Month: August 2018

Andrew “Rat Faced Andy” Cuomo Does it Again

What a surprise, Andrew Cuomo’s free tuition at state schools program does not apply to over 2/3 of applicants:

After New York officials announced a plan to pay college tuition for middle-class students last year, Domonique Baker was pretty sure she would qualify for the money.

“When I first heard about the scholarship, I read everything,” the now 27-year-old hospital registration representative said. Through her research, Baker learned that she met what she thought were the major requirements: Her annual income was below the $110,000 maximum and she was pursuing a bachelor’s degree at one of New York’s public universities, SUNY-New Paltz. Baker filled out the application and waited to hear back, calling multiple times to check up on her status.

Shortly before she was set to start her last year of classes, Baker said learned she didn’t qualify for the Excelsior Scholarship, as it’s known, because she was attending school part-time, balancing her schedule with a full-time job working overnights at a hospital. “It was marketed to middle-class families and working families and, unfortunately, everybody’s reality is different,” Baker said, adding that hers includes a full-time job.

Just over 20,000 students received the Excelsior Scholarship last year or about 3.2% of the state’s 633,543 undergraduates during the 2017-2018 academic year, according to an analysis of New York State higher education data released last week by the Center for an Urban Future, a New York City-based think tank focused on economic equity.


Perhaps more telling of Excelsior’s challenges than the relatively low number of students receiving the scholarship is the number of students who were rejected. Of the 63,599 students who applied, 43,513 were denied or about 68%, Hilliard’s report found.

Those findings don’t jibe with numbers from the governor’s office, which found that roughly 95,000 students applied for the scholarship and between 22,000 and 23,000 ended receiving it.

Actually, they do: Both have a rejection rate of over 2/3.

This is a feature, not a bug.

Rat Faced Andy does not want to help the poor and middle class, and an even less educated populace, which might see through the bullsh%$ that he is serving up as meaningful government action.

He wanted credit for a political moment while creating a program that is small enough, and cruel enough, that he can kill it at a later date, because it does not help his rich donors.

FWIW, I did not coin the term “Rat Faced Andy”. Spy magazine, the same rag that coined the term, “Short Fingered Vulgarian,” to describe Trump, did.

Source passes along this paragraph from a book on Spy magazine, that’s another entry in the history of @realDonaldTrump and @andrewcuomo

— Shane Goldmacher (@ShaneGoldmacher) August 26, 2018

Oh, Snap!

US Telcom, a lobbying firm for the incumbent phone companies, just accidentally mailed it’s strategy and talking points to a reporter.

Much hilarity ensues:

It’s not every day that big telco lobbyists email me their internal documents about how they’re going to try to shift all the negative press about themselves and try to flip it onto internet companies. But it did happen yesterday. In what was clearly a mistake a top exec at the telco’s largest lobbying organization, USTelecom, emailed a 12 page document of talking points yesterday, asking the recipients to “review the document for accuracy and other thoughts” in order to help USTelecom President Jonathan Spalter for when he goes on C-SPAN next week. I found it a bit odd that I would be on the distribution list for such an email — especially when 13 of the 15 recipients of the email were US Telecom employees. And me. The one other non-US Telecom person works at a firm that provides “subject matter experts” and “in-depth legal analysis.”

The talking points are not all that surprising, if you’re at all familiar with the telco industry, so there aren’t really any huge smoking guns here, but they do cover a huge range of issues, from net neutrality, competition, privacy, cybersecurity, and more. Amusingly, on the net neutrality front, there’s a section on “Verizon Throttling Fire Responders.” Tragically, that appears to be one of the few sections in the document that they hadn’t yet filled in yet — perhaps because the industry still doesn’t have a good response to Verizon throttling fire fighters in California as they were battling wildfires.

One thing that’s clear, however, is that the big telcos really want to play up the recent attacks on social media companies (“edge providers,” as they like to say), and throughout the document there are statements about taking advantage of the current political attacks on those companies. For example, in the “Privacy” section, the talking points for Salter appear to be for him to try to pivot to making it about Facebook and Google as quickly as possible, saying they are the bigger risks:


Not Surprised, but Appalled

The invaluable Murray Waas has been digging, and he has discovered that the Trump administration knew about Michael Flynn and his lying to the FBI before the WaPo reported it, but did nothing:

In early February 2017, a senior White House attorney, John Eisenberg, reviewed highly classified intelligence intercepts of telephone conversations between then-National Security Adviser Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn and Russia’s ambassador to the US, Sergey Kislyak, which incontrovertibly demonstrated that Flynn had misled the FBI about those conversations, according to government records and two people with first-hand knowledge of the matter. It was after this information was relayed to President Trump that the president fired Flynn, and the following day allegedly pressured then-FBI Director James Comey to shut down a federal criminal investigation into whether Flynn had lied to the FBI.

Eisenberg reviewed the intercepts on or about February 2, 2017, according to confidential White House records and two former White House officials. Despite the fact that not only Eisenberg but presumably also other senior White House officials learned this information, they apparently took no immediate action. Only on February 8, 2017—after The Washington Post contacted the White House to say that it was about to publish a story about the intercepts showing that Flynn had lied about his conversations with Kislyak—did administration officials do anything. That same day, confidential White House records indicate, then-White House chief of staff Reince Priebus, White House Counsel Don McGahn, and Eisenberg directly confronted Flynn about what they learned from the intercepts. On February 10, Vice President Mike Pence, Preibus, and McGahn spoke to Flynn again, but received no satisfactory explanations from him, and recommended to President Trump that Flynn be fired. On February 13, 2017, Flynn resigned.

A former senior White House official, with first-hand knowledge of the matter, expressed disbelief at the inaction: “You have a White House lawyer learning that the national security adviser to the president of the Untied States has possibly lied—about his contacts with Russians—not only to his own White House, but also to the FBI, which is a potential felony, and nobody does anything?” The person added: “I have no reason to question John Eisenberg’s integrity or that he is an exceptional attorney. I guess I buy into narrative that this was a White House in disarray, because the alternative is too painful to contemplate.”

This is f%$#ed up and sh%$.

When you have tapes showing that your f%$#ing National Security Advisor f%$#ing lied to the f%$#ing FBI, and then this guy f%$# lies to you, and you f%$#ing do nothing until the f%$#ing Washington f%$#ing Post publishes a story about it?

This takes dysfunctional to a whole new level.

Oh, My!

Last year, a political firestorm erupted when journalists revealed that Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein’s lawyer David Boies gave $10,000 to Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. in the months after Vance declined to prosecute the movie producer on sexual assault charges. Now, less than a year later, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has halted an investigation into the handling of the Weinstein case just as Boies’ law firm gave Cuomo’s campaign $25,000, according to state records reviewed by Capital & Main and Sludge.

The controversies spotlight ongoing questions about whether law enforcement actions in New York are being inappropriately influenced by campaign donations.

Amid explosive headlines about Boies’ donations to Vance and the district attorney’s decision not to prosecute Weinstein, Cuomo in March called for the New York Attorney General’s office to investigate the handling of the case, which revolved around accusations that Weinstein groped an Italian model.

While Vance in May opted to reverse course and charge the Hollywood producer, Cuomo declared that an investigation into Vance’s original decision to not prosecute Weinstein was necessary because, the governor said, “it is critical not only that these cases are given the utmost attention but also that there is public confidence in the handling of these cases.”

However, BuzzFeed on Tuesday reported that Cuomo reversed himself in June, sending a letter to New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood asking her to suspend the investigation for six months. The suspension effectively shields Boies from scrutiny of any potential relationship between his 2015 donation to Vance and Vance’s decision not to prosecute Weinstein.

Cuomo’s June order came six days after Boies, Schiller & Flexner gave $25,000 to Cuomo’s reelection campaign, according to New York campaign finance records. In all, Boies and his law firm have given Cuomo’s gubernatorial campaigns more than $245,000 since 2009.

A Cuomo Flack is now claiming that they didn’t want to interfere with the Weinstein investigation.

If you believe that, I’m sure that Rat Faced Andy Cuomo* has a bridge concession in Brooklyn that he wants to discuss with you.

There was a debate tonight between Cuomo and Nixon, and it appears that this bit of creative finance did not come up. (Go figure)

*Not my bon mot. Spy magazine, the same one that described Trump as a, “Short fingered vulgarian,” coined that one.

Clearly, Self Driving Cars are Just Around the Corner

Arizona is working very, very, hard to make itself the go to location, largely by subsidies and lax regulations.

It appears that these efforts are beginning to annoy the locals, who have come to hate the rolling roadblocks:

Alphabet’s Waymo unit is a worldwide leader in autonomous vehicle development for suburban environments. It has said it would launch a driverless robo-taxi service to suburban Phoenix residents this year. Yet its self-driving minivan prototypes have trouble crossing the T-intersection closest to the company’s Phoenix-area headquarters here.

Two weeks ago, Lisa Hargis, an administrative assistant who works at an office a stone’s throw from Waymo’s vehicle depot, said she nearly hit a Waymo Chrysler Pacifica minivan because it stopped abruptly while making a right turn at the intersection. “Go!” she shouted angrily, she said, after getting stuck in the intersection midway through her left turn. Cars that had been driving behind the Waymo van also stopped. “I was going to murder someone,” she said.

This is literally the most self-driving car corner in the world. It’s right next ti Waymo HQ, and it still does not work.*

The hesitation at the intersection is one of many flaws evident in Waymo’s technology, say five people with direct knowledge of the issues in Phoenix. More than a dozen local residents who frequently encounter one of the hundreds of Waymo test vehicles circulating in the area complained about sudden moves or stops. The company’s safety drivers—individuals who sit in the driver’s seat—regularly have to take control of the wheel to avoid a collision or potentially unsafe situation, the people said.

Suburban Phoenix, with its generally flat, straight roads and relatively light traffic, has been an ideal test location for Waymo and other developers of autonomous vehicles. Apple, which is working on its own self-driving car, recently set up a facility for testing prototype vehicles near Surprise, Ariz., west of Phoenix, according to a person briefed about the matter, a move that hasn’t previously been reported. (An Apple spokesman didn’t comment.) Uber was conducting tests in the area until it halted activity after a deadly collision in March.

But Waymo’s experience in the Phoenix surroundings is the latest evidence that it could be many years before fully autonomous vehicles replace human drivers, even in relatively easy driving environments, at any meaningful scale. While established automakers like Ford and GM, as well as startups like Aurora Innovation and Voyage, also are making incremental advances, the race to make such vehicles an everyday reality hasn’t progressed far beyond the starting line, say people in the field.

This is why self-driving car “experts” are suggesting things like basically banning pedestrians.

This stuff is not ready for prime time.


I now knows a 2nd person uninvited to John McCain’s funeral, Sarah Louise Heath Palin:

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) has reportedly not been invited to attend funeral services for Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), her onetime running mate.

NBC News reported Wednesday that Palin had not been invited. A source within the Palin family told NBC News that “out of respect to Senator McCain and his family we have nothing to add at this point.”

I know that this should not amuse me so much, but it does.

Another Progressive Upset

Andrew Gillum who was massively outspent by his opponents, won the Democratic primary for Governor in Florida.

Here is my favorite bit:

“My opponents have spent, together, over $90 million in this race. We have spent four” million, he said. “Money doesn’t vote. People do.”

Mr. Gillum edged Ms. Graham, a former North Florida congresswoman who finished second, and Mr. Levine, the former Miami Beach mayor who finished third after dropping nearly $30 million of his personal fortune into the campaign. Ms. Graham, a moderate, had been considered the favorite in a midterm year in which many Democratic women have fared well.

Also this:

Mr. Gillum’s unexpected nomination represents a sharp break with recent Florida midterm elections in which Democratic voters nominated somewhat bland moderates to try to win in a purple state. Instead, they lost over and over again: Democrats have not held the Florida governor’s mansion in two decades, and they lost the past two governor’s elections by a single percentage point.

Yes, they ran a colorless candidate and then a former Republican political hack and they both lost to governor Bat Boy.

This time, the establishment wanted Bob Graham’s kid, because nepotism works so well at getting candidates elected.

North Carolina Just Got Interesting

The appeals court has ruled that the Congressional districts in North Carolina are unconstitutional, and they may demand that the districts be redrawn before the election.

That’s 10 weeks:

A panel of three federal judges again declared North Carolina’s congressional district map to be unconstitutional, ruling on Monday that it was gerrymandered to unfairly favor Republican candidates.

The decision, which may have significant implications for control of Congress after the midterm elections, is likely to be appealed to the United States Supreme Court, which for the moment is evenly split on ideological lines without a ninth justice to tip the balance.

Though North Carolina’s voters tend to divide about evenly between the two parties, Republicans currently hold 10 of the state’s 13 House seats. A redrawn district map may put more of the seats within Democrats’ reach.

The three judges had ruled unanimously in January that the state’s House map violated the First and 14th Amendments by unfairly giving one group of voters — Republicans — a bigger voice than others in choosing representatives.

But the Supreme Court declined in June to hear an appeal in the case, sending it back for reconsideration under guidelines it had set out in a different case about who had legal standing to challenge the map.

In a lengthy ruling on Monday, the panel reached largely the same conclusion that it had in January. And the judges agreed that the plaintiffs in the case — voting-rights advocacy groups and residents of each of North Carolina’s 13 districts — had standing to bring the suit.

The judges left open the possibility that they could order new maps to be drawn before the 2018 election, either by the North Carolina General Assembly or by a special master appointed by the court.

Pass the popcorn.

Ken Starr is Pond Scum

While he was trying to coverup sexual assaults by athletes at Baylor, he planted a mole to spy on sexual survivor support groups.

What an awful, evil,, pathetic, little man:

Baylor University infiltrated sexual assault survivor groups to shape PR strategy and talking points on how to handle the groups and student demonstrations, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

A Title IX lawsuit, filed by 10 unnamed former students, has alleged Baylor downplayed sexual assaults at the university. Some of the Jane Does say they were assaulted as far back as 2004, according to court documents.………

In the same month that Ukwuachu was convicted, Baylor’s office of general counsel retained [big league PR flacks] Ketchum for comms support, according to Jason Cook, Baylor’s VP for marketing and comms and CMO.

James Peters, former partner and director of Ketchum South, served as the account lead. A Ketchum representative declined to make Peters available for comment.


One source familiar with the matter identified the “mole” as Matt Burchett, director of student activities at Baylor, whose job is to coordinate student pursuits such as picnics, parties, and demonstrations. The source said Burchett, acting as a liaison with university officials, played damage control on their behalf.

Burchett helped to arrange demonstrations for survivor groups and passed on what he learned to school officials and the communications department, sources said.

“Baylor had – I don’t know what else you’d call it – a mole that would interact with survivor groups,” said the source.


When these groups organized on campus to comfort each other and demand action from former chancellor Kenneth Starr, “[Burchett] would coordinate with them, befriend them, and pretend he was helping them organize vigils and demonstrations [about] sexual assault,” the source added.

Burchett would pass on what he learned to school officials, the communications department, and Ketchum, the source added. In an email described to PRWeek, Kevin Jackson, VP of student life and Burchett’s supervisor, said the director of student activities was “adept at this kind of thing.”


[Baylor VP for Marketing and Communications Jason] Cook objected to the notion that Burchett collected information without the survivor groups’ knowledge. When counsel for the plaintiffs deposed Burchett on July 31, “[Burchett] indicated in his deposition testimony that he had advised the students up front that he would be coordinating with university personnel, including media, security, parking, facilities, pastoral care, and so on,” Cook said. “This is standard operating procedure for any significant student event on our university campus.”


Since 2015, Baylor has jettisoned administration and athletic department officials, including former head football coach Art Briles, former athletic director Ian McCaw, and former chancellor Starr

Spying on rape survivors to undermine their efforts:  What a bunch of contemptible excuses for human beings.

Like at DMCA Takedown Notices ……… On Acid

It appears that abuse and misuse of the DMCA, with its lawsuits against printer ink manufacturers and extortion by corrupt lawyers has not informed the people in Washington, DC, who want to legalize revenge hacking, which, of course, will be outsourced to incompetent and malicious contractors:

Imagine this: Facebook is set to release a slew of shiny new features designed to win back users and increase engagement. But before it can release its products, Renren (one of China’s Facebook clones) releases the same features across its platform, beating Facebook to the punch. Infuriated, Facebook security officials claim they know with near certainty that their plans were stolen by a hacker on behalf of the Chinese social-media giant. Some furious employees put in motion a plan to load a devastating malware attack on the hackers’ networks as payback.

Is that even legal? Can Facebook retaliate with a hack of its own? Under current U.S. law, the answer is no, but a growing number of legislators are attempting to change that. Yesterday, Rhode Island Democratic senator Sheldon Whitehouse became the most recent lawmaker to express support for revenge hacking.

“We ought to think hard about how and when to license hack-back authority so capable, responsible private-sector actors can deter foreign aggression,” Whitehouse said. “If [a major CEO] wanted permission to figure out how to hack back, I don’t think he’d know what agency’s door to knock on to actually give him an answer.”

Hacking back (also known as revenge hacking) involves a retaliatory response by a private company or an individual after they are attacked by a malicious actor. While anyone can monitor and enforce their own network and devices, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act prevents people from going a step further and hacking into someone else’s network, even if they were hacked first. In his recent book, The Perfect Weapon, journalist David Sanger likens hacking back to a retaliatory home invader.

“It’s illegal, just as it’s illegal to break into the house of someone who robbed your house in order to retrieve your property,” Sanger writes.

The idea that legalizing hacking by Mark Zuckerberg and Jeff Bezos will make anyone any safer is a corrupt fiction.

They’re Bond villains, and granting them immunity to pull this crap will end in tragedy.


This cut away about McCain’s death is marvelously surreal. (watch the whole thing)

You Cannot Read This without Hearing an Australian Accent

The existing Liberal Party (actually conservative) Australian Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, was turfed out, and the slavering reactionary racist who engineered his departure, Peter Dutton, was unable to properly count votes, so he did not succeed.

This essay about these developments, is perhaps the most Australian thing ever: (Evah, Mate)

Go Home C%$#, Says Nation


The nation of Australia has extended a polite request to the Former Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton today.

Australia as a collective country has asked the highway cop from the Sunshine Coast to ‘please, go home, c%$#.’

The request comes after Peter Dutton, and his conservative backbench allies and media backers have held the country to ransom over the last fortnight, in a vain attempt to “regain control” of the Liberal Party of Australia.

After destabilising the Coalition Government for months, Dutton looked crushed this afternoon after realising he isn’t very good at counting and had to come to terms with losing the leadership ballot.

Scott Morrison won the leadership ballot 45-40 against Dutton, with Josh Frydneberg taking the reigns as Deputy Prime Minister after edging out Greg Hunt.

After it was announced that Scott Morrison will be the next Prime Minister of Australia, it was confirmed that Peter Dutton, the man who walked out on the National Apology to the Stolen Generations, should just head back to the Sunshine Coast and look out for people changing lanes without an indicator.

Whether, Dutton, the man who refused to bring asylum-seeking children needing urgent medical attention to Australia, will in fact just go home remains to be seen.

(%$# mine)

This is beautiful.

What a Surprise: Trigger Happy Militarized Policing Does Not Make Us Safer

As a result of of a Maryland law requiring SWAT raids to be documented, a study has shown that SWAT teams do nothing to make the public, and the cops, safer:

A study has been released confirming what many have suspected: militarization of law enforcement doesn’t make communities safer, has zero effect on officer safety, and is rarely deployed as advertised when agencies make pitches for the acquisition of military gear.

The most frequent recipient of military tools and training are SWAT teams. Professor Jonathan Mummolo’s research — published by the National Academy of Sciences — gained unprecedented access to SWAT deployment numbers, thanks to a public records request and a Maryland state law requiring documentation of every SWAT raid performed. (That law was allowed to expire by legislators who apparently felt it provided too much transparency and accountability.)

With these numbers, Mummolo was able to compare SWAT deployments to other stats, as well as see just how often SWAT teams were deployed to handle dangerous situations like robberies, shootings, hostage-taking, etc. What he discovered was, sadly, unsurprising. Police officials talk about the necessity of SWAT teams and military gear using references to barricaded suspects, terrorist attacks, active shooters…. pretty much anything but what they actually use them for. From the paper [PDF]:

[R]oughly 90% of SWAT deployments in that state over 5 fiscal years were conducted to serve search warrants. Previous work has shown that the use of SWAT teams to serve warrants, a practice which escalated as a result of the war on drugs, is an extremely disruptive event in the lives of citizens and often involves percussive grenades, battering rams, substantial property damage, and in rare cases deadly altercations stemming from citizens’ mistaken belief that they are experiencing a home invasion. […] less than 5% of deployments involved a “barricade” scenario, which typically involves an armed suspect refusing to surrender to police. Violence to people and animals is rare, and gun shots are fired 1.2% of the time—roughly 100 deployments during this period. While the data suggest that indiscriminate violence is less common than some anecdotal reports suggest, they also show that the vast majority of SWAT deployments occur in connection with non-emergency scenarios, predominately to serve search warrants.

Similarly unsurprising is data showing SWAT teams are deployed far more often in areas with a higher concentration of African American residents. Mummolo’s research shows a 10% increase in African American population resulted in a 10.5% increase in SWAT deployments. 


All the gear obtained by police agencies to make officers safer doesn’t seem to have an effect on officer safety. The data shows negligible effects on officer injuries or deaths. Despite being touted as essential tools to combat a supposed increase in criminal firepower, SWAT teams and their military gear spend more time serving warrants than facing dangerous situations. Maryland SWAT stats — compared against other data reported by law enforcement agencies — results in this conclusion:

[T]here is no evidence that acquiring a SWAT team lowers crime or promotes officer safety.

Surveys conducted by Mummolo show SWAT teams — and police militarization in general — have a negative effect on public perception. SWAT teams make the places they’re frequently deployed seem less safe, even if crime stats don’t back that up. Dressing up in military gear increases distrust of the law enforcement agency — something especially pronounced in African American respondents.

Mummolo’s conclusion, based on stats supplied by law enforcement agencies, is devastating. And it’s likely to be ignored by every law enforcement agency in Maryland. 

Live in obedient fear, citizen.

The Devil is in the Details

I’m cynical enough about the Democratic Party establishment to wonder what sort of trap is in the small print.

The Democratic National Committee voted Saturday to neutralize the votes of unpledged convention delegates, part of a package of hard-fought reforms designed to prevent a repeat of the bitter 2016 presidential primary as the party looks toward the 2020 election.

“We listened and we acted, and I’m proud that our party is doing everything we can to bring people in and make it easier to vote,” said DNC Chairman Tom Perez after the reforms were unanimously approved.

The new party rules undo decades-old reforms that empowered hundreds of party activists and elected officials, often referred to as “superdelegates,” whose presidential convention votes were not bound to the results of primaries or caucuses. They also affirm the decision of six states to move from caucuses, which have favored insurgent candidates, to primaries, which tend to have higher turnout.

The Democrats’ journey to that decision lasted more than two years, and divided party leaders even as activists who had supported both Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) organized behind them. Anger at the results of that primary campaign, and at Clinton’s defeat, has dogged the DNC under Perez’s leadership; despite a run of election wins, it has raised $116.5 million since the start of the cycle, compared with $227.2 million for the RNC.


“This is a way for us to heal the wounds of the 2016 election,” Martin said in an interview before the vote. “Minnesota was a 62 percent Bernie state. People cared about this. We were dealing with a perception problem more than a reality problem, but that perception problem mattered. People believed so passionately that this issue cost their candidate the nomination, that we had to fix it.”


Perez and other delegate reform supporters succeeded in weakening the establishment opposition by giving it more time to protest. But the opposition made one final push, picking up on a theme that the Congressional Black Caucus had aired last month — that to take away the votes of black superdelegates was to effectively suppress them. The unofficial leaders of that faction, former party chair Don Fowler and California DNC member Bob Mulholland, are white. But Mulholland, a gruff Vietnam veteran, invoked the legacy of the civil rights movement to argue that his party risked alienating its most loyal voters to appease a faction of elite Sanders fans.


Perez and other delegate reform supporters succeeded in weakening the establishment opposition by giving it more time to protest. But the opposition made one final push, picking up on a theme that the Congressional Black Caucus had aired last month — that to take away the votes of black superdelegates was to effectively suppress them. The unofficial leaders of that faction, former party chair Don Fowler and California DNC member Bob Mulholland, are white. But Mulholland, a gruff Vietnam veteran, invoked the legacy of the civil rights movement to argue that his party risked alienating its most loyal voters to appease a faction of elite Sanders fans.


But that message did not unify the DNC’s black members, some of whom pointed out that the 2016 pool of superdelegates skewed whiter than the delegates elected through primaries. While former party chair Donna Brazile gave a 10-minute speech decrying the reform, Nina Turner, president of the Sanders-founded group Our Revolution, whipped votes in favor of it.

“Real voter disenfranchisement is living in a state where you forfeit your rights if you’re a felon,” Turner said. “Real disenfranchisement is officials closing down polling places that disproportionately affect black voters. This is a false equivalency, to talk about something that happens in the DNC and compare it to the hard, bloody fight to secure the franchise in the real world.”

The entire colloquy with representatives of CBC is depressing:  Even though the elimination of superdelegates makes the votes less white, “Superdelegates skewed whiter than the delegates elected through primaries,” they are unwilling to look beyond their own personal prerogatives.

It’s on par with James Clyburn’s attacks on Bernie Sanders’ proposal to eliminate tuition at public schools because it would be bad for the HBCUs.

There is way too much pulling up the ladder after themselves here.