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CNN Fact-Checker Debunks The Donald Trump ‘Lie That Won’t Die’



CNN’s fact-checking reporter Daniel Dale on Monday named the lie told by President Donald Trump that just won’t die.

He then firmly debunked it.

Appearing on “CNN Tonight,” Dale began by dismantling to anchor Don Lemon some of the claims Trump made during his rally in Sanford, Florida, where the president, said Dale, “basically seems determined to run against a version” of Democratic nominee Joe Biden “that doesn’t exist.”

Lemon then aired footage of Trump repeating at the rally his 2016 campaign vow that his promised wall on the U.S.-Mexico border was almost complete ― and that Mexico was paying for its construction.

“Oh my God. I can do the fact-check on this. And those people, they believe him,” said an incredulous Lemon.

Dale agreed.

“A lot of it is replacement fence,” the fact-checker explained. “And more importantly, tonight, Mexico is not paying for the wall.”

“American taxpayers are paying for the wall both from congressionally-appropriated money and money that Trump has basically seized from other stuff, like the military,” Dale added.

“This is the lie that won’t die,” Dale concluded. “It goes dormant for a while then it seems like around election time it magically returns. And no, Mexico is still not paying for the border wall.”

Check out the segment here:





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Trump won’t rule out taking coronavirus bailout cash for own business



Donald Trump may need his own bailout.

As the economy continues to shut down, the president refused to officially rule out the possibility that his own family company, The Trump Organization, may have to make use of federal funds to stay afloat.

“I don’t know,” Trump said when asked if his business would accept stimulus money. “I just don’t know what the government assistance would be for what I have. I have hotels. Everybody knew I had hotels when I got elected. They knew I was a successful person when I got elected, so it’s one of those things,” he said Saturday at his daily coronavirus briefing.

Trump said his business — like many others in the hospitality industry — has been negatively affected by the downturn.

“Is it hurting me? Yeah,” he said. “It’s hurting everybody.”

Trump said that while he often speaks to his sons, who currently run the family business, he has never provided them inside information.

Since declaring a state of emergency on March 13, Trump and state governments have moved to shut down large sectors of the economy to stop the spread of the deadly coronavirus.



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‘This primary isn’t a game’: Elizabeth Warren won’t drop 2020 bid despite poor South Carolina result



After a projected fifth-place finish in South Carolina, Elizabeth Warren closes out a fourth consecutive primary with a loss in her race for the Democratic presidential nomination.

“I’ll be the first to say that the first four contests haven’t gone exactly as I’d hoped”, she told supporters in Houston, Texas. “[But] Super Tuesday is three days away.”

Joe Biden’s crucial victory in South Carolina gives the former vice president a much-needed boost after disappointing results in the first three primary states after his once-ascendent campaign struggled to capture support.


Bernie Sanders, who made history as the first candidate to win popular votes in the first three primaries, is projected to finish in second place in South Carolina, edging closer to 20 per cent to Biden’s 50 per cent. Warren, meanwhile, is expected to come in fifth – trailing behind her third place finish in Iowa and fourth place finishes in New Hampshire and Nevada.

The Massachusetts senator congratulated Biden on his win but made it clear that she has no intention of dropping out of the race, banking on winning contests in 14 states – including Texas – on Super Tuesday, when more than a third of all delegates will be selected to choose the party’s nominee.

“We want to gain as many delegates to the convention as we can”, she said. “It might take days or even longer to know the results from Super Tuesday, but they will be critical in sorting out who will be the nominee this year. My campaign is built for the long haul.”

She took aim at Donald Trump’s response to a coronavirus outbreak, after slamming Mike Pence – who was tapped to lead the administration’s response – as “the worst person” to be appointed to the role, and being the first among the Democratic candidates to announce a plan to combat infectious diseases.

With fears of a pandemic and ensuing economic crisis, “who do you trust to actually run this country?”, she asked her supporters in Texas.

“This crisis demands more than a former vice president so eager to cut deals [with Republican-controlled Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell]. This crisis is a reminder that this primary isn’t a game.”



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Meghan Markle Won’t Destroy The Royals — But They Might Do It Themselves



Carlo Allegri / Reuters

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, exits a hotel in New York City, Feb. 19, 2019.

It was a declaration of independence that left the royal family reeling. On January 8, Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, posted on Instagram about their plans to relinquish their positions as “senior” members of the British royal family, split their time between North America and the UK, and establish financial independence. The suddenness of the announcement was surprising — it was reportedly released in a rush to beat a potential leak to the press, and seemed to catch Buckingham Palace unprepared — but the move itself was not entirely unexpected, particularly to those who’ve been following the young couple’s saga in dealing with the (often racist and sexist) media coverage of Meghan.

While Queen Elizabeth has since said in a statement on Monday that she’s “entirely supportive” of Prince Harry and Meghan’s decision, she also made clear, with unusually personal language, that she “would have preferred them to remain full-time working Members of the Royal Family.” Their departure is a loss to the Windsor family during a turbulent time (see: Brexit, the scandal of Prince Andrew’s friendship with and defense of Jeffrey Epstein, and the Duke of Edinburgh’s waning health), as well as to the monarchy as an institution. After all, Harry is the second-most popular royal, after the 93-year-old Queen. Meanwhile, as the lone woman of color to ever be a senior royal in modern society, Meghan Markle has become something of a global icon herself.

And yet, while Meghan enjoys worldwide popularity, the British press has been consistently, intensely critical of her. The “Megxit” narrative has been an occasion to recycle a lot of the same labels and accusations it has already deployed: that she is ungrateful and selfish for breaking up the royal family.

It’s worth keeping things in perspective, however. The Sussexes haven’t renounced the royal family on an ideological level (their website details the couple’s plans to continue to serve the monarchy and strengthen the Commonwealth). The move to be financially independent from the Sovereign Grant, which opens up the possibility of Harry and Meghan earning incomes in other careers, could raise questions (Might this be an option for more royal family members, particularly those far down the line in succession?). But it’s unlikely to have immediate, ruinous effects on an institution that has always had a knack for durability. As Peter Morgan, creator of The Crown, once described the British royals: “They’re survival organisms, like a mutating virus.”

At this rate, it seems more likely that if anything is to destroy the monarchy, it will be the British royals themselves. It is a tenacious institution. But by not enforcing or understanding the need to protect Meghan from vicious, racist press coverage in a more deliberate way, they are losing her and what she had to offer: a new, modern, more progressive image to associate with the monarchy — a brand that is ultimately rooted in appearances.


Daniel Leal-Olivas / Getty Images

Meghan reacts during a visit to Canada House in London with thanks for the warm Canadian hospitality and support she had received in Canada recently, Jan. 7.

Meghan Markle has been accused of destroying her husband’s life and painted as a palace-wrecker who’s putting the future of the monarchy — particularly post–Queen Elizabeth — in peril. (Granted, some of these declarations are made gleefully by anti-monarchists, wanting to burn it all down.) She’s also been called a modern-day Yoko Ono on social media, a comparison that stirs up some interesting connotations.

These tweets have primarily been made in jest, some affectionate and some less so. But other likenings have been less lighthearted, with one tweet claiming that, like Ono, Meghan is “trampling on tradition, causing chaos, ruining everything and then runs and hides.”

By not enforcing or understanding the need to protect Meghan from vicious, racist press coverage in a more deliberate way, the royal family is losing her and what she had to offer.

Ono is a complicated and certainly not faultless public figure, but the widespread cultural narrative around her as the woman who “broke up the Beatles” is clearly misguided and misogynist. As a 1994 New York Times interview with Ono established, her public reputation was one of a woman whose “greatest achievement, it would seem, came from brainwashing that third husband into marrying her in the first place. He was, in the end, a god. She was, all along, the Devil.” And Ono has become the namesake of a tired, untrue trope that suggests women are often a (if not the) problem, seducing and bewitching men into misfortune and bad decisions. The so-called Yoko Effect is a fallacy, not an actual phenomenon.

But there are some notable parallels between Meghan and Ono, as two women who stand accused of breaking up historic and beloved British institutions. Maybe most important to keep in mind is that the distrust and demonization they face is, at least in part, rooted in their race.

“Every time we saw her, we shouted awful things,” a fervent Beatles fan recalled about Ono in Philip Norman’s book Shout!: The Beatles in Their Generation. “‘Yellow!’ ‘Chink!’ Subtle things like that… Once, outside Abbey Road, we’d got this bunch of yellow roses to give Yoko. We handed them to her thorns first. Yoko took them and backed all the way down the stairs, thanking us. She hadn’t realized they were meant to be an insult. Nor did John. He turned back and said, ‘Well, it’s about time someone did something decent to her.’”

Meanwhile, Meghan consistently attracts racist news coverage from the British press, teeming with coded language and dog whistles. Daily Mail columnist Sarah Vine claimed the Sussexes’ engagement photo gave her a “niggling worry,” while other Daily Mail pieces have mentioned Meghan’s “rich and exotic DNA” and (inaccurately) invoked her upbringing in a “gang-scarred” LA neighborhood.

Even when the tabloids don’t use race-baiting language, Meghan is targeted in ways that are disproportionate to the typically harsh, often absurd criticism all royal family members get. While Meghan’s wedding florals nearly murdered Princess Charlotte, Kate Middleton’s choice of the same flowers was “elegant and understated.” When Kate eats an avocado, it’s a cure for morning sickness, but when Meghan eats one? A source of human rights abuse and environmental devastation, naturally. Time and time again, Meghan has been portrayed in a villainous light.

“I think what Meghan Markle’s experience has shown me is that when you put a woman of color into that space, which has always been abusive, there are particular issues,” said British journalist and author Afua Hirsch in a BBC interview on Monday. “She’s more vulnerable because she’s visibly different.” The level of hostility both Ono and Meghan have faced is proof of how significant it is that they are occupying spaces where they are othered, spaces not constructed for them. And yet, when they’ve made efforts to change that space, or to find a more protected and sustainable role within it, they get the blame.


Another implication of the Yoko Effect (or rather, Yoko Myth) is that it assigns no power, responsibility, or culpability to a man in such a relationship — a fact that’s pretty rich considering the level of fame, privilege, and influence held by John Lennon and Prince Harry. Even the term “Megxit” in itself, while quippy, puts the onus of the duke and duchess’s joint decision on Meghan.

Like Lennon — who was, to be clear, the sole instigator of the Beatles’ breakup — Prince Harry has been known to be outspoken, a bit stubborn, with a rebellious streak. And based on his past comments, it doesn’t seem all that likely he was strong-armed by his wife into defecting from the royal family. He’s spoken of having “wanted out” before, as well as his desire for a semblance of regular life. “My mother took a huge part in showing me an ordinary life,” the prince told Newsweek in 2017. “I am determined to have a relatively normal life, and if I am lucky enough to have children, they can have one too.”

The reason why Harry would want to put more distance between his family and the British press is a no-brainer. He’s always blamed the media for the death of his mother and when the paparazzi began to report on Meghan as they were dating, he was quick to call the press out for hounding her. In an unprecedented statement from Kensington Palace in 2016, he condemned the tabloids’ coverage as racist and sexist: “Prince Harry is worried about Ms. Markle’s safety and is deeply disappointed that he has not been able to protect her.”

The reason why Harry would want to put more distance between his family and the British press is a no-brainer.

“I will always protect my family, and now I have a family to protect,” Harry told journalist Tom Bradby when the couple was touring southern Africa in October 2019. “Everything that [my mother] went through and what happened to her is incredibly real every single day. And that’s not just me being paranoid — that’s just me not wanting a repeat of the past. And if anybody else knew what I knew — be it a father, be it a husband, be it anyone — you’d probably be doing exactly what I’m doing as well.”

The Sussexes’ infant son, Archie, is no doubt a key factor in their decision to distance themselves from the monarchy and all the attention that comes with it. If they had hoped that their child would be spared from the realities of being a biracial royal, that hope was quickly quashed; days after Meghan gave birth, a BBC broadcaster likened the couple’s newborn to a well-dressed chimpanzee. To face racism, even as a child, is to live with a chronic, damaging stressor — one that afflicts both the mind and body. If casual, constant racism and the denial of one’s humanity is part and parcel of a publicly funded royal life — which, based on Meghan’s experience so far, it seems to be — then that royal life itself has become a clear threat to Harry’s family.


Jeff J. Mitchell / Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth II sits and laughs with Meghan during a ceremony to open the new Mersey Gateway Bridge in the town of Widnes in Cheshire, England, June 14, 2018.

Since Harry and Meghan announced they were dating, the Queen has made active efforts to ensure that Meghan feels welcome and accepted in the royal family. And in the Windsors’ defense, it’s essentially a royal tradition to endure bad press, to keep calm and carry on. Plus, given the overwhelming whiteness of the monarchy, it’s not surprising they aren’t cognizant of a crucial factor in being an active ally: stepping up and speaking out (much like Harry has done through his warnings to the press, frank interviews, and pending lawsuits). It’s not a matter of coddling, but a gesture of care and consideration. If you want growth and evolution — that is, if the monarchy wants to modernize — emotional inertia can’t be an option.

It’s a common phenomenon: Historically white businesses and brands claim they want to diversify, but they fail to do the work to nurture and support newcomers. You can’t expect to benefit from the perks, PR, and fanfare of having a “biracial princess” if she isn’t given the space to feel empowered, heard, and accepted. The family spends millions on palace guards and security — a means to protect their physical bodies — but the notion of humanity doesn’t seem to be given the same weight or value. The racism Meghan has experienced is treated as benign, when in reality it chips away and infects, as evidenced by her emotional, viral interview with ITV in October.

And when royals lead pampered, sheltered lives — lives that provide little experience in resisting the prejudice baked into British and Western society — it’s not surprising they don’t (at least yet) understand this. The same seems true of many others, in the media and beyond. Only the two panelists of color on last Thursday’s episode of BBC’s Question Time were willing to suggest that Meghan’s unfair treatment may be tied to the way she looks. (For the record, when the moderator asked whether anyone in the audience thought Harry and Meghan had made a bad decision, not one hand was raised.)

Meanwhile, on BBC’s Newsnight that same evening, singer Jamelia — who is a black woman — shared that she too had been a victim of covert racism living in the UK and “it pales in comparison to what I’ve seen happen to Meghan Markle… It’s not just social media; it’s not. It’s mainstream media; it’s tabloid media.” In response, author and historian Robert Lacey (a white man) was skeptical: “I’d like to see the evidence of that.” Piers Morgan is another example of someone who repeatedly squawks at black women for evidence and then balks when it’s offered.

Harry and Meghan’s decision to quit senior royal life and spend time outside of the UK is not a symbol of defeat: It is an act of self-respect and self-preservation.

On Monday, Phillip Schofield, co-host of This Morning, also requested examples of racism that Meghan has endured, to which guest Shola Mos-Shogbamimu, a black lawyer and activist, responded: “It makes me question where have you been the last two years… Let me explain what racism looks like from the lens of white privilege. White privilege whitewashes racist and inflammatory language as unconscious bias. It perpetuates the bigotry of intolerant white people as ignorant. It defends and protects their private views once spoken as misspeak, and then camouflages racist behavior as error of judgment.”

The persistent demand for proof of racism during the “Megxit” news cycle has become at best exhausting and at worst triggering. I don’t find it surprising that Meghan herself, who was in Canada as the “Sandringham summit” occurred, felt it wasn’t necessary to be physically present for the talks between Prince Harry, Prince William, Prince Charles, and the Queen. It’s tiring to ask that your humanity be acknowledged only for your mistreatment to be downplayed or denied, over and over again.

It’s possible that Harry and Meghan’s decision and the dialogue it’s creating could help push both the monarchy and British media to evolve into something that’s not just more diverse and inclusive, but more self-aware (whether it be in revisiting and reframing old myths or simply setting the tone for the future). Still, it’s not the responsibility of black people or other minorities to teach Racism 101 to their white peers, not through interviews and certainly not through their lives. Meghan may have married someone whose family comes with a lot of baggage, but she didn’t sign up to be a case study.

Harry and Meghan’s decision to quit senior royal life and spend time outside of the UK is not a symbol of defeat: It is an act of self-respect and self-preservation. The move has been and will no doubt continue to be painted by critics as a selfish shirking of responsibilities, but it’s more of a shifting. It’s not a question of whether the Sussexes are dutiful or not, but to whom.

In a 2015 essay for Elle, before becoming a duchess was even on her radar, Meghan recalled an especially formative memory: “I was home in LA on a college break when my mom was called the ‘N’ word. We were leaving a concert and she wasn’t pulling out of a parking space quickly enough for another driver. My skin rushed with heat as I looked to my mom. Her eyes welling with hateful tears, I could only breathe out a whisper of words, so hushed they were barely audible: ‘It’s OK, Mommy.’ I was trying to temper the rage-filled air permeating our small silver Volvo.”

Even then, Meghan knew that some fights just aren’t worth picking, not when your adversary doesn’t deserve your time or energy, not when your family’s well-being is at stake. As they drove out of the parking lot, Meghan sat with a simple reason for their disengagement: “I shared my mom’s heartache, but I wanted us to be safe.”●


Sandi Rankaduwa is a Sri Lankan Canadian writer, comedian, and filmmaker who’s written for the Believer, Rolling Stone, This Hour Has 22 Minutes, Exclaim!, and the Coast. She splits her time between Brooklyn and Halifax.





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Supreme Court Won’t Hear Case On Ban Against Homeless Sleeping In Public Spaces : NPR


San Francisco police officers wait while homeless people collect their belongings in San Francisco. Nearly a quarter of the country’s homeless population lives in California.

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San Francisco police officers wait while homeless people collect their belongings in San Francisco. Nearly a quarter of the country’s homeless population lives in California.

Ben Margot/AP

Updated at 1:40 p.m ET

The Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear an appeal in a case originating from Boise, Idaho, that would have made it a crime to camp and sleep in public spaces.

The decision to let a ruling from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals stand is a setback for states and local governments in much of the West that are grappling with widespread homelessness by designing laws to regulate makeshift encampments on sidewalks and parks.

The case stems from a lawsuit filed nearly a decade ago. A handful of people sued the city of Boise for repeatedly ticketing them for violating an ordinance against sleeping outside. While Boise officials later amended it to prohibit citations when shelters are full, the 9th Circuit eventually determined the local law was unconstitutional.

In a decision last year, the court said it was “cruel and unusual punishment” to enforce rules that stop homeless people from camping in public places when they have no place else to go. That means states across the 9th Circuit can no longer enforce similar statutes if they don’t have enough shelter beds for homeless people sleeping outside.

Los Angeles attorney Theane Evangelis, who is representing Boise in the case, argued the decision ultimately harms the people it purports to protect because cities need the ability to control encampments that threaten public health and safety.

“Cities’ hands are tied now by the 9th Circuit Decision because it effectively creates a Constitutional right to camp,” Evangelis told NPR in an emailed statement.

In court documents, lawyers for Boise said, “Public encampments, now protected by the Constitution under the Ninth Circuit’s decision, have spawned crime and violence, incubated disease, and created environmental hazards that threaten the lives and well-being both of those living on the streets and the public at large.”

Major west coast cities and counties with soaring homeless populations had backed Boise in its petition, including Los Angeles County, where the number of people without a permanent place to live has jumped by 16% in the last year.

As NPR reported, California is where nearly a quarter of the country’s homeless population live.

The homeless and their advocates say ticketing homeless people does nothing to solve the bigger housing crisis.

“Paying lawyers six figures to write briefs is not really going to build any more housing,” said Howard Belodoff, a Boise civil rights attorney.

Maria Foscarinis, executive director of the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty, added: “housing, not handcuffs, is what ends homelessness.”

The center, which was one of three groups to file the case in 2009, hailed the decision as being essential to encouraging cities to propose constructive alternatives to homelessness.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development found that more than 550,000 people experienced homelessness on a single night in January 2018. Of those, nearly 200,000 were unsheltered.

The case now returns to the 9th Circuit. The city of Boise says it’s evaluating its next steps.



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ASK AMY: Newlywed won’t ‘meet the parents’ in footie PJs


Dear Amy: I am a newlywed. The holiday season is upon us, and I’m trying to coordinate between families, and also get myself into the spirit.

However, there is one tradition my husband’s family has that I don’t understand. I’m not sure how I can fit into this tradition.

Ever since they were children, on Christmas morning, “the kids” (my husband and his now-adult sister) would come down the stairs to open gifts, and their father would video-record it.

Well, we are 26 now, and both siblings live on their own outside of the house, but my in-laws still think we should do this tradition.

I tried to bring this up to them, saying that we won’t even be at their home on Christmas morning, but they brushed it off, saying, “We can do it when you come over at 2 o’clock.”

I know it is hard to see your kids grow up, but I did marry their son this year. My husband and I live in our own home about 20 minutes away and visit regularly.

Last year, I was not included in this tradition because I was still “the girlfriend.” This year, even if they ask, I’m not sure I want to be included.

Please help me relate to this tradition. I understand it as children, but just as you stop taking pictures of the kids on their first day of school, shouldn’t this group grow up?

Holiday Grown-ups

Dear Holiday: This is one of the wackiest and most wonderful holiday traditions I’ve ever heard of, and, as dumb as you find it to be, I think you should sit back with a beverage, pull out your phone, and enjoy and film it, in all of its cringy glory. (You could then “bank” the video, in case you might need it one day, to use as some good-natured spousal blackmail.)

This has a “Meet the Parents” quality to it, and I can only hope the adult children dress up in matching “footie” onesies in order to scamper down the stairs and greet their Santa-haul.

Unless this family engages in (other) creepy and/or juvenile or infantilizing behaviour, I think you should see this as a delightful annual one-off. Do not attempt to get in on it. You don’t have to do every single thing your husband does. Nor do you need to convince him to stop participating in a silly ritual that might actually have meaning for all of them. Although it would be gracious for them to attempt to include you, you could easily and politely demur.

It would be a fun project for someone to splice together over two decades of this footage into a montage. If you are good at this sort of thing, you might give it to the family as a holiday gift next year.

Dear Amy: I keep in touch with an old, out-of-town friend by phone several times a year.

My friend recently had to move his elderly mother into a memory care centre following her Alzheimer’s diagnosis.

When we speak next, should I ask how his mom is doing?

I’m reluctant to raise an obviously painful subject in the course of an otherwise pleasant conversation.

— R

Dear R: Not only should you ask your friend how his mother is doing, but to avoid this important subject would be insensitive, and would not serve your friendship.

Your friend’s mother hasn’t disappeared. She exists in the world, and presumably is still very much in his life.

Yes, this topic might be painful. But friends should be invited to discuss even painful life events, and be given the time and space to tell their story, if they choose to.

If your friend finds his mother’s situation too challenging to discuss, he will telegraph this by giving a truncated or noncommittal answer. Then you can move onto another topic.

Dear Amy: I appreciated your musings on being addressed as “young lady” by patronizing strangers.

Just the other day, I told my wife how angry it made me when young people trying to be cute call me “young man.” This has been happening for years.

I am a 78-year-old man.

This is just not a “young lady” phenomenon — it is heard by both sexes, and I believe it’s an example of ageism. Thanks for bringing it up.

— Ray in Tucson, Ariz.

Dear Ray: Many mature men have responded to the question from the woman signed “Not Young,” who reported how annoying it is to be greeted this way.

Nobody likes it.



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Cruel primary history lessons Joe Biden won’t want to hear


Joe Biden is the national front-runner in the Democratic presidential race. He is holding a steady lead in national polling, and his campaign boasts of the firewall he’s established among African American voters, who may be the key to victory in the Feb. 28 South Carolina primary and who have backed the ultimate winner in every Democratic nominating contest since 1992.

That’s the good news for Biden.

The bad news is that in the first two voting states, he’s trailing. In fact, according to an average of the polls, he’s running in fourth place in both Iowa and New Hampshire.

If that holds, it will place Biden on the perilous side of history. Traditionally, the results from Iowa and New Hampshire play a dramatic role in winnowing and clarifying presidential fields. Since the dawn of the Democratic Party’s modern presidential primary system in the 1970s, no candidate has lost contested races in both Iowa and New Hampshire and still gone on to win the nomination.

This poses some key questions:

  • What happens if Biden whiffs in the first two states? Would it cause his support elsewhere to collapse, clearing the way for a rival to grab control of the race?
  • How about if he splits Iowa, which caucuses Feb. 3, and New Hampshire, which votes Feb. 11 — would that be enough for Biden to shore up his national standing?
  • Is it possible that the first two states just don’t matter that much anymore, that the nationalization of politics now allows for a candidate to absorb back-to-back blows and emerge none the weaker for it?

History can’t give us a definite answer, but it offers some clues. So, let’s take a closer look.

First of all, the list of contested Democratic presidential races since 1976 isn’t long: There are eight examples. So the historical “rule” that candidates who lose Iowa and New Hampshire don’t win nominations isn’t built on the deepest of foundations.

Plus, the dynamics that defined each of these campaigns vary widely. On that basis, we can probably toss out two that just aren’t that relevant to Biden’s situation. In 1976, Hubert Humphrey led in a Gallup national poll taken just before the Iowa caucuses. But Humphrey wasn’t actually a candidate, and never ended up being one. So there’s not a ton to be gleaned.

The same goes for 1988, a mess of a contest for Democrats. Technically, Gary Hart was the front-runner heading into Iowa, but he was already being written off. Felled by a sex scandal in early 1987, Hart had re-entered the race just before the New Year. He jumped to the top of the polls, but he faced hostile media coverage, had no organization, attracted few endorsements and little money. His numbers — nationally and in the early states — were dropping by the day. So, again, we don’t have a meaningful Biden parallel here.

We can also toss out 1992, a year in which Iowa was ceded to favorite son Sen. Tom Harkin by his opponents and ignored by the media. Practically speaking, Iowa didn’t happen in ‘92.

The remaining six races, however, do contain relevant elements. To understand what they might portend for Biden, we can split them into three categories:

1. National leader wins both Iowa, New Hampshire

In 1980, President Jimmy Carter fended off Ted Kennedy in both states and went on to be re-nominated. Carter’s strength was a late development, spurred by the onset of the Iranian hostage crisis in November 1979. Prior to that, Kennedy had led Carter in polling and seemed poised to grab the nomination from him.

President Carter speaks during a debate against Ronald Reagan in Cleveland, Ohio on Oct. 28, 1980.Bettmann Archive via Getty Images file

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In 2000, Vice President Al Gore ran with the full support of his boss, Bill Clinton, which helped clear the Democratic field — except for former Sen. Bill Bradley. When Gore won a sweeping victory in Iowa and held off a late Bradley charge in New Hampshire, the race was effectively over. Gore remains the only Democrat in the modern era to win every primary and caucus in a contested nomination race.

What it means for Biden now: Carter and (especially) Gore were stronger front-runners, and held polling leads in both Iowa and New Hampshire. But it’s worth remembering that Biden, while technically in fourth place, is within 10 points of the lead in both states. If he could engineer an Iowa victory, he could easily roll through New Hampshire and beyond.

Vice President Al Gore makes a speech during a stop on his presidential campaign in 1999.Brooks Kraft / Sygma via Getty Images file

2. National leader wins one or the other, not both

In 1984, Walter Mondale, like Biden, was a former vice president who loomed over the rest of a large Democratic field (although Mondale was typically faring about 10-15 percentage points better than Biden now in national polling). Mondale also enjoyed strong early support from black voters, who were split between him and the Rev. Jesse Jackson.

When the voting began, Mondale won Iowa easily, but his victory was expected. It was the distant second-place candidate, Gary Hart, who then received a burst of media attention and rolled to an upset win in New Hampshire.

Suddenly, Mondale’s grip on the nomination was threatened. The race then moved South for the next set of contests, with Mondale’s fate on the line. Jackson was making a powerful pitch to black voters, but Mondale had just enough residual support from them to eke out campaign-saving wins in Alabama and Georgia. His ship steadied, and he went on to win the nomination.

What it means for Biden now: There are two big differences. One works against Biden: Mondale, a Minnesotan, enjoyed a massive built-in advantage in Iowa, where he led wire to wire. This is significant because it meant there was never any serious chance Mondale would lose both lead-off states. Biden, obviously, does face that risk.

Former Vice-President Walter Mondale gives a speech during his campaign in Minnesota in 1984.Owen Franken / Corbis via Getty Images file

But if Biden can somehow pull out a win in one of the first two states, Mondale’s example becomes quite encouraging for him. This is because of the other key difference: Biden, so far, has faced less competition for the black vote than Mondale did. A December 1983 Gallup poll put Mondale not far behind Jackson among black voters, 36 to 27 percent. By contrast, a Quinnipiac poll two weeks ago put Biden’s black support at 43 percent, with his nearest rival — Bernie Sanders — all the way back at 11 percent.

In 2008, Hillary Clinton was also the national front-runner who lost the nomination after going one-for-two in Iowa and New Hampshire.

Her main opponent was Barack Obama and for the year leading up to the primaries, Clinton had enjoyed solid national leads. She was also competitive with Obama among African American voters, and was endorsed by a number of high-profile black leaders.

But when she lost the Iowa caucuses (technically finishing third, slightly behind John Edwards), the ground shifted dramatically. At first, Clinton looked poised to suffer another loss in New Hampshire, threatening to end her candidacy. Instead, she pulled out a surprise victory, thanks to a late surge of support among female voters.

She then won Nevada, too, but Obama’s Iowa breakthrough had altered the fundamentals of the race. This became clear when South Carolina’s primary results came in. Obama had been expected to win, but his margin — almost 30 points — was shocking. The key: Nearly 80 percent of black voters backed him. Clinton’s hopes of faring respectably with African Americans were shot and the Obama coalition was set. It was just enough to win him the Democratic nomination.

What it means for Biden now: He’s breathing a sigh of relief over this one, because it could have meant a lot, but right now it may not. At the outset of the campaign, it seemed possible that either Kamala Harris or Cory Booker (or both) would lock down significant black support, as Obama did early in the 2008 cycle, and that each would then be positioned to expand that backing rapidly with an Obama-like breakthrough in Iowa or New Hampshire. But Harris is now out of the race and Booker is running at three percent nationally with black voters. If Booker were to make a late move in Iowa, he could still pose a major threat to Biden’s black support, but the clock is ticking.

In 2016, the story for Clinton was similar and even more emphatic. She entered as the clear national front-runner, but soon faced a surprisingly strong challenge from Sanders. As the national race tightened, a potential Clinton firewall emerged: polls showed black voters remained overwhelmingly behind her. But would that support hold if she lost the early states?

She nearly did in Iowa, barely edging out Sanders in a tight race that wasn’t resolved until the morning after the caucuses. Then, she was trounced in New Hampshire by 22 points. But Clinton then pulled out a solid — eight points — victory in Nevada, and any sense of crisis had long since abated when the race reached South Carolina. There, Clinton dismantled Sanders, winning the black vote by an astounding 72 points, and the primary by 47 percentage points. It set the tone for the remainder of the race. Sanders was unable to puncture Clinton’s black support in any meaningful way, and it proved key to her ability to secure the nomination.

What it means for Biden now: Clinton won Iowa in 2016 by a total of four “state delegate equivalents.” (There was no popular vote reported, although there will be this time.) That’s about as close as you can come to losing while still winning.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton arrives onstage during a primary night rally at the Duggal Greenhouse in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, in New York on June 7, 2016.Drew Angerer / Getty Images file

Now ask yourself: What if she’d done just a hair worse and actually lost Iowa? And then lost New Hampshire in a 22-point rout? What would have happened if Clinton lost both? How would it have played in the press? How would influential Democratic voices have treated it? Would she still have been able to turn around and win Nevada or would she have lost there, too? And if she’d lost there, would her South Carolina firewall still have held? Or would Sanders have made real inroads with black voters and altered the course of the Democratic race?

That’s a lot of questions, but it’s the great unknowable that makes 2016 so fascinating to look back at now. Clinton won the nomination handily, but she almost lost both Iowa and New Hampshire. If you believe her South Carolina support would have held despite earlier defeats, then you’re probably bullish on Biden’s chances of absorbing back-to-back losses to start the primary season (and maybe losing Nevada, too) and still winning the nomination. But if you’re not so convinced, then the lesson could be ominous for Biden now.

3. National leader loses Iowa, New Hampshire

In 2004, Howard Dean was the front-runner coming into the early states but not an overwhelming one, and, unlike Biden, he was running as an insurgent. Dean’s lopsided Iowa loss triggered a meltdown of his support elsewhere. He lost New Hampshire handily and every other state, except for his native Vermont.

But Dean’s demise is not what makes 2004 worrisome for Biden. It’s the rise of John Kerry that does.

Kerry’s campaign began with high hopes — a decorated veteran seeking to challenge a wartime president. But by the end of 2003, he was languishing in single digits nationally and running far behind Dean in the early states. Kerry caught fire in the closing weeks in Iowa and, aided by some late attacks on Dean from another candidate, Richard Gephardt, surged to a victory with 38 percent. A week later, he won New Hampshire, where not long before he’d been trailing by more than 20 points.

Then it was on to the South, where Kerry faced a challenge. A December 2003 poll had shown him with just 1 percent support among black voters in South Carolina. But his twin victories in the lead-off states had transformed his standing. Democrats, eager to anoint a nominee and go after Bush, were flocking to him.

In South Carolina, Kerry ended up losing the black vote by just three points, while in other states, he won it outright. The candidate who’d barely been a blip with African American voters at the start of 2004 won a majority of them nationally in the Democratic primaries — and took the nomination with ease.

What it means for Biden: The rise of Kerry, who endorsed Biden last week, demonstrates the potentially transformative power of winning both early states — especially in a climate in which Democrats are hungry to unite. He was far from the first choice of black voters, and most white voters for that matter, but he was an acceptable choice. And when he won Iowa and New Hampshire, that was good enough.

This is the dread scenario for Biden: An opponent sweeps the first two states and Democrats elsewhere deem him or her an acceptable choice and climb on the bandwagon.



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Sacking Marco Silva won’t change anything at Everton



It’s unlikely a manager of Simeone’s calibre would be tempted by a move to a mid-table Premier League side regardless but swinging wildly from possession-focused managers like Martinez and Koeman to the more pragmatic Allardyce, Moyes or uber-defensive Simeone is the kind of thing a director of football is supposed to prevent from happening. 

If Everton are after a young, talented, ambitious, multilingual coach with experience of winning competitions, there are few in Europe with a better CV than the 42-year-old, league-winning Silva, who the club’s director of football, Marcel Brands, is said to be extremely reluctant to relieve of his duties. 

The biggest issue is Everton’s player recruitment. Brands is trying to steer the club towards an envisioned destination, signing players who fit a particular profile (under 23 years old, high potential, resale value), but has enjoyed mixed success. It takes time to build a team and Everton are only two years in to Brands’ project.





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Ex-SNC-Lavalin exec on trial for fraud, corruption won’t present defence


MONTREAL —
A former SNC-Lavalin executive on trial for fraud and corruption has opted not to present a defence.

Lawyers for Sami Bebawi informed the jury of their decision on Tuesday, meaning the evidence is complete and the accused won’t testify.

Bebawi, 73, faces eight charges, including fraud, corruption, laundering proceeds of crime, possession of stolen goods and bribery of foreign officials.

“Mr. Bebawi won’t present a defence,” lawyer Annie Emond said simply.

Justice Guy Cournoyer reminded jurors of an earlier directive that it was up to the Crown to prove the charges against Bebawi beyond a reasonable doubt and that Bebawi wasn’t obliged to present a defence.

The prosecution presented its final witness last Friday.

Bebawi has pleaded not guilty to the charges, which involve contracts tied to the Moammar Gadhafi dictatorship and centre on dealings with Gadhafi’s son, Saadi.

The prosecution sought to prove SNC-Lavalin transferred about $113 million to shell companies used to pay people — including the younger Gadhafi — in order to help the company secure contracts and collect money owed.

The Crown alleges what was left in those shell company accounts was split between and Bebawi and Riadh Ben Aissa, another former SNC-Lavalin executive who testified for the prosecution.

Bebawi was charged in 2014 following an RCMP investigation into what the Crown has described as a case of “international fraud and corruption.”

Jurors will return to hear final arguments from the Crown Monday and from the defence Tuesday before being sequestered mid-week after final instructions from Cournoyer.

The trial began sitting Oct. 31 and was expected to last six weeks.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on Dec. 3, 2019.



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General election: Corbyn responds to chief rabbi by saying he won’t tolerate antisemitism ‘in any form’ – live news | Politics














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Corbyn says antisemitism ‘will not be tolerated in any form whatsoever’ under Labour

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Johnson rules out backing Brexit or independence referendums in hung parliament as price of power





Johnson laughs off question about his unpopularity in Scotland

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