Archives for May 2012
The important lesson I learned this weekend: when your blog is in need of a topic and maybe a dash of humor, you can always count on Donald Trump to provide both. You can see what I mean on this post about a spat between Donald Trump and George Will.
George Will said Trump was a “bloviating ignoramus” and then proceeded to say things about stupid rich people intruding on American politics. Trump’s reply via Twitter was the equivalent of him calling Will a “great big poopy head” on a schoolyard playground.
Despite the humor in this kindergarten style round of name calling, it’s worth considering Trump’s role in the American political scene. Some argue that his approach to, well, everything makes him toxic to a political campaign. To determine whether or not he’s toxic, we’ve got to look at the things that will matter this November: money, PR, and voters.
There’s absolutely no doubt about it, Romney needs the money. Whether it’s money from Trump or money from the people who listen to Trump (yes, they exist), Romney needs it. Obama’s campaign is expected to raise nearly a billion dollars this election. Romney needs every cent he can get, even if it comes with PR woes.
Donald Trump is a PR disaster waiting to happen. He’s a media whore who only cares about himself. There is absolutely no good PR that can come from Trump, unless there really is no such thing as bad press. Trump will say stupid things and do stupid things; count on it. Romney should be a good enough friend to get donations from the Trump crowd, but don’t expect a Romney/Trump bus tour anytime soon.
MSNBC weekend show host Chris Hayes made some comments about heroism and the military on Sunday. He said:
I feel… uncomfortable, about the word [hero] because it seems to me that it is so rhetorically proximate to justifications for more war. Um, and, I don’t want to obviously desecrate or disrespect memory of anyone that’s fallen, and obviously there are individual circumstances in which there is genuine, tremendous heroism, you know, hail of gunfire, rescuing fellow soldiers, and things like that. But it seems to me that we marshal this word in a way that is problematic. But maybe I’m wrong about that.
Hayes has since apologized. Personally, I take Hayes at his word that he did not intend to insult American soldiers and veterans. I think he was trying to make a point about militarism and war in general, but said it poorly. I think it’s certainly a legitimate discussion to have and Memorial Day
Though polls showed David Dewhurst edging close to the 50% needed to avoid a runoff, Ted Cruz, who has been backed by grassroots conservative and Tea Party groups, managed to extend the Senate race in Texas last night:
Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst failed to capture the 50 percent necessary to win the Republican nomination Tuesday, forcing him into an unpredictable nine week run-off campaign with former state Solicitor General Ted Cruz, a tea party favorite who garnered the blessing of conservative luminaries such as Sarah Palin, Rick Santorum and Sen. Jim DeMint.
With 95 percent of the vote in, Dewhurst was leading the second-place Cruz, 45 percent to 34 percent. Former Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert trailed in third place with 13 percent and former football star and ESPN commentator Craig James barely managed 4 percent of the vote.
Dewhurst, the front-running former CIA agent worth an estimated $200 million, was widely expected to end the night as the leading vote-getter so the result is a win in itself for the insurgent Cruz, who was badly outspent and suffered from far lower name recognition in the nation’s second-most populous state.
The outcome marks the third victory for anti-establishment GOP Senate candidates in as many weeks. Earlier this month, state Treasurer Richard Mourdock upended 36-year Sen. Dick Lugar in Indiana, and state Sen. Deb Fischer upset two better-known candidates in Nebraska.
The delegate process isn’t over in many states, but Mitt Romney, after winning the Texas Republican primary last night, has mathematically secured enough delegates to win the GOP’s presidential nomination:
With a victory in Texas on Tuesday night, Mitt Romney secured the necessary delegates to clinch the Republican nomination that will be awarded in Tampa this summer.
“This was a big day by the way - 1,144. We finally got there,” Romney said at a Las Vegas fundraiser on Tuesday night. “It’s an honor and a privilege, an honor and a privilege, and a great responsibility. And I know the road to 1,144 was long and hard, but I also know that the road to 11/06, November 6, is also going to be long, it’s going to be hard and it’s going to be worth it because we’re going to take back the White House and get America right again.”
Shortly after the polls closed in Texas at 9 p.m. Tuesday night, Romney was projected to finally obtain the needed 1,144 delegates, according to The Associated Press.
After a watered down version of the bill passed in 2010 as part of the financial reform bill, according to Campaign for Liberty, House Republicans leaders plan to bring Rep. Ron Paul’s Audit the Fed legislation, H.R.459, to the floor for a vote in July:
Thanks to all the hard work of C4L’s dedicated activists, we’ve just received word that H.R. 459, the Federal Reserve Transparency Act will receive a vote in the House this July!
Audit the Fed recently passed a cosponsor milestone with more than half the House of Representatives now publicly supporting the bill.
With hundreds of thousands of petitions, emails, faxes, and phone calls pouring into Congressional offices from around the country, now is the time for Audit the Fed to become law of the land!
Please continue to support our efforts as we double down on the pressure on the House and Senate!
We’ve come a long way since C4L made Audit the Fed our top legislative priority in 2009, and the limited audit passed last Congress has only strengthened our resolve for complete transparency at the Federal Reserve.
According to GovTrack, there are 227 co-sponsors of the bill, which would require an audit of the Federal Reserve to be completed by the end of 2012. This would allow Congress, through the Government Accountability Office, to see the thought process behind certain decisions, such as keep interest rates artificially low, and loans.
Last year, we often poked fun at Donald Trump, who was at the time seeking attention and ratings for his TV show as he supposedly pondered a run for president. Trump managed to get a lot of media in-part due to waving the banner for Birthers and playing up economic populism by promising to start a trade war with China.
Trump ended up being the butt of jokes after the White House put a copy of Barack Obama’s birth certificate on display and after a debate he was going to moderate ended up being ignored by several Republican candidates.
But now Trump is getting attention from Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican nominee, and this is leaving some with a headache due. George Will, who writes at the Washington Post, made his feelings about engaging Trump known over the weekend on This Week, questioning Romney’s association with him:
This morning on “This Week,” ABC News’ George Will called Donald Trump a ”bloviating ignoramus,” questioning why presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney is associating with the real estate mogul, who once again falsely questioned President Obama’s birthplace this week.
“I do not understand the cost benefit here,” Will said on the “This Week” roundtable. “The costs are clear. The benefit — what voter is gonna vote for him (Romney) because he is seen with Donald Trump? The cost of appearing with this bloviating ignoramus is obvious it seems to me.
With a week to go in the recall election against Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, it looks like Democrats are beginning to manage expectations, a signal that they know their nominee, Tom Barrett, will lose:
Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz on Sunday attempted to mitigate the potential fallout of a Democratic loss in the Wisconsin gubernatorial race next month, saying that the race has no national implications and has been useful even if Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett loses there.
“I think [Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett] has a real opportunity to win,” the Florida congresswoman said on CNN’s State of the Union.
But with recent polls showing Gov. Scott Walker in the lead, Wasserman Schultz took a decidedly less optimistic tone on C-SPAN’s Newsmakers, asserting that it was impossible for Democrats to respond to the amount of outside money poured into the race by Republican supporters.
“There’s no way that we were ever going to be able to counter the massive efforts that was dropped into Wisconsin by Republicans’ special interests,” she said on Newsmakers.
On both shows, the Florida Democrat attempted to play the race as a win for Democrats, even if they lose.
This isn’t exactly a suprise. The Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Governors Association opted not to send money to the state in mid-May, realizing early on that it was unlikely that they would knock off Walker.
It’s not surprise that there are some House Republicans that want to bring back earmarks. Early last month, some in the caucus made it known that they want to end the moratorium on earmarks. But the push seems to have received more momentum as more House Republicans are making it publicly know that they want to bring earmarks, which Rep. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) once called the “currency of corruption,” back into practice:
A group of Republicans is working on a game plan aimed at lifting the House ban on earmarks early next year.
While the frustrated GOP lawmakers concede that eradicating the ban is not going to happen this Congress, they have become more outspoken in recent weeks and months. Their goal is to change the House’s policy in 2013.
Conservative Rep. John Culberson (Texas) is the most recent GOP lawmaker to publicly push back against the ban that was formally adopted when Republicans took control of the House in 2011.
Culberson, the chairman of a military-construction appropriations panel, expressed exasperation earlier this week that he can’t expedite the expansion of a governmental military facility in Ohio, which is now slated for 2016.
“In light of new security threats to our country and our allies, expansion of [the Foreign Materials Exploitation Lab] is desperately needed now. And because of the earmark ban, I can’t move it … it’s just nuts,” Culberson told The Hill.
Culberson says he’s been “pounding” the leadership to move on the reforms, as well as “educating” his colleagues on the “urgency” of the situation.
Brian Doherty, a writer at Reason and author of Ron Paul’s rEVOLution: The Man and the Movement He Inspired, recently spoke to Libertarianism.org about the impact of Ron Paul’s presidential campaign on the Republican Party and American politics and what it means now that he is retiring:
Penn Jillette, half of the magic duo, Penn & Teller, has been everywhere the last few years. In addition to their almost nightly performances at the Rio in Las Vegas He and Teller hosted Bullshit!, a libertarian-themed show on Showtime that took on conventional wisdom and junk science.
More recently, Jillette has been acting as a political commentator. He appears regularly on various shows on CNN and Fox News and has been known to write an occasional column on political issues.
However, his recent criticism of President Barack Obama over the so-called on “war on drugs” gave him the opportunity to note on Hannity that, while he disagrees with many of the policies pushed by the White House, he is backing Gov. Gary Johnson, the Libertarian nominee for president.
Here’s the entire segment of Jillette with Sean Hannity: