This is painful to watch, but only in the sense that a really hot shower can be painful when you have a stiff back.
I knew that I was forgetting something:
The Democratic National Committee remains so deeply in the hole from spending in the last election that it is struggling to pay its own vendors.
It is a highly unusual state of affairs for a national party — especially one that can deploy the President as its fundraiser-in-chief — and it speaks to the quiet but serious organizational problems the party has yet to address since the last election, obscured in part by the much messier spectacle of GOP infighting.
The Democrats’ numbers speak for themselves: Through August, 10 months after helping President Obama secure a second term, the DNC owed its various creditors a total of $18.1 million, compared to the $12.5 million cash cushion the Republican National Committee is holding.
Organizers of the Charlotte, N.C., [2012 Democratic National] convention have filed a police report for lost and stolen electronics, some of which they appear to have valued at as much as 62 times the listed market prices.
A reportedly stolen 13-inch MacBook Pro laptop? $75,537. The price listed on the Apple website is $1,199. A lost iPhone? $30,503. A lost Blackberry? $54,250.
The DNC did not respond to a request for comment.
Well, what can you say?
Look it up.
Quick background: Organizing for America apparently has no intention whatsoever about sharing its data or resources with the Democratic party (I’d say ‘the rest of the Democratic party,’ except that’s an open question right now). Ed Morrissey focused on the topline revelation there – which is a pretty honking huge topline – so I’ll note this:
Several DNC members said in interviews that they weren’t told about Organizing for Action’s formation until it was publicly announced in January. They said that when they’d complained, they were chastised and told by national and state party leaders not to speak publicly. Most spoke to McClatchy only on the condition of anonymity in order to talk candidly about the internal party dispute.
This is… well, I suppose that the word you’d use would depend on whether you’re a shareholder in Duke Energy, or not.
Duke Energy won’t be repaid the $10 million line of credit it guaranteed for Charlotte to host last year’s Democratic National Convention, the company confirmed Thursday.
As the credit line came due, Duke made official what it had signaled to shareholders in an earnings report last November. Because Duke can claim the money as a business expense for tax purposes, shareholders will foot $6 million of the cost.
It’s a shame that I’m not a shareholder: I’d have some pointed questions about why the board of directors decided throw away six million dollars of my money. Admittedly, the difference in 2012 earnings was miniscule (very miniscule: reportedly no more than a penny), as Duke Energy was quick to point out; but one wonders what other stupid, partisan decisions CEO Jim Rogers has made during his tenure there. These things tend to come in waves.
Fascinating critters, if admittedly an excellent source for nightmare fuel:
Wasps of the genus Sphex (commonly known as digger wasps) are cosmopolitan predators of the family Sphecidae that sting and paralyze prey insects. There are over 130 known digger wasp species. In preparation for egg laying, they construct a protected “nest” (some species dig nests in the ground, while others use pre-existing holes) and then stock it with captured insects. Typically, the prey are left alive, but paralyzed by wasp toxins. The wasps lay their eggs in the provisioned nest. When the wasp larvae hatch, they feed on the paralyzed insects.
Thank goodness that insects aren’t sentient, as far as we know: the thought of a free-willed, self-aware individual trapped and paralyzed, watching as something alien literally battened on its flesh – well, I’m not ashamed to say that the thought of such a thing gives me the chills. Especially since it’s all done in the dark, where nobody can see. And what makes it truly horrific is that while the ‘host’ doesn’t know what’s happening to it, the observer does, adding a grim inevitability to the coming proxy anagnorisis… (more…)
Interesting. Below are the latest (just before the election) Debt and CoH (Cash on Hand) totals for the various committees:
…and, frankly, gets snookered on the deal: “The DNC initiated an $8 million loan with the Amalgamated Bank of New York on Aug. 10, the report shows, accounting for the majority of the committee’s overall debt of $11 million.”
Well, at least in the short term. It would normally be a wonderment about why Amalgamated Bank would throw eight million at a fundraising entity that currently ‘enjoys’ a cash reserve of 7.1 million – but that’s if you don’t know that Amalgamated is owned by SEIU. The money’s not the biggest news in this deal, in other words: both the SEIU and the DNC expect it to be frittered away in the campaign days to come, and that the DNC will have a big, fat debt at the end of it. What this is is a reasonably unobtrusive way for SEIU to get its hooks into the DNC… which could be useful in the future, particularly if Obama’s existing control of the organization becomes a moot point after January of next year…
…Wow. Let me just have a moment where I contemplate the fact that I got to write that sentence out. The pre-existing Democratic plan for the election went well and truly off of the rails early this cycle, huh?
OK, moment’s done. Anyway: $114 million to $111 million; this total is Obama/DNC vs Romney/RNC, mind you. Note, by the way, that Romney’s releasing his cash-on-hand ($168 million) early and Obama has not. Since Obama only had $125 million at the end of July, it is exceedingly unlikely that Obama has more money on hand than Romney; and unless Obama stopped spending more money than he took in in July (Romney did spend more money than he brought in, for the first time) then Obama probably doesn’t even have $125 million at this point, either. And may I say that it’s marvelous fun to have an opponent who can outspend you for the entire damned campaign? I would suggest that the Democrats try the sensation out for themselves… only they’re about to do so whether they want to, or not.
That’s pretty much it, except a helpful suggestion to people selling products and services to OfA/DNC: go ahead and take a check; just not a post-dated one. And cash it right away.
Five million in immediate debts, and another ten million in an activated letter of credit that will need to be paid off next year. Free advice to the people wanting to be paid: get that money NOW, because the DNC isn’t going to want to pay it and Obama for America simply won’t. Free advice to Duke Energy Corp (the corporation that gave the Democrats the letter of credit): remember the several years of aggravation that you’re about to go through the next time that the Democrats ask you for money. Free advice to the DNC… no, sorry, as long as Debbie Wasserman Schultz is your chairwoman you’re pretty much screwed.
Lovely day today, isn’t it? – Says the man comfortably certain that the DNC gets to start the next election cycle ten million extra bucks in the hole.
— Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) September 6, 2012
In case the picture goes away: it purports to show the teleprompter for Antonio Villaraigosa during yesterday’s DNC God/Israel debacle. Apparently the passing of the vote was pre-scripted; there was no scenario where the delegates were to be permitted a say of their own.
Honest question: the site is dingy and cramped, the speakers are awful, the hotels are full of bedbugs, and I suspect that the open bars are few and far between. What the heck are the Democratic delegates still doing at this thing?
I was wondering how Bill planned to sabotage Obama last night; turned out, according to Jim Geraghty, it was by Clinton being… Clinton.
As the sections continued, it became clear that this is what Bill Clinton lives for — how he misses the excitement, the attention, the power. . . . The presidency is like a drug, and while I’m sure his post-presidential life has its perks — though he is a vegan now — nothing is quite like having an arena full of adoring fans, hanging on your every word, ready to applaud and cheer your every utterance. The two-term limit is the only thing that is keeping him from running again.
And the speech just kept going.