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Name: Chris Bastian
Gender: Male
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
Home country: USA
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 74,250

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BREAKING: CBS News NH Poll: Sanders 27 Biden 25 Warren 18


Between the IA and NH polls, possible problems for Warren. Two third/fourth place finishes could do real damage going into Super Tuesday.

BREAKING: CBS News Iowa Poll: Buttigieg 23, Biden 23, Sanders 23


What this means is: set the polls aside as a determining factor. The candidates sink or swim on the basis of their ground operations. Warren has the best ground operation in Iowa, and Buttigieg is probably second.

Australian News 9 reporting on brush fires

Amy Klobuchar campaign ad: "What It Takes"

Iran situation casts Buttigieg's candidacy in a different light


Buttigieg’s personal story as a gay veteran and Midwestern mayor, his performances in debates and interviews, and his policy platform have all propelled him into a small group of Democratic primary frontrunners in Iowa and New Hampshire, as voters in those states prepare to pick a nominee against President Donald Trump. But the American strike that killed Qassem Soleimani, a top Iranian general, rippled through the former mayor’s events in the first primary state this weekend, where he sought to reassure voters that he has the experience to handle U.S. foreign policy and the military.

Buttigieg wove his stint as a Navy intelligence officer and criticism of Trump’s “chest-thumping militarism" into his stump speech and returned to his tenure “in the dust of” Afghanistan answering questions at town halls across New Hampshire, as the presidential primary takes a foreign policy turn.
Story Continued Below

His military experience has been a long-running campaign theme — nearly all of Buttigieg’s TV ads flash a picture of him in fatigues — but the subject also throws one potential weakness into sharp relief: the brevity of his national security experience, and his generally short resume compared to others in the 2020 presidential field.

“He’s the candidate with the military background who served” abroad, said Kathy Sullivan, a member of the Democratic National Committee from New Hampshire, who likened it to a “double-edged sword” for Buttigieg. “But at the same time, he’s the youngest candidate in the field without a ton of other foreign policy experience,” and a conflict with Iran “could shake up how voters are viewing this primary.”

Buttigieg, for his part, argued to reporters Saturday afternoon that “somebody who has been on the ground as an intelligence officer, understanding what’s at stake in these issues, is bringing the exact kind of bearing we’re going to need,” adding that managing future conflicts around the world requires “a forward-looking view” from the next president.

Flush with cash, Yang wrestles with where to spend it


The reality is that his newfound campaign riches are creating internal tension about whether to beef up the Iowa operation or bet it all in New Hampshire.

Yang’s strong focus has always been on New Hampshire, the first-in-the-nation primary state where he has spent more time than any of the top-tier candidates. The campaign sees it as ripe ground for him — Democratic voters relish their independent-streak and showed they were open to non-traditional candidates in the past, delivering Sen. Bernie Sanders a decisive win in the 2016 primary.

Their goal, to date, has been to finish at the top of the second-tier in order to stay relevant after the early-voting states. Suddenly though, with money to play in Iowa as well, there is a vigorous debate about where to spend the cash and Yang’s other precious commodity — his time.

“I think if we overperform expectations will have a very powerful narrative coming out of New Hampshire that people don't expect us to be at the top four here,” Yang said after wrapping up the final of 14 events during a four-day trip here. “If we break the top four, I think people will see that we have a ton of energy behind us.”

Red meat plays vital role in diets, claims expert in fightback against veganism

The Guardian

Advocates of red meat will begin a fightback against the growth of veganism this week at the UK’s biggest farming conference, with claims that eating lamb and beef is vital because some plants and fish are being drained of their nutrition.

In a speech at the Oxford Farming Conference, Alice Stanton will tell ministers, farmers and environmentalists that key nutrients in some fruits, vegetables and grains have dropped by up to 50% over 50 years.

Stanton, professor of cardiovascular pharmacology at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, said nutrition levels had dropped because farmers were trying to meet a demand for cheap food. “For plant-based foods, there’s been drops in vitamins and key electrolytes by up to 50% over the past 50 years because of the genetic selection for large volume and uniformity of shape and appearance, so the things look good on the shelves. There hasn’t been selection for nutrient content,” she told the Observer.

Growing interest in veganism and flexitarianism – people trying to eat less meat – led to a drop in sales of red meat last year of about £185m, according to market researchers Nielsen. Research for veganuary, which promotes plant-based diets on health and ethical grounds, showed that more than 1.3 million people gave up animal products in January 2019. Retailers and food companies have launched thousands of products aimed at vegans – nearly a quarter of all launches had a vegan claim, according to Mintel – including Gregg’s vegan sausage roll, vegan BBQ ribs and vegan smoked salmon.

“I’m not against vegetarianism or veganism,” Stanton said. “It is possible to have a balanced diet with vegetarianism. It’s a little bit more challenging but still possible with veganism. However, it requires a lot of knowledge and effort, which doesn’t happen in the majority of the population. People don’t have time to invest in getting a really balanced diet through a range of plant-based foods.”

As Tensions With Iran Escalated, Trump Opted for Most Extreme Measure

Source: New York Times

WASHINGTON — In the chaotic days leading to the death of Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, Iran’s most powerful commander, top American military officials put the option of killing him — which they viewed as the most extreme response to recent Iranian-led violence in Iraq — on the menu they presented to President Trump.

They didn’t think he would take it. In the wars waged since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, Pentagon officials have often offered improbable options to presidents to make other possibilities appear more palatable.

After initially rejecting the Suleimani option on Dec. 28 and authorizing airstrikes on an Iranian-backed Shia militia group instead, a few days later Mr. Trump watched, fuming, as television reports showed Iranian-backed attacks on the American Embassy in Baghdad, according to Defense Department and administration officials.

By late Thursday, the president had gone for the extreme option. Top Pentagon officials were stunned.

Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/04/us/politics/trump-suleimani.html?searchResultPosition=2

Times opinion editor: Bret Stephens column was edited

Source: Politico

New York Times editorial page editor James Bennet says that a controversial column advancing a race-based theory of “Jewish genius” was fully edited and scrutinized prior to publication.

“All our columns are fact-checked and edited,” he said in a statement to POLITICO.

Bennet did not discuss specifically how references to claims about Ashkenazi Jews having superior intelligence made it through the Times’s editing process, which has been called into question since the publication of Bret Stephens’s much-criticized column and the subsequent addition of an editor’s note.

The Times has historically given significant autonomy to its editorial-page staff columnists so as not to stifle those writers’ views or voice. But that tradition has been slowly changing, as editors apply more scrutiny to the columnists, though there is some inconsistency in how much editing each individual columnist receives.

Read more: https://www.politico.com/news/2020/01/03/bret-stephens-new-york-times-column-093596

Marianne Williamson interview on CNN

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