a branding exercise, but it has morphed into something quite real: a challenge to the collective moral character of the republic. The success of his candidacy so far calls into question the very definition and direction of America.

Later we can condemn the media for its complicity in his rise, the way we and the candidate operated in a symbiotic relationship, exchanging cheap ratings for free publicity, but it can’t be undone now. The candidate has now risen.

This is a guy who began his presidential bid by branding Mexican immigrants as drug mules, criminals and rapists.

This is a guy at whose rallies minorities have been shouted down and even manhandled — like the University of Louisville student Shiya Nwanguma — with little or no condemnation from the candidate.

This is a man who refused to immediately and unequivocally denounce and disavow the former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard David Duke, who said on his radio program that voting against the turgid real estate developer was tantamount to “treason to your heritage.” I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that we can safely assume that Mr. Grand Wizard emeritus meant white heritage.

Again, America, let that sink in: America’s white heritage candidate, according to the illustrious David Duke, is the person so far winning a plurality of votes in the Republican contests and collecting a large share of that party’s delegates.

Indeed, his candidacy is providing a refuge for, and giving voice to, white fear and anger over the inevitable changing demography of the country, the erosion of the center and the rewarding of whiteness as a commodity.

Anger, not policy, is in fact the cornerstone of his candidacy. His policies are carpaccio-thin. He feeds his followers vague, morning-mirror affirmations like “make America great again” and endless “winning,” while largely avoiding particulars and parrying fact-checkers and his own history of inconsistencies.

And yet, the people who support him, angry at the establishment, their own party, America itself, don’t really care. He has touched their frustration and they feel reflected in his brutishness.

But even beyond the troubling racial realities of his candidacy is the misogyny of it.

This is a man who has called various women “disgusting,” “a slob,” “grotesque,” “a dog.” And he says that he cherishes women.

His candidacy also promotes what would surely be characterized as war crimes — interrogation tactics “a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding,” and killing the families of terrorism suspects.

Not only does he want to build a wall on the border, he wants to round up and deport those undocumented in this country, stop Muslims from entering and send back Syrian refugees.

One last time, America: Pause and let all that sink in.

I don’t want anyone to say, when we look back at this moment, that they didn’t see the signs. I don’t want anyone to feign surprise. I don’t want people to say that they didn’t take it all seriously because they had faith that their fellow citizens would somehow see the light and not allow this candidate to rise.

No. You don’t get that option. He has risen and continues to rise. Most smart money is on him becoming the Republican nominee, unless party leaders can devise some last-minute plan to blunt him.

And, it is not at all clear to me that, whoever the Democratic nominee is, she or he would have a cakewalk to an easy victory in the general election.

Say this out loud: The leading candidate for president on the Republican side is a demagogue. He is on track to be that party’s nominee. He is attracting record numbers of voters to the polls. If he wins the nomination, he could also win the presidency.

Scared yet? Good! Stop laughing this off. It’s not a joke. It’s quite real. And you need to remember the moment that you woke up and realized just how real it was.

Tell Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell: Seniors And Veterans Deserve A Raise


Excerpt from: CREDO Action

Tens of millions of Americans rely on Social Security for a majority of their income, but this year – for just the fourth time in the history of the program – beneficiaries didn’t receive a cost of living adjustment. Meanwhile, CEO pay has continued to skyrocket.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren has introduced a bill called the Seniors and Veterans Emergency Benefits Act (SAVE Benefits Act)1 that would give seniors, veterans, people with disabilities and surviving spouses who rely on Social Security a one-time payment of $580 to help make ends meet. It would be paid for by closing a loophole that subsidizes excessive CEO pay.

In a few days, Sen. Warren, Sen. Chuck Schumer and progressive groups will be delivering the signatures on this petition to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Add your name to the petition now to help build pressure on Sen. McConnell to allow a vote on the bill.

In October, the Social Security Administration announced that there would not be an automatic increase in Social Security benefits in 2016, as there is in most years.2 Right now, the average Social Security benefit is less than $15,000 per year – and many of the tens of millions of Americans who rely on Social Security to get by desperately need a raise.

Meanwhile, CEO pay at the 350 biggest firms in the U.S. now averages more than $16 million per year – over 1,000 times more than the average Social Security benefit. In 2014, the last year for which data is available, these CEOs saw their pay increase by 3.9 percent. Incredibly, much of this compensation slips through the so-called “performance pay” loophole, which allows corporations to deduct CEO pay from their taxable income as long as it is based on performance.

The SAVE Benefits Act addresses both of these problems at once by providing a one-time $580 Social Security payment that is paid for by eliminating this egregious loophole. It’s a smart bill that will give a much-needed raise to our seniors and veterans instead of wealthy CEOs.

But Sen. McConnell has so far refused to allow a vote on the SAVE Benefits Act. That’s why Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sen. Schumer and progressive groups are organizing a big petition delivery this week. Add your name to our petition now to make sure it is included in the delivery.

  • Add your name to force a vote on the SAVE Benefits Act by petitioning Sen. Mitch McConnell to:
  • “Bring the SAVE Benefits Act to the floor of the United States Senate for a vote.”

Go to CREDO Action to sign the petition!

Thanks for everything you do.

Josh Nelson, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets

1. To view the text of the SAVE Benefits Act, go to CREDO Action
2. “Law Does Not Provide for a Social Security Cost-of-Living Adjustment for 2016,” Social Security Administration, October 15, 2015.

© 2016 CREDO. All rights reserved.

NO One Here Can Save The G.O.P.


Excerpt from: The New Yorker

MARCH 4, 2016
NO One Here Can Save The G.O.P.
BY BENJAMIN WALLACE-WELLS

What took place among the remaining Republican Presidential candidates at the Fox Theatre, in Detroit, last night was not a debate, not in any specific sense of the word. It was darker, lustier, and more momentous than that. Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz dropped any pretense of presenting cases for their own candidacies, or contesting each other’s, and focussed instead on discrediting Trump. Fox News’s Megyn Kelly gestured only briefly at evenhandedness before presenting a devastating montage of Trump taking contradictory positions on the central issues of the campaign, often within days of one another, and an even more devastating account of the Trump University scam and the fraud lawsuit against the Party’s Presidential front-runner. “A minor civil case,” Trump said. The scene around him was medieval. There were reports that fifty audience members had been ejected for being drunk and disruptive. The rest cheered most loudly for Trump’s promise to subject alleged terrorists to more extreme forms of torture. Jamie Johnson, who had been a senior aide in the Rick Perry campaign, tweeted, midway through, “My party is committing suicide on national television.”

This has been the week of open civil war within the Republican Party, and it culminated yesterday morning when Mitt Romney, the Party’s last Presidential nominee, gave a speech denouncing Trump in the harshest terms he could muster: the candidate is “playing the American people for suckers,” he said. John McCain, the prior nominee, then called Trump “dangerous.” Some of the Party’s sharpest ascendant political operators—among them the conservative Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse and the moderate Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker—announced that they would not vote for Trump if he were the nominee. But, for all the frictional heat of the “Never Trump” movement, it has neither settled on a candidate nor committed to a cause. Romney did not announce whether he himself would run, nor did he offer any specific support for Cruz, Rubio, or Kasich. Neither did Sasse, Baker, or McCain. “The battle for the soul of the GOP is now a battle for the soul of the Right,” the editor of National Review declared a few weeks ago. But, if that is the case, on one side of the battle there is a profound void. The energy in the anti-Trump camp is real enough. But what is it fighting for?

Sometimes the most revealing questions are the most obvious ones. “We are here in Detroit,” Fox’s Bret Baier said, coming back from commercial last night, and, directing his question to Rubio, he described the horror unfolding in Flint, Michigan, which was forced to source its drinking water from a river filled with lead. The Floridian—the most empathic of all the Republican candidates, the one whose campaign has been organized around the collapse of the American Dream—seemed not to have considered the situation at all. Feeling his way toward an answer, he turned to politics: Rubio said that the Democrats should not be “politicizing” the situation, presumably by assigning blame to Michigan’s Republican governor, Rick Snyder. Cruz, for his part, claimed that Detroit “has been utterly decimated by sixty years of failed left-wing policy.” (If this were a less frantic and florid moment, this morning we would be scrutinizing the racial context of that history.) The actual human suffering in Flint went unacknowledged.

This may be where the youth of Rubio and Cruz, both forty-four, matters. The senators were sent to Washington in 2010 and 2012, respectively, which means that their entire national political careers have taken place within the cocoon of the Tea Party era. Their Presidential rivals have sometimes lamented that neither has been a governor, but, really, neither has spent much time governing. For the past six years, their Party has been focussed on the rhetoric of legislative obstruction and the intensely felt melodrama of whether the establishment or the outsiders can claim the mantle of conservatism. This is an inside game, and both Cruz and Rubio have learned to play it exceptionally well: Cruz by committing to an unrelenting factional war, and Rubio by deftly anticipating which heresies the Party’s elders would tolerate and which they would not. But, beneath this intramural feuding, and often obscured by it, was the actual experience of the country. The greatly felt rupture in the nation now is economic inequality, which Cruz has barely mentioned and which Rubio has met with inspiring words and a proposal to zero out the capital-gains tax. Whatever happened in Flint slid quietly under their radar.

The hard new fact that the Republican Party is confronting is not Trump, who last night looked more vulnerable than he has since his campaign began. It is instead Trump’s voters. “Millions and millions of people have come to the Republican Party over the last little while,” Trump pointed out, in closing last night, and that is in some sense true: they have come for him. For all the deeply felt horror from the Republicans across the spectrum over Trump’s ideological variability, and the crass and volatile strains in his personality, and the extremity of his xenophobia and economic nationalism, none of his rivals has offered much to the voters Trump has brought in. None, really, seemed to perceive the actual experience of the voters who are backing Trump. As apocalyptic as it seemed, Detroit last night was not the final scene in the nominating contest. But it did seem like a fitting conclusion to the much longer arc of the great fraternal fight over who can claim the mantle of conservatism. Neither side has won that fight. It has just grown bigger and bigger, until it consumed the Party, and blotted out all else.
Benjamin Wallace-Wells began contributing to The New Yorker in 2007, and joined the magazine as a staff writer in 2015. He writes mainly about American politics and