early and often

Bill Clinton Versus Jeremiah Wright: Which Loose Cannon is Louder?

This campaign season has seen more than its fair share of surrogate flubs and staffer gaffes, but no two men have continuously embarrassed Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama more than Bill Clinton and Reverend Jeremiah Wright (respectively). Both seem unable, or perhaps unwilling, to simply avoid saying things that damage the campaigns they ostensibly support. So in light of the renewed scrutiny of Bill Clinton and Reverend Wright’s unwelcome reemergence, we compare the two presidential headaches below.

William Jefferson Clinton

Reverend Jeremiah Wright Jr.

Bill Clinton Versus Jeremiah Wright: Which Loose Cannon is Louder?

Many fewer women are having abortions than even a few years ago

Abortion in the United States has decreased to record low levels, a decline that may be driven more by increased access to contraception and fewer women becoming pregnant than by the proliferation of laws restricting abortion in some states, according to new research.

“Abortion rates decreased in almost every state and there’s no clear pattern linking these declines to new restrictions,” said Elizabeth Nash, senior state policy manager at the Guttmacher Institute, which issued the findings in a report and policy analysis on Wednesday.

The institute, which supports abortion rights, periodically compiles abortion data by surveying hospitals and abortion clinics, and by reviewing information from health departments and other sources.

The institute estimated that there were about 862,000 abortions in 2017, nearly 200,000 fewer than in 2011. The abortion rate — the number of abortions per 1,000 women of reproductive age — dropped to 13.5 in 2017 from 16.9 in 2011, the lowest rate since abortion became legal nationwide in 1973.

Trump announces John Bolton’s replacement

I am pleased to announce that I will name Robert C. O’Brien, currently serving as the very successful Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs at the State Department, as our new National Security Advisor. I have worked long & hard with Robert. He will do a great job!

This oughta solve the problem

I have just instructed the Secretary of the Treasury to substantially increase Sanctions on the country of Iran!
just asking questions
just asking questions
Naomi Klein on Reckoning With the Radical Realities of Climate Change
The leftist intellectual talks the new political momentum on climate and whether we have to give up on consumption and growth to avert disaster.
the national interest
the national interest
How Electable Is Elizabeth Warren, Anyway?
An assessment of a now-likely nominee.
foreign interests
foreign interests
Israel’s Election Deadlock May Mean Netanyahu’s Luck Has Finally Run Out
Neither the right wing nor the center-left has a clear path to a majority in the Knesset – and Netanyahu’s hold on power is now even shakier.

A memo to Biden and Sanders from Jimmy Carter

Weeks shy of his 95th birthday, former President Jimmy Carter said he doesn’t believe he could have managed the most powerful office in the world at 80 years old.

Carter, who earlier this year became the longest-lived chief executive in American history, didn’t tie his comments to any of his fellow Democrats running for president in 2020, but two leading candidates, Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, would turn 80 during their terms if elected.

Biden is 76. Sanders is 78.

“I hope there’s an age limit,” Carter said with a laugh as he answered audience questions on Tuesday during his annual report at the Carter Center in Atlanta. “If I were just 80 years old, if I was 15 years younger, I don’t believe I could undertake the duties I experienced when I was president.”

Here’s your morning cringe

A chorus of mostly white women sang the gospel song “We Shall Overcome” in the California State Capitol, an anthem of the civil rights movement. Mothers rallied outside the governor’s office and marched through Capitol corridors chanting “No segregation, no discrimination, yes on education for all!” Some wore T-shirts that read “Freedom Keepers.”

But this wasn’t about racial equality. In the nation’s most diverse state, protesters opposed to childhood vaccine mandates — many from affluent coastal areas — had co-opted the civil rights mantle from the 1960s, insisting that their plight is comparable to what African Americans have suffered from segregationist policies.

The approach reflected the level of desperation among families staunchly opposed to vaccinating their children — a desperation that peaked Friday night when an activist threw a menstrual cup with what appeared to be blood at several state senators during floor session.

But the civil rights claim shocked lawmakers, especially those representing minority communities that have suffered generations of racism and economic injustice. Assemblywoman Sydney Kamlager-Dove (D-Los Angeles) called it “borderline racist” and said vaccine protesters need to revisit their history books.

Buttigieg gets a boost from fellow mayors

Fifty-eight U.S. mayors announced their endorsements of Pete Buttigieg, giving the South Bend, Ind., mayor a boost of institutional support for his presidential campaign.

In a USA Today op-ed, the current and former mayors, including some who have already publicly backed Buttigieg, called for “a great mayor in the White House.” The column — written by Mayors Steve Adler of Austin, Texas; Christopher Cabaldon of West Sacramento, Calif.; and Nan Whaley of Dayton, Ohio — emphasizes Buttigieg’s bipartisan credentials and executive experience.

“We endorse him from heartland towns, coastal cities, suburban communities, and every other corner of our great country,” the mayors wrote. “What’s more, in the spirit of the community of mayors, we are already offering Pete our best ideas and helping engage grassroots supporters all across the country.”

A big development in the push for free college

In one of the boldest state-led efforts to expand access to higher education, New Mexico is unveiling a plan on Wednesday to make tuition at its public colleges and universities free for all state residents, regardless of family income.

The move comes as many American families grapple with the rising cost of higher education and as discussions about free public college gain momentum in state legislatures and on the presidential debate stage. Nearly half of the states, including New York, Oregon and Tennessee, have guaranteed free two- or four-year public college to some students. But the New Mexico proposal goes further, promising four years of tuition even to students whose families can afford to pay the sticker price.

The program, which is expected to be formally announced by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Wednesday and still requires legislative approval, would apply to all 29 of the state’s two- and four-year public institutions. Long one of the poorest states in the country, New Mexico plans to use climbing revenues from oil production to pay for much of the costs.

vision 2020
vision 2020
Kamala Harris Really Needs to Turn Things Around
The once-promising campaign of the Californian is in trouble. She needs a reboot, and also needs Biden or Warren to stumble.
Big Tech’s Big Divorce From Democrats
Inside the collapsed marriage of Silicon Valley and the Democratic Party.

Coming down to the wire in Israel

Israel’s election was too close to call early Wednesday, with neither Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu nor his main rival, the former army chief Benny Gantz, a centrist, immediately commanding enough support to form a majority coalition, according to exit polls.

But Mr. Gantz’s Blue and White party appeared to have come out ahead of Mr. Netanyahu’s conservative Likud, giving a small third party the power to decide the outcome. And his avowed desire to force a unity coalition including both their parties made it likely that, if the projections held, Mr. Gantz would be given the first chance of forming a government.

With indictments against him looming in three corruption cases, the election’s less-than-vindicating apparent outcome would put his future in grave jeopardy. As prime minister, he could stay in his post even if indicted, under Israeli law. And he could press his coalition to grant him immunity from prosecution. But as a lesser minister or ordinary lawmaker, he would have to resign if charged.

ed buck
ed buck
Democratic Donor Ed Buck Arrested After Third Suspicious OD at His Home
Prosecutors accuse Buck of manipulating victims into taking huge doses of meth. Since 2017, two men have died in his L.A. home from overdoses.
Trump Hesitates on Iran Strike, As His Administration Draws Up Plans
The administration is reportedly considering cyberattacks and potential sites for retaliation, even as Trump is still wishy-washy on the idea.
u.s. constitution
u.s. constitution
Please, No Lectures on Fidelity to the Constitution From Josh Hawley
The Republican senator’s idea of the constitution is strictly as a vehicle for the authoritarian cultural order he prefers.

Biden continues to dominate among black voters, with Warren doing well among whites and Hispanics

Warren 28%
Biden 27%
Sanders 14%
Buttigieg 8%
Harris 5%
Klobuchar 3%
Booker 3%
Yang 2%

Biden 49%
Warren 13%
Harris 10%
Sanders 5%
Yang 5%
Buttigieg 3%
Booker 2%

Warren 29%
Sanders 25%
Biden 23%
Buttigieg 6%
Yang 6%
O’Rourke 4%
Gabbard 2%

Good news for Biden, Warris, and Yang. Bad news for Harris.

NEW: NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll:

- Biden: 31% (+5 since July)
- Warren: 25% (+6)
- Sanders: 14% (+1)
- Buttigieg: 7% (even)
- Harris: 5% (-8)
- Yang: 4% (+2)
- Klobuchar: 2% (+1)
- Booker: 2% (+1)

BUT only 9% say their minds are definitely made up.
corey lewandowski
corey lewandowski
The Wildest Moments From Corey Lewandowski’s House Testimony
The Trump loyalist and Senate hopeful turned in an openly hostile performance that seemed designed to please the president.
what the right is reading
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Is Tucker Carlson the Most Important Pundit in America?
The Fox News host stymied a military strike and helped defenestrate John Bolton. Bigger yet, he’s trying to remake right-wing politics in the U.S.
vision 2020
vision 2020
Polls Show de Blasio at Zero Percent in His City and State
Mayor Bill de Blasio is a prophet without honor in his hometown of New York City and surrounding areas.

A seismic moment, if the polls are right

BREAKING: Exit polls in the three main TV channels in Israel predict Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has lost the elections with his right wing block not reaching 61 seats majority

Great publicity for Snowden’s book

JUST IN: DOJ sues Edward Snowden over the publication of his new memoir, arguing the book violates the non-disclosure agreements they say he signed with the CIA and NSA. https://t.co/wGNYgmgRNF
Should Democrats Plan on Packing the Courts in 2021?
Certainly the threat of judicial reform should stay on the table so long as conservatives use judges to thwart democracy, as they did in FDR’s day.

A beautiful tribute

POTUS on the death of Cokie Roberts, via pool: “I never met her. She never treated me nicely. But I would like to wish her family well. She was a professional and I respect professionals. I respect you guys a lot, you people a lot. She was a real professional.”
donald trump
donald trump
Trump’s Childhood Home Is Back on the Market
After failing to sell earlier this year for $2.9 million, the modest Queens home is going up for auction.

The Lewandowski hearing appears to be going well

As expected, Corey Lewandowski is delivering a spirited defense of President Trump. He claims the Mueller investigation was carried out by a group of “Trump haters” and that today’s hearing is part of Democrats harassing Trump. He said Dems are just going down a “rabbit hole.”
the national interest
the national interest
Trump’s Bizarre Argument for Defending Saudi Arabia
U.S. weapons sales to Saudi Arabia have become the rationale for defending Saudi Arabia.

De Blasio polling at a cool zero percent in NYC

Biden 24%
Warren 15%
Sanders 14%
Harris 6%
Buttigieg 1%
Gabbard 1%
O’Rourke 1%
Yang 1%
Booker 0%
Castro 1%
de Blasio 0%
Klobuchar 0%@SienaResearch 9/8-12https://t.co/OE1fOSYaIj

De Blasio’s presidential run does not appear to be bolstering his popularity at home

I’d like you to tell me whether you have a favorable opinion or an unfavorable opinion of … Bill de Blasio:
Favorable 25%
Unfavorable 57%
(Siena College Poll, RV, 9/8-12/19)
Relationship to Candidate Uncontrollable husband who frequently alienates black voters. Uncontrollable ex-pastor who frequently alienates white voters. Embarrassing Quote “Jesse Jackson won South Carolina in ‘84 and ‘88. Jackson ran a good campaign. And Obama ran a good campaign here.” “The government gives them the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strike law, and then wants us to sing ‘God Bless America.’ No, no, no, God damn America, that’s in the Bible for killing innocent people.” Candidate’s Response After Bill’s wholly inaccurate defense of Hillary’s wholly inaccurate Bosnia recollections, Hillary told him, bluntly, to stop. “‘You don’t remember this, you weren’t there. Let me handle it,’” she told Bill, as he recounted. His reply: “Yes ma’am.”
Last month Obama condemned Wright’s more offensive statements without distancing himself from the man entirely. “As imperfect as he may be, he has been like family to me,” Obama said. Tuesday afternoon, a day after Wright spoke to the National Press Club, Obama got a lot tougher: “I gave him the benefit of the doubt before my speech in Philadelphia [but] … the person I saw yesterday is not the person I met twenty years ago.” Key Shared Experience Married Hillary Clinton, fathered her kid. Married Barack and Michelle Obama, baptized their kids. Personal Project to Promote Circumventing those pesky constitutional limits on holding a third term as president by getting his wife into the White House and becoming a “roving ambassador” as Hillary has suggested.
A book to be released “later this year.” Biggest Critic
Recently, Representative James Clyburn, who said Bill’s behavior was “bizarre” and “incensed” black people. Rush Limbaugh: “This is a man who hates the country. Jeremiah Wright is a hatemonger. He hates America. It is patently obvious.” Future Liability No telling what could happen if he roves White House hallways once again. Bizarrely, has pledged to “come after” Obama if Barack manages to overcome the obstacles Wright is creating for him and makes it to the White House. Approval Ratings 47 percent favorable. 8 percent favorable. Hidden Upside Driven to make more campaign appearances than either Hillary or Obama. Helps to inform the frighteningly sizable number of voters still unclear about Obama’s religion that the senator is, in fact, Christian.