Joe Biden (Wall Street Journal) Before he recently died of brain cancer, Beau Biden encouraged his father to run for president. Hunter Biden said that he too would like to see the vice president wage one more campaign for the White House. Several Biden allies said they expect a decision to come by August. I love Uncle Joe, but just like the GOP and President Obama, Joe also supported fast track and TPP. Obama, Biden and Hillary are all from the same "Third Way" Democratic camp. We need more "true" progressive candidates, not more phony Democrats preaching for a mythical "hope and change".
Rand Paul (TIME) on Supreme Court decision for gay marriage, and when talking about the federal government, who says the "Federal government" shouldn't be able to tell people what they can and cannot do; but Rand Paul seems to think that "State governments" should have that power. Rand Paul doesn't mention in his op-ed at TIME that the supreme court decision allows married gay couples other rights, like Social Security benefits, that straight married couples are already entitled to — because "state's rights" doesn't correct this.
Dr. Ben Carson (Denver Post), who is a Fox News regular, won the Western Conservative Summit’s presidential straw poll in Denver. [My post on Ben Carson, the food stamp king.] The runner-up was Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina — who outsourced, how many thousands of jobs, but still lost the company millions of dollars, before they finally fired her?
Jeb Bush (Washington Post): Is he really a mafia crime boss? Records, lawsuits, interviews and newspaper accounts stretching back more than three decades present a picture of a man who, before he was elected Florida governor in 1998, often benefited from his family connections and repeatedly put himself in situations that raised questions about his judgment and exposed him to reputational risk. Five of his business associates have been convicted of crimes; one remains an international fugitive on fraud charges. In each case, Bush said he had no knowledge of any wrongdoing and said some of the people he met as a businessman in Florida took advantage of his naiveté … He has brokered real estate deals in Florida, arranged bank loans in Venezuela, marketed industrial pumps in Thailand, wholesaled shoes in Panama, promoted a building-materials company to Mexican interests and advised transnational financial services firms.
Bernie Sanders (Washington Post): A real threat to Hillary Clinton? Sanders’s emerging strength has exposed continued misgivings among the party’s progressive base about Clinton, whose team is treading carefully in its public statements. He’s connecting in a way that Hillary Clinton is not. He’s talking about things people want to hear. People are used to candidates who are calculated, produced and measured [like Hillary], and they see through that. Bernie's different.
Chris Christie (Washington Post): If the New Jersey governor runs for president, several of his proposals would be problematic in a general election – like raising the retirement age and means-testing Social Security benefits. “They call it the third rail of American politics,” he bragged recently as he talked about Social Security. “They say, ‘Don’t touch it.’ So we’re going to hug it!”
- New Jersey’s economy grew just 0.4 percent in 2014 — ranking 46th.
- The state’s credit rating has been downgraded three times by each of the three ratings agencies under Christie.
- Atlantic City is "falling apart” per the Philadelphia Inquirer.
- Christie has among the highest unfavorable ratings of the Republican contenders in most polls.
- And then there’s Bridge-gate.
From a “Q and A” interview with a Christie expert:
Q: What do you see as his biggest strength?
A: His mouth.
Q: What do you see as biggest weakness?
A: His mouth.
The GOP ousted the Tea Party (Washington Post): Virginia’s Republican presidential nominating contest next year will be a primary open to all voters instead of a party-run convention, GOP leaders decided Saturday by a slim margin. The decision delivered a blow to a coalition of tea party-influenced activists called the Conservative Fellowship. Many have blamed that group for pushing the party to the right.
- Since the days of Bush I, the GOP has moved very far to the right.
- "Third Way" Democrats also moved further to the right (in an attempt to compromise with Republicans), and are now the new "moderate" Republicans".
- Progressive Democrats and Independents such as Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders are now the new "middle" or "center" in politics.
As an aside
* FYI: I forgot to mention: The $1.7 billion a year in these Social Security overpayments — when compared to the almost $1 trillion in stock buybacks corporations made last year (from the $1.8 trillion they had in after-tax profits that year) and the over $2 trillion they have hoarded in offshore banks — this amounts to nothing more than a grain of sand on either Rush Limbaugh's, Bill O'Reilly's and Sean Hannity's beachfront mansions.