Donald Trump’s unexpected response to falling behind in Iowa: ‘Please’

Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump's greets the crowd during his "Make America Great Again Rally" at the Grand River Center in Dubuque, Iowa, August 25, 2015. REUTERS/Ben Brewer      TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY      - RTX1PNOA

This is a new tone from Donald Trump:

“Iowa, will you get your numbers up, please?” he pleaded to a crowd in Sioux City, where he made his first stop in Iowa since recent polls showed him falling behind retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson. “I promise you, I will do such a good job.” […]
“I refuse to say get your asses in gear,” he said. “I refuse to say it! … So will you please do me a favor and work with my people and go out on Feb. 1 and vote? And if I win Iowa, we’re going to run the whole table.”

It’s not exactly humility, but … Donald Trump saying “please”? More than once? And “refusing” to try to bully, but asking for something as “please do me a favor”? Unexpected, to say the least.
Some professionals at dealing with bad poll numbers say Trump

Continue reading “Donald Trump’s unexpected response to falling behind in Iowa: ‘Please’”

Mitt Romney on the man who helped inspire Obamacare, which gave ‘a lot of people’ health insurance

Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney gestures as he speaks at the Republican National Committee Winter Meeting in San Diego, California January 16, 2015.  REUTERS/Mike Blake  (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS) - RTR4LRP8

Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is back in the news today, and with an unexpected sentiment: It turns out he likes Obamacare quite a bit, or at least a lot more than the heat of an election battle would allow him to let on. We know this because Romney would like America to remember his friend Tom Stemberg, who died today after a two-year battle with cancer, as a man who should be credited as an inspiration for Romneycare, and therefore Obamacare, and therefore a man who has given health insurance to a great many Americans.

Romney said that shortly after he was elected, Mr. Stemberg asked him why he ran for governor. Romney said he told him that he wanted to help people, and Mr. Stemberg replied that if he really wanted to help, he should give everyone access to health care, which Romney said he hadn’t really

Continue reading “Mitt Romney on the man who helped inspire Obamacare, which gave ‘a lot of people’ health insurance”

The comical cult of Paul Ryan

Not since LeBron James announced “The Decision” to “take my talents to South Beach” have so many Americans waited with bated breath for one man to declare his intentions. Hoping for white smoke from the chimney of his Jaynesville, Wisconsin home, most Republicans and even some Democrats are hoping that Paul Ryan will decide to run for Speaker of the House of Representatives and thus save the GOP from itself.
While Mitt Romney’s 2012 running mate and current House Ways and Means Committee chairman remains huddled with family in his Badger State conclave, politicians and pundits sing Paul Ryan’s praises in almost hagiographic terms. Josh Marshall noted that “a defining principle of modern Republican ideology is that ‘Paul Ryan is awesome.'” Jonathan Chait argued that Ryan “is already the president of Republican America” because “no other figure within the party combines Ryan’s philosophical radicalism and tactical pragmatism.” While

Continue reading “The comical cult of Paul Ryan”

As Carson and Trump stoke Islamophobia, GOP elders worry about getting a bad rap

Republican U.S. presidential candidates Dr. Ben Carson (L) and businessman Donald Trump talk during a commercial break at the second official Republican presidential candidates debate of the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign at the Ronald Reagan Presidentia

Ben Carson started it when he suggested a Muslim wasn’t fit to be president and now The Donald wants in on the action by promising to deport all Syrian refugees because, “They could be ISIS.” First it was Mexican immigrants, then all immigrants, then Muslims, and now even Syrian refugees. But the Republican base is digging it, reports Steve Peoples:

Carson’s fortunes have surged since he first said he wouldn’t support a Muslim president. He raised roughly $700,000 and added more than 100,000 Facebook friends in the 36 hours after making the comment, said campaign manager Barry Bennett.

But even Mitt “self-deportation” Romney seems to fear what all that pandering to hardcore GOP voters will mean for the party.

“I think it’s been unfortunate that some of the rhetoric has so clouded the picture that some people think we’re anti-immigrant. Nothing could be further from the

Continue reading “As Carson and Trump stoke Islamophobia, GOP elders worry about getting a bad rap”

Jeb! Bush channels Romney on ‘free stuff’ to explain how he’ll win black voters

Former Governor Jeb Bush (R-FL) addresses the National Review Institute's 2015 Ideas Summit in Washington, April 30, 2015. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst - RTX1B18W

Jeb! Bush channeled Mitt Romney Thursday night in response to a question about how he plans to “include” black voters and “get them to vote for you.” He could do it, he said (check out the video below the fold), because of his sterling record on school privatization and because:

“Our message is one of hope and aspiration,” he said at the East Cooper Republican Women’s Club annual Shrimp Dinner. “It isn’t one of division and get in line and we’ll take care of you with free stuff. Our message is one that is uplifting — that says you can achieve earned success.”

Yeah … I’m pretty sure that’s a message that will work better with white Republicans than with African-American members of any party. Not because black voters want to be promised “free stuff,” but because the implication is so insulting. Because the “free stuff” Bush is so

Continue reading “Jeb! Bush channels Romney on ‘free stuff’ to explain how he’ll win black voters”

Republicans were silent as Romney played the Birther card

The 2016 Republican presidential field is shocked—shocked!—that front-runner Donald Trump refused to correct a questioner insisting President Obama is a Muslim foreigner. Recalling one of the finest moments for the GOP’s 2008 nominee, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) revealingly explained, “This happens to all of us. It happened to John McCain. You have to push back.” But in 2012, none of the GOP’s best and brightest pushed back when their man Mitt Romney casually played the Birther card.

As a quick backward glance shows, it wasn’t just Romney surrogates like John Sununu wishing “this president would learn how to be an American.” On July 17, 2012, Mitt got in on the act, too, telling listeners that “his course is extraordinarily foreign.” Two days later, Romney repeated the charge in response to the growing outcry about his mystery tax returns, shockingly low tax rate and private equity parasitism

Continue reading “Republicans were silent as Romney played the Birther card”

Unicornomics

Farmville Dream Unicorns loading page

Unveiling the Congressional Budget Office’s latest long-term forecast this week, new CBO Director Keith Hall made an unremarkable statement. “The evidence,” Hall explained, “is that tax cuts do not pay for themselves.” For the overwhelming majority of economists, or just about anyone familiar with the U.S. budget since Ronald Reagan first took the oath of office, Hall’s conclusion is about as close to a self-evident truth as his profession can offer.
But for Republicans and their conservative water carriers, Hall’s remark came as an unpleasant surprise indeed. After all, congressional Republicans chose Hall over incumbent Douglas Elmendorf precisely to implement “dynamic scoring” models. These would show the GOP’s tax-cutting schemes wouldn’t hemorrhage red ink, thanks to amped-up economic growth the cuts themselves would magically produce. Worse still, virtually every one of the 2016 GOP presidential candidates is counting on Arthur Laffer’s 40-year-old myth and other

Continue reading “Unicornomics”