Martin O’Malley called Thursday for public financing of congressional campaigns and strengthening the Federal Election Commission to help fight abuses.
Mr. O’Malley unveiled the campaign finance reform plan on a day when many campaigns put out their totals of money raised for the quarter.
Other elements of Mr. O’Malley’s plan include tougher disclosure rules for campaigns and, as he has said in the past, overturning the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision that helped pave the way for the current big-money era in political finance.
“This week marks the end of another campaign fund-raising quarter. I’m not naïve: Campaign resources are important,” Mr. O’Malley said. “But the staggering figures required to run for the highest office in the land aren’t as much a sign of muscle as they are an indication just how broken our democracy is.”
Poor little Marty, he so desperately wanted to be the shiny progressive alternative to Mrs. Bill. Instead, the progs have opted for an old VW hippie van of a socialist candidate. One who can raise money with the greatest of ease, by the way.
As we mentioned here last week, the whole “Citizens United will allow Super PACs to buy elections” scare could be permanently filed under “Nonsense” with the early exits of Rick Perry and Scott Walker from the GOP race. Both were awash in Super PAC money but couldn’t connect with voters and, as a result, didn’t have any hard cash in their wallets for day-to-day campaign expenses.
O’Malley wants to stake out some territory left of Hillary Clinton that Bernie Sanders hasn’t yet, so he’s released a plan on an issue that even lefties aren’t talking about right now.
Go home, Marty, your elders are embarrassing you.
President Barack Obama has not lost confidence in leadership of the U.S. Secret Service despite an investigation that revealed 45 employees accessed the personal information of a lawmaker investigating a string of security lapses, the White House said on Thursday.
This latest in the “string of security lapses” really wasn’t that at all though, however. It was blatant, authoritarian targeting, something that this administration has been known for. The White House isn’t likely to be too upset with orders that more than likely originated in the White House.
The next president is going to have quite a mess to clean up when he or she arrives in January, 2017. There are only a few who have the temerity to undo the stink that The Idiot King is going to leave behind, none of them Democrats.
If what’s been done isn’t undone, the stink will become permanent and we could be looking at an America that’s “Soviet Lite”.
There are varying reports on the number of dead and injured, so it’s best not to speculate. Here is the link to the local news live stream:
Taliban fighters seized a military hilltop site in Kunduz, tightening their grip on the northern Afghan city on Wednesday.
NATO special forces joined Afghan troops Kunduz to try to push back Taliban insurgents, repelled a counter-offensive and advanced on the airport to shore up their biggest victory in 14 years.
Heavy fighting was underway near the northern city’s airport where government forces are holed up, highlighting the potent challenge the militants pose after their lightning capture of Kunduz.
The Taliban’s occupation — now in its third day — raises troubling questions about the capabilities of Afghan forces as they battle the militants largely on their own after NATO’s combat mission ended last December.
Will the last enemy to take back territory won by Western (specifically American) military men and women during the Obama years turn the light off when he leaves?
You get what I mean.
President Peace Prize is leaving a trail of telegraphed exit carnage as a legacy. Why, it’s almost as if the various enemies knew exactly how long they had to rebuild and be patient because someone in a position of authority let them know.
Anything for a couple of applause lines in a speech, right Mr. President?
Remember, this is all happening at a time when The Idiot King is threatening to veto extra funding for the Overseas Contingency Operations budget, despite the fact that the world he’s helped create is quite the contingency-rich environment.
Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont raised more than $24 million for his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination in the last three months, a significant sum that was fueled by a torrid pace of online donations: more than a million so far.
Sanders advisers, in announcing the fund-raising tally on Wednesday night, also said that the senator had more than $25 million in cash on hand.
Sure, the numbers that Hillary is going to report soon will probably (although it’s not safe to bet on anything in this election cycle anymore) be bigger, but all she has been doing is kissing up to big-money Democrat donors. Sanders has been getting his donations from the little folk.
This is exactly how Mrs. Bill’s 2008 run began to unravel. What’s worse now is that Barack Obama was a rising, youthful star in the Democratic Party back then. His ascent could be somewhat explained. Sanders is a twenty-four-year Washington mainstay who wasn’t even supposed to be able to make a run at Martin O’Malley this year.
On the Republican side, the big establishment money is already nervous about Jeb! and threatening to bail. How much longer will the Hillary backers refrain from calling the vice president’s office?
As Trump would say, YUGE.
Newly released emails show Russia-linked hackers tried at least five times to pry into Hillary Rodham Clinton’s private email account while she was secretary of state. It is unclear if she clicked on any attachment and exposed her account.
We’ve certainly come a long way from the halcyon days of “emails about Chelsea’s wedding” for “convenience” now, haven’t we?
It matters not whether she was actually hacked, all that is relevant is that she exposed herself to being hacked. Since no one in the MSM is saying it, it needs to be repeated everywhere in alternative media: if this were anyone else, he or she would already be worried about jail time.
This comes shortly after she and her minions were insisting (with almost the exact same wording in each case) that it’s “time to move on” from this “phony scandal”.
That sound you hear in the background is Crazy Joe the Wonder Veep calling his potential campaign staff.
Defense Secretary Ash Carter said on Wednesday he expected President Barack Obama to veto the annual defense policy bill currently making its way through Congress because it seeks to avoid budget caps by padding the war-funding account.
Carter told a Pentagon news briefing that he and other presidential advisers had already recommended that Obama veto the National Defense Authorization Act if it remains in its current form.
The bill, which is written by the Armed Services Committees in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, sets defense policy and authorizes new programs and spending. Appropriation of money is done through spending bills written by the Appropriations Committees.
“(Obama) has already indicated that if it were presented to him in the form in which it now appears it is going to be presented to him, it is going to be vetoed,” Carter said. “So, yes, that is unchanged.”
Carter said he had a number of objections to the compromise bill unveiled on Tuesday. The measure would authorize $612 billion in defense spending, including $90 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO), or war funds.
Obama had sought a base Pentagon budget of $534 billion, well in excess of the $499 billion federal spending cap for 2016. He also sought $51 billion in war funds.
To avoid breaking the spending caps while still giving the president the level of funding he sought, Republicans on Capitol Hill reduced the base budget and added extra money to the war fund, which is not restricted by federal spending limits.
“It attempts to evade the question of overall fiscal responsibility with the so-called OCO gimmick, which is objectionable to me and to others in other agencies,” Carter told reporters.
While fiscal responsibility is a noble goal for any part of the government, it ruffles the feathers of common decency that Democrats tend to be truly interested in it only when we are talking about making sure those who are defending the nation are involved.
Sure, there is fat to be trimmed in the DoD, but we’re also dealing with an administration that has a new mistake which needs to be dealt with militarily quite frequently. It would seem that the OCO might deserve some padding precisely because of this.
And we haven’t even gotten to the havoc the Iranian “peace” deal is going to wreak.
As polls show Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush slipping, and though his donors may be worried, he’s certainly not, at least visibly.
Speaking to ABC News today, Bush offered an anecdote about a previous GOP candidate whose chances seemed slim.
“This time, eight years ago, John McCain was traveling through the Atlanta airport. I saw him and he had no aide, no person, [he was] by himself because his campaign was supposed to be ended,” Bush said of the Arizona senator. “He won the Republican primary that year. This is how the process works; you have to go earn it.”
Again, it is absolutely stunning to think that all he’s had to do for eight years is prepare for this. Why he would want to evoke McCain 2008 memories baffles the mind. One thing it proves is that he is completely unaware of how the conservative base thinks or feels. John McCain is one of the most reviled turncoat Republicans in Congress, as far as the base is concerned.
This also indicates that Jeb! has no clue about what his unshakable flaw is: we see him as the John McCain of 2016 too.
So will the voters in the general election.
Via The Telegraph:
Islamic State-linked terror plots are increasing with attacks on the West foiled or taking place at a rate of more than two a month, according to a new study.
Since the declaration of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’s (Isil) “caliphate” last year, nine attacks unfolded out of a total of 32 Isil-inspired plots, or 2.3 a month, the Henry Jackson Society (HJS) said.
The think tank’s latest study of Isil-related terror found that the extremist group’s slick media operation is contributing to the radicalisation and inspiring attacks in Europe and elsewhere.
Although the US is under greater threat of attacks, countries in Europe have seen a higher number of deaths resulting from attacks.
According to the report author, Robin Simcox, there are likely to be many more attacks planned that the public is not aware of.
For a long time, we have been told that it’s al-Qaeda who is more focused on operating internationally while ISIS is more concerned with home-wrecking for now.
One thing al-Qaeda never had that ISIS does, however, is a social media savvy recruiting apparatus. This makes them more nimble abroad. It’s much easier to find a recruit or two a couple hundred miles away from a place they want to attack than use the old al-Qaeda sleeper cell export model.
Now that al-Qaeda has the refugee crisis to hide its exports in, they’ll both be more dangerous.
Heckuva job, Barack.
To the delight of libertarians everywhere and perhaps the most bone-headed astrophysicist ever, traitor or whistleblower (depends on your political preference and, oh, your level of HEY MAYBE DON’T DO SOMETHING TO THE U.S THAT ONLY THE RUSSIANS LIKE) Edward Snowden tore himself away from what I’m sure is a never ending supply of vodka to join Twitter.
Can you hear me now?
— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) September 29, 2015
Let this welcome tweet from Neil deGrasse Tyson be your guide if you ever find yourself drunk enough to take him seriously (I’m willing to start a crowdfunding page to raise the money to help him join his “patriot” friend in Russia):
— Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) September 29, 2015
Donald Trump says his self-described boycott of Fox News is over after only one week.
The Republican presidential hopeful is scheduled to appear on “The O’Reilly Factor” Tuesday evening.
The billionaire businessman has been angry with the network since the first GOP debate. Trump tweeted Sept. 23 he wouldn’t be doing any Fox shows “for the foreseeable future” because he felt the network had been treating him unfairly.
Fox said Trump had only announced his boycott after the channel canceled a scheduled Trump appearance on Bill O’Reilly’s show.
For a guy who supporters are banking on to fight, he sure gives in to Roger Ailes rather quickly.
Here and on PJTV I’ve been saying that I never bought any of this Trump/Ailes feud nonsense. There is no broadcast entity on cable that loves giving Trump more free air time. FNC was basically his advance promo team in the weeks leading up to his announcement.
These fights have been ratings kabuki theater, designed only to do what both Trump and Ailes do best: keep people talking about their brands.
Sanders said that after a “brilliant campaign” Obama made a mistake by expecting that he could easily negotiate with the other party.
“He thought he could walk into Capitol Hill and the Oval Office and sit down with John Boehner and Mitch McConnell and the Republicans and say, ‘I can’t get it all. You can’t get it all. Let’s work out something that’s reasonable,’ because he’s a reasonable guy. He’s a pretty rational guy,” Sanders said. “These guys never had any intention of doing [serious] negotiating and compromising … I think it took the president too long to fully appreciate that.”
But Sanders didn’t have a firm answer for how he would more successfully broker deals, saying the only way things will actually get done with a divided Congress is if the general population stays engaged in the political process and demand it.
“I don’t have any illusion that I’m going to walk in, and I certainly hope it is not the case but if there is a Republican House, and a Republican Senate that I’m going to walk in there and say, ‘Hey guys, listen. I’d like you to work with me on raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour,’” he said. “It ain’t gonna happen, I have no illusion about that. The only way that I believe that change takes place … is that tens of millions of people are going to have to stand up and be involved in the political process the day after the election.”
Conventional wisdom during the decades I have been involved in American politics is that it is easier to implement an agenda if tens of millions of people stand up and get involved in your cause the day of the election.
Maybe the Left’s favorite slobbering socialist grandpa knows of a secret loophole in the Constitution.
What’s most pathetic is that this isn’t a departure for Sanders, it’s pretty much on the same level of illogic as most of what he says. Even sadder is that this is precisely the kind of nonsensical populist rhetoric that deeply resonates with Democrats, particularly progressives. This man is a serious candidate for president on the Democrat side and he’s essentially saying, “I have no plan whatsoever, but if you all just yell loud, I can get my way.”
Sort of like Occupy Congress.
Obviously, the Sanders approach would be an executive-order frenzy that would make Barack Obama’s look restrained. There’s really nothing else that can be inferred from his statements.
It’s also quite ridiculous that anyone on the left is still asserting that the current occupant of the Oval Office spent even a moment interested in compromise.
Congressional Republicans’ threatened federal government shutdown is already costing U.S. taxpayers money and it has not even happened yet, budget experts said on Tuesday.
Whether or not the party’s conservative Tea Party faction forces a shutdown this week, there are real costs to discussing and preparing for the possibility of one, they said.
Making shutdown plans during the workday diverts federal workers from other tasks that then have to be put off, which costs time and money, said Yvonne Jones, a director at the Government Accountability Office, a non-partisan congressional watchdog. Jones wrote a report on the 2013 shutdown’s costs.
The Office of Management and Budget last week said “prudent management” meant federal agencies would be planning ahead for a possible Sept. 30 shutdown deadline by identifying which programs should be kept open and how to fund them.
The prolonged threat of a shutdown hurts staff morale, Jones said, further decreasing worker productivity. She said agencies have expressed concern over how much negativity the threat of a shutdown brought, even if it never happened.
I’ll give you a minute or three thousand to stop laughing about the idea that federal agencies engage in “prudent management” practices. That line alone should discredit this post and its author.
By the way, Republicans aren’t threatening a government shutdown, Ted Cruz is. The jellyfish floating atop the GOP leadership pool have been pretty clear that they are against it happening, so we once again have the liberal bias in the MSM in sync with the Republican establishment.
Still, they wonder where all of this anti-politician fever is coming from regarding the presidential hopefuls.
Rest peacefully, liberal America: Mitch McConnell has your backs.
The U.S. Senate, racing against a Sept. 30 deadline, has scheduled a procedural vote on Monday for legislation that would temporarily fund the federal government and avoid agency shutdowns on Oct. 1.
The legislation would not contain a provision that would defund women’s healthcare provider Planned Parenthood.
Those of us not suffering from amnesia knew that Mitch McConnell (aka “The Greatest Senate Majority Leader the Democrats Have Ever Had) would cave on this, but this little part of the short article caught my eye:
Congressional Republicans had been targeting the must-pass spending bill as a way to end Planned Parenthood’s federal funds after allegations, which it denies, that it improperly sold fetal tissue from abortions.
Classic media you-know-what covering for liberals. Instead of mentioning the series of videos in which Planned Parenthood was caught red-handed, it mentions “allegations.” That reinforces the leftist narrative that this is something that’s being inferred from the videos rather than it being something that everyone can plainly see for themselves.
Then, as the MSM always do, the denial by Planned Parenthood is left unchallenged. Were the situation reversed and a conservative individual or organization on the receiving end of allegations, two paragraphs of rebuttals to the denial would have followed.
This is the double-whammy conservatives face: media complicit in maintaining false liberal narratives and Republican leadership unwilling to ever fight back.
Remember that the next time someone calls Ted Cruz “arrogant” for daring to push back against Ol’ Blubberneck.
Hillary Clinton trails Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in the race for the Democratic nomination for president in New Hampshire, even if Vice President Joe Biden decides not to make a run for the White House, according to a new CNN/WMUR poll.
Sanders has the backing of nearly half of those who say they plan to vote in the first-in-the-nation Democratic primary next year — 46% support him — while just 30% say they back Clinton. Another 14% say they would support Biden, 2% former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, 1% former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb, and less than half of 1% back former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee or Harvard professor Lawrence Lessig.
The worst presidential candidate in the history of ever is having a rough go of it now. This poll was probably done before the FBI announced they’d recovered some of her erased emails.
As Mrs. Bill hails from New York these days, it will be hard for her to spin this as a mere regional preference. At least she still has the women’s vote, right?
Not so much (italics added):
Clinton trails Sanders across most demographic groups, with broad gender and ideology divides bolstering Sanders’ run. He holds 56% of male Democratic voters compared with just 20% who back her, while the two are much closer among women, 39% back Sanders, 37% Clinton.
This is the point in these extended presidential campaigns when the early headlines-grabbing, non-establishment favorites are supposed to fade. As we have seen once already, however, no “inevitable” candidate is better at snatching defeat from the jaws of victory than Hillary Clinton.
Chickens…roost…you know the drill.
Chicago is poised to issue more than $2.7 billion of debt amid warnings that its core credit ratings could be downgraded depending on the outcome of the city’s fiscal 2016 budget.
Both Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings said this week they could downgrade Chicago’s BBB-plus general obligation ratings if the city does not adequately address escalating pension payments.
“If the final budget that is adopted by the end of the calendar year fails to cover the larger pension payments with an identifiable and reliable revenue source, it would likely strain the rating, potentially resulting in the rating being lowered by multiple notches,” S&P said in a report.
Fitch Ratings said Chicago risks a downgrade if it fails to put pension payments on a solid funding path or raids budget reserves. Moody’s Investors Service, which dropped Chicago’s rating to junk in May, withheld comment until a final budget is enacted.
Crazy credit ratings people, of course Super Lib Hizzoner Emanuel has an identifiable revenue source:
Mayor Rahm Emanuel proposed a budget on Tuesday that includes the biggest-ever city property tax hike to cover increased contributions to public safety worker pensions.
In every liberal city or state that’s facing ongoing financial problems there aren’t a variety of factors at play, it’s always the pension obligations for the public employee unions. Many of these are legally mandated which leaves lawmakers no option but to keep raising taxes. That drives people away, shrinking the tax base. That leaves fewer people to pay more taxes (WELCOME TO CALIFORNIA!).
Sounds fun, no?
At times I feel like becoming a single-issue voter on pension reform, at least until that problem is fixed.
If only the Republicans had a presidential candidate with a history of successfully battling public employee unions over pension reform…
Pope Francis has been widely praised as a progressive figure on LGBTQ issues. Fueled by some of the pope’s comments on gay people (“Who am I to judge?”), some Democrats have praised Francis for his liberal views — with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, for example, stating that Francis has led him to rethink his views on the Catholic Church.
As with everything about Pope Francis, the progressives and the MSM (same thing?) cherry pick to help craft their “Dream Pope,” who doesn’t (and mostly likely will never) exist.
The above “Who am I to judge?” line is a favorite of theirs and is almost always presented without the full quote, which is this:
If someone is gay and searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?
The “searches for the Lord and has good will” part of the sentiment is obviously the qualifier for “Who am I to judge?” When only the latter is quoted, it has a “live and let live” feel to it that’s just not what Francis said or meant.
Here’s a line from his White House speech that isn’t getting much play in the press, although it was given a position of priority near the beginning of the remarks (emphasis added):
I will also travel to Philadelphia for the Eighth World Meeting of Families, to celebrate and support the institutions of marriage and the family at this, a critical moment in the history of our civilization.
Liberals seem to forever be surprised when the pope acts like the pope. They should relax — the church won’t be changing to their liking any time… in forever probably.
What happens in politics when one side is absolutely committed to its principles, willing to fight for them no matter the cost, and the other side reflexively surrenders on every issue? We have modern-day Washington.
Today, President Barack Obama fights relentlessly for his liberal priorities. Like the Terminator, he never gives up, he never stops. And Republican leadership responds to every challenge by surrendering at the outset.
President Obama demands of Congress: fund all of Obamacare, with no changes to help the millions being hurt by that failed law, or he will veto funding for the entire federal government. And Republican leadership backs down. President Obama demands: fund his unconstitutional executive amnesty—or he will veto funding for the entire federal government. And Republican leadership backs down. President Obama demands: give $500 million in taxpayer money to Planned Parenthood, a private organization under criminal investigation—or he will veto funding for the entire federal government. And Republican leadership backs down.
The core of this capitulation comes from Republican leadership’s promise that “There will be no government shutdown.” On its face, the promise sounds reasonable. Except, in practice, it means that Republicans never stand for anything.
At this point, it is probably safe to say that Cruz and Mitch McConnell won’t be inviting each other over for dinner any time soon. Or ever.
The Republican leadership’s “go along to get along” strategy of the past several years is almost solely responsible for Donald Trump. They won’t admit it, of course, because recognition of reality isn’t their strong suit.
Cruz has been excoriated by Republicans since his arrival in Washington simply because he believes that they should be discernibly different from Democrats. This year, he’s operating under the notion that they should act like they control Congress. Despite all the wailing from both sides about his arrogance and lack of decorum, those are his only real political sins.
The GOP has gotten away with this for so long because the base they think they’re duping with show votes takes pity come election time and exasperatedly votes Republican.
It would seem that model is about to come to a much-needed end. If it does, perhaps a non-establishment candidate can prevail and change the party’s abysmal record in presidential elections since 1988. If it doesn’t, the Republican Party will more than likely go the way of the Whigs all on its own.
Either way, the Republican Party is doomed as long as the Republican Senate majority leader is only willing to fight a Republican senator and let the Democrat in the Oval Office do whatever he wants.
Shining debate performances. Good press. Better poll numbers. And the implosion of a rival candidate.
Marco Rubio is having a moment in the GOP presidential campaign. Again.
But if it’s like Rubio’s other moments — rising to second in May after his official campaign announcement, wall-to-wall press criticizing President Barack Obama’s new Cuba policy in December — the confluence of his rise in the polls and the luck of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s early exit from the race probably won’t produce much more than a modest dose of momentum and a few favorable headlines.
Due to Rubio’s relentlessly on-message, penny-pinching campaign style, he’s reluctant to boast about his turn of fortune — or to spend freely targeting his rivals now.
Terry Sullivan, Rubio’s campaign manager, said he expects plenty of other candidates won’t last.
“We need everybody not named Marco to fizzle. That is the plan. We need everybody to slowly fizzle out, and we think they will,” Sullivan said Monday, just as the news of Walker’s withdrawal broke, during a “Meet the Campaign Managers” event sponsored by Google, National Review and YouTube.
In a primary where much of the rule book seems to have been thrown out, it’s probably tough to stay calm and run a “normal” campaign. But both Rubio and Ted Cruz have been doing just that, focusing on the long game and not getting caught up in the Trump-induced panic du jour like, say, Jeb Bush has.
There’s a very realistic possibility that this approach will work, especially if the other top-tier candidates keep playing the scorched-earth game.
The upside to either Cruz or Rubio prevailing is that the “Harumph Wing” of the GOP will not have been served.
That’s good for the party and America.
Via the Los Angeles Times:
Federal immigration agents have returned to Los Angeles County jails to seek out deportable inmates under a new policy by Sheriff Jim McDonnell that has prompted criticism from immigrant advocates who say it could lead to racial profiling.
The new Sheriff’s Department policy, made public Tuesday, comes after county lawmakers voted this year to end a controversial program that allowed Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents to work inside the jails to assess the immigration status of inmates.
Now ICE agents are being allowed back inside, but only to interview inmates who have committed serious crimes and are not protected by the California Trust Act. That 2013 law limits when local law enforcement officials can collaborate with federal immigration authorities.
Note that the program which previously allowed them to do their jobs is referred to as “controversial.”
This is the madness we’re dealing with here in border states. There are plenty of laws on the books to deal with the criminal element that moves freely from Mexico into the United States, but they’re not enforced. Not only are they not enforced, it’s “controversial” if the feds even attempt to do their job.
Guess who has been undermining the federal government the most in recent years?
The federal government.
This administration kowtows to the pro-illegal immigration lobby like no other. Republicans don’t get a pass though, as evidenced by the current state of the GOP presidential race, and leadership has long been weak on this issue.
What we’re left with are laws that are only laws when random elected officials decide they want to pay attention to them. That, of course, means they aren’t actually laws, merely occasional rules.
It took the murder of a young woman by an illegal who should have been sent back to Mexico long before he had a chance to kill her to even make it palatable to the Democrats to revisit existing laws. Sadly, the short attention span of the politicians and much of the electorate will probably allow the dangerous status quo to remain more or less intact.
Republican U.S. Senator Ted Cruz said on Tuesday that Congress should use legislation funding the government to force President Barack Obama’s administration to hand over more information about the nuclear agreement with Iran.
Days after a deadline passed for Congress to vote on the nuclear pact, the 2016 presidential hopeful said any legislation to fund the government after Sept. 30 must require the administration to hand over information about “secret side deals” involving inspections of Iran’s nuclear facilities.
On Sept. 17, the deadline for reviewing the agreement, Obama’s fellow Democrats in the Senate for a third and last time blocked Republican legislation meant to kill the Iran nuclear deal. The vote conserved perhaps the greatest foreign policy win of his presidency.
Congress has until Sept. 30 either to pass a bill funding the government in the new fiscal year that starts the following day, or force federal agencies to shut down or curtail major operations.
Cruz has tried in the past to use must-pass spending bills, like the one coming due on Oct. 1, as vehicles to kill Obama initiatives, like his healthcare overhaul and immigration policy changes. The strategy has failed, but has forced temporary shutdowns.
The strategy failed in the past because GOP leadership blinked. It always blinks. In fact, many establishment Republicans will tell you that the last shutdown damaged the Republican brand. All that damage led to the landslide last November.
Maybe they need a dictionary.
Boehner and McConnell have shown time and again that they’re too frightened of bad press to do anything remotely worthwhile for their constituents, the Republican base, or America.
Ted Cruz doesn’t care about their timidity.
Cruz’s former communications director hit Twitter to mock the leadership jellyfish:
McConnell and Boehner have the plan all worked out to fully fund PP after a show vote on it http://t.co/1liOmoo2WL
— Amanda Carpenter (@amandacarpenter) September 22, 2015
There is no illusion anymore that McConnell/Boehner are trying to do anything of merit. All a pre-engineered game to spend spend spend
— Amanda Carpenter (@amandacarpenter) September 22, 2015
So, the GOP Congress is going ot fund Obamacare, Iran, Planned Parenthood. Next up raise the debt limit, blow out BCA caps? RAWR. GOP! GOP!
— Amanda Carpenter (@amandacarpenter) September 22, 2015
It’s only stealthy if you don’t get caught. Here was the headline:
As Pope Lands, Hillary Clinton Says She Opposes Keystone XL Pipeline
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has come out against the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline. It’s something she has spent months avoiding taking a position on — and her announcement coincided with the mass media event of Pope Francis’ landing at Andrews Air Force Base.
After spending months saying that taking a stand on the issue would be inappropriate, Mrs. Bill realized that she didn’t really know what “inappropriate” meant and decided she’d better get busy making Tom Steyer happy.
Team Hillary probably thought they were oh-so-clever by trying to dump the news as everyone was paying attention to the arrival of Pope Francis. Grandma is really having a tough go of it with the press this time around, however, and they all noticed.
If it weren’t for all the stumbling, this campaign wouldn’t be moving at all.
The headlines were less than subtle:
And on they went, many replete with dire warnings about the Koch brothers virtually being able to shop for a president the way we normal folk get toilet paper at Costco.
The first two exits from this crowded Republican field have pretty much sunk this ghost ship that was supposed to scare the non-billionaire voting public.
His stunning fall, from top tier hopeful to a so-called “asterisk candidate” who couldn’t break 1 percent in the latest CNN poll, also illustrated the limits of fundraising in a 2016 that was supposed to be dominated by unregulated campaign spending. Both Walker and former Gov. Rick Perry, who dropped out earlier this month, represent a two-man money-couldn’t-buy-them-love club on the sidelines. Super PACs affiliated with Perry and Walker raised millions in the weeks leading up to their collapses — Walker’s alone banked more than $20 million.
Even The New York Times is admitting it was all bunk:
Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin was among the most successful fund-raisers in his party, with a clutch of billionaires in his corner and tens of millions of dollars behind his presidential ambitions. But his swift decline and exit from the presidential race on Monday were a stark reminder that even unlimited money has its limits.
While a super PAC supporting him, Unintimidated, was relatively flush with cash — on track to raise as much as $40 million through the end of the year, according to people involved with the group — Mr. Walker’s campaign committee was running dry, contemplating layoffs and unable to find enough money to mount a last stand in Iowa, a state that once favored him.
The Super PACs can’t pay for the more mundane expenses of a campaign, which means that a candidate can be blanketing a state with a zillion dollars’ worth of television advertising but not have the electric bill paid at headquarters.
That’s just the practical shortcoming of the model, however.
Just as money can’t truly buy love or happiness (as I’m told by people who have lots of money), it also can’t buy you a personality that sparkles on television or in front of a crowd at a campaign event.
Perry has that personality, but it was too tainted by his 2011 post-surgery debacle to be overcome by Super PAC money this time around.
The trepidation surrounding Walker going into this race was that we wasn’t electric enough in front of a crowd. That ultimately had more to do with his rapid descent in the polls than anything else. Those who only knew of him from the news had an image of this mighty slayer of Democrats and Big Labor. He had a gargantuan reputation that wasn’t served well without some swagger.
There were some other problems in that campaign, but the quiet demeanor in a race where conservatives and Republicans desperately want a champion was fatal to the campaign.
And proof that all the Super PAC money in the world can’t buy an electorate for a flawed candidate.
Muslim Americans responded with a mix of frustration, exasperation and anger to what many see as a growing wave of Islamophobia fueled by two of the Republican Party’s most popular presidential candidates, Donald Trump and Ben Carson.
At the Islamic Institute of Orange County, which houses a mosque and a school in Anaheim, in southern California, tensions were already mounting since a group of white men screamed at mothers and children arriving at the center on this year’s anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, calling them cowards who did not belong in America.
Many of the country’s 2.8 million Muslims say such tensions could become uglier during a presidential race that they fear is already tapping a vein of anger and bigotry.
So…we’re not supposed to infer anything from decades upon decades of Islamic terrorism, but two months of Trump and Carson are going to create a hateful panic wave.
And they wonder why so many conservative Americans are frustrated with the media.
This is boilerplate media bias, throwing out extreme labels for Republicans that are mere speculation and forever failing to note that people opposed to illegal immigration aren’t opposed to immigration.
Having said all that, I am still unclear why Carson is making a big deal out of this. His biggest rise in the polls came after the first debate where he said almost nothing, then continued to say nothing for a couple of weeks.
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin has concluded he no longer has a path to the Republican presidential nomination and plans to drop out of the 2016 campaign, according to three Republicans familiar with his decision, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
This is reminiscent of Rick Perry’s precipitous fall in the last primary. He entered the race atop the polls, and rode that position until the debates started.
We can lament the role television plays in our electoral process, but that won’t change its current impact. Walker, to put it mildly, laid an egg in both debates. He wasn’t quite the train wreck that post-surgery, medicated Rick Perry was in 2011, but the damage was similar. Two governors who handle their business well at home didn’t handle it on the bigger, televised stage.
America takes a hit from that.
This is the leftist agenda in a nutshell: mainstream the fringe and marginalize the majority (see: gun rights). Imagine this headline even getting clearance fifteen years ago. The progressive loons who took over academia have finally gotten an overwhelming number of their pseudo-intellectual heirs unleashed upon American society and this is what passes for a think piece among them.
Mostly because none of them ever think.
This is from a site that has a never-ending supply of anti-Christian posts. They inhabit a world where the Jesus people are all frightening but the pedophiles have hearts of gold and just need to be understood.
Scott Walker needs to reassure his supporters and his donors. And Wednesday’s debate might be his last chance.
After a sleepy performance in the first Republican presidential debate that fueled a steep slide in his standing with voters, the governor’s team has pushed him to prepare. Round Two will be different, according to sources inside Walker’s camp.
He won’t stop talking before his time is up, as he did at that first debate – a decision that left some of his top backers scratching their heads. He will be more assertive, according to people who have been briefed. And he won’t just answer the moderators’ questions but instead pivot to his personal story.
And anything less could spell trouble.
“If Gov. Walker lays an egg, he better be prepared to bootstrap his campaign in the coming 3-5 months because his fundraising will dry up,” said a veteran campaign manager and GOP operative.
Walker has easily been the biggest disappointment thus far. True, Jeb! has been sliding in the polls, but there is absolutely no one outside of the Capitol Hill Club who actually cares. Walker, on the other hand, was seen by many as the Great Destroyer of Democrats and the best hope to derail whatever nonsense the Democrats finally nominated.
The dirty little not-so-secret all along though was that the Wisconsin governor is not the most dynamic of public speakers. Then he managed to put together a couple good speeches and nerves were calmed.
Sadly, it was back to milquetoast as usual during the first debate.
People can complain all they want about what television has done to our politics, but it won’t change the fact that it all happens in front of cameras now and successful politicians have to be able to work a crowd and a camera. Republicans invoke Ronald Reagan almost reflexively, yet many gloss over all of “The Great Communicator” stuff. Walker is lacking a bit in the communication department.
Perhaps fearing for his political future will give him a bit of an edge.
One of Washington’s most influential conservative advocacy groups will take aim at Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump on the airwaves in the early voting state of Iowa.
Club for Growth Action, a Super PAC that is permitted to spend unlimited amounts of campaign money, said on Tuesday it is buying $1 million worth of attack ads that describe the New York real estate mogul as too liberal and backing policies that are contrary to conservative principles.
Trump has skyrocketed to the top of the field of Republicans vying to represent the party in the November 2016 election. He is leading in polls nationally and in the early voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire, which have outsized influence on the process.
“It’s important, I think, for the ads to show people, ‘Watch what he’s doing.’ He’s playing them for chumps,” Club for Growth President David McIntosh said. “I think the American people are wiser than that. They’ll get it.”
After weeks of watching this drama play out on social media and television, I really don’t know that there is a dollar amount that will change the minds of the people devoted to Trump. It’s a full-blown cult of personality at this point and his adherents aren’t in it intellectually — this is an emotional investment for them that a TV ad won’t sway.
There are some who don’t swoon over Trump, but are so sick of being lied to by the GOP that any alternative is palatable. Many in this camp know full well that Trump isn’t conservative, but they simply don’t care anymore. GOP leadership isn’t conservative either, so why not let this scorched-earth mania play out?
At this point, the best hope for the Trump haters may be Trump’s attention span.
Splashed across social media and the airwaves, the photos are hard to miss.
Follow Hillary Clinton’s Instagram feed, and you’ll see her as a toddler in Park Ridge, Illinois, riding a tricycle. On Facebook, you’ll meet her as an almost unrecognizable young Arkansas mother with brown hair, big glasses and loafers, spotting her daughter on a pony ride; on the website Medium, she stares out at you, just another earnest face in a crowd posing for a 1965 high school class picture. In the first television ads of the campaign, she is seemingly from another era, pictured in grainy black and white, about 10 years old with a half-smile on her face, hair pulled back in a pollyanna, holding her mother’s hand.
Since launching her campaign last June, Clinton has flooded the Internet and filled her TV spots with surprising, little-known images of the candidate pulled from old family photo albums, all part of a larger campaign strategy to make Clinton more relatable to voters. The nostalgic pictures are designed to present her as an average person — rather than a global brand — and to neutralize the negative image Clinton can sometimes project as the untrustworthy political insider campaigning in a rich lady’s uniform of bold-colored pantsuits and a helmet of blonde hair.
Why is it that the party that portrays itself as the most caring about humans has such a difficult time making its presidential candidates seem…human? From Al Gore to John Kerry to Her Inevitable Madameship, they’re all about as personable as the stomach flu. Even Barack Obama, whose entire career is built on smirking, has been called cold and aloof by people close to him. The press calls him “professorial”, a code word for “cold and aloof”.
One reason is that they’re usually stinking rich, even though they have to pretend not to be. Hillary Clinton’s primary interaction with lower income Americans in recent years usually involved firing them for not making her bed correctly, now she has to pretend as if she truly cares about them. It’s a tough gig.
So out come the older pictures from a happier time, before the soul-selling deal she made with her philandering husband took its toll and made her sour and imperious.
Before she built up a huge bank of resentment for the American people for not giving her what she feels she’s entitled to.
Lanhee Chen, who was 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s chief policy adviser, said on Monday that he has joined the campaign of Republican candidate Marco Rubio as an adviser.
Chen, 37, has been sought after by a number of Republican presidential campaigns this year for his policy experience.
Chen is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University in California, a position he will retain while also assisting Rubio.
Chen was a key adviser for Romney during the former Massachusetts governor’s march to the 2012 nomination and during the general election campaign, which he lost to President Barack Obama.
He told Reuters he decided to help Rubio because of the Florida senator’s fluency in a number of public policy issues and challenges facing the United States.
The political consultant/adviser world is not much different than the NFL head coaching ranks: a good ol’ boys club where mediocrity, and often failure, is more often than not rewarded. So Romney hired McCain people, now 2016 candidates are hiring Romney people, and the Republicans wonder why they’ve won the popular vote in only one presidential election in the last quarter century.
At this point in what appears to be the GOP’s death spiral, this is more like the human version of rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. True, the advisers may have more recycle value, but any Republican candidate for 2016 would do well to remain clear of the stink that was 2012.
Both Rubio and Ted Cruz are still quietly going about their campaign business, waiting for Donald Trump to implode, a scenario that will look less likely as we get nearer the end of the year if he’s still leading all the polls.
While Hillary Clinton is distracted by the sour socialist breath of Bernie Sanders getting closer to her neck, Crazy Joe the Wonder Veep is sneaking around talking to some of her big-money people.
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden has secretly met with Robert Wolf, a former UBS executive and major fundraiser for President Barack Obama, Bloomberg reported on Monday, one of the strongest indications yet that he is seriously considering a 2016 presidential bid.
Biden has been evaluating whether to challenge former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the current front-runner for the nomination to represent the Democratic Party in the November 2016 presidential race.
Wolf told Bloomberg he was supporting Clinton but said he met with Biden for more than 90 minutes during the vice president’s trip to New York City last week.
Biden won’t enter this race unless he believes Mrs. Bill’s chances are fatally wounded and her big-money people will flee in droves to him. In the 2008 election, we saw just how little remorse people have when abandoning the sinking ship Hillary. The big-money people certainly don’t want to throw in with Sanders, whose entire political existence is centered on vilifying people who are financially successful.
While Biden may be a bit of a loon, he’s also been playing the political game decades longer than Hillary, so he’s going about this in a very smart way. If he does decide to step into the race, he’ll make sure his foot lands on the throat of Hillary’s campaign.
Just as his poll numbers in Iowa are disappearing fast than Hillary’s smile when asked about her email, Scott Walker has suddenly canceled plans to speak to the California Republican Convention in Anaheim next weekend.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has canceled plans to address the California Republican Party convention in Anaheim, Calif., next weekend, the Los Angeles Times is reporting.
Walker had been scheduled to deliver the keynote at the GOP gathering next Saturday but abruptly withdrew, according to the paper.
It is possible that Walker wants to focus more energy in Iowa, which is probably a must-win (or at least do very, very well) situation for him now.
However, Republican candidates don’t schmooze the California GOP for votes, electoral or otherwise. They come here for the same reason Democrats who are assured of winning here do — money. There are a lot of big donors here to court, and it probably isn’t a good sign that Walker is canceling. If it is for the reason mentioned in the above paragraph, it probably means all of the eggs are definitely being moved into one basket.
Via NPR(italics added):
A Florida man was arrested today for his alleged involvement in a a plan to bomb a 9/11 memorial in Kansas City, Mo.
20-year-old Joshua Ryne Goldberg, from Orange Park, Fla., is charged with “distributing information relating to explosives, destructive devices, and weapons of mass destruction,” according to a statement released by U.S. Attorney A. Lee Bentley III.
Goldberg was allegedly in contact with an individual online who was working undercover for law enforcement as a Confidential Human Source (CHS). The statement reads, in part:
“Between the months of July and September 2015, Goldberg distributed information to the CHS on how to manufacture a bomb. He instructed the CHS to make a pressure cooker bomb and fill it with nails, metal, and other items dipped in rat poison. Goldberg instructed the CHS to place the bomb at an upcoming memorial in Kansas City, Missouri that was commemorating the September 11, 2001 attacks.”
It is scary to ponder how many loons like this are out there and when the next one will escape notice until it’s too late. All in all, the various bickering U.S. law enforcement agencies have done a good job for the past fourteen years keeping things safe here, but no one knows how well ISIS is firing up recruits here. It will be interesting to find out what this guy’s background is and whether he was exposed to any, um, religious teaching in recent years.
The Republican presidential candidates, increasingly certain that their televised debates can have make-or-break consequences for their campaigns, are preparing aggressive new tactics for their next face-off on Wednesday, hoping to draw voters away from the surprisingly durable Donald J. Trump as the 2016 race enters a more combative phase.
With the onetime front-runners Jeb Bush and Scott Walker sagging in the polls after middling performances in the last debate, on Aug. 6 — and with Mr. Trump rising despite divisive comments — many of the candidates are convinced that they are better off using the debates to make forceful and targeted appeals to viewers, rather than trying to knock out Mr. Trump, advisers to several campaigns said.
That sounds fine in theory, but Trump has a way of drawing people into his little universe whenever he wants to. It’s going to take thick skin to avoid the barbs he is sure to throw at many, if not all, of his opponents.
We know that Carly Fiorina doesn’t get rattled by Trump, but will the men be as tough? Since the last debate, Jeb! has been the most obviously frustrated. That’s probably a positive for his supporters after the first debate, where he seemed as if he’d had a nap interrupted. It’s also a sure bet that Trump will focus on needling the others if he knows that they are deliberately trying to avoid one-on-one confrontations with him.
Should be fun.
It may be years before the political fallout of the Senate’s mostly party-line vote Thursday to preserve the Iran nuclear agreement becomes clear. But it’s already a defining campaign issue — and like the Iraq War and Obamacare votes last decade, looks likely to remain a stark dividing line in many election cycles to come.
Republicans are plotting to make Democrats pay dearly for backing an agreement the GOP argues hinges on an historic enemy of the United States playing nice. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell plans to return to the floor next week to force Democrats to take more votes Republicans say they’ll regret as soon as Iran violates the terms of the deal or sponsors terrorist attacks, which critics believe is just a matter of time.
After years of focusing on Obamacare, it is refreshing to see the Republicans find a new windmill to tilt at for 2016. Again, however, it is hinging its hopes upon something being bad for America. True, the Democrats do a lot of bad things for America, but the Republicans keep letting them.
So excuse me if I don’t get excited when they decide to get tough after the fact.
Honestly, the likelihood that this will be more disastrous than the first two years of Obamacare between now and November of next year isn’t great. Sure, the GOP, largely thanks to the Tea Party movement it loathes, was able to use Obamacare opposition effectively in the midterm elections but blundered monumentally in 2012 and got nothing from its one-note rallying cry.
The one difference here that might help is that this deal is already less popular than Obamacare was in 2012. What makes many who are weary of the present weakness in the GOP establishment throw up their hands in frustration is that this is another backward-looking strategy, focused on something that’s already happened rather than something forward-looking to sell the party to the American electorate. The former is a fine strategy when in the minority, but there is a rumor that the Republicans control both chambers of Congress now.
Nothing verifiable on the front so far, however.