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Message to my TFC Friends…

In U.S. Politics on February 10, 2016 at 10:00 PM

Dear TFC Readers/Friends:

Beginning tomorrow, February 11. 2016, The Fifth Column will be on a brief hiatus until Monday, February 15.  During this time, I will be working with Don Babets, aka “H/t: db” to Fifth Column readers, to bring a new and expanded blog to you. 

Don Babets is a close internet friend; he and I, along with others, investigated and wrote about an ex-con trying to sabotage, demean and undermine then Senator Barack Obama’s 2008 Presidential Campaign. 

Long story short, Don will be a Contributor to The Fifth Column when this blog returns.

Don and I will be working to revise the layout of The Fifth Column, expanding coverage of the news presented to you on the blog, as well as developing a new feature we’ve tentatively entitled Page Two.  We envision this new feature as a source for  latest breaking news, with links to news items, op-ed columnists and editorials from a wide network of reliable sources.

We want to involve you, our readers, in our new publication; establishing a “hot line,” which will enable you to alert us to news articles and columns of interest to a Liberal/Progressive audience.  You will also be able to tip us to the latest breaking news.

Many of you have been with TFC since it’s inception. I am grateful for your continued support of this blog. Many more of you have joined our readership over the years. You too, are equally as important to the success of this blog.

Thank you all for your support.  See you on Monday!

Sheila (Kstreet)

Carly Fiorina Drops Out Of 2016 Race

In U.S. Politics on February 10, 2016 at 3:26 PM


AP Photo / Charlie Neibergall


The former Hewlett-Packard CEO didn’t qualify for the last GOP debate and she placed seventh in the New Hampshire primary.

As preliminary results of the primary rolled in, she told a crowd of her supporters that New Hampshire had given her the boost she needed to keep going.

Here’s her full statement:

This campaign was always about citizenship—taking back our country from a political class that only serves the big, the powerful, the wealthy, and the well connected. Election after election, the same empty promises are made and the same poll-tested stump speeches are given, but nothing changes. I’ve said throughout this campaign that I will not sit down and be quiet. I’m not going to start now. While I suspend my candidacy today, I will continue to travel this country and fight for those Americans who refuse to settle for the way things are and a status quo that no longer works for them.Our Republican Party must fight alongside these Americans as well. We must end crony capitalism by fighting the policies that allow it to flourish. We must fix our festering problems by holding our bloated, inept government bureaucracy accountable. Republicans must stand for conservative principles that lift people up and recognize all Americans have the right to fulfill their God-given potential.

To young girls and women across the country, I say: do not let others define you. Do not listen to anyone who says you have to vote a certain way or for a certain candidate because you’re a woman. That is not feminism. Feminism doesn’t shut down conversations or threaten women. It is not about ideology. It is not a weapon to wield against your political opponent. A feminist is a woman who lives the life she chooses and uses all her God-given gifts. And always remember that a leader is not born, but made. Choose leadership.

As I have said to the many wonderful Americans I have met throughout this campaign, a leader is a servant whose highest calling is to unlock potential in others. I will continue to serve in order to restore citizen government to this great nation so that together we may fulfill our potential.


10 things you need to know today: February 10, 2016

In U.S. Politics on February 10, 2016 at 9:40 AM

AP Photo/ J. David Ake


1. Trump and Sanders win big in New Hampshire
Donald Trump and Sen. Bernie Sanders won the New Hampshirepresidential primaries on Tuesday, both trouncing their rivals by wide margins. Trump took 35 percent of the Republican vote. Ohio Gov. John Kasich was a distant second with 16 percent, followed by Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, former Florida governor Jeb Bush, and Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida in a tight battle for third with around 11 percent each. On the Democratic side, Sanders won with 60 percent to Hillary Clinton’s 38 percent in a state she won in the 2008 primaries.

Source: The New York Times, The Associated Press

2. Obama sends Congress his final budget
President Obama presented the last budget of his presidency to Congress on Tuesday. The $4.15 trillion spending plan would increase total federal spending by 4.9 percent, mostly due to increases in Social Security and other mandatory programs. Discretionary spending would increase by less than 1 percent. The deficit would fall to $503 billion. Obama proposes raising additional funds over the next 10 years by hiking taxes on big banks and the wealthy. Republicans vowed to reject the budget, which House Speaker Paul Ryan called a “manual for growing the federal government at the expense of hardworking Americans.”

Source: The Washington Post

3. Supreme Court blocks EPA power-plant emissions policy
On Tuesday the U.S. Supreme Court issued an emergency order blocking the Environmental Protection Agency from moving forward with guidelines to reduce carbon pollution from power plants by 32 percent over the next 15 years. The 5-4 vote put the plan on hold until a lower court reviews a challenge by state and industry groups this summer. The unusual move marked a setback for President Obama’s use of executive authority, and cast doubt on whether his climate change initiative would survive a legal fight.

Source: Los Angeles Times, Politico

4. Intelligence officials warn ISIS might try an attack in the U.S.
The Islamic State will probably attempt attacks inside the U.S. over the next year, top U.S. intelligence officials testified Tuesday on Capitol Hill. The officials acknowledged that the Islamist terrorist group was infiltrating groups of refugees leaving Iraq and Syria and would attempt additional attacks in Europe, still on alert after the Paris attacks in November. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said there were more terrorist safe havens around the world now “than at any time in history.”

Source: CNN

5. South Korea closes joint industrial complex over North Korea’s rocket launch
South Korea said Wednesday that it was shutting down an industrial complex it operates jointly with North Korea in retaliation for Pyongyang’s launch of a long-range rocket over the weekend and a recent nuclear test. Unification Minister Hong Yong-pyo, who announced the decision, said the facility in the North Korean border town of Kaesong had helped finance the North’s weapons program.

Source: The New York Times

6. Ferguson council proposes amendments to police reform deal
On Tuesday the Ferguson, Missouri, City Council unanimously approved a consent agreement on police and court reforms negotiated with the Justice Department, but proposed amendments extending deadlines and capping the city’s costs. The Justice Department conducted an investigation following the fatal shooting of black teen Michael Brown by a white officer, and found racial bias in policing and municipal courts. A Justice Department official said the vote was “unfortunate” because it will delay “the essential work to bring constitutional policing to the city.”

Source: Reuters, ABC News

7. Flint water crisis could result in criminal charges, special counsel says
The special counsel investigating the Flint, Michigan, water crisis saidTuesday that criminal charges as serious as involuntary manslaughter could result if government officials are found to have been negligent. “It’s not far-fetched,” said Todd Flood, who was appointed as special counsel by the state’s attorney general. Dangerous lead levels turned up in the cash-strapped city’s water after it switched its water source to the polluted Flint River to save money.

Source: The Detroit News

8. Two arrested in New York trying to board flight with razor blades
A Bronx couple was arrested Tuesday and accused of trying to smuggle razor blades and a straight razor onto a Miami-bound American Airlines flight. Miguel Rosario Munoz, 39, and Lizbeth Esteras, 18, were detained after the straight razor was found under a removable sole in one of Munoz’s shoes. Authorities then found a razor blade inside the tag in a white baseball cap Esteras was wearing. They were charged with weapons possession and released.

Source: New York Daily News

9. Warner/Chappell Music agrees to return Happy Birthday fees
Warner Music Group’s publishing arm, Warner/Chappell Music, will return $14 million in licensing fees to settle a lawsuit over its claim to the copyright for “Happy Birthday to You.” The company also has agreed to give up its claims to the song, the Los Angeles Times reported, citing court documents released this week. The deal would end a lawsuit filed in 2014 by a California musician, a film producer, and two New York music producers, but it still has to be approved by a federal judge.

Source: Los Angeles Times

10. Beyonce gives Red Lobster a sales boost
Red Lobster said Tuesday that its sales had surged by 33 percent on Sunday — compared to the year before — after Beyonce released a new track called Formation in which she mentions the seafood chain’s food as a reward for sex. The overtly political song also touches on topics including police brutality and black culture. Red Lobster was mentioned on Twitter 42,000 times in one hour, company spokesperson Erica Ettori said. In the song, Beyonce addresses her own influence, saying, “I might just be a black Bill Gates in the making.”

Source: CNN

Black College Professor: I Was Handcuffed By White Cops For A Parking Ticket

In U.S. Politics on February 10, 2016 at 8:20 AM

Credit YouTube

Other news outside of the NH Primaries…


A black college professor from New Jersey is alleging that police officers detained her over a parking ticket, handcuffing her to a table and subjecting her to a search.

Dr. Imani Perry, an African-American studies professor at Princeton University, said she was mistreated by two white police officers because of her race. (Emphasis are mine – ks)

According to a New York Times interview with police Capt. Nicholas K. Sutter, a computer search found that Perry had an outstanding arrest warrant for unpaid parking tickets from 2013, and she was arrested.

Dr. Perry wrote about her arrest on Twitter and Facebook, saying it left her humiliated and frightened. She said she was on her way to work when she was pulled over “for a single parking ticket three years ago.”

She said that the male officer conducted a “body search” on her even though a female officer was present. She said that she was not allowed to make a phone call before she was put into the squad car, and that she was later handcuffed to a table at the station.

Writing on Twitter, Perry said she received criticism from conservative observers who insisted she brought her predicament on herself, “There are a number of commentators online who have repeated to me an all-too-common formulation: ‘Well, if you hadn’t done anything wrong this wouldn’t have happened.’ But this demand for behavioral perfection from Black people in response to disproportionate policing and punishment is a terrible red herring.”

Perry’s case is the most recent in a string of incidents that have received exposure online, in which it appears police officers have put black citizens under extra scrutiny, in some cases leading to their deaths in the case of people like Sandra Bland.

In turn, this has led to the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement, in which greater accountability and oversight of police officers is being demanded. By contrast, conservatives have insisted that this accountability is part of a “war on cops.”

Oliver Willis


In U.S. Politics on February 10, 2016 at 7:45 AM

Donald Trump piles on the B.S.: During New Hampshire victory speech, all he does is double down on extremist nonsense

New Hampshire February 9, 2016. REUTERS/Jim Bourg – RTX269AC(Credit: Reuters)


Donald Trump was bursting with joy after his New Hamsphire win, reaching new heights of unbelievable drivel

A triumphant Donald Trump entered the stage at his New Hampshire primary victory rally to the sounds of “Revolution” by the Beatles, positively bursting with joy that the universe had righted itself and his singular excellence, an excellence that is greater than the excellence of all excellent people who came before him (though he is grateful for all their hard work), has finally been recognized.

“Do we have ground game?” he crowed to the ecstatic crowd. “We learned a lot about ground games in one week,” he added, a bit of snark thrown to the mainstream press that has long been expecting/hoping that Trump’s poll numbers would collapse in the face of more seasoned campaigns putting the baby-kissing, hand-shaking elbow grease.

A lot of corners of the media are still reeling from the shock that a clown like Trump can win anything, much less a prominent Republican primary. The Huffington Post’s front page was bristling with outrage.

But the remarkable thing about Trump’s speech is it’s not actually that different from boilerplate Republican nonsense: Claiming that foreign policy is mostly about belligerence, demanding an end to Obamacare, accusing Democrats of wanting to give away free stuff, pandering to gun nuts, dark suggestions that Obama is lying about the economic turnaround, taking a swipe at Common Core, and implying that foreigners are sneaking over the Mexican border to kill us all with terrorism and heroin.

The main difference is that Trump is just more, well let’s say, boisterous about it.

“I’m going to be the greatest jobs president that God ever created,” he bellowed, before going on to declare that the media is lying about declining unemployment and that it could be as high as 42 percent. The gist of the claim— that Obama and the media are in cahoots to hide the truth about the economy, but your noble Republican candidate will fix it all — is no different from what other GOP candidates are saying. Trump’s just abandoned the pretense of making his arguments sound plausible at all.

In honor of the past frontrunner Ben Carson

In U.S. Politics on February 10, 2016 at 7:30 AM

Hullabaloo – by digby

I already miss him.

Rubio to Supporters: I’ll Never Screw Up Again (VIDEO)

In U.S. Politics on February 10, 2016 at 7:15 AM


MSNBC Screenshot


Donald Trump came in first place in the primary and Ohio Gov. John Kasich in second. Rubio was fighting to come in third when he took the stage for his speech, but could finish as low as fifth.

Rubio was skewered by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) during the Saturday night debate, criticizing him for repeating canned lines.

Rubio told New Hampshire that he would return.

“Tonight we did not wind up where we wanted to be, but that does not change where we are going to wind up at the end of this process,” Rubio said. “You will see us again because we’re coming back in November to win the general election.”




In U.S. Politics on February 10, 2016 at 7:00 AM


Racist, Sexist, Xenophobic Demagogue Wins NH…


Exit Poll: 66% Of GOP Primary Voters Support Banning Muslims From Entering U.S…. *No Prez Has Won A Contested NH Primary In 28 Years… Christie Going Home…

‘Dawn of the Brain Dead’: NY Daily News Cover Blames Trump NH Win on ‘Mindless Zombies’

In U.S. Politics on February 9, 2016 at 11:37 PM


Donald Trump won the New Hampshire primary tonight, so there’s a slight possibility moderates and mainstream-leaning voters are feeling pretty bummed. Of course, the folks at New York Daily Newswould be especially burned by the way things have gone, having used provocative covers and mocking headlines multiple times over the past few months to show how they really, REALLY dislike the GOP frontrunner.

The Huffington Post already tore into Trump tonight by giving him a blistering label as a sexist and a demagogue on their website, and now, it seems NY Daily News will be going the same way for tomorrow morning’s issue:

Yup. That would be an homage to the 1978 horror film Dawn of the Dead, depicting the cult of Trump as mindless New Hampshire zombies in worship of their clown leader. For good measure (or perhaps their own dismay), NY Daily News also threw in their previous covers of recent weeks, one of which mocked Trump for losing in Iowa, while the other challenged tonight’s voters to make a different choice.

It’s been an interesting night.

Bernie Sanders beats Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire primary

In U.S. Politics on February 9, 2016 at 11:30 PM

Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) beat Democratic rival Hillary Clinton in the New Hampshire primary Tuesday.



The Granite State was feeling the Bern Tuesday after Bernie Sanders scorched rival Hillary Clinton in the New Hampshire Democratic primary.

The surging democratic socialist topped the party favorite in a state she won eight years ago against Barack Obama.

“When we stand together, we win. Thank you, New Hampshire!” Sanders tweeted shortly after the results were announced.

The Vermont senator had been leading in the polls ahead of the nation’s first primary and was expected to come out ahead of Clinton, but the loss was still a blow to Clinton’s role as the established front-runner.

The Associated Press, as well as several television networks, called the race shortly after polls closed in the state, around 8:00 p.m.local time.

With 19% of the state’s precincts reporting, Sanders was up over Clinton 57% to 40%.

Sanders, well-known to voters along the state’s Vermont border, stuck to core campaign themes this week in an effort to avoid upsetting a race trending his way.

Hillary Clinton tried to sound upbeat during her concession speech Tuesday night.


“I felt like he was the most honest,” said Nicole Reitano, a 24-year-old from Nashua, New Hampshire, who voted for Sanders on Tuesday. “He’s had the same views forever, and he’s never budged. That makes me feel confident in him.”

Sanders pulled from a broad coalition of voters, gathering a majority of votes from men, independents and voters under 45, as well as a slim majority of women.

Clinton, meanwhile, still seen as the race’s front-runner, was shouldering renewed troubles amid talk of a potential campaign reshuffling — chatter that the former secretary of state dismissed.

“I have no idea what they’re talking about or who they are talking to,” Clinton said on MSNBC. “We’re going to take stock, but it’s going to be the campaign that I’ve got.”

The one-time New York senator barely eked out a win over Sanders in last week’s Iowa caucuses, but is considered to have the edge in southern states and

Clinton made her own comeback in 2008 by winning the state with 39 percent of the vote after losing the Iowa caucuses to Obama.

This time around, Clinton won the majority of those over 65 in New Hampshire and those with incomes over $200,000 a year, according to early exit polls conducted by Edison Research for The Associated Press and television networks.

Clinton’s campaign argues she will perform better as the race heads to more racially diverse states, including Nevada and South Carolina.

Both New Hampshire and Iowa are overwhelmingly white and far less diverse than the nation as a whole.

“The nomination will very likely be won in March, not February, and we believe that Hillary Clinton is well positioned to build a strong – potentially insurmountable – delegate lead next month,” Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook said in a memo released as the polls closed.

“A Democrat who is unable to inspire strong levels of support in minority communities will have no credible path to winning the presidency in the general election,”

Sanders’ victory Tuesday means he’s assured a majority of the state’s pledged delegates. With 24 at stake, Sanders stands to gain at least 13. Clinton will receive at least seven.

Clinton remains ahead in the overall delegate count due to support from superdelegates — the party officials who can support the candidate of their choice. Including superdelegates nationwide, Clinton has amassed at least 392 delegates and Sanders at least 42.

Clinton’s campaign had sought to temper expectations Tuesdaywith a circular that sent out to her supporters, noting that “whatever happens tonight, we’re ready to get back out there and fight twice as hard tomorrow.”



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