Bernie Ratchets It up Again. Jeremy Herb of Politico: "Bernie Sanders's attacks on his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton are shifting from qualifications for president to her judgment. 'She may have the experience to be president of the United States. No one can argue that,' Sanders said on NBC's 'Meet the Press.' 'But in terms of her judgment, something is clearly lacking.' And on CNN's 'State of the Union,' Sanders said: 'I have my doubts about what kind of president she would make.'" -- CW
Rebecca Shebad of The Hill: "Former President Carter says ... when Secretary Clinton was Secretary of State, she took very little action to bring about peace. It was only John Kerry's coming into office that reinitiated all these very important and crucial issues." -- LT
This Is Sickening. Evelyn Rupert of the Hill: "A Bernie Sanders event in New York reached a tense ending Saturday as a man shouted questions about Sanders's religion over boos from the audience. 'As you know, the Zionist Jews -- and I don't mean to offend anybody -- they run the Federal Reserve, they run Wall Street, they run every campaign,' the man said. Sanders responded by shaking his head and saying 'Brother, brother, brother.' The man then said: 'What is your affiliation to your Jewish community? That's all I'm asking.' Sanders responded: 'That's not what your asking.'" -- CW
Jeremy Herb: "President Barack Obama insisted in an interview with Fox News aired Sunday that the FBI and Justice Department will not protect ... Hillary Clinton while investigating her private emails and server. 'I can guarantee that,' Obama said repeatedly in an interview with Fox News' Chris Wallace, who interviewed the president in his first appearance on 'Fox News Sunday' during his seven-year tenure." Full interview under Other News & Views below. -- CW
Yamiche Alcindor & Amy Chozick of the New York Times: "Continuing a string of victories across the West, Senator won the Wyoming Democratic caucuses Saturday, chipping away at Hillary Clinton's delegate lead before a major primary in New York next week. With 96 percent of precincts reporting, The Associated Press declared Mr. Sanders the winner with 56 percent of the vote.... Coming after Mr. Sanders's recent big victories in Washington State, Alaska, Idaho, Utah, Hawaii and Wisconsin, it was more evidence of Mrs. Clinton's weaknesses among white and liberal voters...." -- CW
Nobody can take someone's arm anymore in America? That's assault? -- Bill Maher, Friday ...
... Maher Embraces His "Politically Incorrect" Brand. Pundit Bill Maher defended Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski's alleged "simple battery" on former Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields -- Maher called it alleged "assault," but he's not a lawyer -- & went on to diss Fields for complaining about it. Marlow Stern of the Daily Beast reports. CW: This is a reminder that Maher thinks violence against women is funny. Maher has a long history of sexism (Google it), which is something to keep in mind, especially if Clinton becomes the Democratic nominee.
Jill Lepore of the New Yorker: "Trump will want this to be an election about popular sovereignty: the people rule. Clinton will not be able to avoid making an argument about female rule, because much in Trump's campaign, and in Cruz's, too, suggests that a woman should not have authority over a man, or over her own body, either. The candidates may not want this election to become a battle of the sexes, but the lines have been drawn, long since." -- CW
Mussolini v. Hitler. Rebecca Savransky of the Hill: "Donald Trump's convention manager, Paul Manafort, said on Sunday that Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz is using 'Gestapo tactics' to try to lure delegates. 'He's threatening, you go to these county conventions, and you see the tactics, Gestapo tactics, the scorched-earth tactics,' Manafort said on NBC's 'Meet the Press.'" -- CW ..
... BUT. Tom LoBianco of CNN: "Ted Cruz suffered a rare convention loss Saturday after delegates backing John Kasich and Donald Trump boxed him out of key positions in the Michigan delegation. The Texas senator's campaign ran eight delegates for eight committee spots and lost every one, alleging it was 'double-crossed' by Kasich supporters." -- CW
John Frank & Joey Bunch of the Denver Post: Ted Cruz "won all 34 delegates awarded in Colorado in what amounts to a stunning rebuke of Republican front-runner Donald Trump. Cruz completed the sweep by winning all 13 delegates at the state convention in Colorado Springs -- the largest in history with nearly 8,000 in the crowd -- where he gave what amounted to an victory speech earlier in the day." -- CW
Denis Slattery of the New York Daily News: On Saturday, Donald Trump made his first visit to the 9/11 Ground Zero memorial & museum. "Trump also made a $100,000 donation to the institution, another first, the Daily News has learned." Trump's charitable foundation [never made] a single substantial donation to any 9/11-related nonprofit groups that have aided survivors, rescue workers and the families of first-responders ..." tho his campaign said he made a "significant" donation to the Red Cross right after the 2001 attack. Trump "The deal-maker did accept a $150,000 federal grant that was part of a program meant to assist small businesses affected by the attacks." ...
... CW: According to this February Smoking Gun report, Trump, who funnels his charitable contributions through the Donald Trump Foundation, made no donation to the Red Cross in 2001 or 2002. But he did get that small business grant.
Kyle Cheney of Politico: "Indiana hasn't cast its ballots for president yet, but Donald Trump is already losing. Republican Party insiders in the state will select 27 delegates to the national convention on Saturday, and Trump is assured to be nearly shut out of support, according to interviews with a dozen party leaders and officials involved in the delegate selection process.... Indiana's delegates will be bound to the results of the state's May 3 primary on the first vote in Cleveland, and Trump is expected to be competitive in that contest.... But if Trump fails to clinch the nomination, they'll be free to vote their conscience -- and that means a rapid rejection of Trump." -- CW
Ed O'Keefe of the Washington Post: "Donald Trump still leads the Republican presidential race, but Ted Cruz continues to beat him at a trickier game -- securing convention delegates in states that don't hold caucuses or primaries. If Trump fails to secure the 1,237 delegates needed to win the GOP presidential nomination before the party convention in Cleveland this July, his missteps in more obscure delegate contests could be the ones that cost him a victory." -- CW ...
... Evan Osnos of the New Yorker: "... as we approach the growing prospect of a contested convention..., it's becoming clearer that Trump may seek to shape the outcome by using his most unwieldy weapon of all: the latent power of usually peaceful people. It's easy to mock Trump for his thin-skinned fixation on the size of his audiences, but that misses a deeper point: you can't have a riot without a mob." -- CW
... Jeff Greenfield of Politico on Republicans trying to turn back the clock: "...Republican elders who are desperately trying to derail Trump are openly contemplating going back to the old ways, handing the nomination to someone who never spent a day on the campaign trail, never tried to persuade single voter, and was simply delivered the nomination by an arena full of anonymous delegates. Somehow, the establishment thinks, it can instruct all those millions of Republican voters who came out for Trump and Cruz and Kasich to fall in line behind, say, Speaker Paul Ryan." --unwashed
Hadas Gold of Politico: "The Boston Globe on Sunday will publish a satirical front page predicting headlines about a Donald Trump presidency alongside a 'Stop Trump' editorial. The fake front page will be the lead of the Globe's Sunday Ideas section and 'is a work of political satire and commentary produced by the Globe's Editorial Board, not the newsroom,' Globe Editorial Page Editor Ellen Clegg wrote in an email." Here's the Globe's fake front page for April 9, 2017. CW: It's a slow-loader but worth the wait. Unfortunately, the "stories" are not too farfetched, & some teases are pretty funny: "Heavy spring snow closed Trump National Park for the first time since it dropped its loser name, Yellowstone, in January." The accompanying editorial is here. ...
... Speaking of Fake News.... Philip Bump of the Washington Post: "So on Friday night, Donald Trump tweeted this: '@Cam: Reports are RNC has received +1 million postcards so far....'" Trump's tweet included a photo of the postcards, which are addressed to RNC chair Reince Priebus, & say "I will only vote for Donald Trump. Do not steal this election." Even given the unlikelihood that Trump supporters could have organized such a massive mail campaign -- and without news of it leaking -- "... the postcards are printed with the wrong address. The address printed on those alleged one million postcards would have ended up dumped in a pile at the intersection next to the Capitol South Metro stop.... We asked the Republican National Committee how many postcards they may have received. 'We have received a grand total of zero,' said spokesman Michael Short." -- CW
Driftglass provides a humorous take on David Brooks and the death of the Republican Party: "[Friday], Mr. Brooks imagineers out of thin air an entire army of public-spirited Reasonable Republicans who will infiltrate the Republican convention in July cleverly disguised as party hacks but then -- surprise! -- cast off their fake George Wallace noses and Pat Buchanan wigs just in time to rise as one!... But when I read it, in my head it sounded a lot like this..." a la Monty Python. --unwashed
Other News & Views
Chris Wallace of "Fox 'News' Sunday" interviews President Obama: (The quality isn't too good, but it's all I got. -- CW:
A Democratic Congress is good for America. President Obama, Friday
Darlene Superville of the AP: Speaking at a fundraiser at the California home of Gordon Getty, "President Barack Obama praised Democratic lawmakers for having his back through some politically tough votes and encouraged supporters to help elect more of them in November. Obama also criticized Senate Republicans for refusing to consider his Supreme Court nominee and said GOP presidential candidates Donald Trump and Ted Cruz aren't 'outliers' but are simply parroting what some congressional Republicans have said for years." -- CW
Mitch Smith & Monica Davey of the New York Times: "A lawyer for J. Dennis Hastert, the former speaker of the House who is awaiting sentencing for a federal banking violation, said Saturday that his client acknowledged committing 'transgressions' decades ago as a high school teacher and wrestling coach, but again stopped short of detailing those misdeeds." -- CW
**Josh Marshall of TPM: "...Hastert's improbable rise to the pinnacle of political power in Washington was a direct consequence of Republican party efforts to exploit and eventually criminalize Bill Clinton's extramarital sex life in order to overturn the 1992 and 1996 presidential elections. The chain of events is clear and straightforward." --safari
Ed Vulliamy of the Guardian on how Teddy Roosevelt & financier J. P. Morgan made Panama a haven for the rich. -- CW ...
... Ken Silverstein in Vice (December 2014): "In 1903, the administration of Theodore Roosevelt created the country [of Panama] after bullying Colombia to hand over what was then the province of Panama. Roosevelt acted at the behest of various banking groups, among them J. P. Morgan & Co., which was appointed as the country's official 'fiscal agent,' in charge of managing $10 million in aid that the US rushed down to the new nation." CW: Silverstein pretty much had the goods on the law firm Mossack Fonseca a couple of years before the Panama Papers came out.
James Carroll in the New Yorker: "Pope Francis's emphasis on mercy toward the divorced and remarried doesn't only mean that those people will more freely partake of Communion. It also means that the doctrine of the indissolubility of marriage, however much it is still held up as an ideal, will not grip the moral imagination of the Church as it once did." -- CW
NewsCorpse on DailyKos: "Sesame Street made a historic addition to its cast of lovable characters ...an Afghan girl [who] will join the Muppets for its broadcast in the Afghanistan version of the show.... The news of Zari's debut has produced the all too predictable rash of bigotry that we've all come to expect from the conservative hate mongers who believe that all Muslims are terrorists."
Beyond the Beltway
David Warren of the AP: "A former FBI agent who later enlisted in the U.S. Air Force was identified Saturday as the man who killed his commander at an air base in San Antonio before turning the gun on himself."
Paul Bond of the Hollywood Reporter: Rep. Mark Walker (R-NC) called performer Bruce Springsteen a "bully" for cancelling a concert in Greensboro -- part of Walker's district -- in protest of a North Carolina law that protects bullies.
Raphael Satter of the AP: "The attackers who struck Brussels on March 22 initially planned to launch a second assault on France, Belgium's Federal Prosecution Office said Sunday. But the perpetrators were 'surprised by the speed of the progress in the ongoing investigation' and decided to rush an attack on Brussels instead, the office said in a statement." -- CW ...
... Alissa Rubin of the New York Times: "The 'man in the hat' who accompanied the two suicide bombers who detonated their explosives at Brussels Airport on March 22, and who was seen in a surveillance video walking away from the airport, has been identified as Mohamed Abrini, the Belgian prosecutor's office said in a statement on Saturday. Mr. Abrini is also suspected of providing logistical help for the men who carried out the Nov. 13 attacks in Paris. He was detained on Friday in Brussels after a nearly five-month manhunt and was charged on Saturday with participation in the activities of a terrorist group and terrorist murder." -- CW ...
... Erik Kirschbaum of the Los Angeles Times: "A suspected terrorist arrested Friday in Belgium has confessed to being the mysterious 'man in the hat' believed to have participated in the Brussels attacks last month that killed 32 people, prosecutors said Saturday." -- CW
Bradley Klapper of the AP: "Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Saturday committed to pushing reforms after his picks for attorney general and interior minister won long-sought Cabinet confirmation, while U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry pleaded with the government's power-sharing leaders to bury their "factional divisions" for the good of the country." -- CW
Daniel Boffey of the Guardian's Observer: British Prime Minister David Cameron "took the unprecedented decision to release his personal tax records on Saturday, as growing anger over revelations in the Panama Papers threatened to derail his premiership. But the extraordinary move seems set to plunge David Cameron into further controversy, as it emerged that his mother transferred two separate payments of £100,000 to his accounts in 2011, allowing the family estate to avoid a potential £80,000 worth of inheritance tax." -- CW
Yonette Joseph of the New York Times: "The archbishop of Canterbury, who is the head of the Church of England, said on Friday that a DNA test had revealed that his biological father was not the whiskey salesman who had married his mother, but the man who had been the last private secretary for Sir Winston Churchill. In an unusually frank statement on his website, the Most Rev. Justin Welby said he had discovered the truth 'in the last month,' after taking the test." -- CW
... CW: If you're awfully fond of dear old Dad, you might want to think twice about getting one of those DNA tests.
Niraj Chokshi of the Washington Post: After their boat capsized, three men swam two miles to a tiny Pacific Island several hundred miles north of Papua New Guinea, from which they were rescued: "The crew aboard a Navy plane spotted the men waving life jackets, standing next to piles of palm leaves arranged to spell out four capital letters: H-E-L-P." The U.S. Coast Guard had coordinated an effort to find the men." CW: "Cast Away" would not have been a much shorter film if the Tom Hanks character had thought of that.
New York Times: "Will Smith, a former defensive end for the New Orleans Saints who played on their Super Bowl championship team in 2009-10, was shot and killed in New Orleans late Saturday, the authorities said. Jeffrey Rouse, the Orleans Parish coroner, confirmed in a statement overnight that Smith had died of 'multiple gunshot wounds' after an exchange of words with another driver. The New Orleans Police Department said early Sunday that a suspect in the shooting, Cardell Hayes, 28, had been arrested and charged with second-degree murder."