Democrats to the Wire, Undercovers Indicted
Tuesday, January 26, 2016
Vol. 5, No. 26
The Democrats: Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders bluntly explained his belief in “Democratic Socialism,” last night in a Democratic town hall meeting on CNN. “Economic rights, the right to economic security is – should exist in the United States of America,” he said.
The format of the meeting gave each candidate time alone on stage to thoroughly explain their positions without interruption by opponents.
Sanders wants healthcare for all Americans, free college education, and a rebalancing of both economic and political power between the rich and the poor. “So, what Democratic Socialism means to me in its essence,” he said, “is that we cannot continue to have a government dominated by the billionaire class, and a congress that continues to work for the interest of the people on top while ignoring working families.”
Hillary Clinton was more skillfully political in dodging difficult questions and issues, but showed a command of the reality of politics. She was masterful in her explanation of the diplomatic efforts it took to convince Israel not to bomb Iran’s nuclear development facilities, and to bring Iran to negotiations.
“It took 18 months to get the sanctions,” she said. “It took me about another year to travel around the world convincing other countries to actually obey the sanctions. And then I began the negotiations, testing whether the Iranians would actually come and seriously negotiate.”
Going into last night’s forum, the average of polling had Clinton and Sanders in a dead heat within the margin for error, with Sanders actually leading in some polls.
Turnaround: A Houston Grand Jury looking into accusations of improper conduct by Planned Parenthood has instead indicted two opponents of abortion who made undercover videos of the organization.
David Daleiden, 26, the leader of the Center for Medical Progress and employee, Sandra Merritt, were indicted on felony charges of tampering with a governmental record. They’re accused of creating fake identities to show themselves as legal buyers of fetal tissue.
Touchback: Florida State University has agreed to pay $950,000 to settle a former student’s claims that the Seminole star quarterback Jameis Winston raped her in 2012. The plaintiff, Erica Kinsman, is still suing Winston personally for sexual assault. He was never charged with a crime, raising speculation that he received special treatment because he was a big time jock. Winston is now with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
I Like to Be in America: As the finances of debt-laden Puerto Rico unravel, less talked about is a case pending before the Supreme Court that may ultimately determine whether Puerto Rico becomes the 51st state.
Two men prosecuted on gun charges in Puerto Rico have argued that they cannot be charged in both local and federal courts because Puerto Rico is not a sovereign entity and is therefore under only federal control. They say prosecution in both local and federal courts is unconstitutional double jeopardy.
A lot of people forget that Puerto Rican citizens are US citizens. Although it has its own constitution, courts and laws, the Obama administration now says Puerto Rico is a territory and not sovereign. If the Court rules Puerto Rico is sovereign, but also part of the US, that puts the island on the path to arguing that it deserves statehood.
The Obit Page: Marvin Minsky, an MIT computer scientist whose work pioneered artificial intelligence, the simple power of reason in computers, has died at age 88. He was a co-author of the book “The Society of Mind,” which argued the theory that in some ways machines are not all that different from people, and the power of reason is the product of a variety of functions that machines have the capacity to use.
Some Muscle Here: University of Missouri Assistant Professor Melissa Click, who grabbed a student journalists’ video camera last November, and called for “some muscle” to get him away from a student demonstration encampment, has been charged with misdemeanor assault. Click has not been fired, but the university says the incident will be considered in Click’s application for tenure.