Ooouuuch. My sides are still aching after last week’s comical announcement by GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush that he had snagged the coveted endorsement of notorious electoral reject Eric Cantor, the former House majority leader kicked to the curb by disgusted voters in Virginia’s 2014 primary election.
Newsflash to GOP elites: Getting Cantor’s support is not like landing a prized marlin. It’s like hooking one of those hideous bottom-feeding blobfish named the world’s ugliest creature.
Inside the Beltway, The Washington Post reported, “Cantor remains well-liked and respected in the Virginia business community and among the Republican donor class in the commonwealth.”
But outside the Beltway, the failed Republican revolutionary-turned-Wall Street influence-peddler is a snortle-inducing spectacle on both sides of the political aisle.
In Cantor’s endorsement statement Thursday, he praised Bush as a “true conservative leader” who “can re-energize our nation and recapture our greatness.” That’s empty babble coming from the epitome of an out-of-touch, self-aggrandizing, revolving-door ruling class.
BushCantor share the same smug condescension toward Americans who believe in strict immigration enforcement and putting American workers first. Cantor fecklessly lied to voters during the campaign season about his position(s). He showered his district with anti-illegal immigration flyers that fraudulently portrayed him as standing up to President Obama on amnesty. But on Capitol Hill, he championed the DREAM Act for illegal alien students, huge H-1B visa increases to quench Big Tech’s appetite for cheap foreign tech workers, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce/AFL-CIO’s collaboration on massive immigration expansions.
While Cantor lip-synced to the limited-government tea party message, he boogied in backrooms with his pork-barrel pals. He assailed Obama’s bloated stimulus and then celebrated the high-speed rail boondoggles in his state funded by it. As a celebrated “young gun” on the right, Cantor preached fiscal responsibility, while blowing nearly $170,000 on fancy steakhouse dinners across the country in his last year in office.
Like Bush (and Gang of Eight cheerleader Sen. Marco Rubio), Cantor was the beneficiary of – and water carrier for – generous Silicon Valley and Big Business contributors. Cantor’s biggest donors included New York financial conglomerates the Blackstone Group ($65,500) and Goldman Sachs ($26,000), and California tech company Oracle ($25,000).
By contrast, the biggest donors to Cantor’s successful challenger, libertarian economics professor Dave Brat, were Virginia couple Gerry and Karen Baugh of Baugh Auto Body ($5,400), Michigan writer and artist Louis McAlpin ($5,200), and retired Virginia couple Martha and Kenneth Schwenzer ($5,200).
One outside group, the American Chemistry Council, spent a whopping $300,000 on soft-money ads to protect Cantor – an amount that exceeded Brat’s entire campaign funding.
Likewise, while Bush fashions himself a champion of the American worker, he pompously pushes the Gang of Eight amnesty as the only “adult” plan in the room. While he poses as a champion of American parents, students and “school choice,” he trashes activist moms and zealously crusades for failed Fed Ed rackets and data-mining schemes masquerading as “higher standards.” And while he stumps for the ordinary American’s “right to rise” through conservative principles, he has parlayed his political career into a multimillion-dollar collection basket from liberal special interests and corporate cronies who fund his Common Core advocacy – including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the GE Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Intel and Pearson Education.
BushCantor seem to think everyone else will suffer from Sudden Election Amnesia Syndrome and grant big-spending, open-borders Republicans blanket amnesty for their betrayals. But what Brat told voters in Virginia about Cantor goes for voters nationwide as Bush flounders. “Eric Cantor doesn’t represent you,” Brat bluntly warned. “He represents large corporations seeking a never-ending supply of cheap foreign labor. He doesn’t care about how this will affect your livelihood, your schools, your tax bills or your kids’ chances of finding a job.”
The disgraced seven-term representative from Virginia’s affluent 7th district, who turned his back on grassroots constituents in favor of cashing in on power, now promises to work closely with Bush “as they chart a course to the White House.”
Here’s to Cantor’s success in helping Jeb navigate his same path to loserdom. Bon voyage!
After five burglaries in six years, a retired Maine lobsterman bought a gun to defend himself and ended up shooting an intruder hours later.
Sixty-seven-year-old Harvey Lembo tells the Portland Press Herald he bought a 1941 revolver Monday.
“I’m tired of it so I went and bought a gun,” Lembo told WGME-TV.
Just past midnight Tuesday, he says he was awakened and saw a big shadow. Lembo says he climbed into his wheelchair and found an intruder near where he kept his pills.
Lembo says he ordered the man to stay where he was while he called police.
“I told him to sit on the coffee table, or I’d blow his brains out,” Lembo said.
But that’s when man bolted toward the front door and Lembo shot him in the shoulder.
“If he’d have sat there, nothing would have happened. But he wanted to leave and I’d had enough of it, I’d had enough,” Lembo told WGME-TV.
Forty-five-year-old Christopher Wildhaber was charged with burglary and violating probation and was ordered held without bail. It wasn’t immediately clear if he had a lawyer.
The family of Kate Steinle slapped federal officials and San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi with a lawsuit on Tuesday.
They say that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and the sheriff must take responsibility for their daughter’s July 1 death, after the man charged with her murder along a popular waterfront had been deported five times.
“We’re here to make sure that a change is made so nobody has to endure the pain that my mom and dad and I go through on a daily basis,” Brad Steinle, Kate’s brother, said Tuesday, ABC News reported. “The system failed our sister, and at this point nobody has taken responsibility, accountability. And nothing has changed.”
Juan Francisco Lopez Sanchez, 45, has pleaded not guilty to Steinle’s killing. His criminal record also includes multiple felony convictions for narcotics charges.
“It’s too late for us, that ship has sailed. But we want it for future, possible victims,” Liz Sullivan, Kate’s mother, told a local ABC affiliate.
ICE had turned Sanchez over to San Francisco authorities earlier in the year due to an outstanding drug warrant, but he was not returned upon his release from custody. The gun used to kill Steinle was stolen from a BLM agent’s car on June 27.
San Francisco is one of a number of “sanctuary cities” across the U.S. that does not pressure its local officials to abide by federal immigration laws. Sarah Saldana, director of ICE, said in July that U.S. officials released more than 66,000 criminal immigrants between 2013-2014, CNN reported.
Join us on the West Lawn of the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. to make our voices heard on this bad Iran deal. We are working to create broad coalition of organizations and speakers to come together against the Iran nuclear deal.
Jenny Beth Martin
We have created a toolkit to help you prepare.
A federal judge on Friday ordered the Internal Revenue Service to reveal White House requests for taxpayers’ private information, advancing a probe into whether administration officials targeted political opponents by revealing such information.
Judge Amy Berman Jackson of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia rejected the IRS’s argument that a law designed to protect the confidentiality of such information protected the public disclosure of such communications with the White House.
The law, 26 U.S. Code § 6103, was passed after the Watergate scandal to protect citizens from retribution by federal officials. Jackson scoffed at the administration’s claims that the statute could be used to shield investigations into whether private tax information had been used in such a manner.
“The Court is unwilling to stretch the statute so far, and it cannot conclude that section 6103 may be used to shield the very misconduct it was enacted to prohibit,” Jackson wrote in her order.
The decision was a victory for Cause of Action, the legal watchdog group that sued the IRS in 2013 seeking records of its communications with the White House and potential disclosure of confidential taxpayer information.
The group called the decision “a significant victory for transparency advocates” in a Friday statement
“As we have said all along, this administration cannot misinterpret the law in order to potentially hide evidence of wrongdoing,” said Dan Epstein, the group’s executive director. “No administration is above the law, and we are pleased that the court has sided with us on this important point.”
The lawsuit came after Treasury’s inspector general for tax administration, the IRS’s official watchdog agency, revealed that it was investigating whether Austan Goolsbee, the White House’s former chief economist, illegally accessed or revealed confidential tax information related to Koch Industries.
The corporation’s owners, Charles and David Koch, are prominent funders of conservative and libertarian groups that often oppose the White House’s policy priorities.
Goolsbee “used Koch Industries as an example when discussing an issue noted in the [President’s Economic Recovery Board] report that half of business income goes to companies that do not pay corporate income tax because they are pass-through entities and that many of them are quite large,” the White House said in 2010.
His apparent knowledge of Koch’s tax history, detailed during a conference call with reporters, “implies direct knowledge of Koch’s legal and tax status, which would appear to be a violation” of federal law, said Sen. Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa), the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, at the time.
Bernie Sanders continues to cut into Hillary Clinton’s once-commanding lead among Iowa Democrats, closing to just 7 points of the party front-runner in the first-in-the-nation caucus state, a new poll has found.
A survey released late Saturday afternoon by the Des Moines Register and Bloomberg Politics finds that Sanders, the fiery progressive senator from Vermont, trails Clinton 37% to 30%. The former secretary of state has lost one-third of her supporters since May.
Sanders’ support owes more to voters’ enthusiasm for his candidacy than opposition to Clinton, the poll found. A whopping 96% of his backers say they support him and his ideas, with just 2% saying their vote is motivated by a desire to stop a Clinton candidacy. As for the controversy surrounding Clinton’s use of email while leading the State Department, 61% of likely Democratic caucusgoers say the issue is not important to them.
Sanders has a deeper reservoir of support, the poll found. Thirty-nine percent of likely caucusgoers say their feelings about Sanders are very favorable, with just 8% having a negative view of him. That’s a sharp contrast to Clinton: 27% view her very favorably, but 19% view her negatively.
Saturday’s poll marks a remarkable eight-month climb for the self-proclaimed Democratic socialist from Vermont, who is garnering support in part from his anti-establishment rhetoric. Back in January, half of likely Democratic caucusgoers were unfamiliar with Sanders, and he was pulling in just 5% of support.
“What this new poll shows is that the more Iowans get to know Bernie, the better they like him and what he stands for. We’ve seen the same thing in New Hampshire and across the country,” Sanders campaign spokesman Michael Briggs said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Vice President Joe Biden, who has not declared whether he’ll seek the Oval Office next year, captured 14% of the vote, easily distancing himself from former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (3%), former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb (2%) and former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee (1%).
Speculation has heated up in recent weeks about whether Biden, 72, will join the race. He faces several obstacles in a potential run, including the need to raise enough campaign cash to compete with the Clinton machine and carving out enough support among key Democratic voting blocs. And he’s still grieving over the loss of his son, Beau Biden, who died of brain cancer three months ago; in a conference call with Democrats this week, Biden said he was still determining whether he had the “emotional fuel” to run.
But the vice president’s hesitation didn’t prevent his supporters from responding enthusiastically to Saturday’s poll.
“These results are the latest sign that voters respect and trust the Vice President and are looking for a candidate who speaks authentically and openly about the issues important to them,” according to a statement from “Draft Biden.” “They make clear the Vice President would have the support needed to mount a strong, competitive campaign.”
Can you imagine a group of white people marching down the street chanting, “Michael Brown what a clown! He got what he deserved,” after he was shot by officer Darren Wilson?
I can only imagine how the #BlackLivesMatter activists would have reacted.
How many riots would it have started? It would have been considered a ‘racist chant’ and it would have gotten coverage from the Obama Administration, for sure.
But moments after Texas Deputy Darren H. Goforth, a 10-year veteran, father of two, husband, and a public servant, was murdered execution style by an African-American at a gas station while he was refueling his vehicle, we heard chants of “Pigs In A Blanket, Fry ‘Em Like Bacon” from the racist #BlackLivesMatter activists.
Yes, you heard right. I said racist.
Check it out:
* When white people say “white power”… it’s racist.
* When Mexicans say “brown pride”… it’s racist.
* But when ‘Black Power’ and ‘Black Lives Matter’ is chanted… that isn’t racist? If that’s your way of thinking, you’re an ignorant person and you are part of the problem.
In what world is it OK for such a disturbing chant to be yelled out in the streets after an innocent man was murdered?
The Obama administration has had multiple chances to bring whites, blacks and Hispanics together to possibly end racism by uniting everyone in a tragic time. But instead, they’ve picked a side and now our country is divided by race.
We need to wake up America. We need to stop the ignorant people who keep dividing us. We need to become one and do as Jesus instructed us: ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself.’
How about instead of White, Black, Hispanic lives matter, we use #ALLLIVESMATTER?
When Marla Stout put up a new swing set in her family’s backyard, her two daughters pleaded with her to paint it the color of bubblegum. Marla wasn’t a fan of the pink swing set idea, but she agreed to paint it purple.
Now, she and her husband have been threatened with jail time because of it.
According to Fox News, the Stouts painted the swing set two years ago, but it wasn’t until this summer that the Raintree Lake Subdivision Homeowners Association (HOA) decided to make a stink about it.
While there are no distinct rules about swing set colors, the HOA dictates that they must be “harmonious with the community and with nature.” In the HOA’s opinion, the purple swing set wasn’t “in harmony” with the others in the community.
“We got very frustrated,” Marla said. “There’s somewhere between 2,000 and 3,000 homes in our community. There’s all kinds of colors. There’s people with bright purple doors. There’s trees that are the color of this swing set.”
Marla and her husband were told that if the swing set wasn’t removed, they would be fined or jailed.
The HOA claimed that the Stouts were in the wrong for not getting their swing set color pre-approved. They tried to dissuade the Stouts from filing a lawsuit, claiming that the costs would be “far greater than any principle [they] are trying to prove.”
But after an initial hearing on August 21, a Missouri judge ruled a week later that the swing set can stay purple. While the Stouts are thrilled with the judge’s decision – they had a barbecue Friday to celebrate – they believe that the HOA should apologize to the entire community.
“It’s been very embarrassing for our community and it’s cost every resident in this community a lot of money and reputation,” Marla said.
Ben Carson and Donald Trump are tied at the top of the Republican field in a new survey of likely Iowa caucus-goers with 23 percent each, according to the results of a Monmouth University poll released Monday.
The good news continues for the retired neurosurgeon with his favorability ratings, as 81 percent said they view him favorably, compared to just 6 percent who do not. And Trump’s favorability went up as well, at 52 percent to 33 percent, up from 47 percent and 35 percent last month.
Carson has steadily gained support over the summer despite keeping a relatively low profile, especially compared to Trump. But Carson, who has never held political office, has similarly tapped into a strong anti-Washington sentiment among voters.
In the poll released Monday, the two non-establishment candidates are followed by another, former Hewlett-Packard executive Carly Fiorina with 10 percent. Following Fiorina are Texas Sen. Ted Cruz at 9 percent, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker at 7 percent, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush at 5 percent, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio at 4 percent, and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul at 3 percent. No other candidates registered more than 2 percent, including the last two winners of the caucus – former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (both at 2 percent).
The latest survey showed Carson making inroads on key voting blocs that Trump has been winning in recent polls. Women preferred Carson at 30 percent to 19 percent, while Trump did better with men voters, at 27 percent to 17 percent.
Among those identifying with the tea party, 27 percent pledged their support for Trump, compared to 22 percent for Carson, with Cruz behind with 16 percent. But Carson leads among non-tea-party-affiliated Republicans, taking 25 percent to Trump’s 19 percent.
Voters who described themselves as very or somewhat conservative were split between the top two, while moderate and liberals went for Trump at 26 percent, Fiorina at 18 percent and Carson at 17 percent.
Carson leads among Evangelical voters, earning 29 percent to Trump’s 23 percent, while non-Evangelicals backed Trump with 24 percent, followed by Carson at 18 percent and Fiorina at 13 percent.
Nearly a third of likely caucusgoers – 66 percent – said that the next president needs to be someone who can bring experience from outside of Washington, compared to 23 percent who indicated a preference toward candidates with government experience.
The survey was conducted Aug. 27-30, polling 405 likely caucus participants with an overall margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 percentage points.
The British Empire was founded by accident, run by brilliant amateurs and wrecked by professionals. The United States was founded by design, run by the people and wrecked by professionals.
The terrible decline in the conduct of the professional classes (think lawyers or climate “scientists,” for instance) certainly leaves room for the gifted amateur. But it does not leave room for the ungifted amateur. Yet in the two most important seats of power on the planet – the White House and 10 Downing Street – sit two ungifted, inept amateurs.
World War III could be the result.
In the days of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, both of them tough and decisive, few thought it a good idea to attack U.S. or British interests or territories. When Mr. Leopoldo Galtieri tried it on, he got an unpleasant surprise: Britain, despite having slashed its defense forces to the bone, was still able to mount a courageous campaign half across the world, utterly defeating his tyrannous regime, recovering the Falkland Islands and restoring something like democracy to Argentina.
The hand-wringers and professional-outrage merchants of the far left, of course, whined that the “militarism” of Reagan and Thatcher was a threat to world peace. It wasn’t. In fact, it led to the toppling of Soviet Communism, which was then the single greatest menace to the stability and prosperity of the planet.
The totalitarian regimes of the world, still in a majority, alas, knew full well that while Reagan and Thatcher were in charge there would be no nonsense. Si vis pacem, said the Romans, para bellum: If you want peace, be ready for war.
Not anymore. These two colossi are merry in heaven. And just look at the dismal track record of their current successors in keeping the peace.
For Obama, there was the Romneyesque flip-flopping over Guantanamo, Benghazi and the failure to do anything about the slaughter of Christians in Syria, and the capitulation to China over so-called “global warming” last December, and the recent capitulation to Iran over nuclear weapons development, and the relentless reduction of American’s military strength, and the failure to act against illegal immigrants (for they vote left).
For Cameron, there was Libya, the scrapping of Britain’s last aircraft-carrier a decade before replacements would be available, the “sharing” of aircraft carriers with France, the relentless reduction of Britain’s military strength, and the failure to act against illegal immigrants (for they come from Europe, and the European Union is sacred to Cameron, for it is the only entity other than himself that he worships with unreserved devotion).
In Britain, at any rate, the armed forces have had enough of Cameron’s notorious shilly-shallying. A fascinating biography of Cameron by Sir Anthony Seldon, official biographer du jour on this side of the Atlantic, records that Gen. Sir David Richards, while head of Britain’s armed forces, blames Cameron for the rise of the fanatical Islamic State, saying he “lacked the balls” to crush them with armed force in 2012 when they first became a threat in Syria.
Sir David bluntly told Sir Anthony: “If they had the balls, they would have gone through with it… If they’d done what I’d argued, they wouldn’t be where they are with ISIS.”
Sir David also attacks Cameron over his botched attack on Libya and his failure to take effective action to prevent Russia re-annexing the Ukraine. His overall verdict on Cameron’s approach to foreign and defense policy: “a lack of strategy and statesmanship.” Sir David says: “The problem is the inability to think things through. Too often it seems to be more about the Notting Hill liberal agenda rather than statecraft.”
The book also reveals that the “special relationship” between Cameron and Obama is not all it is cracked up to be. Obama is not often prompt in answering Cameron’s telephone calls. The Foreign Office calls Mr. Obama “Dr Spock” after the humorless character in Star Trek.
The overriding impression left by Sir Anthony’s book is that the West is not in safe hands at present. Obama and Cameron are both criticized for amateurishness and inability to reach rational decisions, as well as a lack of grasp of foreign affairs and of defense.
In my experience, it is rare for the chiefs of staff in Britain to call upon the prime minister to initiate a military campaign. It is nearly always the other way around, as it was when Galtieri invaded the Falklands. Our senior officers are not of the “nuke ‘em till they fry” cast of mind. Sir David Richards’ advice to Cameron that he should move militarily against ISIS from the outset should, therefore, have been very carefully heeded.
Cameron, however, cut and ran. Not the least of his reasons, no doubt, was that this allegedly “Conservative” government has so cut back the armed forces that they are already scandalously overstretched.
Underlying the under-funding of the military on both sides of the Atlantic is the scandalous indifference to the rapidly-mounting national debt. This perceptive book really marks the moment when it became clear to all who have eyes to see and ears to hear that the hegemony of the West, which was a blessing to humanity, is now at an end. Obama and Cameron have handed away their nations’ economic and military strength because kicking the can down the road always seems easier in the short term than picking it up.
Which brings me to the present election campaign. None of the candidates, on either side, is giving enough attention either to the national debt or to the extinction of America’s military might. The two ungifted amateurs, Obama and Cameron, have conspired to leave a dangerous economic and military vacuum, which many ambitious nations will scramble to fill. When Britain and America were strong because Thatcher and Reagan were strong, the world was by and large a less dangerous place than it is now.
World War III will not begin through the alleged aggression of a Reagan or a Thatcher. It will begin, just as World War II did, because for too long fashionable, easy appeasement was a substitute for a considered and determined foreign-policy stance.
I do not feel safe under the “leadership” of Obama and Cameron. The politics of the pre-emptive cringe have always led to disaster in the past, and may do so again in the future unless we can find leaders less fearful of actually leading.
Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson has emerged as a leading Republican presidential candidate in Iowa and is closing in on frontrunner Donald Trump in the state that hosts the first 2016 nomination balloting contest.
The latest Bloomberg Politics/Des Moines Register Iowa Poll shows billionaire Trump with the support of 23 percent of likely Republican caucus participants, followed by Carson at 18 percent. When first and second choices are combined, Carson is tied with Trump.
Trump finds himself in a vastly better position than when the previous Iowa Poll was taken. He has become a credible presidential candidate to many likely Republican caucus-goers. The real estate mogul is rated favorably by 61 percent and unfavorably by 35 percent, an almost complete reversal since the Iowa Poll in May. He finds his highest ratings among those planning to attend the caucuses for the first time (69 percent) and limited-government Tea Party activists (73 percent). Just 29 percent say they could never vote for him, a number cut in half since May.
Although he isn’t generating the headlines enjoyed by Trump, Carson has quietly built a dedicated network of supporters in Iowa. During the past month, he also aired more ads than any other presidential candidate in Iowa. Carson has the highest favorability rating among Republican candidates, with 79 percent of likely GOP caucus-goers seeing him positively.
Those glowing views of Carson, who has a compelling life story and is seeking to become the nation’s second black president, could make it hard for Trump or other rivals to attack him as the campaign heats up this fall. Christian conservatives, who represent nearly 40 percent of likely caucus participants in the poll, may be starting to coalesce around the former director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins.
The poll displays the political benefit, at least for now, of not being part of the Republican establishment. When their totals are combined, Trump and Carson – two men without any elected experience – are backed by more than 4 in 10 likely caucus participants. Add in former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, who also has never held elective office, and Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who is running an explicitly anti-establishment campaign, and the total reaches 54 percent of the likely electorate.
“Trump and Carson, one bombastic and the other sometimes soft-spoken, could hardly be more different in their outward presentations,” said J. Ann Selzer, president of West Des Moines-based Selzer & Co., which conducted the poll. “Yet they’re both finding traction because they don’t seem like politicians and there’s a strong demand for that right now.”
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, the previous Iowa frontrunner, has been hurt the most by the Trump and Carson summer surges and is now backed by just 8 percent of likely caucus-goers, less than half what he recorded in the last Iowa Poll in late May. Cruz, who will need to cut into Carson’s support among social conservatives if he’s to advance in Iowa, is tied with Walker at 8 percent.
Jeb Bush, who continues to face major headwinds in Iowa, scored below Walker and Cruz. The former Florida governor is backed by just 6 percent, has one of the highest unfavorable ratings among the 17 Republican candidates tested, and has the support of just 16 percent of those who consider themselves business-oriented establishment Republicans, the group most central to his brand.
Bush’s fellow Floridian, Senator Marco Rubio, is also backed by 6 percent. He’s closely followed by Fiorina, who is supported by 5 percent after her strong showing in the Aug. 6 debate.
In the 2008 and 2012 Republican caucuses, Christian conservatives broke late in the race and helped determine the outcome in Iowa. While some of their leaders have expressed skepticism about the potential to unify behind one candidate in such a crowded race, there’s an opening for that. More than three-quarters of Christian conservatives in the poll say they could be convinced to back someone other than their first or second choice, if they could be assured that another Christian conservative would win.
At the moment, Carson is leading with voters in that bloc at 23 percent, followed by Trump at 16 percent and Cruz and Walker tied at third. If his competitors can successfully raise questions about Trump’s credentials as a Christian conservative, they could potentially peel off some of the front-runner’s support.
One major unknown for the caucuses is the size of the electorate, which has been around 120,000 on the Republican side for the past two Iowa caucuses. One of Trump’s campaign goals is to get thousands of new people to vote, a move that helped Barack Obama score an upset on the Democratic side in 2008.
First-time caucus-goers are clearly an important part of Trump’s Iowa base. Among those who say they’ll be attending for the first time, Trump is ahead of Carson, 28 percent to 20 percent.
For now, the poll suggests about a fifth of those attending the Feb. 1 precinct meetings will be doing so for the first time. That’s comparable to four years ago, when 24 percent said that on the Republican side in an October 2011 Iowa Poll.
Trump’s supporters in Iowa a have a higher level of trust in their candidate than others in the field to make the right decisions, if he makes it to the White House. Among all Republicans likely to attend the caucuses, 41 percent want their candidate to be clear about the specific policies they would address if elected, while 57 percent trust their candidate to figure it out once elected.
For Trump, nearly two-thirds of his supporters trust him to figure out the right decisions once in office. That’s in keeping with a claim he made to reporters Aug. 15, shortly after landing by helicopter outside the Iowa State Fair, saying it’s mostly the media that cares about policy papers and positions.
Among most of the subgroups measured in the poll, Trump has the advantage, although Carson beats him or comes close with several. Carson has an 11-percentage-point advantage over Trump among seniors and 7-percentage-point edge among Christian conservatives.
“I’m sick and tired of the political class,” said Lisa Pilch, 54, a middle school physical education teacher leaning toward Carson who lives in Springville, Iowa. “I just like his tone and think he’s someone who could pull us together, rather than the polarization we have right now. He has a lot of wisdom, even if he doesn’t have political savviness.”
While Carson is doing slightly better than Trump among women, the billionaire has the advantage among men, 28 percent to 17 percent.
“He’s got a no-nonsense approach,” said Patrick Messmore, 32, a construction equipment sales manager who lives near Grundy Center and plans to back Trump. “His history as a businessman is potentially a good change for our country, so that we don’t just have another life-time politician taking over as president.”
In some ways, Messmore sees Trump as an antidote to Bush. “I’m not OK with another Bush presidency,” he said. “We’ve had two of them now and I don’t see that there will be enough of a different approach than his dad or brother had. It’s just not something I’m interested in.”
The poll shows Walker and Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, especially, aren’t performing anywhere close to earlier expectations.
Paul, who was backed by just 4 percent, was perceived a year ago to have an advantage in Iowa, given the third-place finish in the 2012 caucuses recorded by his father, former Representative Ron Paul of Texas. In October, his favorable rating outweighed his unfavorable by nearly 3-to-1.
“Whatever advantage he had has eroded,” Selzer said. “Now, more Iowa caucus-goers have negative than positive feelings about him.”
For Walker, who has been in a slump since his lackluster debate performance, the poll is certain to further reduce expectations around his performance in Iowa, which had grown to the point where anything short of a win would have been viewed as a loss. One upside for him in the poll: Besides Carson, he’s the only candidate to exceed 70 percent in favorability.
Iowa Republicans are showing little interest in re-runs. Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, who won the 2008 Iowa Republican caucuses, is at 4 percent. He’s followed at 2 percent by candidates who are governors, Chris Christie of New Jersey, Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and John Kasich of Ohio.
Former Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, who narrowly beat eventual nominee Mitt Romney in the 2012 caucuses, is backed by just 1 percent, the same level of support recorded by former Texas Governor Rick Perry, who is also struggling in his second White House bid even amid heavy spending in Iowa on the part of a super political action committee backing him.
Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, former New York Governor George Pataki and former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore all recorded support of less than 1 percent.
The survey, taken Aug. 23-26, included 400 likely Republican caucus participants. On the full sample, it has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 percentage points.
Besides the nearly the nearly 40 percent of likely Republican caucus-goers who say Christian conservative is the best way to identify them, “business-oriented establishment Republicans” and Tea Party activists are roughly tied as the next largest groups, at 22 percent and 21 percent. Those who feel they are most closely aligned with the “liberty movement,” a bloc associated with Paul, represent only about 8 percent.
To offer another assessment of candidate strength – something difficult to divine in such a crowded field – Selzer created an index built on multiple measures in the poll. The index takes into account first and second choices, as well as a question that was asked on whether respondents could ever – or would never – support each candidate they didn’t name as their first or second pick. First choices were given double weight, while “ever support” was given a half weighting.
Using that system, Carson is narrowly ahead of Trump, 75 to 73. Walker comes next at 55, followed by Cruz at 53 and Rubio at 50. The index and never/ever question also show some of the candidates could struggle to expand their support. Nearly half of likely Republican caucus participants, 48 percent, say they could never support Christie. For Paul, it’s 43 percent and for Bush it’s 39 percent.
Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley thinks the Democratic Party’s decision to limit the number of primary debates is tantamount to rigging the nomination process.
“Four debates and only four debates – we are told, not asked – before voters in our earliest states make their decision,” the presidential candidate said at the Democratic National Committee (DNC) Summer Meeting on Friday.
“This sort of rigged process has never been attempted before,” he added. “One debate in Iowa. That’s it. One debate in New Hampshire. That’s all we can afford.”
After O’Malley’s speech wrapped up, observers noted palpable tension as he greeted DNC Chair, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
He has also said Democrats are making a “big mistake” by rushing to make Clinton the party’s nominee.
“I think it’s a big mistake for us as a party to circle the wagons around the inevitable front-runner,” O’Malley said on Thursday.
The first Democratic Party debate will be held on Oct. 13 in Las Vegas.
A RealClearPolitics polling average has Clinton leading the field at 47 percent support, followed by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) at 26 percent support and Vice President Biden at 14 percent support. O’Malley places fourth with just over 1 percent support.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) believes the Democratic Party is using its limited primary debate schedule to rig the nomination process.
“I do,” Sanders reportedly responded when asked Friday whether he agrees with former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley’s assertion that the debate system is “rigged.”
The two Democratic presidential candidates were speaking at the summer meeting of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) in Minneapolis on Friday.
“This sort of rigged process has never been attempted before,” O’Malley said in his speech earlier Friday.
The DNC has drawn criticism for scheduling only four debates before the early-primary states cast their votes, and six total throughout the election cycle.
DNC spokeswoman Holly Shulman defended the schedule, saying it will “give plenty of opportunity for the candidates to be seen side-by-side.”
“I’m sure there will be lots of other forums for the candidates to make their case to voters, and that they will make the most out of every opportunity,” Shulman said in a statement, according to The Washington Post.
Sanders previously said he would not agree to additional debates unless all of the Democratic presidential candidates participated.
But he has expressed concern with the number of debates.
“At a time when many Americans are demoralized about politics and have given up on the political process, I think it’s imperative that we have as many debates as possible,” Sanders said in a statement earlier this month. “I look forward to working with the DNC to see if we can significantly expand the proposed debate schedule.”
“Further, I also think it is important for us to debate not only in the early states but also in many states which currently do not have much Democratic presidential campaign activity,” Sanders wrote in a letter to DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) in June.
The first Democratic Party debate will be held on Oct. 13 in Las Vegas.
A federal judge in North Dakota issued a preliminary injunction late on Thursday that will prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from moving forward on an ambitious plan to expand the federal government’s power to regulate water pollution.
Judge Ralph Erickson concluded that the 13 states which collaborated to challenge the new Waters of the United States rule were likely to be harmed if the rule was allowed to be implemented, and he also concluded that the rule is unlikely to survive a final court judgment.
The ruling is a tough blow to the Obama administration, which has pushed hard for the new rule. For the time being, the injunction only applies to the 13 states in the lawsuit, while the rule will go into place for the rest of the country starting Friday.
The Waters of the United States rule, proposed in April 2014, the Obama administration’s effort to enforce its vision of the Clean Water Act. The rule would alter the definition of what constitutes the “waters of the United States” under the act, thereby increasing the amount of water subject to federal regulation. Critics, comprising Republicans along with many agricultural and business interests, argue that the new rule is a power grab by the federal government, which would give them unprecedented control over bodies of water located entirely within individual states. Some have argued that even flooded ditches could fall under federal oversight through the new rule.
The 13 states winning in Thursday’s ruling aren’t the only ones challenging the rule. Several other lawsuits have sought injunctions in federal courts, but those injunction requests have not succeeded thus far.
In his ruling, Erickson characterizes the rule as “exceptionally expansive” in how it defines the waters of the United States. If implemented, Erickson writes, it would “irreparably diminish” states’ sovereignty over their own waterways. He also found that states would incur major financial distress from the new rule, noting that North Dakota would now have to spend millions on costly mapping and survey projects before it could approve new oil wells in the state.
“The breadth of the definition of a tributary set forth in the Rule allows for regulation of any area that has a trace amount of water so long as ‘the physical indicators of a bed and banks and an ordinary high water mark’ exist,” Erickson writes. Erickson added that many parts of the rule were made without any clear scientific basis, and thus the rule appears to be “arbitrary and capricious” in nature.
“I am thrilled that Chief Judge Erickson agrees EPA’s WOTUS rule should be enjoined,” said Pam Bondi, chairman of the Republican Attorneys General Association, in a statement to The Daily Caller News Foundation. “EPA overstepped its authority, again. The EPA should not be permitted to intrude unlawfully on state authority and burden farmers, businesses and landowners.”
The League of Conservation Voters, on the other hand, quickly slammed the new injunction.
“This is a terrible decision for the 1 in 3 Americans who have already been waiting too long for these vital protections for their drinking water,”said League legislative representative Madeleine Foote in a statement. “The District Court for North Dakota’s decision puts the interests of big polluters over people in need of clean water. Blocking the implementation of the Clean Water Rule leaves in place an unworkable status quo that jeopardizes the clean water our families, economy, and communities depend on.”
An estimated 200 retired generals and admirals put pen to paper and sent a letter to Congress to advise them to reject the nuclear deal pressed by President Obama, saying the world will become a more dangerous place if it’s approved.
“The agreement will enable Iran to become far more dangerous, render the Mideast still more unstable and introduce new threats to American interests as well as our allies,” the letter stated.
It was addressed to House Majority Leader John Boehner, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
The writers say the “agreement as constructed does not ‘cut off every pathway’ for Iran to acquire nuclear weapons,” an apparent reference to the terminology President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry used to tout the benefits of the deal.
“To the contrary,” it continues, “it actually provides Iran with a legitimate path to doing that simply by abiding the deal.”
The generals and admirals say the agreement will let Iran enrich uranium, develop centrifuges and keep up work on its heavy-water plutonium reactor at Arak.
And also of concern, they write: “The agreement is unverifiable. Under the terms of the [agreement] and a secret side deal (to which the United States is not privy), the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will be responsible for inspectiOns under such severe limitations as to prEvent them from reliably detecting Iranian cheating.”
The letter references the widely reported 24-day delay that was given Iran to keep out inspectors, under the terms of the forged deal. And it also mentions the facet of the agreement that “requires inspectors to inform Iran in writing as to the basis for its concerns about an undeclared site,” and says such allowances are inappropriate and dangerous.
“While failing to assure prevention of Iran’s nuclear weapons development capabilities, the agreement provides by some estimated $150 billion… or more to Iran in the form of sanctions relief,” the letter states.
And their conclusions?
“As military officers, we find it unconscionable that such a windfall could be given to a regime that even the Obama administration has acknowledged will use a portion of such funds to continue to support terrorism in Israel, throughout the Middle East and globally,” they wrote, summarizing the agreement is a danger to the world.
“Accordingly, we urge the Congress to reject this defective accord,” the letter wraps.
Among the signers: Admiral David Architzel, U.S. Navy, retired; Admiral Stanley Arthur, U.S. Navy, retired; General Alfred Hansen, U.S. Air Force, retired; Admiral James Hoggs, U.S. Navy, retired; and General Ronald Yates, U.S. Air Force, retired.