HomeUncategorizedJanuary 22-25 News Roundup and Open Thread

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Paul ADKwi65Aint Supposed to Die A Natural DeathorlbucfanBenny Recent comment authors

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orlbucfan

I went and deleted my duplicate OT, jcb. T and R!!!! 🙂

Benny

orlbucfan

The four dumbos, including the two bought-off ones, sided with yahoo Abbott.

Benny

orlbucfan

🙂 !!

wi65

Could be the new blood the Dems need, too many aging boomers that wont address todays problems.

Benny

CA Senate Race Debate on now (9 ET, 8 CT, 7 MT, 6PT)

orlbucfan

I do like Katie, but man, I wish Lee was 20 years younger!

Benny

Here’s Cenk Uygur’s quick summary of the debate (19 min). I agree with much of it. Lee tried to fight but she didn’t perform well, she seemed completely nervous, which surprised me and probably other viewers.

Benny

California is sharply divided on I/P/Middle East. See this study from Cal Berkley from January 12:

https://escholarship.org/uc/item/2r03r3ss

Benny

Politico makes a good point, something the moderators of the debate skirted over last night.

Water is the third rail of California politics — and the state’s Senate candidates are carefully steering around it.

Water is a perpetual problem in California, with bitter fights over scarce resources even in rainy years. But the leading candidates to fill the late Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s seat have made almost no moves to differentiate themselves or highlight their records on one of the state’s most intractable political issues.

The candidates’ relative silence less than two months before the primary election is a sign that they see little to gain from wading into an issue that’s the top priority for the state’s massive agricultural industry and the Republican-leaning Central Valley, but carries little weight in the Democrat-dominated urban centers.

“If you’re interested in raising money, you certainly want to go to the San Joaquin Valley for water,” said Tom Birmingham, the former general manager of Westlands Water District, the state’s largest irrigator. “But if you’re interested in winning the election of votes, I hate to say it, but in statewide races, San Joaquin is almost irrelevant.”

None of the top four candidates has a fleshed-out water platform.

Rep. Adam Schiff, flanked by Reps. Katie Porter and Barbara Lee, during a U.S. Senate Candidate Forum in Los Angeles.
ELECTIONS

Schiff holds clear lead in CA Senate race with Garvey, Porter and Lee in a dead heat

The only mention of water on Rep. Adam Schiff‘s campaign website is his work to restore the Los Angeles River. Rep. Katie Porter’s platform highlights her response to an oil spill off Huntington Beach. Rep. Barbara Lee‘s focuses on her efforts to rid drinking water of pollutants in disadvantaged communities. And former Dodger and Republican candidate Steve Garvey’s website doesn’t mention water at all.

In drought-prone California, water is synonymous with fights between Republican agricultural interests from the geographic center of the state and Democratic environmentalists from the urban coastal centers. Cities need less water overall than farms, meaning they’re less vulnerable to big fluctuations in supplies.

The upshot, for candidates’ political calculus, is a fight they’ve judged they can safely dodge: Cities don’t care, and rural areas don’t count.

“They have only things to lose by articulating it, for the most part,” said Jay Lund, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at UC Davis.

Water could be an opportunity for the candidates to differentiate themselves before voters, especially because the Democrats share so many similar policy priorities. With Schiff currently leading in polls for the March primary, Porter and Lee are in a tight race with Garvey for second place, which would let them advance to the general election in the fall in the state’s top-two primary system.

The Delta
The most daylight between the candidates so far on water is their positions on the Delta Conveyance Project, a decades-old proposal to pump more supplies from Northern California to Southern California’s cities and farms. Environmentalists, fishing groups and many local lawmakers have fought the project, but Gov. Gavin Newsom is pushing it forward, saying it would help stabilize water supplies in an era of weather whiplash.

Lee told POLITICO in a statement that she was supportive of the plan, adding that “we must ensure this initiative is done correctly and with environmental justice top of mind.” Schiff said he needed more time to talk with all sides. Porter did not respond to questions.

And Garvey, in a short interview with POLITICO, said someone brought the project up to him at a recent stop near San Francisco. He said he believed in sharing water but was concerned about a price hike in water bills.

Dianne Feinstein, water queen
The biggest contrast overall on the subject is between the Democrats and the late Sen. Dianne Feinstein. Despite her urban pedigree as a former mayor of San Francisco, she prioritized the Central Valley, working with its Republican House members on bills that changed the state’s arcane water-pumping rules to send more to the parched valley.

Feinstein was close to Birmingham, who managed Westlands Water District, a 1,000-square-mile patch of the arid Central Valley that produces much of the nation’s — and world’s — almond supply. He attributes part of Feinstein’s interest in water to the politics of her time: a Republican had beat her in the 1990 race for governor, and she correctly calculated that support from the Central Valley could carry her in the statewide race for senator in 1992.

“I’m not sure that the Valley will have the influence that it historically had,” said Birmingham. “That doesn’t mean that the candidates ignore the Valley.”

All three candidates have attended fundraisers in the Valley. Sarah Woolf, a Valley grower and water-management consultant, said she decided to support Schiff after attending his event because he showed interest in learning about the issues.

But a political action committee she’s part of decided against backing anyone — for now — because they didn’t get any detailed commitment on water policy, Woolf said.

They also didn’t make a detailed ask, she acknowledged. That’s because many farmers feel less urgency to reach out.

Who’ll be the next water champion?
“When you look at the history of the two senators in California, we typically have had a senator that looks to a very large constituency group and does engage with agriculture, and another senator that is more urban-centric,” Woolf said. “I think Sen. [Alex] Padilla has done an excellent job at engaging with the broader California… and probably is going to be our bigger champion on water issues.”

Schiff appears to have developed the most detailed play on water. In an emailed statement he listed four top priorities: “Updating our aging and broken water infrastructure, diversifying the state’s water supplies by investing in new and emerging technologies, making sure we capture far more of the water during wet years and use it to recharge our underground aquifers, and insuring clean drinking water for all.”

Porter’s campaign has touted her interest in agriculture and background growing up on a farm in Iowa. And Lee has experience with farming groups because of her activism around nutrition and healthy food.

If Schiff and Garvey move forward to the November runoff, it’s doubtful the Democrat will feel any pressure to elaborate any further, given the conservative lean of voters for whom water is a priority.

But if two Democrats advance, water will likely become a more relevant dividing line.

“It’s unavoidable at that point,” said Dave Puglia, the president of the Western Growers Association and a former Republican campaign manager. “You’re gonna get flushed out on it one way or another, so you might as well move proactively in and claim your space.”

orlbucfan

Why did this state allow almond plantations in their deserts to begin with? Go back and look at the history. It’s nuts! I’m talking from FL and I am not an agriculture expert.

Benny

Nikki Haley sweeps 6-person midnight vote in New Hampshire

Voters in Dixville Notch have cast the first votes in the New Hampshire primary, with all six voters choosing former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley.

“A great start to a great day in New Hampshire,” Haley said in a statement reacting to the vote minutes after it was recorded. “Thank you Dixville Notch!”

The tiny town in northern New Hampshire opened and closed its poll just after midnight ET on the morning of the state’s primary. Four registered Republican voters and two independents participated in the vote, in which former President Donald Trump, the front-runner for the GOP presidential nomination, failed to earn support.

In New Hampshire’s northern tip, Dixville Notch is the first place to declare primary results because voters there cast ballots so early. Its midnight voting tradition dates back to 1960.

While the neighboring cities of Hart’s Location and Millsfield began midnight voting earlier than that, they haven’t participated continuously and aren’t conducting midnight voting this year. A fictionalized version of the three neighbors was featured in an episode of Aaron Sorkin’s “West Wing” dubbed “Hartsfield’s Landing.”

Midnight voting in Dixville Notch has historically been held at the now-dormant Balsams Hotel, which has become a media event over the years.

I suspect this will be the sole time she leads in this primary. We’ll see.

Benny

Haley just lost the lead and I don’t believe she will get it back.

Benny

@liepardestin

Benny

Benny

From Axios:

Rep. Dean Phillips is working to get supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ earlier presidential campaigns to support his longshot primary bid against President Biden by tapping into their distrust of the Democratic National Committee.

Why it matters: Phillips’ campaign has become increasingly explicit in the run-up to Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary where Sanders, who supports Biden’s re-election, won the past two contests in 2016 and 2020.

Driving the news: The Phillips campaign recently sent text messages to former Sanders campaign supporters that said “ATTN: Joe Biden DNC attack on NH primary is retribution for NH supporting Bernie,” according to a copy of the message obtained by Axios. “Stand with us against this MAGA-style political vendetta.”

Phillips’ campaign confirmed to Axios that they sent the message.

Top Phillips aide Jeff Weaver, who managed Sanders’ 2016 bid and was a top adviser in 2020, told Axios: “It couldn’t be clearer. They’re punishing states that were bad for Joe Biden. The calendar is cleverly arranged to help him.”

Biden finished fifth in the 2020 Democratic New Hampshire primary.

Of note: Phillips told reporters at a Bloomberg event Monday that he believes the Democratic Party establishment undermined Sanders’ 2016 primary against rival candidate Hillary Clinton and argued they were trying to do the same to him.

“I thought Bernie Sanders was just a sore loser — I didn’t pay much attention to it. There’s no question what I’ve discovered makes what he said the truth,” he said.

“I understand how this party operates, and it is nefarious and I think it is dangerous, and I think it is a hypocrisy of democracy.”

Between the lines: Phillips has also tried to court Sanders voters by embracing Medicare for All and other progressive policy positions in recent weeks.

His campaign has run ads in the state about his daughter’s battle with cancer and how that informed his recent embrace of Medicare for All.
Phillips and Weaver are betting there is residual anger among Sanders supporters from the 2020 primary when Sanders was rolling through the early primaries before the field consolidated and endorsed Biden.

Reality check: In most New Hampshire polls, Phillips is in the single or low double digits.

Biden is not on the ballot in New Hampshire after the state went ahead of his preferred contest of South Carolina–which resurrected his candidacy in 2020.

orlbucfan

What exactly does he stand for?

Benny

I think he’s just not a fan of Biden.

You can hear Jeff Weaver’s words about 2016 – they don’t sound like something Phillips would have said on his own. They are true, but no one wants to hear the grievances these days.

Bernie would not approve of a superPAC for fundraising, something Phillips is doing. Jeff Weaver probably does not have an issue with it.

Benny

orlbucfan

Netanyaboob needs to be kicked out of office with the rest of his FR posse or the $$ gets shut off.

Paul ADK

First we need to do what should have been done years ago (or never in the first place) and pull out the nukes that aren’t there. I don’t feel any better about Netanyahu having access to those than Trump.