We need to get money out of politics, for real.
Tuesday's Democratic debate in Iowa will be as white as, well, Iowa. Cory Booker dropped out of the race today because he didn't make the cut. Neither did Andrew Yang or even wannabe Obama Deval Patrick. As a presidential candidate, Patrick is like the alien race on Doctor Who that you only remember exists when you're looking right at them. Hey, no one ever said politics was easy ... or diverse. The candidates who didn't make it this far just didn't have a message that connected with voters. That's Tom Steyer's story, and he'll pay you good money to believe it.
Steyer has spent $116 million in television advertising. This marketing budget normally reserved for Star Wars movies was focused on Nevada and South Carolina. Steyer has started to see a return on his investment. Recent polls have him at third place in Nevada with 12 percent support and second place in South Carolina with 15 percent. Yes, you read that correctly. Steyer is second -- the one after first -- in South Carolina. That's also the state where his campaign "borrowed" voter data from Kamala Harris, so I don't know why he's still allowed to compete at all. It's insulting.
What's even more insulting is that Steyer won't cop to trying to buy the primary. No, he just has a great message that the poor bastards in Nevada and South Carolina can't escape.
Mark Kelly is a goddamn astronaut!
Go West, young man! Don't spend all your time and energy in the Rust Belt, because we have just as good a shot at taking Arizona's 11 electoral votes as we do Wisconsin's 10. And we have a better than even chance of picking up a Senate seat in the Grand Canyon state if we can somehow induce our voters to show up like they did in 2018, when they rejected Martha McSally the first time. Which is why the senator just hit the panic button and begged for a bailout from out-of-state donors.
This morning, Public Policy Polling (PPP), a Democratic pollster, published new numbers on Arizona and Iowa. Trump has never been popular in Arizona, and 52 percent of respondents to a phone/text poll conducted in the past two weeks disapprove of the president. Even against a historically unpopular candidate in 2016 (we're not going to fight about this now!), Trump was only able to win by 3.6 percent, as compared to Romney's 9 point margin in 2012. And while he polls basically even with Joe Biden, and only slightly ahead of Sanders, Warren, and Buttigieg, about 8 percent of respondents remain undecided.
In the fall of 2018, Chucklefucker Lev Parnas was so broke that he had to borrow money to pay for the herring and schnapps at his son's bris. The following summer, he was swimming in cash, enjoying charter flights, luxury cars, and personal bodyguards. What changed? According to CNN, Ukrainian oligarch Dmitry Firtash waved the magic money wand and started raining cash down on his American fixer.
"I'm the best-paid interpreter in the world," Parnas joked, according to CNN's sources. Firtash's disheveled hairball lawyers Victoria Toensing and Joe diGenova back this up, minus the wink-wink, nudge-nudge, insisting that it was they who hired the jet-setting former stockbroker and aspiring natural gas magnate as a "translator" for their dealings with Firtash.
"That's a crock," Toensing snapped, when NBC suggested that Firtash was paying Parnas directly. Later her firm issued a more sober statement, saying "Mr. Firtash met Mr. Parnas for the first time in June 2019. Mr. Firtash had no business relationship with Mr. Parnas or Mr. Fruman. Mr. Parnas was retained as a translator by the law firm of diGenova & Toensing. No money has been paid to Mr. Parnas by Mr. Firtash beyond his work as a translator for the law firm."
We have questions!
We do not need another one.
Say it ain't so, Pete.
In an interview with Cosmo this week, Mayor Pete Buttigieg decided to talk about his plans for the Supreme Court by ... praising former Supreme Court Justice and lifelong Republican Anthony Kennedy, who stepped down so Donald Trump could put Brett Kavanaugh on the Court.
So I've floated several ideas and deliberately kept some level of open-mindedness about which ones are going to work best. One of them would be to have 15 members, but 5 of them can only be seated if the other 10 unanimously agree. The idea here is you get more justices who think for themselves. Justices like Justice Kennedy or Justice Souter, and there are many legal scholars who think this could be done without a constitutional amendment under current law.
Where to start?