Ohio Candidate Details His Sexual Past

Ohio Supreme Court Justices Bill O’Neill (D), who is running for governor, wrote on Facebook about his own sexual past:

Now that the dogs of war are calling for the head of Senator Al Franken I believe it is time to speak up on behalf of all heterosexual males. As a candidate for Governor let me save my opponents some research time. In the last fifty years I was sexually intimate with approximately 50 very attractive females. It ranged from a gorgeous blonde who was my first true love and we made passionate love in the hayloft of her parents barn and ended with a drop dead gorgeous red head from Cleveland.

Now can we get back to discussing legalizing marijuana and opening the state hospital network to combat the opioid crisis. I am sooooo disappointed by this national feeding frenzy about sexual indiscretions decades ago.

Peace.

Moore Often Sided with Defendants in Sex Crimes Cases

“Democrats and news outlets have noted, sometimes with scandalous subtext, that Mr. Moore dissented from the Alabama Supreme Court’s majority in several instances to side with a person accused of sexual crimes.”

“A New York Times review of 20 cases focused on sexual crimes or misconduct during Mr. Moore’s tenure on the Alabama Supreme Court found that he sided with the accused 13 times, a higher rate than almost all of his colleagues.”

Digital Media Is In a Total Meltdown

Just look at the headlines this week: Mashable sold itself for a fifth of what it was valued at two years ago. Vice and Buzzfeed missed their revenue targets by a wide margin.

Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo summed up what’s happening this way:

We’re actually in the midst of a digital news media crash, only no one is willing to say it. I’ve mentioned before that digital news media in the midst of a monetization crisis. But again, it’s a full blown crash.

The problem is that so many news sites are confused about their customer. Is it the advertiser or the reader?

If you’re an advertiser, you’ll do much better placing ads on Google and Facebook. A digital news site just cannot compete with their ability to target customers.

That’s why I moved Political Wire to a membership model a couple of years ago. I want this to be the best site for readers. But it relies on your direct support. Those who support the site get new features, a cleaner reading experience and no ads.

Join us for just $5 a month or $50 a year.

The Conservative War on the Media Backfires

The Atlantic: “With sexual misconduct allegations continuing to mount against the Republican Senate candidate in Alabama, Moore has defied calls to drop out of the race by advancing an audacious conspiracy theory—that partisan fabulists in the mainstream media are working with his enemies in the political establishment to wage a nefarious smear campaign against him. Not long ago, such claims likely would have backfired. But in the Trump era, anti-press sentiment has reached a fever pitch on the right—something candidates like Moore are eagerly exploiting.”

“Charlie Sykes, a former conservative talk radio host, said Republican voters have been conditioned over years of right-wing media consumption to reflexively reject any news that challenges their worldview.”

“In Alabama, Sykes said, a ‘nightmare scenario’ is unfolding. ‘You have credible journalism being attacked and ignored amid a flood of misinformation and bizarre propaganda,’ he said, adding that his compatriots in the conservative media who are horrified by Moore need to grapple with their own culpability. ‘I think we should be horrified by the monster we helped create.'”

Murkowski Tax Vote Contingent on Health Vote First

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) “said that her vote on the current version of the tax overhaul is contingent on passing a separate bill to stabilize the individual health insurance market,” Roll Call reports.

“The tax legislation now includes a section to repeal the individual mandate — a provision that opens up over $300 billion in revenue — but could also threaten the viability of the overall health law.”

‘A Spectacular Accumulation of Lies’

Michael Gerson: “I spent part of my convalescence from a recent illness reading some of the comprehensive timelines of the Russia investigation… In all of this, there is a spectacular accumulation of lies. Lies on disclosure forms. Lies at confirmation hearings. Lies on Twitter. Lies in the White House briefing room. Lies to the FBI. Self-protective lies by the attorney general. Blocking and tackling lies by Vice President Pence. This is, with a few exceptions, a group of people for whom truth, political honor, ethics and integrity mean nothing.”

“What are the implications? President Trump and others in his administration are about to be hit by a legal tidal wave. We look at the Russia scandal and see lies. A skilled prosecutor sees leverage. People caught in criminal violations make more cooperative witnesses. Robert S. Mueller III and his A-team of investigators have plenty of stupidity and venality to work with. They are investigating an administration riven by internal hatreds — also the prosecutor’s friend. And Trump has already alienated many potential allies in a public contest between himself and Mueller. A number of elected Republicans, particularly in the Senate, would watch this showdown with popcorn.”

“But the implications of all this are not only legal and political. We are witnessing what happens when right-wing politics becomes untethered from morality and religion.”

Clinton Challenges Legitimacy of 2016 Election

Hillary Clinton told Mother Jones that “there are lots of questions” about the legitimacy of Donald Trump’s election due to Russian interference and widespread voter suppression efforts.

Clinton said Russian meddling in the election “was one of the major contributors to the outcome.” The Russians “weaponized false information” in “a very successful disinformation campaign” that “wasn’t just influencing voters, it was determining the outcome.”

Republican efforts to make it harder to vote, through measures such as voter ID laws, shortened early voting periods, and new obstacles to registration, likewise “contributed to the outcome.”

Christie Didn’t Tell Staff of Plans to Endorse Trump

Politico: “Before Christie flew to Dallas to endorse Donald Trump two weeks later, he didn’t tell some of his most senior aides. They learned about it from his secretary while he was in the air. Christie had assured aides after New Hampshire that he didn’t plan to endorse in the race, and they looked forward to trying to salvage his legacy in New Jersey.”

“After he learned the news, Kevin Roberts, then communications director, called his team into an emergency meeting and told them. He was met with silence.”

“‘We’re fucked,’ Roberts said, according to attendees. The decision was widely loathed in his circle. DuHaime, his top political adviser, declined to follow his lead. Maria Comella, his top aide for years, later came out with a statement endorsing Hillary Clinton.”

Ivanka and the Fugitive from Panama

A new Reuters investigation reveals how an alleged fraudster in Panama, working with Ivanka Trump, helped make Trump’s first international hotel venture a success.

The broker who spearheaded the sale of the Trump-branded project did business with a money launderer for Colombian drug cartels and two criminals from the former Soviet Union.

Quote of the Day

“I come from the poor people, and I have been here working my whole stinkin’ career for people who don’t have a chance, and I really resent anybody that says I’m doing it for the rich. Give me a break. I think you guys overplay all the time, and it gets old. And frankly, you ought to quit it.”

— Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), quoted by RealClearPolitics, in an exchange with Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH).

GOP Tax Bill Gives Private Jet Owners a Tax Break

Yahoo News: “If you’re one of the lucky Americans who owns a private jet, don’t fret.  Republicans have your back—in the form of tax breaks.”

“The new Senate tax bill will give those who own or lease private planes breaks on the amount they pay to companies for maintenance, storage, fueling and even when they want to hire pilots and a crew onboard. “

Messer’s D.C. Home Draws Attention In Indiana

“A campaign stop for Rep. Luke Messer (R-IN) in his bid for Senate involves traveling from his family’s home in suburban Washington back to Indiana, where he typically stays overnight with his mom,” the AP reports.

“Although living outside the state is hardly a first for members of Indiana’s congressional delegation, past elections signal Messer’s address could complicate his plans to win the Republican primary and ultimately unseat Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-IN) next year.”

“Towering figures in Indiana politics, including former Democratic Sen. Evan Bayh and Republican Sen. Richard Lugar, were toppled in recent years after struggling to explain whether they still lived in the state. Others took major steps to head off the issue, including former GOP Sen. Dan Coats, who rented and later purchased a home in Indiana, while selling off one elsewhere.”

Upton Drops Senate Bid In Michigan

Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) is running for re-election in 2018, and will drop his plans to run for Senate, the Washington Examiner reports.

“The surprise move is a boost for House Republicans, who have endured a string of retirements as many fear being swept out of office next year in a midterm wave, and some feel alienated in a party that is tilting toward President Trump’s populism. Upton’s decision stems a tide of recent bad news for the party, especially after an off-year wipeout in suburban strongholds from Virginia to New York signaled trouble ahead.”

Anatomy of a Fake News Scandal

Rolling Stone: “The claim that Hillary Clinton was a pedophile started in a Facebook post, spread to Twitter and then went viral with the help of far-right platforms like Breitbart and Info-Wars. But it was unclear whether Pizzagate was mass hysteria or the work of politicos with real resources and agendas. It took the better part of a year (and two teams of researchers) to sift through the digital trail. We found ordinary people, online activists, bots, foreign agents and domestic political operatives. Many of them were associates of the Trump campaign. Others had ties with Russia. Working together – though often unwittingly – they flourished in a new ‘post-truth’ information ecosystem, a space where false claims are defended as absolute facts.”