Friday, April 29, 2016

Last Call For Not Dodging A Bullet

Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley is actually pretty glad that the GOP told the Queen City to go to hell and picked Cleveland instead, considering what's coming with Trump and his "supporters" in July.

It was a sad day in May 2014 when Cincinnati leaders reluctantly withdrew their bid for the Republican National Convention after learning their facilities weren’t good enough. 
Hand-wringing soon followed over the outdated U.S. Bank Arena and lack of public transportation, which had cost the city a week-long event worth more than $200 million in direct spending. 
Now, two years later, some Cincinnatians are actually relieved the city lost the convention.

As Cleveland prepares to host the RNC in July amid threats of riots and concerns about delegate safety, many in Cincinnati’s political and business circles are quietly glad that they will not host what could be the most tumultuous convention in decades. 
“We’ve seen the violence at the Donald Trump rallies and I just think it’s probably best that it’s not coming here,” said Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley. 
Political conventions are usually tame events full of party pageantry and expensive dinners that bring an economic boom to host cities. 
Yet this year’s RNC could see a real floor fight between frontrunner Trump and those who want to deny him the nomination. If he doesn’t win it, Trump said in March that riots would follow.

It's beginning to sink in to Ohio voters how much of a disaster Trump is going to be, but it doesn't mean he can't still win the state, or the nation.  I don't think he will myself, but the other point is that the abstract "riots in Cleveland" because of the convention is going to affect real people, and it's not going to be Trump voters that are going to feel it when Cleveland PD breaks out the "urban pacification systems" on a hair trigger.

I understand why Mayor Cranley would be relived.  It doesn't mean Cuyahoga County isn't going to bleed.

Ed Man Walking

You guys didn't really think all these years that Ed Schultz really cared about anything other than his own wallet, did you?

Back when he hosted a prime-time talk show on MSNBC, Ed Schultz divided the world into heroes and villains. The heroes usually included Democrats like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. The villains were most Republicans, and especially Donald J. Trump. When Trump obsessed over Obama’s birth certificate and academic credentials in 2011, Schultz branded him “a racist.” When Trump flirted with running for president the next year, Schultz ridiculed him. “Who has shown any interest in Donald Trump being the next president of the United States other than Donald Trump?” he fumed. “Mr. Trump, stop embarrassing yourself!” 
Another bad guy was Russian President Vladimir Putin. Schultz delighted in ripping conservatives for what he called their “love affair” with the Russian leader and his ability to make Obama look weak on the world stage. “They hate Obama so much they will even embrace the head of the KGB ... ‘Putie’ is their new hero!” Schultz said in one 2013 segment. In another, he smugly reminded conservatives about Putin’s “nasty human rights record” and the way his “reckless behavior” was “crippling” Russia. More generally, Schultz often framed GOP opposition to Obama as “anti-American” or “unpatriotic.”

That was all before last July, when MSNBC abruptly canceled The Ed Show after a six-year run and dumped the 62-year-old prairie populist from the network. By the time Schultz resurfaced this January, he had been reincarnated in a very different journalistic form: as a prime-time host, reporter and political analyst for RT America, the U.S. branch of the global cable network formerly known as Russia Today, funded by the Russian government. 
Gone is the praise for Obama and Clinton. Gone, too, are the mocking references to “Putie.” And gone are the judgments about others’ patriotism. Schultz’s 8 p.m. RT show, The News with Ed Schultz, now features Putin-friendly discussions about the failings of U.S. policy in the Middle East, America’s “bloated” defense budget and the futility of NATO strategy. 
Even Trump is getting a new look from Schultz. Speaking at various points on RT in recent months, Schultz has said that Trump “has tapped into an anger among working people,” is “talking about things the people care about,” and even, as Schultz recently declared, that Trump “would easily be able to function” as president
Those are strange words coming from an ex-MSNBC liberal better known for casting Trump as a racist lout. But RT is a strange place. It styles itself as an edgy CNN or BBC, delivering unvarnished news and commentary with a mostly hip, young cast. But just under the surface is a bought-and-paid-for propaganda vehicle trying to nudge viewers toward Russia’s side of the story at a time when Moscow has increasingly become an international pariah, estranged from the West over its military aggression in Ukraine, Syria and elsewhere, its elites sanctioned and its economy struggling with isolation, decaying infrastructure and collapsing energy prices.

Yes, I know any article coming from Politico Magazine about the state of our political media is hysterical, but it doesn't mean that Schultz isn't the opportunistic, self-obsessed jackass that he always was, the same jackass who famously told liberal voters to stay home in 2010 because Obama had failed the country.

When somebody shows you who they really are, you should believe them.  And Ed Schultz going from happy liberal warrior to now taking Putin's paychecks is something you could have predicted six years ago.

After all, he still gets to trash Obama either way, and that's all that he waned to do in life.

How Bitter Will Bernie's End Be? Con't

The Sanders camp has finally moved to the acceptance stage of electoral grief and is now coming to the Clinton camp for negotiations for a unity ticket. Greg Sargent:

The signs are everywhere this morning: The Clinton and Sanders camps are now signaling how the Democratic primaries might wind down without too much noise, contentiousness, disruption, and anger. Could things still get very ugly? Yes. But at this point, that’s looking less likely than the alternative. 
In an interview with me, Rep. Keith Ellison, a top supporter of Bernie Sanders who is also the co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, suggested the Clinton camp had some work to do in order to appeal to Sanders’s supporters. But he also carefully noted that Sanders would not do anything to imperil the party unity that will be required to defeat Donald Trump. 
“Young people have a set of priorities that make them want to support Bernie Sanders,” Ellison said. “If hypothetically she wins the nomination, in order to get people to support Bernie, she’s going to have to carry the banner that Bernie carried in an overt way. She’s going to have to make it clear to people who support Bernie that she gets where he’s coming from.” 
But Ellison added: “Every Bernie supporter knows that this Supreme Court issue is looming. We’ll have party unity….everybody has a responsibility to make sure there will never be a President Trump. Bernie has been around a long time….he’s not going to hand this country over to Donald Trump.”

Bernie is a lot of things, but he's not stupid.  You don't survive Congress without being able to negotiate and compromise at some level.  It's what a lot of the Tea Party stalwarts are finding out the hard way in this election cycle.  Perform or be replaced by somebody who will.

Meanwhile, Politico reports that Sanders is increasingly focused on seeking influence over the party agenda as a way to wind things down. He’s hoping for signs of genuine commitment to priorities like debt free college and a $15 minimum wage, and to reforms to the nomination process that might maximize participation among the sort of young, unaffiliated Sanders voters who were excluded from the New York primary.
On the Clinton side, the Post reports that a top Clinton backer, Senator Dianne Feinstein, is now calling for both camps to “work together, across our party, to have a platform that represents the views of Democrats.” And:

In 2008, after the divisive primary season concluded, Feinstein opened her Washington manse to host a secret unity meeting between Obama and Clinton. She said she would reprise that role for Clinton and Sanders. “I’d be very happy to offer that,” Feinstein said.
The other day, another top Clinton backer, Senator Sherrod Brown — who has great credibility among economic progressives — also offered in an interview with me to take part in any negotiating efforts to unite the camps. He even suggested that Clinton “should work with him on the platform,” and offered some areas of common ground they could reach on financial reform (an area of real disagreement), such as how to toughen up Dodd-Frank’s requirements for big banks’ plans to wind down in a crisis.

Clinton, for her part, isn't stupid either.  Sanders has definitely pushed her platform to the left on a number of issues.  The trick here is to be as gracious as possible and to share the credit (if at times to even give the credit to Sanders) in order to unify the left.

Remember, she's been through this before from Sanders's perspective.  And she ended up Secretary of State as a result.

We'll see if Bernie is that clever, but he seems to have at least surrounded himself with competent surrogates at the top end, Sherrod Brown and Keith Ellison are pretty sharp and are used to doing heavy lifting on negotiating with other large egos.

That this was the plan has been apparent for a good six to eight weeks now, with the primary essentially being over back on March 15, if not March 1. Reconciliation and unity was always going to happen, because this is what adults do in a system that requires compromise and moving forward.

Hatchets get buried, guys.


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