Sunday, August 9, 2015

Slow Saturday Special: GOP Campaign Starting to Stink

Started about a week ago:

"GOP hopefuls not embracing climate change; Skepticism could prove costly in general election" by Matt Viser Globe Staff  August 01, 2015

WASHINGTON — Rick Santorum calls climate change “a beautifully concocted scheme.” Senator Ted Cruz contends that no climate change has been recorded in the last 15 years, bluntly declaring, “It hasn’t happened.”

Ben Carson, a renowned neurosurgeon, has said, “We may be warming. We may be cooling.” Former Florida governor Jeb Bush grants that climate change is real, but he is unwilling to say it is caused by humans.

Donald Trump, meanwhile, sees a conspiracy: “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make US manufacturing noncompetitive.”

I think that's a bogus theory whatever is happening out there.

Most of the 17 Republicans running for president are skeptical about climate change caused by humans, a stance that appears to line up with conservative voters who hold sway in the GOP primary contest.

Here is my history. It was the last issue pushed by propaganda pre$$ that I bought into. I was a believer in 2006 when I came to blogging, which is why my "conversion" against -- for a variety of reasons -- was so painful and why I'm so bitter on the issue. 

Some of it is personal experience with the weather; however, the science surrounding it all can be read many ways and its another issue which can be used to divide right now. So I've decided to put it on the back burner and let it cool down while I move on to the issues of wars, wealth inequality, police brutality, and overall AmeriKan tyranny. I hope we can all agree the solution is not a carbon tax underwritten by banks so they can make money literally out of thin air.

But it jeopardizes their chances with the broader swath of voters who will determine the winner of the general election — and Democrats are ready to take advantage of that opportunity.

This is not the issue voters are deciding things upon; it's the economy and the empire, and neither party has any answers.

Hillary Rodham Clinton, the front-runner for the Democratic nomination, is moving rapidly to exploit the Republican opposition by making climate change a central issue in her campaign.

Regardless of your global warming position, one wonders if she spewed more greenhouse gases than Kerry with all the plane rides.

This week, she outlined a new proposal to install enough solar panels to power every home in the country. Clinton knocked Republican candidates who punt on the issue by claiming a lack of expertise.

Jimmy Carter tried that, and you see what happened to him.

“Those people on the other side, they will answer any question about climate change by saying, ‘I’m not a scientist,’ ” she said Sunday in Iowa. “Well, I’m not a scientist either. I’m just a grandmother with two eyes and a brain.”

Still, Clinton has avoided taking a position on the Keystone XL pipeline. She also has remained mum on controversial topics such as fracking, drilling in the Arctic, and oil and gas exports.

And there you go. 

The energy industry has so far donated $1.8 million in the 2016 races, with 82 percent of the money going to Republicans, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

They still play both sides, I promise.

Mainstream scientists say the evidence of global warming is overwhelming. A 2013 report that analyzed scientific papers studying climate change found that 97.1 percent of the studies that took a position on climate change endorsed the idea that humans are causing global warming. 

There is only one problem with those $cientists, and it's the same on the other side regarding industry. 

I was giving this some thought and there could be some validity to the human caused part, if for no other reason than the increase in the amount of paving with asphalt. That is reflecting the heat back, not absorbing it like land would.

Even the Catholic Church is weighing in. Pope Francis in June called for a “revolution” to combat climate change, saying the scientific consensus was clear and that “doomsday predictions can no longer be met with irony or disdain.” His proclamation earned disdain from several Republican candidates, who said they listened to the church on issues of religion, but not ones of politics.

Yeah, I'll be getting to him by early next month for sure. The Church is part of the problem, always has been -- and that was before the pooper-pumping became widely-known. Isn't doomsday kind of good for his business?

Climate is not expected to dominate a 2016 campaign that so far is focused on stagnant middle-class incomes, health care policy, and foreign affairs. But it could be a potent weapon in a state like New Hampshire, a swing state where the pristine mountains and lakes are crucial to the tourist economy.

Anything to get it away from wealth inequality (and the private banking scheme that undergirds it) or the wars the public opposes but which politicians favor.

“Anybody who says science doesn’t support it is going to have a hard time making that case in New Hampshire,” said former three-term US senator Judd Gregg, a Republican who also served as governor.

After the last couple of winters?

“That’s just not going to fly,” he added. “Most Republicans in New Hampshire are very environmentally focused.” 

I'm an independent, yet I have mostly voted in those primary fields, and were I a Repug I'd resent the implication that you don't care about water, soil, and air.

A large independent vote in New Hampshire also tends to tilt the Republican primary contest in a more moderate direction.

“People live in New Hampshire because it’s beautiful,” said Linda Fowler, a political science professor at Dartmouth College. “You’re not going to get the deniers that you might get in other parts of the country because the kind of old Republican, Teddy Roosevelt conservation sentiment is still strong here.”

I usually like to throw back fart-mi$ters when insults are hurled my way, but I'm going to hold my gas for now.

Activists are trying to push climate change into the forefront.

With a big help from the pre$$.

A group of five college-age climate change activists, organized by 350 Action, has opened an office in Manchester, N.H., and has been going to town hall meetings to confront candidates with questions about climate change. The operation costs $50,000, paid for mostly by small-dollar donations from an e-mail blast, according to spokesman Karthik Ganapathy. It is affiliated with, a larger organization dedicated to fighting climate change and opposing the Keystone Pipeline.

Where is the money coming from, and why has talk of solar sort of been dropped? 

I know it's not the answer for indu$try, but..... aaaaaaaah!

While Trump and Cruz are among candidates whose inflammatory rhetoric riles environmentalists, the more moderate Republicans in the race, Bush foremost among them, appear to recognize the dangers of angering general election voters. They contend the science is unsettled, while acknowledging that the climate is changing.

ALWAYS IS! It's not static whatever is happening! 

As you can see, I'm holding back on the inflammatory rhetoric.

“The climate is changing. I don’t think the science is clear on what percentage is man-made and what percentage is natural. It’s convoluted,” Bush said in May during a house party in Bedford, N.H. “And for the people to say the science is decided on this is just really arrogant, to be honest with you. It’s this intellectual arrogance that now you can’t have a conversation about it even.”

Bush, like Senator Marco Rubio, another candidate, hails from Miami, a waterfront city that is expected to be harmed by rising seas. Bush has pushed for “adaptation’’ to guard against coastal flooding.

At least there are not any nuclear plants nearby, right?

“Whether men are doing it or not — in the case of the sea level rising in Miami — is kind of irrelevant,” Bush said.

Advocates for dramatically cutting greenhouse-gas emissions disagree strongly, of course, that the question of human causation is irrelevant.

That's the heart of the argument.

Nearly 58 percent of registered voters said they wanted a candidate who would take action to fight climate changes, and 38 percent said the position is very or extremely important, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll released in April.

In a poll of voters in the crucial swing states of Colorado, Iowa, and Virginia, nearly two-thirds of voters said that climate change is caused by human activity, according to the Quinnipiac University Swing State Poll released on July 23.

But the surveys also show a partisan split, with Republicans tending to question climate change — and potential solutions to combating it — while Democrats embrace it.

I was told it's an age thing.

Earlier this year, the Senate voted on an amendment that stated “climate change is real and human activity significantly contributes to climate change.”

It needs an amendment to affirm it?

Only five Republicans voted in favor. Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina was the only presidential contender who supported the measure; Kentucky’s Rand Paul, Cruz, and Rubio voted against it. (A separate measure took out the word “significantly,” and 15 Republicans backed it. Paul joined in at that point).

“I don’t agree with the notion that some are putting out there, including scientists, that somehow there are actions we can take today that would actually have an impact on what’s happening in our climate,” Rubio told ABC News in May 2014. “Our climate is always changing.”

In addition to Graham and Paul, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, and former New York governor George Pataki have said climate change, at least to some extent, is man-made. Paul is the only one of those leaders from a landlocked state.

“When you have over 90 percent of the world’s scientists who have studied this stating that climate change is occurring and that humans play a contributing role, it’s time to defer to the experts,” Christie said during a 2011 press conference. Christie later said that Hurricane Sandy, which ravaged his home state, had nothing to do with climate change.

We've been doing that for a long time, and it hasn't worked. That is a way of disempowering people. Anyone can trot out an "expert." I get neo-con war-mongers as analysts all the time in the paper.

“When 90 percent of the doctors tell you have a problem, do you listen to the one? At the end of the day, I do believe that the CO2 emission problem all over the world is hurting our environment,” Graham said on CNN last month.

“Here’s a question you need to ask everybody running as a Republican: What is the environmental policy of the Republican Party?” he added. “When I ask that question, I get a blank stare.”

They can actually see me?


"Criticism continues as first GOP debate nears" Washington Post  July 27, 2015

WASHINGTON — The first debate of the Republican presidential race is a week and a half away, but only the 10 candidates ranking highest in polls will be able to take part.

As of now, Donald Trump will stand center stage while Governor John Kasich of Ohio, Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, and former senator Rick Santorum, who won 11 states in the 2012 race, will not even make it on stage.

No sanctuary for Santorum.

That is because of the rules instituted by Fox News for that first debate, to be held Aug. 6 in Cleveland. Only the top 10 in the five most recent national polls will make the cut.

Curt Anderson, a consultant to Jindal’s campaign, calls those rules arbitrary and ridiculous.

‘‘The Republican Party should be looking forward instead of backward — and seeking every opportunity to feature its roster of excellent candidates, rather than trying to find ways to constrict the field,’’ Anderson wrote in an op-ed article in the Wall Street Journal last week. ‘‘The voters will do that, as is their prerogative.’’

Critics of the Fox News rules say voters are paying little attention to the race right now, and that gives candidates who are better known, such as Trump, a leg up in polls. They also say using national surveys to judge a candidate’s relevance is not the best criterion, because the primary and caucus process is conducted state by state.

Keep that in mind.

Supporters of the rules say logistics make it necessary to limit the debate field.

The Cleveland debate will last two hours. After accounting for questions and follow-ups, that leaves just 10 minutes for each of the 10 candidates who make the cut. The number would be reduced to 6 minutes per candidate if 16 people were allowed to participate."

You see how much interest I have in it?

"Small pool of donors lead election giving" by Nicholas Confessore New York Times  August 01, 2015

NEW YORK — Fewer than 400 families are responsible for almost half the money raised in the 2016 presidential campaign, a concentration of political donors that is unprecedented in the modern era.

Let's be honest with each other: it's an oligarchy now.

The vast majority of the $388 million backing presidential candidates this year is being channeled to groups that can accept unlimited contributions in support of candidates from almost any source....

A New York Times analysis of Federal Election Commission reports and Internal Revenue Service records shows that the fund-raising arms race has made most of the presidential hopefuls deeply dependent on a small pool of the richest Americans.

The concentration of donors is greatest on the Republican side, according to the Times’s analysis....

“The question is whether we are in a new Gilded Age or well beyond it — to a Platinum Age,” said Michael J. Malbin, president of the Campaign Finance Institute, which tracks the flow of campaign money.

The intensifying reliance on big money in politics mirrors the concentration of US wealth more broadly.

That is why there is so much money in politics. It's not only buying access, it's buying control.

In an era when a tiny fraction of the country’s population has accumulated a huge proportion of its wealth, the rich have also been empowered by the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision and other regulatory changes to spend more on elections.

“In the donor world, it is primarily a love of economic freedom,” said Chart Westcott, a Dallas private equity investor who has contributed $200,000 to Unintimidated PAC, a group backing Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin. “That’s the biggest drive for most donors — more prosperity for the country as a whole, as well as for themselves.” 

(Blog editor sighs and frowns. $y$tem is broken beyond repair)

At least $13.5 million of the $20 million raised by Walker’s super PAC came from just four donors: the Wisconsin roofing billionaire and union foe Diane Hendricks; the Ricketts family of Nebraska and Illinois; the New York investor Len Blavatnik; and the Uihlein family of Illinois, whose members descend from the founders of the Joseph Schlitz Brewing Co.

Out of the $16 million raised by Conservative Solutions PAC, which is supporting Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, $12.5 million came from just four donors, including Norman Braman, a billionaire auto dealer and longtime patron of Rubio; the tech investor Larry Ellison; and a horse stable owned by the health care executive Benjamin Leon Jr.

I recognized one name.

The super PAC set up by allies of Jeb Bush collected by far the most money, $103 million, given by thousands of donors. But a relatively small number provided the bulk of the money.

Hillary Rodham Clinton’s super PAC, Priorities USA, brought in $15 million, most of it from nine donors giving $1 million each. But Clinton and the other Democratic candidates have raised most of their cash directly to their campaigns, from a much larger number of donors giving relatively smaller checks.

It seems to be the amount that carries more sway with Democrats.


Y'all excited for the debate?

"GOP hopefuls to take center stage this week" by Matt Viser Globe Staff  August 03, 2015

WASHINGTON — A platoon of Republican presidential primary candidates, mired in the confusion of their own historically large pack, will confront a pair of strong opportunities this week to break free of the field.

The first arrives Monday night at a forum in Manchester, N.H., where 14 of the candidates — the largest gathering so far — will take the same stage and answer questions. That is followed by a debate in Cleveland on Thursday, where 10 candidates will spar on national television, giving them the most visible platform yet to try to recast the race.

Both events will be closely watched by the political world, including voters in early primary states, who are looking for answers to big questions that loom over the race.

Can Jeb Bush overcome the baggage of his family name and finally begin to seize the lead the party establishment has been expecting him to grasp? Will Marco Rubio or Scott Walker establish himself as a conservative alternative who could be considered viable in a general election? Or will Donald Trump continue to hog the spotlight and leave rest of the field gasping for oxygen on the media sidelines?

Do I care?

With 17 candidates now in the race, the historically large field has made it increasingly difficult for any single candidate — dynastic, fresh-faced, or bomb-throwing — to stand out.

“This is absolutely a demolition derby,” said John McLaughlin, a Republican pollster who has been in talks with various campaigns but is so far unaffiliated. “We’ve never seen a primary like this.”

Making it even more unpredictable? Trump. In a field loaded with politicians, he doesn’t act, talk, or travel like one. The celebrity businessman best known for braggadocio has injected a free-wheeling, chaotic, and combustible element to the race.

I read a blog this morning that said he met with the Clintons months ago and is actually a plant to destroy Republican chances (not that it matters), and it would fit with the kind of "rough-and-tumble" politics of the Clintons.

“What I’m amazed at is no one has captured a scintilla of a message — except for Trump,” McLaughlin said.

The Saint Anselm College debate Monday night, sponsored by the Manchester Union Leader, will air nationally on CSPAN and in New England on NECN. The event provides a testing ground of sorts before candidates appear together Thursday in Cleveland for a debate sponsored by Fox News.

But heading into the debates, many longtime Republican operatives are scratching their heads. It’s a race unlike many have ever seen before. A party that historically has consolidated around an early front-runner is spending a second election cycle in a row with an open race in which the likeliest nominee is having trouble consolidating support.

The last three competitive Republican presidential primaries — in 2000, 2008, and 2012 — were largely defined by a front-runner, and a pack of others trying to become the alternative. Six months into the 2016 contest, it has been marked more than anything else by its fluidity.

Most analysts have considered Bush the most likely nominee, for all of the structural reasons that typically offer early-predictors of success. He has raised far and away the most money, tapping into a network his family has built around the country and he has nurtured in Florida. He has a resume, disposition, and positions that fit with many in the establishment-minded portion of the party.

(Blog editor snorts and shakes head)

But there is some befuddlement as to why he hasn’t been able to consolidate any lead. Much the way Mitt Romney struggled for months in overcoming doubts about his ability to appeal to the conservative anger coursing through the party, Bush has been unable to demonstrate broad-based support.

Because he doesn't have it.

Fergus Cullen, who hosted a house party at his home in Dover for Bush during his first New Hampshire trip, said there is still skepticism over his last name.

“I think he’s a very good candidate. I just think it’s a fact that people have reservations about another Bush,” he said. “That’s not to say it can’t be overcome. But that’s why he’s not at 25 percent in the polls.”

It won't be overcome here. I will vote for Satan before a Bush, although they seem to be one in the same.

But no one else has managed to catch on either, in part because they haven’t put in some of the required work to cultivate a state that famously likes to meet a candidate several times.

Cullen said he hasn’t seen Rubio on the stump in more than a year — “And I’ve been trying to see him.”

“Walker is just not putting the effort into New Hampshire and people are noticing,” Cullen said. “He’s not spending time here, he hasn’t done a single town hall meeting. His events are staged and more like a photo op than anything. Walker is getting real close to getting into a hole in New Hampshire that he can’t dig himself out of.”

Walker recently called Tom Rath, a veteran New Hampshire Republican operative.

“I got the sense he was determined to get here on a more regular basis,” Rath said. “But looking at the field . . . my view is closing the sale in Iowa is more important. He just needs to be the strongest conservative heading into New Hampshire.”

For Trump, the debates are a chance to try to transform himself from reality TV entertainer — critics would say sideshow barker — to someone voters can envision in the Oval Office. 

Then he didn't help himself the other night.

So far, he has proved masterful at gaining attention, and playing a public relations game that has helped him achieve success in branding hotels and television shows.

“If you ask a slogan, people could name his slogan,” McLaughlin said. “Ask about the other 16 Republicans — What’s their slogan? No one can tell you. Trump is a public relations expert. His job is to sell his name. But when you look at these other candidates, they should be doing better.”

The events this week mark a high-profile venue for candidates, but they might also find it difficult to stand out. Monday’s two-hour, 14-candidate debate — Trump, stung by a Union-Leader editorial criticizing him for saying Senator John S. McCain, Republican of Arizona, was not a hero, is skipping it — is meant as a bit of counterprogramming to the nationalized debate taking place Thursday. That event will restrict the stage to only the candidates polling in the top 10 nationally.

Related: Republican Primaries Go National

But Trump remains the biggest wild card, with candidates unsure of how to approach him — or whether they can possibly try to ignore him.

In the form of a joker.

“Imagine a NASCAR driver mentally preparing for a race knowing one of the drivers will be drunk,” John Weaver, the political strategist for Governor John Kasich of Ohio, said in a tweet last week. “That’s what prepping for this debate is like.”


They only mentioned 5 of the 17 candidates, so you know won't be winning the nomination, right?

"Minus Trump, GOP hopefuls test their appeal at N.H. forum" by Matt Viser Globe Staff  August 04, 2015

GOFFSTOWN, N.H. — The top-polling candidate across the country and in New Hampshire, casino and real estate mogul Donald Trump, skipped the forum, and no one even mentioned his name or the outsize influence he has had on the race.

Instead, this was a night for the rest of the field, with a scattershot debate format and a blizzard of issues that prevented any of the 14 participants from really standing out. Former governor Jeb Bush of Florida appeared content to play it safe, as well as nice, praising the quality of his primary opponents. Lesser-known candidates knew they were being seen by many TV viewers for the first time and used their fleeting moments on stage to simply make a good impression.

Predictably, President Obama’s Affordable Care Act was a big target during the evening. Nearly everyone on the stage also spoke out against illegal immigration, at times using the coarse language that has caused the Republican Party problems among Hispanic voters, arguing that any effort to overhaul the nation’s laws must start with securing the borders.

“It’s like a serious wound, you want to staunch the flow — and that’s not what’s happening right now,” said Rick Perry, the former governor of Texas. For anyone overstaying visas, Perry said, “You go find ’em, you pick ’em up, and you send ’em back where they’re from.”

Governor John Kasich of Ohio said that “law-abiding, God-fearing” immigrants should pay a penalty and wait for legal status, but those who break the law “have to be deported or put in prison.”

That's a popular point of view. 

The forum marked a new, more focused phase of the campaign as the candidates emerge from months of fund-raising and small-scale events and begin trying to appeal to a wider swath of the Republican primary electorate.

Tops on the agenda for at least half of the candidates: proving they deserve to be taken seriously after Labor Day, when voters will begin to tune in more closely and the pressure from campaign contributors to show a chance of winning will increase exponentially.

The “Voters First Presidential Forum” was in many ways an antidote to the much larger stage where the top 10 candidates will appear Thursday in Cleveland. Sponsors of Monday’s forum — including the New Hampshire Union Leader and NECN — have been trying to put a more local stamp on a campaign that has increasingly become nationalized, and one that benefits the better-funded, more well-known candidates.

But with 14 candidates fighting for time during a two-hour debate, it became at times a rollicking, political version of speed dating, with each candidate trying to cram as many words as possible into their allotted time. An ability to speak extremely rapidly and clearly, without stumbling, was required. In that regard, former technology chief executive Carly Fiorina, the only woman in the GOP race, displayed solid command.

But many times other candidates, just as they began gaining some traction, would see their time expire, and moderator Jack Heath of WGIR radio cut them off. They were then forced to walk off the stage as the next candidate shuffled on.

Still, the forum Monday night may prove to be calmer than the one coming up on Thursday, when Trump will be back in the spotlight. Trump has surged to the top of most polls, to the dismay of a Republican establishment that is wary of a celebrity businessman who operates outside of almost all conventional political norms.

Trump snubbed the New Hampshire forum after the New Hampshire Union Leader, one of the debate sponsors, ran an editorial slamming him for saying Senator John McCain, the party’s 2008 nominee, was not a war hero. Aside from Trump, only Mike Huckabee and Jim Gilmore, who just announced his candidacy, were the only ones not to attend.

With only 10 slots available for the highest-polling candidates at the Fox debate in Cleveland, Monday gave an opportunity to candidates who might not be on that stage. Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina earned one of the warmest receptions and generated the most laughter in the room. Fiorina, the former chief executive of Hewlett-Packard, rattled off a list of world leaders that she knows personally and displayed strong command of Mideast geography.

“I started out as a secretary. . . . and went on to lead the largest technology company in the world, and now I’m running for the presidency,” she said. “My story is only possible in America. But our nation is at a pivotal time.”

So far she is my pick.

Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky called on his party to do more to attract minorities (“We need a new GOP”) while Senator Ted Cruz urged it to do more to repeal Obama’s health care law (“If I am president, we will repeal every word of Obamacare”).

Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey said more needs to be done to combat drug addiction, and said that nonviolent offenders should get medical help, not jail time.

“This is a disease,” he said. “The war on drugs has been a failure — well-intentioned, but a failure.”

I've seen enough.

All of the candidates who were asked said they would defund Planned Parenthood, and no one spoke in favor of the Iran deal.

Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin criticized Obama’s plan to fight carbon emissions, saying it was unfriendly to businesses and would amount to “a buzz saw to the nation’s economy.” Walker did not answer a question about whether he believes climate change is caused by humans, but said instead that he was an Eagle Scout who learned to leave the campsite better than he found it.

“I want to balance the sustainable environment with a sustainable economy,” he said.

The stench still lingers.

Most Republican activists and operatives say the primary so far has been unlike any they have ever seen, with a large, sprawling, and unpredictable field of candidates all fighting for attention.

Although most analysts have considered Bush the most likely nominee, he has struggled to fully motivate early voters and has been beset by continued concerns over whether the country could support a third Bush presidency.

The “fresh face” is Walker.


Several senators remained back in Washington, caught in a debate over whether the Senate will take up a bill to defund Planned Parenthood. It created the odd scenario where the trio — Cruz, Rubio, and Paul — appeared on big-screen televisions on the stage.

They are all out now.

Graham, a South Carolina Republican who plans to stake much of his candidacy on New Hampshire, showed up and brought some of the strongest language against Clinton by claiming he was “fluent in Clinton speak.”

“When Bill says, ‘I didn’t have sex with that woman,’ he did,” Graham said. “When she says, ‘I’ll tell you about the [Keystone] Pipeline when I’m president,’ she won’t.”

That won't be a problem with Lindsey.

“I understand this crowd, and I can beat them,” he added. “And if we can’t beat them, it doesn’t matter.”

They were more "zingers, jokes, and leadership" if care to know.


I see a token black, woman, gay, Asian, and one guy with glasses. Can you spot them?

RelatedLineup finalized for Republican Fox News debate

No Rick Perry on stage?

"In debates, nonverbal cues can hurt presidential candidates; Often speak volumes to voters" by Akilah Johnson Globe Staff  August 06, 2015

In the final minutes of the forum, Jeb Bush flubbed.


He told the audience that his dad, President George H.W. Bush, was “probably the most perfect man alive,” eliciting laughter.

Puke rose up in me.

Then he started stammering as he talked about a T-shirt at a “Jeb swag store” that says, “My dad’s the greatest man alive. If you don’t like it, I’ll take you outside.”

Ready to fight, 'eh? How long before he's gotten us into another war if he becomes president

He fidgeted with his tie while he searched for words, but voters Monday night said they saw a camaraderie among the candidates, who avoided directly insulting each other and displayed a respectable kinship.

“It’s just a real shame for the country not to see what we saw here tonight,” Shawn Jasper, speaker of the New Hampshire House of Representatives, said as he left Monday night’s forum. “This idea that ‘we don’t have enough time; we can’t be patient enough.’ It’s just ridiculous. We’re choosing the president of the United States. This isn’t a TV show that has to be done within an hour.”

Actually, it is. It's political theater for the masses.

Jasper’s wife, Laurie, said she saw a camaraderie among the candidates that was well appreciated. From their seats inside the auditorium, they could see the candidates as they walked back to their seats.

“They were actually shaking hands and saying ‘good job,’ patting each other. That was really nice to see,” she said. “And, there was no bashing tonight.”

The question becomes: How long does that last?


Christie and Fiorina looked drowsy at points.

RelatedWhen candidates put on their best faces

Make up won't help Trump!

"Leading in polls, defiant Trump takes center stage in GOP debate; Only debator who won’t commit to backing Republican nominee" by Matt Viser Globe Staff  August 07, 2015

CLEVELAND — The debate marked a turning point in the presidential campaign, offering the candidates the broadest platform yet to begin trying to display their qualifications for the White House.

Many Americans were tuning into the race for the first time, getting the chance to judge the candidates on style and demeanor and take stock of a historically large field — 10 men, including one African-American, and two Cuban-Americans — who represent the best, at least according to the latest polls, the Republican Party has to offer for a White House bid.

I didn't watch it; what little I saw was on CBS Up to the Minute overnight when I woke up around 2 a.m. the next morning.

Seven hopefuls who did not poll strongly enough to make it into the top tier participated in a debate earlier. The only woman in the 17-candidate primary free-for-all, former Hewlett-Packard Co. chief executive Carly Fiorina, shined in the early debate.

SeeCarly Fiorina shines, sort of, at the JV debate

Maybe she will make the varsity for the next one (although there is already talk of making her the VP nominee).

In the main event, former Florida governor Jeb Bush, who hasn’t appeared in a debate since his gubernatorial reelection campaign in 2002, tried to stay out of the controversy in the debate’s opening moments.


In the earlier debate -- which some had compared to being at the kiddie table for Thanksgiving dinner -- Fiorina emerged as a forceful contender who criticized Trump's connections to the Clintons, sharply spoke out against the deal with Iran, and listed all the world leaders she knows.

"Hillary Clinton lies about Benghazi, she lies about e-mails. She is still defending Planned Parenthood, and she is still her party's front-runner, said Fiorina. "We need a nominee who is going to throw every punch, not pull punches, and someone who cannot stumble before he even gets into the ring."

The Clinton campaign must have called and said get that off the website, and Carly has to say that about Iran to get the nomination.


RelatedDonald Trump falters, Carly Fiorina rises

The conversation will change quickly, I'm told, and there is a different smell in the air:

"Donald Trump misfired, N.H. GOP women say" by James Pindell Globe Staff  August 07, 2015

Two of New Hampshire’s top Republicans, both of them women with significant political experience, sharply criticized New York businessman Donald Trump on Friday for his words about women, in the aftermath of the first Republican presidential debate.

Their criticism stemmed from Trump’s comments in the first few minutes of Thursday’s program during an exchange with Fox News debate moderator Megyn Kelly over his past statements about women.

Kelly confronted Trump for previously calling “women you don’t like ‘fat pigs, dogs, slobs, and disgusting animals.’ ”

Trump first tried to deflect the question (“Only Rosie O’Donnell,” he quipped), and then took aim at Kelly herself during the debate and afterward via Twitter, where his account retweeted messages slamming Kelly, including one calling her a “bimbo.”

Okay. That term has been tossed about regarding all the pretty Fox anchors. I have to admit I've watched Kelly once or twice. She seemed okay even if she was grinding the Fox axe. 

In New Hampshire, home to the nation’s earliest presidential primary, the state’s leading Republican women called Trump’s comments improper.

“I don’t think women in New Hampshire will appreciate them,” said US Senator Kelly Ayotte. 

Lot of women won't, and here we are again on a divisive side issue to a certain degree. 


It’s unclear whether Trump’s comments about women and his treatment of Kelly will affect his front-runner status nationwide or in the first-in-the-nation primary. So far in his campaign, he’s made disparaging remarks about immigrants and Republican US Senator John McCain’s military service, only to watch his poll numbers rise.

It's the real-life Campaign!

Fran Wendelboe, a longtime New Hampshire Republican official who has had regular contact with Trump’s operation for years, predicted his comments about women will hurt his campaign and hurt the GOP.

“He is saying these things at a time when the Republican Party has an opportunity to reach out to women in 2016,” Wendelboe said.

“There is no doubt in my mind that this is going to turn people off,” she said. “But then again, I thought that about his comment that McCain not being a war hero, and I was wrong.”

But if Trump’s words reverberate anywhere, it may well be in New Hampshire, a state with a long history of electing women to prominent roles in public life — and a state where Trump has based much of his presidential campaign.

New Hampshire was the first state to be represented in Congress entirely by women. Today, the state’s governor, both US senators, a US House member, and the chief justice of the state Supreme Court are all women. What’s more, women make up roughly 30 percent of the 424-member Legislature (and in 2008, voters elected the first female-majority state Senate in the country).

And all we have down here in deep blue Massachusetts(?) is a U.S. senator and state AG.

Donna Sytek, who was the first woman to be speaker of the New Hampshire House, said she doesn’t think that Trump’s comments are a reflection of the Republican Party.

“It is part of Trump being Trump. He is trying to be outrageous, and he succeeded,” said Sytek, who is unaffiliated in the race. “I think that anyone watching the debate wouldn’t confuse him as standard bearer of the Republican Party.”

Carly Fiorina, the only Republican woman running for president, and who has devoted much of her campaign to New Hampshire, tweeted Friday night “There. Is. No. Excuse.” after Trump continued his attacks on Kelly during a CNN appearance that evening.

Appealing to women voters is of particular concern to Republicans in 2016. In 2012, President Obama benefited from the largest gender gap in a presidential election in 60 years: 20 points, according to Gallup.

And now it will be opening wide for Hillary (if she gets the nod).

Republican Mitt Romney’s trouble was blamed partly on his clumsy language about women’s issues, including, in a debate, boasting about the “binders full of women” from which he filled key state positions when he was governor of Massachusetts. 

Looking back now, Romney would have been the perfect president: a corporate CEO for a corporate government. And it would have been fun watching him try to get immigration reform through Congre$$.

According to recent polling of the Granite State, Trump enjoys higher marks from men than women in the Republican Party — not uncommon among the GOP field.

Yeah, the Republican Party is sexist.


Perhaps more concerning for Trump, however, is the portion of women who said they would not support him: 35 percent. It’s the highest rate of any Republican in the field, according to the WMUR poll.

I wouldn't worry. He won't be the nominee. Machines will take care of it, and it will be blamed on no ground support despite the money.

His confrontation with Megyn Kelly started early in Thursday night’s debate in Cleveland.

Yeah, I was surprised at how the corporate media went right after him. Didn't try to hide it or be subtle at all.

The crowd laughed at Trump’s Rosie O’Donnell line, but Kelly responded with a list of disparaging remarks he had made regarding several other women.

What I like about Rosie is her getting booted off "The View" because she had the temerity to mention the odd anomalies around WTC 7 regarding 9/11.

Trump chalked up his choice of words to “kidding” before taking a swing at Kelly.

“And honestly Megyn, if you don’t like it, I’m sorry,” he said. “I’ve been very nice to you, although I could probably maybe not be, based on the way you have treated me. But I wouldn’t do that.”

He is an arrogant f***!

The on-screen exchange is the material of future campaign advertisements, according to Dianne Bystrom, director of the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics at Iowa State University.

“PACs promoting Democratic and progressive issues are likely to run anti-Trump ads featuring his antiwoman comments,” said Bystrom. “If Trump becomes the Republican presidential nominee, it is also likely that his Democratic opponent and the Democratic Party could use these remarks against him.”


Hey, ladies, it's a man's world.

"Debate becomes reality TV and sets new ratings record" by Matt Viser Globe Staff  August 07, 2015

CLEVELAND — The debate shattered records for all previous presidential primary debates, even rivaling the audience for “Sunday Night Football.” Some 16 percent of all American households with a television tuned in, achieving ratings nearly double the previous record-holder.

And just above the pre$$ was telling us voters don't care yet.

An estimated 24 million people watched the debate, three times more than watched the highest-rated GOP primary debate during the 2012 contest.

Welcome to Donald Trump’s Republican Primary Show.

Or the country has reached a critical stage and the populace is attuned.

The debate — a setting that is normally polished with a veneer voters come to expect of a format befitting the presidency — was instead a guilty pleasure to watch. It was the full reality TV-ification of politics, injected with a man who would do and say anything to a group of politicians typically poll-driven and focus-group tested.

Trump has already had a whole array of effects, large and small, on the presidential race, and that became evident at the debate. Candidates have fought to gain attention in odd ways in campaign videos, from US Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina destroying his cellphone in a dozen ways (after Trump revealed his cellphone number) to US Senator Ted Cruz of Texas cooking bacon on the barrel of a machine gun.

Normally after debates, candidates are reluctant to appear in the spin room, the place where campaign aides and other surrogates do the undignified work of convincing the media that their candidate won.

But on Thursday night, most candidates themselves appeared in the spin room, eager for any oxygen in a race where Trump is sucking all of it up.

“From what I understand, Twitter’s kind of blown up around me tonight,” Governor John Kasich of Ohio noted.

Asked to judge his performance, Mike Huckabee sighed and smiled, saying, “I came out alive.” Then, asked to judge Trump’s performance, the former Arkansas governor gave him high marks, as if he were the assigned surrogate to promote Trump.

“People have underestimated Donald Trump . . . as a political force in this country,” Huckabee said.

Then Trump himself — who had just released a statement saying, “I am very proud of my great performance tonight. I am not a debater, but I am a winner” — emerged. Just like in the race itself, a horde of reporters left anyone else they were talking to and gathered around Trump to listen to him complain about how tough the moderators were on him.

“The questions to me were NOT nice,” Trump said, directing his ire at moderator Megyn Kelly. “I don’t think they were appropriate. I thought Megyn — I think Megyn behaved very badly.”

When he was finished, he barreled forward, with cameramen falling down in the chaos, and left.

But there are still 17 Republican candidates in the race, and it’s an open question as to how and when the historically large field will winnow. Fox News moderators aggressively pushed some of the lower-tier candidates to justify themselves, and why they are still even in the race.

Carly Fiorina, the former Hewlett-Packard chief executive, emerged clearly benefiting, with rave reviews of her performance in the first debate, a forum featuring seven lower-polling candidates that was held before the larger evening event. She’s likely to now get more attention, and could use that to gain more traction.

Jeb Bush had one of the performances like Mitt Romney often did in the 2012 presidential primary debates: solid and polished, but mostly just benefiting by not faltering or committing a gaffe. He left Cleveland as he came, still one of the strongest contenders for the nomination.

Senator Marco Rubio displayed his charisma and charm, and continued laying out a generational argument that it’s time for new leadership (read: no more Clinton or Bush). Kasich, who barely made it into the debate, continues to improve and impress.

Senator Rand Paul seemed to struggle, and appeared at times to be overly eager.


The reviews of Trump were mixed. Surveys by Time magazine and the Drudge Report found that Trump was the overwhelming favorite. And Google Trends found that Trump was the most-searched candidate during the debate.

But a focus group convened by Republican consultant Frank Luntz found that Trump turned off voters with his performance.

“He just crashed and burned,” one participant said. “He just let me down,” said another. “I was repulsed by him,” answered a third.

Trump’s response? He went on Twitter and called Luntz “a low class slob.”

How you like the popcorn?

One of the most memorable moments of the debate was the first one. The moderators asked the candidates to raise their hands if they could not agree to support the eventual nominee and rule out a third-party candidacy for themselves.

Initially, the stage was silent, and it appeared as though Trump were mulling what to do. Then his hand popped up.

It could hurt him. But many supporters seem to like him because he doesn’t play by the traditional rules, and he won’t pledge fealty to party bosses....

That's why I sort of liked the dust-up he was providing.


The post-debate analysis:

"Trump’s crude gibe fuels calls in GOP for exit, apology; Fears grow of lasting damage to party’s image" by Matt Viser and Annie Linskey Globe Staff  August 08, 2015

WASHINGTON — Republicans across the party’s wide political spectrum, increasingly worried about the GOP’s ability to appeal to women voters, pointedly criticized Donald Trump on Saturday for comments that appeared to suggest Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly questioned him forcefully during Thursday’s debate because she was menstruating.

Did he really imply that?

Even in today’s rough and tumble politics, where a premium is placed on extreme language and biting discourse, some saw Trump’s latest rhetorical fusillade as vaulting past tolerable limits, even for a candidate who says he doesn’t have the time or inclination to be politically correct.

Rivals for the Republican presidential nomination and other party figures said he should apologize, or even withdraw from the race.

Erick Erickson, the organizer of a large conservative gathering in Atlanta, canceled Trump’s speaking engagement there on Saturday, bringing about a bitter back and forth with Trump. The only woman running for the party’s nomination, Carly Fiorina, said she stood by Kelly and wrote pointedly on Twitter: “Mr. Trump: There. Is. No Excuse.”

Senator Lindsey Graham was even more forceful, saying that Trump was spreading “hate speech,” and that the very future of conservatism would be at stake if his rhetoric is not forcefully rejected.

Hyperbole knows no bounds when it comes to the muzzle of political correctness.

“This is a moment for the party,” Graham, a South Carolina Republican also in the race, said in an interview. “We need to stand up to him. He’s like an extortionist trying to hold everybody hostage, and we cannot be intimidated by this.

“He’s a bully. Like any other bully he only goes down when people stand up to him,” he added. “It’s time to disassociate and create a bright line. When one politician attacks another, that’s just part of life. But this isn’t political discourse. This is hate speech . . . this is demonizing people, and degrading women.”

The Zionist mouthpiece and pimp for Israel had the gall to say that!

The swift reaction from Republicans came after Trump, in an interview with CNN on Friday night, complained about Kelly’s questioning of him during the previous night’s debate.

“You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes — blood coming out of her wherever,” he said.

Ooooh. Gross.

Trump later tried to clarify, saying he meant blood was perhaps coming out of her nose, and saying “only a deviant would think anything else.”

Don, don't try to throw the onus back on others.

But several hours after Trump’s comment, Erickson, who runs an influential conservative group that was sponsoring the gathering in Atlanta where many GOP candidates would be speaking, said he had disinvited the New York businessman.

Erickson, who has his own history of comments he’s been forced to apologize for, said he has admired Trump’s bluntness, and how he connected with “so much of the anger in the Republican base.

“But there are even lines blunt talkers and unprofessional politicians should not cross,” Erickson stated. “Decency is one of those lines.

But the elite pedophile rings many of them frequent, that's okay.

“I just don’t want someone on stage who gets a hostile question from a lady and his first inclination is to imply it was hormonal,” he added. “It was just wrong.”

Erickson invited Kelly to speak in place of Trump, but it did not appear she would do so.

As of late Saturday afternoon, Trump had offered no apology. Instead, he attacked Erickson for canceling on him.

“Not only is Erick a total loser, he has a history of supporting establishment losers in failed campaigns, so it is an honor to be uninvited from his event,” he said in a statement.

It was the third time over the past several weeks in which Trump found himself under heated criticism from his rivals for a comment many regarded as out of bounds. First he called illegal immigrants from Mexico “criminals, drug dealers, rapists,” and a week later said that Arizona Senator John McCain, a POW during the Vietnam War, was not a hero.

None of the previous comments seemed to do him any damage — confounding most political observers, his standing only improved as he rose in the polls and solidified his front-runner status — but this time could be different, some speculate. Trump is attacking a female Fox News anchor who is extraordinarily popular among conservatives and who has topped the rating charts.

Yeah, he will likely lose some possible votes over this.

“I suspect that it is going to hurt him, but since none of us seem to understand what the Trump phenomenon really is, it is hard to know,” former House speaker Newt Gingrich said in an interview. “Clearly his latest comments were so over the top that they require some apology,” he added.

Jeb Bush, a former Florida governor and a rival for the party’s nomination, called on Trump to apologize.

“Come on. Give me a break. I mean, do we want to win? Do we want to insult 53 percent of all voters?” Bush said from the RedState gathering in Atlanta, where Trump had been scheduled to speak. “What Donald Trump said is wrong. That is not how we win elections, and worse yet that is not how you bring people together to solve problems.”

He seems more concerned about the repercussions for his chances than the comment itself.

Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky called Trump’s statements “inappropriate and offensive,” while fellow GOP hopeful Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin said he agreed with Fiorina: “There’s no excuse for Trump’s comments.”

Rupert Murdoch, the Fox network’s owner, defended its performance hosting the debate, saying early Saturday that the questions, including those from Kelly, were fair.

“Fine journalism, no more, no less,” Murdoch wrote on Twitter. “Friend Donald has to learn this is public life.”

While Trump appeared unbowed, the reverberation of comments appeared to roil his campaign. Trump announced on Saturday that he was firing his top adviser, Roger Stone.

Stone disputed that, writing on Twitter that Trump didn’t fire him, “I fired Trump.”

He said he disagreed with the “diversion to food fight” with Kelly instead of talking about “core issue messages.”

Trump has been a huge benefit to Republicans in some ways, bringing an unprecedented amount of attention to the first presidential primary debate last week.

Some 24 million Americans tuned in to watch, more than most big-time sporting events, demonstrating a clear curiosity about Trump’s campaign but also giving the other candidates an opportunity to showcase their own views.

But Trump could also prove a damaging force for a party that has been trying to broaden its appeal, particularly among women and Hispanics.

After the GOP suffered devastating losses in 2012, party leaders put together a memo intended to improve the brand in key demographics where it lost ground to Democrats.

The report identified a “growing unrest” among even Republican women that the party has a “negative image.” The GOP memo listed 10 ways to improve its standing, including “developing a forward-leaning vision for voting Republican that appeals to women.”

“Women are not a ‘coalition,’ ” it stated. “They represent more than half the voting population in the country, and our inability to win their votes is losing us elections.”


Well, he already received his mulligan so....

"Trump lawyer, citing emotions, apologizes for rape comment" Associated Press  July 29, 2015

NEWARK — An attorney for Republican presidential contender Donald Trump apologized Tuesday for making the incorrect assertion that ‘‘by the very definition, you can’t rape your spouse.’’

(Blog editor shakes head)

In a story published Monday night by the Daily Beast website, attorney Michael Cohen was quoted as threatening a reporter with legal action over a story looking into decades-old allegations reportedly made by Trump’s first wife, Ivana Trump, during their divorce proceedings.

That could damage his campaign even more.

‘‘I will come after your Daily Beast and everybody else that you possibly know,’’ Cohen was quoted as saying by the website, advising the reporter with whom he was speaking to tread very lightly or risk ‘‘disgusting’’ consequences.

Not the kind of vindictive attitude I want in an administration, but they all seem to come with it. Bush outs Plame, Obama prosecutes whistleblowers.

Cohen, whose e-mail signature identifies him as ‘‘executive vice president and special counsel’’ to the businessman and reality TV star, was answering questions about Ivana Trump using the word ‘‘rape’’ in a deposition to describe a 1989 sexual encounter with Donald Trump, which was first described in the 1993 book ‘‘Lost Tycoon: The Many Lives of Donald J. Trump.’’

In a statement, Cohen apologized for his comments.

‘‘As an attorney, husband, and father there are many injustices that offend me but nothing more than charges of rape or racism. They hit me at my core,’’ Cohen said.

‘‘Rarely am I surprised by the press, but the gall of this particular reporter to make such a reprehensible and false allegation against Mr. Trump truly stunned me. In my moment of shock and anger, I made an inarticulate comment — which I do not believe — and which I apologize for entirely.’’

Trump’s campaign also released a statement from Ivana Trump calling the story ‘‘totally without merit.’’

‘‘Donald and I are the best of friends and together have raised three children that we love and are very proud of. I have nothing but fondness for Donald and wish him the best of luck on his campaign,’’ she said."

See? No women problems.

"Donald Trump fires adviser over racially charged Facebook posts" by Lisa Lerer Associated Press  August 03, 2015

WASHINGTON — Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has fired a campaign aide after racially charged Facebook posts surfaced on the aide’s account.


The Trump campaign said Sunday that longtime aide Sam Nunberg was fired.

WTF? What is it with supremacist Jews and the Trump campaign?

The website Business Insider reported the posts Friday. They included a racist slur to describe the Rev. Al Sharpton’s daughter and references to President Obama as a ‘‘Socialist Marxist Islamo Fascist Nazi Appeaser’’ and former governor Mike Huckabee of Arkansas as ‘‘Huckahick.’’

Well, at least he is an equal opportunity hater.

Nunberg told the website he was shocked and didn’t recall writing the messages.

Nunberg has spent years working for Trump’s organization and has been fired before, in 2014 when BuzzFeed published an unflattering profile of Trump.

Trump’s lawyer apologized recently for making what he called an inarticulate comment about spousal rape to the Daily Beast.

In an interview Sunday, Trump said he's waiting to see how the Republican National Committee treats him before ruling out a third-party run. “If I am not treated fairly by the Republican Party, I very well might consider that,” Trump said on ABC’s “This Week.’’

The comment came in response to a call last week by GOP chairman Reince Priebus for Republican candidates to pledge not to run as third-party candidates if they do not get the nomination."

Maybe if he wrote a letter of apology:

"2001 letter shows common politics between Bushes; Jeb offered older brother advice on presidential path" by Matt Viser Globe Staff  August 03, 2015

Just two days after George W. Bush was sworn in as president in 2001, he received a “Dear George’’ letter from his younger brother, Jeb, the Florida governor, who did not even bother congratulating the new White House resident on his inauguration.

Instead, the governor offered nine wonky pages of detailed advice on how to use the power of the Oval Office to revitalize American federalism, saying the new president had an opportunity to build “a new bond of trust with state governments.’’

The prose is mired in bureaucratic detail, but the letter, which resurfaced Monday, nonetheless marks a revealing moment in the political relationship between two brothers from a dynastic Republican family. The pair has maintained a sibling rivalry, which has sometimes burst into public view, but on this occasion Jeb Bush emphasized their shared philosophy of smaller government, even if he at times took a lecturing tone.

“It is my hope . . . to advance suggestions that might help you in the presidency,’’ Jeb Bush wrote. He concluded, with a wink to their shared blood tie, “Your experience in Texas, your background in government and business, and of course, your fine family upbringing, makes you and your administration uniquely qualified to improve relations with the states.’’

The presidential campaign of Jeb Bush provided a copy of the letter to the Globe on Monday after the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum refused to release it along with a batch of other correspondence. The letter was among several hundred pages of records that were kept confidential after a public records request by the Globe in March.

The library said release of the Jan. 22, 2001, letter from the Florida governor to the president “would disclose confidential advice between the president and his advisers.”

Its relatively benign contents show how broadly officials, who are custodians of the collection at the Dallas presidential library, are interpreting the exemption from public records. (Florida newspapers quoted from the letter in 2001, when it apparently was first made public by the governor’s administration.)

Of 598 pages of documents in a batch Monday, 404 were partially or fully withheld, with the library citing various reasons. Most commonly, they said the documents were “private advice,” or that the release of the documents would “constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.” Two pages were withheld because they were said to contain classified information.

The 2001 letter offers a detailed glimpse at how the Florida governor viewed the federal government as intrusive, and his hope that his brother’s Republican administration would reverse the trend.

Quoting Henry Clay, Bush urged his brother to follow 12 steps that he said would help “rebalance’’ Washington’s relationship with the 50 states. He urges his brother to relax federal oversight of environmental affairs (a big issue in Florida), butt out of local law enforcement standards, and allow states to innovate by placing fewer strings on the flow of federal money.

“State governments are the seedbeds of innovation and experiment, not the docile wards of a bureaucracy far from home,” he wrote.

Jeb Bush’s last name — and his relationship with his brother — has been one of the enduring issues during his presidential campaign. He has said he loves his brother and his father, and is proud of his heritage, but questions remain over whether voters will warm to the idea of a third Bush presidency.

The idea freezes me.

The Globe reported in March on other public documents between the two brothers — about a back-and-forth over natural disaster declarations. The records showed that the president rejected his younger brother’s requests for disaster relief at a greater rate than the national average.

They whacked it out of the Bushes.

Some of the documents are mundane tasks: Jeb Bush at one point passed along a message from Rocky Flash, a New Jersey Republican who wanted to personally meet President Bush to talk about a bill he had written regarding drunken driving (Flash in 2009 said he was a vampire, and lived by vampire law, and was convicted of threatening to torture and kill a judge in Indiana).

What drugs was he on?

Jeb Bush wrote to his brother expressing support for a pilot program for seniors’ farmers markets, saying that 1,250 Florida seniors were getting $20 per month in coupons redeemable at local farmers markets.

“I appreciate your consideration of this fruitful program for Florida’s low-income seniors and small farmers,” Jeb Bush wrote.

There is a signed copy of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan Assurance of Projects Benefits Agreement, a $7.8 billion plan to restore the Everglades and one that Jeb Bush had urged his brother to support in the letter he wrote him just after the inauguration. The final document was signed by both brothers.

And there was some room for humor in August 2001....

Just before, you know, the memos warning about bin laden wanting to attack inside the United States.


I'm sorry. I have a hard time laughing given all the death and destruction caused by that corrupt crime family.

Says he is going to model his presidency after Polk.

Speaking of political families:

"Rand Paul defends campaign during N.H. swing" by James Pindell Globe Staff  July 29, 2015

WEST LEBANON, N.H. — Senator Rand Paul has been called “the most interesting man in politics” by Time magazine. As late as last fall, many Republicans viewed him as the front-runner for the Republican nomination for president in 2016. In New Hampshire, especially, he was expected to build on his father’s second-place success in the first-in-the-nation primary.

But so far, the Kentuckian’s presidential campaign is faltering. This summer, the most interesting man in politics is Donald Trump, who also leads national GOP polls. The same surveys show Paul sliding to the middle of the pack in New Hampshire and even further nationally. He’s visited the Granite State — a key early nominating contest for him — only twice since May.

Related: Rand Paul and the Rest of the Republican Also-Rans 

He never had my vote.

“For a few months there, he was one of the most shiny objects in American politics,” said Al Cross, a former political journalist who now teaches at the University of Kentucky. “He is a creature of the new. He presented himself as a someone was outside of the box and going to run his campaign in a different way. Now there are all these other candidates who all making that same argument and some doing it better.”

Paul’s impatience is starting to show. In front of about 150 people in a West Lebanon library meeting room on Saturday, Paul did not seem to be in the mood to charm the crowd like many of his rivals during their Granite State jaunts. When the first questioner prompted him about climate change, he told the man to “sit down, I don’t need to hear any more lectures.”

Back where we started, pfft!

He took three more questions before moving on with his six-town swing through northern New Hampshire. During an afternoon interview in the Warren gazebo, Paul chalked up his sliding poll position to the large GOP field. Sixteen Republicans have announced they will seek the White House in 2016.

“Obviously, everybody’s numbers come down when you divide it many different ways, but we have consistently been in the top tier here in New Hampshire,” he said. “We have a great campaign organization, and we are going to do everything we can do win.”

Did you rig the machines?

In October, national polls showed Paul received support from 13.5 percent of Republicans, according to an average from Real Clear Politics. In July, an average of similar surveys showed Paul with support from 5.7 percent of Republicans.

Among New Hampshire Republicans, a Bloomberg Politics/Saint Anselm poll from November showed Paul tied for first place with 16 percent among Republicans polled. On Tuesday, a Monmouth University survey showed him tied for sixth place with 5 percent.

Paul’s fund-raising is also lackluster.

That is an even more worrying sign.

Paul’s campaign and his super PAC raised among the least of the major contenders for president. For example, the main super PAC backing Paul raised $3.1 million. During the same time period, the super PAC for former Florida governor Jeb Bush brought in more than $103 million.

What’s more, Paul’s campaign operation is suffering from infighting and low morale, according to a Tuesday report from Politico. During an April event in New Hampshire, Paul’s campaign manager got into a physical altercation with his bodyguard, per the report.

But perhaps most concerning for Paul, the issues that are driving the primary — terrorism, immigration, and the economy — are not in his policy wheelhouse.

Paul built his libertarian candidacy on a non-interventionist foreign policy and crusading against the National Security Agency overreach.

And his campaign is getting nowhere, huh?


One of Paul’s key supporters in the state, Newmarket Councilor Phil Nazzaro, predicted Paul would be the candidate talking about serious issues this fall.

“If you watch him campaign, he has a serious tone; he is not blustering,” Nazzaro said. “When people start to pay attention to the content and not just the showmanship of the candidate, he will rise again.”

Paul and his aides stress the campaign season is long and that there will be different front-runners throughout the primary. They say they are playing the long game. His campaign has been organizing in overlooked caucus states and already begun the process of calling through voter lists.

“What you are seeing right now in the polls is the media giving about a billion in free publicity to one particular candidate,” Paul said. “If the media decides they want to give me a billion in free publicity, I would welcome it at any time.”

He thinks the “Live-Free-or-Die attitude, the leave-me-alone attitude resonates.” 


Where is Nixon when you need him, huh?


"Trump defends record on women amid GOP flak; Rivals seek ways to cut his effect on their campaigns" by Jill Colvin Associated Press  August 10, 2015

WASHINGTON — Donald Trump doesn’t appear to be going away any time soon, so his rivals are scrambling to figure out how best to handle the effects of every new bout of bluster drowning out their campaigns.

Lead the charge, if you’re the sole woman in the Republicans’ White House race and trying to crack the top tier for the next debate, by questioning Trump’s ability to withstand the pressure of the presidency.

Belittle Trump’s assertion that he is a truth-teller by arguing that self-promotion is the billionaire’s guiding philosophy.

Warn that Trump’s controversial comments about women endanger the party’s standing with a group that makes up the majority of voters.

Or simply plead for the incessant Trump questioning to cease so that other candidates can get on with the business of why they’re running.

These are the varied approaches of the other 16 Republican candidates fighting for attention and breathing room in a primary field eclipsed by Trump.

On Sunday, he was back, splashed across the weekend news shows, dismissing the latest firestorm to consume his campaign and explaining how he cherishes women and would be their strongest advocate if elected. 

I used to view them as a Super Bowl every Sunday; now I never watch the narrow range of debate regarding received narratives.

Speaking of firestorms....

US Forest Service firefighter killed while battling blaze

They sure put that out fast, huh?

‘‘I’m leading by double digits, so maybe I shouldn’t change,’’ he said.

The latest controversy started Thursday night when Fox News debate moderator Megyn Kelly recounted Trump’s history of incendiary comments toward women.

Angry over what he considered unfair treatment at the debate, Trump told CNN on Friday night that Kelly had ‘‘blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever.’’

The remark cost Trump a prime-time speaking slot at the RedState Gathering in Atlanta.

But Trump refused to back down, insisting Sunday that only ‘‘a deviant’’ would interpret his comment beyond a harmless barb.

‘‘I apologize when I’m wrong, but I haven’t been wrong. I said nothing wrong,’’ said Trump, who spoke to four Sunday news shows,

He skipped only Fox News, the network with which he is feuding.

In a way, that helps him.


You know who might give Trump a good fight?

UPDATE: The Globe aborted Trump coverage this day.