WASHINGTON — As Hillary Clinton moves toward the Democratic presidential nomination, she faces legal hurdles from her use of a private computer server as secretary of state that could jar her campaign’s momentum in the months ahead.
Foremost among a half-dozen inquiries and legal proceedings into whether classified information was sent through Mrs. Clinton’s server is an investigation by the F.B.I., whose agents, according to one law enforcement official, could seek to question Mrs. Clinton’s closest aides and possibly the candidate herself within weeks.
It is commonplace for the F.B.I. to try to interview key figures before closing an investigation, and doing so is not an indication the bureau thinks a person broke the law. Although defense lawyers often discourage their clients from giving such interviews, Democrats fear the refusal of Mrs. Clinton or her top aides to cooperate would be ready ammunition for Donald J. Trump, the Republican front-runner….(read more)
This week begins act two. Our guest star is the terrific Hannah Dunne. I think doing this show is the most fun I’ve ever had.
I’d like to also thank everyone in the rest of the world for supporting the show. The show is selling well in England, France, Germany, Denmark, Australia, India, Israel and more. I wish I had the resources to create a subtitled version of the show in every language but it’s already a challenge to shoot the show and get it up on the site so quickly every week.
Also, as the show is not being advertised and promoted anywhere, please share it with your friends and people you think would like it. Please don’t show it to anyone you think would hate it. Although I do believe a show needs to be hated. It’s part of the life of any show to have some people who devote energy to ripping it apart. It’s healthy. Anyway it continues to be very interesting to watch a show spread and grow strictly on word of mouth. And you are the mouths. I mean your mouths are the mouths that… Make words. So please… Word… About it. The show.
To other mouths. I mean don’t talk into people’s mouths though.
Okay. I’m going back to bed. My kids don’t get here for another hour.
P.S. Please stop it with voting for Trump. It was funny for a little while. But the guy is Hitler. And by that I mean that we are being Germany in the 30s. Do you think they saw the shit coming? Hitler was just some hilarious and refreshing dude with a weird comb over who would say anything at all.
And I’m not advocating for Hillary or Bernie. I like them both but frankly I wish the next president was a conservative only because we had Obama for eight years and we need balance. And not because I particularly enjoy the conservative agenda. I just think the government should reflect the people. And we are about 40 percent conservative and 40 percent liberal. When I was growing up and when I was a younger man, liberals and conservatives were friends with differences. They weren’t enemies. And it always made sense that everyone gets a president they like for a while and then hates the president for a while. But it only works if the conservatives put up a good candidate. A good smart conservative to face the liberal candidate so they can have a good argument and the country can decide which way to go this time.
Trump is not that. He’s an insane bigot. He is dangerous.
He already said he would expand libel laws to sue anyone who “writes a negative hit piece” about him. He says “I would open up the libel laws so we can sue them and win lots of money. Not like now. These guys are totally protected.” He said that. He has promised to decimate the first amendment. (If you think he’s going to keep the second amendment intact you’re delusional.) And he said that Paul Ryan, speaker of the house will “pay” for criticizing him. So I’m saying this now because if he gets in there we won’t be able to criticize him anymore.
Please pick someone else. Like John Kasich. I mean that guy seems okay. I don’t like any of them myself but if you’re that kind of voter please go for a guy like that. It feels like between him and either democrat we’d have a decent choice. It feels like a healthier choice. We shouldn’t have to vote for someone because they’re not a shocking cunt billionaire liar.
We should choose based on what direction the country should go.
I get that all these people sound like bullshit soft criminal opportunists. The whole game feels rigged and it’s not going anywhere but down anymore. I feel that way sometimes.
And that voting for Trump is a way of saying “fuck it. Fuck them all”. I really get it. It’s a version of national Suicide. Or it’s like a big hit off of a crack pipe. Somehow we can’t help it. Or we know that if we vote for Trump our phones will be a reliable source of dopamine for the next four years. I mean I can’t wait to read about Trump every day. It’s a rush. But you have to know this is not healthy.
If you are a true conservative. Don’t vote for Trump. He is not one of you. He is one of him. Everything you have heard him say that you liked, if you look hard enough you will see that he one day said the exact opposite. He is playing you. Read the rest of this entry »
I’m happy to be back with you in this annual event after missing last year’s meeting. I had some business in New Hampshire that wouldn’t wait.
Three weeks ago here in our nation’s capital I told a group of conservative scholars that we are currently in the midst of a re-ordering of the political realities that have shaped our time. We know today that the principles and values that lie at the heart of conservatism are shared by the majority.
Despite what some in the press may say, we who are proud to call ourselves “conservative” are not a minority of a minority party; we are part of the great majority of Americans of both major parties and of most of the independents as well.
A Harris poll released September 7, l975 showed 18 percent identifying themselves as liberal and 31 per- cent as conservative, with 41 percent as middle of the road; a few months later, on January 5, 1976, by a 43-19 plurality those polled by Harris said they would “prefer to see the country move in a more conservative direction than a liberal one.”
Last October 24th, the Gallup organization released the result of a poll taken right in the midst of the presidential campaign.
Respondents were asked to state where they would place themselves on a scale ranging from “right-of-center” (which was defined as “conservative”) to left-of-center (which was defined as “liberal”).
Thirty-seven percent viewed themselves as left-of-center or liberal
Twelve percent placed themselves in the middle
Fifty-one percent said they were right-of-center, that is, conservative.
What I find interesting about this particular poll is that it offered those polled a range of choices on a left-right continuum. This seems to me to be a more realistic approach than dividing the world into strict left and rights. Most of us, I guess, like to think of ourselves as avoiding both extremes, and the fact that a majority of Americans chose one or the other position on the right end of the spectrum is really impressive.
Those polls confirm that most Americans are basically conservative in their outlook. But once we have said this, we conservatives have not solved our problems, we have merely stated them clearly. Yes, conservatism can and does mean different things to those who call themselves conservatives.
You know, as I do, that most commentators make a distinction between they call “social” conservatism and “economic” conservatism. The so-called social issues—law and order, abortion, busing, quota systems—are usually associated with blue-collar, ethnic and religious groups themselves traditionally associated with the Democratic Party. The economic issues—inflation, deficit spending and big government—are usually associated with Republican Party members and independents who concentrate their attention on economic matters.
Now I am willing to accept this view of two major kinds of conservatism—or, better still, two different conservative constituencies. But at the same time let me say that the old lines that once clearly divided these two kinds of conservatism are disappearing.
In fact, the time has come to see if it is possible to present a program of action based on political principle that can attract those interested in the so-called “social” issues and those interested in “economic” issues. In short, isn’t it possible to combine the two major segments of contemporary American conservatism into one politically effective whole?
I believe the answer is: Yes, it is possible to create a political entity that will reflect the views of the great, hitherto, conservative majority. We went a long way toward doing it in California. We can do it in America. This is not a dream, a wistful hope. It is and has been a reality. I have seen the conservative future and it works.
Let me say again what I said to our conservative friends from the academic world: What I envision is not simply a melding together of the two branches of American conservatism into a temporary uneasy alliance, but the creation of a new, lasting majority.
This will mean compromise. But not a compromise of basic principle. What will emerge will be something new: something open and vital and dynamic, something the great conservative majority will recognize as its own, because at the heart of this undertaking is principled politics.
I have always been puzzled by the inability of some political and media types to understand exactly what is meant by adherence to political principle. All too often in the press and the television evening news it is treated as a call for “ideological purity.” Whatever ideology may mean—and it seems to mean a variety of things, depending upon who is using it—it always conjures up in my mind a picture of a rigid, irrational clinging to abstract theory in the face of reality. We have to recognize that in this country “ideology” is a scare word. And for good reason. Marxist-Leninism is, to give but one example, an ideology. All the facts of the real world have to be fitted to the Procrustean bed of Marx and Lenin. If the facts don’t happen to fit the ideology, the facts are chopped off and discarded.
I consider this to be the complete opposite to principled conservatism. If there is any political viewpoint in this world which is free for slavish adherence to abstraction, it is American conservatism.
When a conservative states that the free market is the best mechanism ever devised by the mind of man to meet material needs, he is merely stating what a careful examination of the real world has told him is the truth.
When a conservative says that totalitarian Communism is an absolute enemy of human freedom he is not theorizing—he is reporting the ugly reality captured so unforgettably in the writings of Alexander Solzhenitsyn.
When a conservative says it is bad for the government to spend more than it takes in, he is simply showing the same common sense that tells him to come in out of the rain.
When a conservative says that busing does not work, he is not appealing to some theory of education—he is merely reporting what he has seen down at the local school.
When a conservative quotes Jefferson that government that is closest to the people is best, it is because he knows that Jefferson risked his life, his fortune and his sacred honor to make certain that what he and his fellow patriots learned from experience was not crushed by an ideology of empire.
Conservatism is the antithesis of the kind of ideological fanatacism that has brought so much horror and destruction to the world. The common sense and common decency of ordinary men and women, working out their own lives in their own way—this is the heart of American conservatism today. Conservative wisdom and principles are derived from willingness to learn, not just from what is going on now, but from what has happened before.
The principles of conservatism are sound because they are based on what men and women have discovered through experience in not just one generation or a dozen, but in all the combined experience of mankind. When we conservatives say that we know something about political affairs, and that we know can be stated as principles, we are saying that the principles we hold dear are those that have been found, through experience, to be ultimately beneficial for individuals, for families, for communities and for nations—found through the often bitter testing of pain, or sacrifice and sorrow.
One thing that must be made clear in post-Watergate is this: The American new conservative majority we represent is not based on abstract theorizing of the kind that turns off the American people, but on common sense, intelligence, reason, hard work, faith in God, and the guts to say: “Yes, there are things we do strongly believe in, that we are willing to live for, and yes, if necessary, to die for.” That is not “ideological purity.” It is simply what built this country and kept it great.
Let us lay to rest, once and for all, the myth of a small group of ideological purists trying to capture a majority. Replace it with the reality of a majority trying to assert its rights against the tyranny of powerful academics, fashionable left-revolutionaries, some economic illiterates who happen to hold elective office and the social engineers who dominate the dialogue and set the format in political and social affairs. If there is any ideological fanaticism in American political life, it is to be found among the enemies of freedom on the left or right—those who would sacrifice principle to theory, those who worship only the god of political, social and economic abstractions, ignoring the realities of everyday life. They are not conservatives.
Our first job is to get this message across to those who share most of our principles. If we allow ourselves to be portrayed as ideological shock troops without correcting this error we are doing ourselves and our cause a disservice. Wherever and whenever we can, we should gently but firmly correct our political and media friends who have been perpetuating the myth of conservatism as a narrow ideology. Whatever the word may have meant in the past, today conservatism means principles evolving from experience and a belief in change when necessary, but not just for the sake of change.
Once we have established this, the next question is: What will be the political vehicle by which the majority can assert its rights?
I have to say I cannot agree with some of my friends—perhaps including some of you here tonight—who have answered that question by saying this nation needs a new political party. Read the rest of this entry »
“Donald Trump continues to call Megyn Kelly names, he continues to tweet out, this is what he does, to journalists he isn’t happy with.”
“It is troubling, and of course, we’ve talked about this. It does have a chilling effect, ’cause you do watch your words more. You don’t want all of his Twitter followers to come at you with that Twitter hate.”
In an interview with Trump less than 24 hours later, Fox News host Bill O’Reilly gave the GOP front-runner another chance to air his grievances with CNN, which broadcast and moderated the rhetorical showdown from Las Vegas.
But Trump didn’t want to gripe about CNN anymore. He wanted to knock Fox, instead.
O’REILLY: Do you think CNN dislikes you — the news organization itself?
TRUMP: Well, honestly, I think I get better press from CNN than I do Fox, Bill, if you want to know the truth.
O’REILLY: Well, that’s because we’re the toughest network.
You’d have to be in a Rumpelstiltskin-esque slumber not to know that Trump has been carping about Fox coverage for months now. The thing that really set him off was a debate question in August from Fox News host Megyn Kelly, who confronted him about his propensity for ad hominem attacks on women. That, of course, led Trump to remark the next day that Kelly had “blood coming out of her wherever” — a perfect confirmation of her question’s premise — and Trump has continued to blast Kelly and the network ever since.
Now, it’s certainly true that Trump has targeted seemingly every media outlet for ridicule, at some point. And making a candidate unhappy isn’t the same as covering him well.
But Fox has gotten under Trump’s skin more often than most, with tough questionsand reasonable critiques on proposals like blocking all Muslims from entering the United States and building a wall along the Southern border to keep out Mexicans. Read the rest of this entry »
Seven weeks from the caucuses, Ted Cruz is crushing it in Iowa.
The anti-establishment congressional agitator has made a rapid ascent into the lead in the GOP presidential race here, with a 21 percentage-point leap that smashes records for upsurges in recent Iowa caucuses history.
Donald Trump, now 10 points below Cruz, was in a pique about not being front-runner even before the Iowa Poll results were announced Saturday evening. He wasted no time in tearing into Cruz — and the poll — during an Iowa stop Friday night.
Ben Carson, another “Washington outsider” candidate, has plunged 15 points from his perch at the front of the pack in October. He’s now in third place.
“Big shakeup,” said J. Ann Selzer, pollster for The Des Moines Register/Bloomberg Politics Iowa Poll. “This is a sudden move into a commanding position for Cruz.”
Cruz, a Texas U.S. senator famous for defying party leaders and using government shutdown tactics to hold up funding for the Obamacare health care law and abortion provider Planned Parenthood, was the favorite of 10 percent of likely Republican caucusgoers in the last Iowa Poll in October. He’s now at 31 percent. Read the rest of this entry »
Peggy Noonan writes: What gets you about what happened in San Bernardino is the shattering sameness of it. Once and not so long ago such atrocities, whatever their cause, whether the work of schizophrenics or jihadists, constituted a signal and exceptional moment. Now they’re more like this week’s shooting. We are not becoming blasé but increasingly inured. And, of course, armed up.
“This managed to enrage the progressive left. You can take your prayers and stuff ’em. The answer and the only answer to this tragedy is gun control, and if you’re not for it you’re not allowed to be part of the conversation.”
You can see a coarsening in how we respond and react on social media. No one feels ashamed to exploit the tragedy for political purposes even while it is happening.
“All this immediately won a name: ‘prayer shaming.'”
We are all free to say what we think, and must be, for without this freedom we will no longer be America. More on that below. But you always hope what is said will be constructive, helpful, maybe even at some point heartening. You have a responsibility as an adult to do your best in this area.
“Wow. You might think he was aiming this at President Obama, who when he was a popular president with an overwhelmingly Democratic House and Senate did not prioritize gun control.”
But as soon as the story broke Wednesday afternoon, and while it was still going on, there were accusations and bitter words flung all over the Internet. The weirdest argument came almost immediately. A person named Chris Murphy, who is a U.S. senator representing Connecticut, sent out what struck me as the most manipulative message of recent political history.
“But it was clearly aimed at all those Republicans and religious people who were praying, saying they were praying, and implicitly asking you to pray, rather than doing what they should do, which is supporting the senator’s cause.”
The background is that Republican presidential contestants responded online to the shootings with the only helpful thing you can say—or do, frankly, from faraway—when a story like this occurs. “Praying for the victims, their families & the San Bernardino first responders,” said Jeb Bush. Mike Huckabee said he was “praying.” John Kasich: “My thoughts & prayers go out to those impacted.”
This managed to enrage the progressive left. You can take your prayers and stuff ’em. The answer and the only answer to this tragedy is gun control, and if you’re not for it you’re not allowed to be part of the conversation. “Please shut up and slink away,” tweeted a reporter. Another: “Your thoughts and prayers don’t mean a damn thing.” A reporter at the Huffington Post damned public officials’ “useless thoughts and prayers.” Markos Moulitsas of Daily Kos: “How many dead people did those thoughts and prayers bring back to the life?”
Mollie Hemingway of the Federalist noted that all these denunciations were literally coming in while victims of the shooting were sending out requests for prayer.
Journalists, bloggers, contrarians and citizens jumped into the fray. Then the U.S. senator, Chris Murphy, came forward rather menacingly. “Your ‘thoughts’ should be about steps to take to stop this carnage. Your ‘prayers’ should be for forgiveness if you do nothing—again.” Read the rest of this entry »
Gary Langer reports: With terrorism fears near a post-9/11 high in a new ABC News-Washington Post poll, majorities of Americans back increased use of military force, including ground forces, against the Islamic State, and more than half oppose admitting Mideast refugees to the United States.
Seventy-three percent support increased U.S. air strikes against the Islamic State, or ISIS, and 60 percent back more ground forces, double the level of support for ground forces from summer 2014. One reason: Eighty-one percent see a major terrorist attack in the United States in the near future as likely, a level of anxiety that has been higher just once since 9/11.
Fifty-four percent oppose admitting refugees from Syria and other Mideast countries, while 43 percent are in favor. Opposition in part reflects skepticism about the U.S. government’s ability to screen out terrorists; 52 percent are dubious, and they’re especially likely to oppose entry.
That said, if refugees are admitted, an overwhelming 78 percent of Americans say all should be considered equally, without regard to their religion. Just 18 percent favor special consideration for Christians, proposed by Republican presidential candidates Jeb Bush and Sen. Ted Cruz.
…Perhaps most fundamentally, 59 percent of Americans in this poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates, say the United States is at war with radical Islam, which is little changed from a poll earlier this year but another indication of the public’s mindset in the post-9/11 world….
Fifty-four percent disapprove of President Obama’s handling of the threat of terrorism in general, up 9 points since January to the worst rating on terrorism of his career. Fifty-seven percent disapprove of his handling of the Islamic State in particular. “Strong” disapproval on both is quite high, 43 and 46 percent, respectively…
Fewer than half of Americans, 45 percent, are confident in the government’s ability to prevent further terrorist attacks in the United States. That’s near the average since 9/11, and helps explain the level of public concern about an attack occurring.
Not all views have changed substantially. In a Fox News poll of registered voters in January, 56 percent said they thought the United States was at war with radical Islam. A similar number says so now, 59 percent of all adults (and 60 percent of registered voters).
In terms of a response to the Paris attacks, 73 percent of Americans say the United States should play a role in military action against ISIS. Likely given the attacks’ locus on French soil, however, those who favor action say by more than 2-1 that the United States should take a supporting role in responding, not the leading role.
At 73 percent, support for increased U.S. air strikes against ISIS is similar to its level just more than a year ago, having risen sharply after the ISIS killings of U.S. journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff. Fifty-two percent “strongly” support more air strikes, a continued high level. Read the rest of this entry »
Rubio said that the safe havens of ISIS must be targeted, namely in Syria.
Republican presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio said the terror attacks in Paris are part of “a civilizational conflict,” and that Islamic terror needs to be confronted as that.
“I believe we need to subject ISIS to high profile humiliating defeat, meaning Special Operations attacks that are filmed, basically, so we can show the world that these are not invincible people.”
The Florida senator said Islamic terrorists think that “the entire world needs to believe in what they believe in, or you die.”
“This president has chosen not to pursue that because he thinks politically for him it’s admitting that we’re re-engaged in another hostility in the Middle East. So he’s trying to do the bare minimum he can without losing the political narrative that he he got us out of the Middle East and out of conflict.”
Koji Murata was dismissed Friday as president of a prestigious Japanese university for supporting Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s policies. Photo: Kyodo
Michael Auslin writes: It’s not just American university campuses that are being roiled by clashes over the limits of free speech. At one of Japan’s most prestigious institutions of higher learning, no less than the president himself has just been dismissed by his academic colleagues for publicly supporting Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The dispute taps into a deeper national debate over Japan’s future.
“Japan’s academics are known to be a largely liberal lot, but the concerns over free speech in the Murata case reflect Japan’s larger problems. At root, it’s about how the country will face both its past and its future.”
A favorite claim of liberal academics and activists is that Japan remains one of the most conservative societies. In recent years, their invective has been directed toward Mr. Abe, who is charged with repressing and intimidating liberal views. Media outlets argue that they have been pressured, and academics warn that government forces are trying to stifle debate about the country’s wartime past.
Yet punishing free speech in Japan is no prerogative of the right. Last week, the president of the prestigious liberal-arts college Doshisha failed to be re-elected due to his support earlier this year of Mr. Abe’s controversial security legislation to relax post-World War II restrictions on the use of the military.
Koji Murata is a well-known and respected academic and public intellectual in Japan. A fixture on news shows, the nattily dressed Mr. Murata is also an expert on foreign policy and security. In July, he was one of several experts testifying in front of Japan’s Parliament in favor of Mr. Abe’s security bills, which would modestly expand Japan’s ability to conduct military operations abroad. Read the rest of this entry »
Nick Gass reports: Trump and Carson continue to lead the GOP field.
Jeb Bush’s support among Republicans nationally has plummeted to the low single digits in the latest Quinnipiac University survey released Wednesday, as the former Florida governor’s campaign seeks to hit refresh with its “Jeb Can Fix It” tour.
Donald Trump and Ben Carson, meanwhile, continued to lead the field, with Carson outperforming Hillary Clinton in a hypothetical general-election matchup.
In the latest poll, conducted after last week’s third GOP debate in which Bush delivered a mediocre performance, just 4 percent of Republican and independent Republican-leaning voters said they would support Bush in their state’s primary. In the September survey, Bush earned 10 percent, trailing Trump, Carson and Carly Fiorina. And in terms of favorability, no one polled lower than Bush, at a net-negative of 33 points. Just 25 percent of all registered voters surveyed said they had a positive opinion of him, while 58 percent said they had a negative one.
For its part, the Bush campaign has tried to manage expectations among the media.
“FYI political press corps. Jeb’s going to have a few weeks of bad polls,” campaign communications director Tim Miller tweeted Monday. “Comebacks take time, we recognize and are prepared for that.”
Trump earned 24 percent from Republican voters this time, while Carson moved into a virtual tie at 23 percent. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio jumped into third place with 14 percent, followed by Texas Sen. Ted Cruz with 13 percent. Other candidates took in 3 percent or less support, with 9 percent undecided.
“I now know that the average French workweek is actually greater than the German workweek. So, my God, I totally insulted an entire country—our first ally—that helped us become free as a nation! And I apologize.”
Speaking to reporters aboard his campaign bus on the first leg of a three-day swing through New Hampshire, Bush once again criticized congressional lawmakers for working a three-day week, saying lawmakers have over-promised and under-delivered to the the American people in successive elections.
“Last week was a debacle and we’re adding Sean, an experienced federal election attorney, to this team because of what happened. He has significant political relationships and will be a huge asset as we seek the best possible format for the candidates. He is going to take the leading role for the debates moving forward.”
— Sean Spicer, the RNC’s chief strategist and spokesman
Priebus has elevated Sean Cairncross, the chief operating officer of the RNC and its former chief counsel, to be the GOP’s new lead debate negotiator and organizer.
The move effectively gives the debate responsibilities currently held by Sean Spicer, the RNC’s chief strategist and spokesman, to Cairncross. Spicer, a confidant of Priebus, will remain in his role but will work in a supplementary position when it comes to arranging the debates.
Priebus’s decision, which was detailed in an e-mail that the RNC sent to campaigns Sunday before a private summit of aides to 2016 candidates, was shared by a Republican presidential campaign aide who spoke on the condition of anonymity to reveal the document. That gathering was held at a hotel in the Washington suburbs and attended by advisers to several campaigns. Read the rest of this entry »
Byron York writes: Yes, the House Republican conference is stunned and confused after the withdrawal of Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., from the speaker’s race. But is it any more stunned and confused than it was exactly two years ago, when the government was partially shut down amid bitter House GOP infighting over Obamacare? Or a year ago, when House Majority Leader Eric Cantor suffered a mind-blowing defeat in a GOP primary election?
“Things could get worse. There’s certainly no reason to believe they will get better anytime soon.”
The fact is, the chaos plaguing Republicans in the House has been building for a long time. It’s no wonder some GOP lawmakers are reportedly weeping in the Capitol.
“Were they booing Trump for calling Rubio a clown or were they booing Rubio for being a clown?” I put the same question to MSNBC reporter Benjy Sarlin, who’s at the Values Voter Summit today. He thought they were booing Trump. So did conservative reporter Byron York of the Examiner. Sarlin makes a fair point: Watch the clip below and you’ll find only tepid applause for Trump’s big attack line on Rubio, his role in the Gang of Eight. You’d expect more from the crowd for that if the room was anti-Rubio. Rubio also seemed to get a nice ovation when he walked out for his own speech at the VVS this morning, which is no surprise. Apart from Ben Carson, no Republican candidate has as consistently high a favorable rating as he does. He’s well liked, even if he’s the first choice of only a small number of Republicans (so far).
Interestingly, Trump himself didn’t claim afterward that they were booing Rubio rather than him. He denied altogether that there were any boos because of course he did.…(read more)
Marco Rubio announced Speaker John Boehner‘s upcoming resignation at the Values Voter Summit, the crowd erupted into a standing ovation. Rubio, one of the many speakers invited to the 10th annual VVS in Washington, paused from discussing his paid family leave plan to mention Boehner’s resignation: “Just a few minutes ago, Speaker Boehner announced that he will be resigning.”
Needless to say, the audience’s reaction to the news was everything but silent. “With all due respect to people who serve in government,” Rubio continued, “it is important at this moment, with respect to him and the service he has provided to our country, it’s not about him, and I’m not here today to bash anyone, but the time has come to turn the page.” Initial reports described the VVS crowd’s response as a “standing ovation,” a choice of phrase that could be interpreted one of two ways. The audience was either (a) applauding Boehner’s service as speaker with a salutatory round of clapping and standing, or (b) expressing a wild excitement akin to “Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead!” in The Wizard of Oz.
The New York Times broke the news Friday morning, citing aides in his office…Boehner has served as a Congressman from Ohio since 1991. He was elected House Majority Leader in 2006, and became House Minority Leader in 2007 after Republicans lost control of the House. He became Speaker of the House in 2011 after the Tea Party resurgence saw massive Republican sgains in the House and Senate. from mediaite…..Religious conservatives broke into a rowdy and prolonged cheer when they learned House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) would resign from Congress. Read the rest of this entry »
Barton Swaim writes: every political commentator in America has now written at least one piece attempting to explain the mystery of Donald Trump’s appeal. Most have dealt with the man’s demeanor, his talent for attracting media coverage and his disdain for party and intellectual elites. Some of these I find cogent.
The thing I find most distinctive about Trump, though — and perhaps it’s at least a component of his success so far — is the structure of his language.
Everybody senses that Trump doesn’t speak like other politicians. But how is his speech different, exactly? Is it just the swagger, the dismissive tone and clipped accent? Maybe in part. Trump does seem emotionally engaged in a way none of his competitors do; he is perpetually annoyed — exasperated that things aren’t as they should be — but somehow also good-humored about it. (Chris Christie and John Kasich seem perpetually annoyed, too, but there is nothing funny or cheerful about their versions.)
To get at what makes Trump’s language different, take a look at the shape of his sentences. They don’t work the way modern political rhetoric does — they work the way punchlines work: short (sometimes very short) with the most important words at the end.
“Some of his answers last only a few seconds, some are slightly longer, but almost all consist of simple sentences, grammatically and conceptually, and most of them withhold their most important word or phrase until the very end.”
That’s rare among modern politicians, and not simply because they lack Trump’s showmanship or comedic gifts. It’s rare because most successful modern politicians are habitually careful with their language. They are keenly aware of the ways in which any word they speak may be interpreted or misinterpreted by journalists and partisan groups and constituencies and demographic groups.
“Trump’s sentences end with a pop, and he seems to know instinctively where to put the emphasis in each one.“
And so in important situations — situations in which they know a lot depends on what they say or don’t say — their language takes on (at least) two peculiar characteristics. First, their syntax tends to abstraction. They speak less about particular things and people — bills, countries, identifiable officials — and more about “legislation” and “the international community” and “officials” and “industry” and “Washington” and “government.”
Second, their sentences take on a higher number of subordinate clauses and qualifying phrases — “over the last several years,” “in general,” “in effect,” “what people are telling me,” and so on. This is the kind of language you use when you’re aware that your words might be misinterpreted or used against you.
“Politicians are frequently too careful with their language, and this conscientiousness can begin to sound like deceit or cowardice. When they rely too heavily on abstractions, when they avoid concrete nouns, when all their statements seem always hedged by qualifying phrases, they sound like politicians, in the worst sense of the word.”
When used well, it conveys competence and assures listeners that the speaker thinks coherent thoughts and holds reasonable positions. It suggests that the speaker cares about the truth of his claims. But politicians are frequently too careful with their language, and this conscientiousness can begin to sound like deceit or cowardice. When they rely too heavily on abstractions, when they avoid concrete nouns, when all their statements seem always hedged by qualifying phrases, they sound like politicians, in the worst sense of the word. To my ear, anyway, Hillary Clinton sounds this way almost all the time. Read the rest of this entry »
Michael Barone writes: Are Millennials sour on this year’s Democratic presidential candidates? Evidence from the recent nationwide Quinnipiac poll conducted August 20-25 suggests the answer is yes, at least compared to how they responded to Barack Obama’s candidacy in 2008 and 2012. Quinnipiac paired three Republican candidates — Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Donald Trump — against three Democrats — Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders.
Among millennials, voters 18-29, the three Democrats led each of the three Republicans by between eight-21 points. Obama carried millennials by 34 points in 2008 and 23 points in 2012.
The really relevant result, however, is that none of the Democrats, not even the universally known Hillary Clinton, come close to matching Obama’s percentage of the millennial vote, while the Republicans, all lesser known at this point, are within the margin of error of John McCain‘s percentage in 2008 and come fairly close to Mitt Romney’s somewhat higher millennial percentage in 2012. The following table shows the results of the 2008 and 2012 exit polls among Millennials and the Quinnipiac results for each of the pairings.
“The really relevant result, however, is that none of the Democrats, not even the universally known Hillary Clinton, come close to matching Obama’s percentage of the millennial vote, while the Republicans, all lesser known at this point, are within the margin of error of John McCain’s percentage in 2008 and come fairly close to Mitt Romney’s somewhat higher millennial percentage in 2012.”
Thus Clinton averages 51 percent against the three Republicans, Biden averages 49 percent and the presumably much less well known Sanders is not significantly far behind, averaging 48 percent. This indicates basic Democratic strength significantly below Obama’s 2012 level of 60 percent and far behind his 2008 figure of 66 percent. Read the rest of this entry »
39.4percent ofTrump’s Social Audience is Eligible to Vote.
Abigail Tracy writes: Despite the fact that earlier this week presidential hopeful Donald Trump made his way to the top of the extensive GOP field in an Iowa poll as the first choice of 22 percent of those surveyed, a study of Trump’s social media audience found that the polarizing businessman’s position might be weaker than polls indicate.
The most glaring discovery was that of Trump’s audience, a mere 39.4 percent were actually eligible to vote—the lowest of any GOP candidate analyzed. To put this in perspective, 95.7 percent of Fiorina’s audience could cast a ballot. On top of that, Trump only received 0.9 percent of social media activity (defined by hashtag use) coming out of the key, early primary states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, according to Macromeasures’ findings. Read the rest of this entry »
The news came just a few hours after Tapper fact-checked Donald Trump’s email blast to the media noting that Trump had ordered all flags at Trump properties around the country to be flown at “half-mast.” So, just to be sure: even Donald Trump ordered flags lowered before President Obama did?
The latest target is Uber, the app-based ride-sharing service that since its launch in San Francisco just five years ago has expanded to more than 300 cities across the globe.
William McGurn writes: It is an axiom of modern American life: Offer a new service that is wildly popular with the public, and sooner or later you will find yourself labeled an enemy of the people.
The latest target is Uber, the app-based ride-sharing service that since its launch in San Francisco just five years ago has expanded to more than 300 cities across the globe. Here in New York, Uber is now locked in combat with the city’s progressive mayor, Bill de Blasio. In a Sunday op-ed for the Daily News, Mr. de Blasio said he aims to freeze Uber’s expansion until his regulators can figure out how best to block any attempts to “skirt vital protections and oversight.”
“It is not surprising there is growing opposition to the Mayor’s bill because try as they might, Mayor de Blasio can’t pretend protecting taxi owners is progressive,” said the spokesperson. “The odds have been stacked against us by rushing the bill through the council, but it’s getting harder and harder for the Mayor to explain why he’s against creating 10,000 jobs and protecting reliable rides in communities outside Manhattan.” …(more)
The mayor’s call to arms comes only days after Hillary Clinton used her big speech on economics to sound a similarly dismal note. Though she didn’t mention Uber by name, the Democratic Party’s leading contender for the 2016 presidential nomination fretted that while the “gig economy” may be “exciting” and “unleashing innovation,” “it is also raising hard questions about workplace protections and what a good job will look like in the future.”
Hard questions that Mrs. Clinton no doubt intends the government to answer, even if those answers end up making Uber and others like it less exciting and less innovative.
Republican presidential candidates are having fun with all this. Marco Rubio, who last year sided with Uber over regulators in Miami, accused Mrs. Clinton of trying to “regulate 21st-century industries with 20th-century ideas.” Jeb Bush pointedly traveled by Uber for his visit to Thumbtack, a Silicon Valley startup. Meanwhile, Rand Paul says he would like our government to adopt the Uber model—more information and customer ratings—while Ted Cruz says his campaign will be as disruptive of politics-as-usual as Uber is of old business models. Read the rest of this entry »
Hillary Clinton, the dominant front-runner in the Democratic field, is facing a massive pile of money on the Republican side, with early numbers showing that the GOPers have outraised Clinton more than four times over.
So far, the 15 candidates vying for the Republican nomination have raked in more than $280 million to Clinton’s $69 million, through a mix of campaign fundraising, super PAC donations, and other money groups.
Yes, the field is lopsided, but that doesn’t diminish this fact: Hillary’s squaring off against a lot of Republican cash. Read the rest of this entry »
Campus Reform Correspondent Cabot Phillips played “Candidate’s Cribs” with young people in front of the White House. After trying to guess which Presidential candidate has lived in a series of mansions, many of them were shocked to find out that Hillary Clinton had lived in all four of them…