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PBC News & Comment: Despite Anderson Cooper’s Gotcha Games, First Dem Debate Was OK

Hillary and Bernie can both claim victory in CNN debate, range of topics covered was pleasant surprise, no major blunders….–Bernie saved Hillary from email questions, serving him well but diminishing a serious issue

–Guantanamo wasn’t mentioned, but many topics I thought would be skipped were covered; Sanders approves Obama’s incoherent, “hallucinatory” Syria policy but defends Snowden, says he would curtail NSA spying on Americans

–Clinton defends Patriot Act support, slams Snowden, is hawkish and still defends taking out Qaddaffi in Libya; and she says she is a “progressive”

–O’Malley, Webb and Chafee didn’t get to talk much, and when they did they often departed from Dem base views

–Sanders and Webb were strongest on campaign corruption and Citizens United

NY Times reported Sunday that half of the campaign cash for 2016 presidential races comes from only 158 rich families

–Russia begins to hit IS targets in Syria, as Putin tweaks US for refusing to share intel on IS targets, and rebels shell Russian embassy in Damascus during rally

–US and others show selective outrage when IS beheads people, but are silent as Saudis plan to behead and crucify teen who tried to organize protests, and UK objects to sentence of 350 lashes for British man who made booze in Saudi Arabia

–political prisoner Chelsea Manning sues over FOIA request for FBI files on Manning

–more biased coverage of Israel-Palestine conflict in NY Times and Washington Post, Ehab Zahriyeh nails it in this op-ed

–as predicted here, Obama is “re-thinking” plan to pull most troops from Afghanistan

–Andrew Bacevich exposes the deeply flawed Bush-Obama training of Iraqi and Afghan forces, calls it Vietnamization 2.0