Thursday, January 11, 2018

Last Call For The Blue Wave Rises, Con't

For Dems to take back the House in November, the time is now to put candidates in all 435 House districts and line up challenges to run against incumbent Republicans and for open seats, especially in winnable purple suburban districts.  One of those disctricts is OH-1, right here in Cincy, and GOP Rep. Steve Chabot may have finally drawn a considerable Democratic challenger in Aftab Pureval.

Washington Democrats could be close to landing their big-time candidate to take on Congressman Steve Chabot this fall. 
Hamilton County Clerk of Courts Aftab Pureval is giving serious consideration to challenging Westwood's Chabot in the 1st Congressional District, Politics Extra has learned. 
A spokeswoman for Pureval's campaign confirmed he is being recruited, but declined further comment.

"I think he's our strongest candidate," Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley said. "He's the right kind of moderate that I think fits the district and can help move the political center of gravity back to the middle from its right-wing trajectory in Washington." 
Pureval was in Washington last week to meet with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which so far has struck out in its aggressive months-long effort to find someone to run in the red-leaning district. The DCCC began courting Pureval last spring, just months after he started his first job in public office. 
Washington Democrats also have recruited Cincinnati City Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld and Hamilton County Commissioner Todd Portune, but both have taken a pass. State Rep. Alicia Reece has considered a run against Chabot, who is seeking a 12th term.

Pureval is a good guy as far as I can tell.  I was worried about Chabot once Sittenfeld and then Portune balked, but Pureval can win this. Right now the leading Dem in the race is Robert Barr, long time Congregation Beth Adam rabbi here in Cincy and he's got a fair chance of winning, but he has no political experience, whereas Pureval is County Clerk.

Still, either Pureval or Barr would be a welcome change from the awful Chabot, who has been John Boehner's local hatchetman in Ohio for decades.

We'll see, but with both Pureval and Barr now in the race, I'm feeling really good about taking down Chabot once and for all.

Trump Gets The Coaled Shoulder

Trump Energy Secretary Rick Perry's big plan to save the coal industry has been completely wrecked by Trump's own appointees to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, who unanimously voted to scrap the Trump regime's plan to require states to use more "reliable" coal and nuclear power (and to stockpile coal and nuclear fuel as a "national security issue") over "unreliable" wind and solar.

As proposed, the rule aimed to improve the resilience and stability of the electrical grid. Citing some electricity problems that struck during the “polar vortex”-induced cold snap of 2014, Secretary of Energy Rick Perry proposed that utility companies should pay coal and nuclear plants to keep weeks of extra fuel on hand.

The Department of Energy, which Perry leads, doesn’t have the power to force utilities to follow such a rule itself. But the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC, is charged by Congress with regulating interstate electricity sales and some power utilities. Perry asked FERC’s five commissioners to adopt his proposed rule within 60 days.

The plan was always controversial. Critics argued that Perry’s bailout would harm natural-gas plants, slow the growth of solar and wind energy, and introduce new and costly distortions to U.S. energy markets.

They also doubted the logic of the rule, saying that power plants rarely went down because they didn’t have enough fuel on hand. The Rhodium Group, an economics-research firm, found that only 0.00007 percent of U.S. power-outage hours between 2012 and 2016 were caused by a lack of available fuel.

Energy economists and environmental groups also maintained the rule would effectively subsidize carbon-dioxide pollution, which causes global warming. “Doing nothing [about climate change] is already not merited by economics,” Michael Greenstone, a professor of economics at the University of Chicago, said in October. “This is like doubling down.”

Worst of all, critics said, the plan would spike Americans’ electricity bills. The energy-consulting group ICF estimated that the rule would cost ratepayers an extra $800 million to $3.8 billion every year.

In a statement on Monday, FERC thanked Perry for his attention to grid resiliency and said it would continue to research and pay attention to the issue. But individual commissioners were more cutting in their replies.

“The proposed rule had little, if anything, to do with resilience, and was instead aimed at subsidizing certain uncompetitive electric generation technologies,” said Richard Glick, a Trump-appointed FERC commissioner, dubbing the plan “a multi-billion dollar bailout targeted at coal and nuclear generating facilities.”

He added that he was sympathetic to the plight of coal miners and nuclear workers, but that helping them was outside the agency’s legal power. “We have a history in this country of helping those who, through no fault of their own, have been adversely affected by technological and market change. But that is the responsibility of Congress and the state legislatures. It is not a role that the Federal Power Act provides to the commission,” he said.

So, if Trump wants to give King Coal a bailout, Republicans in Congress are going to have to do that. And raise power bills for Americans.  In an election year.

Good luck, guys.

The funny part is Trump is so incompetent, he can't even get his own cronies to approve his own quid pro quo plans to reward wealthy coal baron donors.  This should have been a slam dunk, as Trump has appointed four of the five commissioners on the FERC board, and all five of them said "This is stupid even for Trump".

I mean it's obviously the definition of crony capitalism here.  But it was so obvious that even Trump's own cronies wouldn't do it.

How pathetic is that?

Three People Outside Jefferson City, Missouri

I haven't had too much to say on the subject of Missouri's GOP Govenor, Eric Greitens, as he seemed slightly less awful than his fellow Republican Governors, but that bar is so low that apparently Greitens has walked straight into it.

Governor Eric Greitens on Wednesday night confirmed to News 4 he had an extramarital affair, an admission a months-long News 4 investigation prompted.

In a recording obtained by News 4, a woman says she had a sexual encounter with Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens and that he tried to blackmail her to keep the encounter quiet.

The details were provided to News 4 by the woman’s ex-husband, claiming the sexual relationship happened between his now ex-wife and Greitens in March 2015. News 4 is not naming the woman and she has not made an on-the-record comment about the story.

According to the ex-husband, the recording was made just days after Greitens’ and the woman’s first sexual encounter. And also that Greitens took a photograph during the encounter to use as “blackmail” according to the ex-husband.

During his campaign and while serving in his first year in office as Missouri’s Governor, Eric Greitens has billed himself a family man. During his campaign announcement, he stated: “I'm Eric Greitens, I'm a Navy SEAL, native Missourian and most importantly, a proud husband and father."

A contrast to the acts the woman accuses Greitens of committing on tape saying his actions were “horrible and disgusting.”

The ex-husband provided details to News 4 of what he claims was a sexual encounter between his now-ex-wife and Greitens back in March of 2015. News 4 has spoken to the woman's attorney who has stated: “No Comment.”

His now ex-wife wife didn't know he was recording their conversation as she confessed intimate details to him.

This is about as ugly as an affair gets, blackmail, recordings, and a politician that had possibly larger hopes than just the Governor's mansion.  What is it with conservative Republicans who are always screaming about "family values" and then blackmailing women over affairs?

It's depressing stuff.  He allegedly duct taped the woman to exercise equipment in his basement, blindfolded her, and then too a blackmail photo to assure her silence. I hope Greitens leaves office, if any of his "I was a Navy SEAL" honor is intact.

Which, well, he's a Republican politician, so no.


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