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FINAL UKDC OF 2019

Our final UKDC meeting for 2019 is this coming Monday, December 9th, 6pm at the Pine Cone Inn in Kernville.
We will welcome in Darus Stephens, newly declared candidate for the First District of Kern County Board of Supervisors.  Member Deanne Shulman will begin the meeting by talking about the RYLA program and her efforts to help the youth of the KRV.  Since it will be our last meeting of the year and in the spirit of the season, please bring a holiday treat to share. 

A Reminder of How We Can Help the KRV Homeless this Holiday Season:
We can donate to Tony Moor's foundation, which is a real 501c3. As mentioned above, Tony does most of the boots on the ground work himself, and pays for much of it out of his own pocket.  You can make checks payable to "The Moors Family Foundation."  Tony can get us a 501c3 letter for our records.  I also know the bank account # at Fidelity bank if you need it.  Please email me separately if you want the information.

For a vast majority of the homeless, pets are a necessity, and they won't go into housing without their furry companions.  Next time you're at Costco, pick up a big bag of dog and/or cat food and call Tony to give that donation directly to him.  He will make sure it is distributed.  Again, message me if you want his contact #.

If you have warm clothing, sturdy backpacks, and used sleeping bags that are good for cold winter weather (no summer "sleepover" bags - they are pretty useless for sturdy outdoor use), you can take them to Webb Recycling in Lake Isabella.  This is where Tony has storage and refrigerators for distribution.  Hot meals are fed to the homeless several days a week in the back of Webb.  Tony says they always have use for eggs, milk, and bread, for starters. 

If you have contacts or connections within the County, someone who may be able to help us improve things and get us some funding, please let me know via email or private message. 

 

KAMALA'S OUT

 
   


I heard the news today, oh boy.  Kamala Harris jumped the Democratic Presidential hopeful ship. 

“To my supporters, it is with deep regret—but also with deep gratitude—that I am suspending my campaign today,” the senator said in a statement posted to Medium. “But I want to be clear with you: I will keep fighting every day for what this campaign has been about. Justice for the People. All the people.”

I was just left kind of scratching my head.  What?  Why?  While she hasn't been as strong since her amazing candidacy declaration rally in Oakland or that first debate where she took on Biden, I thought her last debate performance showed she was on track and making a comeback.  So I did some reading, and there are several reasons why Harris may have made her decision at this point in the race.

Money: Harris stressed her campaign’s financial struggles as the driving force behind her departure. “I’ve taken stock and looked at this from every angle, and over the last few days have come to one of the hardest decisions of my life,” she wrote. “My campaign for president simply doesn’t have the financial resources we need to continue.” 

An aide said an assessment of the campaign’s finances conducted over the weekend found that after raising about $12 million in each of the year’s first three quarters, the operation was failing to keep up that pace, raising just “a fraction” of that amount this quarter.  That left Harris without money to spend on ads in Iowa and elsewhere, essentially forcing her hand. “I think it just sort of got to a head,” said one adviser, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations. “She really did a sober analysis.”  - The Washington Post

Internal Campaign Strife:
  The withdrawal also follows months of internal turmoil in Harris’s campaign, something of which I was completely unaware.  The Washington Post reported:  which lacked a clear decision-making structure and often left aides feeling caught between influential figures such as Maya Harris, her sister and campaign co-chair, and campaign manager Juan Rodriguez.  Rodriguez faced criticism inside the campaign over his handling of finances and other issues. Multiple people affiliated with the campaign said its financial difficulties had forced recent cutbacks in advertising, travel and staffing.

Lack of Platform Focus:  One source close to the campaign said that the “months-long” journey to settle on a health care plan - one of the key platform points for each of the Democratic candidates -  sapped the campaign’s early momentum. Eventually, she introduced a proposal that transitioned gradually into a Medicare for All type system with options for supplemental private coverage. But the ten-year transition window she envisioned left some health care experts questioning whether the plan was politically viable, and in subsequent debates Harris struggled to defend her idea on the merits.   It was, said one top party operative, “a symptom that she didn’t know what she was about.” Campaign veterans said that Harris ultimately suffered from an inability, or unwillingness, to find a theme or cause that animated her run for office. 

Reelection Strategy:  Harris was also facing a looming deadline in her home state of California, where the ballot is to be finalized later this month. A poor primary performance there could have had implications for her future in both the 2020 race and the Senate. Ian Russell, a Democratic congressional strategist, said the timing of Harris' exit demonstrated "savvy."  This way she doesn't risk a drubbing in California that could lead to some ambitious Democrat primarying her for the Senate seat," Russell told Business Insider

Let's face it, She's A Woman:  Some saw a more problematic contributor to Harris’ fall: mainly that gender biases still manifested themselves in voter expectations and press coverage.  “It's not hard to argue that Kamala and the other women have been held to different standards,” said Christina Reynolds, VP of communications for the group Emily’s List. “The campaign coverage has shown too often that men just need to have potential, while women must have met it.”  Christine Pelosi, a Democratic strategist who is the daughter of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who also went to law school with Harris and has long been a supporter of Harris's campaign, argued that Harris received more criticism from pundits and the media over her "message and management stumbles" than did many of the white and male candidates. 

"You really can't tell the story about Kamala Harris 2020 without speaking of the sexism, the 'misogynoir,' and the big money in politics," she said. "I credit her with the integrity to see she could overcome one or two, but not all three, of those factors."  She argued that the party and the media's handling of Harris' exit from the race would affect how black women perceived the party and politics generally. "The only black woman in the race has left the stage, so how you treat her demise will be a sign to other black women about how you value them," Pelosi said in an interview with Business Insider.

Let's face it, She's a Woman of Color:  It was probably not lost on Harris, and really frustrating to boot, that Joe Biden was consistently polling vastly higher with black voters, and yes, black female voters, than she was, some of whom are wary of Harris’s career as a prosecutor. Meanwhile, others have questioned the ability of an African American woman to win the presidency.

On All In With Chris Hayes Tuesday night, Democratic presidential candidate Cory Booker responded to Harris dropping out.  "This has been one of the most diverse fields in our history. Giving people pride,” Booker said. “And it’s a damn shame now that the only African-American woman in this race, who has been speaking to issues that need to be brought up, is now no longer in it, and we’re spiraling towards a debate stage that potentially, we’re still trying to get in it, but could have six people with no diversity whatsoever.”  So far, the only candidates to qualify for the debate are Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar and Tom Steyer. So Booker also took this opportunity to publicly criticize the DNC for setting standards that could keep him and other candidates out of the debate. “The way this is shaping up, especially with the rules of the DNC,” Booker said, “it is preferencing millionaires and billionaires and a lot of other things that don’t ever translate into viability in Iowa.”


The deed is done.  Kamala's out. 

Now Harris will focus her energies on continuing to be a force of nature and aiming her critical prosecutorial eye on the Impeachment proceedings in the Senate.  Jesse Ferguson, a former spokesman for Clinton, told Business Insider that Harris was "a young, rising-star senator with an influential role in the Senate."  He added, "This is far from her last act in politics."

Now her supporters have to focus on where to place their support.  The numbers are currently showing that this will give the biggest boost to Biden and Warren, with Buttigieg close behind. 

And now the other candidates have to regroup and try to cultivate Harris's supporters.  Some are already speculating that Harris would be an attractive running mate for one of the remaining 2020 candidates.  "I'm sure there's a lot of healing and mourning that needs to go on, but I think she'd be on anybody's shortlist to be vice president," Pelosi said. 

 

THE PROFESSOR IS IN

I started watching the Impeachment Proceedings this morning and braced myself for the GOP's all out efforts to turn it into a circus.  Barely 10 seconds in to opening statements, they went at it, interrupting Jerrold Nadler's opening statements several times.  Point of Order/Parliamentary Procedure this, and Point of Order/Parliamentary Procedure that.  Blech. And then Doug Collins put the thickest, peachiest Georgia drawl in motion and I started to get nauseous, so I turned the whole mess off.  I thought better of it and turned it back on a little later, to witness some of the damning testimony from the law professors called by the Democrats: UNC's Michael Gerhardt, Harvard's Noah Feldman and Stanford's Pamela Karlan, with some expected rebukes by the Republican's counterpoint person - GWU's Jonathan "woefully inadequate" Turley. 

The testimony I found most riveting by far was from Karlan.  I found myself hanging on her answers, and felt like I was back in college, getting, well, an education on REAL parliamentary procedure.  Later, I turned to CNN to see highlights of what I'd missed and boy, did I miss.  In her opening statements Professor Karlan went to town on Collins, and pretty much schooled the entire Judiciary Committee. 


Impeachment hearings: law professor Pamela Karlan had no patience for Rep. Doug Collins’s insults - Vox

The Professor was IN.  It was a master class in the ethics of constitutional law.  I found her entire opening statement on Youtube.  Do yourself a favor and watch the whole thing.  Damn, she's good.

Pamela Karlan's Opening Statements to the Senate Judiciary Committee - NBC News/Youtube


So WHO is Pamela Karlan?  Here's a brief rundown of her impressive qualifications.
  • Pamela Karlan received her bachelor’s, master’s and law degrees from Yale and is currently the director of Stanford Law School’s Supreme Court Litigation Clinic. 
  • After graduating from Yale Law School and before she started teaching at Stanford, Karlan became a clerk for Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun, and she later worked in the Justice Department during the Obama administration.
  • Back in 2009, Karlan was one of the frontrunners to be nominated to the Supreme Court. An outspoken champion of gay rights, criminal defendants’ rights and voting rights, she was viewed by many as the Antonia Scalia of the left. Barack Obama instead took the Bill Clinton strategy and selected a shortlist of judges with moderate sensibilities, which angered liberals but did not surprise Karlan. “Would I like to be on the Supreme Court?” she asked in graduation remarks at Stanford Law School in 2009. “You bet I would. But not enough to have trimmed my sails for half a lifetime.”
  • While Karlan wasn’t nominated for the Supreme Court, she’s appeared before them nine times. A strong advocate for LGBTQ rights, her most recent appearance was in October in the case of Bostock vs. Clayton County when she argued that employees should not be fired over sexual orientation.
  • Karlan was a co-author of the book “When Elections Go Bad: The Law of Democracy and the Presidential Election of 2000.” The book uses the 2000 election as a springboard for discussion and according to the book synopsis “offers a comprehensive legal perspective on how disputed state and federal elections are resolved. Crucial judicial decisions and legal materials from this disputed election are examined against a broader historical, doctrinal, and analytical context.”
  • Back in December 2016, Karlan and other liberal scholars signed a letter expressing alarm over President Trump’s statements and actions during the 2016 presidential campaign.  She criticized Trump’s actions again in 2017 after the President came under fired for asking former FBI director James Comey to shut down a federal investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn. The BBC asked Karlan at the time what she thought of the developing scandal.  “Right now this is a president behaving extraordinarily badly,” she said. “But if it becomes clear that the president is trying to obstruct justice and Congress does nothing, that moves us towards a constitutional crisis.  If Congress cannot fulfil its role as a check on the president, that’s a real problem.”
  • Pamela Karlan has never shied away from talking about her sexual orientation. She once described herself as a “snarky, bisexual, Jewish woman” at the 2006 ACS National Convention. Her partner is writer Viola Canales, author of The Tequila Worm.  When her name was being tossed around as a potential Supreme Court Justice nominee in 2009, she told Politico that “It’s no secret at all that I’m counted among the LGBT crowd” and knew that it would probably prevent her from being nominated, “Given the landscape, I’m flattered, but not fooled, by having my name tossed around.”
Pamela Karlan's impassioned, well-researched, articulate, no-nonsense, schooling of this crowd was just brilliant.  Will it amount to a hill of beans in our currently crazy world?  Probably not.  The GOP simply won't vote to impeach.  Not even if Jesus himself came down and pointed his j'accuse finger down that long last supper table at Donny's puffy orange face.  The GOP is clinging to their self-righteous indignation and defense of this mafioso, this bully, this child in a giant bloated man suit, this narcissistic homophobic sexist racist NINCOMPOOP like they're clinging to the very precipice of a flat world, and they're not about to let the earth become round now.

But damn, Karlan was good. 
 

UPCOMING EVENTS

 
DEADLINE EXTENDED: Sun. Sept 15 thru Fri. December 13, 2nd Annual Homeless Youth Sleeping Bag Drive - Sponsored by The Kern County Homeless Youth Committee   
Contract: Allyson Seal  aseals@gbla.org
Drop off locations
Kaiser Permanente Farmers’ Market "Market on the Hill"   
Saturdays from 9a-2p, 3700 Mall View Rd, Bakersfield, CA 93306 
   “Haggin Oaks Farmers Market”
Sundays from 9a-2p, 8800 Ming Ave., Bakersfield, CA
Kern Bridges Youth Homes            
Monday-Fri. from 8a-5p, 1321 Stine Rd., Bakersfield, CA Inside Bldg A   
   Office of Senator Shannon Groves (You don't have to interact with Groves - just drop off the sleeping bags.) Monday-Fri. From 9a-5p, 5701 Truxtun Ave., Ste 150, Bakersfield
 
 
Saturday, December 7, Kern Freedom Fund BENEFIT CONCERT
5pm (Doors Open). Mill Creek Christian Church, 1660 S Street. Bakersfield, CA  
Come and enjoy live music, food, and traditional dancers to raise money for our Kern Freedom Bond Fund to release immigrants from detention at Mesa Verde Detention Facility. It’s going to be a great time to celebrate culture, heritage, and the migrants we serve. Buy tickets at the door or online at our Eventbrite Page. Each  We hope to see you all there!  Free Parking! $10 ticket goes directly to cause
More info: (661)228-7814
 
 
Monday, December 9, UKDC Monthly Meeting
6 to 7:30pm, Piazza's Pine Cone Inn, Sierra Way, Kernville
Doors open at 5:30pm for refreshments and socializing - meeting begins at 6pm. We will be welcoming Darus Stephens, newly declared candidate for Supervisor District One, and Deanne Shulman, who will be speaking about the RYLA program. It's our last meeting of the year, so bring some holiday treats to share.
 
 
Tuesday, December 10, Ridgecrest United Monthly Meeting & Holiday Potluck
6 to 8pm, See below for location, Ridgecrest
In place of our December monthly meeting, we will have a holiday potluck social gathering! Bring something to share if you can, and comment below with what you will bring (main dish, side dish, dessert, non-alcoholic drinks, decorations). Holiday attire welcome!
For more details including location, join Ridgecrest United Facebook group or message their Facebook page.
 
 
Wednesday, December 11, KAN December Workshop: Grants Management and Reporting
8 to 10am, KCSOS, 1300 17th Street, City Centre, Bakersfield
Presenter: Dixie King
Check in 8am
Presentation at 8:30am
Attendees must RSVP via Eventbrite
 
 
Friday, December 13, Building Healthy Communities Annual Holiday Party  
6 to 9pm, The Mark (The Park), 1623 19th St., Bakersfield, CA      
BHC will be hosting our annual holiday party to celebrate our accomplishments this year and for all of our partners to get together and have some fun!


Saturday, December 14, Wreaths Across America Day
9am to 12pm, Kern River Valley Cemetery, Kernville

Join us as we Honor our Nation's fallen Veterans. Place a Wreath on the headstone of a Veteran and Thank them and their family for the sacrifices given to uor great nation!  Hosted by Sarge's Wreaths for Vets

 
Saturday, December 14, Democratic Women of Kern Holiday Breakfast
9am, The Petroleum Club, Bakersfield
Join us for our annual Winter Breakfast to celebrate Democratic Women of Kern and look forward to 2020! Open seating, gorgeous buffet breakfast, wonderful Democrats from our community...come celebrate the holidays with us! Limited number of tickets available. Go to www.democraticwomenofkern.org to get yours! Ticket sales end December 7th. Contact Rachelle at rachelle.carter@gmail.com to volunteer and help make this event a success!
 
 
Monday, December 16, La Posadas              
4:30pm, Starts at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 2216 17th Street, Bakersfield       
Prepare for Christmas by walking with Mary and Joseph in search of posadas, a place to stay while they await the birth of Christ.  The 2.5 mile walk will take us through the streets of our city in a spirit of solidarity with all who seek refuge and hospitality, and with all that are turned away.  On our route we will stop at a number of local businesses as well the forecourt of Mesa Verde Detention Center. As we walk we will sing, talk, share and perhaps encounter our city and its people in a new way.  And finally we will be received into the hospitality of Mill Creek Christian Church with a wonderful celebration featuring music, refreshments, and more.
Sponsored my KWESI.

 

Friday, December 20, Black Winter Anniversary Coat Drive
7 to 10pm, Jerry's Pizza, 1817 Chester Ave, Bakersfield   

ONLY 18 YRS AND UP!  Showcasing some of the best musical talents in Bakersfield.

Entry cost - one new or gently used children’s coat

Sponsored by: FIRST AND ALWAYS MELANIN

For information:  FAAM661@gmail.com


 
Saturday, January 18, Women's March Kern County
10am to 3pm, Mill Creek Park, Bakersfield
Save the date and let's do this again!
Copyright © 2019 Upper Kern Democratic Club, All rights reserved.


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PO Box 796 Kernville CA 93238

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