Biden dropped 9 points to 17 percent after his dismal performance in Iowa, followed close behind by former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg, who rose 7 points to 15 percent, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who dropped 1 point to 14 percent.
Last night MSNBC reported on primary results in three small towns in New Hampshire where voting starts at midnight. Not that it means anything yet, but Amy Klobuchar came out on top.
Dixville Notch kicked off the primary festivities Tuesday as they have done for decades, and the result was described as “interesting.”
Michael Bloomberg got three write-in votes, one of which was a write-in vote in the Republican primary. It’s a rarity in Dixville Notch for write-in votes. Pete Buttigieg and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders each got one vote….
Sen. Amy Klobuchar was the popular choice in Hart’s Location, receiving six votes in the Democratic race. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren came in second with four votes. Andrew Yang and Sanders followed with three votes and two votes, respectively. Former vice president Joe Biden, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and Tom Steyer each received one vote….
In Millsfield, Klobuchar took home the win in the Democratic race with two votes. Biden, Buttigieg and Sanders each got one vote. Trump received 16 votes from Millsfield. Former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld got one vote.
It’s not looking good for Joe Biden. Axios summarized the results of the latest Quinnipac poll:
“Biden no longer dominates on the key question of electability,” with 27% of national Democratic or Dem-leaning voters giving Biden the best chance of beating President Trump — a steep drop from 44% just two weeks ago.
- Sanders was second with 24%. Bloomberg was third with 17% — up from 9% in late January, and ahead of Buttigieg, Warren and Klobuchar.
- Among black primary voters, the poll found Biden’s lead has dropped to 27% from 51% in December, with Bloomberg jumping to the second spot, at 22%, slightly ahead of Sanders.
Meanwhile, the oddsmakers see Bloomberg in second among Democrats right now, behind Sanders.
Here are results of a Morning Consult poll of black voters:
Amy Klobuchar also got 1%.
Politico on the Quinnipac poll: Biden plummets in new national poll, ceding top spot to Bernie.
Former Vice President Joe Biden has plummeted in a new national poll out Monday that also shows Bernie Sanders with a clear lead among Democratic voters heading into Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary.
The new Quinnipiac University poll, conducted after Sanders’ strong showing in the Iowa caucuses a week ago, has the Vermont senator boasting the support of 25 percent of Democratic voters, making an 8-point lead over Biden and a 4-point increase over the last national survey taken before the caucuses.
While former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg got a 4-point bump after appearing to narrowly edge Sanders out for first place in the Iowa state delegate count — results which Buttigieg and Sanders are both challenging — Buttigieg came in at fifth place nationally in the Quinnipiac poll, with 10 percent of the vote. Sen. Amy Klobuchar rounds out the top six with 4 percent, a drop of 3 points, while no other candidate broke 2 percent in the poll.
So it’s beginning to look like another primary crash and burn for Biden. A few more opinion pieces to check out:
Ryan Lizza at Politico: This Democratic field is so flawed that even Biden still has a chance.
Karen Tumulty at The Washington Post: There are two Joe Bidens. The wrong one is running for president.
Ben Terris at The Washington Post: On the trail with Joe Biden: What happens when the ‘electability candidate’ starts to lose?
It’s not looking good for Elizabeth Warren either. She’s from Massachusetts and she should be doing well in New Hampshire. I always assumed she would come in second to Bernie Sanders; but that’s not happening–at least according to the polls. She isn’t picking up enough of the black voter either.
Matt Flegenheimer at The New York Times: Elizabeth Warren Is Running Her Race. The Real One May Be Passing Her By.
Two days before a once-mission-critical primary in a state she neighbors, Senator Elizabeth Warren — typically exceptional at holding a room — had not finished speaking when something unusual happened: Dozens of voters began filtering out of the middle school gym she had reserved.
Campaign staff strained to enlist prospective volunteers on their way to their cars. “Someone, anyone,” one organizer called out as departing guests stepped around him.
And when Ms. Warren wound toward her big finish, the go-out-and-get-’em kicker in these urgent final hours, her mind wandered accidentally to home.
“It’s up to you, Massachusetts, to decide what to do,” Ms. Warren instructed.
Supporters looked back at her, murmuring. She realized why. “And to the people of New Hampshire!” she amended.
On the eve of a contest she had hoped to win (and probably will not, according to polls) — one week removed from a caucus she had hoped to win (and certainly did not, according to Iowans) — Ms. Warren has arrived, almost imperceptibly, at a precarious stage.
Warren’s campaign also appears to be struggling financially.
What about Amy Klobuchar? Is she really surging in New Hampshire? Stranger things have happened. New Hampshire voters have a tendency to pull off surprises.
Buzzfeed News: Amy Klobuchar’s New Hampshire Surge Might Really Be Happening.
Pundits have been predicting the moderate Minnesota senator’s rise in the Democratic primary since October, as she racked up supposed debate wins and endorsements and built a campaign on her own “electability” in the states Democrats desperately need in 2020. For months, though, there was little sign among voters of that surge. Polls remained stagnant, and small, quiet crowds often tailed her in Iowa.
But this time, after the latest Democratic debate and just before New Hampshire votes in the nation’s first primary, there’s serious evidence that the Klobuchar is becoming a threat to the other moderates in the race: record-sized crowds, impressive fundraising hauls, and polls that suddenly show her in third place, ahead of Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden.
Her delight at this fact, at a succession of diners and packed rallies across New Hampshire, is palpable.
“And by the way, I’ve got a plan for the Midwest — and we can include New Hampshire as well,” Klobuchar told Sunday’s middle school gym crowd. “We’re going to build a beautiful blue wall around these states, and we’re going to make Donald Trump pay for it.”
Click the Buzzfeed link to read the rest.
A string of strong polls over the weekend have shown the Minnesota senator overtaking Sen. Elizabeth Warren and former Vice President Joe Biden to reach third place in New Hampshire, which votes Tuesday. Over the weekend, her campaign reported $2.5 million in post-debate fundraising — an impressive two-day number in the context of the $11.4 million she raised in the last three months of 2019.
It’s a change for Klobuchar, whose national polling has been mired in the low single digits since she entered the race in February 2019. Nationally, she’s in sixth at 4.3 percent in the RealClearPolitics polling average, 4 percentage points behind former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg. But Biden’s weak performance in Iowa seems to have given Klobuchar, who came in just behind him in fifth place, an opening. And a strong performance in New Hampshire could bolster her candidacy going into Super Tuesday.
Like Buttigieg and Biden, Klobuchar has positioned herself as a moderate. On the debate stage, she has emphasized practicality, party unity, and a uniquely Midwestern case for electability: She’s mentioned repeatedly that she’s one of the only candidates who’s never lost a race — and that she outperformed Hillary Clinton in multiple Minnesota counties in 2016.
By framing her candidacy in this way, Klobuchar is targeting voters who may still be making up their minds — including some who are searching for a moderate alternative to the white male frontrunners. And recent polls indicate her message might be resonating in New Hampshire.
Read more at Vox.
The problem for both Warren and Klobuchar is that so far they are not winning the black vote. But I suppose that could change if one of them starts looking like she could beat Trump.
Attorney General William P. Barr acknowledged Monday that the Justice Department would evaluate material that Rudolph W. Giuliani, President Trump’s personal attorney, had gathered from Ukrainian sources claiming to have damaging information about former vice president Joe Biden and his family — though Barr and other officials suggested Giuliani was being treated no differently than any tipster.
At a news conference on an unrelated case, Barr confirmed an assertion made Sunday by Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) that the Justice Department had “created a process that Rudy could give information and they would see if it’s verified.”
Barr said he had established an “intake process in the field” so that the Justice Department and intelligence agencies could scrutinize information they were given.
“That is true for all information that comes to the department relating to the Ukraine, including anything Mr. Giuliani might provide,” Barr said. He did not provide any other specifics.
A Justice Department official said Giuliani had “recently” shared information with federal law enforcement officials through the process described by Barr. Two people familiar with the matter said the information is being routed to the U.S. attorney’s office in Pittsburgh.
This could all be a waste of time for Trump and Barr if Biden’s campaign continues to go downhill. I wonder what foreign countries they will ask to help if the nominee is someone else? I guess they could get a lot from Russia on Bernie Sanders.
Attorney General Bill Barr has launched an all-out attack against sanctuary cities, claiming they are endangering national security. The AG says he will allow the Dept. of Homeland Security to issue “federal subpoenas to access information about criminal aliens in the custody of uncooperative jurisdictions,” Fox News reports.
Barr says the DOJ is targeting the State of New Jersey and King County, Washington, and will be “reviewing the practices, policies, and laws of other jurisdictions across the country. This includes assessing whether jurisdictions are complying with our criminal laws, in particular the criminal statute that prohibits the harboring or shielding of aliens in the United States.”
In addition to targeting certain state and local governments, Barr appears to be making the targeting personal, declaring, “we are meticulously reviewing the actions of certain district attorneys who have adopted policies of charging foreign nationals with lesser offenses for the express purpose of avoiding the federal immigration consequences of those nationals’ criminal conduct. In pursuing their personal ambitions and misguided notions of equal justice, these district attorneys are systematically violating the rule of law and may even be unlawfully discriminating against American citizens.”
Read more at the link.
One more from The Daily Beast: The FBI Makes a Bizarre Claim About Pro-Choice Terrorism.
The FBI is expanding its focus on domestic terrorism, and that includes pro-choice violence—even though such violence is so vanishingly rare, it’s all but nonexistent.
In testimony before the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, FBI Director Christopher Wray disclosed that the bureau has recently “changed our terminology as part of a broader reorganization of the way in which we categorize our domestic terrorism efforts.” It’s part of a much-heralded reinvigoration of the bureau’s domestic terrorism focus after a rising tide of mostly white-supremacist terrorism.
Among four broad categories of domestic terrorism that the FBI confronts, Wray said, is “abortion violent extremism.”
But Wray wasn’t only talking about the pro-life extremism that murders abortion providers in their churches, he hastened to add, but “people on either side of that issue who commit violence on behalf of different views on that topic.”
His questioner, Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA), was puzzled at Wray’s seeming equivalence: “People on either side of that issue don’t commit violence.” In fact, the FBI pointed The Daily Beast to just one episode of pro-choice-inspired terrorism—one that did not involve an actual act of violence, but rather a threat in an online comments section.
I just don’t know what to say about all this. We are in big trouble as a country. Hang in there Sky Dancers! As always, this is an open thread.
So now it’s New Hampshire’s turn–a state that is even whiter than Iowa. Iowa is 92% white and New Hampshire is 94% white. Some interesting facts about New Hampshire from The Connecticut Post:
New Hampshire is even whiter than Iowa. Its largest “city” has 110,000 people in it.
Its population is slightly more educated and well off than the rest of the country.
Together, Iowa and New Hampshire tell us something about the voting behavior of white people who don’t live in or near large cities.
Blacks, Asians and Hispanics are basically excluded from the first two elections in the presidential nomination process.
This distorts results for both parties, but it especially affects Democrats because minorities vote in Republican primaries far less.
The big contest after the first two is South Carolina, which has a large minority population.
If Clinton wins big there, the Democratic race will suddenly look very different than it does today.
The U.S. is growing more diverse very quickly. For example, in 2012 there were 23.3 million Hispanic eligible voters; there are 27.3 million this year, making Hispanics the largest block of minority voters.
In 2014, there were four states where minorities make up the majority; by 2044, the U.S. will be majority-minority.
The campaigns spent $40 million to sway Iowa caucusers; at the end, the spending hit a $6 million-a-week pace. Over the the past year, Iowa and New Hampshire residents had to be in hiding to avoid bumping into a candidate.
It would be one thing if these two states were microcosms of the nation. But neither represents the industrial or demographic diversity of America.
Fewer people live in Iowa than in Metro Detroit. Ninety-two percent of the population is white; fewer than 1 percent of businesses are owned by African-Americans. New Hampshire is even smaller and, at 94 percent, whiter.
Appealing to Iowa and New Hampshire voters requires different messages than would resonate nationwide. But if candidates fail to move the homogenous voters of these states, they’re at risk of seeing their funding dry up and their ambitions busted.
Presidential hopefuls should have to prove their appeal to a broader audience early on. The primary season should be revamped to force them to spend those early months demonstrating the resources to mount a national campaign.
The lack of diversity in the two earliest states has handed a big advantage to Bernie Sanders. We’ll have to wait for Nevada and South Carolina to see how much impact his “enthusiastic” support in Iowa and New Hampshire has had on voters in states that are more representative of the U.S. population.
And let’s not let voters forget that Sanders clearly stated in a debate that he considers white people to be the “general population” and African Americans and Latinos to be somehow outside the “general population.”
Sanders was asked about this exact problem at the debate Sunday night in Charleston. His answer:
“When the African American community becomes familiar with my Congressional record and with our agenda, and with our views on the economy, and criminal justice — just as the general population has become more supportive, so will the African American community, so will the Latino community. We have the momentum, we’re on a path to a victory.”
A little bit condescending, no? So we can only wait and see what happens on Tuesday and go from there. I don’t think it’s time for the Clinton campaign to panic just yet.
For a little deep background on the New Hampshire primary, here’s a great article from 1988 by the Washington Post’s Henry Allen: New Hampshire is a fraud.
New Hampshire is a fraud.
Which is to say that behind that idyll of white-steepled, sleigh-belled, town-meeting, republican-with-a-small-R America lurks a much realer and hidden New Hampshire — the souvenir hustlers, backwoods cranks, motorcycle racing fans who sometimes face trouble after a motorcycle crash so they can find legal help from accident lawyers in Dallas, out-of-state writers, dour French Canadians and tax-dodging Massachusetts suburbanites who have conspired as New Hampshire has conspired for two centuries to create an illusion of noble, upright, granite-charactered sentinels of liberty out of little more than a self-conscious collection of bad (if beautiful) land, summer people, second-growth woods full of junked cars and decaying aristocracy, lakes howling with speedboats, state liquor stores that are open on Sundays and the most vicious state newspaper in America — the Manchester Union Leader, which recently greeted the birthday of Martin Luther King by describing him as a Communist dupe.
They sell the rest of the country maple syrup, lottery tickets and Yankee sagacity the way Indians on reservations sell moccasins, bingo and environmental wisdom. They never shut up about how closemouthed they are. They beat you rich and they beat you poor. They do this by taking a Calvinist pride in the riches from the high-tech boom in the southern part of the state, and then asssuming the smugness of Thoreau in defending the poverty of the swamp Yankees and shack people living back in the woods with yards full of mean dogs and broken snowmobiles. They exhibit the ethics of Switzerland and the shrugging shabbiness of New Jersey.
Or as Emerson wrote: “The God who made New Hampshire taunted the lofty land with little men.”
The question is not who they think they are, to be holding us hostage every four years with their presidential primary. Instead, who do we think they are, to let them get away with it, this white, tight and right smidgen of a place, this myth-mongering bastion of no-tax/no-spend conservatives with no minorities to speak of and a total of .43 percent of the American people? As Thomas Jefferson said, after New Hampshire town meetings had attacked his Embargo Act, “The organization of this little selfish minority enabled it to overrule the union.”
Read more at the link. It’s a long read, but a fun one.
The media is finally beginning to vet Bernie Sanders with some serious research. Some examples:
Michael Grunwald at Politico: Bernie’s Radical Dilemma: If we need a revolution, how does he explain that things are already getting better?
Now that Bernie Sanders is looking less like a quixotic left-wing protest candidate and more like a serious contender for the Democratic presidential nomination, a contradiction at the heart of his campaign is becoming more glaring. You can call it the Radical’s Dilemma, or the Revolutionary’s Quandary, or maybe just Bernie’s Obama Problem. Whatever you call it, it was on stark display at last night’s debate in New Hampshire, even though Sanders tried to gloss over it.
The conundrum boils down to a schizophrenic view of a nation where progressive change is impossible and where progressive change is simultaneously happening. On one hand, Sanders argues that the political system is hopelessly corrupt, that the economy is outrageously rigged, that nothing good can happen as long as Wall Street, drug companies and fossil-fuel interests own Washington. On the other hand, Sanders says President Barack Obama has done a “fantastic job,” that America is in “much better shape than we were seven years ago,” that there has been significant progress on financial reform, health reform and climate action.
This is not just a political problem, as Sanders tries to carve out space to Obama’s left without denouncing a president with a 90 percent approval rating among Democrats. And Sanders can’t wave away the problem by saying the progress under Obama has been impressive, considering the Republican opposition, but insufficient; Obama says the same thing. This is a philosophical problem for a radical candidate, a question he hasn’t figured out how to answer: If things are never going to get better without a political revolution to take power back from special interests, how is it that things are getting better?
Tim Mak at The Daily Beast: The Veterans Scandal on Bernie Sanders’ Watch.
Bernie Sanders’s tenure as chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee was characterized by glaring neglect of his oversight responsibilities, allowing the 2014 VA scandal to unfold under his watch, veterans’ rights advocates argue.
Sanders has touted his work on veterans’ issues, most recently citing his involvement in “the most comprehensive VA health care bill in this country,” in a debate Thursday.
Left unsaid however, is that he was the chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, responsible for overseeing the Department of Veterans Affairs, as the scandal erupted.
This morning on Twitter, I clicked on a link to a video posted by Mansur Gidfar. It’s a recording of a spontaneous conversation between Mitt Romney and a Vietnam veteran named Bob Garon that took place in a Manchester, New Hampshire restaurant on a December morning in 2011.
To me the episode depicted in the video is emblematic of who Mitt Romney is–a stodgy, selfish, self-centered man who sadly is unable to empathize with anyone who doesn’t share his own experiences as a privileged, wealthy, straight white male Mormon.
Romney sat down with Mr. Garon uninvited and began talking to him about Vietnam. He had no idea that Garon was a gay man who was having breakfast with his husband.
On January 1, 2010, New Hampshire legalized same sex marriage and ordered that all civil unions in the state would automatically become legal marriages. There was an effort to repeal the statute that legalized same sex marriage that Mitt Romney supported. That effort failed in March 2012. In New Hampshire’s Democratic governor John Lynch would have vetoed the repeal even if it had passed.
I discovered that this meeting between Romney and Garon was pretty well covered at the time, but somehow I missed it. The NYT Caucus blog covered the interaction on December 12, 2011. After the exchange, Garon summed up his reaction to Romney:
Afterward, Mr. Garon, who legally married another man in June, said Mr. Romney was not getting his vote.
“He told me that I’m not entitled to Constitutional rights,” he said. “I think a man and a woman and a man and a man should be treated equal.”
Adding that while he had been undecided until he chatted with Mr. Romney, Mr. Garon said, “I’m totally convinced today that he’s not going to be my president — at least in my book.”
“This man is ‘No way, Jose,’” he said. “Well, take that ‘No way, Jose’ back to Massachusetts.”
Though Mr. Garon conceded that Mr. Romney had handled his question fairly, giving him the yes or no answer he’d requested, he nonetheless offered an unfavorable prediction for the Republican primary outcome.
“He is not going to make it,” he said. “Because you can’t trust him. I just saw it in his eyes. I judge a man by his eyes.”
Times change. People change.
Romney doesn’t understand that times have changed since he was a prep school bully judging his classmate’s “manliness” back in the 1960s. He and his Gen-X running mate are still living in the past, when straight white males ruled the roost and the rest of us were also-rans. But no more. America is changing, and I don’t think reactionaries like Romney and Ryan are going to be able to stop it.
Just comparing the crowds of delegates at the two parties’ conventions shows how time has flowed onward despite the Republican Party’s reactionary efforts to stop it.
At the Republican Convention, we saw a sea of mostly older white faces, with a few token people of color on the stage and fewer in the audience. We heard mostly negative, messages that excluded those of us who don’t fit the Republican view of what a “real American” should be–including our President. Even though there was a parade of people on stage talking about Romney’s kindness and generosity, we never heard of his helping people who weren’t like him–those he helped were mostly fellow Mormons as far as I could tell. We never heard episodes in which he reached out to those outside his own circle.
At the Democratic Convention, we have been seeing a rainbow of faces–people wearing different kinds of clothing, belonging to many cultures, but united in wanting this to be a country in which people care about and for each other–because we’re all in this together. We’ve heard an inclusive, forward-looking message of hope for the future rather than a futile wishes to go back in time to a pristine America that never really existed.
I know which group I want to be part of, and I hope we send Romney and Ryan packing in November. Let them live in their fantasy world if they want to, but we must stop them from forcing their reactionary values on the rest of us.
This is an open thread. I’ll post a live blog later this evening for the third and last night of the Democratic National Convention.
I tell you, last night’s top three New Hampshire primary results sound more like the beginning of a joke…two Mormons and a neo-confederate walk into a bar…you see what I mean. (Actually, this post was originally entitled, Two Mormons and A Guy Wearing A Hood…but I thought that was a bit over the top.)
Yes, we all expected Romney to win, I was just amazed at how fast it took the news media to declare Romney the winner. Just an hour after the polls close. Granted, it looks like the turnout was a bit lower than predicted, which has some on the Right (Fox News) a bit concerned.
Ron Paul came in second, which makes his quote at the NH speech even more ironic: “We are dangerous…”
“There’s no way to stop the momentum we have,” Rep. Paul told the crowd, admitting that “I sort of have to chuckle when they describe you and me as being dangerous.” “They are telling the truth,” he concluded. “We are dangerous to the status quo.”
I would also add dangerous to women and minorities…but you can read more about that over at Cannonfire.
At this writing, Paul will probably win second place in the New Hampshire primary. I don’t expect much from the Republicans — but is it really too much to ask the party of Lincoln to favor the concept of maintaining the union under any and all circumstances? Apparently so. (As we shall see, some alleged “liberals” also have no problem rationalizing Paul’s treasonous instincts.)
What have we come to? What would Honest Abe think about Paul’s popularity?
Modern conservatives are a contradictory bunch: They continually threaten to upend the very ideals they claim to cherish.
Give this post a bit of your time. We have been talking about Paul for weeks now…as we head to South Carolina, I can’t help but think Paul will do well in the state that started the Secession movement.
Here are a couple more links for you, if you haven’t gotten you fill yet.
Lets move on to world news for a moment. Syria is still a hotbed of violence. The latest word from the UN is very disturbing, Syria conditions dire says U.S. United Nations Abassador Susan Rice.
United States Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice made a statement today strongly condemning the ongoing stream of violence in Syria.
The statement was made following a Tuesday January 10, 2012 UN Security Council briefing on the serious situation in the region lead by Lynn Pascoe, Head of the United Nations Department of Political Affairs.
“The briefing we received was alarming…” says Ambassador Rice during a UN Press communique released on Tuesday covering the UN Security Council briefing.
“The [UN] Under-Secretary-General noted that in the days since the Arab League monitoring mission has been on the ground, in fact an estimated 400 additional people have been killed, an average of 40 a day, a rate much higher than was the case even before their deployment,” Rice continued to tell press following her appearance at the briefing.
Rice points out that activist bloggers are one of the targets in the Assad regime.
Internet freedom has also been curtailed as blogger Ms. Razan Ghazzawi was arrested and released after bail was paid following her days in detention. Other bloggers have also been arrested in a string of crackdowns since April that have been directed at bloggers to prevent them from speaking under restrictions limiting freedom of the press in the region. Ms. Tal Al-Mallohi, who’s twenty-first birthday fell on January 4 this year, has been serving a five year sentence since her arrest in 2009 on charges that were made against her because of her blog posts.
“This [Tal Al-Mallohi] is a deeply disturbing case,” said Kate Allen UK Director for Amnesty International in a September 2010 news release report on Al-Mallohi. “No-one should be detained just for discussing freedom of expression and if this is why Tal al-Mallohi is behind bars then it’s an absolute disgrace.”
It was the Assad Speech of the Year. There was an international conspiracy against Syria. True. Arab states opposed to Syria were under “outside pressure”. True, up to a point. Nobody could deny the seriousness of these plots. True. After all, the Syrian government itself registers 2,000 dead soldiers, while the UN estimates civilian dead at 5,000. And when Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan warned that the violence in Syria was “heading towards a sectarian, religious war”, there were few supporters of President Assad who would disagree with him.
Fisk goes on to connect Assads control over journalist and media, with the leaks of Youtube videos that find their way out to the world via the internet and Al Jazeera.
Assad’s government, however, has still found itself unable to deal with the news side of the crisis. By allowing few international journalists to enter the country, officials have allowed the stunning YouTube images of the opposition to lead public opinion. When Al Jazeera can broadcast a Muslim imam in a crowded mosque shouting “Assad’s soldiers – God curse them – say Assad is their God; if that doesn’t make you angry, what will?” and then give specific details of protesters’ demonstration tactics in a suburb of Damascus, the Syrian Ministry of Information has a real problem.
The President can say – as he did yesterday – that “according to the law, nobody should open fire – only in self-defence or in a battle with an armed person”, but dozens of YouTube phone videos on Al Jazeera suggest that such laws are widely ignored by the regime.
Of course, Al Jazeera is funded by the Emir of Qatar, and the Qatari royal family’s influence has now reached its zenith in the Arab League – which has threatened to allow the whole bloody business to go to the UN Security Council. It’s not difficult to see how – from a sparse Baathist drawing room – this looks more like conspiracy than coincidence. The League has been boasting of its sense of resolution, while Assad believes it was his idea to bring the League’s monitors to Syria. And that’s exactly what he told us all yesterday. The Kuwaitis, meanwhile, said that two of their League military monitors in Syria had been slightly wounded by “unidentified protesters”. It would be interesting to know whom the protesters were protesting against.
Boston Boomer had a post a couple of days ago that focused on Guantanamo. Well, a new report has been released from Amnesty International: Guantánamo: A decade of damage to human rights | Amnesty International
The failure of the US government to close the detention facility at Guantánamo Bay is leaving a toxic legacy for human rights, Amnesty International said on the 10th anniversary of the first detainees being transferred to this notorious US prison.
In a report published ahead of the anniversary, Guantánamo: A Decade of Damage to Human Rights, Amnesty International highlights the unlawful treatment of Guantánamo detainees and outlines the reasons why the detention centre continues to represent an attack on human rights.
“Guantánamo has come to symbolize 10 years of a systematic failure by the USA to respect human rights in its response to the 9/11 attacks. The US government disregarded human rights from day one of the Guantánamo detentions. As we move into year 11 in the life of the detention facility, this failure continues,” said Rob Freer, Amnesty International’s researcher on the USA.
Despite President Obama’s pledge to close the Guantánamo detention facility by 22 January 2010, 171 men were being held there in mid-December 2011. At least 12 of those transferred to Guantánamo on 11 January 2002 were still held there. One of them is serving a life sentence after being convicted by a military commission in 2008. None of the other 11 has been charged.
I want to post some updates on a few things we have discussed here on the blog. This past Sunday, I had posted a link about the ultra-light plane being grounded while it was escorting migratory Whooping Cranes to Florida.
The article I linked to was from MSNBC: ‘Whooping cranes plane’ runs afoul of FAA – US news – Environment – msnbc.com By reading this article, you would assume that the group flying the birds down to Florida have been doing this for 10 years, and all of a sudden there is a problem with the FAA. No where in this article does it mention that this particular trip, the pilot is being paid. See this here: Legal Problem Grounds a Bird Migration – NYTimes.com
For 11 years, conservationists have used ultralights to guide the birds from Michigan to Florida. The birds are essentially orphans, raised in captivity without parents, but if they can be shown the 1,200-mile route once, they will find their way back to Michigan the following fall on their own, and fly unescorted for the rest of their lives.
The idea is a bit weird; the pilots dress up to look like birds so the fledglings will be “imprinted” with them. But everybody seems to like it; this year’s trip is underwritten in part by the Southern Company, a big utility.
But now it turns out that some of these do-gooder flights face a legal challenge.
The Federal Aviation Administration classifies the ultralights as “light sport aircraft,” a category with simplified licensing rules. Such aircraft can carry only one or two people, cannot fly in congested areas and cannot fly for hire, among other restrictions.
The question is, are the pilots flying for hire?
The updated news is that the FAA did grant the exemption. Whooping cranes are cleared for takeoff after getting FAA exemption –
Noting that the flock was stuck in an incorrect location for the past month, the FAA Tuesday green-lighted Operation Migration to continue the journey to the St. Marks and Chassahowitzka national wildlife refuges in Florida.
According to an FAA statement, “Because the operation is in ‘mid-migration,’ the FAA is granting a one-time exemption so the migration can be completed. The FAA will work with Operation Migration to develop a more comprehensive, long-term solution.”
Duff said the FAA has two criteria for issuing a waiver of this regulation: first, that it does not impede safety; and second, that it is a benefit to the American people. Duff believes Operation Migration’s flights meet both criteria, noting their three pilots practice all safety measures and the organization is assisting with the eco-tourism business and reintroducing an endangered species, which he believes does benefit the American people.
The FAA and Operation Migration will work to resolve the situation in the near future, but for now, this year’s new flock continues the journey south for the winter.
You may also remember that police where investigating the Natalie Wood case, Natalie Wood probe yields no new evidence
Nearly two months after they began a controversial new investigation into Natalie Wood‘s death while sailing off Santa Catalina Island in 1981, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department detectives have found no evidence to suggest that the cause was anything but accidental.
Although the case has not been closed, a top Sheriff’s Department official said it’s highly unlikely any new ground will be broken on how the actress died.
“At this point, it is an accidental death,” said William McSweeney, the sheriff’s chief of detectives. “Nothing has been discovered to suggest changing that at this time.”
We learned yesterday, that a Texas Appeals Court is forcing women to adhere to the Abortion law while the case is waiting to be heard. I wanted to give you this link to the RH Reality Check Action Page. Letter to TX Media: Women can make their own reproductive choices | RH Reality Check
This next link caught my eye when I was looking for new info on the Texas Abortion crapola, The Barbie Syndrome: Interchangeable Fundamentalist Wives Easily Replaced by the New Model
It was written prior to the Michelle Duggar miscarriage, just keep that in mind as you give it a read:
…most of the online discussion of how dangerous her playing maternal Russian roulette actually is no one seemed to hit upon my first thought, how quickly would Jim Bob replace her with a newer, younger, prettier model.
I mean, really, it’s like shooting dice, eventually snake eyes is going to come up. Bad things happen if you keep repeating the same risky behavior. Look at the last of her pregnancies. Something did go wrong. It’s just simple statistics that sometimes things go haywire and we can’t do much about them. But why put yourself in those types of risky situations in the first place?
Back when I was with my old church I got to see this numerous times. Lady either gets pregnant that probably shouldn’t be or would contract a very serious illness. They’d start praying, asking for prayer but refusing medical monitoring or intervention by the medical world at all. They say the same things Michelle Duggar does about this is God’s will and God would either deliver her safely or He would heal her.
One of the saddest cases of this was a lady named Christina who contracted breast cancer and refused all medical treatments, saying only God alone would heal her. She wasn’t going to have any surgery, no chemo, no radiation, she would simply rely on God.
Calulu, the author of this post says that everyone at the church supported Christina, except her…being a breast cancer survivor, Calulu writes that…
Not getting health care while you have children in the home to finish raising is just irresponsible.
But the men of the church always had medical intervention, and it never seemed to strike anyone there that was some sort of warped double standard. I never understood why that was so I’m guessing the lack of serious health care was because in the world of Fundy-Gelicals women were without intrinsic value and considered interchangeable.
Christina died after an agonizing torturous 18 months. What did did Mr. Christina do? He did what I’ve witnessed a number of Patriarchal men have done. He collected that big insurance check, bought a sports car and within six months married a much younger, better looking, newer model. And the cycle continued. Even our Pastor did it, boom, wife dies of cancer, 9 months later Pastor has another wife and life goes on as before.
Then and now it struck me as a basic lack of respect for any woman to hold them all so interchangeable. The Barbie Syndrome. The sad part is that we all put up with this behavior at the time and thought we were holding up the image of the Good Christian Woman, never realizing that culture considers us as unique as an assembly line of Barbies.
For my last link today I’m going to bring it from Christian Barbies to this article over at Wall Street Journal. Is Your Personality Making You Put on Pounds?
Losing weight is simple: Eat less and exercise more. Why that’s so difficult for so many people is embedded deep in the human psyche.
A growing body of research is finding intriguing connections between personality traits and habits that can lead to obesity. The same parts of the brain that control emotions and stress response also govern appetite, several studies have shown. Early life experiences also set the stage for overeating years later, researchers have found.
“If we can understand how personality is contributing to weight gain, we can develop interventions to help people deal with it,” says Angelina R. Sutin, a researcher at the National Institute on Aging who led a study published last year comparing the body mass index, or BMI, and personality traits of nearly 2,000 Baltimore residents over 50 years.
In the study, those who scored high on neuroticism—the tendency to easily experience negative emotions—and low on conscientiousness, or being organized and disciplined, were the most likely to be overweight and obese. Impulsivity was strongly linked to BMI, too: The subjects in the top 10% of impulsivity weighed, on average, 24 pounds more than those in the lowest 10%. People who rated themselves low on “agreeableness” were the most likely to gain weight over the years. The study was published in July in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
It breaks down several personality traits…I am posting them below, click the link to find ways to fix them.
Night owls also tend to skip, or sleep through, breakfast, missing an important chance to get their metabolism going early, and they often snack far into the night. That sets the stage for “night-eating syndrome,” when people consume a significant portion of their daily intake after dinner, which is associated with obesity and diabetes.
The Stress Junkie
People who thrive on competition and deadline pressure may seem high-powered, but what powers them internally are adrenaline and cortisol. Those stress hormones supply quick bursts of energy in fight-or-flight situations, but when the alarm is unrelenting, they can they can cause health problems, including obesity.
Cortisol stimulates a brain chemical called neuropeptide Y, which boosts carbohydrate cravings. It also makes the body churn out excess insulin and accumulate fat, particularly in the belly where it raises the risk of diabetes, heart disease, stroke and other diseases. People who feel chronically stressed often use food for energy and comfort and rationalize that they’ve earned it.
The Mindless Multitasker
People who habitually work, read, drive, watch TV or do anything while dining often eat more than they realize. “Anything that takes our focus off the food makes us more likely to overeat without knowing it,” Brian Wansink, an expert on food, marketing and consumer behavior, wrote in his 2006 book, “Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think.”
He now directs the Food and Brand Lab at Cornell University. His research shows that few people overeat because they’re hungry, but because of myriad other subconscious cues, from family and friends to plates and packages.
People who constantly put other people’s needs ahead of their own often become emotionally depleted and seek solace in eating. Eating coach Karen Koenig, author of “Nice Girls Finish Fat,” writes that many of the clients in her Sarasota, Fla., practice are “ultranurturing, self-effacing, unselfish, generous and caring to a fault.” Food works because it’s close, it doesn’t require burdening others, and it signals comfort and love. But because it doesn’t really fill the emotional void that givers have, they keep eating more and more.
Some “givers” also live in fear of disappointing other people or engaging in conflict, so they try to stifle their own feelings with food.
Like givers, people who drive themselves to be perfect often use food to relieve the pressure. And many set themselves up for failure with impossible weight and fitness goals. Bariatric surgeons say they see a high correlation between perfectionism and obesity; experts in eating disorders say perfectionism is often at the root of anorexia, bulimia and binge eating. Many perfectionists also engage in all-or-nothing thinking that leads them to get discouraged easily with dieting and seek solace again in food.
That is it for this night owl…catch y’all later in the comments after I sleep in. What are you all reading and blogging about today?
Buzzfeed reports that Mitt Romney was Heckled a couple of hours ago at a Manchester, NH polling place. Voters seemed unhappy about Romney’s statement yesterday that he likes to fire people.
At what was meant to be an invigorating warmup to Mitt Romney’s primary-day victory lap here, the candidate’s flub at a Chamber of Commerce breakfast yesterday continued to dog him.
Stopping by a polling place at Webster School in Manchester, Romney was greeted by enthusiastic crowds of supporters chanting, “Let’s go MItt!” and rowdy libertarian voters shouting “Ron Paul! Ron Paul!”
But as media surrounded him to collect obligatory quotes about how “the entire nation is watching,” antagonists were committed to continuing the narrative of Romney’s record of a heartless job-slasher.
As the candidate held one voter’s infant, an activist repeatedly shouted, “Are you going to fire the baby?” Another shouted, “I don’t like firing people!”
Romney attempted to explain that his comment was taken out of context. He meant that he thinks people should be able to fire their insurance companies. I guess he doesn’t know that if he gets rid of Obamacare, as he has promised, nothing will prevent insurance companies from dropping sick people and refusing to insure people with preexisting conditions.
Funny how when you’re worth a quarter of a billion dollars, little problems like that don’t seem so troubling.
Nevertheless, Romney is anticipating a big win tonight. But the LA Times suggests that unless he gets more than 37% of the vote, a win may still be perceived as a loss because of the media expectations game.
Romney could still lose ground in the eyes of the media and professional political strategists if he fails to win by a convincing margin here, a northeastern state where he’s been campaigning for years.
How big a vote does Romney need to look like a winner? Reporters and pundits –- the unofficial Board of Expectations, if you will -– have been debating that question in Manchester’s restaurants and bars for the last week.
Here’s what they say: Romney’s standing in New Hampshire polls over the last month has ranged between 33% and 46%. If the former Massachusetts governor comes in at the low end of that range — say, 35% or below — most reporters will see it as a setback. But at 40% or higher, Romney will be declared a clear winner, with momentum that can carry him through the next contests in South Carolina and Florida –- even though he won’t have come near a majority.
We’ll know the outcome later tonight. Be sure to join us for Dakinikat’s live blog of the returns at 8PM Eastern.