This Generic GOP Stump Speech Could Be Used by Any Republican Candidate


FiveThirtyEight asked former Republican speechwriter Barton Swaim to write a ?totally pandering stump speech for an imaginary GOP presidential candidate. If you’d like to see the version with Swaim’s annotations, go here.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Who’s ready to stand up for America? [applause] Who’s ready to take this country back? [applause] Who’s ready to send a message to the elites in Washington? [slightly waning applause]

You know, the Democrats want to make this election complicated. They want to convince you that taking more money out of the private sector and giving it to bureaucrats in Washington will somehow improve the economy.

How would that work? They’ll tell you, “It’s complicated; just trust us.”

They want to convince you that giving Iran’s extremist thugs whatever they want — and trusting that they won’t build a nuclear weapon — will somehow make the Middle East more stable.

How, exactly? “Well, it’s complicated. Just trust us. Just trust the Obama administration. Just trust the Democratic leadership in Congress, like Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi.”

They’re going to try to convince you that putting government in charge of your health insurance is somehow going to improve our health care system. You might wonder how putting government in charge of anything makes it more efficient or improves its quality.

It hasn’t exactly worked that way with the Postal Service, but hey — it’s complicated. You’ll just have to trust them.

[pause; wait for a few people to boo]

Where’s Marco? Senate Foreign Relations Committee Member Missed ISIS Briefing to Attend Fundraiser
So Much for Republicans' Foreign Policy Candidate

WhattheheckrubioIt was more important to Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) to attend a fundraiser on the “left coast,” as conservatives call it, than a high-level briefing on the recent terrorist attack on Paris.

That left the Republicans’ self-styled foreign policy candidate out of the loop on the biggest story in global news.

Rubio said that he gets regular briefings from staff and sends surrogates to meetings he cannot attend. That worked out great for George W. Bush.

At 10 a.m. Wednesday, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee went behind closed doors for a briefing titled, “The Aftermath of Paris: America’s Role.” But Sen. Marco Rubio was not there…

The absence illustrates how Rubio is not just missing floor votes but also key hearings on national security and foreign policy — issues he has presented as chief credentials of his presidential campaign. He’s also skipping a Paris briefing this afternoon for all senators. His office said he attended an Intelligence Committee meeting on Paris held Tuesday.

Paul Ryan’s First Big Lie As Speaker


Earlier this week, Paul Ryan marked the occasion of his first appearance on the Sunday shows as speaker of the House by telling a whopper. In an interview by Martha Raddatz on ABC’s “This Week,” Ryan took immigration reform off the table because, he said, Pres. Obama had been “proven untrustworthy on this issue.”

That’s rich, since it was Ryan who became immigration reform’s biggest advocate in 2013 — only to pull his support and help collapse passage in the House after a bipartisan bill proposed by the “Gang of Eight” had passed in the Senate with more than 80 votes.

It’s also rich because the real reason Speaker Ryan won’t pursue immigration reform now is because he struck a backroom deal with the fire-eating tea baggers in the House who drove his predecessor, John Boehner, out of office. Ryan traded killing immigration reform for their votes for him as speaker.

Sign the Petition: Tell NBC to Dump Trump on ‘Saturday Night Live’

From “No Room For Hate On Saturday Night Live: Tell NBC To Dump Donald Trump As Host.”

GOP Leader’s Gaffe Confirms That the Mission of the House Benghazi Hearings Is to Make Clinton’s Poll Numbers Drop
On Fox, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy admitted that the purpose of the GOP's eighth Benghazi investigation is to bring down Hillary Clinton's poll numbers

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy on Fox this week

“A gaffe is when a politician tells the truth – some obvious truth he isn’t supposed to say.”
— Michael Kinsley

In an interview on Fox earlier this week, Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., the current House majority leader and presumptive next speaker, tacitly admitted that the true mission of the current (and eighth or ninth) Benghazi investigation is to bring down Hillary Clinton’s poll numbers.

Pope Endorses Anti-Gay Bigot, Ends U.S. Visit on Sour Note
Kim Davis, left, and Pope Francis

Kim Davis, left, and Pope Francis

New pope, same as the old pope.

Why the Silence about Donald Trump’s Mob Ties?
The company he keeps - from left: Paul "Big Paul" Castellano, Anthony "Fat Tony" Salerno, Roy Cohn, and Trump

The company he keeps – from left: Paul “Big Paul” Castellano, Anthony “Fat Tony” Salerno, Roy Cohn, and Trump

It is the most under-reported story of the summer, and the mystery is why. Donald Trump, the Republican frontrunner is well known to have had ties to notorious crime figures like Paul “Big Paul” Castellano, head of the Gambino crime family, Anthony “Fat Tony” Salerno, boss of the Genovese mob, and other crime figures in New York City, Philadelphia and New Jersey.

Ted Rall Laments America’s ‘Moronitude’

serveimageAccording to this op-ed piece by cartoon satirist Ted Rall, American exceptionalism is indeed anti-intellectualism.

Americans are dumb.

That’s what people say. Especially foreigner non-American people.

But lots of Americans think that Americans are stupid. Not them, of course. They think other Americans are stupid.

It will not, even if you’re an idiot, come as a shock when I admit that one of the Americans who think Americans are intellectually challenged is me.

Moronitude exists everywhere, of course. What makes stupidity in America stand out is that most Americans — the dumb ones — don’t think it’s bad to be dumb. Far from being ashamed, they’re dumb and proud. The dumb ones make fun of the small-and-constantly-shrinking population of intelligent ones, the “nerds.”

The GOP Frontrunner Is a Notorious Adulterer Whose Current Wife Posed Nude – Is This the End of GOP ‘Family Values?’

Future First Lady Melania Trump posing in 2000 for a photo spread in British GQ

Now that we have a Republican frontrunner who is an infamous serial adulterer and whose current wife once posed nude for a magazine in his private jet, can we say that the GOP’s 35-year masquerade as the party of “family values” is officially over?

Imagine for a moment that photos had emerged of a wife of a past Republican frontrunner — Ann Romney or Cindy McCain, for example — supine on a fur rug in the altogether. Their husbands’ campaigns would have been over faster than Rick Perry could say “Oops.” But this is Teflon Don, so even evangelicals are apparently okay with what they’d otherwise consider a sinful display.

And then there is the candidate himself. Just 14 years after impeaching Pres. Clinton over a sex lie in civil lawsuit, the Republicans are now giving majority support to a notorious philanderer who openly carried on an affair with wife number two while still married to wife number one, and may have started seeing number three (the one who posed nude) while still married to number two.

Google Search Is Gaming the 2016 Election
'The best place to hide a dead body is Page 2 of Google results.' — Anonymous


And you thought it was the Koch brothers and super PACs that were calling the 2016 election. A new study reveals that Google’s search algorithms have the potential to sway undecided voters merely on the power of results rankings in Google search.

Google Search is having a detrimental affect on democracy by swaying undecided voters through its rankings, according to new research. A study by the American Institute for Behavioural Research and Technology found that Google has the power to shift voting preferences in the upcoming 2016 US elections by 20% or more through the results brought up by its secretive search algorithms, with Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton the most likely to benefit.

Through five experiments carried out in two countries, the study found that the search engine manipulation effect (SEME) could even be used to determine an election outcome if the proportion of undecided voters is calculated first. SEME is described as a “virtually invisible” form of social influence that is currently not subject to any specific regulations anywhere in the world.

“What the research shows is that when a candidate is ranked higher on Google, that shifts the votes of undecided voters towards that candidate because we’ve all learned they have such incredible trust in those rankings,” Robert Epstein, senior research psychologist at the American Institute for Behaviour Research and Technology and co-author of the study, told WhoWhatWhy. “Some 50% of all of our clicks go to the top two [search results] and [more than] 90% of all clicks go on the first page.

“Because moderate Republicans are so vulnerable to SEME, this makes Hillary Clinton virtually a shoo-in if the next election is close. If she has Google’s support, no one is going to be able to mess with her and it means Google will be able to shift all kinds of people in her direction – even a big chunk, possibly, of moderate Republicans.”


  • 83%

    Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) approval rating among his own constituents, the highest of any United States senator, a new Morning Consult survey finds.

  • 46%

    Presidential Obama’s approval rating, with 50% disapproving, according to a new Washington Post/ABC News poll. The fall has been driven almost entirely by concerns about terrorism and refugees.

  • 51%

    Of adults said the government should ensure the health care coverage of all Americans, according to a new Gallup survey released Monday. That is slightly more than the 47 percent of Americans who said it is not the government’s responsibility, though the difference is still within the poll’s margin of error.

  • 23%

    Of Americans think President Obama has a clear plan for dealing with ISIS, the lowest number yet recorded, according to a new CBS News poll. Sixty-six percent do not think he has a clear plan — a new high. “Large majorities of Republicans and independents say the President doesn’t have a clear plan, and almost half of Democrats (40%) agree. More Democrats (45%) say he doesn’t have a plan than say he does.”

  • 50% to 42%

    Margin by which more Americans say they trust Hillary Clinton to handle the threat of terrorism than Donald Trump, who leads the Republican field and responded to the Paris terrorist attacks by calling for heightened surveillance of mosques and redoubling his opposition to allowing Syrian refugees to settle in the U.S., a new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds.

Poetic Justice

With an “It’s not my time,” Bobby Jindal’s outta there,
After his quixotic presidential climb went nowhere.
You’d have to be a psychotic pollyanna
To want for the nation what he did for Louisiana.
Asked who he’d endorse, Jindal said, “I don’t think people care.”


  • Republican elites are panicky about the durable dominance of Trump (and to a lesser extent Ben Carson) in the presidential race. They are right to worry, but I don’t feel much sympathy. Trump is a problem of their own creation. … Trump gets ever more base in his bigotry — and yet, with few and intermittent exceptions, rival candidates, party leaders and GOP lawmakers decline to call him out. So he continues to rise, benefiting from tacit acceptance of his intolerance. … For months — years, really — Republicans have averted their gaze from Trump’s attacks on women, Hispanics and immigrants. Now the racism becomes more overt — and still, he goes unchallenged.

    — Dana Millbank, writing in the Washington Post.

  • Europe is under invasion and Paris is the first city to fall under full attack. We in the U.S. are next and the Quisling who has opened wide our gates to the invading horde is our very own president.

    — Alaska state Rep. Pete Kelly (R), quoted by the Alaska Dispatch News, on the Syrian refugees.

  • It’s still a capital crime, and I would give him the death sentence, and I would prefer to see him hanged by the neck until he’s dead, rather than merely electrocuted.

    — Former CIA director James Woolsey, telling CNN that leaker Edward Snowden should be convicted of treason and given the death penalty in the wake of the terrorist attack on Paris.

  • These are the same folks who suggested they’re so tough that just talk to Putin or staring down ISIL [will work] … but they’re scared of widows and orphans …. First they were worried the press was too tough on them in the debates, now they’re worried about 3-year old orphans. That doesn’t sound very tough to me.

    — President Obama, quoted by NBC News, blasting GOP presidential candidates for rhetoric about Syrian refugees.

  • Nobody wants to say this and nobody wants to shut down religious institutions or anything, but you know, you understand it. A lot of people understand it. We’re going to have no choice.

    — Leading GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump, saying the United States will have “absolutely no choice” but to close down some mosques where “some bad things are happening,” Politico reports.



Republicans Hate the Constitution