Beacon Extra 1/15/20

A CNN moderator pulls a Candy Crowley at the debate, Vox saves our democracy, and Bloomberg's Twitter team needs an overhaul

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ALWAYS AT LEAST 1/1,024th THE VICTIM … "Sexism allegation latest in Elizabeth Warren campaign desperation," via EXAMINER: Rival operatives suspect that Elizabeth Warren’s story about a sexist comment from Bernie Sanders is the latest in a series of desperate moves from her campaign team to regain the momentum she once had in the Democratic presidential primary …

"The timing of this clearly shows that this is a desperate move," a top Sanders aide reportedly said. "Unfortunately, Elizabeth Warren's campaign has been going down in the polls, and this is the latest attack on one of her leading competitors."

ASK NOT WHAT BERNIE CAN DO FOR YOU … "Bernie Sanders, Who Said JFK Made Him Want to Puke, Invokes Kennedy in New Ad," by WFB’s Alex Griswold: The Sanders ad, set to air in Iowa ahead of the February caucus, opens with footage of Kennedy promising to put a man on the moon. "President Kennedy knew settling for half-measures wasn't good enough," Sanders says …

The praise of Kennedy marks a radical departure from Sanders's previous rhetoric about the president. In a 1987 interview … the socialist candidate remembered Kennedy as the start of his disillusion with mainstream liberalism. "President Kennedy was elected while I was at the University of Chicago, that was 1960. I remember being physically nauseated by his speech and that doesn’t happen very often," Sanders said.

BIDEN DEFLATES … "Biden Says He Couldn’t Afford Childcare Making $42K in 1973 (or $250K, Adjusted for Inflation)," by WFB’s Alex Griswold: Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said during Tuesday's debate that he could not afford childcare during his early Senate days, though his salary at the time amounted to the modern equivalent of a quarter of a million dollars per year …

While living on $42,000 would place Biden in the bottom half of U.S. households in today's dollars, it placed him firmly among the richest Americans when he was sworn in as senator in 1973.

CNN HARDEST HIT … "Michael Avenatti Arrested by Feds at California State Bar Hearing," via DAILY BEAST: The arrest occurred outside the disciplinary hearing in which the State Bar of California has accused the hard-charging, tough-talking attorney of using a doctored document to scam a client out of nearly $840,000, funneling money from a lawsuit settlement fund to his own personal use …

As Avenatti was being led out of the courthouse, the normally garrulous lawyer said simply, "Completely innocent."

MAYBE BERNIE’S RIGHT … Elizabeth Warren talks to NYT editorial board:

NYT:  We have combat troops in Syria now fighting ISIS.

WARREN: Yes we do.

NYT: And you would bring them all home?

WARREN: Yeah. I think we need to bring our combat troops home.

BERNIE’S FIVE-YEAR PLAN … "Sanders’s Spending Plan Would Set ‘Peacetime Record’," by WFB’s Charles Fain Lehman: Sanders's proposed spending thus far would cost roughly $60 trillion, the analysis found. That would represent an "expansion of government's cost and size unprecedented since World War II," according to an estimate provided to CNN by former secretary of the treasury Larry Summers …

Summers estimated that Sanders would raise federal spending by 20 percent of GDP over 10 years, an increase only paralleled by a 33 percentage point increase over the course of World War II.


STRATEGERY … "New Video Shows Two Iranian Missiles Hit Ukrainian Plane," via NYT: The New York Times has verified security camera footage on Tuesday that shows, for the first time, that two missiles hit Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 on Jan. 8. The missiles were launched from an Iranian military site around eight miles from the plane.

PUTTING THE UNIVERSE ON NOTICE … "Raymond Sworn In as First Space Force Chief," via AIR FORCE MAG: Gen. Jay Raymond was formally sworn in as the inaugural Chief of Space Operations Jan. 14 at a White House ceremony led by Vice President Mike Pence.

He’s the first military officer solely tasked with treating space as an area that needs protection itself and that is crucial to enabling combat operations elsewhere. The Space Force is eventually expected to absorb the space programs spread across the Army and Navy as well, providing a more holistic, focused approach to managing the domain.

MAKING CANDY CROWLEY PROUD "Watch CNN Moderator Side With Warren Over Sanders in Ongoing Campaign Dispute," by WFB's Brent Scher: [Abby] Phillip dismissed Sanders's denial and proceeded to state the accusation made in the CNN report as fact when she handed the question over to Warren.

"Senator Warren, what did you think when Senator Sanders told you a woman could not win the election?" Phillip said, eliciting a look of disbelief from Sanders.

BARACK OBAMA, MISOGYNIST … "ABC News Analyst: Running for President Against a Woman is Sexist," by WFB’s Andrew Stiles: Per [Matthew] Dowd's expert analysis, Sanders could definitely prove he is not a raging misogynist by not running for president against a female candidate.

NANCY AND HER BASE … "The Epilogue of Impeachment," via PLAYBOY: Speaker [Nancy Pelosi], who does not drink, raised a glass of water and toasted the press and introduced a military band who played while she moved slowly through the room. Even some reporters are starstruck by the most powerful woman in the history of American politics, they crowded her and touched her hand and introduced themselves and said the names of their outlets.

A MORON EXPLAINS … "A modest proposal to save American democracy," via VOX: Literally nothing in the Constitution prevents Congress from admitting the Obama family’s personal DC residence as a state—a state which would then be entitled to two senators, one member of the House, and exactly as much say on whether the Constitution should be amended as the entire state of Texas.

Congress could then follow up this move by adding the personal DC residences of 149 other staunch Democratic families as states, each of which would then get two senators of their very own.

SHOWDOWN AT THE COUNTRY KITCHEN BUFFET … "Nursing Home Moment: Confusion Reigns as Elderly Candidates Debate Passage of Time," by WFB’s Andrew Stiles: WARREN: Wasn't that 30 years ago?

SANDERS: [attempts to do math in head] I beat an incumbent Republican Congressman.

WARREN: And I said I was the only one who has beaten an incumbent Republican in 30 years.

SANDERS: Well, 30 years ago is 1990, as a matter of fact.

So ended the exchange between two of the "top-tier" contenders to win the Democratic Party's presidential nomination in 2020. The current frontrunner, former vice president Joe Biden, 77, is generally considered to have had a good debate performance if he can string together a handful of complete sentences and doesn't cite Manuel Noriega in response to a question about health care reform.


"You know who really doesn’t have it? Joe Biden." —Former President Barack Obama

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