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Not his first rodeo: Bernie the man to beat in Texas – Standard-Times

Posted: February 20, 2020 at 10:45 am

Sen. Bernie Sanders giving remarks.(Photo: Bernie Sanders' Senate webpage)

MESQUITE This was certainly not Bernie Sanders first rodeo as a polemicist whipping a mostly young crowd of some 5,000 into a frenzy with his call for a democratic socialist revolution in America via the ballot box.

But his rally Friday night at the Mesquite Rodeo in suburban Dallas might have been the first in a venue usually devoted to steer wrestling, calf roping and bull riding.

I have never been to a rodeo in my life, but I do work in Washington, D.C., and I do hear a lot of bullshit, declared the Vermont senator with his unmistakable Brooklyn accent and brusque cadence.

Sanders arrived in Texas just more than two weeks before the March 3 Super Tuesday primaries in Texas and 13 other states when 34% of the delegates to the Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee in July will be chosen. Texas and California hold the biggest troves of delegates.

Sanders, making his second run for president after a long and sometimes bitter contest with Hillary Clinton in 2016, is better positioned at the moment than any other candidate for whats ahead, coming off what was essentially a tie with former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg in the Feb. 3 Iowa caucuses and a narrow victory Tuesday over Buttigieg in the New Hampshire primary.

But, if he arrived in Texas as a front-runner, it was more a trot than a gallop, in what now promises to be a long war of accretion for delegates in a proportional allocation system that will complicate any candidates ability to assemble a majority of delegates before the convention.

Sanders offered what might or might not have been a shot across the bow at billionaire businessman Michael Bloomberg, who is turning Texas into a test of the power of money to quickly and decisively move public sentiment in a hard-to-parse presidential race.

I know a little about the power of the 1%, Sanders proclaimed. I understand that the billionaire class has endless amounts of money. They have been buying elections, and were seeing that right now. But at the end of the day, while the billionaire class is in fact enormously powerful with endless amounts of money, the 1% is 1%.

A University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll released Friday has Sanders vaulting past former Vice President Joe Biden and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren since its last poll of Democratic voters in October. Sanders is at 24%, Biden at 22%, and Warren at 15%. Bloomberg, the former three-term mayor of New York City who skipped the early contests for Super Tuesday, is at 10%.

The poll says that Trump would beat Sanders by 2 points, within the polls margin of error, Warren by 3 points, Biden by 4 points, and Bloomberg, Buttigieg and Minnesota Sen. Klobuchar, by 5 points each.

Both Biden and Warren are coming off dismal showings in Iowa and New Hampshire, and much in Texas depends on whether either can revive their fortunes in the Nevada caucuses next Saturday and the primary the following Saturday in South Carolina ahead of Super Tuesday.

Ill be damned if were going to lose this nomination, particularly if were going to lose this nomination and end up losing an election to Donald Trump, Biden, 77, said on a Wednesday evening call with supporters.

Let me begin by making a dramatic announcement: Were going to win the state of Texas, the 78-year-old Sanders said in Mesquite.

Twenty-four hours earlier, Bloomberg, who turned 78 Friday, was speaking at a Harris County Democratic Party dinner in downtown Houston.

Then he addressed 700 African Americans at the Buffalo Soldiers National Museum, where he was endorsed by Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser and others, and he apologized for the practice of stop and frisk during his tenure as mayor.

Stop and frisk refers to a police policy of stopping and patting down people frequently young black and brown men who had done nothing to arouse suspicion for questioning.

I should have acted sooner and faster to stop it, and for that I apologize, said Bloomberg.

I defended it, looking back, for too long because I didnt understand then the unintended pain it was causing to young black and brown families and their kids, Bloomberg told the black audience.

Bloomberg then laid out his ambitious Greenwood Initiative that would seek to increase generational wealth accumulation in the black community by expanding access to homeownership and making strategic investments in black-owned businesses and poor neighborhoods.

In his passionate introduction for Bloomberg, Turner said that Bloombergs apology for stop and frisk was a precondition for his endorsement.

I thought this was going to be the death knell for the campaign, but I think he handled it in a way that was appropriate and pragmatic, University of Houston political scientist Brandon Rottinghaus said.

It was my first time seeing him. I was glad he addressed his support for stop and frisk and was being very sincere and acknowledged and recognized his mistake, said Jordan Ar, a 27-year-old Dartmouth graduate and financial adviser in Houston.

I feel like right now hes getting a lot of momentum, Ar said. I listen to NPR every day and for the last three, four, five days, you hear Bloomberg, Bloomberg, Bloomberg, Bloomberg.

He brings a different dynamic. I have not completely identified what that is yet, Ar said. At the end of the day the Democratic Party is going to want to get behind a candidate. I think if its Bernie Sanders, its going to be a little bit more difficult. I think Bloomberg is starting to make noise at the right time.

Of Bloombergs lavish spending on his own behalf, Ar said: I think people understand that its his own money. Its not like hes out there asking billionaires for money.

Thanks to his virtually bottomless pockets, Bloombergs late-blooming campaign has a staff of 2,400, including 150 in Texas. It has opened more than 150 offices, including 19 in Texas.

Most importantly, according to Rice University political scientist Mark Jones, Bloomberg has already spent $25.6 million for ads in Texas top six TV markets and has probably spent $30 million statewide.

Hes doing pretty much the broadest media buys Ive ever seen, Jones said. Hes hitting open air TV. Hes hitting full-page newspaper ads, which nobody does anymore, but he does. His digital is over the top. And hes on radio.

Most Democratic primary voters have seen those ads and by and large they have been effective, Jones said. He has gone from someone who was zero in the polls, who was unknown in Texas aside from being the guy who wanted to ban Super Big Gulps, to someone who is now in the second tier and rising.

Despite his long public life, Bloomberg is an awkward politician.

Now if I were in Texas I may say that Donald Trump is scared as a cat at the dog pound, but since Im from New York, I put it this way: Were scaring the living hell out of him, he said. If I offended anyone, Im sorry, but I was told at a dinner honoring Ann Richards, language, colorful language, was allowed.

He said, Were staying in Texas not for Super Bowl Tuesday but through November so we can send Donald Trump packing on Election Day, and my friend Beto (ORourke) showed that it really is possible if you campaign in every county and every corner of the state, and thats what Im going to do.

He bragged about a recent bus tour of Texas he made with the most celebrated jurist ever to sit on the bench Judge Judy. Texas loves Judge Judy. Unlike Senate Republicans, she knows how to deliver the correct verdict.

In Texas, delegates will be allotted proportionally based on a candidates statewide tally and performance in each of the 31 state Senate districts. Critically, a candidate needs to meet a 15% threshold to get any delegates statewide or by district.

Obviously its a very fractured race, and its a race for delegates for Sen. Warren. She has some great opportunities in Nevada and in Super Tuesday states, Julin Castro, who also spoke at the Harris County dinner, said Thursday night.

I feel hopeful, said Castro, the former San Antonio mayor and federal Housing and Urban Development secretary, who has been a full-time campaign surrogate for Warren since dropping his own presidential bid at the beginning of January. She has a very strong organization thats already in place and has been in place for months, unlike most of the other campaigns. I dont think theres a clear front-runner.

In a memo on the state of the race Tuesday, Roger Lau, Warrens campaign manager wrote that, People who are predicting what will happen a week from now are the same people who a year ago predicted that Beto ORourke was a frontrunner for the nomination.

Barely over a week ago, a fifth-place finish in Iowa was seen likely to knock Amy Klobuchar out of the race, and much of the media and pundit class predicted Pete Buttigiegs fade in the Iowa caucuses, Lau wrote. As weve seen in the last week, debates and unexpected results have an outsize impact on the race, and will likely keep it volatile and unpredictable through Super Tuesday.

Weve built an organization to match what we expect to be a drawn-out contest to accumulate delegates everywhere, Lau said.

Beginning Monday, Buttigiegs campaign will have 24 paid staffers in Texas to work with its existing grassroots volunteer networks across the state. But so far, his Super Tuesday travel schedule and six-figure digital ad buy do not include Texas.

Klobuchar has a March 1 visit to Austin planned, but there are no details yet.

For Klobuchar and Buttigieg, who is backed by Austin Mayor Steve Adler, its a matter of picking up delegates where they can.

I do think that it is no little thing that in New Hampshire the center-left vote was way more than what Bernie got, and its more than what Bernie and Warren got together by a considerable amount, said Matt Angle, director of Lone Star Project, which works to improve Democratic fortunes in Texas. And if youre looking at Super Tuesday states, particularly Texas, thats where our vote is, our vote is center-left.

But there is no question that the crowd that Sanders drew to the Mesquite Rodeo is one that only he could draw.

Hes been wanting medical care for all, hes been wanting all of these things like for the whole time, everybody is just following his lead and making slight changes, said Saffron Maasz, 19, of Arlington, who is studying political science at Tarrant County College and works part-time at UPS. I think you should go with the original thinker, the O.G. Hes been riding this horse since the 60s. I think thats really neat.

Maasz was there with her boyfriend, Zach Meuir, 23, who works at a Chick-fil-A. He voted for Trump in 2016 only because I simply didnt want Hillary. I look back on it now as silly.

Jason Stringer, 29, who was drawn to libertarian Ron Paul in the past, said when he listened to Sanders, Everything he said, I kind of already felt, about student debt, health care.

Stringer, a dog groomer from Mesquite attending his first political rally, voted for Green Party candidate Jill Stein in 2016.

And this time, if Sanders is not the nominee?

Honestly, Im not too sure, he said.

Were kind of hoping it doesnt come to that, said his wife, Misty, 37, who manages a college bookstore.

As far as (Sanders) altogether beating Trump in Texas, I think its quite a long shot, Jason Stringer said.

Monique and Jose Yanez, of Mesquite, both 29, were there with their son, Innocent, 8, and daughter, Serenity, 3.

I think hes the only candidate who can actually beat Trump, said Jose, a retail store manager.


I dont think those intimidation tactics Trump does will affect Bernie, he said. The only thing he has on him is the socialism stereotype, and I dont think thats going to work. Theres nothing new. Theyve been saying that about him from the start.

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The Rundown on Rand Paul You Need To See (2020-02-19) Pop Top News – Pop Top News

Posted: at 10:45 am

Our team has conducted some comprehensive research on Rand Paul, current as of 2020-02-19. Rand Paul is a politician in Kentucky. Heres their handsome photo:

Twitter activity: As of 2020-02-19, Rand Paul (@RandPaul) has 2681742 Twitter followers, is following 498 people, has tweeted 13550 times, has liked 854 tweets, has uploaded 3015 photos and videos and has been on Twitter since November 2010.

Facebook activity: As of 2020-02-19, Rand Paul has 789,884 likes on their facebook page, 814,591 followers and has been maintaining the page since February 3, 2011. Their page ID is SenatorRandPaul.

How popular is Rand Paul right now? On Google Trends Rand Paul had a popularity ranking of 3 ten days ago, 3 nine days ago, 2 eight days ago, 3 seven days ago, 2 six days ago, 2 five days ago, 4 four days ago, 2 three days ago, 2 two days ago, 2 one day ago and now has a popularity rank of 4. So in the recent past, they were gathering the most attention on 2020-02-13 when they had a rank of 4. If we compare Rand Pauls popularity to three months ago, they had an average popularity of 1.1, whereas now their average popularity over the last ten days is 2.7. so by that measure, Rand Paul is getting more popular! Its worth noting, finally, that Rand Paul never had a rank of 0, indicating people are always searching for them.

And what about how Rand Paul has fared if we consider the entire past 3 months? Our date indicates 2020-01-31 to be their most popular day, when they had a relative rank of 100. Not bad!

We found suggested searches for people looking up Rand Paul include Rand Paul (duh), Rand Paul presidential campaign, 2016, Paul Rand, Marijuana Legalization: What Everyone Needs to Know and Libertarianism: A Primer.

As of 2020-02-19, our research indicates that people searching for Rand Paul are also searching for these related terms: whistleblower, whistleblower rand paul, rand paul whistleblower name, rand paul twitter, trump, senator paul rand, impeachment, eric ciaramella, rand paul impeachment, who is rand paul, rand paul news, ron paul, who is the whistleblower, donald trump, iran, rand paul tweet, fox news, rand paul names whistleblower, sen rand paul, rand paul lindsey graham, lindsey graham, rand paul iran, rand paul neighbor, paul ryan and trump twitter.

We did some more tiring analysis today on the web sentiment regarding Rand Paul, and found a number of recent news articles about them. I may update this post when I have analyzed more of them.

Do you have anything youd like to share on Rand Paul as of 2020-02-19? Let us know in the comments! (And keep it civil)

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The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity : Why I …

Posted: February 3, 2020 at 3:45 pm

President Trump and his Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told us the US had to assassinate Maj. Gen. Qassim Soleimani last week because he was planning Imminent attacks on US citizens. I dont believe them.

Why not? Because Trump and the neocons like Pompeo have been lying about Iran for the past three years in an effort to whip up enough support for a US attack. From the phony justification to get out of the Iran nuclear deal, to blaming Yemen on Iran, to blaming Iran for an attack on Saudi oil facilities, the US Administration has fed us a steady stream of lies for three years because they are obsessed with Iran.

And before Trumps obsession with attacking Iran, the past four US Administrations lied ceaselessly to bring about wars on Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, Serbia, Somalia, and the list goes on.

At some point, when weve been lied to constantly and consistently for decades about a threat that we must take out with a military attack, there comes a time where we must assume they are lying until they provide rock solid, irrefutable proof. Thus far they have provided nothing. So I dont believe them.

President Trump has warned that his administration has already targeted 52 sites important to Iran and Iranian culture and the US will attack them if Iran retaliates for the assassination of Gen. Soleimani. Because Iran has no capacity to attack the United States, Irans retaliation if it comes will likely come against US troops or US government officials stationed or visiting the Middle East. I have a very easy solution for President Trump that will save the lives of American servicemembers and other US officials: just come home. There is absolutely no reason for US troops to be stationed throughout the Middle East to face increased risk of death for nothing.

In our Ron Paul Liberty Report program last week we observed that the US attack on a senior Iranian military officer on Iraqi soil over the objection of the Iraq government would serve to finally unite the Iraqi factions against the United States. And so it has: on Sunday the Iraqi parliament voted to expel US troops from Iraqi soil. It may have been a non-binding resolution, but there is no mistaking the sentiment. US troops are not wanted and they are increasingly in danger. So why not listen to the Iraqi parliament?

Bring our troops home, close the US Embassy in Baghdad a symbol of our aggression - and let the people of the Middle East solve their own problems. Maintain a strong defense to protect the United States, but end this neocon pipe-dream of ruling the world from the barrel of a gun. It does not work. It makes us poorer and more vulnerable to attack. It makes the elites of Washington rich while leaving working and middle class America with the bill. It engenders hatred and a desire for revenge among those who have fallen victim to US interventionist foreign policy. And it results in millions of innocents being killed overseas.

There is no benefit to the United States to trying to run the world. Such a foreign policy brings only bankruptcy moral and financial. Tell Congress and the Administration that for Americas sake we demand the return of US troops from the Middle East!

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How other Minnesotans have fared in Iowa – Minneapolis Star Tribune

Posted: at 3:45 pm

Michele Bachmann: Early in the 2012 presidential race, U.S. Rep. Bachmann looked like she might have an edge in Iowa. She became the first woman to win the Iowa Republican straw poll, edging out Texas congressman Ron Paul and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who finished third. But it was a dubious predictor of the caucus: She finished sixth, dead last, and dropped out of the race the next day. She may have helped nix the straw poll, too: Iowa Republicans have since dropped the tradition.

Tim Pawlenty: No Iowa straw poll would have been good news for Pawlenty, who ended his campaign in August 2011 shortly after finishing in third place. The former two-term Republican governor had been burning through campaign cash all summer, and his team hoped a decent finish in the poll could keep them going for at least a few more weeks. He dropped out the day after the poll and shortly afterward threw his support behind the eventual Republican nominee, Mitt Romney.

Walter Mondale: Vice President Mondale was so overwhelmingly the favorite for the Democratic Partys nomination in the 1984 Iowa caucus that most of the news focused on who would finish second. He won in a landslide in Iowa with 49% of the vote. The second-place finisher, former Colorado Sen. Gary Hart, pulled in roughly 16% support. Hart rode his surprise finish into another surprise victory in New Hampshire but Mondale was still the eventual Democratic nominee that year.

Hubert Humphrey: President Lyndon Johnsons unexpected late withdrawal from the presidential race in 1968 meant a late start for the vice president and former U.S. senator. He missed earlier state primaries, and Iowa didnt do an early caucus back then. Instead, he relied on prominent figures in the labor movement and Democratic Party to help him win over delegates. He eventually landed the nomination, beating another Minnesotan, Sen. Eugene McCarthy, in the process.

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The Unbearable Hypocrisy of US Sanctions on Iran –

Posted: at 3:45 pm

On November 22nd of last year, the US government announced it would impose sanctions on Irans information minister for his alleged role in limiting domestic Internet access while protests raged in that country over increases in gas prices.

At the time, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin condemned the Iranian government for censuring information that Iranian citizens could view online, stating that, Irans leaders know that a free and open internet exposes their illegitimacy, so they seek to censor Internet access to quell anti-regime protests.

The Iranians were evil, said the US government official in charge of economic sanctions, because it restricted what its citizens could read in the international press.

Our government would never do thatright?

Wrong. Yesterday, the US government knocked Irans state news agency, FARS, off of the Internet entirely, citing US sanctions against the country.

What that means is the Iranian news service is being censored by the United States government and that Americans will therefore no longer be able to see anything from this foreign media outlet.

Exactly what Mnuchin accused Iran of doing back in November.

Zerohedge writes, as Irans PressTV describes further:

The news agency said that it had received an email from the server company, which explicitly said that the blockage is due to an order by the Treasurys Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and its inclusion in the list of Specially Designated Nationals (SDN).

The agency attached to its post a screenshot of its website with the message http://www.farsnews.coms server IP address could not be found."

Americans are not allowed to see the Iranian perspective on the Middle East because the Beltway bombardiers and their bosses in the military-industrial complex depend on successfully demonizing all Persians so that Americans will accept their annihilation in another neocon war. If Americans are allowed to see the Iranian perspective they might not be so supportive of the slaughter the neocons are cooking up.

The bottom line is this: the US Administration cites Irans restricting of outside media as evidence of the evil nature of the Iranian government, all the while scrambling to restrict American citizens access to Iranian media outlets.

Pot. Kettle. Black. Hypocrisy.

Daniel McAdams is director of the The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity. Reprinted from The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity.

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Primary Primers: Why we should be cautious of candidate ‘surges’ – USAPP American Politics and Policy (blog)

Posted: at 3:45 pm

The 2020 Democratic primary contest has not yet begun, and yet several contenders have already experienced what some commentators have called a surge, where their polling numbers rise dramatically in a relatively short period of time. Peter Finn and Robert Ledger write that the term is a catch-all which hides a diverse collection of reasons as to why a candidates support may increase at the national or state level. Such surges should be read with caution, they advise, as success in certain states or even nationally may still not mean a candidate will clinch the partys nomination.

Even casual followers of US politics over the last year will likely have been struck by continual discussions of Democratic presidential candidates surging in the polls. In July 2019, for instance, California Senator Kamala Harris surged in polls following a strong debate performance, in September Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren surged, whilst former Mayor of South Bend, Indiana, Pete Buttigiegs much vaunted surge in Iowa in November generated a seemingly endless stream of headlines.

Even early in 2020, we have seen talk of a (Vermont Senator) Bernie Sanders surge, a Tom Steyer surge and discussion of how the large amounts being spent by billionaire candidates like Michael Bloomberg, and Steyer, is leading to shifts in voter preferences by the spending of eye-watering amounts of cash. Slate even publish a weekly email newsletter on the presidential election called The Surge.

Yet, beyond being a continual driver of traffic to news sites via the production of, often over the top headlines, the much vaunted surge is actually a catch-all term used as short-hand for a complex group of processes that lead to a rise in the poll numbers of a candidate in a short period.

Perhaps the best-known, subsequently lampooned, surge primary was for the Republican nomination in 2012 when Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann, Mike Huckabee and Herman Cain all had a brief (or extended) moment in the sun at the top of the opinion polls. Yet, Mitt Romney, who was consistently near the top of the pile and never really had a significant surge, won the nomination.

However, even within a single race surges, generally understood as a rise in the poll numbers of a candidate within a short time period, can occur for a variety of complex reasons. They can, for example, be national or state centric phenomena (either of which may be the result of the actions of a candidate on a national or state stage), or could happen as a new candidate enters the fray and draws supporters away from those already established in the race: especially if a new entrant is a well established player or has deep pockets. Conversely, a surge may arise when a candidate drops out and others seek to pick up their supporters. One explanation for the recent surge of Bernie Sanders, for instance, is that he has picked up Kamala Harris supporters. In another scenario, within a race of established candidates, some may rise as they attempt to coax supporters from their opponents.

A surge can be a short-lived sugar high, with candidates falling back to their prior position relatively quickly or lead to a sustained rise in poll numbers and the establishment of a new equilibrium in a race. The phenomenon can occur at precinct, city, district, state or national level and within intra-party primaries or in races between candidates from opposing parties. Moreover, given that disparities can exist between polls and reality (whether resulting from the under-polling of certain groups, respondents giving false answers or the misreading of what is animating voters in any particular election), it is likely some surges go unnoticed (the if a tree falls in the woods and nobody hears it of surges, so to speak).

Though this is a far from an exhaustive list of how, when and where a surge can occur, it does start to demonstrate the complex set of processes that are subsumed under discussions of the surge label.

A surge can lead to increased media coverage, which could lead to further support, creating that elusive political currency, momentum. Nevertheless, surges should be read with caution. If the surge is limited within certain states, there is less likelihood that it will translate to the nomination. Pete Buttigieg, for instance, has surged in the early primary states but his candidacy could still be sunk if he cannot take any early momentum to, for instance, Nevada and South Carolina, in subsequent primaries. Likewise, an increase in the overall, nation-wide, horse-race polls could be misleading as, essentially, the primary will be won in only select states, with more influence falling to those earlier in the calendar. Seeing a surge in support in New Jersey, for example, (2020 Democratic primary date June 2nd) is probably too late in the election cycle to be consequential.

Candidates behind in the polls can attempt to manufacture a surge in the near term or, kicking the can further down the road, argue they will surge at the right moment. It might be that some candidates really are playing a long game and have built such future surges into their theory of the case. There is, of course, little point in moving into the top tier of candidates early on in a gruelling race, only to see your stature diminished as other candidates target you. That said, one should certainly maintain cynicism about a candidate with low poll numbers who argues that a surge in support for them is just around the corner. Moreover, as weve argued, the processes that can feed into a rise (or fall) in polling numbers are complex and it would be a foolhardy candidate who staked their chances of gaining the presidency (or any other office) on their ability to manufacture a short term surge, let alone a sustained rise in polling numbers in the future.

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Note: This article gives the views of the author, and not the position of USAPP American Politics and Policy, nor of the London School of Economics.

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Peter Finn Kingston UniversityDr Peter Finn is a multi-award-winning Senior Lecturer in Politics at Kingston University. His research is focused on conceptualising the ways that the US and the UK attempt to embed impunity for violations of international law into their national security operations. He is also interested in US politics more generally, with a particular focus on presidential power and elections. He has, among other places, been featured in The Guardian, The Conversation, Open Democracy and Critical Military Studies.

Robert Ledger Schiller University Robert Ledger has a PhD in political science from Queen Mary University of London. He has worked for the European Stability Initiative, a think-tank in Brussels, lectured at several universities in London and currently lives in Frankfurt am Main. He is a Visiting Researcher (Gastwissenshaftler) in the History Seminar at Goethe University and also teaches at Schiller University Heidelberg and the Frankfurt School of Finance & Management. He is the author of Neoliberal Thought and Thatcherism: A Transition From Here to There?

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Primary Primers: Why we should be cautious of candidate 'surges' - USAPP American Politics and Policy (blog)

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Here’s How Important the Iowa Caucuses Were in Every Election – 24/7 Wall St.

Posted: at 3:45 pm

By Thomas C. Frohlich, John Harrington and Hristina ByrnesJanuary 28, 2020 1:48 pm

As the first major contest in the U.S. presidential election process, the Iowa caucuses are considered very important. Since the first Iowa caucuses were held in 1972, the winner of nine of the 18 Iowa caucuses held by both parties eventually won the nomination.

However, while the caucuses tend to be good predictors of who will win each partys nomination, they are poor predictors of who will win the presidency. Only three presidential candidates who won the Iowa caucuses went on to become president George W. Bush, Jimmy Carter, and Barack Obama. Here is each presidents path to the oval office.

Just how important are the Iowa caucuses? To answer this question, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed each primary seasons top three candidates in the Democratic and Republican Iowa caucuses since 1972 (the first year of the Democratic caucuses), and 1976 (the first year of the Republican caucuses). We relied on data compiled by the Des Moines Register, a central Iowa newspaper owned by media and marketing company Gannett.

Because some incumbent presidents ran uncontested, the following caucuses were excluded from our list: 1984, 1992, 1996, 2004, and 2012; In these years, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama ran uncontested as their partys nominee. Incumbent presidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter were challenged in primaries by Ronald Reagan in 1976 and Edward Kennedy in 1980, respectively.

Uncommitted voter blocs, which are common in Iowa caucuses, were included on our list. In several cases, more delegates were undecided than were committed to any individual candidate.

Click here to see how much the Iowa caucuses matters to every Democratic presidential candidateClick here to see how much the Iowa caucuses matters to every Republican presidential candidate

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Paul Thornley Will Return to Harry Potter and the Cursed Child as Ron Weasley; More New Casting Announced –

Posted: at 3:45 pm

Paul Thornley(Photo by Caitlin McNaney for

Paul Thornley is headed home to the Lyric Theatre. The talented actor who originated the role of Ron Weasley in Harry Potter and the Cursed Childwill reprise his turn inthe Tony-winning two-part play beginning on March 18. He'll replace Matt Mueller, who will take his final bow in the Broadway production on March 15.

Also on March 18, the production will welcome Brady Dalton Richards in his Broadway debut as Scorpius Malfoy, with current ensemble members James Romney and Aaron Bartz graduating to the roles of Albus Potter and Draco Malfoy. They'll succeed Bubba Weiler, Nicholas Podany and Jonno Roberts, who will play their final performance on March 15.

Joining the production's ensemble will be Gabriel Amoroso, Quinn Blades, Michela Cannon, Judith Lightfoot Clarke, Malcolm Fuller, Stephanie Gomrez, Jax Jackson, Spencer LaRue, Dan Piering, Alex Michael Stoll and Maya Thomas.

They'll appear alongside current principal stars James Snyder as Harry Potter, Diane Davis as Ginny Potter, Jenny Jules as Hermione Granger and Nadia Brown as Rose Granger-Weasley, along with ensemble members Brian Thomas Abraham, Stephen Bradbury, James Brown III, Will Carlyon, Lauren Nicole Cipoletti, Makayla Joy Connolly, Grace DeAmicis, Patrick Du Laney, Steve Haggard, Edward James Hyland, Jack Koenig, Rachel Leslie, Sarita Amani Nash, Fiona Reid, Kevin Matthew Reyes, Antoinette Robinson, Stephen Spinella, Tom Patrick Stephens, Erica Sweany and Karen Janes Woditsch.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child began previews on March 16, 2018 and officially opened on April 22. The production took home six Tony Awards including Best Play.

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How the Iowa Caucus has affected the results of the presidential elections over the years – MEAWW

Posted: at 3:45 pm

Come February 3 and the first major test of the presidential election season in the US will take place. Iowa will hold its caucuses and it will be the first major occasion to gauge the mood of the voters. Though Iowa caucuses do not have a good record in picking presidents but they certainly play a key role in trimming the fray. In 2008, the late John McCain finished fourth in the Republican caucuses but yet went on to bag the partys nomination. In 2016, too, President Donald Trump finished second best after Ted Cruz in his partys caucuses but yet bagged the nomination at the end and even went on to become the president. The winner of the GOP Iowa caucuses got a nomination in three of eight contested races but only George W Bush won the presidency, which was in 2000.

In the Democratic field, the top vote-getter in the caucuses went on to win the nomination in seven of 10 contested races and of them, only Jimmy Carter (1976) and Barack Obama (2008) bagged the presidency. The Hawkeye State in the Midwestern US has 99 counties and six electoral votes. In the 12 presidential elections since 1972, Iowa has been won by both the GOP and Dems six times each.

Here we take a look at the results of the Iowa caucuses for both major parties in the last five presidential election years (1996-2016):

Republican winner Ted Cruz

In the Republican field, the candidates who ended in the top six were Ted Cruz, Donald Trump, Marco Rubio, Ben Carson, Rand Paul and Jeb Bush. Cruz got 27.6 percent of votes while Trump received 24.3 percent. Rubio got 23.1 percent while Carson got 9.3 percent, Paul 4.5 percent and Bush 2.8 percent. Paul, Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum suspended their campaigns as a result of a poor show in Iowa.

Democratic winner Hillary Clinton

In the Democratic camp, it was a thrilling contest as Clinton beat Bernie Sanders by 0.3 percentage points to become the first woman presidential candidate to win Iowa. Martin OMalley finished a poor third with a meagre 0.6 percent of the votes and suspended his campaign afterwards. For Clinton, it was a big improvement over her 2008 show in which she had finished third after Obama and John Edwards. Some even alleged that Clinton had won the wafer-thin contest through flips of coin though that was not confirmed.

Republican winner Rick SantorumFormer Pennsylvania senator Santorum had a very thin win (24.6 percent points to second place holder Mitt Romneys 24.5) in the caucuses that was never short of drama. Two prominent GOP candidates did not make it to the caucuses: Former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty who pulled out after a low third-place finish in the Iowa Straw poll and businessman Herman Cain who suspended his campaign in the wake of sexual harassment allegations. The vote counts saw discrepancies and while Romney was declared the winner on the night of the caucuses by eight votes, it was announced two weeks later that the actual winner was Santorum and the winning margin was by just 34 votes. Other top candidates of GOP Iowa caucuses were Ron Paul (21.4%), Newt Gingrich (13.3%), Rick Perry (10.3%) and Michele Bachmann (5%). The voter participation was around 20 percent.

Democratic winner Barack ObamaIncumbent president Barack Obama ran unopposed for the Democrats that year.

Republican winner Mike HuckabeeThe 2008 Iowa caucuses were unique for McCain who bagged the nomination that year, finished fourth in the Iowa caucuses. Former Arkansas governor Huckabee bagged Iowa with the support of the Christian conservatives. He got 34.4 percentage points while second-ranked Romney got 25.2 percentage points. Fred D Thompson was third with 13.3 percent while fourth-place holder McCain got 13.1 percent. Ron Paul got 10 percentage points while Rudy Giuliani ended up with 3.5 percent. Huckabees victory put Romney under a great challenge while financial hardships saw McCain abandoning Iowa months ahead of the caucuses. Total voter participation was 20.7 percent.

Democratic winner Barack ObamaThe Democratic caucuses in Iowa in 2008 were absorbing. The heavyweight candidates in the fray including Obama, Clinton, Joe Biden, Edwards, Bill Richardson and others campaigned heavily across the state. Clinton led most polling in Iowa and across the nation but was overtaken by Obama who was seen more as an agent of change. Obama, a former senator from Illinois, received almost 38 percent of votes while former North Carolina senator Edwards ended second with 29.8 percent. Clinton was third with 29.5 percent while Richardson got 2.1%, Biden 0.9%. Biden and Chris Dodd, who also did badly, suspended their campaigns after the Iowa results came out. Total voter participation was nearly 40 percent.

Republican winner George W BushIncumbent president Obama ran unopposed for the Democrats that year.

Democratic winner John KerryThe Democratic field saw a close competition between four candidates -- John Kerry, John Edwards, Howard Dean and Richard Gephardt. Dean and Gephardt were in a close fight in the campaign phase but lost support as they targeted each other, helping the cause of Kerry and Edwards. Kerry, a former senator from Massachusetts, eventually won the caucuses with 37.1 percent votes while Edwards finished second with 32.6 percent. Dean ended third with 17.4% and Gephardt fourth with 11.2 percent. The voter participation was 23.3 percent.

Republican winner George W Bush

Former Texas governor Geroge W Bush led the GOP field that year and eventually achieved the biggest victory in a contested Republican Iowa caucus. He received 41 percent of the votes Publishing executive Steve Forbes got 30.5 percent which was surprising for many while conservative political commentator and former diplomat Alan Keyes from Maryland finished third with 14 percent. Gary Bauer was fourth with 8.5% and John McCain got 4.7%. The voter participation in the caucuses was 14.1 percent.

Democratic winner Al GoreFormer vice president Al Gore faced little difficulty in the Democratic caucuses of 2000. He had one opponent and it was former New Jersey senator Bill Bradley. The latter came up with a progressive healthcare plan that looked more comprehensive than Gores and the former vice presidents closeness with departing president Bill Clinton also made him less popular for some voters, thanks to the scandal and impeachment trial the president found himself in. But Gore still won it handsomely, bagging over 63 percent votes as against Bradleys 35. The voter participation was just below 11 percent.

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Paul Mike Ramey – The Republic

Posted: January 26, 2020 at 11:53 pm

Paul Mike Ramey


Paul Mike Ramey, 86, of Scipio, passed away at 11:40 p.m. on Wednesday, January 22, 2020, at home.

A graveside service will be conducted at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, January 28, 2020, at Oak Grove Cemetery. Rev. Tom Ramey and Rev. Dale Boyd will be officiating. Visitation will be held from 4:00 8:00 p.m. on Monday, January 27, 2020, at Sawyer-Pickett Funeral and Cremation Service.

Born November 1, 1933, in Hazard Kentucky, Mike was the son of William Jake and Hattie (Lainhart) Ramey. He was united in marriage to Dorothy Dottie Manns. She survives.

Mike graduated North Vernon High School in 1952. He was a devout faithful member of the World Wide Church of God. He retired in 1985 from Cummins after 30 years. Mike loved sports, especially baseball and golf, he coached baseball, basketball, and softball through the years. He also loved fishing, gardening, and coon hunting. Mike was a lifelong farmer. He was a member of the Hayden Masonic Lodge and the Rolling Hills Shrine Club. Mike enjoyed playing the banjo, guitar, and bluegrass music.

In addition to his wife, Dottie Ramey of Scipio, survivors include daughters, Lucinda Cindy Ramey (Marc) Sharp of Lancaster TN, Jana Cope of North Vernon, Shari (Jeff) Shaw of Seymour; son, Michael Paul Chip (Valentina) Ramey of Springfield TN; brother in law, Ron Heavern of Scipio; sister in law, Lee Esther Ramey of North Vernon; seven grandchildren; seven great grandchildren; several nieces and nephews.

Mike was preceded in death by his parents, William Jake and Hattie Ramey; daughter, Debra Lynne Ramey Aubrey; one grandchild; brothers, Billy Ramey, William Ramey, and Virgil Pete Ramey; sisters, Alma Mae Ramey, and Joy Helen Ramey.

Memorials may be made through the funeral home to the Covenant House New York.

Friends and family are invited to light a candle or leave a message of condolence in Mikes memory at

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