Saturday Open Thread

Happy Saturday, Everyone. Enjoy your weekend with family and friends!

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82 Responses to Saturday Open Thread

  1. Liza says:

    Ralston Reports: ‘Reid-Culinary bond’ won Nevada for Clinton
    Jon Ralston 7:23 p.m. PST February 20, 2016

    I’d like to congratulate the winner of the Nevada Democratic caucus: Harry Reid.

    What’s that, you say? Reid wasn’t running? What am I talking about?

    Saturday may well be the day that altered the course of the Democratic presidential race, when Hillary Clinton blunted Bernie Sanders’ campaign, when she was forced to work as hard as she ever has for a week (with a little help from a lot of friends) and slingshotted her with new momentum into South Carolina and then Super Tuesday. Nevada may indeed prove to be the day that saved Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

    But the caucus, which Clinton won by about 5 percentage points, also cemented Prince Harry as a man Machiavelli would have bowed to, a man who with one eye who still sees the field better and is still more dangerous, effective and cunning as any pol the state (the country?) has ever seen. Clinton may not have won Nevada if Reid had not interceded last week when the man feigning neutrality saw what everyone in the Democratic elite saw: Sanders erasing a once mountainous lead and on the verge of perhaps winning Nevada and rendering inoperative the “Hillary is more electable” argument.

    The story of the Nevada caucus is that a lame-duck senator and a self-neutered union conspired to revive the Clinton campaign in a remarkable bit of backroom maneuvering that helped Madame Secretary crush Sanders in Clark County, the key to winning almost any statewide election. Combined with a Clinton machine, erected last spring and looking invincible, that suddenly had to scrape the rust off its gears and turn out her voters, Caucus Day also was a remarkable story of an indomitable candidate, her nonpareil Nevada staff and a ragtag but committed Sanders operation that made them sweat.

    But, ultimately, what turned this race was Reid, who clearly came home to find that Clinton’s insurmountable lead was being surmounted. Despite being furious with Team Clinton for its panic-stricken spin that Nevada was as white as Iowa and New Hampshire, undermining Reid’s argument why the state was given early-state status (and, you know, being false, too), the senator decided he would single-handedly save the state for Clinton.

    In the middle of last week, Reid made a phone call, first reported by The New York Times’ Amy Chozick, to D. Taylor, the head of the parent of the Culinary Union local in Las Vegas. Before that call, the Culinary, facing difficult contract negotiations and seeing no advantage in enmeshing itself in a bloody internecine fight, had declared it was more Swiss than Hispanic. With the Culinary not endorsing and unwilling to even engage in the caucus, turnout at six casino sites on the Las Vegas Strip was forecast at a combined 100 or so. That is, insignificant.

    “He’s been extremely cooperative,” Reid told Chozick of Taylor. “Probably 100 organizers will be at the caucus sites and in hotels to make sure people know what they’re doing.”

    But Reid did not stop there. He also called casino executives, sources confirm, with a simple message: “Let your people go.”

    That is, he wanted to ensure the workers would be allowed time off from work to caucus. No one said no to Prince Harry.

    Despite their common public neutrality, Taylor and Reid surely believe, as do most Democratic power brokers, that a Sanders nomination would be a disaster. Reid knew that Taylor would get his swarms of organizers to turn out mostly Latino workers, who would likely vote for Clinton.

    A gamble? Yes. But like going all-in with a straight flush.

    And it paid off.

    On Saturday, Clinton not only won all six casino sites, most handily, by a combined delegate count of 109-52. And instead of an aggregate 100 or so employees, hundreds of workers showed up to caucus, thanks to Reid to Taylor to organizers.

    Yes, that margin of 57 ended up being dwarfed by Clinton’s final margin, which at this writing may be 600-plus delegates. But those Culinary workers at the Strip sites were not the only ones who caucused – some of those who were not working went to their home sites. And Reid also encouraged leaders of other unions, I’m told, to rally their members to juice Clark County for Clinton.

    Clinton won Clark by 10 points, ensuring that Sanders would have to crush her in the north and rurals to win. He did not.

    Part of that is the lesson learned from ’08, when Clinton did not campaign enough outside of Clark County and lost the delegate battle while winning the popular vote. Her campaign, led by field maestro Robby Mook (who won the state for her in ’08) and 2016 Nevada boss Emmy Ruiz, did not repeat that mistake and Clinton’s own insane schedule in Nevada the last week – visiting those Strip sites and touching every base she could – helped save her, along with a raft of big-name surrogates who arrived like the cavalry last week.

    It was surgical. It was impressive. It worked.

    But most of all, this was a familiar story for those who have watched Democratic politics here. Just as in 2010, when the Culinary helped Reid win an impossible reelection, the pairing produced a dramatic victory.

    “The Reid-Culinary bond is strong and it wins and loses elections,” said one insider. That bond has been frayed by the union’s battle over Obamacare and near-deification of Republican Sen. Dean Heller for fighting against the excise tax Reid would not (at least publicly).

    No more.

    A lot was at stake for both – Reid’s national and in-state credibility and the state’s early-caucus status (kudos to his superb political lieutenant, Rebecca Lambe, who runs the party), and the Culinary’s reputation as a powerhouse that can sway elections.

    Other factors were critical. The Hispanic vote was no landslide for Clinton, but her team (and Reid) also know that in an Obamaless year, she could win the African-American vote (she won it more than 3-to-1). And turnout this cycle – 80,000 or so – was a third less than it was in 2008, showing Sanders is no Obama when it comes to expanding the electorate.

    But the story here is about the Culinary and especially Harry Reid, who helped steer the state to Clinton. They gave a whole new definition to neutrality (they will both endorse soon, I’d guess) and may have changed the course of history.

  2. The entrance polls stated Sanders was winning Latinos by wide margin. I smell fish & it’s not Friday.

  3. Ametia says:

    Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush says he is suspending his presidential campaign. The move follows a disappointing finish in the South Carolina primary.

    BYE NOW!

  4. Ametia says:

    WOW we are to believe this was wrapped up as a valid win for the HILSTER.

  5. That got damn Harry Reid. Go sit your azz down!

    • eliihass says:


      He not only did that, he got the Casino bosses to tell their staff how to vote…and reports say that since it was a caucus and not a private ballot vote, most of the members were afraid to contradict their Union & casino bosses for fear that someone would see them standing for Bernie and tattle on them and the retaliation that’ll follow..

      But think about this, for all their shenanigans and even with Robby Mook her now campaign manager who oversaw Nevada for her campaign in 2008 – and had all the necessary seasoned caucus leaders and grassroots relationships – and even with all of the Congresspeople (who were viciously badmouthing Bernie Sanders inside the caucus rooms), and Cabinet secretaries and celebrities like Eva Longoria, America Ferrera etc. – and with a former president touted as the ‘best campaigner’ out on the campaign trail lying and spewing and triangulating …even with every advantage in her favor and with all the rigging and dirty tricks in her favor, she only barely beat her much lesser known and ganged-up against Senator by only 4 points…52-48…

      I can’t even believe that she’s out there pretending she actually did something…LOL..

      In 10 years time they’ll wheel out Chelsea and the story will be that she’s always been on the ‘front lines since she was a toddler’…And they’ll pull out pictures of her with John Lewis and Jim Clyburn…and you’ll have folks crawling out to swear that she’s been with black folks since she was in diapers…And yet we all know the real story…the truth…

  6. I’m cooking creamy red beans today. I have everything in them. Ground beef, ham hocks, sausage. Mmmmmm hunnie.

  7. The South Carolina Primary in 8 Charts

    The results of the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary provided a snapshot of voter sentiment in the Midwest and New England. Now, with South Carolina’s Republican primary election slotted for Saturday, February 20, and the Democratic event scheduled to take place the following weekend, Americans will get a clearer picture of voter sentiment in the South.

    Voter turnout rates during primary elections decline over time as candidates generate momentum and it becomes clearer who the nominee will ultimately be. Therefore, states scheduled to vote earlier in the election process are believed to set the tone for the election season. Primaries and caucuses in these states receive national attention, and politicians, too, dedicate disproportionately large amounts of time and money to swaying the electorates in these areas.

    24/7 wall st. took a closer look at South Carolina’s political climate, both heading into Saturday’s primary and over the course of history. How much is really at stake for candidates in this early nominating contest? What unique features of South Carolina are important going into this year’s race?

    At stake for candidates competing in the upcoming South Carolina primary is the black vote. As in a number of Southern states, South Carolina has a relatively large black population. Nearly 30% of residents are African American versus 12.3% of Americans nationwide. Looking at the electorate only, approximately half of South Carolina’s voting-age residents are African American. Of that group, a majority are women.

    There are stark socioeconomic differences between the black and white populations. Largely because of that, black voters do not always support the same candidates as white members of the electorate, and if they do, it tends to be for different reasons. For example, since black Americans are far more likely to live in poverty and far more likely to be incarcerated than white Americans, a candidate’s policies regarding these issues are especially relevant to black voters. As a consequence, presidential candidates must customize their message for their audience — in this case, an entire demographic group.

    Not only is South Carolina’s black population relatively large, but also African American state residents are more likely to vote than black Americans nationwide as well as white state residents. In the 2012 presidential election, nearly 70% of voting-age black citizens cast a ballot, versus less than two-thirds of white South Carolinians and black voters across the country.

    • Ametia says:

      Truth! This is what is so disheartening about the candidates the Dem party has for the 2016 race.

      And don’t even get me started on who the 54% of the FEMALE VOTERS were.

      Mitt Romney can tell you.

  8. NVDemsCaucus Today is where the rubber meets the road. Get to your caucus location #Nevada. #Bernie2016 VOTE!

    • Liza says:

      Yes, how quickly she can change. What does this woman really believe in? Or, has she been a political opportunist for so long that every value, belief, and ideal she ever held has just simply been lost? I’m afraid that for her it is all about winning, proving herself to herself. What kind of president would she be? I finally figured it out that my own problem with her is that she frightens me.

      • rikyrah says:

        What does this woman really believe in?

        That SHE should be President of the United States.

        That’s it.


      • Ametia says:

        Yes; HILLARY will DO & SAY whatever it takes to get into the White House as POTUS!

        As would any politician. The only thing for me, is that she has shown us who she is time and again, and TO.HER.CORE.

        SHE’S ROTTEN

      • yahtzeebutterfly says:

        “Yes, how quickly she can change. What does this woman really believe in? Or, has she been a political opportunist for so long that every value, belief, and ideal she ever held has just simply been lost? “

        It’s like this…she keeps opening the oven and stirring one more thing into the bread that’s baking. That bread will be as heavy and thick as a brick!

  9. Ametia says:

    The only thing I’m going to remember about Justice Scalia is how his comments, opinions, attitudes, and partisan views HELPED set our country backwards in voting rights, fair elections, affirmative actions,


    His family & firends have other feelings and thoughts, but this man a responsibility to serve the greater good,;he had impact on the very SOUL our our nation, and it was NOT GOOD.

    You must now Answer to the Highest Court, Antonin Scalia.


  10. rikyrah says:

    This photo of Obama and a little visitor at a Black History Month celebration is remarkable
    By Janell Ross
    February 20 at 8:00 AM

    For 3-year-old Clark Reynolds, Thursday began like most others.

    Morning preparations gave way to hours at school and then a visit to his mother’s office to change into a suit and tie. Clark’s mother, Nichole Francis Reynolds is a former congressional staffer who now works in the private sector. Friends had secured an invitation for Reynolds and her son to the White House’s Black History Month celebration, the final gathering of its kind while the first black president remains in office. But Francis Reynolds had only told Clark that he had earned a special treat. He is, after all, only 3.

    What Clark does know is the president’s name, his face when he sees Obama on TV and the sound of President Obama’s voice when it comes through the satellite radio in his dad’s car. Then, there’s Clark favorite book, the one that Clark almost always picks when it’s reading time. Clark has been through the “The White House Pop-Up Book” by Chuck Fischer so many times that, almost as soon as Clark and his mother walked onto the White House grounds Thursday, Clark knew where they were.

    He was excited. And once inside, he was in open awe. This, as Clark put it, is where the president lives. He met Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.). Someone snapped a photo of Clark and the First Lady. Somehow, Clark made his way to the front of the a rope line as President Obama worked his way across the room. Then, Obama noticed Clark too, touched Clark’s cheek and bent down to exchange words while he straightened Clark’s tie.

    • Ametia says:

      I get chills and tear up everytime I see the photo of POTUS & Clark.

      You’d have to be alseep or dead not to want to see other HUMANS who look like you, not only surviving, but THRIVING, ACHIEVING, LEADING, CREATING, SUCCEEDING, EXUDING KINDNESS, CARING, INTEGRITY…….

      Help me fill in the blanks, YA’LL.

  11. rikyrah says:

    Wisconsin blocks federal funds from reaching Planned Parenthood

    (Reuters) – Wisconsin Republican Governor Scott Walker signed two bills into law on Thursday that block federal funding from Planned Parenthood and could cost the local organization millions of dollars.

    Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin could lose about $7.5 million a year because of the measures, an organization spokeswoman said.

    One of the new Wisconsin rules requires the state to apply for federal “Title X” family planning grant money and to give those monies to “less controversial public entities” such as state, county and local health departments and clinics, a statement from Walker’s office said.

    Planned Parenthood is currently the only entity in Wisconsin receiving this federal money and the funds will not be sent to the organization, the statement said…

    Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin could lose roughly $4 million a year as a result of this measure, depending on patient volume and the type of birth control patients choose, organization spokeswoman Iris Riis said.

    The legislation singles out Planned Parenthood and is an attempt to stop the organization from providing essential healthcare, the group said.

    …Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin has 22 health centers in the state, three of which offer abortion services, according to its website.

    Earlier this month, Ohio legislators approved a bill blocking state and federal funds for groups that perform or promote abortions, which cut $1.3 million annually used by Planned Parenthood clinics for HIV testing, pre-natal care and other programs…

  12. Ametia says:

    Unca Clarence just did a reading at Scalia’s funeral. He could hardly contain his emotions.

  13. rikyrah says:

    From DON over at TOD:


    February 20, 2016 at 9:37 am

    I really believe that Bernie Sanders doesn’t care about the black vote in that he wants the black vote, but if he doesn’t get it he’s okay with that. I think that Sanders’ mentally is stuck back in the 60’s when it comes to the way he views African Americans. I think that Sanders admired the young black fire brands of the 60’s, I think that it instilled in him the way that he thinks African Americans should act. But Bernie’s problem is that he got left behind, those young black fire brands of the 60’s are now doctors and lawyers and teachers that now believe that to make a social change you must work within the system and not look for ways to blow up the system. I bet if you could read Bernie’s mind it would say “why aren’t these blacks out there raising hell and trying to blow up the system.”

    But what Bernie doesn’t understand is that in fact we are out there blowing up the system, we’re just doing it by becoming the first African American Attorney General, the first Latino Supreme Court Justice. That is how we blow up the system.You blow up the system by displaying a picture of a little black boy touching the hair of the first African American President in the oval office. That one picture alone is more powerful than anything Bernie Sanders has said since he decided to run for President.

    • Ametia says:

      That’s ok that you believe all this, Don.

      I believe that Hillary is stuck back in the 90s, 2008 lost to PBO and is trying the HELL to avenge that loss, by reintering the race for POTUS. and that Hillary Clinton does not doesn’t care about the black vote in that she wants the black vote, but if she doesn’t get it, she will NOT WIN THE PRESIDENCY, and will BLAME BLACK FOLKS, and not her own FAILINGS of no INTEGRITY, LIES, AND DISDAIN FOR PRESIDENT OBAMA’s KICKING HER ASS AND DISMANTLING THE CLINTON MACHINE.


      Bernie, I don’t know this for sure. I’m not caping for etiher of these folks, but I will tell you, HILLARY is NEVER GOING TO GET MY VOTE.

      I believe that after being SoS, a part of PBO’s administration, she hasn’t LEARNED JACKSHIT, aout BLACK PEOPLE. Just that they are pawns & shills for her to get what she wants, and that is the BLACK VOTE she didn’t get in 2008.

  14. rikyrah says:

    Election Day Pre-Game Analysis
    by BooMan
    Sat Feb 20th, 2016 at 10:04:22 AM EST

    Since we’re at the mercy of polls that we don’t have a whole lot of reason to feel confident about, it’s hard to make any predictions about how the elections are going to go today. Nevertheless, I will offer a few observations.

    In Nevada, I have no clue who will win or even if it will wind up being close. It does appear, however, that Sanders has as least narrowed a massive gap there in the last couple of months. It’s pretty high stakes, in my opinion, which I guess is appropriate. If there are any caucus ties, they’ll be settled by drawing cards rather than flipping coins. Sanders needs to win. It doesn’t matter what the delegate count is, as neither candidate can net more than a small handful. But Sanders is the underdog and he has a huge superdelegate disadvantage. He needs to disprove the common wisdom that he can’t compete in racially diverse states. And he appears to be far behind in South Carolina, so he can’t afford to lose the momentum he gained from his blowout win in New Hampshire. A loss in Nevada, no matter how narrow, will be a potentially lethal outcome for his campaign.

    No pressure, right?

    As for South Carolina, the remarkable thing here is that Donald Trump has done just about everything a prohibitive favorite should not do. He has not played it safe, nor has he in any way simply tried to run out the clock. He’s gone after the Pope, after Apple, after President Bush’s leadership and honesty. I don’t think these things have helped him and I won’t be surprised to see him do worse than the polls are indicating that he’ll do. But he had a yuuuge lead, and I don’t believe he’s done enough to blow it entirely. I still think he’ll win, but perhaps by five points or less. Partly, the size of his victory will depend on how strong the second place candidate finishes. Either way, you’ll know that Trump hurt himself if his numbers come in substantially below thirty percent.

    Marco Rubio limped into South Carolina and seemed to recover and build some momentum. He picked up the endorsement of the governor, which certainly should help more than it hurts. He hasn’t finished strong, however. Maybe simple bad luck played a part, but he’s cancelled a couple of events over the closing days, and he’s taken some heat for it. If I’m right that he stalled in the last few days, it may cost him the second place finish he seeks.

    Cruz is a bit of a mystery. He’s been getting hit hard from all sides, and I don’t know what to make of his broom closet meeting with Ben Carson. He’s organized the state, though, and his ground game is probably the strongest. The polls are split, with some (probably most) showing him slightly ahead of Rubio, and some showing him slightly behind. If I had to bet money, I’d place it on Cruz coming in second. But it’s just hard to say.

  15. rikyrah says:

    Damon Young, 2/16/16

    February is the month designated to be Black History Month. It is also the shortest month of the calendar year. This happens to be a coincidence — today’s Black History Month is the evolution of Carter G. Woodson’s “Negro History Week,” created in 1926 and intended to be recognized the second week of February — but I still wouldn’t begrudge or dismiss anyone who does believe this is a slight. And that this slight is intentional. The Black American’s experience in America could be categorized as a cauldron of “less-thans”; a collection of zero-calorie meals congealed and cooked in a way to attempt to convince us they’re complete. It stretches from our initial status as chattel, extends past our stint as three fifths of a human, and bleeds into today, where just the suggestion that lives possessed by Black people also matter is considered revolutionary, disruptive, threatening, and even insulting. So I will forgive those who believe, even in the face of contradicting evidence, that Black History Month’s relative brevity is another snub.

    Yet, an unintended consequence of this status has been the cultivation of a culture of celebration. And not a celebration of being considered less than. But a celebration of achievement, of virtue, of éclat, of survival in spite of those conditions and this consideration. Black people tend to shout because, well, we’ve earned it.

    And this, how these successes and the celebrations of these successes have been earned came to mind last night while watching Kendrick Lamar’s watershed Grammy moment. It was brilliant. It was ethereal. It was heroic. It was bold. And it was Black as fuck. But this Blackness wasn’t just sublime. It was so celebratory, so ebullient, so clear, that it was antagonistic. Callous in its unapologeticness. Sociopathic in its regard to the predominately White audience and predominately White viewership. And no, celebratory Blackness isn’t inherently antagonistic or “anti” anything other than anti-anti-Black. But context matters. American history matters. America matters. And the celebration of something we’ve been conditioned and expected not to celebrate is an unambiguous affront to those whose status is connected to and determined by our lack of it.

  16. rikyrah says:

    I love VSB

    The post was ok…but, the comments were pure comedic gold.


    Shamira Ibrahim, 2/19/16

    a lot of comments had me LOL, but this made me Holla, cause this was all my older Aunties..

    SirKnows DevoidofPunk

    Momma kept me lotioned up… first vaseline, then coca butter… then whenever i visited my grandmother, in pinch, gramma had the aloe vera plant so she’d break off a leaf and be like “here–for your elbows.”

    i was like 5 and looking all confused, like “whaddoo I do with this, gramma?”

    Gramma gave my mom the big stink eye and said, “Don’t make me come get mah grambaby!!!” (Not “grandchiild” or even “grand baby” but “grammbaby”. I was a “grambaby until i got my driver’s license.) My mississippi grandmother say ashiness as a sign of poor parenting. The same woman who would say “go get me a switch!” and light you up with bush branch if u got outta line while she watched you drew the line at ashiness.

    that was a DCFS level offense.

    And for my mom, because she was the daughter of my grandmother, and kinda cuhntree”—not country, but CUNHTREE(blackfolk know what I mean)—made the following phrase part of my vernacular:

    “That’s a sin before God to be ashy like that!”

  17. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

  18. Will Nevada caucuses be Clinton’s firewall or Sanders’ proving ground?

    Hillary Clinton has done just about everything right ahead of Saturday’s caucuses in Nevada.

    She began organizing early, visited the state repeatedly, hired some of its most talented political professionals and cultivated broad support from organized labor, Democratic leaders and the party’s grass roots.

    But Clinton made one glaring mistake: She failed to take Bernie Sanders seriously enough.

    Most crucially, she allowed him to dominate the television airwaves in the state starting in December and continuing through his momentum-building performances in the first two presidential nominating contests in Iowa and New Hampshire.

    Now Clinton’s once-sizable lead in voter surveys has all but vanished, and both sides are bracing for a close finish.

    “Nevada has become a highly contested race and could either be Clinton’s firewall or Sanders’ proving ground,” said Rebecca Lambe, a top strategist for Democratic Senate leader Harry Reid of Nevada, who has not taken sides.

    It is far too soon to talk in terms of political life and death, or other such melodramas.

    But a loss in Nevada, which once seemed almost inconceivable, would do grave harm to Clinton and establish the Vermont senator as more than a charmingly irascible distraction en route to her certain nomination.

    Even a close Sanders finish could raise strong doubts about Clinton’s candidacy, especially if he manages to cut deeply into her presumed base among Latino, black and Asian American voters.

  19. Well well, the Chicago Tribune confirms this IS Bernie Sanders. What I don’t get is why folks want to deny it? Whether he was involved or not with the Civil Rights Movement doesn’t matter to me. But if he was, why deny his work?

    • Liza says:

      SG2, I never doubted that Bernie Sanders was an activist during the civil rights era. And what I know from my own experience is that there were not very many white folks who got involved, who were willing to stick their necks out.

      Clinton’s supporting liars and gasbags have taken this up, this denial of Bernie’s activism in his youth, to create the perception that he’s a liar pandering to black folks. But why would he tell such a stupid lie when it is easy enough to prove or cast doubt upon in today’s world? When Rep John Lewis said he didn’t see him or know him at the time, that is all it meant. He didn’t see him, obviously because he didn’t personally know every single activist who participated in the CRM. But the Clinton supporters twist this, of course, which seems to be their sole purpose in her campaign, to lie on behalf of their queen.

  20. Ametia says:

    Good Morning, Everyone. :)))

  21. Good morning, everyone!

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