The Miami Herald broke the big political news in South Florida Monday morning. "In the summer of 2011, the arrest of U.S. Rep. David Rivera seemed all but certain... The Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Miami-Dade state attorney?s office drafted a 52-count complaint against Congressman David Rivera, before their case unraveled amid tension between the two agencies." Short version: Rivera's been embezzling money from his campaign funds and using them for his flamboyant lifestyle. The 52 counts against him included charges of theft, money laundering and racketeering. Florida is so riven with partisan corruption that any kind of conclusive investigation was impossible with Rick Scott as governor. The FBI and IRS are still working on the case.
Meanwhile a not unrelated story was breaking, not a criminal story but also one related to the election in the new 26th congressional district which encompasses much of Rivera's old district and where he's running in November. The August 14th primary will determine which of 4 Democratic candidates will face him in November, though former Miami-Dade County Democratic Party chairman Joe Garcia is heavily favored to win. In the redistricting process the new boundaries are slightly more favorable to Democrats than the old lines. Obama, who narrowly lost to McCain in 2008 in the district would have tied McCain under the new lines. Sabotaged by Debbie Wasserman Schultz in 2008-- who was out to protect fellow Fanjul sugar empire client Mario Diaz-Balart-- Garcia still scored an impressive 47%, prompting Diaz-Balart to move to a safer district two years later.
Fast-forward to 2012 and Wasserman Schultz is ruining the DNC rather than the DCCC, though the DCCC has managed to find another inept leader, "ex"-Blue Dog Steve Israel, to make it easier for Republicans to dominate Congress. As we've been pointing out, Israel's gross incompetence was allowing Rivera to slip off the hook again. Israel and Wasserman Schultz-- in their determined search for corrupt, conservative candidates like themselves-- have recruited a couple real doozies for FL-26 to run against Rivera, but they've proven so inept and unqualified that the DCCC has been forced to "unrecruit" each one! First came the Luis Garcia catastrophe and that was followed by the equally lame Gloria Romero Roses from another part of Florida-- a typical unions-suck/taxes-are-too-high, entitled rich asshole from Broward County. They managed to infuriate every Democratic official in Miami-Dade-- and every labor union by not even consulting them and shoving her right onto their "Emerging Races" list. And they did this, completely aware that the immensely popular (and populist) Joe Garcia is jumping into the race.
This week, in the span of 24 hours, Romero Roses released a dismal fundraising report, insulted President Obama's judgement, lied about her opponent and lied about being named to the DCCC's Red To Blue program. The Fort Lauderdale-based candidate running in the Miami/Florida Keys seat claims her business acumen is her primary qualification for being a congresswoman, but just like Mitt Romney, Roses' business dealings are largely anti-worker and disgusting.
The Miami Herald has detailed some of Roses' union-busting past and the utter contempt SEIU and other labor unions have for her.
Roses and her husband made millions running Continental Management, which prospered by paying custodial workers minimum wage and then firing them if they asked for a raise or assistance with healthcare benefits. The National Labor Relations Board declared that four of the firings were illegal and retaliatory. Roses feigns innocence as a simple employee of the company but the truth is very different, she was the Human Resources Director and her husband was the CEO.
Now, like Mitt Romney, Gloria Romero Roses is trying to retroactively change her anti-worker rights business record. And of course she has millions in personal wealth to spend on her misleading campaign.
Fortunately for progressives we have an excellent candidate running against Roses in former Obama Administration appointee Joe Garcia.
Roses is now spending some of her blood money on attacking Joe, claiming-- rather absurdly for Miami-Dade Democrats-- that he is unfit and unqualified to serve. Roses thinks she knows better than President Obama who appointed Joe, the FBI who vetted and cleared his appointment and the U.S. Senate who confirmed his appointment to the Department of Energy. And, of course, Miami Democrats elected Joe Garcia as their chairmen... so they must be fools too.
When Romero Roses announced her candidacy the DCCC, who encouraged her minus any due diligence, immediately placed her on their Red to Blue-Emerging Candidates list and lauded her entry. First, SEIU made the anti-worker record public and now her awful fundraising numbers have been released.
Roses raised $99,000 in a full quarter compared to $250,000 for Joe Garcia in just seven weeks. Roses itemized contributions show that less than 25 voters in the district actually contributed to her campaign. This may have more to do with her living an hour from the district and less to do with her shady business record.
So the DCCC has officially dropped her. Her name has been removed and scrubbed from their Red To Blue website and they are now "endorsing" the district as a Red-to-Blue target, not her sorry campaign.
While that was the right thing to do both politically and strategically now that Garcia is in the race, it highlights what a pack of screwballs are running the DCCC and their recruiting. Earlier in the cycle they recruited State Rep. Luis Garcia who they also placed on Red To Blue before he imploded and was run from the race and the Democratic Party. And even Luis Garcia raised more than Roses and he didn't have half her baggage! Only the DCCC could possibly screw up again and let a crook like Rivera skate again-- although that's exactly what the Fanjuls expect Israel and Wasserman Schultz to deliver for them.
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The co-chair for Mitt Romney's national campaign on Tuesday said that campaign surrogate John Sununu had "issued a clarification" after saying that President Barack Obama should "learn how to be an American."
"Gov. Sununu made those comments earlier today," former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty told MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell. "He then clarified and walked back those statements by saying he meant that President Obama really doesn't have a familiarity with what it means to be in the American entrepreneurial and private enterprise system, early-stage capital formation deployment, and comments to that effect."
"So, I think he clarified it," Pawlenty added. "And obviously, Gov. Sununu has a knack for colorful language and can be very informative and entertaining. This one, he, you know, admitted perhaps he wasn't as clear as he should have been, and he issued a clarification. And I think that was appropriate under the circumstances."
In a conference call earlier in the day, Sununu blasted the Obama campaign as a "bunch of liars" for suggesting that Romney could have committed a felony if he lied to the Security and Exchange Commission about when he retired from Bain Capital.
"The president clearly demonstrated that he has absolutely no idea how the American economy functions," the former New Hampshire governor said. "The men and women all over America who have worked hard to build these businesses, their businesses from the ground up is how our economy became the envy of the world -- it is the American way."
"I wish this president would learn how to be an American," he added.
Obama campaign spokesperson Lis Smith later told reporters that Sununu's rhetoric was proof that Romney's campaign had grown desperate.
"The Romney campaign has officially gone off the deep end," Smith said. "The question is what else they?ll pull to avoid answering serious questions about Romney?s tenure at Bain Capital and investments in foreign tax havens and offshore accounts. This meltdown and over-the-top rhetoric won?t make things better -- it only calls attention to how desperate they are to change the conversation."
Don lissin two Dialy Kos Ray-D-O! MoransDaily Kos Radio is on the air, Monday through Friday, now from 9 a.m. to noon, ET. We start with two hours of the Kagro in the Morning show from 9-11, and then it's The Ministry of Truth, with Armando Llorens, starring Jesse LaGreca from 11-12.
How to Listen
You options to listen LIVE:
For podcasts you can stream or download, watch the Daily Kos Radio group page, where we post our shows daily.
We're working toward a solution that'll enable us to take your calls during the show without blowing up our computers. But in the meantime, you can reach me at @KagroX on Twitter with comments, suggestions, story ideas, etc. Try your hand at the job of Program Director! If you're any good at it, maybe we'll hire you #Retroactively!
What'd you miss if you skipped Daily Kos Radio yesterday? Well, some of the good stuff went like this:
Lizz Winstead & Shannyn Moore drop by for a visit:
You can find yesterday's full show, plus highlights here. (Now with links to non-Flash players that you can even access on your mobile devices.)
The Daily Kos Radio Player
And because I still care... What's happening in Congress today?
In the House
The House hasn't got much on the schedule today, but what's there is noteworthy. First, their attempt to start laying the groundwork for wriggling out of the supposedly mandatory, supposedly across-the-board spending cuts imposed by last summer's debt ceiling deal and the subsequent failure of the SuperCommittee. It's the "Sequestration Transparency Act," and it'll require the President, if it passes, to submit a report outlining some specifics about what'll get cut in order to hit the targets. The idea here is to force the President to be the first one to put his name to specific cuts. But the bill's coming to the floor under suspension of the rules, which means it needs a 2/3 vote to pass, and I'm not at all certain they can get that done. So it sounds like maybe the plan is to point to Democrats and try to blame them for not forcing the President to, uh... do this thing. Hmm. We'll see how well that works. After that, they'll start consideration of the Department of Defense appropriations bill. That's likely to stretch out over the next two and a half days or so, with an open rule and lots of amendments.
In the Senate
The Senate has given up on the DISCLOSE Act for now, and will spend the day trying to get a deal on a motion to proceed to the "Bringing Jobs Home Act." I wouldn't count on it, though, given the way things have been going. If nothing works out, they'll be voting on cloture on the motion to proceed tomorrow, instead.
On the Radio
Hey, I'm thinking there might still be a little Bain discussion tomorrow, as entire racks of shoes are beginning to drop. And I'm pretty sure Romney isn't going to be releasing any tax returns today, either. So we've got that going for us. Which is nice.
DemFromCT will be dropping by for a polling and issues update. And hey, who knows who else might get sucked into the vortex? Stay tuned, to find out! And be sure to hang around afterwards for Jesse and Armando, and a full day of solid, progressive programming afterward, brought to you by the gang at Netroots Radio!
Welcome to The Morning Pride, ThinkProgress LGBT?s daily round-up of the latest in LGBT policy, politics, and some culture too! Here?s what we?re reading this morning, but please let us know what stories you?re following as well. Follow us all day on Twitter at @TPEquality.
- The wording for Maine’s ballot question to legalize same-sex marriage is still a contentious issue.
- Learn the full backstory of the first same-sex couple to marry on a military base.
- Meet 24-year-old Alec Exeter, a survivor of anti-gay abuse and ex-gay exorcisms who is recovering from C-PTSD.
- Voice of America has documented the horrific anti-gay violence still playing out regularly in St. Petersburg, Russia.
- 50 Cent has offered his support to Frank Ocean and marriage equality: “I could care less about what his personal preference is in the bedroom… To each his own. People make choices, you can live your life your way.”
- Jesse Tyler Ferguson is a candidate caught up in identity politics:
– Amid intense fighting in Damascus, an explosion inside the Syrian national security headquarters killed Defense Minister Gen. Dawoud Rajha and his deputy Asef Shawkat, two of the most senior members of Assad’s inner circle. Syrian rebels claimed responsibility for the attack but denied it was a suicide bombing.
– Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said this week that the Navy’s plan to use alternative fuels for half of its fleet by 2020 is proceeding and that he hoped Republicans would soon be convinced to allow the program to continue.
– Security experts have identified a cyber espionage attack that appears to have chiefly targeted computers in Iran that differs from Flame or Stuxnet. The malware was reportedly delivered via email attachments of a PowerPoint presentation of religious-themed photographs or a Word doc of a Daily Beast article about Israel’s cyberwar campaign against Iran.
– The Hill reports: Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) said he had enough support to force a vote on his measure to end all aid to Pakistan if the government there fails to release a doctor who aided American forces in the tracking of Osama bin Laden.
– The New York Times reports: “For the first time since the fall of the Soviet Union, a bipartisan coalition in Congress has agreed to normalize trade relations with Russia. … But at a time of renewed tension with Moscow, lawmakers have decided to grant the status with one large caveat — that Russian officials be held responsible for human rights abuses.”
A round-up of the top climate and energy news.
The first new U.S. standard for nitrogen dioxide in at least 35 years was upheld by a federal appeals court, which said the Environmental Protection Agency had the authority to attempt to improve air quality around the nation?s busiest roadways. [Businessweek]
A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington today threw out a challenge by the American Petroleum Institute to regulations restricting the peak amount of nitrogen dioxide, or NO2, from tailpipes and smokestacks that can be present in the air during a one-hour period. Levels of the toxic gas are limited to a one-hour standard of 100 parts per billion.
?Because the record adequately supports the EPA?s conclusion that material negative effects result from ambient air concentrations as low as the 100 ppb level, we cannot conclude that the agency was arbitrary and capricious? in adopting that standard, U.S. Circuit Judge Douglas Ginsburg wrote for the court.
In the second phase of its ambitious SolarStrong project ? the country?s single largest effort to cover roofs with solar panels ? installation company SolarCity will put more than 18,000 panels on military homes in California and Colorado. [Los Angeles Times]
Crops are wilting, soils are cracked, and some dried-out forests are catching fire. U.S. corn production in particular is dwindling. So is this a glimpse at our hotter, drier future? It appears so. [Washington Post]
Last year, crop insurers paid record claims of about $11 billion for weather-related losses, including major losses in corn and soybeans, said David Graves of the Washington-based American Assn. of Crop Insurers. This year’s losses could surpass that “easily, given that the drought is developing in corn-growing regions” including Illinois and Indiana, he said. [Los Angeles Times]
More than 1,100 farmers in Nebraska have been ordered by the state’s Department of Natural Resources to halt irrigation of their crops because the rivers from which they draw water have dropped due to a worsening drought. [Reuters]
Some younger conservatives have grown increasingly uneasy with the presumption that they hew to the skeptical line of the Republican Party, and some evangelicals in particular are looking for ways to embrace the science and steward the planet. [Greenville Online]
Visiting New York City for an urban parks conference, Ken Salazar, the secretary of the interior, stopped by The New York Times on Tuesday to discuss the partnership his department has forged with the city on revitalizing parkland around Jamaica Bay. [New York Times]
Nepal’s elusive snow leopards, thought to number just 500 in the wild, are under threat from warmer and wetter weather in the Himalayas that is reducing their habitat, a new study says. [NY Daily News]
Welcome to ThinkProgress Economy?s morning link roundup. This is what we?re reading. Have you seen any interesting news? Let us know in the comments section. You can also follow ThinkProgress Economy on Twitter.
Via Deadline, a report that notes declining viewership for broadcast television even with DVRed viewing within three days, has one positive observation:
Still, Nathanson has some encouraging news for networks concerned that ad skipping will become a lot more commonplace as the number of DVR households grows from 40% now to 47% expected in 2015. New users don?t appear to be as fast on the trigger: The percentage of broadcast commercials skipped by DVR users dropped to 46.7% in the 2011/2012 season from 58.8% in 2007/2008. For cable, 50.4% of the ads were skipped this past season vs. 52.8% in 2007/2008.
There are some elements of the cost of television that are obviously inflated, like escalating carriage fees that aren’t driven by climbing costs of operations and maintenance. But the labor that it takes to put together a television production that genuinely looks good isn’t cheap, and you can see the difference between productions where people are working for scale, and where someone’s hired the full complement of staff needed to make things work, and productions that aren’t working with a full lighting crew, or who are working under waivers from the guilds to pay less than scale, a practice that isn’t sustainable and shouldn’t be what we expect. In other words, there are probably some cost savings television could achieve, but the productions themselves are probably not going to get less expensive, and certainly not if we want television to tackle the kind of grand-sweep stories that have often been the provenance of television precisely because of their costs.
The choice, as it’s always been, is going to be paying more for content up front, whether for something like Hulu Plus or cable, or accepting a lot more monetization of our content. I’d like to think folks are watching ads they have the capacity to skip with their DVRs because they recognize it’s a way of keeping the shows they love in business by convincing advertisers they’re still going to capture impressions. But if laziness gets folk sitting through more commercials, I suppose I’ll take that, too.
Cross posted from The Stars Hollow GazetteThis is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.Find the past "On This Day in History" here.Click on images to enlargeJuly 18 is the 199th day of the[...]
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From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE?
Hunter & Nelson: Joyride!
Today is Nelson Mandela's 94th birthday and the late Hunter S. Thompson's 75th birthday. I'd have paid good money to see them careening down the highway, top down in a cloud of dust on their way to Vegas, waxing philosophical on life and the human condition. (Actual quotes)
Nelson: During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to the struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.Happy birthday, guys.
Hunter: America... just a nation of two hundred million used car salesmen with all the money we need to buy guns and no qualms about killing anybody else in the world who tries to make us uncomfortable.
Nelson: Education is the great engine of personal development. It is through education that the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor, that a son of a mineworker can become the head of the mine, that a child of farm workers can become the president of a great nation. It is what we make out of what we have, not what we are given, that separates one person from another.Yeah. That would be a helluva joyride.Hunter: The only ones left with any confidence at all are the New Dumb. It is the beginning of the end of our world as we knew it. Doom is the operative ethic.
Nelson: I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.
Hunter: Walk tall, kick ass, learn to speak Arabic, love music and never forget you come from a long line of truth seekers, lovers and warriors.
Nelson: A leader is like a shepherd. He stays behind the flock, letting the most nimble go out ahead, whereupon the others follow, not realizing that all along they are being directed from behind.?
Hunter: All political power comes from the barrel of either guns, pussy, or opium pipes, and people seem to like it that way.
Nelson: Let there be work, bread, water and salt for all.
Hunter: It's a strange world. Some people get rich and others eat shit and die.
Cheers and Jeers starts below the fold... [Swoosh!!] RIGHTNOW! [Gong!!]