I’ll be chuckling over this one for a while:
Black Democrats in Congress are sharply criticizing their party’s leadership for supporting efforts to overturn the GOP-drawn congressional map in Florida and cut into Republicans’ House majority.
Last week, Congressional Black Caucus Chairwoman Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio) sent a sharply worded letter to Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) complaining about the party’s support for a lawsuit that aims to throw out Florida’s congressional map — changes that could dismantle the gerrymandered seat of CBC member Corrine Brown.
“On behalf of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), I write to express our ongoing concern with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s (DCCC) support of lawsuits challenging the validity of minority Congressional districts,” Fudge wrote. “Per our prior discussion, we are extremely disturbed by the DCCC’s efforts to dismantle CBC districts in states that have historically proven to be difficult to elect minority members. Considering the history of discrimination through efforts such as gerrymandering, the recent actions reflect the discrimination of days past.”
On Friday, a Florida judge asked the Legislature to redraw the congressional map so that it conformed with the state’s constitution. He set a deadline for Aug. 15 so that the new map could be used for the 2014 election and left open the possibility that the election could be postponed to allow time for the new plan to be implemented.
Democratic-aligned groups, with funding from the National Democratic Redistricting Trust, have supported the lawsuit with an eye toward undoing a congressional map that is seen as GOP-friendly. But the CBC is unhappy because the judge has specifically pointed to Brown’s oddly shaped 5th District, which snakes from Jacksonville all the way down to Orlando, as a district that violated the state’s Fair Districts amendment.
OK. Let me break this down: Democrats, especially those in the South, have an – er, unsavory shall we say history on the issue of racism going waaaaaaaaay back. They’ve tried to make amends to it over the years, mostly by flipping the switch and (many times falsely) accusing their opponents of racism in an effort to scare voters. To a large degree, the despicable, desperate tactic worked. They often point to “gerrymandering” as a way Republican-dominated state legislatures demonstrate their alleged disdain and hatred for black people.
In this instance, the FL GOP drew up a revised Congressional map that a FL judge has asked them to redraw by the middle of this month. Naturally, the DCCC applauded the judge’s ruling because they believe it will give them an upcoming election advantage. But if the maps are redrawn the way the judge seems to think they should be, it could impact Corrine Brown’s seat which the CBC does not support. In effect, black Democrats here are saying that, though in the past redistricting has been used to “disenfranchise” black voters, in this situation it wasn’t. The (mostly white) members of the DCCC, on the other hand, are apparently willing to overlook at how this could negatively impact Congresswoman Brown because of the potential to pick up more desperately needed seats elsewhere.
You really can’t make this stuff up! #popcorn
I know 2016 Senate races are way off but this, my dear readers, is tantalizing for those of us whose top five Senate priorities include either politically neutralizing Reid or ousting him from office completely via the ballot box:
Gov. Brian Sandoval leads Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid by 10 percentage points in a hypothetical 2016 U.S. Senate matchup, according to a new poll that represents the first public release of results in this potential race.
The survey, conducted by Harper Polling earlier this week, also shows, as other surveys do, Sandoval cruising to re-election (56-34) over Bob Goodman. The robo-survey of 602 statewide voters has a margin of error of 4 percent.
Sandoval crushes Reid among independents, 65-28. Reid’s 55 percent unfavorable rating is all but fatal — you know, just as it was in 2010.
There is a lot of other data in the survey, which pollster Brock McCleary said he paid for himself, likely as an entree into Nevada to try to get business. The numbers, demographics (43-37 Dem/GOP, 53-47 female/male) generally look solid, although Sandoval’s unfavorable number (30 percent) seems a tad high (although possible). Harper is a former GOP operative on Capitol Hill, running the polling operation for the National Republican Congressional Committee.
Intriguing, to say the least, but as Andrew Johnson at National Review notes, Reid looked pretty vulnerable in 2010 but ended up winning by 6 points over GOP nominee Sharron Angle. So who knows?
No matter who the eventual nominee ends up being, look for Reid, a Senator since 1987, to play all his usual dirty tricks and pull out all the stops, maneuvering the state political system to suit his own ends. Typical of a paranoid entrenched liberal politico who can’t win the conventional way, you know, by earning (rather than BUYING) votes.
**Posted by Phineas
Federal senators deal with issues of national and international importance, including matters of war and peace, and overall national security. You would think, then, that someone wishing to ascend to the Senate would at least know the basics about a game-changing weapon wielded by one of our key allies, who happens to be in a shooting war.
That is, until you meet Kentucky Democrat Allison Lundergan Grimes:
As foreign policy inches its way into a debate that has largely focused on the economy, Grimes was asked about congressional efforts to aid Israel’s missile defense system, known as the Iron Dome.
“Obviously, Israel is one of our strongest allies in the Middle East, and she has the right to defend herself,” Grimes said. “But the loss of life, especially the innocent civilians in Gaza, is a tragedy. The Iron Dome has been a big reason why Israel has been able to withstand the terrorists that have tried to tunnel their way in.
Iron Dome — as normal, intelligent folks such as you, Dear Readers, can probably tell without needing the above highlighting — is a missile-defense system. It is designed to shoot down things flying through the air: incoming tactical rockets with only minutes or seconds to spare, and it does an amazingly good job at it. One thing it does not do is stop things tunneling under the ground, jihadis or even gophers.
Someone should explain these tricky technical details to Ms. Grimes.
Grimes is hoping to defeat Mitch McConnell and capture his seat for the Democrats, and it’s a tight race. While McConnell hasn’t been one of my favorite senators, he also doesn’t give me the gas that he gives many of my fellow Righties. Regardless of one’s opinion of him, though, I think we can agree that it’s important that his seat be kept in Republican hands, for the Republic.
Even against a defense wiz like Allison Lundergan Grimes.
via Jim Geraghty
(Crossposted at Public Secrets)
Liberal darling and free-birth-control advocate Sandra Fluke is her own biggest donor in her state Senate race, according to official California campaign finance reports.
Fluke donated $12,000 to her campaign and $4,826.27 in non-monetary contributions. While $16,826.27 may not sound like a lot, Fluke also loaned her campaign $100,000.
Where does a 2012 law school grad working as a social justice attorney get a loan that size? Her campaign never responded to a Washington Examiner inquiry, so we’re left to speculate.
Perhaps the loan was in part secured by the family of Fluke’s husband, Adam Mutterperl. In 2012, Fluke married Mutterperl, an amateur stand-up comic and son of big-time Democratic donor William Mutterperl.
And wouldn’t you know it, the Mutterperls have donated quite a bit to Fluke’s campaign. William and Nancy Mutterperl have each donated $8,200 to Fluke’s campaign. Adam has given a bit less – $4,100.
As a family, the Mutterperls have given Fluke $20,500. Fluke’s own family has donated $9,600 to her campaign (her mother gave one donation as Betty and one as Elizabeth).
While it’s not unusual for family members to donate to a campaign (it would be far more telling if they didn’t give), the fact that the donations, along with Fluke’s loan, accounts for 33 percent of Fluke’s fundraising is notable.
Well – um, if she doesn’t win that Senate seat, at least we know she can now afford birth control …
LOL – talk about trying to distance yourself as far from our celebrity Prez as possible! Via The Hill:
West Virginia Democratic Senate candidate Natalie Tennant declined to say Tuesday whether she supports President Obama.
Asked if she would still campaign for the president, Tennant said, “I’m not sure I’d be,” before adding, “And he’s not on the ballot.”
Pressed on the issue, she said, “This is about me and Shelly Moore Capito and about West Virginia, because I don’t answer to the president.”
Tennant has distanced herself from Obama, who is not popular in West Virginia. She has particularly played up her disagreement with the president on coal, launching an ad this week, where she flips a switch turning lights off on the White House to protest its coal policies.
Tennant, West Virginia’s Secretary of State, is not unlike Rep. Nick Rahall (D-WV), who also is trying his best to make himself into the more “anti-Obama” candidate than his GOP opponent – WV state Sen. Evan Jenkins. Rahall was quoted earlier this year as saying, “I probably have supported George Bush more than I have Barack Obama.”
Tennant has made waves this week by releasing an ad in which she symbolically “shuts off power” to the White House, in an effort to show her support for the coal industry.
Definitely not sitting around sulking over his loss to our celebrity President, is he?
— Chris Cillizza (@TheFix) July 29, 2014
We followed family tradition this year by taking 5 of our 22 grandkids, ages 10 through 13, on a trip through the American West. My Mom and Dad began the tradition, showing their grandchildren the majesty of our country and teaching them about the sacrifices and character of the pioneers. We visited Goblin Valley, Spooky Gulch, Peekaboo Slot Canyon, Capitol Reef National Park, Bryce National Park, Zion National Park, Lake Powell, Rainbow Arch, Grand Canyon, and the four falls in the Havasupai Reservation. All totaled, we hiked over 50 miles: quite a feat for the young—and for Ann and me.
With the grandkids a captive audience, we taught them about their own ancestors: Ann’s side played instrumental roles in the foundation of the country, including William Bradford and Grover Cleveland. Mine were key to the establishment of our Church and the settlement of the American West.
Make sure to read the whole thing – both at Romney’s site and at the Washington Post, and check out the pix he has posted as well.
What a lovely couple Ann and Mitt are – and they have a beautiful family as well who they clearly are devoted to. I’m probably one of the few people still willing to say this but I still believe he would have made a good President – he has certainly turned out to be right about a lot of things, including Russia, which he was laughed at over at the time.
No word yet on whether or not he’ll run again in 2016, but for right now, it looks like he doesn’t have a care in the world – he’s enjoying himself, and his time with his family. And he deserves to.
The USA Today reports that the “rogue” Alaskan has decided to cut through the left wing media filter and launch her own network:
Sarah Palin has gone rogue again, this time launching her own Internet channel.
“Tired of media filters? Well, so am I,” the former Alaska governor proclaimed Sunday on her Facebook page. “So let’s go rogue and launch our own member-supported channel. “
In a video on sarahpalinchannel.com, Palin calls the new subscription-based network a “community” where she and viewers can share ideas. “I want to talk to directly to you on our channel on my terms and no need to please the powers that be,” she says, promising to go beyond soundbites and to “cut through the media’s politically correct filter.”
The new channel includes videos of Palin criticizing President Obama and his addiction to “OPM,” or other people’s money, and her explanation of why she believes he should be impeached. There’s also a blog by her daughter, Bristol, and running tallies of the national debt and how many days, hours, minutes and seconds are left in the Obama administration. Palin, the 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee, will serve as the channel’s executive editor and will oversee all posted content.
As to the cost? $9.95 a month, or $99.95 for a year.
Rest assured there will be a lot of laughter and mockery over this coming from the Usual Suspects, but I say more power to her. Any opportunity you have to cut through media spin, to provide your own side unfiltered – especially in a visual/video format, is a good thing. Rock on, Sarah!
Memeorandum has more.
Phineas blogged about this developing scandal yesterday involving the ‘alleged’ master’s thesis plagiarism of Montana Senator John Walsh (D), but the Senator’s biggest issue going forward may not be in the allegations themselves but in his controversial attempts at excusing them away:
Sen. John Walsh said his unattributed use of others’ work in his master’s thesis was not plagiarism but “a few citations that were unintentionally left out of a term paper” that he blamed in part on post-Iraq war trauma.
The apparent plagiarism first reported by The New York Times on Wednesday was the second potentially damaging issue raised this year involving the Montana Democrat’s 33-year military career, which has been a cornerstone of his campaign to keep the seat he was appointed to in February when Max Baucus resigned to become U.S. ambassador to China.
National Democrats said Wednesday they remained “100 percent behind Sen. Walsh” in his campaign against Republican Rep. Steve Daines. But even before the plagiarism revelations, top Democratic strategists saw Walsh’s campaign as an uphill pull, never counting on it as key to holding their Senate majority.
Walsh dismissed the notion that the allegations will harm his campaign. He also chafed at the suggestion that he deliberately presented other scholars’ work as his own in his 2007 thesis to earn a Master of Strategic Studies degree at the U.S. Army War College.
“I admit that I made a mistake,” he said. “My record will be defined by (Walsh’s service in) the National Guard, not by a few citations that were unintentionally left out in a term paper.”
Walsh said that when he wrote the thesis, he had post-traumatic stress disorder from his service in Iraq, was on medication and was dealing with the stress of a fellow veteran’s recent suicide.
“I don’t want to blame my mistake on PTSD, but I do want to say it may have been a factor,” the senator said. “My head was not in a place very conducive to a classroom and an academic environment.”
You know what? No. Blaming this on PTSD is just wrong on so many levels and is, frankly, an insult to the our veterans who have experienced it. Check this graphic from the New York Times – which, surprisingly enough, broke this story, and decide for yourself:
— The New York Times (@nytimes) July 24, 2014
As to what impact this may have on Walsh’s election battle, it’s hard to say. As Phineas noted yesterday, plagiarism hasn’t hurt VP Biden’s political career and other notable politicos (like Sen. Rand Paul) have been caught in similar scandals, but this one involves military service, and there is that little matter of honor, as Army War College grad/colonel Kurt Schlichter notes:
I do NOT want these allegations against Sen Walsh to be true. Make no mistake, I support his opponent. But I want him to retain his honor.
— Kurt Schlichter (@KurtSchlichter) July 24, 2014
**Posted by Phineas
Well, this is embarrassing. The Democratic nominee for the seat once held by Max Baucus (D – Train Wreck), who is now Ambassador to China, has been called out by no less than that arch-conservative rag The New York Times for plagiarizing his Army War College master’s thesis:
Democrats were thrilled when John Walsh of Montana was appointed to the United States Senate in February. A decorated veteran of the Iraq war and former adjutant general of his state’s National Guard, Mr. Walsh offered the Democratic Party something it frequently lacks: a seasoned military man.
On the campaign trail this year, Mr. Walsh, 53, has made his military service a main selling point. Still wearing his hair close-cropped, he notes he was targeted for killing by Iraqi militants and says his time in uniform informs his views on a range of issues.
But one of the highest-profile credentials of Mr. Walsh’s 33-year military career appears to have been improperly attained. An examination of the final paper required for Mr. Walsh’s master’s degree from the United States Army War College indicates the senator appropriated at least a quarter of his thesis on American Middle East policy from other authors’ works, with no attribution.
Mr. Walsh completed the paper, what the War College calls a “strategy research project,” to earn his degree in 2007, when he was 46. The sources of the material he presents as his own include academic papers, policy journal essays and books that are almost all available online.
Read the rest; it’s pretty damning stuff, as in wholesale cutting-and-pasting from publicly available think-tank reports. For example:
Mr. Walsh writes: “Democracy promoters need to engage as much as possible in a dialogue with a wide cross section of influential elites: mainstream academics, journalists, moderate Islamists, and members of the professional associations who play a political role in some Arab countries, rather than only the narrow world of westernized democracy and human rights advocates.”
The same exact sentence appears on the sixth page of a 2002 Carnegie paper written by four scholars at the research institute. In all, Mr. Walsh’s recommendations section runs to more than 800 words, nearly all of it taken verbatim from the Carnegie paper, without any footnote or reference to it.
As we used to say in school, “bus-TED!”
Naturally, the Democrats will immediately call on Senator Walsh to withdraw from the race, if not resign, so… Wait. I’m sorry, I’m mixing that up with what the Democrats would do if a Republican were the miscreant. In Walsh’s case, he fits right in with the party’s leaders.
Walsh is fighting to keep this seat for the Democrats against Republican challenger Rep. Steve Daines. Daines has been doing well in the polls, and this scandal isn’t likely to help Senator Walsh, but this is no time to get comfortable. You’ll find Steve Daines’ web site here. If you can, send him some money.
Because every seat counts.
(Crossposted at Public Secrets)