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Tags: Democratic Party

Racist Clippers Owner Donald Sterling Has Only Contributed to Democrats



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L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling, whom commentators tried to tie to the Republican party immediately after his alleged racist statements became public, has in fact only given money to Democratic candidates, according to campaign-contribution records.

Sterling is in hot water after TMZ released recordings purporting to be a weird psychosexual rant he directed at girlfriend V. Stiviano, accusing her of publicly associating with black people. The highly offensive comments have drawn condemnation from across the National Basketball Association as well as from many other sources; and inevitably, attempts have been made to link him to the Republican party.

Claims about Sterling’s party appear to be based on campaign contribution records for a different Sterling, who lives in the state of Texas. Clippers owner Donald Sterling lives in Beverly Hills, has a long history of bigoted behavior in his Los Angeles business dealings, and according to a 2011 RealGM report, was a very occasional Democratic donor in the 1990s:

Donald Sterling, Los Angeles Clippers
Records show Sterling has donated just $6,000, with no activity since the early 1990s. He supported Gray Davis early in his career, as well as Bill Bradley.

Bradley was a Hall of Fame forward for the New York Knicks before becoming a U.S. senator from New Jersey and an unsuccessful presidential candidate. Davis made out with Cybill Shepherd in the 1960s before becoming California’s 37th governor and the first Golden State executive ever to be recalled.

Keep reading this post . . .

Tags: Basketball , Racism , Democratic Party

Wasserman Schultz: ‘We’re on Offense’



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Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D., Fla.) said Sunday that the Democrats are in a strong position for the midterm elections despite a growing litany of wobbly statements from party officials, elected politicians and liberal commentators.

Wasserman Schultz, chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, said Democrats who are distancing themselves from the Affordable Care Act are a demonstration of “Legislation 101″ and evidence that her party is on course to perfect the unpopular law.

“The president is right and Jeanne Shaheen is right,” Wasserman Schultz said in an appearance on NBC’s Meet the Press, responding to criticisms of Obamacare by Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, who faces a potentially tough challenge in November.

“I will match up our ground game and our turnout operation . . . any day of the week,” Wasserman Schultz told host David Gregory. “We ran circles around the the Republicans in 2012 and 2008.”

Gregory countered that the president’s leadership on Obamacare, the Keystone XL pipeline and other matters has drawn criticism from major figures including former Obama advisor David Axelrod, Shaheen, Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, and other prominent Democrats.

But Wasserman Schultz denied that the November elections will be a referendum on Obama’s leadership. She asserted that only three House seats are seriously endangered by Republicans in November and that Senate races are “absolutely not” about the president and his policies.

“Each of these candidates have to run their own race,” Wasserman Schultz said. “They have to talk about the issues that are important to their constituents. If you look at the success rate and track record of these incumbents — Mark Pryor, Mary Landrieu, Mark Begich — they are all ahead of any of their Republican opponents. And these Republicans are mired in a civil war where the Tea Party has won. And they’re consistently nominating the most extreme candidates. And we’re on offense in states as well. So you’ve got Georgia and Kentucky and even Mississippi, where we have a very good chance to pick up those seats.”

Tags: Elections , Democratic Party , Debbie Wasserman Schultz , Sunday Shows April 20 2014

Charges Show Leland Yee, Shrimp Boy Plotting Illegal Gun Deals With Islamist Militants



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Leland Yee, the Democratic California state senator arrested Wednesday on federal corruption charges, plotted to obtain illegal guns for a Chinatown gangster less than a year after pushing wide-ranging bills to require micro-stamping, restrict magazine choice, and regulate private handling of legally owned weapons, according to an affidavit in support of his arrest.

If you only read one 137-page affidavit of support of a complaint this week, make it FBI Special Agent Emmanuel V. Pascua’s riveting journey into the heart of a truly astounding conspiracy involving Yee, San Francisco political consultant Keith Jackson, alleged Chee Kung Tong Dragonhead Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow, dozens of other alleged conspirators, and so many “UCE” undercover agents that the story ends up sounding like a Man Who Was Thursday-style parable set in a universe in which every character is really an undercover agent. It’s interesting to this reporter to learn that Yee is something beyond the dullard he always seemed to be, but the narrative will prove gripping even for first-time Lelanders.

Pascua argues that Yee — who earned rightful hatred from supporters of the right of self-defense with his tireless work to restrict gun ownership in the Golden State — was eager to help convicted felon Chow in an illegal gun deal:

In a further attempt of KEITH JACKSON and SENATOR YEE to gain more money from UCE 4599, in August 2013, KEITH JACKSON told UCE 4599 that SENATOR YEE, had a contact who deals in arms trafficking. This purported arms dealer was later identified. JACKSON requested UCE 4599 to provide a campaign donation on behalf of SENATOR YEE, for SENATOR YEE to facilitate a meeting with the arms dealer with the intent of UCE 4599 to purportedly purchase a large number of weapons to be imported through the Port of Newark, New Jersey. During a meeting with UCE 4599, SENATOR YEE, and KEITH JACKSON, SENATOR YEE discussed certain details of the specific types of weapons UCE 4599 was interested in buying and importing.

Although Yee at points makes “exculpatory” statements such as noting that one FBI asset is requesting an obviously illegal “pay-to-play” arrangement, his flesh proves weak in the hurlyburly of losing a race for San Francisco mayor, running for California secretary of state, and incurring $70,000 in campaign debt on a state senate salary of only $95,291 per year plus $163 a day expenses (which, given the state senate’s official 106-day calendar, works out to at least another $17,278).

Despite complaining about UCE 4180’s tendency to speak frankly and tie payment to performance, and threatening to cut off contact with UCE 4180, SENATOR YEE and KEITH JACKSON continued to deal with UCE 4180 and never walked away from quid pro quo requests made by UCE 4180. In fact, SENATOR YEE provided the introductions sought by UCE 4180 and accepted cash payments which UCE 4180 expressly tied to the making of the introductions.

Yee is accused of multiple felonies including Wire Fraud of Honest Services as well as Conspiracy to Deal Firearms Without a License and to Illegally Import Firearms. At one point in Pascua’s narrative, Yee offers to travel to the Philippines, apparently to help secure a weapons deal with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. In all, Yee allegedly received more than $42,000 in cash and campaign donations from the FBI’s undercover agents, in exchange for services.

Yee is out on $500,000 bail. His state senate term ends this year. Democratic State Senate Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg has called for Yee to resign.

Photos of the FBI’s raid on the Chinese Freemason headquarters in San Francisco.

Tags: California , Democratic Party , Culture of Corruption , Crime , San Francisco

National Polls, State Polls, and Democrat Turnout



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NRO is back this morning! Hurrah!

Also this morning, I’m scheduled to appear on Chuck Todd’s “Daily Rundown” on MSNBC around 9:40 or so.

So, headlining the Morning Jolt is something I wanted to post all day yesterday . . .

Why Do So Many Pollsters Use Samples Where Democratic Turnout Tops 2008?

One of the theories floating around about why some pollsters show such a wide disparity in the percentage of Democrats and percentage of Republicans in their samples this year is that since 2008, a portion of right-leaning voters who once identified themselves as Republicans now identify themselves as independents.

Thus, the argument goes, Mitt Romney’s not really doing that much better among independents than John McCain did; Romney’s strength is an illusion fueled by some voters who were previously in the Republican pile in 2008 shifting over to the independent pile.

This notion is not hard to prove or dispel. Let’s stop looking at the margin between the Democrat percentage and the Republican percentage.  Instead, let’s examine, key state by key state, what percentage of the final vote identified themselves as Democrats in 2008, and see how that compares to some recent poll samples.

Poll results in italics have Democrats with a larger share of the electorate than the party had in 2008.

Colorado 2008 exit poll: 30 percent. ARG: 33 percent. Purple Strategies: 34 percent.  PPP: 37 percent. NBC/WSJ/Marist:  45 percent (with leaners, 34 percent without).

Florida 2008 exit poll: 37 percent. Quinnipiac out this morning: 37 percent. Survey USA: 42 percent. CNN: 33 percent. PPP: 43 percent.

Iowa 2008 exit poll: 34 percent. Gravis Polls: 41 percent. PPP: 34 percent. NBC/WSJ/Marist: 45 percent (with leaners, 34 percent without).

Michigan 2008 exit poll: 41 percent. EPIC-MRA: 42 percent.

Minnesota 2008 exit poll: 40 percent. Survey USA: 45 percent. St. Cloud University: 32 percent.

Nevada 2008 exit poll: 38 percent. Survey USA: 43 percent. NBC/WSJ/Marist: 39 percent. Gravis Polls: 45 percent. PPP: 42 percent.

New Hampshire 2008 exit poll: 29 percent. PPP: 30 percent. ARG: 29 percent. University of New Hampshire: 45.6 percent.

North Carolina 2008 exit poll: 42 percent. Survey USA: 41 percent. Elon University: 47.9 percent (with leaners, 38 percent without).  PPP: 46 percent (10/25)  PPP: 45 percent (10/31).

Ohio 2008 exit poll: 39 percent. Quinnipiac out this morning: 37 percent. Survey USA: 38 percent. Purple Strategies: 34 percent. PPP: 43 percent.(10/28) PPP45 percent (10/30) Gravis Polls: 40 percent.

Pennsylvania 2008 exit poll: 44 percent. Gravis Polls: 45 percent.  Muhlenberg College: 46 percent. PPP: 48 percent. Quinnipiac: 39 percent.

Virginia 2008 exit poll: 39 percent. Quinnipiac out this morning: 35 percent. Purple Strategies: 36 percent. Gravis Polls: 41 percent. Washington Post: 31 percent.

Are pollsters projecting Democrats will make up more of the electorate in 2012 than they did in 2008? In quite a few cases, the answer is yes. Not every pollster has Democrats exceeding their 2008 share of the electorate, but you do notice Public Policy Polling, Survey USA and Gravis Polls cropping up on this list again and again. (In case you’re wondering, I didn’t list Rasmussen because they only release their internal party split to subscribers.)

Now, the polling profession’s defenders will insist that they don’t weigh poll results by party, they never have weighed poll results by party, and they’re never going to start weighing poll results by party, because we can never know what the partisan makeup of the electorate is going to be before Election Day.

We may not know the exact composition of the electorate on Election Day, but do have a historical perspective and a ballpark sense of what is realistic. If you consider 2008 to be the perfect storm for Democrats, and the “ceiling” for the percentage of voters who self-identify as Democrats, then most of the poll samples in swing states  in recent weeks will strike you as weighed far too heavily in favor of Democrats.

Then again, perhaps more voters identify themselves as Democrats today than they did in 2008, when the country was gripped by Bush fatigue, Wall Street was melting down and taking the economy with it, the country was swept up in the euphoria of hope and change, the historical nature of voting to elect the first African-American president, and so on. I haven’t seen a really compelling argument as to why that would be the case, but it is theoretically possible.

The news isn’t all good for Republicans, however. Quinnipiac’s samples from Wednesday morning aren’t as bad as some on the Right might presume, although their samples does presume Democrats make up as much of the electorate as they did in 2008 in Florida, and just slightly below that in Ohio.

By the way, if you’re wondering how the national polls compare to last cycle’s national partisan split:

2008 exit poll: 39 percent. CBS News/New York Times: 36 percent. Pew: 35 percent. Washington Post/ABC News: 33 percent. NPR: 31 percent, 41 percent with leaners. IBD/TIPP: 38 percent. Battleground: 35 percent, 43 percent with leaners. National Journal: 36 percent.

So none of the national polls are presuming 2008-level turnout for Democrats (at least without throwing in Democrat-leaning independents), while a large chunk of the state-level ones are. In this light, it’s not all that surprising that Romney’s showing a lead in most national polls while trailing in a bunch of the key swing states.

Tags: Democratic Party , Polling

What Do Democrats Really Stand For Today?



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The Tuesday edition of the Morning Jolt features more on Barney Frank’s surprise retirement, some explosive news out of Iran, and this discussion in the shift in the thinking of the Democratic Party:

Democrats to White Working-Class Voters: Drop Dead

Over in the New York Times, Thomas Edsall says that Obama can lose the white working-class vote and be okay in 2012: “For decades, Democrats have suffered continuous and increasingly severe losses among white voters. But preparations by Democratic operatives for the 2012 election make it clear for the first time that the party will explicitly abandon the white working class. All pretense of trying to win a majority of the white working class has been effectively jettisoned in favor of cementing a center-left coalition made up, on the one hand, of voters who have gotten ahead on the basis of educational attainment — professors, artists, designers, editors, human resources managers, lawyers, librarians, social workers, teachers and therapists — and a second, substantial constituency of lower-income voters who are disproportionately African-American and Hispanic.”

At Red State, Moe Lane marvels at the Democrats’ shift in philosophy:

Whether you agreed with the New Deal program or not, you could always actually define it in terms that were internally self-consistent. Broadly speaking, it was a broad agreement among various groups that America’s most pressing problems could be managed and ameliorated on a broad scale through ‘expert’ and judicious government intervention; and that such intervention dampened the uncertainty and anxiety that might otherwise cause societal panics and economic dislocations. Again: you don’t have to agree with that (I don’t) to recognize that it existed as a coherent policy.

But now that has gone by the wayside, to be replaced with a system that… apparently plans to trade support for permanent government dependency programs for minorities, in exchange for legislating the fringe progressive morality of affluent urbanites. Aside from the utter lack of an unifying intellectual or moral framework to such an arrangement, it’s unclear exactly who benefits less from it; while it’s certainly not in minority voters’ long, medium, or short-term interests to become a permanent underclass, it’s not exactly clear that minority voters are even particularly ready to vote for a progressive social policy (as an examination of recent reversals in same-sex marriage movement in California and Maryland will readily attest). But then, that is not really the goal, is it? The goal is to re-elect President Obama – which is something that poor African-American and rich liberal voters both wish to do – and if that is accomplished, then anything else is extra. Which is just as well, because nobody really expects Obama to have much in the way of coat-tails this go-round.

Ah, but look, today’s Democratic party isn’t really about addressing economic opportunity or even dealing with America’s most pressing problems – for starters, many Democrats are not persuaded in the slightest that the annual deficit, accumulating debt, and ticking time bomb of entitlements are pressing problems at all. If Democrats really expected that electing Obama would solve problems, they would be angrier with him than we are. No, for most Democrats, their political party is about a cultural identity. That identity is heavily based on not being one of those people, i.e., Republicans or conservatives.

As far as I can tell, there are three inviolate principles in the modern Democratic Party:

  • Any form of consensual sexual behavior is to be accepted if not celebrated; with that central belief comes the policy abortion on demand for any woman at any age free from parental consent for minors; free contraceptives in schools, gay marriage, and the insistence that Bill Clinton’s lying under oath about Monica Lewinsky didn’t count because it was about sex. Complaining about explicit sexual content in pop culture reaching an audience that isn’t ready for it – i.e., Tipper Gore in the 1980s – is the sign of the square and the prude. As no less an expert political philosopher than Meghan McCain told us, “the GOP doesn’t understand sex” and has “an unhealthy attitude about sex and desire.” (Republicans are supposedly repressed and sexless, even though they generally have more children.)
  • America is a deeply racist country, even though you have to look far and wide to find anyone who openly expresses the belief that one race is superior to others. Everybody recoils when Imus says something snide and obnoxious about the Rutgers womens’ basketball team. Racism is never found in the central tenet of Affirmative Action, that minorities must be judged by a lower standard, or in the until-recently all-white lineup of MSNBC or the claims that Clarence Thomas and Herman Cain are Uncle Toms or in the career of Robert Byrd. The fundamental belief of the Democratic Party is that racism remains a serious problem in America today and that the problem is found entirely in the GOP.
  • Credentials are to be respected, and any scoffing or skepticism at, say, the Ivy Leagues is a sign of anti-intellectualism, ignorance, jealousy and insecurity. Those who go there are indeed the best and the brightest, and undergraduate and graduate degrees from those schools are key indicators of one’s intelligence, good judgment, and overall character. The success of dropouts like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Mark Zuckerberg are strange anomalies, and no serious reevaluation of the higher education system is needed. As Rush Limbaugh observed, Bill Clinton said he wanted a cabinet that “looked like America” and declared he had achieved it after assembling a group that was almost entirely Ivy League-educated lawyers.

Everything else is negotiable. For a while, it appeared that Democrats were organizing themselves around the principle that almost every dispute with every other nation and group can be resolved through “tough, smart diplomacy,” but now President Obama has started killing foreigners left and right and not too many Democrats complain at all. Obama even used a drone to kill an American citizen, Anwar al-Alwaki, with nary a peep. Don’t get me wrong, Alwaki had it coming, but this is precisely the sort of don’t-bother-me-with-legal-details-I’m-fighting-a-war philosophy that Democrats spent seven years denouncing.

You think the Democratic Party cares about wealth? Come on. In their minds, George Soros spending his money to help out his political views is noble, but the Koch Brothers are evil incarnate. Higher taxes are good, but no one will complain if Tim Geithner or Charlie Rangel cut corners on paying them. One might be tempted to argue that the righteousness of unions represent an inviolate principle to Democrats, but in New York, Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo is trimming here and there and living to tell the tale.

No, the party really is about identity politics now; us vs. them. And everybody knows which side they’re on.

The Jammie-Wearing Fool: “Barack Obama 2008: Hope, change and bringing people together. Barack Obama 2012: Screw those stupid white people. Could you imagine the firestorm if Republicans explicitly stated they’re abandoning any effort at winning over  minority voters?”

Tags: Barack Obama , Democratic Party , Demographics

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