Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Berning Bushes in New Hampshire

I'm going to let others do the prognosticating tonight:

New Hampshire Primaries: Marcobot Does it Again, Trump Calls Cruz a “P***y” and Readying the Public for “Surprise” Results

Bernie wins by a comfortable margin, but not 20%, which fuels the notion that Hillary is catching up and has momentum going into the next primary. On the republican side, it’s pretty much a free for all. I expect that in spite of the poll numbers, Jeb Bush pulls out an amazing come from behind “victory” taking second place or even first. I also expect the other centrist contenders to do well also. I guess we will see how it turns out.

He's not the only one thinking Bush and I'm sure there is some connection between the two.

Snowy showdown awaits N.H. primary voters

"As the world’s eyes turn to a small New England state, it is a bellwether that rings true. Laconia has the political DNA to crack the code of Democratic and Republican winners statewide, but is most well-known for its motorcycle festival every summer, the biggest of its kind in the Northeast. 

See whom they host every year, and the world is watching? 

Honestly, I think a lot of them have way more important concerns at the moment. 

Residents may not be aware of their additional distinction for prognostication, but politically savvy locals note their city is socioeconomically diverse. The city of 16,000 people is sandwiched between Lake Winnipesaukee, home to wealthy vacationers like Mitt Romney, and Lake Winnisquam, which is better known for its blue-collar roots. “You have a mix of everywhere here,” said Patrick Hynes, a national Republican consultant who lives in Laconia. The area is so diverse, he said, “that you have people who see eye-to-eye with Bernie Sanders, those who like Donald Trump, and those who see eye-to-eye with the Bush family.” New Hampshire has only 13 cities and over 200 towns."  

Look at them preach diver$ity after being criticized for the lack of it (all white up there).

Record-breaking turnout predicted for New Hampshire primary

Easier to sell a rigged narrative that way.

Time to start counting them (I will be updating this blog periodically as I work through this post this evening before retiring. Maybe we will have a winner before I leave):


"Hillary Clinton’s team tries to downplay expectations in N.H." by Annie Linskey Globe Staff  February 08, 2016 

If she wins she's the comeback kid!

PORTSMOUTH, N.H. — Two days before the New Hampshire primary, Hillary Clinton focused her campaign on a pressing local public health issue — in Flint, Mich.

How shameless that she would use that crisis to for a political photo opportunity. 

That's sick!

The 1,400-mile campaign detour she took Sunday was designed to highlight her concern over the plight of families poisoned by lead in the municipal water, a play for African-American voters. The trip also turned attention away from New Hampshire, where she’s lagging in the polls.

“I am leaving here for just a few hours,” Clinton said at a Dunkin Donuts in Manchester Sunday morning shortly before leaving the state. “I’m going to take a quick break, go there, talk to them and then I’ll come back,” she promised.

Team Clinton once saw the Granite State as friendly territory — after all, voters here rescued her husband’s 1992 presidential campaign and injected energy into her 2008 contest.

I know the campaign makes the reporters call it that, but I find the term "Team Clinton" offensive.

The relationship with the state’s voters seems to have frayed quite a bit since then, with even some top supporters acknowledging that a win Tuesday looks nearly impossible.

Instead her rival, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, has led in this state for months, outspending her on the largest TV station here in recent weeks.

Like Clinton, Sanders is also looking past the Granite State. He, too, exited the campaign trail over the weekend, looping down to New York City to appear on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” alongside comedian Larry David.

By Sunday afternoon Sanders was back in the Granite State talking to voters, and he headlined a rally that attracted 1,200 at Great Bay Community College in Portsmouth.

“This is a loud and boisterous crowd,” Sanders said to people packing the college gym. “Thank you.”

His stump speech was interrupted periodically by chants of “Feel the Bern.” The address he gives is so similar each time that a good chunk of the audience seemed to know exactly what was coming next. When he introduced a well-worn anecdote about corporate welfare, audience members recognized it centered on Walmart and called out the name of the company.

Yes, he's already grown tiring and stale.

“You guys are smart!” Sanders said.

His audiences include people who’ve long been loyal to the Clinton family. That includes Joan Dion, a 71 year-old retired teacher who voted for Bill Clinton in 1992 and Hillary Clinton in 2008.

She still might back Clinton on Tuesday, but she swoons at Sanders’ message. “Bernie is just a breath of fresh air,” she said at an event in Rindge, where Sanders spoke over the weekend. “He has really struck onto something with the middle class.”

“She really has done it all and she is prepared to be president. But he has a message that I think is really important to support,” she said.

Clinton supporters say that part of her problem in the state is that she’s been subject to withering attacks from the GOP field, which has either ignored Sanders or at times sought to bolster his candidacy as a way of slowing Clinton’s march to the nomination.

She’s also found herself discussing issues far afield from her core message of pragmatic progressivism.

On Sunday, ABC News’s George Stephanopoulos pressed Clinton on whether she would release the transcripts of her paid speeches, following up on her pledge from Thursday’s debate that she would “look into” making them pubic.

This time she was dismissive of the idea.

“Let everybody who’s ever given a speech to any private group under any circumstances release them,” Clinton said on the Sunday morning program. “We’ll all release them at the same time.”

That sure is some arrogance coming through considering the corrupt Clinton Foundation $hake-down racket, as if she knew the result of the vote already.

Former president Bill Clinton stood in for his wife Sunday afternoon, pumping up volunteers in Keene and Milford.

Now I'm disgusted.

Also a slew of surrogates spread out across the state for her — though some of them acknowledged Clinton’s route in New Hampshire is difficult.

“What she has said multiple times is even if people aren’t with her, aren’t fighting for her right now, she will always be fighting for them,” Governor Maggie Hassan said in an interview.

However, she added a Clinton talking point. “The New Hampshire primary tends to favor neighbors because it’s an easy state to come into,” she said, recalling that she frequently saw Sanders dip into the state in 2014.

Hassan added a note of optimism for the Clinton team: “Polls can go up and down and I have learned a long time ago that I should never predict what happens in a New Hampshire primary.”

I usually do, but not tonight.


How selfie centered.

"N.H. voters try to decide as bold rhetoric changes primary" by Sarah Schweitzer Globe Staff  February 08, 2016

SALEM, N.H. — Peg Donahue is a feng shui consultant who spends her days using the ancient Chinese art to bring flow and balance to homes and businesses.

In her political taste this election cycle, though, the 59-year-old is all about disruption.

The presidential candidates most appealing to Donahue are the verbal bomb-throwers, the men saying what she thinks needs saying, she said over coffee here last week. Her vote will go to US Senator Bernie Sanders, who “maybe can’t get everything done, but he can start chipping away.” Yet she’s grateful, too, to businessman Donald Trump for giving an outlet for feelings buried too long.

With hours until the primary, New Hampshire voters are entranced by candidates who have gotten behind the big and the bold. It’s a scrambled political world — one that, at least in New Hampshire, looks almost nothing like the one people imagined back, say, a year ago, even six months ago, when Hillary Clinton and former Florida governor Jeb Bush were expected to run away with their parties’ contests.

Four dozen interviews across the state over the weekend — from Peterborough to Durham, from Keene to Pittsfield — revealed an electorate still casting about, torn between candidates saying what they yearn to hear, and candidates whom they might have voted for before the rupturing force of this election.

Both Trump and Sanders retain leads in the polls, including a Suffolk University/Boston Globe survey released Friday that showed Sanders with a 9- point lead in the Democratic race and Trump up by 10 points on the GOP side. But some 33 percent of Republicans and 13 percent of Democrats said they just might change their minds.

“Sanders is speaking about things that are not usually in the conversation, and so he impresses me for that,” Andrew Brescia, a 56-year-old teacher, said as he bought pasta at a specialty food store in Peterborough in the southwestern part of the state.

“In a way, he’s like Trump,” he said.

So is he considering Trump?

“I’m alternating between embarrassment and disgust (for him).”

So Sanders then, right?

“For a while I was embarrassed by Hillary, and now I’m more encouraged that she might get things done, whereas Bernie Sanders, I’m not so sure,” he said.

To hear voters tell it, there are plenty of candidates saying what voters have heard before. These candidates are trundling into town halls, taking questions, doing what’s been asked of them for years by the New Hampshire electorate.

And while that’s all fine and well, it’s not enough this time around.

“I’m very impressed with the way Trump has run his campaign. It’s quite remarkable. He quite obviously is very tuned into what resonates with his base,” said Todd Campbell, a 46-year-old stock market analyst in the college town of Durham on the Seacoast.

Campbell supports Clinton because he likes her fiscal positions, but his 13-year-old son is at him to vote Sanders, and he gets it.

“Sanders has been pleasantly surprising only because he has such passion,” Campbell said.

At Lindy’s Diner in Keene, not far from the border of Sanders’ home state of Vermont, Christopher Mogridge, 66, a loss control consultant and likely Sanders supporter, said it was fair to give Trump his due for playing “a useful role” in getting people to talk about immigration.

Even some hard-core party loyalists here mused on the attributes of the loudest voices on the other side.

In Pittsfield, a blue-collar town east of Concord, Cindy Thompson was having a bite at Jitters Cafe on Saturday with her husband. She’s “very conservative” and disagrees with Sanders’ notions, including free college. “I’ve been paying student debt for years,” she said. “What are you going to do for me?”

Thompson, who works for the National Guard, was bouncing between Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio.

Yet the self-described democratic socialist was not without appeal for her.

“I kind of like the way [Sanders] carries himself and presents himself, and some of the ads he puts together without a lot of funding are impressive.”

Rich Daigle, a 73-year-old who retired from computer manufacturing, reflects as well as anyone the fundamental shift that marks the 2016 New Hampshire primary. Over lunch at Manchester’s Puritan Backroom, he said the former leading candidates left him cold.

“I saw that clip of Jeb Bush, who I think is a great guy, but where he asked the crowd to clap,” he said, referring to Bush’s request of an audience in Hanover last week to applaud after he called for stronger national security. “I mean, if you’re that low-energy that you can’t get people riled up, I’m not sure how you can be president.”

He continued: “At the same time, when I hear Hillary start to rail on her commercials — do we want to hear this for the next four years? Hillary’s too much and Bush is not enough.”

His answer: Trump. Possibly.

Sitting nearby, eating chicken fingers with her two teenage daughters, Jacqueline Coe, a social studies teacher in Bow, a suburb of Concord, said she was unimpressed by a Clinton supporter who launched a women’s-issues-centered pitch when he came to her door. The focus hit her afterward, when her Sanders-supporting daughters pointed it out.

“As if I’m not going to care about anything else,” she said.

That is such a good point. The propaganda pre$$ often acts if a voting bloc is completely monolithic. It serves the agenda-pushing narrative.

She’ll be voting for Sanders.

To be sure, Clinton supporters abounded. Sierra Fredrickson a 39-year-old aesthetician from Pelham: “She’s in a solid position to get things done. Other candidates don’t have the same connections and ties to get policies and bills passed.” And Marilyne Bushnell, an 85-year-old resident at a Concord retirement community: “She knows enough about what’s going on and how things get done.”

But in an election in which voters have proven stubbornly resistant to being cornered, there are fewer natural constituencies.

Chris Cox is a 22-year-old political science major at the University of New Hampshire. He’s a registered Democrat and likes Sanders’ push for college affordability. But there are other issues, like foreign policy and the recent Paris attacks, that he said are likely to transcend.

“I have some inklings of traits I find desirable,” he said.

It ends there for Cox. He’s still undecided.

In these waning days of the campaign, roadside signs urging “Jeb!” and “Bernie for President” are mud-specked after recent melts.

But primary fatigue appears low.

“It’s like a circus, a three-ring circus,” said Judi Waldert, a 69-year-old middle-of-the-road Republican who has seen eight GOP candidates. 

I said that about the GOP debate the other night!

There’s fascination with the uncertainty of the primary’s outcome, as always. What’s different this year is the large numbers of voters confounded and riveted by their own uncertainty.

“I am in the bind that many, many people are,” said Margaret Warner, a 75-year-old retired librarian working the donation table at the Peterborough Unitarian Universalist Church’s monthly open mike/folk music on Friday night.

“I am dying to vote for Bernie,” she said. “I also think that Hillary has a wider exposure of experience with the Department of State. So I honestly am not sure what I’m going to do on Tuesday.”


Bottom of the hour check.

"Clinton gets real, Sanders stays on message" by Annie Linskey and Akilah Johnson Globe Staff  February 09, 2016

MANCHESTER, N.H. — Hillary Clinton, often accused of being isolated and in a bubble, was freer giving interviews and interacting more directly with critics on Monday. She debuted a more forward-looking campaign message, took on a heckler, and mopped up rumors of a campaign shake-up.

Bernie Sanders, with the reputation for being less controlled than Clinton, operated with military precision Monday and didn’t deviate from the message he’s been pushing.

When voters cast ballots in Tuesday’s Democratic primary, they face a choice between an outsider who has long been dismissed as a gadfly and a woman who has navigated the corridors of global power. And at the moment, the momentum in the Granite State favors the outsider.

“I think we’re going to do just fine tomorrow,” Sanders said at an afternoon rally in Manchester where he exhibited confidence befitting his place at the top of the polls.

Clinton sounded a little more hesitant at her event, thanking supporters and then addressing undecided voters. “To all of those who are still shopping, I hope I can close the deal,” she said to a standing-room-only crowd at Manchester Community College. 

I find that metaphor offensive, as if we are shopping for a product and can go by another if we don't like it. We are stuck with these cretins whoever wins.

The former secretary of state’s operation spent some of the crucial final hours addressing a report published by Politico that her campaign is on the verge of an overhaul.

“We’re going to take stock, but it’s going to be the campaign that I’ve got,” Clinton said to MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow in response to the report.

Later, her campaign manager, John Podesta, posted more definitive remarks on Twitter. “There is zero truth to what you may be reading. It’s wrong. Hillary stands behind her team, period.”

Clinton barely pulled out a win in Iowa, finishing a quarter of a percentage point ahead of Sanders in what the Democratic party called the closest Iowa caucus result in history.

And it is likely Bernie won (but he doesn't care, so....)

She faces even more difficult odds in New Hampshire, where some polls show Sanders ahead by double digits.

He will win by single digits.

Already Clinton has looked beyond the state, taking a 1,400-mile round-trip detour to Flint, Mich., on Sunday where she spoke from the pulpit of an African-American church about the local public health emergency caused by lead in the city’s drinking water.

I commented about that above; campaign must have told reporters to pitch that again.

On Monday, she addressed hundreds of New Hampshire voters with a new, more optimistic message. She asked the throngs of people who had waited in the morning snow “to imagine” the country as they want it to be. Her closing pitch: She was the person to turn those hopes into reality.


Sanders, in contrast, stuck to his stump speech Monday.

Pulled a Rubio, did he??

Clinton, too, heard shouts from the audience, but not all were supporting her message.

“You take their money! You take their money!” yelled a man from Connecticut when Clinton mentioned her plan to regulate Wall Street banks.

Clinton soldiered on, without acknowledging the man at first.

Her husband, former president Bill Clinton, spent time trying to regain balance and hit a note of remorse Monday, a day after unleashing harsh criticism of Sanders, saying he wished he could be more detached from the race.

“The hotter this election gets, the more I wish I was just a former president and just for a few months not the spouse of the next one,” he said in a raspy voice. “You know, I have to be careful what I say.”

Yeah, well, I wrote f*** him in the margin of my paper.

On Sunday he had accused some of Sanders’ fervent supporters — known dismissively among Clinton supporters as ‘Bernie bros’ — of “sexist” behavior when they launch online attacks against Clinton backers.


We will get to them momentarily, and the absolute garbage he's spewing (as usual).

He told a story of a female Clinton supporter who posted supportive messages online and was, he said: “subject to vicious trolling and attacks that are literally too profane — often not to mention sexist — to repeat.”

He's profane, and it is a straw man of a false flag, folks, so they can discredit Bernie and wave this around at you.

Soros fund it, or.... ?????

Still, on Monday, the former president drew a contrast between the young people who support his wife and those who are backing Sanders.

“They’re just as mad as the ones who aren’t,” Clinton said. “It’s just that they know they have to translate their anger into answers and their resentment into results.”

By voting for war-criminal $cum like you and her?

Sanders’ campaign has collected a ragtag following of liberal activist groups and artists that are drafting off his popularity.

In Manchester on Monday, an artist from Brooklyn who was not part of the Sanders campaign sold long-sleeved T-shirts with the senator’s likeness on them for $50. (Proceeds benefited the artist.)

Oh, I $ee! The Sanders people just a bunch of profiteers, and is that legal?

Organizers with Stamp Stampede — a group that pushes people to stamp messages related to campaign finance reform on US currency — set up shop outside Sanders’ rally in the snow and took donations.

I've seen those stamps on a few bills.

“We're definitely riding on his coattails,” said Keith Yergeau, an organizer with the group.

Smells like controlled-op crap.


Time for another vote check.

Women won it for her:

"Hillary Clinton supporters are counting on their ground game to whittle the gap between her and Bernie Sanders. A come-from-behind New Hampshire win saved Clinton in 2008. In 2016, the best case scenario seems to be a second place finish within single digits of Sanders, which Clinton would try to claim as a “comeback.”

Bernie is ahead big now, but I suspect the margin will slowly narrow all night long before he wins by 9.

"Gloria Steinem, Madeleine Albright scold women backing Sanders" by Alan Rappeport New York Times   February 07, 2016

Oh, a war criminal and CIA agent are scolding you young ladies!

NEW YORK — Hillary Clinton’s older feminist supporters have a message for young women who are not backing her candidacy: Shame on you.

Women were expected to help power Clinton to the Democratic nomination, but as she struggles to overcome a tough challenge from Senator Bernie Sanders, her support among them has been surprisingly shaky.

Young women, in particular, have been drawn to the septuagenarian socialist from Vermont, and the dynamic has disappointed feminists who dreamed of Clinton’s election as a capstone to the movement.

Two feminist icons of Clinton’s generation made their frustration known over the weekend, calling on young women who view Sanders as their candidate to essentially grow up and get with the program.

What, they aren't having any sex?

While introducing Clinton at a rally in New Hampshire on Saturday, Madeleine Albright, the first female secretary of state, talked about the importance of electing the first female president. In a dig at the “revolution” that Sanders often speaks of, she said that the first female commander in chief would be a true revolution. And she scolded any woman who felt otherwise.

“We can tell our story of how we climbed the ladder, and a lot of you younger women think it’s done. It’s not done,” Albright said of the broader fight for women’s equality. “There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other!”

Related:  Vile and Hate-filled Madeleine Albright Tells Young Women “There is a special place in hell” for Those Who Don’t Support Hillary 

He says "there’s a special place in hell for people who kill children in order to loot oil from other nations be they republican or democrat. There’s a special place in prison for them as well," and the scolding apparently didn't go over well with the social media crowd.

Clinton laughed, slowly clapped her hands, and took a large sip of her beverage.


In an attempt to explain Clinton’s struggles with female voters in New Hampshire, Albright said during an NBC interview Saturday that women could be judgmental toward one another and that they occasionally forgot how hard someone like Clinton had to work to get where she is.


Albright’s remarks were not the only instance of an older generation of feminists frowning on younger women who do not consider the potential election of Clinton a special moment.

Gloria Steinem, one of the most famous spokeswomen of the feminist movement, took the sentiment a step further Friday in an interview with talk show host Bill Maher.

Real Time, I missed it!

Explaining how women tend to become more active in politics as they become older, she suggested younger women were just backing Sanders so that they could meet young men.



“When you’re young, you’re thinking, ‘Where are the boys? The boys are with Bernie,’ ” Steinem said.


SeeCollege students backing Clinton are frustrated with ‘Bernie Bros’ 

Those girls don't seem to be flocking, and in this age of increasingly open sexual identity, can that old stodgy way of looking at the world be true?

Realizing that this was potentially offensive, Maher recoiled. “Oh. Now if I said that, ‘They’re for Bernie because that’s where the boys are,’ you’d swat me.”

But Steinem laughed it off, replying, “How well do you know me?”


Better than you think.

Many female supporters of Sanderstook issue with the remarks on social media, and Steinem’s comments, along with those of Albright, could set off an intense debate within the feminist movement. For many older women, Clinton represents the final and best chance to send one of their own to the White House, while young women think that should not be a decisive factor.

With backlash growing, Steinem issued an apology for her comments Sunday morning. 

That's not the first time she has been offen$ive.

I stopped reading there so the rest is virgin territory that we will both be experiencing it for the first time. I'm so excited!


“I misspoke on the Bill Maher show recently, and apologize for what’s been misinterpreted as implying young women aren’t serious in their politics,” she said in a post on Facebook. “Whether they gravitate to Bernie or Hillary, young women are activist and feminist in greater numbers than ever before.” 

So she didn't really apologize and its the victim's fault. WOW!

It's 8:03 and time for a vote check.

Wow, Bernie's only up 11???

According to a USA Today/Rock the Vote poll, Democratic and independent women ages 18 to 34 prefer Sanders to Clinton, 50 percent to 31 percent.

In her 2008 campaign, Clinton played down the history-making nature of her candidacy. But this time, she brings it up regularly. The music at her rallies often rings of women’s empowerment, and she frequently discusses the meaning of being a grandmother.

During her debate with Sanders last week, she pushed back against his suggestion that she was “establishment” by reminding voters that her election would signal the end of a long road for women.

Clinton’s campaign has recruited young female celebrities like Lena Dunham, creator and star of the HBO show “Girls,” and singer Demi Lovato to build a following among millennial women.

Even young women who would like to see a female president elected someday do not necessarily want to base their vote on that single factor.

What, what, what? 

Women might have OTHER CONCERNS than GENDER?

At a rally for Clinton in Iowa in late January, Jaimee and Matthew Warbasse brought their 7-month-old daughter to see the candidate who could become the first female president. Women’s rights were so important to them that they named their child Emmeline, after British suffragist Emmeline Pankhurst.

Still, Jaimee Warbasse said she was unsure that she would support Clinton, as she also found Sanders appealing.

“What pulls me to Hillary is that she’s a woman, and a strong woman at that,” she said. “But in the end it’s about who is going to beat the Republicans.”

That means she votes Clinton, right?


Related: The Urgency of Opposing a Hillary Clinton Presidency 

That is why I'm thinking of voting Sanders on March 1.

Now for the other side of the aisle:


"Trump’s debate claims on Iraq, China called into question" by Glenn Kessler Washington Post   February 08, 2016

WASHINGTON — Donald Trump continues to say he opposed the Iraq War ahead of the invasion in 2003, a statement he repeated during Saturday’s Republican debate in New Hampshire. But the evidence is slim that he ever warned against it publicly.

‘‘I’m the only one up here, when the war in Iraq — I was the one who said, don’t go, don’t do it, you’re going to destabilize the Middle East. So I’m not the one with the trigger,’’ Trump said during the televised debate.

An extensive review of news coverage before and during the invasion yielded just two references to Trump and his views on the war.

The first was in a March 25, 2003 article in The Washington Post, five days after the invasion began. At the Oscars after-party, Trump reportedly said: ‘‘If they keep fighting it the way they did today, they’re going to have a real problem.’’

In the weekend after the invasion, Trump said on Fox News: ‘‘I think the market’s going to go up like a rocket!’’

Trump clearly was outspoken about his opposition starting in 2004, the year he reportedly considered a presidential bid but instead launched his popular TV series, ‘‘The Apprentice.”

The most direct criticism of the Iraq War by Trump was in an August 2004 cover story in Esquire magazine.

‘‘Look at the war in Iraq and the mess that we’re in,’’ Trump said in the interview. “I would never have handled it that way. Does anybody really believe that Iraq is going to be a wonderful democracy where people are going to run down to the voting box and gently put in their ballot and the winner is happily going to step up to lead the county? C’mon.’’

“Two minutes after we leave, there’s going to be a revolution, and the meanest, toughest, smartest, most vicious guy will take over. And he’ll have weapons of mass destruction, which Saddam didn’t have,’’ he added.

Isn't that great? 

The war pre$$ scouring the record for whether what Trump said was true regarding Iraq. 

If only that had been so self-reflective when they peddled all that WMD crap on their font pages.

Trump also talked during the debate about how China should rein in North Korea. “They have total, absolute control, practically, of North Korea,’’ he said.

While China has leverage over its client state, given that much of Pyongyang’s international trade is with Beijing, how much leverage is subject to debate. Moreover, China is often reluctant to use that leverage, because officials view North Korea as a useful buffer state with South Korea. A collapse of North Korea — and reunification on the Korean Peninsula — is not currently viewed in China’s interests.

Every American administration has dreamed that China will push North Korea to halt its nuclear ambitions, but China always disappoints.

The limits of China’s leverage are best illustrated by the fact that North Korea has repeatedly tested a nuclear device despite Beijing’s vehement objections.

The unwillingness of China to use even its limited leverage was demonstrated by a New York Times article that appeared the morning of the debate, detailing how China sidestepped United Nations sanctions prohibiting luxury goods to North Korea in order to build a ski resort for North Korea’s leaders.

In Monday’s editions, The Times reported on China’s dismay about the missile launch

Veteran Chinese diplomat Wu Dawei was unable last week to persuade the country’s leader, Kim Jong Un, to back down, The Times said. Not only did Kim send Wu home empty-handed, he ordered the launch a day earlier than expected, causing it to fall on an important Chinese holiday, the eve of the Lunar New Year. Despite the repeated humiliation of his country, there are no immediate signs that President Xi Jinping of China will radically change his country’s policy toward its traditional ally.

I will be covering the situation in Korea after I've completed this post.


Speaking of false claims or distortions:

"Donald Trump stands by comments on waterboarding" by Matt Viser Globe Staff  February 08, 2016

PLYMOUTH, N.H. — Donald Trump, who has already proposed a ban on Muslims entering the United States, has injected another highly controversial subject into the presidential campaign debate on terrorism: harsh interrogation techniques.

Did he?

Trump on Sunday repeated his statement in Saturday night’s debate that he would seek to employ harsher interrogation than waterboarding, which many critics define as torture. He defended the position in interviews and used the prospect of subjecting terror suspects to harsher questioning to whip up a crowd at a rally in Plymouth.

“How did you like my answer when I talked about waterboarding?” he asked as the crowd burst into loud applause near the start of a speech in Plymouth. “Waterboarding is OK. And if we could get much worse than waterboarding, that would be OK, too.”

The crowd again cheered loudly.

I'm not.

Trump has maintained his front-runner status in the GOP primary contest with proposals for mass deportations and building a wall on the Mexican border. He also wants to temporarily block all Muslims from entering the United States to prevent potential terrorists from slipping through US immigration safeguards. Now he has reintroduced America’s debate on aggressive questioning, and the fight over what constitutes torture, in the final days before Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary.

Waterboarding came up in the debate sponsored by ABC on Saturday. When candidates were asked by moderators about their viewsTrump said.... 

So he didn't inject it!

During an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday, Trump refused to say what he meant by allowing practices that were “a hell of a lot worse.”

“I’m not going to define it to you on this program,” Trump replied. “But I would be very much in favor of going beyond waterboarding.”

“It wouldn’t bother me even a little bit,” he added.

Waterboarding is a practice of simulated drowning that President George W. Bush’s administration authorized in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Some US intelligence officials have asserted the practice helped prevent further attacks, but that remains in dispute. For many Americans and political leaders, it marks a dark chapter in recent US history.

During Bush’s second term, he banned the practice. President Obama, in one of his first acts after being sworn into office in 2009, issued similar bans on waterboarding and other forms of what many consider torture.

An Associated Press poll conducted in August 2013 found that Americans were almost evenly divided on whether torture could be justified with suspected terrorists. But the polling also found that Republicans are far more supportive than Democrats. Some 66 percent of Republicans supported the use of “harsh interrogation techniques” — compared with 53 percent of independents and 39 percent of Democrats.

Trump’s opponents have attempted to take a hard line on interrogation techniques, while not going as far as Trump.

Senator Ted Cruz said on Saturday night that waterboarding “does not meet the generally recognized definition of torture,” but added, “I would not bring it back in any sort of widespread use.”

The crowd laughed when he said that, and so did I, because it means he would bring it back!

Btw, Ted, it IS CONSIDERED TORTURE everywhere but HERE!

Jeb Bush, whose brother’s administration was gripped in controversy over the issue, has said he would not rule out waterboarding.

What if he is worse than his brother?

Senator Marco Rubio largely avoided the question when asked during an interview on Sunday.

“We shouldn’t really be discussing specific tactics because it allows a terrorist — literally — to plan for how they’ll be interrogated,” Rubio said on ABC News’ “This Week.”

Rubio simply wants to keep torture secret. All he need so is check Army training manuals online! They torture soldiers in case of capture.

Trump has seized on angst among many Americans over terrorism and killings in the Middle East, as the Islamic State has broadcast beheadings. 

So says the Jewi$h war pre$$ that has pushed all the Islamophobia!!!!!

The casino and real estate mogul, at his rally Sunday, referenced James Foley, the kidnapped journalist slain by the Islamic State in August 2014. He grew up about 35 miles away in Wolfeboro, N.H.

“We are living in medieval times,” Trump told the crowd here. “There’s never been a time like this. I used to read in medieval times they’d chop your head off. Even in the wild west, you’d get shot. They’d shoot you, but they wouldn’t chop your head off. So now they chop your head off.”

“I said to myself, ‘Waterboarding is peanuts compared with what they’re doing,’ ” he added.

The Donald believes the lopping lies?

As those who attended his rally here began filing out of a gymnasium at Plymouth State University, many said they liked Trump’s message. It was clear. It was bold. He didn’t mince words.

“If the military uses waterboarding to get information, I don’t have a problem with it,” said Gene Meier, a 53-year-old from New Hampton, N.H., who is “80 percent sure” he’ll vote for Trump. “It’s not like they’re putting a finger in a trap and cutting it off.”

Nearby Faye Daley sat on a bench, smiling after seeing Trump for the first time.

“These other countries cut our heads off,” the 77-year-old from Bridgton, Maine, said. “Waterboarding is quite calm.”

Then perhaps you wouldn't mind taking a ride. 

Good God, these people the Globe finds!!

But not far away was Will Hopkins, a 35-year-old US Army infantryman who fought in the Iraq War. He came to the rally hoping to press Trump on views that he thinks are Islamaphobic.

“It’s horrible. Torture is completely unacceptable. Torture is not in the spirit of what America means to me,” said Hopkins, an independent from Belmont, N.H. “It’s completely barbaric. It’s completely unacceptable. It’s completely un-American.”

I agree.


Related: Feeling Sorry For Trump 

Time for a (8:25) vote check.

Trump's New Hampshire Card 

So far so good.

TSA Conducting “Bag Checks” At Donald Trump Event

US increases screening of airport and airline employees 

They say you can't get on the plane but then they say you can.

I'm told Rubio is still on a roll:

"GOP hopefuls build on, recover from Saturday debate" by Stephanie Ebbert Globe Staff  February 07, 2016

BEDFORD, N.H. — Facing criticism for clinging to his talking points during the final GOP debate before Tuesday’s primary, Senator Marco Rubio refused to toss his script Sunday before hundreds of voters at New Hampshire town hall meetings.

“I said this last night, and I’m going to say it again. Barack Obama is trying to change America,” Rubio told a crowd in a packed town hall forum at McKelvie Intermediate School.

Rubio’s strong third-place finish in last week’s Iowa caucuses has made him a top target of his Republican rivals fighting to survive the New Hampshire primary. With businessman Donald Trump continuing to dominate polls, and Senator Ted Cruz winning Iowa, former Florida governor Jeb Bush and governors Chris Christie of New Jersey and John Kasich of Ohio are grappling with Rubio for a foothold in a crowded GOP race. 

Christie is under 8% right now, and I think he and anyone below him call it quits tonight.

When Christie attacked him during the debate for hiding behind talking points, Rubio repeated himself again nearly verbatim. By Sunday morning, hecklers from a Democratic super PAC were dressed in makeshift robot costumes outside Rubio’s Londonderry town hall meeting, and some New Hampshire residents were raising concerns about Rubio’s viability as a nominee.

Is that why he is in fifth behind Cruz? 

Maybe Marco is done tonight, too.

“I think he’s exposing a weakness in Rubio,” Bedford Republican Nancy Brodeur said of Christie’s attacks during the debate. “I worry about Rubio. I think he could potentially be a Republican Obama, a senator with not a lot of experience.”

But some — including Brodeur’s husband, who was leaning toward Rubio before Saturday night’s performance — came away from his Sunday town hall reassured.

Yeah, he “took a bruising.”

8:30 UPDATE: Trump and Sanders have been declared winners!!

Wow, that was fast!

Two days before New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary, the Republican candidates were pointed in their criticism of their rivals.

“Did Marco do well last night?” Trump asked a crowd packed into a gymnasium on the campus of Plymouth State University.

The crowd responded with a resounding: “Noooooo!”

Trump also went after Bush several times in his hour-long speech, at one point mocking him for using his 90-year-old mother to drive up support. Former first lady Barbara Bush walked in the snow to campaign for her son, Jeb Bush, last week. That was the same day Trump did not return to New Hampshire because of the winter weather. 

His plane had trouble in Arkansas, my bad.

“Poor, poor, poor Jeb Bush who brings out his mother because he needed help,” Trump said. “ ‘Mommy, please come — walk in the snow, Mom.’ I like his mother, though. You gotta do it on your own, OK? You gotta do it on your own.”

With many people still choosing between candidates in the crowded field, the campaigns’ New Hampshire events were flooded with curious voters Sunday.

“I can’t believe you’re all here,” Kasich told a crowd of more than 400 who packed inside Concord High School on Sunday afternoon. “It’s just little old me, folks.”

The self-declared prince of light and hope.

Kasich touted his performance as a job creator in Ohio and before that, as the congressman who balanced the federal budget.

Jeffrey Phillips, 53, an independent voter from Concord, called Kasich “the most moderate and sensible,” and said he showed during Saturday night’s debate that “he could do the job” as president, Phillips said.

“I think he could maybe pull off second place,” he said of Kasich’s chances in New Hampshire. “I think there are a lot of people who are undecided and worried about Trump.”

How did he know, and not enough worry!

In Peterborough, meanwhile, Cruz touched on many of his central themes — repealing the Affordable Care Act, abolishing the IRS, increasing border security, and preserving states’ rights — while taking frequent swipes at Democrats.

Cruz also referenced Saturday’s debate, in which Rubio, Bush, and Christie said they would support opening Selective Service registration to women. Cruz called that “immoral” and a nod to political correctness.

That must have been in the third hour.

“Political correctness is dangerous, and the idea that we would draft our daughters to forcibly bring them into the military and put them in close combat, I think is wrong,” he said.


I'm FOR TED there for a number of reasons, one being equality = participation in the global killing machine and the other being the tremendous gift women have to deliver life.

Rubio, whose strong speaking skills helped vault him to prominence in his party, needed to recover ground after stumbling in Saturday’s debate.

“Let’s dispel once and for all this notion that Barack Obama doesn’t know what he’s doing,” Rubio said during the debate at Saint Anselm College. “He knows exactly what he’s doing.”

I heard that.

Moments later, when he repeated the line almost verbatim, Christie pounced: “There it is! The memorized 25-second speech! There it is, everybody!”

Looks like the N.H. script writers forgot about him.

Rubio attracted overflow crowds to events that his campaign said had already been moved to larger venues.

“We couldn’t figure out how to make pancakes for 800 people,” Rubio told the jam-packed crowd in the Londonderry High School cafeteria. At each town hall meeting, he gave similar speeches, took several questions from the crowd, then stayed for pictures and autographs with individual voters, some of whom were giddy to see him.

They just didn't show up at the polls.

Rather than retreating from his script, Rubio doubled down on it. In Londonderry, he argued that President Obama’s actions are not an accident resulting from his inexperience but intentional efforts to move the country in a different direction against its will.

“Everything that makes us special is in trouble,” Rubio said.

“This is a concerted, deliberate organized effort to change America,” said Rubio, who added that voters are “going to have to explain to our children why we got to grow up in the greatest country in the world and they did not.”

He says that as a member of the Gang of 8 pushing immigration in furtherance of a North American Union!

Kathy Elkherj of Manchester said she was upset with Christie over his attacks and that she hoped Rubio’s supporters would not be deterred by the debate.

“It didn’t change my mind,” she said.

But it had concerned her husband.

“I wasn’t too happy last night,” Nick Elkherj acknowledged. “I wish he was prepared.”

But he came away from Rubio’s event in Bedford sold, wearing a Rubio hat and toting campaign paraphernalia.

“I was almost there,” he said. “But I really wanted to hear him firsthand.” 



"GOP rivals make final appeals in New Hampshire" by Matt Viser Globe Staff  February 09, 2016

MANCHESTER, N.H. – Front-runner Donald Trump, who has dominated Granite State polls for months, took the rare step of sleeping in the state, rather than jetting home to New York. He also met with voters in intimate town hall meetings.

“We’re coming to the end of a beautiful, beautiful journey,” Trump declared, stopping at the Londonderry Lions Club.

The free-for-all that has been this GOP primary featured a fresh tag-team battle, this time between Trump and Jeb Bush, who exchanged words throughout the day as their campaign buses rumbled through the flurries. Trump lashed out repeatedly at Bush, calling him “pathetic,” “less than an average guy,” “a total stiff,” and a “spoiled child.”

“We have to get rid of the Bushes of the world,” Trump said at an Elks Lodge in Salem.

I like that!

On Monday night, during a closing rally in Manchester, Trump criticized Ted Cruz as not being sufficiently strong on his support for waterboarding. When a woman in the audience chimed in with a a crude word for the female anatomy, Trump repeated the word into the microphone, laughed, and jokingly said he was going to give the woman “a reprimand.”

In Nashua, before a Rotary Club that his father addressed a generation ago as vice president, Bush called Trump one of those “politicians that push down a group of people to make themselves look better.”

Speaking at the Nashua Country Club, Bush said: “Donald Trump organizes his campaign around disparaging people as a sign of strength. It’s not strong to insult women, it’s not strong to castigate Hispanics, it’s not strong to ridicule the disabled.”

But Bush on Monday also launched new attacks on Governor John Kasich of Ohio, posting an online ad criticizing him on issues such as his willingness to expand Medicaid and his support for an assault-weapons ban. Kasich, who on Sunday called on all campaigns to take down negative ads, has tried to keep a sunny demeanor and avoid criticizing his opponents.

Bush’s attack on Kasich highlighted the intense battle for the second-place slot between Bush, Kasich, Chris Christie, Marco Rubio, and Cruz.

Apparently didn't work; looks like Kasich got second.

Although Bush has the money to continue, he, Kasich, and Christie have staked their campaigns on a strong New Hampshire performance and, absent one, probably will face calls to bow out.

I think Bush stays in. He finished in the top 4.

Trump, who boasts about his lead in the polls and calls himself a winner, is counting on a Granite State victory. Anything less would raise serious questions about his viability. 

No questions about viability need be raised then. They couldn't steal this one from him.

Trump enters as the dominant front-runner, carrying a three-to-one lead over his next closest opponent in many polls. But Tuesday could be a test of his campaign operation, and whether his supporters are dedicated enough to brave the snow and get to the polls. Trump also led in Iowa polls before the caucus, but he lost.

They passed the test then.

“I don’t care if it snows or not, we got to vote,” Trump said in Londonderry. “I’m not asking for your money. I’m asking for your vote.” 

Like he said, he doesn't need your money.

Rubio has tried to run a national race, and appeared to be on the rise after an impressive third-place finish in Iowa, but then hurt himself with a poor debate performance Saturday night.

Christie mocked him. Bush’s campaign aides pumped their fists, sensing new hope in a state he has to perform well in. On Monday, Democrats joined the fray, sending supporters to a Rubio event in Manchester dressed in robot suits made of cardboard and reading, “Marco Roboto.”

“I think you saw on Saturday night, that when the lights get really bright . . . you either shine or you melt,” Christie said on factory floor at Gilchrist Metal Fabricating Co. in Hudson. “We cannot afford to have a president who melts.”

During an evening rally at Nashua Community College, where roughly 500 spectators gathered in a gymnasium, Rubio defended his debate skills and defiantly repeated the rote lines he uttered multiple times Saturday night.

While sitting for a Fox News interview before taking the stage, protesters unfurled a banner behind him and began chanting “No record! No experience! No worries!”

A brief shoving match erupted between a protestor and a Rubio supporter before the men were escorted away. Rubio staff used campaign signs to shield the spectacle from scores of media cameras that rushed to document the uproar as the protestors were forced out.

It's looking like a staged incident, folks.

It wasn’t the only moment of conflict during the day.

Rubio, while stopping at the Puritan Restaurant in Manchester where his son nibbled on chicken fingers, got into a contentious conversation with Timothy Kierstead, a New Hampshire resident who is gay.

“Why do you want to put me back in the closet?” asked Kierstead, according to pool reports of the encounter. “I don’t,” Rubio responded. “You can live any way you want. I just believe marriage is between one man and one woman.’’

Because he is in there, too?

“By God,” replied Kierstead, adding: “You separate church and state.”

The exchange eventually ended with Rubio saying “I respect your view” and moving on.

Don't want to draw too much attention to the issue.

Cruz went on a three-county campaign blitz. During a stop in Raymond, he was interrupted by two protesters, wielding mirrors and a wooden cross, yelling “He’s possessed by a demon!”

Cruz suggested the only thing he was possessed by is a desire to build a coalition of conservative Republicans.

“Commit today, pick up the phone, and call your mom,” Cruz told a crowd of more than 300 people at Turbocam, a turbo-machinery plant in the rural town of Barrington. “It’s actually a good idea to call your mom, anyway.”

Excuse me, readers. I'm going to go make a call.


Time for another (9:00) vote check.

How Kasich finished second:

"Kasich appeals to independent voters in N.H. push" by Jim O’Sullivan Globe Staff  February 09, 2016

WINDHAM, N.H. — Governor John Kasich of Ohio, banking on a solid finish here to distinguish himself from a crowded field, made an overt appeal Monday to the state’s large and influential swath of independent voters.

It is not an untested strategy in New Hampshire, where more than 40 percent of the state’s voters are not registered with a party. On Tuesday, these voters can pull either party’s ballot to cast their vote in the primary.

But Kasich, along with Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey and former Florida governor Jeb Bush and others, is jockeying to become the GOP’s alternative to more conservative candidates, such as billionaire Donald Trump and Senator Ted Cruz of Texas. Polls show several of the contenders from the ranks of governors clustered tightly in the polls.

Kasich joked to a woman in Manchester this weekend, “I ought to be running in a Democrat primary, I got more Democrats for me.”

Yeah, okay, fine. 

That means New Hampshire is an anomaly and there should be no way this guy wins the nomination.

On Monday, Kasich even appeared to position himself between the two Democratic presidential hopefuls in an attempt to win over one woman who told him he was one of her top choices, along with Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont and former secretary of state Hillary Clinton.

“Hillary’s too brittle, and Bernie’s way out here on the extreme. I’m the right porridge,” Kasich said, tapping himself on the chest. “One of them is too hot, the other is too cold. But I got the right temperature.”

The porridge is making me want to puke!

But veering toward the middle can also cost votes on the right, and Kasich invoked President Reagan to scoff at the notion that he is running in the GOP primary’s “establishment lane.”

Especially as we head south and west.

“For people who have known me, that question is a joke. It is a flat-out joke,” he said. 

It sure is, and it's being played on the American people.

As the snow began to accumulate outside his town hall at the Searles School and Chapel, Kasich talked about his experience as chairman of the House Budget Committee, the importance of vocational education, and how Ohio has lured manufacturing jobs back from Mexico.

He joked about his short-lived 2000 presidential bid and waxed nostalgic for the earlier days of town halls in the state, noting that Monday afternoon’s was his 105th such event.

“I think some of the intimacy is gone from them,” he said, citing the heavy media presence in the room.

A nine-term House member who later worked at Lehman Brothers, Kasich has drawn late-stage attention for good reason: Recent state polls show him within striking distance of second place.

OMG, he worked at Lehman!

“You’re the folks that can give me a chance to get around America and tell them this story,” he told the packed hall, which left some people standing in a lobby and largely out of earshot.

Kasich has shied from leveling some of the attacks that his GOP rivals have. On Monday, Bush put Kasich in his sights, releasing an online ad that questioned Kasich’s conservative credentials.

Kasich’s campaign responded with a fund-raising e-mail, but not one that counterpunched at Bush, a signal that he is content, for now, to play the happy warrior. Instead, the missive promised, “I am the only candidate who can guarantee we’ll defeat Hillary in Ohio.”

Yeah, I'll bet!

Kasich’s hands-off approach appears to extend only to members of his own party, even as he works to draw support from the middle. Of Sanders, he said, “I am for Bernie being president of Ben and Jerry’s.”

Noting Sanders’ affinity for socialism, Kasich said, “If we can get free everything, what about . . . free ice cream?”

What an insulting and arrogant shit!

And he mocked Clinton as overly attuned to campaign metrics and public opinion studies, saying, “The problem with Hillary is: ‘What’s the latest poll say? What’s the latest focus group?’ ”

The Ohio governor has scooped up some marquee New Hampshire endorsements, including former senators Gordon Humphrey and John E. Sununu and former representatives Charlie Bass and Chuck Douglas.

While Kasich mixed in a back room with supporters, former state party chairman Fergus Cullen mused that Kasich could follow a path similar to Senator John McCain’s march to victory here in 2000. McCain defeated then-Texas governor George W. Bush here largely by campaigning to independent voters in the center of the political spectrum.

While this year’s Democratic contest is likely to peel away many independents and there are other Republicans with crossover appeal, Cullen said, “The pool is there.”

Kasich’s Goldilocks pitch, though, did not immediately win over the undecided voter, to whom he later joked that he would blame a loss here on her.

“Am I getting closer?” Kasich asked. The woman replied, “I’ll let you know tomorrow night.”

Kasich smiled. “Will you call me?” he said.


How Bush finished third:

"New Hampshire voters are known for rewarding neighbors. So, what about Jeb Bush, whose family stake in Kennebunkport, Maine, also puts him in the neighborhood? The “please clap” headlines out of New Hampshire do not generate much confidence. But his 90-year-old mother is out stumping for him. Like Clinton, Bush is also counting on his ground game. Speaking of huge: Trump loomed large before Iowa and he still leads the polls. But the spotlight has finally shifted to rivals. New Hampshire voters now decide just how much more craziness the rest of the country must tolerate."

Apparently they feel a lot. 

So the TV ads didn't help, huh?

"Bush TV ad spending in N.H. hasn’t paid off in polls; Marco Rubio and Bernie Sanders also lead New Hampshire ad spending" by Sophia Bollag Globe Correspondent  February 08, 2016

WASHINGTON — Jeb Bush may be struggling to rise in the New Hampshire polls, but it’s not for a lack of spending to get his message out.

Maybe we don't want to hear it.

The former Florida governor had the advantage of more TV spots, sponsored by his campaign or a super PAC supporting him, on New Hampshire and Boston channels in the last two months than any other candidate in the Granite State presidential primary, according to a Globe analysis. There were more than 3,600 airings, for a total of more than 34 hours.

A big part of that domination came from the money Bush and his super PAC, Right to Rise, spent for ads on WMUR, the state’s largest television station; his investment was second only to Marco Rubio’s. The combined effort for Bush was on track to spend about $3.5 million in the crucial 10 weeks since the beginning of December, compared with more than $4 million by Rubio and his super PAC, according to public records.

The numbers reflect one of the lessons of the 2016 campaign, at least in the early states: that bankrolling huge advertising buys has become less important in many instances than media coverage and the narrative arc of a candidacy.

The Globe analyzed two sources of information: the Political TV Ad Archive, a project funded by the Knight Foundation that reveals the amount of air time on all broadcast stations; and Federal Communication Commission documents, which disclose spending.

Together, the records provide a snapshot of the television ad blitz launched by the Republican and Democratic candidates in the state.

Donald Trump, the consistent leader in the polls in New Hampshire and nationally despite his loss last week in Iowa, was on track to spend $424,000 in New Hampshire, a relatively small sum among GOP contenders. That was nearly as little as Ted Cruz’s $246,000.

Among Democrats, who launched a more modest blitz, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont has been outspending Hillary Clinton since the beginning of December, $1.95 million to $1.33 million.

Fergus Cullen, the former chairman of the New Hampshire GOP, said New Hampshire residents are so bombarded by ads at this point that the amount of money candidates spend on airtime matters little.

In all over the last 10 weeks, according to the Globe estimate, the leading Republican and Democratic candidates have spent about $15 million for ads on WMUR.

Cullen attributed Rubio’s recent rise in the New Hampshire polls more to favorable media attention the Florida senator received following his third-place finish in Iowa, a burst of attention driven by beating expectations.

Which is what will happen to Bush tonight.

“It’s multiple times more valuable to him than any advertising they have done,” said Cullen, who is backing Governor John Kasich of Ohio in the primary. “The earned media so outweighs the paid media that it almost doesn’t matter.”

Ken Gogan, a realtor from Nashua, said all the ads he has seen from Bush haven’t changed his dislike for the candidate’s brother, former President George W. Bush. “He just has the wrong last name,” said Gogan, who is supporting Trump. “People just don’t want another round of Bushes.”

That's right!

Lebanon resident Al Tedeschi, a pharmaceutical consultant who was still undecided Sunday, said he wants to support the candidate with the most integrity. But the overwhelming volume of ads on TV and mailers have only complicated his decision, he said.

“If you believed everything you read, you wouldn’t vote for anybody,” he said. “I’m feeling frustrated, because it’s hard to get accurate information. It’s hard to decipher what is true and what is not true.”

Reading the Bo$ton Globe doesn't help.

While Bush’s domination of the airwaves seems to have had little effect on his standing, spending on negative ads probably kept some of his rivals in check, said Dante Scala, a political science professor at the University of New Hampshire. Most of the ads run by Bush and Right to Rise have been either negative or mixed.

“It hasn’t helped his standing much, certainly, in the polls,” Scala said. “But I think it has helped him to keep his competition within reach.”

Yeah, it helped a little.

In the Democratic campaign, Sanders aired roughly 32 hours of ads in the state. Clinton aired 23 hours worth of spots. Unlike on the Republican side, where super PAC money has played a large role, neither Sanders nor Clinton has seen outside groups spend significantly on ads on their behalf in New Hampshire.

WMUR spending is one indicator of which candidates are putting resources into the state with the first primary, but candidates also book ad time on Boston stations, which is typically more expensive and less efficient.

Cruz’s minimal ad spending in New Hampshire was part of a calculated decision to pour resources into Iowa, where he beat Trump by 3 percentage points in last Monday’s caucus. Cruz had a better shot among religious conservatives in Iowa than he will among New Hampshire’s more moderate electorate. “If he had to pick an early state to invest in, it had to be Iowa,” Scala said. “It was essential that he win over religious conservatives early to have a shot at building a coalition to win the nomination. It makes sense that he would spend little time and few resources [in New Hampshire].”

Still, as of 9:11 (wow) he was in third!

At this point, Cullen said, it matters little how much the campaigns spend. With such a saturated market, each ad a candidate buys is a drop in the bucket. “I use a nuclear war analogy for this: mutually assured destruction. You cancel each other out,” he said. “The marginal advantages of one ad or one piece of mail . . . they just become less and less effective.”

Gogan said the overwhelming negativity of the ads he sees and the campaigns in general make him wish he were far away. “I’ve seen a lot of campaigns, and I’ve never seen so much mud,” the 60-year-old said. “I’d love to be in England right now in a pub and watch them betting on us. We’ve got to be the laughingstock of the world right now.”

No, we are a scary bully armed to the teeth.


Also seeJonathan Bush: The Dubya cousin who’s digitizing health

Getting down to my neck of the woods. 

And with that, I wish you all a good night.