Rubio & Braman — By the Numbers

Marco & Norman

Marco & Norman

Tampa Bay Times has some interesting insights into the relationship between presidential candidate Marco Rubio and his Miami billionaire patron Norman Braman. Recently, Braman announced he was giving Rubio $10 million to help finance his campaign.

It appears Rubio is accustomed to feeding at the Braman trough. Here are some numbers that illuminate their relationship:

Republicans, a Rock, a Hard Place and Obamacare

screenshot-obamacare-free-birth-control

The Republican gambit of demonizing Obamacare is starting to backfire — as well it should. The strategy is based on a lie.

In 2009, Pres. Obama opted to use the individual mandate model as the basis of health-insurance reform — rather than the single-payer, Medicare-for-all approach his supporters preferred — in part because he hoped to strike a deal with Republicans. His quest for bipartisanship seems ridiculous now (as it did then to many people), but it was, in fact, grounded in reality.

Video: ‘Open Carry’ Is Apparently Only Legal When White People Do It
Officer forces African-American legally carrying an assault rifle to lie on the ground

Officer forces African-American legally carrying an assault rifle to lie on the ground

Two men — one white, one black — in jurisdictions where it’s legal to walk around with assault weapons, go out in public with rifles. A policeman questions the white guy and sends him on his way. With the black guy, it’s a different story.

Watch:

The Ten Senate Races Democrats Are Most Likely to Win in 2016

Feingold

Feingold

We’re not yet halfway through 2015 but the 2016 race for control of the U.S. Senate is starting to take shape. This week The Hill ranked the 10 most competitive races — and since then there has been a development in the race The Hill listed as likely to be the easiest pickup for Democrats.

Yesterday former Sen. Russ Feingold, the Democratic incumbent who was unseated by current Sen. Ron Johnson in 2010, announced he was entering the race. Johnson, a tea partyist, won by 5 percentage points in the tea party’s anti-Obamacare wave election after spending millions of his own money. The Hill quotes him as saying he won’t self-fund this year — which only means he’ll rely on his wealthy cronies to spend unlimited money anonymously to fund his campaign. The Hill cited a poll by PPP taken before Feingold’s announcement that found Feingold with 50 percent support against Johnson’s 41 percent. Wisconsin has voted for the Democratic candidate in every presidential cycle since 1984.

Within hours after Feingold’s announcement, Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts endorsed him, according to an email sent by the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee.

The Hill’s other nine most-competitive races are:

Even the Tea Party Disagrees with Jeb That Invading Iraq Was Worth It

chart-support-for-iraq-invasion

Fox Calls ‘Clinton Cash’ Lie About Foundation’s Spending ‘Incredibly Misleading’

Eric Shawn

Eric Shawn

One of the more startling assertions about the Clinton Foundation made in “Clinton Cash,” the controversial book by former Sarah Palin adviser Peter Schweizer, is that just 10 percent of the billions donated to the foundation goes to charitable activities. The rest, Schweizer has suggested, is pocketed by the Clintons.

Not surprisingly, Schweizer’s assertion has been proved to false. In fact, the 10 percent figure is such a flagrant lie that it couldn’t even pass muster on Fox. On May 6, Fox viewers were exposed to a rare glimpse of the truth, when Eric Shawn, one of the fake news channel’s “real” reporters, appeared on the network’s flagship broadcast, “The O’Reilly Factor”:

‘Clinton Cash': The Same Old GOP Smoke and Mirrors

For a free download from The National Memo, click the image.

 To download a free ebook from The National Memo, click the image

By now you’ve probably heard that a right-wing partisan hack named Peter Schweizer has written a book about the Clinton Foundation titled “Clinton Cash” in which he suggests that Bill and Hillary have been operating their foundation as a giant slush fund, and that Bill has been whoring himself out to moneyed interests who pay him “speaking fees” in exchange for favors delivered by Hillary when she was secretary of state.

You’ve probably also heard about Schweizer’s deep ties to the extreme right. He is a former Bush speechwriter, foreign-affairs adviser to Sarah Palin and blogger for Breitbart.com, the legacy website of the late serial liar and notorious racist, Andrew Breitbart. His work is riddled with mistakes and falsehoods. Fact-checkers and legit reporters have used words like these to describe his work in the past: “incorrect,” “inaccurate,” “bogus,” “a fatal shortcoming in Journalism 101,” “the facts didn’t stand up,” “unfair and inaccurate,” “specious argument,” “there was nothing there,” “suspicious,” “the facts don’t fit,” facts “do not check out,” sources “do not exist or cannot be tracked down,” “confusion and contradiction,” “discrepancies,” “admitted a mistake,” “neither journalism nor history,” “a polemic so unchecked … that we can’t tell the fact from the fiction,” sources “have clearly used him,” and “tacitly conced[ed] he was wrong.”

Despite Schweizer’s shady background, however, “Clinton Cash” has been taken seriously by “liberal media” outlets like the New York Times, the Washington Post and others, who have lent it legitimacy by using it as a source for their reporting.

So — where there’s smoke there’s fire. Right?

Expel Texas: Gov. Abbott Musters State Guard in Apparent Move to Confront U.S. Troops, Provoke War with United States
A more perfect union: No Texas

A more perfect union: No Texas

Last week, Texas’ new governor, Greg Abbott, announced what was arguably the most militaristic anti-government action taken by a U.S. governor since the Civil War. Abbott ordered the Texas State Guard to muster in Bastrop County this summer to protect local residents while United States troops, including Army Green Berets and Navy SEALs, conduct training exercises there. The governor’s orders instructed the Guard to ensure that Bastrop County residents’ “safety, constitutional rights, private property rights and civil liberties will not be infringed.”

Republicans Run Amok in Florida
State Legislature Left in Shambles After State House Closes Up Early
FLHouse

Nobody home: Looks like a good place to hold a legislative session. Photo: Aaron Deslatte of the Orlando Sentinel

When the going gets tough, what do the tough do? They get going. And that’s exactly what Florida state House members did. They walked out in a huff, with three days remaining in the state’s annual legislative session.

You had one job, Florida House Republicans — to approve a budget. And you didn’t even come close.

Technically, there is no lack of leadership, it’s that the leaders are mainly Republicans, and this is what Republicans do. Let’s all be clear on that.

Republicans in the Florida House disagree with Republicans in the Florida Senate over Medicaid expansion. And the Republican governor keeps changing his mind.

For states unlike Florida, not run by Republicans, this is a non-issue. What’s not to like about getting more Medicaid coverage for your poorest residents, with most of the bill footed by the federal government?

Test Your News IQ

PP_14.10.1_quiz
Pew Research has posted another of it periodic news quizzes that test your knowledge of current events, political issues and people in the news. At the end, it will tell you how you did against everybody else who took the quiz.

Of course, I skewed the curve for you by getting a perfect score. Well, me and 10 percent of the others who took the test.

Good luck!

Enumerati

  • $462,013

    Amount of profit Jeb Bush received on $441,203 worth of stock in Tenet Healthcare he acquired in May 2011 Bush’s financial endeavors “included serving as a paid director to the hospital company Tenet Healthcare, which backed President Obama’s Affordable Care Act. The position invited questions for Mr. Bush, who as a candidate opposes the health care law. … Mr. Bush resigned from the Tenet board in 2014 when he was preparing for his presidential campaign,” according to the New York Times.

  • 19%

    Jeb Bush’s lead in the GOP presidential race nationally, followed by Donald Trump at 12%, Mike Huckabee at 8%, Ben Carson at 7%, Rand Paul at 7%, Marco Rubio at 6% and Scott Walker at 6%, according to a new CNN/ORC poll finds. “The findings suggest Bush is making progress toward being seen as the frontrunner in a field that has long lacked a clear leader. He holds a significant lead over the second-place candidate Trump, is seen as the candidate who could best handle illegal immigration and social issues, and runs about even with Trump and well ahead of the other candidates when Republicans are asked which candidate can best handle the economy.”

  • 18%

    Scott Walker’s lead over the GOP presidential pack in Iowa, followed by Donald Trump at 10%, Ben Carson at 10%, Rand Paul at 9%, Ted Cruz at 9%, Jeb Bush at 8%, Marco Rubio at 7% and Mike Huckabee at 5%, a new Quinnipiac poll in Iowa finds. Said pollster Peter Brown: “Those who thought the Republican race in the Iowa caucuses might begin to clarify itself better think again. As even more candidates toss their hats into the ring, the race has gotten even more muddled.”

  • $500 million

    Amount Donald Trump is suing Univision for after the network’s decision “to sever ties with him over his remarks about immigrants. The mogul and presidential candidate filed a $500-million lawsuit against Univision on Tuesday, claiming the Hispanic media organization violated its contract with him and his Miss Universe Organization,” according to the Hollywood Reporter.

  • 63%

    Of Americans support the Supreme Court’s ruling upholding government assistance for lower-income Americans buying health insurance through both state-operated and federally-run health insurance exchanges, a new CNN/ORC poll finds. Slightly fewer, 59%, say they back the ruling which made same-sex marriages legal in all 50 states.

Poetic Justice

Bobby Jindal’s stint as governor has been less than steady.
While Louisiana’s budget plunges deeper into the red, he
Thinks he can win,
Based on the color of his skin,
With this idiotic campaign slogan: “Tanned, Rested, Ready.”

Verbatim

  • Our country is honestly going to hell. The illegals are pouring into the country. … It’s far worse than anybody knows.

    — Donald Trump, quoted by National Journal.

  • The momentous events of the last week can be interpreted in numerous ways. But one thing has become increasingly clear: The Republican Party needs to change. … Simply put, Republicans are loaded up in a car, racing toward a generational cliff with their eyes focused on the rearview mirror, with many (but notably not all) oblivious to the societal changes taking place all around them and the growing wedge building between their comfort zone and presidential swing voters… Republicans need to do some soul-searching about their future and their relationships with voters of generations to come. Vibrant parties change with the times, adapt themselves to changing conditions and circumstances. Maybe this past week will help the GOP do this.

    — Charlie Cook, National Journal.

  • I would probably comb my hair back. Why? Because this thing is too hard to comb. I wouldn’t have time, because if I were in the White House, I’d be working my ass off.

    — Donald Trump, saying if elected president, “he would have to change his hair style because he wouldn’t have time to maintain it,” the Des Moines Register reports.

  • If we don’t try to broaden out the map … we’re going to have to win with an inside straight, to use a Vegas term. Inside straight flush or whatever … I’m not a big gambler so I don’t know any gambling — does that sound stupid when you say that?

    — Jeb Bush, quoted by Bloomberg.

  • We’re called upon not to be the thermometers that reflect the temperature in the culture. We’re called upon to be thermostats, which can read the temperature and seek to adjust it to where it should be.

    — Mike Huckabee, quoted by the Washington Post.

PensitoWire

Infografix

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Libertarianism: The misguided belief that trading the yoke of big government for the yoke of big business will make the whip sting less.

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