Voter Suppression Laws Work the Way They're Supposed to. Michael Wines & Manny Fernandez of the New York Times: "As the general election nears — in which new or strengthened voter ID laws will be in place in Texas and 14 other states for the first time in a presidential election — recent academic research indicates that the requirements restrict turnout and disproportionately affect voting by minorities. The laws are also ... reshaping how many campaigns are run — with candidates not only spending time to secure votes, but also time to ensure those votes can be cast." -- CW
Charles Pierce writes about what Donald Trump means to his supporters & suggests Trump doesn't get that. CW: It sure gave me that old fascist feeling. ...
... AND, tho Pierce had something nice to say about Chuck Todd, I guess he missed the segment Driftglass illuminates. It sounds like one of those teevee-smashing moments, especially when you realize that folks out in the Heartland are nodding along with the Muzak. -- CW
E.J. Dionne: "... a phony celebrity populism plays well on television at a time when politics and governing are regularly trashed by those who claim both as their calling. Politicians who don’t want to play their assigned roles make it easy for a role-player to look like the real thing and for a billionaire who flies around on his own plane to look like a populist." -- CW
A Vote for anyone other than Cruz is evil. ABC news reports that "Urging voters to pick him over rival and Republican front-runner Donald Trump, presidential candidate Ted Cruz framed the battle to win the Indiana primary as a choice between good and evil. 'I believe in the people of the Hoosier state. I believe that the men and women gathered here and the goodness of the American people, that we will not give into evil but we will remember who we are and we will stand for our values,' Cruz said at a rally in La Porte, Indiana"-- Akhilleus
Seung Min Kim of Politico: "Senate Republicans have left town for another recess with their yearlong claim that the Senate is 'back to work' an increasingly tough sell to voters.... But the chamber is on pace to work the fewest days in 60 years, the party continues to insist it won't act on President Barack Obama's Supreme Court nomination, and Republicans' ballyhooed strategy to shepherd all dozen spending bills through the chamber is in serious trouble." -- CW
Robert Barnes of the Washington Post: "... it appears the absence of [Justice Antonin] Scalia will be felt on the court’s work next term.... The court has accepted only six cases since Scalia died Feb. 13. The number is low compared with the average, Scotusblog.com editor Amy Howe said at an event last week reviewing the Supreme Court’s work. And none of the cases that the court has accepted for the term that begins in October approach the level of controversy that have marked the dramatic rulings of recent years." -- CW
John Pfaff, in a New York Times op-ed: "... despite this constitutional guarantee [of a government-appointed lawyer for criminal defendants who cannot afford one], state and county spending on lawyers for the poor amounts to only $2.3 billion — barely 1 percent of the more than $200 billion governments spend annually on criminal justice. Worse, since 1995, real spending on indigent defense has fallen, by 2 percent, even as the number of felony cases has risen by approximately 40 percent." -- CW
** Ezra Klein & Dylan Matthews of Vox: "The joke of President Barack Obama's performance on Saturday was that he wasn't joking." -- CW
Julie Davis & Nicholas Fandos of the New York Times: "Malia Obama, the older daughter of plans to attend , the White House announced on Sunday, waiting until her father leaves office to begin her college career." -- CW ... beginning in the fall of 2017
... Gap Year. Juliet Eilperin of the Washington Post: "Malia Obama’s decision to take a year off before attending Harvard University in the fall of 2017 reflects a growing trend among high-achieving teenagers to pursue other interests and get a respite from the academic grind that has come to define high school for many young Americans. But it will also provide her with a chance to experience college as the glare of the presidential spotlight has begun to ease...." -- CW
Yamiche Alcindor of the New York Times: "Bernie Sanders said on Sunday that he and Hillary Clinton were heading to a 'contested' convention this summer because she will need superdelegates to secure the nomination, a claim that clashes with the accepted definition of a contested convention.... Mr. Sanders urged superdelegates in states that he has won and those who came out in support of Mrs. Clinton before he declared his candidacy to switch their support to him." -- CW
John Wagner of the Washington Post: "Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders said he raised $25.8 million in April, well shy of his eye-popping totals of recent months. The figure comes as Sanders’s chance of defeating Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination have dwindled, with his loss to her in the New York primary on April 19 widely viewed as a turning point in the race." -- CW
Scammer-in-Chief. Ken Vogel & Isaac Arnsdorf of Politico: "In the days before Hillary Clinton launched an unprecedented big-money fundraising vehicle with state parties last summer, she vowed 'to rebuild our party from the ground up.'... But less than 1 percent of the $61 million raised by that effort has stayed in the state parties’ coffers, according to a Politico analysis.... The venture, the Hillary Victory Fund, is a so-called joint fundraising committee comprised of Clinton’s presidential campaign, the Democratic National Committee and 32 state party committees. The set-up allows Clinton to solicit checks of $350,000 or more from her super-rich supporters at extravagant fundraisers.... Most of the $23.3 million spent ... has gone towards expenses that appear to have directly benefited Clinton’s campaign...." CW: As I've written before, this is a scam, yet journalists who should know better unwittingly claim that Clinton is helping the party while Sanders is not. Clinton controls who gets what, & it turns out who gets what is mostly Clinton.
Dave Weigel of the Washington Post: "Just hours after the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit against a new Indiana abortion law, Hillary Clinton stumped miles away from the state capitol and filed a sort of amicus brief. 'I will defend a woman's right to make her own health-care decisions,' Clinton said to a few hundred supporters packed into a sweltering recreation center. 'I’ll tell ya, I’ll defend Planned Parenthood against these attacks. And I commend the women of this state, young and old, for standing up against this governor and this legislature.'” -- CW
Mark Hensch of the Hill: "... on Monday said that CNN’s news coverage favors ... . 'They do call it ‘the Clinton network,’” he told Chris Cuomo on the network’s 'New Day' after the host questioned his blunt campaign rhetoric. Trump said that his recent remarks attacking Clinton’s gender and China’s currency manipulation are not controversial." -- CW
Trip Gabriel of the New York Times: "Donald J. Trump and Hillary Clinton threw some practice jabs in interviews broadcast on Sunday, signaling a general election that could focus heavily on Mrs. Clinton’s gender and on her more hawkish foreign policy. 'The only card she has is the women’s card,’ Mr. Trump said, continuing to contend that Mrs. Clinton would not have won more than five percent of Democratic primary votes if she were a man.... Mrs. Clinton said she planned to ignore Mr. Trump’s 'bullying' and 'temper tantrums' and focus on issues if they face off in the general election." -- CW
Brittny Mejia, et al., of the Los Angeles Times: "Thousands of people took to the streets in the annual May Day marches in downtown Los Angeles and Boyle Heights on Sunday to advocate for immigration reform, police accountability and an end to racism. The diverse array of protesters shared one thing in common: all were offended by something Donald Trump had said. The Republican presidential candidate literally loomed over one of the rallies in the form of a giant balloon effigy carrying a Ku Klux Klan hood. 'He's plastic, he doesn't have a heart, he doesn't have a brain,' organizer Francisco Moreno said...." -- CW
Bienvenidos, Cubanos! Patricia Mazzai of the Miami Herald: "Donald Trump is the catalyst who could force a decisive break between Miami-Dade County’s influential Cuban-American voters and the Republican Party, a new poll has found. Local Cuban Americans dislike Trump so much — and are increasingly so accepting of renewed U.S.-Cuba ties pushed by Democratic President Barack Obama — that Trump’s likely presidential nomination might accentuate the voters’ political shift away from the GOP, according to the survey shared with the Miami Herald and conducted by Dario Moreno, a Coral Gables pollster...." -- CW BUT, see also Beyond the Beltway. Not every Cuban-American is, um, on board.
Shane Goldmacher of Politico: "Donald Trump won the New Hampshire primary handily nearly three months ago, but state GOP officials are pushing a plan to block all of Trump's delegates from serving on any of the key committees at the national convention in July. Instead, the coveted convention slots would go entirely to delegates assigned to Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, John Kasich and Ted Cruz, even though Trump won 35 percent of the vote, more than double his closest competitor." -- CW
There are scores of recent migrants inside our borders charged with terrorism. For every case known to the public, there are dozens and dozens more. We must stop importing extremism through senseless immigration policies. — Donald Trump, foreign policy address, April 27
Trump gave a prepared speech for once, with even a teleprompter. So one would presume that someone would have looked this stuff up before writing it into his speech. Alas, there is no evidence that 'scores' of 'recent migrants' are charged with terrorism, and that for every case made public, there are 'dozens and dozens more. -- Michelle Lee, Washington Post
Rebecca Savransky of the Hill: "Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates on Sunday criticized 's foreign policy after the Republican presidential front-runner outlined his 'America first' model. 'I think, based on the speech, you'd have somebody who doesn’t understand the difference between a business negotiation and a negotiation with sovereign powers,' Gates said on ABC's 'This Week.'" -- CW
** Ripe for Tyranny? Andrew Sullivan in New York: "Could it be that the Donald has emerged from the populist circuses of pro wrestling and New York City tabloids, via reality television and Twitter, to prove not just Plato but also James Madison right, that democracies 'have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention … and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths'?" --safari ...
... CW: See also discussion in today's Comments.
Lauren Collins of the New Yorker: "The temptation is to dismiss Melania [Trump] as a dummy, a compliant figure remarkable less for her personality than for her proportions...If we take the office of First Lady seriously, then it’s worth trying to figure out who Melania is as a person, versus a product to be placed." --safari
Trump the Boomer. Stephen Metcalf of Slate: "I think we can trace Trump’s political instinct to a less personal, more sociological source. In this we need only look to his birth certificate. There we see thatDonald John Trump was born on June 14, 1946. Is it possible Trumpismo, in its disdain for norms of speech and conduct, in its underlying craving for apocalyptic violence, is traceable to one simple fact? In almost plain sight, beneath the worldly swagger and breathtaking arrogance, lies Donald Trump the baby boomer." --safari
Olivier Laughland and Mae Ryan of the Guardian: "Although Trump has touted himself as “the greatest jobs president that God has ever created”, these workers [at Trump's Las Vegas hotel] point to the fact they are paid on average $3 less than the thousands of unionised hotel workers in Las Vegas who work identical jobs and enjoy a host of other benefits, including pensions and free health insurance, not available to Trump employees....Workers argue they have been subjected to surveillance, intimidation, and unlawful dismissal as they have sought to organize." --safari
Indiana -- #NeverTrump's Last Gasp. Chas Danner of New York: "A new NBC News/WSJ/Marist poll shows Donald Trump beating Ted Cruz by 15 points in Indiana, where the vote on Tuesday is seen by many as the actual last opportunity to halt Trump’s first-ballot nomination in Cleveland....Cruz’s 'Hail Carly' — as USA Today deftly characterized the candidate’s sudden choice of Carly Fiorina as a running mate last week — has apparently had only a modest impact on Cruz’s poll numbers. In the meantime, Cruz himself continues to profess his belief in an outcome which, so far, projections do not support... Appearing on ABC’s This Week on Sunday, Cruz again insisted that 'it is going to be a contested convention' — though he and his staff seem to have also acknowledged that if Trump wins Indiana, his nomination will be impossible to block." -- CW
He's been winning the women's vote in state after state. Ted is an immigrant. He is Hispanic. He can unify this party. -- Heidi Cruz , in Indiana Saturday
Dave Weigel: "Donald Trump returned to one of his favorite subjects, the Canadian birth of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), at an afternoon rally inside the city's largest sports arena. His cue came from the senator's wife, Heidi, who tripped over a word at a Saturday GOP presidential campaign rally and appeared to say that her husband was an immigrant. 'Heidi Cruz -- nice woman,' Trump began. 'She said this one: "My husband's an immigrant!" He's an immigrant! That's what I've been trying to say!'" -- CW
Jeremy Peters of the New York Times: "... as the gravitational pull of [Donald] Trump’s recent primary landslides draws more Republicans toward him, [Ted] Cruz’s support among the party’s 2,472 convention delegates is softening, threatening his hopes of preventing Mr. Trump’s nomination by overtaking him in a floor fight." -- CW
Joanna Walters & Alan Yujas of the Guardian: "Ted Cruz made a last-ditch series of attacks on Donald Trump on Sunday, going so far as to call him corrupt, dismiss fellow Republicans, and invoke Trump’s endorsement by 'a convicted rapist'.... Cruz blitzed television airwaves on Sunday morning.... He accused Trump and [Hillary] Clinton of being agents of a corrupt system. 'They’ve both gotten rich exploiting Washington, exploiting government power,' he said on NBC’s Meet the Press. On two other shows, he called the pair 'enmeshed in corruption', 'ultimate Washington insiders' and members of a political 'cartel'.” The "convicted rapist" is Mike Tyson, whose endorsement Trump touted last week in Indiana -- the state where Tyson committed the crime. -- CW ...
... Watch sack o'shit Ted Cruz lie to a severely disabled man & his family about ObamaCare. Twice. In 30 seconds. -- CW Via Tommy Christopher of Mediaite.
Marc Caputo of Politico: "Marco Rubio won’t be endorsing Ted Cruz during the Republican presidential primary, but he’s likely to back the Texas senator at a contested convention — if it gets that far. The de facto plan, Rubio’s backers say, is designed to help Cruz. It also, however, protects Rubio's political future, including if he decides to make another run for the White House." CW: Because it's All About Marco.
Beyond the Beltway
Seattle Times: "Hurling rocks, bricks and even Molotov cocktails, anti-capitalist protesters clashed with police in downtown Seattle Sunday, as May Day mayhem erupted again following a peaceful march. By 10:30 p.m., at least five officers had been injured and at least nine people had been arrested, Seattle police reported. One injured officer suffered a gash to his head when he was struck by a rock." -- CW
Annie Ramos & Catherine set sail Sunday as salsa music played and protesters picketed nearby."of CNN: "The first U.S. cruise ship bound for Cuba in decades
Michelle Kaske, et al., of Bloomberg: "Puerto Rico will default on a $422 million bond payment for its Government Development Bank, escalating what is turning into the biggest crisis ever in the $3.7 trillion market that U.S. state and local entities use to access financing." -- CW
Alene Tchekmedyian & Cindy Chang of the Los Angeles Times: "A top Los Angeles County sheriff's official has resigned amid mounting criticism over emails he sent mocking Muslims, blacks, Latinos, women and others from his work account during his previous job with the Burbank Police Department, the Sheriff's Department announced Sunday. After previously saying that he had no immediate plans to discipline his chief of staff, Sheriff Jim McDonnell said in a statement that he had accepted Tom Angel's resignation and intended to turn the controversy into a 'learning opportunity' for his department employees." CW: Right. Because he & his staff had no idea demeaning women & minorities wasn't A-OK. ...
... Benjamin Weiser of the New York Times: "
... CW P.S. If Tom Friedman & the rest of the Bloomberg for President Cheerleading Squad want to know what this man should never be president, Judgejust gave them part of the answer: he "just doesn't get it."
Screw the People. CW: My excellent governor, Rick Scott (R-Crook), is off in California, trying to convince California companies to move to Florida because the minimum wage here is so low. He also says he's trying to get individuals to move to Florida because they "can't afford" to live in California. Yo, Rick, they can't afford to live in Florida, if they need to work.
Chelsea Manning in the Guardian: "[S]olitary confinement in the US is arbitrary, abused and unnecessary in many situations. It is cruel, degrading and inhumane, and is effectively a “no touch” torture. We should end the practice quickly and completely...Unfortunately, conditions similar to the ones I experienced in 2010-11 are hardly unusual for the estimated 80,000 to 100,000 inmates held in these conditions across the US every day." --safari
Paul Krugman: EU countries are still in bad economic shape because Europe's political leaders have no idea how macroeconomics work.
Michelle Kaske, Jonathan Levin, and Brian Chappatta of Bloomberg: "Puerto Rico will default on a $422 million bond payment for its Government Development Bank, escalating what is turning into the biggest crisis ever in the $3.7 trillion market that U.S. state and local entities use to access financing." --safari
Loveday Morris of the Washington Post: "Supporters of Iraqi Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr announced their withdrawal from Baghdad’s fortified Green Zone on Sunday, packing up and leaving just a day after they stormed parliament and began a sit-in. Addressing the demonstrators, Akhlas al-Obaidi, a protest organizer, urged people to go home to give political decision-making a chance...." -- CW