Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Bushwhacking His Way to the 2016 Republican Presidential Nomination

"Jeb Bush’s technology chief quits in wake of insensitive comments" Associated Press  February 12, 2015

WASHINGTON — A day after apologizing for making insensitive remarks on Twitter, the technology chief of Jeb Bush’s presidential campaign-in-waiting has resigned.

Ethan Czahor, hired in January to serve as chief technology officer of the former Florida Republican governor’s Right to Rise political action committee, had posted messages on his personal Twitter account before his hiring that referred to women as ‘‘sluts’’ and made remarks about gay men.

He resigned after racially insensitive comments attributed to Czahor were found on a website.


"The emerging presidential field has been tested by the startling wave of rage that swept the streets of Baltimore. With smoke still rising from the city’s burnt buildings, many struggle to calibrate their political response. Former governor Jeb Bush of Florida, commenting during a Republican campaign swing in Puerto Rico, called both for an investigation into Gray’s death and ‘‘a commitment to the rule of law.’’

He's already sounding like his brother.

Bush spokesman Kristy Campbell noted that Czahor had apologized for ‘‘regrettable and insensitive comments’’ that did not reflect the views of Bush or his organization. But she added that it was ‘‘appropriate for him to step aside.’’

It does reflect upon him and his potential administration.

Czahor said in Twitter messages posted late Tuesday that he hoped his ‘‘recent news won’t dissuade future techies from entering politics, regardless of political affiliations/backgrounds.’’

He said he had resigned, wished good luck to those at Right to Rise, and apologized ‘‘in advance to whoever fills my position.’’

And that makes everything all better.

In one tweet posted in 2009 and since deleted, Czahor wrote, ‘‘new study confirms old belief: College female art majors are sluts, science majors are also sluts but uglier.’’


The additional comments discovered Tuesday and first reported by The Huffington Post were made in January 2008 on a website for a radio show that Czahor hosted while he was a college student in Pennsylvania.

He praised Martin Luther King Jr., saying that the civil rights leader ‘‘didn’t have his pants sagged to his ankles, and he wasn’t delivering his speech in ‘jibberish’ or ‘slang.’’’ 

One moment, please. (Had to pull up my pants)

After the initial comments were found on Twitter, Bush’s team had said that the former governor found them to be ‘‘inappropriate’’ but that Czahor could remain with Right to Rise.

But he doesn't reflect the "team's" views.


At least he is being transparent:

"Jeb Bush effort unleashes ID fraud threat; Social Security numbers posted online" by Thomas Beaumont, Associated Press  February 13, 2015

DES MOINES — By posting online all of his personal e-mail from his eight years as Florida’s governor, Jeb Bush sought to show himself as a tech-savvy executive, in touch with constituents and an active administrator.

But tucked away in a small percentage of those 332,999 messages were the names, birth dates, and Social Security numbers — the three pieces of information key to identity theft — of more than 12,000 people.

Not a good start for a campaign that wants to become president over a vast system of data collection.

Bush’s attempt to demonstrate transparency prompted criticism from privacy advocates, making for the second technology-related bump this week for his young campaign-in-waiting. Having racists in your camp is just a bump when you are part of the political aristocracy. 

Given the family's "service" over these last decades, I gue$$ we can see why AmeriKa is in the shape it is. No wonder there is so much wealth inequality while minorities live in ghetos. Look who has been running the place. Looks like Kanye was right: Bushes do hate black people.

‘‘This was obviously very innocent,’’ said Todd Feinman, the chief executive of data security firm Identity Finder. ‘‘But now we have more than 12,000 individuals who are exposed to the risks of identity fraud.’’

By Thursday, Bush’s team had removed the private information from all but a few hundred of the e-mails posted to a website Tuesday by his political action committee, Right to Rise.

‘‘We have redacted every account that we have found,’’ Bush spokeswoman Kristy Campbell said.

Earlier this week, Right to Rise’s technology chief, hired in January, apologized and then resigned after intemperate comments he made several years earlier about women, gay men, and African-Americans were found on Twitter and elsewhere online. 

Oh, yeah, it wasn't only race. The Bush camp is filled with elitists.

Florida’s public records law is among the nation’s strongest, and the state’s archive kept copies of every e-mail sent to and from Bush’s personal e-mail address while he served as governor from 1999 to 2007.

Ironically, Massachusetts has one of the weakest(??), and I used to like the guy. Now I know why he keeps "winning" reelection.

Bush had taken some steps to keep some of the sensitive information in the e-mails out of the public’s view. His team asked the Florida Department of State for the e-mails in order to set up the website. When doing so last May, his attorney specified ‘‘Social Security numbers of Florida citizens who contacted Gov. Bush for assistance’’ should be redacted.

A spokesman for the Florida Department of State did not reply to phone and e-mails.

Social Security numbers are confidential under Florida law, except under certain circumstances, including allowing such information to be shared between agencies. The vast majority of those included in Bush’s e-mails were part of a spreadsheet tracking the number of people on a state family service waiting list, which was included in a PowerPoint presentation sent to Bush ahead of a 2003 meeting.

‘‘This is the wake-up call to organizations, because they forget that hidden data is still there for the stealing,’’ Feinman said.

The Social Security Administration, Internal Revenue Service, and Federal Trade Commission, among other federal agencies, all warn consumers not to share such information, which in combination can allow thieves to open bank accounts, apply for tax returns, and even apply for jobs.

It is a message that’s been well received by the public. According to a November survey by the Pew Research Center, 90 percent of Americans consider Social Security numbers ‘‘very sensitive’’ — nearly twice the number of those who characterize their health care information that way.

While Bush’s team was scrubbing what they posted, there were still other ways to access the e-mails online as late as Thursday afternoon. Weeks before Bush posted the e-mails, others had also obtained them from the Florida state archive and made them available on the Internet.

One such group was the Democratic opposition research group American Bridge, which posted the e-mails to its website in December. Spokesman Ben Ray said Thursday that the group was in the process of removing the data.

‘‘We want to be responsive to the privacy concerns,’’ Ray said.

American Bridge took the page down late Thursday and was no longer linking to the files publicly, but the files could still be reached online via cached versions of the Web pages.


Those articles building a bridge to this next piece:

"Jeb Bush pressing to lock in Mitt Romney’s donors" by Matt Viser, Globe Staff  February 13, 2015

WASHINGTON — Jeb Bush has quickly and efficiently been locking in one of the most sought-after prizes of the early Republican presidential primary race: Mitt Romney’s donor network.

Related: Romney Still Running Republican Party

I guess he's not running then.

In the two weeks since the former Massachusetts governor announced that he wasn’t going to run again for president, Bush has aggressively scooped up key former Romney contributors in the private equity and investment worlds. That adds to Bush’s own substantial network in place before Romney’s brief flirtation last month.

“It’s absolutely a kind of aggressive shock-and-awe strategy to vacuum up as much of the fund-raising network as you possibly can,” said Dirk Van Dongen, the president of the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors and a prolific Romney fund-raiser now helping Bush. “And they’re having a large measure of success.”

The buzz words are bothering me.

Chicago investment manager Muneer Satter, who was cochairman of Romney’s national finance committee, is hosting a fund-raiser on Wednesday for Bush in Chicago. Emil Henry, a senior treasury official in the George W. Bush administration who was among Romney’s largest fund-raisers, recently agreed to raise money for Bush.

“I am certain that the majority of Romney’s major donors and fund-raisers will line up with Jeb, whose early organization is impressive,” Henry said.

Of Romney’s top five lobbyist bundlers in 2012 — who each raised at least $1 million — four are supporting or likely to support Bush. The fifth is on the fence.

In conversations with nearly a dozen former Romney donors, many described Bush as the most mainstream with the best chance at winning in the general election. They also see in him some of the same strengths they saw in Romney: Someone with business experience who has been a governor.

Several are also intrigued by Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin, who has surged near the top of the polls in key caucus and primary states and is seen as a candidate with a fresh face and a track record built on fighting unions in his home state. Walker is meeting with potential donors next week in New York, including one being held Wednesday night at the 21 Club.

Related: Walkering His Way to the 2016 Republican Nomination 

It's the tortoise and the hare theory of politics.

Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey has also been aggressively trying to lock in top contributors and he has lined up several former Romney donors, including Home Depot cofounder Ken Langone and Bobbie Kilberg, a technology executive from McLean, Va.

“I think there’s a little premature RIP on Christie,” said a donor involved in Christie’s fund-raising operation. “Somehow he’s not even in the conversation. I think it’s premature to say the least.”

Bridges take a long time to build.

But there is a growing consensus, even among his opponents, that Bush has the fund-raising edge.

Last week he was in New York for a dinner fund-raiser that required $100,000 per person to attend. He will be in Washington on Tuesday for two fund-raisers, followed by a trip to Chicago for two more, according to invitations obtained by the Globe.

Since at least November, Bush began reaching out to potential donors and tapping into the networks that his father and his brother built during their presidential campaigns, as well as his own Florida-based donors.

The thought of the criminal crime family ruling the country for another eight years is dispiriting.

“I think he caught a whole lot of people off guard’’ with his assertive moves, said Bill Graves, who is president of the American Trucking Associations and raised more money for Romney than any other lobbyist in 2012. Graves, a former Kansas governor whose ties to the Bush family stretch back to 1980, said he would probably support Bush.

As Bush prepared for his campaign, he began reaching out to many of the mainstream and business-minded Republicans that Romney tapped in 2012. Those moves spurred Romney to action.

In early January, Romney told a group of his former contributors at a meeting in Manhattan that he was thinking about running again. Some of the donors at the meeting had already committed to Bush and began second-guessing their decision to join with Bush.

But Bush didn’t let up. He continued calling members of Romney’s network. He recently told a group of lobbyists, chief executives, and trade association representatives that he would have 60 fund-raisers — almost one every day — before April 1.

When Romney announced on Jan. 30, after three weeks of flirtation, that he was not going to run, he encouraged his supporters to join whatever campaign they wanted.

“Once Mitt got out, you could feel the dominoes fall Jeb’s way,” said one donor.

David Beightol, a lobbyist and prolific fund-raiser who was on Romney’s national fund-raising team in 2008 and 2012, had nearly committed to Bush and was deeply conflicted during the three week period when Romney was considering a third campaign. A few days after Romney announced he wouldn’t run, Beightol committed to Bush.

“The majority are going to Jeb,” he said. “He’s signed up the best talent. And a lot of them are former Mitt people.”

Charlie Spies, who formed the super PAC that raised nearly $154 million in support of Romney, is now helping run the newly formed super PAC supporting Bush.

Lisa Wagner, Romney’s 2012 Midwest campaign finance director and one of the top Republican fund-raisers in Chicago, signed up with Bush. So did Allison McIntosh, who was Romney’s finance director in Texas, the state where he raised more money than anywhere except California.

Spencer Zwick, who was Romney’s financial director, has met with several campaigns but has yet to join one.

Donors in Massachusetts, who have supported Romney since he ran for governor in 2002, have been slower to commit, according to Republican insiders. Ed Conard, one of Romney’s former partners at Bain Capital who donated $1 million to a pro-Romney super PAC, said he has been receiving a stream of calls. But he has yet to commit.

“From my perspective it’s too early,” he said in an e-mail. “I would like to see indications of who can truly withstand the scrutiny.”


Time to stop in New Hampshire:

"In N.H. poll, Jeb Bush leads GOP hopefuls" by James Pindell, Globe Staff  February 08, 2015

The first poll of New Hampshire Republicans conducted entirely after former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney said he was not running for president in 2016 offers good news and bad news for Jeb Bush.

The good news: Bush, the former governor of Florida, tops the Republican field in the state that traditionally holds the nation’s first-in-the-nation presidential primary.

The bad news: Bush is deeply unpopular among general election voters in New Hampshire, which is also a critical swing state.

A new Bloomberg Politics/Saint Anselm College poll showed that in the Republican primary, Bush has 16 percent support, Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky has 13 percent, and Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin has 12 percent. Statistically, all three are tied.

Then he is an also-ran.

Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey, who experts say must win New Hampshire to have any shot at the Republican nomination, netted 10 percent support. All other prospective candidates were in single digits.

Those would be PerryCruz, and Rubio.

Potential Republican primary voters in New Hampshire said Bush’s advocacy for comprehensive immigration reform and for the Common Core education standards were “deal killers” for at least one in five of them.

That said, roughly the same share of Republicans said Bush was the best opponent to face Democrat Hillary Clinton in the general election should she enter the race.

Oh, she is in, and what with H.W. adopting Bill as the son he never had.....

This does not mean that Bush would win the state’s four electoral votes in the general election.

When comparing how Granite State voters view Bush and Clinton, Bush’s unfavorable rating among general election voters is 50 percent, compared with 35 percent favorable.

Clinton, on the other hand, has a 54 percent favorable rating and a 42 percent unfavorable rating among those voters.


Time to educate you on Common Core:

"Critics don’t budge Jeb Bush from backing school testing" by Matt Viser, Globe Staff  February 17, 2015

WASHINGTON — Jeb Bush has pledged to campaign “joyfully” if he runs for president in 2016, proud of all aspects of his record.

That joy will be seriously tested when it comes to his support of Common Core, a national education standard designed to boost student achievement but seen as a symbol of big government by the Republican Party’s conservative base. Just saying the name Common Core generates animosity among some GOP primary voters.

“It’s become Obamacare for education,” said John Brabender, a Pennsylvania-based Republican consultant who has been an adviser to Rick Santorum.


To a limited degree, the dynamics are similar to Mitt Romney’s tortured relationship with conservatives over his universal health care plan in Massachusetts. Bush and other Common Core advocates from both parties are seeking to correct what they see as a major failing in the United States: poorly prepared students.

Prepared for what?

The Common Core standards were developed in 2009, largely through the National Governors Association and with help from state leaders. The aim was to address concerns that American students were lagging behind other countries on basic math and reading skills. The standards set goals — such as teaching kindergartners to count from one to 100 — but leave how to get there to local districts.

In 2009, President Obama’s administration began giving participating states favorable treatment in grant awards.

Looks like extortion to me. You kids learn what that is yet?

Although Common Core is despised by many conservatives, mainstream and pro-business Republicans are more supportive. It has the backing of the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation. The Wall Street Journal editorial page wrote in December that Bush “needn’t repudiate his support for national education standards.”

And he hasn’t.


Several other governors who once embraced the standards have taken a quick U-turn....

Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey, who once said Common Core was “one of those areas where I have agreed more with the president than not,” told a crowd in Iowa recently that he was now more skeptical.

Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin, who once showed tacit approval of the standards, called for their repeal last year and, in a budget released this month, removed funding for Common Core testing.

Another flip-flopping step back for Walker?

In a survey conducted this month for Bloomberg Politics and Saint Anselm College, 20 percent of New Hampshire Republican primary voters said Bush’s support for Common Core was a “deal killer.” Only 40 percent said it was not a real problem, while 28 percent said they would have to consider the issue; 12 percent said they were not sure.

Polling also shows that while many Republican voters are unfamiliar with the policies around Common Core, the phrase itself has become toxic and closely associated with Obama. One survey conducted by Vanderbilt University found that 38 percent of Tennessee Republicans opposed national education standards implemented across the states; that number rose to 61 percent when it was called “Common Core.”

Education has been a cornerstone of Bush’s public life, and it was a major focus during his two terms as Florida governor. He pushed reforms that required testing for all students and that graded schools on an A-to-F scale, and he advocated for more charter schools.

Never mind the bullying and pot-smoking he did at school.

Bush was not in office when Common Core was being adopted by states, but he has been a vocal proponent, largely through a nonprofit he started after leaving office called the Foundation for Excellence in Education....


Time to take the test:

"Testing based on Common Core standards starts this week" by Kimberly Hefling, Associated Press  February 17, 2015

STOCKPORT, Ohio — Sixth-grader Kayla Hunter considers herself tech savvy. She has a computer at home, unlike about half her classmates at her elementary school. And it matches up well with the one she will use this week to take a new test linked to the Common Core standards.

Still, the perky 11-year-old worries. During a recent practice exam at her school in Ohio, she could not even log on. ‘‘It wouldn’t let me,’’ she said. ‘‘It kept saying it wasn’t right, and it just kept loading the whole time.’’

The only good software that is written in AmeriKa is for bank ATMs and NSA trapdoors. the rest appears to be $hit.

Her state on Tuesday will be the first to administer one of two tests in English language arts and math based on the Common Core standards developed by two separate groups of states. By the end of the school year, about 12 million children in 29 states and the District of Columbia will take them, using computers or electronic tablets.

Although more than 40 states have adopted Common Core, which spells out what reading and math skills students should master in each grade, several have decided not to offer the tests, which are known as the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, and Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC.

Massachusetts is trying out the PARCC tests this spring. More than half the districts will use the new test while the others will stay with MCAS. The state will then analyze the results of both tests before deciding which to use statewide in the future.


All done. Time to go on vacation:

"Jeb Bush’s campaign unveils foreign policy advisers" by Ed O’Keefe and Karen Tumulty, Washington Post  February 19, 2015

CHICAGO — Former Florida governor Jeb Bush on Wednesday promised to chart his own course on foreign policy — even as he announced a campaign braintrust associated with the most contentious policies of his brother’s and father’s presidencies.

I am interested to see the "new team."

That was the contradiction as Bush stepped delicately into territory where the 41st president, George H.W. Bush, and the 43rd, George W. Bush, still loom large.

The man expected to become the third Bush to make a bid for the White House has been ‘‘fortunate’’ to have family members ‘‘who both have shaped America’s foreign policy from the Oval Office,’’ he said in a speech before the nonpartisan Chicago Council on Global Affairs.

‘‘I recognize that as a result, my views will often be held up in comparison to theirs,’’ Jeb Bush added. ‘‘But I am my own man.’’ He added that his approach to the world would be shaped by ‘‘my own thinking and my own experiences.’’

In his prepared remarks, Bush mentioned Iraq, where both his father and brother waged wars, only in passing — including once by mistake, when he meant to say Iran.

That's where he's headed next if he wins the presidency. they call it a Freudian slip.

But he later said, ‘‘There were mistakes made in Iraq for sure.’’

A central premise for the second Iraq War was the assumption, based on information compiled by the CIA, that it was hiding weapons of mass destruction. That turned out to ‘‘not be accurate,’’ Bush said.

Well, actually.... New York Times Now Claims Iraq Did Have Chemical Weapons

The Army has even apologized for keeping it a secret all these years.

The threat of Iran as a nuclear power is ‘‘the defining foreign policy issue of our time,’’ Bush contended, arguing that the Obama administration has thus far shown itself ‘‘unequal to the task.’’

‘‘The great irony of the Obama presidency is this: Someone who came to office promising greater engagement with the world has left America less influential in the world,’’ he said.

Meanwhile, the 21 names announced by his campaign-in-waiting as advisers did not provide much indication of what direction Bush himself would take.

The list represents the full spectrum of views within the Republican foreign policy establishment — from relative moderates, including former secretaries of state George Shultz and James Baker, to neoconservatives such as Iraq War architect Paul Wolfowitz.

(Blog editor just shakes his head)

‘‘This is more about putting together a list than a signal of direction for Bush,’’ said James Mann, an author-in-residence at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies who has written two books about George W. Bush’s foreign policy team.

One Republican who is well known in foreign policy circles offered this assessment: ‘‘That list of advisers screams mush. It’s trying to be everything to everybody.’’ He spoke on condition of anonymity because he has long relationships with many who are on the list.

The one exception, Mann said, was on the question of intelligence policy, where the list indicated that Bush will not change course. Among Bush’s announced advisers are several viewed as staunch defenders of the CIA — including former director Michael Hayden, who came under heavy criticism in a recent Senate Intelligence Committee report about the agency’s interrogation techniques.

Meaning torture will be defended.

Just as telling were those missing from the official list.

Though former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice is at least as close personally to the Bush family as anyone on the list, the absence of her name suggested he is sensitive about being seen as a carbon copy of his brother.

She will still have her say in the debate.

Having a broad phalanx of advisers could help Bush, who is presumed to be the GOP establishment front-runner, fend off efforts by other Republicans to position themselves to his right on foreign policy.

None of those former war criminal names helped with me.


So what are the policies going to be?

"Jeb Bush prepared to be third Bush to use military in Iraq" by Matt Viser Globe Staff  March 26, 2015


WASHINGTON — As Jeb Bush lays the groundwork for a presidential run, he is frequently compared with his father and his brother, presidents 41 and 43.

If Jeb Bush does run to be 45, he says he is prepared to be the third Bush to employ American military power in Iraq. On an issue that has received limited attention from other likely candidates in the buildup to 2016, Bush has said he would “reengage with some small force level” to train forces and help stabilize the country his father and brother both invaded.

Well, the first didn't actually invade Iraq. He just bombed it into oblivion. We all know why the wars receive little attention in the campaigns, too. Nothing to really talk about.

Iraq is a topic that poses political challenges for candidates in both parties, including Hillary Rodham Clinton, whose 2002 vote to authorize George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq bedeviled her 2008 presidential campaign. But it is difficult to imagine any candidate having as complicated a task as Jeb Bush, who is seeking to define himself as his “own man,” in his words, but whose policies and advisers on Iraq significantly overlap with his brother’s.

Most Republicans in the emerging field of GOP primary candidates have taken a hawkish position, advocating for an influx of up to 10,000 troops in Iraq and criticizing President Obama for what they consider a premature exit from Iraq and timidity in the face of the Islamic State.

Hanging over everything Bush says on Iraq is the 1991 liberation of Kuwait and invasion of Iraq that was launched by his father, George H. W. Bush, and the war led more than a decade later by George W. Bush. That war became deeply unpopular and cost 4,500 Americans their lives.

But Jeb Bush has said that he will not be haunted by ghosts of his family’s past, and that he will do what he views as necessary to keep America safe — comparisons be damned.

“I wouldn’t be conflicted by any legacy issues of my family,” Bush told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt last month. “I actually . . . am quite comfortable being George Bush’s son and George Bush’s brother.”

Jeb Bush has yet to fully articulate his views on Iraq, or how he thinks the United States should combat the rise of the Islamic State, which has taken over portions of Iraq and Syria. His campaign aides would not say what he means by “a small force level” and whether he views that as going beyond the special forces that President Obama has ordered in the country.

But he has said that if Obama had kept 10,000 troops in Iraq, it would have prevented the rise of the Islamic State.

“The surge worked. We created a fragile degree of stability. The forces agreement the president could have signed, I think, would have avoided where we are today,” Jeb Bush said in Hudson, N.H., recently, referring to a troop level increase that his brother had authorized as president. “But we are where we are.”

So prosecuting American troops for war crimes in Iraqi courts would have been fine with Bush?

He said the United States should “reengage with some small force level who can help continue to train the Iraqi army, to be able to provide some stability.”

He also said he envisions carving out a combat staging area in Syria to support international military operations against the Islamic State, with the support of US air power.


Several foreign policy experts view the situation as more complicated than just stopping the Islamic State. With Iranian-backed militias now fighting for influence in Iraq, the politics in the country have grown more unpredictable.

Which experts?

“Our debate seems to be six months out of date rather than about the current situation,” said Zalmay Khalilzad, who under President George W. Bush served as US ambassador to Iraq from 2005 to 2007. “It is now much more complicated, and the environment much more difficult to operate in, making it difficult to contemplate how even a small force could shift the conditions quickly and decisively.”

(They turn to a neocon war-monger and crook for expert advice?)

Of more than a dozen candidates currently considering a run for president, only two have served in the military: former Virginia senator Jim Webb, who has considered running in the Democratic primary, was in the Marine Corps and served in Vietnam; former Texas governor Rick Perry flew C-130s in the Air Force.

But even while politicians themselves have less military experience, there is a continued turn in the public dialogue toward American military might.

“Mainstream politicians reflexively frame the challenges of the greater Middle East as challenges that require a US military response . . . and there’s very little appetite in either party to take on that question of what do we do if military power is not the answer,” said Andrew Bacevich, a professor at Boston University and retired Army colonel who is writing a military history of America’s war for the greater Middle East.

“It’d be great to have a candidate who would say: ‘Guess what? Our military efforts in the greater Middle East have failed in the last 30 years. We really need to think again about policy objectives and what we should do there,’ ” he added. “But I don’t think it’s going to happen.”

We did have a candidate like that. Ron Paul.

During her expected run for president, Clinton will tout herself as the most qualified candidate on foreign affairs, given her experience as secretary of state. In addition to her handling of the 2012 attacks on the American consulate in Benghazi, she will face intense questions about what she would do in Iraq and the region now. So far, in the buildup to her expected campaign, she has said little on Iraq.

Her spokesman, Nick Merrill, did not respond to an e-mail seeking comment.

Clinton has long struggled with her own stances on Iraq. She voted to authorize the war in 2003, only to say later the vote was a mistake. She opposed the surge in 2007.

So she got all the votes wrong, huh? 

Btw, the conventional myth that the surge worked is wrong. Look at the place!

Like Bush, several other Republicans have been pushing for more aggressive use of military force to help combat Islamic State militants and stabilize Iraq. Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin and Senator Ted Cruz of Texas have both said they could support ground troops, while Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina has pushed for around 10,000 ground troops.

(Blog editor shaking his head)

Jeb Bush’s remarks in New Hampshire came in response to a question comparing him to his brother and father: “Your father had Iraq, your brother had 9/11. You may have ISIS. How will you respond?

“This president, sadly I think, has pulled back because he thinks that our engagement in the world has created far more difficulties than any benefits,” Bush said. “And that’s wrong. And it’s created voids that are now filled. And great doubts about whether the US is serious about engaging in the region.”

Have you seen Yemen lately?


I wonder how that will play in Iowa: 

"Jeb Bush’s supporters mixed on whether he can win in Iowa" by James Pindell, Globe Staff  March 07, 2015

WAUKEE, Iowa – Like his father and his brother before him, when former Florida governor Jeb Bush arrived in Iowa this weekend for the first time as a potential presidential candidate, he did so as something of a national front-runner.

That’s where the comparisons end.

When his brother, George W. Bush, kicked off his presidential campaign here 15 years ago, he did so in front of an audience of thousands in a highly scripted speech touching on his visions of foreign and domestic policy. Helping him on that trip was every Republican congressman in the state, all of whom had committed to him before he set foot in the state.

Today, even Jeb Bush’s advisers admit they are starting from basically nothing — 10 months before voting begins.

“His brother made it look easy because he was working it for two years behind the scenes before he came to Iowa,” said Doug Gross, who chaired Mitt Romney’s 2008 campaign here and is a Bush family confidante. “Jeb comes here starting from scratch.”

Yes, there is a network of Bush loyalists, but they last worked together 15 years ago.

“The times and the party have really changed since then, and now it is a new generation,” said David Hohmann, a longtime Des Moines Republican activist who supported George W. Bush in 2000. “There is a loose network and people who would like to help, but he definitely starts off with more of a challenge than his brother.”

Jeb Bush’s challenges were on display during his first visit.

At his first event, a Republican fundraiser for a local congressman Friday evening, he was asked about his support for the Common Core educational standards, a plan deeply unpopular with the Republican base here. At the next event, an appearance before 900 at the Iowa Agriculture Summit Saturday, Bush was asked to explain his support for a comprehensive immigration plan. Nearly two-thirds of Iowa caucuses voters said these positions are “deal-breakers” for them, according to a Bloomberg Politics/ Des Moines Register poll in January.

No questions about war policy?

Adding to the consternation of some in his Saturday audience, Bush eschewed the locally popular ethanol mandate, a federal requirement that oil companies make domestic gasoline 10 percent corn-based ethanol. Bush said the mandate had worked to create a mature ethanol industry in Iowa and elsewhere and now needed to be phased out over the next five years.

“Creating a certain playing field has to be part of the answer,” Bush said. “Whether it’s ethanol or any other alternative fuel, whether it’s renewable or otherwise, the markets are ultimately going to have to decide this.”

That issue doesn't have as much pick-up as in the past. 

Why are they even burning food for fuel with so many hungry people on this planet?

Bush also met with Republican activists here in Waukee and in Cedar Rapids. At a barbecue joint west of Des Moines, he spoke for just five minutes and spend the next two hours talking one-on-one with about 100 influential Republican activists, answering their questions, taking selfies and signing books. 

I'm so sick of the celebrity of politics!

In Urbandale, Bush described his campaign style like this: “I tend to hang out with people if I am a candidate. I learn from them and engage with them. It is not going to be a fumbled campaign.”

We will see.

Bush is scheduled to make his first trip in 15 years to New Hampshire – the other early voting state – next weekend.

Most of Bush’s potential rivals for the Republican nomination have been to Iowa several times, including former Texas governor Rick Perry, who has been here 19 days since the 2012 election.

The Bush family has had a complicated relationship with Iowa. In 1980, George H.W. Bush captured a solid win over Ronald Reagan here, a campaign Jeb worked on, visiting “about 50” of the state’s 99 counties. But as a sitting vice president running for president in 1988, Jeb’s father lost the Iowa caucuses. In 2000, George W. Bush’s win here help vault him to the Republican nomination and then the White House.

The father also lost Iowa in 1992 to Pat Buchanan, and then the New Hampshire primary was stolen to stop him. Little known fact.

In the years since, two social conservatives — former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee and former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum — won the state’s top prize.

This led Chris McLinden and his wife Bev, of Waukee, to wonder if Bush would even compete in Iowa. The couple were devoted supporters of Mitt Romney in 2008 and 2012. They hosted a house party for him and saw first hand the role party’s base can play in the caucuses.

Still they think Bush can win here.

“I think he did himself a lot of good this weekend,” said Chris McLinden. “Everyone knows his campaign will probably have the most money, but he appears to be really engaged in how to run here and meet people.”


Grass roots booed him:

"Wary conservatives await Jeb Bush’s pitch; Uneasy history with the family behind the skepticism" by Matt Viser, Globe Staff  February 26, 2015

WASHINGTON — Jeb Bush plans to address a crowd of skeptical conservatives in Washington this week, a challenge complicated by his more moderate views on immigration and education and on the historically awkward relationship between the Bush family and the GOP’s right wing.

The presumed front-runner in the early field of potential Republican presidential primary candidates is scheduled to speak Friday at the Conservative Political Action Conference, an annual event that will feature a lineup of national competitors jockeying for attention.

Bush’s appearance carries the most suspense. He will be wrestling with lingering conservative distrust from previous Bush presidencies while trying to paint a vision broad enough to straddle factions of the Republican Party — which is even more polarized than when his father and brother occupied the White House.


Although no other family has so dominated Republican politics over the past quarter-century, the Bushes have not always enjoyed widespread support of conservatives. During the 1980 presidential primary campaign, George H.W. Bush derided Ronald Reagan’s proposals to cut taxes for the wealthy as “voodoo economics.” Later, after serving eight years as Reagan’s vice president, Bush pledged at the 1988 Republican National Convention: “Read my lips, no new taxes.” Two years later, he enraged conservatives when he agreed to raise taxes as part of a budget deal with Democrats.

The elder Bush also had to fight back against the idea that he wasn’t tough enough — a notion that Newsweek memorably put on its cover in 1987 with the headline, “Fighting the Wimp Factor.”

That was a great bit of stagecraft, making the former CIA director look like a wimp.

When George W. Bush was laying the groundwork for his own presidential campaign, he was pilloried by conservatives who were gathering at CPAC in 1999. Senator Lamar Alexander said George W. Bush was using “weasel words,” while Steve Forbes warned the party not to be “seduced by the siren song of these mushy moderates.”

George W. Bush eventually won over many conservatives, partly through a focus on his born-again Christianity that helped him make inroads with the evangelical right. But Tea Party activists have grown upset about his government spending, and his willingness to bail out large financial institutions during the 2008 economic collapse.

Yeah, that meltdown began on his watch.

While many view Jeb Bush as more conservative than his brother or his father, he still faces an uphill battle.

God help us all.

“Jeb Bush, I think, thinks it’s owed to him, it’s the Bush dynasty,” said Jane Aitken, the founder of the New Hampshire Tea Party Coalition. “But the grass roots is like, ‘Nooo.’ I don’t know of anybody who says, ‘Oh yeah, I’ll vote for Jeb Bush.’ ”


And just as Bush’s father was caricatured as a “wimp,” some conservatives worry that Jeb Bush doesn’t have the fire and passion it will take to go up against the presumed Democratic front-runner, Hillary Rodham Clinton, and her family’s brand of cut-throat politics.

That why H.W. adopt Bill as the son he never had? 

Had enough of the political $how fooley yet?

Bush so far has eschewed the harsh tone that often dominates today’s politics. Last week, for example, many conservatives cheered when Rudy Giuliani said President Obama does not love America, he “wasn’t brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up.” 

I already Walkered through that with you.

 So who told you those buildings were going to fall, Rudy, and why did a former prosecutor like you instruct a crime scene to be destroyed?

While other possible presidential contenders declined to repudiate the comment, Bush voiced his disapproval with the former mayor of New York.

The problems that Bush faces with the conservative base are similar to the ones that Mitt Romney faced during the 2008 and 2012 Republican primary races. 

I thought I saw this movie before.

Despite makeover efforts — including calling himself “severely conservative” at CPAC in 2012 — Romney had trouble attracting activists on the right, in large part because of his health care plan in Massachusetts.

CPAC is a three-day conservative gathering that has the feel of a trade show, carnival, and political convention all wrapped into one. It is one of the largest, most high-profile gatherings of conservatives, and it’s a key stopping point this year for presidential hopefuls.

On Thursday and Friday, many of the potential candidates will speak before the crowd. Bush is forgoing the typical speech and instead will participate in a 20-minute question and answer session that is being moderated by Fox News host Sean Hannity.

“It would be very easy for him not going to CPAC. Conventional wisdom says if you want to have a nice day, don’t go to CPAC,” said Chip Felkel, a veteran South Carolina political consultant who is unaffiliated with any of the candidates.

“But it’s good for him to go. He needs to go. That’s a constituency people don’t expect him to spend a lot of time with,” Felkel said. “He’s willing to go and have a conversation with people. He’s not going to run away from people he disagrees with.”

The calculation for Bush also seems to be that it’s better to address than ignore a skeptical constituency. And while he has skipped other gatherings of conservatives, Bush is planning to travel next week to Iowa, his first trip to court caucus-goers in a state where conservatives have great sway.

“I think they’re putting together an impressive campaign. They’ve got a lot of familiar faces and names,” said Craig Robinson, a former political director of the Iowa Republican Party who now runs the influential website the Iowa Republican. “But I feel like they’re a little behind the 8 ball. They’ve got a lot of work to do here.”


"Conservatives boo Jeb Bush at Md. gathering" by Matt Viser, Globe Staff  February 27, 2015

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — Jeb Bush encountered a chorus of boos and an organized walkout by hostile conservatives at a conference Friday, a stark reminder of the challenges facing the former Florida governor as he attempts to seize front-runner status in his potential Republican presidential primary run.


Bush gamely stuck by his call for a more inclusive tone, taking the stage at the Conservative Political Action Conference to urge his party to reach out to voters who have been turned off by Republican policies.

Here I am.

He was booed several times, and a few dozen people in the audience of nearly 5,000 walked out during his comments, trailing a man in Colonial garb who was carrying a yellow “Don’t Tread on Me” flag, one of the symbols of the Tea Party movement. When the group reached the hallway, its members bellowed, “No more Bushes!”

Bush almost ran aground at the Andover prep school, and it would take four years for him to straighten out.

“To those who made a boo sound — if that’s what it was — I’m marking them down as neutral,” Bush quipped. “And I want to be your second choice.”

Several other candidates, including Senator Rand Paul and Wisconsin’s governor, Scott Walker, were more openly welcomed, with supporters chanting for them to run.

Bush spoke toward the tail end of more than a dozen national contenders who spoke over two days at CPAC, hoping to attract attention for possible Republican primary campaigns. But no appearance was fraught with more suspense than Bush’s.

The crowd was far more charged for Bush’s appearance, with cheers and boos competing with one another. Bush bused in supporters to the conference hotel outside of Washington, helping to ensure that he had at least some boisterous allies in the crowd.

In his remarks, he called for a broad Republican tent. “If we share our enthusiasm, and love for our country, and belief in our philosophy, we will be able to get Latinos and young people and other people that you need to win,” he said.

“It’s good to oppose the bad things,” he added. “We need to start being for things.”

Fox News host Sean Hannity, who was moderating the discussion as he and Bush stood on a stage in the hotel ballroom, listed several of Bush’s positions that are drawing opposition from conservatives, including his support for a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants, and for providing driver’s licenses and in-state tuition for some illegal immigrants.

“I know there is disagreement here,” Bush said, before attempting to defuse tension with a weather joke. “Some of these people are angry about this and look, I kind of feel your pain. I was in Miami this morning. It was 70 degrees.”

That is a CLINTONISM!!!!!!!

But although Bush emphasized his belief that US borders must be strengthened, he stood firm on his stance that the United States must show compassion to illegal immigrants.

The $y$tem itself doesn't (it's not exploitation), but the illegals are all part of pushing forward a North American Union as part of a New World Order (to coin a phrase from his dad).

Bush has been critical of Mitt Romney’s rhetoric on immigration, particularly his talk of “self-deportation” for illegal immigrants.

“The simple fact is: There is no plan to deport 11 million people,” Bush said. “We should give them a path to legal status where they work, where they don’t receive government benefits, where they don’t break the law, where they learn English, and where they make a contribution to our society.”

So crime does pay, and the the "rule of law" means nothing to him (except in reaction to Baltimore?).

The day’s events several miles away in the Capitol also spilled into Bush’s comments. He said Congress should take action to oppose President Obama’s executive actions to prevent some deportations, but he disagreed with the House Republicans’ tactic of tying that opposition to cutting off funding for the Department of Homeland Security. 

They caved.

“I’m not an expert on the ways of Washington,” said Bush, whose father and brother were both president. “It makes no sense to me that we’re not funding control of our border, which is the whole argument.”

Bush sought to outline the ways in which he governed conservatively in Florida from 1999 to 2007. He cited lowering taxes, fighting for school vouchers, and ending affirmative action. He rejected so much legislation, he said, that he became known as “Veto Corleone.”

Great, a Godfather for a president -- it is a crime family, after all. H.W. once said if the people found out what we have done they would chase us down in the streets and lynch us -- who is also a racist.

But Bush’s last day in office was eight years ago, and many are not familiar with his record as governor. Animosity for Bush and his family was expressed throughout the CPAC conference, in hallways and exhibition space, from the antiabortion booths to the hotel bars.

“I’m against Common Core, he’s for Common Core. I’m for small government, he’s for big government. His name is a killer, and I don’t think he can win,’ said Pat Kroll, a 79-year-old retiree from Reno. “The only thing he’s got going for him is money.”

Conservative activists also worry that Bush does not have the passion or the biting tone that has animated them over the past several years. Family baggage also still lingers among conservatives disappointed with the presidencies of Bush’s father and brother.

“It’s what he believes now that is the biggest issue,” said Carlos Martinez, a 52-year-old musician from Hooksett, N.H. “He’s not conservative at all. He has no conservative, core beliefs.”

Hours before Bush addressed the crowd, radio host Laura Ingraham also had several barbs for Bush from the stage.

“Why don’t we call it quits and Jeb and Hillary can run on the same ticket?” she said, sarcastically.

Whatta brat!

After his own appearance, Bush retreated to a ballroom with several hundred supporters.

“That was raucous and wild,” he said. “And I loved it.”


So who won the poll?

In the meantime, Jeb has been “schlepping around” New Hampshire, back on the trail after 15 years. 

And for those who think Israel would again be opposed to another Bush presidency, well, W assured the 700 donors attending a closed-door Republican Jewish Coalition spring meeting that included the Republican donor Sheldon Adelson, they are both on the same page.

Of course, his brother has never been very much help anyway.

So have you looked at the 2016 Electoral Map yet?