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The published output of the Amherst Democratic News is available online and consists of 360 issues beginning June 9th, 2009 and may be researched in the Amherst Democratic News Blog Archive. (entry to archive is at the bottom of each sheet by year, month, day and article title) It is a complete record containing photos and text.
The very first issue covered the Agenda for the Amherst County Democrats monthly meeting on June 9th, 2009 at the Madison Heights Library at 7 pm.
David Burford was our chair, Betty Zieger read the Secretaries report and Roscoe "Skipper" Fitts was the Treasurer.
Wright Shop........... Magnolia Braxton
Monroe................... Suzanne Chambers
Temperance............. M&M Gilbert
Court House............. Mary Ann Hostetier
Glasgow..................... Ned & Lynn Kable
Amelon...................... Robert Perry
Elon........................... Mary Truitt
PL. View.....................James Willie Rucker
C'Well/ LON................Francis Wayne
Leon Parrish and Chair, Ned Kable at Ellen Arthur Kick Off in Amherst.
The Summer Soltice Festival was approaching and Jeff Price was readying for a run for State Representative. The Amherst Democratic News was a couple of days old and few if any thought it would still be publishing in October of 2015. Barack Obama had been elected President of the United States and all things were possible.
" May the blessings of God be upon you. "
Many Thanks for All Your Help
Amherst Democratic News
Fired Benghazi staffer says desire to get Hillary Clinton trumps search for truth
Maj. Bradley Podliska is preparing a lawsuit against the House Select Committee on Benghazi for firing him, alleging that the panel has unfairly targeted Hillary Clinton in its investigation of the 2012 attacks.
The Republican-led House committee to investigate the 2012 Benghazi attacks disproportionately targets former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a fired staffer says, an
accusation that the committee itself vehemently denies.
"I knew that we needed to get to the truth to the victims' families. And the victims' families, they deserve the truth – whether or not Hillary Clinton was involved, whether or not other individuals were involved," Podliska says on CNN’s "State of the Union" Sunday. "The victims' families are not going to get the truth and that's the most unfortunate thing about this."
Recommended: CIA-Senate dispute 101: 9 questions about who's spying on whom.
The former investigator, currently on active duty in Germany, was fired 10 months after joining the committee, which has spent $4.6 million on the investigation so far.
Podliska is now preparing to sue the select committee, alleging that he was unjustly fired for his efforts to push for a comprehensive investigation, opposing the biased probe into Clinton. The partisan efforts, he explains, intensified after news broke that Clinton was using her private email server instead of the government-issued one.
"Hillary Clinton has a lot of explaining to do. We, however, did not need to shift resources to hyper focus on Hillary Clinton. We didn't need to de-emphasize and in some cases drop the investigation on different agencies, different organizations and different individuals," Podliska told CNN. "There's wrongdoing here and I think it needs to stop."
Podliska, a longtime Republican, says he was also fired for taking leave from the committee for active duty in the military, which would violate the federal Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994, The New York Times reports.
In a statement Sunday, chairman Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-South Carolina, denied all of Podliska’s allegations on behalf of the committee. He said Podliska never acknowledged his concern over Clinton or partisan opportunism when he was dismissed this summer.
"Because I do not know him, and cannot recall ever speaking to him, I can say for certain he was never instructed by me to focus on Clinton, nor would he be a credible person to speak on my behalf," Gowdy says in the statement.
Gowdy says Podliska had actually been the one eager to scrutinize Clinton.
“Until his Friday conversations with media, this staffer has never mentioned Secretary Clinton as a cause of his termination, and he did not cite Clinton’s name in a legally mandated mediation,” Gowdy continues. “The record makes it clear he himself was focused on Clinton improperly and was instructed to stop, and that issues with his conduct were noted on the record as far back as April.”
The Washington Post reports that Podliska had delegated to interns a PowerPoint assignment that looked into Clinton’s location and initial responses to the attacks that left four dead.
Democrats say Podliska’s accusations attest to what they have long suspected – that the committee’s Republicans do sustain a partiality against Clinton in their analysis of Benghazi.
"It’s been clear that Secretary Clinton has been the true target of this investigation, theRepublican whistle blower who has come forward only provides further evidence of what has been long evident," Rep. Adam Schiff of California, a senior Democrat on the Benghazi panel, said Saturday in a statement. "It’s time to shut down the Benghazi Select Committee."
Clinton herself will testify before the committee for the first time on Oct. 22.
Jeb Bush appears to have paid the price in the eyes of Republican voters for a number of gaffes that included him saying in the aftermath of a college massacre that "stuff happens."
He may be the ultimate establishment Republican, but Bush -- brother and son to former presidents -- has seen his political ambitions stutter in the months since Donald Trump entered the race for the party nomination for the White House.
Bush's low energy style littered with gaffes doesn't seem to fit in today's campaign world. Don't count Jeb out though cause he's got over 100 Million dollars to buy ads with and to hire someone else to speak for him. None of the Bushes showed any real talent for the office but huge backing and money did the job for them. Don't be surprised if it happens again. You can teach a monkey to debate, the GOP got Sarah Palin over the hump and Jeb seems to be a few IQ points smarter than Sarah.
Bush's plummeting fortunes were confirmed in a CBS News poll released Sunday which said his favorable rating among Republican primary voters has dived 11 points since August.
Trump, with 27 percent, remains in the lead in the race for the Republican nomination, with Ben Carson (21 percent) in second place, according to the poll.
5th Place, GW said "Thats good for Jeb"
Next are Ted Cruz (nine percent), Marco Rubio (eight percent). Bush was in fifth in the crowded field of 15 Republican presidential hopefuls with six percent.
He was on 13 percent just two months ago.
The Bush campaign has shown a puzzling lack of traction against brash real-estate mogul Trump as he seeks to break out from the rest of the crowded field, reinforcing American voter skepticism about him following his father's and brother's footsteps into the White House.
The former Florida governor invited opprobrium for his reaction to the October 1 college shooting that left nine people dead and for his comments in August about women's health.
Hillary Clinton, with 46 percent, continues to lead in the race for the Democratic nomination, the poll said.
Trey Gowdy is right. The House is basically ungovernable.
In an interview with NBC's Kristen Welker, South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy (R) offered his honest — and correct — assessment of his party in Congress. Here's the key bit:
I think the House is bordering on ungovernable right now. ... Being speaker is a very difficult job. We need to have a family conversation and sometimes you have to hit rock bottom before that conversation starts. We're getting close.
Now, Gowdy was explaining to Welker why he wouldn't be interested in the soon-to-be vacant job as speaker of the House. But his reasoning is almost certainly why Paul Ryan isn't jumping at the job either, despite basically every establishment Republican in the country urging him to do it.
The problem for Ryan, Gowdy and anyone else who is thinking about being speaker can be explained in a very simple math problem. Republicans currently control 247 seats.
There are, roughly, 40 Republican members — the vast majority of whom identify with the tea party-affiliated Freedom Caucus — who will vote against the wishes of leadership on almost any major measure unless the leadership adopts a very conservative stance. If you subtract 40 from 247, you get 207 -- 11 votes short of what a speaker would need to pass a piece of legislation without relying on any Democratic votes.
A Republican speaker who needs to always lean on Democrats to pass anything doesn't really have all that much power. And every time he (or she) leans on Democrats to pass something, that power erodes even more.
But, you say, if Ryan was speaker, the Freedom Caucus wouldn't rebel! They like Ryan! He is conservatives' favorite establishment guy!
And you'd be right (sort of). “Paul Ryan is a good man,” Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, chair of the Freedom Caucus, said on “Fox News Sunday." “If he gets in the race, certainly our group would look favorably on him."
So yes, Ryan would — as we noted in this space last week — almost certainly be the only member of the GOP conference who could get the 218 votes needed to be speaker in a floor vote. But getting elected speaker — while a real accomplishment — is not the same thing as running the House effectively.
And that's where Ryan and the Freedom Caucus would almost certainly part ways. If past is prologue, what the tea party-aligned GOP members of the House want on any given piece of legislation is absolute adherence to conservative principles. So no raising of the debt ceiling. No budget if federal dollars for Planned Parenthood are included.
In fact, no compromise — with Senate Republicans, with the White House, with anyone — at all. And that is where Ryan would run into trouble. At the core of being the leader of either the House or Senate is compromise — especially when the current occupant of the White House isn't in the same party that you are.
Ryan, Gowdy or anyone else who tried to "run" the House would, inevitably, be drawn into talks with Obama about how to cut a deal to keep the government open, or raise (or not) the debt ceiling.
Being speaker is a powerful position, but you don't get the last and only word on how legislation turns out. There is a group in the House three dozen
or so strong that chooses not to understand that dynamic or simply doesn't care.
That was the problem Boehner was confronted with again and again during his time as speaker. He would hold firm on the preferred conservative outcome and refuse to budge in negotiations with the White House. But as deadlines drew near — and things like shutting down the government over a dispute over funding Obamacare loomed — Boehner would always advocate for talking to Senate Democrats and the White House in hopes of cutting the most advantageous deal possible. But the tea party wing wanted no conversations,
no deals. Boehner's hands were tied. The end.
It's hard to imagine the House under Ryan's control being all that much different. I think he might get some honeymoon period from the tea partiers, but they are simply not a go-along-to-get-along bunch by nature. And with some major fights coming up soon in Congress, it seems likely that the Freedom Caucus would revert back to their oppositional ways sooner rather than later.
The question for House Republicans — and again, Gowdy hit the nail on the head — is what "rock bottom" looks like. Rock bottom at the presidential level for the party came in 1964 when Barry Goldwater won the Republican nomination but proved too conservative for the country as a whole and won only 52 electoral votes against Lyndon Johnson.
Given how heavily gerrymandered most House districts are (along with the GOP's significant natural advantage on the House map, given the concentration of Democrats in urban areas), it's hard to imagine House Republicans suffering broad-scale electoral losses (or losing control of the majority) before the national redrawing of congressional lines in 2021. The one thing I can imagine that might meet the standards of "rock bottom" is if Ryan decides not to run for speaker and what follows is a protracted, nasty fight —
the result of which is some sort of power-sharing deal within the GOP or, even more remarkably, with Democrats.
Those scenarios — especially a power-sharing deal with Democrats — seem very unlikely to me, which may mean that House Republicans are still a ways from rock bottom. But even if they haven't bottomed out just yet, that doesn't mean there is anyone in the party who can lead it in its current form. There isn't.
SATIREBen Carson Loses Brain Surgeon License After Making Numerous Brainless Comments
The Medical Boards for all 50 States in the Union announced today that they have revoked Ben Carson's medical license and will no longer allow him to operate as a brain surgeon any where in the U.S. And they cited as their reason Carson's mental and intellectual challenges -- otherwise known as the propensity to sound like a total and utter nutcase.
In a joint statement, the Medical Boards said: We have been increasingly concerned about the gibberish emanating from Mr. Carson's cerebrum.
We cite by way of example his belief that the holocaust could have been prevented by armed German citizens, that straight people go into prison and come out gay, and that Obamacare is the worse thing to happen to the country since slavery.
We are therefore suspending his medical license in any state where he is qualified to practice. And should he choose to come out of retirement and re-apply for credentials, we will not allow him to operate on people's cerebrums, or indeed cerebellums, limbic systems and brain stems, until he can demonstrate that his own are in fully working
While appearing on The Really Bad Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, Ben Carson said: "I'm very disappointed to hear this news and I categorically deny I'm crazy. I think this
is a concerted effort by Dr. Gregory House, Dr. No, Dr. Who and Dr. Doolittle to undermine my candidacy for the Presidency and I am therefore going to ignore it and carry on
with my campaign regardless."
In his defense, Carson also highlighted comments made by other Republican candidates for the Presidency too. "Listen, Donald Trump thinks he can deport 11 million people back to Mexico and then get Mexico to pay for a wall to stop them coming back in.
Carly Fiorina believes she can run the entire United States of America even after running little old HP into the ground.
And Ted Cruz doesn't want to work with Democrats to get things done, and yet he told Fox News in 2012 that he's prepared to work with Martians! I mean seriously, if I'm a loony tune, these folks must be too."
Unfortunately for the Republican party, Carson's assertions have been borne out by the latest Real Clear Polidicks opinion poll. On the question of which Republican candidate is the most "bat shit crazy", Ben Carson is tied in equal first place with Donald Trump, Carly Fiorina, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, John Kasich and Rand Paul.
The poll was conducted earlier this week, it had 330 million respondents and no margin for error.