Posts Tagged ‘presidential politics’

Ted Cruz Vanquishes New York Values in Iowa

February 2, 2016

Ted Cruz Vanquishes New York Values in Iowa
In the Republican melee in Iowa yesterday, Holy Warrior Ted Cruz drew first blood, besting Plumed Knight Donald Trump, with Marco Rubio nipping at Mr. Trump’s rump. “New York values” didn’t play so well in farm country.

“Fighting Preacher” Mike Huckabee has withdrawn from the field of battle, and Doctor Ben Carson is missing in action after looking for a laudromat. The surviving GOP combatants move their conflict east to New Hampshire next week.

More:

“Cruz Says ‘New York Values’ Attack Led To Victory Over Trump In Iowa,” Sara Jerde, TPM Livewire

“Cruz Victory Gives Hope To Despised People Everywhere,” Andy Borowitz, The New Yorker

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Iowa Matters. For a Day. Every 4 Years.

February 1, 2016

Iowa Matters. For a Day. Every 4 Years.

Tonight in Iowa, citizens will gather in hundreds of little groups to determine which Presidential candidate they would prefer as a drinking buddy (note: Trump doesn’t drink). The Iowa Caucus process has not changed much over the years except for the inclusion of computers, womenfolk, and voters with dark complexions (if the latter can be found in Iowa).

The caucus process is simple: At 7 PM Central Time, adult Iowa citizens show up at the church basement, roller rink, farmhouse, or pork-packing plant designated as the local caucus site by state Republican and Democratic parties. Republican attendees display their GOP tattoos at the door; those without them must get marked-up before Monday night. Candidate adherents rant, threaten, and cajole. For Republicans, secret balloting follows, then local caucus hosts have their grandchildren use laptop computers to enter the voting results, which are transmitted through the cloud to Iowa GOP Central Command, located in an empty grain elevator at an undisclosed location in Sioux County.

Iowa Democrats use a different system. At every local caucus they huddle in groups backing each candidate. Any group with less than 15 members is deemed “non-viable” and dissolved, and its members scatter to back other candidates. When the music stops the biggest group wins, but only the jammers can score. Caucus hosts enter results into a Microsoft program; after it freezes up, they re-boot their laptops and re-enter the data, which is collated in the cloud and certified at Iowa Democratic Party HQ, i.e. a Starbucks in the East Village neighborhood of Des Moines (free WiFi!).

After precinct caucuses finally end, winners of each party caucus are confirmed and announced, runners-up are crowned Miss Popularity, and losers and their surrogates begin the arduous spin cycle. In November the names of the caucus winners are put on the Iowa ballot  and voters elect someone else as President.

God Bless America.

More:

“How The Iowa Democratic Caucus Works, Featuring Legos,” Taylor Dobbs and Angela Evancie, Vermont Public Radio

“Why do the Iowa caucuses matter? Because everyone thinks they do.”Andrew Prokop, Vox

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Image by Mike Licht (who knows those are Okies). Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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‘Two Corinthians Walk Into a Bar ….’

January 27, 2016

'2 Corinthians Walk Into a Bar ....'

When Republican presidential hopeful, shady golfer and adulterer Donald Trump spoke at fundamentalist Liberty University recently, he quoted from his “favorite book,” the Bible, which someone else read for him (he “has people…”). Mr. Trump elicited ridicule by citing Second Corinthians as “Two Corinthians.” Oops.

Maybe The Donald would have been better off quoting from his “second favorite book,” Art of the Deal. That’s the autobiography he paid Tony Schwartz to write for him.

Really smartWharton grad Donnie Trump may have flunked Bible School, but that didn’t stop gun-totinlawyer and Liberty U. prez Jerry Falwell Jr. from endorsing him. Mr. Falwell, like his televangelist daddy, is a man of faith, facts and democracy be damned.

More:

“Trump Thumps Bible, Bible Thumps Back,” Monica Bauer, Huffington Post

“Trump’s Liberty U Performance Was Insulting to Christians Everywhere,” Tom DeLay, Christian Post

“Bible-thumping playboy: Associated Press explores faith, contradictions of Donald Trump,” Bobby Ross Jr., Get Religion

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Republican Debate: Race to the Bottom

January 15, 2016

Republican Debate: Race to the Bottom

At the 6th Republican Presidential Debate in Charleston, South Carolina, it was difficult to identify the real Donald Trump. All seven participants seemed to be angry and irrational, apparently the chief requirements for the GOP candidacy this year.

More:

“Fact Checker of Republican Debate Hospitalized for Exhaustion,” Andy Borowitz, The New Yorker

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Donald Trump, Ted Cruz Birther

January 7, 2016

Donald Trump, Ted Cruz Birther

Donald Trump told an interviewer the issue of Ted Cruz’s Canadian birth could be “very precarious” for the GOP if Senator Cruz emerges as the Republican presidential nominee, since a U.S. president is required to be a “natural-born” U.S. citizen and Mr. Cruz was born in Canada. Since Mommy Cruz was a U.S. citizen, Calgary-born Ted is considered a natural U.S. citizen, but was automatically granted dual Canadian citizenship by accident of natal geography.

Ted Cruz forgot about that last fact until recently reminded by the Dallas Morning News. He finally renounced his Ottawa allegience and hasn’t been Canadian for the last 18 months. Even so, Senator Rand Paul thinks his Texan colleague is “without question … qualified … to be prime minister of Canada.”

Donald Trump, of course, was Obama-birther-in-chief in days gone by. He probably casts doubt on title claims when negotiating for real estate, too.

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GOP Circus Loses Another Clown

November 18, 2015

GOP Circus Loses Another Clown

Did you know that lame-duck Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal was running for president? Probably not; few people did. But don’t worry – he just dropped out of the race. Man, those Duck Dynasty folks are mighty disappointed.

Gov. Jindal’s campaign spent more money than it raised last quarter, but that’s kind of a habit for him. He’s leaving office with the state budget $500 million in the hole. Maybe the budget just needs an exorcism. Anyway, that’s the next governor’s problem.

When his term is over, Mr. Jindal will hang out at America Next, the nonprofit advocacy group (not a “think tank”) he set up to launder money for his campaign, not that there was much of it.

More:

“Bobby Jindal drops out of White House race,” Alex Isenstadt, Politico

“Why Bobby Jindal’s Candidacy Failed,” Harry Enten, FiveThirtyEight

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Dr. Carson’s Snake Oil

November 4, 2015

Dr. Carson's Snake Oil

One of the so-called “gotcha” questions Carl Quintanilla asked Dr. Ben Carson on CNBC’s October 28th reality show was about his involvement with Mannatech, a shady medical supplement company. “I didn’t have an involvement with them,” the candidate replied. “That is total propaganda, and this is what happens in our society. Total propaganda,” the Doc harrumphed. A great media moment, but denying a verifiable fact is never a good long-term strategy.

Ten months before the debate, Jim Geraghty of the National Review described Ben Carson’s decade-long relationship with the purveyor of unproven “neutraceutical” nostrums, a firm that paid $4 million to settle a false medical claims suit, a firm thouroughly discredited in a 2007 ABC 20/20 investigation.

So Mr. Quintanilla’s debate question should have come as no surprise. Ben Carson shilled for Mannatech on PBS in 2014 and The Wall Street Journal‘s Mark Maremont had outlined Dr. Carson’s decade-long relationship with Mannatech just weeks before the CNBC event.

Since the debate, has Dr. Carson addressed the fact that for 10 years he promoted medical hokum for money? No. He tried to sidestep the issue of his personal and professional ethics by blaming his political opponents for raising this controversy, another clear falsehood. So much for the moral high ground.

More:

“What Ben Carson’s Mannatech Answer Tells Us,” Jim Geraghty, National Review

“Springtime for Grifters,”New York Times

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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Senator Rubio: ‘I’m Not an Absentee, I’m an Outsider!’

October 30, 2015

Senator Rubio: 'I'm Not an Absentee, I'm an Outsider!'

First-term Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), congressional quitter and presidential candidate, has missed more votes than any other senator in the current Congress. Telling Jeb Bush that other people missed votes years ago doesn’t change that.

Besides, Mr. Rubio says, he isn’t playing hooky, he’s a rebel, an outsider.

“When pressed on CNN’s State of the Union about why he’s missed so many votes, the senator explained a lot of them ‘won’t mean anything’ and will ultimately go nowhere or get vetoed by Obama. But isn’t that a bit hypocritical, since Rubio just declared that federal workers who don’t perform their jobs should be able to be fired? ‘Voting is not the only part of the Senate job. The most important thing a senator does is constituent service,’ Rubio explained, adding that he still attends intelligence briefings. ‘I’m not missing votes because I’m on vacation,’ he said. ‘I’m running for president so that the votes they take in the Senate are actually meaningful again.'”

— “Marco Rubio Is Skipping Senate Votes Because He’s a Washington Outsider,” Margaret Hartmann, New York Magazine

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Trump: Born on Third Base

October 28, 2015

Trump: Born on Third Base

“’It has not been easy for me. It has not been easy for me. I started off in Brooklyn. My father gave me a small loan of a million dollars,’ Trump remarked. ‘I came into Manhattan, and I had to pay him back, and I had to pay him back with interest.'”

— “Trump: My dad gave me a ‘small loan’ of a million dollars,” Nick Gass, Politico

Trump père, Fred, left an estate worth $200 million in 1999, and son Donald, self-made man, inherited about $40 million of it.

“I’m running for office in a country that’s essentially bankrupt, and it needs a successful businessman.” — Donald Trump in Rolling Stone.

Donald J. Trump was born on third base and thinks he hit a triple. He isn’t rich because he’s a great investor. He’s rich because his dad was rich, because he likes to spend other people’s money, and because he enjoyed government incentives. But given that head start, just how successful has he really been?

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Another Temp Job for Sarah Palin?

September 13, 2015

Another Temp Jpb for Sarah Palin?

Sarah Palin, former Miss Wasilla, once part-time Temp-Governor of Alaska, losing GOP Vice Presidential candidate and failed Fox News commentator, told CNN’s Jake Tapper she’d like to be Secretary of Energy in President Trump’s cabinet so she could dismantle the agency. Mrs. Palin is pretty good at demolishing things — look at what she did to John McCain’s presidential campaign.

Despite lack of evidence, Senator McCain thought Mrs. Palin knew lots about energy. The “Energy Secretary Palin” idea was first mentioned by Newt Gingrich during his 2011 quest for the GOP presidential nomination, probably to quash talk of putting her in the VP slot. And while Mrs. Palin has occasionally opined about abolishing the agency, John McCain suggested it as far back as 1994.

Sarah Palin is, quite literally, in bed with Big Oil — her husband Todd worked for BP in the North Slope oil fields of Alaska for 18 years and only resigned after his wife left the governorship. And back in the days of high-priced oil, royalty payments from Alaska oil and gas producers kept her state’s government running despite Governor Palin’s budget disasters.

But perhaps Mrs. Palin wants to abolish an agency she heads simply due to her proclivity for short-term jobs. She was appointed to her first state job on the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission in 2003 and quit after 11 months; elected Governor of Alaska, she assumed office in December 2006 and resigned in July 2009 after serving 20 months, much of that time spent on her failed vice presidential campaign. Sarah Palin was hired as a Fox News Commentator in 2010, dropped in 2012re-hired, and dropped again in 2015, and had reality TV shows on TLC  and the Sportsman Channel, both cancelled after one season.

What Mrs. Palin really knows about energy policy would fit on a “Drill-Baby-Drill” bumper sticker. She has no idea what the job involves and confuses it with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). But Sarah Palin does have one prerequisite to be Secretary of Energy: Good Hair.

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