Thursday Reads: I’ve Had it with the Haters.

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Good Morning!!

This morning I feel as if I’ve gone through a long dark tunnel and come out the other side. I’ve finally accepted that Hillary Clinton will be continue to be attacked unmercifully by the media and her opponents on both the right and left forever. I’m sure the attacks will continue if she gets the Democratic nomination and even if she becomes President of the United States. I don’t care anymore.

Can you imagine if Bernie Sanders–or Donald Trump for that matter–were being attacked as personally and as relentlessly as Hillary is? They would both be screaming bloody murder. In fact, they both whine and complain at the slightest criticism. Hillary is strong as steel. She never gives up. She will fight for the presidency so she can fight for us from the most powerful position in the world. She will fight for women and children around the world as she did for four years as Secretary of State.

I’ll stand with her to the end, through thick and thin. I’ve had it with the haters, especially the fake “progressive” ones.

There is another Democratic debate tonight, this one in Milwaukee. Someone will start a live blog to discuss it later tonight.

Now to the news.

Oregon Standoff

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton greets the children of U.S. Embassy employees at the embassy in Tokyo Sunday, April 17, 2011. Clinton is on a brief visit to Tokyo intended as a morale boost to the crucial U.S. ally. (AP Photo/Saul Loeb, Pool)

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton greets the children of U.S. Embassy employees at the embassy in Tokyo Sunday, April 17, 2011. Clinton is on a brief visit to Tokyo intended as a morale boost to the crucial U.S. ally. (AP Photo/Saul Loeb, Pool)

The Oregonian reports: Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy arrested by FBI in Portland.

Cliven Bundy, the Nevada rancher who touched off one armed showdown with federal authorities and applauded another started in Oregon by his sons, was arrested late Wednesday at Portland International Airport and faces federal charges related to the 2014 standoff at his ranch.

Bundy, 74, was booked into the downtown Multnomah County jail at 10:54 p.m.

He faces a conspiracy charge to interfere with a federal officer — the same charge lodged against two of his sons, Ammon and Ryan, for their role in the Jan. 2 takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Burns. He also faces weapons charges.

The Bundy Ranch Facebook page reported Cliven Bundy was surrounded by SWAT officers and detained after his arrival from Nevada.

He was arrested at 10:10 p.m., authorities said.

The Bundy patriarch had traveled to Portland with plans to go on to Burns, where four occupiers had been the remaining holdouts of the refuge occupation.

Bundy has been under federal scrutiny since his ranch standoff with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. He has not paid grazing fees on federal land and he owes the agency $1 million in unpaid fees and penalties. He and militia supporters confronted federal agents who had impounded Bundy’s cattle that were found on federal property.

REFILE - CORRECTING SPELLING U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is greeted by human trafficking victims Van Sina (2nd L) and Somana (3rd R) at the Siem Reap AFESIP rehabilitation and vocational training center October 31, 2010. Clinton's visit to Cambodia is the first by a U.S. Secretary of State since 2003. REUTERS/Chor Sokunthea (CAMBODIA - Tags: POLITICS)

The FBI is getting more confrontational with the occupiers Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. Again from The Oregonian: Oregon standoff: FBI moves in on last refuge occupiers. The story begins with two recent updates:

UPDATE: 5 a.m. THURSDAY Franklin Graham, North Carolina evangelist, said on his Facebook page this morning that he was on his way to Oregon to help end the refuge standoff. He said he was on the phone with the remaining four last night as the FBI closed in. He expects to reach the refuge around 7 a.m.

UPDATE 10 p.m.: The live stream that broadcast online what appears to be the last stage of the refuge occupation stopped after more than five hours. The phone feed ended as the occupiers headed to their night camp, preparing to surrender Thursday morning. They said they have a promise that the encircling FBI agents would leave them alone overnight.

BURNS – FBI agents in armored vehicles moved in Wednesday night on the last four occupiers at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, hemming them into their rough camp and insisting they put down their guns and surrender.

The occupiers rejected the demands for hours before one of them said they will turn themselves in at a checkpoint once a national religious figure and a Nevada state legislator arrive. It was scheduled for 8 a.m. Thursday, but it wasn’t clear if the deal involved all of the four occupiers.

The standoff played out for hours through an open phone line being streamed to YouTube. At one point, an estimated 60,000 people listened as the occupiers displayed anger and panic, prayed with those on the phone and yelled at the FBI agents surrounding them.

They’re the remainders of a group of anti-government militants who took over the wildlife refuge headquarters Jan. 2. The four have been on their own since Jan. 28 — two days after the occupation leaders were arrested on a highway north of Burns and protest spokesman Robert “LaVoy” Finicum was shot and killed.

Those left at the refuge 30 miles southeast of Burns are David Fry, 27, of the Cincinnati area, Jeff Banta, 46, of Elko, Nevada, Sean Anderson, 47, and his wife Sandy, 48, of Riggins, Idaho.

Sanders Campaign Updates

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CNN has finally reported on the Sanders campaign’s vile treatment of a Nevada DREAMer: Sanders campaign touts another endorsement that didn’t happen.

Brenda Romero, a Nevada student leader and DREAMer that Bernie Sanders’ campaign touted as someone who endorsed their campaign, tells CNN she never endorsed the Vermont senator and is backing Hillary Clinton.

Romero said Monday she had agreed to be part of Sanders’ Nevada Latino Steering Committee, but that she never endorsed the senator.

Sanders released the list of activists and elected officials on his Latino committee in January.

“Tomorrow, a group of highly respected community leaders will announce their support for Bernie Sanders for president,” said a statement about the press conference.

The list included Lucy Flores, former Nevada state assemblywoman and congressional candidate, and Romero, a undocumented DREAMer and class president at College of Southern Nevada.

“I didn’t agree to such an endorsement,” Romero said Monday, noting that while she agreed to be part of the steering committee, she was told that the role would be advising the “campaign and potentially Sen. Sanders about immigration issues.”

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The Sanders campaign retaliated by releasing private emails between Romero and a Sanders staffer.

In an emails provided by the Sanders campaign, Romero did agree to be part of the steering committee, telling a Sanders staffer that she would be “honored to be part of this.” ….

Nowhere in the email exchange, though, does Romero agree to endorse Sanders. In fact, Romero asked not to have her title included in any campaign lists because as student body president, she has “to stay neutral to candidates.”

But because Romero has grown frustrated with the Sanders campaign, she said Monday that she is backing Clinton.

“I believe that Hillary has my back, and that she is the only candidate capable of accomplishing things in the face of Republican obstruction,” Clinton said. “She will get things done for immigrants families.” ….

I’m also disappointed by the attacks from senior staffers on the Sanders campaign on Astrid Silva,” she said. “It shows how disconnected they are from Nevada, and they should apologize to her. There is no room for hate between DREAMers in this campaign.”

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, right, greets Cambodian children during her visit to a shelter for victims of sexual exploitation in Siem Reap about 230 kilometers (140 miles) northwest of Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Sunday, Oct. 31, 2010. Clinton was in the midst of a two-week, seven-nation tour of the Asia-Pacific. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

In other Sanders News, there was quite a reaction on Twitter yesterday when the United Nurses superpac that supports Bernie tweeted that it was holding an education session in South Carolina for Sanders supporters on how to talk to black women. There wasn’t a single black woman in attendance. The tweets was resoundingly mocked and then deleted, but there are screenshots all over the place.

If you search for “how to talk to black women” on Twitter, you’ll see some hilarious responses.

Clinton Campaign News

Yesterday, President Obama essentially endorsed Hillary for the Democratic nomination. He had already indicated as much in an interview with Politico’s Glenn Thrush in January.

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Huffington Post: Obama Speech Sure Sounds Like A Tacit Endorsement Of Clinton.

President Barack Obama on Wednesday gave a rousing speech on America’s political culture, decrying the influence of big money, encouraging compromise and warning people against believing in absolutes from either party.

“Trying to find common ground [with Republicans] doesn’t make me less of a Democrat or less of a progressive,” Obama told an audience in Springfield, Illinois. “It means I’m trying to get stuff done.”

The speech was delivered the day after two ideologues, billionaire Donald Trump and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders (I), won the New Hampshire primaries by harnessing voter anger at the perceived “establishment” in politics. But Obama’s words on Wednesday sounded like a tacit endorsement of his former secretary of state, Hillary Clinton….

Obama, who appointed Clinton his first secretary of state after defeating her in the 2008 Democratic primary, seemed on Wednesday to clearly fall on the Clinton side of the ideological divide.

He said that labels, such as “not a real progressive” — which Sanders has used against Clinton — are damaging to the national discourse.

“So when I hear voices in either party boast of their refusal to compromise as an accomplishment in and of itself, I’m not impressed,” Obama said. “All that does is prevent what most Americans would consider actual accomplishments, like fixing roads, educating kids, passing budgets, cleaning our environment, making our streets safe.”

HILLARY CLINTON HUGS FORMER FOSTER CARE YOUTH.

And from Politico: Jay Carney: Obama wants Clinton to win.

“I think the president has signaled while still remaining neutral that he supports Secretary Clinton’s candidacy and would prefer to see her as the nominee,” Carney said on CNN Wednesday following coverage of the president’s speech to the Illinois state Senate in Springfield.

Obama will not “officially embrace her unless and until it’s clear she is going to be the nominee,” Carney said.

“I think he is maintaining that tradition of not intervening in a party primary,” he added. “But I don’t think there is any doubt that he wants Hillary to win the nomination and believes she would be the best candidate in the fall and the most effective as president in carrying forward what he has achieved.”

Today the Congressional Black Caucus will endorse Hillary. Politico: Congressional Black Caucus PAC to endorse Clinton. Bernie’s supporters are busy tweeting that the CBC doesn’t represent Black people, lol.

The Congressional Black Caucus PAC will formally endorse Hillary Clinton on Thursday.

It’s a coup for the Democratic presidential contender, as many of the black lawmakers can help leverage support for Clinton in African-American communities that will be critical during her primary battle against Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio), a former CBC chair said the former Secretary of State is a better candidate for African-Americans on national security and economic security.

“It is really, really clear to people who are paying attention at this point that she probably knows more about how to move us forward,” said Fudge. “As I look at her history, she has worked with people who are undeserved for her entire career…she’s been talking about this for her entire life. I’ve only heard about it from Sanders in the last year.”

This endorsement has been planned for some time, but many in the media are reporting that the CBC is rushing to rescue a struggling Hillary Clinton. ROFLOL!

Sen. James Clyburn has not yet officially endorsed Hillary, but he made no objection to the CBD endorsement. He is reportedly thinking about endorsing her soon, and says he could never endorse Sanders.

What stories are you following today?


Wednesday Reads: Taking it to the streets. 

 
Good Afternoon

On to South Carolina.

Finally.

But first some breaking news.

Carly Fiorina Suspends 2016 Presidential Campaign – ABC News

Chris Christie Expected to Formally End Presidential Bid as Early as Today – ABC News

Okay, now that that bit is over with…

A little bittersweet about Christie though. It was fun to see him stick it to Rubio and the few others.

As far as the Trump win in NH goes:

imageRepublicans Need To Treat Donald Trump As The Front-Runner | FiveThirtyEight

Donald Trump can win — and he must be stopped (Opinion) – CNN.com

In other Trump news, a Funny or Die video is making some waves:

Hollywood spoofs Donald Trump in ‘Funny or Die’ movie – CNNPolitics.com

Courtesy of the comedy site “Funny or Die,” the actor stars in a nearly hour-long spoof called “Funny or Die Presents Donald Trump’s The Art of the Deal: The Movie.”

Depp plays Trump alongside an impressive slate of Hollywood regulars, including Ron Howard and Patton Oswalt.

image“Everyone who was involved in the project is super cool and people with whom we have great relationships,” “Funny or Die” editor-in-chief Owen Burke told CNN. “They all understood the importance of keeping this a secret with the understanding that the Internet loves to be surprised. Also there was a lot of begging.”

The movie is presented as a lost classic, with Howard explaining in the opening scene that its initial planned airing in 1988 was pre-empted by “Monday Night Football,” then “thought to be lost in the Cybill Shepherd blouse fire of 1989,” before “last summer, when it turned up at a yard sale outside Phoenix, Arizona.”

imageWatch the trailer here:

▶ Funny Or Die Presents Donald Trump’s The Art Of The Deal: The Movie Trailer from Funny …

Watch the entire movie here:

▶ Funny Or Die Presents Donald Trump’s The Art Of The Deal: The Movie from Owen Burke, Fu…

I have not seen it yet, so I don’t know how the flick is…hope it is as funny as it is made out to be.

If you missed Trump’s victory speech from last night:  Donald Trump’s very happy victory speech, annotated – The Washington Post

imageAnd if you need some help to explain the current political situation to your kids or grandkids: How to talk to your kids about Donald Trump – The Boston Globe

On to some newsworthy links:

GOP Congressmen Oppose Abortion Rights For Women With Zika In Developing Countries

Pregnant women in South and Latin America who contract Zika, a rapidly spreading mosquito-borne virus linked to severe birth defects and deformities in babies, should not have access to abortion, Republican House leaders said Wednesday.

image“This push for more abortion access is heartbreaking, especially since there are different degrees of microcephaly,” Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, said at a hearing about the virus.

Microcephaly is a condition strongly linked to the Zika virus thatcauses babies to be born with abnormally small headsand brains that aren’t fully developed, which can lead to developmental problems, including seizures, cognitive delays, motor problems and hearing loss.

imageSome countries where the Zika virus is spreading, including Brazil, El Salvador and Colombia, have recommended that women delay getting pregnant for up to two years. Those countries have some of the strictest abortion laws in the world, and it’s difficult for poor women to get contraception. El Salvador, for instance, has no exceptions on its abortion ban and has even jailed women who have had miscarriages.

In light of the epidemic, the United States Agency for International Development has recommended that the U.S. offer contraception and family planning services in Latin America to assist affected populations and keep the virus from spreading. imageReproductive rights advocates are urging the endemic countries to loosen their abortion laws to accommodate pregnant women who contract Zika. House Democrats also emphasized the importance of increasing birth control access for women at the hearing on Wednesday, since the U.S. has longstanding prohibitions on foreign aid money being used to pay or advocate for abortion.

“This isn’t about abortion or not abortion,” said Rep. Ami Bera (D-Calif.). “It’s about making sure those women who are not planning on pregnancy have the ability to not get pregnant until we know what we’re dealing with.”

Italian police have arrested dozens of suspected Mafia members in an international operation to dismantle a powerful Sicilian crime group run by women.

Over 500 officers took part in the raid on the Laudani clan in the Sicilian port of Catania, nicknamed “Mussi di ficurinia” (“Prickly pear lips”), in a sting that also involved forces in Germany and the Netherlands, Italian police told AFP.

imageThree women, known as the three queens of Caltagirone, a town near Catania, had ruled the clan with an iron grip as well as governing all financial matters but were brought down by the heir to the clan who began helping police.

The suspects were all wanted for Mafia association, extortion, drug trafficking and possessing illegal arms.

Damn, at least it looks like the Mafia was embracing feminist ideals within the capo crime imagestructure.

Stunning break in cold case: Former priest arrested over 1960 rape and murder of Texas beauty queen

…former Catholic priest has been charged in a 55-year-old murder case in which he is suspected of beating and raping a beauty queen in south Texas shortly after taking her last confession, authorities said on Wednesday.

John Feit, 83, was arrested on Tuesday evening in Arizona in connection with the 1960 slaying of Irene Garza, 25, in McAllen, Texas, according to the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office in Arizona.

imageHe is being held on $750,000 bond pending extradition to Texas. During an initial court appearance Wednesday, Feit told a Maricopa County judge he will fight the return to Texas.

“This whole thing makes no sense to me because the crime in question took place in 1960,” Feit said, in a court video posted on the county website. “I’m totally puzzled why something is coming up now, after the fact.” Garza, a former Miss South Texas and second-grade school teacher, was last seen giving confession during Holy Week at Sacred Heart Catholic Church on April 16, 1960, according to the Texas Rangers cold case website.

Her body was found five days later in a nearby canal. An autopsy showed that Garza had been raped while comatose and died of suffocation.

imageYeah…doesn’t make sense at all…

Reporter’s Firing for Breaking Story on End of World War II in Europe Still Making Waves

In 1945, the AP fired its lead correspondent in Europe for breaking a major story – the end of war in Europe. Seventy years later, more than 100 of his journalism heirs are battling to repair his reputation. This week they nominated him posthumously for the Scripps Howard Award for distinguished reporting.

imageSaudi Arabia’s New Female Politicians in the Other Room

For women’s rights activists in Saudi Arabia, this year began with a thump.

It was going to be an exciting new era in Saudi Arabia — one in which women voted in elections and held office. Of the nearly 1,000 local council members elected in late 2015, roughly 20 of them were women for the first time ever.

But the moment was dulled when at least two of the female representatives tried to sit in council in the same room, at the same table, with their male counterparts. Some of the men said mixed-gender meetings are counter to Islamic law, a point liberals in Saudi Arabia hotly debate.

imageA couple of weeks later, Lama al-Sulaiman, one of the newly elected representatives and former Jeddah Chamber of Commerce vice-chair was on social media and in the press, the debate was raging about the unresolved issue of seats, but she was reserved.

“There is a pool of people that are more conservative and believe men and women should be segregated,” she explained. “And then you have a more moderate conservative that believe[s] men and women should be able to mix, especially on leadership positions or in decision-making positions.”

imageRead more on this at the link.

Other links in dump fashion:

House Approves Flint EPA Bill

Innocent people live undercover in U.S. jail for TV documentary | Reuters

Two cools things buried in President Obama’s budget, which Republicans aren’t even reading – AMERICAblog News

New test on racial issue in redistricting : SCOTUSblog

imageDenny’s Admits Making Black Customers Prepay Was No Grand Slam | Wonkette

Judge’s Ruling Shows the Sleazy Extent of the Center for Medical Progress Conspiracy – Little Green Footballs

Nuns Feeding San Francisco Homeless Face Eviction | Al Jazeera America

Fed’s Yellen Says Global Risks Threaten US Growth | Al Jazeera America

 

imageAs for Hillary…in her words: A Message from Hillary Clinton | Still4Hill

I wish tonight had gone differently.

But I know what it’s like to be knocked down — and I’ve learned from long experience that it’s not whether you get knocked down that matters. It’s about whether you get back up.

I’m ready to keep fighting, starting right now. If you’re with me, chip in $5.

Every day of my life, I try to practice what’s been called “the discipline of gratitude.” I try to be grateful for not just the good things — that’s easy — but for the hard things, too. Our struggles make us stronger — they give us a chance to reach beyond our grasp.

imageI’m so grateful tonight. I’m grateful for the thousands of volunteers and organizers who’ve worked their hearts out for this campaign, calling neighbors and knocking on doors.

I’m thankful for the 700,000 people and counting who’ve given to this campaign, the vast majority giving less than $100. I know that doesn’t fit with the narrative — there are those who want to deny the passion and purpose you all show every day for this campaign.

imageBut that’s not going to work. You’re the reason we’re here. You’re the reason we’re going to win this nomination and win this election.

The stakes are too high for us to let a single loss stop us in our tracks. America’s facing a lot of challenges, but I believe with all my heart that we can rise to meet them.

We can break through the barriers that hold people back — we can unleash the talent and potential of all our people. And when we do, there will be no limit to what this country can achieve.

imageIt starts with you. We’ve got 14 contests in the next three weeks, and with you by my side, I’m ready to take them on and win.

Chip in $5 if you’re ready, too:

https://www.hillaryclinton.com/donate/

Thank you,

Hillary

I don’t have much at all, but I signed up to donate 3 bucks a month to Hillary’s campaign. It is pathetic yes….but when you are taking it to the streets, you take what you can get.

This is an open thread.

 


Live Blog/Open Thread: New Hampshire Primary Results

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Here we Go!

New Hampshire is still voting, but the results will be coming in soon. As promised, here’s a fresh thread to discuss the outcomes on both sides, but feel free to discuss anything you wish. This is an open thread. Information is coming in from exit polls.

According to CNN, half of NH voters decided on a candidate in the past couple few days, just as I have been saying all along. CNN reports: Early exit polls: N.H. voters concerned with economy, government.

The early results of the New Hampshire exit polls find a Republican race centered on discontent with both the federal government and the Republican Party, where voters’ preferences remained unsettled until the final days of the contest.

Nearly half of GOP voters interviewed as they left their polling places around New Hampshire Tuesday said they didn’t make a final decision about whom to support until the last few days, and about two-thirds said recent debates were important to their choice.

Republican voters expressed deep worries about both the economy (three-quarters were very worried) and the threat of terrorism (6-in-10 very worried). About 9-in-10 said they were dissatisfied with the federal government, including about 4-in-10 who were angry about the way it was working. And for many, the dissatisfaction extends to the GOP itself. Half said they felt betrayed by politicians from the Republican Party, and about the same share said they wanted the next president to be from outside the political establishment.

Though Democrats voting on Tuesday were less apt to say they felt betrayed by their party or to express anger with the federal government, about three-quarters said they were worried about the economy. About 4-in-10 said they thought life for the next generation of Americans would be worse than life today, and 9-in-10 said they thought the nation’s economy favored the wealthy.

Still, Democrats who went to the polls Tuesday — to vote in a race featuring two seasoned politicians — were more apt than Republicans to say they wanted the next president to have experience in politics, only about one-quarter said they preferred a president from outside the political establishment.

Only about one-quarter of Democrats said they made up their minds in the final days of the contest, well below the share of Republicans deciding late.

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It also appears that independents have tended to vote Republican, which makes sense. It is more of a horse race than the Democratic side where Sanders has for some time been predicted to win handily.

NBC News: New Hampshire Exit Poll Results: Independent Voter Participation.

Early exit poll results show that 42 percent of Republican primary voters in this year’s race consider themselves to be political independents, and a similar 39 percent of voters in the Democratic primary think of themselves as independents.

In 2008, the last time both parties had an open nomination contest, slightly more voters in the Democratic primary (44 percent) identified themselves as independents than did voters in the Republican primary (37 percent).

In 2000, the share of independents in each primary was fairly comparable, just like this year — 40 percent in the Democratic primary and 41 percent in the Republican race.

woman exists voting booth, Laonia, NH

The LA Times has a different take: The independent, all-knowing New Hampshire voter and other election myths.

While voters in other states are accustomed to receiving a certain level of puffery, the New Hampshire voter is put on a pedestal that would make a Nobel laureate jealous….

“While there is a kernel of truth to many aspects of this caricature, it is primarily a myth,” write David Moore and Andrew E. Smith, a pair of University of New Hampshire professors who may not be invited to many more faculty teas.

Moore, a former senior editor of Gallup Poll and founder of the University of New Hampshire Survey Center, and Smith, a pollster who directs the University of New Hampshire Survey Center, lay out their case in a chapter of “The First Primary: New Hampshire’s Outsize Role in Presidential Politics,” released late last year, just in time to take all the joy from the primary season.

Their biggest beef is with the so-called independence of the New Hampshire voter. Though about 44% of the state’s residents are registered “undeclared,” only 15% actually call themselves independent in polls. They blame journalists for confusing the term “independent” with “undeclared,” a status many voters take either to avoid being identified publicly as a partisan or so they can vote in whichever party’s primary is most competitive.

But these undeclared voters may not have the impact they are credited with because they tend to show up at the polls less often than registered partisans.

The idea that independent voters can swing a primary election is also overstated, the authors conclude. Exit polls consistently show that candidates never win the top spot in their primaries without garnering the most support from registered members of their own parties.

And there is little evidence supporting the theory that undeclared voters use the open primary system to cause mischief by supporting a dolt in the party they most dislike.

new-hampshire-primary-election-vote-voting-booth

Mediaite has suggestions for live-streamng the results: How to Watch the New Hampshire Primary Results Live Stream Online.

I guess I’ll watch MSNBC unless it gets too unbearable. How do you plan to follow the results?

Again, use the comment thread to discuss the NH primary or any other topic that interests you. Frankly, I’ll be glad when we move on to Nevada and South Carolina.

Have fun!


Tuesday Reads: New Hampshire Primary Edition

NH1

Good Morning!!

I didn’t realize that the New Hampshire primary is 100 years old this year. Maybe it’s time to let another state go first–maybe one with a more diverse population? But for now, New Hampshire is what we’re stuck with.

Lately, every morning I have to psych myself up all over again to deal with the sexism and misogyny against Hillary. I never thought it could get worse than it was in 2008, but it really is a lot worse. That’s why my posts are always late these days. It takes me awhile to get my equilibrium back after reading political news and commentary the night before and then checking the headlines in the morning.

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I could stop reading the news, but I feel it’s important to keep up what what’s happening in real time. I have pretty much stopped watching TV though. Actually I never got back to watching TV much after I shut it off in 2008.

Maybe the fact that the misogyny is worse this year has something to do with the person at the top? As Michael Dukakis used to say, “The fish rots from the head down.”

Tom Watson tweeted about this today.

I’m going to share some of the things I’ve been reading, and get this thing posted. We will have a live blog tonight to discuss the NH results.

jfk_library_nh_630

Yesterday, Dakinikat wrote about the recent pile-on over remarks by Gloria Steinem and Madeline Albright. Last night, Jill Filipovic published an important defense of Steinem–not that it will have any impact on the Bernie bros.

Why Everyone’s Wrong About Gloria Steinem’s Controversial Comment.

Our feminist foremother has misbehaved. Gloria Steinem said young women only support Bernie Sanders because they want attention from boys. Can you believe it?

Don’t, because it’s not true. Despite media panting over feminist icons “scolding” young women,as the New York Times put it, and telling Sanders supporters “shame on you” (the Times, again), it’s not exactly the case that two batty old nags set out to wag their fingers at the sprightly young Bernie Babes. And those kinds of inaccurate, divisive characterizations do a disservice to honest political discourse about gender, feminism, and electoral politics.

Far from jumping on her soapbox to trash “kids today,” Steinem actually went on Bill Maher’s show last Friday to promote her new book, My Life on the Road, and had a bunch of good things to say about young women and feminism.

“I find the young women very activist and they’re way more feminist,” Steinem said. “We were, like, 12 crazy ladies in the beginning, and now it’s the majority. I do think that gratitude never radicalized anybody. I did not say thank you for the vote. I got mad on the basis of what was happening to me, and I think that that’s true of young women too. So they’re mad as hell because they’re graduating in debt, and they’re gonna earn a million dollars less over their lifetime to pay it back, they’re mad about what’s happening to them.”

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Interesting how that context has been left out of the media reports, isn’t it? So what did Steinem really say? Again, the context matters.

Maher pressed her on Sanders versus Clinton, saying that young women “really don’t like Hillary.” Steinem responded that overall, women and African-American voters strongly support Clinton, and that, unlike men, “women get more radical as we get older.”

“Men tend to get more conservative because they gain power as they age, and women tend to get more radical because they lose power as they age,” Steinem said. “It’s not fair to measure most women by the standard of most men, because they’re gonna get more activist as they grow older, and when you’re young, you’re thinking, Where are the boys, the boys are with Bernie.

It’s that last admittedly awkward line that got Steinem in hot water. Steinem “suggested younger women were just backing Mr. Sanders so that they could meet young men,” alleged the Times. According to Politico, “Feminist icon Gloria Steinem said that young women are supporting Bernie Sanders because they’re looking for boys.”

Bernie fans demanded an apology and Steinem did apologize–not that that will make the slightest difference to Sanders’ entitled, privileged followers.

11-1988, JAN 6 1991; Dukakis, Michael & Mrs. - Family; Gov. Mike Dukakis and wife Kitty with his daughters at the rally Sunday in Westminster.; (Photo By Jerry Cleveland/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

Another great read: a case for Hillary Clinton written by Ohio State graduate student Zachary Leven. I learned some things I didn’t know about Hillary’s actions and votes around bankruptcy from this excellent essay. This is a long excerpt, but I hope you’ll still go read the whole thing.

The case for Hillary Clinton is mostly a matter of rebutting the case against her. Once that’s done, you’re simply left with the most qualified candidate, and someone who is, by all reality-based measures, progressive (ranked the tenth most liberal senator). And just as important, someone who is capable of achieving results (I’ll conclude with the case against Sanders, and there’s a very, very strong case to make against him). We’ll start with this specific example, which I think is illustrative of the sorts of attacks we see made on Hillary. It begins with this video of an interview with Elizabeth Warren that’s been making its rounds on the internet….

Warren tells a story about the bankruptcy bill initially supported by the Clinton administration in the 1990’s. Warren wrote an op-ed opposing the bill on the grounds that it offered deadbeat dads a mechanism for cheating their ex-wives out of child support, along with a few other issues. After the op-ed was published, Hillary phoned Warren requesting a meeting. They met in private, and Warren proceeded to educate Hillary on this issue. She said that Hillary was a “quick study” and really “got it.” Hillary returned to Washington, and by all accounts, single-handedly turned around the administration’s support of this legislation. When the bill reached Clinton’s desk, he vetoed it….

The second part of the interview is where it gets quite damning. According to Warren, First Lady Clinton became Senator Clinton of New York, and then things changed. The same bankruptcy bill came through congress, and this time Hillary voted for it. When Warren is asked what changed, she replies (paraphrasing), “Hillary started receiving all this money from Wall Street, and they became her constituency.” ….

Did Hillary vote for this bill because she became beholden to special interests on Wall Street? What excuse does she have? Here’s her explanation in her own words:

I rise today in support of final passage of S. 420, the Bankruptcy Reform Act. Many of my colleagues may remember that I was a strong critic of the bill that passed out of the 106th Congress.

While we have yet to achieve the kind of bankruptcy reform I believe is possible, I have worked with a number of people to make improvements that bring us closer to our goals, particularly when it comes to child support. Women can now be assured that they can continue to collect child support payments after the child’s father has declared bankruptcy. The legislation makes child support the first priority during bankruptcy proceedings.

This year, we have made more progress. The Senate agreed to include a revised version of Senator Schumer’s amendment to ensure that any debts resulting from any act of violence, intimidation, or threat would be nondischargeable.

Earlier today, this body agreed to include a cap on the homestead exemption to ensure that wealthy debtors could not shield their wealth by purchasing a mansion in a state with no cap on homestead exemption.

In addition, I was concerned about competing nondischargeable debt so I worked hard with Senator Boxer to ensure that more credit card debt can be erased so that women who use their credit cards for food, clothing and medical expenses in the 90 days before bankruptcy do not have to litigate each and every one of these expenses for the first $750.

Let me be very clear — I will not vote for final passage of this bill if it comes back from conference if these kind of reforms are missing. I am voting for this legislation because it is a work in progress, and it is making progress towards reform.

Now I deeply respect and admire Elizabeth Warren — but it seems she left out some important details from her account. Clinton, in fact, worked with other members of congress to include amendments that addressed Elizabeth Warren’s concerns. And the bill passed 83–15. So why didn’t Warren mention this? I really have no idea — I’d love to ask her. Maybe she became so locked into this anti-bankruptcy bill stance, she couldn’t free herself from an oppositional frame of mind. Maybe Warren didn’t feel these amendments went far enough (but if that were true, why not mention that?) For whatever reason, the story Warren tells in this interview is incomplete. Clinton’s position on this bill was no different than that uber-conservative, Barbara Boxer.

Here’s what happened next — the bill went to the Republican controlled congress, they stripped out those amendments, sent the bill back to the senate, the Democrats filibustered the bill, and Clinton voted to uphold the filibuster. Another version of the bill later passed that Hillary opposed. So that woman Warren describes in the first part of her interview — the woman who “really gets it” — turns out that woman never changed after all (and currently, Warren speaks very highly of Hillary).

Poll-Who-Will-Win-the-2016-New-Hampshire-Primary-675x372

Also well worth reading is Melissa McEwan’s take on the bankruptcy story: Sure, But What About the Important People Who Matter?

We’ve all noticed that Bernie Sanders knows very little about foreign policy. Now Wall Street expert William Cohan writes at Vanity Fair that: Bernie Sanders Doesn’t Know Diddly-Squat About Wall Street.

Sanders is right that Wall Street still needs reform. The Dodd-Frank regulations fail to measure up; Wall Street lobbyists and $1000-an-hour attorneys work away each day to gut the meager reforms signed into law by President Barack Obama in July 2010. It is also unconscionable that Wall Street’s compensation system continues to reward bankers, traders, and executives to take big risks with other people’s money in hopes of getting big year-end bonuses. Thanks to this system, which has been prevalent since the 1970s, when Wall Street transformed itself from a bunch of undercapitalized private partnerships (where those partners had serious capital at risk every day) to a group of behemoth public companies (where the risk is borne by creditors and shareholders while the rewards go to the employees), Wall Street has become ground zero for one financial crisis after another.

But Sanders never talks about the compensation system on Wall Street. In fact, he rarely mentions anything concrete at all. Instead, he dwells on bizarre and nebulous notions such as imposing “a tax on Wall Street speculation,” as he did during his speech on Monday night. This tax, Sanders noted, will generate “hundreds of billions” of dollars in annual revenue and help pay for his proposed program to make tuition free at public colleges and universities.

But what exactly is Sanders proposing and does it make any sense? The answer to the first question is: it is difficult to tell. The candidate’s website does not really flesh out the idea, other than to say that the tax “will reduce risky and unproductive high-speed trading and other forms of Wall Street speculation.” If one goes back to a bill that Sanders introduced in the Senate last May, there is slightly more meat on these bones; still, the proposed legislation seems to have very little to do with actually taxing “Wall Street speculation” and more to do with taxing every trading transaction—the buying and selling of stocks and bonds and derivatives—that Wall Street and hedge funds engage in. This, of course, makes no sense whatsoever—why tax the very behavior the system depends upon?—and it is probably why Sanders’s legislation went nowhere and why he doesn’t talk about it anymore.

Even if Sanders eventually elaborates on his plan more fully, does taxing Wall Street speculation even make any sense? That one is simple: nope, and it actually reveals the candidate’s ignorance about our banking system.

Please read the rest at the link.

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I’m running out of space, so I’ll just share a few more links, headlines only.

Newsweek: The Best Historical Moments of the New Hampshire Primary.

Washington Post: A black Princeton professor says she was handcuffed to a table for her unpaid parking tickets. This woman has been tweeting that the cops are still harassing her, even calling her cell phone!

Ta-Nehisi Coates: A History of Liberal White Racism. How bigotry enabled progressive domestic policies of the early 20th century.

Huffington Post: #ItsNotOver: Why the One Year Anniversary of Natasha McKenna’s Death Matters. Natasha was tasered to death by police officers.

The People’s View: #DontBernMeBro: Why Sanders is Parroting GOP Talking Points on Obama’s Jobs Record.

Mike Konzal at the Roosevelt Institute: Why I (Still) Think Shadow Banking is Key to Financial Reform.

Alex Seitz-Wald at MSNBC: For Sanders, campaign finance purity not always possible.

Dana Millbank: Bernie Sanders is no revolutionary.

 

Hillary Clinton after winning the NH primary in 2008

Hillary Clinton after winning the NH primary in 2008

 

Have a great day, Sky Dancers and don’t let the haters get you down. What stories are you following today?

 

 


Lundi Gras Reads

Proteus floatSo, we’re headed into Mardi Gras 2016 down here in New Orleans.  Some big football game in some other city just wrapped up the season.  New Hampshire has its first in the country presidential primary tomorrow and somewhere out there Marco Rubio is having a terrible very bad day!  Yasssssss!!!  Oh, and Happy Year of the Male Fire Monkey!!! Tashi Losar! This is a very eventful lunar period in many ways.

Lundi Gras is the traditional resting day for us before the big day. My plans include making groceries at Rouse’s and picking up dog food at Bark Market. The Kings of Rex and Zulu will appear today. Today there is one parade. It’s the Krewe of Proteus which was founded in 1882.  Their floats are quite historical as they use the original chassis and keep many of their traditional designs.

The Krewe of Proteus parade is based on Egyptian mythology. Proteus was the son of Poseidon, herded Poseidon’s seals, the great bull seal at the center of the harem. He can tell the future, change his shape and will only answer to someone who can capture him.

The images today are historical drawings of old floats and costumes from Proteus.

Here’s some more information on Proteus from the NOLA History Guy.  One of the things he mentions is the Ordinance passed by the City Council to get Krewes to be more racially diverse.  The New Orleans Celebration does have some really deep roots in racism as well as class.

The Council’s unanimous vote came after leaders of six prominent, mostly white parade clubs had pledged to begin trying to integrate “racially and ethnically” by 1993.

Despite objections from civil rights advocates, the Council followed the recommendation of a committee appointed by Mayor Sidney Barthelemy to study the issue. The committee began its deliberations during the furor that arose after the law was proposed last fall by Councilwoman Dorothy Mae Taylor, who is black.

As passed by the Council in December, the ordinance, which takes effect in 1994, would have denied parade and liquor permits to any Carnival clubs, called krewes, that had membership barriers based on “race, creed, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex or sexual orientation, age, physical condition or disability.”

Krewes would have had the burden of proving they did not discriminate, and leaders of clubs found to be in violation would have been subject to a $300 fine and up to five months in jail. Watered Down Twice

In February, the Council deleted the jail-sentence provision and removed the burden of proof from the clubs, placing it instead on their accusers.

On Thursday the Council allowed krewes to remain all-male or all-female and softened enforcement of the law. The city now must dismiss any discrimination complaint against a krewe if the club submits an affidavit pledging that it does not discriminate. Change Called ‘Absurd’

If you’d like to read more on this, I suggest  Jame’s Gills’ Book Lords of Misrule: Mardi Gras and the Politics of Race in New Orleans. I read it last year and it was quite enlightening.

I’ve been thinking about these things because of Beyonce and the release of her new video Formation which is fierce by any standard09oc-archives-1jpg-6b58d99c866504f9.  She’s gone full throttle social justice advocate for women, girls, and African Americans. It’s got slaps at the response to Katrina and a major nod to BLM.  It openly celebrates female sexuality too. She sang at that football game whose name I just can’t quite recall.  Responses to both video and performance include a plethora of items that show our country just cannot get beyond the racial divide. Panther’s quarterback Cam Newton and Beyonce have both been the subject of some rather nasty Twitters and such.

Members of the National Sheriffs’ Association meeting in Washington turned their backs on Beyonce during a Super Bowl halftime party, angered the NFL allowed her to sing a song they consider anti-police.

The Association told Secrets that when Beyonce performed a snippet of her hit “Formation,” the sheriffs holding their annual legislative meeting at the J.W. Marriott turned off the volume and video.

The video is marvelously controversial and includes scenes of New Orleans and the wonderful voice of our own Queen Diva Big Freedia.   You can believe the internet is alive with chatter.

Dee: Beyoncé has been accused of not caring enough about Black Lives Matter and of being a bad feminist (or not one at all); on “Formation,” she raises two middle fingers to all sides of her Illuminati-truthing haters with a bold intersection of the two fights. She is a black feminist, full stop. This is a video made for women — she speaks directly to “ladies” in the song’s blazing call to action — and it is clear she is done living for the will and want of men (and has been for a minute, actually). She’s “so possessive” of Jay Z’s love and his power that she wears his “Roc necklaces.” (Still, Hov’s got the hottest chick in the game wearing his chain.) She won’t stand by and watch young black women snatch their noses so far that they can no longer take pride in their Jackson 5 nostrils.

This is a new negro spiritual hymn, one that hits me deeper than Kendrick’s “Alright,” because every look, every lyric, every outfit, every moment is a statement of Black Girl Magic. Of course, I’m moved by that fly little black boy in a hoodie who joyfully dances in front of a barricade of white cops in riot gear. But I’m politically inspired when Beyoncé gives the Black Power salute atop a New Orleans cop car. Am I reaching to call this a protest song? I just can’t get “Mississippi Goddam” out of my head when I see it.

Then, there’s the Cam  “controversy”.   I admit to seeing none of it but being caught in the Twitterstorm that followed.

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton showed his personality all season with his dabbin’ and dancing.

Many loved him for it.

Some criticized him for it.

The 2015 league MVP showed his personality again after Sunday night’s 24-10 loss to Denver in Super Bowl 50 with short answers and an abrupt exit from his postgame news conference.

It wasn’t pretty. The player known for his infectious smile and designer attire answered seven questions with a frown and black hoodie pulled over his head.

It’ll get Newton more criticism than love.

But it was raw emotion just like his dabbin’.

Newton hates to lose, and he wears that emotion on his sleeve as boldly as he wore those Versace zebra-print pants on the trip to California.

Continue reading that article and you’ll see that Cam’s labelled as having “childlike behavior”.  Now the best I can be is a white ally but that description is not what I’d imagine one should say about a grown black f1b82a2fef3a2ee2f0dd92581a464875man who even thought he makes that much money basically tossing balls around in a game. With so much shit coming down in the world and this country, you would think that folks could be more upset by the level of child poverty in the country, the poisoning of children in a poor community by a state government, or say sending drone attacks down on a village.  But, no, we get all excited about a game and some artistic expression. And, it variably turns into a white denial of institutional racism on parade.

Or, you could be like me and be genuinely upset by assholes running to be the leader of the Free World like the aforementioned Marco Rubio.  I really hope the man has a horrid week because THIS. I want his goose cooked until its cinder.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) promised on Sunday that he would sign an abortion ban as president that provided exceptions for rape even though he preferred for pregnant victims to have their rapists’ babies.

Following a Saturday night’s Republican Presidential Debate on ABC News, host George Stephanopoulos noted during a Sunday interview that Rubio had been hammered for his belief that abortion was wrong even in cases of rape or incest.

“Abortion to me is not a political issue,” Rubio insisted. “It’s a human rights issue. And so, if [Jeb Bush] wants to make it a political issue, that’s his right. For me, it’s not.”

“I do require an exception for life of the mother because I’m pro-life,” he continued. “Number two, as I’ve said, if they pass a law in Congress that has exceptions, I’ll sign it. Because I want to save lives.”

“What do you say to that mom when you look her in the eye?” the ABC host wondered.

“It’s a terrible situation,” Rubio replied. “I mean, a crisis pregnancy, especially as a result of something as horrifying as that, I’m not telling you it’s easy. I’m not here saying it’s an easy choice. It’s a horrifying thing that you’ve just described.”

“I get it,” he added. “I really do. And that’s why this issue is so difficult. But I believe a human being, an unborn child has a right to live, irrespective of the circumstances of which they were conceived. And I know that the majority of Americans don’t agree with me on that.”

“And that’s why any law that passed will almost certainly have exceptions. And I’ll sign it.”

ed36c3a2d6a677d0aac1ad3ef3729a6eThat’s right neighborly of him.

Those of you that actually watched the debate with us on Saturday night know that Chris Christie went after Rubio with a relish and Rubio folded like an empty sack of flour.  We’ve frequently talked about Rubio’s penchant for sounding like he’s speaking from memorized 3×5 index cards.  You know, the kind that they used in high school bates backed in the day. Christie nailed him on it and all Rubio did was repeat the same thing over about 4 times.   The polls have taken a turn. Rubio is no longer the flavor of the month and the Twitter and Gifs have not been kind either.

An internal poll conducted on Sunday suggests that Marco Rubio’s fumbled debate performance has damaged his prospects heading into the New Hampshire primary.

The poll, conducted by the pro-John Kasich New Day for America Super PAC, shows Rubio plummeting to fourth place in the primary here, with 10 percent of the vote. Most of the polling conducted in the immediate days before the debate showed Rubio in second place.

The survey, which was based on phone calls to 500 likely voters (margin of error plus or minus 3 percent), was conducted Sunday, the day following the latest Republican debate. Rubio came under scathing attack from Chris Christie, who cast the first term Florida senator as too unready, ambitious, and superficial to occupy the Oval Office.

Donald Trump holds a wide lead in the survey, receiving 35 percent. He more than doubles runner-up Kasich, who has 15 percent. In third is Jeb Bush, with 13 percent. Behind Rubio in fifth and sixth place, respectively, are Christie and Ted Cruz. Both receive 8 percent.

The results are welcome news for Kasich and Bush, both of whom have made New Hampshire the centerpiece of the primary campaigns. Strong performances on Tuesday will give them reason to fight on to the South Carolina primary, which will be held Feb. 20.

So, what’s more important in the scheme of things?  A football game, a video, the potential return of another Bush?  Oh, and of course, Rubio’s a Republican so it’s the media’s fault for emphasizing that he repeated10562275-large the same damned thing about Obama 4 times.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) sent a fundraising email Monday that passed off New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s (R) attacks on the freshman senator’s canned talking points as a controversy ginned up by the media.

The email said the media pounced on the Rubio campaign’s “building momentum” by making hay out of the fact that the senator “pointed out a few times” during Saturday’s Republican presidential debate “that President Obama has been very deliberate about achieving his bad policies.”

“This isn’t the first time the media has tried to distract people,” the email read. “We can’t afford to let the media get away with this.”

Rubio had said some variation of the line, “Barack Obama is undertaking an effort to change this country, to make America more like the rest of the world,” four times during the debate. Christie repeatedly attacked Rubio’s repetition on the stage, calling the Obama line the senator’s “memorized 25-second speech.”

In the fundraising email, which didn’t mention Christie, Rubio said he would stick with the language.

Good luck with that.

If I wanted to give you all a headache, I’d start in on how horrible MoDo was this weekend.  But, BNR has done it for me so I’ll leave it at that.

Dowd is the leading purveyor of Rovian anti-Hillary memes, sophisticated negative character frames crafted in conservative oppo shops to undermine Hillary’s candidacy. Dowd believes that as a woman, she is immune from claims of sexism, so her Hillary-bashing screeds are bursting at the seams with blatantly sexist language, lies and innuendo.

Her latest column includes the following verbatim phrases:

  • Hillary still has not learned the art of seduction on stage
  • Overplays her feminist hand
  • Feels too competitive with her husband
  • Bill could tell her not to shout her way through rallies, adding to her authenticity problem
  • Her campaign cries sexism too often
  • Hillary huffily said…
  • And she’s still not likable enough for the young women who were supposed to carry her forward as a Joan of Arc.
  • With Hillary, there are three things [that make her stupid]: sex, money and the need for secrecy.
  • Nixonian obsession with secrecy by the woman who was once an idealistic lawyer
  • Hillary was there sucking at the teat
  • She tried to drag in others to excuse her own ethically lax behavior

Dowd’s hate masquerading as an editorial is nothing new. She’s been doing this for two decades. But she got sloppy this time, slipping in a line accusing America’s first African American president of “using race” to get elected:

Then there’s the pile on the Big Dawg for a few things he said in a speech and what Madeline Albright said in a speech and what Gloria Steinem said in a speech. Yes, BernieBros, the Clintons control the media narrative. You can sure tell it by the nasty ass coverage of all this including the ginning up of your basic catfight.

Nearly defeated in Iowa, trailing in New Hampshire, and worried about everywhere else,Hillary Clinton’s campaign is bringing out the big guns, releasing political kraken Bill Clinton and summoning feminist icons Gloria Steinem and Madeleine Albright to reclaim young female voters who have flocked to Bernie Sanders.

In a sign that the formerly inevitable nominee is growing anxious, Bill went all-out against Sanders during a speech Sunday in New Hampshire that sparingly mentioned the Vermont senator by name, but implied that he was a hypocrite whose ideals were untethered to reality. “When you’re making a revolution, you can’t be too careful with the facts,” he sniped, according to The New York Times. But Bill didn’t stop there, accusing the Sanders campaign of fomenting the alleged “Bernie Bro” phenomenon, described by Politicoas a group “who harass female Clinton supporters online and accuse them of ‘voting with their vagina’ and call them ‘bitches.’” Condemning what he called “vicious trolling,” Bill said the attacks on his wife are “literally too profane … not to mention sexist.” (Sanders has denounced any sexism among the ranks of his supporters, saying misogyny has no place in his campaign.)

But Bill was not alone in his unusually harsh words for Sanders and his supporters. The Clinton campaign also tapped Steinem and Albright, two prominent, glass-ceiling-shattering women, to join in chastising young female voters for not supporting one of their own. “We can tell our story of how we climbed the ladder, and a lot of you younger women think it’s done,” Albright said Saturday during a Hillary event, according to The New York Times. “It’s not done. There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other!” Steinem, never one to mince words, suggested Friday on Real Time with Bill Maher that young women are supporting Sanders’s campaign because “the boys are with Bernie.” Steinem and Albright both received significant backlash for their comments, with the Times reporting that some young women were insulted by the suggestion that they were “misinformed and stupid” for not voting along gendered lines.

The series of seemingly coordinated moves underscores how much Clinton, who made women’s rights a core mission during her time as secretary of state, has stumbled with female voters. Recent polls suggestthat women under 35 overwhelmingly prefer Sanders by a 20-point margin, citing their disapproval of Clinton’s Wall Street ties and her less progressive positions on economic problems like student debt and a weak job market for entry-level positions. Hillary hasn’t recovered well from these attacks, recently refusing to release transcripts of her speeches to large banks and organizations—for which she received compensation well into the six figures—unless everyone else “who’s ever given a speech to any private group under any circumstances” does so as well.

Since this is getting long, I’m going to let you add the links to the criticism for all that if you want along with your thoughts.  Or, we can talk about what kind of challenges we have in this country and who is the best to deal with them.

Meanwhile, did you know there’s a video with a black woman suggesting that the police should stop killing unarmed black people and that a black quarterback with his own kind’ve style upset reporters by leaving a presser early?

What’s on your reading and blogging list today?


Sunday Reads: Full Moons, Wise Cracks and Smart Asses

 


According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac:

“February’s full Moon is traditionally called the Full Snow Moon because usually the heaviest snows fall in February.”

Under normal circumstances you would have to wait until February 22nd to see that Full Snow Moon in all of its bright brilliant glory.

 

Well…luckily for you, I have found a couple of fine examples above that is available now….for your viewing pleasure. No waiting.

 

Today’s theme therefore is full of moons, wisecracks and smartasses.

 

image

We will also touch on a few other nonsense news and features that you can take without reaching for the pills and cigarettes….or whatever it is that gets you through your day.

 

image

 

Let’s begin…

 

…On a serious note.

Updates on the earthquake that hit Taiwan yesterday.

Death toll rises to 34 in southern Taiwan earthquake | Society | FOCUS TAIWAN – CNA ENGLISH NEWS

Taipei, Feb. 8 (CNA) The number of people who died in a magnitude 6.4 earthquake that struck southern Taiwan early Saturday has risen to 34 as of 9:55 p.m. Sunday, according to official figures.

Rescue works has been continuing for the 121 who were believed to be trapped in a 16-story residential building in Tainan City’s Yongkang District.

imageThe quake, centered at the Meilong district of Kaohsiung City at 03:57 a.m. Saturday, has toppled nine buildings in Tainan, injured 515 people and left 121 unaccounted.

A total of 310 have been rescued, with 100 of them rushed to hospitals for treatments.

More Than 100 Still Trapped From Taiwan Earthquake | Al Jazeera America

Dozens still trapped a day after Taiwan earthquake – CBS News

26 Dead, More Than 100 Still Trapped After Earthquake Hits Taiwan | TIME

 

imageLink to photo galleries:

 

Taiwan Quake – Deadly quake strikes Taiwan – Pictures – CBS News

 

In addition to this deadly quake, I’ve got a few other serious stories before we get to the fun. I’ll include some pictures of cracks in the earth…these are not from yesterday’s Taiwan earthquake. (Got it?)

 

Radioactive water leaks into groundwater at Indian Point – NY Daily News

Radioactive water overflowed into the groundwater at the upstate Indian Point nuclear power plant, officials said Saturday.

img_2995Gov. Cuomo said the plant’s operator, Entergy, reported “alarming levels” of radioactivity at three monitoring wells, with one well’s radioactivity increasing nearly 65,000%.

The Buchanan plant reported that the contamination did not migrate offsite and does not pose a threat to public health.

imageI don’t want to say bullshit without getting the full story….but….considering Flint, Porter Ranch, BP Gulf Spill and countless other man made environmental disasters. Cough. Cough. BULLSHIT.

If you live up in that area of NY. Be warned.

Cuomo said he was informed of the tritium-contaminated water leak Friday and asked the Department of Environmental Conservation and the Department of Health to investigate the incident.

“Our first concern is for the health and safety of the residents close to the facility and ensuring the groundwater leak does not pose a threat,” Cuomo said.

imageThe site, roughly 35 miles north of New York City, has been under increased scrutiny from Cuomo and other officials following several incidents. In December, Cuomo ordered an investigation into Indian Point after a series of unplanned shutdowns, citing potential risks to both the city and surrounding suburbs.

Highly radioactive leak discovered at Indian Point nuclear plant – CBS News

The leak occurred after a drain overflowed during a maintenance exercise while workers were transferring water, which has high levels of radioactive contamination, said Neil Sheehan, a spokesman for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Normally, a sump pump would take the water and filter it into another treatment system, but the pump apparently was out of service, Sheehan said. After the drain overflowed, the water seeped out of the building into the groundwater.

imageIt was unclear how much water spilled, but samples showed the water had a radioactivity level of more than 8 million picocuries per liter, a 65,000 percent increase from the average at the plant, Cuomo said. The levels are the highest regulators have seen at Indian Point, and the normal number is about 12,300 picocuries per liter, Cuomo said.

Contaminated groundwater would likely slowly make its way to the Hudson River, Sheehan said, but research has shown that water usually ends up in the middle of the river and is so diluted that the levels of radioactivity are nearly undetectable.image

“We don’t believe there’s any concern for members of the public,” Sheehan said. “First of all, this water’s not going anywhere immediately — and, again, because of the dilution factor, you wouldn’t even be able to detect it were you to take a direct sample.”

Read the rest of the snow job at the links.

BTW, update on Porter Ranch:

California Utility Faces Criminal Charges Over Ongoing Gas Leak : The Two-Way : NPR

 

image

 

On with other serious stories, but I can safely make some sarcastic wisecrack smartass remarks about them…and just barely feel guilty about it.

Did ya hear the one about a Chicago cop who shoots and kills this black teenager and 55 year old woman…then turns around and sues the kids estate for 10 million dollars. (Yes, I said 10 miiilllion dollars.)

Chicago cop who shot teen sues family for $10 million – NY Daily News

Officer Robert Rialmo has filed a $10 million suit over a shooting that left a mentally ill teen and his unsuspecting neighbor dead.

RACHAEL LEVY VIA VIMEO
Officer Robert Rialmo has filed a $10 million suit over a shooting that left a mentally ill teen and his unsuspecting neighbor dead.

imageA Chicago cop who fatally shot a mentally ill college student in December — as well as the teen’s unsuspecting neighbor — is now suing the dead teen’s family for $10 million, claiming the killings gave him “extreme emotional trauma.”

Officer Robert Rialmo filed the staggering suit Friday over his contested killing of 19-year-old Quintonio LeGrier, a Northern Illinois University sophomore. The officer also accidentally killed Bettie Jones, 55, who was standing nearby, according to police.

The slain student’s family immediately slammed the suit, which comes amid the exploding scandal over deadly, racially motivated police tactics in Chicago.

image“After this coward shot a teenager in the back … he has the temerity to sue him?” LeGrier’s family attorney, Basileios Foutris told the Chicago Tribune.

“That’s a new low for the Chicago Police Department.”

No. I think the Chicago PD can go lower…anyone want to place some bets?

Rialmo shot LeGrier six times on Dec. 26 after the teen made three calls to 911, making vague but distressed remarks about an “emergency” he said needed a police response. The gunfire erupted after LeGrier rushed at the officer while swinging a baseball bat, according to police, with one shot passing through the teen and striking his neighbor.

Rialmo’s suit says LeGrier “took a full swing” with the bat at Rialmo after the officer arrived at his home, just missing the cop’s head by a few inches. After Rialmo stepped back and LeGrier refused orders to drop the bat, the teen followed the officer outside and took another swing, forcing Rialmo to act in self-defense, the suit says.

image“Rialmo reasonably believed that if he did not use deadly force against LeGrier, that LeGrier would kill him,” the suit says.

The two deaths that resulted from the fatal encounter will “continue to cause…extreme emotional trauma” to the officer, according to the suit, which asks for a “sum in excess of $10,000,000” for damages.

Yeah, that full swing “missing the cop’s head by a few inches” justified the murder of two people….I can see why Rialmo would “continue to cause…extreme emotional trauma”. Best for him to go ahead and sue the family of the kid he shot in the back for the $10,0000,000. (That is a mutha load of fukken zeros.)

imageRialmo’s suit contradicts the story given by LeGrier’s family in their wrongful death suit, which said the teen was inside his building and shot by the cop from the outside. The family’s suit also said LeGrier did nothing to threaten Rialmo or anyone else on the scene, and was not involved in any illegal activity at the time.

The suits come months into Chicago’s continuing crisis of police killing black men who are either unarmed or not presenting an immediate threat to officers. In many of the cases, including this one, the officer responsible for the death was white.

Protests over police tactics and alleged coverups led to the ousting of the Chicago’s top cop last year, and calls for Mayor Rahm Emanuel to step down. The most infamous case — the death of Laquan McDonald, a black teenager who was shot by a white officer 16 times — led to the city settling with the teen’s family for $5 million.

Rialmo’s attorney accused LeGrier’s family of trying to ride the wave of city actions against cops.

“Ever since the McDonald payoff, people are treating officer-involved confrontations like a lottery ticket and they’re waiting to cash it in,” Brodsky told the Tribune.

imageWait a minute….who is treating this officer-involved confrontation as a lottery ticket? The murdering cop Rialmo? Or LeGrier’s family? I think that Brodsky dude has to get to Ted Cruz campaign on the double…and go to work as the campaign’s lead counsel.

This next link should make all the PLUBs happy!

Y’all know what PLUB stands for….Pro-Life-Until-Birth.

After Texas stopped funding Planned Parenthood, low-income women had more babies – LA Times

Innit a wonderful headline. More former fetuses for Republican pricks to fuck off.

…state of Texas’ sustained campaign against Planned Parenthood and other family planning clinics affiliated with abortion providers appears to have led to an increase in births among low-income women who lost access to affordable and effective birth control, a new study says.

imageThe analysis, published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine, documents a significant increase in births among women who had previously received birth control at clinics that no longer get state funding.

The researchers, from the Population Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin, say their findings offer a sneak peek of what may happen in other states that have cut funding to Planned Parenthood.

It is just what is coming to a state near you!

Lawmakers in Arkansas, Alabama, New Hampshire, Louisiana, North Carolina and Utah have enacted policies to keep public funds out of Planned Parenthood clinics. Ohio is expected to be the next state to follow suit.

imageThese laws “definitely” had a real impact on women, said study leader Joseph Potter, a sociologist at the university. “It’s not like there is a large, over-capacity of highly qualified providers of effective contraception out there just waiting for people to show up,” he said.

More Medicaid Births Follow Planned Parenthood Ouster via Texas Observer

Comparing quarterly medical and pharmaceutical claims from 2011 to 2014, researchers with theTexas Policy Evaluation Project (TxPEP) found that 35 percent fewer patients received highly effective intrauterine devices (IUDs) and implants — known as long-acting, reversible contraception (LARC) — over the four-year period. Claims for the injectable Depo shot, which requires follow up every three months, decreased by 31 percent. Researchers found that the rate of Medicaid-covered deliveries among women in the Depo group then increased by 27 percent.

imageThe reduction in claims, said lead author Amanda Stevenson, highlights the fact that despite recent state efforts to recruit more providers, and claims of success without Planned Parenthood, patients have lost services.

“The reproductive health safety net cannot just absorb all of the demand for highly effective contraception when you remove Planned Parenthood from the network,” Stevenson told the Observer. TxPEP’s findings, she said, “directly contradict” claims “that Planned Parenthood can be removed from federally-funded healthcare programs and other providers will just step up to pick up the slack.”

imageIn 2011, Texas lawmakers voted to kick Planned Parenthood out of the Medicaid Women’s Health Program, which the federal government deemed a violation of federal law. Rather than support a program that denied patients the provider of their choosing, the feds yanked a $9-to-$1 match in funds at the end of 2012, and Texas dropped the women’s Medicaid program entirely. In 2013, Texas insteadlaunched the state-funded TWHP replacement program — without Planned Parenthood. Since then, state health officials and lawmakers have boasted that the new program has more than 4,000 providers, and claimed that others could easily fill the void.

The new TxPEP data suggests otherwise.

No shit.

imageI could do a whole post on this alone. But I move on to another story that highlights the crazy in crazy ass?

<—–That is one crazy ass if you ask me.

Anyway, check it out…Wheaton will not fire professor over Muslim worship comments, but she will leave college – The Washington Post

So the college hasn’t “fired” her…she is leaving on her own accord.

Wheaton College political science professor Larycia Hawkins has decided to part ways with the college just five days before a faculty hearing was scheduled to help decide her fate at the school, according to an email from president Philip Ryken to the campus on Saturday.

image“The Administration and Dr. Hawkins have come to a place of resolution and reconciliation,” Ryken said in his email. “With a mutual desire for God’s blessing, we have decided to part ways.”

In a separate email to the faculty, Wheaton provost Stan Jones said in an email Saturday that he has withdrawn charges for firing Hawkins and asked Hawkins for forgiveness.

“I asked Dr. Hawkins for her forgiveness for the ways I contributed to the fracture of our relationship, and to the fracture of Dr. Hawkins’ relationship with the College,” he wrote.

imageJones wrote that he apologized for his “lack of wisdom and collegiality” in his original contact with Hawkins, which was through another colleague, as opposed to through direct contact.

Hawkins was placed on administrative leave on Dec. 15 after she published a Facebook post suggesting that Christians and Muslims worship the same God. The statement set off a wave of controversy across the country amid larger debates about the role of Muslims in America.

Hey, what is a moon post without some space news.

Starting with an obit:

Astronaut Edgar Mitchell: A legacy of research and moon walking – CSMonitor.com

Edgar Mitchell, the first astronaut to have both a doctorate degree (an Sc.D. from MIT) and a track record as a successful test pilot, was the sixth human ever to walk on the moon.

Apollo astronaut Edgar Mitchell poses in front of his mission patch in an undated picture released by NASA. Mitchell, lunar module pilot on Apollo 14 and one of only 12 men to walk on the moon, passed away Thursday in West Palm Beach, Florida.

NASA/Reuters/File

NASA announced Friday that astronaut Edgar Mitchell passed away on Thursday, just one day before the 45th anniversary of his moon landing.

imageDr. Mitchell was the lunar module pilot on Apollo 14, which launched in Jan. 31, 1971. He traveled to space alongside Alan Shephard and Stuart A. Roosa.

“As a member of the Apollo 14 crew, Edgar is one of only 12 men to walk on the moon,” said NASA administrator Charles Bolden in a statement, “and he helped to change how we view our place in the universe.”

In a 1997 interview for NASA’s oral history program, Mitchell said he was committed to becoming an astronaut as soon as he heard about Sputnick.

“I set my cap toward amassing qualifications that I thought would be attractive to NASA in 1957. It took nine years, but I got a doctorate, got additional flight experience, additional jet hours, was assigned to the Manned Orbiting Laboratory Program for a while, so, getting space management experience. All of that went on for nine years till I was selected in 1966….

image“I’ve been devoted to that, to exploration, education, and discovery since my earliest years, and that’s what kept me going.”

Born in Texas during the Great Depression, he became an astronaut in 1966, after receiving an Sc.D. in Aeronautics and Astronautics from MIT in 1964.

Prior to his own trip to space, Mitchell worked on several Apollo projects. He was a member of the team that worked to bring Apollo 13 home after an oxygen tank explosion damaged the space craft.

There is more to read about the man at the link but I thought this was interesting:

imageAs a researcher, Mitchell was fascinated by the idea of consciousness. During the Apollo 14 mission, Mitchell conducted his own experiments on extrasensory perception, also known as thought transference.

While the other astronauts, Shephard and Command Module pilot Stuart Roosa, were sleeping, Mitchell experimented with mind reading. He concentrated on prearranged symbols while four contacts at home attempted to guess what he was thinking about. Approximately a quarter of the guesses were correct.

imageThe experiments changed his life. In an interview with People magazine three years later, Mitchell said, “It was euphoric, one of those rare moments in life when you seemed to be able to reach out and touch the universe, when you had an intuitive flash about the real meaning of truth.”

He also felt that Nasa was covering proof that aliens had visited earth.

More at the link.

After Death Of Edgar Mitchell, Where Are The Apollo Moon Walkers Today? : SCIENCE : Tech Times

imageMore spacey linkage:

North Korean rocket puts object into space, angers neighbours, U.S. | Reuters

With its mirror complete, giant space telescope on track for 2018 launch | Ars Technica

NASA’s Computer Model Of The Sun’s Magnetic Fields Could Prevent Disaster : SCIENCE : Tech Times

NASA has built a moving computer model of the sun’s magnetic fields, aiming to help educate people on how magnetic fields work and show how those fields could result in a disaster.

Magnetic Field

 Photo : NASA Goddard | YouTube

Video at the link.

Other science-ish links:

Rare Snow Rollers Form Across Idaho | Mental Floss

10 Spectacular Geologic Formations And Events Of Ancient Earth – Listverse

imageCan Head Injury Cause Dementia? Alzheimer’s-Like Brain Plaques Seen In People With Past Traumatic Brain Injuries : LIFE : Tech Times

Modern Medicine Explains Why Your Desire To Punch Ted Cruz In The Face Is Completely Natural

Fucking I knew it!!!!! There had to be a reason the man makes me physically ill….with an overpowering urge to knock the shit out of him!!!!!

Germans call it Backpfeifengesicht. It’s a colloquialism which translated means “a face that needs to be hit.” However, you don’t need to be German to want to punch Ted Cruz in the face. While there hasn’t been any formal polling on the question, I personally would feel safe wagering money on it being over 50 percent of America. But what does this all mean? Are we a nation of unreasonable bullies for wanting this?

imageDoctor Richard Cytowic has taken some time to explain to America why they are not a nation of bad people for their burning desire to smash a knuckle sandwich into Ted Cruz’s jaw. It turns out this is all a very natural and very scientific thing we are experiencing.

While I would never actually suggest someone would do something like punch Ted Cruz in the face (I’m not suggesting they don’t either), the feeling that you want to means you are operating at a normal mental state – so just enjoy the feeling and embrace it within reason.

Dr. Cytowic explained that humans learn to read facial expressions from the day they are born. It’s one of our most rudimentary and instinctual means of communication. Our brains have had a million years of practice at reading facial expressions, generating an instant like or imagedislike of the person that they are attached to. To put it more simply, it’s an evolutionary survival trait to determine friend from foe, and our brains are extremely good at it by now.

With this in mind, it explains a lot about why practically everyone hates Ted Cruz. It isn’t just his policy. There are oodles of idiot Republicans we could hate for that same reason. Ted brings out a more visceral and emotional reaction, unlike most others. Even among his fellow Republicans nobody likes him, and that says a lot.

Dr. Cytowic goes on to describe how Cruz’s facial expressions do not shift the way normal Human expression does. He has rarely observed a normal smile from Ted Cruz. In a normal smile the corners of the mouth go up, and the muscles circling the eyes contract making them narrow and forming crow’s feet at the outside corners. When it comes to Ted, his mouth just tightens into a straight line, and on the rare occasion that it deviates from this, the corners bend downward.  The outside of his eyes bend downward as well, which is completely opposite of what is normal, as the eyebrows typically bend upwards.

imageTo put it simply, Ted Cruz has a look of disgust on his face that only gets worse when he tries to look happy and smile. It’s like he is some kind of anti-politician, because you would think that someone who has his kind of fan base would naturally be able to express themselves more pleasantly. So remember, when you see Ted on TV and you want to throw something at the screen, it means you’re ok because it’s only natural.

Next up…from Cracked Magazine:

6 Modern Day Tech Advances (That Your Grandparents Had) | Cracked.com

imageThe 5 Most Idiotic Attempts To Save A Life (That Worked) | Cracked.com

And don’t forget the Super Bowl is tonight. I don’t know, the commercials are what they used to be…

6 Terrible Super Bowl Ads You Won’t Believe Actually Ran | Cracked.com

Did you see this from last night’s SNL:

Watch SNL’s Larry David-Bernie Sanders Sketches — Vulture

Because I truly feel that Bernie is just as big of an asshole prick as Larry David…

The only one to see is this one:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nn4tP7ogWIA

Another link to assholery: The Right Celebrated Trayvon Martin’s Birthday…By Being Disgusting A-Holes (SCREENSHOTS)

And finally…some great old pictures.

Wiseguys and Tough ass punks:

Skeeters Branch Newsies: 1910 | Shorpy Historic Picture Archive

SHORPY_05319.preview

Tough Guys: 1975 | Shorpy Historic Picture Archive

SHORPY-40519u.preview

And a few beauties to swoon and moon over:

We Had Faces Then — Tyrone Power, 1930′s

Tyrone Power, 1930′s

We Had Faces Then — James Dean, Los Angeles, 1955, photo by Roy Schatt

James Dean, Los Angeles, 1955, photo by Roy Schatt

We Had Faces Then — Remembering silent film star  Ramon Novarro  on…

Remembering silent film star  Ramon Novarro  on his birthday (6 February 1899 – 30 October 1968)

 

He was a leading romantic and action star in the late 1920’s with hits such asBen-Hur,Across to Singapore (with Joan Crawford) and The Student Prince in Old Heidelburg (with Norma Shearer). I find him very effective in a speaking part as a love struck soldier in Mata Hari with Greta Garbo.

 

He struggled throughout his life as a gay man who was also a fervent Catholic. He refused MGM’s arrangement of a “lavender” marriage, preferring to live somewhat openly with journalist Herbert Howe. He was murdered in 1968 by two young hustlers who thought he had a lot of money. They beat him to death, and got away with just $20.

 

Have a great afternoon…this is an open thread.

And enjoy this slideshow of paper moons…..some images were not used in the post above.

 

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Live Blog/Open Thread: ABC News New Hampshire Republican Debate

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I just noticed there’s a GOP debate tonight. Why is the RNC hiding it on a Saturday night?? Are they trying to making things easier for Marco Rubio or what? /snark

I don’t know how many of you plan to watch it, but here’s a fresh thread just in case. And Bernie Sanders is going to be on Saturday Night Live later on. I know everyone will want to tune in for that. /snark x 2

ABC News: 

ABC News is unveiling its candidate lineup for Saturday night’s Republican presidential debate in Manchester, New Hampshire.

The network will extend invitations to the following candidates:Donald Trump, Sen. Ted Cruz, Sen. Marco Rubio, Dr. Ben Carson, former Gov. Jeb Bush, Gov. Chris Christie and Gov. John Kasich.

The debate is slated for Saturday, Feb. 6, and coverage begins at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. It will be moderated by “World News Tonight” anchor David Muir and Chief Global Affairs Correspondent and co-anchor of “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” Martha Raddatz.

ABC News will be hosting the debate with the Independent Journal Review, and in partnership with the Republican National Committee. Additional questions will come from WMUR political director Josh McElveen and conservative journalist Mary Katharine Ham.

Why do the Republicans get special right wing questioners? Aren’t the regular corporate frauds good enough?

So go ahead and document the atrocities–if you dare to watch! Live stream at ABC News. You can also treat this as an open thread to discuss whatever you wish.