Sunday, January 31, 2016

Is Donald Trump for Real?

The proof is in the pudding, as they say.

At the Washington Post, "Is Donald Trump for real? We’ll start getting an answer in Iowa":
DUBUQUE, Iowa — As Republican front-runner Donald Trump arrived in Iowa this weekend for a final burst of campaigning ahead of the Monday caucuses, he did so in his usual over-the-top fashion: rolling his jet to a stop in front of an airport hangar filled with supporters in this eastern Iowa river town.

The arrival — set to the theme song from the movie “Air Force One” — captured the surreal theatrics that have defined Trump’s candidacy, attracting attention in a way that prompts many to ask: “Is this for real? Is he for real?”

In any other election year, with any other candidate, Trump’s consistently high poll numbers and massive rally crowds would earn him the title of presumed nominee. But this year is unlike any other and Trump is unlike any other GOP candidate — a thrice-married billionaire real estate developer who has never held elected office, wears white shoes to the Iowa State Fair, curses at his rallies and gives rides to children in his Trump-emblazoned helicopter.

Yet Trump is on the cusp of something historic: A candidate who has broken nearly every rule of traditional campaigning is favored to win the Iowa caucuses and several primary contests to follow. The prospect has continued to baffle political pundits, strategists and party leaders, many of whom don’t seem to want to believe what is happening until they see some proof. The Monday caucuses provide Trump with the opportunity to provide some.

“It’s very frustrating because if anybody had the numbers and the turnout and the support that Donald Trump has, I don’t think the media would have any problem saying the normal stuff — that he’s a shoo-in,” said Ted Hacker, 39, who lives in Dubuque and started a trucking company with his wife a year ago. He plans to caucus for the first time on Monday, casting his vote for Trump in hopes of proving that the candidate’s supporters aren’t just fans looking to be entertained. “It’s very frustrating.”
It's all about the turnout, and after reading that piece from Sasha Issenberg, I'm even less sure about Iowa than ever. It's crazy!

But keep reading.

Malheur Defendant Shawna Cox Is Close Family Friend and the Bundys' Live-In Secretary

Well, perhaps this is something folks might have been wondering about.

At the New York Times, "Who is Shawna Cox, the only woman arrested with Bundy’s Oregon militia?":

 photo 1035x1294-AP_265844010493_zpsdkuyonie.jpg

Thus far, details about [Shawna] Cox are scant, but it is known that she drove from South Utah to East Oregon to join the militia, which hopes to pressure the government to hand federal lands over to local ranchers, loggers, and miners. The protesters — who call themselves “Citizens for Constitutional Freedom,” though they have become known on Twitter as “Y’all Qaeda” — seized the wildlife reserve after a court extended the sentence of Dwight and Steve Hammond, two ranchers jailed for setting fire to federal lands. The movement was spearheaded by Ammon and Ryan Bundy, whose father, Cliven, staged an armed resistance when federal officials tried to stop him from grazing his cattle on government pastures.

A 2014 WND article describes Cox as a “close family friend who has become the Bundys’ live-in secretary.” She spoke out in defense of Cliven Bundy in 2014 after he publicly claimed that African Americans “abort their young children, they put their young men in jail, because they never learned how to pick cotton.” Cox told WND that Bundy is not a racist, and that “We believe slavery is horrible!”

After the takeover of the wildlife reserve, Cox appears to have acted as a spokeswoman for “Citizens for Constitutional Freedom.” On January 4, during a protest in support of the Hammonds, Cox read a letter of grievances from the group, demanding that the verdict against the Hammonds be reviewed. “We the people of these states united, insist that you immediately assemble an independent evidential hearing board,” she said. “We require your thoughtful response within five days of the date of this notice.” Cox also asserted that the letter had been signed by “tens of thousands” of people from across the country, “including Hawaii.”

A few days before her arrest, Cox gave an interview from within the occupied federal building. “When the people come and take their rightful position, then we can go home,” she said. “They are coming; it’s just taking a little while.”
PREVIOUSLY: "VIDEO: Ammon Bundy's Attorneys Address the Media Outside Mark O. Hatfield U.S. Courthouse in Portland, January 29, 2016."

Whoa! Donald Trump Downplays Significance of Hawkey State on Eve of Iowa Caucuses (VIDEO)

Well, he rattles off all the states where he's leading in the polls.

There's no context, but still. Ruptly says "Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump named states that he expects to win his party's nomination, while speaking at a campaign rally in Sioux City, Sunday, in an attempt to ease concerns about his performance in the upcoming Iowa caucus."


#IowaCaucuses — Weijia Jiang Reports!

This is great!

Via CBS News 4 Miami:

LATEST: Busy Signals — Phones and Internet Communications Down at Malheur Refuge #OregonStandoff

Not too much to report.

It's Sunday, and not a whole lot of LEOs have been on the scene.

Jennifer Dowling reports, for KOIN News 6 Portland:

PREVIOUSLY: "LATEST: Malheur Holdouts Say the FBI Has Cut Their Phone and Internet Communications," and "WATCH: Authorities Establish New Roadblock at #Malheur National Wildlife Reserve (VIDEO)."

WATCH: Bernie Sanders Draws Massive Over-Capacity Crowd in Iowa City, Iowa (VIDEO)

Hey man, "Feel the Bern."

Via WaPo, "Bernie Sanders’s latest eye-popping crowd in Iowa."

RELATED: "Can Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders Turn Out the Vote?"

Behind-the-Scenes Sneak Peek — 2016 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue

Following-up, "Countdown to This Week's Release of 2016 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue."

I'll be posting the release of the new issue as soon as it's out. Who cares about the Iowa caucuses?!!

Donald Trump Slams Ted Cruz Over 'Dishonest' ObamaCare Attack (VIDEO)

I posted video last night, "WATCH: Ted Cruz Slams Donald Trump and Marco Rubio at Campaign Event in Iowa (VIDEO)."

We're gonna see if the genuine "cuckservatives" flood the caucuses for Cruz tomorrow, lol.

Here's The Donald:

In Iowa, Hillary Clinton Looking to Avoid Mistakes of the Past

She should be good, if they have as vaunted a ground game as everyone says.

At Bloomberg, "Clinton’s Plan to Win Iowa: Do the Opposite of 2008":

Avoiding the mistakes of the past—and emulating Obama—are the Clinton campaign’s twin caucus obsessions. But are they fighting the last war?

Last spring, as he was just beginning to develop a plan for Hillary Clinton’s campaign in Iowa, Michael Halle asked for help from some of the people who had the clearest view of her defeat there last time. He invited Clinton’s seven Iowa regional field directors, all of whom had moved on from her political orbit, on a conference call for what amounted to a highly delayed postmortem of her 2008 organization in the state. During the call, what stuck most vividly with Halle was the question he learned that Clinton organizers had put to Iowans when they had their first interactions with them over the phone or at doorsteps in 2007. Will you support Hillary? they had asked.

When volunteers went back to the voters shortly before the caucus to provide them with information on their precinct locations, those who had earlier identified as Clinton supporters were flaking at an unexpectedly high rate. Now they were not ready to declare themselves caucus-goers. When they were forced to think through the specific demands that entailed—to declare their support in public, at a scheduled time, before all their neighbors—many backed off, or responded with a flat “no.”

Over seven years, a mythology has emerged about Clinton’s disregard for the peculiar folkways of Iowa caucus. There were the canonical examples of Clinton’s brushing off local expectation of collegial intimacy, like the vivid descriptions of her regal entourage of imperious staffers more focused on their BlackBerries than the citizens in their midst, or the Bell 222 that the campaign dubbed the “Hill-a-copter” as it shuttled her among farm towns. Then there were the almost comically indulgent expenditures, from the hundreds of snow shovels the campaign gifted to residents who had weathered many winters without any politician’s munificence to the nearly $100,000 in caucus-night sandwich platters that Clinton purchased from the Hy-Vee supermarket chain, even though many counties expressly forbid food at precinct locations. (After learning about the catering order from a canvasser who visited a Hy-Vee executive, Obama campaign officials subsequently contacted every county chair and reminded them to enforce their rules.) In hindsight, Clinton’s approach to Iowa was part of an institutionalized disdain for the caucus process nationwide that ultimately helped to doom her first candidacy for president....

The assiduous commitment Clinton has made to not repeat her mistakes in Iowa is the prime reason her advisers can remain sanguine about their prospects in the face of another ascendant challenger drawing enormous crowds and small-dollar contributions from idealistic liberals. The aspect of Barack Obama’s campaign from which Clinton has learned the most is not the hope and change, but the nuts and bolts—and the better one understands the Iowa Democratic caucus, one realizes that it, more than any other venue in American electoral politics, sets those two objectives at odds with one another. “This was a big input piece from activists, from former precinct captains last time,” Halle remembered, in a conference room that was, like all the spaces at headquarters, named for one of the state’s cities. “‘One, they need to understand Iowa. Two, they need to understand the caucus,’” Halle said.
That's a great piece of political writing.


WATCH: Authorities Establish New Roadblock at #Malheur National Wildlife Reserve (VIDEO)

Something's happening.

Here's my earlier entry, "LATEST: Malheur Holdouts Say the FBI Has Cut Their Phone and Internet Communications."

Not sure what's going on, although authorities towed a silver van out of the refuge.

Watch, via the Portland Oregonian:

Expect updates...

Donald Trump Holds Massive 25 Percent Lead in Latest Franklin Pierce-Boston Herald Poll

I love the headline too at the Globe, "Franklin Pierce-Herald Poll: Rivals need Iowa win to catch Trump, Sanders in N.H.":

GOP presidential challengers Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio and Democrat Hillary Clinton desperately need breakthroughs in Iowa tomorrow to overcome expanding leads held by Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders in New Hampshire, a new Franklin Pierce University-Boston Herald poll reveals.

Trump has a massive 25-point advantage over his nearest rival Cruz while Sanders has grown his lead over Clinton to a 57-37 percent margin , according to the poll of likely Granite State primary voters conducted Jan. 26-30.

A surprise in the Iowa caucuses tomorrow could still shake things up in New Hampshire’s Feb. 9 primary, especially on the GOP side, where 44 percent of voters say they could still change their minds. One-third of Trump supporters say they haven’t made a firm decision.

But a dramatic shift in the Democratic race appears less likely, with 78 percent of likely primary voters reporting they won’t change their minds. That makes Clinton’s hopes for another comeback an even bigger climb, even if she beats the upstart Vermont senator in Iowa.

Trump now gets 38 percent of the vote in New Hampshire — up from 33 percent a week ago — while Cruz has stalled at 13 percent, according to the poll of 439 likely GOP primary voters.

Rubio and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush are getting 10 percent, while Ohio Gov. John Kasich has dropped to fifth place at 8 percent, according to the poll. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, businesswoman Carly Fiorina and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul are winning just 5 percent support, the poll shows.

Trump’s popularity has remained steady in the Granite State, with 56 percent of GOP voters saying they hold a favorable view of the billionaire business mogul...
Keep reading.

Kristen Keogh's Sunday Forecast

We're getting some rain, and snow in the local mountains.

It's great!

Via ABC 10 News San Diego:

Sunday Cartoons

At Flopping Aces, "Sunday Funnies."

Branco Cartoons photo Torn-600-LI_zpsfkpku23m.jpg

Also, at Reaganite Republican, "Reaganite's Sunday Funnies," and Theo Spark's, "Cartoon Roundup."

Cartoon Credit: Legal Insurrection, "Branco Cartoon – Right to Vote."

Can Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders Turn Out the Vote?

Following-up from earlier, "Turnout Is Name of the Game in Monday's Iowa Caucuses."

As I said, "A lot of theories are going to be tested, and a lot of hopes are riding on the outcomes."

Here's Dan Balz, at the Washington Post, "The big Iowa test: Can Trump and Sanders turn enthusiasm into votes?":
DES MOINES — With campaign events all across Iowa on Saturday overflowing with voters, the Republican and Democratic contests have been reduced to the same question: Can the muscle of traditional and methodical organizing overcome the energy and enthusiasm of a pair of unconventional candidates in this unconventional race?

After a year in which voter anger and dissatisfaction with Washington have propelled insurgent candidates and shaped the political terrain, Iowa voters will offer the first clues as to whether what has taken place up to now was an aberration or a new normal in American politics that will continue to course through the election battles until November.

In the Democratic race, Hillary Clinton is seeking to fend off an unexpectedly strong challenge from Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.). Among Republicans, the principal battle pits Donald Trump, who has broken almost every rule of how to run an Iowa campaign, against Sen. Ted Cruz (Tex.), whose campaign is a textbook example of what is known here as “the Iowa way.”

The latest Des Moines Register-Bloomberg Politics poll, released Saturday night, showed Trump leading the Republican race at 28 percent, followed by Cruz at 23 percent, Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.) at 15 percent and Ben Carson at 10 percent. Among Democrats, Clinton held a statistically insignificant lead over Sanders, 45 percent to 42 percent. The Iowa poll has had an excellent track record in past caucus cycles, particularly in its final measurement of the race.

The most important unknown in the final hours was how many Iowans will turn out for the caucuses Monday evening. The bigger the numbers, the better for Trump and Sanders, according to projections by several campaigns.

Iowa Republican Party Chairman Jeff Kaufmann said he “can’t envision” his party not beating its previous turnout record of about 122,000, set four years ago. He said telephones at party headquarters have been ringing constantly for the past week, day and night, with people wanting to know how and where to caucus. “It is just nonstop here,” he said. “We’ve got literally hundreds of calls a day. . . . I’ve got a hunch a lot of these folks are going to show up.”

Trump returned to Iowa in grand fashion, roaring his private jet low over a huge crowd in Dubuque before rolling to a stop at a hangar. He implored the crowd to go to the caucuses. “I don’t care what it is,” he said. “If you don’t get out, we’re wasting time. . . . We have a chance to do something so historic.”

PREVIOUSLY: "Turnout Is Name of the Game in Monday's Iowa Caucuses."

The 2016 Land Rover Range Rover Sport HSE Td6

What a car!

At the Los Angeles Times, "Range Rover Sport HSE Td6: a posh drive through El Niño's wickedness":
Land Rover has made its Southern California reputation by selling cars capable of fording rocky streams and climbing icy slopes to drivers who rarely face anything more challenging than a lentil soup spill in the Trader Joe's parking lot.

But with a powerful El Niño bearing down upon us, the 2016 Range Rover Sport might be the best vehicle on the market for handling wicked winter weather — in our accustomed comfort and style.

Between their Land Rovers and Range Rovers, the storied English automobile company has been making off-road-capable vehicles since 1948. Although the original Rover company has since become part of larger Jaguar Land Rover (which has since been acquired by Indian automotive giant Tata Motors), they still make ruggedly handsome Jeep-like machines that are capable of handling almost anything.

With the Range Rover Sport HSE Td6, the company is introducing the first diesel Land Rover ever sold in North America. The timing is unfortunate — the company introduced the vehicle just as the Volkswagen diesel "defeat device" scandal was breaking — but its makers expect diesel versions to account for up to 20% of the company's U.S. sales this year.

It's a lot of car. Equipped with a 3.0-liter turbo V6 diesel engine that cranks out 254 horsepower and a whopping 443 pound-feet of torque, the Td6 has massive pulling power, well distributed with the eight-speed transmission. And for a large vehicle, it carries its 4,700 pounds gracefully...

Prices start at $65,000. The model under review above goes for $85,000.

Good thing they offer dealer-approved pre-owned models, heh.

Kendall Jenner, Charlotte McKinney — Sexiest Women of 2015 (VIDEO)

Via GQ:

WATCH: Gun-Grabbing Hypocrite Gabby Giffords Campaigns for Hillary Clinton in Iowa (VIDEO)

Giffords says she grew up with guns, and she's happily posted pictures of herself sporting an AR-15 rifle, but nowadays she's one of the staunchest leftists pounding for mass Australian-style gun confiscation.

A rank hypocrite, in other words, a perfect campaigner for hateful Hillary Clinton.

Asshole astronaut Mark Kelly rounds out this tiresome threesome of tyrannical leftist trolls.

Watch, via AP:

Two Sides of Voter Fear in Iowa

Tomorrow's the big day.

A lot of theories are going to be tested, and a lot of hopes are riding on the outcomes.

It's democracy's feast.

At the Los Angeles Times, "From west to east, Iowa voters have starkly different realities and fears":
They met decades ago, when they were first married, and the three sisters-in-law still gather each week at the Dutch Bakery to catch up amid the sweet smell of flour and sugar floating through the air.

Despite the cozy setting here on the state's western edge, they can feel the country beneath their feet slipping away, eroding under the threats of immorality and terrorism.

"I never thought we would live in so much fear," said Joanne Niezen, as her coffee sat cooling before her in a Styrofoam cup.

There's fear on the other side of the state as well, though for different reasons.

In the college town of Iowa City, with its hip music scene and pita restaurant advertising "fresh thinking and healthy eating," Veronica Tessler worries about the harsh rhetoric directed at immigrants and the economic inequality that lingers years after the Great Recession.

"I really fear for our country," said Tessler, who left her job at a foreign policy foundation to open a frozen yogurt shop near the University of Iowa campus.

The two communities, located in the most lopsidedly partisan counties in the state, reflect the vast political chasm here and across the country, a divide that President Obama was unable to heal and which may prove insurmountable for whomever takes his place.

"Republicans see an America where the government is too big at home and too feeble abroad. Democrats see an America where the economy is out of whack," said David Nagle, a Democratic attorney who used to represent Iowa City and surrounding Johnson County in Congress. "It's like two trains in the night, passing in opposite directions."

But the division goes far beyond a profound disagreement on issues. While partisan tensions are nothing new, they have deepened and intensified during the presidencies of George W. Bush and Barack Obama as the parties have splintered along the lines of age, race and culture. The result is a separation of America into mutually estranged and suspicious tribes...
Still more.

Countdown to This Week's Release of 2016 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue

Who'll be on the cover this year?

I predict Nina Agdal, but we'll see. We'll see.

More at SI:

Turnout Is Name of the Game in Monday's Iowa Caucuses

Here's the question of the day: which candidates will prove to have the superior ground operations on Monday?

Here AP, posted at ABC News (via Memeorandum):
In a final frenzy to inspire supporters to turn out for Monday's Iowa caucuses, the presidential contenders scrambled to close the deal with the first voters to have a say in the 2016 race for the White House.

The result Sunday was a blur of sometimes conflicting messages. Even as the candidates begged backers to caucus, many hopefuls also tried to lower expectations and look ahead to the New Hampshire primary on Feb. 9 and later contests.

Republican Donald Trump, who has a slight edge over Ted Cruz in Iowa, predicted that "many" senators "soon" would endorse him rather than their Texas colleague. Trump didn't name any such senators, and none immediately emerged.

Democratic Hillary Clinton, in a tight race with Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, suggested that political point-scoring helped explain the hubbub over the State Department's announcement Friday that it was withholding some emails on the home server she used while secretary of state.

The Sanders campaign, meanwhile, sought to claim financial momentum, saying it has raised $20 million in January, suggesting he will continue to match Clinton's resources.

One development — the weather — was beyond the candidates' control. A snowfall forecast to start Monday night appeared more likely to hinder the hopefuls in their rush out of Iowa than the voters. Republican John Kasich already has decamped to New Hampshire.

Iowa offers only a small contingent of the delegates who will determine the nominees, but the game of expectations counts for far more than the electoral math in the state. Campaigns worked aggressively to set those expectations in their favor (read: lower them) for Iowa, New Hampshire and beyond.

Meantime, on the final full day before the caucus, a pastor at a church outside Des Moines urged politicians to treat their opponents with love and not attack ads.... The candidates' agreed on one thing: It's all about turnout now.

"If people come out to vote, I think you're going to look at one of the biggest political upsets in the modern history of our country," Sanders told CNN's "State of the Union."

LATEST: Malheur Holdouts Say the FBI Has Cut Their Phone and Internet Communications

I'm not sure what's up?

Sounds like the FBI's gonna try to smoke 'em out today, although Anderson and co. should be okay as long as the beer and cigarettes holdout.

At the Portland Oregonian, "Oregon standoff: Most phone and Internet service for occupiers ends, supporter says":
BURNS -- As the anti-government standoff at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge entered its 30th day, the remaining occupiers claimed many of their phone lines no longer worked.

The four holdouts awoke to discover that many lost phone and Internet service overnight, according to Greg Whalen, a Nevada supporter who said he had been in contact with the armed protesters. They have refused to leave the refuge until they are guaranteed they won't be arrested.

The occupiers have produced several online videos detailing their stance, but their account has been quiet since Saturday evening. At the time, they vowed their fight would continue.

Whalen said one of the protestors, Sean Anderson, was able to make a call this morning using a cell phone without Internet to say his other phone, with Internet access, was no longer working. Calls by The Oregonian/OregonLive to Anderson ended with an automated message saying the user was not available.

Anderson, 47, is encamped at the refuge with his wife, Sandy Anderson, 48, of Riggins, Idaho, and two other men: David Fry, 27, of Blanchester, Ohio and Jeff Banta, 46, of Elko, Nevada.

Fry relayed a similar account of the morning's events to OPB.
Expect updates...

Trump, Sanders and the Revolt Against Decadence

Following-up from earlier, "The Realignment of 2016."

Here's Ross Douthat, at the New York Times (via Memeorandum):
ONE of the puzzles of the 2016 campaign, unexpectedly defined by the ascent of a billionaire reality TV star and a septuagenarian Vermont socialist, is why now? Yes, voters are angry, yes, they’re exhausted and disgusted and cynical about everything. But why is everything boiling over in this particular cycle, in this presidential campaign?

Consider: The economic picture is better than it was in 2012, when Republican primary voters settled for Mitt Romney and an incumbent president was re-elected pretty easily. (In both Iowa and New Hampshire, the unemployment rate is currently under 4 percent.) The foreign policy picture is grim in certain ways, but America isn’t trapped in a casualty-heavy quagmire the way we were in 2004, when Democratic voters played it safe with John Kerry and George W. Bush won re-election.

As Michael Grunwald argued recently in Politico, the worst-case scenarios of the post-Great Recession era haven’t materialized. Obamacare is limping along without an imminent death spiral, and health care costs aren’t rising as fast as feared. The deficit has fallen a bit, and inflation is extraordinarily low. The stock market is wobbly, but we haven’t had a double-dip recession.

On the cultural front, out-of-wedlock births are no longer rising. Abortion rates have fallen. Illegal immigration rates are down.

The state of the union isn’t all that one might hope, but it could clearly be a whole lot worse.

So what are Trumpistas and Bern-feelers rebelling against?

One answer might be that they’re fed up with exactly this — the politics of “it could be worse,” of stagnation and muddling through. They aren’t revolting against abject failure, or deep and swift decline. They’re rebelling against decadence.

Now it may sound absurd to cast a figure like Donald Trump, the much-married prince of tinsel and pasteboard, as a scourge of decadence rather than its embodiment.

But don’t just think about the word in moral or aesthetic terms. Think of it as a useful way of describing a society that’s wealthy, powerful, technologically proficient — and yet seemingly unable to advance in the way that its citizens once took for granted. A society where people have fewer children and hold diminished expectations for the future, where institutions don’t work particularly well but can’t seem to be effectively reformed, where growth is slow and technological progress disappoints. A society that fights to a stalemate in its foreign wars, even as domestic debates repeat themselves without any resolution. A society disillusioned with existing religions and ideologies, but lacking new sources of meaning to take their place.

This is how many Americans, many Westerners, experience their civilization in the early years of the 21st century. And both Trump and Bernie Sanders, in their very different ways, are telling us that we don’t have to settle for it anymore...
That's really good.

Still more.

WATCH: First Look Video Shows O.C. Fugitives Returned to Lockup in Central Men’s Jail (VIDEO)

At CBS News 2 Los Angeles:

And from yesterday, "All Three Orange County Jailbreak Fugitives Now Back Behind Bars (VIDEO)."

The Realignment of 2016

I called our moment the "monstrosity of an anti-establishment realignment" the other day, "The Coming GOP Crackup."

Now here comes Salena Zito, at RCP, "A Political Realignment 10 Years in the Making":
In this election cycle, we've pretty much put the cart before the horse. We mock the folks flocking to Donald Trump, because we never acknowledged their frustrations.

The political class only seemed to notice people's frustration this summer as both Trump and Bernie Sanders, an avowed socialist, began running circles around the establishment candidates.

Well, I've been reporting that frustration from locales across the country since 2005. (Yes, people have been building to this moment for 10 years.) A cursory look at the “wave” midterm election cycles from 2006 through 2014, the “change” presidential election of 2008, and the total realignment of state legislative majorities, provides sufficient evidence of America's frustration with government.

This country's political alignment is missing one thing, and it's a big thing — a party that represents the moderately traditionalist values of the country's majority.

America doesn't need two secular, cosmopolitan parties.

Trump's secret is that he has found an unoccupied space to practice politics. Call it the politically incorrect, moderately traditionalist, main-street economics zone, where winners and losers exist (just as in the real world) and it is not a crime to believe unabashedly in American greatness.

Trump has stoked xenophobic fears and used his crass showmanship to mark out this territory. His tactics of strong demagoguery make it completely understandable to lament his success.

Yet, in order for our political system to work, people must feel as if they have real choices that can make a difference — and they haven't felt that way for some time.

This election cycle began with Americans being told that Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton were the inevitable choices. Many people just snapped.

Haynes argues that this is why people looked outside the political system to independent-minded candidates like Trump and Sanders. “If that fails, they will seek to change the system,” he said.

What we don't need are two parties or candidates perceived to be standard-bearers of the secular elites who are economically comfortable.

What we do need is someone who represents a middle-class that holds traditional values and believes all things are achievable, especially if government doesn't drag us down.

That kind of disruption in our political alignment doesn't happen overnight.

Remember, it took the Republican Party 36 years — starting with the 1820 Missouri compromise, followed by several disruptive movements and fractured elements — before it pulled together as a united party, agreed on a unifying platform and elected Abraham Lincoln as president.
This is great!


VIDEO: How the Ambush That Resulted in LaVoy Finicum's Death Unfolded (SLOW-MOTION ZOOM)

Watch, at the clip below.

Plus, still more at the Portland Oregonian, "Oregon standoff: LaVoy Finicum's family disputes police version of confrontation":

ST. GEORGE, Utah —The family of Robert "LaVoy" Finicum said the occupation of a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon was nearing a peaceful end when he was shot and killed by police, and they disputed the official account of the confrontation.

In their first public statement since the FBI released video showing Finicum's death as police tried to arrest the occupation leaders, his family said they saw his actions in the video as "animated" but not threatening.

"We know that there are always at least two sides to every story," the family wrote, adding, "Like almost everyone else, we were not there, so we don't know exactly what happened."

The statement was sent to some media outlets Friday and obtained by The Oregonian/OregonLive on Saturday. Todd MacFarlane, a Utah attorney representing the family, confirmed the statement was authentic.

The FBI released a 26-minute video leading to the arrest of five people and the death of Finicum, one of the spokesmen for the armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. This video breaks down the key moments.

Finicum was shot by Oregon State Police officers during an attempt to stop and arrest the leaders of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge occupation, then in its 25th day.

Aerial surveillance video released Thursday showed Finicum stopping his white truck when police vehicles appeared with lights on, then waiting several minutes before driving off at high speeds. Pursued by police, he tried to drive around a roadblock further down the road before crashing into a snowbank, narrowly missing a police officer.

He exited the truck alone into the snow. Police said he moved his hand several times toward a pocket that contained a loaded handgun before he was shot...

I posted the family's statement late Friday, "Lavoy Finicum Family Releases Statement: Challenges FBI, Announces Funeral Services (VIDEO)."

If you missed it, click through at the link to read the Scribd document, c/o FOX News 13 Salt Lake.

'I can't believe Hillary would be coasting into the primaries with her current margin of black support if most people knew how much damage the Clintons have done...'

From Professor Michelle Alexander, of the Moritz College of Law at the Ohio State University, on Facebook:

Michelle Alexander photo CZ6GoKfUMAAopUu_zpsu0zslkyu.png

She's the author of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness.

Chargers Announce They'll Stay in San Diego for 2016 (VIDEO)

At the San Diego Union-Tribune, "Chargers here for a year – then what?":

San Diego woke up Saturday morning with the Chargers still here, at least for one more season.

Team owner Dean Spanos announced Friday afternoon that while he's reached an agreement that would enable him eventually to join the Rams in Inglewood and tap into the greener financial pastures of the nation's second-largest media market, he'll renew negotiations with local government officials on building a new stadium here.

"This has been our home for 55 years," he said in the note addressed to Chargers fans, "and I want to keep the team here and provide the world-class stadium experience you deserve."

The announcement was greeted mostly with optimism from elected officials, sighs of relief from longtime backers of the NFL team, and caution if not skepticism from others weary of stadium machinations that have been going on for almost 15 years.

Now comes the hard part: working out an agreement on where a new stadium will be built and how it will be funded, and then getting approval from voters...

PREVIOUSLY: "San Diego Chargers Should Stay in San Diego."

Hey, It's Shark Eat Shark Out There! (VIDEO)

Folks were tweeting a Newsweek story about this --- Newsweek?

Who even reads that dinosaur outlet anymore?

But CNN's got the video, from a South Korean aquarium. Shark turf wars --- who knew?

'Extremist With a Death Wish' — Citizens for Constitutional Freedom Throw David Fry Under the Bus

At the Facebook page for the Citizens for Constitutional Freedom.

I don't see the post buried there, but you can read the screencap, via Twitter:

Citizens for Constitutional Freedom photo CZ180LkUEAMgQP1_zpsfefolczw.jpg

And here's what looks like is a more recent thread, "A CALL TO DAVID FRY TO STAND DOWN IMMEDIATELY":
I am calling on David Fry, once again, to LEAVE THE MALHEUR WILDERNESS REFUGE. David is one of five holdouts at the refuge. He was not a part of the original group to go to the refuge. He had no part in the great amount of social, legal and political work that Ammon and other people did in the years prior to the takeover of the refuge. David is a Johnny-come-lately who was a media disaster from the start due to his wild public rants.

I remember when I first read some mentions of David in the media shortly after he went out to the refuge. Initially, I thought that he may have just been a naive young man who said some dumb things off the cuff in social media and was being slammed for it by left-leading media outlets. I opened a dialogue with David to find out if the reports about him were true. If he was being inappropriately maligned in the media, I wanted to be able to defend him. But if he was truly an extremist who had infiltrated the ranks at the refuge, I wanted to see him removed from the compound for the sake of the good people of the Citizens for Constitutional Freedom (CCF). So I began an investigation.

David is in his late 20s. He believes in some very good foundational principles regarding issues of morality and freedom. However, David's worldview takes those principles and runs to the fringes. I don't believe that he is altogether mentally stable. He seems to have no sense of social propriety and sees every issue as either black or white with no layers of gray in the middle. Following my investigation, I spoke with David and told him that I felt that, even if his intent was good, his methods of communication were too extreme and would be damaging to the reputation of Ammon and the others at the refuge who did not share his extremist ideologies. I was in no position to tell him to leave the refuge, but I advised him that if I were in charge I would ask him to leave. I also recommended that if he was going to stay on at the refuge, at the very least - for the sake of the reputation of the others - he needed to stop making public statements on social media that were provocative. I recommended that if he wouldn't delete his previous inflammatory messages, to at least change their status from public to restricted.

David chose not to take any of my advice or counsel. Having worked for decades as a political strategist with a keen awareness of the psychology and propensities of the individuals I've worked with, I foresaw David as becoming a serious threat to Ammon's work and to the CCF as a whole. I sent numerous warnings to individuals I knew out at the refuge to ask them to boot David from the group. David later related to me that they had given him a firm warning that if he caused any more trouble that he would be asked to leave. But then more pressing matters began to rapidly accelerate over the next week and the issue of David Fry fell by the wayside.

Today, Ammon and other CCF leaders are in prison. LaVoy Finicum has been murdered. The militia has fled. And, to my shock and disgust, David Fry has become the self-appointed leader of a 5 person band of holdouts who are continuing to defy the FBI. They are armed and, at least as of this writing, they are determined to stay - come hell or high water. Up until yesterday, David Fry was simply a foolish young person with some socially inappropriate views. Today, David is putting the lives of other people at risk, as well as his own.

If any of the other members of David's party can see my words - PLEASE, abandon David and leave. He has become unhinged and seems to have a death wish. Yesterday he was screaming on video that the world was going to get to watch him get killed on live TV. Last night he sent out a Livestream of him and a few others smoking dope together. He is bringing shame upon the CCF and NO GOOD can come from following him.

David, if you continue to wield weapons and defy the federal authorities, they are going to kill you. For the love of God, lay down your arms and come out.

Jake Morphonios
Check for more at the Facebook page.

Surfer Rescued After Getting Tossed Onto Rocks Along U.C. Santa Barbara-Goleta Beach (VIDEO)

I walked this beach many, many times when I was in grad school at UCSB, but never when it as being pounded with El Niño surf.

Watch, at KEYT News 3 Santa Barbara, "Water Rescue at Goleta Beach."

WATCH: Donald Trump Hammers Ted Cruz in Iowa, Exhorts Supporters: 'We will run the table...' (VIDEO)

He's really confident.

It's an AP raw video out of Iowa:

And remember, he's being talked about is if he's the inevitable nominee, "Will Americans Upend the Political Order? Iowa May Tell."

Donald Trump Holds 6.3 Percent Lead in RCP's Iowa GOP Presidential Caucus Poll Average

Following-up, "The Iowa Caucuses Through Sabato's Crystal Ball."

The polling looks great for Trump in Iowa, based on the RCP average, here, "Iowa Republican Presidential Caucus."

But once again, how's the Trump Train's turnout machine shaping up? I sure hope he doesn't end up doing his own Howard Dean scream from Des Moines on Monday night, lol.

That said, the New York Times characterized Trump as the GOP nominee in its piece, or at least, accepted Trump's narrative as the inevitable one. Here, "Will Americans Upend the Political Order? Iowa May Tell."

Keep checking back for all your updates on all aspects of our crazy polarized political times.

WATCH: Ted Cruz Slams Donald Trump and Marco Rubio at Campaign Event in Iowa (VIDEO)

It's a raw video from Ruptly, out of Sioux City, Iowa:

Will Americans Upend the Political Order? Iowa May Tell

Well, I sure hope so.

At the New York Times, "Iowa Will Gauge Ardor to Upend Politics as Usual":
DES MOINES — The presidential race hurtled over the weekend toward a watershed moment: voting that will start to reveal the true depth of Americans’ desire to cast aside traditional politicians and Washington-style compromise and embrace disruptive outsiders appealing to their passions.

After a year of countless and often conflicting polls, more than 250,000 Iowans are expected to attend caucuses on a relatively mild Monday night and render judgment on insurgent candidates who would bar Muslims from the country (Donald J. Trump), oppose concessions to Democrats (Senator Ted Cruz of Texas) and pursue a high-tax, big-government agenda (Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont). Voters are poised to bring order to the race, or reorder politics, as in no other recent election.

Money, experience and endorsements — advantages that usually turn candidates like Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush, the former governor of Florida, into inevitable nominees — will be tested against the potent messages of rivals promising upheaval.

The importance of aggressive fund-raising and campaign commercials, which have cost a combined total of more than $100 million so far, will become suspect if the social-media-driven organizing by grass-roots groups helps yield upset victories for candidates like Mr. Sanders.

And the national mood about entrenched power — Wall Street, political dynasties and Washington — will almost certainly be reflected in the outcomes of the nominating contests this winter.

On the Republican side, Mr. Trump, who spent Saturday barnstorming across eastern Iowa, projected the supreme confidence that has defined his campaign. A Des Moines Register/Bloomberg Politics poll released Saturday found that 28 percent of likely Republican caucusgoers supported Mr. Trump, while 23 percent favored Mr. Cruz and 15 percent backed Senator Marco Rubio of Florida.

Mr. Trump, in an interview on Friday, barely dwelled on those two rivals, saying that he was already looking ahead to the prospect of a general election matchup against Mrs. Clinton, a former secretary of state and senator.

“Our popularity is strong enough to put states in play in November that Republicans don’t usually win anymore: Michigan, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Florida, Ohio,” Mr. Trump said. “I’m a little surprised that I’ve done this well, to tell you the truth. But my message is something that people want to hear, more than just going along with the usual politicians.”
Keep reading.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

'It feels like a zombie apocalypse' — Last Malheur Holdouts Hope Against Hope (VIDEO)

The "zombie apocalypse" is below, showing the mess of items left behind when most of the remaining militiamen hightailed it out of there, fearing a Waco-style incursion by the feds. Considering the massive convoy of vehicles into the refuge, and the enormous numbers of LEOs, that was probably the smart thing to do.

Now, though, Sean and Sandy Anderson, David Fry, and Jeff Banta are all of whom remain at the compound, and they're definitely not giving up. I've blogged the reasons a few times already. Fry's crazy. Sean Anderson's got a troubling criminal background and is probably looking at some major time behind bars. His online rants have been threatening. And there's been talk among the holdouts of "suicide by cop." And of course they're heavily armed. Something like 20 additional firearms were left behind in the panicked exodus of the militiamen on Thursday.

In any case, at the Portland Oregonian, "Oregon standoff: Last of the occupiers 'hoping for a miracle'":

BURNS -- Six miles beyond an FBI roadblock, the four remaining holdouts at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge huddled around a small fire Saturday and waited for divine intervention.

That's what Sean Anderson told his hometown sheriff, who called from Idaho County, Idaho, to ask if he could help. Anderson, 47, and his wife, Sandy, 48, remain encamped at the Oregon wildlife refuge with Jeff Banta, 46, of Elko, Nevada, and David Fry, 27, of Blanchester, Ohio.":

"I'm hoping for a miracle," Anderson told Sheriff Doug Giddings, who has been Idaho County's top law enforcement officer for eight years.

"I believe God put us here."

Their Saturday afternoon conversation was broadcast live on the Internet -- one of their only connections to the outside world. The video showed the four occupiers gathered beneath plastic tarps, sitting in lawn chairs next to a white truck.

"If we don't stand up 'til the end on this, then why did we come here in the first place?" asked Sean Anderson, who had recently moved with his wife to Riggins, a community of 400 people in Idaho County.

Giddings told The Oregonian/OregonLive on Saturday that he reached out to the Andersons to let them know their options. "I'm not speaking to him on behalf of anybody but me," he said, rebutting Sean Anderson's assertion that the sheriff was acting as an intermediary to the FBI.

"They pretty much are limited by the FBI to one decision, and that's to come out," Giddings said.

The four reiterated their key demand: assurances they won't face charges.

Until then, Banta said, "nothing's going to happen because we're just camping out."

The audio feed crackled as he squeezed a can of Coors Light in his hand. He started another sentence that Sandy Anderson finished. "We're armed but -- "

"We're always armed," the only woman at the refuge said...
Keep reading.

Plus, from Jennifer Dowling, at KOIN News 6 Portland, "Malheur occupiers: ‘All of us out or all dead’":
Near the refuge, a sign says “FBI Go Home” and roadblocks seal off 4 remaining occupiers — David Fry, Jeff Banta and married couple Sandy and Sean Anderson. They claim the FBI will let all but Sean Anderson go, and he believes it’s because of an online outburst:

“Don’t be afraid of those roadblocks, drive up there and shoot them. They are dishonorable, not following their oath.”

In a later clip, Anderson said he “thought that was the last day of my life and I was hoping American people would stand up.”

Ammon Bundy, through messages delivered first by his lawyer and now through a videotaped cell phone call with his wife Lisa Bundy, told the remaining occupiers to stand down and “go home to your families.”

But Sean Anderson rejected that plea from the now-jailed militia leader.

“Your husband and your brother-in-law and all your friends are in prison right now because they do what they want to do. I have to submit to people I don’t believe or trust. You say Ammon is directed by God. So am I.”
PREVIOUSLY: "They're Going to Murder All of Us!' — #Malheur Occupiers Livestream Siege at Wildlife Refuge (VIDEO)," and "WATCH: Sean and Sandy Anderson, Husband and Wife Occupiers at #Malheur, Post 'Last Dance' Video."

Plus, "Armed Militiaman David Fry, Among Last Holdouts at Malheur Reserve, Says He's Prepared to Die in Siege," and "'Bombastic, Paranoid, and Angry' — Update on David Fry, One of the Last Holdouts at Malheur Occupation."

WATCH: Wild Bill for America, Statement on Shooting Death of LaVoy Finicum (VIDEO)

Via Theo Spark.

It's an interesting discussion, which I agree with for the most part. Once LaVoy reached down, even if it was to the left side, which wasn't the side he kept a holstered weapon, the LEOs had reason to suspect a catastrophic threat to life.

And Wild Bill's discussion of the need for, and coming likelihood of, a massive campaign of civil disobedience is something I talk about every semester in my American government classes.


PREVIOUSLY: "Last Holdouts Remain at #Malheur Refuge; LaVoy Finicum Protesters Roll Through Burns, Oregon (VIDEO)."

All Three Orange County Jailbreak Fugitives Now Back Behind Bars (VIDEO)

For the national media, this was a bigger story than the Oregon standoff.

Shows you where priorities lie.

At the O.C. Register, "O.C. jail escape: 2 remaining fugitives caught in San Francisco, being returned to Orange County tonight."

And at CBS News 2 Los Angeles:

It looks like this dude Captain Chris Wilson is getting thrown under the bus. More details at BuzzFeed, "All Three Escaped California Inmates Arrested."

Black Radical Cornel West Slams Hillary Clinton at Bernie Sanders Rally Ahead of Iowa Caucuses (VIDEO)

West slams Clinton for take that "Wall Street money."

And hey, maybe Cornel's gonna help mobilize the "Black Lives Matter" constituency, heh.

And Sanders takes the podium, nailing down to the bottom line issue: "We will win the caucus Monday night if there is a large voter turnout. We will lose the caucus on Monday if there is a low voter turnout."

I blogged about precisely that earlier today, "Can Bernie Sanders Turn Out the Votes in Iowa?"


Last Holdouts Remain at #Malheur Refuge; LaVoy Finicum Protesters Roll Through Burns, Oregon (VIDEO)

Jennifer Dowling reports, for KOIN News 6 Portland:

More earlier report is here, "'Bombastic, Paranoid, and Angry' — Update on David Fry, One of the Last Holdouts at Malheur Occupation."

David Fry has uploaded a new "Defend Your Base" video to YouTube, indicating he's not ready to pack it in and wondering why he's not getting a deal from the feds. Listen, "Response to Ammon Bundy."

Top Iowa Elections Official Slams Ted Cruz Campaign on Public Shaming Mailers

Following-up from earlier today, "Wow! Ted Cruz Campaign Threatens Iowa Voters With Public Shaming if They Don't Caucus on Monday!"

At Politico, "Top Iowa elections official slams Cruz mailer" (via Memeorandum):
The Republican secretary of state says 'voting violation' piece is 'not keeping in the spirit of the Iowa Caucuses.'

AMES, Iowa — Iowa’s top elections official condemned Ted Cruz’s campaign on Saturday for sending mailers to Iowa voters designed to look like official documents that accuse them of a “VOTING VIOLATION” for failure to turn out in past elections.

Republican Secretary of State Paul Pate said in a statement that Cruz’s mailers, which has the words “official public record” printed in red at the top, “misrepresents the role of my office, and worse, misrepresents Iowa election law.”

“There is no such thing as an election violation related to frequency of voting,” said Paul, who was elected statewide as a Republican in 2014. “Any insinuation or statement to the contrary is wrong and I believe it is not in keeping in the spirit of the Iowa Caucuses.”

The controversial Cruz mailers show the name of the person receiving the mail at the top and then give them a grade on an A to F scale. Below, it shows their neighbors and their voting scores. It then urges them to caucus next week and warns, “A follow-up notice may be issued following Monday’s caucuses.”

Political science studies have shown that such voter-shaming and peer-pressure techniques can be effective to motivate less likely voters. Past campaigns have sent such mail but they come at the risk of backlash from voters who feel their — and their neighbors’ privacy — has been compromised.

Cruz spokeswoman Catherine Frazier said Saturday that the piece was “a standard mailer that folks at the Iowa Republican Party and other get-out-the-vote groups have used to help motivate low-propensity voters.”

“We're going to do everything we can to turn these folks out,” she said. She did not immediately respond to comment about Pate’s criticism.

The Republican Party of Iowa did not immediately respond to requests about whether they had sent such mailers in the past...
Keep reading.

These shaming mailers have been used abundantly by the Democrats. I'm literally sorry for Ted Cruz on this. It makes him look desperate.

Sarah Silverman at the Screen Actors Guild Awards Red Carpet

Not sure why they scheduled it on the weekend before the Iowa caucuses. Folks are more focused on politics than celebrities.

But what the heck? Maybe I'll blog a few pics.

Sarah Silverman's always interesting, in the Roxanne Barr way of being interesting, although nicer looking, heh.

I'm gonna see if I can find more pics of Silverman in that gown. She looks good.

ADDED: Via E! Online, "Alicia Vikander helping Sarah Silverman up the stairs on the #ERedCarpet: "At least she's good for something." It's a nice GIF of Ms. Silverman.

LATEST: Donald Trump Reclaims Lead in Final Des Moines Register Poll Before Iowa Caucuses

The Register's poll is said to be the gold standard of Iowa caucuses polling.

From Jennifer Jacobs, "Donald Trump reclaims lead in latest Iowa Poll":

Donald Trump has muscled ahead in Iowa, regaining his lead on the brink of the first votes being cast in the 2016 presidential race.

Trump stands at 28 percent, while rival Ted Cruz has slid to 23 percent. But there’s still a strong case for Cruz in this race — he’s more popular and respected than Trump, the final Des Moines Register/Bloomberg Politics Iowa Poll shows.

“The drill-down shows, if anything, stronger alignment with Cruz than Trump, except for the horse race,” said J. Ann Selzer, the pollster for the Iowa Poll.

Mainstream Republicans, faced with seeing governors Jeb Bush and Chris Christie stalling and the grim reality looming of a victory by a smash-mouth game show host or an ultra-conservative obstructionist, have gravitated toward Marco Rubio. The young-looking, first-term U.S. senator from Florida is now at 15 percent. Still, Trump gets more of their support.

“Donald Trump could win Iowa,” said Stuart Stevens, a Maryland-based GOP strategist who has worked on five presidential campaigns but is neutral this election cycle. “But he has little room for error. He is almost no one's second choice.”
Keep reading.

'Bombastic, Paranoid, and Angry' — Update on David Fry, One of the Last Holdouts at Malheur Occupation

This guy's not only a freakin' loon, he's a raving anti-Semite.

Ammon Bundy should have cut this guy loose a long time ago, but Fry stuck around the headquarters, largely because of his affinity for LaVoy Finicum.

John Sepulvado has the update, at OPB, "How a Digital Friendship Created an Unlikely Holdout":

David Fry photo w2sveknoajujl8322b47_zpsa5kon2qm.jpg
David Fry’s online friendship with militant LaVoy Finicum led him to the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, where he is one of the last remaining occupants.

Ten days into the armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, David Fry was looking forward to going home. Shunned by the alpha-male militant leaders in the camp, Fry — a skinny, bespectacled 27-year-old from Ohio — was waiting to talk to one person before he left.

“I want to say goodbye to LaVoy, but then I have to go home,” Fry told OPB the afternoon of Jan. 14. “I think I make some of the guys nervous here because of the bad things people are saying about me.”

Those “bad things” included criticism that Fry supported the radical terrorist group ISIS and had repeatedly praised Adolph Hitler in long, anti-Semitic rants. OPB had just published an article about Fry hacking into the federally owned computers at the refuge, revealing those details and others.

Finicum, who had just returned to the refuge after meeting with elected leaders in Irons County, Utah, had yet to meet with Fry. But the militant leader did message Fry to stay put until he could talk with other members of the leadership.

Still, Fry expected to return to his rural home outside of Cincinnati that weekend.

“Before my dad gets back from his vacation,” Fry said.

Less than two weeks later, LaVoy Finicum would be shot dead on the side of a country road in deep snow, and David Fry would be one of the last militant holdouts on the compound...
Still more.

PREVIOUSLY: "Armed Militiaman David Fry, Among Last Holdouts at Malheur Reserve, Says He's Prepared to Die in Siege," and "#Malheur: Last Four Militia Members Are 'Desperate', Heavily Armed — Won't Leave Without Guarantees."

Here's That Mile-Long Blaine Cooper Rap Sheet ICYMI

Frankly, a lot of the folks out at Malheur are rank losers. Criminals and losers and poseurs.

Blaine Cooper's never been in the military but all he wears are military camouflage fatigues. This Ain't Hell notes that he failed to correct a TV interviewer last year for being identified as a U.S. Marine. Cooper claimed he didn't want to embarrass the correspondent.

JJ McNabb has the screenshot on Twitter.

That's a freakin' long rap sheet:

Check McNabb's feed. She interviewed Cooper and has updates on the calls for outside reinforcements at the refuge.

Update on My Cable News Watching Priorities for the Iowa Caucuses

Margaret Hoover and John Avlon are married Rockefeller Republicans. I don't recall CNN making note of that during the broadcast. I like CNN's coverage, but I quickly bailed out on these two losers. Besides, Fox's "The Five" is on right now, and they're both beautiful and hilarious.

Check back for more coverage of just about everything this weekend, lol.

Mike Huckabee Super PAC Campaign Spot Blasts Ted Cruz in Bid for Evangelicals in Iowa (VIDEO)

Just saw this on "The Five" at Fox News.

The ad's out from Pursuing America’s Greatness, and it's good!

Ted Cruz is a phony:

Kristen Van Dyke Has Your Weekend Oregon Weather

She's great!

I forgot to post my Jackie Johnson update last night, so until I can get to the local weather, here's the lovely Kristen Van Dyke at KOIN News 6 Portland. Looks like awesome skiing conditions up there, although it's going to be a bitch out at Malheur if the holdouts keep holding out.

More on that shortly.

Until then:

An Iowa Win Might Make the Trump Train Unstoppable!

I've never felt this way before, but I swear I wish I was campaigning in Iowa right now, heh.

I don't think I even know anyone who lives there, but I can imagine living out of my van to travel all around the Hawkeye State to rally Trump voters. God, that'd be a blast.

At Politico.

Murrieta's Erica Harris Marries Man She Never Met in Person at Ontario International Airport (VIDEO)

Hey, there's hope for the crestfallen.

Cupid indeed strikes!

Dudes, you better be on Instagram to hook up with your long-desired hottie!

At CBS News 2 Los Angeles:

$65 Off Kindle Fire HDX 7

From the Gold Box deals, today at Amazon.

And see McKay Coppins, The Wilderness: Deep Inside the Republican Party's Combative, Contentious, Chaotic Quest to Take Back the White House.

BONUS: From John Sides and Lynn Vavreck, The Gamble: Choice and Chance in the 2012 Presidential Election.

Can Bernie Sanders Turn Out the Votes in Iowa?

Sabato's Crystal Ball said that Sanders' support is in Iowa's more urban areas, so he's probably gonna have a shortfall of turnout in the more rural areas (which sounds funny, since it's Iowa for crying out loud).

See the Los Angeles Times, "Bernie Sanders tries to be the next Barack Obama in Iowa, not the next Howard Dean":
Bernie Sanders delighted in telling a crowd of a couple of thousand people here this week about his journey from “fringe candidate” to serious contender for the Democratic presidential nomination, rattling off poll results reflecting his momentum and boasting that “the energy, the enthusiasm is with our campaign.”

But shortly before Sanders took stage, an organizer for his presidential campaign asked members of the crowd to raise their hands if they had signed up to volunteer. Only a few did.

“Oh, no. Not a lot of people here, I don’t think,” he said. “We need each and every one of you to rise to the occasion.”

It was a glimpse of Sanders’ toughest challenge as his sweeping call for a political revolution faces its first concrete test Monday in the Iowa caucuses. Their outcome will reveal whether the Sanders campaign operation, which has defied expectations with the enthusiasm it has drawn from disaffected liberals and college students, can harness that energy into votes the way Barack Obama did in 2008 when he beat the same establishment favorite Sanders now faces, Hillary Clinton.

Obama bested Clinton by motivating huge numbers of voters who normally wouldn’t participate in the caucus process to show up. Sanders himself is doubtful his campaign can reproduce the turnout Obama achieved, saying this week that the 2008 election “is really going to stay in the history books. It was an unbelievable campaign. In places they ran out of ballots, as I understand it.”

But he will be using a lot of the same organizational tools Obama did in claiming victory over a front-runner who seemed to have all the advantages in getting out the vote.

Targeting technologies pioneered by Obama’s campaign have made it possible for outsider candidates like Sanders to turn out Iowans who a decade ago might have showed up at a rally and then faded away before the caucuses. Now, computers can quickly link them up with a caucus coach who can walk them through the bewildering voting process and even make sure they have a ride on election night.

But ultimately, much of the work of sealing a commitment from voters happens through human contact. And to avoid the disappointment fellow Vermonter Howard Dean endured in the 2004 caucuses, when he failed to leverage similar insurgent momentum, the Sanders campaign has been rushing to build the infrastructure to capture enthusiasm and turn it into votes...
Keep reading (via Memeorandum).

It's all about the college students for Sanders. Seriously. If young people are away at college, the campaign has to get them back to Iowa. And the winner is the one who wins the most precincts around the state, not the most individual votes, so a concentration of votes around the college towns hurt Sanders.

But we'll see. We'll see.

I really don't want to see Sanders' version of the Dean Scream on caucus night.

Wow! Ted Cruz Campaign Threatens Iowa Voters With Public Shaming if They Don't Caucus on Monday!

I swear I despise far left-wing public shaming and intimidation tactics, and guess what? Ted Cruz's campaign is fully down with them, going so far as sending targeted mailers threatening to out Iowa residents as scofflaw non-voters if they don't caucus in Monday's presidential caucuses.

See Sarah Rumpf, at IJR, "He Said He Was An Undecided Iowan Until He He Received This Controversial Mailer From Ted Cruz" (via Memeorandum):

Ted Cruz Shaming photo AmericasBelleXO_2016-Jan-29_zpsdspmmdwq.jpg
As Iowans prepare to head to the caucuses on Monday for the nation’s first votes in the presidential primaries, the campaigns are pulling out all the stops. The mailer sent out by one Republican campaign, however, might end up backfiring.

Tom Hinkeldey, a resident of Alta, Iowa, tweeted a photo (which was later deleted because it included his personal address) on Friday evening of a mailer Sen. Ted Cruz’s campaign sent addressed to his wife, Steffany. The mailer was a large card printed to look like a manila envelope on one side and was labeled in all capital letters, “ELECTION ALERT,” “VOTER VIOLATION,” “PUBLIC RECORD,” and “FURTHER ACTION NEEDED.”

On the other side, the mailer said in red letters at the top, “VOTING VIOLATION.” The text then reads:

You are receiving this election notice because of low expected voter turnout in your area. Your individual voting history as well as your neighbors’ are public record. Their scores are published below, and many of them will see your score as well. CAUCUS ON MONDAY TO IMPROVE YOUR SCORE and please encourage your neighbors to caucus as well. A follow-up notice may be issued following Monday’s caucuses.

The mailer then listed his and Steffany’s name, along with five of their neighbors...
Keep reading.

The Cruz campaign confirmed they're using the mailers, saying that their targeting was "'very narrow, but the caucuses are important and we want people who haven’t voted before to vote'."

Jay Caruso writes at Red State:
In my view, this is not how you go about convincing people and persuading them. This is a Donald Trump tactic and Cruz’s team should know better. Shaming people into voting is a great way to get them to vote for somebody else if they decide to do so.

Either way, this could turn into one of those things that the media will harp on for the next two days and throw Cruz off message.
More at Memeorandum.

Francisco Sanchez, Illegal Immigrant Suspect in Kathryn Steinle Murder, Wants Case Dismissed

Flashback to July, "Deported 5 Times Previously, Illegal Alien Confesses to Murder of Kathryn Steinle at San Francisco's Pier 14."

Well, here's an update, at the Los Angeles Times, "Mexican national accused of shooting woman on San Francisco pier wants case dismissed."

More, at Yahoo News, "Lawyer: Fatal San Francisco pier shooting was an accident":
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The lawyer for a Mexican national charged with fatally shooting a young San Francisco woman as she walked on a city pier wants his client's murder charge dismissed, saying the killing that rekindled the national debate over illegal immigration was an accident.

The judge canceled a hearing scheduled for Friday, saying he wants more time to consider the issue. Attorneys will argue the matter on March 24...
Well, I hope Bill O'Reilly hasn't moved on from this case. If Sanchez's case is dismissed there are going to be howls of protest, rightfully so.

WATCH: 'Ambushed and Assassinated' Protesters at Harney County Courthouse, Burns, Oregon (VIDEO)

Following-up from yesterday, "'Ambushed and Assassinated' — Residents in Burns, Oregon, React to Shooting Death of LaVoy Finicum."

Here's Jennifer Dowling, for KOIN News 6 Portland:

Mind-Numbing Dissonance of the Left


This is good, at iOTW Report.

Rita Ora Posts More Snaps from Terry Richardson Photo Shoot

Following-up, "Rita Ora for 'Lui' Magazine."

At London's Daily Mail, "Rita Ora dares to bare in nude photographs as more raunchy snaps emerge from her steamiest ever photoshoot."

VIDEO: Ammon Bundy's Attorneys Address the Media Outside Mark O. Hatfield U.S. Courthouse in Portland, January 29, 2016

Following-up from yesterday, "LATEST: Judge Stacie F. Beckerman Won't Release Bundy Defendants as Long as Malheur Siege Continues (VIDEO)."

The attorneys discuss efforts to contact the last holdouts at the Malheur refuge. Recall, that they created a video to reach out and facilitate communication.

ICYMI, "WATCH: Ammon Bundy Implores Malheur Occupation Holdouts to Surrender and Go Home (VIDEO)."

Friday, January 29, 2016

Lavoy Finicum Family Releases Statement: Challenges FBI, Announces Funeral Services (VIDEO)

Boy, the news just keeps breaking.

Following-up, "Family Members Challenge FBI Account of LaVoy Finicum's Shooting Death — #OregonStandoff."

At FOX News 13 Salt Lake, "Family of LaVoy Finicum releases statement; funeral to be held in Kanab February 5":
KANAB, Utah -- The day after the FBI released footage from an incident in Oregon that ended with the death of protester LaVoy Finicum, the man's family has released a statement saying they don't believe the fatal shooting was justified.

The nearly three-page statement from the family opens by saying "We know that there are always at least two sides to every story. We also know and recognize that the FBI and law enforcement agencies involved will do everything in their power to make it appear as if the needless death of our husband, father, grandfather, brother and son, LaVoy Finicum, was justified."

The family states they believe the standoff at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge was on track for a peaceful resolution and that the authorities should have been more patient rather than seeking a confrontation.

As to the video, the family states they believe Finicum was moving away from the vehicle to "draw any hostility or violence away from the others" when he was shot.

They further state he was not holding a weapon and said from their view it appeared he was gesturing or trying to keep his balance, not trying to reach for a gun in a pocket.

The family’s attorney, Todd McFarlane, spoke to FOX 13 on the phone Friday night.

“I would have to see a lot better, clearer, slow motion, blown up version, to be in a position to say that it looked like to me that he was going for something in his pocket or on his hip," McFarlane said.

FBI Special Agent in Charge for Oregon, Greg Bretzing, said in a statement of that portion of the video: "On at least two occasions, Finicum reaches his right hand toward a pocket on the left inside portion of his jacket. He did have a loaded 9 mm semi-automatic handgun in that pocket."

Finicum's family said they are not "accepting at face value" the FBI's statement Finicum was armed, but they state even if he was armed they don't think he was posing a threat through is actions.

McFarlane said: “Why would he put his hand down there and then raise his hand again? I would be more inclined to say that he was moving around, using his hands and arms again gesturing, and trying to keep his balance."

Finicum was shot by an OSP trooper, and 30 seconds after that, law enforcement, according to Bretzing, deployed "flash bangs to disorient any other armed occupants. Shortly after that, they deployed less-lethal sponge projectiles with OC capsules. Those OC capsules would be similar to pepper spray."

The family goes on to offer their interpretation of the legality of the FBI and Oregon State Police's actions, citing Supreme Court precedent, and they claim their loved one was left lying in the snow as agents "terrorized" the others in the vehicle that had crashed while avoiding a police road block...
Still more.

At they've got the family's statement in a Scribd document embedded at the post.

WATCH: Ammon Bundy Implores Malheur Occupation Holdouts to Surrender and Go Home (VIDEO)

The last holdouts reportedly said they didn't believe Ammon Bundy wanted them to leave the compound.

John Sepulvado's been up at the refuge all day, reporting in real time on Twitter.

Both he and Amanda Peacher have tweeted this video of Ammon Bundy pleading for the last holdouts to leave the refuge:

More, at OPB, "Attorneys, Bundys Release New Videos Pleading With Occupiers to Surrender." (There's another video at that link.)

'Ambushed and Assassinated' — Residents in Burns, Oregon, React to Shooting Death of LaVoy Finicum

Very interesting juxtaposition, between a national outsider take on the impact of the occupation on Burns, Oregon, seen here, "Burns, Oregon: Torn Apart by the Malheur Occupation"; and a local newspaper's version, familiar and intimate.

See the Eugene Register-Guard, "MALHEUR STANDOFF: Protestors in Burns react to video of Finicum shooting":

BURNS — As residents debated the shooting death of LaVoy Finicum — a spokesmen of the weekslong occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, who was shot and killed Tuesday during a traffic stop by state and federal officials on a state highway north of here — a small protest broke out Friday afternoon at the Harney County Courthouse.

The shooting of Finicum by an Oregon State Police trooper “was the needless taking of a life,” asserted Monte Siegner, 79, wearing a cowboy hat and holding a handmade sign that said “Ambushed & Assassinated.”

Siegner, from the small community of Riverside, about 60 miles east, stood with his son, Clint Siegner, 43, who drove from Eagle, Idaho, on Friday to support his father.

The younger Siegner stood with a sign that said, “Federal Supremicists Murdered an Innocent Man.”

“Terrible,” he said. “It didn’t have to happen. The FBI says it’s been doing everything for a peaceful resolution, and then they arm on the highway and have that kind of show of force? It’s not about peace.”

Both men, part of about 25 people who joined the protest, including members of the Pacific Patriot Network, which is encouraging people from across the country to come to Burns on Monday for a rally to tell the FBI to leave and let the last four occupiers at the refuge go, say they have seen the FBI aerial video of Finicum’s shooting.

Released publicly Thursday, it shows Finicum quickly jumping from his vehicle after it swerved and plowed into a deep snowbank at a law enforcement traffic stop. After exiting the vehicle, Finicum rapidly steps in one direction then another in the snow, repeatedly turning and alternately raising his arms high and lowering them and reaching into his jacket, as two law enforcement officers, handguns drawn and aimed, move in on him. Finicum’s vehicle had previously sped away from another traffic stop in which occupation leaders Ammon and Ryan Bundy and others were arrested and charged with federal felonies.

Authorities said Finicum had a loaded gun in his jacket.

“I think it’s a bunch of garbage,” said B.J. Soper, 39, of Redmond, one of the founders of the Pacific Patriot Network, standing with others in front of the courthouse, as sheriff’s deputies could be seen holding rifles at the ready, keeping watch on the rowdy crowd. “There is confirmed eyewitness testimony that LaVoy Finicum was shot in cold blood.”

Asked if he thought Finicum was going for his gun, Soper said no.

He was reaching down “because he was shot in the hip,” Soper said. “And then the chest, and then the final shot that took him to the ground.”

Law enforcement officials have not said how many times Finicum was shot or where he was hit...
Keep reading.

RELATED: "Bundy Militia Supporters Protest at Harney County Courthouse, Calling Lavoy Finicum's 'Death a Murder'."