This is my news roundup for the week ending 02/07/2016.
MANCHESTER, N.H. — Hillary Clinton still has defeated Bernie Sanders in the Iowa Democratic caucus, but an internal party review released Sunday found new errors in the original count that further narrowed her margin of victory — a result that’s likely to keep scrutiny on the caucus state while the rest of the country looks to New Hampshire.
The audit by the Iowa Democratic Party discovered errors in five of 14 precincts across the state from Monday’s caucuses that shrink Clinton’s overall advantage in the key delegate results to a 0.25 percent lead over Sanders, down from 0.27 percent.
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Errors were found that affect the outcome in multiple directions for all three Democrats who participated in the caucus. Sanders picked up small additional totals of state delegate equivalents because of precinct mistakes in Marion, Woodbury and Poweshiek counties. Clinton netted a small increase because of a problem in a precinct in Story County. And Martin O’Malley, who withdrew from the race after his poor showing last Monday, also came out with additional delegate support because of errors in Osceola County.
Read the rest of this article on Politico.com
Sanders has ended the coronation and fired up the grass roots. Now Clinton’s electability argument is crumbling too
February 7, 2016
It would be hard to overstate what Bernie Sanders has already achieved in his campaign for president, or the obstacles he’s had to surmount in order to achieve it. Not only has he turned a planned Hillary Clinton coronation into an exercise in grass-roots democracy, he’s reset the terms of the debate. We are edging closer to the national conversation we so desperately need to have. If we get there, all credit goes to Bernie.
Many of those obstacles were put in place by Democratic national party chair and Clinton apparatchik Deborah Wasserman Schultz. Without pretense of due process, Schultz slashed the number of 2016 debates to six, down from 26 in 2008, and scheduled as many as she could on weekends when she figured no one would be watching. To deprive would-be challengers of free exposure, Schultz robbed voters of free and open debate and ceded the spotlight to the dark vaudeville of the Republicans. That Sanders got this far in spite of her is a miracle in itself.
Sanders got bagged again in Iowa, this time by a state party chair, one Andrea McGuire. Like Schultz, McGuire’s specialty is high-dollar fund raising, and like Schultz she was deeply involved in Clinton’s 2008 campaign. Under the esoteric rules of the Iowa Democratic caucuses, and after a string of lucky coin tosses, Clinton eked out a 700.52 to 696.86 margin, not in votes cast but in a mysterious commodity known as “delegate equivalents.”
Read the rest of this article at Salon.com
The Democratic near-deadlock in the Iowa caucus was certainly a surprise — and in many ways a loss — for Hillary Clinton, who assumed a coronation once before, back in 2008. Now that she’s barely squeezed out a victory, the primaries ahead will require an extra push from her.
That extra push is likely to feature the following argument, which is especially effective on voters who are on the fence: Bernie Sanders may be progressive, bold and interesting, but Clinton’s time as secretary of state, first lady and senator, along with her sharp political instincts, ensures that she would be the best executive in a tumultuous time. Clinton has the ability to flip votes and to bring together stakeholders to reach consensus, while Sanders’s administration would have little to show for it because his quixotic idealism would lose to the competing forces of organized Republican resistance and heavy corporate lobbying.
It sounds like a good argument, but it’s deeply flawed, because it ignores a lingering problem for the party. The Democrats have expressed optimism that the party will recapture the House of Representatives. It remains to be seen how much those feelings reflect reality, but analysts know this much: If the party doesn’t succeed in taking over Congress, then extending the party’s stay in the White House means little. No Democratic president is going to have much success pushing through policy as long as Republicans have a majority, or even a sizable minority, in Congress.
President Obama’s eight years in office have been marked by resistance from congressional Republicans at every turn, even when his party had the legislature. His mildest of proposals took shoving to get through — hence his decision to use executive orders. (Although Republicans paint his actions as excessive, he’s used fewer executive orders than the GOP’s modern-day patron revolutionary, Ronald Reagan.) The Affordable Care Act, the Obama administration’s hallmark piece of legislation, has faced futile overturn votes numerous times, and two failed Supreme Court attempts to void it.
Read the rest of this article at The Jewish Daily Forward
Sanders tired of being ‘lectured’ on foreign policy
Portsmouth, New Hampshire (CNN)Vermont independent Sen. Bernie Sanders is tired of people questioning his credentials on international affairs, saying that he’s been “lectured on foreign policy” recently.
“As somebody who voted against the war in Iraq, who lead the opposition for the war in Iraq, lately I have been lectured on foreign policy,” he told a group of mostly students on Sunday at Great Bay Community College here. “The most important foreign policy issue in the modern history of this country was the war in Iraq. I was right on that issue, Hillary Clinton was wrong.”
Read the rest on CNN.com
The Vampire Squid Tells Us How to Vote
Lloyd Blankfein charges for investment advice — but his political wisdom is free
By Matt Taibbi February 5, 2016
Lloyd Blankfein, Chief Executive Cephalopod of Goldman Sachs, issued a warning about the Bernie Sanders campaign this week.
“This has the potential to be a dangerous moment,” he said on CNBC’s Squawk Box.
The Lloyd was peeved that Sanders, whom he’s never met, singled him out in a debate last week. “Another kid from Brooklyn, how about that,” he lamented.
He ranted about how frightening it is that a candidate like Sanders, who seems to have no interest in “compromising” with Wall Street, could become so popular.
“Could you imagine,” he asked, “if the Jeffersons and Hamiltons came in with a total pledge and commitment to never compromise with the other side?”
Read the rest at RollingStone.com
The argument that Clinton can navigate the nightmare of D.C. better than Bernie is simply wrong
February 5, 2016
What’s most troubling about the daily invective launched against supporters of Bernie Sanders isn’t that it is mostly wrong but that it functions to obscure a substantive, interesting and historic conflict over the future of the Democratic Party.
The smokescreen at its most basic level is that Hillary Clinton is a pragmatic realist who will be able to work with Republicans, while Bernie Sanders is an uncompromising idealist whose proposal for a socialist utopia is dead on arrival. There is not much explanation as to why Clinton is more likely to reach a compromise with a group of House Republicans led by a man who has consideredAyn Rand “required reading in my office for all my interns and my staff.” But never mind.
The next line of attacks is designed to put Sanders supporters back on their heels: Clinton is a realist, warts and all, because she is a woman: “YOU DON’T LIKE THAT SHE PLAYS THE GAME? THAT SHE HAS TIES TO THE ESTABLISHMENT? FOR ONE THING, THAT’S HOW SHIT FUCKING GETS DONE. FOR THE OTHER THING, THE BIGGEST THING, A WOMAN DOESN’T GET THE FUCKING OPTION *NOT* TO PLAY THE GAME.”
To recap, Clinton voted to invade Iraq, backed job-killing trade agreements, suggested that black women on welfare were “deadbeats” who were “sitting around the house doing nothing,” called for “more police” and “more prisons” and “more and tougher prison sentences for repeat offenders,” and bases not only her campaign finances but her entire social universe on and amid the superrich who she resides among in Westchester and the Hamptons — because she is a realist who can get things done.
Or because she had to do it this way because she is a woman. Or both.
No matter Sanders’ legion of women supporters, including many outspoken socialists. This argument renders those women invisible in an effort to inoculate pro-Clinton women’s arguments from criticism. The fact that a Sanders supporter might also be a big fan of Elizabeth Warren, and in many cases initially lobbied for her to run for president, is also an automatic nonstarter, as Rebecca Traister made clear: “spare me the wistful paeans to Elizabeth Warren…citing a fondness for her as a get-out-of-sexism card is a dodge.”
Ad hominem attacks against Sanders supporters are on the rise after Iowa, and they are increasingly unkind. Clinton partisans are likely motivated by uncomfortable data points: 86-percent of women under 30 caucusing in Iowa said they support Sanders.
And so the sexism argument doesn’t wash. But since opposing Clinton necessarily entails some unsavory or unfortunate motivation, there are other arguments to pursue. Like that young people, God bless them, are innocent of how the world works.
Read the rest of this article on Salon.com
February 07, 2016, 12:58 pm
By Kyle Balluck
A new poll shows Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders firmly entrenched atop their respective fields just days ahead of the New Hampshire primary.
Trump has 30 percent support from likely Republican primary voters, according to a Monmouth University Poll released Sunday.
His closest competitor, John Kasich, earns 14 percent support in results virtually unchanged from January.
Read the rest of this article at TheHill.com
February 5, 2016
NASHUA, N.H. — Hillary Clinton’s once commanding lead over Bernie Sanders in national polls is gone. A new one out today shows they are now in a statistical tie.
And in New Hampshire, four days before the first primary, Sanders leads Clinton by 20 points. After the candidates’ feisty debate Thursday night, Clinton talked with CBS News correspondent Nancy Cordes.
NANCY CORDES: Madame Secretary, when I talk to voters here who don’t support you, one of the reasons they often give is because of your speaking fees, because of donations from Wall Street. How do you change that perception?
HILLARY CLINTON: The Sanders campaign has been running this campaign of insinuation and innuendo. Say it to my face! Show me one view, show me one vote that has ever been influenced. I take my responsibility to people that I serve really seriously, and I have always had that as my north star. But I’m tired of this, you know, smear campaign that they’ve been trying to get people to buy in to, and enough is enough.
CORDES: But why do you think it’s been so successful?
CLINTON: Oh, look — I think that there is a, a susceptibility for people to be worried, and I get that, and that’s why I’m answering questions, and that’s why I’m putting out my policies. And that’s why Wall Street billionaires are running ads against me. They’re not running them against Senator Sanders.
Read the rest at CBSNews.com
Face The Nation
February 7, 2016
Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders says “the American people know better” than to assume campaign contributions do not impact politicians. The Vermont senator says there is a big difference between his supporters’ donations of “30 or 40 dollars” and large super PAC contributions to his competitors.
Curated from CBSNews.com
Hillary Clinton accuses Bernie Sanders of Artful Smear during New Hampshire debate
— Zaid Jilani (@ZaidJilani) February 5, 2016
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.
Read the rest of this article at The Weekly Standard
The Democratic Party elite has launched a virtually unprecedented attack against Bernie Sanders.
Read the rest of this article on Jacobin.com
The reparations demand survives as a parlor debate — it cannot address the real needs and interests of black workers.
Ta-Nehisi Coates recently criticized the Bernie Sanders campaign for Sanders’s pessimism regarding black reparations for slavery and Jim Crow segregation. When asked during a campaign event whether he would support reparations, Sanders responded with characteristic bluntness, saying that “its likelihood of getting through Congress is nil,” before adding that a push for formal reparations for slavery would be politically divisive.
Instead of reparations, Sanders argued,
what we should be talking about is making massive investments in rebuilding our cities, in creating millions of decent paying jobs, in making public colleges and universities tuition-free, basically targeting our federal resources to the areas where it is needed the most and where it is needed the most is in impoverished communities, often African American and Latino.
Sanders’s plan is part of his long-held political vision that sees a revitalized public sector as a lever to address the needs of the most submerged segments of the population through universal social policy. But Coates was not impressed. As the foremost proponent of reparations in recent memory, he viewed Sanders’s response as a fundamental weakness in the senator’s “political revolution.”
According to Coates, “Sanders’s radicalism has failed in the ancient fight against white supremacy.” Moreover, Coates contended that Sanders’s class-based remedy is rooted in “the myth that racism and socialism are necessarily incompatible,” and argued that
raising the minimum wage doesn’t really address the fact that black men without criminal records have about the same shot at low-wage work as white men with them; nor can making college free address the wage gap between black and white graduates. Housing discrimination, historical and present, may well be the fulcrum of white supremacy. Affirmative action is one of the most disputed issues of the day. Neither are addressed in the “racial justice” section of Sanders [sic] platform.
In a follow-up to his initial criticism of Sanders, Coates highlighted the limits of social democracy in achieving racial justice in Europe. “There is no need to be theoretical about this,” he declared.
Across Europe, the kind of robust welfare states Sanders supports — higher minimum wage, single payer health care, low-cost higher education — has been embraced. Have these polices vanquished racism? Or has race become another rubric for asserting who should benefit from the state’s largesse and who should not? And if class-based policy alone is insufficient to banish racism in Europe, why would it prove to be sufficient in a country founded on white supremacy?
We actually do need to be theoretical about this. Coates’s sweeping mischaracterization diminishes the actual impact that social-democratic and socialist governments have historically had in improving the labor conditions and daily lives of working people, in Europe, the United States, and for a time, across parts of the Third World.
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Bernie Sanders on Saturday Night Live!