‘Republicans are the Taliban of the USA’: Congressional Shooter was Bernie Sanders Supporter, Leaned Slightly Anti-TrumpPosted: June 14, 2017
(CNN) Jose Pagliery reports: James T. Hodgkinson, the man identified as shooting a Republican member of congress and four others on Wednesday morning, was a small business owner in Illinois who defined himself publicly by his firm support of Bernie Sanders‘ progressive politics — and his hatred of conservatives and President Donald Trump.
This is based on CNN’s review of Hodgkinson’s Facebook profile, public records, and three years of impassioned letters to his local newspaper.
“Trump is a Traitor. Trump Has Destroyed Our Democracy. It’s Time to Destroy Trump & Co.” he posted on his personal Facebook page on March 22.
“Republicans are the Taliban of the USA,” he posted in February.
Hodgkinson, 66, was married and lived in Belleville, Illinois. He started his own company, JTH Inspections, in 1994 and conducted home inspections and mold/air quality testing. But he quit that job on New Year’s Eve last year, according to his Facebook profile.
Federal law enforcement identified Hodgkinson as the shooter who attacked Rep. Steve Scalise, a congressional staffer and members of the congressional police force, Wednesday morning in Alexandria, Virginia. President Donald Trump said the gunman had been killed.
His online presence was largely defined by his politics. For example, his public Facebook posts date back to 2012 and are nearly all about his support for leftist politics. He was passionate about tax hikes on the rich and universal health care.
In the last year, most of his Facebook posts consisted of signed petitions on Change.org with titles like: “Bernie — please run no matter what;” “Hillary Rodham Clinton should concede the nomination to Bernie Sanders;” and “Healthcare for all Americans.” Read the rest of this entry »
Emails obtained by the Republican National Committee find close contact with Hillary Clinton’s nascent presidential campaign in early 2015
Byron Tau reports: Newly disclosed emails show top Obama administration officials were in close contact with Hillary Clinton’s nascent presidential campaign in early 2015 about the potential fallout from revelations that the former secretary of state used a private email server.
Their discussion included a request from the White House communications director to her counterpart at the State Department to see if it was possible to arrange for Secretary of State John Kerry to avoid questions during media appearances about Mrs. Clinton’s email arrangement.
In another instance, a top State Department official assured an attorney for Mrs. Clinton that, contrary to media reports, a department official hadn’t told Congress that Mrs. Clinton erred in using a private email account.
The previously unreported emails were obtained by the Republican National Committee as part of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit seeking records of Mrs. Clinton’s time in office. The RNC provided to The Wall Street Journal only some of the emails, leaving it unclear what was in the remaining documents. The RNC said it released only emails relevant to the communication between the White House and State Department.
Meredith McGehee, chief of policy, programs, and strategy at the nonpartisan advocacy group Issue One and an expert on ethics and campaign finance, said the email exchange would probably raise no legal concerns because federal law permits members of the White House staff to engage in some political activity.
Mrs. Clinton’s email arrangement has dogged her campaign for months, with Republicans and other critics saying it shows a carelessness with government secrets and undermines her claim to good judgment. Donald Trump’s campaign posted a statement on his website last month saying the Obama White House knew Mrs. Clinton was using a private email server.
Mrs. Clinton has acknowledged the arrangement was a mistake, but she has rejected the notion that national secrets were placed at risk. Her campaign didn’t respond to a request for comment about the new email disclosures.
The emails highlight the revolving door between the State Department, the White House and the Clinton campaign in early 2015 as Mrs. Clinton geared up to run for president. Read the rest of this entry »
The Republican Party was in turmoil again Wednesday as party leaders, strategists and donors voiced increasing alarm about the flailing state of Donald Trump’s candidacy and fears that the presidential nominee was damaging the party with an extraordinary week of self-inflicted mistakes, gratuitous attacks and missed opportunities.
“A new level of panic hit the street. It’s time for a serious reset.”
— Veteran operative Scott Reed
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus was described as “very frustrated” and stressed by Trump’s behavior over the past week, having run out of excuses to make on the nominee’s behalf with donors and other party leaders, according to multiple people familiar with the events.
“The current race is which of these two is the more unacceptable, because right now neither of them is acceptable. Trump is helping her to win by proving he is more unacceptable than she is.”
— Newt Gingrich
Meanwhile, Trump’s top campaign advisers are failing to instill discipline on their candidate, who has spent the past days lunging from one controversy to another while seemingly skipping chances to go on the offensive against his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton.
“A new level of panic hit the street,” said veteran operative Scott Reed, chief strategist for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “It’s time for a serious reset.”
Trump allies on Wednesday publicly urged the candidate to reboot, furious that he has allowed his confrontation with the parents of dead U.S. Army captain Humayun Khan to continue for nearly a week. They also are angry with Trump over his surprising refusal in a Tuesday interview with The Washington Post to endorse House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) or Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) — two of the party’s top elected officials — in their upcoming primary campaigns.
“The current race is which of these two is the more unacceptable, because right now neither of them is acceptable,” Gingrich said in a Wednesday morning telephone interview. “Trump is helping her to win by proving he is more unacceptable than she is.”
Gingrich said Trump has only a matter of weeks to reverse course. “Anybody who is horrified by Hillary should hope that Trump will take a deep breath and learn some new skills,” he said. “He cannot win the presidency operating the way he is now. She can’t be bad enough to elect him if he’s determined to make this many mistakes.”
Reed, who managed Bob Dole’s 1996 presidential campaign, recommended that Trump “stop doing silly interviews nine times a day that get you off message” and deliver a major address seeking to reset the campaign establishing himself as the change candidate. Read the rest of this entry »
“The public has a right to know details related to the creation, purpose and use of the clintonemail.com system.”
— Judge Emmet Sullivan
In an order on Thursday evening, Judge Emmet Sullivan granted the request oflawyers for Clinton’s ex-chief of staff, Cheryl Mills, who had worried that video clips of her interview could be used for political purposes.
And Sullivan went further, ordering all videotaped depositions to remain sealed until he ordered otherwise. The move, he said in a brief order, was to “avoid unnecessary briefing” going forward.
Transcripts of the interviews, however, will be released.
“The public has a right to know details related to the creation, purpose and use of the clintonemail.com system,” Sullivan ruled. Read the rest of this entry »
“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 »
[VIDEO] THE PANTSUIT REPORT: Hillary Surprised ‘Turns Out We Are Not Producing As Many Small Businesses As We Used To’Posted: April 20, 2015
Hillary Clinton admitted today that she was “surprised” to learn that the people who told her small businesses have struggled in recent years were actually correct.
“I was very surprised to see that when I began to dig into it. Because people were telling me this as I traveled around the country the last two years, but I didn’t know what they were saying and it turns out that we are not producing as many small businesses as we use to.”
— Hillary Clinton, in New Hampshire
Clinton noted that small business creation has “stalled out,” to her chagrin. “I was very surprised to see that when I began to dig into it,” she said while campaigning in New Hampshire. “Because people were telling me this as I traveled around the country the last two years, but I didn’t know what they were saying and it turns out that we are not producing as many small businesses as we use to.”
“Small businesses lack the confidence they need to expand and hire new workers, and the President’s looming tax hikes are threatening to destroy another 700,000 jobs.”
— Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul
The struggles of small businesses during President Obama’s administration are hardly a new subject on the campaign trail. Mitt Romney raised the issue throughout the 2012 presidential election.
”At every turn, Hillary Clinton has supported top-down Washington-driven policies that have stacked the deck against small businesses. Hillary Clinton can’t possibly be a champion for everyday Americans when she doesn’t understand their most basic economic concerns and was ‘surprised’ to learn that small businesses are struggling.”
— Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus
“Small businesses lack the confidence they need to expand and hire new workers, and the President’s looming tax hikes are threatening to destroy another 700,000 jobs,” Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul said in September of 2012, for instance. Read the rest of this entry »
RNC’s Dos Equis Parody Hits Hillary for Being the ‘Least Transparent Person in the World’
From The Corner
Hillary Clinton now finds herself linked to “the Most Interesting Man in the World” from those popular Dos Equis commercials, but probably not in the way she would have hoped for.
In a new online video by the Republican National Committee, Clinton is cast as “the least transparent person in the world” amid ongoing questions about her e-mailing practices as secretary of state….(read more)
For RealClearPolitics, Carl M. Cannon writes: In 2007, while co-writing a magazine piece with Silicon Valley author and entrepreneur Michael S. Malone on best Information Age practices for politicians, I coined a phrase Malone instantly dubbed “the Cannon Codicil.”
“…mismanaging emails and thinking you’ve lost them forever are two different animals…”
Postulating that electronic messages, like diamonds, last for forever, Cannon’s codicil simply holds that “Nothing digital ever dies.”
“…most, if not all, of the missing emails from Lois Lerner and her six IRS comrades with their fried hard drives have presumably been preserved elsewhere.”
Although inspired by the water torture Democrats were then inflicting on Karl Rove over his missing Republican National Committee emails, mostly I was being metaphysical. But now, with the Internal Revenue Service claiming it has lost tens of thousands of emails from Lois Lerner and six of her IRS subordinates, the question in Washington is whether such a thing is technologically possible.
“There is no such thing as completely disappeared emails.”
The interest in those emails is not academic. Lerner is the former government official who oversaw the division in the IRS that was apparently targeting conservative non-profits for stalling and harassment. “I did nothing wrong,” she testified before Congress, but that’s about all she’d say. Lerner deflected further inquiry by invoking the 5th Amendment privilege against incriminating herself in criminal wrongdoing. Read the rest of this entry »
For The Daily Caller, Patrick Howley writes: The IRS’ Washington, D.C. headquarters targeted conservative groups in part due to pressure from Democratic Sen. Carl Levin, according to emails obtained by the watchdog group Judicial Watch and reviewed by The Daily Caller.
Levin, chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs’ permanent subcommittee on investigations, wrote a March 30, 2012 letter to then-IRS commissioner Douglas Shulman discussing the “urgency” of the issue of possible political activity by nonprofit applicants. Levin asked if the IRS was sending out additional information requests to applicant groups and citing an IRS rejection letter to a conservative group as an example of how the IRS should be conducting its business.
A top IRS official replied that the agency could send out “individualized questions and requests.”
“Some entities claiming tax-exempt status as social welfare organizations under 26 U.S.C.&501(c)(4) appear to be engaged in political activities more appropriate for political organizations claiming tax-exempt status under 26 U.S.C.&527,” Sen. Levin wrote. “Because of the urgency of the issues involved in this matter, please provide the following information by April 20, 2012.” Read the rest of this entry »
This is either a promising sign of intelligently retooling after last election’s inferior ground game, or a carnival of chaos just waiting to happen. Let’s hope it’s the former.
The Republican National Committee (RNC) is launching a sophisticated new data program called “Victory 365” to link 200 full-time field staffers with reams of voter statistics. The effort is modeled after President Obama’s successful use of analytics to help drive election-day turnout.
The party org will be rolling out the new plan at its spring meetings in Memphis, Tennessee, and was announced late Tuesday exclusively at Breitbart News.
The RNC’s plan focuses first on “better data” by investing millions of dollars in its “ONEData” program.
Secondly, it will include new tools like smartphone applications in certain targeted states designed to help voter canvassing by volunteers knocking on doors in battleground states, along with new “query tools” called the “GOP Data Center” and “Beacon” to all 50 states and U.S. territories. The RNC says these tools will help candidates and committees develop analytics-based campaign plans.
The third plank is what the RNC calls “predictive analytics,” which officials say use “data science” to predict voter behavior. The RNC used predictive analytics in the recent special election to succeed deceased Rep. Bill Young (R-FL), where David Jolly beat Democrat Alex Sink. Officials say the RNC analytics program accurately predicted the election results down to within less than 500 votes. That program can be a useful tool for Republican candidates’ campaigns looking to map out strategies weeks, months, or days ahead of an election while making the tough decisions to determine where to target often scarce campaign resources. Read the rest of this entry »
For Breitbart.com, Charlie Spiering writes: On Tax Day, the Republican National Committee announced it is suing the IRS for stonewalling Freedom of Information Act request for documents about the tax agency’s politicized scrutiny of conservative and Tea Party groups.
The RNC filed the request on May 21, 2013, in an attempt to expose the documents and emails surrounding agency’s process in handling applications of non-profit organizations such as conservative and Tea Party groups.
“We’re filing this suit because the Obama administration has a responsibility to be transparent and accountable to the American people. The IRS has a legal obligation to answer our inquiry for these records.”
After the RNC filed the request, the IRS has requested several extensions, which has already delayed the release by 226 business days.
This article caught my eye, mainly because of the bitchin’ headline. Souped-up. Yes, if the GOP can assemble a souped-up campaign Hot-Rod, in the old establishment’s spare garage, then things could be interesting.
David M. Drucker reports:
If Republicans win control of the Senate in November, they could owe their victory to a bunch of computer geeks and data nerds holed up in two offices 2,800 miles apart.
“We can’t, as a national committee, get to becoming a better presidential party unless I can build the tools, the data, the infrastructure, right now, in 2014…”
— Reince Priebus
The Republicans need to flip six seats to wrest the Senate majority from the Democrats on a playing field that is expanding in the GOP’s favor. Up to a dozen Democratic-held seats could be up for grabs — more than half of them in red states — as voters continue to sour on President Obama‘s leadership, health care law and stewardship of the economy. Only two Republican seats threaten to be competitive.
“We committed ourselves to a permanent, coast-to-coast, year-round ground game.”
Pundits are calculating doom for Democrats, hyperactive journalists are trying to call it early, operatives are indulging in premature celebration. Here’s just a few examples out of the hundreds of articles in last few weeks:
- Democratic strategists in 2014 are like French generals in 1940
- Midterm mania: Democratic pundits hitting the panic button
- Why Democrats in Congress are in big, big trouble
- Obama’s Job Approval Points to 2014 Trouble for Democrats
- This Map Spells Trouble For Democrats in 2014
- Obama’s in Trouble, but it’s with the Democrats, His Pals…
- RNC chief: Party to win ‘tsunami’ of victories
At least Brit Hume is sober.
Pro tip: pipe down until you’ve delivered. http://t.co/HCTJgcgAJI
— Brit Hume (@brithume) March 19, 2014
John Glaser writes: In what many described as yet another indication of a monumental shift happening in the Grand Old Party, the Republican National Committee last week passed a resolution calling for an end to the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of Americans’ phone records.
But the party’s apparent shuffling to a more limited government, civil liberties-conscious platform may not be as genuine as some believe.
The RNC’s resolution, which passed by an “overwhelming majority,” declares “the mass collection and retention of personal data is in itself contrary to the right of privacy protected by the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution.”
How to explain the national frenzy over a New Jersey scandal?
What a bizarre spectacle. Assuming he did not lie during his marathon news conference last week, the feeding frenzy surrounding New Jersey governor Chris Christie will be remembered as one of those incredibly odd moments of elite journalistic hysteria that are difficult to explain to people who weren’t there or didn’t get it.
I’m not referring to the scandal itself; that’s easy enough to understand. What Christie’s team did was outrageous and deserves as much foofaraw and brouhaha as the New Jersey media can muster.
What’s harder to grok is the hysteria at the national level.
Jennifer Rubin writes: The high-profile winners in politics don’t let you forget they won. But organizations and individuals do some of the most important work out of the limelight to defend, sustain and enrich our political system and society as a whole. There were a number of these that made a difference in 2013.
• The American Enterprise Institute: Under president Arthur Brooks AEI has hit its stride, becoming the premiere right-leaning think tank. Unlike Heritage, it has stayed out of politics and stuck to the realm of political philosophy and policy. It has been a major mover on the right to create a more people-centric, positive vision of conservatism. And to top it off, Brooks is doing some fascinating work on happiness — who is happy, what makes us happy. AEI has and continues to provide intellectual sustenance and encouragement to conservatives like Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah).
• Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee: He started 2013 with a controversial report that began a year of rebuilding and positive debate about the party’s future. He recognized immigration as an issue that had to be addressed. And most important, he began work on a new primary system that will be shorter and less self-destructive. The extent of his work won’t be fully known until 2016, but he is making critical strides in modernizing the party.
‘GOP seeks a groundswell of opposition to Obamacare’
Cuomo and Cruz spar on Obamacare
The new talking points are being developed, with Democrats on the offensive. The new meme? “Cruz care vs. Obamacare” (repeal) Yes, really. If they can attach Cruz’s name to the problem–now that the “Obamacare” brand is damaged beyond redemption–the best offense is to abandon all hope of winning on merits and strip it down to a pure personality contest, using Cruz’s image as their Darth Vader (replacing Dick Cheney) emblem.
Yes, even the malignant brain trust at DailyKos is advancing this message. Which means its working its way up from the swamps, into mainstream journalism.
I say, bring it on. Might as well blame the rooster for the sunrise. Or even try to kill the rooster. Either way, the sun is coming up.
Here’s CNN’s contribution to advancing this new offensive: make it purely a political story, a career contest between players, not the issues.
Washington (CNN) — Use any metaphor you like — predators smelling blood, invaders storming the castle, a snowball growing in size and momentum as it rolls downhill.
All describe efforts by opponents of President Barack Obama’s signature health care reforms to kill the 2010 law after the botched launch of the HealthCare.gov website provided a new opening for attack.
(See? I told you. You can skip the whole article, really, you just read everything you need to know)
Critics led by conservative Republicans target the Affordable Care Act itself, not just the website woes, in hopes of creating a public groundswell of opposition that will bolster GOP prospects in next year’s congressional elections.
The GOP wants to get its groove back with young people. It took a step toward that on Thursday by naming Elliott Echols as the party’s first national youth director, seven months after releasing a report that showed people perceive the Grand Old Party as, well, old and disconnected from pop culture.
“Today’s announcement is groundbreaking,” said Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus. “Bringing Elliot on board in an off-year will help us build relationships with young voters and mobilize students and young professionals to take our message to their peers.”
Yet Echols’ work will resonate beyond the 2014 elections, Priebus said, noting that “young Americans are independent-minded people who are concerned about getting our nation’s economy back on track.”
Echols, 23, of Rome, Ga., told the Tribune-Review he has goals for his new role.
“The biggest is to bring young, energized people to the GOP,” he said. “There are a lot of young people who are eager to make a change, but they can’t change anything if they’re not a part of the process.”
Echols began to identify himself as a conservative in college: “I majored in economics, and it shaped the way I thought about policies, people’s choices and the size of government.”
Republicans ask for a delay: EVIL CAPITALISTS WHO HATE ALL POOR PEOPLE AND WANT CANCER KIDS TO DIE
Obama asks for a delay: *crickets*
While our president still enjoys his essential employees and locations: the White House chefs, Camp David, and a military golf course, there doesn’t seem to be any question that in mercenary pursuit of a political win, this White House is determined to unreasonably punish as many everyday people as possible. And this includes children sick with cancer. That might sound like hyperbole, but it is not.
Although Barack Obama’s chefs have been deemed “essential,” employees at the National Institutes of Health who offer last-chance experimental cancer treatments for children suffering from cancer have not. Worse still, House Republicans have offered to compromise with the president and single the NIH out for funding. The White House has threatened a veto. Read the rest of this entry »
Here, of instance, is a taste of Roberts questioning Priebus:
But why do we need to attach the solutions or changes that go along with the law that has been vetted by the Supreme Court, by a mandate by the people reelecting the President and both houses of Congress. Why should that be attached to shutting down the government and as the President is saying basically writing a ransom note and asking for some type of goody bag in response to Congress doing its job to govern?
It can be uncomfortable watching a head-on collision of hackery, but the truth is the entire exchange is weirdly honest, entertaining and informative. It’s not often a TV anchor admits to viewers that he’s reading “directly from what the president just gave us.” Roberts is standing in for the president. Perfect. It’s not as if Reince Priebus was on MSNBC to offer his dispassionate impression of the situation, either. He should be challenged. And though the table-setting question is preposterously biased, it’s exactly the kind of question Priebus should be able to deflect. And he gets to do it in front of an audience that generally detests Republicans. I saw many people on Twitter wondering why Priebus does it to himself. They should be wondering why he doesn’t do it more often. Read the rest of this entry »
NBC decided to cancel its production of a minseries on Hillary Clinton on Monday, the same day CNN announced that they too were dropping their planned documentary of Hillary Clinton. Read the rest of this entry »
The bloodsuckers need a fresh infusion: watch your neck.
Tory Newmyer reports: There’s another budget crisis in Washington, and it’s unfolding inside the Democratic party. The Democratic National Committee remains so deeply in the hole from spending in the last election that it is struggling to pay its own vendors.
It is a highly unusual state of affairs for a national party — especially one that can deploy the President as its fundraiser-in-chief — and it speaks to the quiet but serious organizational problems the party has yet to address since the last election, obscured in part by the much messier spectacle of GOP infighting.
The Democrats’ numbers speak for themselves: Through August, 10 months after helping President Obama secure a second term, the DNC owed its various creditors a total of $18.1 million, compared to the $12.5 million cash cushion the Republican National Committee is holding. Read the rest of this entry »
“Rudeness is the weak mans imitation of strength,” the longshoreman cum philosopher Eric Hoffer once observed. Hoffer died in 1983, so he probably wasnt referring specifically to Joe Bidens performance in last nights debate. Still, the observation is fitting.
In addition to the vice presidents boorishness, a lot of observers noted that he frequently smiled and chuckled at inappropriate times–even during a discussion of Irans pursuit of nuclear weapons. The Republican National Committee quickly put out an ad consisting of nearly a minute of such clips followed by the caption: “Vice President Biden is laughing . . . Are you?” If Biden finds himself out of work in January, he may have a career ahead of him as a Fixodent pitchman.
So whats with Dr. Strangelaugh? Lets ask an evolutionary biologist. In “Games Primates Play: The Undercover Investigation of the Evolution and Economics of Human Relationships,” Dario Maestripieri of the University of Chicago writes:
When two rhesus macaques are trapped together in a small cage, they try everything they can to avoid a fight. . . . To avoid immediate aggression, and to reduce stress, an act of communication is needed to break the ice and make it clear to the other monkey that no harm is intended or expected. Macaque monkeys bare their teeth to communicate fear and friendly intentions. If this “bared-teeth display”–the evolutionary precursor to the human smile–is well received, it can function as a prelude to grooming. One monkey brushes and cleans the others fur, gently massaging the skin while picking and eating parasites. This act can both relax and appease the other monkey, virtually eliminating the chance of an attack.So, if you are a rhesus macaque and find yourself trapped in a small cage with another macaque, you know what to do: bare your teeth and start grooming. If you are a human and find yourself riding in an elevator with a stranger, in theory you could do the same thing or the human equivalent thereof: smile and make small talk.
A smile is an instinctive gesture of submission. Often the submission is mutual, as when two friends exchange smiles or when Maestripieris strangers break into small talk on the elevator. But when a man uncontrollably smiles at a potential or actual adversary, it is a show of weakness…