February 15, 2016
Vol. 21, No. 22
Books & Arts
For alumni of U.S. national-security departments and agencies, Hillary Clinton’s email saga is mind-numbing. The publicly available information makes clear she and her aides violated so many elementary security prohibitions that alumni are speechless. They wonder, had they done what she did, how quickly they would have lost their clearances and jobs and how extensive the criminal indictments against them would be. By contrast, many who have never served in government or dealt with classified information see the affair as opaque, even overblown. Certainly Clinton has worked hard to foster that impression.
It was 11:30 p.m. on the night of the Iowa caucuses and Hillary Clinton had a decision to make. She was ahead of Bernie Sanders by less than 1 percent of the vote count and most of the precincts were in. But her lead was shrinking. If she waited much longer, her victory speech might turn into a concession. So instead of taking the risk, she chose a middle course: She went out before the cameras, even as Ted Cruz was giving his own valediction, to deliver a speech that was neither victorious nor conciliatory. It was ghastly. With her former president husband standing behind her slack-jawed—his mouth hung weirdly agape throughout her...
So now that the Democratic party is well and truly feeling the Bern, how should those of us who identify not as democratic socialists nor oligarchs nor oligarch-enablers feel about those lighter-shade-of-Mao “Bernie 2016" yard signs reddening up the landscape? The perhaps counterintuitive answer is . . . thrilled. Ecstatic, even. The Sandernistas on the march will be more fun to watch than a crossover season of Girls and The Walking Dead—if, that is, one could still stomach watching Lena Dunham now that she's thrown in her lot with that pantsuited Goldman Sachs subsidiary who portrays Hillary Clinton on various debate stages and social...
Des Moines, Iowa The shorthand understanding of the likely three-man race for the Republican nomination goes something like this. Donald Trump is the populist outside agitator, running on economic nationalism and against the entire political system. Ted Cruz is the antiestablishment crusader, running on sharp intellect, eager confrontation, and ideological purity. And Marco Rubio is the conventional candidate, running on optimism, easing our anxieties, and repairing old divisions. Cruz and Trump are often lumped together as “outsiders" or "antiestablishment," manifestations of the anger and frustration of the Republican base.
John Kasich walked into a small conference room at the Atkinson Country Club this morning and was greeted by a polite crowd of roughly forty people. Which is actually kind of impressive, the venue was tucked away in a next of winding back roads and Granite Staters woke up to a snowstorm troublesome enough to cancel area schools. (It would have shut down Washington, D.C., for 48 hours.)
Kasich spoke for just eight minutes—half of which he spent bantering with a pair of kids who were ready to go sledding—and then took questions from a group of voters who seemed neither hostile, nor enthusiastic. There was no excitement. No real message, even. Except that Kasich is not like any ofRead more
Actor Danny Glover is throwing his support behind Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.
"Bernie Sanders' campaign has already accomplished what most observers -- including many of his supporters -- thought was impossible. Coming from 40 points behind in the polls when the campaign began, he achieved a virtual tie with Hillary Clinton in Iowa and enjoys a huge lead in the second Democratic contest in New Hampshire," Glover writes in his endorsement.
"There is now no denying that he is a serious contender. Although Clinton still leads in national polls, most of the people surveyed by those polls have so far given little attention to the fundamentally different policy goals between Democratic Party presidentialRead more
The Washington Post claims that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has “gained an apparent ally…in her fight to limit the political damage from her growing email controversy."
The supposed ally is another former secretary of state, Colin Powell. Why? Two of Powell's emails have been retroactively classified. (He doesn't think they should be.)
But there are obvious differences between Powell's receipt of two emails and Clinton's robust private email operation. Let's compare the facts as set forth in the Post's own piece.
First, "tens of thousands of emails…passed through the private server Clinton used while in office." Powell did not have a private server for his State Department emails.Read more
Donald Trump canceled his only scheduled campaign event in New Hampshire on Friday because it is snowing in the Granite State. "Due to the weather and the airports being closed Mr. Trump is unable to attend today's Town Hall at the Londonderry Lions Club," the Trump campaign said in a press release. "This event will be rescheduled and additional details will follow. Mr. Trump will campaign in New Hampshire on Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday." Huffington Post reporter Scott Conroy notes that other campaigns stayed on schedule despite the snow.Read more
The latest dead-on-arrival lame-duck proposal from the White House came Thursday. In a statement about its “21st Century Clean Transportation System" plan, the Obama administration said it would pay for new infrastructure spending with a "new fee paid by oil companies." Here's an excerpt:
So to meet our needs in the future, we have to make significant investments across all modes of transportation. And our transportation system is heavily dependent on oil. That is why we are proposing to fund these investments through a new $10 per barrel fee on oil paid by oil companies, which would be gradually phased in over five years.Read more
The American Founders designed a federal government of separated powers: They authorized Congress to pass the laws, the president to execute them, and the Supreme Court (and "such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish") to apply them in judicial proceedings. But the lawmaking power is now, illegitimately, being shared. We currently have a president who feels free to grant unilateral executive amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants in plain defiance of federal immigration law, to decree myriad changes to Obamacare at his whim, even to rename mountains and to decide who is pictured on our currency.Read more
On Thursday, New Jersey governor Chris Christie attacked Florida senator Marco Rubio from the left on the issue of abortion.
"He's made it very clear that — on the issue of pro-life, Marco Rubio is not for an exception for rape, incest or life of the mother," Christie said on MSNBC's Morning Joe. "Now, you know, I think that's the kind of position that New Hampshire voters would be really concerned about."
"I am pro-life, but I believe that rape, incest and life of the mother, as Ronald Reagan did, should be exceptions to that rule," Christie added.
Christie made two claims that are flatly false. First, Rubio has always said that he supports an exception when the life of the mother is endangered.Read more
For all the hype surrounding him, a Marco Rubio rally is completely different from the mega-rallies of Trump and Sanders or even the smaller, yet richly-produced, Clinton affairs. Thursday’s rally, for instance, was held in a dingy banquet hall just off the U.S. 1 Bypass in Portsmouth. At eight o'clock in the morning about 150 people packed into the small room, which looked like most of the bare-bones, early campaign events you see every four years in New Hampshire. Except for one thing: the candidate.Read more
After last night's Democratic debate, Rachel Maddow, one of the debate moderators, hugged the candidates. First Bernie Sanders got pulled tight, then Hillary Clinton.
Longtime Fox News Channel host and senior political analyst Brit Hume noted on Twitter,
"Rachel Maddow embraces both Clinton and Sanders at end of debate. I don't think I've ever seen a moderator do that before."
Rachel Maddow embraces both Clinton and Sanders at end of debate. I don't think I've ever seen a moderator do that before.Read more
During Thursday night's Democratic debate, Hillary Clinton was asked about her email scandal, electability, and other related issues.
Chuck Todd asked, "Are you 100% confident that nothing is going to come of this FBI investigation?"
Clinton replied, "I am 100% confident.Read more
Hillary Clinton supporters attended the Democratic debate in full force.
Here is a picture one of her fundraisers, former governor Howard Dean and Steve Elmendorf—a Goldman Sachs lobbyist.
Yahoo's Michael Isikoff notes Elmendorf is a "key player" in her campaign. Elmendorf runs Subject Matter, "a go-to Democratic lobbying firm for corporate interests, raking more than $10 million in fees last year." Its clients include Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, Verizon, and Monsanto.
This isn't an ideal image for Clinton, who has been fighting her ties to Wall Street. Just yesterday, Anderson Cooper asked Clinton, "did you have to be paid $675,000" for speeches to Goldman Sachs. She replied, "That's what they offered.Read more
During Thursday night's Democratic debate, Bernie Sanders called Hillary Clinton establishment, and Clinton railed against Sanders' attacks on her.
Clinton said, "I think it's time to end the very artful smear that you and your campaign have been carrying out in recent weeks. And let's talk about the issues."
The audience replied with a mix of cheers and boos.Read more
Hillary Clinton is admitting to supporters that her main Democratic rival, Bernie Sanders, outraised her by $5 million last month.
"We just learned that the Sanders campaign raised $5 million more than ours did in January, and they raised another $3 million in a single day after the Iowa caucus," Clinton writes to her supporters this evening.
"I'm proud of the campaign we're running -- I'm committed to standing with you to make life better for American families, and I'm ready to fight by your side to earn every vote, take on the Republicans, win the White House, and make history.
"But daniel, if we don't win this nomination, we'll never get the chance to do those things. So on this important night, show me you'reRead more
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