Category Archives: Liberals/Democrats/Left

Head of Democratic Party Donna Brazile: no Obama economic recovery, people are in despair

Yesterday, I received a rare phone call from my brother. He just needed to commiserate with the only person he knows who isn’t liberal and who shares his political views about the upcoming presidential election.

He complained that his wife, their two adult sons, and his friends all support Hillary Clinton and think Obama is great.

I said, “Have you asked them why they like Obama?”

He answered, “They say the economy is great! Unemployment is low, interest rates are low, the economy recovered from the recession.” He also said that his wife thinks Donald Trump is “crazy”.

Not surprisingly, they get their news from the MSM and don’t pay attention to the Alternative Media. God help us from intentionally low-information voters, otherwise called useful idiots.

So this post is for my brother. Perhaps he can email this to his sons, wife, and friends. (Probably not. This is the same brother who was silent in 2008 when one of his friends, whom I don’t know, accused me of being “evil” and a “racist”. My brother had forwarded an email from me, without my consent, of a photo of Obama carrying Fareed Zakaria’s then-recently published book, The Post-American World. My brother then very helpfully forwarded his friend’s email to me, in which his friend called me an “evil racist”.)


Donna Brazile, a longtime Democrat apparatchik who, in July 2016, replaced Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz as Chair of the Democratic Party Committee, sent an email to John Podesta, Chair of Hillary’s 2016 presidential campaign committee, in which Brazile said:

“I think people are more in despair about how things are – yes new jobs but they are low wage jobs… HOUSING is a huge issue. Most people pay half of what they make to rent…”

Here’s a screenshot of Brazile’s email from WikiLeaks:


What Brazile wrote in her email is confirmed by a recent Harvard University Business School study, “Problems Unsolved & A Nation Divided: The State of U.S. Competitiveness 2016,” which found that the Obama economic recovery is a myth. As the 72-page report’s title suggests, not only has the economy not recovered from the 2008 recession, it has continued to deteriorate.

In the words of the report’s authors Michael E. Porter, et al.:

“America retains and enjoys many strengths. However, various economic indicators show that the U.S. economy has failed to deliver strong growth and shared prosperity for nearly two decades. These structural issues pre-date the Great Recession and are compounded by political paralysis. […]

While a slow recovery is underway, fundamentally weak U.S. economic performance continues and is leaving many Americans behind. The federal government has made no meaningful progress on the critical policy steps to restore U.S. competitiveness in the last decade or more. […]

U.S. competitiveness has been eroding since well
before the Great Recession. America’s economic
challenges are structural, not cyclical. The weak
recovery reflects the erosion of competitiveness, as
well as the inability to take the steps necessary to
address growing U.S. weaknesses.

Our failure to make progress reflects an unrealistic and ineffective national discourse on the reality of the challenges facing the U.S. economy and the steps needed to restore shared prosperity. Business has too often failed to play its part in recent decades, and a flawed U.S. political system has led to an absence of progress in government, especially in Washington.”

You can read the report here.

For those who prefer charts instead of words, the following charts from the Harvard study on the U.S economy  — on labor force participation, job creation, news business formation, productivity, household income, entitlements vs. investments — all show a continuing decline under the Obama presidency:

us-economic-performance-chartsSource: ZeroHedge

Donald Trump is right in his concluding remarks at the third presidential debate last Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016, on why the American people should elect him as president:

“When I started this campaign, I started it very strongly. It’s called ‘Make America Great Again’. We’re going to make America again. We have a depleted military, it has to be helped, it has to be fixed. We have the greatest people on earth in our military. We don’t take care of our veterans. We take care of illegal immigrants — people that come into the country illegally — better than we take care of our vets. That can’t happen. Our policemen and women are disrespected. We need law and order, but we need justice too. Our inner cities are a disaster: you get shot walking to the store; they have no education, they have no jobs. I will do more for African Americans and Latinos than she can ever do in ten lifetimes. All she’s done is talk — to the African Americans and to the Latinos. But they get the vote and then they come back, they say ‘we’ll see you in four years.’ We are going to make America strong again. We are going to make America great again, and it has to start now. We cannot take four more years of Barack Obama, and [pointing to Hillary] that’s what you get when you get her.

Donald Trump is not perfect. But if you’re sick of what’s been happening to this country for the last 8 or more years, if you are no better, or even worse, since Obama became president in 2008, then voting for Hillary Clinton is the stupidest thing you can ever do.

Listen to what she says: Hillary Clinton has no new ideas. If you elect her, you’ll get not only four more years of Obama, America will be saddled with a predominately left-wing Supreme Court who will set this country’s course for generations to come.


Rising Obamacare premiums anger those paying full price

We tried to warn you.


From CNN Money: Shela Bryan, 63, has been comparing prices for individual health insurance plans since May, and she can’t believe what she sees. “They cost a thousand, $1,200 [a month], and they have a deductible of $6,000,” she said. “I don’t know how they think anyone can afford that.”

Bryan, who lives in Hull, Georgia, a hamlet of about 200 residents near Athens, was on her husband Tony’s insurance plan for decades. When Tony died in 2013, she continued his workplace coverage through COBRA, and she had to pay almost the full price of the insurance — about $800 a month. That was high, but it was “the Cadillac of insurance,” Bryan said, with low copays, prescription drug coverage and a $500 deductible. That option will run out in a few months.

Obamacare Screw U

So she is turning to the individual insurance marketplace in what is shaping up to be the most expensive year for the 400,000 or so consumers in Georgia who buy individual policies but don’t purchase them on the Obamacare exchanges.

About 10 million Americans buy individual insurance coverage either on or off the exchanges and get no federal subsidies to help bring down the cost, according to the Congressional Budget Office. About the same number get the financial assistance for the plans they purchase on the exchanges.

“For those receiving subsidies, the subsidy protects them against the increase. If they’re not eligible, they’ll be paying a lot more. And the more premiums go up, the higher the cliff,” said William Custer, a health policy and insurance expert at Georgia State University.

In Georgia, consumers who don’t get insurance through their employers or don’t qualify for tax credits to help pay for policies they purchase are facing double-digit premium increases. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia, the only insurer offering plans throughout the state, received an increase of more than 21% from the state insurance commissioner. Humana was awarded a 67.5% hike.

Numbers like those are rattling other states too. BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee was granted a 62% rate hike, while state officials approved a 46% increase for Cigna. Florida authorities gave plans there an average 19% bump. And last week, Minnesota officials announced that premiums for the seven insurers on the individual market are rising 50% to 67%.

The insurers are now adjusting for some miscalculations, said Graham Thompson, executive director of the Georgia Association of Health Plans. “The prices are up this year, but our hope is that things will settle down after this year,” he said.

While consumers have faced sticker shock, the insurers have faced what might be called “sicker shock,” which has sent their prices spiraling. They are adjusting premiums after finding that the pool of clients buying plans on the individual market were sicker and more costly than expected when the health law was implemented.

Judge Judy shakes head rolls eyes

Almost two-thirds of Americans get their coverage from plans offered through their workplaces. But those who don’t can buy either on or outside the health law’s marketplaces, also called exchanges. Those with marketplace coverage who earn up to 400% of the federal poverty level — $47,520 for an individual — are entitled to a subsidy, and federal officials say most will pay less than $75 a month for insurance.

Policies sold off the marketplaces must still meet health law standards and the same prices as plans offered on the exchange, according to Linda Blumberg, a senior fellow at the Urban Institute. Federal and Georgia officials note that customers can change plans each year to find a better price, but that also can result in higher deductibles and may force a change in doctors to stay in network.

Bryan, a maintenance supervisor who makes just over the $47,520 limit for a subsidy, finds herself in that market now. She could end up paying as much as $14,000 in premiums for a pared-back policy the likes of which she had never imagined, she said, with no coverage for her asthma and high blood pressure medications. The cheapest policies amount to more than a quarter of her yearly income, or double her mortgage, she noted.  That total package would increase her premiums $4,400 over what she is paying for her COBRA plan and raise her deductibles by $5,800. And that was based on 2016 premium prices.

The federal Department of Health and Human Services announced Tuesday that as many as 2.5 million nationally may be eligible for a subsidy and not know it.

Bob Laszewski

Bob Laszewski

Bob Laszewski, a health policy strategist in Washington, D.C., said the Obama administration and health care advocates need to listen to the complaints of the those who do not receive assistance.

“These people are invisible,” Laszewski said. The ACA “is working very well for lower income people, but the Obamacare supporters missed the fact that if you’re raising a family of four on $100,000, you’re not rich. This is the … guy who remodeled your house, who drives a pickup truck and he’s wearing a Trump hat.”



Hillary Clinton’s pollster Benenson Strategy Group says she is tanking; Trump supporters unstoppable

On October 18, 2016, the hacker(s) Anonymous claims that “a source inside the [Hillary] Clinton campaign has leaked an internal polling document that shows her support is gone”.

The document is a report titled Salvage Program from the Benenson Strategy Group, the pollster and strategist for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign. The report looks professional and credible. It’s called Salvage Program because its goal is to “salvage” — to rescue, save, recover, restore — Hillary’s campaign, which is tanking.

In the words of the report (my words are in green):

“At this point Donald Trump has both momentum and enthusiasm. Distrust in the mainstream media is blunting the impact of the collective polling narrative [which implies that the polls we are told are fraudulent — their data manufactured to favor Hillary]. As Election Day approaches, Hillary Clinton’s favorable ratings have crashed to historic lows (12%) in non-partisans and Donald Trump is consolidating support (97% of LV Republican-identifying respondents are either enthusiastic or very enthusiastic about voting for Trump).”

Before we go any further, let’s take a look at what Benenson Strategy Group is, so as to determine if the Salvage Program report is credible.

To begin, an AFP report on Oct. 19, 2016 names Joel Benenson as a pollster for Hillary Clinton and quotes him:

“we don’t appear to be generating the excitement or a sense of a fresh, new candidacy we had hoped for.”


Wikipedia identifies Benenson Strategy Group (BSG) as “a strategic consulting firm,” i.e., a company that uses polling data to provide advice on political strategy to politicians, political parties, and business corporations. The CEO (and presumably the founder) of BSG is Joel Benenson, 64 — a “pollster and consultant known for his role as a strategist for Barack Obama’s 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns. He is currently the chief strategist for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.” Born “in New York City to a Jewish family,” Benenson is:

“the CEO of Benenson Strategy Group, a strategic consulting firm, and serves as a communications and polling advisor to the [Obama] White House. He has been a strategist for U.S. senators, governors and mayors, as well as Fortune 500 companies. He was a pollster for the DCCC in 2006, when the Democrats won back the majority in the House of Representatives. […] Benenson is also the Co-Founder of iModerate Research Technologies. In January 2015, Hillary Clinton hired Benenson and Robby Mook as strategists.”

The Benenson Strategy Group’s report, Salvage Program, is 7 pages long, and is marked “Do Not Distribute – Do Not Copy” at the bottom of each page. Here’s a screenshot of the top of page one, with BSG’s address and logos of BSG and the Clinton Foundation (who pays BSG):

benenson-strategy-group-logoSalvage Program begins by specifying that “no skews or narrative screens were employed”:

  • “Skews” refers to pollsters skewing polling samples to favor Democrats by overpolling or overrepresenting Democrats, i.e., having a larger percentage of Democrats in the polling sample than the actual percentage of Democrats in the U.S. population.
  • A “narrative” is a story; an account. To “screen” is to “conceal, protect, shelter”. Polling results are translated by the pollster and the media into a “narrative” because too many Americans are uninformed about the methodology and statistics of public opinion surveys/polls, and so rely on having the polling data explained to them. “Narrative screen” refers to a misleading textual account or narrative of the polling data.

Translated into plain English, “no skews or narrative screens were employed” means the BSG report Salvage Program is delivering the truth of what BSG has found in its polls, not the lies that we are told everyday from pollsters who skew their polling samples, and from the MSM’s misleading, contrived narrative accounts of the polling numbers.

Let’s begin with the “Executive Summary” of the polling data discovered by Benenson Strategy Group — Hillary Clinton’s chief strategist and pollster:

Executive Overview: Hillary Clinton Flash-Crash to 12% Favorable, Losing 19-77% Nationally
At this point Donald Trump has both momentum and enthusiasm. Distrust in the mainstream media is blunting the impact of the collective polling narrative. As Election Day approaches, Hillary Clinton’s favorable ratings have crashed to historic lows (12%) in non-partisans and Donald Trump is consolidating support (97% of LV Republican-identifying respondents are either enthusiastic or very enthusiastic about voting for Trump).
Among independents, Hillary voters who are exposed to any alternative media (73%) are aware of the WikiLeaks emails and find them either disturbing (54%) or deeply disturbing (18%). Among liberal-identifying whites, support is shifting from Hillary (-27 since October 1st) to Donald Trump (78%) or Jill Stein (21%).
For voters who solely consume mainstream media only 28% are aware of the WikiLeaks emails and of those, only 8% are aware of the content. For these voters Clinton leads Trump by +8.
Minority voters are less likely to consume alternative media (only 14%) and are less likely to be aware of the email leak (only 18% for males, 9% for females). Even with this group, enthusiasm is down 63 points compared to October 2008.
On other fronts, the counter-narrative [against Trump] is failing as well. Most heavy consumers of social media understand that the allegations against Donald Trump of sexual misconduct have largely been debunked (77%). We understand that communications strategies in that space have
been unable to reduce the impact of this messaging. Worse, among white males in telephone polling 93% of them either approve (72%) or strongly approve (21%) of Donald Trump’s hot-mic tape.
Only 39% of women approve of them however a majority (64%) say they ‘understand that confident men talk that way.’ In effect, these allegations have been diffused.
On a positive note, most respondents who were liberal-leaning (83%) or Independent (59%) were unaware of the messaging front concerning Bill Clinton’s sexual misconduct. While the vast majority (88%) were aware of consensual extra-marital relationships, the mainstream media approach to the stories has left only 8% of liberal-leaning voters and only 19% of independents aware of the allegationsof rape.
On a disturbing note, some 70% of Republican-leaning voters are aware bussed-in voting, false-face operations, and dead-man’s-party registration drives. This may necessitate severe strategy changes for November.

Here are the findings of Benenson Strategy Group’s accurate (non-skewed, non-narrative screened) polls:

(1) Support for Hillary is “collapsing”:

  • Both “soft” and “hard” support.
  • The “collapse” is “steady and pronounced” after the first presidential debate.
  • Damage from reports of Hillary’s ill health “has metastasized” — “Hillary is widely considered sick, untrustworthy, and [even] most Hillary-leaning Democrats would vote to replace her”:
    • Only 21% believe Hillary to be healthy, with no ailment(s); 4% are not sure.
    • The majority (75%) believe she is sick (18% pneumonia, 16% brain cancer, 16% vascular dementia, 13% anti-social personality disorder, 10% Parkison’s disease, 2% Alzheimer’s disease).
  • Among those who know about the WikiLeaks emails, on whether Hillary “hates ‘everyday people’, 52% answered “yes”, 15% answered “no”, 33% answered “not sure”.

(2) Support for Trump is surging (“momentum”), enthusiastic, and “virtually unstoppable”:

  • The Democrats have failed in their schemes to damage Trump:
    • Most Americans believe he has the temperament to be President: 33% say “he fights the mainstream media’s lies”; 27% “his temperament is winning”; 21% “he is a strong, Alpha-male personality”; 12% “a president willing to get angry is what we need now”; 5% “his temperament will frighten America’s enemies”.
  • Trump voters are “virtually unstoppable”:
    • Asked if disastrous events such as “threat of war,” “natural disaster,” “active riots/civil unrest”, “lethal epidemiological agent (smallpox)” would stop them from voting, 74% of “hard Trump supporters” answered “None”.
    • In contrast, 0% of “hard Clinton supporters” answered “None”.

(3) The Alternative Media have come of age:

  • Americans who avail themselves of the Alternative Media know about Hillary’s unsecured email server, the WikiLeaks emails, Democrat voter fraud, and other information the MSM don’t tell or don’t emphasize. They are supporters of Trump, including even some Democrats.
  • Hillary supporters truly are low-information voters — they rely solely on the MSM and don’t pay attention to social media and the alternative media: “voters who solely consume mainstream media only 28% are aware of the WikiLeaks emails and of those, only 8% are aware of the content. For these voters Clinton leads Trump by +8.”
  • That explains Hillary’s support among racial minorities because they are “less likely to consume alternative media (only 14%) and are less likely to be aware of the email leak (only 18% for males,
    9% for females).” But even with this group, their enthusiasm for Hillary is falling — “down 63 points compared to October 2008.”

(4) Americans are catching on to the fake polls:

The BSG report says “The public has lost faith in polling” because:

“Poll-driven narratives have been pushed too far, alienating most of the voting population. The use of polls as a psychological weapon has also been noticed (especially on social media). As the poll-gap narrative becomes ever more extreme, obvious visible evidence (rally-size, yard-signs, bumper-stickers, memes / social-media posts) becomes more and more obviously contradictory. Attempts at shaming outspoken poll-deniers such as Bill Mitchell on Twitter have failed in 2016 where they succeeded (Dean Chambers) in 2012. We are in uncharted territory.

Even hooks into non-philosophically compromised pro-Republican polling outfits such as FOX, Rasmussen, and Gravis have not produced

substantial results.”

In other words, the phony polls are not working because the American people are not stupid — we can see that the polling data contradict the HUGE turnouts for Trump rallies compared with Hillary’s anemic rallies.

The one thing about BSG’s Salvage Program report that had puzzled me when I first read it last night was the report’s last part on “Salvage Options” — BSG’s recommendation on how to “salvage” Hillary’s failing presidential campaign.

Not recommended are the following:

  • Red Dawn: a (simulated) foreign invasion.
  • Cobalt Rain: a “radiological attack”.
  • BLRiot: Referring to BlackLivesMatter riots, the report said: “while staged civil unrest could prevent pockets of America from voting, the damage [from the Alternative Media’s uncovering of the riots being staged] is too wide-spread.”
  • Zikpocalypse: Referring to the zika virus epidemic, the report says: “Improved strains of ZIKV have been delivered and we have disseminated them to operatives. Unfortunately this will suppress women voters more than men (even as ZIKV2 is lethal in adults). This would hurt Hillary Clinton and Trump voters are willing to risk lethal pathogens to vote.”
  • Sharia Escalation: Referring to Muslim provocations, the report says: “States have blocked key immigrant operatives. Without the required Muslim-Islamist population in place, the IE plan will not be sufficiently impactful.” I have no idea what “IE plan” means.
  • Unnatural Disaster: “HAARP is in skeleton crew mode. Subterranean thermobaric devices in fracking mines are untested. Surveys suggest this might not stop Trump voters.”

After reviewing all the unrecommended methods to “salvage” Hillary’s campaign, the BSG report concluded with one “salvage” recommendation. Called “FIRESIGN,” the recommendation is to launch a Project Blue Beam-type fake extraterrestrial event. In the words of the BSG report (p. 6):

“For almost two decades the Department of Defense and NASA have coordinated on a black book project under the codename FIRESIGN.
FIRESIGN’s aim is to create a religious “awe effect” in enemy populations to create an instantaneous psychological soft-kill (abject submission). The operation uses high powered lasers to project real-seeming images on the sodium layer 100km above the surface. These images can cover hundreds or even thousands of square miles and can appear completely real, three dimensional, and can move.
These visual cues are augmented with pulsed ELF electromagnetic emissions (see: PROJECT SANGUINE) that attack the specific areas of the prefrontal cortex that are stimulated during religious
experience. In limited tests, subjects have been able to be overwhelmed on both axis of vastness (an overwhelming of the subject’s frame of reference) and a powerful need-for-accommodation. The mix of these two will produce inaction, lack of focus on self or individual interaction, and gross transformations in mental equilibrium (a Road-to-Damascus Experience).”

There have been discussions in the Alternative Media about Project Blue Beam — a conspiracy theory by Quebecois journalist Serge Monast, which he published in his book Project Blue Beam (NASA). Monast claimed that NASA will attempt to implement a New World Order via a gigantic “space show” of a technologically-simulated Second Coming, wherein three-dimensional holographic laser projections will be beamed all over the planet to lead people to follow a false New Age religion with the Antichrist at its head. Monast died of a heart attack in 1996, which his believers suspect was an assassination.

I was puzzled by why the BSG report would recommend in effect Project Blue Beam, for if there’s a (simulated) ET invasion, wouldn’t that work to Trump’s advantage? In a crisis of that magnitude, why would Americans turn to a sickly old woman instead of a kick-ass alpha-male male?

The answer is in one of the BSG polling questions.

There was a second question asking “hard Trump supporters” what disastrous event would stop them from voting. Recall that in a previous question, an astonishing 74% of “hard Trump supporters” answered “None”.

But another question listing different disasters got a lower percentage (17%) of “None” responses from “hard Trump supporters”.

Presented with four epic disasters, the percentages of “hard Trump supporters” who said the disaster would stop them from voting are:

  • 8% for “shooting war in neighborhood”
  • 16% for “Biblical event”
  • 17% for “external invading force”
  • 38% for “attack by extraterrestrials”


In other words, “hard Trump supporters” are so determined to turn out to vote for him on election day that only an extreme event of an attack by extraterrestrials would stop 38% of them from voting.

That is why, based on its own polling findings, the Benenson Strategy Group’s Salvage Program made the recommendation that FIRESIGN — a simulated ET invasion — be used to salvage Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

You can read Salvage Program for yourself here. I’ve also uploaded it to FOTM‘s media library for safekeeping. See “Benenson Strategy Group Salvage Program“.

Is the BSG report genuine or a very skillfully put-together and professional-looking fake? You be the judge.

I do find it noteworthy that the BSG report’s poll findings are consistent with what was said in that memo to Patrick Murray, the director of Monmouth University’s Polling Institute. Alas, my post on that memo, “Leaked Monmouth U. polling memo: Democrats ‘despondent’; Hillary unpopular with Millennials & minorities, seen as a ‘lying harpy’,” as well as the original source — the memo on Scribd — are both scrubbed. I took down that post because I was threatened with a lawsuit to “Cease & Desist” by an email from Monmouth University’s attorney.

See also:

H/t Mark S. McGrew


California State government’s largest union is edging closer to a strike

Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1000 president Yvonne Walker speaks at a rally for democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton at Sacramento City College on June 5, 2016. (Photo by Mack Ervin III)

Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1000 president Yvonne Walker speaks at a rally for democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton at Sacramento City College on June 5, 2016. (Photo by Mack Ervin III)

From Sacramento Bee: SEIU Local 1000 President Yvonne Walker has called for a strike vote of the union’s 95,000 members beginning next week, according to a statement on the union website.

The union is trying to get a bigger raise than the 2.96 percent pay hike Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration is offering. Brown’s proposal would raise SEIU salaries by 12 percent over four years, but also require its members to begin paying a contribution toward their retiree health care costs.  “We still believe the state can do better,” Walker wrote in a message to SEIU members.

SEIU represents workers in nine different bargaining units. Its contracts for nurses, administrative employees and information technology workers are among the 14 state labor agreements that expired this summer.

SEIU's best buddy...

SEIU’s best buddy…

Walker wrote to union members that SEIU has been in negotiations with the state for the past six months. In July, union leadership voted to authorize a strike vote. The next step toward a strike would be a vote by union members. A vote to strike would not necessarily lead to workers walking off the job.

Before workers strike, the union likely would have to declare an impasse in negotiations and participate in mediation with the state. That process could take months. But surveying members on their willingness to strike could strengthen SEIU’s position at the bargaining table.

Last year, the California State University sweetened a contract offer for the union that represents its faculty after professors voted to strike. As a result, professors received a 10.5 percent pay raise over three years rather than 2 percent raises the state university had been offering.

The Brown administration has been offering raises of about 3 percent a year to most unions. The state’s correctional officers accepted that agreement. Other unions representing attorneys, engineers and scientists are getting bigger raises this year.

All of the new contracts call on state workers to begin to making contributions toward retiree health care. So far, most employees with new contracts are paying about 1.3 percent of their salaries toward retiree health care, with the portion rising to greater than 3 percent over time.

Walker has led the union since 2008. Her union and several others without contracts argue that they sacrificed during the recession to help the Schwarzenegger and Brown administrations resolve budget gaps.

With a better economy, they contend, the state should reward its workforce. “Now that the state’s coffers have significantly improved, we strongly feel that state employees deserve a robust improvement from pre-recession cuts. But the situation has turned bleak and sluggish in contract negotiations,” four union leaders wrote in an Oct. 10 letter to Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon and Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León. Those unions include two AFSCME bargaining units, a group that represents operating engineers and one more that represents psychiatric technicians.

SEIU conducted a series of surveys recently that showed its members are worried about the rising costs of housing and child care. The union says 39 percent of its members could not afford to rent a two-bedroom apartment in their communities.

CalHR spokesman Joe DeAnda said the Brown administration looks “forward to continued negotiations with SEIU, and hopes to secure an agreement that both reflects the contributions of our hard-working state employees and maintains the integrity of the state’s current budget stability.”


Feminists are Insufferable: ‘I Haven’t Had Sex in Weeks. I Blame Donald Trump.’


From Cosmopolitan Magazine: Have you heard? Donald Trump, the Republican candidate for President of the United States, said he loves to grab women by the pussy. Not entirely unrelated: I’ve never been less horny in my entire life.

I haven’t had sex in weeks. After considering why and how this election is threatening to ruin my previously amicable (even enthusiastic) relationship with sex, I think the problem is twofold. On one hand, the thought of being touched by my husband, a man, after spending day-upon-neverending-day listening to Donald Trump’s sexually assaultive language, is not a pleasant one. On the other, we are both so obsessed with the election that our combined anxiety is killing our sex drives.

Instead of retiring to my boudoir to engage in a garden of sensual delights with my husband (quick missionary followed by a [bubblegum] cigarette), I stay up late into the night, refreshing FiveThirtyEight in hopes that my benevolent/merciless overlord Nate Silver will bring some rest for the weary (in the form of blue states).

“Did you see Trump gained on Hillary in Utah?” I say to my husband who is as far away from me as humanly possible on the other side of our king-size bed (read: almost falling off). I’m lying down and also sweating, probably because I’m about to have a stroke.

“Yeah, I read that on WaPo. Did you see Barron Trump was kicked out of 4H for cyberbullying a cow?”

“That was The Onion. OMG we’ve become those people who share Clickhole articles haha I want to die in a fire,” I respond with a forced laugh. Then we both pop extra Ambien and blessedly slip into darkness, clutching our phones, fully clothed and barricaded by pillows — another night of restlessness and absolutely no sexual congress.

The sex-deprived author, Laura Beck

The sex-deprived author, Laura Beck

Vanessa Marin, a San Francisco-based psychotherapist specializing in sex therapy, says this part of what I’m experiencing — the lack of boning via election/impending apocalypse anxiety — isn’t uncommon. “A lot of people are simply sick to their stomachs about the current political climate in the US,” she says. “It’s hard to feel desire when you’re feeling disgusted, scared, nervous, frustrated, or angry.”

While I can’t find a term for this phenomenon, I’m pretty sure the phrase is “I’m-Stuck-in-Hell-So-I-Can’t-Get-It-Up.” It’s the thing that happens to people on shows like Survivor where their nether regions basically shut down because they’re so stressed out by the challenges. That’s me! Even though Hillary is polling ahead right now, I’m plagued by the thought that that sneaky loose cannon could make some weird comeback — he’s been doing it his whole life! Did you see the Frontline documentary?! (You really should; it’s great. Watch it tonight instead of having sex.) And don’t get me started on the down-ballot races! (That’s a phrase I never used before September of this year!) (I know, I’m part of the problem.) I’m so stressed out about making it to the November 8 finish line that I’ve forgotten what an orgasm feels like. There’s no room in my brain for that delicious memory now that it’s filled with statistics of Hillary’s victory margin.


I’m not alone. Friends and family members alike (OK, just friends; I don’t talk to my family about sex) told me they also feel the stress of this election cycle building a wall down the middle of their bed. One lady friend in a long-term relationship said that she wasn’t necessarily opposed to sex, but that she just didn’t have the time between refreshing David Fahrenthold’s Twitter and worrying about all the ways in which we’re all gonna be screwed if Trump wins. Spoiler: It’s not the orgasmic way.

Still others tell me they suffer from another kind of election-related sexual paralysis — one I’ve also experienced: Being so repulsed by Trump’s comments that a self-generated protective cobweb is forming over my vagina.

“Every time I try to get in the mood, I just picture Donald Trump’s face over my boyfriend’s and I want to Hulk smash,” said one friend who was happily married before this election cycle began. A currently single pal shared that she felt her vagina glue itself closed when she read Trump’s comments about Mexicans being rapists; she hasn’t had the time or inclination to DIY-it back open yet. Another married friend said, “When you’re watching Donald Trump say ‘grab them by the pussy’ on repeat, it doesn’t exactly put you in the mood.”

It can be fun to joke about this terrifying election but mainly because if you don’t laugh, you’ll cry. Maybe forever. In reaction to the infamous pussy-grabbing comment and the multiple women who’ve come forward claiming that Donald Trump sexually assaulted them, Kelly Oxford shared her story of sexual assault on Twitter and invited others to do the same. The response she received was overwhelming and devastating.

To be really real for a minute, as a woman, all of this cheering on of sexual violation makes me think about every boy who grabbed me in middle school, every predatory subway fondler, every guy who’s yelled, “nice ass!” before following it up with, “Like I’d ever touch you anyway, fatty!” when I told them to back off. It makes me think of the time I was 18 and so excited to go to a club, and within minutes of being on the dance floor, had a man stuff his fingers in my vagina. I didn’t know what to do and so I just ran away. I love my husband very much and he is truly one of the most decent humans I’ve ever met, but sometimes I look at him during this election, and I want to say, “I love you, but please stay away from me right now.”

It’s not just women who are scared sexless (h/t Carrie Bradshaw, probably). Marin says, in her experience, men are affected too. “A lot of people might stereotypically believe that women are more ‘sensitive’ in general,” she says, “but I haven’t found that to be the case with this particular election. Men’s libidos can be just as sensitive as women’s.

I asked some male friends if their experiences backed up Marin’s assertions. One married man told me that he and his husband had to institute a “no MSNBC after 9 p.m.” rule in order to save their sex lives. They are stronger than I.

Another guy I quizzed about his election-related sex life (I’m fun at parties!) told me that, no, the election hadn’t affected his bedroom dalliances. But, lo and behold, later that night I awoke to a text from him that read:

“I had a sex dream and then it morphed into one in which trump was screaming ’for our country’ and beheading people. Thanks.”

The men affected by this election...

The men whose libido are affected by this election…

Read the rest of the poor womyn’s story here.


Hollyweird actress worth $40 million whines about pay inequality

Note to Swank: Many women in the real world negotiate their own salaries. Negotiating is a skill you learn. Maybe you should hire an agent who can negotiate on your behalf by playing some hardball. Or maybe add that critical talent to your repertoire.

Poor rich womyn....

Poor rich womyn….

From Daily Mail: A lot of actresses talk about how they have been affected by pay inequality in Hollywood. But Hilary Swank had some specific details to offer as she stopped by the Netflix series Chelsea.

While at a dinner party with director Ava DuVernay, actress Connie Britton and Miss USA Deshauna Barber, the 42-year-old beauty revealed she was offered $500,000 to star in a film where her male counterpart was getting a hefty $10 million.

Hilary would not name the film or the male actor, but she did let slide she already had two Oscars under her belt at the time, which means this took place after 2005.

When she asked why she was getting so much less, Swank was told it was because the actor was ‘hot.’ Hilary said: ‘The male hadn’t had any kind of critical success but he had been in a movie where he was “hot.” She added: ‘So, I said “no,” and then they went and found a newcomer who did it for $50,000. ‘So they made a savings of $450,000 to probably give the guy his bonuses.’

Talk of pay inequality for women was given a huge push when Patricia Arquette broached the subject while on stage as she received her Best Actress win at the Academy Awards this winter for her turn in Boyhood opposite Ethan Hawke.

‘To every woman who gave birth, to every taxpayer and citizen of this nation: We have fought for everybody else’s equal rights,’ Arquette said at the time. ‘It’s our time to have wage equality once and for all, and equal rights for women in the United States of America.’ Since then Jennifer Lawrence and Emma Stone have also touched on the subject.

During her Chelsea talk, Swank also talked about how she went without health insurance even after she won an Oscar for Boys Don’t Cry in 2000. She was 24-years-old at the time and was only paid $3,000 for the film. She had to have earned at least $5,000 to qualify for health insurance. ‘I had an Academy Award, no health insurance,’ Swank said.

small violin


Elections board won’t stop sending dead man’s family absentee ballots


From NY Post: Queens resident Michelle Dimino has a simple request for the city’s Board of Elections: Please remove my late dad from the voter rolls. Dimino’s father, Anthony Baldomir, died on Oct. 4, 2012. But according to the board’s records, he could vote in the Nov. 8 presidential election.

The agency has mailed absentee ballots to Baldomir, a registered Democrat, for each of the past four years, for primary and general elections. “In 2013, 2014, 2015 and again this year, I received absentee ballots for my father. I could have fraudulently voted with those ballots, but I shredded them instead,” an exasperated Dimino told The Post.

But this year, she got fed up and decided to go public.

Baldomir was ill and receiving medical care when he requested an absentee ballot in 2012 to continue exercising his civic duty from his Middle Village address.

What’s upsetting, Dimino said, is that she called the elections board shortly after her father’s death to ask that he be purged from the rolls.  She said election workers insisted she would have to show up in person at an agency office with a death certificate to confirm her dad was no longer alive.

Dimino, 48, told the workers she’s been on dialysis and asked if she could mail in her father’s death certificate to put the issue to rest. She says she was told she couldn’t.

“I called the Social Security Administration. They took my father off the Social Security rolls the next day,” Dimino said.

BOE spokeswoman Valerie Vazquez confirmed that Baldomir, who hadn’t voted since 2011, was still on its “permanent absentee-ballot list.”

She said the agency never received notification of his passing. The agency did receive a change-of-address notification from the post office in 2013 that Baldomir’s mail was being sent to his daughter’s residence in nearby Glendale.

Vazquez, disputing Dimino’s claim, said BOE policy allows family members to mail in a death certificate to remove a relative from the voter rolls. “You don’t have to do it in person,” Vazquez said.