Sunday, January 31, 2016

HELP! Received over 30 fund-raising E-Mails Just Today.

++I don't know whether I can survive until the election at this pace. Usually speeds up the last week of the month until multiple e-mails right to midnight at the end of the week and ,of course,the month. Love ya all dearly and hope you succeed but really.  Enough is enough. But,of course, it isn't.

Senate Votes Against Climate Change. 50-49 says humans don't cause it.

Microsoft Predicts 1st Four primaries.

++Microsoft predicted 95% of the 1995 races and the Scottish "No" vote on the referendum.

++Donald Trump runs the table of Iowa,New Hampshire,South Carolina and Nevada. Cruz runs second, Rubio 3rd, except Ben Carson picks up a third in Nevada.

++Hillary Clinton wins Iowa,South Carolina and Nevada. Bernie Sanders wins New Hampshire.

Liz Cheney to run for the House from Wyoming,

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Polls-Plus, Nate Silver Upgrades Clinton's chances in Iowa to 80%.

The Last Des Moines Register /Selzer Polls

++These are the gold standard. Nate Silver says that in a race like the GOP ,the Selzer poll tends to get the large range of candidates right.

Trump 28%
Cruz    23%
Rubio  15%
Carson 10%
Paul       5%
Christie  3%
Bush      2%
Fiorina   2%
Huckabee 2%
Kasich      2%
Santorum 2%

The Reporters says that Rubio is stable and they are not seeing and uptick. Cruz,they say,may yet give Trump a run because Cruz has the evangelicals,who will caucus, and Trump voters tend to be first time caucus goers. Importantly,9% are undecided.


Hillary Clinton: 45%
Bernie Sanders: 42%
Martin O'Malley:  4%

Clinton's strength is that she has the Democratic party and previous caucus goers. She leads among the older voters who tend to come out. Sanders may have more enthusiasm and could pull an upset if they come out.

New York Times endorses John Kasich For Republican Nomination.

New York Times Endorses Hillary Clinton For Democratic Nomination.

Friday, January 29, 2016

"One Of The Most Philo-Semitic Speeches By An American President." Chemi Shalev

++You would never know but President Obama spoke at the Holocaust Museum during the a commemoration. Go to White House. gov to read this very moving speech that touches on the Holocaust and the scourge of anti-semiticism today. You would never know the President of the United States said these  words if you look up the Times of Israel. 

++Chemi Shalev of the left-leaning Haaretz managed to get a column in on the occasion and naturally, for the hometown it was headlined "Obama won't let Netanyahu get in the way of defending Israel."

++Obama's speech spanned the Righteous who were honored today for rescuing Jewish children and defending Jewish-American soldiers from execution by the Nazis to the resurgence of anti-semiticism from Europe to Kansas. He eloquently wove Jewish religious traditions with his own impressions of touring the concentration camps. He went into greater depth into how his grandfather just stayed in the attic  and didn't speak for six months after returning from WWII after "liberating" one of the camps and seeing the carnage there.

++It is hard to imagine another American President speak this way. A fine speech buried away as a footnote. And yes, Ambassador Dermer was there.

Gravis Marketing. (IOWA) Clinton 53%, Sanders 42%,O'Malley 5%

PPP (Iowa) Clinton 48%, Sanders 40%

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Frank Luntz' Focus Grouop: Marco Rubio won The Debate

The 7th Republican Debate --God Awful

++ Fox News actually did a decent job of challenging the candidate's own records, We had a discourse on Senate procedure to explain Ted Cruz's ,Marco Rubio's and Rand Paul's votes. Chris Christie did his 9-11 story and vowed to hunt down terrorists. In fact all of them did. No pressing problems America faces.

++Fox used old videos of candidate's positions to cross-examine them and then had Google viewers ask questions. One was on body cams and Rand Paul answered. Another was from an Hispanic entrepreneur who wondered whether this country was conducive to immigrants anymore.

++Obama is horrible and he ran down the country. He also degraded the military and has done awful things.

++Magyn Kelly grilled Ted Cruz on what does he say to the millions of Americans on Obamacare when he want to repeal it. Cruz fudges the answer but talking about a national market for insurance and "catastrophic health insurance". All his suggestions have been blasted by insurance insiders for years.

++Marco Rubio wants you to know that he will send all terrorists to Gitmo and also that Jesus Christ is his redeemer who I guess also supports torture.  Rubio was spinning when confronted by his support for a roads to citizenship. Cruz wants a law to prohibit all undocumented immigrants from ever getting citizenship. He invoked Jeffrey Beauregard Sessions and Steven King as his expert.

++Jeb said he had a proven record and can beat Hillary Clinton. I thought Jeb didn't even stand up without Trump.

++John Kasich sounded reasonable again even though he is a bit erratic. 

++Ted Cruz invoked Ronald Reagan about restoring the military and that's why the wall came down.

++Best bloggers were Dailykos,Wonkette and Josh Marshall who tried the Trump event, this debate and the FBI releasing footage of the Oregon shootout.

++Roger Ailes claimed that the Donald wanted $5 million donated to charity to participate. Well, the Donald managed to raise more than that for his event. Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum went to his event.

++Fox News did well in the debate. I was offended by the invocations of Christianity by the candidates to appeal to Iowa evangelicals. There must be a better way to convey one's religious sense than making such clearly false statements of faith.

++Ben Carson was sort of there tonight but in his final statement recited the Declaration of Independence.

++Bizarrely off note to me was Marco Rubio saying that he would cancel the Iran nuclear deal and countries would have to decide whether they wanted to do business with the UNited States or Iran. China has already signed a $800 billion deal with tehran and European countries have signed hundreds of millions with Iran. Marco Rubio also recited that then we would be the New American Century. That was the group in the 1990s of neoconservatives who planned for us to create the energy empire in the Middle East. Dysfunctional then and obsolete now.

++Rand Paul managed to sound sane on foreign policy, especially when he said if you overthrow Assad and fight ISIS at the same time you create a bigger ISIS. 

++No one challenged the assertion that the military was underfunded. I think that's key in any debate in the future. No one has compared W's defense spending with Obama's--Obama's is larger and we don't have thousands of troops on the ground. 

++Barack Obama is a bad man and Hillary Clinton will be in prison. 

++These people are truly awful. No one mentioned where the economy was under W. Thjis is the amnesia factor I keep mentioning because it strips bear Republican economics. All tonight we again heard about the "market" as a great solver of problems , when it was clear that it hasn't been.

++The winner tonight was Donald J. Trump in faking out Roger Ailes. Other winners are Megyn Kelly who came to play for real. The best liveblog was Wonkette, who had the courage to document both the main and kiddie debate.

Monmouth University Poll: (IOWA) Trump 32%,Cruz 21%,Rubio 16%, Carson 9%.

The Last Kiddie Debate.

++Because they have been so special,Wonkette is live-blogging the debate tonight. Remember it is the last time you will get to see Carly Fiorina. 

++Jim Gilmore reminded the audience he is the only veteran in the campaign.

++Rick Santorum wore a brown suit and is pleased that his wife didn't have an abortion.

++Mike Huckabee grew up without a floor in his house and with his economic policies wants to make sure you don't have a floor.

++Mike Huckabee said Pennsylvania is the most important state. Actually for Republicans it is Ohio.

++Both Santorum and Huckabee say they are going to the Donald's Vetfest instead of the major debate.

++Carly spent her time going after Hillary and said she would have left her husband if he acted like Bill. But she did leave her husband and moved into with Mr. Fiorina while still married.Instead of the video fraudsters indicted for their Planned Parenthood films, Hillary should be indicted.

++Huckabee warned Iowa voters about socialism.

++FOX runs Rubio ads at their breaks.

++Wonkette asks what happens to the moderators when there are no more kiddie debates. They get deported.

++These are the last times you will see or hear the champions of 2016. Santorum ends by getting off some good Obama Sucks--which was missing from most of the debate.

Paul Kantner of the Jefferson Airplane is Dead at the age of 74.

Monmouth University: (IOWA) Clinton 47%, Sanders 42%.

NBC/Wall Street Journal?Marist Polls

Iowa: Clinton 48%, Sanders 46%, O'Malley 3%.

South Carolina: Clinton 64%, Sanders 27%, O'Malley 2%.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Nate Silver Polls-Plus Prediction: Iowa, Hillary Clinton 76%, Sanders 24%

Jeb! Roars to Second In New Hampshire. Emerson Poll

++Trump is at 35%, Jeb! is at 18% and the only other person in double digits is John Kasich.

Kilgore Reminds Everyone Rubio's Campaign Is As Underwhelming As It has Been.

++Ed Kilgore says we were expecting the GOP establishment to start backing Marco Rubio as the favorite. Yesterday, former New York Governor George Pataki endorsed Marco. How's that? Marco's endorsements to date lag far behind JEB!

ABC/Washington Post: (National). Clinton 55%, Sanders 36%,O'Malley 4%.

Quinnipiac Poll: (Iowa) Sanders 49, Clinton 45.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Obama's Approval Rating in Gallup and Rasmussen 49%.

Federal Authorities Tell Militias To Leave Bird Refuge By Morning or Else. Arrest anti-Islam activist in Arizona.

Pete Santelli, Militia Spokesman and Ersatz Reporter, Arrested in Burns, Oregon.

LaVoy Finicum, The Blue Tarp Man, Went Out With His Boots On. R.I.P. He was no Abe Vigoda.

The Bundys Arrested And Blue Tarp Man, the internet sensation,dead in Oregon.

Trump Withdraws From Fox Debate Because He Didn't Get The Respect.

Small But Important Observation By Ed Kilgore

++Conservatives are freaking out over the statements by Donald trump today about Medicare negotiating drug prices with the drug companies and how he will make sure that every American gets healthcare. The Donald even said he would fund his plan by using federal dollars.

++Ed Kilgore says we are to watch the Ann Selzer polls this weekend to know who will win the Iowa Caucuses. She earns a double A from Nate Silver ,only one of three such polls.


Amherst Kills Lord Jeffrey, Father Of Biological Warfare.

NBC/Survey Monkey: Clinton 51%, Sanders 37%

A Nation Mourns--Star of 100 movies,The Legendary ,Mythic Abe Vigoda Really Is Dead At The Age Of 94.

Monday, January 25, 2016

More on The Townhall.

++Do yourself a favor and watch the candidates in their respective segments posted on the democraticunderground. 

++Recognize that the GOP world boils down to conflict and rivalries with almost every country fin the world. Hillary Clinton tonight in her examples of what she did as Secretary of State shows what diplomacy can do and what effective policies such as sanctions against Iran can produce. It is hard to imagine any of the GOP candidates having such a nuanced view of the world. Hillary also pointed out how she spent a year trying to repair our relations with our allies. They no longer wanted to listen to the United States and let us lead because of George W. Bush. 

++I tend to think more internationally. The Bush administration was catastrophic on so many levels and NATO allies,particularly the U.K. felt they had been burned. Now Hillary Clinton with all her baggage is ,as President Obama, "wicked smart" on all policy issues. She took the foreign policy questions and just smashed them out of the park. 

++Her answer on Benghazi was to the point. These events happened under Reagan,Clinton and George W. but never got the investigations this one episode did. 

++And her invoking our past political history puts her at an advantage over those that do not. Some criticized her for talking about her resume but she needed to--to establish how long she personally has fought for some of these issues. 

++I find it curious that "millennials" favor Sanders at her expense. They felt that Obama didn't bring change. For my part,I think Obama brought a sea change on both foreign and domestic policy. The millennials argue that incremental change is not what they want but fundamental change is needed. I have my own doubts about incremental change because the reactionary element in our society is now so vocal and well-financed. They could roll beck the progress of the Obama administration in a heartbeat.

++But I don't get the focus on single payer healthcare at this time in our political history. Can you expand Obamacare? Sure. We have gone from 50% uninsured to 10% uninsured. Philosophically,I want 100% coverage but in so short of time we've made enormous  progress.

++I hear the noise from "progressives" but remember that "The Left" had only given conditional support to President Obama when he was nominated in 2008.  Somehow the discontent with Obama now matures in the campaign of Bernie Sanders.

++The justifiable discontent with President Obama lies in his drone campaign, his acquiescence to the requests of the Deep State and in his surveillance programs. I'm discontented with that too but see no one able to root out the influence of the Deep State on our foreign policy and our economy.

++Progressives continue to say the banks are too big too fail and that Dodd-Franks wasn't good enough. But I wonder in our political environment whether better would be possible. I don't see it.

++What has changed since 2008 is the massive influx of "dark money" into the politics system. In some ways that is the argument for the Trump candidacy. He's not beholding to anyone. 

++I applaud Bernie Sanders for getting over 2.5 million contributors. That's more than President Obama did either time he ran,when he himself broke the records. But let's say you double that amount until November. Can you beat the billion campaign against you.

++The Iowa Caucus will test the strength of the Sanders' campaign. The Clinton structure has been there longer and she is not underestimating as she did in 2008 the challenges the Caucus presents. If she wins Iowa,we can assess the social media's impact on her and Bernie's race. It wasn't as developed and as all-pervasive in 2008. So we don't know its true effects on the election.
From examples abroad,it has been great to mobilize but it comes up short at the day of the elections.

++Observers fails to mention that the Obama brain trust also manages the Clinton election effort. It isn't the same machine as in 2008 and the press' stories about its so-called failings don't take that into account. You begin to believe the stories until she appears in the media and it is all bullshit.  That woman has taken more shit over the years but as she has said she's still standing. That also has created a machinery of self-protection that has hurt her. One example is the e-mail story and her desire to have maximum privacy. 

The Townhalll Is Over.

++The inter tubes had alot of snarky comments. Sanders loses because he wore a brown suit and still can't explain his healthcare plan adequately. Hillary had the energy tonight and came as always prepared. The comments are all about how Hillary is a neocon. She is warlike. 

++I feel sorry for O'Malley. He's played this as a good sport and has alot of interesting policy positions but he gets short attention.

++Comments about Hillary were about how she seemed a bit manic but allowed down to answer the question of Islamophobia. Others said she brought this energy on the trail. Josh Marshall felt she handled the question on honesty and integrity well. 

++Commenters though Hillary hurt herself by saving her favorite President was Abraham Lincoln. I didn't. She was after all a Goldwater girl and grew up outside of Chicago. Can't hurt with the African American community and the Republicans have long forgotten Abe. 

++Chris Wiegant has a column about a week before Iowa saying that Hillary has to win Iowa since it is a forgone conclusion New Hampshire will go to Bernie. Wiegant says a double loss will call into question Hillary's "South Carolina" firewall. But a split, she remains in a good position.

Nate Silver Polls Only Trump 57% chance , Clinton 66% chance of winning Iowa.

The Trumpeteers on the March.

++Franklin Pierce:
Trump 33%,
Cruz    14%
Kasich 12%
Bush     9%
Rubio    8%

New Hampshire Polls. All Show Sanders Walking Away With It.

CBS: Sanders 57%, Sanders 38%.

Anderson Robbins/Shaw Poll:
Sanders 56%, Clinton 34%.

Franklin Pierce:
Sanders 55%, Clinton 39%.

FOX NEWS IOWA: Clinton 48%, Sanders 42%.

ARG IOWA POLL: Sanders48%, Clinton 45%,O'Malley 3%.

CNN NATIONAL POLL: Clinton 52%, Sanders 38%, O'Malley 2%.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Iowa/ Mason Dixon/AARP Poll : Clinton 49%, Sanders 42%.

"El Latino" Of Iowa Endorses Martin O'Malley.

Des Moines Register Endorses Rubio and Clinton.

President Obama Same Popularity As Reagan At This Point Of Their Administrations.

Michael Bloomberg Explores Run For The Presidency; Ed Rendell Would Support Over Sanders.

Harry Entten Explains Why Marco Is Not Catching Fire

++Marco Rubio is one of the most conservative congresspeople and votes similarly to the Freedom Caucus in the House. 538's Harry Entten explains that the original tea party favorite just doesn't float the "establishment" boats. He analyzes JEB!'s slightly more congressional support.

Fox News National Poll--GOP

++Trump 34%
    Cruz    20%
    Rubio  18%
    Carson  8%

++The top four are basically non-establishment. Remember Marco Rubio won as the original tea bagger. So that's 80% of the GOP voter not for someone normal. 

Friday, January 22, 2016

The Snowapocalyse is here!

++Snow turns people batty. The Bernie fans see CNN posting polls favorably to Sanders as setting them up ,especially when they will be broadcasting the Iowa Town Hall, which is another Clinton trick to save her bacon.

++Bernie fans also denounced a letter "purported" to the circulated by a Democrat that accused Bernie of being a "Communist" because he participated in a twin city with the Soviet Union and was sympathetic to Castro and the Sandinistas.

++Tom Hartmann did nail Hillary on accusing Sanders of supporting a bill deregulating commodities. It's true but it was inserted in a budget bill that the Republicans had worked out with Bill Clinton in 2000. Tom also pointed out that the author of the bill in the Clinton White House is currently the financial director of the Clinton campaign. Good job,Thom.

++The Hispanic Chamber is supposed to support HUD Secretary Castro for Vice President. Hillary is taking him on the rounds in Iowa and Maine.

++Three Hispanic newspapers in Las Vegas today backed Bernie.

++A new Nevada poll shows Hillary's lead is down to four points. Another South Carolina poll shows that Bernie has cut Hillary's huge lead to 26 points.

++Bill Clinton is concerned about Hillary's strategy heading into Super Tuesday. Apparently he is on the phone to the campaign everyday.

++Former Attorney DiGenova held a lengthy meeting today with security types to discuss the FBI investigations into Hillary'emails. He claims the investigations will end in 60 to 90 days and that it should lead to indictments, the Republicans' dream, which he said would force Loretta Lynch to appoint a Special Prosecutor. He also says 50 FBI agents are investigating the Clinton Foundation for corruption. He says Hillary will be forced out of the race and Joe Biden will run with Elizabeth Warren. Which would be cool. But DiGenova is a well-known Republican operative who once prosecuted cases on classified information.

++The Bernie fans are demanding that Hillary release her speeches to the banks and explain why she earned so much.

++The Republicans want to investigate President Obama's latest deal with Iran to settle the outstanding case from the Revolution where we froze funds for arms shipments.  The GOP are claiming Obama paid ransom for this settlement and the release of a single American spy. In other words, the Republicans suspect President Obama acted like Ronald Reagan except he didn't send a cake and a bible.

++The Republicans are going ape over the National Review's and, to a lesser degree, the Weekly Standard's evisceration of the Donald. NBC is reporting that the Donald is posed to win dominating primary victories,unprecedented in Republican history.

++The GOP can't decide who's more horrible --the Donald or Rafael Cruz. It is explicit now that the entire GOP Congressional Caucus hates Cruz. And the Business Insider printed a story about how Cruz worked for W. and even support George P. Bush before turning on him.

++Ted Cruz today said he was a Christian first, an American second, a conservative third and a Republican fourth. If he were Jewish or Moslem, the place would explode. Apparently Cruz is going all religion in New Hampshire, which is ranked as the most secular state in the union.People really don't like him either.

++Cruz announced he and his family were without healthcare. he claimed it was because Obamacare forced his premiums up 50%. A spokeswomen for Blue Cross/Blue Shield in Texas said "no, the premium went up by 5% but they discontinued the PPO."  Naturally,Cruz could still enroll in Congress's Obamacare program. 

++John Kasich told the Washington Post that if he doesn't do well in New Hampshire,that's it. He'll fold up the tent and go home.

++Watch out this primary season. There are alot of tricks the GOP is trying to play the last year of Obama's administration. So hold onto to your wallet.

++Kudos to Rachel Maddow for her early and seemingly bizarre interest in Flint,Michigan. Her national reporting produced results. Not only did both democratic candidates weigh in but also President Obama. The whole white situation is a result of Governor Snyder's bizarre position on local governance. Fox News is trying to blame the citizens for the situation. Snyder cut off Flint's water because of budgetary problems and had water from the Flint River pumped into their homes. The result is lead and arsenic poisoning.

++The Obama era is slowly ending. In the personality of the week from Bill of Portland,he came in second,losing to John Kerry so I take it as a sign. So far no candidates have won yet. I'll take two weeks in a row from a candidate as the end.

++And from Israel comes this week's neatest thing. Haaretz had a piece on the secret Jewish history of David Bowie (He wasn't). They claim in Station to Station "from Kether to Malkuth" represents the only usage of Kabbalistic terminology in Hebrew  by an international pop singer.  Feel Jealous, Madonna.

538 Predicts

IOWA: Polls only prediction Hillary at 72%,Bernie 28%.
Polls Plus (includes endorsement and other factors. Hillary at 85%.

Loras College Poll: Clinton 59%,Sanders 30%, O'Malley 7%.

At Last,The GOP Civil War

++The National Review launched a whole issue of conservative writers, barkers and has-beens to attack Donald Trump. As a result,they lost sponsorship for the next Republican debate.

++Josh Marshall at Talking Points and Martin Longman has pieces today explaining the significance of the war of hates.

++Jeb!'s mother cut an ad for her son. Actually it was nice. Ed Kilgore had a piece on Michael Murphy,Bush's brain and what's gone wrong.

++Listen for the signal, not the noise. Nate Silver warns that the filers in the latest Iowa polls show that turnout is the key. Nate says Sanders' ground game is good but not at Obama levels.

++The Cook Political Report has an excellent report on the Democratic primary. It analyzes the margins both candidates need to secure the nomination. Sanders is way behind the official delegate count in a way that Obama in 2008 wasn't. The other factor is that Iowa and New hampshire are the "whitest" states in the Democratic primary schedule. Sanders support is basically "Portandia" without much support from African-Americans.

++Conservatives are thrilled more Clinton e-mails have been released.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

An Obama Win: The U.S. Court Of Appeals Declines to Stop Obama's Clean Power Plan.


Trump 37%
Cruz    26%
Rubio 14%
Carson 6%
Bush    3%

Sanders  51%
Clinton    43%

Emerson College Poll--Iowa

++Clinton 52%, Sanders 43%.

IOWA--Monmouth /KBUR

++Weirdly Hillary's internals showed a five point lead in Iowa.

++Clinton 48%, Sanders 39% and O'Malley 7%.

++Close. You would expect that the Bernie surge might show up.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Exactly One Year Left

++The clock starts clicking down. You really are going to miss the Big Man. It's not that I'm sleeping. But an awful truth is emerging. This may be the most boring election in 20 year. Both parties seemed to have become incoherent. Then it's bad enough when Bernie Sanders asserts that Planned Parenthood is the establishment. So is the drill that virtually every organization and institution should be destroyed? I have no idea.

++The elderly conservatives that e-mail me want to re-litigate the 90s. I had to bet one of them $50. that Hillary doesn't get indicted. Yes, they all wanted war when the overweight sailors were captured and he'd by Iran for ten hours. All the Republican candidates said the same. They asserted that President Obama freed Iranian-American terrorists. Interesting that they all decided to stay here and not in Iran. But never mind that President Obama said that no one convicted of terrorism or violent crimes was released. It simply didn't matter.

Monday, January 18, 2016


Clinton 54%
Sanders 36%

Clinton 45%
Sanders 45%

++GOP National:
Trump 34%
Cruz    20%
Rubio  12%
Carson 10%

Cruz 27%
Trump 25%
Rubio 14%
Carson 10%

Sunday, January 17, 2016

While The Internet Goes Bernie,Slate Gives It To Hillary

++Hillary Clinton has managed consistently impressive debate performances.Tonight she came right out of the box wrapping herself in Obama legacy,speaking about Martin Luther King and then segueing into questions about Sanders' gun positions and later his healthcare plans.

++Commentators ask then why is Hillary's performance on the campaign trail so lackluster? I've noticed on national one on one interviews she just aces it. 

++She also shows that she can counter-punch with the best of them and can take a hit and keep on going. Her foreign policy chops this year aren't matched by anyone which is why the GOP attacks her on # Benghazi!. It is the ole' Karl Rove strategy of attacking on their strength. Expect more of it. 

++Bernie was more feisty this time, but it is not the type of feistiness like Christie bullying--I'll just throw Obama out of the White House! The wind goes out of his sails while he's talking it. 

++I hope to write about Bernie's appeal in the next few weeks because it is slightly off-kelter and shows the weakness of the Left in dealing with political reality.

Google Trends and Twitter Show Democratic Debate Dwarfed GOP

++Interest in Bernie Sanders zoomed to the top followed by Hillary Clinton,the Donald is head of the GOP pack but less than half of either Democratic candidate. If you are optimistic,it means there is a large audience for serious policy discussions. 

Democratic Debate

++Josh Marshall thought Hillary helped herself more than Bernie but he thought both did fine.

++Nate Silver wondered how the feisty Bernie Sanders comes over rather than the friendly grandfatherly one. Nate reminds everyone that Hillary wrapping herself in Obama's mantle may have something to do with Iowa Caucus goers approve of Obama more than 90%. 

++I thought Hillary knew how to speak to the concerns of the Black Caucus, which co-sposored this debate. She poke about the structural racism in our justice system and opened with reference to Martin Luther King's birthday. And in South Carolina primary, the the votes tend to take on more color.

++Josh Marshall said that the Republican debates are great for the print media but this one was a reality-based debate on policy. How can you mix the two. 

The Democratic Debate

++Not alot of red meat, but alot of policy discussion. Hillary Clinton basically claimed Barack Obama. She knows what happened when the last Democrat walked away from an incumbent President. She got in her husband's economic record. Jos Marshall felt her nuanced answers on foreign policy will do her good as President.

++Can someone tell all of us why Martin O'Malley was on the stage tonight. He seemed to be an after note and one that didn't click with the debate overall.

++I'll have more tomorrow.


++Hillary Clinton 59%, Sanders 34% and O'Malley 2%.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Iran, The Big F***King Deal

++The Iran nuclear deal, even if it came undone--either by the US or Iran--as of today puts Tehran at least 10 years away from a nuclear weapon. The enriched uranium has been shipped out of the country,the ASRAK facility has been filled in and Forduz has been closed down. Ernest Moniz e-mailed me today like many others that the Iran nuclear deal is a reality today. This is of enormous geopolitical consequence. And, yes, it may shift power in the Middle East away from Saudi Arabia.

++I can't help thinking that President Obama has left us with a roadmap for the rest of the century with this deal and the Paris Climate Change agreement.

++The families of the freed Americans totally refute the criticisms of President Obama. They said early on his was in constant communication and would update them on the secret talks and finally they were notified their relatives would be released today. 

++The Republicans blasted Obama for leaving out the jailed Americans while he was negotiating. It simply was not true and in fact it took 14 months of negotiating for him to achieve today.

My Pet Peeve Rises Again.

++Social Security emerges once again as a fake election issue. Marco Rubio wants to eliminate it and wants to make Medicare a voucher system. That nice man John Kasich wants to cut Social Security. Jeb wants to privatize Medicare like he did the Florida pension system which vanished with Lehman Brothers.

++The Social Security Trust has $2.7 trillion. The Republicans have been wanting to access this for stock brokers for years. It is fully funded for 20 years. After that period, it will pay out 77% for eternity.

++Bernie Sanders proposes raising the cap for social security taxes to $250,000. That would ensure it will be healthy for 75 years or more.

++Don't buy into any rhetoric about Social Security or Medicare. It is nonsense.

++What the Republican strategy is that to overcome income inequality that want to give a bonus to Americans by stripping away their entitlements now. So your paycheck looks bigger than it is. Another trick is a flat tax.

President Obama Declares A State of Emergency For Flint,Michigan.

Hillary Clinton Calls For New Sanctions Against Iran Over Ballistic Missiles.

Bibi Outraged, Says Iran Still Wants The Nuclear Bomb.

++Bibi says he will monitor the Iranian situation closely. Israel believes the first funds to be released with the end of sanctions will be spent on weapons.

++Israel is disappointed that Robert Levinson, an American Israeli defense contractor was not among the released. Unfortunately, it is widely believed he is dead.

President Obama Signs Executive Order Lifting Economic Sanctions Against Iran

++Iran is now being integrated back into then world economy, The declaration that they are in compliance with the nuclear deal means their oil now can be traded on the world market. Germany's Airbus signed today a massive deal for the purchase of airplanes.

++The release of the Washington Post reporter and three others in exchange for 7 Iranians who violated the economic sanctions but whose sentences have nearly been completed brought howls from the GOP Presidential candidates who complained either that the Americans had been they'd held too long and unfairly or that no exchange should have taken place.

++The pledges to reverse the Iranian deal on their first day of office places the Republicans between a rock and a hard place. All it would do now is isolate the United States from its allies as Iran emerges as a possible mediator.

++Kudos to Secretary Kerry and President Obama.

++There still remain sanctions that only Congress can lift concerning terrorism and ballistic missiles.

IAEA Proclaims Iran In Compliance Economic Sanctions Lifted.

The Donald Floats Scott Brown As Possible V.P.

Washington Post Journalist Jason Rezaian Released In Prison Swap, 4 Iranian-Americans Freed

Friday, January 15, 2016

Coolest Thing On Internet

++Sarah Parcak, winner of the TED Award. appeared on the Stephen Colbert report. She's a space archaeologist. She discovers ruins under the photos taken by NASA. Her list of discoveries are awesome. More than 17 new pyramids. Her prize $1 million. She plans to use it to build international support to save archaeological finds that are now threatened by groups like ISIS.

++What will we learn about ancient civilizations we don't know? Wonderful concept and a great prize-winner.

From Camp Cuckoo

++ Our favorite Geehawdists have cancelled their meeting tonight with the Oregon residents to discuss their plan in leaving the bird refuge.

++On a snack run to Safeway,Mr. Unicorn got arrested --not because he was armed and threatening federal officers but because he took a federal vehicle to get snacks. 

++A Sovereign Citizen judge arrived to preside over the trial of local authorities who violate the rights of ranchers and others who want to take federal property. He is also a flatearther-- he took the opportunity to explain why the earth is flat to the assembled camera crews.

++Ammonium Bundy says they will not leave until all federal property is given back to the citizens. It already has been. It is our land, not the possession of some self-righteous twit.

++The Paiute Indians are truly not happy. There are over 1,000 artifacts at the refuge that represent archaeological finds of Indian settlements in the region.

++Little Bundy made a speech today that when he said give back the land--he didn't mean the native americans. They sort of forfeited the land when we took it from them. The land now belongs not to past cultures but the present.

++Local fishers and hunters are pissed because the wildlife refuge sits on the main migratory path from Patagonia to Alaska and is a breeding area for hundreds of species and ranchers would destroy that.

++Outsiders comment on the federal policy to these jokers. When unarmed African-Americans seized the refuge in1979,they were forcible removed by armed federal agents. What's special about these guys? 
No one doubts if they were black or Moslem,they would be dead by now. 

++They have turned their mail into a trade. (the US Postal service actually delivers packages to them.) The box of dildoes that sent them into a rage they are now selling on e-bay. One of their critics sent them a big tube of lube priced at $1,000. 

++The group has spent its time accessing personnel files of those at the refuge and seem to have built a new road near the main building. 

++Just as the county schools reopened with the assurances from the militias they wouldn't cause any trouble, two of their leaders got drunk and one killed the other. Apparently the Marshall ruled it self-defense.

++I'm tired of their 15 minutes of fame. Let's close them down.

Other Musings

++The Washington Post urges the removal of the natural born citizen clause from the constitution. Remember when Orrin Hatch argued the same thing because the great Republican White Hope was Arnold Schwazennagger. He was Austrian. I guess this year the Post's favorite is Marco Rubio because he's in big trouble with the eligibility for President issue.

++I made a mistake about the GOP debate. I kept saying it was the fifth. It was the sixth compared to the Democrat's two. So far we are still in the Obama era. His language may not dominate the behavior in the Washington political culture but it dominates the over-arching arguments.

++You have missed the real war party--which is the D.C. establishment. They have been banging the war drums here in D.C. with Senate hearings on Syria. Obama-era military types and his ambassador to Syria say that 25,000 American troops are not enough to seize and occupy ISIS held territory in Syria. They say the Iraqis have gotten better and with our airstrikes and other Arab states can hold the national territory together. But these troops aren't able to battle ISIS within Syria. 

++So the best bet is on "the moderates" who can only come to power if we topple Assad. These guys don't quit. Their testimony was interesting in their analysis of a more complex situation than anyone has seems to know. Tonight the Pentagon has announced plans to assist Turkey with Arab troops to defend their eastern border with Syria. But the effort is to push the Kurds away from areas that they control.

++Tomorrow The IAEA is supposed to release their report about Iran's compliance with the Iranian nuclear deal. Observers expect this report to lead to the ending of UN and EU sanctions on the country. Ours can only partially be lifted by Obama's executive actions. And those will set off a firestorm in the 2016 debate. As the Rachel Maddow interview showed, Hillary Clinton is perhaps more hardline on Iran than President Obama and Secretary John Kerry.

++Bernie Sanders came to the attention of this blog by his wonderful --real-filibuster on social security that became a book. The Republicans again claimed that Social Security was broke. As Bernie would tell you, which he did in an instagram that social security can pay full benefits to recipients until I am close to 86. Then I will get 10% left if the Republicans haven't destroyed it. Basically until I am dead.

++The delight of the week was President Obama's after the State of the Union with interviews with young posters on YouTube. He was asked what his characteristics would be if he were an element named Obamaium. He said "stable, a "Catalyst", "Useful" and not disruptive. To a young woman who just came out, he talked about the advances in LBGT rights and the work left to be done. Her question was did he know that "Tampons are taxed as luxury items in 40 states?" He didn't but opined that these were state taxes passed by males, who aren't sensitive to women's issues. He also showed her what he carries in his pockets as reminders of people who have touched him. Rosaries from Pope Francis, a miniature Buddha from a Buddhist monk, a silver poker chip from a biker in Iowa during his 2008 campaign, a silver figure of a Hindu God. He says he changes these things every day from a huge pile of things people have given him. Obama interfacing with these young people shows his great character and his ability to relate. 

++Which brings me to the great GOP talking point that Obama's Last State of the Union Address got the lowest audience of any of his. Well, we don't know because the ranking were for straight television channels. This did not include those who saw it on YouTube,Facebook, channel television shows, and the internet. And so we have no idea. 

++As I said, I missed the experimental element of the State of then Union because I didn't see the graphics on the Internet and other supplemental materials on other applications until later.

++The best treat for me this week personally is that a sophomore from Williams, an Indian women called me to talk about careers and her plans for the future. She is studying political economy now but is interested in getting involved in international affairs. She is obviously engaged now as well as playing Lacrosse.  It was interesting to bridge the generational divide because her options may appear larger than mine were but the institutional mediators are now more complex and the problems of sustainability of a lifestyle that I would sum up as the gig-economy remains a question mark. But her spirit was encouraging. We connected on the Dalai Lama for whom I arranged the first American tour, while her mother hosted him in their home in India. 

Chris Weigant's Friday Talking Points

++President Obama wins the week's Most Impressive Democrat Award for his creative use of the State of the Union to emphasize reality and to bemoan his failure to bring Red and Blue America together. Weigant also mentioned Obama's statement that the world calls us as the strongest statement of American exceptionalism said by a Democrat.

++He notes that Obama went full out against Trumpism as did Nikki Haley in the Republican address. Obama invoked our general principles honored more in the breach than overtly of respecting everyone of both creed and color.

++Bill of Portland's poll on who won the week  gave it to President Obama with John Kerry a close second for his role in freeing the American sailors from Iran's detention.

++The Worst Democrat of the Week, Weigant gave to Chelsea Clinton for her attack on Bernie Sanders saying he would eliminate Medicare,Medicaid,the CHIPS program and other accepted health plans. He also dinged Bernie Sanders for backing away from his ad that drew contrasts between his position and "other" Democrats. Martin O'Malley said this back and forth did disservice to Democrats.

++Kudos to Rachel Maddow for her interview with Hillary Clinton where she raised these issues. But also kudos for Hillary Clinton for granting the interview, which she handled masterfully. Hillary Clinton needs to be seen in these formats more often. She is articulate and not putting any distance between her and President Obama on policies. I thought she articulated her difference with Sanders on healthcare.

++I am puzzled that healthcare is a big issue in the Democratic primary. As Hillary Clinton said, the Affordable Care Act was a great achievement for the Democratic Party who have been trying something like it since Harry Truman. I remember Senator Byrd and Ted Kennedy trying to stay alive as long as possible to get the bill passed with a filibuster proof vote. Somehow in the Democratic primary the difficulty of poising such a bill escapes people. Today the Boston Globe printed a story on Vermont abandoning single payer because it would increase the state's budget so high. The sell-out, according to progressives, is Howard Dean who told me when Vermont single-payer passed that it could not be implemented. Now Howard is attacked because he is a lobbyist for a medical company. But when he told me this, he wasn't.

++I like the enthusiasm Bernie Sanders is generating on the campaign trail but I am skeptical about the feasibility of his programs with the current and future state of our political system. 

++The House will remain Republican and even worse until the next census. If the Democrats take back the Senate, it will only be by about three seats. The Democrats have miles to go in taking back the majority of state houses. With that context, a Bernie Sanders' presidency will face greater obstructionism than a Clinton's. 

++Of course, things can happen. The FBI continues to investigate the e-mail server issue--the question is whether it's about Hillary Clinton or some other aspect-is not known. The Right quotes two former Attorney-Generals saying that the FBI are certain to bring criminal charges against her. Really? The Right also says the FBI are investigating claims of corruption in the Clinton Foundation. Maybe some truth to this but I haven't seen it. But they are already debating points for Republicans who assert and will continue ton assert these things.

++#Benghazi!, the film. The film is going to persuade you better than the hearings. Unfortunately, former CIA agents have come forth in the Washington. Post to refute the most inflammatory claims of the film. The film is being peddled around the clock by FOX news and Alan Greenspan's wife claimed this will damage Hillary.

++The Donald is giving a free showing in Iowa. It is now a campaign prop and soon will become truth like "Rocky Balboa".  Whether Americans believe Hillary Clinton who withstood 11 hours on interrogation on this subject and other committee hearings remains to be seen.

++Trey Gowdy now admits having her testify in public is a mistake and that in his report he would include #Benghazi! views and those of real people and you decide. The on-going #Benghazi! looks like the GOP's issue of this year since it didn't work in 2012. The hearings already have lasted longer than the 9-11 hearings, the Assassination hearings and Watergate combined. Is it any wonder Hillary Clinton may be cynical?

++Bill Clinton's love life has become the prime subject of interest by Republicans. Bill was impeached by Henry Hyde who had an illegitimate child, New Gingrich who had an affair with his secretary,later his wife, Bob Livingstone who had an affair, Denny Hastert who was paying off a young male lover from the says when he was wrestling coach, and all Bill got was a blow job.

++I don't think the GOP can do well litigating the 1990s. But they will try because they must forget the 2000 election, the collapse of the global economy,the four dozen briefings to W about a potential 9/11,the invasion of Iraq, and all of the Obama administration. The GOP can not debate issues of the 21st century because they have been AWOL.

++The Donald won last night's debate on Young Turks. They had Cruz the big loser because of his New York slip which allowed the Donald to flatten him. Bush sort of lost because he didn't make a good impression.

++Chris Weigant warns Democrats not to take the Donald lightly. He says he is now a better debater and deflected punches well. The Donald himself says he has a better organization than Ronald Reagan. Weigant says the Democrats must think of some way to tear down the Donald when the time comes.

++It appears the Ted Cruz really does have an eligibility problem because his mother registered to vote as a Canadian before he was born. If she voted, then all bets are off because his father didn't become an American until 2010. 

++Also Marco Rubio does have a serious eligibility problem. When he was born neither parent was an American citizen, even though they soon became one.  Rubio has entered a motion to dismiss the case against him.

++Ted Cruz now faces a lawsuit challenging his eligibility by a 85-year old Texan.

++Chris Weigant got the most wounding thing to come from Jeb! camp this week. Politico interviewed over 25 donors to Bush's campaign, who are begging to be released from supporting him. His fundraiser now tells donors to give "out of loyalty to Bush", even though we are losing.

++Ben Carson has lost most of his staff and his chief fund-raiser this week.

++Bill of Portland celebrated Dion's music by playing "New York Is My Home Town" which he played with Paul Simon. Nice touch. Making music at the age of 72.And Blues.

++The distant thunder you hear maybe a recession approaching. This is the most dangerous threat to the Democrats this year. We used to have one every five years. Canadian Broadcasting says it might be worst than 2008. But is everyone conditioned to expecting the worst when we didn't before. Wen should have had one before now but labor figures look like they are diverting from the stock market losses--which will be bizarre to watch. 

++The Republicans didn't accept anything about the economy last night and Cavuto seemed to imply in his questioning that Obama created the 2008 calamity. If they can't accept the job creation now, wait to the recession.

The Big, small steps of Obama's Legacy

++Secretary of the Interior Jewell presided over the transfer of 140 square miles of land to the Iselta Pueblo. The Hopi nation has been in conflict for years over what they said was their ancestral land. Today, they got the equivalent to Detroit back. The restoration of tribal lands has been a consistent theme for President Obama. It is one part of his legacy.

Trump Leads NewsMax Poll On The Debate By A large Margin; According to Reuters,25% say Cruz ineligible.

Jeb! Endorsed by Lindsey Graham--Oh Myyy!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

The Dailykos Winners

++They had the Donald winning with three times as many votes as Cruz, then Kasich and then Rubio.

Things I Missed The First Go Around.

++I totally missed Rubio's hysteria over ISIS infiltrating engineers and doctors into the southern states. Why is it the southern states? Rep. King had Hamas infiltrating the southern states. Is it that the South has a climate like the Middle East? Anyway,Rubio changed his attitude toward immigration because of ISIS and Syrian refugees, who were none existent in 2012 when he was changing. Cruz shoved at him saying no you didn't.

++Both men went down after that last moment. 

++Kasich repeated all the great things he did under the Clinton administration and his father died of black lung. 

++Jeb said he did a good job and has a good plan  for ISIS. He also thinks we need a strong NSA.

++Chris Christie is a fighter and the country is not respected abroad. Well, watching you guys, it is no surprise.

++After this night,I don't know how Jeb graciously bows out. He did not approach the top tier. Christie is still a bully and very unlikeable. Kasich sounds reasonable but that;s not what the Republican base wants. 

++It will be interesting to see who is remaining after New Hampshire. I still can't see Rubio after the last tantrum. 

++The presidency of Barack Obama raises a very difficult point? What is the future of the white male in presidential politics? 

The Debate

++Drudge has the Donald winning at 58.2%,Cruz at 29.4%, and Rubio at 6.17%.

++Jeb is gone. He didn't register tonight and had few minutes. Ben Carson gets my best comment when he mentioned electromagnetic pulse attacks.

++Shortpants Rubio acted like he was on speed and stumbled over his memorized lines. I don't see Rubio making it but the Beltway pundits keep pulling for him.

++Christie called Obama a petulant child and that he would kick his ass out of the White House.

++The Donald and Cruz went at each other on the birther issue. The crowd was for Cruz but the Donald actually had thoughtful things to say about why it is a problem.

++Cruz had most of the debate times and used it to answer questions that were not asked. 

++John Kasich tried to come off as a sensible center-right Republican but the crowd wanted blood and they became bored with him.

++#Benghazi!,Bill's infidelity,Hillary's emails probably crimes were committed. Jeb got in Dodd-Frank.

++So President Obama made the country a mess and weakened our military and our sailors were detained by Iran for a few hours and Ted Cruz vows our military will not have to bow to foreign dictators. Kasich was the only one who pointed out that the Saudis were great, either.

++From the sunny optimism of Ronald Reagan to the party that thinks America sucks, it has been a great fall. If anyone has that sunny optimism it is President Obama. In Fact Christie complained that Obama said that things were great.

++There is no one on that stage who merits consideration for the presidency of the United States.

++Personally I thought the Donald won again but not because of his outrageousness but because he learned to modulate his outrage with saying a few sensible things. Watch out for Cruz!

++I can't believe five of these things have been done. Does this spread the GOP message or does it hurt them. Then was Debbie Wasserman Schultz a genius or an idiot for holding far less debates.

Donald Trump Requests The Canadian Anthem To Be Played Before The Main Debate For Cruz.

JV Debate

++What Happens to the attacks on Hillary if Bernie is the candidate?

++Carly Fiorina said that she loves spending time with her husband, her eye-candy. He divorced his first life to marry her and she lived with him while he was still married. However, she criticizes Bill Clinton. One blogger commented if they were too polite they would mention that Chelsea at least didn't OD.

++Mike Huckabee ballooned up in weight and said buying salad at the grocery store was less complicated than buying a gun at a gun show. I would hope so.

++Rick Santorum has the best line "Google Santorum" . Ole 'Frothy Mix wins the threat of the year award--electro-magnetic pulse attacks triggered by a nuclear explosion. "We would lose our grid,cars would stop,planes would fall out of the sky. AND THIS PRESIDENT HAS DONE NOTHING. " Isn't that terrific. In 2012,Newt tried to warn against the electro magnetic pulse. It seems it is a rightwing favorite that can't get any lift.

++Ran Paul flipped the finger at the network--classy bunch.

++All the bloggers wanted Jim Gillmore to appear. Like a walk on of Pat Paulson.

++The Middle East is in chaos because of THIS PRESIDENT. As Opposed to THAT PRESIDENT.

++Carly still wants the tax code boiled down to 3 pages. 

++Mike Huckabee went on and on about aborted fetuses. 

++The Guardian had the nest coverage ,even inventing new threats like the trans-Atlantic Iranian Airforce. 

++Carly said the Saudis were our true allies against ISIS ,while Iran fought alongside ISIS. FALSE!

++The audience booed when a moderator said the majority of Americans backed President Obama's executive orders on guns.

++This debate wasn't an advertisement for Obama's call to change the political culture.

++So OBAMA BAD. BUILD MORE SHIPS. IRAN WILL GET THE NUCLEAR BOMB AND Watch out for electromagnetic pulses.

Ten Sent To Oman From Gitmo. Total Left in Gitmo 93 persons. Obama met goal of less than 100 by January.

Paul Ryan Says Obama's Stete of the Union "a Disgrace to the Presidency" and then

++He scheduled another vote to override the Obama veto on the repeal of Obamacare. I don't know how that went.

++Then he scheduled a vote to end the Iran nuclear deal. On this over 100 Republicans failed to show up to vote. The bill failed and Ryan stalked off the podium.

++The plan,it seemed,was to vote against everything Obama claimed he had accomplished.

++Next you will have Rep.Brat vote against compassion because President Obama can't invoke "biblical values" because conservatives "own that tradition."