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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: 7,459

About Me

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

Journal Archives

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

Bernie Sanders Has Been Planning A Social Security Fight With Donald Trump For Years


This week, the president finally gave it to him.

By Daniel Marans

President Donald Trump walked into a carefully laid trap on Wednesday, when, in an interview on CNBC, he suggested he was open to cutting Social Security and Medicare.

Asked by “Squawk Box” host Joe Kernen whether “entitlements” ― a Washington term for universal social insurance programs ― would ever be “on his plate,” Trump responded that they would.

“At some point they will be,” Trump said in the interview from Davos, Switzerland. “At the right time, we will take a look at that.”

It’s unclear if Trump even knew of exactly what he was speaking.

And the White House denied that was his intention. “With no benefit cuts, President Trump is keeping his commitment to the most vulnerable Americans, especially those who depend on Medicare and Social Security,” White House spokesman Judd Deere said.

But Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who is vying for the chance to take on Trump as the Democratic presidential nominee, didn’t waste time using it against him.


more about strong Democratic leadership from Bernie at link

Decoding the polls: Sanders surging and more takeaways from the newest numbers


The Vermont senator is enjoying possibly his best week of polling at just the right time in the 2020 race.


01/23/2020 06:45 PM EST

Bernie Sanders has been in the middle of every spat and squabble in the past few weeks of the Democratic presidential primary — and it seems to be working for him.

Sanders has surged in the handful of public polls out this week, a bounce that’s coming just at the right time for the Vermont senator, with voting set to begin soon in Iowa and other states. A CNN/SSRS national poll showed Sanders narrowly overtaking Joe Biden among Democratic voters for the first time. In New Hampshire — the site of a blowout primary win for Sanders in 2016 — a new poll shows him with a large plurality lead over the 2020 field.

The polls aren’t unanimous in showing a Sanders bump: Biden still leads polling averages nationally and in the Feb. 3 Iowa caucuses, where there has been little public polling so far this week.

But, on balance, the new survey data out this week have been some of Sanders’ best, even amid recent public tiffs with Elizabeth Warren, Hillary Clinton and Biden — and also as Sanders is trapped in Washington during President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial.

Here are three more things we’ve learned from this week’s polls:


more at link

Sanders nearly doubles his support in New Hampshire poll


The Vermont senator jumped to 29 percent among Democratic voters, with Buttigieg coming in second at 17 percent.


01/23/2020 09:52 AM EST

Bernie Sanders nearly doubled his support among Democratic voters in New Hampshire since December, with a new WBUR poll showing the Vermont senator with a healthy lead just three weeks away from the state's primary.

With a 14 percent increase since last month, 29 percent of Democratic primary voters in the battleground state said they would “support or lean toward” Sanders. Pete Buttigieg, who led the poll in December, followed behind Sanders at 17 percent, a slight dip of 1 point. Joe Biden, who typically polls better than or neck-and-neck with Sanders, dropped to 14 percent in January, a 3-point change since last month. Elizabeth Warren trailed behind Biden at 13 percent, a one-point increase from December.

It’s been a successful stretch for Sanders who raked in $34.5 million in fundraising for the fourth quarter of the year — putting the Democratic primary contender near President Donald Trump’s fourth quarter total of $46 million. Two other polls this week also showed Sanders and Biden ahead, and other polls show Sanders in the top ranks in Iowa and New Hampshire.

Sanders' polling and fundraising have remained steady since he suffered a heart attack on Oct. 1. The 78-year-old senator continues to do well with younger voters, with the WBUR poll showing he has the support of 52 percent of Democratic voters under age 30.


more good news for Bernie at link

Hillary Clinton tears open wound with her attack on Sanders

The Hill


Hillary Clinton has torn open old wounds from her divisive 2016 battle with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), putting Democrats on edge about whether the party will be able to unite after a 2020 primary that has produced new fault lines between the center and the left.

Clinton’s attacks on Sanders — and her refusal to commit to endorsing him or campaigning for him if he wins the Democratic presidential nomination — infuriated progressives and raised new fears among Democrats about whether supporters for the losing candidates will turn out for the nominee against President Trump in November.

Those questions come as Sanders and his allies are ramping up their attacks against former Vice President Joe Biden, who they view as representative of the same “Clinton corporate wing” of the party that fumbled away the 2016 election to Trump.

Tensions are boiling over as polls find Sanders, Biden, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D) in a tight race in the final two weeks before the Iowa caucuses.


more at link

Sanders wins endorsement of California union

The Hill

BY TAL AXELROD - 01/21/20 06:05 PM EST

Sen. Bernie Sanders’s (I-Vt.) presidential campaign won the endorsement of a key California union Tuesday as it works to gin up support in the crucial Super Tuesday state.

Sanders earned the support of the University Professional and Technical Employees (UPTE) union, the nation’s largest Communications Workers of America (CWA) chapter. The group, which represents nearly 17,000 employees across the University of California system, announced its endorsement after 66 percent of its members decided to back Sanders in an internal vote.

“Senator Sanders has fought for labor for decades and empowers workers to fight for what is just and deserved,” said UPTE-CWA 9119 President Jamie McDole. “He stands against privatization of education, and as a union that represents nearly 17,000 higher education employees and educators on 13 public university and community college campuses, the fight is a reality for us. It’s time for a candidate who puts people first.”

The endorsement comes at a critical time for the union, which just reached a new agreement with the University of California system for salary increases, overtime pay and protections on health care premiums.


more at link

Bernie Sanders Hits Back At Joe Biden Over Social Security Claims


The former vice president has backed Social Security cuts in the past, but now supports a plan that would increase them.

By Daniel Marans and Sanjana Karanth

In a matter of a few hours on Tuesday evening, former Vice President Joe Biden released a digital video advertisement accusing Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), a Democratic presidential rival, of lying about Biden’s support for Social Security cuts, and Sanders shot back with a video using Biden’s own words from 1995 indicating support for benefit cuts.

The exchange has given Biden a chance to assure voters that he plans to increase Social Security benefits rather than cut them, despite his record of support for benefit cuts.

But it also puts Sanders in the kind of head-to-head brawl over Social Security he had been craving, and heartens his supporters who worried that rival Democrats were taking advantage of his deference to civility norms.

Biden began the evening with a one-minute video that simultaneously sought to dispel Sanders’ claims that Biden had historically supported Social Security benefit cuts and paint Sanders as a divisive figure willing to “launch dishonest attacks against fellow Democrats.”


more pesky facts at link
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