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Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit Area, MI
Home country: USA
Current location: San Francisco, CA
Member since: Wed Oct 29, 2008, 02:53 PM
Number of posts: 36,797

About Me

Partner, father and liberal Democrat. I am a native Michigander living in San Francisco who is a citizen of the world.

Journal Archives

Ana Marie Cox: Trump rally terrified me.

Her remarks on the Dan Savage podcast where she was Guest Host. She recounts a chilling encounter that caused her to fear for her physical safety.

Paul Manafort and Ferdinand Marcos

Marcos, then in his third decade as leader of the Philippines, had developed a reputation in Washington as a stalwart ally in the fight against communism. But he was facing rising concerns about rampant corruption, plundering of public resources and human rights violations under his increasingly despotic leadership, during which Amnesty International now estimates 34,000 people were tortured and 3,240 killed. Meanwhile, Marcos amassed a fortune estimated at $10 billion, spending big on paintings by Pissarro and Manet, a fleet of private planes and helicopters and Mercedes-Benzes.

Manafort, then in his 30s, was a hotshot Republican operative who had made his name helping Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan, and was pioneering a new form of international political consulting. The model, which allowed him to indulge his taste for the high-life, parlayed his clout with the emergent conservative ruling class into lucrative gigs representing foreign leaders looking to buff their reputations in Washington.

A Marcos front group would eventually hire Manafort to try to help him retain his grip on power, agreeing to pay Manafort’s firm $950,000 a year — one of the first big foreign gigs landed by the firm. But back then, during the Wild West days of the international political industry, there was more buzz in Washington and Manila about Manafort’s proximity to Marcos during a period of epic spending to support a lavish lifestyle and to curry favor with influential Americans.

One example, according to documents, including some published here for the first time: Marcos earmarked huge sums of cash for Reagan’s 1980 and 1984 campaigns — as much as $57 million, according to one claim made to Philippine investigators. There’s no evidence that any cash ever made it into Reagan’s coffers, which would have been illegal since U.S. election laws ban donations from foreigners. And, despite extensive government investigations on both sides of the Pacific into the freewheeling spending of the Marcos regime, there’s never before been much serious inquiry of what ultimately happened to the cash intended for political contributions. The lack of a transparent paper trail — combined with the larger than life personas of Marcos and Manafort — spawned a swirl of theories.


Clinton super PAC to temporarily stop airing ads some battleground states

Philadelphia (CNN)Hillary Clinton's super PAC won't air any local ads in Virginia, Colorado and Pennsylvania from September 2 to 20, according a Priorities USA spokesman, citing strong poll numbers for Clinton in those states.

This move, which is meant to both save money and signal confidence, extends suspensions in advertising in Colorado and Virginia and adds Pennsylvania to that list. And it could always be amended if the super PAC felt it was necessary.

"We know, at the moment, these are tough states for Donald Trump and there isn't as much of a need for us to air ads there," said Justin Barasky, a Priorities USA spokesman, who added that the group has no plans to expand their battleground map before Labor Day.

Polls show Clinton with healthy leads in Colorado, Virginia and Pennsylvania. A recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll found Clinton up 13 points in Virginia -- 46% to 33%; up 14 points in Colorado -- 46% to 32%; and up 11 points in Pennsylvania -- 48% to 37%....

The money the group is saving by going dark in three states will move it to other activities, like turnout and expanding the party in battle group states.


Clinton way ahead of Trump in state-level teams.

Donald Trump, already lagging behind Hillary Clinton in ground game organizing, is also facing a quantifiable talent gap in key battleground states, starting at the top.

And that’s according to his fellow Republicans.

Veteran Republican operatives and key leaders from several critical battleground states say that at best, they've never heard of Trump's state directors or have only limited familiarity with them — and at worst, they know them, and question their ability to do the job.

“The Clinton campaign is very strong in New Hampshire,” said Ryan Williams, who served as a longtime aide to 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney and has extensive experience working in New Hampshire. Of Trump’s New Hampshire state director, Matt Ciepielowski, he said, “I’ve been doing campaigns in New Hampshire since ’08, I haven’t come across him.”

Across the country, one Nevada Republican said of Trump’s state director there, Charles Munoz: “I’m actually surprised, being one of the few battleground states out there, that they don’t have a more seasoned professional running their operation, because Hillary Clinton has a remarkable team on the ground in Nevada, demonstrating how seriously she’s taking the state.”

Trump’s list of state directors is peppered with a mix of young people who have no presidential campaign experience, as well as Republican operatives who have been out of the spotlight for years. In contrast, Clinton is boosted by Democratic operatives who led marquee races and helped shepherd Barack Obama’s victories in 2008 and 2012.


Katrina Pierson Claims Reporters 'Literally Beat' Trump Supporters

Donald Trump's spokeswoman Katrina Pierson either doesn't quite understand the meaning of the word "literally," or some "left-wing reporters" have a lot of explaining to do after she claimed Monday that journalists "literally beat" Trump's supporters.

“The voters want someone that’s gonna fight back because they are tired of seeing left-wing reporters literally beat Trump supporters into submission into supporting policies they don’t agree with,” Pierson told Fox Business Network, as quoted by Politico.

She also said Trump has been "fighting back" over media bias against his campaign.

“The last two presidential cycles we had Republican candidates that just sat there and took a beating and Mr. Trump isn’t gonna do that," Pierson said.

Pierson was trying to push the GOP nominee's latest media-bashing attack, which began this weekend over the New York Times' reporting on his campaign. Trump went on a tear, slamming the "failing" Times as a "newspaper of fiction" and railing against coverage by the "disgusting and corrupt media."


WA-GOV: Inslee leads Republican challenger by 12 points.

The race for Governor appears frozen. The results of the August survey are exactly the same as they were in April and only 1-2 points different from the Primary Election results. Inslee led Bill Bryant by a 48% to 36% margin in both April and August. He won the Primary by 49% to 38%.

The underlying dynamics of the race have not changed much either.

Party identi ication is certainly key to Inslee’s electoral strength. Inslee had 92% of the support of Democrats and Bryant had 83% of the Republican support. Bryant led among Independents 39-31%. Inslee is polling 10 points above the proportion of Democrats in this survey. Last January he was only 4 points ahead of the number of Democrats. Bryant is polling 12 points above the proportion of Republi- cans. In January he was 8 points ahead of the Republican identi iers. The advantage is to Inslee because Democrats held a 12-point party identi ication advantage in this survey (38% to 24% Republican).

Another key to this election is incumbency. Elections are almost always largely a referendum on the incumbent. Even though this year’s electorate has been cast as highly dissatis ied with the status quo, there has not been a strong constituency to turn Inslee out. His job performance ratings remain under- water, where they have been his entire term (p.3). However, they improved by a net +10 points since the first of the year.


Clinton's lead in NC elevates Senate race

Democrats see an opening to win a Senate seat in North Carolina amid the electoral turmoil caused by Donald Trump.

The Republican incumbent, Sen. Richard Burr, had not been expected to be vulnerable this cycle. But his Democratic opponent, former state Rep. Deborah Ross, has posted strong fundraising numbers and has seen a boost in recent polls.

With Democrat Hillary Clinton pouring resources into North Carolina for her presidential campaign, and more likely Democratic voters registering in the state, Democrats say North Carolina is becoming a real Senate battleground.
“I think the race is shaping up to be very favorable for Deborah,” said Scott Falmlen, former executive director of the North Carolina Democratic Party. “Where we sit now ... I feel really good about where we’re positioned, how we’re positioned, and what our candidates are doing.”

Clinton has made the Tar Heel State a high priority, as both her campaign and main super-PAC, Priorities USA, have funneled money into the state and built a strong ground operation there. Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, has a much smaller footprint in North Carolina, with no campaign spending so far except for some help from outside groups.


Tim Kaine's Southern night: Barbecue, beer and bluegrass on the harmonica

ASHEVILLE, N.C. — Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine went all in during his North Carolina visit Monday night, busting out his harmonica for an impromptu jam session with a local bluegrass band.

Kaine played two well-known bluegrass songs — “Wagon Wheel” and “My Home's Across the Blue Ridge Mountains” — as the crowd cheered him on at Catawba Brewery, even singing and dancing at times, while his wife, Anne Holton, clogged to the side of the stage.

The impromptu concert capped off a night of Southern fun for Kaine and his wife that included a barbecue dinner with beers and banana pudding at Buxton Home Barbecue.

Kaine also ordered a post-harmonica beer, picking White Zombie, a local wheat beer, and giving a $5 tip, according to the bartender.


Giuliani: No successful terror attacks before Obama administration

Just saw the quote on my phone.

Poll: Clinton ahead by 19 points in Washington State

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