This Democratic Candidate’s Coal Companies Just Agreed to a $6 Million EPA Settlement – NATALIE SCHREYEROCT. 5, 2016 10:09 AMq

Jim Justice’s Southern Coal Corporation has to pay up after allegedly violating the Clean Water Act.

Chris Tilley/AP

After a five-year investigation, the Environmental Protection Agency on Friday announced a nearly $6 million settlement with Southern Coal Corporation and 26 affiliated companies over pollution allegations.

The settlement isn’t a particularly expensive one by industry standards, but it could have an outsize political impact. That’s because Southern Coal is owned by Jim Justice, a billionaire Democrat who is currently running for governor of West Virginia. In addition to the alleged violations cited in the complaint, Justice’s companies have previously been accused of missing tax payments and racking up unpaid fines imposed for safety violations at their mines, according to local officials and records cited by the Washington Post. (A campaign spokesman told the Post at the time that Justice “has always, and will always, meet every obligation.”)

Read More: The Epic Rise and Fall of America’s Most Notorious Coal Baron

Unlike many of its competitors, Southern Coal has managed to avoid bankruptcy in an industry rocked in recent years by stricter environmental regulations and increasing competition from cheap natural gas. But the company wasn’t able to escape scrutiny from EPA officials. The agency charged that Southern Coal and its affiliates’ mining and processing operations violated the Clean Water Act by polluting in excess of legal limits, failing to test nearby water, and failing to monitor and submit reports documenting pollutant levels in the water. The companies did not admit to any wrongdoing in the settlement.

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The Arizona Republic endorses Hillary Clinton – By Hadas Gold 09/27/16 09:40 PM EDT

For the first time in its 126-year history, The Arizona Republic has endorsed a Democratic candidate for president.


The Arizona Republic endorses Hillary Clinton

The paper’s editorial board said Hillary Clinton is “the only choice to move America ahead.”

“Since The Arizona Republic began publication in 1890, we have never endorsed a Democrat over a Republican for president. Never. This reflects a deep philosophical appreciation for conservative ideals and Republican principles,” the paper’s editorial board wrote. “This year is different.”

The editorial said Clinton’s temperament and experience prepare her for office, while it questioned Donald Trump for not releasing his tax returns, asking “whose hand do you want on the nuclear button?”

Clinton has racked up her fair share of nontraditional endorsements from newspapers. Last week, The Cincinnati Enquirer, which noted it had backed Republican candidates for president “for almost a century,” also endorsed Clinton. Earlier this month, The Dallas Morning News endorsed the former secretary of state, making her the first Democrat that newspaper has endorsed in over 75 years.

Hadas Gold is a reporter at Politico.

Sanders steps up his attacks in homestretch – By Alexander Bolton – 05/23/16 08:30 PM EDT

Getty Images

Bernie Sanders is stirring things up in the homestretch of the Democratic presidential primary.

The Vermont Independent is threatening to take his challenge against Hillary Clinton, whom he described over the weekend as the “lesser of two evils” compared to Donald Trump, all the way to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

He’s supporting Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s primary challenger in Florida, making his fight with the Democratic National Committee chairwoman personal.

On the legislative front, Sanders is intensifying his opposition to a Puerto Rico debt relief deal backed by Clinton, President Obama, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) and even Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.), one of Sanders’s own supporters on Capitol Hill.

The multifronted fight is sparking worries among Democrats, who see Trump as winning time to unify the GOP as their own party remains engaged in internal war.

Democrats also see risks for Sanders; they warn the senator is undermining his credibility and influence going forward by arguing the system has turned against him.

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Bernie Sanders Is Running Out of Runway – By Susan Milligan | Staff Writer May 18, 2016, at 3:36 p.m.

The Democratic presidential hopeful’s continued campaign risks alienating his adopted party.

Bernie Sanders’ refusal to leave the race is rankling Democratic establishment figures. Mark Makela/Getty Images

Hillary Clinton, with her powerful network and name behind her, was going to be a formidable foe for the Democratic nomination for president. But there was a strategy to score an upset: court young voters, gain media attention and build excitement with large rallies, raise a lot of money from small donors and pay close attention to caucus states, which tend to attract activists and the more liberal wing of the party.

Such tactics worked well for Barack Obama, who made a stunning political vault from freshman senator to Democratic nominee and then two-term president. They have not worked well – or well enough – for veteran lawmaker Bernie Sanders, who is running out of tortured math equations that offer him a way to secure the nomination.


In a Saturday, May 14, 2016 photo, supporters of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders crowd the front of the room during the Nevada State Democratic Party’s 2016 State Convention at the Paris hotel-casino in Las Vegas.

Bernie’s Caucus Madness

While Sanders has indeed tapped some of the same voter groups and emotions Obama identified in 2008, he has far less – delegate-wise and vote-wise – to show for it.

The reason?

“He’s not Barack Obama. Period,” says Mark Alderman, an Obama campaign fundraiser and former Electoral College member who is now chairman of Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies.

“He’s Bernie Sanders, and he has taken this thing way farther than he ever believed he could, and all credit to him for doing so,” Alderman adds. But “he’s running out of runway here. The plane’s just not going to take off.”

Like Obama, Sanders has developed a cult of personality that has drawn standing room only crowds and some impressive wins, especially in caucus states dominated by highly motivated voters. But Sanders never expanded his reach to include minority voters, a group Obama won consistently in the 2008 primaries and which Clinton has heavily won this election season. Clinton racked up lopsided victories in Southern states with large African-American populations, and won general election battleground states such as Pennsylvania and Florida by getting overwhelming majorities of black and Latino voters.

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Warren: ‘I’m still cheering Bernie on’ – By Mark Hensch March 24, 2016, 09:41 pm

Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders


Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) on Thursday said she has no desire for Bernie Sanders’s exit from the Democratic presidential primary.

“He has put the right issues on the table both for the Democratic Party and for the country in general so I’m still cheering Bernie on,” she said while touring a community healthcare center in Quincy, Mass., according to The Associated Press.

“He’s out there,” Warren added when asked if she thinks the independent Vermont senator should suspend his presidential campaign. “He fights from the heart. This is who Bernie is.”

Warren refused comment on who she voted for in Massachusetts’s Democratic presidential primary earlier this month, AP reported. She also said she plans on making an endorsement but would not elaborate further on her pick.

The Massachusetts lawmaker argued that both Sanders and Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton offer voters better options on healthcare than their GOP counterparts.

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Yes, this is that article creating all the buzz: Why Hillary Clinton Doesn’t Deserve the Black Vote – By Michelle Alexander FEBRUARY 10, 2016


Hillary and Bill Clinton in 1992. (Reuters Pictures)

Hillary Clinton loves black people. And black people love Hillary—or so it seems. Black politicians have lined up in droves to endorse her, eager to prove their loyalty to the Clintons in the hopes that their faithfulness will be remembered and rewarded. Black pastors are opening their church doors, and the Clintons are making themselves comfortably at home once again, engaging effortlessly in all the usual rituals associated with “courting the black vote,” a pursuit that typically begins and ends with Democratic politicians making black people feel liked and taken seriously. Doing something concrete to improve the conditions under which most black people live is generally not required.

Hillary is looking to gain momentum on the campaign trail as the primaries move out of Iowa and New Hampshire and into states like South Carolina, where large pockets of black voters can be found. According to some polls, she leads Bernie Sanders by as much as 60 percent among African Americans. It seems that we—black people—are her winning card, one that Hillary is eager to play.

And it seems we’re eager to get played. Again.

The love affair between black folks and the Clintons has been going on for a long time. It began back in 1992, when Bill Clinton was running for president. He threw on some shades and played the saxophone on The Arsenio Hall Show. It seems silly in retrospect, but many of us fell for that. At a time when a popular slogan was “It’s a black thing, you wouldn’t understand,” Bill Clinton seemed to get us. When Toni Morrison dubbed him our first black president, we nodded our heads. We had our boy in the White House. Or at least we thought we did.

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How Bernie Sanders could win it all: What it would take for a democratic socialist to become president – Bob Cesca WEDNESDAY, JAN 20, 2016 03:00 AM PST

Despite what many on both the left and right believe, Sanders has a real shot. But is the risk worth the reward?

How Bernie Sanders could win it all: What it would take for a democratic socialist to become president

On Friday night’s season premiere of “Real Time With Bill Maher,” Christian Coalition leader Ralph Reed made it perfectly clear which Democrat he’d prefer as the presidential nominee: Bernie Sanders. Not because Sanders’ policies align with Reed’s, of course. Simply put: The GOP thinks it can more easily triumph over a crumpled democratic-socialist candidate in the general election.

Indeed, it’s not difficult to find Republicans floating this theory. As early as May 2015, the GOP was actively nosing its way into Democratic social media, trolling for a matchup against the senator from Vermont.

Following Sunday night’s Democratic debate, Bloomberg’s Sahil Kapur reported that GOP operatives were spinning for Bernie Sanders.

After the debate, the Republican political action committee America Rising promoted the narrative that Sanders won the debate. […]

Meanwhile, American Crossroads, a group co-founded by Karl Rove, is airing an ad in Iowa bolstering a core tenet of Sanders’ case against Clinton: that she has received large sums of campaign contributions from Wall Street, and therefore can’t be trusted to crack down on big banks.

“Hillary rewarded Wall Street with a $700 billion bailout, then Wall Street made her a multi-millionaire,” a narrator in the ad says. “Does Iowa really want Wall Street in the White House?”

Right. Meanwhile, Ted Cruz, who’s leading the GOP field in Iowa, is loaded with Wall Street money, and Donald Trump’s face is practically a map of lower Manhattan. The New York Times pointed out last year that America Rising, a decidedly conservative PAC, has been attacking Hillary from the left for the better part of a year now, with a “steady stream of posts on social media … designed to be spotted, and shared, by liberals.”

Clearly, this is a classic political “ratfucking” gambit: cleverly infiltrating opposition strongholds and pushing for the primary candidate who’s easier to defeat in the general election. As Steve Benen pointed out, Claire McAskill desperately wanted to run against the “legitimate rape” gaffe-machine Todd Akin in the 2012 Senate race in Missouri because he’d make for an easier victory. Her strategy paid off, having defeated Akin by 15 points.

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