MoJo Blogs and Articles | Mother Jones http://www.motherjones.com/rss/blogs_and_articles/sites/all/modules/patched/service_links/images/facebook.png/favicon.ico 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 John Kasich: "Slow Down" and Put on Your Seatbelt http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/02/john-kasich-new-hampshire-primary-second-place <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>"Tonight, John Kasich is the story coming out of New Hampshire," John Sununu, a former US senator from the state, declared as he introduced the Ohio governor to a packed ballroom of supporters here in Concord. The crowded risers at the back of the room, lined with TV cameras and photographers, attested to the shifting narrative created by Kasich's surprise second-place finish in the New Hampshire Republican presidential primary.</p> <p>Kasich himself seemed slightly shell-shocked by how well he had performed, after initially laboring in "totally obscurity" as he criss-crossed New Hampshire to introduce himself to voters. "There's something that's going on that I'm not sure that anybody can quite understand," he said when he took the podium. "There's magic in the air with this campaign. Something big happened tonight." The question for the Kasich campaign, which has focused its resources heavily on New Hampshire, with the candidate holding nearly 190 events in the state, is what comes next? South Carolina, with its base of religious conservative voters, is not considered Kasich country. And more than a month will elapse between his strong New Hampshire finish and the contest in his native Ohio.</p> <p>Kasich has run a positive if deeply introspective campaign. "We never went negative because we have more good to sell than to spend our time being critical," he said, adding, "Tonight the light overcame the darkness." His message of hope and healing&mdash;he has repeatedly urged his supporters to "just slow down" and listen to others&mdash;has seemed out of place in a race that has been dominated by a candidate, Donald Trump, who has thrived on divisiveness.</p> <p>"There are many people in America who don't feel connected," he said tonight. Out on the campaign trial, hearing the stories of others experiencing pain and loss had changed him, Kasich said. "I'm going to go slower."</p> <p>Yet even the plaintive Kasich seems to understand that slowing down might not be an option if he hopes to extend the New Hampshire storyline into additional victories. "Tonight, we head to South Carolina," he said. "There's so much that's going to happen; if you don't have a seatbelt, go get one."</p></body></html> Politics 2016 Elections Top Stories Wed, 10 Feb 2016 04:30:35 +0000 Daniel Schulman 296476 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 Clinton Embraces Sanders' Message After Big New Hampshire Loss http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/02/clinton-looks-south-carolina-and-nevada-concession-speech <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>After a big loss to Bernie Sanders in the New Hampshire Democratic primary Tuesday, Hillary Clinton used her concession speech to shift the focus to the South Carolina and Nevada contests and beyond, and tout her progressive credentials on issues that<strong> </strong>have dominated Sanders' rising campaign&mdash;namely campaign finance reform and the power of Wall Street.</p> <p><span class="message_body">"We're going to fight for real solutions that make a real difference in people's lives," she said. "That is the fight we are taking to the country. What is the best way to change people's lives so we can all grow together? Who is the best change-maker? And here's what I promise: I will work harder than anyone to actually make the changes that make your lives better."</span></p> <p>Clinton recalled that the Supreme Court's <em>Citizens United </em>decision was instigated by a conservative group attempting to air an anti-Hillary Clinton film in 2008&mdash;a point she hasn't yet incorporated into her stump speech or raised in debates. "So yes, you're not going to find anyone more committed to aggressive campaign finance reform than me," Clinton told the cheering crowd, her voice hoarse from campaigning.</p></body></html> <p style="font-size: 1.083em;"><a href="/politics/2016/02/clinton-looks-south-carolina-and-nevada-concession-speech"><strong><em>Continue Reading &raquo;</em></strong></a></p> Politics 2016 Elections Hillary Clinton bernie sanders Wed, 10 Feb 2016 03:35:37 +0000 Pema Levy 296466 at http://www.motherjones.com How Sanders and Trump Pulled Off Two Very Different Revolutions http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/02/new-hampshire-primary-trump-sanders-kasich <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>In New Hampshire, an angry populist who calls for a revolution and assails the Washington establishment, special-interest lobbyists, big-money politics, and rapacious corporations won an election in a historic move that could shake up and remake American politics.</p> <p>And Bernie Sanders did, too.</p> <p>Donald Trump triumphed in the GOP primary, bagging about a third of the vote. He lapped the rest of the pack, while John Kasich placed second with about 16 percent, and Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, and Marco Rubio clumped together at about 11 percent. Trump's conquest of the GOP came after the xenophobic tycoon and reality-show star honed his populist message in a manner that echoed Sanders' approach. Sanders, the democratic socialist who only recently identified as a Democrat, bested Hillary Clinton, the poster child for the Democratic establishment, by about 20 points. This was a commanding showing for Sanders, after the Clinton campaign tried mightily&mdash;with Bill Clinton deriding Sanders' supporters&mdash;to close the gap to single digits. Sanders achieved this win by sticking to his trademark lines: Enough is enough, the banks have to be broken up, the billionaires cabal must be busted so it cannot buy elections, and a "revolution" is needed to smash corporate power, tax "Wall Street speculation," and deliver universal health care, a living wage, and tuition-free college to the citizenry. He roused young voters and apparently fared well among white working-class men, who presumably share Sanders' fury regarding what he calls a "rigged economy" that generates income inequality. (These blue-collar voters backed Clinton in the 2008 Democratic primary.)</p></body></html> <p style="font-size: 1.083em;"><a href="/politics/2016/02/new-hampshire-primary-trump-sanders-kasich"><strong><em>Continue Reading &raquo;</em></strong></a></p> Politics 2016 Elections Top Stories Wed, 10 Feb 2016 03:01:25 +0000 David Corn 296356 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 Bernie Sanders Wins Democratic New Hampshire Primary http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/02/bernie-sanders-wins-new-hampshire-primary <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont was declared the winner of the New Hampshire Democratic presidential primary as soon as polls closed at 8 p.m. EST on Tuesday night. Results are still trickling in at the moment&mdash;some polling locations are still open to accommodate people in line at the cutoff time&mdash;but it looks like Sanders will likely defeat former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton by double digits.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">BREAKING: Sanders, Trump win the New Hampshire primaries. <a href="https://twitter.com/AP">@AP</a> race call at 8 p.m. EST. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Election2016?src=hash">#Election2016</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/APracecall?src=hash">#APracecall</a>.</p> &mdash; The Associated Press (@AP) <a href="https://twitter.com/AP/status/697223562852241408">February 10, 2016</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>The two have now split the first two states, with Clinton coming out narrowly ahead in Iowa a week ago.</p> <p>The Clinton campaign was quick to concede, immediately <a href="https://twitter.com/rubycramer/status/697224840282009600/photo/1" target="_blank">circulating a memo</a> to reporters from campaign manager Robby Mook touting Clinton's strength in the states voting in March.</p></body></html> Politics 2016 Elections bernie sanders Wed, 10 Feb 2016 01:17:44 +0000 Patrick Caldwell 296446 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