Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: Reality catches up with Washington

Amy Walters:

Then there’s the question of whether his GOP supporters – the folks who turned out by the thousands to hear Trump’s over-the-top rants – stick around when/if he starts acting like and talking like a more traditional candidate? These are red meat eaters. It’s hard to believe they will be satisfied with a diet of fish and chicken.
More important, if we learned anything from Rick Perry’s ill-fated campaign it’s that first impressions are all but impossible to shake. Like it or not, Trump is now defined by the caricature of himself he created. Unlike reality TV, where some good editing and a new storyline can redefine a character or a plot line, Trump cannot just walk away from his past. Latino voters aren’t going to “forget” his attacks on immigrants (nor will the Spanish language media let them forget) because he’s now putting out

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Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: Reality catches up with Washington

Amy Walters:

Then there’s the question of whether his GOP supporters – the folks who turned out by the thousands to hear Trump’s over-the-top rants – stick around when/if he starts acting like and talking like a more traditional candidate? These are red meat eaters. It’s hard to believe they will be satisfied with a diet of fish and chicken.
More important, if we learned anything from Rick Perry’s ill-fated campaign it’s that first impressions are all but impossible to shake. Like it or not, Trump is now defined by the caricature of himself he created. Unlike reality TV, where some good editing and a new storyline can redefine a character or a plot line, Trump cannot just walk away from his past. Latino voters aren’t going to “forget” his attacks on immigrants (nor will the Spanish language media let them forget) because he’s now putting out

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Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: Jason Chaffetz, class clown

Jason Chaffetz with a parody graph of the one he used in PP hearings

Pat Bagley via politicalcartoons.com (from this)

The Hill:

DEMS: GOP CHAIR HIDING FULL PLANNED PARENTHOOD FOOTAGE: Top House Democrats are accusing the chairman of the House Oversight Committee of refusing to share the unedited footage from the recent undercover videos targeting Planned Parenthood.
“Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz has in his possession right now, a computer hard drive that contains videos produced by David Daleiden, the head of the group that tried to entrap Planned Parenthood,” Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.) declared from the House floor on Wednesday, interrupting the chamber’s debate on legislation expanding the investigation into Planned Parenthood.

Chaffetz, who is running for House Speaker, received a copy of the videos on Sept. 25, and has since declined to share a copy with the Democrats, according to a Democratic committee aide.

Instead, Chaffetz has said he will set up a “viewing room” for Democratic

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Abbreviated pundit round-up: Workplace Democracy Act; How the rich profit off natural disasters

Thomas Edsall at The New York Times writes—How Did the Democrats Become Favorites of the Rich?

Democrats now depend as much on affluent voters as on low-income voters. Democrats represent a majority of the richest congressional districts, and the party’s elected officials are more responsive to the policy agenda of the well-to-do than to average voters. The party and its candidates have come to rely on the elite 0.01 percent of the voting age population for a quarter of their financial backing and on large donors for another quarter.
The gulf between the two parties on socially fraught issues like abortion, immigration, same-sex marriage and voting rights remains vast. On economic issues, however, the Democratic Party has inched closer to the policy positions of conservatives, stepping back from championing the needs of working men and women, of the unemployed and of the so-called underclass.

Dean Baker at The

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Abbreviated pundit round-up: Gun laws; Planned Parenthood fights back; new smog law not tough enough

E.J. Dionne Jr. at The Washington Post writes—The conservative evasion on guns:

President Obama spoke some of the most important words of his tenure last week in response to the mass shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Ore. “This is something we should politicize,” the president said. “It is relevant to our common life together, to the body politic.” […]
Politicians who go on about American greatness should be ashamed of saying that the United States is the one and only nation that can’t act effectively to solve a problem every other free and democratic country has contained.

Rebecca Leber at The New Republic explains why she thinks New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte Should Be Worried About Losing Her Seat Over Gun Control:

Gun violence “is something we should politicize,” President Barack Obama insisted in emotional, frustrated remarks on Thursday after a mass

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Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: Partisan Republican committees, busted

stable Dem primary numbers

Stable D primary numbers over last month from Reuters

Steve Benen:

Even die-hard GOP partisans sometimes find it difficult to justify the House Republicans’ Benghazi committee. The party struggled to explain why it was necessary in the first place – the deadly 2012 attack was already examined by seven other congressional committees – and the rationale is even more elusive now that the investigation is the longest in the history of the United States.
Making matters slightly worse, the GOP-led committee has conducted itself in such a way as to raise concerns that the entire endeavor is little more than a taxpayer-funded election scheme.

Keep that in mind when reading about House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) – the likely next Speaker of the House – and his interview on Fox News last night. Roll Call reported this morning on the Republican leader’s on-air comments:

“What you’re going

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Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: The liar, the nutter, the fool, the demagogue

various differences between policy positions from independents, Rs and Ds

From Mark Murray, highlighting R’s out of step with country

Joe Nocera:

I wonder, in fact, whether even now Trump is a serious candidate, or whether this is all a giant publicity ploy. Once a real developer, Trump is largely a licenser today; the more famous he becomes, the more he can charge to slap his name on buildings or perfume or men’s suits.
I’m not alone in wondering this, of course. Several Republican consultants I spoke to openly questioned whether Trump is in it for the long haul. “You would see him spending a lot more money if he were putting together a true national infrastructure,” said Rick Wilson, a Republican strategist.

There’s one other thing. All his life, Trump has had a deep need to be perceived as a “winner.” He always has to be perceived coming out on top. That’s why, ultimately, I don’t

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Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: More fallout from Boehner’s resignation

latest NBC/WSJ poll

A must read from Norm Ornstein:

Trying to show that Republicans could govern responsibly, without another government shutdown or debt-ceiling showdown, he faced a nearly unprecedented motion from his own ranks to vacate the speakership, with a strong chance that he would be ousted from the post unless Democrats—at a price—bailed him out. That would have left him in a weakened and embattled state for a miserable 15 months remaining in the 114th Congress. The day after the high point of his tenure—the appearance of the Pope at his side for a joint session of Congress—he decided it was no longer worth it.
There is a bigger backstory. Since 1994, when Newt Gingrich led his party tribe from 40 years of wandering in the desert of the minority to the promised land of House majority, Republicans have become more stridently anti-government and anti-Washington. They have also, when in the

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Abbreviated Pundit Round-up

A seasonal bit of chemistry from Compound Interest. Click to enlarge.

Steven Rattner reviews the Fiorina business legacy.

Her silver tongue honed by decades in corporate marketing, Carly Fiorina has used two debates, and a steely determination on the campaign trail, to climb near the top of the polls for the Republican nomination.
But Americans should pause on her biggest professional credential for our highest office: a short, disastrous stint atop one of America’s iconic technology companies, Hewlett-Packard.

The clearest measure of her performance — and the report card preferred by Wall Street — is H.P.’s stock price, which dropped by 52 percent during her tenure of almost six years.

Yes, Mrs. Fiorina served during the worst fall in technology shares in history. But she managed to underperform her key competitors; IBM’s shares declined by 27.5 percent and Dell’s fell by 3 percent. …

Investors were so down

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Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: GOP at war with Obama, the federal government, and itself

less smoothing R primary aggregate, trump past peak

post-peak Trump from Huffington Post pollster

Perry Bacon Jr:

[Speaker john] Boehner is in some ways the first and only victim of the failure of the Republican Party to achieve its policy goals in the Obama era. Party activists and some House members have chosen to pin the blame primarily on Boehner for the GOP’s inability to stop Obama, who over the last year has cemented a legacy of pushing America left on a number of issues.
This is no doubt unfair to Boehner. Chief Justice John Roberts, a Republican Supreme Court appointee, twice opted against striking down Obamacare. Another Republican justice, Anthony Kennedy, cast the deciding vote making gay marriage a constitutional right. American voters reelected Obama, a liberal president who is very unlikely to defund Planned Parenthood and reached a nuclear agreement with Iran.

But conservatives can’t fire Kennedy, Obama or Roberts. So they chucked aside Boehner

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Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: GOP starting to assess the damage

Peter Wehner:

It’s still early – more than four months before the first vote is cast – but the Republican Party is showing signs it is intent on kicking away a very winnable election in 2016.
It’s doing so by presenting a picture of the party to the American people that is intolerant, bigoted and nativist…

The message being sent to voters is this: The Republican Party is led by people who are profoundly uncomfortable with the changing (and inevitable) demographic nature of our nation. The GOP is longing to return to the past and is fearful of the future. It is a party that is characterized by resentments and grievances, by distress and dismay, by the belief that America is irredeemably corrupt and past the point of no return. “The American dream is dead,” in the emphatic words of Mr. Trump.

This is all quite troubling to those

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Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: GOP, stuck with the crazy

teddy roosevelt quote on religion

Teddy Roosevelt with an apt quote via Ripon Society

Chris Cillizza:

Sorry, Ben Carson, you weren’t misquoted about a Muslim president. That’s ridiculous.
Amid a giant uproar over his comments on “Meet the Press” that he would be uncomfortable with a Muslim being elected president, Ben Carson is trying to recast what he said by using that most-convenient of scapegoats: the media.

Carson insisted Tuesday that he was talking about radical forms of Islam, not the religion more broadly. “It’s on the record on NBC. On ‘Meet the Press.’ Did anyone pick up on that? Of course not, because that wasn’t the juicy story,” he said at an event in Ohio.

In the words of Warner Wolf, let’s go to the videotape! (Or, more accurately, the transcript.)

Yes, we get that the right loves it. All the sweeter to watch him go down because of it.
Jill

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Abbreviated pundit round-up: Picking your mom for the $10 bill isn’t endearing; the Pope’s words

E.J. Dionne Jr. at The Washington Post writes—Pope Francis’s actions speak louder than his words:

A danger for all of us in the column business is that we’ll look for political meaning in Pope Francis’s big speeches and ignore what he does while he’s here. […]
Progressives will highlight everything the pope says about climate change, immigration, social justice and capitalism. Conservatives will grab on to every statement he makes against abortion. Both sides will look for how he describes “religious liberty.” Will he talk about the fight over contraception coverage in the Affordable Care Act (as conservatives hope), or will he concentrate on the persecution of religious minorities, including Christians, around the globe?

It’s hard to see how progressives don’t come out ahead, simply because the pope has radically reordered the priorities of the church.

Rebecca Leber at The New Republic hits a bullseye

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Abbreviated Pundit Round-up

Tis the season when many are trading their phones for the latest version. How much of that glass and aluminum slab can be used again? Courtesy Compound Interest. Click to enlarge.

Before we get started this morning, can I direct you back to the title? Abbreviated Pundit Round-up is something the site’s been doing nearly every day, day in and day out, for years now. When it’s missing it usually means that someone—and that someone is usually me—dropped into the sack without setting an alarm to let them know it was time to make the donuts get up and read the glorious wisdom of America’s pundit class. Otherwise, there it is, smack dab between whatever was the last thing posted in the evening and the first thing that someone with a functioning coffee machine pounded out in the AM.
The format here is simple: I read the columns. Those that

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Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: Peak Trump?

latest Reuters D primary polling

The Hill:

A Voter Gravity poll released Friday shows Fiorina with 22 percent support among Granite State GOP primary voters. She has a 4-point edge over her nearest competitor, bigwig billionaire Donald Trump, who has 18 percent support.
Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson nets 10 percent support, with the poll finding no other Republican White House hopeful cracking double digits in the first-in-the-nation primary state.

Fusion:

Compared to other Republicans, Donald Trump used to be an outlier on guns. He wrote that he supported a ban on assault weapons in his 2000 book “The America We Deserve.” In a 2012 interview with the Washington Times, a reluctant Trump told the interviewer that he owns several weapons, “but I don’t talk about it.”
But on Friday, Trump’s presidential campaign released a policy paper that pulls a 180-degree reversal on the assault-weapon ban and puts his overall

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Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: On racial profiling… and the debates

new followers on twitter after gop debate
tweet about GOP losing fav over last 6 months

USA Today:

The White House has invited Ahmed to Astronomy Night at the White House on Oct. 19, which brings students together with government scientists and NASA astronauts. “It will be an opportunity to talk about science and our solar system and the universe,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Wednesday. “We are hopeful that Ahmed will be right at home here.”

Zach Beauchamp:

It’s not hard to figure out why school officials and police in Irving, Texas, decided to arrest, interrogate, and suspend a 14-year-old student who had brought in a homemade clock. The student, Ahmed Mohamed, comes from a family that is Muslim and of Sudanese descent.
This is textbook racial and religious profiling: Mohamed looked like what the Irving police thought terrorists looked like, so they treated him differently.

It’s also the perfect example of why profiling doesn’t work. And yet, the idea

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Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: On Trump and Clinton

'invisible primary' rankings of GOP candidates

The prediction markets either are ahead of or lag behind the polls. Click for bigger picture.

Gabriel Sherman interviews Stuart Stevens:

You write in the book that the cruelest lesson in life, and sports, is what if? So what if Donald Trump becomes president?
[Laughs.] He’s not. He’s not! This goes down to, how am going to play in the next Super Bowl? It’s not going to happen. For Donald Trump to win, everything we know about politics has to be wrong. And I don’t think it is. The timing of when it falls apart is always more difficult to know than inevitably that it will.

The Hill:

Destroy The Donald. That threat has been coming for months from the Club for Growth, but on Tuesday the influential free-enterprise advocacy group finally put its money where its mouth has been.
The group’s political arm is launching a $1

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Abbreviated pundit round-up: Republican bedroom regulators; Jack Reacher as American paradigm

E.J. Dionne Jr. at The Washington Post writes Americans and the needs of strangers:

Why should the United States take in tens of thousands of Syrian refugees? Should we make policy on the basis of searing pictures? How much suffering is never photographed or televised and therefore ignored? And what is our obligation to strangers?
Humanitarians might view such questions as heartlessness. Yet those who believe that we should take in many more of those fleeing violence and death need to take them seriously.[…]

It’s easy for upper-middle-class humanitarians — yes, I guess I’m in this group — to speak from quite comfortable circumstances of their concern and horror over the suffering in the Middle East and Europe. Although taking in more refugees won’t have much impact on our unemployment rate, jobless Americans who worry about how the new arrivals might affect their ability to find

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Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: Wakey, wakey, coffee is ready!

What makes coffee smell so great…. even to people who don’t like to drink it?

The graphic this morning comes from the site Compound Interest where UK chemistry teacher, Andy Brunning, has assembled a truly wonderful stack of infographics. If you like it, I’ll use more.
Charles Blow looks at Bernie and the black vote.

Democratic presidential hopeful Senator Bernie Sanders spoke Saturday to a half empty gymnasium at Benedict College in South Carolina. The school is historically black, but the crowd appeared to be largely white.
This underscores the severe challenge facing the Sanders campaign: African-American voters have yet to fully connect to the man and the message.

An August Gallup Poll found that Hillary Clinton’s favorability among African-Americans was 80 percent while Sanders’ was only 23 percent. A full two-thirds of blacks were unfamiliar with Sanders.

This may sound a bit dismissive, but Blow really wants to like

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Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: Rick Perry out, who is next?

Bloomberg:

Two-time presidential candidate Rick Perry became the first to drop out of the unprecedentedly crowded 2016 Republican field on Friday, the latest sign of how devalued political experience has become in a race where anti-establishment candidates have surged ahead.
The former Texas governor, a once-formidable fundraiser who had the most executive experience in the field, pulled the plug on his latest White House bid a little more than three months after entering the race, taking a few parting shots at front-runner Donald Trump as he made his exit.

“We have a tremendous field of candidates,” Perry said at the Eagle Forum in St. Louis, Missouri. “I step aside knowing our party is in good hands.”…

Perry, who called Trump “a cancer” on the Republican Party earlier this summer, didn’t mention him by name as he exited the race, but the references were unmistakable.

“We

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