Democratic presidential forum open thread #2

U.S. Democratic presidential candidates  Hillary Clinton (R) is joined on stage by Martin O’Malley (C) and Bernie Sanders for the Iowa Democratic Party's Hall of Fame dinner in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, United States, July 17, 2015. REUTERS/Jim Young   - RTX1KR

Rachel Maddow has questioned Martin O’Malley and Bernie Sanders, producing some great moments for both. Now she’s on to Hillary Clinton. As a reminder, this is a forum, not a debate, because the Democratic National Committee put limits on debates.

Democratic presidential forum open thread

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton looks out to the crowd as she is flanked by rivals Senator Bernie Sanders (L), Lincoln Chafee (2nd R) and Martin O'Malley (R) at the end of the first official Democratic candidates debate of the 2016 presidential campaign in Las Vegas, Nevada October 13, 2015. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson - RTS4CVH

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley are participating in MSNBC’s “First in the South Democratic Candidates Forum,” moderated by Rachel Maddow. According to Maddow:

It’s not a debate. Both the Republican and Democratic parties made decisions this year that they would pick a specific number of debates and require that the candidates would only participate in those. […] And that means I am not allowed to put these candidates on the stage at the same time. I have to talk to them sequentially, one on one.

So it will be a series of interviews with the candidates. But Maddow is a good interviewer, the candidates are smart and engaging people, so it should still be fun. Not as much fun as a debate, but still.

The forum runs from 8:00 to 10:00 PM ET. You can stream it

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Intelligence review concludes Clinton emails didn’t contain classified information

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton listens to a question as she testifies before the House Select Committee on Benghazi, on Capitol Hill in Washington October 22, 2015. The congressional committee is investigating the deadly 2012 attack on

Hey, guess what. Claims of “top secret” information in Hillary Clinton’s email are, according to the intelligence officials tasked with investigating it, untrue.

The determination came from Director of National Intelligence James Clapper’s office and concluded that the two emails did not include highly classified intelligence secrets. Concerns about the emails’ classification helped trigger an on-going FBI inquiry into Clinton’s private email set-up. […]
“The initial determination was based on a flawed process,” the source said. “There was an intelligence product people thought [one of the emails] was based on, but that actually postdated the email in question.”

So there you go. Apparently the dispute between the State Department and the intelligence community was based on the intelligence community flagging information in one of the emails as being from a classified source, but the State Department emails were written before the intelligence effort in question, based on other,

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Weekly poll roundup: Carson and Clinton rising

Democratic presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton shakes hands with rival candidate and U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (L) and thanks him for saying that he and the American people are sick of hearing about her State Department

On the Democratic side, both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders continue to rise, though the former at a higher rate. A week ago, October 29, Clinton led 54.4 to 29.9 in the Pollster composite of national polls. Today, that’s at 56.4-31.1 percent.

I thought Sanders’ ceiling was 30 percent. He’s now exceeded that. Congrats! But the overall picture continues to look bleak for his candidacy. Clinton’s numbers range between 50 and 62 percent in the last week’s national polls. Time is chipping away, yet over half of Democrats continue to back Clinton with her trend on the upswing. Sanders’ numbers have ranged between 26 and 35, meaning that he’s got just a quarter to a third of Democrats. I keep saying this and I’ll say it again, he’s not breaking through his demographic base.
Once upon a time, the early states were a bright spot for

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Bernie Sanders calls investigation of Hillary Clinton’s emails ‘valid’

Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders speaks as former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton looks on during the first official Democratic candidates debate of the 2016 presidential campaign in Las Vegas, Nevada October 13, 2015. REUTERS/L

In what the media is casting as a major shift, Bernie Sanders said on Wednesday that he supports ongoing investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email practices as secretary of state:

If her email practices foiled public-records requests or compromised classified information, those are “valid questions,” Mr. Sanders said. […
On the issue of Mrs. Clinton’s emails, Mr. Sanders didn’t say he regretted his debate remarks. “You get 12 seconds to say these things,” he said of the debate setting. “There’s an investigation going on right now. I did not say, ‘End the investigation.’ That’s silly.…Let the investigation proceed unimpeded.”

These comments are something of a shift, but the media is also probably overselling them. It’s not a gaping contradiction to say that American voters are sick of the media hype over Clinton’s emails and the degree to which that hype has crowded out substantive discussion of policy and

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House Republicans split over how much more to make fools of themselves over Hillary Clinton

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton listens to a question as she testifies before the House Select Committee on Benghazi, on Capitol Hill in Washington October 22, 2015. The congressional committee is investigating the deadly 2012 attack on

Because grilling Hillary Clinton for 11 hours, spending a lot of that time focusing on her emails rather than on Benghazi, worked so well for Republicans, they’re debating how hard to keep going after her emails. Former House Speaker John Boehner had kept committee chairs like Jason Chaffetz from making total asses of themselves “investigating” Clinton’s email set-up, but there’s a new speaker in town and some Republicans are hoping Paul Ryan will let them take the reins. Some of the usual suspects are all for it:

“I just think it needs to happen. … We already know [Clinton] messed up,” said Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), a member of the Benghazi and Oversight committees who remains skeptical of Clinton because a handful of her emails have surfaced from other sources, even though Republicans asked for all her Libya-related correspondence from the State Department. “It seems to me we have to

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Cartoon: Do you even vote, bro?

Days after protests, Hillary Clinton meets with families of victims of police violence

Democratic U.S. presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton addresses the U.S. Conference of Mayors Annual Meeting in San Francisco June 20, 2015. REUTERS/Stephen Lam - RTX1HE3I

Just three days after Black Lives Matter protesters rallied at an October 30 Hillary Clinton event at Clark Atlanta University to protest her support of the death penalty, Clinton met with the mothers and family members of several black men who have been killed by police. Among the group were Lesley McSpadden, Samaria Rice, and Sybrina Fulton, mothers of Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, and Trayvon Martin, respectively. The New York Times reports:

In a private conversation that included the mothers of Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Trayvon Martin and others, Mrs. Clinton reaffirmed her pledge to overhaul the criminal justice system, a campaign aide said. She also asked how trust could be restored between police officers and predominantly African-American communities in light of a spate of killings.

The movement for black lives has become an increasingly important player in politics ahead of 2016. Protesters affiliated with various groups have rallied

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Daily Kos Democratic Primary Straw Poll 11-03-15

Voter buttons

Time for our biweekly community look into the Democratic presidential primary. Here’s where things have stood the last several months:

         10/20  9/29  9/15  9/1  8/19  8/5  7/21  7/9 6/23  6/9
  Sanders   53    62     62    58    58     58    57    67   63    69
  Clinton   41    29     29    34    34     35    36    29   31    24
  Other      1     3      3     2     2      3     2     2    1     3
  No clue    2     3      3     3     3      2     3     2    1     2
  --------------------------------------------------------------------
  n=  

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Trey Gowdy did Hillary Clinton a big favor with partisan Benghazi hearing, poll shows

Democratic presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, laughs out loud after Rep. Martha Roby, R-Ala., asked Clinton if she was home alone during night of the 2012 Benghazi attacks during testimony on Capitol Hill in Washi

Way to go, Trey Gowdy. The Benghazi Committee’s marathon hearing with Hillary Clinton did Clinton a world of good, according to a new poll:

Among Democratic primary voters, 72% said they were now satisfied with Clinton’s responses to questions about how she handled the attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, in 2012, according to the Wall Street Journal/NBC poll. That’s up from 58% before her testimony. […]
Clinton made progress as well among swing voters, the survey found. Before her testimony, 84% of swing voters had said they were not satisfied with her responses to questions about Benghazi. In the latest survey, only 40% said so.

That’s a big swing, even if it’s incomplete, with just a minority of swing voters saying they are affirmatively satisfied with Clinton’s answers. Still, a much lower number saying they’re not satisfied counts as a major win thanks

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Cartoon: Last-minute Halloween costumes


Click to enlarge.

It’s the end of October and the pop-up Halloween stores have been picked clean. Here are some costume ideas for the procrastinators among you.

The 1980’s Exxon panel is totally true, although the climate scientists involved probably weren’t dressed like Valley Girls.

Clinton rises in polling, and so does Sanders

Democratic presidential candidates U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (L) and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton debate duringthe first official Democratic candidates debate of the 2016 presidential campaign in Las Vegas, Nevada October 13, 2015. REUTERS/

I’ve long argued that Bernie Sanders’ national ceiling is 30 percent, and at 28.7 percent in the polling composite, he’s close to either proving me right or wrong. Unfortunately for him, Hillary Clinton has also seen a big rise in her numbers as well, from 44.3 percent in the composite in late September, to 54.5 percent just a month later.

All told, in the past month, Clinton is up 10 and Sanders is up about 3 1/2. Interestingly, Clinton’s gains don’t seem to have come at the expense of Sanders. Eyeballing the list of polling, it really looks like half of Biden’s crowd went to Clinton, the other half slotted in at “undecided.” But that’s about as rough an observation as anyone can muster. We really don’t know who went from what column to what column. We can only guess.
The Benghazi Inquisition of Hillary

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Third Way panics over Bernie Sanders and the new American mainstream

U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders poses for pictures after his speech at Creative Visions Human Development Institute in Des Moines, Iowa, September 27, 2015.  REUTERS/Brian C. Frank - RTX1SR13

Third Way freaks out about Bernie Sanders. What took them so long?

Remember Third Way, the Wall-Street-run front group of supposed “Democrats?” Fresh off panicking over Elizabeth Warren, they’re now panicking over Bernie Sanders.

“You would be back to 1972 [if Bernie were nominated],” warned Bill Daley, President Barack Obama’s former chief of staff and a Third Way board member, referencing the blowout Richard Nixon win that year. “It was not a happy time for Democrats. The guy has been a socialist his whole life and now decides he is a Democrat and therefore the Democratic Party has got to move to that extreme? I think it is a recipe for disaster.”

I love these assholes talking about the “extremes” inhabited by the likes of Sanders and Warren. What exactly is in Sanders’ bucket of issues that is so far out of touch with America? Granted, he’s hostile

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Marco Rubio tries to play Clinton’s Benghazi hearing as good for Republicans

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) at CPAC 2015.

Don’t say Marco Rubio doesn’t have nerve. Rubio “responded” to Donald Trump’s usual argument against Super PACs by saying that “Democrats have the ultimate Super PAC. It’s called the mainstream media.” That was a great applause line for a Republican debate audience, but his evidence for this claim? That the media said Hillary Clinton did well in last week’s Benghazi hearing.
Seriously, a Republican voluntarily brought that embarrassment to his party up on national television and tried to turn it to his advantage.

Because, see, Clinton said different things about the causes of the attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi at different times, therefore “she got exposed as a liar” (rather than a person receiving shifting intelligence reports and trying to make sense of them in real time), so the fact that “the mainstream media is going around saying it was the greatest week in Hillary

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Cartoon: Feel the burn

Hillary posts significant lead over Bernie in two Iowa polls

Democratic presidential candidates U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (L) and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton debate during the first official Democratic candidates debate of the 2016 presidential campaign in Las Vegas, Nevada October 13, 2015. REUTERS/

Hillary Clinton appears to have gotten a boost in Iowa now that the Biden factor has receded. Caucus states are notoriously difficult to poll (as noted here) but two separate polls now suggest Clinton is hovering around a 40-point lead over Bernie Sanders—her biggest lead to date.
Here’ the Monmouth University poll (6/27-29 results):

Hillary Clinton: 65% (63)
Bernie Sanders: 24% (20)
Martin O’Malley: 5% (5)
Undecided: 4% (8)

And the Loras College poll (8/24-27 results):

Hillary Clinton: 62% (48)
Bernie Sanders: 24% (23)
Martin O’Malley: 3% (4)
Undecided: 10% (6)

Update by kos: Added trendlines. For the Monmouth poll, the trendlines are so old that they are practically useless, having missed the big Sanders gains. So how much stock can we put in these polls, with their gaudy outlier-looking numbers? I’m certainly skeptical and wish that Selzer would come back and repoll post-Benghazi Inquisition testimony. Her last

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Dear god, more stupid from Trey Gowdy

Representative Trey Gowdy (R-SC) questions U.S. Secret Service Director Julia Pierson during the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on

Moron.

Does Trey Gowdy have any other setting beyond “stupid?”

So with respect to responsibility, with the placing of the mission, with the request for more security […] I have a perspective which is rooted in the previous ARB that the Secretary of State, himself or herself, should do that personal review.

He is saying that a secretary of state should personally review the security arrangements of every diplomatic mission in the department’s purview. Here’s a list of the State Department’s 307 embassies, consulates, and diplomatic missions around the globe.
So Gowdy thinks that the secretary of state needs to determine whether six foot walls are adequate for each of those 307 facilities, or whether they should be eight feet tall? Where security cameras should be placed? What kind of glass to use? The size of the compound’s security detail? The placement of physical anti-vehicle barriers? The adequacy

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Gowdy: That scheming Hillary caused our public humiliation

Committee Chairman U.S. Representative Trey Gowdy (R-SC) speaks to reporters after questioning Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in a day-long testimony before the House Select Committee on Benghazi, on Capitol Hill in Washington October 2

Why yes, those ARE beads of sweat!

Interesting whine from Rep. Trey Gowdy, still smarting over getting owned by Hillary Clinton during his Benghazi Committee inquisition last week.

CHUCK TODD:
[…] It sounds like you may regret how you went about questioning Secretary Clinton, that maybe you should’ve done some of it off camera and only some of it on camera. What do over do you want?

TREY GOWDY:

Well, Chuck it was a voluntary interview. I didn’t send the subpoena to Secretary Clinton. It was a voluntary interview, and she wanted it to be in public. I wrote a letter several months ago giving her an option. And she chose public. And that’s well within her right.

I can just tell you that of the 50-some odd interviews we have done thus far, the vast majority of them have been private. And you don’t see the bickering among

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Cartoon: Democratic debate tweaks


Click to enlarge.

Last week’s Democratic debate was a welcome relief from the GOP train wrecks. While light on foreign policy, it was a substantial discussion of what’s at stake in the upcoming election. 15 million tuned in, the most for any Democratic debate, which is great free advertising for a party that’s been struggling for air time against the Trump Show™.

The next three debates won’t get that number of eyeballs combined. In a bid to pave the way for Hillary, DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz scheduled them all on weekends and possibly in the middle of the night between infomercials. I’ll never know because I spend my weekends doing fun things and staying as far away from the news-cycle grind of the workweek.

Pundit Luke: Democrats sabotaged marathon Benghazi hearing by asking when the hell it might end

Committee Chairman U.S. Representative Trey Gowdy (R-SC)(C), flanked by committee members, speaks to reporters after questioning Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in a day-long testimony before the House Select Committee on Benghazi, on Ca

Noooooooooowhatever.

Via Digby, here’s MSNBC pundit Luke Russert’s take on why yesterday’s marathon 11-hour Benghazi! committee grilling of Hillary Clinton did not finally, at long last, get to the bottom of whatever Trey Gowdy and the Republican committee members have been vowing to eventually someday get to the bottom of.

“I think what you saw there was Elijah Cummings, Mr Schiff, Sanchez, they were able to block a lot of the things that would have been hurtful to her by bringing up things, ‘hey your time is done chairman’ or ‘we shouldn’t go on to this one, or how much longer are we going to be here.’ That worked in her favor and they want to continue to do that.”

Yes. Yes, that is it. No doubt Trey Gowdy would have finally gotten to the bottom of everything had several Democrats not asked him occasional procedural questions

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