Blogs | Mother Jones http://www.motherjones.com/Blogs/2011/06/stimulus-spending-and-time-warpshttp%3A/motherjones.com/Blogs/2009/06 http://www.motherjones.com/files/motherjonesLogo_google_206X40.png Mother Jones logo http://www.motherjones.com en Here’s the One Thing Every Candidate in New Hampshire Has in Common http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2016/02/people-candidates-meet-new-hampshire <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>New Hampshire is different&mdash;so says New Hampshire. But it's unarguably true; no state combines as high a saturation of candidate visits with such a small, tightly concentrated population. (Just try having <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2016/02/chez-vachon-manchester-carly-fiorina" target="_blank">some breakfast poutine</a> in Manchester.) The effect is that the candidates sometimes seem as if they spend as much time talking <em>about</em> the voters they meet as they do talking <em>to</em> them. As the Republican and Democratic contenders made their final pitch over the last eight days, they used New Hampshirites they've met to make substantive points about heroin addiction, drug prices, and college tuition&mdash;or just to have some fun with their audience (we see you, Chris Christie). Here's a sampling:</p> <p>Ohio Gov. John Kasich:</p> <blockquote> <p>One lady was sitting way up in the bleachers, at the end of the town hall...And she's sitting way up in the stands and she raises her hand and she says, 'I have a 31-year-old daughter, she developed cancer as a young kid, and we don't know where we can put her. She's on prescription drugs because of the pain and so we have to watch that and we don't know exactly where she should be.' And I looked at her and said, 'You're all alone aren't you?' And she said 'Yeah, I am, I'm all alone.' And I said 'Why don't you come down here.' And she came down to where I was. I gave her a big hug, and I said 'You know you&rsquo;re not alone anymore.' And we followed up...</p> </blockquote> <p>Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton:</p> <blockquote> <p>In short encounters with people, they sometimes tell you the most personal things...When I was canvassing in Manchester, a young man came up to me and he said, 'I'm supporting you.' I said, 'Thank you.' I said, 'I want to know why.' He said, 'Because you've been talking about addiction.' I said, 'Did you have a personal experience?' He said, 'Yeah, I'm a student athlete, I got injured my senior year in high school. I had to have surgery and I got a lot of pain pills. A lot of opioids. And I got hooked.' He said then when they cut him off, 'I turned to heroin. It was cheap and readily available.' He said, 'I'm two and a half years sober. It's really hard. Every single day, it's really hard.' He said, 'I want a president who thinks about people like me.'</p> </blockquote> <p>New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie:</p> <blockquote> <p>It's funny, when you're a US attorney or a governor and you travel out of state from New Jersey, it's amazing the things people wanna ask you. So I had a guy in New Hampshire, he said, 'I need to ask you a question about something.' I said, 'Okay, what do you want to ask me?' He said, 'I wanna ask you about Tony Soprano.' So I said, 'Oh my God&hellip;'</p> </blockquote> <p>Kasich:</p> <blockquote> <p>A couple nights ago, there's a young woman sitting in the back, we were talking about the issue of heroin and prescription drugs and all the things that we've done, 'cause there's been so many things that we've done. She finally raised her hand back there and she said 'My daughter's been sober for 11 months,' and everybody was stunned, and there were people out there that were tearing up. And I said to the crowd, I said, 'Do you have any idea what this lady&rsquo;s life is like? 11-months sober? Well, we don't know what's gonna happen in the 12th month, or the 13th month. And it's a mom that loves her daughter.' Yeah I guess I'm now gonna call this daughter and say, 'You know, mom's counting on you.' Things like that have been happening all the time and I have become convinced that all of us need to slow down.</p> </blockquote> <p>Christie:</p> <blockquote> <p>I met a guy this morning who was talking to me about his dad, who's a truck driver. He was at a town hall this morning to ask me a question about his dad. His dad had to be out driving today. One of the things that we talked about was&mdash;I know how to drive, right? I know how to work the clutch and shift, I know how to use the steering wheel and pump gas. You don't want me driving an 18-wheeler truck. Believe me, you do not want me driving that truck. Right? It's a different skill set. You've got to have some experience and training. Especially on a day like today. It's raining out, the weather&rsquo;s wet, the roads are tough. You don't want somebody who doesn&rsquo;t know what they're doing behind the wheel of that truck. Even though I know how to drive, it doesn't mean I know how to drive an 18-wheel truck.</p> </blockquote> <p>Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush:</p> <blockquote> <p>At a town hall meeting today, someone came&mdash;told a story of their father who looked like he was 85. He had, he got a bill eight years later from an operation he had. Eight years it took. They couldn't resolve the dispute and then he was told that he died. Literally, the Veterans Administration sent a death certificate to this guy and it took nine months to clarify the guy [was alive]. I met him. He's voting for me. And he is&mdash;likely to be alive.</p> </blockquote> <p><a href="http://www.motherjones.com/contributor/2015/07/cool-people-buy-steaks-from-brookstone" target="_blank">Failed steak salesman</a> Donald Trump:</p> <blockquote> <p>I was just up in Manchester, I met with the police officers yesterday. Tremendous people. They love the area, they love the people, they love all the people. They want to do their job. And you're going to have abuse and you're going to have problems, and you've got to solve the problems and you have to weed out the problems. But the police in this country are absolutely amazing people.</p> </blockquote> <p>Christie:</p> <blockquote> <p>Let there be no doubt that I want your vote...Earlier in New Hampshire, back last August, I gave a town hall meeting and a gentleman came up to me afterwards, he said 'Governor, I love everything you said, I agree with all your positions, I think you'd be a great leader for our country, and I'm not voting for you.' I said, 'You're not voting for me, what do you mean you're not voting for me?' He said, 'Well I agree with on your positions. I'm not voting for you but I wish you the best of luck.' He looked like he was in his mid '80s, and he started walking away from me. I said 'Wait, wait, wait, come back here.' I said, 'Come on, tell me what I've got to do. That's fair.' He said, 'Alright&mdash;because you didn't ask for my vote.' He said, 'I sat here for two hours, I listened to all your positions, I loved them, I like you, but if you don't ask for my vote, you're not getting my vote. So you're not getting my vote, I'm sorry.'</p> <p>I looked at him and said, 'Well <em>can</em> I have your vote?' He said, 'Too late.' I said, 'Too late?? It's August, man. You're not voting until February. How can it be too late!' He said, 'Alright, this is what I'm gonna do: I'm gonna come back to one of your town hall meetings later.' He said, 'I'm gonna sit in a place where you can't see me. And I'm gonna see if you remember what I told you. And if you do and you ask for my vote, then I'm gonna reconsider my position. And if you don't, I won't.' I said, 'Alright sir, thank you, I appreciate it.' And we shook hands. And he walked away, took about four or five steps away, and then he stopped and turned back and looked over his shoulder and he said, 'By the way, that's how we do things in New Hampshire, son.'</p> <p>So I live in mortal fear of this guy.</p> </blockquote></body></html> MoJo 2016 Elections Tue, 09 Feb 2016 18:27:35 +0000 Tim Murphy 296301 at http://www.motherjones.com The Worst Argument Ever For Not Drafting Women http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2016/02/worst-argument-ever-not-drafting-women <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>I can't say that I've paid a lot of attention to the question of whether women should be required to register for the draft or allowed to serve on the front lines. There are, I'm sure, some good reasons to oppose allowing women in the infantry, <a href="http://www.nationalreview.com/article/431002/women-combat-selective-service-natural-law" target="_blank">but this sure isn't one of them:</a></p> <blockquote> <p>Such a policy inverts natural law and the rules that have grounded our civilization for thousands of years. Men should protect women. They should not shelter behind mothers and daughters.</p> </blockquote> <p>That's a <em>National Review</em> editorial. Not a personal opinion piece or a blog post. It's the official and carefully considered institutional view of the magazine. Did they invite Vladimir Putin to guest edit this issue, or what?</p></body></html> Kevin Drum Tue, 09 Feb 2016 17:41:39 +0000 Kevin Drum 296381 at http://www.motherjones.com Torture Is Having Another Star Turn http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2016/02/torture-having-another-star-turn <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p><a href="http://www.vox.com/2016/2/9/10950182/donald-trump-ted-cruz" target="_blank">From the "Fascinating Factlets" file:</a></p> <blockquote> <p>The FCC, which regulates "indecent material" on broadcast radio and television, does not generally permit the word pussy to be aired between 6 am and 10 pm. That means that though a broadcaster can publish a story containing<iframe align="right" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="258" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/XX4MO7YHqeg?start=0" style="margin: 20px 0px 15px 30px;" width="400"></iframe>the word online, it can't do the same on its main network, which has a far broader reach.</p> </blockquote> <p>So...it's fair game after 10 pm? This means that only night owls got to hear Donald Trump's latest bit of puerile insultmongering. Everyone else got the bleeped version, or perhaps no version at all because who needs the grief from pissed-off viewers? In any case, the key takeaway here isn't that Donald Trump called Ted Cruz a pussy. What else would you expect from Trump? The key takeaway is that he was mocking Cruz for not being gung-ho enough about waterboarding, <em>and it was a huge crowd pleaser</em>. The audience went completely gaga over Trump's fetishization of torture. If he had called for prisoners to be tortured on national TV&mdash;"Celebrity Interrogator" hosted by Dick Cheney, maybe&mdash;I think they might have expired on the spot from sheer bliss.</p></body></html> Kevin Drum Tue, 09 Feb 2016 17:09:02 +0000 Kevin Drum 296361 at http://www.motherjones.com Marco Rubio Is Running for Panicker-in-Chief http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2016/02/marco-rubio-running-panicker-chief <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>McKay Coppins <a href="http://www.buzzfeed.com/mckaycoppins/the-anxiety-of-marco-rubio" target="_blank">explains Marco Rubio to the rest of us:</a></p> <blockquote> <p>To those who have known him longest, Rubio's flustered performance Saturday night fit perfectly with an all-too-familiar strain of his personality, one that his handlers and image-makers have labored for years to keep out of public view. Though generally seen as cool-headed and quick on his feet, Rubio is known to friends, allies, and advisers for a kind of incurable <img align="right" alt="" class="image image-_original" src="/files/blog_rubio_water.jpg" style="border: 1px solid black; margin: 20px 0px 15px 30px;">anxiousness &mdash; a<strong>nd an occasional propensity to panic in moments of crisis, both real and imagined.</strong></p> <p>&hellip;More than age, record, or wardrobe, it is Rubio's natural nervousness that makes him seem to so many who know him like he is swimming in his dad's sport coat&hellip;From the moment the 2010 primary turned negative, <strong>the candidate needed a fainting couch every time an attack was lobbed his way,</strong> his aides recalled to me.&hellip;When a state senator who was backing the governor referred to Rubio as a "slick package from Miami," he was aghast and ordered his aides to cry foul. <em>Dog whistle! Anti-Cuban! Racist! </em>When opponents accused Rubio of steering state funds toward Florida International University in exchange for a faculty job after he left office, he was indignant. <em>Outrageous! Slander!</em></p> <p>&hellip;<strong>"He just lets these little things get to him, and he worries too much,"</strong> a Miami Republican complained after spending close to an hour sitting next to Rubio on a flight as he fretted over a mildly critical process story about him in the <em>National Journal</em>. "I'm just like, &lsquo;Marco, calm down.'"</p> </blockquote> <p>Excellent! Rubio sounds like a great primary opponent to me. It should take the Clinton machine about 10 seconds to figure out how to turn him into a puddle of mush on the campaign trail. I think I might start rooting for him to get the nomination after all.</p></body></html> Kevin Drum Tue, 09 Feb 2016 16:34:31 +0000 Kevin Drum 296351 at http://www.motherjones.com What It's Like to Wait Tables at Manchester's Most Popular Photo Op http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2016/02/chez-vachon-manchester-carly-fiorina <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>I just wanted some poutine. But when I showed up at Manchester's Chez Vachon, I had company. As a waitress explained to a curious diner, "It's Carly Fiorini!"</p> <p>For the second day in a row, Fiorina, the former Hewlett-Packard CEO, crashed a diner:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">This woman does not GAF about Carly Fiorina in Manchester. She wants to eat her breakfast. (via <a href="https://twitter.com/UnionLeader">@UnionLeader</a>) <a href="https://t.co/rTmmaZNbzV">pic.twitter.com/rTmmaZNbzV</a></p> &mdash; Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) <a href="https://twitter.com/BraddJaffy/status/696724613674496000">February 8, 2016</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>She isn't the first candidate to stop by Chez Vachon looking for a few votes and some good photos. So many candidates have stopped by the iconic French-Canadian establishment that it's made life complicated for the people who work there. Donald Trump was there on Sunday. Bill and Hillary Clinton stopped in for breakfast on Monday.</p> <p>Trump's visit was a "zoo," Jenna Desmarais, the manager, told me.</p> <p>"They were nice and everything&mdash;they just had a really big entourage, really big," she said. "We didn't have any notice and so all of a sudden there&rsquo;s people coming in the back door of the kitchen, there were people over here, state police shut down the road, they were trying to pat down our customers. It was really uncomfortable&mdash;like I had to tell them they couldn't do that, that's not okay."</p> <p>It made it nearly impossible for everyone else to have breakfast. "I eventually had to find somebody and say, 'Listen I understand you guys are doing your job, but I gotta do mine,' and we couldn't even move. Couldn't even move! So they did. He's like, 'Let them get their pictures and kick everybody out.'"</p> <p>The Clintons' visit was a lower-key affair, and in Desmarais' view, they were friendlier (although Trump did tip 50 percent). "They were very relaxed because they've been here before," Desmarais sadi. "She&rsquo;s like, 'I'm definitely eating.'" (They both had veggie omelets; Hillary got a side of sausage. In case you were wondering.) "They seemed more interested in actual people than in just shaking hands."</p> <p>So far, the only major candidate who hasn't stopped by Chez Vachon this election cycle is her favorite. "I'm actually a fan of Bernie," she said. But she's never met him. "He's the only one who hasn't been there!"</p></body></html> MoJo 2016 Elections carly fiorina Tue, 09 Feb 2016 15:54:21 +0000 Tim Murphy 296341 at http://www.motherjones.com Here Are Your Final New Hampshire Poll Results Until 2020 http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2016/02/here-are-your-final-new-hampshire-poll-results-until-2020 <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>It's our first primary of 2016! To get you in the mood, here are the final Pollster aggregates for the Republican and Democratic races. Trump and Sanders both look like easy winners, so all the action is for second place. If Clinton pulls within 10 points, she'll probably declare victory and skedaddle down to South Carolina as fast as she can. The Republicans have a huge pileup in second place, so it should be quite the spectacle watching them all spin the results tonight.</p> <p><img align="middle" alt="" class="image image-_original" src="/files/blog_pollster_republican_new_hampshire_2016_02_16.jpg" style="margin: 15px 0px 15px 60px;"><img align="middle" alt="" class="image image-_original" src="/files/blog_pollster_democratic_new_hampshire_2016_02_16.jpg" style="margin: 15px 0px 15px 75px;"></p></body></html> Kevin Drum Tue, 09 Feb 2016 15:34:23 +0000 Kevin Drum 296346 at http://www.motherjones.com Here's a Huge and Undercovered Obamacare Success Story http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2016/02/heres-huge-and-undercovered-obamacare-success-story <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>I've mentioned this in passing a couple of times, but it really deserves a short post of its own. We've heard a lot about Obamacare not meeting the original enrollment projections published by the CBO in 2010, but those aren't the only projections that CBO published. <img align="right" alt="" class="image image-_original" src="/files/blog_obamacare_private_insurance.jpg" style="margin: 20px 0px 15px 30px;">They also predicted that Obamacare would <a href="https://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/111th-congress-2009-2010/costestimate/amendreconprop.pdf" target="_blank">lead to the loss of 8 million people</a> from private insurance coverage by 2016.</p> <p>But that didn't happen. Thanks to Obamacare's individual mandate spurring the purchase of individual coverage and its employer mandate spurring an increase in employer coverage, total private coverage <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhis/earlyrelease/Quarterly_estimates_2010_2015_Q12.pdf" target="_blank">increased by more than 16 million</a> through the middle of 2015. The chart on the right tells the story. After four years of private coverage hovering around 61 percent of the population, it jumped up to 66 percent within the space of a single year.</p> <p>Was this due to the economic recovery? Probably a bit of it. But the economy has been puttering along at about the same pace ever since 2012. The only thing that changed in the fourth quarter of 2013 was the introduction of Obamacare.</p> <p>Bottom line: Obamacare may have missed CBO's target for exchange enrollment by 7 million or so, but much of this is because it <em>beat</em> CBO's target for private insurance by 24 million. This is great news all around since we'd always prefer having people insured by their employer rather than buying through the exchange. It's better coverage and it costs the taxpayers less. On any measure you can think of, this is a huge and undercovered success story.</p></body></html> Kevin Drum Tue, 09 Feb 2016 06:47:36 +0000 Kevin Drum 296331 at http://www.motherjones.com Bill Clinton Gives New Hampshire a Preview of What Comes Next http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2016/02/bill-clinton-big-dog-bernie-sanders <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>On Sunday, former President Bill Clinton showed Bernie Sanders what happens when the big dog gets off the porch.</p> <p>With Hillary Clinton in Flint, Michigan, to meet with the mayor about the city&rsquo;s water crisis, the former president had the state to himself, and he gave the Vermont senator <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2016/02/08/politics/bill-clinton-sanders-supporters-attacks/" target="_blank">a piece of his mind</a>. He mocked Sanders as unrooted from reality, joking, "When you're making a 'revolution,' you can't be too careful with the facts." Clinton referred to Sanders as "hermetically sealed." He called Bernie's supporters "sexist" and "profane" (a nod to the so-called <a href="http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2016/02/07/3746988/bernie-sanders-tells-berniebros-to-knock-it-off-we-dont-want-that-crap/" target="_blank">"Bernie Bro"</a> phenomenon) and reprised the mostly forgotten December scandal over Sanders' campaign accessing Clinton's voter data (for which Sanders apologized). "'I tried to loot information from the other guy's computer and I raised a million dollars out of it,'" Clinton said, offering his guess at what was going through Sanders' mind.</p> <p>It was the most direct personal attack from either candidate's campaign this election cycle, two days before the primary. And by the next day, Bill Clinton appeared to have shaken the whole thing off. On Monday night in Hudson, joined by his daughter, Chelsea, a smattering of New Hampshire elected officials, Massachusetts Rep. Joseph Kennedy III, and Ted Danson (!), the former president offered a more subdued critique of the Vermont senator. Referring to his wife, he began his remarks by saying, "Sometimes when we're on a stage like this, I wish we weren't married, so I could say what I really want to say&mdash;and I don't mean that in a negative way." What he meant was that he had to self-censor his riffs for the good of the campaign. (Not that it has stopped him in the past.)</p> <p>Instead, he offered an olive branch, or something like it, to the Sanders supporters he'd broadly characterized as "vicious" trolls on Sunday. "A lot of the young millennials think they'll never move out of their parents' house, never get a job that's worth having, never be able to change," Clinton said, before channeling a bit of Sanders' own stump speech. "If they want to start a small business they won't be able to get a loan. I get why a lot of people are mad. I get how frustrating it is, when most of the gains have gone to the top 1 percent, and 90 percent of them since I left office have gone to the top 10 percent. I get why people are upset when they hear the president tell the truth&mdash;the absolute truth&mdash;[that] we are the best-positioned country for the 21st-century, our economy is up over all the other big economies, but 84 percent of the people have not gotten a raise&hellip;I <em>get</em> it."</p> <p>"The question is, what are you gonna do about it?" he continued. "And the one thing I really appreciate about New Hampshire is that here finally the dam broke in the polarization of the campaign and we actually began to be free to discuss who's got the better ideas."</p> <p>Clinton, though, couldn't help getting taking another shot at Sanders' frequent invocations of the "establishment," suggesting that such a label unnecessarily tarred politicians who had put their careers on the line to vote for Obamacare, such as former Arkansas Sen. Mark Pryor. ("Establishment" is a nebulous term, but Pryor, the son of former Arkansas governor and senator David Pryor, surely fits most definitions of it.)</p> <p>There's an interesting dynamic between Hillary Clinton and Sanders that, if you go to a few events, you can pick up on. When Clinton takes the stage, she's following a group of well-known Democratic politicians or activists&mdash;Al Franken, Jeanne Shaheen, Lena Dunham, <em>Bubba</em>. When Bernie takes the stage, often enough it's just Bernie. And that's fine; he's leading in New Hampshire, something practically no one saw coming last spring. But in a fight like the one the Democratic primary is careening toward if Sanders wins big on Tuesday, it's good to have someone in your corner who can draw some blood. And Bill Clinton sounds like he's relishing a fight.</p></body></html> MoJo 2016 Elections Tue, 09 Feb 2016 05:22:33 +0000 Tim Murphy 296306 at http://www.motherjones.com This Defense Of Marco Rubio Is So Stupid That I Can't Stop Laughing http://www.motherjones.com/contributor/2016/02/this-tweet-is-so-fucking-stupid-that-i-want-to-put-a-knife-in-my-brain <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Hello.</p> <p>Marco Rubio keeps humorously repeating the same <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2016/02/marcobot-has-apparently-exceeded-its-rated-mean-time-failure" target="_blank">sound bites over and over again</a>. It's hilarious.</p> <p>It is not nearly as hilarious, however, as this tweet which falls nominally in the<em> leave Marco alone</em> camp.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">C'mon. Repeating phrases to build a theme is a common device in the very best of political rhetoric <a href="https://t.co/VKd9c4ujDB">pic.twitter.com/VKd9c4ujDB</a></p> &mdash; Dan McLaughlin (@baseballcrank) <a href="https://twitter.com/baseballcrank/status/696895279270858753">February 9, 2016</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>Have a great night.</p></body></html> Contributor Tue, 09 Feb 2016 04:02:10 +0000 Ben Dreyfuss 296326 at http://www.motherjones.com Marcobot Has Apparently Exceeded Its Rated Mean Time to Failure http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2016/02/marcobot-has-apparently-exceeded-its-rated-mean-time-failure <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Oh hell, now I'm just starting to feel sorry for Marco Rubio. The whole Marcobot thing has apparently made him so self-conscious that he can barely even recite his stump speech anymore without getting flustered. Here he is delivering a line about values being rammed down our throats <em>right after he's just said it</em>. There's an almost poignant moment at 0:26 when Rubio suddenly realizes what he's just done.</p> <p>This reminds me of a Star Trek episode where Kirk uses some kind of sophomoric paradox to trick a computer into self destructing. That's about what Chris Christie seems to have done to Rubio.</p> <p><iframe align="middle" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="290" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/xBX0Z1MkDyQ?start=9" style="margin: 15px 0px 5px 90px;" width="450"></iframe></p></body></html> Kevin Drum Tue, 09 Feb 2016 03:00:30 +0000 Kevin Drum 296321 at http://www.motherjones.com Marco Rubio Just Experienced Another Malfunction http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2016/02/marco-rubio-just-experienced-another-malfunction <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/xBX0Z1MkDyQ" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>Marco Rubio is still trying <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/02/can-marco-rubio-reboot-after-robot-gaffe" target="_blank">live down</a> the <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/02/democrats-troll-marco-rubio-debate-malfunction-robot" target="_blank">Rubio-bot meme</a> that went viral after he repeated the same talking point four times during Saturday's debate (and was <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/02/best-moments-gop-debate-abc-new-hampshire" target="_blank">called out</a> on it by Chris Christie). Well, at a town hall in Nashua, New Hampshire, on Tuesday night, Rubio experienced another malfunction. His face says it all.</p></body></html> MoJo 2016 Elections Tue, 09 Feb 2016 02:39:37 +0000 Mother Jones Washington Bureau 296316 at http://www.motherjones.com Arabic Social Media Goes Gaga Over Sisi's Red Carpet http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2016/02/arabic-social-media-goes-gaga-over-sisis-red-carpet <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Nothing says "I care about poor people" like driving to a new housing project on a red carpet 2.5 miles long. Amirite? But this has a secret subtext: When Egyptian president Abdel-Fatah al-Sisi motored his way to a grand <img align="right" alt="" class="image image-_original" src="/files/blog_sisi_red_carpet.jpg" style="border: 1px solid black; margin: 20px 0px 15px 30px;">opening ceremony Saturday on a carpet this size, it was apparently a sign that the military is pleased with him. I guess the more they like you, <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/feb/08/abdel-fatah-al-sisi-gigantic-red-carpet-egypt-media-storm" target="_blank">the longer the carpet:</a></p> <blockquote> <p>Brig Gen Ehab el-Ahwagy explained on several talk shows on Sunday night that the carpet was not purchased by Sisi&rsquo;s administration and the same one had been used for more than three years for similar occasions.</p> <p><strong>&ldquo;It gives a kind of joy and assurance to the Egyptian citizen that our people and our land and our armed forces are always capable of organising anything in a proper manner,&rdquo;</strong> Ahwagy told the TV talk show host Amr Adeeb. &ldquo;It is laid out in a way to beautify the general area, so it gives a good impression of the celebration that is being broadcast to the whole world.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p>See? No big deal. And certainly no reason to postpone a speech warning that Egypt is in dire financial trouble and will soon have to stop subsidizing water and electricity bills for low-income families.</p></body></html> Kevin Drum Mon, 08 Feb 2016 19:18:43 +0000 Kevin Drum 296271 at http://www.motherjones.com Even the Guy With the $100 Million Super-PAC Says Campaign Finance Is Broken http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2016/02/jeb-bush-citizens-united-new-hampshire <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>You can't avoid campaign finance reform in the run-up to Tuesday's New Hampshire primary. It feels a little weird to type that, given the continuous series of setbacks reformers have suffered on that issue over the last decade, but it's true. Talk to anyone at a Bernie Sanders rally and it's the first thing that comes up; on the Republican side, Donald Trump has made his lack of big donors a centerpiece of his campaign.</p> <p>Even Jeb Bush, whose $100-million super-PAC, Right to Rise, is blanketing the airwaves here in the Granite State (and has a <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/12/uncampaign-2016-fiorina-trump-carson-pac" target="_blank">spin-off dark-money group</a>, Right to Rise Policy Solutions), says something needs to be done. Taking questions at a Nashua Rotary Club on Monday afternoon, Bush told voters that it will take a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United and stop the glut of dark money entering the political process:</p> <blockquote> <p>The ideal thing would be to overturn the Supreme Court ruling that allows effectively unregulated money [for] independent [groups], and regulated money for the campaigns. I would turn that on its head if I could. I think campaigns ought to be personally accountable and responsible for the money they receive. I don't think you need to restrict it&mdash;voters will have the ability to say I'm not voting for you because [some company] gave you money. The key is to just have total transparency about the amounts of money and who gives it, and to have it with 48-hour turnaround. That would be the appropriate thing. Then a candidate will be held accountable for whatever comes to the voters through the campaign. Unfortunately the Supreme Court ruling makes that at least temporarily impossible, so it's going to take an amendment to the Constitution.</p> </blockquote> <p>Now, Jeb hasn't turned into Bernie Sanders. He'd just like unlimited donations that aren't anonymous, and he'd like whatever is disclosed to be disclosed a lot quicker. The subtext here is that while Bush is benefiting from a nonprofit that accepts anonymous unlimited donations, his backers have expressed a lot of frustration with outside groups supporting Jeb's rival, Sen. Marco Rubio. Right to Rise chief Mike Murphy <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/features/2015-10-21/mike-murphy-rubio-s-campaign-is-cynical-kasich-s-plays-close-to-the-line" target="_blank">said</a> last fall that Rubio is running a "cynical" campaign fueled by "secret dark money, maybe from one person."</p></body></html> MoJo 2016 Elections Top Stories Jeb Bush Mon, 08 Feb 2016 19:09:06 +0000 Tim Murphy 296256 at http://www.motherjones.com As the Flint Water Crisis Unfolded, Rick Snyder Bought This Luxury-Themed Birthday Cake for His Wife http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2016/02/rick-snyder-wife-birthday-cake <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Last month, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder issued a <a href="http://www.cbsnews.com/news/michigan-governor-rick-snyder-apologies-for-flint-water-crisis/" target="_blank">formal apology</a> for the state's handling of Flint's contaminated water system. The crisis began with his decision to cut costs in the town by rerouting its water from Detroit's water system to the Flint River. The Flint River water contained dangerously high levels of lead and continues to&nbsp;<a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/12/15/toxic-water-soaring-lead-levels-in-childrens-blood-create-state-of-emergency-in-flint-mich/" target="_blank">jeopardize&nbsp;the health of children</a>.</p> <p>The outrage over the public health emergency has only grown louder with the recent discovery of <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2016/01/snyder-administration-started-trucking-clean-water-state-buildings" target="_blank">emails showing that state officials</a> were shipping themselves clean water before telling residents that their water was contaminated.</p> <p>But just a few weeks after begging his state for <a href="http://www.cbsnews.com/news/michigan-governor-rick-snyder-apologies-for-flint-water-crisis/" target="_blank">forgiveness</a>, Snyder apparently thought it was a good idea to throw his wife an extravagant birthday party, replete with this eyesore of a birthday cake:</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-version="6" style=" background:#FFF; border:0; border-radius:3px; box-shadow:0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width:658px; padding:0; width:99.375%; width:-webkit-calc(100% - 2px); width:calc(100% - 2px);"> <div style="padding:8px;"> <div style=" background:#F8F8F8; line-height:0; margin-top:40px; padding:50.0% 0; text-align:center; width:100%;"> <div style=" background:url(data:image/png;base64,iVBORw0KGgoAAAANSUhEUgAAACwAAAAsCAMAAAApWqozAAAAGFBMVEUiIiI9PT0eHh4gIB4hIBkcHBwcHBwcHBydr+JQAAAACHRSTlMABA4YHyQsM5jtaMwAAADfSURBVDjL7ZVBEgMhCAQBAf//42xcNbpAqakcM0ftUmFAAIBE81IqBJdS3lS6zs3bIpB9WED3YYXFPmHRfT8sgyrCP1x8uEUxLMzNWElFOYCV6mHWWwMzdPEKHlhLw7NWJqkHc4uIZphavDzA2JPzUDsBZziNae2S6owH8xPmX8G7zzgKEOPUoYHvGz1TBCxMkd3kwNVbU0gKHkx+iZILf77IofhrY1nYFnB/lQPb79drWOyJVa/DAvg9B/rLB4cC+Nqgdz/TvBbBnr6GBReqn/nRmDgaQEej7WhonozjF+Y2I/fZou/qAAAAAElFTkSuQmCC); display:block; height:44px; margin:0 auto -44px; position:relative; top:-22px; width:44px;">&nbsp;</div> </div> <p style=" margin:8px 0 0 0; padding:0 4px;"><a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BBOSHv-RRtG/" style=" color:#000; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; font-style:normal; font-weight:normal; line-height:17px; text-decoration:none; word-wrap:break-word;" target="_blank">One last detail shot. The necklace is made from fondant and royal icing attached to floral wire. It was a fun challenge to suspend the jewels over the side of the box.</a></p> <p style=" color:#c9c8cd; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; line-height:17px; margin-bottom:0; margin-top:8px; overflow:hidden; padding:8px 0 7px; text-align:center; text-overflow:ellipsis; white-space:nowrap;">A photo posted by Sweet Heather Anne (@sweetheatheranne) on <time datetime="2016-02-01T00:15:21+00:00" style=" font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; line-height:17px;">Jan 31, 2016 at 4:15pm PST</time></p> </div> </blockquote> <script async defer src="//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js"></script><blockquote class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-version="6" style=" background:#FFF; border:0; border-radius:3px; box-shadow:0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width:658px; padding:0; width:99.375%; width:-webkit-calc(100% - 2px); width:calc(100% - 2px);"> <div style="padding:8px;"> <div style=" background:#F8F8F8; line-height:0; margin-top:40px; padding:47.0833333333% 0; text-align:center; width:100%;"> <div style=" background:url(data:image/png;base64,iVBORw0KGgoAAAANSUhEUgAAACwAAAAsCAMAAAApWqozAAAAGFBMVEUiIiI9PT0eHh4gIB4hIBkcHBwcHBwcHBydr+JQAAAACHRSTlMABA4YHyQsM5jtaMwAAADfSURBVDjL7ZVBEgMhCAQBAf//42xcNbpAqakcM0ftUmFAAIBE81IqBJdS3lS6zs3bIpB9WED3YYXFPmHRfT8sgyrCP1x8uEUxLMzNWElFOYCV6mHWWwMzdPEKHlhLw7NWJqkHc4uIZphavDzA2JPzUDsBZziNae2S6owH8xPmX8G7zzgKEOPUoYHvGz1TBCxMkd3kwNVbU0gKHkx+iZILf77IofhrY1nYFnB/lQPb79drWOyJVa/DAvg9B/rLB4cC+Nqgdz/TvBbBnr6GBReqn/nRmDgaQEej7WhonozjF+Y2I/fZou/qAAAAAElFTkSuQmCC); display:block; height:44px; margin:0 auto -44px; position:relative; top:-22px; width:44px;">&nbsp;</div> <div style=" background:url(data:image/png;base64,iVBORw0KGgoAAAANSUhEUgAAACwAAAAsCAMAAAApWqozAAAAGFBMVEUiIiI9PT0eHh4gIB4hIBkcHBwcHBwcHBydr+JQAAAACHRSTlMABA4YHyQsM5jtaMwAAADfSURBVDjL7ZVBEgMhCAQBAf//42xcNbpAqakcM0ftUmFAAIBE81IqBJdS3lS6zs3bIpB9WED3YYXFPmHRfT8sgyrCP1x8uEUxLMzNWElFOYCV6mHWWwMzdPEKHlhLw7NWJqkHc4uIZphavDzA2JPzUDsBZziNae2S6owH8xPmX8G7zzgKEOPUoYHvGz1TBCxMkd3kwNVbU0gKHkx+iZILf77IofhrY1nYFnB/lQPb79drWOyJVa/DAvg9B/rLB4cC+Nqgdz/TvBbBnr6GBReqn/nRmDgaQEej7WhonozjF+Y2I/fZou/qAAAAAElFTkSuQmCC); display:block; height:44px; margin:0 auto -44px; position:relative; top:-22px; width:44px;">&nbsp;</div> </div> <p style=" margin:8px 0 0 0; padding:0 4px;"><a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BBOQkVdRRqL/" style=" color:#000; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; font-style:normal; font-weight:normal; line-height:17px; text-decoration:none; word-wrap:break-word;" target="_blank">@ceebear really outdid herself with the details on this @michaelkors purse. Everything here is edible. #pursecake</a></p> <p style=" color:#c9c8cd; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; line-height:17px; margin-bottom:0; margin-top:8px; overflow:hidden; padding:8px 0 7px; text-align:center; text-overflow:ellipsis; white-space:nowrap;">A photo posted by Sweet Heather Anne (@sweetheatheranne) on <time datetime="2016-02-01T00:01:47+00:00" style=" font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; line-height:17px;">Jan 31, 2016 at 4:01pm PST</time></p> </div> </blockquote> <script async defer src="//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js"></script><p>&nbsp;</p> <p>According to <a href="http://www.mlive.com/news/ann-arbor/index.ssf/2016/02/see_the_cake_michigan_governor.html" target="_blank">MLive.com,</a> the tone-deaf f&ecirc;te was held at an upscale restaurant in Ann Arbor, where cake designer Heather Anne Leavitt delivered the cake without knowing the recipient. "I had no idea, like seriously no idea," <a href="http://www.mlive.com/news/ann-arbor/index.ssf/2016/02/see_the_cake_michigan_governor.html" target="_blank">Leavitt said.</a> "We delivered it to the West End Grill and put it down and I'm taking photos of the cake. Then Claudia, who was also working on the cake with me, looks up and sees Rick Snyder on all the photos in the room, and so we put two and two together."</p> <p>Upon learning about the party, local blogger Mark Maynard decided to drop by the restaurant, and discovered the windows were "blacked out." A cake smothered with Tiffany &amp; Co. and Michael Kors logos was a striking contrast to the residents of Flint attempting to get uncontaminated water out of their faucets.</p></body></html> MoJo Mon, 08 Feb 2016 19:01:29 +0000 Inae Oh 296246 at http://www.motherjones.com Maybe Cheaters Prosper After All http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2016/02/maybe-cheaters-prosper-after-all <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>The world seems to be awash in teensy little pieces of social science research that are (1) possibly fascinating but (2) also possibly meaningless. <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2016/02/08/why-winners-become-cheaters/" target="_blank">Roberto Ferdman</a> points us to one today that suggests <a href="http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2016/01/25/1515102113" target="_blank">winning makes you more likely to cheat in the future.</a> The participants, as usual, are a small number of university students.</p> <p>Our eager young test monkeys were broken into pairs and competed in a task. The winners were determined randomly, though the participants didn't know that. Then they went on to round 2, where they threw a pair of dice. The details are unimportant except for these: (1) the <img align="right" alt="" class="image image-_original" src="/files/blog_cheating.jpg" style="border: 1px solid black; margin: 20px 0px 15px 30px;">higher the throw the better, and (2) it was pretty easy to cheat since no one could see the dice except the thrower. The chart on the right shows the basic result. The average throw should be 7, and in the control group that's what it was. In the test group, winners obviously cheated since their average throw was much higher than 7. Losers either didn't cheat or, possibly, actually underreported their throws a bit.</p> <p>Why? Who knows. The authors suggest that winning creates a sense of psychological entitlement, but: "We do not claim that a sense of entitlement is the only factor that accounts for dishonest behavior following a competition. Given the complexity of the situation under study and the variety of mechanisms that drive dishonest behavior, it is likely that other mechanisms also come into play."</p> <p>So...maybe this is interesting. Maybe it's meaningless. Maybe the authors should have run this experiment a dozen times to see if the results hold up. I'm not sure. However, it seems perfectly suited for drawing sweeping conclusions about the American psyche<sup>1</sup>&mdash;maybe David Brooks can do something with this?&mdash;and that alone makes it worth writing about.</p> <p><sup>1</sup>Shhh. Don't tell anyone the study was done at an Israeli university.</p></body></html> Kevin Drum Mon, 08 Feb 2016 17:26:55 +0000 Kevin Drum 296251 at http://www.motherjones.com Chris Christie Is Getting Down on One Knee to Plead With Undecided Voters http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2016/02/chris-christie-getting-down-one-knee-plead-undecideds <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Chris Christie is down in the polls in New Hampshire and he's got less than 24 hours to turn things around. So when Ann Antosca, an undecided voter from Nashua, asked him a question about Social Security at a Monday morning town hall, the New Jersey governor rushed over to her corner, dropped to one knee, put his hand on the shoulder of the man to her right, and begged her for her vote.</p> <p>Antosca's concern going in was that Christie's means-testing for Social Security would hurt people like her, with 401(k)s in the low six figures. But she was reassured that the ceiling would in fact be much higher. Christie, a shameless name-dropper who was joined at the event by the star of the reality TV show <em>Cake Boss</em>, recalled a conversation he had with Mark Zuckerberg in which the Facebook CEO expressed concern that he'd lose his Social Security. His response: "You get nothing, Mark."</p> <p>"They don't wanna talk about [Social Security] because they're afraid of you; I'm talking about this because I trust you," Christie concluded. A few minutes later, she spoke up again to say she'd made up her mind to vote for Christie.</p> <p>"That was cute, that was cute!" Antosca, a real estate agent who was deciding between Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, and Christie, told me afterward. Social Security "was really the only thing that was holding me back."</p> <p>Christie needs undecided voters to swing in his direction in a big way in the final days. But New Hampshire is a wonderland where the political cliches all happen to be true. Voters move late. Christie can only hope that movement is enough.</p></body></html> MoJo Mon, 08 Feb 2016 16:42:11 +0000 Tim Murphy 296231 at http://www.motherjones.com Marcobot Seems Unfazed by Saturday Unmasking http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2016/02/marcobot-seems-unfazed-saturday-unmasking <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>There's not really any way of telling whether the Marcobot meme is hurting Marco Rubio. There was a little bit of polling yesterday, but not enough to show anything serious. Still, for what it's worth, here's the penultimate Pollster aggregate before tomorrow's primary. Really, there hasn't been a whole lot of movement at all over the past month or so. Rubio got a bit of a bump from his Iowa performance, but that's about it. Tune in tomorrow for the exciting conclusion, after which we can all go back to forgetting New Hampshire exists.</p> <p><img align="middle" alt="" class="image image-_original" src="/files/blog_new_hampshire_pollster_2016_02_08.jpg" style="margin: 15px 0px 5px 60px;"></p></body></html> Kevin Drum Mon, 08 Feb 2016 16:29:57 +0000 Kevin Drum 296236 at http://www.motherjones.com Just How Cozy Is Hillary Clinton With Wall Street? http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2016/02/just-how-cozy-hillary-clinton-wall-street <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Hillary Clinton has received a lot of campaign money from the financial industry over the years, and after she left the State Department she gave several lucrative speeches to Goldman Sachs and other big banks. As Michael Hirsh puts it, this has given her a reputation for being <a href="http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/04/hillary-wall-street-117092_full.html#.Vrg0qVKO7Q4" target="_blank">"more than a little cozy"</a> with Wall Street.</p> <p>But is she? The truth is that I haven't paid much attention to this question. In terms of the presidential campaign, it's pretty obvious that Bernie Sanders is a lot tougher on the financial industry than she is. The details of their plans don't really matter. Sanders has practically made a career out of attacking Wall Street. As president, he'd make financial regulation a top priority; he'd appoint tougher watchdogs; and he'd use the bully pulpit relentlessly to call out Wall Street's sins.</p> <p>Still, what about Clinton? How cozy with the financial industry <em>is</em> she? I asked about this on Twitter over the weekend, figuring that all the Bernie supporters would give me an earful. But no such luck. Mostly they just told me that she had taken Wall Street money and given Wall Street speeches. The only concrete criticism was one that<iframe align="right" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="258" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/12mJ-U76nfg?start=0" style="margin: 20px 0px 15px 30px;" width="400"></iframe> Elizabeth Warren made in 2004: that Clinton had changed her view on the bankruptcy bill after she accepted lots of Wall Street money to get elected to the Senate.</p> <p><a href="http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/08/08/clinton-and-the-bankruptcy-law/?_r=0" target="_blank">But that didn't really hold water.</a> She opposed the bill in 1999 because she wanted alimony and child-support payments to take precedence over credit card companies during bankruptcy proceeding. The bill passed anyway, but Bill Clinton vetoed it. In 2001, she brokered a compromise that gave priority to alimony and child support, and then voted for the bill. It didn't pass at the time, and in 2005 her compromise was removed from the bill. She said then that she opposed it.</p> <p>This is classic Hillary. Once George Bush was president, she had no way of stopping the bill&mdash;so she worked hard behind the scenes to get what she could in return for her vote. Love it or hate it, this is the kind of pragmatic politics she practices. But there's no hypocrisy here; no change of heart thanks to Wall Street money (she supported the bill when it protected women and children and opposed it when it didn't); and no real support for the financial industry.</p> <p>What else? Clinton says she gave several speeches in 2007 warning about the dangers of derivatives and subprime loans, and introduced proposals for stronger financial oversight. <a href="http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2015/jul/15/hillary-clinton/hillary-clinton-says-she-called-wall-street-regula/" target="_blank">Apparently that's true.</a> I'm not aware if she took a stand on the repeal of Glass-Steagall in 1999, but I don't think this was responsible for the financial crisis and wouldn't hold it against her either way. (And it was supported by nearly the entire Democratic Party at the time.) The CFMA <em>did</em> make the financial crisis worse, but Bernie Sanders himself supported it. Clinton voted for Sarbanes-Oxley, but everyone else did too.</p> <p>Clinton has consistently supported increasing the minimum wage&mdash;<a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/07/hillary-clinton-wants-fast-food-workers-make-more-money" target="_blank">though not to $15.</a> She supported the Lilly Ledbetter Act. She supports higher taxes on the wealthy. She supported <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/us-privateequity-clinton-idUSN1339356720070714" target="_blank">repeal of the carried interest loophole</a> in 2007. The <em>Boston Globe</em>, after an extensive review of her voting record in the Senate, summed up her attitude with <a href="https://www.bostonglobe.com/news/nation/2016/01/16/clinton-record-wall-street-laissez-faire/Z2a3iOsj40wryeRN2iT6qK/story.html" target="_blank">this quote from a lobbyist:</a> "The financial sector viewed her as neutral. Not helpful, but also not harmful." <a href="http://www.taxjusticeblog.org/archive/2015/04/what_we_know_about_hillary_cli.php#.Vrg4M1KO7Q4" target="_blank">Citizens for Tax Justice</a> gives her a generally favorable grade on financial issues.</p> <p>The word "cozy" does a whole lot of heavy lifting in stories about Hillary Clinton and Wall Street. But what does it mean? Does she have an actual record of supporting Wall Street interests? By ordinary standards, is her current campaign proposal for financial regulation a strong one? (I've been impressed by her rhetorical emphasis on shadow banking, but it's not clear just how far her proposals go in real life.) Has she protected financial interests against the Bernie Sanders of the world?</p> <p>I think it's safe to say that Clinton has hardly been a scourge of the banking industry. Until recently, her main interests were elsewhere. But if there's a strong case to be made for "coziness," I've failed to find it. Anyone care to point me in the right direction?</p></body></html> Kevin Drum Mon, 08 Feb 2016 11:00:29 +0000 Kevin Drum 296221 at http://www.motherjones.com The James Hunter Six Throws a Party You Don't Want to Miss http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2016/02/music-review-hold-on-james-hunter-six <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/tsW1lq__vws" width="100%"></iframe></p> <p><strong>The James Hunter Six<br><em>Hold On!</em><br> Daptone Records</strong></p> <div class="inline inline-right" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/jameshunter_inline_0.jpg"><div class="caption">ShoreFire Media</div> </div> <p>Britain's James Hunter makes tough old-school R&amp;B with a bracing modern-day kick, so it makes sense for him to gravitate to Brooklyn's Daptone Records, where the likes of <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2011/04/sharon-jones-interview-dap-kings" target="_blank">Sharon Jones</a> and Charles Bradley have been doing the same thing for years.</p> <p>Dispatching 10 songs in a brisk 30 minutes, Hunter's debut for the label&mdash;recorded in mono, of course!&mdash;creates the sensation of dropping in on a spirited late-night set in a smoky, crowded club, with Hunter playing the fiery soul shouter to perfection. (No wonder Van Morrison stepped in as an early mentor.) Featuring a pair of sizzling saxes, Hunter's ultra-tight band cooks with authority, but his swaggering, good-humored vocals and snappy tunes are the main attraction. From the stomping "Free Your Mind (While You Still Got Time)" to the lilting, Sam Cooke-inspired "This Is Where We Came In," <em>Hold On!</em> is a party not to be missed.</p></body></html> Mixed Media Music Music Mondays Mon, 08 Feb 2016 11:00:27 +0000 Jon Young 295976 at http://www.motherjones.com The New Jason Bourne Trailer Just Premiered During the Super Bowl. Here It Is. http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2016/02/new-jason-bourne-trailer-super-bowl <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>The new Jason Bourne movie stars Matt Damon again. Will Hunting took a break from the series a few years ago and the last one starred Jeremy Renner, but he's back now because money can be exchanged for goods and services. This one looks pretty good! It comes out this summer.</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/l4jjKfLoOPE" width="630"></iframe></p></body></html> Mixed Media Mon, 08 Feb 2016 00:35:52 +0000 Ben Dreyfuss 296216 at http://www.motherjones.com Bernie Sanders Says He's Being "Lectured" by Hillary Clinton on Foreign Policy http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2016/02/bernie-sanders-portsmouth-rally-foreign-policy <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Bernie Sanders was defensive when he was asked at Thursday's Democratic presidential debate why he doesn't talk more about how he'd approach being commander-in-chief. So does he plan on changing course anytime soon? Not a chance.</p> <p>On Sunday afternoon in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, speaking at the same community college that hosted Hillary Clinton on Saturday, Sanders did not mention foreign policy until the 50th minute of a 54-minute speech. Even then, he kept it short, telling supporters (and a few undecided voters) he was tired of being "lectured" by his opponent on the issue. "And by the way," he said, as he wrapped up his remarks, "as somebody who voted against the war in Iraq&mdash;who led the <em>opposition</em> to the war in Iraq, lately I have been lectured on foreign policy. The most important foreign policy in the modern history of this country was the war in Iraq. I was right on that issue. Hillary Clinton was wrong on that issue."</p> <p>And then he moved on. In one of his final get-out-the-vote events before Tuesday's New Hampshire primary, Sanders showed a willingness to continue taking the fight to Clinton on his own terms. The speech he gave on Sunday, his voice still hoarse from his appearance on <em>Saturday Night Live</em> with Larry David, was much the same speech he delivered in Boston in October, and in Burlington in May. He excoriated the oligarchs who he believes corrupt the political system and outlined a theory of change, from the suffrage movement to civil rights to gay rights, that he believes shows that grassroots movements like his own can overturn the system. The routine is so familiar that when he asked his audience who the biggest recipient of federal welfare is, about half of those in attendance were able to answer&mdash;"Walmart."</p> <p>What's changed is the crowd. When I saw him in Boston in October, the crowd booed 17 different times during his speech, prompted by references to Jeb Bush or the Koch brothers. On Sunday, that number was halved in a speech of equal length. (Targets of booing included the black and Latino unemployment rate, speaker fees from Goldman Sachs, and companies that exploit loopholes in the tax code to avoid "paying a nickel in federal income taxes.") Clinton refers to the animating ethos of Sanders' supporters as "anger," and there's certainly that, but increasingly, there's the optimism of an organization that truly thinks it can win.</p> <p>That's typified by one of the few tweaks he's made to his speech over the last few months: He now talks about the poll numbers. "We started this campaign at 3 percent in the polls," he told the crowd early on. "We were 30, 40 points down in New Hampshire. Well, a lot has changed." Except for all the stuff that hasn't.</p></body></html> MoJo 2016 Elections bernie sanders Sun, 07 Feb 2016 21:37:26 +0000 Tim Murphy 296206 at http://www.motherjones.com Sunday French Fry Blogging http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2016/02/sunday-french-fry-blogging <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>A few weeks ago I had lunch at my favorite diner and I asked what kind of oil they cooked their fries in. Corn oil, it turns out. But the owner of the place happened to be standing right there, and with no prompting he immediately grokked why I was asking:</p> <blockquote> <p>Nobody makes fries the old way anymore. They used to be so good. These days&mdash;phhht. There's no taste at all. But everybody got afraid of the health <img align="right" alt="" class="image image-_original" src="/files/blog_fries.jpg" style="border: 1px solid black; margin: 20px 0px 15px 30px;">stuff, so it's all vegetable oil now.</p> </blockquote> <p>The fries at this place range from good to spectacular depending on the whims of the deep fryer, so it's not impossible to get tasty fries from corn oil. Still, fries made in beef tallow&mdash;or a mixed oil that includes animal fat of some kind&mdash;are unquestionably better. So why hasn't anyone picked up on this? There's plenty of evidence suggesting that fries cooked in animal fat might be no worse for you than fries cooked in vegetable oil, and even if this is wrong there should still be a market for an "artisanal fries" menu item or some such. Upscale burger places are forever looking for ways to differentiate themselves for the foodie crowd, so why not this? I'd buy them.</p> <p>It's a mystery. Nobody should be afraid of some occasional fries cooked in animal fat. And if you are, nobody is going to take away your bland canola oil fries anyway. Someone needs to get on this bandwagon. Who will do it first?</p></body></html> Kevin Drum Sun, 07 Feb 2016 18:45:07 +0000 Kevin Drum 296201 at http://www.motherjones.com Is Academic Science Hopelessly Corrupt? http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2016/02/academic-science-hopelessly-corrupt <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Marc Edwards, the Virginia Tech scientist who uncovered the lead poisoning in Flint, is absolutely brutal about the way funding priorities <a href="http://chronicle.com/article/The-Water-Next-Time-Professor/235136" target="_blank">have corrupted academic science:</a></p> <blockquote> <p>We&rsquo;re all on this hedonistic treadmill &mdash; pursuing funding, pursuing fame, pursuing h-index &mdash; and the idea of science as a public good is being lost. This is something that I&rsquo;m upset about deeply. I&rsquo;ve kind of dedicated my career to <img align="right" alt="" class="image image-_original" src="/files/blog_marc_edwards.jpg" style="border: 1px solid black; margin: 20px 0px 15px 30px;">try to raise awareness about this. I&rsquo;m losing a lot of friends.</p> <p><strong>....Q. Do you have any sense that perverse incentive structures prevented scientists from exposing the problem in Flint sooner?</strong></p> <p><strong>A.</strong> Yes, I do. In Flint the agencies paid to protect these people weren&rsquo;t solving the problem. They <em>were</em> the problem....I don&rsquo;t blame anyone, because I know the culture of academia. You are your funding network as a professor. You can destroy that network that took you 25 years to build with one word. I&rsquo;ve done it.</p> <p><strong>....Q. Now that your hypothesis has been vindicated, and the government has its tail between its legs, a lot of researchers are interested.</strong></p> <p><strong>A.</strong> And I hope that they&rsquo;re interested for the right reasons. But there&rsquo;s now money &mdash; a lot of money &mdash; on the table....The expectation is that there&rsquo;s tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars that are going to be made available by these agencies....I hate to sound cynical about it. I know these folks have good intentions. But it doesn&rsquo;t change the fact that, Where were we as academics for all this time before it became financially in our interest to help? Where were we?</p> <p><strong>....Q. When is it appropriate for academics to be skeptical of an official narrative when that narrative is coming from scientific authorities? Surely the answer can&rsquo;t be "all of the time."</strong></p> <p>I grew up worshiping at the altar of science, and in my wildest dreams I never thought scientists would behave this way....Science should be about pursuing the truth and helping people. If you&rsquo;re doing it for any other reason, you really ought to question your motives.</p> <p>Unfortunately, in general, academic research and scientists in this country are no longer deserving of the public trust. We&rsquo;re not.</p> </blockquote> <p>In academia these day&mdash;and especially in the hard sciences, which are expensive to support&mdash;funding is everything. To a large extent, at big research universities faculty members basically work on commission: they have to bring in enough money to pay their own salaries and bankroll their own labs. And when was the last time a salesman on commission badmouthed his own product?</p></body></html> Kevin Drum Sun, 07 Feb 2016 16:56:54 +0000 Kevin Drum 296196 at http://www.motherjones.com Maybe Twitter Isn't Planning to Ruin Your Life After All http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2016/02/maybe-twitter-isnt-planning-ruin-your-life-after-all <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>On Twitter, the big outrage over the past few days has been the news that the corporate suits are planning to change the way your Twitter feed works. Instead of simply listing every tweet from your followers in real time, <a href="http://www.buzzfeed.com/alexkantrowitz/twitter-to-introduce-algorithmic-timeline-as-soon-as-next-we#.lf8rQlJDP" target="_blank">they'll be rolling out an algorithm</a> that reorders tweets "based on what Twitter&rsquo;s algorithm <img align="right" alt="" class="image image-_original" src="/files/blog_twitter_crash.jpg" style="border: 1px solid black; margin: 20px 0px 15px 30px;">thinks people most want to see." This is something Facebook has been doing for years.</p> <p>Power users are apoplectic, despite the fact that it's not clear what's really going on. A developer at Twitter hit back <a href="https://twitter.com/bhcarpenter/status/695811814244773892" target="_blank">with this:</a> "Seriously people. We aren't idiots. Quit speculating about how we're going to 'ruin Twitter.'" Nor is it clear when this is really going to roll out. And the rumors suggest that it will be an opt-in feature anyway. Chronological timelines will still be around for everyone who wants them.</p> <p>In any case, I'd suggest everyone give this a chance. Computer users, ironically, are notoriously change averse, which might be blinding a lot of us to the fact that chronological timelines aren't exactly the greatest invention since the yellow first down line. Maybe we really do need something better. More generally, here are a few arguments in favor of waiting to see how this all plays out:</p> <ul><li>I'm a semi-power user. I don't write a lot on Twitter,<sup>1</sup> but I read it a lot. Still, I have a job and a life, and I don't check it obsessively. And even though I follow a mere 200 people, all it takes is 15 minutes to make it nearly impossible to catch up with what's going on. Being on the West Coast makes this an especial problem in the morning. A smart robot that helped solve this problem could be pretty handy, even for those of us who are experts and generally prefer a real-time feed.</li> <li>One of my most common frustrations is coming back to the computer after a break and seeing lots of cryptic references to some new outrage or other. What I'd really like is a "WTF is <em>this</em> all about?" button. An algorithmic feed could be a useful version of this.</li> <li>As plenty of people have noted, Twitter is a sexist, racist, misogynistic cesspool. There are things Twitter could do about this, but I suspect they're limited as long as we rely on an unfiltered chronological timeline. Once an algorithm is introduced, it might well be possible to personalize your timeline in ways that clean up Twitter immensely. (Or that allow Twitter to clean it up centrally&mdash;though this obviously needs to be done with a lot of care.)</li> <li>One of the most persuasive complaints about the algorithm is that it's likely to favor the interests of advertisers more than users. Maybe so. Unfortunately, Twitter famously doesn't seem able to find a profitable business model. But if we like Twitter, the first order of business is for it to stay in existence&mdash;and that means it needs to make money. This is almost certain to be annoying no matter how Twitter manages to do it. A good algorithm might actually be the least annoying way of accomplishing this.</li> <li>Needless to say, all of this depends on how good the algorithm is. It better be pretty good, and it better improve over time.</li> </ul><p>So....stay cool, everyone. Maybe this will be an epic, New Coke style disaster that will end up as a case study in business texts for years. It wouldn't be the first time. Then again, maybe the algorithm will be subtle, useful, and optional. I'll be curious to try it out, myself.</p> <p><sup>1</sup>Arguments on Twitter are possibly the stupidest waste of time ever invented. Everything that's bad about arguments in the first place is magnified tenfold by the 140-character limit. It's hard to imagine that anyone other than a psychopath has ever emerged from a Twitter war thinking "That was great! I really learned something today."</p></body></html> Kevin Drum Sun, 07 Feb 2016 16:13:36 +0000 Kevin Drum 296191 at http://www.motherjones.com Last Night's "Marcobot Moment" May Have Ruined a Political Career http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2016/02/last-nights-marcobot-moment-may-have-ruined-political-career <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p><img align="right" alt="" class="image image-_original" src="/files/blog_marco_rubio_covers.jpg" style="margin: 8px 0px 15px 30px;">I was out to dinner last night&mdash;the duck at Il Fornaio was great!&mdash;so I missed the Republican debate. That was too bad, because apparently the highlight of the night was Chris Christie's brutal beatdown of Marco Rubio over precisely the point I made a few days ago. <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2016/02/let-us-all-take-random-walk-through-new-hampshire" target="_blank">Here's my version:</a></p> <blockquote> <p>To me he seems like a robot: he's memorized a whole bunch of virtual index cards, and whenever you ask a question he performs a database search and recites whatever comes up. The index cards aren't bad, mind you, and I suppose they allow him to emulate a dumb person's notion what a smart person sounds like. This is despite the fact that he normally talks with the same kind of hurried clip employed by nervous eighth graders reading off actual index cards.</p> </blockquote> <p>This has always been my basic take on Rubio, and it makes me a little puzzled by his appeal among the conservative intelligentsia. But maybe they don't really care? Maybe they agree with Grover Norquist's take on the presidency <a href="http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/02/13/grover-norquist-speech-cpac.html" target="_blank">from four years ago:</a></p> <blockquote> <p>We don't need a president to tell us in what direction to go. We know what direction to go....We just need a president to sign this stuff....Pick a Republican with enough working digits to handle a pen to become president of the United States.</p> </blockquote> <p>Well, Rubio has the requisite number of working digits, and he's reliably conservative even if he's not one of the great thinkers of our age. So maybe it doesn't matter if he's a callow empty suit. As long as he signs the stuff that Ryan and McConnell send him, and can give a good speech now and then defending it, he's aces. At a minimum, though, this requires Rubio to effectively hide his inability to think outside of sound bites. Christie shattered that illusion for good last night when he bluntly pointed out Rubio's robotic repetition of the exact same puerile talking point within the space of a couple of minutes. <a href="http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/430906/marco-rubio-and-chris-christies-brutal-exchange" target="_blank">Here's conservative Rubio fan David French:</a></p> <blockquote> <p>Marco Rubio&rsquo;s already-famous exchange with Chris Christie was indeed a brutal moment. I still can&rsquo;t believe that Rubio went back to the same talking point right after Christie called him on it. Watching it real-time, I honestly wondered if Rubio forgot what he just said. <strong>When he started to do the same thing<iframe align="right" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="258" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/HNRNHgi1RzU?start=0" style="margin: 20px 0px 15px 30px;" width="400"></iframe> a third time, I couldn&rsquo;t believe my ears.</strong> Christie wasn&rsquo;t masterful &mdash; not by any means &mdash; Rubio just served him the worst kind of hanging curve.</p> </blockquote> <p>French compared this to Rick Perry's famous "Oops" gaffe from 2012. <a href="https://twitter.com/JamesFallows/status/696176435854229504" target="_blank">James Fallows</a> called it the "most self-destructive debate performance since Quayle &rsquo;88." Social media immediately branded it the "Marcobot" moment, and mashups of the Rubio/Christie exchange showed up everywhere. <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/02/06/transcript-of-the-feb-6-gop-debate-annotated/" target="_blank">Here's the edited transcript:</a></p> <blockquote> <p><em>RUBIO:</em> And let's dispel once and for all with this fiction that Barack Obama doesn't know what he's doing. He knows exactly what he's doing. <strong>Barack Obama is undertaking a systematic effort to change this country,</strong> to make America more like the rest of the world....</p> <p><em>RUBIO:</em> But I would add this. Let's dispel with this fiction that Barack Obama doesn't know what he's doing. He knows exactly what he's doing. <strong>He is trying to change this country. He wants America to become more like the rest of the world....</strong></p> <p><em>CHRISTIE:</em> That's what Washington, D.C. Does. The drive-by shot at the beginning with incorrect and incomplete information and <strong>then the memorized 25-second speech that is exactly what his advisers gave him.</strong> See Marco, the thing is this. When you're president of the United States, when you're a governor of a state, the memorized 30-second speech where you talk about how great America is at the end of it doesn't solve one problem for one person.</p> <p><em>RUBIO:</em> Here's the bottom line. This notion that Barack Obama doesn't know what he's doing is just not true. <strong>He knows exactly what he's doing.</strong></p> <p><em>CHRISTIE:</em> There it is. There it is. <strong>The memorized 25-second speech. There it is, everybody....</strong>It gets very unruly when he gets off his talking points....</p> <p><em>RUBIO [an hour later]:</em> I think anyone who believes that Barack Obama isn't doing what he's doing on purpose doesn't understand what we're dealing with here, OK? <strong>This is a president who is trying to change this country.</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>So there you have it: the exact same canned line three times in a row. And then, even after being called on it in humiliating fashion, he repeats it yet again for a fourth time an hour later.</p> <p>Will this hurt Rubio? If he's smart, he'll own it. He'll make it the centerpiece of his campaign going forward, sort of like "Make America great again." Unfortunately, now that Christie has pointed out Rubio's index-card habit, everyone is going to be looking for it on every other subject too. Reporters will be combing through his debates and stump speeches looking for canned talking points, and then doing side-by-side comparisons as if he's an author being accused of plagiarism.</p> <p>We'll see how this plays out. But it sure can't be good news for ol' Marcobot. He might need to think about getting an upgrade to his programming.</p></body></html> Kevin Drum Sun, 07 Feb 2016 14:26:29 +0000 Kevin Drum 296176 at http://www.motherjones.com