Blogs | Mother Jones http://www.motherjones.com/Blogs/2012/10/mattress-buying-very-. http://www.motherjones.com/files/motherjonesLogo_google_206X40.png Mother Jones logo http://www.motherjones.com en Quote of the Evening: America Currently Suffering Worst Economic Catastrophe in Recorded History http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2016/02/quote-evening-america-currently-suffering-worst-economic-catastrophe-recorded-his <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>I know Trump has said this before, so technically it's hardly new. Still, <a href="http://www.vox.com/2016/2/9/10956660/donald-trump-new-hampshire" target="_blank">I mean, it's...it's...oh hell:</a></p> <blockquote> <p>I am going to be the greatest jobs president that God ever created. Remember that. Don't believe those phony numbers when you hear 4.9 percent and 5 percent unemployment. The number's probably 28, 29, as high as 35. In fact, I even heard recently 42 percent. Do you think if we had 5 percent unemployment, do you really think we'd have these gatherings?</p> </blockquote> <p>Yeah, Trump "heard" 42 percent recently. You betcha. Trump hears a lot of things, sort of like Joan of Arc. In any case, I assume Trump keeps saying this because it goes over well with his audiences. Why might this be?</p> <ul><li>Trump fans are really bad at arithmetic.</li> <li>Trump fans know an ungodly number of unemployed people in their immediate circle of friends.</li> <li>Trump fans are really eager to believe the government is lying to them.</li> <li>Trump fans don't actually know what unemployment is.</li> <li>Trump fans don't really have a clue what he's saying. It's just mumbo jumbo delivered with authority, and they love it.</li> </ul><p>I dunno. Could be all of the above, I suppose.</p></body></html> Kevin Drum Wed, 10 Feb 2016 04:55:42 +0000 Kevin Drum 296481 at http://www.motherjones.com Well, That Was a Boring Night in New Hampshire http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2016/02/well-was-boring-night-new-hampshire <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>This has been a shockingly surprise-free evening. Trump and Sanders were both expected to win by about 20 points, and that's what they did. The next four Republicans were expected to bunch up, and that's what <em>they</em> did. Kasich <img align="right" alt="" class="image image-_original" src="/files/blog_new_hampshire_primary_2016.jpg" style="border: 1px solid black; margin: 20px 0px 15px 30px;">did a little better and Rubio a little worse than the polls showed, but that's all. As for Chris Christie, he bet the farm on New Hampshire and now the mortgage is due. He's toast.</p> <p>So is Kasich, by the way. I'm afraid a 16 percent showing in New Hampshire isn't going to be strong enough to do him any good. More and more, it's starting to look like Trump vs. Cruz for all the marbles, with Rubio and Bush still having outside shots as spoilers.</p> <p>I guess Trump was the big winner tonight. He won big, he's got good numbers in South Carolina, and the race for second place was close enough that probably nobody is going to pull out. As long as Trump is competing with a bunch of rabble, instead of one or two well-funded competitors, he'll probably keep doing pretty well. The only question left is whether the chump faction of the Republican Party is big enough to actually deliver him the nomination. I think I no longer have an opinion about that.</p></body></html> Kevin Drum Wed, 10 Feb 2016 04:09:24 +0000 Kevin Drum 296471 at http://www.motherjones.com Heavy Drinking Is Primarily a Women's Problem http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2016/02/heavy-drinking-primarily-womens-problem <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Back in 2005, South Dakota adopted a program called 24/7 Sobriety. It's pretty simple: if you're convicted of drunk driving, you have to take a breath test twice a day while you're on pretrial release or probation. If you fail, you get tossed in jail for a couple of days.</p> <p>So how has it worked out? According to a new study in <em>Lancet Psychiatry</em>, pretty well. Previous studies had already demonstrated a 12 percent drop in repeat drunk driving, and the new study shows that 24/7 also contributed to a drop of 4.3 percent in all-cause mortality. That's a lot of lives saved. <a href="http://www.vox.com/2016/2/9/10952842/rand-sobriety-study" target="_blank">Mark Kleiman has more of the details here.</a></p> <p>So far, none of this is a big surprise. But another result of the study is more interesting: the decline in mortality was largest among women even though men make <img align="right" alt="" class="image image-_original" src="/files/blog_247_program_mortality.jpg" style="margin: 20px 0px 15px 30px;">up the vast majority of drunk driving cases. The chart on the right shows the numbers. All-cause mortality barely budged for men but was down 8.3 percent among women. Even more startling, the decline in mortality was mostly due to fewer deaths from circulatory problems and external injuries.</p> <p>But why? The authors make a few suggestions:</p> <blockquote> <p>A well publicised programme such as 24/7 Sobriety...might promote a general deterrent effect. <strong>Another potential mechanism is a reduction in drinking-related problem behaviours among participants,</strong> which might reduce mortality among non-participants (eg, domestic violence).</p> <p><strong>With respect to circulatory deaths among women, one might consider reduced stress due to partner&rsquo;s cessation of heavy drinking.</strong> There might also be spillovers due to changes in the drinking behaviour of participants&rsquo; family and friends. A husband&rsquo;s drinking affects his wife&rsquo;s drinking during the transition into married life and early in the marriage, and transitions in drinking behaviour can have spousal effects even later in life.</p> </blockquote> <p>This is, obviously, speculative. Still, it confirms our intuition that heavy drinking affects friends and family as much or more than it does the heavy drinker himself. Heavy drinkers are far more likely to assault their wives and girlfriends; are more likely to trigger drinking in others; and just generally cause lots of stress and anxiety in those around them. When you cut out the heavy drinking, all of those things are reduced significantly. And the biggest beneficiaries are women.</p></body></html> Kevin Drum Wed, 10 Feb 2016 01:25:45 +0000 Kevin Drum 296456 at http://www.motherjones.com Donald Trump Wins GOP's New Hampshire Primary, Networks Predict http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2016/02/donald-trump-wins-new-hampshire-networks-predict <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>The networks declared Donald Trump the winner of the New Hampshire GOP primary Tuesday night as soon as the polls had closed at 8 p.m. ET.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">BREAKING: Donald Trump is the projected winner of the Republican <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NHPrimary?src=hash">#NHPrimary</a> <a href="https://t.co/rIX58KHtA0">https://t.co/rIX58KHtA0</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Decision2016?src=hash">#Decision2016</a> <a href="https://t.co/h5cR2bGtIk">pic.twitter.com/h5cR2bGtIk</a></p> &mdash; MSNBC (@MSNBC) <a href="https://twitter.com/MSNBC/status/697223491536490496">February 10, 2016</a></blockquote> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Trump had been polling ahead in New Hampshire for <a href="http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2016/president/nh/new_hampshire_republican_presidential_primary-3350.html" target="_blank">many months</a>, and on Tuesday he showed he could turn those numbers into votes.</p> <p>As of 8 p.m., several Republicans were vying for second place behind Trump, including John Kasich and Jeb Bush.</p></body></html> MoJo 2016 Elections Donald Trump New Hampshire Wed, 10 Feb 2016 01:14:35 +0000 Pema Levy 296451 at http://www.motherjones.com The Supreme Court Just Dealt a Huge Blow to Obama's Climate Plan http://www.motherjones.com/blue-marble/2016/02/supreme-court-obama-climate-plan-epa <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>In a setback&nbsp;for the Obama administration, the Supreme Court on Tuesday temporarily halted enforcement of Obama's signature climate initiative.</p> <p>The Clean Power Plan, issued by the Environmental Protection Agency last summer, requires states to limit coal-fired power plant emissions&mdash;the nation's largest source of greenhouse gases&mdash;by a third by 2030. The regulation was expected to revamp the energy industry in the coming decades, shutting down coal-fired plants and speeding up renewable energy production. But 29 states, together with dozens of industry groups, <a href="https://www.edf.org/sites/default/files/content/2016.01.26_wv_et_al._scotus_stay_application.pdf" target="_blank">sued the EPA</a>, claiming the rule was&nbsp;"the most far-reaching and burdensome rule the EPA has ever forced onto the states."</p> <p>In a 5-4 vote today, the Supreme Court issued an unusual, one-page&nbsp;emergency order for the EPA to put the plan on hold until the US Court of Appeals, which will hear the case this summer, comes to a decision. While the hold is temporary, <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/10/us/politics/supreme-court-blocks-obama-epa-coal-emissions-regulations.html?_r=0" target="_blank">many</a> <a href="http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-court-obama-climate-change-20160209-story.html" target="_blank">see</a> <a href="http://www.vox.com/2016/2/9/10955470/supreme-court-blocks-obama-co2-rules" target="_blank">the order</a> as a sign that the Supreme Court has concerns about the policy.</p> <div class="inline inline-left" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/sup-court-stay-final.png"></div> <p>&nbsp;</p></body></html> Blue Marble Energy Wed, 10 Feb 2016 00:42:04 +0000 Julia Lurie 296436 at http://www.motherjones.com The Russians Are Doing Surprisingly Well in Syria http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2016/02/russians-are-doing-surprisingly-well-syria <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>In the interest of keeping myself honest, I should acknowledge that&mdash;so far, at least&mdash;the Russian incursion in Syria has apparently gone <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/after-four-months-russias-campaign-in-syria-is-proving-successful-for-moscow/2016/02/02/7a65d676-9dd0-11e5-9ad2-568d814bbf3b_story.html" target="_blank">a lot better than I expected:</a></p> <blockquote> <p>Under the banner of fighting international terrorism, President Vladimir Putin has reversed the fortunes of forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad....Government forces are now on the offensive, and last week they scored their most significant victory yet....<strong>&ldquo;The operation is considered here to be quite successful,&rdquo;</strong> said Evgeny Buzhinsky, a retired lieutenant general and senior vice president of the Russian Center for Policy Studies <img align="right" alt="" class="image image-_original" src="/files/blog_russia_air_force.jpg" style="border: 1px solid black; margin: 20px 0px 15px 30px;">in Moscow. It could probably continue for one year or longer, he said, &ldquo;but it will depend on the success on the ground.&rdquo;</p> <p>....<strong>&ldquo;Putin can afford to play geo&shy;political chess in the Middle East because it does not cost much,&rdquo;</strong> said Konstantin von Eggert, an independent political analyst based in Moscow. Entering the conflict in Syria has allowed Putin to combat what he sees as a U.S. policy of regime change, show off his military muscle and reassure allies in the region that Moscow is a loyal partner, von Eggert said.</p> </blockquote> <p>In the past couple of days, thanks to Russian help, Assad has come ever closer to taking control of Aleppo, <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-02-07/tipping-point-in-syria-as-russian-air-power-turns-tide-for-assad" target="_blank">Syria's biggest city:</a></p> <blockquote> <p>Gains by Assad and his allies in the past month have squeezed overland supply lines to Turkey that may represent the last bulwark against defeat for the rebels in northern Syria.</p> <p>Assad, who was on the verge of defeat in mid-2015 before Russian President Vladimir Putin stepped in with military support, has wrested back the initiative. <strong>His army last week broke a three-year siege of two villages north of Aleppo. The city is almost encircled, apart from a narrow stretch of contested territory.</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>The Russian air force has acquitted itself better than I expected, and Assad's forces have taken advantage of Russian air support better than I expected. It's still early days, of course, and there's a lot more to Syria than Aleppo. Russia could still find itself drawn into a long, pointless quagmire down the road. But it hasn't yet.</p> <p>Over the past decade, Putin has taken on several small-scale military incursions: in Georgia in 2008; in Crimea in 2014; and now in Syria. But small though they may be, they've been executed competently and they've provided the Russian army with invaluable real-world experience. Apparently that's paid off.</p></body></html> Kevin Drum Tue, 09 Feb 2016 23:05:12 +0000 Kevin Drum 296426 at http://www.motherjones.com Arizona Is Paying a High Price for Cracking Down on Illegal Immigration http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2016/02/arizona-paying-high-price-cracking-down-illegal-immigration <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>The <em>Wall Street Journal</em> has an interesting look today at the costs and benefits of immigration across the Southern border. After Arizona cracked down on illegal immigration in 2007, their population of undocumented workers dropped by a whopping 40 percent&mdash;<a href="http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-thorny-economics-of-illegal-immigration-1454984443" target="_blank">and it's stayed down since then:</a></p> <blockquote> <p>Arizona is a test case of what happens to an economy when such migrants leave, and it illustrates the economic tensions fueling the immigration debate.</p> <p>Economists of opposing political views agree the state&rsquo;s economy took a hit when large numbers of illegal immigrants left for Mexico and other border states, following a broad crackdown. But they also say the reduced competition for low-skilled jobs was a boon for some native-born construction and agricultural workers who got jobs or raises, and that the departures also saved the state money on education and health care. Whether those gains are worth the economic pain is the crux of the debate.</p> </blockquote> <p>You should read the whole thing if you want all the details, including the fact that wages increased about 15 percent for a small number of construction workers and farmworkers&mdash;though Arizona's unemployment rate more generally has been no better than its neighbors'. Beyond that, though, the <em>Journal</em> provides only a graphic summary that doesn't really summarize much. So I've helpfully annotated it for you. It sure looks to me like Arizona has a very long way to go before the benefits of reducing illegal immigration will come anywhere close to the costs.</p> <p><img align="middle" alt="" class="image image-_original" src="/files/blog_arizona_illegal_immigration_0.jpg" style="border: 1px solid black; margin: 15px 0px 5px 20px;"></p></body></html> Kevin Drum Tue, 09 Feb 2016 20:15:07 +0000 Kevin Drum 296401 at http://www.motherjones.com Donald Trump Says He Wouldn't Call Ted Cruz a "Pussy" If He Were President Because His Uncle Taught at MIT http://www.motherjones.com/contributor/2016/02/donald-trump-says-he-wouldnt-call-ted-cruz-pussy-if-he-were-president-because-hi <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Donald Trump says he wouldn't <a href="https://t.co/AED0iqdZFG" target="_blank">call Ted Cruz a pussy</a> if he were president because "when it comes to great steaks, I've just raised the stakes."</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/LyONt_ZH_aw" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>Just kidding!</p> <p>He actually told Lester Holt that he wouldn't call Cruz "a pussy" as president because "I went to one of the best schools. I was a good student. I have an uncle who was one of the top professors at MIT. It's a good gene pool right there." So that doesn't make that much more sense than the steak thing.</p> <p>Watch:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-video" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">"Is this an act?"<br><br> After another vulgar moment, <a href="https://twitter.com/LesterHoltNBC">@LesterHoltNBC</a> asks Donald Trump if he would act same as president.<a href="https://t.co/9IHNm1jVSM">https://t.co/9IHNm1jVSM</a></p> &mdash; NBC Nightly News (@NBCNightlyNews) <a href="https://twitter.com/NBCNightlyNews/status/697138545606004736">February 9, 2016</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></body></html> Contributor Donald Trump Tue, 09 Feb 2016 20:05:34 +0000 Ben Dreyfuss 296396 at http://www.motherjones.com NRA Board Member Ted Nugent Is Having a Very Anti-Semitic Week http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2016/02/ted-nugent-nra-anti-semitic <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Ted Nugent is <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/12/nra-board-directors-nugent-selleck-north" target="_blank">no stranger</a> to mounting outrageous defenses of the gun lobby. But this week, the musician's predictable inflammatory language reached new levels of offensive starting on Monday with the following anti-Semitic image posted to his Facebook page:</p> <center> <div id="fb-root">&nbsp;</div> <script>(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.3"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));</script><div class="fb-post" data-href="https://www.facebook.com/tednugent/posts/10153470914987297:0" data-width="500"> <div class="fb-xfbml-parse-ignore"> <blockquote cite="https://www.facebook.com/tednugent/posts/10153470914987297:0"> <p>Know these punks. They hate freedom, they hate good over evil, they would deny us the basic human right to self defense ...</p> Posted by <a href="https://www.facebook.com/tednugent/">Ted Nugent</a> on&nbsp;<a href="https://www.facebook.com/tednugent/posts/10153470914987297:0">Monday, February 8, 2016</a></blockquote> </div> </div> </center> <p>The info-graphic features the images of 12 Jewish-American politicians all paired with the Israeli flag<strong> </strong>and the banner question, "So who is really behind gun control?" Subtle, right?</p> <p>A day after this posting, Nugent, who is an NRA board member, confused his perpetrators and his victims with yet another offensive image, this one appearing to compare gun control advocates to Nazis:</p> <center> <div id="fb-root">&nbsp;</div> <script>(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.3"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));</script><div class="fb-post" data-href="https://www.facebook.com/tednugent/posts/10153471510392297:0" data-width="500"> <div class="fb-xfbml-parse-ignore"> <blockquote cite="https://www.facebook.com/tednugent/posts/10153471510392297:0"> <p>Soulless sheep to slaughter. Not me.</p> Posted by <a href="https://www.facebook.com/tednugent/">Ted Nugent</a> on&nbsp;<a href="https://www.facebook.com/tednugent/posts/10153471510392297:0">Monday, February 8, 2016</a></blockquote> </div> </div> </center> <p>This isn't the first spasm of anti-Semitism and Nazi imagery to come from the NRA or its board members. Back in 2007, the <a href="http://www.nydailynews.com/news/nra-depicts-bloomberg-octopus-anti-semitic-symbol-article-1.211274" target="_blank">group's official magazine published</a> an image of then New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg&mdash;who is featured in Nugent's social media rant this week&mdash; depicting him as an octopus, a well-known symbol of anti-Semitism<strong>. </strong>The NRA denied the analogy.</p></body></html> MoJo Guns Religion Tue, 09 Feb 2016 19:34:33 +0000 Inae Oh 296386 at http://www.motherjones.com 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're not alone anymore.' And we followed up&hellip;</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&hellip;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's life is like? Eleven 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's wet, the roads are tough. You don't want somebody who doesn'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 afterward, 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 anxiousness&mdash;<strong>and 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 2016 Elections Elections marco rubio 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 then 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