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The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

Meanwhile, in Book News . . .



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The latest issue of National Review offers a review of The Weed Agency, written by A. J. Delgado, that is essentially every author’s goal — a reviewer who “gets” the book at every level intended.

Meanwhile, The Weed Agency is currently $9.81 on Amazon, $7.99 for Kindle edition. I’ve got 99 reviews on Amazon, but “kitsch” ain’t one.

Tags: Something Lighter

Who’s Saying Veterans Can’t Trust the Obama Administration?



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You almost have to admire the opportunism of Senator Kay Hagan as she suddenly turns into a full-throated critic of the Obama administration, months from Election Day: 

Ahead of President Obama’s speech Tuesday before the American Legion, a vulnerable senator in his own party voiced skepticism about the commander in chief’s commitment to veterans. Sen. Kay Hagan, who is locked in a tight re-election race against Republican Thom Tillis in North Carolina, said in a statement that the Obama administration “has not yet done enough to earn the lasting trust of our veterans and implement real and permanent reforms at the VA.”

The American Legion is holding its convention in Charlotte this week; Obama is scheduled to speak there tomorrow. Hagan is scheduled to attend the event.

The CQ/Roll Call study found that Senator Hagan voted with the Obama administration’s position 96 percent of the time

Senator Kay Hagan, left, with an unidentified supporter.

UPDATE: Here’s Kay Hagan back in 2008, talking about how she’s heard first-hand about how veterans are having difficulty getting care at VA hospitals, and how, “we really need to honor them for their service and make it a seamless transition from the time they get out to when they get their care. And that’s one of the things that we’ve got to correct.”

How’s she doing on that, huh? 

Tags: Kay Hagan , Veterans , North Carolina

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In Maine, GOP Governor Paul LePage Still Neck-and-Neck



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Only one pollster has released a survey of Maine’s gubernatorial race since June; the Maine People’s Resource Center found Democrat Michael Michaud ahead of Republican incumbent governor Paul LePage, 42.6 percent to 41.4 percent. (LePage won a four-way race in 2010 with 38 percent of the vote.)

This morning, the Republican Governors Association offers a new ad showcasing LePage’s record: cutting taxes, reforming welfare, paying off debt for hospitals, and presiding over an economic recovery:

Tags: Paul LePage , Michael Michaud , Maine

Are Democrats Set to Win the Get-Out-the-Vote Fight in 2014?



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Hmmm. The Atlantic’s Molly Ball takes a long look at the respective get-out-the-vote operations of Democrats and Republicans in Arkansas and sees a familiar disparity:

Republicans now have 11 offices open across Arkansas, party officials told me, all of them staffed by field organizers. They have recruited “hundreds” of volunteers, and the RNC has had staff here for almost a year. This effort is indeed bigger than anything the party previously built in this state. “We clearly have the largest mobilization we’ve had in my memory, which is pretty good,” the state GOP chairman, Doyle Webb, tells me, crediting the RNC for stepping up its game. “We’ve been waiting for the cavalry, and now it’s here.”

But the Republicans’ effort pales in comparison to what the Democrats have built: Democrats are spending more than five times as much money in Arkansas, and have four times as many field offices and triple the number of staff. In the month of July alone, the Arkansas Democratic Party reported nearly $900,000 in federal campaign spending, while Arkansas Republicans reported $155,000. (Most of the money the Democrats are spending has come directly from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.) Democrats listed 64 staffers on their payroll; Republicans listed 22. The RNC claims it has 50 people on the payroll in Arkansas, including some being paid by other GOP committees, but I could not find a record of them and staffers on the ground were not aware of them. According to public records, there are Democratic staffers in places like Cabot (population 24,000), Marion (12,000), Arkadelphia (11,000), and Dardanelle, Tom Cotton’s hometown, with fewer than 5,000 residents.

It’s possible that there’s a law of diminishing returns with field offices; after a while you’re renting space and hiring staffers for a smaller and smaller increase in the number of votes for your side. Or perhaps candidate quality and charisma matters; it’s probably a lot easier to get irregular or newly registered voters to show up to vote for President Obama in a presidential election year than for Senator Mark Pryor in a midterm-election year.

But if those aren’t true, and Pryor does better than expected on Election Day . . . the GOP will have relearned a hard lesson from 2012.

Why do Democrats win more? Because they want it more. And their donor class is willing to spend more money to insure that they win — at least in most cases:

The RNC has raised $11 million more than the DNC, but the DCCC has raised $37 million more than the NRCC, and in the race for control of the Senate, the Democrats are a whopping $27 million ahead of the Republican’s senatorial committee. Wasn’t winning the Senate the top GOP priority this year? Wouldn’t you think Republican donors would be flooding that committee with cash and resources?

Is it that Republicans prefer to give to the candidate’s campaign? In Arkansas, Pryor is handily outraising and outspending Cotton.

Is it that Republicans prefer to give to outside groups? How good are those outside groups at getting out the vote on Election Day? Or in absentee and early voting?

Tags: NRSC , DSCC , NRCC , DCCC , RNC , DNC , Arkansas

Are ISIS ‘External Operations’ Already Under Way?



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The ominous opening notes of the first Morning Jolt of the week . . . 

What Does ISIS ‘External Operations, I Believe, Under Way’ Mean?

Get ready for war:

The Islamic State presents the greatest terrorist threat to Americans since 9/11, and fighting it will take more than airstrikes in Iraq, according to a top member of Congress and a retired four-star general.

The Islamic State, also referred to as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, has vaulted in notoriety after the beheading of American journalist James Foley last week. On ABC’s This Week, Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, who chairs the Homeland Security Committee, called Foley’s murder a turning point.

“I do think they present the greatest threat we’ve seen since 9/11,” McCaul said. “This has been festering for the last year, and now it’s culminating with the killing and the beheading of an American journalist. . . . The American people — it has sort of opened their eyes to what ISIS really is, the true character of ISIS, how savage they really are and . . . their intent to harm Americans.”

Retired Marine general John Allen, who served in Iraq and commanded all allied forces in Afghanistan, said attacking militant support areas in Syria will be necessary. The limited U.S. airstrikes that have helped Kurdish and Iraqi forces retake a strategic dam near Mosul in northern Iraq are not enough, he said.

Another ominous comment from McCaul, which makes one wonder whether it is based upon intelligence reports or speculation:

Their focus right now is establishing the caliphate. But don’t kid yourself for a second, they are [sic] intent on hitting the West. And there are external operations, I believe, under way. . . . We have tens of thousands of foreign fighters from all over the world pouring into this safe haven that’s now been established, including hundreds of Americans with Western passports and legal travel documents, which would enable them not only to travel to Western Europe, but to the United States.

On Friday, local police received this generic warning from the Feds:

In a joint bulletin issued to local, state and federal law enforcement, the Department of Homeland Security and FBI said that while they are “unaware of any specific, credible threats against the Homeland” and find most threats to the U.S. homeland by supporters of ISIS “not credible,” they cannot rule out attacks in the United States from sympathizers radicalized by the group’s online propaganda.

“[B]ecause of the individualized nature of the radicalization process — it is difficult to predict triggers that will contribute to [homegrown violent extremists] attempting acts of violence,” the bulletin states. Moreover, such lone offenders “present law enforcement with limited opportunities to detect and disrupt plots, which frequently involve simple plotting against targets of opportunity,” according to the bulletin.

I don’t want to alarm anyone. But somebody sympathetic to ISIS is taking pictures of U.S. landmarks and holding up a very clear ISIS message: we’re already here.

Maybe it’s just some nut. Or two nuts. Or a network of nuts.

But . . . 

If you’re ISIS, hitting the U.S. homeland is the jackpot, right?

We’re about three weeks away from an early September date that means a lot to Americans and Islamist extremists. Wouldn’t you figure the bad guys would want to do something that day?

Tags: ISIS

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Forget the Pink Cookie Interdiction, Washington.



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Dear United States federal government, 

More of this

… and less of this: “New federal nutritional guidelines for school cafeterias has meant the end of a favorite — and locally famous — treat in one northeast Ohio school district. The federal government’s edict to provide healthier foods and cut fats and cholesterol put an end of the sale of the traditional Elyria pink cookie — a buttery sweet treat with pink icing.”

Public enemy number one. 

Tags: ISIS

A Freudian Slip from a South Dakota Democrat



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Democratic Senate candidate Rick Weiland accidentally refers to his Republican opponent as “Senator, er, soon-to-be” Mike Rounds.

It’s a bit early to concede defeat, but Weiland seems to be taking it well!

Tags: MIke Rounds , Rick Weiland

Romney and Ryan, Reunited Again



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Hey, remember when we were told how people couldn’t warm up to this guy?

 

Tags: Mitt Romney , Paul Ryan , Something Lighter

Obama, Standing Undaunted for the Unpopular Principle... of His Leisure Time



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From the last Morning Jolt of the week:

President Obama Doesn’t Care What We Think About His Golfing.

After that brutal New York Daily News cover Thursday afternoon, hitting him for going golfing right after his remarks about the beheading of American, President Obama  responded Thursday afternoon… by going golfing.

President Obama doesn’t care if the optics are bad. He doesn’t care if there’s an awful contrast because UK Prime Minister David Cameron canceled his vacation plans. He doesn’t care if he’s getting grief from once-stalwart fans like Chris Matthews and Maureen Dowd. He doesn’t care if Congressional Democrats are openly griping about his disinterest and disconnect in the New York Times, and he doesn’t care if senior Democrats are declaring that he’s completely checked out of his presidency other than attending fundraisers.

He doesn’t care what any of us think.

There are times when resisting the cries of the crowd can be an act of courage. It is brave to stay true to your own conscience and judgment in the face of howls of outrage. Paraphrasing that old saying, “One man with a conviction is a felon New Jersey Democrat majority.”

But I’m not sure “I’m entitled to this time off, and I don’t care what anybody says,” is the right line in the sand to draw. And we’ve already seen what happens to President Obama’s other red lines.

(Speaking of red lines, next time you hear someone bragging that the U.S. forced Bashir Assad to destroy all of his chemical weapons, remind them that they only gave up their illegal chemical weapons and that there is such a thing as legal chemical weapons: “International weapons inspectors have issued preliminary findings that chlorine gas was used in a ‘systematic manner’ in Syria this year, long after the government of President Bashar al-Assad pledged to give up other toxic weapons such as sarin.”)

It’s not just the number of rounds of golf. It’s that his actions subsequent to his bold words demonstrate that he doesn’t really mean anything he’s saying.

Back when I came up with the “All statements from Barack Obama come with an expiration date, all of them” rule, my aim wasn’t quite to say Obama is a pathological liar. (Admittedly, you’re free to draw that conclusion from the record.) In many cases, Obama probably meant what he said when he said it… but then, at some future point, keeping his word became difficult. And he conveniently forgot about his pledge. For example, Obama was probably perfectly fine with the idea of accepting public financing and its attached spending limits in 2008 until the moment he realized or was informed he would be giving up one of his campaign advantages. So he came up with some nonsense about how his campaign’s fundraising success amounts to a “parallel public financing structure” and thus he didn’t need to accept the spending limits.

Most of us look at that and say, “hey, you broke your promise.” Obama would pat us on the head and tell us it’s complicated. He likes to tell us, and probably himself, that he’s a pragmatist. He’s just looking for what works, and keeping a promise that now looks disadvantageous just doesn’t “work,” or to use one of his hackneyed phrases, “just doesn’t make sense.” He’s got a country to fundamentally transform. Omelets, broken eggs, etc. He hand-waves away the little detail that he’s proven himself someone willing to break his word in order to get what he wants, and in fact is echoing all of the “cynical voices” he campaigned against his whole life.

You recall Obama’s exhausted, “we will not rest” pledge, deployed after every crisis. Even when he gives a decent delivery of his remarks, like he did Wednesday, talking about how relentless and determined the U.S. government is… then it’s back to the links. There’s no action that follows; No emergency meetings or summits, no new deployment of military resources to the region. Business as usual. Does anyone really believe his pledges of relentlessness anymore? Does ISIS?

I suppose someone will say, “the president golfing shows the terrorists can’t shake him out of his routine.” What’s so vital about that routine that an interruption of it constitutes a terrorist victory? 

Tags: Barack Obama

WhiteHouse.gov, Bringing You The Really Important Updates



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The lead item on WhiteHouse.gov right now: “Improving digital services across government.”

“The U.S. Digital Service is a small team of our country’s brightest digital talent that will work with government agencies to find more effective ways to use technology to improve the service, information, and benefits they provide.”

That’s great, can they provide HD-level images of ISIS goons getting blown to smithereens?

Ace, yesterday

Obama has his plans. His plans include pushing his various fake campaign positionings to gin up the left-wing base, and playing golf and attending jazz festivals.

No matter what happens in the world, or even in America, Obama is sticking to that plan.

He dismisses — either explicitly or implicitly, by his near-total lack of intellectual or emotional engagement with serious political events — all occurrences which are not in his List of Things to Do as “distractions.”

Thursday afternoon is U.S. Digital Service day, regardless of what’s going on in the world, the news, or is on the minds of the American people.

 

Tags: Barack Obama , White House

Our Tolerant Society Finally Found an Intolerable Form of Love



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A quick thought, from where I’m sitting in the BBC Newsroom: Oxford professor and atheist writer Richard Dawkins just declared that it’s “immoral” to NOT abort a child with Down Syndrome.

Hey, remember when love was love, and anyone who disapproved of love between two human beings was hateful, intolerant, and the living embodiment of all that is wrong with the world?

Dawkins finally found a love he can’t abide: the love parents have for a child with Down Syndrome. 

Tags: Abortion

Welcome Back to Wartime With President Obama



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From the Thursday edition of the Morning Jolt:

The cover of the New York Daily News this morning:

Or take a look at the response from…. Chris Matthews:

“I don’t know why he used the word ‘justice.’ It’s not appropriate here. This is an attack on our country, we have to react to it,” an upset Chris Matthews reacted to a video excerpt of President Obama’s statement today about the beheading by an ISIS member of American freelance journalist James Foley. 

“This is our country versus this group that’s declared war on us. What’s justice mean in this con– I don’t know why the word’s used, like we’re going to go to the World Court with this?!” Matthews sneered to guest Howard Fineman of the Huffington Post Media Group on the August 20 edition of Hardball. Later in the segment, an irate Matthews insisted “no American president can survive if he lets Americans be beheaded on international television with impunity. Impunity! He has to strike back, as an American, it’s in our soul!”

I could quote Mollie Hemingway just about every day, but her thoughts on our response to the Foley outrage are particularly good. I suspect she’s way more skeptical and disinclined towards foreign military actions than I am, but her “have we thought this through” points are always worth examining. And here she perfectly isolates that section of Obama’s soaring optimistic rhetoric that sets off the BS detector deep within our brain stem:

That’s why they say 3) unbelievably inane things such as, “you’re on the wrong side of history.” Or “The future is always won by those who build, not destroy.” That is literally Mickey Mouse philosophy. And I don’t mean that in a good way.

President Obama’s utopian fantasy of “the future” “always” being “won by those who build, not destroy” is just obviously and resoundingly false, for better or worse. I mean, define “future.” And define “winning” and “building vs. destroying.” Tamerlane had tremendous success destroying and slaughtering his enemies — for most of a century. And World War II didn’t end by building up Nagasaki. There are good winners and bad winners littered throughout history.

What’s more, this “wrong side of history” nonsense is nothing more than a religious belief in supernatural causality. It implies that history isn’t shaped by men but, instead, by outside inevitable forces that can always be counted on. If this were so, we wouldn’t need to work so hard to raise up good children and fight the evils all around us.

Obama’s had this tic for a long time, and what’s fascinating is that he clings to it – bitterly? – even after five and a half years of being president. David Brooks, back in 2008:

Obama speeches almost always have the same narrative arc. Some problem threatens. The odds are against the forces of righteousness. But then people of good faith unite and walls come tumbling down. Obama used the word “walls” 16 times in the Berlin speech, and in 11 of those cases, he was talking about walls coming down.

The Berlin blockade was thwarted because people came together. Apartheid ended because people came together and walls tumbled. Winning the cold war was the same: “People of the world,” Obama declared, “look at Berlin, where a wall came down, a continent came together and history proved there is no challenge too great for a world that stands as one.”

Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kansas, a member of the House Select Committee on Intelligence, West Point graduate and former Army cavalry officer, is…. somewhat less than inspired by the president’s response so far:

“The President is correct that terrorist groups like ISIS don’t belong in the 21st Century and that we must be relentless to see that justice is done. But there is another, even greater reason the United States must take action: To prevent more Americans from being killed. The President is wrong to continue to downplay this threat by saying that ISIS is claiming to be at war with America merely out of expediency, or that ISIS is motivated by sheer ‘nihilism.’ This is not a “J.V. team,” as the President has put it. ISIS is an army of cold-blooded killers motivated by radical Islam. They continue their march, uninterrupted, to convert by the sword, kill Christians and other religious minorities, and expand their control of the Middle East. The Iraqis have already demonstrated that they cannot stop them on their own. The President’s current path of action has been far too limited to make a difference. We must do what is necessary to eliminate ISIS, protect the innocent, and keep Americans safe.”

Tags: Barack Obama

Obama’s Day: Foley/ISIS Statement, Then Golf



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With the remarks on James Foley and ISIS complete… guess where President Obama went?

Apparently nothing gets in the way of President Obama’s vacation. Nothing!

If you wrote it in a novel, people would say it was too farfetched.

Tags: Barack Obama , ISIS

Why Did President Obama Come Back to Washington?



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Can this possibly be true?

Speculation for why Obama returned [to Washington Monday] focused around the possibility of a secret foreign leader meeting or the roll out of a new administration initiative on immigration or corporate taxes.

But no such explanation materialized.

The most unusual deviation from a normal day at the White House was Obama’s dinner Monday night at Sam Kass’s home. The president, joined by deputy chief of staff Anita Breckenridge, spent nearly five hours at the White House chef’s Dupont Circle duplex apartment.

It’s possible that the party may have been a celebration of Kass’s impending nuptials to MSNBC host Alex Wagner. The couple announced their engagement last September. But the White House provided no details of the meal.

Remember yesterday’s comment from “One senior Democrat with close ties to Hill leadership” declaring that “except for fundraising, it appears … POTUS has completely checked out”? Could it be President Obama is comfortable spending the remainder of his presidency attending parties while crises like Ferguson and ISIS worsen?

UPDATE: No presidential statement about the killing of James Foley yet, but the latest fundraising e-mail came through just fine:

 

Tags: Barack Obama

Meet Colorado’s Cory Gardner...



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The National Republican Senatorial Committee is running a video series called “Six in ’14″ designed to highlight the personal stories and background of our candidates. This morning, the NRSC rolled out a new installment featuring Cory Gardner, entitled “The Gardner Way For Colorado.” The NRSC says, “the video emphasizes the importance of Coloradan independence, strong work ethic, and the need to find common ground.”

If you’re tired of attack ads with gravelly-voiced narrators and ominous music, take a look:

A bit syrupy, perhaps, but actual voters tend to like that tone, as opposed to us cynical political junkies. 

Tags: Cory Gardner

After ISIS Beheading Video, UK’s Cameron Cancels Vacation, Obama Returns to His Vacation



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Over there: “U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron cut short his summer vacation to return to London and chair urgent meetings on the threat posed by ISIS in Iraq and Syria, calling the video ‘shocking and depraved.’”

Over here:

President Obama went back to his vacation on Martha’s Vineyard Tuesday evening following less than 48 hours in Washington, leaving people puzzled over why he came back in the first place.

Obama’s two days in Washington were mostly quiet, and concluded with the president receiving his daily national security briefing in the morning, and joining Vice President Biden to huddle with members of his economic team in the afternoon.

Administration officials have insisted for weeks that the president just wanted to return to the White House for a series of meetings, but the explanation was met with a healthy dose of skepticism, since Obama rarely interrupts his vacations.

Lead item on Whitehouse.gov right now: HUD Secretary Julian Castro is sworn in.

No statement yet from the president on the not-quite-confirmed-but-not-disputed Foley murder video.

Tags: David Cameron , Barack Obama , ISIS

‘Except for Fundraising... POTUS Has Completely Checked Out.’



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Ben White: “One senior Democrat with close ties to Hill leadership told me that ‘except for fundraising, it appears … POTUS has completely checked out.’ With over two years left on the clock, it’s not too late to check back in and turn things around.”

White’s article cites multiple examples of the president seeming strangely detached, disinterested, and disengaged from the usual presidential activities, but perhaps none are more surprising than Harry Reid’s account of Obama not caring about confirmation fights about his own ambassadorial nominees.

Dear Obama voters: You failed. You picked the wrong guy.

You told us we needed this guy in office. You believed he would deliver ‘hope and change’ and insisted to us skeptics he would do that. You told us he would be a post-partisan healer. You assured us he was “the smartest guy ever to become president” and “the triumph of word over flesh, over color, over despair.”

Here we today, and he’s “completely checked out” except for the part of the job you can outsource to any Hollywood celebrity.

Take it all back, Obama voters. Admit you were wrong. Admit that you completely misjudged this guy and how he would react to setbacks and the challenges of the office. Admit that a guy who had been in the Senate two years before announcing his presidential campaign was not ready for the difficulties of the job, and that you bought into the hype of soaring rhetoric. You dismissed all his critics, all the warnings, all the signals that after a few years, he grows bored – as he did in all of his previous elected offices.

To paraphrase one of the great post-game press conferences of all time, he is what we thought he was, and you let him off the hook.

Tags: Barack Obama

The Border Crisis: Forgotten, But Not Gone



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The news cycle shifts, but the once-heavily-covered problems — like the humanitarian crisis on America’s southern border – remain.

The good news, of a sort, is that the number of children crossing our border is declining; the Department of Homeland Security said it detained 5,508 children caught crossing the border in July, down from 10,628 in June. (Perhaps Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatamala are running out of children.) 

But the current off-peak rate still amounts to a lot of children, The Daily Beast notes: “The number of unaccompanied minors coming across the border is fewer now than it was several weeks ago—perhaps down by as much as two-thirds. But there are still 100 of these kids crossing the border every day, down from 300 in June. That’s 3,000 kids a month that the federal government doesn’t have a clue what to do with.”

USA Today: “Public schools are preparing for up to 50,000 border children to enroll this fall.”

MSNBC: “With the border crisis showing no sign of abating anytime soon, potential Republican candidates are already positioning themselves in very different ways to try and win over prospective voters on this critical, politically divisive issue.”

ABOVE: Gov. Rick Perry of Texas greets President Barack Obama in Dallas, July 9, when the president visited the state for a pair of political fundraising events.

Tags: Border Crisis , Illegal Immigration

Remember When John Kasich Looked Vulnerable?



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The Campaign Spot decision desk isn’t quite ready to call the Ohio Governor’s race for incumbent Republican John Kasich, but the outlook seems to get better each day:

A potential mass exodus from Ed FitzGerald’s gubernatorial campaign is afoot, with several of the Democratic nominee’s top aides and experienced Ohio political consultants transitioning away from a campaign seemingly under a siege of negativity.

FitzGerald’s campaign manager Nicholas Buis and communication director Daniel McElhatton have left their posts. Press secretary Lauren Hitt may also leave, and consultants Aaron Pickrell and Louis Capobianco also are leaving, numerous sources said.

FitzGerald won’t really be in trouble until he loses his driver; one part of the “siege of negativity” is the revelation that the candidate drove without a license for ten years.

Tags: John Kasich , Ed Fitzgerald , Ohio

Who Turns Over a Portable Toilet in the Name of their Community?



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From the Tuesday edition of the Morning Jolt:

Who Turns Over a Portable Toilet in the Name of their Community?

Examining the coverage of last night’s continuing violence in Ferguson, Missouri

In front of McDonald’s, a tactical unit removed a driver from his car at gunpoint. Some protesters tipped over portable toilets and dragged them into the streets.

Who tips over a portable toilet as a form of protest? That’s not a protest; that’s a tantrum. You can’t claim that you’re expressing your anger on behalf of your community when your actions spill feces into the street of the community.

(Anyone else reminded of that Occupy protester?)

The coverage states “the conflict escalated shortly before 10 p.m.” Put aside the  government-imposed curfew in past nights. There have been protests, prayer rallies, demonstrations all day long. Who’s still out at that hour? Of course protesters have a right to peaceably assemble. But in light of the events of the past week, who chooses to express their anger over recent in the middle of the night?

And if you’re one of those peaceful protesters, out in the middle of the night… when you see somebody in your midst pick up a bottle and throw it at cops… why don’t you yell, “Stop!”?

At least two people were shot, numerous fires were set and more than 30 people were arrested in Ferguson, Mo., early Tuesday, Missouri State Highway Patrol Capt. Ronald Johnson told reporters early Tuesday.

At a news briefing at about 2:20 a.m. Central time, Johnson said Monday evening began peacefully with calm and orderly protests. “This was a freedom of expression we are committed to protecting,” he said. About 9:40 p.m. more than 200 people started walking toward police officers. “They were loud but not aggressive,” he added, emphasizing that many chanted and turned around after they were heard. Police did not react, he said.

“That’s when bottles were thrown from the middle and the back of a large crowd that gathered near and within the media staging area,” he said. “These criminal acts came form a tiny minority of lawbreakers.”

Johnson said bottles and molotov cocktails were thrown; shots were fired. “Not a single shot” was fired by officers, he said.

“Protesters are peaceful and respectful. Protesters don’t clash with police,” he said. “It is criminals who throw Molotov cocktails and fire shots that injures lives and property.”

Johnson also addressed the media, asking journalists to stay clear of the roads so police can safely move through. “Let’s not glamorize the acts of criminals,” he said.

Good luck with that, sir. 

Tags: Ferguson Missouri

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