Tuesday Reads

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Good Morning!!

A series of terrorist bombings took place in Brussels, Belgium early this morning just days after the capture of Salah Abdeslam, the last surviving member of the group that perpetrated the attacks in Paris last November. This is a breaking story.

NPR: Terrorist Bombings Strike Brussels: What We Know.

At least 26 people are dead and more than 100 wounded, after explosions struck Brussels during the Tuesday morning rush hour, Belgian officials say. Two blasts hit the international airport; another struck a metro station. Belgium has issued a Level 4 alert, denoting “serious and imminent attack.”

“What we feared has happened, we were hit by blind attacks,” Prime Minister Charles Michel said at a midday news conference Tuesday. He added that there were many dead and many injured.

Citing Minister of Social Affairs and Health Maggie De Block, Belgian media say 11 people died in the airport attack. Transit and other officials say 15 people died at the metro station. Those same sources say there were 81 injured at the airport and 55 hurt in an attack on a train near the Maelbeek station.

French President Francois Hollande says, “terrorists struck Brussels, but it was Europe that was targeted — and all the world that is concerned.”

Obviously, the number of dead and injured could go up as authorities learn more. See live tweets with photos at the link.

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM - MARCH 22: Passengers are evacuated from Zaventem Bruxelles International Airport after a terrorist attack on March 22, 2016 in Brussels, Belgium. At least 13 people are though to have been killed after Brussels airport was hit by two explosions whilst a Metro station was also targeted. The attacks come just days after a key suspect in the Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, was captured in Brussels. (Photo by Sylvain Lefevre/Getty Images)

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM – MARCH 22: Passengers are evacuated from Zaventem Bruxelles International Airport after a terrorist attack on March 22, 2016 in Brussels, Belgium. At least 13 people are though to have been killed after Brussels airport was hit by two explosions whilst a Metro station was also targeted. The attacks come just days after a key suspect in the Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, was captured in Brussels. (Photo by Sylvain Lefevre/Getty Images)

Slate is posting updates on a live blog.

Three explosions rocked Brussels on Tuesday morning, killing more than two dozen people and injuring an untold number of others, according to local authorities and reports from the ground. While the cause of the blasts—two at the city’s airport and then one in its subway system about an hour later—remain unknown, officials are treating them as acts of terrorism. The carnage comes only days after Belgium police arrested Salah Abdeslam, the man believed to be the sole remaining survivor of the 10 men who carried out the terrorist attacks in Paris this past November that killed 130 people.

The latest update says “several of the apparent attackers may still at large.”

Metro train after Brussels attack

Metro train after Brussels attack

CNN reports: Brussels eyewitness: ‘A lot of people were on the floor.’

Jef Versele, from the Belgian city of Ghent, was making his way to check-in for a flight to Rome at Brussels Airport Tuesday morning when he heard a loud noise emanating from several floors below him.

“At first I was not aware that it was a bomb,” he told CNN. “I had the idea that an accident had happened in a food court or something like that.”

The explosion set off a panic, with people screaming and running through the terminal, before it was followed by a second explosion, “which was in my eyes much more powerful than the first one.”

The second blast, which blew out windows at the airport and brought ceiling panels down, left people collapsed on the floor and triggered even greater panic.

“It was quite a mess,” he told CNN.

He said although he was two floors above the source of the explosions — at least one of which was a suicide bombing, according to Belgian prosecutor Frederic Van Leeuw — many people around him were injured by the blast. He said there about 50 to 60 injured on his level of the airport, while the scenes on the lower levels were worse.

“A lot of people were on the floor. They were injured,” Versele said. “I think I was lucky, I was very lucky. I think I have a guardian angel somewhere.”

More eyewitness accounts at the link. Brussels is now on lockdown, according to the Boston Globe, which is also posting live updates.

U.S. President Barack Obama tours Old Havana with his family at the start of a three-day visit to Cuba, in Havana March 20, 2016. Photo by Carlos Barria/Reuters

U.S. President Barack Obama tours Old Havana with his family at the start of a three-day visit to Cuba, in Havana March 20, 2016. Photo by Carlos Barria/Reuters

President Obama is still in Cuba with his family, but he has been briefed on the attacks in Brussels. The Washington Post: Obama to address the Cuban nation in historic Havana visit.

President Obama will address the Cuban people directly Tuesday, delivering a speech that will be televised live on state television.

The address in Havana’s newly renovated Gran Teatro, before an audience of invited guests of the U.S. and Cuban government, is the keystone event in Obama’s two-and-a-half-day visit to the island. His top advisers said it represented his best chance to outline his vision of the future to ordinary citizens here, and to Cuban Americans at home.

White House deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes told reporters Monday the speech was “important because it’s the one chance to step back and to speak to the Cuban people, and all of the Cuban people,” including “Cubans in the United States.”

One of Obama’s overarching goals in fostering a diplomatic thaw with America’s longtime adversary, Rhodes said, was “reconciliation of the Cuban American community to Cubans here on the island.”

Still, even the speech’s setting spoke to the ongoing challenge the United States faces when it comes to engaging in a public dialogue in Cuba. American officials had originally hoped to do the address in an open-air setting, which would have allowed more ordinary citizens to attend. Instead, the national theater accommodates roughly 1,000 people, and the two governments evenly divided the tickets.

And even as the president seeks to highlight how his approach to Latin America has paid dividends, a series of blasts at Brussels’s airport and a metro station Tuesday served as a powerful reminder that terrorism overseas continues to threaten global stability. The apparently coordinated strikes have killed at least 26 people.

Back in the USA, Arizona is holding a presidential primary today and there will be caucuses in Idaho and Utah. (In Idaho, the Republicans have already voted.) On the Democratic side, Arizona, with 75 delegates, is the biggest prize.

Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton takes a selfie with supporters at a campaign rally at Carl Hayden Community High School in Phoenix, Arizona March 21, 2016. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni MARIO ANZUONI / Reuters

Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton takes a selfie with supporters at a campaign rally at Carl Hayden Community High School in Phoenix, Arizona March 21, 2016. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni MARIO ANZUONI / Reuters

NBC News: Clinton, Sanders in Primary Showdown for Arizona’s Latino Vote.

PHOENIX, Ariz. — Guadalupe Arreola can’t vote in the Arizona primary Tuesday because she is undocumented, so she has spent the last few weeks encouraging Latinos who can to vote for Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders. On Sunday, she hosted a phone bank at her house. More than 50 people showed up.

“There are people who still don’t know Bernie Sanders, and I want to raise awareness of who he is,” said Arreola, whose daughter Erika Andiola is Sanders’ Latino media spokeswoman.

Martin Hernandez said he likes Clinton’s stance on a number of issues important to Latinos, including healthcare and immigration. An organizing director for the United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 99, hesaid he especially likes that that she seems to understands the needs of Latino workers.

“I want somebody in the presidency who is going to help workers, especially those in our immigrant community,” he said. “They are the ones who face the most abuse. Many of them are underpaid and their rights are violated by their employers.”

Arreola and Hernandez represent the split that exists among Latino Democrats in Arizona on whether Sanders or Clinton should be the Democratic nominee for president. Both candidates have the backing of prominent Latino leaders, some of whom have appeared in television and radio ads being broadcasted across the state.

I’m not sure if NBC is just trying to make the primary look close or not. According to the Real Clear Politics average, Clinton is leading Sanders in Arizona 53-23, but FiveThirtyEight says there hasn’t been enough polling for them to project a winner. From everything I’ve heard, I think Hillary will win Arizona, and Sanders could win the Iowa and Utah caucuses.

Horrifying photo of Donald Trump at a rally in Salt Lake City.

Horrifying photo of Donald Trump at a rally in Salt Lake City.

However, there’s a wild card in Utah, according to Al Giordano (from privately distributed newsletter). He says that more and more Mormon women are voting Democratic, and it’s possible they could caucus for Clinton. Mormons absolutely hateand fear Donald Trump, so Giordano argues that it’s even possible that Utah could turn blue in November if Trump is the GOP nominee.

From McKay Coppins (who is a Mormon) at Buzzfeed: Mormon Voters Really Don’t Like Donald Trump — Here’s Why.

So far in 2016, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have proven to be one of the most stubbornly anti-Trump constituencies in the Republican Party — a dynamic that will likely manifest itself in Utah’s presidential caucuses next week.

National polling data focused on Mormon voters is hard to come by, but the election results speak for themselves. Even as Trump has steamrollered his way through the GOP primaries, he has repeatedly been trounced in places with large LDS populations.

In Wyoming, the third-most-heavily Mormon state in the country, Trump was able to muster just 70 votes in the low-turnout Republican caucuses there — losing to Ted Cruz by a whopping 59 points.

In Idaho, the country’s second most Mormon state, Trump lost the primary by 18 points.

And in the Mormon mecca of Utah, the most recent primary poll has Trump in third place — more than 40 points behind Cruz and 18 points behind Kasich.

The pattern holds at the county level as well. As New York Times data journalist Nate Cohn illustrated, the larger the proportion of Mormons in a given county, the worse Trump has generally performed in the primary contest there.

Much more at the link.

Mitt Romney will caucus for Ted Cruz in Utah.

Mitt Romney will caucus for Ted Cruz in Utah.

Philip Bump at The Washington Post: Why Utah hates Donald Trump (Hint: it’s not just about Mormonism).

Donald Trump is getting crushed in Utah.

First, the state’s adopted son, Mitt Romney, went gunning for Trump for weeks on end, and eventually revealed that he was backing Ted Cruz in the upcoming caucuses. Utah is adjacent to Idaho and Wyoming, where Trump has seen two of his biggest losses so far, both to Cruz. In a poll from Y2 Analytics released over the weekend, Trump comes in third, 42 points behind Cruz. (If Cruz wins more than half of the votes in the state, he gets all of the state’s 40 delegates.)

What’s even more remarkable, though, is that another poll suggested that Trump would lose to either Democrat in Utah in the general election. Utah is, of course, one of the reddest states — if not the reddest state — in the country. “Any matchup in which Democrats are competitive in the state of Utah is shocking,” Brigham Young University’s Christopher Karpowitz said to the Deseret News about that result.

Why? Mormon voters, of course; but polling (see lots of graphics at the link) show that people of any religion who are regular church-goers are more likely to be anti-Trump.

What may be prompting the stiff resistance to Trump, then, isn’t just that Utah is home to a lot of Mormons — it’s that those Mormons are more religious and that religious voters are more likely to view Trump with hostility.

The good news for Trump is that most of the states with the largest groups of regular churchgoers have already voted. Most are in the Bible Belt, as you might expect — a region where Trump did very well. Political beliefs are more complicated than they might appear at first glance. Sort of like religious ones.

It’s an interesting wild card, and something to keep an eye on. I’d certainly expect Jewish voters to be frightened by Trump’s strong-man campaign.

So . . . lots of things happening around the world today. What stories are you following? Dakinikat will post a live blog this evening for us to discuss primary and caucus results.

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53 Comments on “Tuesday Reads”

  1. bostonboomer says:

    Have a great day, and don’t forget to come back tonight for primary and caucus talk!

  2. Fannie says:

    So sad to wake up to this horrific news of an explosion in Belgium. I tell you, I believe Hillary is going to take Arizona. I watched her rally, and was so happy to see how well it was organized, and to see the Native Leaders supporting her efforts. And of course, I love seeing Gabby and her husband, stumping for Hillary.

    I see that Hillary got the call on this latest terrorist attack, not Sanders, and not the Republican candidates!

  3. Fannie says:

    Oh, I listened to Trump in the CNN interview yesterday saying he was going to do away with NATO. I hope Hillary gives him a lesson today, informing him that Brussels is the headquarters for NATO. I doubt he knows the role they play around the world.

    • List of X says:

      That’s probably because the media already knows that any Republican is going to say “bomb ’em all and don’t let ’em in”, and Sanders will say that it’s all because of Wall Street and wealth inequality.

  4. dakinikat says:

    This world has gone made. There are days when I think I’m living in a Fellini movie.

  5. dakinikat says:

    Supreme Court hits first 4-4 deadlock since Scalia’s death: http://hill.cm/HGjbEig

  6. ANonOMouse says:

    Indian Wells’ tournament director steps down after sexist comments

    http://www.cnn.com/2016/03/22/tennis/tennis-raymond-moore-steps-down/index.html

    Another bit of mansplainin about how women should be grateful for/to men. Cause you know, women would be nothing without them.

  7. dakinikat says:

    5 of Trump’s Most Outrageous Claims at the AIPAC Conference http://bit.ly/1UKX9HN

    • Fannie says:

      He’s the first to blame the black man in office, and then Hillary Clinton, and then John Kerry.
      What really pisses me off he (and all republicans), say the first day in office they are going to rip it (Iran deal) up to shreds. What the hell, there are six other countries involved in the deal, and I guess they aren’t going to acknowledge them either.

      • Ron4Hills says:

        I think it is funny how they keep letting him get away with saying Obama gave the Iranians 150 billion dollars.

        Isn’t that money their frozen assets being unfrozen as part of lifting sanctions.

  8. dakinikat says:

    http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2016/03/ted-cruz-calls-patroling-muslim-neighborhoods
    Ted Cruz Calls for Security Patrols in America’s “Muslim Neighborhoods”

    • gp says:

      Did I ever mention to you that I absolutely loathe Ted Cruz? These people really, really, really want to remake our country in the image of the 3rd Reich.

      • dakinikat says:

        Ted Cruz is absolutely the worst of them. I’d take Trump over him.

        • janicen says:

          Trump, the guy who thinks we should consider leaving NATO. That says a lot about how much you hate Cruz. 😀

        • ANonOMouse says:

          I’m with you Dak!!! If I was forced to choose between Trump & Cruz, I’d take Trump. Cruz is a religious whackadoodle, dominionist religious nut, racist, sexist, xenophobic, homophobic creep. Donald Trump is all of that EXCEPT he is not a dominionist religious nut. I find the religious nut POTUS the scariest of all.

        • Valhalla says:

          I’ve gotten used to it, but every once in a while I step back and literally cannot believe either of them are contenders for President. I hated Reagan, but when he talked I could at least understand the attraction to others. Hell, even Bush II, I don’t agree with voting based on who I’d want a beer with, but I can at least understand it. But Trump and Cruz? Voting for Fred Flinstone and Barney Rubble makes more sense to me.

    • Fannie says:

      So what about the White Muslims, is he going to make them wear arm bands or something?

  9. dakinikat says:

    Peter Daou is really taking it from both sides for being an advocate for Hillary.

    http://peterdaou.com/2016/03/why-i-plan-to-pursue-defamation-action/

    Over the course of the past year, I have been subjected to some of the most aggressive trolling and personal attacks of my 15 year political career. Virtually all of it stems from my advocacy for Hillary Clinton.

    In recent months, those vicious attacks on my character have taken a very dark turn.

  10. bostonboomer says:

    Peter Daou has been viciously attacked on Twitter and Facebook for months because as a child he was forced to train with Lebanese Army. He was never involved in any military action, but his family was there during the civil war and Peter saw unbelievable atrocities.

    I’ve seen him accused of being involved in death squads and killing women and children–by Bernie supporters!

    Peter has finally decided to take legal action against these individuals for defamation and is working with an attorney. This is one of the most disgusting things I’ve ever seen on Twitter. Sanders should be calling this out, but he won’t.

    http://peterdaou.com/2016/03/why-i-plan-to-pursue-defamation-action/

    • janicen says:

      Well you hit on the point with your last sentence. Online, we don’t know if they are legit Sanders supporters or minions of Roger Stone, but the fact that Sanders has not called for a stop to this kind of hate speech says a lot about Saint Bernie.

      • bostonboomer says:

        You can tell pretty well whether they really support Sanders by looking at their timelines, which I have done quite a few times. The twitter accounts have all been reported and the owners can be identified.

    • quixote says:

      Hell. I guess we’re seeing “Stand up for a woman? Get treated like one!” How horrible.

      How long is it going to take before enough people get a clue that hate speech is *the opposite* of free speech? It’s not some regrettable subset, like a Jerry Springer show.

    • MsMass says:

      All morning, I was thinking- how do we respond to this? (Makes me long for the cold war- at least the opposition was a definite entity and country- and that was an ironic plus!).
      Then I was wondering- what does Hillary say- as I was commuting home. So thanks for the link, now I know what she says. I will feel more secure with Hillary at the helm, even if her plans don’t prevent another attack. She gives me hope, just listening to her.

  11. dakinikat says:

    https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2016/03/22/starving-beast-examines-ideological-shifts-funding-higher-education#.VvF2TuIiAKw.facebook

    New documentary explores the philosophy and players behind cutting state support for higher education.
    March 22, 2016
    By
    Ellen Wexler
    Starving the Beast opens with James Carville, a well-known Democratic strategist, standing behind a microphone at Louisiana State University.
    “They say,” he tells the crowd, “education is a commodity.”
    By “they,” Carville means the reformers — an assortment of politicians, think-tank leaders and university administrators — who believe that colleges should operate like businesses. That like any other good or service, a college education has a price. “It’s a barrel of oil, it’s an ounce of gold, it’s a stock,” he says. “It’s anything.”
    The documentary, directed by Steve Mims, premiered this weekend at the South by Southwest film festival in Austin, Tex. Clocking in at 95 minutes, it explores the decline of state funding and the philosophical divide that’s caused it: What kind of a good is higher education? What should taxpayers be expected to support?

  12. Fannie says:

    Oh, hell, thousands are going to Boise tonight, and having to make last minute changes, and they aren’t prepared, and I called and the volunteers on the phone didn’t have any information.

    Sounds like parking will be a nightmare! The weather is terrible, rain, wind, cold.

  13. bostonboomer says:

    Keith Olbermann explains why the media is covering Donald Trump all the time and why they couldn’t care less if that’s good for the country.

    http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/03/keith-olbermanns-guide-to-surviving-media-coverage-of-donald-trump-213751#ixzz43aXtJZ16

    • NW Luna says:

      I believe the last time anybody did that well in votes by White Guys was when only White Guys had votes.

  14. NW Luna says:

    She also had time to speak about Belgium this morning.

    Hillary Clinton’s campaign will hold several events TuesdayHillary Clinton’s campaign will hold several events Tuesday in Washington state as the presidential candidate gears up for Saturday’s Democratic caucuses. Clinton will give a labor speech at 12:15 p.m. at the Machinists Union Hall in Everett. Later, she’ll meet with tribal leaders in Puyallup. An event at 8:15 p.m. at Rainier Beach High School [Seattle] will be open to the public. Doors will open at 6:15 p.m.

    Also Tuesday, Clinton will attend a fundraiser billed as a “Conversation with Hillary” at the Medina home of Costco co-founder Jeff Brotman and his wife, philanthropist Susan Brotman. Tickets for the fundraiser are sold out; they were going for $2,700.

    Clinton’s husband, former President Clinton, will also be in Washington this week to campaign before the caucuses. Their daughter, Chelsea Clinton, will be in the state as well and will host a campaign lunch in Seattle on Tuesday.

    Sanders’ campaign rented a huge downtown venue for his public appearance. Hillary’s public appearances are at a labor union hall, and a high school in a predominantly black area. Plus she’s meeting with the Puyallup Tribe. Bit of a difference.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Bernie doesn’t like to interact with real people according to the folks who have known him for decades. He prefers to speak to a big audience where he won’t have to answer questions or show empathy for people’s problems.

  15. bostonboomer says:

    //platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

    • purplefinn says:

      How nice! That should boost her energy!

    • NW Luna says:

      Wow! This is huge. After this, no one needs to guess how they feel about the candidates. May she be blessed, protected, and strengthened.