Democratic Presidential Debate Live Blog - December 19, 2015

politics | Dec 19, 2015 | By Martin Barillas

From FiveThirtyEight:

11:05 Not a lot of press in the press room. Hmmmm. Maybe they are getting enough coverage by partying with their Democratic friends.

This debate did not change anything for the Democrat race. They all had a good night, but neither O'Malley nor Sanders made any headway in advancing past Clinton. 

10:48 Clinton says American's rights are "at risk" if GOP is elected to White House. Now she talks about the kids and their "God-given" potential. and "May the Force be with you!" She was the only one to mention the Force, or the Deity. 

10:48 O'Malley is the first to talk about climate change. His message sounds very rehearsed.

10:46 "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it any more!" Sanders channels crazy man from "Network." BTW: when he talks about immigration, remember that his brother EMIGRATED to the UK where he has been elected to parliament. The rest of his closing statement was the standard, "I was born in a log cabin,...."

10:41 Still no tweets from trump during the debate. He must be holding fire.

10:35 Hillary says that Bill Clinton can be expected to help her on economy, not choosing china and flowers.

10:27 O'Malley: Guess what? Ebola is a virus. Drug addiction is a choice. Got it?

10.22 Sanders: a question for you...If marijuana is to be legal, why stop there? LEGALIZE HEROIN AND CRYSTAL METH NOW! Is that what you want?

Where is the personal responsbility in any of this? Should the government be involved in everything?

10:20 Sanders says majority of criminals in prison are black or Hispanic. Why is this so?  

10:19 O'Malley touts his record about police ... but what is his legacy in Baltimore? Not very pleasant there.

10.:3 Thinking back...What legal authority will O'Malley and Sanders use to break up banks? Executive action? 

10:08 These candidates try to get into an agrument but can't seem to keep it going. Maybe because they can't criticize Obama. And O'Malley and Sanders won't go after Clinton seriously.

10:05 Hillary "Savior of Middle Class". 

10:02 Clinton appears rational about college costs: "debt free" not "free tuition"

9:56 Sanders say free health care is a right. Accuses medical care and drug companies of bribing Congress. 

9:54 Hillary is get the lion's (or lioness's) share of the air time.

9:52 Hillary defends Obamacare but she says drug costs are going thru the roof and proposes $5000 tax credit. 

So where will the shortfall in revenue be made up?

9.48 ABC appears to be struggling with its streaming capabilities. Very sad.

9.43 Hillary wants everybody to love her! Raise tickets on the superwealthy AND partner with the wealthy AND incentivize small business...

9:24 Lots of applause for Hillary. No so much for O'Malley.

Can anything George Stephanopoulos says be taken seriously? He is a Clinton alumnus and supports Clinton Foundation. There really should be a consumer warning at ABC News about this.

9.30 Sanders interjects some clarity on Syria: get rid of ISIS first then Assad. Then nation-building.

9.25 Good line: Putting more Iranians in Syria is like pouring gasoline on a fire. Let's hope that Sanders will talk to the failures of Obama and Clinton in Libya and Syria.

A link to live stream: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6j6T0a2Tyek  

9.21 Hillary is getting her crown! She did split off a little from Obama on the no-fly zone, though. How can that be done without running into Russian air assets?

9.17 Clinton's plan depends entirely on what the Muslims choose to do. Doesnt seem like a strong negotiating tactic.

9.12 Sanders calling again for a Muslim coalition to fight ISIS. No plan B. He says he'll make it work. No one has EVER done that.

9:10 O'Malley wants 65,000 refugees from Syria. He is calling for preserving Chaldean Christians. 

9:10

9:08 O'Malley says Trump is untried and incompetent. Wow. And a fake story about a Muslim kid afraid that he will be thrown out of the country. Where is that from? Since when are American citizens the enemy?

9:00 I guess Sanders is not hoping for cooperation from the private sector to defeat terrorism if he identifies them as the enemy of the American people.

Clinton seems saner. Wow. How far to the left can O'Malley go?

ABC News link to debate is wonky. Try YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vwo-nB9bHj0

8:58 O'Malley says he won't "confiscate" combat assault weapons and continues to blame Washington. Sanders says strengthen background checks. No mention of strengthening background checks on Muslim terrorists. Or reforming ICE and State and DHS.

In a study released in 2014 by Columbia University, it was found that firearm-related deaths are twice as high among African-Americans than whites. The Columbia University study is the first to not only correlate gun-related deaths to ethnicity but also to group the statistics into state-specific categories.

8:50 Clinton's figure on gun deaths is a stretch. CDC says that is the figure for all gun deaths, including murders.

Somehow, she sees American citizen Trump as big a threat as ISIS/

8:46 Moderator Raddatz is a big supporter of the Democratic party. 

8:41 Clinton didn't say that she accepted the apology.

Sanders denounces "egregious' act by the DNC. He is not convinced that his info didn't get breached to Clinton camp. He wants an independent investigation? The Obama administration? Sanders agrees to apologize. Also to his supporters. 

Sanders is splainin' about the data breach. Sounds complicated. Hillary doesn't look like she's buying it.

Sanders is channeling the angry professor thingy. Planetary crisis? Sounds like a comic book. He wants a coalition in the Mideast. Where's that going to come from?

Watch the debate on ABC.

Debate is about to start.

Watch this space at 8pm eastern and leave your comments below!

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Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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