Thursday ReadsPosted: February 18, 2016
MSNBC and Telemundo are holding a Democratic town hall tonight a in Las Vegas. I assume it will begin at 9PM ET, but none of the articles I’ve found state that explicitly.
At 8:00 Chris Hayes will host a pre-debate show that will include Rachel Maddow interviewing Joe Biden. I have no idea why MSNBC thinks that’s relevant. Maybe Maddow convinced Biden to endorse Bernie? That would be a typical 2016 MNSBC tactic.
The town hall will be moderated by Chuck Todd and José Díaz-Balart. Rachel Maddow will anchor the post-town-hall coverage beginning at 11PM ET. We’ll have a live blog for the town Hall tonight.
I completely missed the fact that CNN hosted a Republican town hall event with Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, and Ben Carson last night, but I can’t say I’m sorry I missed it. It will continue tonight with Donald Trump, John Kasich, and Jeb Bush. It will be on at the same time as the MSNBC event, so you can click back and forth or just watch one of them. I just know I’ll be watching Hillary.
CNN on what happened last night: Ted Cruz prosecutes and Marco Rubio gets personal at town hall.
Cruz said that he “laughed out loud” when he learned of the cease-and-desist letter Donald Trump’s campaign sent his team for running an ad highlighting his opponent’s former position on abortion rights.
Cruz, Trump’s closest rival in the state, defended the ad in question, saying it largely uses Trump’s “own words” to demonstrate the businessman’s past stance in favor of abortion rights.
“It is quite literally the most ridiculous theory I’ve ever heard, that telling the voters what Donald Trump’s actual record is is deceitful and lying,” he told moderator Anderson Cooper.
I have quite a few links for you today, so I won’t be able to excerpt from all of them. I do have two that I want to share in detail though. First a wonderful piece at New York Magazine on Hillary’s speech in Harlem on Tuesday: How Hillary Clinton Won Harlem by Rembert Browne. Rep. Charles Rangel introduced Clinton:
There was one moment in Rangel’s introduction, however, when his presence — and his actions — were undeniably infectious to everyone in the room, especially the Black Harlemites: “It’s been brought to my attention that some people have been following the secretary of State around to disrupt rather than to instruct. Please be informed, you are in the village of Harlem.”
This was met with wild applause from the room, a big smile from Hillary, and a Holder whisper to Cuomo, followed by laughs from both men. It was one of the more street-cred-pumping moments this campaign has seen.You fuck with Hill, you fuck with Harlem. And it capped off a perfect warm-up act for Hillary — New York State, New York City, and Harlem supporting not only Hillary being the next president, but her as someone who could do a lot of good for black people.
On Hillary’s speech:
Then it hit you that Hillary was going to talk — at length — about black people, almost exclusively. She began with the normal rhetoric of just listing black people she knew, whom she spoke with, whom she associated herself with — but then it took a turn. When she began discussing Flint, the white woman Establishment presidential candidate said, “It’s a horrifying story, but what makes it even worse is that it’s not a coincidence that this was allowed to happen in a largely black, largely poor community. Just ask yourself: Would this have ever occurred in a wealthy white suburb of Detroit? Absolutely not.”
It was that moment of, Oh shit, did Hillary come to play today? I looked down my row, and multiple people had that same goddamn face etched on their faces. She was making points about privilege that minorities always make, but it packed such a different punch — even if President Obama had said it — because she was chastising her own privilege, putting the privilege of whiteness front and center.
The moment was a brief callback to the controversial opinion of scholar Michael Eric Dyson in his November 2015 New Republic piece, which said that Hillary Clinton will do more for black people than Barack Obama. And like Dyson further argues in his book, The Black Presidency: Barack Obama and the Politics of Race in America, Obama uniquely had to comply with the expectations of whites. That’s not something Clinton will ever have to deal with to the same degree.
On Hillary’s much-publicized coughing fit:
And then, out of nowhere, as she was really peaking, and the increasingly loud cheers in the room suggested that these points were not only felt but appreciated, she had one of those Hillary coughing fits.
It’s like watching someone with the hiccups; you don’t really know when they’re going to end. But herein lies the beauty of the goodwill Hillary had built up in the room — the beauty of black people being an expressive bunch: The room started clapping loudly, almost to mask her coughs until she was done, to get her through this stretch. People were acting like it was church, when some member of the congregation gets up to speak but suddenly gets emotional or nervous. Shouts of “Take your time, Hill” and “You’re okay” rang from all corners of the room. After a few coughs, Hillary squeaked out, “I’ve got too much to say,” which was met with laughter. When some of the coughing halted, Hillary softly said a few sentences with her voice at about 10 percent strength, and after every few sentences, people cheered her on. There were even some “HILLARY, HILLARY” chants. I couldn’t believe it.
This was followed by a second wave of coughs, more cheers and supportive messages from the crowd, which ended with Hillary saying, “Thank you, you’re a great amen chorus.” And a few minutes later, her voice was at full strength again. She was back.
I loved this article! Please go read the whole thing.
So we’ve learned over the past few weeks that Bernie Sanders is a dirty campaigner, despite his promises to run a positive campaign in 2016. He hasn’t done that. He has gone negative almost from the start, repeatedly implying that Clinton is corrupt and in the pocket of Wall Street.
Sanders has been getting away with a lot bad behavior, because the corporate media tends to ignore it and focus on trying to bring Hillary down. But they did report on the Sanders campaign stealing voter data from Clinton and then suing the DNC after getting caught. The media also reported on the incidents of Sanders staffers pretending to be members of the Culinary Workers Union in order to get into private dining rooms and talk to union workers.
There have been a number of articles on the Sanders campaign repeatedly using ads and flyers to claim endorsements they never got. There have also been reports from Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada of Sanders campaign buses blocking entrances to Clinton campaign events.
In Nevada, campaign workers have reported on Twitter that the Sanders campaign is using Karl Rove tactics such as calling voters and telling them that Clinton is under investigation by the FBI, calling Republican voters and asking them to caucus for Bernie, and knocking on doors at 11PM and pretending to be Clinton canvassers.
Apparently this is nothing new for Sanders. He has a history of nasty campaign tactics. Dakinikat sent me this article from US News: Foes, Past and Present, Say Sanders Uses Same Tactics He Criticizes. “They say backroom deals, deceptive ads and political manipulation are in the Sanders toolkit.” A couple of examples from the story:
This year, the Sanders campaign has brushed off accusations of deceptive advertising – implied endorsements from the Des Moines [Iowa] Register, The [New Hampshire] Valley News, the AARP, the League of Conservation voters and veterans belonging to the American Legion – as mistakes.
But in his 1986 campaign challenging Gov. Madeleine Kunin, Sanders was accused of making similar insinuations, distributing a flyer that implied the endorsement of the Rutland Herald, and of sending a letter that suggested it had the support of the Vermont National Organization for Women.
Sanders’ 2006 Senate campaign was also accused of running so-called “push polls,” a tactic considered deceptive in which a partisan caller, masquerading as an independent pollster, asks a potential voter leading questions with the intention of spreading negative information about an opponent.
More news, links only:
New York Review of Books: The Next Justice? It’s Not Up to Us, by Garry Wills.
The Atlantic: The Republicans’ Scalia Hysteria, by Garrett Epps.
New York Times: The Potential for the Most Liberal Supreme Court in Decades.
The Boston Globe: Scalia didn’t pay for his stay at the ranch where he died. So who did?
Ben Rhodes at Medium: President Obama is going to Cuba. Here’s why.
Mother Jones: The Sanders Campaign Has Crossed Into Neverland.
Washington Post: Here’s what you need to understand about how Hillary Clinton views race, by Paul Waldman (I liked this one a lot!).
Mediaite: Literal Holy Crap: Glenn Beck Says Scalia’s Death Part of God’s Plan to Elect Ted Cruz, Tommy Christopher.
The Daily Beast: Apple Unlocked iPhones for the Feds 70 Times Before.
Huffington Post: Still Grateful for My Abortion, almost 40 Years Later.
Sady Doyle at Quartz: Beware of the angry white male public intellectual.
What stories are you following today?