Quote of the Day

“These people are so greedy, they’re so out of touch with reality. They think they own the world…I’m sorry to have to tell them, they live in the United States, they benefit from the United States, we have kids who are hungry in this country. We have people who are working two, three, four jobs, who can’t send their kids to college. Sorry, you’re all going to have to pay your fair share of taxes.”

— Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), in an interview with CNBC, on Wall Street executives.

Pataki Will Run for President

“Ignoring the polls and pundits, former New York Gov. George Pataki plans to announce Thursday that he’s joining the crowded Republican field for president,” the New York Post reports.

“The three-term governor will unveil his candidacy in Exeter, N.H., – which claims the birthplace of the Republican Party – and join a group of contenders who are inching toward the 20 mark.”

Democrats Want Hagan to Run Again

Democratic powerbrokers, including Sen. Chuck Schumer, are coaxing former Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC) to run for Senate again in 2016, National Journal reports. “And not just because they like her. Hagan might be the greatest chance the party has to reclaim that Senate seat, riding a wave that some strategists think will be in Democrats’ favor thanks to Hillary Clinton sitting atop the national ticket and luring voters to the polls.”

“The best any of those recruiters can say, though, is that Hagan is seriously considering it. According to people close to her, the senator who suffered through more than $100 million in mostly negative TV spending against her just months ago, hasn’t made a decision. She hasn’t even decided when that decision might come.”

Koch Brothers May Support Multiple Candidates

“David Koch let it slip that the roughly $900 million that he and his brother, Charles, plan to lavish on the 2016 presidential race could find its way into the hands of more than one GOP contender,” the Washington Post reports.

Said Koch: “We are thinking of supporting several Republicans. If we’re happy with the policies that these individuals are supporting, we’ll finance their campaigns.”

“And the Kochs aren’t the only ones trying to do this winnowing. Fox News, which always keeps the long-term interests of the Republican Party in mind, recently announced that in the first debate of the season, it will be refusing admittance to all but 10 candidates. The excluded ones will in all likelihood find themselves caught in a vicious cycle where they can’t get coverage because they aren’t being taken seriously, and the can’t get taken seriously because they aren’t getting coverage.”

The Carly Fiorina Boomlet

Two new articles suggest Carly Fiorina (R) is impressing GOP voters in the early states.

New York Times: “Iowa voters are known to fall in love with firebrand candidates and underfunded outsiders, from Pat Buchanan in 1996 to Howard Dean in 2004. And this cycle, Republicans here are starting to swoon over Ms. Fiorina, who is so unknown in national polls that she may not even be included in the first presidential debate in August… Whether Ms. Fiorina, the only woman in the Republican race, can build from her status as a crowd-pleasing speaker and curiosity into a serious competitor is not clear. But something is happening on the ground here.”

Sacramento Bee: “Fiorina has gained an uncommon degree of attention in the early nominating states of Iowa and New Hampshire. She has endeared herself to conservatives who – while not considering Fiorina their first choice – relish her status as the Republican field’s only woman and most strident critic of the Democratic front-runner, Hillary Rodham Clinton.”

NSA Skirmish Tests Political Ties of McConnell and Paul

Sen. Mithc McConnell (R-KY) “has studied Senate procedure firsthand over five decades, and there is not much that can leave him flummoxed, even momentarily. But here he stood — thanks to, of all people, his fellow Republican, fellow Kentuckian, close political ally and the man he has endorsed for president — Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY),” the Washington Post reports.

“With a dramatic series of procedural maneuvers, Paul had just dashed McConnell’s public pledge to extend a controversial National Security Agency surveillance program beyond a June 1 deadline before the Senate left for a week-long holiday break. The program allows the government agency to collect vast troves of call data from telephone companies as part of the fight against international terrorism. Paul sees it as a violation of individual privacy.”

Shapiro Declines Senate Bid in Pennsylvania

Josh Shapiro (D) has told national Democratic Party leaders that he will not run for the nomination to challenge Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) next year, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

“Senior Democrats had been encouraging Shapiro to jump into the primary against Joe Sestak, a retired Navy rear admiral and former Delaware County congressman who lost a close race to Toomey in 2010 but who also has a strained relationship with members of the party establishment.”

Which Speeches Were for Charity?

Politico: “The Clintons earned more than $25 million in 2014 from speech income, but a second list released this week from the Clinton Foundation showed that an additional at least $12 million was directed to the family charity since 2001 from 97 speeches made by Bill, Hillary or Chelsea Clinton to various universities, businesses and foreign entities. The Clintons have offered no explanation for how they decided which speeches to donate to their charity and which to take as income.”

GOP Candidates Have Few Answers on Islamic State

New York Times: “As President Obama grapples with the unnerving territorial gains of the Islamic State last week, the Republicans eyeing the White House are struggling to put forward strategies of their own. The most detailed ideas have come from Mr. Graham, a United States senator from South Carolina who is on the Armed Services Committee, yet he ranks so low in polls that it is unclear if he will qualify to participate in the coming candidate debates. Mr. Bush, a former governor of Florida, and Mr. Walker, the governor of Wisconsin, draw more support from voters at this point, yet seem less sure of their war footing, saying they would rely on guidance from military advisers.”

Clinton Emails Highlight Problem with Private Server

Associated Press: “The prospect for political complication in Clinton’s choice to use a personal email account, rather than one issued by the government, was evident in the messages released Friday. They included several that were deemed sensitive but unclassified, contained details about her daily schedule and held information — censored in the documents as released — about the CIA that the government is barred from publicly disclosing.”

“Taken together, the correspondence provides examples of material considered to be sensitive that Clinton received on the account run out of her home. She has said the private server had ‘numerous safeguards.'”

 

McConnell’s Senate in Disarray

New York Times: “As senators raced for the airport on Saturday after a six-week session that ended in disarray, they left behind a wreck of promises made by Mr. McConnell on how a renewed Senate would operate. Mr. McConnell has found himself vexed by Democratic delaying tactics he honed in the minority, five presidential aspirants with their own agendas and a new crop of conservative firebrands demanding their say.”

“Mr. McConnell promised that his party would instill more discipline, avoiding the last-minute legislative cliffhangers that have long marked Congress and left government workers and the capital markets in a state of constant unease. Instead, he allowed the Senate to depart with a key national security program dangling on the precipice of extinction. Senators also failed again to find a long-term solution for fixing the nation’s crumbling roads.”