“Just make the check out to cash!”
The campaign manager for U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican locked in a tough re-election battle, resigned late Friday in fallout from a scandal stemming from his time with the 2012 Ron Paul presidential campaign.
McConnell is facing Kentucky’s Democratic Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes in a race Republicans view as important if they are to secure control of the Senate.
While denying any wrongdoing during his time working for Paul, Jesse Benton said blah, blah, blah, blah.”
Benton was the spokesman for the libertarian Paul’s unsuccessful 2012 presidential campaign when, during the Republican primary season, a supporter of a rival candidate was secretly paid by a Paul staffer to publicly switch sides.
Former Iowa Republican state Senator Kent Sorenson pleaded guilty this week to concealing $73,000 he was paid to endorse Paul over U.S. Representative Michele Bachmann.
McConnell has dropped Benton like the hot potato he obviously is.
Maybe handling a smooth job of bribery was one of the qualities that appealed enough to McConnell to choose him as campaign manager. Lots of money floating around the political career of a bought-and-paid-for hack like Mitch McConnell.
Back in 1876, the city of St. Louis made a fateful decision. Tired of providing services to the outlying areas, the city cordoned itself off, separating from St. Louis County. It’s a decision the city came to regret. Most Rust Belt cities have bled population since the 1960s, but few have been as badly damaged as St. Louis City, which since 1970 has lost almost as much of its population as Detroit.
This exodus has left a ring of mostly middle-class suburbs around an urban core plagued by entrenched poverty. White flight from the city mostly ended in the 1980s; since then, blacks have left the inner city for suburbs such as Ferguson in the area of St. Louis County known as North County.
Ferguson’s demographics have shifted rapidly: in 1990, it was 74 percent white and 25 percent black; in 2000, 52 percent black and 45 percent white; by 2010, 67 percent black and 29 percent white.
By contrast, consider the city: After decades of methodically building political power, blacks in St. Louis City elected a black mayor in 1993 and black aldermen or alderwomen in nearly half the city’s wards, and hold two of three seats on the powerful Board of Estimate and Apportionment, which must approve all city contracts. Well-established churches, Democratic ward organizations and other civic institutions mobilize voters in black wards. But because blacks have reached the suburbs in significant numbers only over the past 15 years or so, fewer suburban black communities have deeply ingrained civic organizations.
That helps explain why majority-black Ferguson has a virtually all-white power structure: a white mayor; a school board with six white members and one Hispanic, which recently suspended a highly regarded young black superintendent who then resigned; a City Council with just one black member; and a 6 percent black police force.
Jeff Smith begins and ends the article as published pushing for consolidation of these artificial suburbs. He believes this will benefits residents economically as well as politically. White power over Black workingclass transforms into Green Power for everyone.
I lived through that whole discussion middling days in the civil rights movement and all it produced was a few Black bureaucrats, damned little Green for everyone else.
Meanwhile, Mike suggested the Washington POST analysis of the same topic – where a troika of authors found the realpolitik included unintended consequences in a tag team with racism. A solid piece of research, sound data.
Neither article explained the perceived role of the Democratic Party, differences between St, Louis City and North County suburbs like Ferguson – but, since Smith’s article points out the racist history of municipal and local craft unions, continued exclusion of Black workers, white-dominated political campaigns they sponsor, it seems as likely to me that outside of the city of St. Louis the Democrat Party functions like Reagan populists. Perfectly willing to accept the racist status quo.
Voters in Ferguson have two alternatives. They can go the route apparently embraced by Black voters in St. Louis and fight for a decade or so for a grassroots effort which ends up with a Democratic Party organization mirroring the population – or they can organize an independent party that reaches out to Progressives to unite in bringing grassroots representation to Ferguson.
Both highways have the same tough obstacles to overcome – starting with the inevitable unsophisticated American voters. Both strategies risk demagogues who never can pass up a populist chance to be The Leader. But, over these past fifteen years, ain’t anyone else getting off their rusty dusty to change the white power structure in Ferguson. At least, not so’s you’d notice.
A Travis County grand jury Friday indicted Gov. Rick Perry on two charges related to his effort last year to force District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg to resign after her drunken driving arrest.
Grand jurors charged Perry, 64, with abuse of official capacity, a first-degree felony, and coercion of a public servant, a third-degree felony. The first charge carries a punishment of 5-99 years and a fine of up to $10,000. The second charge is punishable by 2-10 years and a fine of up to $10,000.
The indictment stems from Perry’s threat last summer to withhold $7.5 million in state money from Lehmberg’s office unless she step down – a threat he later carried out by vetoing an appropriation in the state budget.
Mary Anne Wiley, General Counsel for Perry, said blah, blah, blah, blah, blah…
The special prosecutor in the case, San Antonio attorney Michael McCrum, said he was confident with the strength of the charges filed against Perry.
“There has been an immense amount of work that has gone into my investigation up until this point,” he told reporters after announcing the indictment. “I have interviewed over 40 people who were related in some way to the events that happened.”
RTFA for all the political brouhaha that immediately followed Perry’s indictment. Everyone knows what sort of opportunist power-hungry liar Rick Perry is. Given the accepted level of corruption in the Confederacy, no one expected him to be indicted.
Funs and games ahead, folks.
Like any politician skewered by Colbert, Pearce has now passed beyond the deer-in-the-headlights stage and has his minions running hither and yon – trying to soften the effect of Colbert and his army of fans who laugh at what passes for a conservative in 21st Century America.
Thanks to Steve Terrell
Seems a reasonable conclusion to me. Using prisoners to experiment on for better ways to kill them.
A two-year investigation into U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm’s campaign finances resulted in his indictment on Monday — on federal charges of cheating the government out of taxes on his restaurant.
Grimm was slammed with a 20-count indictment charging he fraudulently underreported the wages he paid his workers at Healthalicious on the Upper East Side and concealed the eatery’s actual income…
Grimm, 44, is also charged with obstruction and perjury for allegedly lying about his involvement in the business in a sworn deposition…
The feds said Grimm ran the day-to-day operations of the restaurant between 2007 and 2010, and “engaged in schemes to fraudulently under-report the wages he paid his workers — many of whom did not have legal status in the United States — and fraudulently under-report the true amount of money the restaurant earned to both federal and New York State tax and insurance authorities.”
He pulled off part of the scam by paying a “large portion” of employees’ pay in cash, “thereby lowering the restaurant’s payroll tax costs,” the feds said.
In all, prosecutors said, he hid more than $1 million in Healthalicious sales and wages…
FBI Assistant Director George Venizelos noted that…“As a former FBI agent, Rep. Grimm should understand the motto: fidelity, bravery and integrity. Yet he broke our credo at nearly every turn. Rep Grimm lived by a new motto: fraud, perjury and obstruction,” Venizekos said…
Last week, Grimm’s lawyer said the investigation into his Republican client was politically motivated and predicted he would be vindicated of whatever the charges were…
Grimm made headlines in January after threatening a New York 1 reported who’d asked him about the investigation.
In the exchange, which was caught on camera, Grimm said, “Let me be clear to you. If you ever do that to me again, I’ll throw you off this fucking balcony.”
A real class act – Congressman Grimm. As an ex-Marine, an ex-FBI agent, you’d think the concept of standing up for law and order might have made an impression on him. Though his behavior towards the press – and not so incidentally ordinary working people in his employ – makes it seem that exploitation is more in his line.
McAllister and some of the folks who worked to get him elected
The married U.S. congressman embroiled in controversy over kissing a woman on his Louisiana office staff may request a federal investigation into the leak of the security camera video showing the incident, his spokeswoman said on Wednesday.
Republican Representative Vance McAllister, who took office last November in a special election that he won partly by promoting his Christian values, apologized on Monday after a Louisiana newspaper posted a surveillance video showing him in a passionate embrace with office scheduler Melissa Peacock, who is also married. The scandal erupted when the security video from his Monroe, Louisiana, district office was posted on the website of a local weekly newspaper, the Ouachita Citizen.
Peacock resigned from McAllister’s office on Monday, the congressman’s communications director, Jennifer Dunagin, said.
If you believe.
But McAllister considers the leak to be a serious breach in office security and may send a letter to House Speaker requesting an official investigation into the matter by the FBI, Dunagin said…
The Ouachita Citizen, which boasts a paid weekly circulation of just 5,200 copies, said it had obtained the video from an “anonymous source.” The grainy low-light footage was captured by a handheld camera pointed at a computer monitor showing multiple security camera images throughout the small office building…
The Monroe, Louisiana News-Star…quoted McAllister’s chief of staff, Adam Terry, as saying that a staffer had denied providing the video to the newspaper…
On Tuesday, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said he was glad McAllister had apologized for the incident, but declined to say whether McAllister should resign when asked by reporters…
Peacock and her husband, Heath Peacock, have longstanding ties to McAllister, each contributing $5,200 to his election campaign, according to Federal Elections Commission disclosure forms. Heath Peacock and McAllister had previously worked together at Mustang Engineering, an oil and gas pipeline and services company.
CNN quoted Heath Peacock on Tuesday as saying that he was “devastated” by the incident and blamed McAllister for ruining his marriage.
“He has wrecked my life,” Peacock told CNN. “We’re headed for divorce.”
Eric Cantor burbled a few remarks about the high standards in our Congress. I’m not certain if he’s talking about public record-keeping or what. He certainly can’t be talking about ethics or dedication to service for Americans.
Regular readers recall my dicho about “Republicans would have invented hypocrisy if Christians hadn’t beaten them to it”. Congressman McAllister gets an extra pat on the behind for catching both sides of the ethic.
Wisconsinites tired of relaxing on weekends and staying home on federal holidays are in luck: On Thursday, GOP state Sen. Glenn Grothman announced his challenge to 13-term moderate Rep. Tom Petri (R-Wis.). In a conservative district that went to Mitt Romney by seven points in 2012…
In January, Grothman introduced legislation to eliminate a state requirement that workers get at least one day off per week. “Right now in Wisconsin, you’re not supposed to work seven days in a row, which is a little ridiculous because all sorts of people want to work seven days a week…”
Eliminating days off is a long-running campaign from Grothman. Three years earlier, he argued that public employees should have to work on Martin Luther King Day…It would be one thing if people were using their day off to do something productive, but Grothman said he would be “shocked if you can find anybody doing service.”
MLK Day and “Saturday” aren’t the only holidays Grothman opposes. At a town hall in 2013, he took on Kwanzaa, which he said “almost no black people today care about” and was being propped up by “white left-wingers who try to shove this down black people’s throats in an effort to divide Americans.”
When he’s not advocating for people to spend more time working, Grothman has gotten in trouble for advocating that (some) people be paid less. “You could argue that money is more important for men…”…after pushing through a repeal of the state’s equal pay bill.
He has pushed to pare back a program that provided free birth control, while floating a bill that would have labeled single parenthood, “a contributing factor to child abuse and neglect.” Grothman justified the bill by contending that women choose to become single mothers and call their pregnancies “unplanned” only because it’s what people want to hear.
This dude’s middle name must be “Shit-for-brains Scrooge”.
Have a nice weekend. Don’t think about taking a job in Wisconsin if folks elect a prick like Grothman.
An 8-year-old South Carolina girl’s dream of having the woolly mammoth become the official state fossil has been put on hold while lawmakers debate an amendment that gives God credit for creation of the prehistoric animal.
A bill that recently passed the state House to designate the Columbian Mammoth as the state fossil stalled in the Senate after Republican Senator Kevin Bryant added two verses from the book of Genesis.
That amendment was ruled out of order but senators this week will debate a new amendment that says the mammoth was “created on the sixth day along with the beasts of the field,” Bryant said on Monday…
Just in case you think the notion of stupid vs ignorant has been resolved in Confederate politics.
The original measure followed a letter to elected officials by Olivia McConnell, an-8-year-old from New Zion, South Carolina.
In it, she pointed out that there is no state fossil, said Democratic Representative Robert Ridgeway, who received the letter and sponsored the measure.
McConnell suggested the elephant-like mammoth because an early find of its remains took place in 1725 on a South Carolina plantation where slaves dug up a tooth, Ridgeway said…
Reaction from some South Carolina residents has been “nasty,” Bryant said.
“Please stop making our state look like backwards hillbillies who believe in fairy tales,” Alex Davis commented on Bryant’s website. “Keep your religious views out of the government.”
Ridgeway said he was surprised at the controversy.
“I was just trying to support a young child who is interested in science,” he said. “We should support children in any endeavor that they seem interested in. That’s one thing the state should be behind.”
The official Republican response will most likely be “the behinder we are, the more behinder we get!”
Embarrassed by Republican corruption
We were treated to a rare moment of candor last week when a Republican legislator expressed a sense of shame about his party’s blatant voter suppression tactics. Wisconsin state senator Dale Schultz appeared on the radio program The Devil’s Advocate last Wednesday to talk about Republican efforts to limit the hours available for early voting in the state.
Not surprisingly, Schultz is a lame duck that doesn’t need to worry about getting reelected nor pandering to the Republican’s resentful, fearful, and misinformed white base.
The lawmaker said, “I am not willing to defend them anymore. I’m just not and I’m embarrassed by this.” He was the lone Republican to oppose the bill, which ultimately passed. After very accurately calling voter fraud “mythology”, he then went on to say:
“It’s just, I think, sad when a political party — my political party — has so lost faith in its ideas that it’s pouring all of its energy into election mechanics. And again, I’m a guy who understands and appreciates what we should be doing in order to make sure every vote counts, every vote is legitimate. But that fact is, it ought to be abundantly clear to everybody in this state that there is no massive voter fraud.
“The only thing that we do have in this state is we have long lines of people who want to vote. And it seems to me that we should be doing everything we can to make it easier, to help these people get their votes counted. And that we should be pitching as political parties our ideas for improving things in the future, rather than mucking around in the mechanics and making it more confrontational at the voting sites and trying to suppress the vote.”
Every now and then I joke about my cynicism; but, I walked away from white-bread America sixty years ago because of the hypocrisy, bigotry and corruption common to so much of social life in this nation. The excuse accepted by politicians, then, was the Cold War and McCarthyism, the excuse for their cowardice and inaction.
But, today, we’re washed in the hypocrisy, the abundant waste of a liberal government that accepts all the lies and garbage of a conservative government. The Democrats – with whatever power they’ve had over the past six years – were just as cowardly as the Truman government. Campaigning for a National Health Service and then fighting for halfway measures that guarantee continued and unneeded profits for the insurance industry is another example of corruption selling out America’s working families.
The incredible waste of money and effort that shells out billions of dollars to combat the existence of a pitiful number of terrorists scattered about the globe is characteristic of a dying imperial nation – more like 19th Century England than the 21st Century United States.
Our education policy under a liberal Harvard Constitutionalist is no less corrupt and futile than the advocacy of that “education president” who spent his college career at Yale stuffing drugs up his nose.
Cynicism isn’t required to comprehend how often and how thoroughly the American middle class has been sold out by our political saviors – of both parties. All we are left with is voting against the evil of two lessers. When we’re allowed to vote.