Things are getting a bit ugly between Bernie and Hillary. And we should not let that spill over here, endangering the civil discourse we have always prided ourselves on. I will be the first to admit letting my issues with Hillary spark the flame lately. I hereby vow to keep that in check, although I might fall off the wagon here and there. When you examine delegate allocation in the party voting going forward it is clear that this rivalry is going to last a few more months. So I am going to do my level best to keep our little corner of the Internets from turning into the ugly mess that we experienced in 2008.
Jim Webb writes:
We can leave no doubt that the United States will support our allies. China’s claim of “indisputable sovereignty” in the Senkaku, Paracel, and Spratly Islands must be disputed at every opportunity. China is wrongly laying claim to almost all of the South China Sea — an area larger than the land mass of the Philippines, Japan and Vietnam combined. Failing to stand up to these claims threatens the entire stability of the Asia-Pacific region. — Read More
By Cathleen Decker, Los Angeles Times:
Among Republicans, the race shifts onto ground dominated by more secular New Englanders after weeks of appeals to Iowa’s evangelical voters. A New Hampshire race that days ago appeared destined to define which of a quartet of establishment Republicans would rise to challenge Donald Trump will offer instead a battle between two young senators, Iowa winner Ted Cruz and third-place finisher Marco Rubio, for that mantle.
On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton only barely escaped a second straight embarrassment at the hands of an upstart movement candidate by effectively tying with Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. Now she must fight him on his home turf of New England.
That is dangerous territory for Clinton politically, raising the specter that she will emerge from the first two contests with no clear victory. But Clinton will also reinhabit the underdog role that she used to great effect in her come-from-behind primary win here over Barack Obama in 2008.
Hillary Clinton must now trash Bernie Sanders and risk losing his voters in November. Good luck with that.
If I have learned anything in the past year it is that Iowa is a complete joke. There was a time way back in 1976 when I went there to campaign for Jimmy Carter as a college kid that I believed in Iowa as an honest broker and screening committee for our presidential politics. But in the decades since it has become a casino unworthy of the media hype the state has so jealously protected. The time has come for ending this madness. Margins of a few hundred or thousand in a universe only slightly largely than a major league football stadium, in a state so unrepresentative of our nation at large, deciding winners and losers for a population of 300 million? Party hacks bought off with chump change? Roads built to nowhere by presidential administrations owing Iowa their power? Federal expenditures per capita at the top of the food chain? This state is now running a scam on our country that the most scandalous infomercials on cable television wouldn’t dare to present. Its bizarre rules, especially those in the Democratic Party denying secret ballots and banning minority candidates, ought to invalidate Iowa’s oversized influence. Iowa no longer deserves this.