Late-Night Straws-in-the-Wind Open Thread: They Grow Up So Fast!

Never say never in a world where Donald Trump squats in the Oval Office, but I lean towards thinking that neither Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Jerry Brown, Hillary “As IF” Clinton, or any other individual old enough to qualify for Social Security will be running for President on the Democratic ticket in 2020. At least not with the goal of winning, although there’s always the Gingrich-esque performance intended to boost a political grifter’s “brand awareness” value on the media market…

Thirty-seven-year-old Brad Peacock, an organic vegetable farmer in Shaftsbury, is an independent candidate for the U.S. Senate.

He strongly believes that health care is a right and not a privilege. He’s worried that important domestic social programs are being threatened by Republican leaders in Congress, and he’s very concerned about the global impact of climate change.

Those positions sound like Sanders’, so why is Peacock running for the U.S. Senate? Because Sanders is telling young people that the time has come for them to get directly involved in the political process if they want to help move this country in a progressive direction.

“I have listened to him closely, and it really resonated with me when he says we need more young people in politics. And, you know, I said ‘OK,'” said Peacock. “Well I think now is the time.”…

Peacock says he hopes Sanders makes another bid for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020. That’s another reason why Peacock is running this year, because he says Vermont should have a full-time senator representing the state in Congress.

“I hope that he may [run for president] and therefore, you know, I think the people of Vermont deserve a senator for six years,” said Peacock…

Peacock actually announced his candidacy back in January, and he sounds like a very worthy candidate, even if he probably won’t be Vermont’s senator next year. Per the Bennington Banner:

In the hour-long speech outlining his platform, Peacock, who is seeking political office for the first time, used personal experience to illustrate his positions on poverty, health care, climate change, and civil rights. Throughout his address, the candidate emphasized community reliance and connection in the face of adversity…

Peacock also spoke out against Republican attempts to upend the Affordable Care Act, and the lack of funding provided for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) in the tax bill. The candidate also voiced his support for universal health care.

“At 10 years old I was keenly aware that any extra cost to our household would mean added stress and hardship,” Peacock said. “When I started to have a sore throat I remained silent, hoping it would go away. After a week or two it eventually did, but what I didn’t realize is strep throat, left untreated, can attack other organs.”

After continually growing weaker, Peacock was in dire straits by the time he was brought to the emergency room. The virus had attacked his kidneys, he said, causing lasting damage.

“Through all this, I worried I had done something wrong; I worried I had brought hardship on my family,” he said. “I am standing here today to say: no child in America should ever have to bear the worry of healthcare costs, and no parent should have to watch their child suffer in sickness with the added stress of how they will pay for treatment.”…

Last Week to the Alabama Vote…

Goal Thermometer

GOTV for Health this weekend

Maine is trying to expand Medicaid. There have been bi-partisan bills that have routinely passed both chambers of the Maine Legislature. Governor LePage (R-ME) has routinely vetoed these bills. That cycle may be broken next week as Maine has a ballot question on whether or not the state will accept Medicaid expansion.

So if you are in Maine or New Hampshire and have some time this weekend, help with the GOTV and help your fellow Mainiacs.

Late Night Open Thread: “Conservative” GOP “Men of Principle”


One principle, to be exact: “How can I best conserve my cushy job?”

Moore, who was twice ousted as chief justice of the Alabama state Supreme Court, has largely based his Senate run around his promise to make life difficult for Washington’s entrenched class, including his own party’s leadership. Moore has pledged to oppose Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, among other things. But the fundraising pact is a formal behind-the-scenes step by the establishment to support Moore, after unsuccessfully spending millions to defeat him in Alabama’s primary.

The new fund, Alabama 2017 Senate Victory Committee, will allow Moore to raise $80,500 at a time from individual contributors…

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Open Thread: Suite “Home” Alabama

That “unsure” 11% seems important. CNN:

Democrat Doug Jones — once thought to be a longshot in the Deep South — has tied Republican nominee and former judge Roy Moore in Alabama’s US Senate race, a new poll shows…

Moore and Jones will face off in a special election to fill Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ former seat December 12.

The poll confirms Republicans’ fears that Moore — who campaigns on a theocratic, anti-LGBT message and has twice been ousted as state Supreme Court chief justice, once for refusing to remove a Ten Commandments monument and once for refusing to follow the Supreme Court’s ruling legalizing same-sex marriage — would be a uniquely vulnerable candidate in a state President Donald Trump won last year by 28 percentage points…

Jones, a former prosecutor who convicted two former Klansmen in the bombing of Birmingham’s 16th Street Baptist Church, has sought to portray Moore as someone who would embarrass Alabama on the national stage…

Moore has a history of under performing compared to national Republican leaders in Alabama. In the 2012 race for state Supreme Court chief justice, he won by just 2 points over little-known circuit court judge Bob Vance in a year Mitt Romney won the state by 22 points…

Roy Moore’s Senate run is turning into the roadshow version of Trump’s campaign, and that was a farcical imitation of a real campaign…

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Early Morning Open Thread: Roy Moore — Take the Money & Sc(r)am?

Huntsville, Alabama news station WHNT:

The Republican Senate Nominee Roy Moore was the keynote speaker Thursday night at the Madison County Liberty Gala. It was his first major public appearance since several news stories broke this week involving his personal and campaign finances.

Most notably, the Washington Post ran a story about him taking more than a million dollars in undisclosed money from a charity, later run by Moore’s wife.

Moore was scheduled to speak to reporters after the speech, but we got word just about an hour before his address that Moore was not going to be taking any questions.

No reason was given for why that was canceled.

Moore did not directly address any of the controversies that surrounded his campaign but did say, he’s been accused of things he has not done…

Urban cynic that I am, I begin to suspect that ol’ Judge Moore had settled happily into a quasi-legitimate semi-retirement grift until the unexpected success of a certain Donald Trump roiled up the rubes all across thisyere great nation. What with a Godless fella like Trump getting his face and philosophy all over the tee-vee, suddenly doing a trickle of expense-account speaking gigs while his family cashed steady checks for their talent at being related to Judge Moore just didn’t seem… sufficient for God’s devoted servant.

Then the WaPo struck again — “Charity once led by Roy Moore has listed its headquarters for sale, a move that could bring him $540,000 windfall”:

The 1850s-era building was put on the market in April for nearly $1.9 million by Moore’s wife, Kayla, now president of the charity, said Ed Fleming, the listing agent for the property. Fleming said Kayla Moore and her husband were “thinking of moving and retiring” at the time.

“I deal with Kayla. She made the decision,” he said.

The circumstances of the listing add to questions swirling around the charity and more than $1 million in compensation for Roy Moore while he was working part time from 2007 to 2012. Kayla Moore took over as president in 2013, earning $65,000 a year.

On Wednesday, The Washington Post revealed that the nonprofit group, the Foundation for Moral Law, agreed to pay Moore $180,000 in annual salary, far more than the charity reported paying him in most of those years, and to honor the agreement even in years it did not have enough in contributions.

Moore was given a promissory note for back pay in 2011, tax filings and mortgage documents show, the first public indication that his annual compensation surpassed what had been reported. The note, backed by a second mortgage on the building that serves as the charity’s headquarters, was eventually worth $540,000, mortgage records show.

Kayla and Roy Moore declined multiple requests for interviews…
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Late Night Dark Fantasy Open Thread: Mercenary Prince Wants New Dress-Up Costume

Prince better have kept up his SEAL training, because when Liz Cheney finds out about his latest attention-getting stunt, she’s not gonna be hapy with him stepping on “her” turf. Steve Bannon’s got a high opinion of his own Chaotic Evil worth, but Liz’s daddy was corrupting public office when Stevie was just learning to set the bullies against the nerds in middle school:

Over the weekend, Mr. Prince traveled to Wyoming with his family to explore ways to establish residency there, said one person who had spoken to him.

If he runs, Mr. Prince would face formidable obstacles in seeking to unseat Mr. Barrasso, a popular and genial but low-profile senator who will have the full backing of Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, and the well-funded political committees loyal to him. Mr. Prince, who has never run for public office, has been a polarizing figure for years, as Blackwater faced a welter of ethical and legal problems over its work for the military in places like Iraq, including an episode in 2007 in which its employees killed 17 civilians in Baghdad…

Though Mr. Prince carries baggage, Republicans have privately said that a primary challenge against a lawmaker like Mr. Barrasso is the kind they fear most: an out-of-the-blue run by a renegade from the right against a senator whose sin is not a lack of conservative credentials, but an association with Mr. McConnell and other party leaders…

In 1997, Mr. Prince founded Blackwater as a private, for-profit force to aid the military, and he is wealthy enough to self-finance his race. For months this year, Mr. Prince — with Mr. Bannon’s support — pushed a plan to replace soldiers with contractors in Afghanistan. The proposal, which would have radically changed the way the fight in that country is conducted, was vehemently opposed by the national security adviser, Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster, and the defense secretary, Jim Mattis.

Beyond his support of the use of contractors in war zones, Mr. Prince’s views on political issues are less widely known. He has been described as a libertarian. In 1992, he supported Pat Buchanan’s run for president.

Mr. Prince is emblematic of the type of parallel government apparatus that Mr. Bannon built inside the administration during his time as Mr. Trump’s chief strategist. Mr. Bannon, with help from the Mercer family, is now trying to build the same kind of parallel structure inside the Republican Party. And Mr. Prince is not the only candidate on his wish list…

Between his sister Betsy and failed MI Gov. Rick Snyder, forecasts for the GOP in Michigan are not so great right now, which probably has something to do with Bannon trying to persuade him to up sticks to a place where the lands are larger and the voters fewer. Also, Debbie Stabenow is not exactly a pushover, as the deVos klan has reason to know.