TIME 2016 Election

Trump Proud of Kicking Jorge Ramos Out of Press Event

Donald Trump
Charlie Neibergall—AP Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a news conference in Dubuque, Iowa, on Aug. 25, 2015

"I think I handled that well. I got a lot of credit for it"

(PENSACOLA, Florida) — Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said Wednesday he’s proud of kicking one of the country’s best-known Spanish-language journalists out of an Iowa news conference — the latest in a series of clashes with the media.

“I think I handled that well. I got a lot of credit for it,” Trump boasted to conservative radio host Laura Ingraham a day after his bodyguards escorted Univision’s Jorge Ramos out of the event.

The latest spat for Trump comes as his rivals continue to grapple with how best to compete against the unpredictable billionaire businessman, who has skyrocketed to the top of summertime polls.

At a campaign event Wednesday in Pensacola, Florida, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush sighed when a member of the town hall audience uttered Trump’s name.

“Do we have to talk about this guy?” Bush asked.

Bush went on to criticize Trump’s immigration plan, specifically his proposal to build a massive border wall, calling it impractical and out of step with conservative principles because of its cost.

Trump has said he’ll get the Mexican government to pay for the wall, without specifying how he would do so.

“It is not feasible to build a wall as the sole solution,” Bush said. “It’s a simple thing to say and I’m sure it’s great for our friends in the press, but it’s not practical and it’s not conservative.”

He also criticized Trump’s clash with Ramos, saying all journalists should be treated with “dignity and respect.” He added that Trump needs to be held accountable by reporters.

“Go through these questions,” Bush said, “and what you’ll find is this guy doesn’t have a plan.”

Ramos was ultimately allowed back into Trump’s news conference, and they quickly resumed their argument over his immigrations proposals, interrupting each other during an extended back-and-forth.

The dispute didn’t go unnoticed on the Democratic side of the campaign, as front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton seized on Trump’s immigration rhetoric to argue his positions aren’t all that different from those held by the long list of other Republican candidates.

Speaking at an event in Ankeny, Iowa, she said Trump and his rivals don’t support a path to citizenship for the millions of immigrants living in the country illegally. She said calls from some, including Trump, to repeal the 14th Amendment of the Constitution, which guarantees birthright citizenship, are “out of touch” and “out of date.”

“Don’t get distracted by the flamboyant front-runner,” she said. “Most of the other Republican candidates are just Trump without the pizazz or the hair.”

Trump’s confrontation with Ramos, an Emmy Award-winning anchor who hosts the evening news program on the biggest Spanish-language network in the U.S., came a day after he resumed his feud with Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly.

Trump welcomed Kelly back from a vacation Monday night by tweeting that he liked her show better while she was away. Fox News chief Roger Ailes called on Trump to apologize.

Ramos and Kelly commiserated a bit on Kelly’s TV show Wednesday night.

“What is it like to be caught in the crosshairs of a billionaire presidential front-runner?” Kelly asked.

“Well, you know exactly how it feels,” Ramos replied.

During his conversation Wednesday with Ingraham, Trump toned down his attacks against Kelly, saying their spat was “not a death struggle, not a big deal.”

“Actually I watched her show last night. She was very nice and I appreciated it,” he said.

He said he and Ailes had just gotten off a phone call together, and praised the executive as “a good friend of mine” and a “special guy.”

Asked if he was going to continue his Twitter campaign against Kelly, Trump said, “No, I have much bigger things to think about, honestly.”

___

Colvin reported from Newark, New Jersey. Associated Press writer Catherine Lucey contributed to this report from Ankeny, Iowa.

TIME 2016 Election

Hillary Clinton Wants Joe Biden to Do ‘What’s Right for Him’

Biden has been meeting with key Democrats

Hillary Clinton said Wednesday that Joe Biden should have “space” to make his own decision about running for president, telling reporters she has “a great deal of admiration and respect” for her one-time colleague and potential adversary for the Democratic presidential nomination.

“Vice President Biden is a friend of mine. He and I were colleagues in the Senate, I worked with him as first lady, I worked with him in President Obama’s first term, and I have a great deal of admiration and respect for him,” Clinton said Wednesday in Ankeny, Iowa. “I think he has to make what is a very difficult decision for himself and his family, and he should have the space and opportunity to decide what he wants to do.”

Biden has been openly considering running for president for weeks, reaching out to donors and supporters and thinking ahead to a run. He’s spoken with Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a key leader of the progressive wing of the Democratic party, and President Barack Obama’s former counsel Bob Bauer.

His son, Beau, who died earlier this year of brain cancer urged him for years to run for president, but Biden would face a tough frontrunner in Hillary Clinton, as well as the disadvantage of jumping into a presidential contest late and without an experienced staff or organization.

TIME language

Why Dropping ‘Anchor Baby’ Is a Problem for Politicians

Dictionary
JGI/Jamie Grill—Getty Images/Blend Images

Language experts share their thoughts on how politicians and dictionaries have treated a heated term

Jeb Bush’s recent references to “anchor babies”—meaning certain children of undocumented immigrants, who are granted American citizenship by virtue of having been born within the nation’s borders—have landed the 2016 candidate in hot water, even after his attempt this week to clarify that was referring to isolated cases of Chinese “birth tourism” rather than to Hispanic immigrants. The outraged response was swift. “No matter which ethnic group you’re referring to, ‘anchor babies’ is a slur that stigmatizes children from birth,” California Rep. Judy Chu said in a press release.

Crucial to Bush’s defense of the term is the idea that it’s simply what you call the phenomenon he’s talking about. “You give me a better term and I’ll use it, I’m serious,” he told reporters. But, in fact, the phrase is a relatively recent coinage and, though it might seem cutesy—the type of thing that Stephen Colbert can use to make puns about children who steal microphones from newscasters on live TV—its history is anything but.

Many people trace the idea’s origins to the 1980s, when the term “anchor people” or “anchor children” was used as an epithet for Vietnamese youth whose families sent them to the U.S., with the hope that they could make money and then sponsor relatives back home for citizenship. (When these kids arrived in shabby vessels in Hong Kong, seeking asylum before traveling across the Pacific, locals called them “boat people.”) However, those early uses were not expressing the same idea that’s up for discussion today: the “anchor children” of that era were relatively older refugees, following in the footsteps of countless young people throughout American history who have set up homes in their new nation before helping their families immigrate.

It was years later that the new model of “anchor baby” started to take off, with a new meaning: infants conceived specifically so that their families could somehow benefit from their birthright citizenship. In the mid-2000s, proponents of strict immigration laws used the phrase to make arguments for keeping the doors closed tighter. Mainstream usage was spread by outlets like Newsmax and Fox News giving a larger platform to those voices, according to research documenting that spread. (The anchor baby’s more extreme cousin is the “terror baby,” the hypothetical kid who is birthed in America to more effectively carry out home-grown terrorism later on.)

The term really took hold in 2011, when the American Heritage dictionary sparked a controversy by adding an update with this definition:

anchor baby, n., A child born to a noncitizen mother in a country that grants automatic citizenship to children born on its soil, especially such a child born to parents seeking to secure eventual citizenship for themselves and often other members of the family.

The dictionary’s editor said on NPR that they had attempted to “objectively” define the phrase. And it’s true that the two words on their own are each innocuous. Being an anchor can even be a compliment. “There’s nothing specifically about the words themselves that makes them offensive,” says linguist Ben Zimmer, executive producer of Vocabulary.com, “but the idea that people are trying to find a devious way to get into the country by having children here basically dehumanizes everyone involved.” Advocates at places like D.C.-based Immigration Policy Center called the dictionary’s entry “poisonous and derogatory” for lacking the “offensive” label that is attached to definitions of taboo words.

In a few days, the definition was updated:

anchor baby, n. Offensive Used as a disparaging term for a child born to a noncitizen mother in a country that grants automatic citizenship to children born on its soil, especially when the child’s birthplace is thought to have been chosen in order to improve the mother’s or other relatives’ chances of securing eventual citizenship.

This about-face stirred debates about who should decide what’s offensive and who shouldn’t. Was an American institution kowtowing to liberals? Or was a dictionary being descriptive about how a word is truly perceived among English-speakers? When Oxford Dictionaries quietly added their definition after that controversy settled, they tagged it with a bright orange offensive label. Those signs are, Oxford editor Katherine Martin says, not chosen by lexicographers making emotional decrees but affixed as guidance for people who want to use the language intelligently.

Often when language gets accused of being offensive, public figures and media shift to more neutral ground, which can lead to some exhausting phrasing. (When the AP banned their journalists from using undocumented immigrant and illegal immigrant, for instance, standards editor Tom Kent suggested to TIME that a more precise description might be “foreigners in the United States in violation of the law.”) Martin says one problem with anchor baby is that there is no natural alternative, overwrought or otherwise—and not for the neutral reason suggested by Bush, whether or not he meant to insult anyone. “There is no neutral term for this because it is a term that is intended to be derogatory,” she says.

One indication of that intention, as the Washington Post‘s Amber Phillips points out, is that the idea it describes doesn’t entirely make sense in practice. As TIME explained in 2011, “the law says the parents of such a child must wait till she is 21 for her to be allowed to sponsor them to live and work legally in the U.S., and research shows that the vast majority of children of illegal immigrants are born years after the mother and father have arrived in the U.S.”

Regardless, the phrase has stuck. And, while debate over its use can actually lead to discussion of important issues like candidates’ positions on birthright citizenship (Bush is for it; Donald Trump, who also uses the term, is against it), that stickiness is just one more reason for conscientious politicians to steer clear of it, says linguist Zimmer. “The difficulty is that those pithy words and phrases are much more memorable and work their way into the public consciousness,” he says. “And once they’re there, they are difficult to dislodge.”

TIME Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton Calls For Greater Investment in Rural America

Democratic presidential candidate and former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivers remarks during a campaign stop at Dr. William U. Pearson Community Center on August 18, 2015 in North Las Vegas, Nevada.
Isaac Brekken—2015 Getty Images Democratic presidential candidate and former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivers remarks during a campaign stop at Dr. William U. Pearson Community Center on August 18, 2015 in North Las Vegas, Nevada.

She makes her pitch on Wednesday in Iowa

Hillary Clinton announced a multi-step plan on Wednesday to grow the economy and local services in rural areas, marking the latest effort for the Democratic frontrunner to firm up support for her candidacy in Iowa and broaden her appeal outside major metropolitan areas.

The proposal, which Clinton will officially announce Wednesday in Iowa, calls for increased investment in rural areas through a series of public-private partnerships that increase federal capital in rural areas.

“America’s rural communities lie at the heart of what makes this country great,” says Clinton’s white paper, provided to reporters. “The affordability of our food, the independence and sophistication of our energy supply, and the strength of our small communities all depend on a vibrant rural America. Despite their critical role in our economy, too many rural communities are not sharing in our nation’s economic gains.”

Several parts of Clinton’s rural agenda have already been announced in other plans, including the creation of an infrastructure bank, her goal of increasing the number of solar panels to more than 500 million in five years, as well as comprehensive immigration reform.

But the plan also includes a pitch directly to Iowa farmers: She would doubling federal loan guarantees for bio processing plants and technologies, long a boon to rural Iowa’s farming industry. Clinton also reiterated her support for strengthening the Renewable Fuel Standard, which her policy paper said “drives the development of advanced cellulosic and other advanced biofuels.”

She would also double federal funding for a program that educates beginning farmers, and build on Clinton’s “Farm-to-Fork” initiative as New York Senator by doubling funding for farmers markets and direct food sales.

Clinton’s proposal would increase the number of Rural Business Investment Companies—government-funded capital networks—that make investments in small rural businesses. She would expand the New Markets Tax Credit, which gives investors a federal tax credit for investments in businesses located in low-income areas. The program expired in 2014 but has bipartisan support in Congress.

The plan also calls for improving healthcare in rural areas by expanding telehealth and remote patient monitoring It also called for better prevention and treatment of substance abuse, noting that drug-associated deaths have grown fastest in rural areas.

Clinton has a strong lead in Iowa over Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, according to recent polls showing her with 54% compared with Sanders’ 20%. She’s also earned major endorsements from key Iowa leaders in recent weeks, including former Senator from Iowa Tom Harkin, and Tuesday, from Secretary of Agriculture and former Iowa governor Tom Vilsack.

“Her strong support for the Renewable Fuel Standard and bio-based manufacturing as important parts of a revitalized rural economy makes clear she will work hard to promote meaningful economic opportunity throughout the country,” Vilsack wrote in an op-ed announcing his support.

In New Hampshire, the primary contest after Iowa, Clinton is trailing Sanders, according to recent polls.

TIME

Morning Must Reads: August 26

Capitol
Mark Wilson—Getty Images The early morning sun rises behind the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC.

Donald Trump‘s on-air sparring with Univision anchor Jorge Ramos became an instant classic of the 2016 presidential cycle Tuesday, and turned up the level of panic within the GOP over how Trump’s candidacy is affecting the Republican Party’s standing with Latino voters. Ramos, the most popular Spanish-language broadcaster in the country, has grown increasingly critical of the party’s rhetoric on immigration issues, potentially depriving the GOP of support among a constituency it needs to win over. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie hit former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush for his shifting rhetoric on immigration Tuesday, the latest Republican to sense weakness in the well-funded, one-time-front-runner’s campaign.

Trump, meanwhile, has until the end of September to affirm he won’t run a third party candidacy or see himself left off the ballot in the South Carolina primary, state party chairman Matt Moore announced Tuesday. It’s a move that is also being adopted by several other states, requiring the candidate to certify they’ll back the eventual GOP nominee. But it’s unclear whether the statement has the force of law, or is simply designed as a PR victory for the GOP establishment.

Joe Biden is holding a call with members of the Democratic National Committee ostensibly about foreign policy, but the timing, as he’s weighing a presidential run, betrays another motivation. Biden still has not made up his mind on a long shot bid, which would pit the popular, but gaffe-prone, VP against a massive Clinton organization that has nearly a year’s head start on building a campaign.

Here are your must-reads:

Must Reads

Donald Trump and Univision’s Jorge Ramos Spar on Immigration
One of the campaign’s most memorable moments yet [TIME]

Joe Biden to Hold Unusual Call With Democratic Party Officials
A foreign policy call as he ponders a presidential run [New York Times]

Conservative Sting Video Goes Inside Clinton Campaign Training
No wrongdoing, but a warning of more to come [TIME]

Behind the Biden hype
Channeling the grief over his son’s death into an agonizing decision over whether to run in 2016. [Politico]

Sound Off

“I mean, the fact is that you don’t need to be pandering to one way or the other. I’ll tell you the way you don’t do it. You don’t do focus group tested trips to the border, speak Spanish and then criticize Asians.” —New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie criticizes Jeb Bush on Fox News over his comments on immigration.

“I don’t know if adultery is against the law still. In some states, there are old laws against adultery, but I think if we start going after people and locking people up for adultery we’re headed for a bizarre world.” —Sen. Rand Paul on the Ashley Madison hack to the Washington Post.

Bits and Bites

Why Bernie Sanders Won’t Add Debates Without Hillary Clinton [TIME]

The Air Force’s $25 Billion Bomber Blunder [TIME]

Carly Fiorina campaign takes issue with CNN debate qualifications [Medium]

Latino News Media, Offended by Donald Trump, Shows It in Broadcasts [New York Times]

Trump has until Sept. 30 in SC to rule out third-party run [Associated Press]

Caroline Kennedy used private email as ambassador to Japan [Associated Press]

Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren have a frosty past [Boston Globe]

Jeb Bush’s false claim that Planned Parenthood is ‘not actually doing women’s health issues’ [Washington Post]

Jeb Bush set to release ‘Reply All,” an e-book based on emails from time as governor [Tampa Bay Times]

The senator who is ‘ready for the Hunger Games’ [CNN]

State Contractors Aid Governors’ Campaigns [Wall Street Journal]

TIME Hillary Clinton

Conservative Sting Video Goes Inside Clinton Campaign Training

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Charlie Neibergall—AP Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks to supporters during a rally before the Iowa Democratic Party's Hall of Fame Dinner, Friday, July 17, 2015, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

A first shot in a coming undercover series

The conservative group Project Veritas released a video Wednesday morning showing a glimpse of its long-anticipated undercover video sting inside the Clinton campaign.

“This is just the tip of the iceberg,” says James O’Keefe, the group’s founder in the clip.

Filmed by hidden camera by Project Veritas supporters posing as Clinton volunteers, the video shows a Clinton campaign staffer discussing strategies for targeting voter registration efforts. The campaign’s policy is to register all those who ask to register, a fact the staffer repeats.

But the staffer is also seen encouraging the “volunteer” to first ask whether the Iowans they encounter are Clinton supporters before asking if they are registered to vote. “We don’t want to make our focus be voter registration, because then we have to, like, register everyone regardless of whether they’re supporters or not,” the Clinton organizer is shown saying.

Nothing in the video shows the Clinton campaign violating the law, or the campaign’s own policy. But Veritas claims, nonetheless, that the campaign is “skirting the law” by first asking whether potential voters are supporters before making the registration offer. This approach to training volunteers is standard operating procedure across field campaigns, according to a Republican field staffer, who requested anonymity.

The Clinton campaign put its offices on alert nationwide last week after catching wind of the Project Veritas effort, warning about the potential for more attempts to infiltrate its campaign. Other schemes identified by the Clinton campaign included efforts to convince staffers and volunteers to accept potentially illegal contributions.

In the video, a Veritas supporter is seen greeting Clinton and posing for a photo with her, though it is not clear whether their interaction yielded anything of note. “Stay tuned Hillary, because we’re shortly going to release a stunning story of electoral malfeasance at the highest levels of your campaign,” O’Keefe says. “Check your email.”

The Clinton campaign declined to comment on the video.

Read next: Why Bernie Sanders Won’t Add Debates Without Hillary Clinton

Download TIME’s mobile app for iOS to have your world explained wherever you go

TIME 2016 Election

Donald Trump and Univision’s Jorge Ramos Spar on Immigration

Trump sought to silence the Spanish-language journalist

Donald Trump attacked the most important journalist on Spanish-speaking television in a face-off with Univision’s Jorge Ramos on Tuesday in Iowa, the latest in a series of verbal assaults against journalists by the billionaire presidential candidate.

The latest kerfuffle began when Ramos tried to ask Trump about his immigration plan before he called. Trump responded by telling anchor Ramos to “go back to Univision.”

Earlier this month Trump insulted Fox News anchor Megan Kelly after she asked him tough debate questions, saying she had “blood coming out of her wherever.” This week Trump continued to taunt Kelly, using the word “bimbo” to describe Kelly in tweet and saying he liked her show better without her.

In another spat with journalists, Trump launched into a tirade against the Des Moines Register last month after the newspaper’s editorial board called on him to drop out of the race. In a statement, Trump said the paper had “lost much circulation, advertising, and power” and would “do anything for a headline.”

At a press conference this week, Trump pounced on Ramos as he stood up and asked Trump a question about his immigration plan before he was called. “Sit down. You weren’t called sit down. Sit down.”

“I have the right to ask a question,” said Ramos.

“No you don’t,” Trump said. “You haven’t been called. Go back to Univision.”

As Ramos continued to speak, Trump appeared to glance at his regular, traveling bodyguard and click his lips. The bodyguard then approached Ramos and escorted him out of the room.

When a reporter asked Trump about the exchange moments later, Trump said, “I don’t really know much about him… I didn’t escort him out. Whoever security is escorted him out.”

Trump added “Somebody just walked him out, I don’t know where he is, I don’t even mind if he comes back, frankly… He’s obviously a very emotional person.”

About ten minutes later, Ramos was allowed back into the room, and again challenged Trump on his immigration policy, saying “Your immigration plan is full of empty promises. You cannot deport 11 million people. You cannot deny citizenship to the children. You cannot—”

Trump cut him off. “Why do you say that? Excuse me, no, no. A lot of people think that’s not right, that an act of Congress can do that,” referring to citizenship by birth, a constitutional principle that grants citizenship to children born in the United States.

Trump interrupted Ramos several times, continuing to make his argument. “Excuse me, no. No, no, some of the greatest legal scholars, and I know some of those television scholars agree with you,” he told Ramos as they disputed birth citizenship.

The exchange between journalist and real estate mogul was so tense partly because it centered on one of the most controversial planks of Trump’s candidacy, his immigration platform. The real estate mogul has called for the deportation of 11 million undocumented immigrants and the construction of a 1900-mile wall between the United States and Mexico. Trump’s plan has won him the support of the Republican conservative base, and anger among immigrant advocates, moderates, Democrats and Hispanics.

Ramos has been a persistent critic of Trump, questioning the Republican candidate’s scanty immigration white paper and the expense and chaos that deporting 11 million undocumented immigrants might cause.

Trump defended his plan to Ramos, saying “We’re going to do it in a very humane fashion,” said Trump. “I have a bigger heart than you do.”

TIME Bernie Sanders

Why Bernie Sanders Won’t Add Debates Without Hillary Clinton

Democratic Presidential Candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) Campaigns In Chicago
Scott Olson—Getty Images Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) speaks to supporters gathered for a meet-and-greet fundraising reception at the Park West on August 17, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois.

Strategic interests of the various candidates have frozen the Democratic debate plan

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has been hearing it from all sides. A former governor’s top staffer begged him to consider participating in an additional Democratic primary debate. A television outlet reached out repeatedly, eager to sponsor one. Thousands of the Vermont Senators’ fans signed petitions, appealing for more televised contests.

But the surging Democratic presidential candidate has been unmoved. In the midst of ongoing pressure for more Democratic primary debates, it’s increasingly unlikely that Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders will flout the Democratic National Committee’s strict rules that threaten punishment for any candidate who attend more than the six official debates.

Fearful of risking exclusion from a major national debate against Hillary Clinton, or elevating some of his lesser rivals, Sanders’ campaign has said he will not debate unless all the Democratic candidates for president are on the stage.

For former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, who is stalled at 1% in national polls despite months of campaigning and 15 years of executive experience, an appearance in a Democratic debate could be a decisive factor in his campaign, giving him a wide national audience to boost his name recognition. But Sanders is already attracting huge crowds of as large as 28,000 and has already surpassed Hillary Clinton in two polls in New Hampshire. “The O’Malley campaign was instantly excited and ready to go,” said a source at the TV outlet, referring to his efforts to organize an additional debate. “Sanders’ campaign has been impossible to get in touch with.”

“Sanders holds all the cards,” the source continued. “But right now he’s not playing.”

O’Malley and Sanders have both repeatedly called for more debates than the six sanctioned by the Democratic party, whose leadership has said it will punish presidential candidates who debate outside its framework by disqualifying them from further debate. At stake is crucial airtime and publicity for upstart candidates on a national stage, and the Democratic party’s chance to hash out its differences and policies from social security, immigration reform to Wall Street regulation.

“At a time when many Americans are demoralized about politics and have given up on the political process, I think it’s imperative that we have as many debates as possible,” Sanders said in a statement earlier this month. “I look forward to working with the DNC to see if we can significantly expand the proposed debate schedule.”

In recent days, however, Sanders’ campaign has rebuffed at least one TV outlet’s efforts to draw Sanders into an additional debate outside the six sanctioned by the Democratic National Committee. Earlier this month, his campaign manager brushed off a call from Gov. Martin O’Malley’s staff seeking further debate.

“It is not in Sanders’ self-interest to give up the possibility of debating Hillary Clinton,” said Kathleen Jamieson, director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania. “His advantage is to be in the same stage as her, demonstrating that he can hold his own. He is doing well enough in the polls that forgoing that would be foolish.”

For each candidate, the debates are a challenge and an opportunity. It’s in frontrunner Hillary Clinton’s interest to hold fewer debates and minimize exposure; she is sticking with the debate schedule, which rivals say was crafted by her party allies. It’s in low-polling O’Malley interest to get as much airtime as possible; he wants many more debates, and appears willing to debate without Clinton. And with Sanders surging in the polls, it benefits him most to challenge Clinton directly.

The DNC “has created a structure of mutual self interest,” Jamieson said.

Meanwhile, progressive activists, including many Sanders supporters, have accused the party of sheltering Hillary Clinton from a potentially damaging debate against her rivals for the nomination. Sanders’ base is calling on the DNC with increasing urgency to open up the debate schedule, tweeting and calling the DNC at a furious rate. “The Democratic National Committee isn’t playing fair,” said Bernie activists and VoteForBernie.org.

An angry group repeatedly booed Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Shultz at the Iowa State Fair’s soapbox on Saturday. Some in the annoyed audience scuffled with the protestors in a tense standoff.

On Tuesday, the Concord Monitor published an op-ed by two New Hampshire Democrats accusing “the Democratic hierarchy” of allowing Donald Trump and the Republicans to seize the spotlight. And Sanders’ Reddit following has called at an unceasing pitch for more debates.

Critics compare this year’s six debates to 2008, when Clinton and Barack Obama debated more than a dozen times before the Iowa caucus, mostly outside of the DNC framework. Supporters of the DNC’s rule point to 2008’s grueling schedule and the wearying effect it had on candidates.

Sanders has hinted he’s open to debates with labor union groups, “environmental groups, women’s groups, gay groups,” and “different constituencies,” adding “the more debates, the better.” But only, it seems, if Clinton is there, too.

“Our view is that there should be more debates, but that they must involve all of the candidates,” said spokesman Michael Briggs in a recent statement to TIME.

In a petition circulated by the Sanders campaign earlier this summer, Sanders said “I know that if Secretary Clinton wants more debates, we’ll get them.”

]

TIME Military

The Air Force’s $25 Billion Bomber Blunder

Northrop Grumman An artist's rendering of what the Long Range Strike Bomber might look like.

Are these the same people picking targets?

No one knows what the Air Force’s top-secret new bomber will look like. But the service keeps saying it knows how much it’s going to cost. That’s what makes the Air Force’s $25 billion price tag error so disconcerting.

The problem began last year, when the service told Congress the yet-to-be-built Long-Range Strike Bomber would cost $33.1 billion between 2015 and 2025. It recently updated the estimate (from 2016 to 2026) to $58.4 billion—a hike of $25.3 billion, or 76%.

That works out to a swing of $169 for each of the roughly 150 million Americans who file federal tax returns. But, the Air Force acknowledged last week, the latest cost estimate to develop and buy the aircraft over the coming decade is pegged at $41.7 billion. Apparently, the fledgling stealth bomber can elude fiscal reckoning as well as enemy radar.

The pair of multi-billion-dollar snafus—$9 billion too low last year, $17 billion too high this year—is head-spinning. It leads to a simple question: is anyone minding the store?

Calculating the cost and timetable of new weapons is always difficult. Military hardware is constantly pushing the boundaries of what is possible (the new bomber, for example, will be “a long-range, air-refuelable, highly survivable aircraft with significant nuclear and conventional stand-off and direct-attack weapons payload,” according to the Air Force). The military hierarchy has strong institutional incentives to lowball costs and tighten schedules despite the state-of-the-art systems under development that challenge both. Lower costs and quicker production make it more likely that a weapon will be bought.

That helps explain why a weapon’s final cost, at the end of a production run, usually bear little resemblance to initial projections (and the inevitable delays drive up costs, which reduce the numbers of aircraft, tanks or ships to be bought, which drives up costs, and so on).

But none of that explains why the Air Force flubbed its numbers for the new bomber. Sure, early cost projections (drafted by an alliance of a military service that wants to buy what’s being built, and by contractors who want to sell it), are squishy.

But the Long-Range Strike Bomber was supposed to be different. Ever since 2011, the Pentagon has been saying the new warplane will cost $550 million a jet (although that estimate uses 2010 dollars, requires buying up to 100 of the new planes, and doesn’t include an estimated $20 billion more in research and development efforts that will be required to build it). In other words, it will cost a lot more than $550 million apiece, and taxpayers will invariably foot the higher bill.

The Long-Range Strike Bomber (it’ll eventually get a nifty name, like the B-3 Stealthstratofortress soon enough) isn’t a run-of-the-mill program. After all, it’s one of the service’s top programs, something the Air Force says is a vital replacement for the aging B-52 and B-2 bomber leg of the nuclear triad, which also includes land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles and submarine-launched missiles. A team of Boeing and Lockheed Martin is competing against Northrop Grumman to build it. The service announced last June it expected to select a contractor by this past spring, but that announcement has slipped until fall.

Rebuilding the nation’s nuclear triad is serious business. The cost estimates, contained in annual reports to Congress on how much the nation is modernizing its atomic forces, should have been double-checked, coordinated, scrubbed and double-checked again to ensure their accuracy.

While they’re only estimates—and need to mesh only with other estimates—their integrity is key to building support for a program that some believe isn’t worth the cost.

So what happened?

“It occurred in part because of human error,” Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James said Monday. “And in part because of process error, meaning a couple of our people got the figures wrong and the process of coordination was not fully carried out in this case.”

Those who erred have been “counseled,” James said. “The key thing is there has been no change in those cost figures.”

In other words, that recent $41.7 billion estimate is rock solid, at least for now. As they say of the nuclear weapons the new bomber is being designed to carry: close enough.

TIME 2016 Election

‘Deez Nuts’ Copycats Are Giving Election Officials a Headache

Rash of bogus presidential candidates taxing government resources

Thanks a lot, “Deez Nuts.”

Since a poll propelled the fake U.S. presidential candidate into national headlines Wednesday, 249 copycats, clowns and pranksters have inundated the Federal Election Commission with paperwork launching “official” White House campaigns.

Some possess leadership bona fides, if not proper constitutional qualifications: Star Trek Capt. Jean-Luc Picard, Queen Elsa from Disney’s “Frozen,” former Cuban President Fidel Castro, Jedi knight Obi-Wan Kenobi and Captain Crunch.

And imagine a presidential debate that includes Frank Underwood from “House of Cards,” Ronald Reagan’s Ghost, a Bill Clinton imposter and three fraudulent Joe Bidens. But these wags — including a bunch whose names crudely refer to body parts or sex acts — are also potential headaches for federal regulators, who already struggle with limited resources and massive paperwork backlogs.

No matter how outrageous or asinine, the FEC must, by law, pay some measure of attention to these White House wannabes and cannot simply ignore them or reject their filings, which may be submitted with relative ease through the agency’s website. In addition to processing and tracking their initial paperwork, FEC staffers are tasked with sending follow-up letters to registered candidates who submit “missing or inaccurate information,” asking them to correct their mistakes.

“The agency has no authority over and makes no judgement on an individual’s qualifications or eligibility to run for office or obtain ballot access,” FEC spokeswoman Judith Ingram wrote in a statement to the Center for Public Integrity.

Read More: Deez Nuts Speaks: Meet Brady Olson, the 15-Year-Old Candidate for President

The FEC doesn’t require a prospective presidential candidate to file official paperwork until the candidate has raised or spent more than $5,000. “That said, anyone may file,” Ingram continued, adding that for these voluntary filers, “the agency has a statutory obligation to make all filings publicly available.”

The government does have recourse. For example, people who file “false, erroneous, or incomplete information” when registering as presidential candidates could subject themselves to FEC fines.

The Department of Justice could also criminally prosecute people who “knowingly and willfully” submit erroneous information to federal regulators, said Paul S. Ryan, senior attorney at the Campaign Legal Center, a nonpartisan campaign reform advocacy group. But it’s unlikely the government will “throw good money after bad,” Ryan continued, since most comic candidates won’t ever launch a real presidential campaign or raise any money.

Given this, could the federal government charge people some small amount of money — say, $50 or $100 — to file registration paperwork, with hopes of curbing jokers from creating false candidacies first place?

FEC Chairwoman Ann Ravel, a Democrat, likes that idea, since it could conserve her agency’s resources. “A nominal filing fee would make sense,” Ravel said, quickly adding it “must be nominal, because of the importance of encouraging all people to participate in the political process.”

In the meantime, political jesters are free to keep joining the moneyed ranks of Jeb Bush, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

Twenty-one new presidential candidates materialized on Monday alone, including Arizona resident “Cranky Pants” and “Zakk Flash” and his “Anarchist Campaign Committee.” They’ll compete with a pair of “Deez Nuts” knock-offs — Deez W. Nuts and Bofa Deez Nuts, inspired by the 15-year-old Iowa kid who started this presidential filing fad.

To date, there are technically about 850 registered candidates running for president this election. That compares to about 200 presidential candidates who had registered at this point during the 2012 election cycle, according to FEC records.

This story is from The Center for Public Integrity, a nonprofit, nonpartisan investigative media organization in Washington, D.C. Read more of its investigations on the influence of money in politics or follow it on Twitter.

Your browser is out of date. Please update your browser at http://update.microsoft.com