A Week From Election Day, The Speaker Stumbles Bigly Out Of The Box, Hamas' 2m Human Shields
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A Week To Election Day - Okay peeps, we are officially a week out! I checked in with David Pepper this morning and he says the OH early vote is encouraging. Gov. Andy Beshear looks good in Kentucky. Brandon Presley is closing strong in Mississippi. I know folks are working hard in New York and New Jersey too.
With a week to go in Virginia while the early vote is improving each day for Democrats we are still not where we want to be. The polling continues to suggest if our folks vote we will win. Our candidates have been raising money - thank you - and will be competitive in the closing days. Control of the House and Senate, and fate of abortion in the last Southern state where it remains legal, is going to come down to a few thousand votes in a handful of districts. So every call, every text, every door knocked and every dollar given will matter in these final 7 days. Please donate or volunteer for our top 6 candidates today - and to those of you who have been working so hard in Virginia, thank you!
Biden’s approval rating - I know there has been chatter that Biden’s standing with Democrats has taken a hit over Israel but that is just not showing up in the data right now. As I wrote on Saturday, support for Israel among Democrats has actually gone up since October 7th, and Biden’s approval rating in the 538 average is actually a point higher than a month ago. If things were moving against Biden we would see it in the weekly tracking polls, and the first one out this week, Morning Consult, has Biden’s head to head against Trump and his approval on handing of Israel unchanged from last week.
2023 has been a very good year for Democrats. Let’s put our heads down and work hard together to close out this important year as strong as we can.
The Speaker Stumbles, Bigly, Right Out Of The Box - In his first consequential act as Speaker, Mike Johnson, has 1) decoupled Israel-Ukraine funding, something opposed by Senate and House Democrats and even Mitch McConnell 2) demanded that in exchange for something as serious as providing Israel aid in the middle of an active war, that Democrats cut funding to the IRS, allowing wealthy Americans to more easily cheat on their taxes - something Donald Trump is on trial for right now in New York 3) turned Israel funding in a deeply partisan political football, something the pro-Israel community has fought to prevent from happening for decades.
Here’s how former Congressman Joe Scarborough put it this morning:
This diminution of our security responsibilities in the Middle East is part of a much broader pattern of MAGA undermining and degrading our global capacities in a time of rising tensions. In a new video produced by Morning Joe, watch Trump say he is pulling the US out of NATO, praise Victor Orban, the European leader closest to Putin, and reinstate the Muslim ban:
It is within that context that we have to remember what else Republicans are doing right now to diminish and degrade American global power and undermine our democracy here at home:
Block hundreds of Pentagon appointees, weakening our military. leaving Americans less safe
Block over 60 State Department appointments, including 38 Ambassadorships and the Ambassadors to Egypt, Israel, Jordan and Lebanon. Makes is far harder to achieve diplomatic solutions to our global challenges
Block critical cybersecurity legislation, turn off a DHS program called Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS), and are now working to terminate DHS programs to counter use of drones by terrorists here in the US and the office which works to prevent the use of weapons of mass destruction against the American people. What possible justification is for any of this?
Fight additional aid to Ukraine, once again appeasing Putin, enabling Ukrainian genocide. The GOP’s ongoing appeasement of Putin is a central source of the instability the world faces today
Excuse the Trump theft and wanton dissemination of America’s secrets, which is almost certainly the most significant national security breach in US history
Elevate Insurrectionists including now a man who was the one of the primary architects of the Republican Party’s effort to overturn the 2020 Presidential election and end American democracy to the Speaker’s Chair
Hamas’ 2m Human Shields - In my effort to be better educated about the Israel-Gaza conflict, I’ve come across an organization called MEMRI, the Middle East Media Research Institute, which provides English translations of videos from the region. I will be posting videos I find there from time to time here. Our first video is a recent RT interview where a Hamas leader explains that the responsibility for the safety of the people of Gaza is not theirs, but the UN and Israel:
Two things to note about this video. First, a great deal of the video we are getting from Hamas leaders right now is coming from RT Arabic, the Kremlin backed news network. Second, this video, and many others like it, is a reminder that Hamas built their military bases - the tunnels - underneath the people of Gaza. The use of the 2m residents of Gaza as literal shields for Hamas was by design, it is how the entire Gaza strip is architected. Thus when Hamas struck Israel, it knew its citizens would die - that was the plan. But as you hear Hamas does not believe that the safety of Gazans is their responsibility, otherwise they would have built shelters for families, allowed them to come into the tunnels, stockpiled food or not waged war against Israel. None of that happened of course.
Here’s a Saudi journalist talking about why the deaths we are seeing now in Gaza is Hamas’ fault and responsibility:
Hamas killed 32 Americans on October 7th. At least 10 more Americans abucted from Israel remain hostage today. Hamas is preventing another 600 Americans who were in Gaza when the war broke from leaving, essentially creating another 600 American hostages. Hamas is a partner of Russia and Iran, who are fighting together in Ukraine against the US and the West, and who are working to undermine the rules-based global order. Russia is committing genocide in Ukraine right now, both Iran and Hamas have publicly committed to wiping Israel and Jews off the face of the Earth - more genocide. What is happening in Gaza today is a tragedy beyond words, but it is one that Russia, Iran and Hamas sought - the deaths of Gazans is by design, the design of three genocidal regimes looking to terrorize and break the modern world.
Keep working hard all - Simon