National Politics Reply

Donald Trump’s campaign, billed as self-funded, risks little of his fortune

“While the convoluted accounting is required by law — so that Mr. Trump’s companies do not make illegal corporate contributions directly to his campaign — it also means that Mr. Trump is in effect taking millions of dollars out of one pocket and depositing it into another.”

NICHOLAS CONFESSORE & SARAH COHEN/NEW YORK TIMES

Donald Trump

Donald Trump

Donald J. Trump once boasted that he could someday be the only person to turn a profit running for president. He may be closer than anyone realizes.

Mr. Trump’s campaign spent just $12.4 million in 2015, according to disclosures filed with the Federal Election Commission, millions less than any of his leading rivals for the Republican nomination. More than half of Mr. Trump’s total spending was covered by checks from his supporters, who have thronged to his stump speeches and bought millions of dollars’ worth of “Make America Great Again” hats and T-shirts. Continue reading…

Ted Cruz’s campaign spread false report in Iowa that Ben Carson was quitting race

NEW YORK TIMES

Ted Cruz

Ted Cruz

As Iowa Republicans headed to the caucuses on Monday night, Senator Ted Cruz’s campaign left recorded messages for supporters with “breaking news” that Ben Carson would drop out of the race, and told them to “inform any Carson caucus-goers of this news and urge them to caucus for Ted instead.” Continue reading…

Hillary Clinton’s campaign resists releasing transcripts from Goldman Sachs speeches

In response to a question at Thursday night’s debate, Hillary Clinton said she would “look into” the possibility of releasing transcripts of her paid remarks to banking, corporate and financial services companies like Goldman Sachs.

But by Friday morning, it did not appear that much looking was underway. Continue reading…

On abortion, Kasich is no moderate

JENNIFER HABERKORN/POLITICO

John Kasich

John Kasich

John Kasich is hoping for a candidacy-saving showing in New Hampshire on Tuesday by positioning himself as a pragmatic GOP budget-balancer, more moderate than his rivals. But on abortion, the Ohio governor is anything but moderate, signing a slew of restrictive laws that have closed nearly half his state’s clinics. Continue reading…

Clinton email scandal: Why it might be time for Democrats to draft Joe Biden

COLBERT KING/WASHINGTON POST

The Hillary Clinton email issue is developing into a real whodunit, complete with Clintonesque legal semantics. “I never sent or received any material marked classified,” she said with respect to the discovery of classified information on her private, unclassified email server. That surface denial nearly rivals Bill Clinton’s classic: “I did not have sexual relations with that woman.”

But this is no laughing matter. Continue reading…

Bush and Christie: Rubio is the new Obama

NOLAN D. MCCASKILL/POLITICO

Jeb Bush

Jeb Bush

Marco Rubio

Marco Rubio

Chris Christie

Chris Christie

Jeb Bush and Chris Christie have a message for New Hampshire’s Republican voters: Marco Rubio would be President Barack Obama all over again.

The two are looking to tear Rubio down ahead of next week’s primary, hoping to derail the Florida Senator’s momentum after his strong finish in the Iowa caucus. And to do so, they’re comparing Rubio with the most recent first-term, charismatic Senator who won the White House.

“Why do we think it will be any different with a first-term U.S. Senator from Florida who, quite frankly, doesn’t show up to work anymore?” Christie said Thursday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

“We’ve had seven years with a guy who was gifted, who could give a great speech,” Bush told NBC News’ Kelly O’Donnell. “But he’s divided the country, he has no leadership skills and I think we need someone now to fix the mess in Washington than just perpetuate it.” Continue reading…

Marco Rubio, and on-again, off-again champion of limited government 2

LEE FANG/THE INTERCEPT

Marco Rubio

Marco Rubio

Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio casts himself as a champion of limited government and in a new campaign ad even depicts himself as a warrior against special interests.

But on issues including sugar subsidies, online gambling, spending on military contractors, telecom regulations, and taxpayer support to scandal-plagued for-profit colleges, Rubio has backed a sweeping and costly role for the federal government.

What is it about those issues that gets Rubio to act against his stated small-government principles? They’re all associated with powerful political donors Rubio has carefully cultivated over the years. Continue reading…

Full-page Bush ad takes aim at Rubio Reply

Bush Ad

KYLE CHENEY/POLITICO

If Marco Rubio’s so great, why do so many Florida leaders prefer Jeb Bush?

That’s the message that will greet readers of New Hampshire’s Union Leader on Wednesday morning, courtesy of a full-page ad paid for by the Bush campaign that features an open letter from eight of the 10 most recent Republican speakers of the Florida House. Continue reading…

 

Iowa is nice, but caucuses are no way to pick a president Reply

COMMENTARY

ADAM C. SMITH/TAMPA BAY TIMES

ADEL, Iowa — Iowans are quite simply the nicest humans on Earth. But their antiquated caucuses are a lousy way to kick off a presidential election.

Candidates and media hordes descend on this state every four years, and voters cheerfully stoke the charade that their caucuses are some kind of shining example of democracy. I once accompanied a menacingly colossal New Jersey Teamster knocking on doors in zero-degree weather. We woke up a woman who, still in her bathrobe, insisted we come inside and let her make us bacon and eggs even though she didn’t care for the Teamster’s candidate. Continue reading…

A Good Read: What Republicans should say Reply

“People need relationships and basic security before they can respond to economic incentives.”

DAVID BROOKS/NEW YORK TIMES

For a few decades, American and British conservatism marched in tandem. Thatcher was philosophically akin to Reagan. John Major was akin to George Bush.

But now the two conservatisms have split. The key divide is over what to do about the slow-motion devastation being felt by the less educated, the working class and the poor. Continue reading…

Tampa Bay Times endorses Jeb Bush for Republican nomination Reply

Jeb Bush is the best choice for Republican nomination

“We know Bush’s strengths and weaknesses, and we are confident he is the most thoughtful, principled and energetic candidate in the Republican field.”

TAMPA BAY TIMES

It’s time to stop treating the election of the next president of the United States like a game show without serious consequences. After more than a year of constant fundraising, meaningless opinion polls and reckless rhetoric from so many candidates, voters finally will make their voices heard starting Monday in the Iowa caucuses and eight days later in the New Hampshire primary. For Republicans fighting for both the soul of their party and the White House, the best choice is former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. Continue reading…

Good Reads Reply

Our Opera Buffa

WILLIAM KRISTOL/THE WEEKLY STANDARD

Donald TrumpOn January 15, 1787, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart wrote proudly from Prague to his friend Baron Gottfried von Jacquin: “Here nothing is talked about except Figaro; nothing is played, blown, sung, and whistled except Figaro; no opera draws the crowds like Figaro. It’s always Figaro. Certainly it’s a great honor for me.”

Now, after more than two centuries of human progress, in great cities supposedly more advanced and more enlightened than the Prague of 1787, we have come to this: Here nothing is talked about except Trump; nothing is reported, analyzed, praised, and denounced except Trump; no candidate draws the crowds like Trump. It’s always Trump. Continue reading…

With Trump and Palin, Republicans get what they deserve

“Once Republicans forced the party to take the governor of Alaska seriously as a vice presidential candidate, they opened a populist door that they’ll not easily shut.”

KATHLEEN PARKER/WASHINGTON POST

PalinAt first it seemed too weirdly awful to be true, but there she was: Sarah Palin standing next to Donald Trump on Tuesday and endorsing him for president.

Like previously conjoined twins who had shared a brain before Ben Carson separated them, these two anti-everything, post-lamestream media instigators presented themselves as political doppelgangers, a he/she, yin-yang, sis-boom-bah political marriage of the carnival barker and the bearded lady. Continue reading…

Another Good read: How ISIS Defeats Us Reply

FRANK BRUNI/NEW YORK TIMES

I DON’T know how we win the war against ISIS.

But I know how we lose it. The last week has been a thorough and demoralizing education in that.

We lose it with a response to the Paris carnage and a discussion about the path forward that’s driven by partisan grievances and posturing rather than a mature, nuanced attempt to address Americans’ understandable anxiety and acknowledge that we may not be doing the right things or enough of them. Continue reading…

Conspiracy theories taken seriously in Texas state capitol Reply

THE INQUISITR

That’s right, Texas: Insanity.

There’s really no other word for it. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, the rookie governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, actually activated the Texas National Guard to monitor the Navy SEAL and Green Beret “Jade Helm” training exercises in the state last week because he was worried that they were just a cover for a federal invasion of the state by President Obama. Continue reading…

Related story: Washington Post – Texas State Guard ordered to monitor military’s Operation Jade Helm 15

The Week In Perspective 1

Editor’s note: To read the full version of any story below, click on the headline (in blue).

The Economist: Brinkmanship

Obama 2-28-15House Speaker John Boehner, R-OH, listens to a speaker during the signing ceremony for H.R.203, the "Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act." in the US Capitol on February 10, 2015 in Washington, DC.  AFP PHOTO/MANDEL NGANThe countdown was a nail-biter. At midnight tonight, barring any sort of last-minute deal, around 30,000 employees of the Department of Homeland Security were going to be furloughed. Some 170,000 essential workers were nearly doomed to chug along without pay. A bill to keep the federal agency funded for another three weeks had died a grim death on the House floor earlier today. But with just two hours to go, John Boehner, the Speaker of the House, managed to corral enough votes to extend funding for the DHS for another week.

No one should call this a victory. Another ugly battle now looms just days away. But the last-minute deal does save Mr Boehner from the embarrassment he seemed destined for earlier today, when he failed to get enough House Republicans to back a bill that was created mainly to please House Republicans.

Netanyahu 2-27-15Robert Kagan/Washington Post: Netanyahu’s speech to Congress will carry a hefty price

Do we really need the Israeli prime minister to appear before Congress to explain the dangers and pitfalls of certain prospective deals on Iran’s nuclear weapons programs? Would we not know otherwise? Have the U.S. critics of those prospective deals lost their voice? Are they shy about expressing their concerns? Are they inarticulate or incompetent? Do they lack the wherewithal to get their message out?

More…

When journalism slides into advocacy Reply

THE ATLANTIC

Obama - Press FreedomsMany reporters have contentious relationships with sources and with the government, but James Risen is in a class of his own. The veteran New York Times national-security reporter has scored some notable scoops the authorities didn’t want him to—most notably about a failed CIA sabotage operation on Iran’s nuclear program. When Risen got the story the first time, the government convinced The Times to quash it for national-security reasons. Continue reading…

Feb. 11: World, National, Florida News Reply

WORLD NEWS

Reuters: Intense fighting darkens Ukraine peace talks

The leaders of France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine were due to attend a peace summit on Wednesday, but Ukraine’s pro-Moscow separatists diminished the chance of a deal by launching some of the war’s worst fighting in an assault on a government garrison.

More…

National and Florida news Reply

New York Times: Piling on work to escape gam in health law
Boston Globe: Income inequality is target in Obama budget
Fox News: Obama sending Congress $4T budget replete with new spending, taxes
Fox News: Walker, eyeing 20156 White house bid, says he’s open to sending US troops to fight ISIS
Orlando Sentinel: Rand Paul to Jeb Bush: You’re a pot-smoking hypocrite
Washington Post: Contentious details emerge in $4 trillion budget
Boston Globe: Patriots rally to beat Seahawks in Super Bowl
Chicago Tribune: Officials: Blizzard fifth largest storm on record
Florida Today: Indian River Lagoon forum mulls citizen science
Tampa Bay Times: How much do the uninsured cost the insured per hospital visit?
Tampa Bay Times: Investigate Scott’s abuse of power
Tallahassee Democrat: Bill Cotterell: Cabinet finds it cold in Scott’s shadow
Palm Beach Post: Cruise ships maiden voyage cancelled 
Miami Herald: Cuban migrants flow into South Florida at highest rate in 10 years

Bernie Sanders is right to be outraged 1

DANA MILBANK/WASHINGTON POST

Bernie SandersBernie Sanders is in his natural state – of agitation.

It’s just 9 a.m., but the socialist senator, contemplating a presidential run as a Democrat or as a populist independent, is red in the face and his white hair askew. In a conference room at The Washington Post, he’s raising his voice, thumping his index finger on the table and gesturing so wildly that his hand comes within inches of political reporter Karen Tumulty’s face. MORE…

Enough “disturbing” to go around 5

COMMENTARY

MARK SCHUMANN

Cheney

Cheney

Armey

Armey

Speaking at the Riverside Theatre Monday, former Vice President Dick Cheney characterized President Barack Obama’s world view as “disturbing.”

Well, there is enough “disturbing” to go around, especially if you consider former House Majority Leader Dick Armey’s claim that Cheney misled him about Iraq’s nuclear capabilities.  According to Armey, Cheny told him Saddam Hussein had close ties to al-Qaida and was well along in developing a briefcase-size nuclear bomb. More…

National news: Sarah Palin speech at the Iowa Freedom Summit Jan. 24 Reply

Editor’s note: In an interview with the Washington Post Friday in Des Moines, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) said she was “seriously interested in running for president in 2016. “You can absolutely say that I am seriously interested,” she told the Post. “As I said yesterday, I’m really interested in the opportunity to serve at some point.”

The following day, Palin gave an address at the Iowa Freedom Summit.

National news and opinion Reply

An uncertain future for Dodd-Frank

NEW YORK TIME EDITORIAL

There have been powerful reminders in recent days that the financial system needs more regulatory vigilance, not less. But they come just as Republicans are setting their agenda in Congress, complete with vows to weaken the Dodd-Frank reform law.

On Thursday, The Times’s Nathaniel Popper reported that Goldman Sachs is using the bank’s money to make big bets in real estate. That appears to be a violation of the spirit, if not the letter, of Dodd-Frank, which aims to avoid bailouts by reducing concentrated risks at banks. MORE… More…

Food For Thought: Support our community college students Reply

DAVID BROOKS/NEW YORK TIMES

The tuition piece of the Obama proposal is Human Capital 1.0. It is locked in 1970s liberal orthodoxy. Congress should take the proposal, scrap it and rededicate the money toward programs that will actually boost completion, that will surround colleges, students and their families with supporting structures. We don’t need another program that will lure students into colleges only to have them struggle and drop out. MORE…

Goldman investments are testing Volcker Rule Reply

NEW YORK TIMES

Goldman Sachs has been on a shopping spree with its own money, snapping up apartments in Spain, a mall in Utah and a European ink company, all of which the bank hopes eventually to sell for a profit.

These are the sorts of investments that many, including some of the bank’s regulators, had assumed would be prohibited by one of the signature elements of the 2010 financial overhaul legislation, theVolcker Rule. MORE…