2016 Hopefuls · Donald Trump · GOP Base · Xenophobia

Xenophobic Trump Questioner Wasn’t a Plant — He’s Your GOP Base

attribution: NONE


“I think that seems like a complete plant, it was a set up”

Conservative media has been busy spreading speculation that the xenophobic questioner at the Trump event last week concerned with Muslim “training camps” was actually a liberal plant looking to make the candidate and the party look foolish.

Here’s Fox’s “The Five”:

During a discussion of the incident that occurred on Thursday at a Trump town hall in New Hampshire, in which the GOP frontrunner refused to correct a supporter who not only spread false rumors about the president but also called for the eradication of Muslims from the United States, both Kimberly Guilfoyle and Eric Bolling implied that the man in question was a “plant” or somehow not serious about his views.

“As far as Trump’s concerned with respect to this, I think that seems like a complete plant, it was a set up, it just sounds fake and phony and ridiculous,” Guilfoyle said of the man’s comments.

“It’s a joke, right?” Bolling agreed. “It’s almost comical the way it was delivered.”

Allahpundit over at Hot Air at least admits that it’s probably not a planted questioner… before speculating that “gee it sure does seem like a plant-y type question”:

there’s no reason to think this guy is a plant just because he’s surprising Trump with a question guaranteed to put him on the spot. Two: That said, this is so over the top, not just in the rhetoric (“when can we get rid of them?”) but in the speaker’s inflections, that it does play like some sort of prank. If you were intent on Mobying Trump at a Q&A for maximum embarrassment, this is precisely the question you’d ask. But then, that makes me wonder — did the audience even know there’d be a Q&A? Trump hasn’t done that before at his events and as far as I know it wasn’t advertised yesterday that he’d be doing one. There’s no way it was a prank if the audience didn’t know in advance they’d get a turn at the mic.

But here’s the thing. Why in the world would anyone speculate that this guy is a plant when the polling numbers show there would be no need for anyone to plan this. That guy wasn’t a plant. He’s Donald Trump’s base. And he’s not just Donald Trump’s base – he represents the Republican base.

Here’s a PPP poll from September 1st:

Trump’s beliefs represent the consensus among the GOP electorate. 51% overall want to eliminate birthright citizenship. 54% think President Obama is a Muslim. And only 29% grant that President Obama was born in the United States. That’s less than the 40% who think Canadian born Ted Cruz was born in the United States.

So conservatives, here’s my message to you. If you’re embarrassed by the questioner, to the point where you think he could only be some sort of evil liberal plant sent to embarrass the Republican party, it’s time to take a look in the mirror. You created this monster, and if you’re cringing over this stuff as much as it seems like you are, then it’s time for you to own it.

By mr.fusion

2016 Hopefuls · Bernie Sanders · U.S. Politics · Wall Strteet

Bernie Sanders Terrifies Wall Street By Vowing To Keep Them Out Of His Cabinet

Bernie Sanders CNN State Of The Union
Bernie Sanders CNN State Of The Union |screenshot


Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) dropped a bomb on Wall Street today when during a CNN interview he vowed that if elected, the fat cats will have no place in his cabinet.

Transcript via CNN:

TAPPER: I know it’s premature to ask you the type of person you would want to be your vice president, but if you were to get the nomination and then the presidency, could you give us a sense of the kinds of individuals you would want serving in your Cabinet?


Unlike many other presidents, they — my Cabinet would not be dominated by representatives of Wall Street. I think Wall Street has played a horrendous role in recent years in negatively impacting our economy and in making the rich richer.

There are a lot of great public servants out there, great economists who for years have been standing up for the middle class and the working families of this country who know that it is an international embarrassment that we have the highest rate of childhood poverty of any major country on Earth.

And let me tell you something else, Jake, that I will appoint people to deal with the issue of youth unemployment today, which we don’t talk about at all. Youth unemployment in this country, real youth unemployment for African-American kids is over 50 percent, the Hispanic kids, over 30 percent, and the same for white kids. 

And that’s why we have to create a whole lot of jobs to put our kids back to work, rather than put them in jail or incarcerate them or build new jails. So, I want a Cabinet that is focused on rebuilding the crumbling middle class, demanding that the wealthiest people and large corporations become part of America, and do not live as an island unto themselves.

Not only does Sanders promise contrast him with his Democratic opponents, but it is also sends a clear message about the type of campaign that he is running.

It would be difficult to find a candidate taking a more grassroots liberal position on the composition of their cabinet than what Bernie Sanders offered.

If Sanders were to be somehow elected, it would be Wall Street’s biggest nightmare come true. The problem that he would have in governing is the same that President Obama currently faces. If Republicans still control all or any part of Congress after the 2016 election, the Sanders agenda would go nowhere.

Governing exists only in the realm of the hypothetical for Bernie Sanders right now. Sen. Sanders (I-VT) is taking bold positions to show the American people what could be.

The point that Bernie Sanders was making was that government doesn’t have to work the way that it has in the recent past. Voters don’t have to put up with the sorry excuse for a legislative branch that has been passed off as governing. The American people can make a change by thinking big and bold.

Wall Street may not be afraid of Bernie Sanders winning the White House in 2016, but they should be terrified of the possibilities that he is revealing.

Jason Easley

2016 Hopefuls · GOP Agenda

10 things you need to know today: June 1, 2015

(AP Photo/Cliff Owen)


1.Controversial bulk-surveillance program expires
The government’s authority to collect bulk phone records expired at 12:01 a.m. Monday after Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) blocked an extension of parts of the Patriot Act. “We can still catch terrorists using the Constitution,” Paul said. The Senate began debate on a bill that would revive a limited version of the National Security Agency’s controversial bulk data collection programs, shifting phone-record storage from the government to phone companies. The House passed its version of the bill last month.

Source: The New York Times, CBS News

2.Lindsey Graham joins a crowded GOP presidential field
Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) plans to announce Monday that he will run for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. Graham in January launched an exploratory committee he called “Security Through Strength.” He is a military hawk, but conservatives in the GOP have criticized him for being too liberal. He joins an increasingly crowded Republican field as an underdog, as he scores in the low single digits in the latest polls.

Source: The Washington Post

3.Obamas visit Biden after his son’s death
President Obama visited Vice President Joe Biden and his family on Sunday to express condolences for the death of Biden’s eldest son, Beau. The president and first lady canceled a Sunday reception at the White House to pay their respects. The younger Biden died Saturday from a recurrence of brain cancer. He was 46. Beau Biden served as attorney general of Delaware for eight years, and had planned to run for governor before his health problems emerged. He had a mild stroke in 2010 before his cancer was diagnosed in 2013.

Source: Reuters

4.College drops Hastert’s name from government and economics center
Ex-House speaker Dennis Hastert’s alma mater, Wheaton College, announced Sunday that it was removing his name from its government and economics center. The move came following Hastert’s indictment last Thursday on charges that he lied to the FBI as part of an effort to hide $3.5 million in hush money he allegedly paid someone to cover up sexual molestation claims. The misconduct allegedly occurred when Hastert, an Illinois Republican, was a high school wrestling coach and teacher.

Source: Chicago Tribune

5.Baltimore’s homicides rise to highest level in 43 years
Three fatal shootings on Sunday made May the deadliest month in Baltimore in more than four decades. The city had 43 homicides in the month, the most since August 1972, when there were 45. Baltimore experienced a surge in killings in May as the number of arrests dropped sharply. Some observers attributed the changes to heightened scrutiny of the city’s police after the death of Freddie Gray, who was injured in custody. His death provoked protests and rioting.

Source: Reuters

6.Beijing smoking ban takes effect
Beijing launched an ambitious new smoking ban on Monday, prohibiting people in the Chinese capital from lighting up in restaurants, office buildings, and public transportation. Individual violators will be fined 200 yuan ($32). Businesses that allow smoking will pay up to 10,000 yuan ($1,600). After three violations, public smokers will be shamed on a government website. The World Health Organization’s Beijing representative called the ban a “major advance” in tobacco control. A previous ban in 2008 was widely ignored.

Source: CNN

7.92-year-old becomes oldest woman to finish a marathon
Harriette Thompson, 92, on Sunday became the oldest woman ever to finish a marathon. Thompson — a Charlotte, N.C., grandmother of 10 — crossed the finish line of the San Diego Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon in 7 hours, 24 minutes, and 36 seconds. She was met by confetti cannons at the end of the 26.2-mile race. “I can’t believe I made it!” she said. “Around Mile 21, I was going up a hill and it was like a mountain, and I was thinking, ‘This is sort of crazy at my age.’ But then I felt better coming down the hill.”

Source: The Charlotte Observer

8.Bob Schieffer hosts his last Face the Nation broadcast
Bob Schieffer on Sunday ended his 24-year run as host of the CBS News’Face the Nation, which he called “the best job in the world.” The 78-year-old anchor, after more than half a century in journalism, thanked his viewers before signing off. “I’ll be honest. I’m going to miss being in the middle of things,” he said, “but the one thing I will never forget is the trust you placed in me and how nice you were to have me as a guest in your home over so many years.” CBS political director John Dickerson will replace him.

Source: Face the Nation, Entertainment Weekly

9. Friday the 13th actress dies
Actress Betsy Palmer, who played the killer camp cook in Friday the 13th, has died in hospice care at age 88. Palmer had roles in many films, Broadway productions, and TV shows over a career spanning decades before playing Mrs. Voorhees in the campy 1980 horror film, in which young camp counselors were murdered one after the other. Her character was the mother of Jason Voorhees, who had died at the camp years earlier and would come back to life in several sequels.

Source: The Associated Press

10.San Andreas gives actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson his biggest opening yet
San Andreas raked in more than $53 million at the box officer over the weekend, crushing the competition. It was the biggest opening gross ever for a film with former professional wrestler Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as solo leading man — rather than as a member as an ensemble cast as he was in Furious 7.  The massive opening for the earthquake disaster film came despite a weak start in Thursday previews, where it earned just $3 million.

Source: The Oregonian, Seeking Alpha

2016 Hopefuls · 2016 Voters · Sen. Bernie Sanders

GOP Should Run Scared As Bernie Sanders’ Appeal Expands Toward Traditional GOP Voters

Sen. Bernie Sanders | attribution: None


Republicans should start quaking in fear of Bernie Sanders, because his appeal is growing, and not just with young voters. Voters in his own age group are also drawn to him and his message. Sanders is 73, and the older generation currently makes up a large and critical piece of the Republican base. So the fact that he’s appealing to older people is not good news for Republicans.

Sanders is an independent from Vermont, however he caucuses with the Democrats and is running for the Democratic presidential nomination. According to an article in The New York Times, the people he’s appealing to are the people who remember a time when the top tax bracket was 90 percent, and the middle class thrived while the wealthy actually paid taxes.

Our top tax rate now is too low, with way too many loopholes, under the flawed and failed ideas of trickle-down economics. We don’t have a system that rewards work, it punishes work, and rewards greed. Back then, the system didn’t allow for the kind of greed we have today nearly as easily. Republicans want to make the top tax brackets even lower, though, on the lie that doing so will create well-paying jobs and make everyone prosper.

Another thing that’s oddly appealing to the older generation is the idea of free college at public universities. In fact, Sanders has declared that higher education should be a right. Of course, the right looks at that as “socialism,” despite the fact that other developed nations, like Denmark and Germany, have free university. Here, college is increasingly unaffordable and younger students are starting out their adult lives crippled with debt, in jobs that don’t help them pay for that debt.

Back when Sanders was young, many public colleges and universities offered education for free, or at very little cost, according toThe Times piece. You only had to pay good money to go to a private school.

Sanders’ message of tax the rich, redistribute wealth, and bring back a strong government that takes care of its people, tends to resonate with Millennials and the youngest Gen-Xers, who are still young enough to be idealistic. However, the older generation—the one that we expect to vote Republican—finds itself moved by Sanders’ evocations of times when things were better, thanks in part to a government that was strong enough to care about people.

Today’s Republicans try to invoke earlier times in the name of idealistic nostalgia, but they may fail when it comes to people who actually lived those times. These people remember when someone could actually retire after a long and productive life, and maybe have to tighten their belts a little, but didn’t face living in poverty, or having to continue working part-time. They remember when education was important to everyone. They remember when people were paid what they were worth, and when pay increased with productivity.

What they remember is what Sanders is appealing to. Republicans don’t want to take us back to the booming economy of the late ’40s, and the ’50s and ’60s. They want to take us back before the ’30s, when the rich could get richer without lifting a finger, and the plebes were more or less slaves to their bosses and their jobs, and often lived in squalor.

That’s not what Sanders has in mind. If he can appeal to enough of the older generation, as well as the younger generations, he’ll be unstoppable against any Republican candidate.

2016 Hopefuls · U.S. Politics

10 things you need to know today: May 28, 2015

(AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)


1.Nebraska legislators repeal death penalty over governor’s veto
Nebraska lawmakers on Wednesday voted to repeal the state’s death penalty law, overriding a veto by Gov. Pete Ricketts (R). The bipartisan 30-to-19 vote was just enough to get past the veto. It made Nebraska the first conservative state in 40 years to abolish capital punishment. The final vote ended a months-long battle in Nebraska’s unicameral Legislature. Ricketts, a staunch supporter of capital punishment, had the backing of many law enforcement officials. Eighteen other states and Washington, D.C., also have banned the death penalty.

Source: The New York Times

2.FIFA bans 11 officials over corruption scandal
FIFA on Wednesday banned 11 officials from participating in soccer-related activities after the eruption of a corruption scandal. Nine of the banned FIFA officials were among 14 people named in a racketeering indictment announced by the U.S. Justice Department. Two are vice presidents of FIFA, the sport’s global governing body. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said the indicted officials “corrupted the business of worldwide soccer.” Swiss authorities have opened a separate investigation into Qatar’s 2022 and Russia’s 2018 World Cup bids.

Source: The Huffington Post

3.Santorum launches second presidential bid
Former senator Rick Santorum formally announced on Wednesday that he is running for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. Santorum made his first run for the White House in 2012. He placed second in the primaries behind Mitt Romney, boosted by social conservatives. In his announcement speech in his home state of Pennsylvania, he framed his second bid as a battle for forgotten American workers. “Working families don’t need another president tied to big government — or big money,” he said.

Source: The Philadelphia Inquirer

4.Pentagon says anthrax inadvertently distributed by Army lab
The Pentagon on Wednesday said that an Army lab in Utah inadvertently sent live anthrax samples to private research labs in nine states, and one in South Korea. “There is no known risk to the general public,” Pentagon spokesman Col. Steve Warren said, “and there are no suspected or confirmed cases of anthrax infection in potentially exposed lab workers.” The lab where the errors were made was participating in efforts to develop a field test to spot biological threats.

Source: The Washington Post

5.FCC chief proposes subsidized broadband for the poor
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler is circulating a plan on Thursday proposing to subsidize high-speed internet access for low-income Americans. The federal government has been helping people pay for telephone service for 30 years, because phones are considered crucial to finding work, getting medical service, and climbing out of poverty. Wheeler’s proposal to change the $1.7 billion subsidy program to include broadband reflects the FCC’s recognition that high-speed internet service also is now essential.

Source: The New York Times

6.Hundreds evacuated due to new Texas flood threat
Hundreds of people were ordered to evacuate areas in Texas threatened with floods on Wednesday due to torrential rains. Residents were told to stay away from more than 200 homes in Parker County, 30 miles west of Fort Worth, as the Brazos River appeared close to overflowing. “The river is coming up fast,” Parker County Judge Mark Riley May said. May is already the wettest month in Texas history. Severe storms have killed at least 21 people in Texas and Oklahoma this week. Another 11 remain missing.

Source: Reuters, NBC News

7.Tracy Morgan settles with Walmart over deadly crash
Comedian Tracy Morgan has agreed to settle his lawsuit against Walmart over a 2014 crash that left the comedian severely injured, and killed his friend and fellow comedian James “Jimmy Mack” McNair. A Walmart truck slammed into Morgan’s limousine on the New Jersey Turnpike. Prosecutors said the driver was sleep-deprived. The terms of the settlement were not disclosed. Morgan said in a statement that Walmart “did right by me and my family, and for my associates and their families,” and that he was “grateful that the case was resolved amicably.”

Source: NJ.com

8.Obama’s chief Iran negotiator leaving after nuclear-deal deadline
President Obama’s chief negotiator with Iran, Wendy Sherman, saidWednesday that she planned to leave the State Department shortly after the June 30 deadline for a nuclear deal with Tehran. Sherman revealed her plans before heading to Vienna and Geneva for a final round of talks on curbing Iran’s controversial nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of punishing economic sanctions. “It’s been two long years,” she said. Secretary of State John Kerry praised Sherman for her “calm in the storm.”

Source: The New York Times

9. Pataki joins crowded race for GOP presidential nomination
Former New York governor George Pataki is expected to announceThursday that he is joining an increasingly crowded field of candidates for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. Pataki is a moderate Republican who considered running in 2000, 2008, and 2012, but didn’t. He signaled earlier in the week that he was ready to launch what he conceded was a long-shot bid. “It will be a very stiff climb up a very steep mountain,” he told the New York Post, “but that hasn’t stopped me in the past.”

Source: The Washington Post, New York Post

10.Golden State beats Houston to win a spot in NBA finals
The Golden State Warriors advanced to the NBA finals for the first time in 40 years on Wednesday night with a 104-90 victory over the Houston Rockets. The Warriors shook off a slow start to pull ahead for good in the fourth quarter, led by league MVP Stephen Curry’s 26 points and Harrison Barnes’ 24.  The Warriors move on to face LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, who advanced a day earlier with four-game sweep of the Atlanta Hawks. The teams will play the first game of the NBA finals on June 4.

Source: Los Angeles Times

Harold Maass

2016 Hopefuls · Gov. Scott Walker

Scott Walker: Mandatory Ultrasounds Are ‘Just A Cool Thing’ For Women

AP Photo / Gerald Herbert

Such an uninformed clown…


During the interview with conservative radio host Dana Loesch, Walker defended a bill he’d signed in 2013 that required women get the ultrasounds.

“The thing about that, the media tried to make that sound like that was a crazy idea,” Walker said. “Most people I talk to, whether they’re pro-life or not, I find people all the time who’ll get out their iPhone and show me a picture of their grandkids’ ultrasound and how excited they are, so that’s a lovely thing. I think about my sons who are 19 and 20, and we still have their first ultrasounds. It’s just a cool thing out there.”

He also lauded the bill’s effects.

“We just knew if we signed that law, if we provided the information, that more people if they saw that unborn child would make a decision to protect and keep the life of that unborn child,” Walker said.

Listen to the audio below, from Right Wing Watch:


2016 Hopefuls · Ann Kirkpatrick - 2016 AZ Senate Candidate

Arizona Democrats Grow A Pair, Recruit Quality Candidate To Challenge John McCain (Video)

Arizona Democrats Grow A Pair, Recruit Quality Candidate To Challenge John McCain (VIDEO)
Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick/Sen. John McCain – Photos from Wikipedia


Arizona Democrats seemed to have long ago given up, rolled over, and played dead when it came to John McCain’s Senate seat. He waltzed away with every election since 1986.

That’s about to change. On Tuesday, U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick announced her candidacy for his Senate seat. She’s such a strong candidate that, within hours of her announcement, Roll Call changed their rating of the race from ‘Republican Favored’ to ‘Leaning Republican’. And that’s just the beginning.

Kirkpatrick has been a resilient campaigner. She first won her seat in Arizona’s 1st Congressional District in 2008, lost it in 2010 to Tea Partier Paul Gosar, regained it in 2012, then held onto it during the Republican sweep of 2014. The right has tried to characterize her as President Obama’s foot soldier and she is decidedly liberal, but the 1st District swings both ways, politically. It contains the largest Native American population of any district in the nation and includes the northern university town of Flagstaff.

Kirkpatrick has deep ties to the northern part of the state, especially with the Navajo Nation. Her emphasis is on jobs, jobs, jobs — plus veterans’ affairs and restoring the nation’s infrastructure. In the video of her announcement, she says:

“I’ve got a vision for the future of Arizona — and it’s all about jobs. I know this isn’t going to be an easy race. But I’ve got my boots on, my sleeves are rolled up, and I’m ready to work.”

There’s still time for other Democrats to join the primary race. A redistricting case before the Supreme Court may influence other candidates’ decisions, as it may change the composition of districts from which Democratic candidates like Rep. Kyrsten Sinema would have to run, increasing the tilt toward the Republican Party. The case was heard in August, with a decision to come soon.

Nevertheless, Kirkpatrick is an extremely credible candidate who can draw donors from both within and without the state, especially since McCain is in increasing trouble with Arizona voters. According to a recent report by Public Policy Polling (PPP), only 41% of Republican primary voters approve of the job he’s doing. Among those who identify as ‘very conservative’, only 11% say they would vote for McCain. He’s likely to also face a strong challenge from the far right, which could help consume some of his own vast financial resources.

To get a preview of what McCain can expect from candidate Ann Kirkpatrick, watch her announcement video below:

Deborah Montesano

H/t: DB

2016 Hopefuls · Sen. Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders has a plan: Tax Wall Street and make college free

Bernie Sanders | attribution: Donkey Hotey


John Nichols at The Nation writes Bernie Sanders Has a Plan: Tax Wall Street and Make College Free:

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders keeps bending the rules of Senate service and presidential campaigning by offering up proposals that imagine America as the fair, functional, and prosperous country it could be. Instead of playing politics within the narrow lines prescribed by the partisans and pundits who police the political process in America, the recently announced contender for the Democratic presidential nomination is going big—this week with a plan to provide tuition-free higher education for students at four-year colleges and universities in the United States.
“We live in a highly competitive global economy and, if our economy is to be strong, we need the best-educated work force in the world,” says Sanders. “That will not happen if, every year, hundreds of thousands of bright young people cannot afford to go to college, and if millions more leave school deeply in debt.” […]

According to the Republicans who are running Congress—and running for president—there’s just no money for free higher education. Or for other useful initiatives. In an age of austerity, as defined by House Rules Committee chairman Paul Ryan and his minions, we are told that all Americans have to look forward to are more cuts, more privatization, wage stagnation, and staggering income inequality.
Ryan and his ideological amen corner moan that there’s just no money for programs that might educate and employ and care for Americans.
Of course, there is money: trillions of dollars that can be freed up, at the drop of a hat (or a stock market), to bail out banks and fund wars. But Republicans like Ryan and the contenders for his party’s 2016 presidential nomination claimthe country is damn-near broke—with just enough money left for one more tax cuts for one more billionaire campaign donor. And, too frequently, America’s “fair and balanced” media and compromised and compromising Democratic Party go along with the fantasy.

What has distinguished Sanders’s Senate service and his presidential bid is a refusal to buy into the lie of austerity.

~Meteor Blades

2016 Hopefuls · Iraq Questions @ 2016 Hopefuls · Sen. Marco Rubio

Marco Rubio is toast: Fox News trips up another Republican with simple Iraq war question

Marco Rubio is toast: Fox News trips up another Republican with simple Iraq war question
(Credit: Fox News Sunday)


First it was Jeb Bush. Today, Marco Rubio seemed unprepared and uninformed for the question of the week on Iraq

Sen. Marco Rubio went down in flames on “Fox News Sunday,” tripped up by the exact same question which sent his one-time mentor Jeb Bush’s campaign into a spiral: Was it a mistake to go into Iraq in 2003.

Fox News host Chris Wallace stayed aggressive while Rubio evaded and repeatedly tried to turn the question back on Wallace.

“It was not a mistake,” he said, again and again, to invade Saddam Hussein’s Iraq based on the flawed intelligence presented to the president. As Wallace bore down on the senator, however, things got testy. Rubio’s line became this: In the “real world,” commanders in chief must decide based on the information on their desk, and without the benefit of hindsight.

“I still say it was not a mistake because the president was presented with intelligence that said Iraq had weapons of mass destruction,” Rubio said. “It was governed by a man who had committed atrocities in the past with weapons of mass destruction.”

“Based on what we know now, I think everyone agrees…”

“So was it a mistake now?” Wallace interrupted.

“I don’t understand the question you’re asking,” replied Rubio.

The video is a must-see:

Scott Walker also had a similar answer on “Face the Nation.” The Wisconsin governor made the case that “any president, regardless of party, probably would have made a similar decision to what President Bush did at the time with the information he had available.”