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Profile Information

Name: Joe Otterbein
Gender: Male
Hometown: DelMarVa & PA (heading to PNW soon!)
Home country: United States
Current location: York County, PA
Member since: Sun Oct 28, 2012, 09:54 AM
Number of posts: 7,464

About Me

Certified in Comprehensive Food Safety (CCFS) and Certified Professional - Food Safety (CP-FS) by National Environmental Health Association (NEHA)

Journal Archives

Trumpworld torn over running against Bernie


Some advisers are salivating over running against a socialist. Others say they need to be careful what they wish for.


01/28/2020 06:59 PM EST

President Donald Trump and his top political advisers were huddling in the Oval Office earlier this month discussing the state of the Democratic primary when they arrived at an increasingly pressing topic: What to do about Bernie Sanders?

Sanders was surging, and some of the Trump advisers were salivating at the thought of a self-described democratic socialist as their general election opponent. As the president listened, they argued for taking steps to elevate him in the primary to boost his prospects.

But others warned that Sanders wouldn’t necessarily be the pushover he might seem. They told the president, who was joined in the meeting by top officials including campaign manager Brad Parscale and pollster Tony Fabrizio, that the Vermont senator’s authenticity and populist appeal could draw some of the blue-collar voters who propelled the president to the White House.

With the Iowa caucuses less than a week away, Trump advisers and supporters are split over whether to wage an effort to bolster Sanders. While proponents think Sanders would be an ideal opponent, others are wary that the liberal firebrand could make for a dynamic challenger — with the ability to make inroads in the Rust Belt states likely to decide the outcome of the election.


more Repub hand-wringing at link

Bolton to Reportedly Claim He Raised Concerns About Trump Doing 'Personal Favors' for Erdogan, Xi Ji


By Josh FeldmanJan 27th, 2020, 8:57 pm

The New York Times has dropped another big detail from John Bolton’s new book concerning the president’s interactions with foreign leaders.

Per the Times, in his book Bolton details how he spoke directly to Attorney General Bill Barr about his concerns that President Donald Trump was doing “personal favors” for the leaders of Turkey and China — Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Xi Jinping.

And Barr responded, apparently, “pointing to a pair of Justice Department investigations of companies in those countries and said he was worried that Mr. Trump had created the appearance that he had undue influence over what would typically be independent inquiries.”

Bolton’s book reportedly features details of what Barr laid out:


more Trump traitortot-ism at link

First Amendment activist making video has encounter with guard at York County (PA) Prison

York Dispatch

Liz Evans Scolforo, York DispatchPublished 4:58 p.m. ET Jan. 24, 2020 | Updated 4:26 p.m. ET Jan. 26, 2020

A York County man who was stopped from filming York County Prison while standing on the public sidewalk in front of the facility said his goal is to educate people about the importance of the First Amendment.

Tom Shirey, 58, of the East Prospect area, said he conducts First Amendment audits by going to public areas and filming, to see if he's challenged.

"Some people say that First Amendment activists are just there to bait the police ... and to see how far they can take it," he said, adding he agrees that happens sometimes. "Others believe in the Constitution and our God-given right (to free speech)."

Shirey considers himself to be in the latter category. He posts his videos on YouTube under the name First Capital Transparency.


more at link

Great story about a damn good guy.

Celebrity star-power fuels Bernie's final Iowa sprint


His traveling festival of celebrity surrogates aims to attract young and unlikely voters to his campaign events.


01/27/2020 07:09 PM EST

Updated: 01/27/2020 08:17 PM EST

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Inside the campaign, some aides call it “Bernchella."

As Bernie Sanders attempts to surge to a first-place finish in Iowa, the Vermont senator is tapping famous politicians and celebrities to campaign for him in one final star-studded week before the caucuses.

The luminaries cut across the culture, from politics to music to movies and more. Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, filmmaker and liberal stalwart Michael Moore, actor Kendrick Sampson, and recording artists Bon Iver and Vampire Weekend — who inspired the Coachella-derived nickname — are among those who have or will be stumping for him.

The roster of celebrity surrogates is designed to bring out young and unlikely voters to events: A Friday rally featuring Ocasio-Cortez and Moore, which Sanders couldn’t attend because he was in Washington for the impeachment trial, drew an estimated 800-plus people. Overall, nearly 6,000 attended events in Iowa held by Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez and Moore over the last few days, according to the campaign.

Their support comes after the Sanders team courted backing from people such as rapper Cardi B and other stars of color for months.


more on Bernchella at link!

Buttigieg Draws Applause at Fox News Town Hall For Bashing Trump: 'Echoing the Language of Dictators


By Ken Meyer Jan 26th, 2020, 8:33 pm

Democratic 2020 nominee Pete Buttigieg drew a strong round of applause at his Fox News town hall event when he criticized President Donald Trump for “echoing the language of dictators.”

As Buttigieg took an audience question about how he would handle foreign policy in the Middle East, he accused Trump of worsening the region’s instability before saying “we don’t have to choose between endless war and completely disappearing from the world stage.”

“We have to decide what our priorities are and raise the bar for the use of force,” Buttigieg said. “What we need to do is build up, not tear up our international partnerships. American lives depend on relationships with our allies. We shouldn’t can doing any of this alone. We shouldn’t have to be doing any of this alone.”


more leadership at link

Biden leaves voters and reporters hanging during swing through N.H.


The former vice president avoided taking questions from voters at town halls, a striking break from tradition.


01/25/2020 06:48 PM EST

SALEM, N.H. — Joe Biden spent two days in New Hampshire without taking any questions from voters at his public events, a striking break from tradition in the first-in-the-nation primary state.

Instead, Biden held two “community events” where he spoke for about 30 minutes each time. Afterward, he took photos and chatted one-on-one with people on the rope line surrounding his podium.

He made no mention of the state’s opioid epidemic, which polls consistently show is the biggest issue facing the state. Voters at the events said they also would have liked to hear about his plans for health care, the cost of prescription drugs and the economy.

Candidates routinely take questions from the public at New Hampshire town halls, a longstanding practice that tests the retail skills of presidential hopefuls and forces them to answer directly to voters' concerns.

Biden’s decision to skip q-and-a's left some people in the audience disappointed. At a packed event at an elementary school in one of the most Republican areas of the state, a number of topics voters said they would have liked to hear about went unaddressed.


more at link

Is FOBO Paralyzing the Democratic Primary?


01/26/2020 07:00 AM EST

Iowa voters have a problem: They can’t make up their minds.

Less than two weeks before the Iowa caucuses, there is still no breakout candidate in the Democratic primary. Instead, there are four frontrunners—Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg—none of whom poll over 25 percent in the state. Iowans, who are notoriously fickle to begin with, are outdoing themselves this year. Just 40 percent of voters have made up their minds on a candidate. Compare that to 2016, when nearly 60 percent had already made a definitive choice at this point in the race.

Even the New York Times can’t commit. Over the weekend, America’s paper of record proved itself incapable of endorsing just one candidate in the Democratic primary. Instead, it endorsed two. If the Gray Lady can’t make a decision ahead of 2020, how will voters?

What is happening here? It’s simple: The Democrats have FOBO, or Fear of a Better Option.

Haven’t heard of FOBO? Let me tell you where it comes from.


the answer and more at link

Polling roundup: Sanders challenges Biden's frontrunner status


New polls indicate Sanders has gained strength in recent weeks.


01/26/2020 11:34 AM EST

Updated: 01/26/2020 05:23 PM EST

The Democratic primary remains up for grabs.

A cascade of polls released over the weekend have Bernie Sanders challenging Joe Biden’s frontrunner status, surpassing Biden in key early states as the national horse race tightens up.

In total, seven polls were released this weekend, painting a picture of a Democratic primary that has no clear leader.

A group of surveys out of the first two states to head to the polls — Iowa and New Hampshire — have Sanders in a strong position. But other candidates remain within striking distance, highlighting the fluidity of the race with eight days to go until the Iowa caucuses.

In a poll conducted in Iowa by The New York Times/Siena College that was released Saturday, the Vermont senator sat at the top of the pack at 25 percent. Three other candidates were battling for second place — Pete Buttigieg, Biden and Elizabeth Warren — all within three points of one another. Buttigieg was at 18 percent, to Biden’s 17 percent and Warren’s 15 percent.


more at link

Poll: Sanders leads field in Iowa



01/25/2020 07:27 AM EST

Sen. Bernie Sanders leads the field of Democratic presidential candidates in Iowa, according to a new poll released Saturday.

The New York Times Upshot/Siena College survey shows one-in-four likely Democratic caucus-goers, 25 percent, pick Sanders as their first choice in next month’s caucuses.

That gives Sanders a 7-point lead over his closest competitor, former South Bend (Ind.) Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who is at 18 percent, roughly tied for second place with former Vice President Joe Biden at 17 percent and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts at 14 percent. Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota is in fifth place, at 8 percent, the only other candidate above the low single digits.

The survey, which was conducted this past Monday through Thursday and released just nine days before the caucuses, highlights the pressure on Sanders’ rivals, who have seen the independent senator from Vermont surge in the weeks leading up to the first votes of the Democratic nominating process. A Des Moines Register/CNN/Mediacom poll released two weeks ago also showed Sanders with a single-digit advantage in the caucuses, though Biden has led in other surveys released since that.


more at link

Bernie's labor support snowballs


While many national unions have stayed neutral, more progressive-minded local unions and labor groups are coming out in force for the Vermont senator.


01/24/2020 05:07 AM EST

Most national unions haven’t picked a favorite yet in the Democratic presidential primary.

It’s been a boon for Bernie Sanders.

Rather than harming Sanders, a longtime labor ally who has promised to work to double union membership as president, the reluctance to offer endorsements at the national level has enabled more progressive-minded local unions and labor groups to come out in force for the Vermont senator.

Sanders has already racked up 11 labor endorsements, more than any of his Democratic rivals, most of which are from local, regional and statewide unions. And some are among the most powerful labor organizations in early-voting and Super Tuesday states.

“He’s picking up more labor endorsements because the national unions, almost without exception, have not made endorsements, which implicitly or explicitly sets the local and regional unions free,” said David Kusnet, a former speechwriter for Bill Clinton who co-authored a book with an ex-AFL-CIO president. “He has a lot of friends and fans and supporters in the union movement, and some of them are succeeding in pushing their local labor unions to endorse him.”


more great political reporting at link
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