Hillary Clinton Rakes It In

Earlier in the week, the media was abuzz with news that Ted Cruz raised $19 million in the fourth quarter of 2015. Hillary Clinton has a comment: “Dude, that’s like a rounding error for my fundraising.”

Hillary Clinton’s campaign announced Friday that it raised $55 million in the final fundraising period of 2015, and $112 million in primary-election funds for the year. Clinton brought in $37 million in money specifically for use in the primary during the fourth quarter of 2015.

Clinton also raised $3 million for the general election. Her annual total is the most for any non-incumbent in a non-election year and roughly equal to what President Obama raised as a sitting president ahead of the 2012 election, the campaign said.

I’m beginning to like this whole Year of the Woman thing. Except for Carly Fiorina’s shameless pandering on the Rose Bowl yesterday, which backfired horribly.

Seriously, Clinton raised more money than incumbent Barack Obama in 2012. Think about that. And then gaze in glassy-eyed stupefaction at moron Chris Cillizza’s having awarded Clinton the Worst Year of 2015, along with Jeb Bush. That’s 55 million new reasons why Cillizza is a pathetic joke. I also highly recommend this screed listing by month all the incisive and prescient analysis conducted by Cillizza throughout 2015. What’s even more pathetic is Cillizza’s effort just this week to defend (after a month of savage attacks) his lumping the presumptive Democratic nominee with the latest failed Bush family scion.

Another emerging narrative for the New Year: just how much will the Washington Post embarrass itself in 2016? The Bezos Boys are off to a flying start so far.

Fred Hiatt Strikes Again

The next person who calls it the “liberal Washington Post” really needs to have his or her head examined.

Fred Hiatt, the Washington Post’s editorial page editor, has fired columnist Harold Meyerson, one of the nation’s finest journalists and perhaps the only self-proclaimed socialist to write a weekly column for a major American newspaper during the past decade or two.

At a time when America is experiencing an upsurge of progressive organizing and activism — from Occupy Wall Street, to Black Lives Matter, to the growing movement among low-wage workers demanding higher minimum wages, to Bernie Sanders’ campaign for president — we need a regular columnist who can explain what’s going on, why it’s happening, and what it means.

More than any other columnist for a major U.S. newspaper, Meyerson provided ongoing coverage and incisive analysis of the nation’s labor movement and other progressive causes as well as the changing economy and the increasing aggressiveness of big business in American politics. He was one of the few columnists in the country who knew labor leaders and grassroots activists by name, and who could write sympathetically and knowledgeably about working people’s experiences in their workplaces and communities.

Since Steve Greenhouse retired last year as the New York Times’ brilliant labor reporter, no other major paper has a reporter who covers unions and working people on a full-time basis. Now with Meyerson’s firing, there’s not one weekly columnist who understands the ins and outs of organized (and disorganized) labor.

So why did Hiatt fire Meyerson? Here’s a clue:

Yeah, it’s like I always say - if there’s one thing I hate about the national media, it’s the excessive focus on labor issues.

Meanwhile, across the op-ed page, George Will is soiling his bedclothes with verbal diarrhea like this (George doesn’t realize he’s chasing the kids off of a lawn that exists only in his demented mind. Anecdote/data fallacy, etc.). And Robert Samuelson continues to write the same anti-entitlements column over and over again.

Let’s be real here, folks: Meyerson got fired because Hiatt doesn’t believe labor is worth writing about. Period.

I’m really hoping my next Post endorsement interview is with Fred Hiatt (the one with fellow neo-con Charles Lane was a surreal hoot). Suggestion to Hiatt: wear some fire retardant clothing.

Where’s The Fact Checker When I Need Him?

Bear with me while I vent my annoyance with the pompous prigs at the Washington Post.

The Post hates blogs. It’s not a new thing - their first foray into blogging was based on the idea that they’d enter into relationships with local bloggers, the bloggers would provide content, and the Post would pay them precisely nothing. Like interns, only cheaper. Needless to say, that idea didn’t go anywhere.

The Post’s attitude, as far as I can tell, is based on the arrogant, snooty idea that “real journalists” are just vastly superior to some guy with an iPad and an off the shelf WordPress site.

Well, that may be so, and I don’t claim to be a journalist, but the reality is that just in the past week, this guy right here has beaten the Post to two major stories: the resignation of Delegate Will Campos and the withdrawal of Valerie Ervin from the CD8 race.

What did the Post have to say about that? On Campos, I posted my story, which I held for the better part of the day to confirm it, on September 10 at 5:49 p.m. The Post story, by Arelis Hernandez, wasn’t online until 6:00 a.m. on September 11, more than 12 hours later. Based on how I learned about it, I am as close to 100% certain as I can be that no Post reporter was remotely aware of the story until I posted it. And yet, no acknowledgement or credit was offered.

Last week, I posted about Valerie Ervin’s withdrawal from the CD8 race at 9:45 a.m. on September 17. Bethesda Beat posted its article with no more information than I had at 10:21 a.m. Bill Turque of the Post wrote later in the day: “Ervin’s announcement was first reported by Bethesda Beat.” Really? Look me in the eye and tell me that both stories weren’t prompted by my blog post. I dare you.

Look, on the one hand, it doesn’t matter, it’s just ego. But I’ve worked hard to develop good sources and sometimes I get the story first. Bethesda Magazine credits me on occasion, and so has the Baltimore Sun. But never the Post - even to the point of inaccurately crediting another outlet for being first when it wasn’t.

I’ve tried to find out whether this failure to acknowledge local blogs is just snottiness or whether it’s policy. Neither Turque nor Hernandez has thus far seen fit to call me back and discuss it. And I am very familiar with Hernandez, as I was part of the story when Will Campos got a challenger last year and the case ended up in court (her description this week of her own series of stories on that case is grossly inaccurate - I called her about that, too, but no call back). So I know she is capable of returning a phone call, at least when she wants to.

Hey Glenn Kessler - I don’t think your fact check meter has enough Pinocchios on it to cover this situation. Maybe it’s time the local beat reporters stop acting like whiny children and give credit where credit is due. And maybe, just maybe, if I have a story that I don’t want to print for whatever reason, I’ll give it to you. But right now I’m far more likely to call Aaron Kraut or John Fritze than the snobs at the Post.

OK, I’m done. Stress released. Back to work breaking cool stories. And beating the Posties as often as I can.

More Clinton Weirdness From The Post

First, spend a couple of months obsessing about a story with no narrative center.

Second, start quoting Democratic elected officials saying Hillary Clinton could be in trouble if it turns out there’s an actual story - which there isn’t.

Yarmuth said the controversy is happening early enough in the campaign, that as long as Clinton is being truthful and did not use her personal e-mail server for classified materials, the issue can “boil over.”

“But, I still think there is a chance this could upend her campaign,” Yarmuth cautioned.
In her Tuesday news conference, Clinton said the only people talking about the e-mail controversy are the media — which is not letting up.
“I think if she intentionally misled or lied to the American people and did something that was clearly against rules, and knowingly did it against rules, if that is the ultimate conclusion, then I think she has disqualified herself,” Yarmuth said.

So if we lived in a parallel universe where the facts were different then they are now, we could very well be looking at a different outcome. That’s very deep. And nonsensical.

Third, write up a column speculating about who might run for President if the non-story succeeds in knocking Hillary Clinton out of the race. Be sure to include the obligatory reference to a billionaire, Bruce Wayne candidate - who doesn’t actually exist, either.

2. Billionaire outsider: The Howard Schultz bubble appears to have burst. But someone with a profile like the Starbucks chief executive — very rich, liberal, never before involved in politics — could be very appealing for voters looking for something totally different. The remarkable success of Donald Trump on the Republican side suggests that people are desperately in search of anti-politicians. Why does that person need to be rich, too? To pose a real threat to Clinton, you would need someone with the ability to write a $50 million check to his/her campaign to fund efforts to qualify for early state ballots, pay staff and run TV ads.

There’s your Post/Politico Washington establishment nonsense boiled down to one deranged paragraph. Send up the bat signal! Maybe Bruce Wayne will respond. Whoever he is. The pining for a centrist, wealthy Third Way cardboard cutout is so thick you could cut it with a knife. Somebody needs to tell Chris Cillizza that the Post society set no longer dictates who wins elections. Katherine Graham and Ben Bradlee are dead, and Bob Woodward hasn’t written anything good since the 1970s.

Three of the people who actually live and breathe and exist aren’t running: Al Gore, John Kerry, and Elizabeth Warren. Joe Biden, who might yet run, is ranked #3. Why? Because Chris Cillizza is allergic to reality based stories. Fantasies are way cooler.

Let’s call this recipe “Fact Free Political Cooking for the Media.”

The Post Has A Clinton Problem

And his name is Chris Cillizza. Writing for a Post feature called The Fix, Cillizza has demonstrated an addiction to writing negative stories about Hillary Clinton. Most recently, it has of course morphed into a fixation - I know, too easy, right? - with anything to do with “email.” In the past 23 days, Cillizza has written specific posts about Hillary Clinton 17 times - almost once per day, including weekends.

Even if you don’t want to read each and every tiresome, tendentious post, you can just read the Post’s own online titles for Cillizza’s effluvium. Not a cheerful word to be found anywhere. The capper comes today when Cillizza gets indignant about James Carville making fun of his “Democratic freakout” comments of a few days ago.

Carville’s argument is simple: I am dumb and wrong. In particular, he takes issue with the piece I wrote Tuesday raising the possibility that Hillary Clinton might just not be that good a candidate. In it, I use the phrase “full-scale Democratic freakout” to describe the worries among many Democrats about how her campaign has gone thus far.

Of course, in the end, Cillizza vindicates himself, because . . . well, just because. “I do not have a problem with writing negative articles about Hillary Clinton. I could stop any time I want. I just like writing negative articles about Hillary Clinton. Like this next one.” Etc.

You decide, gentle reader. Here’s the bare, naked hyperlinks for all 17 recent pieces, untainted by any fast talk, clever puns or slightly off color remarks by l’il old me. You decide if Mr. Cillizza has a problem. Then give the folks down at 15th & L a call and have them send the burly guys with the butterfly nets over to pick poor Chris up. I think he needs a little vacay right now.



Only On Fox News

could a mass shooting by a white guy wearing apartheid-era Afrikaner and Rhodesian flag patches in a black church in South Carolina be described as a “crime against Christians.” And a bonus - did you know that if the dead pastor had been armed, all of this could have been avoided? No links from me, go find it yourself if you have the stomach for it. I don’t.

President Obama’s speech, on the other hand, is appropriately heartfelt and angry. Watch.

And not for the first or last time, Chris Cillizza of the Post is a freaking moron. He seems appalled that Barack Obama recognizes that nothing is going to happen on gun control - perhaps because it hasn’t up til now, so why think differently? And he repeatedly seems shocked that “the most powerful politician in the country” can’t just get what he wants. You’d think that there was no such thing as the National Rifle Association or the Republican Party involved in making policy. Just a president who has “so little to show” for his efforts after so long in office. Somebody get Cillizza into a remedial civics class, please.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is your elite Washington media. Even in the face of death and tragedy perpetrated by a white guy armed to the teeth, somehow, some way, this must be the black guy’s fault.

The Post And The Clintons

I keep thinking we’ve established a floor for the insane anti-Clinton media coverage, and today Chris Cillizza  proves me wrong again. I can almost hear him sniffing down his nose in disapproval all the way from the unwashed suburbs.

Clinton’s argument boils down to the idea of a burden of proof. As in, if there’s something truly objectionable in what the foundation has done, then someone should prove it. Legally speaking, Clinton’s right. If you think he or the foundation broke some sort of law, then you should need to provide conclusive evidence of when, where, why, what and how.

But of course, what we are mostly talking about when it comes to the Clinton Foundation is the gray area between contributions made by donors and decisions made by the foundation that benefited those people. Proving that sort of quid pro quo in a legal setting is virtually impossible barring a smoking gun — like an e-mail that says: “Mr. X gave $300,000. Let’s fund his project now.”

In politics, however, gray areas can be exploited to great advantage by your political opponents. Raising questions about the timing between donations to the Clinton Foundation and decisions made that lined the pockets of those donors is totally within the bounds of acceptable — and effective — negative messaging. Republicans don’t need to prove that the Clinton Foundation did anything untoward. The burden of proof that there was no wrongdoing lies with the Clinton Foundation.

Emphasis added with a high degree of incredulity.

Several things. First off, Cillizza is demanding that when attacked, it is incumbent upon the Clinton Foundstion to prove a negative - that nothing bad happened. As a practical matter, this is virtually impossible, and is tantamount to a “you’re guilty if accused” line of thinking.

Second, it’s not just the law that is about “when, where, why, what and how.” It’s also the bread and butter standard of the alleged profession of journalism with which Cillizza is supposedly familiar. 

Finally, if Mr. Cillizza is unshod with the need to actually prove the allegations that are being vomited up by every right wing hack in the right wing hack machine, maybe he should take it up with the venerable dispenser of Supreme Couet wisdom, the right reverend Anthony Kennedy, who opined in Citizens United about the matter of contributions.

“Independent expenditures do not lead to, or create the appearance of, quid pro quo corruption.”

Apparently, there’s a secret footnote in the opinion that only Chris Cillizza can read, probably with lemon juice, such that the rules don’t apply when Chris Cillizza has a burr up his ass about those uppity Clintons.

17 months to