September 19, 2014
Former Connecticut Gov. John Rowland (R), "a political rising star who crashed a decade ago in a corruption scandal, fell again Friday when a jury in federal court found him guilty in a low-rent scheme to collect secret pay checks from rich Republican congressional candidates," the Hartford Courant
"Influential Republicans in early presidential primary states believe New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is poised to once again become a frontrunner for the party's 2016 nomination, following a news report
that he is no longer a target of federal scrutiny for his role in a bridge-closing scandal," the Washington Post
"Christie's wealthy friends in Republican finance circles also expressed confidence that the governor has escaped what has been seen as the leading obstacle to his potential candidacy."
has unearthed a folk album
recorded by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) in 1987, while he was the mayor of Burlington, VT.
: "While savoring these songs, the listener might wonder, you know, how the hell something like this ever happened... The senator's office, sadly, doesn't have much to say about their boss's old record making the rounds this week."
A new Rasmussen survey
in Kansas finds Greg Orman (I) leading Sen. Pat Roberts (R) for U.S. Senate, 45% to 40%.
The survey shows the head-to-head match up now possible when Chad Taylor (D) is kept off the ballot.
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A new Rasmussen survey
in Iowa finds Joni Ernst (R) and Bruce Braley (D) deadlocked in the U.S. Senate race, 43% to 43%.
Some great clicks over at Wonk Wire
"House Republicans are quietly discussing a proposal that could fundamentally alter the way future speakers of the House are chosen, according to multiple GOP sources, with the objective of avoiding a repeat of John Boehner's embarrassing reelection vote in 2013," National Journal
"Under the proposed tweak, any Republican who votes on the House floor in January against the conference's nominee for House speaker - that is, the candidate chosen by a majority of the House GOP during its closed-door leadership elections in November - would be severely punished. Specifically, sources say, any dissenters would be stripped of all committee assignments for that Congress."
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: "That Clinton is a risk-averse, pragmatic politician has been her hallmark for years, of course--it's just another way in which her current persona offers nothing new or surprising. Has America ever been so thoroughly tired of a candidate before the campaign even began?"
In the middle of a speech championing women's issues and condemning sexual harassment, Vice President Joe Biden offered warm words for former Sen. Bob Packwood (R-OR) who resigned after 10 women accused him of sexual harassment, Business Insider
North Carolina congressional candidate Mark Walker (R) suggested war with Mexico might be a way to stop immigrants coming across the border, TPM
Said Walker: "I will tell you if you have foreigners who are sneaking in with drug cartels to me that is a national threat. And if we got to go laser or blitz somebody with a couple of fighter jets for a little while to make our point, I don't have a problem with that either. So yeah, whatever we need to do."
"The battleground for control of the Senate is now Kansas."
-- Former Sen. Bob Dole (R-KS), quoted by ABC News
, on news the Democratic candidate will be allowed
to drop off the ballot to force a two-way race.
A new Reuters poll
found that almost a quarter -- 23.9% -- of those surveyed said they were strongly or provisionally inclined to have their states secede from the United States.
"Secession got more support from Republicans than Democrats, more from right- than left-leaning independents, more from younger than older people, more from lower- than higher-income brackets, more from high school than college grads. But there was a surprising amount of support in every group and region, especially the Rocky Mountain states, the Southwest and the old Confederacy, but also in places like Illinois and Kansas. And of the people who said they identified with the Tea Party, supporters of secession were actually in the majority, with 53 percent."
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) slammed the Republican party for not reaching out to minorities, Politico
Said Paul: "So many times, Republicans are seen as this party of, 'We don't want black people to vote because they're voting Democrat, we don't want Hispanic people to vote because they're voting Democrat.' We wonder why the Republican Party is so small. Why don't we be the party that's for people voting, for voting rights?"
"Let's see if you can write this whole story without mentioning how fat I've gotten."
-- North Carolina congressional candidate Clay Aiken (D), quoted by the Washington Post
Large portions of Wisconsin gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke's (D) jobs plan "appear to be copied directly from the plans of three Democratic candidates who ran for governor in previous election cycles," BuzzFeed
"Burke's economic plan Invest for Success
copies nearly-verbatim sections from the jobs plans of Ward Cammack, who ran for Tennessee governor in 2009 before withdrawing from the race, a 2008 plan from Delaware Gov. Jack Markell, and John Gregg who ran for governor of Indiana in 2012 and lost to Mike Pence."
"Senate Republicans are planning aggressive action to intensify oversight of the Obama administration and move conservative legislation long stymied by the Democrats if they win control of the upper chamber in the midterm elections," the Washington Examiner
"Republican leaders are promising a complete makeover of the chamber that goes beyond changes in legislative priorities... Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, expected to become the next majority leader as long as he wins re-election on Nov. 4, plans to return power to the committees and promote a freewheeling debate process that allows members to shape legislation through a vigorous amendment process."
Joe Sorrentino (D), a New Jersey borough council candidate, "is bowing out of his race after revelations that he allegedly shouted racist slurs while mooning patrons of a local diner," New Jersey Advanced Media
Said Sorrentino: "I regret what happened, and I have worked every single day to prove that I am not the man that the report says."
"Scotland has voted to stay in the United Kingdom after voters decisively rejected independence," the BBC
"UK Prime Minister David Cameron said he was delighted the UK would remain together and said the commitments on extra powers would be honoured. Mr Cameron said the three main unionist parties at Westminster would now follow through with their pledge of more powers for the Scottish Parliament."
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) "is making adjustments to his foreign-policy profile that is bringing him more in line with his party's mainstream and a step away from its isolationist libertarian wing. That could ease his path to the nomination, but is also creating openings for critics and rivals," the Wall Street Journal
"Republicans are trying to boost their early-voting efforts after lagging behind Democrats in the past two election cycles, spending unprecedented sums at the state level and launching a national campaign to get GOP voters to cast ballots before Election Day," the Wall Street Journal
"With early voting beginning Friday in three states, the GOP's efforts have the potential to affect the outcome of close races. Campaigns that bank early votes can then spend their resources chasing supporters with less reliable voting histories, who may need a push to the polls."
September 18, 2014
"Flashes of disagreement over how to fight the Islamic State are mounting between President Obama and U.S. military leaders, the latest sign of strain in what often has been an awkward and uneasy relationship," the Washington Post
"Even as the administration has received congressional backing for its strategy, with the Senate voting Thursday to approve a plan to arm and train Syrian rebels, a series of military leaders have criticized the president's approach against the Islamic State militant group."
"The U.S. Justice Department investigation into New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's role in "Bridgegate" has thus far uncovered no information he either knew in advance or directed the closure of traffic lanes on the George Washington Bridge," NBC News
"The Kansas Supreme Court issued a decision laden with political intrigue Thursday that overruled the state's top elections officer and declared Democratic U.S. Senate nominee Chad Taylor could pull himself from the November ballot," the Topeka Capital Journal
"In the middle of a wild campaign for the seat held by three-term Republican Sen. Pat Roberts, the high court's opinion thwarted the decision of Secretary of State Kris Kobach to prohibit Taylor's exit from race."
: "The big unanswered question is what happens to the other statute which appears to require Democrats to replace a withdrawn candidate on the ballot."
Newt Gingrich is not thrilled by the current state of the Republican party, Roll Call
Said Gingrich: "The fact that we do not have positive themes and positive issues is going to cost us seats this fall because moderates and independents aren't going to turn out. It's an enormous mistake."
He added: "You have to sound like you're more than anti-Obama, and you're more than some ... politician whose primary role in life is to raise money for your consultant to buy attack ads. It's pathetic ... and it's turning people off."
A new Rasmussen survey
in Georgia finds David Perdue (R) leading Michelle Nunn (D) by five points in the U.S. Senate race, 46% to 41%.