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  1. #661
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    From The Atlantic:

    Rumors of Chris Christie's Demise Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

    This was always going to happen eventually. It was just a matter of time before the incentives on the left switched from it making sense to support Christie to "oh shit we're getting closer to the election and now we have to tear him down".

    They are trying to create this "bully" narrative that I don't think has a very good chance of sticking.

    Especially after the left has been so in love with him for the last several years.

  2. #662
    LL P. Stewie Beorn's Avatar
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    Let's not forget who is winning right now...

    Quote Originally Posted by Rand Paul is one Sly, Cheeky, Son of a Gun
    Today was revealing for the Senator from Kentucky. After the scandal in New Jersey and the Robert Gates revelations, Rand Paul looks to be skating through these political waters like Chazz Michael Michaels.

    President Obama basically steals Rand's Economic Freedom Zones idea and calls them "Promise Zones." But you know what Rand does? He embraces the idea of lower taxes and shows up at the President's speech, showing his ability to work beyond partisan lines. He even finds a way to drag McConnell along, symbolizing how Rand is dragging the Old Guard over to the libertarian way of thinking.

    But the cheekiest and most revealing of his status toward presidential primary aspirations came when reporters ambushed him on his walk through the National Mall--highlighting his relevance in all things with aspirations. When asked about Christie's plight Rand coyly responded, "You know I am always angry when I get stuck in traffic. Now, I know who to blame." This is the perfect response to someone he has had feuds with in the past not to kick them too hard when they are down, but just wink and wave from his perch.
    http://www.dailypaul.com/309690/rand...win-this-thing


    I'm not sure that's quite the right way to characterize Obama's promise zones as they aren't really the same thing that Rand was proposing, but it's still good for Rand that Obama invited him to the White House today and there is the potential for some bipartisan effort on this. When everyone is doing there best to sideline libertarians and the Tea Party Rand is doing a damn fine job of maintaining relevance.

  3. #663
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    Paul isn't the only one (say what you will over the hit he took b/c of immigration)...

    What Rubio’s big anti-poverty plan gets right

    Declaring peace on the US safety net differs greatly from accepting the status quo. Senator Marco Rubio’s new anti-poverty plan offers a dramatic, even radical revamp of the American welfare state. The Florida Republican’s proposal accepts government’s role in helping raise incomes at the bottom, but utterly rejects the “big government” manner in which that help is now delivered.

    The Rubio plan’s core policies flow from three central insights. First, getting more low-income Americans working is critical to social mobility. Second, the income gap between work and non-work is too narrow or even non-existent in some cases. The higher that society defines a basic standard of living, the more rewarding entry level jobs need be. Third, the safety net would be more efficiently and creatively run and designed by Austin or Topeka or Madison rather than Washington.

    Rubio’s “Flex Fund” would replace federal anti-poverty programs with a single funding stream back to the states at current dollar levels eventually adjusted for population, poverty rates, and inflation. The senator has yet to define exactly which programs would be folded into this mega-grant. But the idea’s author, former Romney policy adviser Oren Cass, tells me that “in principle, all of them” would be included — including Medicaid, SNAP (food stamps), SSI (disability), jobless benefits, and TANF (temporary assistance). States already manage much of the federal anti-poverty effort, Rubio just wants to stop ”beltway bureaucrats picking and choosing rigid nationwide programs.” Cass puts it this way: “If you want to get effective reform you have to have the same people who make the implementation decisions be the people who have the accountability and the funding authority.”

    The other big, new idea in the Rubio plan is to use Flex Fund dollars to replace the lump-sum Earned Income Tax Credit with a broader wage subsidy to workers with or without kids delivered by employers through paychecks. Rubio: “This is real money being put back directly into the pockets of lower income working Americans, incentivizing their work and creating opportunity for upward mobility.”

    Again, keep in mind the point here is reestablishing that income gap between entry level jobs and the dole. As Cass says, “The most promising way to do that is to start to take money that is currently spent on something like food stamps for people who are working and people who are not working and say we are only going to leave enough money to use food stamps for people who are not working. If you are working you’re going to get more money in your paycheck.”

    There is much to recommend the Rubio plan. Policy analysts on the left and right should take it seriously while highlighting its pluses and minuses. The proposal gets some big things right. It doesn’t confuse poverty fighting with budget cutting, though spending will drop if poverty falls. It tries to raise the ceiling for work rewards rather than lower the floor for income support. It takes advantage of states as laboratories of policy innovation while still maintaining a federal funding role. It recognizes how globalization and automation are transforming the American labor market and changing the nature of modern work.

    Add in other pro-middle class/anti-poverty ideas such as expanding the child tax credit and reforming jobless benefits, and what emerges perhaps is much of the foundation of a 21st century center-right economic agenda for greater economic mobility, and prosperity and human flourishing.

  4. #664
    LL P. Stewie Beorn's Avatar
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    @DiscoBiscuit

    That's something he can possibly run on in 2016, but I think it's too big a project to get off the ground when congress is so disfunctional. Even if Repubs take the senate this year it will still be difficult to get Obama to go along when he'll have his own agenda to push.

    Rubio is just not coming off as good of a year as Rand had, but he certainly has enough time to overtake Rand. I just don't think Rubio has the necessary public presence. His recent video introducing his plan was lackluster and did little to make people forget his previous issues in front of a camera.

  5. #665
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    The scandal hasn't knocked Christie off the top of the heap, but it's looking like it may have opened up lanes for newcomers like Paul, Rubio, Scott Walker etc...

    While I'm not a fan of any Republican scandal, this one at least has the silver lining of making the 16 field more open and competitive than it may have otherwise been.

    And that is a very good thing.

  6. #666
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    I still stand by my position that Christie is the best Republican candidate, which means if this sticks it's bad news for Republicans. I think any big names in the party who do not aim to run for the presidency themselves would be wise not to pile on Christie.
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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  7. #667
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  8. #668
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    I would have considered actually voting for Christie before this nonsense. Now he has no chance at getting my vote. I hate traffic and he is responsible for making traffic worse, on purpose. That is an unforgivable sin. He is a terrorist.
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  9. #669
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    The Benghazi report was released today with some powerful takeaways.

    The National Journal reporting:

    We Now Know Who's to Blame for Benghazi

    A Senate intelligence committee report released Wednesday assigns the blame for the confusion surrounding the 2012 terrorist attacks, but questions remain.


    The enduring question of blame surrounding the terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans in 2012 has finally been answered, at least according to a Senate Intelligence Committee report released Wednesday.

    The report found that the State Department failed to increase security at the U.S. diplomatic compound, despite warnings of deteriorating safety measures in the area. The report also blamed intelligence agencies, such as the CIA, for not sharing information with the U.S. military command in the area, which itself lacked the resources required to defend the consulate during an emergency.

    These shortfalls, which created a risky environment at the consulate, led the committee to determine that the attacks were "likely preventable."

    "In spite of the deteriorating security situation in Benghazi and ample strategic warnings, the United States Government simply did not do enough to prevent these attacks and ensure the safety of those serving in Benghazi," said Committee Vice Chairman Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga.

    Here are the report's key findings.

    Although the intelligence community has identified several people responsible for the siege in Libya, the terrorists who carried out the attack have not been arrested or charged. The FBI investigation in Libya is ongoing, and 15 people who cooperated with agents have since been killed.
    There were no U.S. military resources at the consulate to intervene and help defend it immediately after it was attacked.
    In the months before the attacks, the intelligence community received numerous reports about the crumbling security situation near Benghazi, indicating that the American facilities there were at risk.
    Based on those reports, the State Department should have upped security around the consulate, especially after two attacks against Westerners in the area in April and June of 2012.
    After the attacks, intelligence reports inaccurately reported that a protest conducted near the consulate earlier that day played a role in the attack, but there was not enough intelligence or eyewitness reports to corroborate that allegation. The intelligence community stuck with this assertion long after the attacks, confusing both policymakers and the public.

    The report offers no kind words for the White House and its "lack of cooperation." "Important questions remain unanswered as a direct result of the Obama administration's failure to provide the Committee with access to necessary documents and witnesses," it reads.

    The FBI, too, has not been forthcoming, the committee reports. "We have also learned that the Federal Bureau of Investigation has developed significant information about the attacks and the suspected attackers that is not being shared with Congress, even where doing so would not in any way impact an ongoing investigation."

    Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. said in a statement that she hopes the report "will put to rest many of the conspiracy theories and political accusations about what happened in Benghazi." With many questions apparently still left unanswered, a significant lull in the Benghazi debate seems unlikely.

  10. #670
    Senior Member Nicodemus's Avatar
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    Well, no surprises there. You need a new pony.

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