Bet Chris Christie Wishes He’d Never Suited Up for That Game
Somewhere near Fort Lee, whoever advised him to do this is packing up their desk

ChristieBall

Enjoy this awesome pic of the awesome governor of New Jersey, who appears ready to play ball. Yes, just the one ball.

Worse Than Benghazi: After Reagan Ignored Warnings, 220 Marines Were Killed by a Terrorist in Beirut
But Democrats led By Speaker Tip O'Neill blamed the terrorists, not the president, for the murders
Left: The U.S. peacekeepers' command center and barracks before the explosion; right: Service members pick through the rubble following the Beirut bombing Oct. 23, 1983. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the bombing that resulted in 220 Marine deaths. (U.S. Marine Corps photo courtesy of the United States Marine Corps History Division)

Left: The U.S. peacekeepers’ command center and barracks before the explosion; right: Service members pick through the rubble following the Beirut bombing Oct. 23, 1983. (Photo from the United States Marine Corps History Division)

In 1982, seven years into the Lebanese Civil War, Pres. Ronald Reagan ordered 2,400 Marines into Beirut as part of an international peacekeeping mission. As peacekeepers, the Marines operated under rules of engagement that prohibited them from firing their weapons unless they’d been fired upon first — and even then they could only respond with the same type of weapon that had been fired at them.

There were other restrictions. Violence in the city was so bad that they were confined to their base at the Beirut airport. Eventually, the entire American force, which also included Army and Navy personnel, moved into a large, modern office building that had been repurposed to house their command center as well as living quarters. (The building is referred to in many accounts as the “Marine barracks.”) And yet the gates to the facility were ordered to remain open at all times, and the sentries who manned the gates were to be unarmed.

In Washington, Reagan ignored warnings from his senior advisers that he’d put American troops in harm’s way.

How Much Does Obama Hate Israel? 1.9 Billion Times
Bunker busters

Bunker busters

One of the many persistent right-wing lies about Pres. Obama is that he hates Israel. It may be true that he’s not fond of the country’s leader, Benjamin Netanyahu, a despicable figure who is closely aligned with Republicans in the U.S. Congress, a cabal that makes no secret of its contempt for the president. But there’s no evidence that Obama loves or hates Israel any more than he likes or dislikes any of America’s allies.

Writing in the Atlantic, Conor Friedersdorf summed up this particular right-wing myth about the president last summer:

Bush’s CIA Briefer: Cheney and Bush Lied about Iraq Nukes
Republicans insist that the Bush-Cheney administration relied on faulty intel instead - because incompetence may be excusable but starting a war based on lies is a war crime
Mike Morell, the CIA officer who briefed George W. Bush on  intelligence, during his appearance on MSNBC's "Hardball"

Mike Morell, the CIA officer who briefed George W. Bush on intelligence, during his appearance on MSNBC’s “Hardball”

Why did George Bush and Dick Cheney invade Iraq? Their foundational rationale for the invasion was to prevent Saddam Hussein from using nuclear weapons they claimed he had. Based on what we know now, of course, those claims were either lies or they were based on faulty intelligence. Republicans are desperate to assert it was the latter — that Bush and Cheney were merely incompetent and relied on bad data — because if the former were true, if Bush and Cheney knowing lied about their rationale for taking the country to war, they were guilty of a massive war crime and, by all rights, should be sitting the Hague today.

Earlier this week, Mike Morell, the CIA officer who served as George Bush’s chief intelligence briefer, confirmed that the claims by Bush, Cheney and others that Saddam Hussein had nuclear weapons were lies.

Video and transcript follow…

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”:

Enumerati

  • 1

    Number of staff left on the Rick Perry campaign in Iowa: “The Republican from Texas has whittled his staff in Iowa to one paid operative amid continuing fund-raising struggles … Mr. Perry led in the polls for a stretch during his first presidential bid four years ago. He spent significant time boning up on foreign policy and getting himself in physical shape for the grinds of the campaign trail,” the New York Times reports.

  • 23%

    A new Monmouth University poll in Iowa finds Ben Carson and Donald Trump tied for the lead with 23% each. The next tier of candidates includes Carly Fiorina (10%) and Ted Cruz (9%), followed by Scott Walker (7%), Jeb Bush (5%), John Kasich (4%), Marco Rubio (4%), and Rand Paul (3%). The last two Iowa caucus victors, Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum, each garner 2% of the vote.

  • 71%

    Of American voters are “dissatisfied” with the way things are going in the nation today, including 41% who are “very dissatisfied,” according to a new Quinnipiac poll.“Voters disapprove 81% to 12% of the way Republicans in Congress are doing their job and give the Republican Party a negative 31% to 58% favorability. Disapproval of Democrats in Congress is 66% to 27% and the Democratic Party gets a negative 40% to 50% favorability.”

  • $4.4 billion

    Kantar Media’s prediction of overall television ad spending for the 2016 elections, up roughly 16% from the $3.8 billion candidates and outside groups laid out for cable and broadcast ads in 2012, reports the Wall Street Journal.

  • 37% to 30%

    Hillary Clinton’s dwindling lead over Sen. Bernie Sanders, according to a new Des Moines Register/Bloomberg poll in Iowa. Said pollster Ann Selzer: “This feels like 2008 all over again.”

Poetic Justice

In the campaign they haven’t acted much like mateys,
But they both disdain foreign-national pregnant ladies.
Despite the Constitution,
Which labels them “American,”
Both Jeb and The Donald prefer the term “anchor babies.”

Verbatim

  • Do you know that there are schools that train children your age to be suicide bombers?

    — Rep. Matt Salmon (R-AZ), quoted by the Washington Post, talking to a classroom of second and third graders.

  • On this all can agree: Strange happenings are afoot in the 2016 presidential cycle, the kind that leave experts scratching their heads. Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders, talk of a third-party run—we’ve never seen anything quite like it, right? … Except that we have. It happened in 1968, and if you are seeking precedents for this cycle, that year’s momentous presidential election is a good place to look. Here’s something further to consider: The 1968 race so shook up the political system that we’re still feeling its aftershocks today, more than a generation later. There is at least a chance this year’s race could become a similarly realigning campaign.

    The Wall Street Journal

  • The point is that those predicting Mr. Trump’s imminent political demise are ignoring the lessons of recent history, which tell us that poseurs with a knack for public relations can con the public for a very long time. Someday The Donald will have his Katrina moment, when voters see him for who he really is. But don’t count on it happening any time soon.

    Paul Krugman, noting that while Donald Trump “doesn’t exude presidential dignity, he’s seeking the nomination of a party that once considered it a great idea to put George W. Bush in a flight suit and have him land on an aircraft carrier.”

  • Some people have asked us about that in New Hampshire. They raised some very legitimate concerns, including some law enforcement folks that brought that up to me at one of our town hall meetings about a week and a half ago. So that is a legitimate issue for us to look at.

    — Gov. Scott Walker, saying it’s “legitimate” to discuss building a wall separating the United States from Canada, CNN reports.

  • My friends, the Republican Party did not win the midterm election in November: We lost that election. We lost because voter turnout was abysmally, embarrassingly low, and millions of working people, young people and people of color gave up on politics as usual and they stayed home. That’s a fact.

    — Sen. Bernie Sanders, challenging the Democratic party’s leaders to embrace his candidacy, warning that the huge crowds of supporters he has drawn may not vote for Democratic candidates in 2016 unless he is at the top of the ticket, the New York Times reports.

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Republicans Hate the Constitution

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