Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Last Call For Shutdown All Around

With Congress back in session next week, zero spending bills passed, and one month to go before a federal government shutdown, the blame game is already beginning.

Who would you blame more for a government shutdown; the Republicans in Congress or Barack Obama and the Democrats in Congress?
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Reps in Congress     41%     9%    77%    37%    40%    42%    50%    37%
Obama/Dems in Congrs 33     65      6     32     33     33     29     35
BOTH EQUALLY(VOL)    17     18     10     21     18     16     15     18
DK/NA                 9      8      8     10      9      9      5     11
 
                     AGE IN YRS..............    WHITE.....
                     18-34  35-49  50-64  65+    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk    Hsp
 
Reps in Congress     46%    38%    43%    42%    35%    37%    36%    81%    39%
Obama/Dems in Congrs 25     30     36     39     37     39     38      4     29
BOTH EQUALLY(VOL)    20     23     13     10     20     15     17      8     23
DK/NA                 9      9      9      9      8      9      8      7      9
 

That makes sense, after all.  Hispanic voters and especially black voters blame the Republicans more (10 points and 77 points respectively).  College-educated Americans are also more likely to blame the GOP than the Dems (21 points) as are independents (5 points), Millenials (21 points) and Gen Xers (8 points).

In fact the only groups that blame Obama more are white voters and Republicans.

Gen Xers and Hispanic voters however are the most likely to blame both sides.  Hey, we remember the Clinton-era shutdown and the complete failure on immigration reform...wait, aren't those Republican problems too?

Go figure.

Bevin Bets Big On Bigotry

With two months to go before the election for governor here in Kentucky, Republican Matt Bevin has just thrown in his lot with Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis and the wrong side of history.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Matt Bevin rushed to defend Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis after she again refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples Tuesday morning. 
Bevin also scolded Democratic opponent, Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway, for failing to stand by the religious liberties of county clerks who oppose the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling legalizing same-sex marriage. 
“Jack Conway has failed to do his job as attorney general by refusing to defend Kentucky’s marriage amendment, and he is failing to defend the religious freedom of our Kentucky clerks,” Bevin said in a statement. 
The comments come amid an intense standoff at Davis's office where a gay couple sought to obtain a marriage license after the High Court rejected her last-ditch effort for a stay Monday. After a heated exchange between Davis and the couple, their attorneys filed a motion to find Davis in contempt of court for refusing to issue them a marriage license. 
In response, the Bevin campaign sought to tie Conway — who refused to appeal the initial federal ruling against the state's same-sex marriage ban last year — to the controversy in a series of Tweets. Bevin's campaign said the Democrat is refusing to defend the First Amendment rights of county clerks. 
"As attorney general, it's Jack Conway's job to defend the Constitutional rights of all Kentuckians, including county clerks," Bevin's Twitter account said.

I swear, for a while there I was afraid Matt Bevin wasn't this much of a moron.  He might actually find a way to lose this thing now.  If he had just said that this was a matter "for the courts" or "for the legislature" to deal with he could have gotten away with it.  It wouldn't be up to Bevin anyway to impeach and remove Davis from her office, and he doesn't make federal court decisions.

But by coming out squarely in the defense of an anti-gay bigot, Bevin has nowhere to hide now.  As Governor he'd be a national embarrassment to the Commonwealth, as it is we Kentuckians look like backwater hicks most of the time.

If Jack Conway can't find a way to bloody Bevin's nose over this and severely damage his campaign, then he's too incompetent for the job in Frankfort anyway.

Packaged For Consumption

Donald Trump is winning among Republicans because he's outright saying what the GOP has been dancing around: the "50-State Southern Strategy" has made it acceptable to spew outright racism to win Republican votes, and those falling behind in the crowded field of professional race-baiters have to give ever more ridiculous rhetoric to try to stay in the race.

Today's example is Chris Christie, all but given up for dead at this point, suggesting we "track" undocumented documents like FedEx packages.  And lest you think that I'm engaging in hyperbole, this is Christie's actual idea.

"I'm going to have Fred Smith, the founder of FedEx, come work for the government for three months. Just come for three months to Immigration and Customs Enforcement and show these people," the New Jersey governor said at a town hall event here.

Christie added that while FedEx can track boxes, the U.S. can't track undocumented immigrants.

"You go online and at any moment, FedEx can tell you where that package is," he said. "Yet we let people come into this country with visas, and the minute they come in, we lose track of them."

Christie added, "We need to have a system that tracks you from the moment you come in and then when your time is up," he said. "However long your visa is, then we go get you and tap you on the shoulder and say, 'Excuse me, it's time to go.'"

Perhaps we can track them with RFID chips.  Or satellites.  Or go old school and use tattoos and yellow stars to signify their status.

Smith is the father of Samantha Smith, a Christie spokeswoman.

Christie added that conversations about "anchor babies" make the Republican Party look unfairly hostile to immigrants.

"The entire conversation about 'anchor babies' is a distraction that makes us sound like we're anti-immigrant, and we're not," he said. "Our party is not that way. We want people to do it legally. Do it the right way."

We don't mind the "good ones".  But the rest are those people, and we have to dispose of them, you see.  Just tap them on the shoulder and round them up.  You know, I think a European guy had a pretty similar idea about 75 years ago about another group of people.

Didn't work out so well, if I recall my history.

Republicans are pretty bad at that whole history thing, however.

Exit question: What do privacy advocates have to say about this, especially the ones on the right?

Exit question #2:  How well is that particular thought of marking a group of people for later removal playing in Christie's home state of New Jersey?

Final exit question: How long before the rest of the GOP advocates this?

StupidiNews!

Monday, August 31, 2015

Last Call For An Historic Mountain Of Trouble

President Obama is doing the right thing here, and the GOP is sure to show their true colors over him backing Alaska's bid to finally rename Mt. McKinley to Denali.

President Obama on Monday will announce a plan to rename Alaska’s Mount McKinley to Denali, the name that nearby natives have long used.By taking action to officially name the 20,000-foot peak Denali, Obama will take the Alaskan Natives side in a dispute that has stretched on for more than a century.

“Generally believed to be central to the Athabascan creation story, Denali is a site of significant cultural importance to many Alaska Natives,” the White House said in a Sunday fact sheet. “The name ‘Denali’ has been used for many years and is widely used across the state today.”

Alaska first formally requested the change in 1975.

It has often been a bipartisan legislative priority among Alaska’s congressional delegation to rename the mountain. Lisa Murkowski (R), the state’s senior senator and chairwoman of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, which is responsible for the matter, has sponsored legislation in every session of Congress to do so since taking her seat.

At a hearing about the Denali bill in June, Murkowski said renaming the mountain “seems a fitting gesture and an appropriate way to honor the culture and history of Alaska Natives.”

“There is no need for this name confusion and controversy to continue,” she said.

He has the backing of both GOP senators in Alaska.  And again, this is something that the state of Alaska has been trying to get done for 40 years now, it's nothing new.

But Republicans in Ohio, where President McKinley was from, aren't going to stand for this of course.

"There is a reason President McKinley's name has served atop the highest peak in North America for more than 100 years, and that is because it is a testament to his great legacy," Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said in a statement issued Sunday night.

"I'm deeply disappointed in this decision," Boehner said after noting that McKinley served in the Army during the Civil War before representing Ohio in Congress and as governor. 
Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) said in a statement posted to social media that he was similarly "disappointed" in the decision to rename the mountain long named after "a proud Ohioan." 
"The naming of the mountain has been a topic of discussion in Congress for many years. This decision by the Administration is yet another example of the President going around Congress," Portman said. 
"I now urge the Administration to work with me to find alternative ways to preserve McKinley's legacy somewhere else in the national park that once bore his name," Portman added. 
"This political stunt is insulting to all Ohioans, and I will be working with the House Committee on Natural Resources to determine what can be done to prevent this action," Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio)said in a statement.

But it's going to be a fight, and we all know the GOP can't resist picking a fight with the President.  Dayton Rep. Mike Turner is ready to lead the charge.

"The Ohio delegation certainly didn't hear about this from the president," he said. "I’m certain he didn’t notify President McKinley’s descendants, who find this outrageous. Clearly this is a president who is not concerned with the deliberative process."

Turner would correct that by any means necessary. "William McKinley was assassinated in September 1901," he said. "We have an anniversary coming up when Congress returns from the recess. At that time I plan to go to the House floor to commemorate our assassinated president, and to begin part of the congressional effort for legislative action."

That could take many forms. Turner was ready to craft a 'sense of Congress' resolution, to write a standalone bill, to attach the un-re-naming of Denali to must-pass legislation. Asked if he would ask the House to pursue legal action over the president's move, he did not say no.

"There are a number of avenues, all of which can be pursued," he said. "The question is whether the president even has the authority to do this."

There is also the little matter of the fact that Alaska's native peoples have been asking for this for four decades, and until now, nobody's really paid attention other than President Obama.  Ohio has more electoral votes than Alaska, you see, and is far more important politically.

But as I said earlier, President Obama did the right thing here.  With Denali being in a national park, and the Secretary of the Interior having pretty clear jurisdiction over geographical names by federal law, I'm pretty sure there's nothing Orange Julius and his crew can do.

Well, short of the next Republican president naming it back.  Go for it, Ohio Republicans.

All Demagogues Matter

Glenn Beck reportedly drew 20,000 for his "All Lives Matter" rally in Alabama on Sunday, proving once again that whenever the black community says something, we have to be corrected by a "concerned" white guy.

Led by conservative activist and talk show host Glenn Beck, more than 20,000 people chanting "All Lives Matter" marched the historic civil rights route from Kelly Ingram Park to Birmingham City Hall this morning.

"It's about taking our church out in the streets," Beck said. He said marchers came from as far away as China, Dubai and the Netherlands.

Actor Chuck Norris, a conservative activist known for his martial arts, action movies and TV show "Walker, Texas Ranger," marched about two rows behind Beck. Alveda King, a niece of civil rights activist the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., marched in the front row. Bishop Jim Lowe, pastor of the predominantly black Guiding Light Church in Birmingham, co-organized the march with Beck and marched with him at the front. As a child, Lowe attended Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, where the march started, a headquarters church for the civil rights movement in Birmingham. Lowe and his sisters were in the church when a KKK bomb blew up the church and killed four little girls on Sept. 15, 1963.

"Love is the answer," Lowe said as he marched. "God is the answer."

Some Birmingham police officers said the crowd could have been as large as 25,000 to 30,000. It may have been the largest march in Birmingham since the civil rights marches of 1963.

It's a march for white people to tell black people what they are doing wrong, which is apparently not trusting white people enough.  By the way, Glenn Beck really cares about the black community.

The march was part of Beck's "Never Again is Now" campaign to raise awareness and funds to aid persecuted Christians in the Middle East.

Not so much us black people being killed in the US.  They're Christian too, but hey, why would Beck raise funds and awareness for us?

Wearing a Yankees cap, Steve Titus of Chicago, 63, and his wife, Terri, 62, wore red, white and blue clothing.

"As chaotic as our country is right now, the history of this city will help us to unify, racially and spiritually," Titus said. "It's really in the spirit and words of Martin Luther King Jr."

"The United States has really become divided," Terri Titus said. "We want life for everybody. How does it feel to have a movement start in your town? It's happened again."

Yay white people co-opting the black civil rights struggle for their own purposes, with Beck replacing King.  I'll tell you what, this is some prime BS right here.

And it's only going to get worse.

A Tale Of Two Cincies

The Urban League of Southwestern Ohio's latest "State of Black Cincinnati" report is out today, and the numbers are very grim.  Twenty years after the Urban League first looked at it, The Queen City remains one of the most shockingly unequal places in the US to live if you're black and economically things have only gotten worse.

The numbers speak for themselves. 
In 1995, 15.8 percent of blacks living in Greater Cincinnati were unemployed. That number is now around 17.1 percent. 
The poverty rate for blacks has also headed in the wrong direction – 34 percent to 35.7 percent today. 
When it comes to median household income in the region, blacks earned 49 cents for every dollar white households earned in 1995. Today that figure is worse: just 42 cents for every dollar
To underscore the impact on the local economy, consider this: If incomes for blacks had just kept pace with inflation, an additional $200 million in earnings would be available for families, an Enquirer analysis shows. If incomes doubled compared to 20 years ago, local black families would have nearly $2 billion in additional income. 
That “missing” money could have been invested or used to buy homes. It could have been spent at stores to support local jobs. It could have helped build the region’s tax base. 
And that’s just looking at one issue covered in a new report that paints a picture of stunning disparities in Greater Cincinnati from outcomes in the criminal justice system to child poverty. 
The Urban League of Greater Southwestern Ohio’s 164-page report, to be released Monday, echoes a State of Black Cincinnati report that the Avondale-based nonprofit organization released 20 years ago. 
There have been two decades of discussions, well-intended programs and energy spent trying to fix the problems. Donna Jones Baker, president and CEO of the local Urban League, wonders “why are we still asking the same questions and why are we getting the same answers?

The Clinton and Bush era economic booms passed Black Cincinnati by.  When the economy crapped out in 2008, it never recovered.  The figures are heartbreaking: three out of four black children under six live in a family below the poverty line.  Three out of four.  This, despite the fact that half of Cincinnati's population is black.  Life expectancy here a full ten years less for black men than white men.  Ten full years.

But of Greater Cincinnati's more than two million residents, only 12% are black.  I know I talk about the streetcar and Mayor Cranley and the recent Sam DuBose shooting case on this blog, but even I was unaware that things were actually considerably worse than 20 years ago, although it's not surprising.  But it sure seems like that Cincinnati's growth and success, part of the reason I moved here, passed a lot of people by.

That's got to change.


StupidiNews!

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Last Call For Lies, Dirty Lies, And Cheney Lies

If there's one person who lacks any and all reliability and credibility on US foreign policy matters, it's former Vice President Dick Cheney, who is desperately trying to remain relevant by directly attacking President Obama's nuclear deal on Iran.

Former Vice President Dick Cheney and his daughter Liz Cheney launched a broad attack against President Barack Obama's foreign policy in an excerpt of a forthcoming book that was published in The Wall Street Journal on Friday.

Both Cheneys accused Obama of lying about the Iran nuclear deal and said that the agreement would lead to the first use of a nuclear weapon since 1945.

"Nearly everything the president has told us about his Iranian agreement is false. He has said it will prevent the Iranians from acquiring nuclear weapons, but it will actually facilitate and legitimize an Iranian nuclear arsenal," they wrote. "The Obama agreement will lead to a nuclear-armed Iran, a nuclear-arms race in the Middle East and, more than likely, the first use of a nuclear weapon since Hiroshima and Nagasaki."

The Obama administration has aggressively defended the deal, saying that it cuts off all pathways to a nuclear bomb. Secretary of State John Kerry has said that a better deal simply does not exist.

The Cheneys also blamed the rise of terrorist groups like ISIS on the withdrawal of American troops from Iraq in 2011 -- a talking point that Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bushhas also used.

"He has abandoned Iraq, leaving a vacuum that is being tragically and ominously filled by our enemies. He is on course to forsake Afghanistan as well," the Cheneys wrote.

This would be laughable if this wasn't the same line of "mushroom cloud" garbage that was fed to the American people about Iraq, which caused us to invade and cost trillions of dollars, tens of thousands of civilian lives, and thousands of American soldiers.  Now he's saying the same thing about Iran.  The guy should be laughed out of the room.

Instead he's in the Wall Street Journal and on a book tour.

Amazing.  Even with the hindsight of the Iraq disaster, he's still out there pitching the same outright lies and of all things, accusing the President of misleading the American people.  This guy.

Why isn't he in prison?

I know, I know, Obama said we need to look forward.  But this is one time I wish the guy would have been vindictive as hell and put him and his boss in the slammer.

It's A Movement, Alright

Donald Trump is winning the Mad As Hell White Guy vote by pretty large margins.  Things went pretty well for middle-class white guys eight years ago, and an America where the rest of us are starting the catch up scares the hell out of them.

No wonder they're flocking to the GOP id.

Campaigning in Nashville, Tennessee, Trump on Saturday paid homage to his supporters — claiming they are a part of “a movement” and using colorful language to beg for their support.

“This is a movement,” said Trump, who often speaks about himself in campaign appearances. “I don’t want it to be about me. This is about common sense. It’s about doing the right thing.”

Trump also paid tribute to his setting, a country music hotbed and insisted there needed to be a greater emphasis on "law and order." And, as has become customary, he took shots at Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor who is a rival for the Republican nomination.

Beyond the bragging, Trump’s appearance represented something more tangible: evidence of a campaign that has grown more tactically serious as it wears on.

His speech — full, as ever, with a mix of taunts and asides — was in front of the Presidential Presence Convention of the National Federation of Republican Assemblies. The group that describes itself as “a grassroots movement of Republicans that seeks to restore the conservative principles of the Goldwater / Reagan Republicans.”

And those tactics are as old as time.  Blame those people for everything.

Mixed in with Trump’s talk of a “silent majority” was a call for “law and order.” He decried the rioting that took place in Baltimore in April in response to the death of a young black man in police custody.

“The police were not allowed to protect people,” said Trump. “We have to be tough. We have to be smart … I know cities where police are afraid to even talk to people.”

Trump said he has seen policing-related incidents that are “disgusting” and “horrible,” an apparent reference to the deaths of unarmed black Americans at the hands of police officers that have received significant attention over the last year. 
But he said that “99.9 percent” of what police do is good. “The problem is the good work doesn’t get shown on television,” he said.

And blame the media for giving those people a voice.

No Trump campaign stop is complete without a few shots at the media. At one point, as Trump was criticizing CNN’s coverage of a fundraiser he held on Friday — “We had this incredible event and they destroyed it,” he said — a supporter got his attention by shouting about “the criminal media.”

Trump used it as an opportunity to again emphasize the importance of his supporters. He attributed his continued lead in Republican primary polls to the intelligence of his supporters.

The reason is people in this country are smart. They don’t believe a lot of what they see in the media.”

Everybody's your enemy except for you and me friends, so what are you going to help me do to them in the elections, so we can put those people in their place?

Who do you trust?  Those people or the billionaire that you so desperately want to be?

He's the perfect Republican candidate for 2015 and his path to win is pretty clear.  Romney got 59% of the white vote in 2012 and lost.  At 61% he would have been a lot more competitive.  At 63% he would have won the popular vote but lost the electoral college. At 65% he would have been president, and that margin only was necessary because of record turnout among black voters.

The odds of Trump getting that percentage overall is extremely low.

But if he gets it, he wins.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz Needs To Go

Yesterday I asked how Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz remained in charge of the DNC after making it pretty clear her loyalties were to Hillary Clinton and losing House seats stupidly.  Today I'm convinced more than ever that it's time for her to resign as chair of the DNC if this is true.

Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz prevented consideration of a resolution at the party’s summer meeting here that praised President Obama and offered backing for the nuclear agreement with Iran, according to knowledgeable Democrats.

The resolution was drafted with the intention of putting the national committee on record in support of the agreement as Congress prepares to take up the issue when members return from their August recess.

As a fallback, James Zogby, the co-chair of the Resolutions Committee, led a move to prepare a letter of support for the president and the Iran agreement that eventually gained signatures from a sizable majority of the members of the national committee. Zogby said Saturday that, in the end, this produced a satisfactory outcome.

“We wanted to show support for the president,” he said. “We found that the best way to show support was a letter that members would sign on to, and the overwhelming majority of DNC members signed onto the letter. This is the President Obama we elected in 2008 who said, ‘I choose diplomacy over conflict,’ and he did it.”

A party spokeswoman and said procedural issues prevented the proposed resolution from being considered. She did not directly address Wasserman Schultz’s role in the decision-making. Other Democrats said that it was congresswoman’s direct opposition that blocked its consideration.

Schultz has been an unmitigated disaster as DNC chair, with the Democrats losing the House and Senate under her tenure and giving Republicans that largest margin in the House in three generations. Now she sandbags the President on Iran?

Unacceptable.  She's clearly more afraid of AIPAC than Democrats, and that alone is a serious problem.  But when that turns into direct action against the President of her own party and his signature foreign policy achievment, she can't be shown the door quickly enough.

I'm tired of her losing.  I'm tired of her running against Barack Obama and losing to Tea Party Republicans.  I'm tired of her idiocy.

She needs to go.

Sunday Long Read: Structured To Deceive

Just in case you still had belief in humanity, Washington Post reporter Terrence McCoy brings us this story of how the structured settlement industry has been ripping off inner-city Baltimore black families over lead poisoning insurance payments.

The letter arrived in April last year, a mishmash of strange numbers and words. This at first did not alarm Rose. Most letters are that way for her — frustrating puzzles she can’t solve. Rose, who can scarcely read or write, calls herself a “lead kid.” Her childhood home, where lead paint chips blanketed her bedsheets like snowflakes, “affected me really bad,” she says. “In everything I do.” 
She says she can’t work a professional job. She can’t live alone. And, she says, she surely couldn’t understand this letter. 
So on that April day, the 20-year-old says she asked her mom to give it a look. Her mother glanced at the words, then back at her daughter. “What does this mean all of your payments were sold to a third party?” her mother recalls saying. 
The distraught woman said the letter, written by her insurance company, referred to Rose’s lead checks. The family had settled a lead-paint lawsuit against one Baltimore slumlord in 2007, granting Rose a monthly check of nearly $1,000, with yearly increases. Those payments were guaranteed for 35 years. 
“It’s been sold?” Rose asked, memories soon flashing. 
She remembered a nice, white man. He had called her one day on the telephone months after she’d squeaked through high school with a “one-point something” grade-point average. His name was Brendan, though she said he never mentioned his last name. He told her she could make some fast money. He told her he worked for a local company named Access Funding. He talked to her as a friend. 
Rose, who court records say suffers from “irreversible brain damage,” didn’t have a lot of friends. She didn’t trust many people. Growing up off North Avenue in West Baltimore, she said she’s seen people killed. 
But Brendan was different. He bought her a fancy meal at Longhorn Steakhouse, she said, and guaranteed a vacation for the family. He seemed like a gentleman, someone she said she could trust . 
One day soon after, a notary arrived at her house and slid her a 12-page “purchase” agreement. Rose was alone. But she wasn’t worried. She said she spoke to a lawyer named Charles E. Smith on the phone about the contract. She felt confident in what it stated. She was selling some checks in the distant future for some quick money, right? 
The reality, however, was substantially different. Rose sold everything to Access Funding — 420 monthly lead checks between 2017 and 2052. They amounted to a total of nearly $574,000 and had a present value of roughly $338,000. 
In return, Access Funding paid her less than $63,000.

It's bad enough that a generation of poor black kids grew up in the Baltimore projects with lead paint and brain damage.  It's bad enough that these were the poorest parts of a city crushed by crime and poverty.  No, we have people whose job it is to talk people like Rose out of hundreds of thousands of dollars in restitution in order to profit off of such horrendous misery, and the fact is it's all perfectly legal.

Because you can't be just poor and black and screwed for the rest of your life because of lead paint chips, you have to be preyed upon as well.

America is beyond awful sometimes.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Last Call For Bushwhacked On The Campaign Trail


There's another sign — if you needed one — that Jeb Bush is sucking wind in the Republican primary: Three top fundraisers from Bush's home base of Florida have left the campaign.

The particulars of the split are up for debate, according to Politico's Alex Isenstadt and Marc Caputo, who broke the news. But regardless of the proximate cause, it's a big deal because it suggests two larger issues for Bush's campaign: He's dug a big hole and there's concern in his own camp that he won't be able to dig his way out.

It also comes less than three months after Bush shook up his staff and installed Danny Diaz, a veteran Washington operative, as campaign manager.

In the last public national poll, conducted by Quinnipiac, Bush was tied for third place, behind Donald Trump and Ben Carson, at 7 percent. Ironically, fundraising prowess has been Bush's calling card in a campaign that was supposed to blow his rivals out of the water. Even Mitt Romney, who had to fend off a rotating set of ill-fated front-runners like Newt Gingrich and Herman Cain, enjoyed a pretty steady rise in polling. Not Bush.

The three fundraising aides left after clashing with national campaign staff, Politico reported, and it's not clear whether they will continue to have a role with Bush's Right to Rise super PAC. But what is clear is this: It's rare for three high-profile staffers to bolt a campaign they see as likely to land the candidate in the White House, and it's equally rare for a winning campaign to shed three high-profile aides.

Especially since Jeb!'s super power is superior fundraising and a war chest that dominates his foes, to see three fundraisers leave the campaign is a massive (one might even say "yooooge") admission that money isn't going to save him.

And if money can't save him, then he's got...what, exactly?

Trump continues to roll and roil over his opponents.  He's the monster unleashed and the normal rules simply don't apply anymore.

The person that hurts the most of course is Jebby.

I don't think Bush is going anywhere and will stay in the race, that's something his money does afford him.  But he's polling in single digits. like a giant loser.  And nobody likes a loser.

From The Delta To The DNC

Both Bernie Sanders and Martin O'Malley are furious at DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, accusing her of rigging the limited number of Democratic party primaries in order to give non-Clinton candidates as little national exposure as possible.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) believes the Democratic Party is using its limited primary debate schedule to rig the nomination process.

“I do,” Sanders reportedly responded when asked Friday whether he agrees with former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley’s assertion that the debate system is “rigged.”

The two Democratic presidential candidates were speaking at the summer meeting of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) in Minneapolis on Friday.

“This sort of rigged process has never been attempted before,” O’Malley said in his speech earlier Friday.

The DNC has drawn criticism for scheduling only four debates before the early-primary states cast their votes, and six total throughout the election cycle.

DNC spokeswoman Holly Shulman defended the schedule, saying it will “give plenty of opportunity for the candidates to be seen side-by-side.”

“I’m sure there will be lots of other forums for the candidates to make their case to voters, and that they will make the most out of every opportunity,” Shulman said in a statement, according to The Washington Post.

On one hand, Sanders and O'Malley have a point.  The DNC is certainly doing everything it can to hold a grand coronation for Hillary.  On the other hand, Democrats have already started tuning out politics even more (2014 turnout, anyone?) and the infighting is already tiresome even 15 months before the election.

No real good answer here, frankly.  The Democrats do need a solid debate about issues and carrying on President Obama's legacy (the overwhelmingly positive parts, not so much the lousy ones) but I don't think "more debates" is automatically the answer.

We'll see.

PS, how the hell is DWS still in charge of the DNC?

Wild, Wasted West Virginia

A bit of a Sunday Long Read on Saturday, but an excellent story nonetheless from HuffPo's Mariah Blake on what DuPont has done to the town of Parkersburg, West Virginia, and it isn't a pretty sight. People like Joe and Darlene Kiger have been fighting the chemical plant giant for decades over health issues and birth defects that DuPont's factory in Parkersburg created, and despite winning a lawsuit against the company, the cleanup may never actually happen.


When I met Joe and Darlene Kiger this summer, Joe was carrying the bulging satchel of C8 papers that he refers to as his “Bible.” He takes it everywhere, even on family vacations. Because, despite winning a historic lawsuit against formidable odds, the fight is far from over. These days, Joe is pouring his energies into a new organization, Keep Your Promises, which aims to ensure that DuPont fulfills its obligations to the local community. It is proving to be a daunting mission.

Under the class-action settlement, DuPont was required to pay for a medical monitoring program to regularly screen locals for the conditions that the science panel linked to C8. The plaintiff’s attorneys wanted Brookmar to administer this program. Instead, DuPont maneuvered to have it run by Michael Rozen, then a partner at the New York law firm Feinberg Rozen, which administered the fund to settle claims arising from BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Multiple Gulf Coast residents have sued Feinberg Rozen, accusing it of delaying payment for as long as possible and then offering financially desperate claimants a fraction of the money they were entitled to. 
Kiger and others believe that Rozen is deploying a similar strategy in his work for DuPont. Rozen kicked off the monitoring program with two town hall meetings at 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. on a Friday, when many people in this blue-collar community were working. Residents also say that enrollment packets are unnecessarily complicated, and that people who do manage to enroll are sometimes billed for testing that DuPont is supposed to cover. So far, few people have taken part. As of January 2015, DuPont had paid Feinberg Rozen about $9 million to administer the program, but only $50,000 had been spent on medical claims. 
Brooks believes DuPont wants the program to fail. “They poisoned the world,” he says. “A successful medical monitoring program would give us much better data on the links between this chemical and various diseases, and DuPont would have so much liability that it couldn’t possibly compensate everyone.” 
Rozen bristles at these allegations, and says that he has done his best to encourage participation. He also stresses that some of the plaintiffs have died or moved away in the decade since the settlement was reached. “The benefit that is being provided to the class is exactly what was prescribed and then some, by the parties themselves in their negotiated settlement,” he told me. 
Meanwhile, this past July, DuPont spun off its specialty chemicals division into a separate company called Chemours. The new enterprise will assume the liability for DuPont’s most polluted sites, including Washington Works—but it will only have one-quarter of DuPont’s revenue. Many people with cases pending against DuPont worry that it will use this arrangement to avoid paying damages or, at the very least, stall any resulting payouts. “I’m sure part of their theory is the longer they delay, the more people will die,” said Deitzler, the Parkersburg-based lawyer. “It’s already worked. Before we could even file cases, many of the people who’ve been affected passed on.”

And DuPont is basically going to get away with it.  Parkersburg is still a toxic mess.  And the people whose lives were ruined will almost certainly never see justice.
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