Tag Archives: Washington Post

Yes, Peter Galbraith ran for Congress in 1998. No, he doesn’t want you to think so.

One of the most curious aspects of the whole Peter Galbraith/Wikipedia sideshow is the furious debate over whether or not he was a candidate for Congress in 1998.

The stuff about the Kurds and Galbraith’s oil wealth and his frequently contentious career as a diplomat, that’s understandable. It seems clear that Galbraith himself, or a close ally, has been scrubbing his Wikipedia page of negative material. On the other hand, some critics of his diplomatic adventures have been just as obsessive about his Wikipedia entry.

But this Congress thing? Why does that matter?

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The small-D democratic case for Hillary

The pressure is growing on the four Vermont superdelegates to drop Hillary Clinton in favor of Bernie Sanders. Well, the voices of the disaffected are growing louder, anyway. I don’t see any sign of a mass movement.

Nor should I. As I’ve explained before, the superdelegate system is a legitimate expression of a party’s legitimate self-interest. No presidential primary season has ever been a pure reflection of the popular vote; the presidential selection system is governed by the parties because their nomination is a prize that is theirs to bestow.

Superdelegates are people who have served the Democratic Party well and loyally. It’s reasonable to argue that they deserve a voice in the presidential selection process.

Which won’t convince Sanders supporters who believe they’re getting screwed. But let’s put it this way:

… by every possible democratic measure, Clinton is winning. She’s winning in states (and territories) won, which isn’t a meaningful margin of victory anyway. She’s winning in the popular vote by 2.4 million votes — more than a third more than Sanders has in total. In part that’s because Sanders is winning lower-turnout caucuses, but it’s mostly because he’s winning smaller states. And she’s winning with both types of delegates.

That’s from Philip Bump of the Washington Post. And the numbers don’t lie: Hillary Clinton has won 2.4 million more votes than Bernie Sanders. Indeed, if there were no superdelegates at all, and the delegates were apportioned based on the vote, Clinton would still have a substantial lead over Sanders. She would still be the clear favorite to win the nomination.

She is The People’s Choice, f’real.

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A Bern for the worse

Straight up, Bernie Sanders was out of line. Dangerously so.

I’m talking about calling Hillary Clinton “not qualified” to be President. Not once, but over and over again.

Yes, he phrased it in terms of his typcal critiques of the Clinton record, but adding “not qualified” is a step too far. That’s a toxic, radioactive term. It crosses the line between criticism and defamation.

And it gives aid and comfort to the enemy. You don’t think conservative attack merchants aren’t already writing the ads, featuring artfully-edited passages from Bernie’s speech? He should know better than to provide them with ready-made cannon fodder.

Bernie claims that Hillary started it. “She has been saying lately that she thinks that I am, quote unquote, ‘not qualified’ to be president,” he told a crowd in Philadelphia last night.

That, right there, is a lie. She never said that, quote-unquote or otherwise.

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Phil Scott Leadership Watch: Presidential mush

Looks like Marco Rubio has belatedly realized his Comic Insult routine was doing him no favors.

JENKS, Okla. — Someone in the rafters shouted: “Donald Trump has small hands!”

“We’re not talking about that today,” Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said in response. “It was fun while it lasted.”

… He still called Trump “a con artist” but there was little talk of the businessman’s small hands, or spray tan, or his large private plane.

Yeah, they had to take the Rubot into the shop for a little reprogramming. Because making jokes about Donald Trump’s spray tan and dick size were making Marco look… eh… just a tad unpresidential.

They were also devastating to Phil Scott’s endorsement of Rubio, which posits the notion that the Florida Senator “can build consensus” and treats “the process with respect” and “has a calming effect.”

Speaking of Phil Scott, he finally issued an official statement about his endorsement. Which, curiously, has not been posted on his website; it was simply sent out to his email list. VPR’s Taylor Dobbs posted it on his Twitter feed; you’ll find it After The Jump.

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The Kasich Files: a scandal-ridden, failing education system

Another installment examining John Kasich’s woeful record as Ohio Governor, in advance of the “reasonable” candidate’s appearance in Colchester on Saturday. 

Previously in this space, I wrote about the disgrace of John Kasich’s push for school choice in Ohio. Last summer, the state official in charge of school choice was forced to resign after submitting fraudulent statistics to the federal government — statistics designed to conceal the fact that charter schools weren’t working. The disgraced official “admitted scrubbing data on failing… charters to improve their standing.”

Bow Down Before Your Benevolent Overlord!

Bow Down Before Your Benevolent Overlord!

(By the way, the wife of that disgraced former official? She used to be Kasich’s chief of staff, and is now a top staffer in his presidential campaign.)

Well, there’s more bad news on Kasich’s sorry education record, courtesy of a Washington Post article entitled

The Education Mess in Ohio Under Gov. John Kasich

The Post ticks off a lengthy list of failures and cover-ups, including:

*a scandal-ridden charter school sector

*budget cuts for traditional public schools at the same time as increased funding for  charter schools and school vouchers

*controversial state takeovers of “failing” schools

*a questionable teacher evaluation system that uses as one factor the standardized test scores of students, against the recommendation of assessment experts

*the botched administration of the Common Core test known as PARCC (which the state later dropped).

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The Same-Day Boogeyman

Removing barriers to voter participation: it’s an issue that’s long overdue for some serious attention. Vermont’s new law, allowing same-day voter registration, is a nice start.

What else? Well, there’s no good reason other than tradition to hold elections on Tuesdays. Especially in Vermont, where polling places close at 7 p.m. That’s not much time for working folk to get to the polls.

But if you want to keep your Tuesday voting because Grandfather’s Light Bulb, then I’d suggest adoption of Hillary Clinton’s proposal for at least 20 days of early voting. That would give everyone a full opportunity to participate. Early voting has allowed many more to exercise their right when it’s been adopted.

“This is, I think, a moment when we should be expanding the franchise,” Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta said in an interview. “What we see in state after state is this effort by conservatives to restrict the right to vote.”

Of course, the new law is being greeted with whining and carping from Vermonters with no apparent interest in getting more people to vote. Accounts of the bill becoming law were lightly sprinkled with comments from town clerks alleging that we’re opening the door to voter fraud.

Ah, voter fraud, favored chimera of conservatives. The Bush Administration bent its Justice Department to the task of rooting out voter fraud. And after eight full years of effort, they found a mere handful of cases. In a time when hundreds of millions of ballots were cast.

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Well, at least the Free Press dumped its political reporters BEFORE the list came out

A big oopsie from the Montana province of the great Gannett Empire.

On Jan. 28, the Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza released a (deeply flawed and incomplete) list of the “best political reporters” in each of the 50 states. One of the four Big Sky nominees was John Adams of Gannett’s Great Falls Tribune.

Unfortunately for the Trib, only two days after the list came out, Adams declined to go through the mandatory re-interviewing process for all Gannett journalists. He balked because his position — capital bureau chief — was being eliminated, and he didn’t want any of the jobs on offer.

After serious thought and consideration I opted not to apply for any of the positions. I have been very happy in my role as the capital bureau chief for the Great Falls Tribune and would have liked to have continued in that role, but I did not feel any of the available openings in the Tribune’s new “newsroom of the future” were a good fit for me.

Bad timing, Tribbies. By contrast, our local Gannett House O’ News ‘N’ Stuff, the Burlington Free Press, had the sense to jettison its two best political reporters (Terri Hallenbeck and Nancy Remsen) a couple months before Cillizza posted his list. The Freeploid still suffered the lesser embarrassment of having Cillizza name Mike Donoghue and April Burbank as two of Vermont’s top four state political reporters, when Donoghue’s beat is only partly political and Burbank had been on the beat for less than two months.

Well, it ought to be an embarrassment, but the Freeploid is actually proud of its reporters’ “achievement.” But then, it long ago established its reputation as Vermont’s Most Shameless Newspaper Media Organization. Indeed, I wouldn’t be surprised if Cillizza’s source wasn’t someone inside the Free Press and/or Gannett; he depended heavily on reader nominations for states he wasn’t familiar with, and he clearly hasn’t a clue about Vermont. It’s hard to imagine an objective reader nominating Burbank (Donoghue maybe, just on seniority) for the honor. Nothing wrong with Burbank, she hasn’t been covering state politics long enough.