Saturday, October 10, 2015

Hillary's Poll Position

Here's some crosstabs from the latest Quinnipiac poll matchup between Hillary Clinton and various GOP candidates, in this case, Ben Carson.

Clinton loses pretty badly to Carson, but the reason why is she loses the white vote badly.  Among white women it's 54-40% Carson, but among white men it's 60-29%.

Even Obama got more of the white vote than this in 2012.

Hillary's numbers among white voters are terrible, but she doesn't break 30% against any of the Republicans among white men period, not against Carson, Bush, Fiorina or Trump.

Keep an eye on that number should Joe Biden get in the game.

The Voting Wrongs Act

Don't expect Jeb to sign any voting rights legislation if he's elected, like most Republicans who threw up their hands in 2008 and said "OK, we've elected a black president, what more do you people want" Bush sees the VRA as an antiquated, irrelevant relic.

The 1965 law, signed by President Lyndon Johnson, has dramatically reduced racial discrimination in voting. But for the past two years, its impact has been less clear. In 2013, the Supreme Court struck down the heart of Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act. That provision laid out a formula to determine which states had a history of voting discrimination that would subject them to extra scrutiny every time they sought to change voting laws. At the time, nine states were affected by the clause. Unless Congress writes a new formula that would pass muster with the Supreme Court, the effect of the law remains muted. 
To Bush, singling out states for their historic racism is no longer relevant. "If it's to reauthorize it to continue to provide regulations on top of states as though we are living in 1960—'cause those were basically when many of those rules were put in place—I don't believe that we should do that," he said. "There has been dramatic improvement in access to voting. I mean, exponentially better improvement. And I don't think there is a role for the federal government to play in most places, could be some, but in most places where they did have a constructive role in the '60s. So I don't support reauthorizing it as is."

Of course not, because bruised southern white feelings are more important than the right to vote, Supreme Court even said so!

The scary, more serious part is this notion that the federal government doesn't have a role to play in guaranteeing that voter suppression is going on when southern states like Alabama are imposing voter ID laws and then closing drivers license offices in heavily black counties first.

This is exactly the kind of nonsense the Voting Rights Act was supposed to stop, but because it's been gutted, Alabama will most likely be able to get away with it and disenfranchise thousands of black voters in the process.

But that's the point: a Republican president won't enforce the Voting Rights Act at all.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Last Call For Bevin Blowing It

It's looking more and more like Matt Bevin is going to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in the Kentucky governor's race as the backbiting from the Kentucky GOP is already beginning.

Some prominent Northern Kentucky Republicans have told the Enquirer they support Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jack Conway. 
The bitterness among many Republicans against the tea party, which has challenged many in leadership recent years, might catch up to Republican candidate Matt Bevin, often seen as an outsider candidate who has heavy tea party support. 
In particular, Bevin's nasty primary challenge of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in 2014 has left a sour taste in the mouths of some Republicans. They believe the lack of support for Bevin in his own party could allow Conway to win, despite Conway having to deal with President Barack Obama's unpopularity in the state. 
"I think the chickens are coming home to roost," said Alexandria Republican Mike Combs, who has given $250 to Conway's campaign. "They made it such a personal attack in so many ways." 

Bevin made so many enemies trying to beat Mitch McConnell last year that when he needs Republicans here in the NKY to turn out to support him, he's coming up empty handed.

The tension between traditional Republicans and the tea party wing that includes Bevin, who won the gubernatorial nomination largely by carrying Northern Kentucky, came to the surface in the keynote speech at last month's Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce annual dinner. 
Incoming chamber chairman Dave Heidrich didn't directly name vocal conservative voters and groups such as the tea party in his speech. But he called out businesses to help current elected officials get things done. 
"The business community must gather around our elected officials and provide support. They need to know they can take a bold position and not be immediately defeated by a small vocal minority in the next primary," said Heidrich, a registered Republican who has held a fundraiser for Conway this year. 
In his speech, Heidrich specifically doubled down on the chamber's commitment to getting a new bridge next to the Brent Spence Bridge, a plan that tea party supports oppose because the plan currently relies on tolls. The crowd of more than 500 at the dinner loudly applauded Heidrich. 
Conway's campaign website lists a group of 24 leading Republicans, known as Republicans for Conway. Two locals on the list are Campbell County real estate broker Ken Perry and lawyer Michael Plummer. 
Could less than complete GOP support keep Bevin from winning? 
Bevin and Conway remain close in the polls, with the last Bluegrass Poll at the end of September by the Louisville Courier-Journal showing Conway leading Bevin 42 percent to 37 percent. The poll showed tepid support among their bases for both candidates, with 16 percent of registered Democrats saying they'd vote for Bevin and 15 percent of registered Republicans saying they'd vote for Conway. The poll's margin of error was plus or minus 3.8 percentage points.

And that's true, with Conway up by five and Bevin finding burnt bridges around every corner, Conway just might pull this off.

The Fool On The Hill(ary)

Daily Beast columnist Ben Domenech rips into Hillary Clinton's reversal on the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal and wonders out loud if she thinks undecided Democratic primary voters like myself are as stupid as she thinks we are.

For years, Hillary Clinton has championed the Trans-Pacific Partnership as one of her signal achievements in her time as secretary of state
She called it the “gold standard in trade agreements” in 2012. She listed it in her book as one of her key accomplishments. But now, four weeks before the final TPP text is released, she has announced a change of heart. “As of today,” she told Judy Woodruff, “I am not in favor of what I have learned about it.” 
Clinton’s flip-flop would be laughable if it weren’t exactly what the American people expect of her—and a trap for Republicans blind to her game. 
From the perspective that assumes Clinton operates according to principles and ideology, the shift is potentially damaging. Vox, for example, headlines its coverage: “Hillary Clinton’s flip-flop on the TPP makes no sense.” 
And it doesn’t, for someone who is a consistent, principled, ideologically driven politician
But this move makes total sense if you understand that Clinton is none of these things. She is changing her mind on this, as she has on so many other things, based on nothing more than political pressure from her left and analysis of political trend lines. The media loves to talk about how GOP primaries pull Republicans so far to the right they can’t win a general election, but that’s what’s happening in real time to Clinton, who is locked in a bidding war with a Vermont socialist over the progressive base.

Clinton has always been a perfect barometer of where her party is. She is a follower, not a leader. She has correctly perceived that the Democratic base is now a dominated by a coalition of economic know-nothings and culture-war leftists who are less interested in “progressive” policy than in freezing the status quo in place. 
As an expression of throwback reflexes on trade and growth, it amounts to Trumpism in a pantsuit. And it’s something more: It’s evidence that a second Clinton presidency can only be won on the ashes of the legacy and vision of the first—a triangulating presidency during which entitlements were reformed significantly and free trade expanded. 
Yet I wonder if all the campaign operatives right and left now saying, “Oh, Hillary’s flip-flopping, she’s contradicting what’s in her book—this could damage her,” have been paying attention to anything the voters have learned about Hillary Clinton in the intervening years. Of course it won’t damage her to flip-flop. She has been for all the things before she was against them.

I really can't find fault in Domenech's logic here.  Clinton has been a finger-in-the-wind triangulator like her husband for decades now, and it hasn't hurt her so far.  This demure "As of today" move leaves the door wide open for her to change her position again as she "learns more about" the TPP and everyone knows it.

Of course, the problem is the alternative to Clinton right now is Bernie Sanders, and both of them are more than happy to run away from President Obama and his policies.  Right now I'm wishing Joe Biden would get into the race if only to have at least one Democrat actually run on the fact that President Obama did a pretty damned good job considering the hand he was dealt by both the Republicans and the Democrats in Congress.

That would be nice.

What Happened To Rand Paul?

If there's one silver lining to the rise of Donald Trump's toxic brand of overtly racist, protectionist populism, it's that it buried Rand Paul's toxic brand of more subtly racist, protectionist glibertarian nonsense and that Paul's aspirations for higher office are quite dead. Salon's Conor Lynch:

Trump has taken advantage of the fears and insecurities of a significant portion of white Americans, who see the influx of non-white immigrants — Hispanic, Asian, Muslim — as a threat to their way of life. In their view, Muslims are terrorists (i.e., Syrian refugees are members of ISIS — even though half are children), Mexicans are rapists and job-stealers, foreigners are cheaters, black people are lazy, and so on. They also distrust intellectuals and experts. Consider, for example, the denial of scientific realities like climate change and evolution. Even though the vast majority of scientists agree that human beings are warming the planet with their carbon output, most Republican supporters simply refuse to believe. Overall, the Tea Party movement appears to be a combination of white-identity politics and anti-intellectualism. Even Glenn Beck, the former patron saint of the Tea Party, has called Trump’s Tea Party supporters racists. (I guess he never interacted with supporters at those rallies of his.)

What does all this say about a great percentage of Republican voters? First of all, it reveals that many are ideologically inconsistent (except when it comes to their social views) and politically ignorant. After all, Trump is no small government conservative, and as former congressman Ron Paul said recently, he sounds increasingly authoritarian. It also reveals that most GOP voters are not libertarian like Rand Paul, and that his honesty on certain issues, especially when he speaks out against war, advocates diplomacy, and criticizes the government spying on its own citizens, hurts his standing in the Grand Old Party.

In closing, Jerry Taylor writes about issues that libertarians have been successful with over the past few years: 
Libertarians… can take heart from the fact that political sentiment is moving their way in some areas. Gay rights, drug decriminalization, increasing outrage over heavy-handed police tactics, growing concern over an unjust legal system, disgust over crony capitalism, and opposition to military deployments abroad all suggest that libertarian arguments can have political force.

The thing is, these issues are all areas where libertarians and those on the left agree. Indeed, liberals and libertarians tend to see eye to eye on somewhere around half of the issues (typically relating to civil rights), while they disagree on other things like the free market and income inequality. These issues — war, civil rights, criminal justice reform — are what make Paul an outsider in the Republican Party.

Whether you agreed with him or not during the last two debates, Paul did bring substance to otherwise fruitless events. But it seems that most GOP voters do not care about substance, and prefer entertaining and pompous loudmouths who embrace their irrational fears, insecurities and prejudices. One can disagree with a political opponent and still have great respect for him or her, but only when real substance and debate is involved. How can one have respect for an opponent like Trump, who makes outlandish claims without any evidence and popularizes untrue and dangerous generalizations about entire segments of the population? How can one respect someone who operates in fear-mongering and embraces some of the darkest qualities of human beings, like racism, to get ahead in the polls?

Unfortunately, the GOP is headed in this ugly direction, and the fall of Rand Paul, who is one of the few Republicans with a consistent and discernible philosophy — wrong as it may be — reveals this crude drift towards a political movement that will inevitably leave many victims in its wake.

And when the Trump boil bursts, it's going to be truly ugly, infectious, and sickening.  But at least the guy got rid of Rand Paul's snotty version of "Well, actually" racist libertarianism.  It just replaced it with something far worse.


Thursday, October 8, 2015

Last Call For Fortresses Of Learning

The focus in Indiana on dealing with mass shooting events is not guns, but public building themselves.  One high school is now a test case for turning schools into bunkers, and the industry that this is spawning could cost taxpayers billions on "hardening schools" rather than teaching kids.

“I know it sounds politically crass,” said Mason Wooldridge, the co-founder of Our Kids Deserve It, a group that works to promote what many might consider aggressive school safety standards. “But if Sandy Hook Elementary or the college in Oregon had what Indiana is promoting in their schools, nobody would have died.” 
The safety standards Wooldridge is working to implement in Indiana schools are no ordinary measures. 
They’ve already been implemented at Southwestern High School, a small school in rural Shelbyville. There, not only do children perform “active shooter drills” alongside fire drills, teachers wear special key fobs that alert police faster than a 911 call. Classrooms have “hardened doors” that lock automatically and “hardened exterior glass” windows to deflect both bullets and brute force. Cameras in the school have “shooter detection technology” — tools created for the military — to help law enforcement more quickly locate suspects. And if the suspect is trapped in the hallway, smoke cannisters can be detonated to slow down the shooter.
Wooldridge thinks these measures could have prevented the deadly outcomes of shootings like Sandy Hook and last week’s incident at Umpqua Community College in Oregon.

Selling schools as bunkers is the next frontier, folks.  You thought charter schools were profitable? How about spending millions per school to retrofit them with bulletproof glass, reinforced doors, security cameras, electronic locks, security gates and fences, and panic rooms?  And of course you love your kids, so as a parent you're not going to say no to protecting your kids from being slaughtered at school, right?

In the months following Sandy Hook, President Obama signed numerous executive orders to develop model emergency response plans for schools and provide $30 million in grants for schools to develop their own plans, among other things. But there has been no effort to create a nationwide standard for public learning institutions when it comes to active shooter response. 
“Nationally, there’s nothing being done to create standards of safety,” Wooldridge said. “But in Indiana, they are doing all those things.” 
It’s likely that the idea would receive pushback from conservative groups, which generally advocate a state or local approach. In comments to the conservative Daily Signal, for example, the Heritage Foundation’s education fellow Lindsey Burke said initiatives like Indiana’s shouldn’t be handled by the federal government. 
If national standards aren’t acquired, however, it will be up to school districts themselves to decide whether to invest in these measures — and with the high costs, it’s likely that they would be implemented mostly in predominantly-white suburban schools. Indeed, the small Southwestern High School is 97 percent white, and the median income level is above the state’s average.

Oh, I see how this works.  After all, there's no point in protecting schools for poor black inner-city kids.  Hell, we're closing those schools entirely.  We'll need to get the money to protect white suburban schools from somewhere in the budget, you know.

Sounds like the next great school scam to me.  And it's the schools that need the most help that won't see a dime.

Worst Kasich Scenario, Con't

John Kasich continues to show his moderate credentials because he's a moderate guy, and not at all crazy like the rest of the GOP presidential lineup.

In Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) grilled presidential candidate John Kasich about his views on immigration, gun control, the wars in the Middle East, and economic inequality — particularly between men and women. 
USHCC President Javier Palomarez challenged the Ohio governor on the fact that women in his state working full time are getting paid roughly 78 percent of what men make — according to figures released by the U.S. Census Bureau. For Latina women across the U.S., the gap is even greater: just 54 percent of what men made in 2014. 
Palomarez pointed out that Kasich has daughters of his own, and asked how he explains this disparity to them. 
Well, a lot of it is based on experience,” Kasich replied. “A lot of different factors go into it. It’s all tied up in skills. Do you not have the skills to be able to compete?” 
Seeming somewhat shocked at this response, Palomarez asked, “Are you saying women workers are less skilled than men?” 
“No, no, of course not,” Kasich said. “I mean, a woman is now running my campaign, and she’s doing a fantastic job. The head of our welfare reform office is a woman. I understand that if you exclude women, you’re not as effective.” 
He added that he has worked to increase spending on education in Ohio so that both men and women can gain the skills they need to earn a decent living.

It's weird, when you try to ask Republicans to give an answer as to why the gender pay gap exists and it's nearly 2 to 1 among women of color compared to white men for the same positions, they don't have an explanation other than "Women take lower paying jobs" which is hysterical if you again compare similar jobs or like Kasich they give some variation on "women aren't as good" but they don't really say it.

Then Kasich talks about education making a difference when the worst gender pay gap instances occur with women with degrees.

One statistic that both surprises and depresses me: While more women than men enroll in college today, when you look at education levels, the greatest wage gap comes among people with the most schooling under their belts. Women with graduate degrees earn just 69.1% of what men with graduate degrees earn and those with bachelor’s earn 71.4 % of men’s salaries. “These data indicate that women need more educational qualifications than men do to secure jobs that pay well,” says the report.

Education only makes this stuff worse.  And again, there's not only a massive gender pay gap in this country but a racial one, and combined, women of color get utterly screwed in the workplace.

Kasich doesn't have any answers and he doesn't care.  He's a Republican.

Don't be fooled.  None of them do.

BREAKING: McCarthy Drops Out Of House Speaker Race

GOP Rep. Kevin McCarthy of Californi, the current House majority leader and number two to outgoing House Speaker Orange Julius (R-Orange) didn't have the votes to replace ol' John Boehner and has dropped out of the running for the job,

Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has dropped out of the race for House Speaker, shocking Capitol Hill and raising questions about who will lead the House Republican Conference.

Republicans were to meet Thursday at noon to elect a new Speaker. Instead, they received the surprising news from McCarthy.

"I think I shocked some of you," McCarthy joked to reporters after his bombshell. 
He said he would stay on as majority leader, but believed Republicans needed to unify around a "new face." 
"I feel good about the decision. I think we're only going to be stronger," he said.

McCarthy suggested it was unclear whether he could have won the 218 votes on the floor needed to be elected Speaker.

"I don't want to go to the floor and win with 220 votes," said McCarthy, who cast his decision as putting his conference first. "I think best think for our party is to win with 247 votes." 
McCarthy told his colleagues of his decision as they were preparing to cast ballots for Speaker. The election was immediately postponed.

If anyone somehow still needed proof that Republicans are incapable of governance, well there you go.  They can't even pick a leader in the House.

It would be sad if it wasn't directly the fault of voters in 2010 and 2014 for giving the House to Republicans in the first place.  These guys are idiots, folks.  We can change that in 2016, ya know.

Bush, Whacked? Con't

Daily Beast columnist Will Rahn doesn't pull any punches as he tells Jeb Bush to pack it in and drop out of the race for the good of the GOP.

The conventional wisdom a few months ago was that your brother’s catastrophic presidency would be your bid’s biggest hurdle. Now, in a fit of desperation, it looks like you’re about to draft him to stump for you. Putting aside that George W. is still despised by a not-insignificant swath of the Republican electorate, how is that going to play in the general should you somehow win the nomination? You’re making the Democrats’ job easy, Jeb. They’ll be more than happy to attach you to his legacy, and you’re doing that for them.

Speaking of the Democrats, we know what will happen if you drag this out through next spring. The going thinking right now is that the guys really low in the polls—your Rand Pauls and George Patakis—should be next to drop out. But what damage do they do to the GOP by staying in? You Bushes, meanwhile, for all your patrician aloofness, are some of the dirtiest campaigners out there, and every jab you get in at your fellow establishmentarians like Marco Rubio is going to be used against them by the left. It’s one thing to toughen up a nominee in a primary fight—it’s another to make them damaged goods, unready to lead. If you’ve got some golden piece of oppo that will take Rubio or John Kasich out of consideration, by all means use it now. Otherwise, time to step aside.

Electability has always been the central rationale of your candidacy. We’re reminded it’s been more than 30 years since a Republican outside the Bush family won the presidency. In 2000, your brother was able to make the case that he was the strongest candidate to take on the Democrats, particularly after he dragged John McCain’s name through the mud.

But your brother was an able campaigner, and you are not. The polls showed he had a particularly good chance of winning back the White House; the same can’t really be said of you. And again, he was a disaster as president. You were doing a decent job of shedding all that baggage, but now that’s he’s joining you on the campaign trail, you’re going to be shouldering all of it. And not for nothing, but your principal strategist, Mike Murphy, does have the distinction of being the only 2016 guru to have already run against Hillary and lost.

And even if your brother wasn’t a nincompoop, Jeb, you’re doing a fine job of messing this up on your own. You’ve already had more than your fair share of flubs. That “stuff happens” quote may have initially been taken out of context by the media, but guess what: Running for president, particularly when you’re a Republican, means dealing with a hostile press. You will not always be treated fairly, you will rarely be given the benefit of the doubt. Contrast your statement with Rubio’s nearly perfect response to a question about Black Lives Matter that was making the rounds on Twitter last week, and you see why Republicans worry about you leading the party through 2016.

I have to admit, in whatever alternate universe where the evil version of me is a Republican political blogger, I'd be giving the Bush camp the same advice.  The longer he stays in, the longet he becomes the punch line of the attacks on the GOP. "Just like his brother, only incompetent and stupid" is not exactly the best image the GOP wants to project if they want to win.

Granted, it's hard not to project that image given the people running.  But at this point, there's no way Jeb becomes the nominee.  The problem is, the Republicans have already committed millions to his campaign, so he can keep going as long as he wants to.

And keep doing damage the whole time.  Stay in Jeb, please!


Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Last Call For Soulless Lumps Of Basalt

Whenever I think to myself "Boy, Republican politicians really can't get any worse" invariably somebody proves me wrong within minutes. Charles Johnson:

Republican presidential candidates are competing to see who can say the most heartless, reprehensible things today about the gun massacre at Oregon’s Umpqua Community College. 
First, Ben Carson blamed the victims for not defending themselves. 

Yeah, Ben Carson is a bit of a douchebag.

He'd also be your next President if America voted today, too.  Keep that in mind.  Meanwhile, Bobby Jindal is on the rise from 0% in the polls too.

And now, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal (a creationist like Ben Carson), has issued a statement at his website that actually goes a step further into awfulness: We Fill Our Culture With Garbage, and We Reap the Result.

And Jindal just goes off the rails and careens into the wall here.

Now, let’s get really politically incorrect here and talk specifically about this horror in Oregon. This killer’s father is now lecturing us on the need for gun control and he says he has no idea how or where his son got the guns. 
Of course he doesn’t know. You know why he doesn’t know? Because he is not, and has never been in his son’s life. He’s a complete failure as a father, he should be embarrassed to even show his face in public. He’s the problem here. 
He brags that he has never held a gun in his life and that he had no idea that his son had any guns. Why didn’t he know? Because he failed to raise his son. He should be ashamed of himself, and he owes us all an apology.

Now however you feel about the killer in Oregon, the fact of the matter remains is a father has outlived his son, one of the great tragedies that can occur, and yes, the son murdered nine people and then took his own life.  But for Jindal, a man running for President, to say something so heartlessly callous just for the shock value of scoring publicity while his presidential and political aspects wither like his soul?

I've thought some terrible things about Republicans, but never that they were just unfit to be in human society.

Jindal needs to resign from this planet, let alone the office of Governor of Louisiana.

The Great Jobs Debate In Kentucky

Republican cockfighting enthusiast Matt Bevin squared off against Democratic AG Jack Conway in the second of three debates ahead of next month's gubernatorial election here in Kentucky, and things got ugly, fast.

During the debate, Bevin accused Conway of not doing his duty last year when he chose not to appeal a ruling by late U.S. District Judge John Heyburn overturning Kentucky’s gay marriage ban, all the while calling for Rowan County Clerk to issue marriage licenses as a federal judge has ordered. 
“It’s easy for you to sit here and say that indeed, she should follow the law … but frankly, you did not follow the law when you cried before the cameras and refused to uphold the constitution of this state,” Bevin said. 
Conway defended his decision saying that it was his duty under the law to decide whether to appeal based upon the chances of winning the appeal. “I did my job, Matt,” he said. “You may not have liked the way I did, but I did my job.” 
Bevin claimed the state has lost 71,000 jobs since Conway became attorney general, and he laid that at Conway’s feet.

Bevin of course is full of nonsense.  Even if employment was somehow the domain of a state's attorney general to worry about, five minutes on Google and I come up with this chart:

Jack Conway took office in January 2008, Kentucky at that point had 1,860,600 people employed. Kentucky certainly lost more than a 100,000 jobs two years later.  But since then, the state has not only added those jobs back, it caught up to that January 2008 number in July of last year.  The preliminary August jobs number in Kentucky is 1,895,700 jobs.

Which means Kentucky has actually added 35,100 jobs since Jack Conway took over as Attorney General.

Bevin can't even lie correctly.  Idiot.

No Sporting Chance

We've all seen those TV and online ads for internet daily fantasy sports leagues where people can win millions of dollars, but mostly end up throwing away good money after bad.  Turns out whenever you have that kind of money involved, somebody, somewhere is going to rig the game.

A major scandal is erupting in the multibillion-dollar industry of fantasy sports, the online and unregulated business in which players assemble their fantasy teams with real athletes. On Monday, the two major fantasy companies were forced to release statements defending their businesses’ integrity after what amounted to allegations of insider trading, that employees were placing bets using information not generally available to the public.

The statements were released after an employee at DraftKings, one of the two major companies, admitted last week to inadvertently releasing data before the start of the third week of N.F.L. games. The employee, a midlevel content manager, won $350,000 at a rival site, FanDuel, that same week.

“It is absolutely akin to insider trading,” said Daniel Wallach, a sports and gambling lawyer at Becker & Poliakoff in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. “It gives that person a distinct edge in a contest.”

The episode has raised questions about who at daily fantasy companies has access to valuable data, such as which players a majority of the money is being bet on; how it is protected; and whether the industry can — or wants — to police itself. 

And when it's this easy to cheat and win, of course people are going to do it.

The leagues have been swelling in popularity, their advertisements blanketing football game broadcasts.

The industry has its roots in informal fantasy games that began years ago with groups of fans playing against one another for fun over the course of a season. They assembled hypothetical teams and scored points based on how players did in actual games.

But in recent years, companies, led by DraftKings and FanDuel, have set up online daily and weekly games based on a similar concept in which fans pay an entry fee to a website — from 25 cents to $1,000 — to play dozens if not hundreds of opponents, with prize pools that can pay $2 million to the winner. Critics have complained that the setup is hardly different from Las Vegas-style gambling that is normally banned in the sports world.

On Monday, DraftKings and FanDuel released a joint statement that said “nothing is more important” than the “integrity of the games we offer,” but offered few specifics about how they keep contests on the level.

The only surprising thing about this story is that it took this long for people to get caught.


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