Ted Cruz is anxious to move on to New Hampshire.
Although I doubt Teddy Boy would be so “eager” to follow.
As for what is going to happen to Hillary and Bernie?
This is an open thread.
This morning I learned on NPR that Hillary Clinton has been declared the winner of the Iowa Caucus, but I can barely find anything on Google news about it. This is what we will face over the next few months if she continues to win primaries in more diverse states than Iowa and New Hampshire. The media will work hard to diminish or ignore any positive news for Hillary.
Bernie bros at Sanders headquarters were all class/s as they booed and yelled “you’re a liar!” during Hillary’s speech last night. Neither Clinton nor Sanders claimed victory in their speeches, but Rachel Maddow of MSNBC (in her new role as unofficial (official?) spokesperson for the Sanders campaign) claimed that Hillary had done so.
The media and Bernie bros seem to have completely forgotten that Iowa is far from representative of the rest of the country.
Michael Cohen of The Boston Globe with a twitter rant:
Still, I have to admit that I’m disappointed that Hillary didn’t win decisively. So it’s on to New Hampshire with a debate and a town hall forum before the primary next Tuesday.
Hillary Clinton narrowly defeated Bernie Sanders in the Iowa caucuses, according to results announced by the state Democratic Party early Tuesday morning — a dramatic finish to a race so close that the Associated Press declined to call it even after all precincts except one had reported results.
Clinton was awarded 699.57 state delegate equivalents, versus 695.49 for Sanders, Iowa Democratic Party Chairwoman Andy McGuire said in a statement. The results were the closest in state Democratic caucus history, and 171,109 Democratic voters turned out to caucus.
With 99.9 percent of precincts reporting, Clinton had 49.9 percent of delegates and Sanders had 49.5 percent, according to the Associated Press. Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley received less than 1 percent then suspended his campaign. A single precinct had yet to report as of 5 a.m. Eastern time; that precinct, in Des Moines, is worth 2.28 state delegate equivalents.
Here are some more links to peruse this morning.
LA Times Analysis: A dramatically reshaped presidential race drives into New Hampshire.
Nate Cohn at NYT: Why a ‘Virtual Tie’ in Iowa is Better for Clinton than Sanders.
Please post your links in the comment thread.
Hey Sky Dancers!
Here’s a fresh thread to discuss the happenings in Iowa tonight. I guess no one really knows what will happen in Iowa, because the caucus system is kind of nuts–especially on the Democratic side.
Earlier today, Al Giordano, a political writer who was very successful in predicting the results of primaries in 2008 and who in 2007 wrote an article explaining how Barack Obama would beat Hillary Clinton for the 2008 nomination, released his predictions for tonight:
Republicans: Donald Trump 33%, Ted Cruz 26%, Marco Rubio 18%, Ben Carson 8% and no one else above 5%.
Democrats: Clinton 54%, Sanders 36%, O’Malley 10%
I summarized Giordano’s reasoning in the comment on the previous thread:
He says there are indications that Bernie’s on-the-ground organization is weak. See Yahoo story I posted above, his campaign mgr. knows little about the caucus system apparently.
Sanders’ support is concentrated in three counties that are home to universities. In Iowa you have to win delegates in every district; you can’t just win big in 2 or 3 and come in first. Hillary has people on the ground in every district.
If college students live in Iowa they have to return to their home districts to caucus. That may be difficult because they have classes today and there is a blizzard on the way.
More problems for Bernie. The turnout is not expected to be huge–it will be “normal” about like 2004. He has been trying to damp down expectations for days, so I think he knows he’s not going to win.
FiveThirtyEight is giving Hillary a 67% chance to win Iowa. Of course this is all speculation for now. As they say, it will all come down to turn out.
Here’s Nate Silver on how hard it is to poll Iowa.
It’s common for pundits to recite ass-covering phrases like “it all comes down to turnout” or “anything could happen” on the eve of a big election. If you’ve been following FiveThirtyEight over the years, you know it’s not our style to do that. Instead, we issue probabilistic forecasts, which can sometimes seem quite confident: We had Barack Obama as a 90.9 percent favorite to beat Mitt Romney on the eve of the 2012 general election, for example.
So let’s get a couple of things straight before the results start trickling in from Iowa tonight:
- It all comes down to turnout.
- Anything could happen.
All right, not absolutely anything could happen. Martin O’Malley is not going to win the Democratic caucuses. Donald Trump will probably not finish behind Carly Fiorina.
Could Trump slip all the way to third place? Entirely plausible. But he could also get upwards of 40 percent of the vote and double his nearest rival’s total.
Ben Carson in second place? Rand Paul in third? The odds are against it — but equally strange things have happened in Iowa before.
Much more detail at the link.
I thought this was interesting from Joan Walsh at The Nation: Is Donald Trump Even Trying in Iowa? Walsh went to a Trump rally this morning, and found it underwhelming.
Waterloo, Iowa, Monday morning. Jeb Bush would have loved it. It may not tell us anything about caucus turnout—it was a workday morning, after all—but it was a strange moment nonetheless.
Trump acknowledged the low turnout early, calling the diminutive crowd “our very close friends,” then saying, “I’m gonna get out of here fast,” for his next event in Cedar Rapids. The crowd groaned, and Trump reassured them. “No, no, we’re gonna take care of you. Win, lose or draw, I love you all.” He gave a perfunctory 35-minute speech at what I can’t even call a rally.
Like an aging rock star, Trump did a medley of his hits. “We’ll build a big, beautiful wall.” “Common Core is gone.” “The Second Amendment is not going to be chipped away at.” “We’re gonna protect Christianity. You know Christianity is under siege folks, it’s under siege.”
According to Walsh there was zero organizing going on.
Remarkably, there was no evidence of organizing even at this caucus-day rally; the campaign was selling its famous gear in the lobby, but not a soul was attempting to identify voters and make sure they know where their caucus site is.
I met Trump supporters who promised to caucus nonetheless. Michele Foley, an independent Mary Kay director, says she’s never caucused before but she will tonight for Trump. “I’m tired of where the country is going. I’m voting to take the country back, I’m not happy with anything Obama has done.” Still, Foley hasn’t been contacted by the campaign; she went to the website herself and figured out the caucus rules and where to show up at 7.
Is it possible Trump doesn’t really want to win?
Bernie Sanders has been trying to tamp down his supporters’ expectation for tonight. You have to wonder what his internal polls look like. He has also been saying he doesn’t expect a big turnout and that is what he would need to win.
Iowa Starting Line: Is The Sanders Campaign Prepping A “Blame Iowa” Strategy In Case Of A Loss?
With the most recent Des Moines Register poll showing Sanders still three points back from Clinton, and the possibility that Sanders’ support is too heavily concentrated in certain precincts (problematic since each has a set number of delegates), there seems to be growing concern among Sanders supporters that he’ll come up short in his upset bid in Iowa. That seems to have brought forward a series of Sanders-pushed stories that suggest a trend in which the campaign may try to undermine the legitimacy of the results.
The most recent attempt came last night when Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver spun a sinister-sounding story to Yahoo News about Clinton staffers possibly serving as precinct captains or volunteer leaders, based on a letter a Sanders supporter received. Weaver suggested it could mean that Clinton is “infiltrating the caucuses with out-of-state paid staffers,” and possibly even try to get counted in the caucus.
That argument, however, is utterly ridiculous. Weaver’s so-called proof was a letter telling a voter the precinct leader for their caucus was a paid staffer from Clinton’s campaign. This is actually a regular practice by all campaigns. In certain precincts where they may not have identified a precinct captain, they’ll send a staffer there to organize the room or, at the very least, greet supporters, but not to caucus themselves. And in this situation the Clinton staffer was simply a placeholder when the mailer went out – they later identified a local precinct captain.
Weaver claimed to not know enough about caucus rules to know whether this was allowed or not. Weaver knows the rules. He’s just hoping enough journalists and those outside Iowa don’t so that they’ll think something sounds fishy….
A separate story pushed by a top Sanders aide last week, however, veered into borderline tin-foil hat conspiracy theory. In an interview with MSNBC, Sanders’ top Iowa adviser Pete D’Alessandro suggested that Microsoft, which developed the caucus reporting software this year, might somehow intentionally fabricate the results to give Clinton a win.
“You’d have to ask yourself why they’d want to give something like that away for free,” D’Alessandro told MSNBCon suspicions they had about Microsoft’s involvement in the caucus process. Other Sanders aides were said to have brought up concerns about Microsoft employees who have donated to Clinton in the past.
That’s quite the accusation. The idea that Microsoft that would risk its reputation in a massive way by fraudulently skewing the most important early state result is pure imagination. It would also be a surprising amount of forethought for Microsoft, considering they started talks for the caucus reporting job about six months before Sanders announced his campaign.
Where are you following the story? What are you hearing? Let us know your thoughts in the comment thread. I for one am psyched up!
Let the Games Begin!!!
Today are the Iowa Caucuses that will likely make or break a lot of the more iffy candidates hanging on to the slim hope that somebody takes them seriously. Iowa first is a long tradition with some interesting twists. Some of the things that I learned so far in the 2016 silly season include the idea of a “kiddie table” debate and that pundits take Uber and that all those Iowa Uber drivers seem to be the source of anecdotal evidence on voting patterns.
This Iowa Caucus is not the Iowa Caucus of my parents. My father was the Ford Dealer in Council Bluffs, Iowa for over 25 years. They voted in the same elementary school where I practiced “duck and cover” during the Cuban Missile Crisis and saw my second grade teacher Miss Irma Long cry as she announced we’d be sent home because our President, Mr. Kennedy, had been shot in Texas. Most of the candidates of the ilk we have today would’ve been a really odd sight on the stump back then.
I can only imagine what my parents and their friends would say if this crazy looking man from Northern Louisiana showed up looking as he does–which is like someone who’s been lost on an island for years ranting crazily from too much sun–to rally for a candidate. But, the same group of Baptists that harassed one of my father’s clerks for doing laundry on Sunday because they saw the steam coming out of the dryer vent is probably uber excited about Ted Cruz and the duckstasy of religious fever. They want to holy roll all gay marriage supporters off the planet, I guess.
While stumping in Iowa for Ted Cruz on Sunday, “Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson declared that gay marriage is a sign of growing “depravity” and “perversion” in America.
Robertson, notorious for his racist and anti-gay remarks, said of marriage equality: “It is evil, it’s wicked, it’s sinful and they want us to swallow it.”
“We have to run this bunch out of Washington D.C.,” Robertson said. “We have to rid the earth of them. Get them out of there.”
Cruz followed Robertson on stage, calling the reality TV star “a joyful, cheerful, unapologetic voice of truth.”
Cruz is in hot water for a number of things. First, there are many they are still not convinced he meets the “natural born” qualification stated in the Constitution and Donald Trump mentions it every chance he can. Additionally, Cruz has used a push piece that has come under criticism by the Iowa Attorney General. The Strump is making a lot out of Cruz’s possibly illegal mailer.
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump condemned mailers sent by Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-TX) presidential campaign over the weekend, which implied Iowa voters had violated election law.
The mailer, which uses social pressure to urge potential voters to the polls, “grades” Iowa voters on their voting history — a practice not done by the state.
“I think it’s one of the most disgraceful things I have seen in politics,” Trump told MSNBC’s Chris Matthews on Sunday’s “Hardball.” “When you say violation, and then they’re giving you F’s for your voting records and they’re saying immediately come and vote. I think it’s one of the most horrible things that I have seen in politics.”
You can follow the link to TPM to see an example of the mailer. Meanwhile, every time Trump uses music, another musician tells him to cut it out. This time it’s Adele.
The Republican presidential candidate, whose slogan is “Make America great again”, has recently been playing Adele’s hit Rolling In The Deep as his “warm-up” music.
“Adele has not given permission for her music to be used for any political campaigning,” her spokesman confirmed.
It is not the first time Trump has been criticised for appropriating pop songs.
Lawyers for Aerosmith star Steven Tyler sent Trump’s campaign a cease-and-desist letter last year, after the politician played the band’s hit single Dream On at numerous rallies around the US.
The letter said Trump’s use of the song gave “a false impression” he endorsed Mr Trump’s presidential bid.
Trump responded on Twitter, saying he had the legal right to use the song, but had found “a better one to take its place”.
“Steven Tyler got more publicity on his song request than he’s gotten in 10 years. Good for him!” he added.
Blizzard conditions will be heading tonight to my childhood home in Council Bluffs which basically means there will be no fair weather turnout in a good deal of Eastern Iowa. It also means that youngest daughter will be digging out on Tuesday since she’s out there in the Omaha Boonie Suburbs.
My continued fascination with the parallels between Bernie and the Strump has me thinking on how the both of them seemed to have made the Super Pac and the billionaire donor class appear irrelevant. Trump is self-financing his campaign. Sanders has just passed a record for collecting money from small donors. It’s amazing to watch Jeb Bush struggle for attention while swimming in all that money.
With billionaire Donald Trump sitting firmly atop the Republican field, the willingness of big establishment donors to underwrite his competitors’ war chests has fizzled.
About 17 donors gave $1 million or more to groups backing Republican presidential candidates in the last six months of 2015, 60 percent fewer than the number who gave that much in the first half of the year, according to Federal Election Commission filings. And outside groups that can accept unlimited contributions accounted for about 27 percent of Republican fundraising in the second half, down from 78 percent.
Many donors contributed large sums early to create the perception that their candidate was financially viable to go the distance. Now, with the first-in-the-nation caucuses taking place today in Iowa and several other primaries happening in the coming weeks, much of that money isn’t being replenished as candidates enter a grueling and expensive phase of the campaign.
“Part of this is the Trump effect,” said Tony Corrado, a government professor at Colby College. “Some major establishment Republican donors are undoubtedly waiting to see which candidate will emerge as the best alternative to Trump.”
For some, that’s already begun. Marco Rubio, who has emerged as the leading establishment candidate in recent months, won the backing of two major conservative hedge fund donors — Paul Singer and Ken Griffin — each of whom gave $2.5 million in late 2015 to a super-PAC supporting Rubio, Conservative Solutions PAC.
Rubio’s also winning over some big money that previously backed Bush, who, as a frequent target of Trump’s jibes, has struggled to get traction with voters. After raising a record $103 million in the first half of the year, the super-PAC supporting Bush, Right to Rise USA, pulled in only $15 million over the next six months, the bulk of it from one donor.
The former secretary of state brought in over $37 million in the final three months of 2015 and started the year with $38 million in the bank. At the same time, the campaign spent $35 million in those three months. She continues to benefit from millions of dollars raised by her super PACs, including Priorities USA, which said Friday it has raised $50 million through this month. Two other groups supporting Clinton, American Bridge and Correct the Record, brought in an additional $6 million total.
And while Sanders has sworn off super PACs and criticizes Clinton’s largesse, a group run by National Nurses United is backing the Vermont senator regardless and has raised $2.3 million, with about half of that remaining, the group reported.
Clinton’s haul also meant a windfall for the Democratic National Committee and state Democratic parties across the country, who worked with Clinton’s campaign to raise money for the Hillary Victory Fund. In total, Clinton’s campaign raised $18 million for the DNC and state parties.
“We’re heading into the first caucuses and primaries with an organization second to none thanks to the support of hundreds of thousands of people across the country,” said Robby Mook, Clinton’s campaign manager. “We will have the resources necessary to wage a successful campaign in the early states and beyond.”
Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver touted the number of individual contributions — 3.25 million — the campaign has received. “As Secretary Clinton holds high-dollar fundraisers with the nation’s financial elite, our supporters have stepped up in a way that allows Bernie to spend the critical days before the caucuses talking to Iowans about his plans to fix a rigged economy and end a corrupt system of campaign finance,” Weaver said in a statement.
It looks like Hillary and the Strump are the expected winners tonight. Sanders, Cruz and Rubio all appear poised to close with some delegates since Iowa is not a winner take all state.
It would be entirely reasonable to presume that Bernie Sanders has momentum in Iowa. He’s gained on Hillary Clinton in national polls. Hekeeps pulling further ahead of Clinton in New Hampshire. And he’s made substantial gains in Iowa relative to his position late last year. December polls of Iowa showed Sanders behind by an average of 16 percentage points; the race is much closer now.
There’s just one problem: Sanders’s momentum may have stalled right when it counts the most.
The Des Moines Register’s Iowa poll released Saturday, for example, had Clinton leading Sanders by 3 percentage points. That means Iowa is close and winnable for Sanders; polling errors of 5 or even 10 percentage points are not uncommon in the caucuses. But it also means that Sanders hasn’t gained on Clinton. The previous Des Moines Register poll, released earlier in January, showed Clinton up by 2 percentage points instead.
The same story holds for other polling companies that have surveyed Iowa twice in January. A couple of these pollsters — American Research Group and Quinnipiac University — show Sanders leading. But they don’t show him gaining; Sanders also led in the previous edition of the ARG and Quinnipiac surveys.
Clinton and Cruz are relying on a substantive ground game and good commit to caucus plans for GOTV activities. Sanders and Trump are hoping for a large turnout and the ability to overwhelm the caucuses where they do have a base. Cruz appears to be the one Republican with a substantive ground game. Cruz has a natural base with evangelicals that Trump has somewhat eroded. Cruz goes after the right wing religious voters.
It’s little more than 24 hours before the pivotal Iowa caucuses begin, and the presidential campaigns are still going strong. Especially for Ted Cruz, who TIME reporter Alex Altman says digs deep to his religious roots to connect with his conservative voters on the trail.
“Ted, the voice of sanity, in this time of calamity!” a voter exclaims at a campaign stop in a public library in northwest Iowa.
Cruz has been touring several towns in Iowa, and is one of the few candidates who planned to stop in all of the state’s 99 counties.
“This is part of Cruz’s strategy to win it the old fashioned way,” Altman said, “which is to go hand-to-hand in small towns, visit people, and tell them why he wants their vote.”
Iowa is primarily a rural state although there are vast differences between the east and western sections of the state. It is home to several really good universities and to the Amish. There are still plenty of farmers there including the grandfather of my future son-in-law who used to buy his F150s from my dad. Iowa folks are also very fond of their agriculture and ethanol subsidies. It’s going to be interesting to see how they weigh in tonight. I’m seeing lots of pictures and shots from places I recognize that don’t seem to have changed much in my 60 years on the planet. Parts of the state do not have reliable wifi still. There is also a large contingent of immigrants that work the slaughterhouses. It’s a state that looks like Mayberry in many ways. We’ll just have to see.
We will be posting a live blog with the returns later tonight. Caucus doors lock down around 8:30 cst. The weather will be important as will the intensity of the supporters. Who do you think is going to win tonight?
They’re out to fuck with your lives too.
Yes, the dinosaurs are out in droves…particularly in the last 48 hours you will find them hunting the bare stark cornfields of Iowa.
Right before heading to church, Donald Trump ripped Ted Cruz’s campaign on Sunday morning for sending mailers to Iowa voters designed to look like official documents that accuse them of a “VOTING VIOLATION” for failure to turn out in past elections.
“The Cruz campaign issued a dishonest and deceptive get out the vote ad calling voters ‘in violation,'” Trump tweeted. “They are now under investigation. Bad!”
Story Continued Below
Trump’s comments come after Iowa’s top elections official condemned the mailers on Saturday, though he did not announce any investigation.
Republican Secretary of State Paul Pate said in a statement that Cruz’s mailers, which has the words “official public record” printed in red at the top, “misrepresents the role of my office, and worse, misrepresents Iowa election law.”
“There is no such thing as an election violation related to frequency of voting,” said Paul, who was elected statewide as a Republican in 2014. “Any insinuation or statement to the contrary is wrong and I believe it is not in keeping in the spirit of the Iowa Caucuses.”
The controversial Cruz mailers show the name of the person receiving the mail at the top and then give them a grade on an A to F scale. Below, it shows their neighbors and their voting scores. It then urges them to caucus next week and warns, “A follow-up notice may be issued following Monday’s caucuses.”
Ted Cruz on Saturday evening defended a mailer sent out by his campaign that has been criticized by Iowa’s secretary of state as “misleading” and a violation of “the spirit of the Iowa caucuses.”
“I will apologize to no one for using every tool we can to encourage Iowa voters to come out and vote,” Cruz said, speaking to reporters before a rally in Sioux City, Iowa.
Earlier Saturday, the Cruz campaign came under fire for sending out a mailer, with the look of an official state document, that warns of a “voting violation.” It informs voters they are receiving the notice “because of low expected voter turnout in your area” and says a “follow-up notice” may arrive after the Iowa caucuses.
The mailer looks like it is building on social science research showing that guilt is a powerful way to mobilize voters to turnout.
Cruz claimed that there was nothing wrong with the mailer—and that in fact mailers like this are routine. “Matt Schultz, who is a former secretary of state, is the chairman of our campaign, put out a public statement saying these mailers are routine,” he said. “The Iowa Republican Party has done so in the past—in past elections.”
Yes, deception is used frequently by Republicans in Iowa.
And you know, there is another link if you care:
There is one dinosaur who is really out on the kill. He is not one of those who viciously attacks his prey, his death dance is one of lethal environmental racism and contamination…while email messages clearly show he protected those of his fellow Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species .
Throughout most of 2015, the administration of Gov. Rick Snyder told the residents of Flint, Mich., that their tap water was safe to drink. But emails released on Thursday suggest the state was concerned about its own employees’ exposure to the city’s water as early as January of last year, even arranging for purified water to be provided at a state office building there.
The emails depict an exchange that month between employees of two state departments that expresses concern about the water’s safety within the Michigan government long before Mr. Snyder acknowledged to residents in the fall that there was a problem.
The correspondence — between employees of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget — was obtained by a liberal advocacy group, Progress Michigan. The news was reported on Thursday by The Detroit Free Press.
Lonnie Scott, the executive director of Progress Michigan, accused the state government of valuing the well-being of its employees more than that of Flint’s residents.
…attorneys have subpoenaed all emails and communications between Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) over the ongoing Flint water crisis, a few details have been released showing what can only be described as depraved indifference on the part of state workers to the plight of Flint citizens.
The Republican governor released some staff emails on Jan. 20, showing that he was well aware that Flint citizens were slowly being poisoned following a decision by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality to force them to live with lead-tainted water.
Out of over 270 pages of communications released, one comment was stunning in its admission of how shabbily complaints over the water were treated by state workers.
According to the NY Times, Snyder was informed in one email that a state nurse told one young mother to not worry about the damage being done to her child when her son’s blood showed an elevated lead level.
“It is just a few IQ points. … It is not the end of the world,” the nurse reportedly told the worried mom.
According to whistle-blower Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, “If you were going to put something in a population to keep them down for generations to come — it would be lead.”
The state of Michigan and Flint have already come under attack for using a poster – created by the state’s Department of Health and Human Services — informing parents that it was safe to bathe their children in the contaminated water.
While the poster was pulled, an advisory remained on the state website informing residents that the water is “safe to use for washing because ‘lead in bath water will not soak into your skin fast or at high levels.’ ”
Gov. Snyder’s administration has until Feb. 9 to turn over all communications regarding Flint, dating back to 2011.
Other area’s in the country feel a similar death dance, from different dinosaurs…
South Dakota has 272 Abandoned Uranium Mines (AUMs) which are contaminating waterways such as the Cheyenne River, and desecrating sacred and ceremonial sites. An estimated 169 AUMs are located within 50 miles of Mt. Rushmore where millions of tourists risk exposure to radioactive pollution each year.The delegation is warning of the toxic legacy caused by more than 15,000 AUMs nationwide, extreme water contamination, surface strip coal mining and power plants burning coal-laced with radioactive particles, radioactive waste from oil well drilling in the Bakken Oil Range, mill tailings, waste storage, and renewed mining threats to sacred places such as Mt. Taylor in New Mexico and Red Butte in Arizona.Indigenous communities have been disproportionately impacted as approximately 75 percent of AUMs are located on federal and Tribal lands.“In 2015 the Gold King Mine spill was a wake-up call to address dangers of abandoned mines, but there are currently more than 15,000 toxic uranium mines that remain abandoned throughout the US”, said Ms. White Face. “For more than 50 years, many of these hazardous sites have been contaminating the land, air, water, and national monuments such as Mt. Rushmore and the Grand Canyon. Each one of these thousands of abandoned uranium mines is a potential Gold King mine disaster with the greater added threat of radioactive pollution. For the sake of our health, air, land, and water, we can’t let that happen.”[…]UPDATE: The Navajo Nation’s non-Indian water rights attorney is once again giving away Navajo water rights. Navajos are urging the Navajo President to veto a water rights settlement for Utah Navajo water rights, ramrodded through the Navajo Nation Council on Tuesday.Read more:The water contamination on the Navajo Nation is more horrific than in Flint, Michigan. However, the contamination continues because of the racism in the United States which disregards the contamination in Indian country. The collapsed media in Indian country, and the biased mainstream media, fail to expose it.Today, an Indigenous delegation begins a series of protests and events in Washington D.C. to expose the radioactive pollution in Indian country.The Navajo Nation’s water has been poisoned since the 1950s by uranium mining, then by coal mining, and dirty coal-fired power plants.Navajo water has long been contaminated by Peabody Coal mining on Black Mesa, uranium spills, strewn radioactive tailing from the Cold War uranium mining, and recently the EPA’s poisoning of the Animas and San Juan Rivers.Further, the US government knew when it relocated Navajos to the Sanders, Arizona, area that radiation from the Church Rock, N.M., uranium spill would poison their water by way of the Rio Puerco wash. In the Four Corners region, three coal fired power plants poison the water in runoffs.Dine’ (Navajo) Louise Benally, resisting relocation at Big Mountain for 40 years, said, “Our water has been impacted since the 1950’s on to today.” Read more at:Meanwhile, in south central Arizona, Apaches continue their fight against the copper mine which Arizona Sen. John McCain sneaked into the defense bill. McCain’s land giveaway to Resolution Copper would desecrate the Apache ceremonial grounds at Oak Flat. The copper mine would result in an environmental disaster, which includes poisoning the water. McCain has long been a member of the US Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, which reveals the true nature of this committee and its role in the theft of Indian lands, and the poisoning of Indian country by corporate polluters. Apaches welcome all to their march at the end of February.
With the Iowa caucuses only days away, Senator Ted Cruz has announced the formation of a “Pro-Lifers for Cruz” coalition that aims to “champion every child, born and unborn.”
Among the national co-chairs of that coalition is Troy Newman, one of the more malevolent figures in the anti-choice movement. He is the president of the radical anti-abortion group Operation Rescue, and a board member at the Center for Medical Progress, which just saw two employees indicted in Houston for deceptions conducted while creating the now-infamous “baby parts” videos that targeted Planned Parenthood.
Newman has often suggested that the murder of abortion doctors is legally permissible, and his group has been connected to several notorious anti-choice acts of violence over the past 20 years.
It would be virtually impossible not to be aware of this fact—it defines Newman’s career—yet Cruz said in a statement Wednesday that “Every single national co-chair in this coalition has led the charge for the pro-life cause and is a true inspiration.” Newman formally endorsed Cruz back in November, which created a small stir-up in the press, and Cruz is now doubling down on his connection with Newman.
Cruz unveiled his new “pro-life coalition” at a Wednesday night rally in Des Moines where he argued that he is the candidate with the most credible opposition to abortion. “The question we ought to ask is, don’t tell me that you’re pro-life. Show me. When have you stood up and fought to defend the right to life?” he said.
Some articles that will give you a breather in all this massive pile of dinosaur shit…
That one above is by Mary Steenburgen.
At the end of tonight’s Trump-less GOP debate, the candidates played the customary “wander around the stage and pretend you actually like each other” game. But apparently, even when they’re just pretending, the candidates stillcan’t bring themselves to stomach Ted Cruz.
Video of the full “ignore the asshole Ted” at the link.
And now a look at how the Dinosaurs look from outside the USA:
In connection with this…
On this Holocaust Remembrance Day, I am very concerned when I see presidential candidates fanning the flames of animosity. In the ’30s in Germany, Jews were the target, but the dangerous rhetoric of today is focused on Muslims and particularly Syrian refugees. Like the anti-Semitic tirades of decades ago, many of the same ingredients are present in the speeches of candidates who hold surprisingly high levels of support from the American people.
It is an all too familiar recipe: Strip away individuality and wrap everyone in the group into an amorphous and frightening entity. Speak about what they will take from us and add in a strong nationalist sentiment that allows people to justify their hatred as patriotic allegiance. It was this lethal combination that sent my family to Auschwitz, my father to the gas chamber, and me, a boy of 16, to a slave labor camp where I was forced to build railroads on starvation rations. The SS guards were able to do this to us because they lost sight of our humanity and of our individuality.
Unfortunately, there will always be leaders who will attempt to garner power through the vilification of others. McCarthy in the ’50s, and George Wallace a little later, come easily to mind. History is never on the side of these leaders. Instead, it reveres the people who opposed them. And so it will be with our fear mongering candidates and the citizens who refuse to support them.
Leaders can be persuasive, and rhetoric can be powerful, but we always have the option to think more deeply than these politicians and to resist being swayed by words meant to denigrate others. We have some powerful tools in the arsenal of our own minds. Scientists have found that we can resist prejudice by focusing on the commonalities between others and ourselves, by recognizing the joys and pains experienced by the individual and how these are so very similar to our own experiences.
When I see Syrian refugees on television struggling to make their way to safety, I see the similarity between their plight and my own struggles to come to America after I was liberated from the camps. I can remember what it was like to flee danger in search of a safe place to begin my life anew, the fear as we bribed Soviet border guards to let us pass, the arduous journey, day and night, carrying all of our belongings on our backs, the grief and worry for family who had stayed behind.
And a last round up of various links:
State Rep. Tommy Benton is an unapologetic supporter of Georgia’s Confederate heritage.
He flatly asserts the Civil War wasn’t fought over slavery, compares Confederate leaders to the Founding Fathers and is profoundly irritated with what he deems a “cultural cleansing” of Southern history. He also said the Ku Klux Klan, while he didn’t agree with all of their methods, “made a lot of people straighten up.” (Read the AJC’s latest coverage here.)
The Ku Klux Klan has gotten a bad rap, according to one Georgia lawmaker. He says the terror group “was not so much a racist thing but a vigilante thing to keep law and order” that “made a lot of people straighten up.”
That leader is now hellbent on stopping the “cultural cleansing” of the South’s heritage. So far this year, State Rep. Tommy Benton (R) has co-sponsored two bills to preserve the Confederate’s legacy.
Following the massacre at the historic Emanuel AME Church last year, activists and lawmakershave pushed to removeConfederatesymbols in the South. According to Benton, those efforts constitute “cultural terrorism,” akin to what ISIS is doing.
“That’s no better than what ISIS is doing, destroying museums and monuments,” he told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC). “I feel very strongly about this. I think it has gone far enough. There is some idea out there that certain parts of history out there don’t matter anymore and that’s a bunch of bunk.”
So on Wednesday, Benton introduced House Resolution 1179, which would amend the state constitution to prevent the tarnishing of monuments at Stone Mountain. Referencing Robert E. Lee and Confederate President Jefferson Davis, the bill says “heroes of the Confederate States of America … shall never been altered, removed, concealed or obscured in any fashion and shall be preserved and protected for all time as a tribute to the bravery and heroism of the citizens of this state who suffered and died in their cause.”
Benton also introduced House Bill 855 to make Confederate Memorial Day and Lee’s birthday “public and legal holidays.” During his interview with AJC, Benton echoed the longstanding argument that the Civil War was not about slavery.
The KKK, for example, is currently devising new ways to recruit new members and “save [their] race.” The hate group has ramped up its inflammatory rhetoric, calling for the murder ofimmigrants and gay people. It’s creating neighborhood watch groups to snuff out criminal activity. And now it’s organizing around Donald Trump’s Islamophobia.
And finally, the end all of all dinosaurs coming to get you….if you live in Kentucky…you can rely on two things. Death and your Taxes going towards the Jesus rides a Dinosaur Museum.
Kentucky taxpayers may end up subsidizing this embarrassing project after all.
This is an open thread….
Has any other presidential candidate in history had to fight the corporate media in addition to attacks from the other party and her opponents for the nomination to the extent that Hillary has to? I don’t think so. In just two days, Iowans will head to the caucuses. What “bombshells” will the media find to hype against Hillary before Monday night?
Today it’s “Eghazi” once again. Yesterday, the State Department announced that some of Clinton’s emails have been retroactively deemed to be “top secret.” The emails were not sent by Hillary from her private email server. They were sent to her by other people using the State Departments unclassified email server, because the information was not classified at the time.
Unfortunately, someone in the “intelligence community”–presumably GOP partisan(s)–told the State Department they cannot release these emails, so now the Hillary haters can speculate to their hearts’ content. Some of these withheld emails were exchanges between then Secretary of State Clinton and President Barack Obama! But you know, “Benghazi!!” Eghazi!!
I’ll post just one corporate media article about this from eminent Clinton hater and Washington Post columnist Chris Cillizza: Hillary Clinton’s email defense just hit a major bump in the road. Seriously? Oh, and the article is accompanied by an unflattering photo of Hillary frowning.
For months, Hillary Clinton and her presidential campaign have stuck to a consistent story line when faced with allegations of classified information on the private server she used exclusively as secretary of state: She was the victim of an overzealous intelligence community bent on categorizing information as top secret or classified when it was, in fact, neither.
That defense hit a major snag on Friday when the State Department announced that it, too, had found “top secret” information on Clinton’s server — 22 emails across seven separate emails chains. The information, the State Department said, was so secret that those emails would never be released to the public.
Suddenly Clinton’s narrative of an overly aggressive intelligence community or a broader squabble between the intelligence world and the State Department didn’t hold water. Or at least held a whole lot less water than it did prior to Friday afternoon.
The Clinton team quickly pivoted. “After a process that has been dominated by bureaucratic infighting that has too often played out in public view, the loudest and leakiest participants in this interagency dispute have now prevailed in blocking any release of these emails,” said campaign spokesman Brian Fallon.
Calling for the release of the allegedly top secret emails is a smart gambit by the Clinton folks since it makes them look as if they have nothing to hide while being protected by the near-certainty that the State Department won’t simply change its mind on the release because the Clinton team asked them to.
Still, the timing of the State Department announcement, coming just three days before the pivotal Iowa caucuses, and the nature of that announcement seem likely to further complicate a situation that has already caused Clinton and her campaign huge amounts of agita since the existence of her private email server was revealed almost one year ago to the day.
You can read more Cillizza lies and distortion at the link.
It’s not likely you’ll see the true story in the corporate media, so here are some calmer responses from people who actually know what they’re talking about. By the way Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon is one of those people. He was previously director of communications for the Department of Justice and dealt with classified material on a daily basis.
Why does the Clinton campaign want the emails released if they are show shocking? Because they’re not.
This from Sen. Dianne Feinstein:
So what is really happening? As far as I can tell, there is absolutely nothing new here. It’s all about politics and trying to keep Hillary Clinton from becoming POTUS.
Max Fisher at Vox: The Hillary Clinton top-secret email controversy, explained.
If it’s top secret, then it must be really sensitive, right?
Not necessarily. A large proportion of documents that our government classifies are not actually that sensitive — more on that below. So the key thing now is to try to figure out: Were these emails classified because they contain highly sensitive information that Clinton never should have emailed in the first place, or because they were largely banal but got scooped up in America’s often absurd classify-everything practices? [….]
According to a statement by the State Department, “These documents were not marked classified at the time they were sent.”
In other words, they do not contain information that was “born classified,” but rather fall into the vast gray area of things that do not seem obviously secret at the time but are later deemed that way — not always for good reason.
Go over to Vox to read about “America’s problem with overclassification.”
Big Tent Democrat AKA ArmandoKos at Talk Left: eGhazi: Same BS IC story: different day. Check the links in the post also if you want to know more.
The furor over Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email account grew more serious for the Democratic presidential front-runner Friday as the State Department designated 22 of the messages from her account “top secret.” [. . .]
“These documents were not marked classified at the time they were sent [and they weren’t sent by Clinton imo – BTD my emhphasis] ,” Kirby said in a statement.
Sound familiar? It should because it is the same story I’ve been writing about since this nonsense started. See in particular State v. IC classification battles:
Now what does this mean? It means the Intelligence Community, represented here by the IC IG, disagrees with the State Department’s determination on the classification of certain information contained in the Clinton e-mails. In their opinion, the information should have been designated classified and should be so designated now. But State does not agree.
Now what were those “classified documents then? I reviewed some that got through. As you can see, the IC is full of crap.What about this batch? I think we can safely say that the bulk of these are news stories discussing drone strikes.
The messages deemed “secret” also vary widely. One from Feb. 25, 2012, appears to discuss U.S. drone operations in Pakistan.”This is hitting the news, with Taliban or HQN [the Haqqani Network] claiming responsibility,” State policy planning chief Jake Sullivan wrote to Clinton. The message originated with the U.S. Ambassador in In Pakistan, Dick Hoagland. Nearly all the text is deleted, but press reports that day described the crash of a drone in North Waziristan.
U.S. drones in Pakistan are operated by the Central Intelligence Agency, but the program is officially covert and therefore classified, even though President Barack Obama has acknowledged it publicly.
In short it is just more crazy crap from IC – news articles are Top Secret!! seems to be the theory.
But leaving aside the overclassification issue, there is just a little problem for those who want to take Clinton down with this nonsense – she didn’t transmit any of the information – just received it. And the issue is not a private server – after all the State’s unsecure email system would not be appropriate for “classified” material either.
As you have heard from me often, if anyone is in trouble, it will be career State officials like the current Ambassador to Bahrain, William Roebuck, Timothy T. Davis and William J Burns.
Addicting Info: Hillary Clinton Did Not Send ‘Top Secret’ Emails On Private Server.
- There are seven emails which the State Department says are now considered classified.
- The emails originated from inside the agency’s unclassified system.
- They were not marked ‘classified’ or ‘top secret’ when they were sent.
- The emails were not sent by Hillary Clinton, but were sent to her, along with a number of other people.
- One of the ‘top secret emails’ is likely a published newspaper article.
In other words, this is not the huge scandal republicans were hoping for. Instead, it’s just another baseless right wing attack on Hillary Clinton that falls apart under even the slightest amount of scrutiny.
Sigh . . . I’m already exhausted from this crap and the weekend is just beginning.
I’ll end with two Politico pieces, one on Bernie Sanders and his campaign’s “foreign policy advisers” and another on Sanders’ claims that he is more electable than Clinton.
Not long after President Barack Obama ordered U.S. airstrikes in Libya in 2011, his national security adviser, Tom Donilon, trekked to Capitol Hill to brief Democratic senators. After a few minutes of discussion about the military operation, Bernie Sanders took the floor.
To talk about the economy.
“Sanders delivered a meandering manifesto about Democratic messaging on the economy,” says a former Senate chief of staff. “It wasn’t that his insights were wrong. It just wasn’t the time or place. Everyone was thinking, ‘Here goes Bernie!’ ”
Current and former Senate aides call the episode typical of Sanders, who on any given day would rather talk about Wall Street profits than about Middle East conflict….
Sanders has yet to give a speech exclusively on foreign policy, and on Friday his campaign backed away from an earlier commitment to deliver one before the Iowa vote. Numerous Democratic foreign policy insiders contacted by POLITICO could not name anyone who regularly advises the Vermont Senator on world affairs — a stark contrast to a Clinton campaign teeming with several hundred foreign policy advisers.
Oddly, the Sanders campaign is claiming to have foreign policy advisers who had no idea they were advising Bernie.
When asked whether Sanders has a full-time campaign staffer who handles foreign policy issues, his campaign did not respond. And several people whom the Sanders campaign has cited as sources of national security advice tell POLITICO they barely know the socialist firebrand.
“Apparently I had a conversation with him last August,” said Tamara Cofman Wittes, a Brookings Institution Middle East scholar, after checking her calendar upon hearing that her name was on a list of people the Sanders campaign said he had consulted in recent months. “My vague recollection is that it was about [the Islamic State] but I don’t really remember any of the details.” Wittes added that she backs Clinton.
“I don’t know how I got on Bernie Sanders’ list,” said Ray Takeyh, an Iran scholar at the Council on Foreign Relations who says he spoke to Sanders once or twice about the Iran nuclear deal at Sanders’ request in mid-2015.
What the hell? But of course Bernie voted against going into Iraq in 2002, so he’s the real foreign policy expert, right?
Bernie Sanders might have an electability problem, by Stephen Shepard.
“Not only is Bernie Sanders electable in the general election,” insisted Sanders senior adviser Tad Devine, “he’s a stronger candidate than Hillary Clinton in the general election.”
Indeed, public pollsters who’ve conducted surveys in both Iowa and New Hampshire caution that the Sanders team might be misreading the data the campaign is relying on to make its case that Sanders would broaden the Democratic electorate and make more states competitive by luring young, more independently minded voters.
Patrick Murray, who runs the Monmouth University Polling Institute in New Jersey, said the independent voters who are backing Sanders in the primary are more liberal in orientation and would be likely to vote for the Democrat in November anyway.
“It’s a big leap of faith to take primary poll data and jump to the general,” added Lee Miringoff, the director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion, which has conducted recent polls for NBC News and The Wall Street Journal. “You do ask the questions, and it tells you something: Hillary has a problem with independents, and Bernie doesn’t. Fast forward to September, October and November. The campaigns will change, and that dynamic will be different.”
Duh. Read the rest at the link.
What else is happening? Please post your thoughts and links in the comment thread and have a great weekend.
It is a Saturday Morning Cartoon Post.
So sit back and enjoy some funnies!
I think that first cartoon pretty much sums everything from the Trump-a-Dump campaign up…don’t you?
I never put this next cartoonist in a post, because he is so fucking right wing, it is disturbing the stuff he puts out. This was his cartoon on Ted Cruz….
That’s All Folks!!!!!
This is an open thread.