Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Bell busts Garcia on another questionable jail contract *updated*

It's time for this race to start heating up.

Mayoral candidate Chris Bell criticized former Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia on Wednesday for reportedly authorizing a $1.1 million jail ministry contract with a friend's organization – the latest in a series of attacks on Garcia's management record.

According to KHOU-11, Garcia signed a three-year contract with a group run by former Houston Oilers tight end Mike Barber, even though Barber's ministry provided similar programming elsewhere for free. Billing records also allegedly show Barber's employees charged for chaplain duties at the Harris County Jail while simultaneously clocking in at other correctional facilities.

"Houston City Hall is not for sale," Bell said at a press conference in front of the building. "If this was an isolated incident, it would be one thing. But it seems like every week something else is coming forward about the way the Harris County Jail was administered when Adrian Garcia was sheriff."

Bill King, as last time, piled on.

"This is more evidence that Adrian Garcia is not even remotely prepared to be mayor," King said in a statement. "He touts his record as sheriff, but the fact is he failed by almost every metric on which you can judge a sheriff's performance."

Garcia is feeling the pressure... and running away from it.

After taking heat for his management of the Harris County Sheriff's Office, Adrian Garcia ducked out of a Houston mayoral debate a half-hour early Tuesday, before moderators opened the floor for candidates to ask each other questions.

Garcia said he had to leave for a prior commitment, even after one of the moderators noted that appointment – an interview with the Chronicle's editorial board – was scheduled to begin nearly an hour and a half later.

In departing early, Garcia avoided a debate format that has proved tricky for him in recent weeks, as his competitors have taken aim at his record in the sheriff's office.

Even so, four of the five candidates on stage with Garcia used their rebuttals during a preceding round to criticize the former sheriff's management skills.

"The sheriff's office wasn't working when Adrian was there," businessman Bill King said, citing the decrease in the department's rape clearance rate under under Garcia's tenure.

With the former sheriff on the lam, it turned into a free-for-all.

City Councilman Stephen Costello, former Congressman Chris Bell and former City Attorney Ben Hall subsequently chimed in, calling attention to Garcia's use of an outside consultant during his tenure, as well as a mentally ill inmate left for weeks in a filthy cell in 2013.

"Adrian has to explain how it is that he had a sheriff's department that could have a mentally challenged person living in a cell for weeks without getting remedial care," Hall said. "I think that speaks to his management skill and he does have to answer for that."

There was more slugging each other on pensions.

Offered the chance to question Bell, with whom he spars infrequently, Costello asked about financing the city's unfunded pension liability.

"I do want to honor the defined benefit plan for the existing firefighters. I think everything should be on the table for the incoming firefighters, but I would like for them to be able to have a defined benefit plan as well," Bell said.

He then took swipes at his closest competitors.

"Whoever's sitting at that table should not have a dog in the hunt," Bell said. "I am not a city pensioner, like Adrian Garcia, and I'm not the hand-picked candidate of the Houston firefighters, like Sylvester Turner."

Garcia's issues have been well-documented in this space, as has my very public opinion that they render him unfit to serve.  I just hope the small number of Houstonians who will begin casting ballots in a few weeks can make the right choice for mayor, because there's too many wrong ones (besides Garcia, that is, the worst of all).


The Harris County Sheriff's Office has asked the Texas Rangers to look into alleged billing irregularities of a jail ministry hired by former Sheriff Adrian Garcia, providing fresh fodder for his opponents in the Houston mayor's race.

According to the sheriff's office, employees of a ministry run by former Houston Oilers player Mike Barber charged for chaplain services at the Harris County jail while simultaneously clocking in at other state correctional facilities.

Sheriff Ron Hickman terminated the three-year, $1.1 million contract in June, opting instead to hire three people for $40,000 each to coordinate volunteer services.

"We cut his cost more than in half," Hickman said, referring to Barber. "And most of the volunteers ... are still right where they were."

Hickman asked the Rangers to investigate the billing discrepancies in early September, the sheriff's office said. A Texas Department of Public Safety spokesman said Wednesday night that "the Texas Rangers are conducting an inquiry to determine whether an investigation is warranted."

Attempts to reach Mike Barber Ministries on Wednesday were unsuccessful.

I'm thinking that Adrian Garcia is really starting to regret quitting that job he had before lining up another one.  Aren't you?

Planned Parenthood's Richards embarrasses GOP's Chaffetz with his own chart

Over the past month or two, the only thing that's been more appallingly ignorant to observe than l'affaire Kim Davis -- complete with its own fake pictures -- is the rolling smear campaign against Planned Parenthood.  During yesterday's Inquisition Congressional hearing on defunding the women's health organization, Cecile Richards made Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Thank Dog Not Texas) pay for his stupidity (or his lies, whichever it was).

As the accompanying video shows, the Utah Republican put a chart on display, purporting to show that over the last decade, the number of prevention services provided by the health care group has steadily declined, while the number of abortions has steadily increased.

Part of the problem, as MSNBC’s Zack Roth reported, is that the information in the chart is misleading [Update: this is what the chart would have looked like if it were honest]. But nearly as important is the fact the congressman presenting the image as devastating evidence simply didn’t know what he was talking about.

When Richards said she’d never seen it before, Chaffetz replied: “It comes straight from your annual reports.”
Moments later, Richards shot back: “My lawyers just informed me that the source of this information is Americans United for Life, an anti-abortion group. I would check your source.”


The Utah Republican lectured the Planned Parenthood chief, certain that the misleading image had come from Planned Parenthood materials. It apparently didn’t occur to Chaffetz to actually look at the darned thing – it literally says, “Source: Americans United for Life,” in all capital letters, on the chart he was so excited about.

This isn't a bug in the conservative hive mind, it's a feature.  Look, there's Carly Fiorina's angry defense of her nightmare make-believe video, which expands upon clandestine, hoax, provocatively-edited-for-maximum-shock value videos.  But this conservative brain-eating virus isn't contained to women's health  issues.  There's climate science and evolution and basic math and pretty much everything that Republicans cannot or will not understand that must be argued out.

Watching much of the proceedings, I was reminded of the congressional committee hearings in early August over the international nuclear agreement with Iran. Republicans had months to prepare their best arguments and sharpest questions, but they fired nothing but blanks. Slate’s William Saletan attended all three hearings and came away flabbergasted: “Over the past several days, congressional hearings on the deal have become a spectacle of dishonesty, incomprehension, and inability to cope with the challenges of a multilateral world... I came away from the hearings dismayed by what the GOP has become in the Obama era. It seems utterly unprepared to govern.”
 It was hard not to draw a similar conclusion (yesterday). Republicans on this committee prepared for months to grill the Planned Parenthood president, having ample time to organize their thoughts, coordinate their lines of attack, read their own charts, etc.
But the GOP lawmakers, once again, seemed confused, lost in details they didn’t understand.

We can't make even the smallest amount of progress if we're going to have to stop and straighten out the idiots who insist that south is actually north despite what the compass says, and we're doing it wrong because their Bibles tell them so.

If we're going to have Congressional hearings to debate whether or not the sky is blue, which way is up and which is down, or shut down the federal government over defunding Planned Parenthood because some morons think that will reduce the number of pregnancy terminations, then our representatives have long ago stopped doing so.  Representing us.

They have, in fact, failed the very conservative morons that elected them.  When even John Boehner gives up fighting with the TeaBaggers, maybe that's a sign something's gone wrong for them.  When Mitch McConnell and John Cornyn can outwit Ted Cruz, perhaps that should be telling the people who voted for "Poop" as their senator, and support his campaign for president, that they might be off the rails.

I just don't think these pigs can be taught to sing, though.  What's Plan B?

Monday, September 28, 2015

The Weekly Wrangle

The Texas Progressive Alliance hopes that everyone made it through the blood moon apocalypse as it brings you this week's roundup. (Assuming we're all still here to read it.)

Off the Kuff comments on the first poll of Texas we've seen in awhile.

Libby Shaw at Texas Kaos, and contributing to Daily Kos, notes that George P. Bush is a predictable clone of his father and uncle. It's all about him and his cronies. Texans should be wary. George P. Bush: A Chip Off of the Old Block.

Socratic Gadfly has a two-fer on Texas-related big business smackdowns. First, he compares VW to Blue Bell, without being sure who loses more in that. Second, after yet ANOTHER recent flight delay, he bitches about Southwest becoming more and more just another legacy airline.

With seven million bucks to spend and a Houston mayoral race that's putting people's feet to sleep, the Houston Chronic excitedly reports that the campaign air wars are about to begin. PDiddie at Brains and Eggs points out that this is just one of the signs of a dysfunctional political system.

Texas Leftist asks: is affordable housing the next great challenge for Houston?

Dos Centavos advances the Festival Chicano in Houston this weekend.

TXsharon at Bluedaze blogged live from the EPA hearing in Dallas.

Bay Area Houston defended Carly Fiorina and her twisted, squirming, heart-beating, legs-kicking nightmares about Planned Parenthood.

Neil at All People Have Value took a picture in downtown Houston that suggested the important place of just plain luck in our lives. APHV is part of


And here are some posts of interest from other Texas blogs.

Trail Blazers was in the Austin courtroom when a Texas judge blocked the state's cuts to Medicaid therapy.

Eric Berger shows us what Sunday's lunar eclipse would have looked like if we saw it from the moon.

Mike Barajas discovered in a recent court filing that the state of Texas is officially dealing drugs.

Prairie Weather -- via Political Wire via Politico -- learned that Pope Francis, Elton John, and Janet Yellen have all snubbed the Clinton Foundation recently because of.. well, you can probably guess.

Joe Deshotel collects some of the free-range thoughts of Louie Gohmert on the next speaker of the US House.

The Rag Blog has the details on De Novo, a documentary play about immigration, coming next month to UT-Austin.

Offcite reports from Parking Day in Houston.

Carol Morgan flashed back on a week of moral epiphany, immoral extortion, and dangerous rhetoric.

GOPLifer thinks the Texas Model -- where the Speaker of the House is elected with bipartisan support -- might work well in Congress, too.

Greg Wythe wonders when the campaign for Houston mayor will begin.

Glenn Smith notes that the late Yogi Berra was a beneficiary of birthright citizenship, which many Republicans like Ted Cruz would like to rescind.

Mean Green Cougar Red recalls Hurricane Rita.

And Fascist Dyke Motors believes in everything, but nothing is sacred.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

The vindication of Kenneth Kendrick

I join with Ted in commending the man who blew the whistle on Stewart Parnell and Peanut Corporation of America.

Kenneth Kendrick, missing Monday from the federal courthouse in Albany, GA, did not hear the praise that came from a witness during a pivotal day in the world of food safety.

Kendrick is a former assistant plant manager of the Plainview, Texas, peanut processing facility once owned by the now-defunct Peanut Corporation of America (PCA). On Sept. 21, 2015, his past bosses and supervisors — Stewart Parnell, former owner of PCA, Michael Parnell, former peanut broker, and Mary Wilkerson, former quality assurance manager — sat for sentencing in the same courthouse in which their federal trial was conducted a year earlier.

At the heart of this trial and sentencing sits the 2008-09 Salmonella outbreak, considered one of the most significant in U.S. history. The CDC report on this multistate outbreak identifies 714 clinically confirmed illnesses across 46 states and nine deaths. Later estimates from the CDC place the number of potential victims not reporting an illness at more than 22,000.

Their attempts to hide evidence and obstruct justice delayed investigators from finding the true source of the contamination and bringing an end to the outbreak sooner.

Kendrick, you may remember, ran for state agriculture commissioner in 2014 on the Green Party line.  Texas voters ultimately chose Sid Miller, known for cupcakes and sonograms, over his DINO challenger, Junior Samples.  There's a great deal more to Kendrick's story that most people wouldn't know from reading the article -- he's found steady employment difficult, his wife left him, he has suffered transportation problems and health consequences -- but throughout his ordeal he's been stoic, determined that his actions were the right thing in the face of unrelenting personal hardships.

In 2013, the U.S. Department of Justice indicted Parnell, his brother, and three other executives involved in the attempts to conceal problems at PCA on charges of fraud, wire fraud, obstruction of justice, and more than 70 other charges.

At the end of their 2014 trial, a 12-member jury found Stewart Parnell guilty on 67 federal felony counts, Michael Parnell guilty on 30 counts, and Wilkerson guilty on one of two counts of obstruction of justice.

The 2015 sentencing of the five convicted food industry executives included the testimonies of victims and families affected by PCA and the outbreak of Salmonella tied to the company. Jeff Almer, who lost his mother during the outbreak, named each guilty executive and had a word or two for them. He asked Wilkerson about her definition of quality assurance. He even stared at Stewart Parnell and said, “You killed my mom.”

Before ending his testimony, Almer stated before the court his appreciation for the efforts of Kenneth Kendrick in helping to make sure that the investigation, as well as the subsequent trial and sentencing, became possible.

On Monday, Sept. 21, 2015, the judge handed Stewart Parnell a sentence of 28 years in prison, Michael Parnell 20 years, and Mary Wilkerson 5 years. Former PCA managers Daniel Kilgore and Samuel Lightsey, who pleaded guilty under agreements with federal prosecutors, are scheduled to receive their sentences on Oct. 1, 2015.

Compared to the morals and ethics of Greg Abbott, Dan Patrick, Ken Paxton, Jethro Bodine, and George Pee Bush, try to imagine how much better our state government, in one small department like the agriculture commission, might be with a man of Kendrick's integrity at the helm.

The next time you get a choice between a conservative embarrassment like Sid Miller or a progressive role model like Kenneth Kendrick, choose wisely.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Boehner gives up

Both the Speakership and his seat in the House, at the end of next month.

In a stunning move, House Speaker John Boehner informed fellow Republicans on Friday that he would resign from Congress at the end of October, giving up his top leadership post and his seat in the House in the face of hardline conservative opposition.

The 13-term Ohio Republican shocked his GOP caucus early Friday morning when he announced his decision in a closed-door session.

He's tired of fighting wth the TeaBaggers.  Frankly, I don't blame him for feeling that way.

A focus of conservatives' complaints, Boehner "just does not want to become the issue," said Rep. John Mica, R-Fla. "Some people have tried to make him the issue both in Congress and outside," Mica said.

Conservatives have demanded that any legislation to keep the government operating past next Wednesday's deadline strip Planned Parenthood of government funds, an argument rejected by the more pragmatic lawmakers. The dispute has threatened Boehner's speakership and roiled the GOP caucus.

Some conservatives welcomed his announcement.

Rep. Tim Huelskamp of Kansas said "it's time for new leadership," and Rep. Tom Massie of Kentucky said the speaker "subverted our Republic."

That's about as douchey as it gets.  The FNG might be an improvement -- in terms of compromise and such -- but I'll bet the Gohmerts and the Massies and the rest of the Wacko Bird Caucus have somebody else in mind who isn't.

Update: Never mind the positive spin on Kevin McCarthy in that NYT piece linked above.  McCarthy and the other three potentials mentioned here are all worse.

Update II: "Right-wing base already hates McCarthy as much as they hated Boehner":

Following former Congressman Eric Cantor’s equally surprising exit from Congress — after being primaried out by a Tea Party favorite — McCarthy moved up the Republican food chain, much to the chagrin of hardliners who saw him as a Boehner/Cantor clone more interested in legislation than throwing red meat to the masses.

In a post on Red State, conservative gadfly Erick Erickson attempted to shoot down McCarthy’s ascension, saying it would continue the “bad blood” between the hardcore conservative wing and the moderates.

“McCarthy is not very conservative and, for all of Cantor’s faults, lacks Cantor’s intelligence on a number of issues. Lest we forget, McCarthy had several high profile screw ups as Whip and has not really seemed to ever improve over time,” Erickson wrote.” If House Republicans wish to not find common ground with the conservatives who make up their base, McCarthy is a fine pick. But if they want to get everyone together as we head into November and then into 2016, they should consider someone else. McCarthy is a non-starter for conservatives and the bad blood will continue.”

Radio host Mark Levin left no doubt had he felt about McCarthy, calling him “dimwitted.”

Update III: And a longer short list.

Money Changes Nothing (Part II of a continuing series)

(Part One, "Money Changes Everything", brought a smarting rebuke, you may recall.)

With midyear fundraising north of $7 million and a throng of top-tier candidates, Houston voters were expected to see a barrage of mayoral advertising across the airwaves come fall. Yet, the race is only now crawling onto television.

To date, five candidates have paid a combined $1.6 million to advertise on network television, half of what was spent on TV in the last open-seat race in 2009.

Instead, they are embracing other advertising methods and retail politics: door-knocking, community appearances and a seemingly endless slog of forums.

"The campaign's not about who's going to win the air war," University of Houston political scientist Brandon Rottinghaus said. "It's about who's going to win the ground war."

I'm going to stop there with the excerpt because Rottinghaus got it right.  The rest is just politico/consultant crap.

Teevee advertising does not persuade undecideds to vote.  Everybody who intends to do so -- something on the order of about 15% of registered Houstonians -- will, and the other 85% are too busy or too bored to do so.  There's no compelling motivator for the casual, occasional voter outside of HERO, and everybody already has their minds made up about that.  Ben Hall's record may be under assault from pro-King forces, but that's a side skirmish.
Because the universe of active and engaged voters is so minuscule (no, I did not spell it wrong), teevee advertising isn't going to persuade those who are voting to do so for someone besides the person have already chosen.  There is likely some meaningful number in context with the afore-mentioned 15% who have only narrowed their choice down to a couple or three men (sorry, but the runoff qualifiers are going to be cis-males) and if those people make an ultimate decision based on a teevee commercial, then the electorate is even more ignorant than I would have believed.  And to use just one specific example, Steve Costello's ad buys -- he should already have plenty of name recognition after three winning citywide races -- are the greatest waste.  But 625 large is peanuts to him.  Like Donald Trump, he can spend whatever he chooses; the best thing you can say about that fact is that he can't be bought (theoretically, at least).

The newspaper only reports the teevee and radio advertising expenditures as a measure of their resentment.  They aren't getting any of that money, you see.  And therein lies the real problem: the system has been corrupted by all of this cash flowing in, but the medium most likely to report that story doesn't.  This story being reported is one that only some campaign staffers, a few whored-out professional consultants, and a small cadre of contemptuous bystanders (like me) care about.  If that is 1000 people in the entire city of Houston, I would be surprised.

Accounts of fundraising totals, campaign finance reports, media buys, and the evaluation of "viability" attached to such, are the sniffles and coughs of a body politic with a bad case of affluenza.  But the pols aren't going to do anything about it, and the media that benefits from the advertising isn't going to so much as mention it.  The fat cats who write the big checks, and call in their chits after the election, like the system just the way it is.  Sick.  After all, they know people who know how to profit obscenely by raising the price of medicine.

Oh, there are a couple of presidential candidates talking about healing the system, and there's a populist movement laying the foundation for eventually changing it, but they are low voices and short on helping hands.

If you're one of those people who doesn't care what's going on with the mayor and city council races, you're not reading this blog or this story in the paper.  If you're one of those people who's still undecided about who to vote for, or which way you might go on HERO, you might ought to report to the nearest Texas MH/MR facility for a psychological competence exam.

And if you do -- care, that is; you have a pretty good idea about who you're voting for, when you will vote (first day of early voting, somewhere in-between, or on Election Day) -- then very little of what I have written here is influencing you.  Your mind is made up.

But there's seven million bucks in potential ad revenue, and ad buy commissions, and political staff and their resume' garnishments at stake.  For those couple of hundred folks, the stakes are high.

For the two men who move on to the one-on-one in December, it's a big deal, of course.  Their futures are heavily invested.  It's a BFD to them, their families and supporters, and certainly the people they will owe some payback to if they wind up getting to sit in the big chair in the middle of the horseshoe down on Bagby.

Ads you see on teevee for the next five or six weeks -- or most probably, all the ones you won't see -- will have nothing to do with the outcome in November.  The real contest comes after that.  The playoff, in December.

So if I were one of those profoundly indifferent 85%-ers in H-Town, I'd go back to watching millionaires bash their brains out for the entertainment of a few billionaires and a couple hundred million Idiocrats.  You know: the people who put on jerseys, paint their faces, scream and cry at their teevees over a duel of gladiators.

That's the real game, with the real money being spent, on your teevee.  And if, Flying Spaghetti Monster forbid, a political advertisement comes on in the middle of it, hit fast forward or change the channel.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Come clean or get out of the race, Hillary

Hoo boy, this is going to piss some people off.  From Ron Fournier at the National Journal (who, like Chris Cillizza at the WaPo, is coming to be loathed in certain center-left circles)...

If the Demo­crat­ic Party cares to sal­vage a sliv­er of mor­al au­thor­ity, its lead­ers and early state voters need to send Hil­lary Rod­ham Clin­ton an ur­gent mes­sage: Come clean or get out. Stop ly­ing and de­flect­ing about how and why you stashed State De­part­ment email on a secret serv­er—or stop run­ning.

Tell her: We can’t have an­oth­er day like this.

Story 1: The State De­part­ment con­firmed that Clin­ton turned over her email only after Con­gress dis­covered that she had ex­clus­ively used a private email sys­tem. Ac­cord­ing to The Wash­ing­ton Post, the de­part­ment first con­tac­ted her in the sum­mer of 2014, at least three months be­fore the agency asked Clin­ton and three of her pre­de­cessors to provide their emails.

The story un­der­cuts Clin­ton’s claim that her de­cision to turn over self-se­lec­ted email was a re­sponse to a routine-sound­ing re­cords re­quest. She hasn’t been telling the truth.

Story 2: A fed­er­al court has helped un­cov­er more emails re­lated to the Benghazi raid that were with­held from con­gres­sion­al in­vest­ig­at­ors. Clin­ton has in­sisted she turned over all her work-re­lated email and com­plied with con­gres­sion­al sub­poen­as.

Again, she hasn’t been telling the truth.

Story 3: The FBI has re­covered per­son­al and work-re­lated e-mails from her private serv­er, rais­ing the pos­sib­il­ity that the de­leted in­form­a­tion be­comes pub­lic. “The FBI is in­vest­ig­at­ing how and why clas­si­fied in­form­a­tion ended up on Clin­ton’s serv­er,” Bloomberg re­por­ted.

While the Demo­crat­ic front-run­ner still in­sists there was no clas­si­fied in­form­a­tion on the un­se­cured serv­er, the FBI has moved bey­ond wheth­er U.S. secrets were in­volved to how and why. In the lan­guage of law en­force­ment, the FBI is in­vest­ig­at­ing her motive.

On Sunday, Clin­ton told Face the Na­tion host John Dick­er­son: “What I did was al­lowed. It was fully above board,” and “I tried to be fully trans­par­ent.” Both claims are ob­ject­ively and in­dis­put­ably false.

It's all NOT a big nothing.  The refusal to accept reality by Clinton supporters is truly the most dangerous thing to the prospects of Democrats holding the White House in next year's election.  Frankly it is similar to the way Republicans deny climate change.  Or evolution.

...(M)onths of dis­hon­esty and de­cep­tion took their toll: A ma­jor­ity of Amer­ic­ans don’t trust her, and the Demo­crat­ic nom­in­a­tion fight has shif­ted from a coron­a­tion to a com­pet­i­tion. A poll re­leased (yesterday) by Bloomberg shows Clin­ton barely lead­ing so­cial­ist (sic) Bernie Sanders and Vice Pres­id­ent Joe Biden, who’s not even in the race.

Let's give the Fournie-haters their due here.  Sometimes the guy -- like too many others -- can't help himself.  He steps in the same holes that David Brock does, applying smeared paint jobs to people.

For Demo­crats, this is an op­por­tun­ity wasted. A crowded GOP field has been taken host­age by a celebrity bil­lion­aire with a his­tory of bank­ruptcies, sex­ist be­ha­vi­or, and ra­cially of­fens­ive state­ments. Lack­ing a firm grip on policy or the truth, Don­ald Trump is the GOP front-run­ner. His closest com­pet­i­tion, Dr. Ben Car­son, said Sunday he didn’t think a Muslim should be pres­id­ent, and his ef­forts to clean up the con­tro­versy have been as ham-handed as they are dis­hon­est.

Both Jeb Bush and Hillary should hold a joint press conference, alongside his brother and her husband (read this, please), and announce together that they are giving way to the next generation of political leaders.  A group which does not include their children.

She an­nounced a plan Tues­day to re­duce pre­scrip­tion-drug costs, prom­ising to cap monthly out-of-pock­et ex­penses at $250 without curb­ing profits that fund re­search in­to life-sav­ing drugs. Can you be­lieve her?

Actually I do, Ron.  She'd have a much better shot at getting something significant done if she had a Democratic Congress, of course, and the powerful greed of capitalist sociopaths like Martin Shkreli are formidable opposition, but any step in that direction is progress.

She might fall short but it probably won't be due to capitulation, not in the way Obama folded on single payer and the public option within the legislation that bears his name.  He caved too early to the capitalists himself, you see.

Over­shad­ow­ing that news was her long-awaited de­cision on the Key­stone pipeline: Clin­ton now op­poses a pro­ject she was once in­clined to sup­port at the State De­part­ment, a flip-flop that she jus­ti­fied with a rhet­or­ic­al wave of the hand. “I think it is im­per­at­ive that we look at the Key­stone pipeline as what I be­lieve it is—a dis­trac­tion from the im­port­ant work we have to do to com­bat cli­mate change.”

A flip-flop in the proper (not right but left) direction.  This is exactly what some of us who are supporting Bernie Sanders had hoped to achieve.  Drag her -- kicking and screaming if we have to -- toward real progress.

A dis­trac­tion from the im­port­ant work. That could be her cam­paign slo­gan.

Okay, that's good.  I hope Sanders starts using it.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

GOP food fight in Houston

Via Charles, a fight Houston conservatives didn't need to have has broken out into the open.

The Harris County Republican Party released a flier Monday attacking Houston mayoral candidate Ben Hall for his Democratic ties and previous support for a nondiscrimination ordinance.

Hall, a Democrat, is running on a socially conservative platform and aims to assemble a coalition of faith-based and fiscally conservative voters.

Among top-tier mayoral candidates, he is the most ardent critic of the city's equal rights ordinance, known as HERO. The law is set to appear on November's ballot.

"Ben Hall says yes to HERO ordinance in 2013," the GOP flier reads, citing a 2013 Harris County Democratic Party questionnaire on which Hall said he would support a nondiscrimination policy.

The ad also labels Hall a "current Democratic Party sustaining member" and claims he contributed more than $100,000 to Democrats, including President Barack Obama, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton and Secretary of State John Kerry, citing campaign finance reports.

It's also a reminder that the shroud of non-partisan municipal elections is worn through to gossamer.  The Republican establishment is pushing back against the rebels.   Or as I would prefer, the anti-Hotze, anti-Woodfill caucus going after the conservative front-runner.  They want Bill King and not Hall... and it may not even be racial.

"We won't stand by and let a political opportunist like Ben Hall try to fool the voters into thinking that he is some kind of Republican," Harris County Republican Party chair Paul Simpson said. "If some have endorsed Hall with the idea that he's a conservative, then they should have done their homework first."

Simpson beat Woodfill for county chair a year or so ago, and Woodfill hasn't gotten over it.  And Simpson, bullied by Woodfill's shadow chairmanship of the local Republicans, has to respond with the only thing political parties have that holds them together: loyalty.  Fealty.

Hall, a former city attorney, has been backed by several pastors' groups and conservative activist Steven Hotze, who publishes an influential endorsement slate.

However, state Sen. Paul Bettencourt said the majority of local Republican Party precinct chairs are supporting King.

No, it's not racial, but Hall really oughta play the race card just for shits and giggles.  Boy, these people have too much time and money on their hands.

If Simpson and the party cronies like Bettencourt are successful, then you will see two of  Sylvester Turner, Adrian Garcia, or Chris Bell in the runoff.  That's how good this is.

Update: In which I get a tip o' the chapeau from Big Jolly.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Bush should quit and endorse Rubio, Biden dropping in, and more

I still have some Houston city council race previews in the queue, but because of last week's hardware interruption, they await confirmation and verification and such like that.  News is being made by the prezidenshuls, so I got that for ya.

-- Biggest shock to my system was this, yesterday (not Walker quitting but the fallout from it).

It would, of course, be totally ridiculous for Jeb Bush to drop out of the 2016 Republican primary this week. He's got a ton of money in the bank, a ton more money in his super PAC's bank, he's ahead of all the real politicians in national primary polling, and he leads the field in endorsements. If he sticks it out, Donald Trump will probably fade. The Ben Carson boomlet will probably vanish. The nascent Carly Fiorina boomlet will keep going for a while and then she'll come back down to earth too. Bush has the cash to gut it out and try to prevail against all comers and the odds of it working are at least decent.

But if he cares about his family legacy, the good of the Republican Party and the ideological principles he espouses, he should drop out as soon as possible and endorse Marco Rubio.

You might want to read all of it.  Rubio allegedly stands to gain the most from Walker's exit, and he and Bush are both poaching Walker's staff, supporters, donors, etc. in the wake of his withdrawal.  It's hilarious to me that Jeb and Marco are described as "anti-establishment insiders", a classic oxymoron.  Speaking of morons, it's my opinion that Rubio is as much of a stone cold one as Walker, but he seems to think that America is not a planet, so the GOP base thinks he's got some science smarts about him.

Update: More on the logic, or lack thereof, behind Rubo's rise from Steve Benen.

-- Bigger news, lesser shock.

Vice President Joe Biden's aides have begun suggesting to donors that he's more inclined to run for president than not, The Wall Street Journal reports, citing anonymous sources familiar with the matter.

The aides say their talks have shifted largely from whether he's going to run to when he's going to announce, sources told the Journal, noting that he could still change his mind if his grief over his recent son's death becomes overwhelming.

“It’s my sense that this is happening, unless they change their minds,” a source who spoke to Biden aides told the Journal.

I have been saying repeatedly that he would not enter the race, but he sees the same thing everybody who's not actually getting paid by the Clinton campaign sees: she's turning radioactive for those in the DNC and the rest of the other 1% Democrats who would wish to just go ahead and anoint the front-runner now, without any debates (or even primaries, if they thought they could get away with it).  Update: Behind the scenes, Clinton wanted just four debates.  And the scheduling of the six -- for which DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz remains under fire for not increasing -- is also designed to protect Hillary from any further self-destruction.

Prior polling suggested Biden pulls as many votes from Bernie Sanders as he does Clinton, but Nate Silver's crew at revised that thinking just yesterday.

Four national polls released this month (ABC News/Washington Post, CBS News/New York Times, YouGov and CNN/ORC) asked Democratic voters who they’d vote for with Biden in the race and without him. Clinton led Bernie Sanders by an average of 44 percent to 26 percent with Biden in the race. Clinton’s 19-percentage-point edge in those polls equals her lead in the Huffington Post/Pollster aggregate. Without Biden, Clinton’s lead on Sanders jumps to 28 percentage points, 57 percent to 29 percent.

In other words, almost all of Biden’s support is coming from people who, without Biden in the race, would support Clinton. So if Biden decides not to run, Clinton’s standing could snap back to where it was earlier this year.

Nobody tell Ted the truth, okay?  He's got too much of his already-weakened credibility invested in whatever today's snap poll is going to reveal to him through his cloudy Hillary filter.

Once Biden does jump in, he's going to start getting those questions about his Anita Hill problem from the early 1990's.  And that is most certainly a problem.

Tangential reading:

-- How Automatic Voter Registration Can Transform American Politics

50 years after the Voting Rights Act, 25% of Americans are still not registered to vote.  Already the law in Oregon, soon to become law in California.  Not Texas, though, in my lifetime.  Our wonderful state government wants fewer people voting, the fewer the better (for them) and will spend millions of your dollars litigating to keep it that way.

-- The New Civil Rights Activists Who Could Decide the Democratic Race

The Black Lives Matter movement will impact the campaigns of Clinton, Sanders, and Biden to some greater or lesser degree.  After the nominee is chosen, their efforts (or lack thereof) will be closely scrutinized for effects on the general election in November, 2016.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Walker falls out: "The short answer is money"

Not even Charles and David Koch had enough to save him from himself.

Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin has concluded he no longer has a path to the Republican presidential nomination and plans to drop out of the 2016 campaign, according to three Republicans familiar with his decision, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Mr. Walker called a news conference in Madison at 6 p.m. Eastern time (about one hour from the time of this post).

“The short answer is money,” said a supporter of Mr. Walker’s who was briefed on the decision. “He’s made a decision not to limp into Iowa.”

What does it say about our post-Citizens United political environment when not even the backing of the Kochs can save you?  Being a moron trumps everything, I suppose (pun intended).

The supporter said Mr. Walker’s fund-raising had dried up after his decline in the polls and that campaign officials did not feel they could risk going into debt with the race so uncertain. The governor, who was scheduled to be in New York and Washington this week, partly to raise money, had built up an expansive staff, bringing on aides and consultants detailed to everything from Christian conservative outreach to Super Tuesday states. But his fund-raising did not keep pace with the money needed to sustain such an infrastructure.

Super PAC millions, where are you?  Kindly go back to late January and read what I wrote then about the emergence of Walker.  It's good for some laughs.  Trump has, as we all know, completely reshuffled the race.  Big Jolly has probably moved on -- all confused things considered -- along with the rest of the Harris County GOP, who hosted Walker in March as keynoter for their Rincoln-Leagan Dinner in March.

Gone but not forgotten.  Nobody, not even Rick Perry, ever flamed out faster.

Update: Walker's 11 worst moments as a candidate.

The Weekly Wrangle

The Texas Progressive Alliance wishes everyone a happy and balanced equinox as it brings you this week's roundup of lefty blog posts from around the Lone Star State.

Off the Kuff stands with Ahmed.

Socratic Gadfly turns a bit of a skeptical eye to European panic over the Syrian refugee crisis and provides some critical analysis of how it's being handled.

Libby Shaw at Texas Kaos, and contributing to Daily Kos, tried her very best to watch the second GOP presidential debate but she just couldn't take it any more. She hung in there for two hours and twenty minutes. GOP Debate: A trip back to the Twilight Zone

Tired of watching Bernie Sanders surge, Clinton surrogates grabbed the 'socialist' brush and started smearing him.  PDiddie at Brains and Eggs is pretty certain that this is how it's going to go until the Sanders campaign no longer represents a threat to her coronation nomination.

Starring David Brock as The Elephant

WCNews at Eye on Williamson sees it becoming clear that the GOP in Texas has no problem with the cuts to Medicaid therapy. They just don't want to be blamed for it: Abbott, GOP want cuts, but no blame.

jobsanger notes that the so-called economic recovery still hasn't reached the middle class.

nonsequiteuse instructs a Houston bar not to use her as an excuse to practice bigotry.

TXsharon at Bluedaze documents another worker's death from fatal fracking vapors.

Neil at All People Have Value said that Alexander Hamilton should remain on the $10 bill. APHV is part of

And Egberto Willies passes along the Paul Krugman viewpoint the GOP's one-percenters will not allow Donald Trump to secure the nomination... but not for the reasons you might think.


And here are some posts of interest from other Texas blogs.

Grits for Breakfast linked to the coverage of the chase for justice in Smith County.

The Texas Observer psoted on the Fifth Circuit's reversal of the convictions of Citgo's Corpus Christi refinery in violation of the Clean Air Act.

Somervell County Salon passes along the reporting about the anti-SLAPP legislation pending in Congress.

The TSTA Blog salutes education reporter Terrence Stutz on his retirement.

Paradise in Hell annotates Donald Trump's Texas speech, and celebrates its first year of blogging.

Texas Clean Air Matters explains why parents should care about climate change.

David Ortez reports from a Houston mayoral forum on issues facing younger voters.

Danyahel Norris illustrates the importance of Houston's equal rights ordinance.

Lawflog recounts the ongoing tussle between the Booger County Mafia and the city of Hearne's residents.

Finally, the TPA congratulates Lize Burr on her new positions as editor and publisher of the Burnt Orange Report.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Coming to you live

After years of faithful service, my Toshiba Satellite (running Vista, no less!) finally gave up the ghost.  So henceforth Brains will be coming at you with the latest Lenovo technology (4GB and 1 terabyte of memory with Windows 8.1 for awhile until I feel comfortable on it, then upgrading to 10).  While we get back up to posting speed, share with me your experiences running and playing on 8 and 10, please.

My first download is going to be my AdBlocker Plus.  How do you people tolerate all these obnoxious ads?

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Fright Night went pie fight

If you read yesterday's predictive analysis, and then watched some of the proceedings (or better yet, followed it on Twitter) then you know things went pretty much according to script.

Trump got beat up.

But whether it was the rattled moment after Jeb Bush dinged him for trying to buy his way into the Florida casino business or when he sputtered through what was (without him) a thoughtful foreign policy discussion, the emperor of the Republican field certainly looked like he forgot his clothes on Wednesday. And that was before his crazy answer on vaccines and autism, or his utter vanquishing at the hands of Carly Fiorina, responding to his comment about her face. 
The other candidates, better polished and better prepared than last time, came across as people who know stuff. Their discussions about government shutdowns, foreign policy, and drug policy had, by the standards of these things, some degree of depth. 
And Trump was noticeably muted through all that.

Maybe his back was hurting from standing for three hours.

Speaking of Fiorina, the former Hewlett Packard CEO—so far the lone success story from the undercard debate—built on her success there and showed that her fight to get onto the main stage in the first place was worth it. She not only slayed Trump, she showed she could be the outsider to beat. 
Her answer about defunding Planned Parenthood got some of the loudest applause of the night—second only, perhaps, to her response to Jake Tapper’s question about Trump’s remarks on her appearance.

There's your winner winner, chicken dinner, folks.  She's gonna be movin' on up again.

Beyond that, this was a night of missed opportunities for Jeb Bush, another deer-in-the-headlights moment for Ben Carson, a weed meme, and the same old elephant in the room.  Oh, and Ted Cruz lied about Planned Parenthood again.

It's as entertaining as watching the Housewives of Beverly Hills until you realize one of these morons is going to be on the ballot in November 2016, and that millions of other morons are going to vote for him -- or her -- without a second thought.  Joke's over.

ABC's "9 moments that mattered" is only eight; throw out the one about Rubio.  And this is what 'post-debate spin' looks like.

Did anybody ask Debbie Wasserman Schultz when we're going to have some Democratic debates?  Why, yes they did, and she happens to be thrilled that the clamor for more is being drowned out by the Republicans' food fighting.  Now that's leadership.

Update: Fiorina's star turn -- though she was hideously wrong on climate change, and hyperbolic on Planned Parenthood -- isn't going to last, according to No More Mister Nice because she's not country enough.  That's a fair point, but I think she's got enough crazy going on that the Teabagger base can get along with her.  I still say she's going to fit well as a running mate for anybody except Donald Trump.  And more and better from Vox on all of this, with nearly no mention of Scott Walker or Chris Christie or Rand Paul or Marco Rubio.  That's precisely accurate.  Bobby Jindal and Lindsey Graham's tete-a-tete on immigration in the matinee got more play than Mike Huckabee.  That nails it as well.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Fight Night II

Or Fright Night, if you'd rather.

CNN Reagan Library Republican Presidential Debate September 16, 2015

The Republican primary field looks very different today than it did nearly six weeks ago, when the first debate was held in Cleveland. Donald Trump has added to his lead, Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina are starting to show momentum — and some of the others are in danger of joining Rick Perry in falling off the map. A lot is riding on how the top 11 candidates, and the four in the undercard forum, handle the questions from CNN’s moderators at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif. Here is a rundown on where the race stands and what each of the candidates needs to do to stay competitive.

-- Trump is coming off back-to-back days of massive rallies, in Dallas and in Los Angeles. He spoke to roughly 15,000 people Monday inside the American Airlines Center, home of the Dallas Mavericks and the Dallas Stars, and on Tuesday he held a rally aboard the 887-foot-long USS Iowa, a decommissioned battleship in the port of Los Angeles. He continues a steady rise in the polls, although his velocity has decreased somewhat. The question is, does this debate mark the beginning of a downward trend for Trump, or can he actually keep gaining in popularity? He’s led the pack now for almost two months, going from the mid-single digits in early July to the clear frontrunner, at 22 percent, in the space of a few weeks. He’s now at 30 percent, but his negatives are very high with a significant number of voters. Political observers have gone through different stages in their reactions to Trump. First came amusement, then mockery, and we have now been in the mild to moderate alarm phase for a few weeks. What happens with Trump on Wednesday night and in the following days will determine whether the GOP establishment goes into action and does what it can to derail and take down the demagogic anti-politician.

Trump is starting to lose women, which is the first data point that his act is finally getting tired.  (But so is Hillary Clinton, a more shocking turn of events.)

-- Carson is arguably the story of the last month, even if he has been overshadowed in the press by Trump’s “perpetual attention machine.” Carson has come from the middle of the pack to now a clear second place, at around 18 percent. And that’s despite a performance at the first debate that most political experts thought was forgettable and unimpressive. But clearly Carson’s lack of experience and absence of establishment connections has benefited him. Now, however, the soft-spoken retired surgeon is becoming a target. He and Trump have sparred recently. And he’ll be under a much bigger microscope than he’s ever experienced.

There is no apparent reason for a neurosurgeon who disbelieves climate change to be rising in the polls except that he benefits from the Herman Cain Effect, which is a wormy calculus swirling in the conservative hive mind that tells them African Americans of all political persuasions will vote for an African American even if he's as lousy a candidate as Cain or Dr. Carson.  Large portions of the Republican racist base believe they can defeat any Democrat by splitting the black vote.  I would like to see this theory tested, which is the only reason I'd like to see Carson maintain his standing near the top of the polls.

-- Jeb Bush has to improve his debate performance. The good news for him is that it won’t be incredibly difficult to do better than he did in Cleveland. The bad news is that he is cratering in the polls. Donors are restless. Bush is flying commercial now to some events rather than on a private jet, a telltale sign of a campaign that is tightening its purse strings. Still, Bush retains significant advantages in his ability to raise money and field a national organization capable of driving supporters to the polls in a drawn-out primary. [...] If he can deliver any kind of body blow to Trump, that would be a huge win for Bush. But at the very least, he needs to show more forcefulness and clarity.

Bush won't be able to lay a glove on Trump.  He can only hope that Trump's mouth eventually does him in.  And even when that finally happens, Bush will see little of the electoral benefit.

-- The freshman U.S. senator from Texas continues to watch the rise of the non-politicians — Trump and Carson and Fiorina — and waits with open arms for the moment when the bottom falls out of their candidacies. Cruz advisers have watched Trump show up to events with little to no organizational effort to identify and collect contact information from supporters. They don’t think he has any capacity to translate his current popularity into votes, even if he doesn’t implode. “I think we are in a breakout moment,” a Cruz adviser said recently. But Cruz does need Trump to lose some altitude for that to happen. Cruz is focusing his energies on denouncing President Obama’s Iran deal, on defunding Planned Parenthood, and on talking about religious liberty. He is third in Iowa and positioned quite well for the fall. He needs to avoid any big errors or damaging moments.

A lot of luck has to break Cruz's way, but I think it is more likely than not that he stands to benefit from the deflation of The Donald, and Mike Huckabee, and the other weaklings mentioned at the end here.

My prediction today is that Ted Cruz will be one of two left standing sometime next spring.

-- Political observers have expressed surprise that Marco Rubio did not reap any real benefit from the first debate, where most agreed that he was among the most impressive. But the U.S. senator from Florida continues to play the role of the tortoise. He does not have a large, expensive campaign and so he does not have to worry about sustaining a massive fundraising effort. He is making smart organizational moves to position himself well in Nevada, which goes fourth in the primary process. His campaign said not to expect any surprises. He’ll be looking to hit singles and doubles, counterpunch if and when he’s attacked, and stay within himself. There’s not a lot of incentive for others to go after him at the moment, however, so it is likely to be clear sailing for him.

Stranger things have happened.

-- The former Hewlett-Packard CEO was the breakout performer from Cleveland. She wasn’t even in the primetime debate, but her eloquence and charisma onstage, as well as in an interview afterward with MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, vaulted her into the national conversation and bumped her polling average up to as high as 6 percent in mid-August. She has lost a little momentum since then, but was also given a gift by Trump when he insulted her looks in an interview with a Rolling Stone reporter. Fiorina spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores said the Reagan Library debate is “another opportunity for us to introduce Carly to a lot of voters. She still has among the lowest name ID in the field.”

Fiorina is most likely to be someone's vice presidential ticketmate.  Not Donald Trump's but somebody's. The latest news about 30,000 more layoffs at HP should provide easy debate fodder for the debate mods and tough questions for her.

-- Scott Walker has fallen the furthest of any candidate since the debate in Cleveland. For a sampling of all that has been written about his woes, just Google “Scott Walker struggles.” Rep. Reid Ribble (R-Wis.), a supposed ally of Walker’s, said in a recent Molly Ball look at Walker’s downward trend, “At some point he will figure out what he actually believes.” Walker has been going the wrong direction for months. He has developed a reputation as a flip-flopper. His campaign knows he needs to have a strong performance at the Reagan Library. “He didn’t use all of his time” in response to every question during the first debate, said an adviser. “He recognizes he can work on that” and that he needs to show “a bit more energy and contrast.” The nod to “contrast” is a signal that Walker will be more aggressive in critiquing others in the field. But Walker also remains in fourth place in Iowa. His favorables are high there. He may need to stop the bleeding, but he doesn’t need to panic yet. “We’re playing the long game,” the adviser said.

As much as he has already lost, he still has the most to lose.

-- The former Arkansas governor may have hoped that his rally outside the Carter County Detention Center in northeast Kentucky, on behalf of the county clerk who was jailed for refusing to issue marriage licenses to gay couples, would have given him a bigger bump than he has experienced. And that may still come. But you can bet that Huckabee will bring up his role in the Kim Davis saga. It might be interesting to see what he says if Cruz “mentions” that Huckabee’s staffers prevented Cruz from going onstage and speaking. Clearly, Huckabee wanted the spotlight for himself. But it might be too rich for Cruz, who himself loves the stage, to complain about it.

Mike Huckabee will never be the nominee.  As crazy as the rest of the field is, Huck is just too far gone for even the worst of the GOP base.

-- Like Fiorina, John Kasich’s polling average was so low around the time of the first debate that it’s not visible on the Real Clear Politics graph. And also like Fiorina, the Ohio governor was one of the most talked-about surprise candidates in Cleveland. The home crowd gave Kasich a huge ovation, he made some waves with his welcoming rhetoric toward gays and lesbians, and he has since seized third place in New Hampshire polling, where he is now discussed as a major obstacle there for Bush ­— who is seen as needing to do well in the state since he has little chance to win Iowa. Kasich needs a solid performance here, but nothing spectacular. He just needs to keep his modest momentum going and keep plugging away in New Hampshire.

Frankly, it's Kasich that I worry about the most.  In a saner conservative environment, he'd be the guy at the lead.  And he could still get there.  He's my choice to be standing with Cruz in the rubble of the mid- to late 2016 primary season.

CNN Sad Sacks Debate

Rand Paul, Chris Christie, and -- once again at the little table -- Bobby Jindal, Rick Santorum, Lindsey Graham, and George Pataki are all dead men running.  Rick Perry is saving them a seat at the bar for whenever the third debate happens.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Clintonites draw the long knives

They've had enough of all this Sanders surging, and they're not going to take it any more.  From good old Ted's (he likes Bernie, don't forget) Facebook page, Tommy Christopher at The Daily Banter goes off his medication.

After a long summer spent feuding with #BlackLivesMatter and alienating Obama coalition voters, Senator Bernie Sanders appeared to be going in the right direction with black voters. He released a pretty decent racial justice platform, stopped telling people how his 1960s-era activism gave him a lifetime hood pass, and hasn’t openly pined for white voters in months. None of this appears to have translated in the polls, though, as Sanders’ support remains overwhelmingly white, so Bernie made some moves this week. 
First, he decided that drafting Dr. Cornel West as his most prominent black surrogate would somehow be a good idea, which would have worked if Sanders had a flux capacitor and a DeLorean set to 2007. Here in the present, Cornel West  is about as appealing to black voters as a Rand Paul lectureon black party identification. West has been among the most unhinged of Obama critics.

That's probably enough horse shit for anybody to have to consume for the rest of the week.  Christopher used to write for Mediaite, and links to himself nine times in those two paragraphs above.  Click on over to the original and you can quickly get the gist of what the Daily Banter and Christopher are all about by scrolling to the end of this frothing screed, and see what else they have been blogging about.

Whatever the Clintons are paying him, it ain't enough.

It's also pretty low-rent for one of her super PACs to have veered hard right in comparing Sanders to Venezuela's Hugo Chavez (RIP) and the UK Labour Party's Jeremy Corbyn, or for center-right Democrats to infer Corbyn is an anti-Semite in a redefinition of the term 'guilt-by-association', and conflate all of this into the usual Clinton surrogate slime-stew they are so effective at pumping out.

But hey, that's politics, as they say.  Right now these little skirmishes are just geek fights on social media and out-of-the-way places online like The DB and Brains and Eggs.  In a couple of weeks you'll start to see more of it as these smears bubble up to the various 24-7 Trump Channels (and you know which lamestream media outlets I'm talking about).

To paraphrase the name of the rabid super PAC run by the odious David Brock above, let's Correct the Record.  Here's a more even-handed interpretation of Dr. West and his motivations.  If you'd like to better understand why Clinton's cronies are so hysterically desperate to slow Sanders' growing support among blacks, here you go.  And last, the Democratic establishment has capitulated, and now wants to wade into the same plutocracy pool the Republicans have been scuba-diving in for a couple of years now.

I wrote in June that Bernie Sanders wasn't going to get the Democratic nomination unless he started to attract minority support from Hillary Clinton.  And that is precisely what her goons are now trying to prevent.  The South Carolina primary will be the ultimate test, but between now and next February -- just five months away -- the battle will be won or lost.

We just get to wait and see what develops.

Update: More on this emerging phenomenon of coordinated strikes on the Sanders campaign from Balloon Juice and No More Mister Nice Blog.