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Bernie v Hillary, Round One

By The Reverend Published: February 5, 2016

Transcript of last night's debate between Hillary and Bernie found here. 

Observation: It's quite noticeable how the Democratic debates actually deal with real policy issues in comparison with the Clown Shows from the Republicans.

Last night's debate was a good one. Not a kiddie table debate, not a Performance by Clowns on a stage out-testosteroning one another.......this was an adult discussion by adults.

Rather than go question by question, I've cherry-picked an exchange which, I think, best contrasts the most important distinction between Clinton and Sanders. Chuck Todd asked Sanders why important Democrats, like Howard Dean, are supporting Hillary....

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Desperately Seeking Stained Dresses

By The Reverend Published: February 4, 2016

Republicans have been search, search, searching for that "blue dress". They actually thought they had found the "stained" damn thing when Benghazi!...the production....aired continuously for two years. But alas, they had only callously exploited the death of four Americans, shamelessly, in the hopes of diminishing Hillary's 2016 prospects.

Just like in the 90's when the "vast rightwing conspiracy" was searching for...anything...to destroy Bill Clinton's presidency.....Whitewater, TravelGate, Vince Foster's suicide, etc.....whenever one hysteria-well runs dry, another is quickly found. And so it is with Hillary. With Benghazi interest receding, the "blue dress" for Republicans has become Hillary's emails. By god, they finally got her.....is what we have been hearing.

As is usually the case, some important Republican figure publicly opines that a Clinton has done something highly illegal...which is then taken as Village and winger gospel.....and spread nationwide as if it is factual. Here is.... a former federal judge who served as attorney general during former president George W. Bush’s administration.....also named as an early adviser to the Jeb Bush campaign....Michael Mukasey...last August....

“I think the more dangerous part of this, from her standpoint, is not so much the placement of the material here as wiping the server.”

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Taking From The Olds To Benefit The Haves

By The Reverend Published: February 4, 2016

Two more Clowns have fallen out of the GOP Clown Bus. Rand Paul and Rick Santorum have "suspended" their campaigns......word usage I have never quite understood. The word "suspending" means, like, a temporary interruption in a process which you hope to continue at a later time. The proper word there should have been "ending", not "suspending". But I guess the word "suspending" is more, you know, politically correct.

Meanwhile, the Speaker formerly known as Boehner's beard, Paul Ryan.....fresh from yet another House vote, this time to override an Obama veto of a stunt-bill to repeal Obamacare...which, as predicted, failed miserably....is telegraphing to seniors and near-seniors that he and his TeaNut compatriots are coming after their Medicare and Social Security....

“I believe we are one presidency away from losing control of the situation,” Ryan told a room full of conservatives at Heritage Action’s annual policy summit.

“If a progressive gets the White House, then we won’t have the kind of entitlement reform we need to get our debt under control and to get our budget balanced. ... [W]e will have a real crisis on our hands.”

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Hpoelessly Divided

By The Reverend Published: February 3, 2016

Warning: The following blog post may leave readers distraught. If you are prone to being easily depressed, The Reverend advises caution in reading further.

New York Magazine interviewed 100 GOP voters from Iowa and New Hampshire. The article they put together detailing those interviews is worth a read....just to see how uninformed and confused many likely-Republican voters are in 2016. The takeaway by the writers was that what Republican primary voters are looking for in a presidential candidate is a....strongman....

This attraction to strength seems to be connected to an inchoate sense that the world is falling apart. The voters we spoke to were concerned about a lot of potential threats — terrorist, economic, and cultural — and hoped that a strong president would protect them from dangers within as well as from abroad. Voters said they no longer felt free to be themselves in their own country — policed in their speech, unable to pray publicly or even say “God bless you” when someone sneezes. “Everything’s so p.c.,” said Priscilla Mills, a 33-year-old hospital coordinator from Manchester. “And then the second you do say something, you’re a racist.” Trump, who had 21 percent of the vote in our small sample, has capitalized the most on the political-correctness grievance, which is likely to surface in the general election no matter who becomes the nominee.

I talked to a 30-something insurance agent this week who had a Trump sticker on his vehicle. I asked him...why do you like Trump? The answer was Fox boilerplate stuff....but what stood out to me was the notion that the Obama years have been, somehow, exceptionally destructive for the United States and Americans.

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What Does It All Mean? Not Much

By The Reverend Published: February 2, 2016

Hillary and Bernie finished the Iowa caucuses in a virtual dead heat. Mrs. Clinton with 49.9%, Sanders with 49.6%. Hillary will claim 28 Iowa delegates at the DNC Convention, Bernie will claim 21 Iowa delegates at the DNC Convention. Martin O'Malley dropped out of the Democratic primary race after last night's results came in.

On the GOP side of things, Ted Cruz took 27.7% of Iowa caucus goers, Don Trump took 24.3% and Marco Rubio took 23.1% of the Iowa GOP caucus vote. Cruz will claim 8 Iowa delegates at the GOP Convention....Trump and Rubio will both claim 7 delegates a piece. Mike Huckabee "suspended" his campaign.

A few thoughts....

1-Jeb Bush won 2.8% of Iowa GOP caucus goers. I'm not sure how long the Bush family will endure the humiliation of painfully watching Jeb being rejected by Republican voters. Bush is staged to do a bit better in New Hampshire where Real Clear Politics has him at 10.3%, one third of Trump's leading 33.2% in the state. Will Jeb wait until he is embarrassed, big time, in his own home state of Florida before he drops out? Probably. But he should get out after New Hampshire. Why? Because Jeb is polling at 6.6% in his home state.

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The Beginning

By The Reverend Published: February 1, 2016

Yes, someone has to go first.....but make no mistake, the results of the Iowa caucuses are a teeny, tiny snapshot of who a very small number of Iowa voters favor. In 2008, for example.....

“The Democratic winner, Barack Obama, received the votes of just 4 percent of Iowa’s eligible voters. Mike Huckabee, the Republican victor, attracted the support of a mere 2 percent of Iowa adults,”

Further, in the Republican Iowa caucuses of 2012 only 19.8% of registered Republicans in the state participated...which represented only 5.4% of all registered Iowa voters.

So: Not representative of much of anything.

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Poisoning The Children....To Save Them

By The Reverend Published: January 31, 2016

I have heard quite a lot from GOP hopefuls about how "our children" are being burdened with so much government debt....and how, by god, when they are president, they're going to do something about it. Federal government spending, we are told repeatedly by GOP Clowns, must be significantly reduced to save the future lives of the "children" of today from being enslaved to paying down federal debt.

The message? Republicans, deeply, care for America's children.....

Emails released by the office of Gov. Rick Snyder last week referred to a resident who said she was told by a state nurse in January 2015, regarding her son’s elevated blood lead level, “It is just a few IQ points. ... It is not the end of the world.” Dr. Hanna-Attisha and others who have studied lead poisoning have a sharply different view of lead exposure, for which there is no cure. “If you were going to put something in a population to keep them down for generations to come, it would be lead,” Dr. Hanna-Attisha said.

“It is just a few IQ points. ... It is not the end of the world.”

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The "S" Word? Or, The "C" Word?

By The Reverend Published: January 30, 2016

As it stands now, Hillary Clinton has what looks like a safe national lead among Democratic voters over Bernie Sanders. Sanders looks poised to compete in Iowa on Monday,.....he should win, perhaps handily, in New Hampshire on February 9th....but as conventional wisdom has it, after that, it looks like Hillary will be in the driver's seat to capture the Dem nomination.

But to some, the popularity of Bernie Sanders' candidacy is just too close for comfort. In this WSJournal piece, Peggy Noonan explains how the Sanders campaign marks a generational change within the Democratic Party.....

I listen to Mr. Sanders a lot, and what he says marks a departure from the ways the Democratic Party has been operating for at least a generation now.

The Clinton administration didn’t hate Wall Street, it hired Wall Street. Big government, big Wall Street—it all worked. It was the Great Accommodation, and it was a break with more-socialist approaches of the past.

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Trump Doesn't Participate....Wins Debate Anyway

By The Reverend Published: January 29, 2016

While The Donald was up the street raising $6 million for 22 veterans groups...and joined on stage by Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum.......the other also-ran Clowns were welcomed to the GOP's 7th "debate" by Megyn Kelly.... who immediately began asking questions about....Trump...

Kelly: Senator Cruz, before we get to the issues, let's address the elephant not in the room tonight. Donald Trump has chosen not to attend this evening's presidential debate. What message do you think that sends to the voters of Iowa?

Kelly: you praised Mr. Trump as somebody who you thought was an effective voice against the Washington cartel. You said you were glad that he was running as a Republican. But when he started to criticize you, your message changed, and you suddenly started to portray him as the voice of the Washington cartel, and suggested he would do the Democrats' bidding. Which is it?

Wallace: The campaign has in a sense turned into a battle for the soul of the Republican party: establishment versus grassroots, pragmatic versus principle. You say that you can unite all of the factions inside the GOP. How?

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He's An Unforgiving, Vengeful Beast

By The Reverend Published: January 28, 2016

Yesterday, I saw, somewhere, a clever twist to The Donald's slogan "make America great again" ....."make America hate again." And as that clever slogan pertains to the alleged feud between Megyn Kelly and Trump, it is spot on. Take a look....

34 different Twitter accounts have targeted Kelly with the “c” word in the last 24 hours. 423 have called her a bitch. “Bimbo” clocked in at 404. “Whore” was leveled at the accomplished news anchor 88 times. These numbers are, of course, subject to change.

But, quite frankly, I don't think Trump's no-show at tonight's Fox GOP "debate" has much, if anything, to do with Megyn Kelly. I have heard Trump comment....multiple times....about the ratings, the number of viewers, watching the GOP Clown "debates." Because he is the Kong, Trump takes personal credit for record-breaking "debate" audiences.

So, with just a few days left before voting, or caucusing, begins....The Donald, I think, is teaching cable network heads, like Roger Ailes at Fox, a very expensive lesson about who holds most of the money cards, as it were.

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