Indie Singer Sonwriter, Jo Potter, Climbs The Charts With Two Singles From Different Albums Simultaneously!

Indie Singer Sonwriter, Jo Potter, Climbs The Charts With Two Singles From Different Albums Simultaneously! – African American News Today – EIN News

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Diddy in semi-retirement from music

FILE – This Jan. 4, 2018 file photo shows Sean Combs participating in “The Four” panel during the FOX Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour in Pasadena, Calif. The music mogul announced Monday that the hit series, where he discovered groups including platinum-sellers Danity Kane, would return to MTV in 2020. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)

Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs considers himself to be in “semi-retirement” from music.

The “I’ll Be Missing You” hitmaker has confessed he’s not actively making music at the moment, because if he was, he’d be on all the top ten records.

He said: “To be honest, I’ve been in semi-retirement. If you don’t see my name on all the Top 10 records, that means I’m not making music.”

And the 49-year-old rapper confesses he is “contemplating” if there is a role for him in music anymore.

After revealing he was bringing back his TV talent show search, “Making The Band”, back, he added to Rolling Stone magazine: “I’m contemplating, ‘Is there a role for me in music now?’ I just know that for me, I would only be able to sign legends.

To be honest, my decisions will be made through God. I’m at another frequency and level of music. It would have to be something that God fully put in my heart, like when I heard Biggie or I heard Mary [J. Blige].”

Meanwhile, Diddy previously confessed he is fed up that black artists are not being “invested” in.

Speaking in 2018, he said: “You have these record companies that are making so much money off our culture, our art form, but they’re not investing or even believing in us. For all the billions of dollars that these black executives have been able to make them, [there’s still hesitation] to put them in the top-level positions.

Diddy makes name change official and it’s all love

Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs is planning another name makeover after filing papers to legally change his moniker, and apparently he wants to be known as Sean ‘Love’ Combs and he is taking steps to drop his Sean John tag.

They’ll go and they’ll recruit cats from overseas. It makes sense to give [executives of colour] a chance and embrace the evolution, instead of it being that we can only make it to president, senior VP … There’s no black CEO of a major record company. That’s just as bad as the fact that there are no [black] majority owners in the NFL. That’s what really motivates me.”

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

Who’s Putting Who in Chains?

November 2, 2019

It was in August, 2012, during the final months of the Obama reelection campaign, when then-Vice President Joe Biden made the ham-fisted statement to a Danville, Virginia crowd which included many black Americans, that Mitt Romney would, “put y’all back in chains,” by cutting regulations on Wall Street. 

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His gaffe was a clumsy attempt to slander Romney and all Republicans by intimating their desire to put Americans ‘back’ in chains, interpreted by the hypersensitive liberal Left as a twisted reference to slavery. But unfortunately many Americans, (especially blacks), believe this to be a truism — that Republicans are oppressors and slavemasters to be eradicated from the American landscape. 

The notion is ludicrous, both literally and figuratively. Given that Republicans freed American blacks from the slavery imposed by Democrats, the idea of the GOP somehow putting them back in chains is stupefyingly ignorant. This ignorance is exceeded only by the preposterousness of thinking that cutting the size and power of the federal government equals slavery when in fact, it is precisely the opposite that is true. 

President Donald Trump has been gradually unchaining Americans, especially blacks, from the slavery of big government, excessive regulation, high taxes, bad economic policy and a prejudicial criminal justice system. Black unemployment is the lowest in recorded American history. More people are working than ever in the history of the republic. More than a million children have been lifted from the chains of poverty and never have so many black men been given a chance for release from an unfair criminal justice system.

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It is for these reasons that President Donald Trump is, and will continue to be, portrayed by a dishonest Left as racist and wanting to shackle/chain/enslave blacks — the polar opposite of reality. Biden won’t admit it publicly but he knows, as do other powerful Democrats, that Trump is the biggest single threat to their plans to bring socialism to America. Trump has blown up their timetable, so he must be driven from office, not by being defeated at the ballot box but through impeachment. 

For a moment, let’s imagine that President Donald Trump is impeached, driven from office and hauled off to jail, and that Democrats win the White House in 2020, keep the House of Representatives and secure the Senate. What about those “chains” Uncle Joe talked about? 


Democrats are promising to repeal the Trump tax cuts, shackling the household wealth of all Americans to a ravenous federal Treasury. This would be followed by the chains of onerous governmental regulations on businesses and higher corporate taxes, destroying jobs and cutting wages. Particularly hard hit would be coal and other fossil-fuel industries, which Democrats promise to eradicate through the Green New Deal or variations thereof.



Our national sovereignty would be in bondage to the United Nations, making the United States the world’s piggy bank for countries like Iran, China, and other belligerents. American citizens would be clapped into the irons of censorship with the erosion or outright loss of First Amendment rights, like New York City’s ban on free speech, which fines those who speak the truth about illegal aliens.


Our health care would be enslaved to a government system of socialized medicine that would invariably result in rationing medical treatment and levying confiscatory taxes on those able to pay so free health care can be provided to non-citizens and others who are in the United States illegally. 


Democrats went to war in 1861 so they could continue to own other human beings. Today, Democrats are going to war again, this time using an illegitimate impeachment of President Trump, in their effort to enslave an entire nation to their vision of a socialist America, the casus belli being their vendetta against him for daring to make America truly great again. This is not idle speculation. Rep. Al Green – a black man, no less – was unequivocal when he said, “If we don’t impeach the president, he will get reelected.” 



President Trump has done more in three years to free blacks and all Americans from the shackles of big and increasingly oppressive government than any other president. If we do not come to his aid while Democrats lay siege to his administration, Joe Biden’s 2012 admonition will indeed become reality and y’all will be back in chains. 


Daren Williams is a director of the New Journey PAC.


It was in August, 2012, during the final months of the Obama reelection campaign, when then-Vice President Joe Biden made the ham-fisted statement to a Danville, Virginia crowd which included many black Americans, that Mitt Romney would, “put y’all back in chains,” by cutting regulations on Wall Street. 

His gaffe was a clumsy attempt to slander Romney and all Republicans by intimating their desire to put Americans ‘back’ in chains, interpreted by the hypersensitive liberal Left as a twisted reference to slavery. But unfortunately many Americans, (especially blacks), believe this to be a truism — that Republicans are oppressors and slavemasters to be eradicated from the American landscape. 

The notion is ludicrous, both literally and figuratively. Given that Republicans freed American blacks from the slavery imposed by Democrats, the idea of the GOP somehow putting them back in chains is stupefyingly ignorant. This ignorance is exceeded only by the preposterousness of thinking that cutting the size and power of the federal government equals slavery when in fact, it is precisely the opposite that is true. 

President Donald Trump has been gradually unchaining Americans, especially blacks, from the slavery of big government, excessive regulation, high taxes, bad economic policy and a prejudicial criminal justice system. Black unemployment is the lowest in recorded American history. More people are working than ever in the history of the republic. More than a million children have been lifted from the chains of poverty and never have so many black men been given a chance for release from an unfair criminal justice system.

It is for these reasons that President Donald Trump is, and will continue to be, portrayed by a dishonest Left as racist and wanting to shackle/chain/enslave blacks — the polar opposite of reality. Biden won’t admit it publicly but he knows, as do other powerful Democrats, that Trump is the biggest single threat to their plans to bring socialism to America. Trump has blown up their timetable, so he must be driven from office, not by being defeated at the ballot box but through impeachment. 

For a moment, let’s imagine that President Donald Trump is impeached, driven from office and hauled off to jail, and that Democrats win the White House in 2020, keep the House of Representatives and secure the Senate. What about those “chains” Uncle Joe talked about? 

Democrats are promising to repeal the Trump tax cuts, shackling the household wealth of all Americans to a ravenous federal Treasury. This would be followed by the chains of onerous governmental regulations on businesses and higher corporate taxes, destroying jobs and cutting wages. Particularly hard hit would be coal and other fossil-fuel industries, which Democrats promise to eradicate through the Green New Deal or variations thereof.

Our national sovereignty would be in bondage to the United Nations, making the United States the world’s piggy bank for countries like Iran, China, and other belligerents. American citizens would be clapped into the irons of censorship with the erosion or outright loss of First Amendment rights, like New York City’s ban on free speech, which fines those who speak the truth about illegal aliens.

Our health care would be enslaved to a government system of socialized medicine that would invariably result in rationing medical treatment and levying confiscatory taxes on those able to pay so free health care can be provided to non-citizens and others who are in the United States illegally. 

Democrats went to war in 1861 so they could continue to own other human beings. Today, Democrats are going to war again, this time using an illegitimate impeachment of President Trump, in their effort to enslave an entire nation to their vision of a socialist America, the casus belli being their vendetta against him for daring to make America truly great again. This is not idle speculation. Rep. Al Green – a black man, no less – was unequivocal when he said, “If we don’t impeach the president, he will get reelected.” 

President Trump has done more in three years to free blacks and all Americans from the shackles of big and increasingly oppressive government than any other president. If we do not come to his aid while Democrats lay siege to his administration, Joe Biden’s 2012 admonition will indeed become reality and y’all will be back in chains. 

Daren Williams is a director of the New Journey PAC.






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Dems Battle Over Voter Influence

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Correspondent
@StacyBrownMedia

The symbiotic nature of debates and public opinion polls was on full display this week in Ohio, stated Krista Jenkins, a political science professor at Farleigh Dickinson University and the school’s poll director.

“[Former Vice President Joe] Biden stood for incrementalism, and those who flanked him – Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders – pushed hard for a vision that’s anything but incremental,” Jenkins said in a recap of the debate for Advance Local Media in New Jersey.

Nowhere was this more evident in the debate over health care, Jenkins noted.

Several Democratic strategists noted that New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker turned in a strong showing, but California Sen. Kamala Harris struggled to find her moment.

Democratic presidential candidates face off against each other during the most recent debate. (Photo: ABC News)

BuzzFeed’s Darren Sands described Booker as a “self-appointed uniter.” Booker drew a contrast with his opponents and President Trump, saying he was “having deja vu all over again” after early questions in the debate about Trump’s attacks on Joe Biden and his son Hunter’s work in Ukraine.

“I saw this play in 2016’s election. We are literally using Donald Trump’s lies. And the second issue we cover on this stage is elevating a lie and attacking a statesman. That was so offensive,” Booker said during the debate.

“We should not have to defend ourselves. And the only person sitting at home that was enjoying that was Donald Trump seeing that we’re distracting from his malfeasance and selling out of his office.”

And Sands noted that Booker used his time to walk through his own priorities, from addressing childhood poverty to gun licensing.

Booker’s campaign manager, Addisu Demissie, said in a statement the night of Oct. 15 that Booker “won the night by standing out as a leader, a unifier, and the adult in the room” who had “refocused the conversation on the issues that matter most”

Demissie said Booker was a “breath of fresh air” on the stage, “particularly by coming to Vice President Biden’s defense against Trump’s lies and highlighting issues that aren’t getting enough attention in this presidential campaign, like women’s reproductive health care, strengthening unions, and ending child poverty.”

“For yet another debate, Cory showed a national audience that he can unite our country and make real change for Americans who face injustice and seek opportunity,” Demissie said.

An analysis by USA Today’s Aamer Madhani noted that, with 12 candidates vying for voters’ attention at the debate, “The White House contenders threw sharper jabs at each other and competed to outdo each other in their expressions of outrage over President Donald Trump.”

Sanders returned to the debate stage two weeks after suffering a heart attack and resumed his call for a “political revolution.” Billionaire activist Tom Steyer made his stage debut but struggled to get much speaking time.

CNN counted Andrew Yang and Peter Buttigieg among winners.

The network noted that Buttigieg, the South Bend mayor, had one clear goal in the debate: Hit Elizabeth Warren on her support for “Medicare for All,” and make sure Democratic voters knew he had an alternate plan that would not eliminate the private health insurance market. “Mission accomplished,” the analysts said.

On Yang, a CNN analyst said, “If I told you even three months ago that there would be a time in mid-October in which there was an extended conversation in a Democratic debate about the dangers of automation, you would have laughed at me.”

CNBC pointed out that the president’s Twitter account often sets the day’s political agenda.

On Oct. 15, the network’s analysts highlighted the fact that it formed the basis of a head-to-head between Warren and Harris.

“I just wanted to say that I was surprised to hear that you did not agree with me on this subject of what should be the rules around corporate responsibility for these Big Tech companies, when I called on Twitter to suspend Donald Trump’s account, that you did not agree,” Harris said. “I would urge you to join me.”

But Warren did not seem interested in discussing the matter.

“Look, I don’t just want to push Donald Trump off Twitter. I want to push him out of the White House. That’s our job,” Warren said.

“So, join me. Join me in saying that his Twitter account should be shut down,” Harris responded.

To that, Warren responded: “No.”

“No?” Harris asked.

Warren then pivoted to “why it is that we have had laws on the books for antitrust for over a century and yet for decades now we’ve all called out how the big drug companies are calling the shots in Washington.”

As for winners and losers, Farleigh Dickinson University’s Krista Jenkins said there are no such things as winners and losers, as there are too many dimensions to a debate performance that the public evaluates to boil it down to such simplistic terms.

The opinions on this page are those of the writers and not necessarily those of the AFRO.
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The Divergent Paths of Katie Hill and Katie Porter, Southern California’s Star-Crossed Congressional Freshmen

Congresswoman Katie Hill’s communications director called as I was driving back to L.A. from Palmdale following my second meeting in two months with the 25th Congressional District’s freshman Democrat. It was a weird call.

Why, the press person wondered, didn’t I ask Hill more policy questions? This puzzled me. I told her that our conversation had been largely about the issues and that I’d have dug deeper into the congresswoman’s record and policies if Hill’s staff had been less parsimonious about the time they’d allotted for the interview. With my spin-alert radar buzzing ever-so-slightly, I said I’d be eager to talk again about whatever Hill wanted.

That was in late August, a few days after Hill’s 32nd birthday. Her office didn’t exactly keep my phone vibrating. I filed the story—a combined profile of Hill and Katie Porter, Southern California’s other freshman congresswoman.

Then, in mid-October, “throuple” pole-danced into the political lexicon. Hill had become entangled in an updated version of an old-fashioned sex scandal. These, of course, have bedeviled American politicians at least since the husband of Alexander Hamilton’s mistress blackmailed him in the 1790s to keep the affair secret. This time there was a photo, of Hill, sans clothing, gently brushing the hair of a 22-year-old campaign aide who sits between her legs on the floor. It was apparently shot by Hill’s estranged husband and partner in the threesome. Then there was his allegation, which Hill denies, that the congresswoman was having an affair with her young, male legislative director.

Hill has not responded to my messages and calls since the sleaze began oozing, but a spokesperson said in an email that the congresswoman was “informed by many sources that there were 700-plus more personal text messages and photos provided to local Republican operatives. Since many of the photos already released were not ones she even knew existed—they were taken without her knowledge or consent—it became impossible to determine what was coming next, and clear that this coordinated attack was too much of a distraction given all of the critical work that needs to be done.”

Hill resigned on Sunday, October 27, less than a year after her election. On Thursday she gave a fiercely defiant, apologetic speech on the House floor, saying in part: “I’m leaving because of a misogynistic culture that gleefully consumed my naked pictures, capitalized on my sexuality, and enabled my abusive ex to continue that abuse, this time with the entire country watching.” Her departure left the door open for the Republican opponent she narrowly defeated to hint that he might run again, and leaving her constituents to rethink just what it means to live in a “swing district.”

katie porter
Katie Porter and fellow OC Dems with Barack Obama in Anaheim in September

Barbara Davidson/Getty Images

Southern California’s freshman congresswomen, already known in D.C. as “the Katies,” had jet-skied the 2018 “blue wave” into Congress, defeating incumbents in two disparate Republican strongholds on Los Angeles’ outskirts. Porter had already captured my interest by publicly de-swaggering such dissimilar Big Dogs as JPMorgan Chase’s Jaime Dimon and talk show host Bill Maher. I was also curious about Hill because I wanted to understand why some of my Los Angeles Democrat friends had been so eager to get her elected that they repeatedly schlepped up the 14 freeway to Lancaster to help her take the traditionally conservative district away from incumbent Republican Steve Knight. Porter and Hills’ similarities and differences intrigued me. What fascinated, though, was the question of what it must be like for such political neophytes to seize power at such a strange moment for democracy. A first term is always going to be disorienting. For the 116th Congressional class it’s been a tumble through-the-looking glass into a realm of unparalleled peculiarity.

On the right hand, Donald and family run the country like a reality show directed by Salvador Dali. On the left, three initials and her social media-savvy “Squad” fist-pump for an insurgency that befuddles many old school Democrats. Theirs is the first congressional class to take office in the wake of a presidential election compromised by foreign meddling. They are the first freshmen to try to run a country amid a 24/7 Twitter mudslide of Mueller-gates, family separation-gates, Ukrainian Whistleblower-gates, abandon-the-Kurds-gates, G7-at-the-Trump-Doral-gates, and whatever other-gates the administration has sprung upon America since this story posted. And, if you can remember back that far in their time-warped tenure, Hill and Porter started their new jobs during the lengthiest federal shutdown in history.

On that desert-hot August afternoon I had asked Hill what it was like to try to learn to govern amid such upheaval. We were sitting in a back room of her new Palmdale district office, in a strip mall that looks across a busy thoroughfare to open acreage swarming with Joshua trees. There was a framed photo of a fighter plane on the wall and a Monster energy drink at her feet.

“This,” Hill said with a smile that in retrospect may have been more wistful than whimsical, “has been the longest shortest year that you could ever have imagined.”

Born in Abilene, Texas, Hill grew up in the Santa Clarita Valley town of Saugus. Her dad is a police officer; her mom an RN. She graduated from local public schools, went to community college and on to earn a BA in English and a Master’s in Public Administration from Cal State Northridge.

The 25th Congressional District ranges from the cop-haven tract home suburbs of Simi Valley through the rugged horse-ranch terrain of Agua Dulce—where Hill had lived with her husband, Kenny Heslep—to the tumbleweed-strewn Antelope Valley whose residents, while gradually tilting Democrat, are still more likely to own Glocks than gelato makers.

When word got out that the young director of a homeless-advocacy non-profit was running for a seat held by incumbent conservative Steve Knight, Trump-obsessed Democrats from Santa Monica and La Canada, who’d only passed through Lancaster on the way to snowboard Mammoth, scribbled checks and stampeded up the 14 freeway to join the crusade against one of the last Republican representatives in L.A. County.

Hill, who came out as bi-sexual in high school and chose the online site PopSugar to confide that after a miscarriage she’d “started sobbing with simultaneous tears of relief and sadness and guilt,” lead her campaign with youthful exuberance. And confidence. A VICE “documentary” crew shadowed the LaCroix-chugging Hill team’s effort. In one scene, Hill says, with the faintest vocal fry, that hers is “the most millennial campaign ever.”

california house races 2018 katie hill congress election results
Katie Hill at her election night party with supporters in Santa Clarita

Photograph by Mario Tama / Getty Images

The 2019 class has more women and people of color than any in history. Hill quickly persuaded its 67 members to elect her its co-leader, giving her a regular seat at leadership meetings with the likes of House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, (D. Md) and Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Hill described herself as close to the center of the Democratic spectrum, between representatives from districts in which Trump won hugely and representatives like Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez and her Squad of high-profile progressives: Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan.

In a moment of conversation that now sounds like foreshadowing—as if Hill sensed Pandora’s box was about to spring open—she wrestled with my teasing question about whether she’s jealous of the attention those also newly minted Congresswomen receive.

“It’s very easy to vilify someone when they’re objectified.” —Katie Hill

“It’s tough to be in the spotlight like that,” she said. “It’s very easy to vilify someone when they’re objectified. The right wing did it to Nancy Pelosi for years and years and years. They did it to Hillary Clinton and now they’re doing it to the Squad. That’s just what they do. For me, I don’t want to be that person, because I actually believe that not having that spotlight front and center allows me to get more done. You’ll see me jumping to their defense because I know them as humans.”

As part of her crash course in negotiating the changing world she was helping to govern, in August Hill traveled through Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, and then to the border of Mexico and the United States, where so many immigrants from those countries head. Where the U.S. imprisons children separated from their parents. But the stories that lodged most deeply in her mind were the tales of rampant violence and malfeasance and officials who ignore or encourage it. She heard one word in the context of this corruption so often that it stuck in her mind: “Impunity.”

“I couldn’t help but think about it in the context of our own government,” she said.

Hill’s grilling of Michael Cohen, as vice-chair of the House Oversight Committee, helped pin down Trump’s former attorney on the president’s role in alleged coverups. Her membership on the Armed Service Committee, she said, gave her a closeup view of the tumult caused by the incessant turnover of political appointees the president has fostered. For much of her term she refused to call for Trump’s impeachment, saying “we’re only going to have one shot at this and have to get it right.” Then word broke of Trump’s calls to the president of Ukraine. On September 24, Hill issued a statement calling the impeachment investigation, “what the Constitution, my constituents and my conscience demands.”

History was in the making but votes are in the district, and Hill was seen as a “frontliner” whose reelection in 2020 was far from guaranteed. Hill’s congressional website proudly boasted that “constituent support” was her biggest accomplishment. “Maybe you’re not going to be able to pass sweeping health care reform in your first year in Congress,” Hill said. “But you can help someone with a social security settlement that’s going to change their life…That’s pretty cool.”

In June, I had watched her and her posse of young, female staffers hustle from a military scholarship ceremony at Antelope Valley College to a graduation awards event at Quartz Hill High School. At one point, a local deacon intercepted her and seemed hurt that she couldn’t instantly pick up a line of conversation that began months earlier on the campaign trail. “Remind me,” Hill said. “I spoke at lot of churches last fall.” The pleasant but dutiful response fit with a mental note I’d made watching Hill’s interactions with veterans, students, and others. She seemed chipper and determined but not particularly warm. I wondered if she thought dropping her guard would make her seem vulnerable. Which made me ponder the differences between Hill and Porter.

If Katie Hill grabbed a political opportunity and—with a major investment by California’s progressive establishment—rallied support around her youth, Katie Porter, who turned 45 on her first day in office, seems to have been born into a storyline that in an odd way leads slowly but inexorably to the surprising chapter she’s living.

On a summer morning in Irvine, Porter invited me to ride in her minivan from one event to the next. “Gotta move these flip-flops,” she said, tossing a flimsy pair over her shoulder into a middle row that had not recently been vacuumed. As she wheeled out of the parking lot, the car in front of her 2008 Toyota Sienna planted itself in the exit lane. Porter started to do what any Southern California carpool mom would do. Then balked.

“One of the things you don’t think about when you become a member of Congress,” she said, “is that you can’t honk at people anymore, no matter how much they deserve it.”

Porter’s 45th district covers a booming swath of south-central Orange County. To the northeast it runs along the chaparral foothills that developers have covered with look-alike McMansions and the big box shopping sprawl that follows. To the southwest it parallels the Pacific shoreline without ever touching it, from parts of Santa Ana to Laguna Hills.

Porter’s first stop on this summer visit to her district was with the Orange County Chamber of Commerce. She got started by showing about fifty business types a video from her growing catalog of famous confrontations. In this particular hearing in May, Housing Secretary Ben Carson inexplicably confuses one of the financial terms she’s grilling him about—Real Estate Owned-properties (REOs)—with creme-stuffed cookies: “Oreos.“ Snark and visual memes flooded the Internets.

Porter’s sudden fame among those addicted to political theater probably has much to do with her demeanor. There is nothing threatening about this political newbie and former Girl Scout leader, who still speaks with an occasionally squeaky touch of Midwestern twang. Until there is.

Watch as she sets up a question at one hearing. The scene she creates is of a hypothetical single California mom seeking a quick loan because her car has broken down and she needs it fixed to get to work. It’s only natural that Kathy Kraninger, a perfectly put-together Beltway insider who runs the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, should offer a condescending little smile at the demure Porter’s simple question: “What’s the APR gonna be?”

The bureaucrat, of course, is determined not to answer. It appears that she, like so many Beltway pros, might get away with running out the clock with rambling spin.

Porter’s not having it.

Chin down, eyes beseeching as if over bifocals, Porter twice attempts to interrupt the witnesses’ smug obfuscation. The third time her still-soft voice conveys such blistering authority that it’s impossible not to grimace; hard not to pity Kraninger—and every opposing counsel or sluggish student who ever faced this constitutional law professor in a courtroom or classroom. When the director finally blanks on the question, Porter raises the consumer law textbook she authored and offers to send her a copy.

If there were an IMDb for viral video political stars, Porter’s credits would include:

  •  Stole show at congressional hearing by grilling JPMorgan’s Dimon, asking the highly compensated executive how he would balance the monthly budget shortfall of a hypothetical single mom who makes a wage of $16.50 an hour at his bank.
  • Stole show at congressional hearing by demanding that Equifax CEO Mark Begor say whether he would reveal to the representatives and a C-Span audience the sort of information that his company’s attorneys had recently said posed no risk following a security breach that exposed such information of about 150 million of its customers (his answer was “no”).
  • Stole show, in October, by pummeling Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg about his apparent hypocrisy in guarding user’s privacy – although she also tested the line separating tenacity and grandstanding by browbeating the head of a company that earned over $5 billion in the last quarter of 2018 and employs more than 33,000 people about whether he would commit to spending an hour a day of his time monitoring his platform for disturbing content.

Porter’s June appearance on Real Time with Bill Maher led to what Rolling Stone called “a pure mic drop moment.” First Porter adeptly mocked Joe Biden’s fumbling over his early endorsement of the anti-abortion Hyde Amendment. Then she went after Maher himself when the host confided that his mother had almost aborted him. “Well Bill,” she said sweetly, “your mother made the choice and we are here with the consequences of that choice.”

Porter seems discomfited by questions about where she got the acerbic sense of humor that distinguishes her in this age of “that’s not funny.” She can also just as effortlessly deploy disarming empathy. Listening to a staffer at Children’s Hospital of Orange County describe the facility’s approach to emotionally disturbed children, she abruptly drew the woman in for a hug, tears flowing. Later, she said that her family—like many—has not gone untouched by mental illness. Acknowledging personal suffering is a political asset, not a flaw, she said, adding that she’s perplexed by congressional colleagues who seem oblivious to people’s basic problems.

“I haven’t had every struggle, but I have gone through some things and being willing to share those things and draw on those experiences is important.” —Katie Porter

“I don’t know what sparkly star they walked under their whole life that they have never had to struggle or that they have forgotten what that felt like. I haven’t had every struggle. I don’t know what some of my constituents are going through. But I have gone through some things and being willing to share those things and draw on those experiences is important.”

She ties her transparency to being a sixth-generation Iowan.

“There’s a great deal of retail politics that I grew up seeing,” she told me. “You don’t win Iowa without shaking the hands of farmers, of seniors, of high school kids in the FFA. I come from a background where you have to look people in the eye and make a connection with them and tell them a story.”

katie porter congress
Katie Porter in November

Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

Hers begins in Fort Dodge, Iowa, a farm town that today has about 25,000 residents—fewer than lived there when it was still a meatpacking nexus and her father was a farmer-turned-banker. When she was a toddler, her family moved to a farm south of Winterset, Iowa and raised cattle and grew corn and soybeans, but never had a lot of money, she said. So her mom drove 120 miles a day to and from Des Moines to work for the publisher of Better Homes and Gardens. Her dad did most of the hard work on the farm, leaving her to tag along with her grandfather. She enjoyed bottle feeding orphaned calves and counting the 100 or so cows in the herd: “I used to love to use the sharpies to write the number on the cattle tags.”

School, on the other hand, bored her. In 7th grade she took the SAT and “did better than most high schoolers.” As a result, she got into a program at Iowa State University where she received “enriched” schooling in exchange for being a guinea pig in experiments on gifted children. That led to a scholarship to Andover and the prestigious East Coast boarding school proved a springboard into Yale and then Harvard Law, where she became Elizabeth Warren’s teacher’s pet. Along the way Porter taught 8th grade and eventually went into law, ultimately taking a teaching job at UC Irvine.

When political seers began to suggest that the 45th Congressional District might not be the GOP stronghold it had always been, she jumped into the primary. Then — note the resonance – details of Porter’s estrangement from her husband leaked, including the fact that she’d obtained restraining orders alleging domestic abuse. The two are now divorced and living far apart in what sounds like a stable truce. During another cramped ride in the backseat of a staffer’s car, a photo of a tanned, bare-chested surfer popped up on Porter’s phone. “Oh that’s my boyfriend,” she said, adding with a smile and no explanation: “He’s frustrating.”

No relationship, however, can be as frustrating as the one she has or doesn’t have with the man who is arguably the most important in her life: Donald Trump.

In July, Porter told CNN’s Chris Cuomo that Trump’s assertion that he has “the right to do whatever I want as president,” would earn him “an absolute F” in her classroom.

In our rolling conversations she easily cited a litany of ways in which she thinks the president has abused his power and defiled the prestige of his office. But it’s what she characterized as his undermining of the rule of law that that seems to bother her most. Many Americans, she said, are so confused by Trump’s actions that they don’t even realize that the balance of powers between their government’s three branches is wobbling dangerously. “That’s why this [moment] has this looking glass quality, she said.

“People felt passionately about the Iraq War or the Gulf War but they didn’t have this kind of anxiety, this kind of fear, and it’s because the institutions of democracy are being attacked,” she added. “I’m trying to help my constituents and the American people understand that. We’re talking about how the fabric of American democracy hangs together.”  In June, Porter, who sits on the House Committee on Financial Services, came out in favor of an impeachment investigation. She said she would welcome the committee joining the inquiry, “and the opportunity to conduct aggressive fact-finding.”

Witnesses must be squirming.

Just before my August meeting with Hill, I Googled upon a story on a conservative website reporting that Hill and Kenny Heslep were getting a divorce. Hill’s campaign materials had featured vertigo-inducing images of the seemingly happy couple, roped in and scaling cliffs, apparently in the famous Vasquez Rocks area of her district. In campaign interviews Hill had discussed a massive hospital bill that hit her healthy-looking rock climber husband when he was between insurers, calling it one reason she became passionate about health care reform. They seemed to be in love.

I asked what went wrong.

“There’s nothing that can put more strain on a relationship than running for office,” Hill said. “We got together when we were very young. I’m grateful for the great parts of our marriage.”

“I feel creepy having to ask,” I said. “Amicable parting?”

“I think divorce doesn’t necessarily bring out the best in people,” she said. “I’m hopeful we’ll have a peaceful parting.”

It was anything but.

Hill has publicly blamed a vengeful Heslep and right wing media for the swirl of events that flushed away her success. Weeks after the divorce story surfaced, another conservative website, RedState, released the photo of Hill with her young campaign staffer and the allegation that the representative had had an affair with her young legislative director. The story was written by the site’s deputy managing editor, a woman who, in an egregious breach of mainstream journalistic ethics, is also a consultant who’s worked for GOP politicians.

Still, Hill had a problem. If an affair with a campaign subordinate ten years younger was improper, the alleged affair with a government staffer was, if it had occurred, a violation of congressional rules put in place at the peak of #Metoo. The House Ethics Committee launched an investigation. Hill adamantly denied the affair but acknowledged the throuple. “I know,” she said in a statement, “that even a consensual relationship with a subordinate is inappropriate but I still allowed it to happen despite my better judgement. For that I apologize.”

Soon, though, other outlets posted compromising shots of Hill—including one of her nude and holding a bong—along with alleged screen grabs of tweets and texts suggesting that she and Heslep had once practiced quite the polyamorous life together. Hill was under siege. “Having private photos of personal moments weaponized against me has been an appalling invasion of my privacy,” she said. “It’s also illegal, and we are currently pursuing all of our available legal options.”

And still, she resigned. And hired a powerhouse PR firm she’d used during her campaign. In her final seven-minute speech on the House floor, made just after she cast her historic vote for impeachment, Hill railed against “the dirtiest gutter politics I’ve ever seen….A large segment of society that fears and hates powerful women have combined to push a young woman out of power. Yet a man who brags about his sexual predation, who has had dozens of women come forward to accuse him of sexual assault…sits in the highest office in the land.”

California Republican Congressman Duncan Hunter is still in office, even as he and his wife face 60 criminal charges.

Progressive commentators have been quick to pick up on Hill’s messaging and rally to her defense, decrying her resignation as the result of a “homophobic, slut-shaming” travesty and a sickening reflection of America’s sexist double standard. They have a point. California Republican Congressman Duncan Hunter, for example, is still in office, even as he and his wife face 60 criminal charges, including allegations that he misappropriated money to fund affairs with five women.

Others, and not just on the right, wonder how Hill could have been so politically naïve; how she can set herself up a victim’s victim after violating such a key piece of progressive dogma: That a subordinate can never truly offer consent.

In our conversation in August, Hill said that only “men of a certain age” were concerned about perceived excesses in a woke culture that increasingly seems addicted to shaming. She extended that to include women of a certain age when I brought up liberal backlash to Democratic Senator Al Franken’s defenestration following the leaking of an old photo of the sometime comedian pretending to grope a female performer on a flight back from a USO tour.

Hill, while campaigning, had supported efforts to push out Franken and remained firm: “I felt very strongly that as Democrats…we should be holding ourselves to the same high standard that we’re holding people we disagree with,” she said.

Nancy Pelosi’s statement about Hill’s resignation was similarly high minded. Hill, she said, “has acknowledged errors in judgment that made her continued service as a Member untenable. We must ensure a climate of integrity and dignity in the Congress, and in all workplaces.”

The speaker may also have been thinking pragmatically about the looming 2020 election. In a sign of the times, Hill, who represented the most diverse freshman class in history, was already being hunted by what is almost certainly her district’s most diverse group of GOP challengers: an African American and two Latinos. In a sign that the world is wobbling on its axis, one-time Trump aide George Papadopoulos, who did jail time for lying to the FBI, also filed to run after Hill’s resignation. Meanwhile, the RedState editor who surfaced the sleaze has already been tweeting support for a Republican candidate for Hill’s seat.

On the Democratic side, the vacancy instantly inspired State Assemblywoman Christy Smith to jump into the race and California Secretary of State Alex Padilla was reportedly thinking about giving it a shot but later announced he would not seek the seat.

Katie Porter, too, faces challengers. Since June, the GOP has been firing off online ads linking her to “socialist Democrats in Washington” and saying she is “willing to thumb her nose at her constituents, the majority of whom oppose impeachment.”

2020 will be Porter’s first reelection bid, but there is no shortage of female politicians in her life to offer advice. Before running for office she had anticipated working as an advisor to the nation’s first female president. But Hillary Clinton lost. Presidential primary candidate Elizabeth Warren was, as noted, Porter’s mentor at Harvard Law School and in 2012 California Attorney General Kamala Harris appointed Porter as an independent monitor to oversee a complex, $25 billion mortgage settlement. Both Harris and Warren endorsed Porter in 2018, and amid the current swirl of primary debates and town halls, political types have relentlessly pestered the congresswoman to reveal which of her friends she’d endorse. In late October, Porter finally came out in support of Warren.

During my day with the Porter in Orange County, I had posed my own endorsement question. We were in a UCI parking lot when I brought up those two names. When you run for president in 2024, will you pick Harris or Warren as your running mate? For a moment the question confused Porter. Then she gave a modest moan, turned away in annoyance, and headed for the minivan, her lingering grimace softened by the wisp of a smile.

If I were to pose the semi-hypothetical question again now, I might ask Porter a follow-up: “Should you become president, what are the chances you’d help out a once-rising star whose questionable judgment was exploited by truly nasty villains, ending an amazing rise to power with an almost Shakespearean fall from grace?”


RELATED: How Local Republican Operatives Took Down Katie Hill


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Business people – Zip Code Wilmington, Nanticoke, Wilmington & Western

Freeman

Zip Code announces partnership director

Zip Code Wilmington announced the addition of Lossie Freeman as the organization’s new director of corporate partnerships. Freemanwill be responsible for growing the nonprofit’s corporate program, including building successful relationships with company CIOs, CTOs and HR professionals. She will evaluate corporate partners’ talent needs and connect them with highly trained, highly qualified and diverse Zip Code Wilmington graduates, so skill gaps are quickly and effectively bridged.

Before joining Zip Code Wilmington, Freeman was a special assistant to the Mayor of the City of Wilmington. In this role, she focused on developing arobust employment infrastructure through partnerships with the local business community to collaboratively promote job placement, job creation and employment skills training opportunities for residents. For eight years, Freeman worked at JPMorgan Investment Bank in New York in various roles across the firm, including client services, global trading, corporate technology and risk management.

Freeman is a member of the Wilmington Rotary Club and the Delaware Fund for Women, and serves on the boards of the Kingswood Community Center, The Delaware Community Foundation, Salem Academy & College Board of Trustees, and The Governor’s Commission on Volunteerism for Delaware. She holds a B.A. in Economics from Salem College and an M.P.A. in Economic Policy Management from Columbia University.

Wilmington & Western excursion railroad names executive director

David Keller has been named Executive Director of the Wilmington & Western Railroad.

Keller served as a development officer at the Music School of Delaware and as former Interim Executive Officer of the Music School of Delaware.

The nonprofit operates a railroad with steam and diesel locomotives that runs from the Prices Corner area west of Wilmington toward the Pennsylvania line.

Rose

Nanticoke CEO retiring

Nanticoke’s Board of Directors announces the upcoming retirement of Steven Rose, CEO of Nanticoke Health Services. After more than 11 years with the organization, Rose will be retiring at the end of January 2020.

Rose guided the Seaford-based hospital and health care system through a difficult period and most recently led the effort to affiliate with Salisbury, MD-based peninsula.

Also, Penny Short was recently named President of Nanticoke Memorial Hospital and has already assumed daily operations for the hospital.

Dutton

Dutton named Community Reinvestment chief at WSFS

Ron Duttonhas joined WSFS Bank as Senior Vice President and Director of Community Reinvestment with oversight of the bank’s Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) program. In this role, Dutton will work with community leaders and government officials. He will represent WSFS in civic, community, and other functions to enhance the bank’s partnerships and commitment to all residents and entities within the neighborhoods it serves. Dutton joins WSFS Bank following the retirement of former WSFS Associate and Director of Community Reinvestment, Terri Hasson.

Dutton’s career includes nearly 20 years with Wells Fargo, where he held numerous positions in government guaranteed lending, community reinvestment, business banking, and government and institutional banking. He also has significant experience in commercial banking, CRA risk and compliance, relationship management, reputation risk management, credit, and public and private sector finance.

Dutton holds a B.S. in Business Administration from the Cheyney University of Pa., and is an Army ROTC Graduate from Widener University in Chester, Pa. Active in his community, he serves on the Board of the African American Chamber of Commerce of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware, and the loan committee for True Access Capital.

Parreno Maritza

The Nanticoke Physician Network welcomes physician

The Nanticoke Physician Network welcomed Maritza Parreno, MD, to its active medical staff. Parreno specializes in Internal Medicine.

Parreno comes to Nanticoke with over 20 years of practice in Internal Medicine. She received her Doctor of Medicine from Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Bronx, New York and she completed her residency in Internal Medicine at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital – UMDNJ in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Parreno is board-certified in Internal Medicine and fluent in English, Spanish and Italian. Her professional affiliations include the American Medical Association and the American College of Physicians.

Patel

Patel joins Bayhealth practice

Bayhealth Gastroenterology, Sussex Campus welcomed Shruti Patel, MD. She joins Gautamy Chitiki Dhadham, MD, in the practice.

The practice is part of the Bayhealth Medical Group.

Prior to coming to Bayhealth, Dr. Patel was at Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow, NY, where shedid an internal medicine residency and completed a fellowship in gastroenterology and hepatology. She holds a medical degree from SBKS Medical Institute and Research Center in Vadodara, India.

Patel specializes in treating problems of the gastrointestinal tract including the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, colon and rectum, pancreas, gallbladder, bile ducts, and liver.

Black Press Joins Congressional Black Caucus in Denouncing New Cuba Travel Ban

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior Correspondent
@StacyBrownMedia

The Congressional Black Caucus has heavily criticized President Donald Trump’s decision to limit further the ability of American citizens to travel to Cuba, saying it would negatively affect the U.S. economy.

They also called the decision another personal attack by the president against the policies of former President Barack Obama.

The White House announced that the president has banned all flights to Cuba with the exception of Havana. The action, which comes four months after the administration banned cruises to Cuba, will take effect on Dec. 10.

CBC leaders said Trump’s actions would negatively affect the U.S. economy. (Photo: iStockphoto / NNPA)

“In line with the President’s foreign policy toward Cuba, this action prevents revenue from reaching the Cuban regime that has been used to finance its ongoing repression of the Cuban people and its support for Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela,” State Department officials said in a news release.

“This action will prevent the Castro regime from profiting from U.S. air travel and using the revenues to repress the Cuban people,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo wrote on Twitter.

Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.), the chair of the CBC, said suspending flights from the United States to all destinations outside of Havana is yet another cruel and counterproductive policy put forth by the Trump administration.

“Over 20 years ago, members of the Congressional Black Caucus created a program to recruit young African American and Latino students to attend medical school in Cuba at no cost,” Bass stated.

“Over the years, hundreds of students have been trained with the commitment to return to the United States and work in underserved communities.

“These young doctors provide health care to the most vulnerable among us. This new policy from the Trump administration can impact these students’ ability to return home for exams freely and to visit their families,” she said.

Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) said the ban isn’t good for anyone – Americans or Cubans.

“Instead of considering the best interests of the American and Cuban people, the president has made a political decision to squander jobs, severely restrict travel, and undermine our international standing,” Lee stated.

“Since President Obama transformed U.S. relations with Cuba in 2014, Americans and Cubans alike have reaped the benefits of expanded trade, loosened travel restrictions, and strengthened diplomatic ties.

The American people should be able to exercise their fundamental right to travel without political interference from the federal government,” Lee added.

“Abandoning our progress makes no sense and achieves nothing. This is a completely unnecessary step backward for American families and businesses, the Cuban people, and U.S. global leadership,” she further stated.

National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) President and CEO Benjamin F. Chavis said the trade association that represents the newspaper and media companies that comprise the Black Press of America supports the CBC’s position against the new travel restrictions to Cuba.

“The NNPA forthrightly supports and joins with the CBC in expressing our opposition to the imposition of new travel restrictions on citizens of the United States to travel to the Republic of Cuba,” Chavis stated. “This new policy is a counterproductive and serious violation of human rights of all who live in Cuba and the United States.”

Chavis said the ban could have a particularly detrimental effect on Black Americans.

“African Americans, in particular, have an anthropological, cultural, and African ancestry direct connection with the people of Cuba,” Chavis added.

Bass added that the policy would make it harder for Americans to do business with and travel to Cuba. The administration’s approach to trade, tourism, and family remittances not only hurts ordinary Cubans but will ultimately lead to a slowdown of business for U.S. companies, Bass stated.

“What possible impact could restricting these flights have for the national security interest of the United States?” she said. “This arbitrary move seems more intent on reversing the Obama legacy than achieving any foreign policy goals.”

October job creation comes in at 128,000, easily topping estimates even with GM auto strike – CNBC

Nonfarm payrolls rose by 128,000 in October as the U.S. economy overcame the weight of the GM autoworkers’ strike and created jobs at a pace well above expectations.

Even with a decline of 42,000 in the motor vehicles and parts industry, the pace of new jobs well exceeded the estimate of 75,000 from economists surveyed by Dow Jones. The loss of jobs came due to the General Motors strike that has since been settled. That 42,000 job loss itself was less than the 50,000 or more that many economists had been anticipating.

The unemployment rate ticked higher to 3.6%, in line with estimates, but remains around the lowest in 50 years. A more encompassing measure that includes discouraged workers and those holding part-time positions for economic reasons also edged up to 7%.

The unemployment rate for African Americans nudged down to a record low 5.4%. Also, the total employment level as measured in the household survey jumped to 158.5 million, also a new high.

The pace of average hourly earnings picked up a bit, rising 0.1% to a year-over-year 3% gain, also in line with estimates. The average work week was unchanged at 34.4 hours.

“This report is yet another sign that the economy is still strong right now and adds to a list of indicators that are looking optimistic of late,” said Steve Rick, chief economist at CUNA Mutual Group. “The vigor of this labor market, along with a more positive housing market and solid Q3 GDP, should offer some welcome reassurance.”

Big revisions upward

Along with the better-than-expected performance in October, previous months’ counts were revised considerably higher. August’s initial 168,000 estimate came all the way up to 219,000 while September’s jumped from 136,000 to 180,000.

Together, the new estimates added 95,000 positions for the two-month period, bringing the three-month average to 176,000, which is well above the pace needed to keep the unemployment rate around its current level.

For the year, monthly job creation now averages 167,000 compared with 223,000 in 2018.

The report helps further quell worries that the U.S. economy is teetering toward recession and helps affirm the assessment from most Federal Reserve officials.

Central bank leaders have largely praised the state of the U.S. economy, particularly compared with its global peers. The Fed earlier this week lowered its benchmark interest rate a quarter point, the third such move this year, but Chairman Jerome Powell clearly indicated that this likely will be the last cut for some time unless conditions change significantly.

Hottest sectors

At the industry level, the biggest job creation came in food services and drinking establishments, which added 48,000. While those positions are generally associated with lower wages, they also can reflect consumer demand and the willingness to spend discretionary money. The industry has seen a surge in job creation as of late, with the past three months averaging 38,000 compared with 16,000 in the first seven months of this year.

Professional and business services added 22,000 and health care rose 15,000, part of a gain of 402,000 for that industry over the past year.

Social assistance increased by 20,000 while financial activities rose by 16,000, bringing to 108,000 the total Wall Street jobs added over the past year.

Job losses came in manufacturing (-36,000) as part of the GM strike, and the federal government, which subtracted 17,000 because 20,000 workers hired for Census duties finished their work.

The total employment level in the household survey reached another record high, swelling by 241,000 to 158.5 million.

The labor force expanded by 325,000 to 164.4 million and the labor force participation rate edged higher to 63.3%. Those counted as not in the labor force declined by 118,000 to nearly 95.5 million.

After previously sitting at a record low, the unemployment rate for Asians jumped 0.4 percentage points to 2.9%.

Democrats Can Still Seize the Center

President Trump is unpopular, but that doesn’t mean defeating him is going to be easy. Democrats will have to tackle issues that may alienate — and even give offense to — progressives, women, Latinos and African-Americans.

Putting together a broad enough coalition to finish the job — to win 270 Electoral College votes — will require navigating fraught cultural arenas: race, immigration and women’s rights — while dodging the broadly loathed set of prohibitions that many voters, including many Democrats, file under the phrase “political correctness.”

President Trump walked onstage at a campaign rally in Dallas on Oct. 17. Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times

In September, the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Cook Report released a study of 2,402 adults designed to identify the swing electorate. They found that 16 percent of all voters “are truly persuadable.”

Who are they? “They’re younger, more moderate, and less engaged in national politics. At least a quarter say they didn’t vote in 2016 or 2018.” Their views of Trump are less extreme than those of more partisan voters, with the overwhelming majority saying they “somewhat” approve or disapprove of the president, rather than “strongly” approve or disapprove.

Last year, Matt Grossmann, a political scientist at Michigan State, “reviewed nearly every academic article containing the name ‘Donald Trump’,” and concluded that “attitudes about race, gender, and cultural change played outsized roles” in Trump’s victory. Trump’s adamant “aversion to political correctness,” Grossmann argued, was a crucial factor in the outcome in 2016:

Many people dislike group-based claims of structural disadvantage and the norms obligating their public recognition. Those voters saw Trump as their champion. The 2016 election produced greater candidate and voter division around the celebration of diversity and accepted explanations for group disparities.

John Feehery, a Republican lobbyist, tackles this issue head-on. He emailed in response to my query: “What should Democrats do?”

I would drop the elitist attitude that currently suffuses the Democratic Party which has morphed into an insufferable army of virtue-signaling know-it-all’s who spend all of their time looking down their noses at the unwashed masses in flyover country. It has less to do with specific issues and more to do with the unbridled arrogance that is currently deeply embedded in the DNA of the once great Democratic Party.

The reality, though, is that the Democratic Party is no longer the party Feehery grew up with in Chicago.

In a study published earlier this year, based on CNN polling of Democratic primary voters in 2008 and 2016, Ron Brownstein wrote:

The Democratic primary electorate is tilting more heavily toward minorities and well-educated whites, solidifying the dominance of women and experiencing reduced participation from blue-collar whites.

Ideologically, the study found that the

share of Democratic primary voters who identified as moderate or conservative dropped from just over half in 2008 to 2 in 5 in 2016. Voters who identified as very liberal increased from around 1 in 5 in 2008 to about 1 in 4 in 2016; the largest group, at 36 percent, was voters who identified as somewhat liberal. (That was also a big increase from around 3 in 10 in 2008.)

What this means in practical terms is that centrist Democrats face an ever higher hurdle in Democratic presidential primaries, while the pool of voters willing to back a liberal candidate is growing.

A respected Republican pollster (who asked to remain anonymous in order to protect his relationship with his clients) advises Democrats to be circumspect in this regard when it comes to the general election:

In our last national poll of registered voters, taken in the last week of August, the ideological distribution of the electorate is: Very liberal 13 percent; Somewhat liberal 18 percent; Moderate 28 percent; Somewhat conservative 22 percent; Very conservative 14 percent.

This shows, the pollster continued, that

three-fourths of the electorate is within shouting distance of the center, and only one-fourth is on the extremes. That tells you much of what you need to know about the “center” vs. “progressive” debate.

Trump, this pollster continued, “is very unlikely to gain more than the 46 percent of the popular vote that he received in 2016, because he has made no effort to do so.” That, in turn, places the burden on Democrats to “nominate someone who can consolidate the 54 percent majority of non-Trump voters.”

Democrats cannot bank on the theory “that non-Trump voters have ‘no place else to go,’ ” he said, because in 2016 they did just that” — went elsewhere:

About 8 million voters — greater than the population of 38 of our 50 states — voted for 3rd party candidates in 2016, almost 6 percent of the total vote. The same thing is likely to happen again in 2020 if the choice is Trump vs a real leftie, i.e. Sanders or Warren.

This pollster also tackled two key strategic questions: Should the party and candidate invest more in voter persuasion of the undecided, or in mobilization of loyal supporters, and should the party focus on white college-educated voters, or white non-college voters.

“The Democratic candidate should concentrate on persuasion, because Trump will take care of mobilizing his opponents,” he argued. The pollster pointed out that in the 2017 Virginia governor’s race, “Northern Virginia turnout exploded by 500,000 votes, because people turned out to send a message of opposition to Trump” even though the Democratic candidate for governor, Ralph Northam, “was neither very liberal nor a very inspiring candidate.”

The pollster also argued that “the ‘college educated vs. working class’ debate is a false choice. The answer again is both.”

He said he has difficulty seeing “a very liberal Harvard professor winning back the blue collar whites who switched from Obama to Trump in 2016. But Democrats have many candidates who could.”

Senator Elizabeth Warren speaking in Aiken, S.C. in August. Dustin Chambers for The New York Times

I asked Alex Castellanos, a Republican consultant, why immigration, identity politics and political correctness remain problematic for Democrats. His view is that many Democratic positions on these issues reinforce

America’s loss of identity. We no longer seem to have a great, uniting idea of what America is. On these issues, Democrats support further disintegration of one united national culture, open to and supported by all Americans. Instead, Democrats support what I would call “cultural segregation,” the idea that nothing unites us, and what makes us different and special, our unique group identities, is all that exists.

One recurring, if mostly whispered, concern among some Democratic strategists is the viability of a female nominee for president. In a July 15 essay at the website 538, “Americans Say They Would Vote For A Woman, But ….” Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux wrote that

Political science research has established that women who run for elected office have to navigate a thicket of stereotypes and double standards that their male counterparts are unlikely to experience.

Women do not pose the only challenge. Patrick Ruffini, a Republican consultant who worked for the 2004 Bush campaign and the Republican National Committee, wrote in reply to my inquiry:

It’s baffling to me that Democrats could lose the 2016 election in the way that they did, and not treat their losses with white working class voters, as well as their failure to make progress with largely working-class Latino voters, as the five-alarm fire for the party that it is.

Democrats, according to Ruffini,

are at risk of losing that historic identification with the working and middle classes, with dire consequences in the Electoral College.

Let’s take a look at immigration specifically as another complicated issue for Democrats. Justin Gest, a professor of public policy at George Mason, in an email articulated a widely held view among Democratic strategists:

In survey after survey, Americans favor immigration and immigrants but they also want to have the sense that their government regulates entry and exit at their borders and the various processes for acquiring visas and citizenship.

This compromise-oriented approach is reflected in the accompanying chart, which is based on an Oct. 20 Public Religion Research Institute report showing that Americans support restrictive immigration policies 56 to 45 percent, but have a positive view of immigrants, at 89 to 11 percent.

Positive Views of Immigrants, and Yet Wanting Fewer to Arrive




Favor restrictive

immigration policies

All Americans

Negative views

of immigrants

Positive

views

All Americans

Favor restrictive

immigration policies

Negative views

of immigrants

Positive

views

All

Americans

By The New York Times | Source: PRRI American Values Survey conducted Aug. 22 to Sept. 15; not all figures add up to 100 percent because of rounding.

Clearly, as Trump’s election demonstrated, some voters “want to severely truncate immigration and halt the diversification of the population,” Gest wrote, but “the vast majority just want the sense that the government is in control.”

But Democrats, Gest continued, are,

loath to use the word “control.” The most effective position champions the virtue, value, and integrity of American immigrants while reassuring voters that the only way to attract the best and the brightest is to build a well-regulated system.

A Republican Trump critic, who asked to remain anonymous in order to offer advice to the other party, cautioned Democrats against appearing to support open borders by decriminalizing border crossing.

Instead, he argued, support for “a generous immigration policy” granting a path to legal status for undocumented immigrants, including Dreamers, is best “made from a position of strength: We have control of the border, so let’s be generous and merciful about how we exercise that control. If we appear to cede control, it’s a lot harder to sell generosity and mercy.”

Along similar lines, Kimberly Wehle, a professor at the University of Baltimore School of Law and former counsel in Kenneth W. Starr’s Whitewater investigation, argued in an email that the most effective Democratic position on immigration would be:

“One that highlighted the horrors of our current compassionless policies, and started with enough money to strengthen border patrol and care for migrant children. Address head-on the fears of the American people around this topic.”

At the same time, Wehle, who describes herself as “a rule of law person, which means I don’t support this particular presidency,” contended that the policy stand most harmful to Democratic prospects is: “Free medical coverage and public services for undocumented migrants.”

In a broader critique of the current Democratic nomination contest, Gest of George Mason wrote:

“Under Donald Trump, Republicans have chosen to abandon the American center and its moderates. It would be utterly foolish for Democrats to make the same mistake and move the Democratic Party further leftward. With Trump on the ballot, any semblance of moderation will appeal to these valuable voters in swing states in the general election.”

Supporters attended a rally for Senator Bernie Sanders in Long Island City on Oct. 19. Christopher Lee for The New York Times

The leftward pressure on Democrats seeking the presidential nomination is glaringly apparent in NBC/Wall Street Journal survey data comparing the views of primary voters with those of general election voters.

Asked in a survey to choose between a candidate “who proposes larger scale policies that cost more and might be harder to pass into law, but could bring major change on these issues” or “someone who proposes smaller scale policies that cost less and might be easier to pass into law, but will bring less change,” Democratic primary voters chose to advocate large scale policies 56 to 40, while voters who only cast ballots in general elections preferred the proponent of small scale policies 34 to 21.

An analysis of the NBC/Wall Street Journal data by Public Opinion Strategies, one of two firms that conduct the WSJ/NBC polls, found that there are several issues on which there are substantial differences between Democratic primary voters and general election only voters, as can be seen in the accompanying graphic: Medicare for All; offshore drilling; Obamacare and government health care to undocumented immigrants, for example.

Democrats Eager to Vote vs. Voters Who Sit Out the Primaries




General

election voters

(all parties)

Democratic

primary

voters

MAJORITIES OF

EACH GROUP

IN AGREEMENT

Allowing “Dreamers” to stay in U.S.

Forgiving student load debt after 15 years of payments

Free college tuition

Shifting to 100% renewable energy

Medicare buy-in for people under 65

MAJORITIES AT ODDS

Providing gov’t health care to undocumented

Providing Medicare for all

Immediately canceling all student loan debt

Banning hydraulic fracking

Support for offshore oil drilling

GENERAL ELECTION VOTERS SPLIT

Eliminating Obamacare

BOTH BELOW MAJORITY SUPPORT

Building a border wall

General

election voters

(from all parties)

Democratic

primary

voters

MAJORITIES OF EACH GROUP IN AGREEMENT

Allowing “Dreamers” to stay in U.S.

Forgiving student load debt after 15 years of payments

Free college tuition

Shifting to 100% renewable energy

Medicare buy-in for people under 65

MAJORITIES AT ODDS

Providing gov’t health care to undocumented

Providing Medicare for all

Immediately canceling all student loan debt

Banning hydraulic fracking

Support for offshore oil drilling

GENERAL ELECTION VOTERS SPLIT

Eliminating Obamacare

BOTH BELOW MAJORITY SUPPORT

Building a border wall

By The New York Times | Source: NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll

The NBC/WSJ survey also examined “the level of support of the different issue positions held by primary voters for Biden, Warren and Sanders, and found that “there are four important issue differences where support among Biden voters” was significantly closer to the views of the general electorate than the views “among Warren and Sanders voters”: immediately canceling student loan debt; health care for undocumented immigrants; stopping fracking; and Medicare for All.

Jonathan V. Last is the editor of The Bulwark, a site that features many anti-Trump conservatives. Last argues that Trump “is the most unpopular president since the advent of modern polling” and that the percentage of voters favoring impeachment is “trending upward and it does not require much imagination to see how it could get to the high 50s.”

Candidates like Warren and Sanders, however, risk their credibility with their Medicare for All proposals, according to Last:

The idea that a Democratic president in 2021 is going to be able to create a public option AND kill private health insurance seems to be more or less the equivalent of Trump promising that he was going to build a wall and get Mexico to pay for it. It’s so fanciful as a political and legislative matter that it’s not even worth taking seriously.

To a certain degree, all the advice flowing to the Democrats risks falling on deaf ears. The reality is that centrist Democrats — Biden included, despite his current poll position — face a pool of primary voters eager, even determined, to back a liberal candidate who stands well to the left of the general electorate.

Just ask Steve Bullock, Amy Klobuchar or Michael Bennet.

And yet there are still 12 months to go.

The Times is committed to publishing a diversity of letters to the editor. We’d like to hear what you think about this or any of our articles. Here are some tips. And here’s our email: letters@nytimes.com.

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Warren Leads Tight Iowa Race as Biden Fades, Poll Finds

Ms. Warren garnered 22 percent in a New York Times/Siena College poll, to 19 percent for Bernie Sanders. Pete Buttigieg has surged, while Mr. Biden’s travails have put the race in flux.

Nov. 1, 2019

The top Democratic presidential candidates are locked in a close race in the 2020 Iowa caucuses, with Senator Elizabeth Warren slightly ahead of Senator Bernie Sanders, Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind., and former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., according to a New York Times/Siena College poll of likely Democratic caucusgoers.

Ms. Warren appears to have solidified her gains in the first voting state while Mr. Buttigieg has climbed quickly to catch up with Mr. Sanders and overtake Mr. Biden, the onetime front-runner. Ms. Warren is drawing support from 22 percent of likely caucusgoers, while Mr. Sanders is at 19 percent, followed by Mr. Buttigieg at 18 percent and Mr. Biden at 17 percent.

The survey is full of alarming signs for Mr. Biden, who entered the race in April at the top of the polls in Iowa and nationally. He is still in the lead in most national polls, but his comparatively weak position in the earliest primary and caucus states now presents a serious threat to his candidacy. And Mr. Biden’s unsteadiness appears to have opened a path in the race for other Democrats closer to the political middle, particularly Mr. Buttigieg.

The poll reveals a race in flux but not in disarray, framed by a stark debate about the direction of the Democratic Party and by a degree of fluidity arising from Mr. Biden’s travails. In the early states, at least, the former vice president appears to be buckling on one side to the expansive populism of Ms. Warren and Mr. Sanders, and on the other to Mr. Buttigieg’s calls for generational change.

While no single candidate has a decisive advantage, the strongest currents in the party appear to be swirling around candidates promising in different ways to challenge the existing political and economic order.

Several of them would also represent change by virtue of their identities, including Ms. Warren, who would be the first female president, and Mr. Buttigieg, who is gay. But despite the historic diversity of the field, all the top candidates are white. In Iowa, a state that helped vault Barack Obama into the presidency, the poll found a substantial bloc concerned that anyone other than a heterosexual white man might struggle to defeat President Trump.

The survey found Iowa Democrats in a divided and perhaps indecisive state about what the party must do in order to deny Mr. Trump a second term. They are an ideologically mixed group, with younger voters trending to the left and leaning strongly toward Ms. Warren and Mr. Sanders. Mr. Biden remains the favorite candidate of older voters, but only 2 percent of respondents under 45 years old said they currently plan to caucus for him.

In the poll, large majorities were supportive of ambitious liberal policy goals, like breaking up big banks, increasing Social Security benefits and implementing single-payer health care. But perhaps out of political caution, the poll also found that more Democrats would prefer to nominate someone who supports improving the private health insurance system rather than replacing it altogether. And most Democrats said they would favor a nominee willing to work with Republicans.


Do you support or oppose the following positions?


Strongly support

Somewhat support

Somewhat oppose

Strongly oppose

<!–

Don’t know/refused to answer

–>

Increasing Social Security benefits by $200 per month

Providing free college tuition to all Americans

A single-payer health care system, which would abolish private insurance and provide every American with a government health insurance plan

Breaking up the big banks and tech companies

Creating a government health insurance plan available for any American to purchase


Source: New York Times Upshot/Siena College poll conducted Oct. 25-30.

There is still plenty of room for shifts in political momentum: Two-thirds of likely caucusgoers in The Times poll said they could still be persuaded to change their minds.

Outside the top tier of four candidates, the best-performing Democrat was Senator Amy Klobuchar, supported by 4 percent of respondents, followed by Senator Kamala Harris and Andrew Yang, both at 3 percent, and Senator Cory Booker, Representative Tulsi Gabbard and Tom Steyer, all at 2 percent.

Factoring in voters’ second choices, which can play a key role in the complex caucus process, Ms. Warren had the broadest appeal: She is the first or second preference of 47 percent of Iowa Democrats, with two-thirds of Sanders supporters naming her as their backup choice.

Mr. Sanders is the first or second choice of 34 percent of likely caucusgoers, followed by Mr. Buttigieg at 31 percent. Mr. Biden was in fourth place by this measure, at 28 percent; only 1 in 10 voters named him as their second choice.

The Times/Siena survey of 439 Iowa Democratic caucusgoers was conducted from Oct. 25-30 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.7 percentage points.

One issue that occasions little division among Democrats is impeachment. Eighty-nine percent of people in the poll said they support impeaching Mr. Trump and removing him from office.

Most Iowa Democrats in the poll said they were somewhat or very confident that the party’s top candidates would beat Mr. Trump in the general election. There was no difference in how they assessed Mr. Biden and Ms. Warren on that measure, and Mr. Sanders and Mr. Buttigieg fared only slightly worse.


How confident are you that the following Democrats would beat President Trump?


<!–

Very confident

Somewhat confident

Not very confident

Not at all confident

Don’t know/refused to answer

–>

Not at all

<!–

–>


Source: New York Times Upshot/Siena College poll conducted Oct. 25-30. People who did not answer are not shown on the charts.

The confidence Iowa Democrats expressed in Ms. Warren as a general-election candidate could represent something of a turning point for her candidacy, if she can extend the sentiment to other early states. For much of the race, even Democratic voters who have embraced her ideas and political persona have harbored reservations about her odds against Mr. Trump. In Iowa, that appears to have changed.

Jonathan Morrison, 45, of Mason City, said he was drawn to Ms. Warren because of her grasp of economic issues and believed she would “hold her own” against the president.

“I don’t think she’s going to allow herself to be pushed around or bullied by Trump,” he said. “She’s going to stick to the facts and call him out on his policies.”

Mr. Morrison, who said he is a drone pilot in the oil and gas industry, said he also liked Mr. Buttigieg, whom he described as having a “leadership aura about him.”

“I think Pete Buttigieg is going to be president someday,” he said. “I’m not sure it’s this time around.”

Both Ms. Warren and Mr. Sanders appear to be tapping into a thirst among many primary voters for transformational policies rather than incremental improvements in governance. But the presence of two forceful, well-funded populists in the race may be preventing either Mr. Sanders or Ms. Warren from gaining a wide advantage.


Which of the two types of Democrats would you be likely to support? A Democrat who …


Is more moderate than most Democrats
Is more liberal than most Democrats

Promises to fight for a bold, progressive agenda
Promises to find common ground

Brings politics in Washington back to normal
Promises fundamental systematic change to American society

You agreed with most on the issues
Has the best chance to beat President Trump

Promises to replace the current health care system with Medicare for All
Promises to improve the existing health insurance system


Source: New York Times Upshot/Siena College poll conducted Oct. 25-30.

They have assembled somewhat different political coalitions: Ms. Warren is the top choice of younger voters, women and people with college degrees, while Mr. Sanders fares better with men and people with high school degrees or less. He also retains significant backing from young people, and his supporters are the least likely to say they might change their minds before February.

Though Mr. Buttigieg would be the youngest president ever, he is not exceptionally popular with his generational cohort. He fared somewhat better with older voters than younger ones; like Ms. Warren, he registered strongly among people with college and postgraduate degrees.

Mr. Biden’s support comes almost exclusively from older voters: Among people 65 years or older, he is still the front-runner, with backing from nearly a third of them. But he has negligible support among younger Iowans. With voters under 45, Mr. Biden is polling several points behind Mr. Yang, a former tech executive who has never run for office before.


Which of these Democrats would be your first choice in the Iowa caucuses?


Ages 18-29


Source: New York Times Upshot/Siena College poll conducted Oct. 25-30.

An ideological gulf, running along generational lines, is a major feature of the Democratic race. Two-thirds of voters under 30 favored either Ms. Warren or Mr. Sanders, while a smaller majority of people over 65 favored either Mr. Biden or Mr. Buttigieg.

An overwhelming 85 percent of voters under 30 said they preferred a nominee promising fundamental change over one seeking to restore normalcy in Washington. Among voters more than 65 years old, 7 in 10 preferred a candidate who would bring back normalcy.

William Nix of Waterloo, Iowa, is among the young voters torn between several candidates promising large-scale change. He said he had long admired Mr. Sanders but worried that he might pull out of the race after his recent heart attack. Mr. Nix, who is 21 and works on an assembly line at John Deere, said he was considering Ms. Warren and Mr. Buttigieg, and wanted a nominee focused on economic inequality and access to education.

“I’m really all for making going to college more affordable,” Mr. Nix said. “That is my biggest thing, because I want to go to college myself.”

Most Iowa Democrats appear to believe it is easier for candidates who are heterosexual, white, male and ideologically moderate to win presidential races, though that assessment is not playing a decisive role in shaping their caucus preferences. Most poll respondents said they believed it would be harder to win the election with a nominee who is more liberal than most Democrats, or one who is gay. About half expressed those reservations about a female nominee, and 4 in 10 were pessimistic about an African-American candidate

These reservations about embracing the diversity of their presidential field have not translated into enthusiasm for Mr. Biden. One reason may be his age: A majority of respondents said they believed it would be harder to win the election with a candidate over the age of 75.


Do you think a candidate with these characteristics would have an easier or harder time beating President Trump?


No difference

<!–

Don’t know/refused to answer

–>

A female candidate

An African-American

A white male

A gay candidate

More moderate than most Democrats

Farther to the left than most Democrats

Over age 75


Source: New York Times Upshot/Siena College poll conducted Oct. 25-30.

Both Mr. Biden and Mr. Sanders would turn 80 within a year or two of taking office.

Julia Roberts, a voter in Winterset, Iowa, is among those wary of nominating someone whose identity could unsettle rural conservatives. Ms. Roberts, 60, a retired state employee, favored Mr. Biden because she saw him as the strongest general-election candidate and valued his foreign policy experience.

“I think, really, he’s got the best chance of beating Trump,” Ms. Roberts said, adding that she also liked Ms. Warren and Mr. Buttigieg but feared there would be “prejudice in play” against them.

Tonda Hadden, 63, of Council Bluffs, Iowa, said she had originally favored Mr. Biden or Mr. Sanders. But she worried Mr. Sanders was “too old and too left.” With Mr. Biden, she had grown “a little worried about his gaffes.”

Ms. Hadden said she was now “still looking” over her options: She named Ms. Warren as her current favorite and Mr. Buttigieg as an intriguing alternative. And she said she hoped some others, like Mr. Booker, whom she saw interviewed Wednesday on “The View,” would get a closer look from voters.

“I really like him,” she said of Mr. Booker, “and I don’t understand why he’s not up in the polls.”