Tag Archives: Washington Post

Blowing up the anti-Brazile narrative

Democratic political operative (and former interim DNC chair) Donna Brazile.

Is Donna Brazile a self-important traitor to the DNC cause? Or has she been smeared by reporting-by-Twitter?

The Intercept’s Glenn Greenwald thinks the latter, and has set forth what he says are four falsehoods that have been put forth about Brazile’s  bombshell allegations in her new book that the Clinton campaign had inordinate amounts of control over the key processes during the entirety of the last presidential campaign.

As early as this morning — Sunday, Nov. 5 — CNN is still reporting that Brazile said she had the unilateral power to remove Clinton as the nominee, even though the newspaper that originally reported that claim has had to walk it back (see below). This is important because this claim is  central to some others because it is being used to ridicule Brazile as being an ill-informed megalomaniac with an anti-Clinton agenda. 

Notes Greenwald:

Viral Falsehood #3: Brazile stupidly thought she could unilaterally remove Clinton as the nominee.

[On Nov. 4], the Washington Post published an article reporting on various claims made in Brazile’s new book. The headline, which was widely tweeted, made it seem as though Brazile delusionally believed she had a power which, obviously, she did not in fact possess: “Donna Brazile: I considered replacing Clinton with Biden as 2016 Democratic nominee.” The article said Brazile considered exercising this power after Clinton’s fainting spell made her worry that Clinton was physically debilitated, and her campaign was “anemic” and had taken on “the odor of failure.”

But Brazile – as a result of her stinging criticisms and accusations of Clinton, Obama and the DNC – is currently Public Enemy Number One among Democrats in the media. So they seized on this headline to pretend that she claimed the power to unilaterally remove Clinton on a whim, and then used this claim to mercilessly vilify her – the chair of Al Gore’s 2000 campaign, last year’s interim head of the DNC, and a long-time Democratic Party operative – as a deluded, insane, dishonest, profiteering, ignorant fabulist who lacks all credibility.

But the entire attack on Brazile was false. She did not claim, at least according to the Post article being cited, that she had the power to unilaterally remove Clinton. The original Post article, buried deep down in the article, well after the headline, made clear that she was referencing a complicated process in the DNC charter that allowed for removal of a nominee who had become incapacitated.

The Post then amended its story to reflect that she made no such absurd claim in her book, but rather noted that “the DNC charter empowered her to initiate replacement of the nominee” and that “if a nominee became disabled, she explains, the party chair would oversee a complicated process of filling the vacancy that would include a meeting of the full DNC.” The Post then added this note to the top of the article:

Journalists on Twitter spent hours yesterday mocking, maligning and attacking the reputation of Brazile for a claim that she simply never made – all because a tweeted headline, which they never bothered to read past or evaluate, made them think they were justified in doing so in order to malign someone who has, quickly and bizarrely, become one of the Democrats’ primary enemies.

Greenwald details three other ways he thinks the narrative of the story about Brazile’s claims in her book have been hijacked by credulous reporting of things reporters see on Twitter and then repeat as received wisdom without bothering to check their veracity, including her claim that the DNC agreement  with Clinton  applied to both the primary and general election — a claim that was allegedly debunked and for which Greenwald says requires a debunking of that debunking.

You can read all of it here.

I have my issues with Greenwald and The Intercept. They have been proof, at times, of the danger when people on the Left let their own beliefs get in the way of good reporting. (Witness Greenwald’s one-time insistence that claims of Russian interference were  a smokescreen to cover up Democratic Party ineptitude in the last presidential election — a claim he has had to abandon as evidence mounts of Russian interference happening on many fronts, including planting inflammatory stories supportive of third-party candidate Jill Stein.)

But Greenwald seems to be into something here. It does appear some Clinton loyalists have been fudging the truth in order to discredit Brazile. 

There are lingering questions about whether the agreement between the Clinton campaign and the DNC was an unseemly grab for power meant to exclude Bernie Sanders and others from an honest nominating process and campaign, or simply a wise candidate saying that if she was going to prop up the DNC financially to benefit the party and down-ticket candidates, she expected some control ensuring the money was spent wisely?

Absent further evidence, those are questions to which he may never have sufficient answers because we can’t read the minds of the people involved and those interpretations may largely depend on whom you supported in the presidential election. 

Candidates ranked by supporters’ grammar

Washington Post: Candidates ranked by the supporters' grammar jefferly.com
Washington Post: Candidates ranked by the supporters’ grammar

How companies make millions off lead-poisoned poor blacks


Just when you think the financial industry cannot make itself any less respected, along comes this story in the Washington Post:

How companies make millions off lead-poisoned, poor blacks

Boo effin’ hoo: Geo. Will does not like Donald Trump

Donald Trump

Conservative blowhard George F. Will is shocked — shocked I tell you! — at the “havoc” that Donald Trump has unleashed upon the GOP:

Every sulfurous belch from the molten interior of the volcanic Trump phenomenon injures the chances of a Republican presidency. After Donald Trump finishes plastering a snarling face on conservatism, any Republican nominee will face a dauntingly steep climb to reach even the paltry numbers that doomed Mitt Romney.

It is perhaps quixotic to try to distract Trump’s supporters with facts, which their leader, who is no stickler for dignity, considers beneath him.

Trump is indifferent to those conservative tenets (e.g., frugality: He welcomed Obama’s stimulus) to which he is not hostile (e.g., property rights: He adored the Supreme Court’s Kelo decision vastly expanding government’s power of eminent domain). So, Trump’s appeal must derive primarily from his views about immigration. Including legal immigration, concerning which he favors a “pause” of unspecified duration.

Poor thing.

It’s almost as if Mr. Will is conveniently unaware that he has spent his entire adult life writing pseudo-intellectual columns in praise of the very conservative movement that has now broken loose in the Republican asylum.

The residents of that milieu are busily breaking windows, pissing on the buffet line and utterly ignoring the K Street guards who have for so long stoked and manipulated the irrational passions and paranoid fantasies of a racist, well-armed and resentful portion of their under-educated lower-class white suckers followers.

The inmates are realizing they’ve been had by their caretakers who had previously soothed them with bromides and truisms and straw men, and the inmates are going their own nutty way. These people hate everything. The President. The government. The Democratic establishment. The Republican establishment. The NBC television network for not bringing back The A-Team.

Enter Donald Trump who, if nothing else, knows how to whip people into a frenzy against their former Republican lobbyist masters and just about everything else that is not white and fundamentalist Christian.

Yet even in the face of all this lunacy and hatred, most Republican leaders are silent. 

It would all be just a case of delicious karma were it not for the fact that Trump is inciting some very angry, dangerous and ill-informed people who believe that the Flintstones is a documentary and Obama wants to take over the Bible Belt by force.

Source: The havoc that Trump wreaks — on his own party – The Washington Post

Donald Trump

Illinois lawmakers legalized happy hour yesterday

I’m agnostic on the issue of happy hours.

It will be interesting to see how it works out. This from the Washington Post:

Happy hours in Illinois?
Members of the Illinois state Legislature left early Wednesday to celebrate the legislation they passed reinstating happy hours.

Yay! People in Illinois can now drink alcohol!

More accurately: Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) signed a bill Wednesday that allows people in his state to drink at cheaper prices during pre-set times that coincide with them getting off work (which, when you think about it, is a pretty great time to imbibe).

Until Wednesday, Illinois was one of 12 states banning happy hour. That’s right, it was banned — or, at least, offering drink specials for a specific number of hours was.

Why was it illegal in the first place?

In 1989, lawmakers concerned about drunken driving banned happy hour.

They were following the lead of DuPage County, which saw banning happy hour as the best solution to cut down on binge drinking and drunken driving.

The Chicago Tribune reports alcohol-related fatal crashes were 49.6 percent of all fatal crashes in the state in 1988, the year before the ban went into effect. In 2012, that number was at 41 percent.

The ban’s rules weren’t clear cut, though. While happy hour wasn’t allowed, happy days were OK. A bar could offer half-price bottles of wine on Tuesday, but those specials had to be all day. And you technically were not supposed to offer a drink special with a meal, though a lot of higher-end restaurants did anyways, Peter Frost of Crain’s Chicago Business reports. Frost also says house-infused spirits were illegal, but many mixologists ignored that, too.

The theory was that people wouldn’t binge-drink if the specials didn’t have a cut-off time.

Will people drink more in bars and less at home? How will it affect ridership on the CTA and Metra? Will it cause more problems or will it just mean people will be causing them in bars rather than their own neighborhoods? Will there be more drunk/impaired driving or have those laws been stiffened enough to cut down on that phenomenon this time around?

Or will it have little to no effect at all on public safety?

Stay tuned.

Source: Illinois lawmakers just legalized happy hour. But why was it banned in the first place? – The Washington Post

Happy hours in Illinois?
A scene of things to come in Illinois or an over-reaction by anti-alcohol prudes?


Obama proves once again why he’s da man

Aside from perhaps only child molesters and terrorists you’d be hard-pressed to find any group incarcerated in the U.S. less able to garner overall public sympathy than drug offenders.Drug-arrest

Which is just one of the reasons this is so remarkable:

President Obama, who has stepped up his campaign this year to overhaul the nation’s criminal justice system, commuted the sentences of 22 drug offenders Tuesday.

More than a year after the Justice Department launched an initiative aimed at granting clemency to nonviolent offenders, the effort has gotten off to a slow start,  In December 2013 Obama commuted the sentences of eight people as part of the effort, all of whom were serving lengthy prison sentences for crack cocaine offenses.

In a blog post outlining the reasoning behind the Tuesday pardons, White House counsel Neil Eggleston noted that under current sentencing guidelines many of the individuals receiving clemency would have already served their time in prison.

“Because many were convicted under an outdated sentencing regime, they served years — in some cases more than a decade — longer than individuals convicted today of the same crime,” Eggleston said, adding that the commutations “underscore the president’s commitment to using all the tools at his disposal to bring greater fairness and equity to our justice system.”

Our jails are full of people who, if they were arrested under slightly different circumstances — many if they were simply born white — would never be in jail in the first place.

Good for Obama for having the courage to do this, although it’s a shame so many of them will, as he points out, have difficulties finding jobs because we live in a society which cannot decide whether it wants to rehabilitate offenders or, in effect, make them pay for their crimes for the rest of their lives by denying them decent jobs.

Source: Obama commutes sentences of 22 drug offenders – The Washington Post

What an awful mistake to make