A Tampa Bay Times/WTSP-TV/TEGNA investigation finds dozens of "zombie campaigns" still spending money years after their candidates stop running for office. The culprits range from infamous Florida Republican Mark Foley still charging his campaign for $450 lunches 11 years after leaving Congress in disgrace and Democrat Robin Tallon, Jr. somehow spending large amounts of campaign money 25 years after leaving Congress all the way to folks I've long respected, like the late Rep. Steven LaTourette (R-OH), whose campaign spent over $4,500 in Ohio State football tix three years after he retired, and Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), whose dormant Presidential campaign paid his daughter over $16,000 between 2015 and 2017. And at least eight campaigns spent money after their candidates died -- which means that Mr. Trump's 2020 re-election campaign will almost certainly survive us all.
In a related note, the Center for Media and Democracy informs us that ALEC's new national chair, a North Carolina state rep named Jason Saine, has spent nearly $20,000 in campaign funds on new suits. Mr. Saine says he needs his suits specially-tailored because he's "short and fat" (his words), and, sadly, his donors probably accept that reasoning, since they're getting what they're paying for -- a "representative" whose "conservatism" consists entirely of serving big corporations (pre-empting local anti-fracking laws, now there's small-government conservatism for you!) or stoking rage in the already rage-addled (limiting free speech on campus, because what's more "small government" than telling people what they can't say?)
EPI researchers inform us that the data proving that giving Amazon
tax incentives corporate welfare to build another headquarters in a particular county "just isn't there." Or, more precisely, the data proving that Amazon job creation won't be offset by local job losses caused by Amazon (which, you know, closes down Mom-and-Pop stores with a vengeance!) just isn't there. You'd think states and localities would realize they have Amazon by the short-hairs, since Amazon has to build warehouses just to keep up its super-fast order fulfillment and shipping, but then again, they serve mammon, not you and I. (In a related note, Amazon's insistence that unemployment has gone down 4.8% "on average" in counties it's built in over the last five years isn't that impressive, considering that the national unemployment rate has gone down almost 4% during that time, while the U6 unemployment rate -- which adds in folks who've given up on the job search and part-timers who want to work full-time -- has gone down over six points during that time.)
Now this is truly remarkable: Paul Ryan proudly twittered that a public school employee was getting an extra $1.50 per paycheck thanks to the Trump tax "reform," and that would take care of her Costco membership for an entire year! Most folks aren't going to notice an extra buck-fifty a week, of course, and you may recall that Sen. McConnell (R-KY) slammed President Obama's Making Work Pay tax cut for only giving folks a piddling $7 extra a week. Meanwhile, the average one-percenter, per the Tax Policy Center, will get an extra $980 weekly from the tax "reform." I guess if Mr. Ryan ever had to count the cost of anything, ever, he'd have known to keep his mouth shut. And if a buck-fifty is the boon coming to most Americans from tax "reform," Republicans might actually be in trouble this November.
Finally, Ivy Brashear at Yes! magazine explains "Why Rural America Isn't a Lost Cause for Progressive Ideas." Short answer to title question: people hate what the politicians they've got have done to them, so why not pitch real hopes and dreams to them? How to do it: meet with rural folks on their turf, talk straight to them, and talk about their problems first and then describe how liberal ideas can solve them. You know what I'd add? Don't tell them the economy's changing and they all have to learn how to write computer code to keep up -- not just because they've got plenty of mainstream Democrats in their ear telling them to do that, but because it doesn't remind them that they have the power, and the right, to bend the world in their direction a bit.