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Pride in the Profession, 2: The “Libel Bully” report

Uploaded: Oct 31, 2016

In addition to feeling some pride for being among the many lawyers who are poll-watching during Nevada's early voting (prior blog), another lawyerly occurrence caught my eye last week. It demonstrated that individual attorneys may have the courage of their convictions, even if their trade group does not.

The American Bar Association is a non-profit membership organization of lawyers that represents interests of the profession in a formally non-partisan way. It includes many committees of interested practitioners who stay up-to-date on various topics of professional interest, via regular meetings and publications.

One such group is the Media Law Committee. Its members discuss weighty public/private issues like defamation, privacy, commercial speech (advertising), freedom of information, data collection and use, FCC regulation, and First Amendment law. It became concerned about the candidate Trump’s stated inclination toward “counter-punching” opponents “harder than they hit you,” as well as recent threats against individuals and publications during his Presidential campaign. So, the group commissioned a study of Mr. Trump’s litigation history in the field of defamation (roughly, lawsuits claiming damage to reputation from the false statements or writings of another person).

According to the New York Times, the study reported that candidate Trump does have a history of suing for defamation: he has targeted an architecture critic, an author, a political commentator, a former student at Trump University; two labor unions; a network executive; and a beauty contest contestant. For the record, he is 1-6: the sole ‘victory’ coming when the pageant contestant declined to defend herself in a private arbitration. The other cases were either court losses or voluntary withdrawals of the claims, ahead of trial.

The lawsuit tactic is not an unusual ploy by persons or companies with means – it can be an effective way to silence opposition, as even just the cost of defending oneself against a well-heeled adversary can break a defendant’s bank. Establishing a pattern of such conduct can deter and discourage even truthful critical commentary. There’s a cost to everyone in that, as the legal system’s processes are miss-used to place some folks above even legitimate reproach.

Accordingly, many states, including California, have enacted so-called “anti-SLAPP” statutes. These allow certain “strategic lawsuits against public participation” to be dismissed at an early date (before much expense has accrued), and call for recovery of damages and attorney’s fees back against the original plaintiff, again, under defined circumstances. The availability of these remedies tends to discourage filing of baseless ‘scorched earth’ lawsuits by putting some risk on plaintiffs. They thus neutralize the raw financial power of a wealthy, bad-faith litigant.

The ABA committee’s report was sharply critical of Mr. Trump’s practices, as seen most recently in his threats to sue the NYTimes over publication of the claims of his accusers, and each of the growing list of women who claim sexual abuse at his hands (and lips). Although it is extremely unlikely that he’ll follow-through on either tack, you can understand the impact of the threats.*

Apparently, the ABA, too, felt the cold chill of Mr. Trump’s litigious nature. The organization refused to publish the report under its given title: “Donald Trump is a Libel Bully, But Also a Libel Loser.” The powers-that-be sent it back with suggested edits, including a milquetoasty header: “Presidential Election Demonstrates Need for Anti-SLAPP Laws.” Indeed, that it does.

The Committee, and here’s what I’m proud-of, did what good lawyers often do: they found another way. They published their unedited version in an independent journal, and complained to The Times. Thus, a rather narrow, technical tome has received broad distribution, far beyond the marbled halls of major law firms. Further, they chastised the ABA for pulling its punches in fear of a blow from Mr. Trump.

Again, from the article: “… a former chairman of the media-law committee said he was baffled by the bar association’s interference in the committee’s journal. “It is more than a little ironic,” he said, “that a publication dedicated to the exploration of First Amendment issues is subjected to censorship when it seeks to publish an article about threats to free speech.”

Further, “Mr. Freeman said the bar association’s actions were also at odds with its larger role. ‘As the guardian of the values of our legal system,’ he said, ‘the ABA should not stop the publication of an article that criticizes people for bringing lawsuits, not to win them but to economically squeeze their opponents.’ Mr. Bodney said the country’s finest media lawyers had been ready to defend the bar association without charge had Mr. Trump chosen to sue.”

In fairness, the language of the report was a little over-the-top for the hoary old legal profession. Moderating those expressions might’ve slightly reduced the risk of a ‘formal response’ from The Donald’s sharky minions. But when lawyers strike a blow for The Little Guy, in a factual manner that in no way compromises the odds of successfully defending any such lawsuit, well, I just have to tip my cap. Bullies must be answered, even/especially financial bullies.

So, good on ya, ladies and gents of the Media Law Committee – I’ll happily bask for a moment in your reflected glow.


* As an aside, somebody had fun writing the NYT’s letter in response to Trump’s attorneys, which read it-part:

“The women quoted in our story spoke out on an issue of national importance -- indeed, an issue that Mr. Trump himself discussed with the whole nation watching during Sunday night's presidential debate. … It would have been a disservice not just to our readers but to democracy itself to silence their voices. We did what the law allows: We published newsworthy information about a subject of deep public concern.

If Mr. Trump disagrees, if he believes that American citizens had no right to hear what these women had to say and that the law of this country forces us and those who would dare to criticize him to stand silent or be punished, we welcome the opportunity to have a court set him straight.” ( /mic drop) .

Comments

 +   10 people like this
Posted by Hotslide, a resident of Oak Tree Acres,
on Nov 4, 2016 at 10:12 am

Hotslide is a registered user.

OK Tom, come on out of that biased closet. For one thing, please don't reference the New York Times for anything as being truthful, or are you just joking with us? Also, you now owe us your take on the Hillary Clinton scandal and her selling out of America. She has been your darling for a long time, so please give us your opinion of the Clinton Foundation and the FBI investigation of such. Or is the closet door going to remain closed? I guess CNN and MSNBC have not heard anything about it yet, so I guess it is possible you have not either. You may need to reference your Saul Alinsky signed book to spin this one.


 +   5 people like this
Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Nov 4, 2016 at 10:32 am

Mr. Saul Alinsky is an American Hero! There are jealous bugs in Plutonia... Mr. Alinsky was quite a political scholar and knew how to take on creeps! VIVA Saul Alinsky! VIVA!

trump is a shady bully who lies and manipulates fellow Americans. His adult off-spring are pathological liars and it appears that they have been pistol whipped into his own image. Pathetic! As for his current wife, somebody on the trump team to tape her mouth, put her in some decent clothes encourage her to eat more veggies...

potty mouth trump will surely lose the election...the republican party has been severely damaged by a severely disturbed candidate. tough, [ahem ... beans] ...

i rest my case...just like on tv








 +   20 people like this
Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Alamo,
on Nov 4, 2016 at 12:33 pm

Hi Hots: here's the thing. I don't think you want my take on anything -- based on your tone and pre-emptive attackage, I think you want a flame war. I understand why -- I really do. After Tuesday, all that wind'll have left your sails and you'll be dead in the water for another four years, so you need to make a sprint for it now. But we both know that you and I could write each other's lines in such a cordial exchange, and it wouldn't change a thing.

Alternatively, when you look at it as a 'time' thing, I can either spend mine with the nation's newspaper of record, or with some anonymous, unaccountable voice on the internets who has deluded himself into thinking that the Times is The Problem. It's not.

Easy choice from where I sit.


 +   3 people like this
Posted by Billie, a resident of Mohr Park,
on Nov 4, 2016 at 12:35 pm

Billie is a registered user.

Oh, you mean the FBI investigation that was taken directly from that wonderful alt right/white nationalist website Breitbart? The same investigation being driven by those Breitbart folks closest to the Trump campaign? Web Link

And reported on accurately by Rachel Maddow (i.e. without Brett Baier's take on it that he had to walk back?)?
Web Link
Web Link

Food for thought: If the law enforcement agencies in this country are allowed to influence our elections, what's next? If the FBI is "Trumpland", what happens to the loyal opposition? Trump up charges and lock us up? Reminds me of that old quote that ends "Then they came for me . . . and there was no one left to speak for me."


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Michael Austin, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows,
on Nov 4, 2016 at 4:35 pm

Michael Austin is a registered user.

In the election Core verses Bush.
The US Supreme Court ruled the Florida recount was unconstitutional.
Why is that unconstitutional ruling applied only to Florida?


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Nov 5, 2016 at 10:36 am

It seems to me that the court loves crowning incompetent presidents...did we suffer after the WAR PRESIDENT stepped into his oval office...sheeeeesh

Michael...what is the purpose of your question? Gotta be more concrete with th is one. Thank you.



 +   2 people like this
Posted by rosalindr, a resident of San Ramon,
on Nov 7, 2016 at 12:37 pm

rosalindr is a registered user.

The Bush wars were a disaster for America. I just got a fund raising letter from a veteran's organization raising money for a vet who lost both his legs in one of those wars (doesn't matter which one). This Charity (and I plan to contribute) retrofitted his house for wheelchair access. The Gov. did nothing for him except cause him to be crippled for no reason, oops, not quite true, Dick Chaney and his friends made plenty of money from the confiscated oil.


Here are links to a couple of my past blogs on The Donald. Web Link
Web Link

Here's a link to Charity Navigator's rating of the Clinton Foundation. Web Link


Interesting contrast, eh?

Roz

PS Cholo, I don't think Trump's children are pathetic or liars. Hillary said they are fine people, and I believe this is right about that too.


 +   17 people like this
Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Nov 7, 2016 at 3:52 pm

Whaaaaaat's this? Web Link


 +   23 people like this
Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Nov 7, 2016 at 4:07 pm

Tom, I won't post anymore.

Daddy trump also made reference to DOG WHISTLES in a recent TV add.

If that doesn't appeal to the KKK and his Anti-Semitic cheerleaders, I don't what does...

i rest my case....

Cholo Pololo Mololo
Jew


 +   12 people like this
Posted by Michael Austin, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows,
on Nov 8, 2016 at 7:13 pm

Michael Austin is a registered user.

Glad republicans held onto the house.
The thought of Pelosi being speaker again was an ongoing nightmare.


 +   30 people like this
Posted by Bix, a resident of Danville,
on Nov 9, 2016 at 1:10 am

@Tom: You mad, bro?

Your girl lost. Actually, she got creamed. First time in American history an "outsider" won the political top spot. How you feel, bro? Mad? Depressed? Oh, and did I mention the Republicans keep control of the House and Senate? Can't wait to read the hate that is bound to come out of your mouth over all this good news, you silly elitist.

Reality is a bitch, ain't it?


 +   33 people like this
Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Alamo,
on Nov 9, 2016 at 5:27 am

I'm as surprised as anyone -- maybe even you, Bix. It's likely to be a pretty wild ride of an experiment. Good luck to us all.


 +   5 people like this
Posted by Michael Austin, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows,
on Nov 9, 2016 at 7:15 am

Michael Austin is a registered user.

I expect that Trump will destroy those that have opposed him and enrich those that have supported him.

I expect that Trump will use the office of President of the United States to amass great personal fortune.


 +   12 people like this
Posted by American, a resident of Danville,
on Nov 9, 2016 at 8:06 am

Well, Tom, you stated the " wind was going to come out of our sails by Tuesday night". Any other predictions? Your blog called Trump " Libel Bully". What about " Executive Order Bully" Obama, as he had numerous "Executive Orders" declared by Court as illegal.

The highlight was hearing that Cher walked into Clinton party last night, looked at electorate board on wall, and simply walked away and left, not saying word to anyone. Tom, Katy Perry, Jay Z, and Lebron, and you, do not speak for the people. The people spoke, and are sick of your liberal allies and you attacking the police as enemies, and embracing sanctuary cities and criminals. We have the Presidency, the House, and Senate, and Obamacare and Obama's illegal Executive Orders are gone, and we will get common sense US Supreme Court Justices who follow the law, don't make it up.

So you and your liberal media buddies, despite your best efforts, could not silence the people, who have spoken. God bless Anerica!


 +   12 people like this
Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Nov 9, 2016 at 9:30 am

I must admit it was a stunner. Fortunately, America will remain a great country!

It's gonna be a bumpy ride...hang on to your hats. What do you suppose will happen to Roe v Wade? US Supreme Court?

Get adequate sleep, healthy food, daily exercise, surround yourselves with good people and especially loving animals and plants.

VIVA AMERICA! VIVA!




 +   23 people like this
Posted by Hotslide, a resident of Oak Tree Acres,
on Nov 9, 2016 at 10:25 am

Hotslide is a registered user.

Tom, I guess yesterday was a bad day for you and socialism. What goes through your mind when you look at that blue and red election map by COUNTY and see that it is about 95% red except for almost all of the rather large metro areas? I see millions of people holed up, maximizing handouts and free everything, with no contribution to the country. That IS the democratic voting block, twice as big after 8 years of the most transparent liar we have ever had as president. My coffee went down the wrong way when I saw a clip of our president encouraging illegals to vote and promising not to prosecute them ! In reality what you saw yesterday was the socialistic ideology born in the 60's going down in flames. It does not work, has not worked and will not. I don't know how Trump will work out, but I do know you cannot lie continually to the working class of any country. The truth will come out sooner or later, and the democrats have the bent that lying is fine as long as you "just win baby". I hope the cabal of lawyers will embrace the new Supreme Court.


 +   14 people like this
Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Nov 9, 2016 at 11:03 am

It won't take long before Trump ignores his promises to his base. Even now, he is preparing to promote policies that favor other billionaires, not just folks with Plutonian chump change.

There will not likely ever be a "wall".

I have no problem with the death penalty. If somebody murdered one of my loved ones, I would want her/him to be put to death.

Trump may be interested in executing child molesters who destroy the lives of children, families, and make communities unsafe. I certainly plan to write to him and present an argument that he could understand and support. He is the President so we must find ways to work together.

One never knows if his youngest son will someday fall in love with a guy or a gal from Mexico and want to marry them. Would that be sweet or what?

It's time to take out my boys for their daily hike! HOORAY DOGS! FOREVER!

VIVA AMERICA! VIVA!







 +   6 people like this
Posted by American, a resident of Danville,
on Nov 9, 2016 at 12:04 pm

The leaked Clinton e-mails showed how corrupt the Democractic Party is, and how biased the liberal media is toward them. The media and the Clinton machine talked to each other, but never listened to the people. The Republicans listened to the people, and for the first time in 8 years there are people who are being heard loud & clear: Less taxes, less government regulations, stronger military, all lives matter including law enforcement & the unborn, amnesty cities for illegal alien criminals has to go, more choices for poor inner city kids to go to charter schools, Obamacare has to go, freedom to practice religion must be respected, no more hatred of Catholics & Christians as shown in Hillary e-mails, second amendment is protected, and ISIS is not the JV but a bigger threat to National Security than " big soda" or how often cows burp or pass gas!


 +   11 people like this
Posted by Dave, a resident of Danville,
on Nov 9, 2016 at 1:34 pm

Let's hope, too, that Trump does not follow his buddy Putin's lead and turn the US into a kleptocracy like Russia.


 +   8 people like this
Posted by Dave, a resident of Danville,
on Nov 9, 2016 at 1:37 pm

And meanwhile, we will see how long Republicans will continue to ignore the old adage (as applied to Trump) that a leopard cannot change its spots.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Doug Miller, a resident of Country Fair,
on Nov 9, 2016 at 5:56 pm

Doug Miller is a registered user.

The election analysis is simple. The election was a repudiation of the Obama agenda. While the president is personally popular, his programs are not.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by American, a resident of Danville,
on Nov 9, 2016 at 6:48 pm

When Obama won in 2008 he said " elections have consequences" and unilaterally signed numerous Executive Orders, many of which the Court held were illegal. He did whatever he wanted, never trying to find common ground bipartisan agreements. Now, despite the fact the people sent a mandate and elected a Republican President, Senate, & House of Reps, the liberals are literally crying that the Republicans " have to work with us". Really?

By the way, good old Tom, who for years spewed his non-stop liberal views on his blog, and even others blogs here, suddenly is very quiet. Buehler, Tom, Buehler?

Also have pride in our profession, Tom, and pride our profession disbarred Bill Clinton law license in Arrkansas, after lying under oath in Monica Lewinski case. Will have pride when they soon revoke Hillary law license for perjury re e-mails.


 +   18 people like this
Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Alamo,
on Nov 9, 2016 at 7:29 pm

You know, Am, unlike some others I prefer to wait until I have something worthwhile to say, and this has been a lot to process, in addition to actual work. I understand your desire to gloat -- it's natural after your big day. Welcome back from your third self-imposed forever exile, BTW.

The GOP has a huge opportunity here, and an even bigger challenge. The civil war within the party won't go away, and I expect it to intensify as the new guy exacts his gleeful revenge on those he believes betrayed him. They'll also have to master a cram course in actual governance, which is a lot harder than getting to 'no.'

So have fun this week -- what's upcoming will be very difficult, and fascinating to behold.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by SHale, a resident of San Ramon,
on Nov 9, 2016 at 7:45 pm

SHale is a registered user.

So, as of Jan 21st the GOP will have full power and will no longer have the ability to blame anybody but itself for any 'problems'. Trump can't drain the swamp because it consists of more GOP then Dems; so what exactly will he do?

I will give him the benefit of the doubt and hope (suddenly) he becomes presidential and listens to the experts and advisors.

And hopefully the first time his very very very thin skin is breached he won't reach for the nuclear codes (as he asked 'why have them if you never use them'.

And remember he said he 'wouldn't forget the forgotten' I take that to mean the middle class which pays for the poor and the affluent. We shall see.


 +   5 people like this
Posted by Gil, a resident of San Ramon,
on Nov 9, 2016 at 8:35 pm

Tom said:

"You know, Am, unlike some others I prefer to wait until I have something worthwhile to say."

LOL!!!! Oh sure, when has anything stopped you from opening that hole beneath your nose? Your last post sounds a bit like back peddling.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Dave, a resident of Danville,
on Nov 9, 2016 at 8:58 pm

Doug Miller - It was hardly a repudiation when more than half of the voters voted for Hillary.

We will see if the 70-year old man-baby can grow up quickly enough to do his job.


 +   16 people like this
Posted by Rick J, a resident of Walnut Creek,
on Nov 10, 2016 at 1:38 am

Dave? Corruption your thing? Are you an elitist too? Emotional because you were powerless to stop a legal election process? Man, you liberals are too much.

But just remember, Obama said, "...work as hard as we can to make sure that this is a successful transition for the President-elect ? because we are now all rooting for his success in uniting and leading the country.

Start rooting Dave.


 +   21 people like this
Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Alamo,
on Nov 10, 2016 at 7:04 am

Hey Gil, I understand that it's pile-on day, and welcome to it. But if you read this column, but it's not worthwhile, then I have to wonder about how you spend your time. I also can't find any back-pedaling in what I wrote -- perhaps you could elaborate?

Disagreement is welcome -- hence Raucous -- I hope you'll find voice to comment in some manner more substantive than 'you suck'-style rhetoric.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by American, a resident of Danville,
on Nov 10, 2016 at 7:51 am

Tom: "Have fun this week..". I am, but it is going to be more than this week, as for as least the next two years we control the White House, the Senate, and the House of Reps, and even in two years after the next senate elections we will likely still control all. It is also going to be "fun" to see at least one, and possibly three new U.S. Supreme Court Justices appointed in the next four years, including possibly Ted Cruz, to serve for approximately another 30 years on the court. The days of making up law to satisfy liberals who appointed them are over, and the days of actually following precedent and the law are here. Fun, fun, fun.

You also owe "Gil" an apology, as you were rude and condescending to him, saying you "have to wonder how he spends his time". You can use all the new readers and commenters you can get. It is funny how you rip apart anyone who disagrees with you with personal attacks, but allow and do not challenge your liberal buddies, even when they post jokes about killing police officers and other ridiculously inappropriate comments.

I hope to see more blogs from you Tom in the next four years about the A's and Dog Rescue Groups, and less rude sniping at those who disagree with your outdated and out of office and out of power liberal views.


 +   3 people like this
Posted by Doug Miller, a resident of Country Fair,
on Nov 10, 2016 at 8:34 am

Doug Miller is a registered user.

"Dave"

Just the response I expected and hoped to read here. Let's hope the Democrats learn nothing from this election and keep pushing the same disastrous policies. In 2010 Republicans took the House. In 2014 Republicans added the Senate. In 2016, they maintained control of both and added the White House. This had everything to do with Obama policies and programs.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by SHale, a resident of San Ramon,
on Nov 10, 2016 at 11:31 am

SHale is a registered user.

and now we find out if the GOP can do a better job, aye? They will have no excuse beyond they don't have a 60 seat super majority in the senate. That is their last excuse 'oh, the Dems blocked us again'.

So glad I don't belong to either party.


 +   16 people like this
Posted by Tom Cushing, a PleasantonWeekly.com blogger,
on Nov 10, 2016 at 2:03 pm

Tom Cushing is a registered user.

Am: you're more fun when you exile yourself.

If you'd really like to enforce site etiquette though, Mr. Manners, I suggest you contact Gina about being a volunteer Moderator, or better yet -- start your own blog here as a chronicle of the dawning utopia.


 +   6 people like this
Posted by Mike , a resident of Danville,
on Nov 10, 2016 at 11:03 pm

Po 'lil Tom-tom. Wind taken out of your sails, 'lil sailor? All that swag in your step appears a tad lethargic now. Your ship is listing ever so slightly to the right. However, if you keep your eyes on the horizon, you might catch that faint glimpse of hope that can make you feel great again.

My main concern though is how you will deal with the thought of a new conservative supreme court justice. I'm quite sure you will resort to your usual bland commentary to discredit whatever the president-elect desires. But really, who cares what you think, Tom. You and your party lost; the way in which has never been witnessed by any living American.

And dare I state that the current sitting president, the one you think is so great, will leave a nothing more than a turn of the page.




 +   14 people like this
Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Alamo,
on Nov 11, 2016 at 6:14 am

Geez Mike, isn't it obvious 'who cares what I think?' You do, along with several other angry revelers who are now intensely interested in my life and times (wishing them to be 'brief' and 'miserable' respectively ;-) ). The opposite of caring isn't hatred -- it's indifference. Bile drips from those comments (you guys manage to be pissed-off even when you're happy? What kind of a life is that?); they sure don't reflect apathy.

The one exception among you northpaws is Mr. Miller, who injects some actual substance into this dunking stool of a thread. See if you can tell the difference between his writings and yours -- I don't agree with him often, but he manages to be civil. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that he might be identifiable from his chosen screen name? Anyway, thanks Doug.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Dave, a resident of Danville,
on Nov 11, 2016 at 8:52 am

So, Doug, if you think that Trump's pending Electoral College victory was a repudiation of President Obama's policies, please explain why more people would have voted for President Obama for a third term if it had been constitutionally permissible than voted for Trump?


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by American, a resident of Danville,
on Nov 11, 2016 at 9:35 am

Although there is an assumption that California is a complete liberal Democratic party state, with some liberals even discussing that we should leave the union now and become our own state, I just went thru the official Secretary of State final election results, and added up myself how many counties went for Hillary, and how many counties went for Trump. I was shocked to see that Trump actually won 24 counties in California! Hillary won 34 counties in California.

So if you simply look at the counties, and not the popular vote(which is completely influenced by the large urban cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco,etc) you will see that per the county vote California is not simply a liberal bastion, but rather a healthy two party system.

Trump won 41% of the counties in California, which I think is very, very surprising. The media concentrates on the big, urban cities, showing protests in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Oakland, so the national pulse would believe California is simply a complete liberal, Democratic Party state. But 41% of the counties in California are pleased with the election results, and certainly not protesting.

If you look at the 41% of the counties that went for Trump, they are not just small population counties with a large elderly population. Kern County went for Trump 56% to 38% for Hillary, and their population is over 839,000. Kern County was also rated the second fastest growing Millennial population in the United States.

So although Hillary got over 61% of the total vote in California compared to only 33% for Trump, Trump actually won 41% of the actual counties in California. Maine and Nebraska actually split their electoral college votes, unlike all the other states, because a few large cities have most of the population, and they believe it is unfair to penalize the rest of their state where most of the citizens have different views than those in the big cities.

I think California should consider following the lead of Maine and Nebraska, and splitting up their electoral college votes as well, as it is unfair to allow a few large urban cities to dictate where all the electoral college votes go. 41% of California counties voted for Trump, but yet none of these county votes counted in the state's electoral college vote. Why not split California into thirds for electoral college votes, the south, the central valley, and the north, so those living in counties outside the big urban cities have a say in where their electoral college votes go?

What do you think?


 +   24 people like this
Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Alamo,
on Nov 11, 2016 at 10:05 am

Interesting partisan idea. But there is a bedrock principle at play here: land area doesn't vote -- People vote. This would be just another way for the GOP to try to suppress the influence of People they don't like. You know, the "urban" kind. It's bad representative government, in my view.

If this worked, the next step would be to sub-divide all those GOP-friendly counties so there'd be even more empty spaces to siphon off the will of the people. It's California's People that count, so few of whom are Republicans.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by American, a resident of Danville,
on Nov 11, 2016 at 10:22 am

Tom, were you as surprised as I was that 41% of counties in CA voted for Trump?

I understand your thought that people vote not land, but per the Constitution we have electorate college system where in fact the people( popular) vote does not decide the President, but electorate( designated land area) does. Why not follow the lead of Maine & Nebraska and split the electorate vote in the state so people think their vote matters. Don't you think voter turnout would be higher if people outside few big cities votes mattered, and isn't that a good thing?


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Dave, a resident of Danville,
on Nov 11, 2016 at 10:40 am

There is already a legislative effort well underway to allocate the electoral votes. But, as passed in 11 states so far (and to go into effect when more states come on board), it would vote all of the particular state's electoral votes to the person who wins the popular vote nationwide -- in effect allowing the states to mirror the national popular vote.

But, again, to Tom's point, the Constitution mandates a "one person, one vote" system for our system of voting, not some other means of skewing the outcome to one's own political preferences.


 +   16 people like this
Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Alamo,
on Nov 11, 2016 at 11:19 am

All the representations are skewed, generally in favor of smaller and/or less populous states, with exceptions. Here's a sortable chart for Senators, Congressfolk and Electors. Web Link

Senate is worst, where fair Cali gets 1/19 million population, and Wyoming gets 1/284,000. House is a lot better, but still favors small and/or rural: MT is 1/994k, while WY and RI are in the 500s.

Electors are as follows: CA first 679K/elector, whereas WY again, and VT average about 200K/elector. We are a vastly underrepresented population. I would do away with the Electoral College, but then we'd have to put up with candidates actually visiting here for reasons other than to collect their allowances.

The Kochs have invested heavily in state legislatures that do the decennial gerrymandering, which is why so many House seats are so safe. Also works well for them in NC, as one of many elements of voter suppression of minorities "with surgical precision" according to the federal judge. It has paid-off handsomely for them, but it's bad representative government.

I think you have to start from the good government principles -- like maximizing voting opportunities, and build your system from there, but the partisans will always try to bend things in their favor. GOP has done a great job of skewing samples in their direction, but they will never tire of doing more -- because demographics work s ag'in 'em.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by American, a resident of Danville,
on Nov 11, 2016 at 11:19 am

I give credit where credit is due, and want to thank Obama for taking out Bin Laden, and credit for his statement yesterday that " we are one team, and we just finished a tough Intra-squad game, and now it is time for our team to take on the real opponents, not our own teammates".. Sports(and dogs) bring people together, and on Veterans Day it would be appropriate to stop fighting ourselves and be united and respectful to all our teammates, and personally I can't wait till the 2017 World Series Champions Oakland A's visit Predident Trump in the Whitehouse!


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Dave, a resident of Danville,
on Nov 11, 2016 at 12:10 pm

That is President Obama's job to speak of harmony and cooperation. Not ours.

Mitch McConnell and other congressional Republicans made it their mission to obstruct President Obama at every turn, and said so on Day 1 of his administration.

Trump deserves no less from us. We will oppose him relentlessly.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Dave, a resident of Danville,
on Nov 11, 2016 at 1:11 pm

Does anyone seriously doubt that the numerous acts of hate carried out against minorities over the past couple of days were inspired by Trump's language and his election?

If it is anyone's responsibility to quell that kind of speech and action, it is Trump's.


 +   10 people like this
Posted by bsdetector, a resident of Diablo,
on Nov 11, 2016 at 4:31 pm

Sorry Mr. Cushing, you misspelled the title, this is the "Liberal Bully Report."

Such bad sports, not respecting the votes that changed the direction of our country. The nation has spoken and all the temper trantrum and bullying will not change a thing. It's pathetic, but what else should we expect from a bunch of leftist thugs. Big government types love to bully individuals into silence.

Time to eat crow! You have been name calling, baiting and condescendingly lecturing your silly, uninformed socialist big government idealism for too long. So much sok that they have spanked you from the front page. You are bad for business and despised, more than tolerated. This, because of your nasty approach and image ability to skew historical facts, a historical socialist revisionist.

You are cleaver, choosing to avoid "the," word, just like the rest won't call it radical islamist terror.

Let's call a spade a spade. Your candidate Can now go back to her antisemitic palace and try to find a new revenue stream for her corrupt quid pro quo access machine, sorry meant to say foundation.

Sore losers always want to change the rules expost facto. California is way over represented in the electoral college. No single state should hold this much power. A popular vote system would be just want you like eh, so the elistist would run everything, because all it would take is the left coast and new York cooridor to lock it in.

Trump is Soo racist huh, well Clinton denies his own black son.

Surely the owners of this site can find an itelligent democratic voice voice, that does not read like fingernails on a blackboard. Your oeuvre is pure unsubstantiated crap.

Off you go to post a retort under another alias.


 +   24 people like this
Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Alamo,
on Nov 11, 2016 at 4:43 pm

Don't wait up, bsd. There's nothing in that bloviation that inspires any further response beyond what's already been said, up-thread.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by james, a resident of Beratlis Place,
on Nov 12, 2016 at 1:09 am

You shared an excellent info and done a great job.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by American, a resident of Danville,
on Nov 12, 2016 at 9:08 am

I was watching the CBS 11 pm news last night which is based in San Francisco, and they did exactly what has made so many people in the U.S. distrustful and upset with the mainstream media liberal bias agenda. The CBS news story was that Trump had appointed Peter Thiel to the transition team, and stated he was another millionaire, showing a photo of a white man, with absolutely no mention that he is openly gay! How a local news channel based in San Francisco can not mention that an openly gay was just appointed to one of the select and powerful positions on Trump's transition team shows their desire to never give Trump credit for anything and instead try to hurt him by suggesting there is no diversity on his inner circle.

As I watch the local news in San Francisco show angry Trump protesters waving rainbow flags, don't you think the news would have reported that Trump just appointed an openly gay to his inner team? Nope, the media is not fair and balanced, and sees their role as being partisan and attacking Trump no matter what he does.

I then see the local news showing Trump protesters waving banners saying Trump is a Nazi, and of course they do not report that several members of his appointed transition team are Jewish, including his son in law Jared Kushner and his daughter Ivanka.

The local news then shows protesters holding signs about how Trump is anti-woman, and of course there is no mention that 25% of his transition team is female.

The liberal media does not even pretend to be neutral and report the facts anymore. Instead, they aggressively go after Republicans, and ignore facts that would show them in a positive light.

The only good thing is that people are becoming aware of how biased and unfair the mainstream media is, and it is actually encouraging them to speak out on social media and other sources, and rallying them to become actively involved in the political process, walking precincts during the election, volunteering to help out at phone banks, donating money, and of course voting.

Last night, the local CBS news in San Francisco showed how truly biased and unfair they are, and instead of reporting the facts, that Trump appointed an incredibly diverse transition team, including an openly gay, many Jewish people, and many females, to his inner circle of the transition team, they simply reported "another millionaire" was appointed showing a photo of a white guy.


 +   20 people like this
Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Nov 12, 2016 at 9:35 am

We don't live in a perfect world. Lying is just another form of apple pie!
Folks just eat up the lies and want more.

Trump was elected President of the United States. His transition team is in place and now the next step is in process. My biggest concern is how the new American President will deal with the issue of the US Supreme Court candidates for a seat. I look forward to the entire process of nominating and questioning the candidates.

That the President Elect has a Son in Law who is a Jew means nothing. He's still a Nazi in the minds of many American Jews. Trump is Anti-Semitic.


 +   57 people like this
Posted by Cholo , a resident of Livermore,
on Nov 12, 2016 at 9:45 am

Back in Fashion!

Web Link

The Dog Whistle is B A C K!


 +   40 people like this
Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Nov 12, 2016 at 11:14 am

Pray that there is never another war:

Web Link


 +   5 people like this
Posted by Doug Miller, a resident of Country Fair,
on Nov 13, 2016 at 7:35 am

Doug Miller is a registered user.

Republicans, in addition to maintaining control of the House and Senate, now control 33 of 50 state governorships and 69 of 99 state legislative bodies. In 25 states Republicans control both legislative branches and the governors office. For Democrats that number is 4.


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Posted by Dave, a resident of Danville,
on Nov 13, 2016 at 9:02 pm

And one of those red-controlled states is the soon-to-be-bankrupt Kansas. Now, on some matters, I think it is fine to have the states be little zones of experimentation -- to see what policies might work on a national level. And, in Kansas, Gov. Brownback convinced the people and the legislature that an austerity program with drastic tax cuts was just the medicine needed to bring economic success to the state. And, just as predictably for anyone skilled in economics, the "starvation diet" has brought Kansas nothing but misery, a failed education system, and huge deficits.

Good luck getting a bail-out from the feds now, Brownback!


 +   9 people like this
Posted by Doug Miller, a resident of Country Fair,
on Nov 14, 2016 at 6:58 am

Doug Miller is a registered user.

According to a comprehensive study and comparison of state budgets, Kansas ranks 27th. California ranks 44th.

That report can be found here:
Web Link

Kansas is here:
Web Link

And then there is California:
Web Link


 +   9 people like this
Posted by Doug Miller, a resident of Country Fair,
on Nov 14, 2016 at 7:12 am

Doug Miller is a registered user.

As to public education by state based on test score, according to this report, California ranks 45th while Kansas ranks 24th. There seems to be some correlation with the health of state budgets.

Web Link


 +  Like this comment
Posted by American, a resident of Danville,
on Nov 14, 2016 at 9:18 am

Of course the media won't report this, but guess who is the first President Elect ever in our history to have a female as Head of their campaign? Yes, Donald Trump. He broke the glass ceiling by having a female in charge of his winning campaign. Actions matter, facts matter, not false subjective labels alleging he is anti-female. The ability to get the job done matters to him, not your gender.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Dave, a resident of Danville,
on Nov 14, 2016 at 10:47 am

American -

No one said anti-female. Appointing women or giving them jobs does not excuse sexual predation, assault, sexist comments, etc. it just doesn't. I wouldn't trust him around my teenage daughter -- this leering old peeping Tom who strides into the dressing rooms of teenage pageant contestants while they are in various stages of undress. Sick.

And the fact that the so-called religious right can excuse or overlook such behavior shows that they have no principles either.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by American, a resident of Danville,
on Nov 14, 2016 at 11:04 am

Good old "Dave", to use your standard, would you trust Bill Clinton around your teenage daughter? And Hillary, we know from that recorded interview she actually laughed about getting her client off after he raped a young teen girl and left her for dead. What about Anthony Weiner, do you feel good "Dave" about him maybe babysitting your daughter? Using your standard, "Dave", do you overlook your party's behavior?


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Dave, a resident of Danville,
on Nov 14, 2016 at 4:52 pm

The Hillary comment is a distortion and you know it (or should know it).

The difference between Democrats and Republicans is that Democrats acknowledge when one of their own has acted inappropriately. Most Dems condemned Bill for his behavior. Weiner, too.

Republicans first pretend to be "holier-than-thou" with their pronouncements about "family values", then deny their transgressions, then attack anyone who brings it up (because "God has forgiven them, why can't you?" -- as if that gives them a free pass), and then try to ride it out until they no longer can (Newt, Bob Livingston, Helen Chenoweth, Kevin McCarthy, etc.). Democrats don't say they are perfect. Republicans want to tell everyone else how to live while exempting themselves from those standards.


 +   19 people like this
Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Nov 17, 2016 at 3:34 pm

Judge William Pryor: PLEASE DO NOT SUPPORT THE ELECTION OF JUSTICE PRYOR TO SCOTUS.

THERE ARE CURRENTLY PHOTOS OF HIM ONLINE NUDE. yup...All you have to do is type in the name Judge William Pryor, nude photos and they pop up.

I'm not a prude, but I strongly believe that our country deserves the most qualified individuals. He may look cool on paper but if you check out his private life, it is FULL OF FILTH.

i rest my case...


 +   28 people like this
Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Nov 18, 2016 at 8:08 am

QUALIFICATIONS OF JUDGE WILLIAM PRYOR FOR SCOTUS:

Web Link

On the surface, Judge Pryor is clearly qualified. Even the article in the NYT about the 21 names put forth names him as highly qualified.

Should President Elect Trump nominate him, the details of who he is will be exposed.

His wife and 2 daughters will surely SUFFER when he is shown exposed.


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