Opinion: On the Electoral Collage / retro-report: National Woman’s Day in Portland Maine, 2012

Jacqui Voltaire and Peggy Hill hand out flowers on National Woman’s Day, 2012

On the Electoral College and being a Green

It is all part of a corrupt electoral system. That is why I am a Green. After Jill Stein ran she on her own went to 3 states to put law suits against the corrupt system and has just won 2 of them changing how elections will happen in those states. So we are working on it! Power to the People!

Love, jacqui

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by Jacqui Voltaire, the Maine Resistance

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Opinion: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will be the first female US president!

After eight years of Donald Trump, Americans will certainly be ready for some ‘radical’ change.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez won a House of Representatives seat in the 2018 midterm elections in the US [Reuters/Carlos Barria]
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez won a House of Representatives seat in the 2018 midterm elections in the US [Reuters/Carlos Barria]

Donald Trump’s shocking victory in the 2016 presidential race caused liberals across the United States to question whether the country was indeed ready for a woman president. Since then, there has been much speculation about various female politicians and celebrities running for office, including Senator Elizabeth Warren, Senator Kamala Harris, Oprah, Michelle Obama, and others. There have even been rumours that Hillary Clinton might run again.

I, however, don’t see any of these women making it to the White House. I think the first female president of the US will be New York RepresentativeAlexandria Ocasio-Cortez (or AOC as she has come to be known). It may take her another six years to get there, but the youngest woman elected to the US Congress will win the presidency. Here is how and why.

Alexandria is not Hillary

Hillary Clinton won the popular vote in the 2016 election but lost key swing states and, under our complicated and arguably unfair Electoral College system, this meant losing the presidency.

But the biggest political upset in recent US history cannot simply be blamed on the unfairness of the electoral system, under which countless Democrats managed to defeat opponents stronger, and more experienced, than Donald Trump.

Clinton lost the election because she failed to convince working-class voters that she would be able to understand and address their growing grievances. While she started her journey as a young, educated, idealistic feminist believing in social justice and equality, over the course of her life in the political limelight, she (and her husband) madefortune of over $50m, including $21m in speaking fees she was paid by Wall Street businesses and other interest groups. She gradually became an unrelatable poster-child of corporate America’s greed. This, combined with the proliferation of fake news and misinformation provided by Trump’s campaign were the proverbial “nails in the coffin” for her presidential bid.

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Where does the future of the American left lie?

Unlike Clinton and most politicians for that matter,Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez rejected donations from corporate political action committees, or PACs. She didn’t take millions from Wall Street and then preach to blue-collar Americans that she understood their struggles. This helped her not to be perceived as a member of the Washington establishment like Clinton and her peers Senators Elizabeth Warren and Kirsten Gillibrand, for example.

Moreover, Clinton just offered middle-of-the-road policies that simply promised more of the same. By contrast, Ocasio-Cortez, as an out and proud democratic socialist, advocated for federally guaranteed jobs and “Medicare-For-All,” calledfor tuition-free public colleges and the dismantling of the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement. With this, AOC made it clear that she offers a different kind of politics that is unadulterated by corporate and lobbyist connections. This is, in fact, what helped her defeat a 20-year incumbent and the fourth-ranking House Democrat, Joe Crowley, in the Democratic race for New York’s 14th Congressional District.

After she was sworn into Congress, she continued talking about progressive policies, calling for a return to John F Kennedy’s 70 percent tax on the wealthiest Americans and supporting a “Green New Deal”, a proposed economic programme addressing climate change and inequality. If Ocasio-Cortez continues down this path and successfully rejects cooptation by PACs, working-class Americans across party lines would undoubtedly be moved to vote for her.

AOC is also a master of grassroots organising and, while her actions convey that she is in touch with the challenges ordinary Americans face, her greatest asset may be her ability to connect with them in a way that feels genuine and not contrived. Millennials, for example, find AOC more relatable than any other potential presidential candidate. With her 2.37 million Twitter followers and growing, she is a skilled social media user who knows how to connect and communicate with the younger generation and will certainly be able to secure their vote. And in the coming decade, it increasingly seems that it will be the millennials who will become the most important voting bloc within the US electorate.

And finally, AOC was also able to capture the attention of the press and has already shown much skill in fending off public attacks. Even before she was sworn into office on January 3, conservatives had already launched a smear campaign against her, which is indicative of how much she scares them.

First, there was noise about the house she grew up in in a New York suburb; then much discussion about designer clothes she wore during a 2018 photo shoot. Just after her swearing-in, the right-wing news site The Daily Caller posted a fake picture of her in a bathtub. And then the conservative media tried to troll her with video on the internet of her dancing in her college days. But this turned out to be a media boost for the freshman Congresswoman and she trolled them right back by making a wildly popular video of herself dancing into her Congress office.

With the election of Trump and AOC’s rise to stardom, one thing has become undoubtedly clear: US voters are desperate for new politics and fresh faces who can offer real change. And with her charisma, presence and political acumen, Ocasio-Cortez is able to tap into these sentiments. To put it in Trump’s words, Ocasio-Cortez is a “winner”, she is “winning”.

Her popularity in the press parallels Trump’s during his presidential bid in 2016 when he proved true the cliché “any press is good press”. Yes, it was thanks to the media’s obsession with him, both on the right and the left, that he remained a constant figure in the public eye, which ultimately paved the way for the unimaginable to happen – his win over Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election.

The same is already proving true for AOC. She is the Democrat that Republicans (and even some Democratslove to hate, and she will be all the better for it.

AOC will run in 2024 after eight years of Trump

Alexandria is unlikely to run in 2020 and challenge Trump because she will not meet the constitutional requirement of being 35 by then. 

The Democratic Party is likely to nominate someone like former Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke, who will stick to the traditional Democratic centre-left talking points: “compromise, compromise, compromise”. If that happens, Trump will certainly bully him into a corner on the campaign trail and during the debates and will go on to win the 2020 presidential election, to the despair and shame of millions of Americans. 

Another Trump presidency will certainly drag the country into deeper political, social and economic crises and will convince disillusioned voters once and for all that the Donald was never the man who could or even wanted to “drain the swamp”. It could finally be the wake-up call for millions of Americans to realise that they need to try something drastically different – something “radical”. That something, as Ocasio-Cortez has repeatedly pointed out, could be what has already been done successfully in Scandinavian countries, for example. 

At the same time, these five years will also give AOC the time to understand how Washington works, build her political profile and prove herself as a house representative. She will also quietly make more allies in the Democratic Party and after her two-year-term as congresswoman is over, she may choose to move up the political ladder by running for office as a senator for her home state of New York, in order to broaden her political experience before a run for president in 2024.

Yes, it will take all of that for Ocasio-Cortez to win the 2024 Democratic nomination. I would even venture to predict that she will run on a ticket with a female vice-presidential candidate, perhaps Senator Kamala Harris, if the forces that are the Democratic National Committee (DNC) permit such a scandal. Don’t forget how the DNC buried Senator Bernie Sanders in his run for the nomination in 2016. But after eight years of Trumpism, I believe that America will make sure that doesn’t happen again to AOC.

But apart from resistance within the DNC, perhaps the greatest challenge Ocasio-Cortez will face along the way to 2024 is remaining true to herself and her principles and withstanding the ineluctable and incessant weathering of the lobbyists who effectively run Congress behind the scenes. In her 60 Minutes interview with Anderson Cooper, she admitted she is worried about how Washington would change her because it inevitably changes everyone.

If she manages to “survive” Washington and emerge stronger, the 2024 Democratic nomination for president definitely has “Ocasio-Cortez” written all over it. I, for one, will definitely vote for her.

Editor’s note: The article has been updated to clarify that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez cannot run in the 2020 presidential race because of her age.

Rachel Gilmer
by Rachel Gilmer, Al Jazeera

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera‘s editorial stance.


Members of group giving food, water to migrants convicted of misdemeanors.

Four members of the group No More Deaths face a maximum sentence of six months in prison and a possible $500 fine.

Four humanitarian aid volunteers were convicted of misdemeanor charges on Friday after leaving food and water for migrants crossing a remote wildlife refuge on the United States-Mexico border in 2017.

Image: Scott Warren
Scott Warren’s trial is due to begin in May.Arizona State University

Four other volunteers with the group No More Deaths are set to go on trial next month and in March over similar charges, the organization said.

A ninth volunteer, Scott Warren, also faces felony harboring and concealment charges after allegedly providing food, water, beds and clean clothes to two undocumented immigrants last year. His trial is scheduled to begin in May.

In Friday’s decision, United State District Court Judge Bernardo Velasco said the volunteers — Natalie Hoffman, Oona Holcomb, Madeline Huse and Zaachila Orozco — hadn’t obtained permits to enter the Cabeza Prieta Refuge and Wilderness Area or followed the Department of Interior’s rules while they were there.

They face a maximum sentence of six months in prison and a possible $500 fine.

No More Death has described the food and water its volunteers leave for the migrants in the 860,000-acre refuge, located west of Tucson, Arizona, as life-saving.

In a news release, the group said that 155 people are known to have died in the area since 2001.

“This verdict challenges not only No More Deaths volunteers, but people of conscience throughout the country,” one of the group’s volunteers, Catherine Gaffney, said in a statement. “If giving water to someone dying of thirst is illegal, what humanity is left in the law of this country?”

Last year, No More Deaths published videos of apparent border agents kicking and emptying water jugs that its volunteers had left in the desert. A report that was co-authored with La Coalición de Derechos Humanos documented what No More Deaths described as the “intentional destruction” of more than 3,000 gallons of water.

Video shows border agents dumping water left for migrants

“If anybody sees any activities like the ones seen in the videos, they need to inform us so we can take the corrective action because it’s not acceptable,” he said.

As punishment, the refuge’s law enforcement officer could have admonished or banned the volunteers from the refuge, Velasco wrote. But in this case, he added, the Department of Interior and Department of Justice authorized their prosecution.

In addition to not obtaining entry permits, Velasco wrote, the volunteers did not remain on designated roads and they left food, water and crates in the refuge — moves that erode the area’s “pristine nature,” he wrote.

“No one in charge of No More Deaths ever informed them that their conduct could be prosecuted as a criminal defense,” Velasco wrote. “The Court can only speculate as to what the Defendants’ decisions would have been had they known the actual risk of their undertaking.”

By Tim Stelloh, NBC

Rep. Rashida Tlaib: “I won’t apologize for my comments about Trump—I still want to impeach him!”

JANUARY 08, 2019

Newly elected Democratic Congress-Woman  Rashida Tlaib of Michigan made headlines last week for declaring, “We’re going to go in there, and we’re going to impeach the motherfucker,” in reference to President Donald Trump. Tlaib made the comment at a Washington, D.C., bar, days after she made history last week when she and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota became the first Muslim women sworn in to Congress. Tlaib is part of the most diverse and most female class of representatives in U.S. history.

“.. impeach the motherfucker!” – Rashida Tlaib: Congresswoman’s Trump profanity sparks furor!

US House Representative Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) participates in a ceremonial swearing-in from Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) at the start of the 116th Congress at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, January 3, 2019Nancy Pelosi swears-in new representative Rashida Tlaib

US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi Speaker has shrugged off a new lawmaker’s use of a profane epithet to assail President Donald Trump.

Democrat Rashida Tlaib courted controversy when she used explicit language while calling for the president’s impeachment.

Ms Pelosi on Thursday said while she would not use such language, it was no worse than things Mr Trump has said.

The controversy comes amid renewed talk of impeachment among lawmakers.

The Republican president called her comments “highly disrespectful” to the US in a news conference on Friday.

“I thought her comments were disgraceful. This is a person I don’t know, I assume she’s new,” he told reporters.

“I think she dishonoured herself and dishonoured her family using language like that in front of her son and whoever else was there.”

When asked about her call for impeachment, Mr Trump responded: “You can’t impeach somebody that’s doing a great job that’s the way I view it.”

Earlier on Friday, he tweeted that his political enemies only want to remove him from office because he is “the most successful”.

What did Ms Tlaib say? Michigan’s Ms Tlaib made the remark to supporters at a reception hours after she was sworn in on Thursday as one of the first two Muslim women members of Congress.

“People love you and you win,” she said. “And when your son looks at you and says, ‘Momma, look you won. Bullies don’t win.’ And I said, ‘Baby, they don’t.'”

She added that they would impeach Mr Trump, using a profane term to describe him.

Ms Tlaib had also co-authored an opinion piece calling for impeachment that was published in the Detroit Free Press earlier on Thursday.

On Friday, she was unapologetic about the furor over her remark.

The new congresswoman took her oath of office using a family Koran while wearing a traditional garment stitched by her Palestinian-born mother.

Palestinian dress worn in new US Congress

What did Pelosi say?

Speaking at an MSNBC town hall on Friday, Ms Pelosi said while she may have a “generational reaction” to the language, she is “not in the censorship business”.

“I don’t like that language, I wouldn’t use that language, but I wouldn’t establish any language standards for my colleagues.

“But I don’t think it’s anything worse than what the president has said.”

On impeachment, Ms Pelosi has been cautious, saying Democrats must “wait and see” what happens with special counsel Robert Mueller’s inquiry into Russia’s alleged meddling in the 2016 US election.

Mr Trump told reporters on Friday Ms Pelosi assured him in budget negotiations that House Democrats were not looking to impeach him.

What did other Democrats say?

A number of Democratic congressmen rebuked the new lawmaker.

Civil rights icon John Lewis said Ms Tlaib’s comments were “inappropriate” and “distracting”. The Georgia congressman also said talk of impeachment was “a little premature”.

Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri said: “What she said yesterday was wrong. Wrong is wrong.”

Jerry Nadler of New York told CNN: “I don’t really like that kind of language, but more to the point it is too early to talk about [impeachment] intelligently.”

But Ms Tlaib is not the only hardline Democrat to call for Mr Trump’s removal from office.

Brad Sherman of California and Al Green of Texas on Thursday reintroduced articles of impeachment against the president.

Mr Sherman responded to claims that impeachment talks were distracting from the shutdown battle by saying: “Does it compete for attention? Yes. So do the Lakers’ games,” the Associated Press reported.

As for Ms Tlaib’s controversial language, much like Ms Pelosi, California congresswoman Maxine Waters said Mr Trump was responsible for starting all the incivility.

“He’s opened up a new way of talking, a new way of addressing these issues in ways that we never heard before,” Ms Waters said, according to The Hill.

“That gives others the permission to speak passionately about it in the same manner that he has done.”

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Maine’s top stories of 2018!

It’s that time of year again. Time to reflect on the past year and start to look forward to the year coming up. We take a minute to look at the NEWS CENTER Maine stories that resonated with you over the past year.

1: Police call I-95 tanker crash involving mother, toddler a suicide

2: ‘I cannot understand this tragedy’: Husband of Heidi McGovern on losing wife, injuring son

3: Missing 16-year-old Turner boy found safe

4: Manhunt for N.H. fugitive wanted in wife’s murder ends in apparent suicide, police say

5: REMEMBERING MARISSA: The tragic story of a 10-year-old’s death

6: Body found in woods behind farmhouse less than a mile from Kristin Westra’s home

7: Maine Deputy Murder: Suspected killer being held without bail

8: North Yarmouth body identified, Kristin Westra’s death ruled suicide

9: Man dies after baseball game hit-and-run, woman charged with manslaughter

10: Bar Harbor man charged in murder of 19-year-old

11: Great white shark confirmed off Maine coast just in time for Shark Week

12: ‘I don’t care what people think’: Missing North Yarmouth woman’s husband speaks to NBC News

MOST WATCHED VIDEOS

1WATCH: Witness captures video of erratic driver on Sanford baseball field

2ATV crashes during a NEWS CENTER Maine report

3Family of woman hit by truck speaks to NEWS CENTER Maine

4Old fire engines, the blues, and some Allagash White

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5Jay Westra, husband of missing Maine woman, speaks with NBC

Famous Illuminati Quotes 13 Famous George H.w. Bush Quotes On Freemason, Illuminati, And

Famous Illuminati Quotes 13 Famous George H.w. Bush Quotes On Freemason, Illuminati, And – Great Quotes Collection

Maine: Lawrence High School students make blankets for hospice patients, and the Good Shepherd Food Bank gets $33,000.

Students in Lawrence High School’s JMG program will make more than 35 blankets to be donated to hospice patients in the Waterville area

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This holiday season, Mainers in hospice care will be receiving a gift, but it will be coming from someone they have never met.

The students in the Lawrence High School’s “Jobs for Maine’s Graduates” program, also known as JMG, are making blankets that will be donated to hospice patients in the Waterville area.

“I think this project is great. I think it gives people in the home comfort and just a little something extra for the holidays,” said Rilee Bessey, a junior at Lawrence High School.

Student plan to make more than 35 blankets to be donated. They are also making holiday cards to be distributed to the patients.

“My students are always looking for ways to give back. They really care about others and doing more things in our community to help those in need,” said JMG specialist at Lawrence High School Katherine Wood.

The students in Wood’s JMG class have worked more than 500 hours doing community service in 2018.

“Understand that not everybody has what you may have,” said Lawrence High School junior Bryson Dostie. “Everybody needs to get a little bit of something around the holidays,” Dostie added.

JMG is program across Maine in 131 schools. The organization’s students worked more than 30,000 hours this year doing community service projects.

And…

Maine’s largest hunger relief organization receives final installment of $100,000 promise!
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The Good Shepherd Food Bank received a check for $33,000 from the Maine Credit Union League to complete a three-year contribution to the food bank

The largest hunger relief origination in Maine now has in its hands, the final part of a $100,000 promise of support.

The donation comes from the Maine Credit Union League who promised in 2016 to provide the food bank with $100,000. Today the MCUL presented a check for $33,000 at the George J. Mitchell Elementary School in Waterville. The Good Shepherd Food Bank donates goods to the school’s food pantry.

At an assembly Wednesday morning, students in the school shared essays in front of their classmates about what the school’s food pantry means to them.

“To hear from students who are seeing it in their classmates and some of them likely experiencing themselves, I think that really hits home,” said Ethan Minton, the Good Shepherd Major Gift Officer.

The George J. Mitchell school food pantry has received more 60,000 meals worth of food from Good Shepherd since 2013.

“It helps highlight how much of a community effort this is and how aware people are of the hunger problem in the state of Maine and what people can do to help alleviate that problem,” said Tim Brooks, the Vice President of Corporate Marketing for the Maine Credit Union League.

The MCUL’s Campaign for Ending Hunger has raised over $8 million since starting the program in 1990.  In 2017, the credit union raised $740,000 for the cause.