In an editorial published late Wednesday evening, The Des Moines Register skewered the Democratic caucuses in Iowa as being a "debacle." "We can take ribbing over our quirky process. But what we can't stomach is even the whiff of impropriety or error," the paper, which has endorsed Hillary Clinton, wrote. "What happened Monday night at the Democratic caucuses was a debacle, period. Democracy, particularly at the local party level, can be slow, messy and obscure. But the refusal to undergo scrutiny or allow for an appeal reeks of autocracy."
There have been questions raised about the Democratic Party's bias toward Clinton from the start; after all, Sanders has only recently identified himself as a Democrat. Nevertheless, the Sanders campaign hasn't formally demanded a recount of the caucuses, although they are reviewing the results on their own, precinct by precinct. A spokeswoman for the campaign said they have already found inconsistencies.
The Des Moines Register agrees there needs to be a complete re-evaluation of the process:
First of all, the results were too close not to do a complete audit of results. Two-tenths of 1 percent separated Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. A caucus should not be confused with an election, but it's worth noting that much larger margins trigger automatic recounts in other states.
Second, too many questions have been raised. Too many accounts have arisen of inconsistent counts, untrained and overwhelmed volunteers, confused voters, cramped precinct locations, a lack of voter registration forms and other problems. Too many of us, including members of the Register editorial board who were observing caucuses, saw opportunities for error amid Monday night's chaos. [The Des Moines Register]
Two nuns who worked as nurse practitioners at a medical clinic in rural Mississippi were found murdered in their home Thursday morning.
— Salvador Hernandez (@SalHernandez) August 25, 2016
Maureen Smith, a spokeswoman for the Catholic Diocese of Jackson, said there were signs of a break-in at their home in Durant and their vehicle was missing. Authorities did not release a motive, and said it's unclear if their religion had anything to do with it. They also did not say if there are any suspects. The Rev. Greg Plata told The Associated Press police told him the women, identified as 68-year-old Sister Paula Merrill and Sister Margaret Held, were stabbed. "They were two of the sweetest, most gentle women you can imagine," Plata said. "Their vocation was helping the poor."
While working at the Lexington Medical Clinic, the nuns provided medical care for people who otherwise couldn't afford to go to the doctor. "They'll help anybody they can help," Lexington Medical Clinic manager Lisa Dew told AP. "They'll give you the shirt off their back." Merrill worked for more than 30 years in Mississippi. She was originally from Massachusetts, and joined the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth in Kentucky in 1979. Held was a member of the School Sisters of St. Francis in Milwaukee. Catherine Garcia
Sonia Rykiel, the French designer dubbed the "queen of knitwear" by Women's Wear Daily in the 1960s, died Thursday at her home in Paris. She was 86.
Rykiel was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in the early 1990s. She was born to Russian and Romanian parents outside of Paris in 1930, and in her early twenties, married a Paris boutique owner. She wasn't happy with any of the items he had for sale, and started making her own pieces, beginning with maternity clothes. Her husband sold her work, and the pieces, like the "poor boy" sweater, were so popular she opened her own store on Paris' Left Bank in 1968. Early fans included Audrey Hepburn and Brigitte Bardot, and Rykiel's fashion house turned into a multi-million dollar global brand. Her designs have been featured in museums, and she also wrote several books. She is survived by a daughter, Nathalie, and son, Jean-Philippe. Catherine Garcia
American swimmer Ryan Lochte was charged Thursday by Brazilian police with filing a false robbery report during the Rio Olympics.
In a statement, the police said Lochte will be notified and can decide if he wants to introduce a defense in Brazil, The Associated Press reports. The indictment will also be sent to the International Olympic Committee's ethics commission. Lochte had said that while returning to the Olympic Village from a party Aug. 15, he and three other swimmers were robbed at gunpoint by men with badges. Police say a video instead shows an altercation between the swimmers and armed security guards. Lochte later said he was intoxicated at the time and the confrontation was caused by his behavior.
In Brazil, the penalty for filing a false crime report is up to 18 months in prison. If he does not return to Brazil to face the charge, Lochte could be tried in absentia. Catherine Garcia
Donald Trump is not taking back earlier comments he made about Hillary Clinton being a "bigot," and instead is doubling down.
In an interview Thursday with CNN's Anderson Cooper, the Republican presidential nominee said Clinton is a "bigot" who is "selling" minorities "down the tubes because she's not doing anything for those communities. She talks a good game. But she doesn't do anything." Cooper pressed Trump, asking him if he believes Clinton personally hates African-Americans, and Trump replied, "Her policies are bigoted because she knows they're not going to work."
During a speech Thursday in Nevada, Clinton said Trump "has built his campaign on prejudice and paranoia" and is "taking hate groups mainstream and helping a radical fringe take over one of America's two major political parties." Catherine Garcia
Hillary Clinton played up the theory of "you are who your friends are" in reference to Donald Trump during a speech in Reno, Nevada, on Thursday. Clinton mentioned Trump's past retweeting of racist Twitter accounts and his hesitancy to disavow former KKK leader David Duke's endorsement as evidence of Trump's improper temperament before pulling out the big guns: zeroing in on Stephen Bannon, Trump's newly minted campaign CEO and the chairman of Breitbart News.
She offered the audience a "flavor" of what Trump's friend Bannon is like, in the form of some of the headlines Breitbart News has published under Bannon's leadership:
Bannon-era Breitbart headlines HRC ran through just now: pic.twitter.com/HHQor51Er7
— laura olin (@lauraolin) August 25, 2016
"I'm not making this up," Clinton said. Sometimes "show, don't tell" really is the best strategy after all. Becca Stanek
Hey, remember Jeb(!) Bush? The former Florida governor and gone-too-soon 2016 Republican presidential candidate — who, by the way, was the original guy to look at American politics and say "hey, I can fix this"? Well, he appeared on New York's 77 WABC Radio to discuss GOP nominee Donald Trump's ever-shifting views on immigration — and he sounded pretty energetic about shooting down Trump's policy flip-flop.
"I can tell you what I'm for, which is meaningful reform across the board so that we secure the border, first and foremost," Bush told host Rita Cosby. He then said he'd support a policy "including an E-Verify system, and including visa reform, because 40 percent of illegal immigrants don't cross the southern border. They come with a legal visa, and they just stay." When Cosby pointed out that Trump's newest stance is strikingly similar to what Bush laid out, the former governor just chuckled:
— Ali Vitali (@alivitali) August 25, 2016
Bush also said people looking for a comprehensive immigration plan could purchase his 2013 book Immigration Wars, which "probably is a buck-ninety-nine on Amazon these days." Chin up, Jeb: The paperback version of Immigration Wars is currently pulling a whole $16 on the e-retailer. Pick up a copy, or listen to the whole interview here. Kimberly Alters
Hillary Clinton highlighted just how extreme Donald Trump is in a speech in Reno, Nevada, on Thursday, pointing to the Republican presidential nominee's embrace of "discredited conspiracy theories," his "steady stream of bigotry," and his campaign's use of "prejudice and paranoia." Although Trump may be attempting to reposition himself as a more moderate candidate via "some new people putting new words in his mouth," Clinton insisted that we already "know who Trump is."
She then pulled out an old Mexican proverb as evidence: "'Tell me with whom you walk, and I will tell you who you are.'" Trump, Clinton said, is essentially walking with "hate groups," whose support he hesitates to disavow, and with a campaign CEO who has published headlines praising the Confederate flag.
In her appeal to the center-right, Clinton urged voters — no matter what political party they may belong to — to realize this election is about "who we are as a nation." "If he doesn't respect all Americans," Clinton said of Trump, "how can he serve all Americans?" Becca Stanek