December, 2014

The Coming Wave of Political Books

A quick look at the book publishing calendar gives some hints at who might be running for higher office:

January 13: American Dreams: Restoring Economic Opportunity for Everyone by Sen. Marco Rubio

January 20: God, Guns, Grits, and Gravy by Mike Huckabee

February 3: You Have a Brain: A Teen’s Guide to T.H.I.N.K. B.I.G. by Ben Carson M.D.

May 5: Times of Challenge, Moments of Grace by Carly Fiorina

May 12: Untitled by Sen. Ted Cruz

June 2: Taking a Stand: Moving Beyond Partisan Politics to Unite America by Rand Paul

[speech_bubble type=”std” subtype=”a” icon=”pwdome.jpg” name=””]Can anyone help Ted Cruz come up with a title for his book? Suggestions are welcome in the comments. [/speech_bubble]

Jeb Bush Loves Email

The Washington Post combs through the thousands of emails released from Jeb Bush’s tenure as Florida governor.

“The e-mails depict him both as terse chief executive and a sometimes-flip writer who sprinkled his messages with ‘awesome,’ ‘my bad’ and ‘chill out’ … The trove of Bush correspondence available to the public is voluminous, both because of Florida’s expansive public-records laws and because of Bush’s proclivity for e-mail. An early adopter of the technology, the former governor was known for constantly pecking out messages on his BlackBerry and reportedly spent as much as 30 hours a week reading and sending e-mail.”

CNN has the top five takeaways from Bush’s email archive.

A Strong Closer

Andrew Sullivan: “There has long been a pattern to Barack Obama’s political career on the national stage. There are moments of soaring moral clarity and inspiration; there are long periods of drift or laziness or passivity; and there are often very good fourth quarters. The 2008 campaign was an almost perfect coda: the sudden initial breakout, then a strange listlessness as he allowed the Clintons to come back in New Hampshire, turning the race into a long and grueling battle for delegates, then a final denouement when he made up with the Clintons and stormed into the White House. Or think of healthcare reform: a clear early gamble, followed by a truly languorous and protracted period of negotiation and posturing, and then a breakthrough. Or marriage equality: an excruciating period of ambivalence followed by a revolution. On climate: a failed cap and trade bill … followed by real tough fuel emissions standards, new carbon rules from the EPA and an agreement with China.”

“If you were to track this pattern – strong start, weak middle, winning final streak – throughout his entire presidency, you might have expected his worst year to be the one when he was just re-elected and had the wind at his back. And you would be right. 2013 was truly awful. But you’d also expect his final years to be strong.”

Time to Topple North Korea?

Richard Haass: “A debate is under way about how best to respond to North Korea’s cyberattack on Sony, an attack designed to punish the firm for making a movie that humiliated Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un. Ideas range from a cyberattack to weaken North Korean political and military assets to relisting the country as a state sponsor of terrorism, presumably accompanied by new sanctions.”

“These ideas are fine as far as they go, but they don’t go far enough. The serious threat posed by North Korea far transcends cyberspace. Only one approach is commensurate with the challenge: ending North Korea’s existence as an independent entity and reunifying the Korean Peninsula.”

Obama Approval on the Rise

A new CNN/ORC poll finds President Obama’s approval rating has jumped to a 20-month high at 48%.

“The approval jump follows a late-quarter jolt in Obama’s governing agenda, which gained momentum after unilateral actions on immigration and relations with Cuba. Separate surveys have showed those moves popular among the American people. It all amounts to some welcome good news for Obama, whose unpopularity — despite consistently improving economic conditions — led to widespread losses for his party in November’s midterm elections.”

McDonnell Will Ask Judge for Community Service

Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R), “convicted in September on 11 federal corruption charges, will ask the court to consider several options for his sentencing other than prison time,” the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports.

One proposal would have him working two years in Haiti at a home for disabled children, handling clean water and disease prevention programs and operating a fish farm.

McDonnell’s sentencing is scheduled for January 6, 2015.

New PAC Worries Romney Supporters

“The new group has drawn consternation from longtime Romney advisers, who worry it could be a scam, designed to rip off vulnerable supporters of the 2012 Republican presidential nominee… Launched late last week, Ready for Romney appears to be, at best, political amateur hour,” the Daily Beast reports.

Said Romney fundraiser Spencer Zwick: “It would seem to me we would know something or at least one of the names connected to a legitimate organization. In this case, I don’t know any of the individuals. Nor do they appear to have been big Romney supporters. I likewise don’t know any Romney donors or former campaign leadership at all connected to this group.”

Grimm Won’t Step Down Despite Guilty Plea

Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY) said he “won’t step down, despite pleading guilty Tuesday to one of the 20 felony tax fraud charges he’s been battling since April — immediately raising questions about whether the New York Republican will be forced to resign his seat in Congress,” Roll Call reports.

Said Grimm: “Absolutely not. It happened before I was in Congress, and for the past four years I’ve been a strong, effective member of Congress. As long as I am able to serve, I’m going to serve, and that’s exactly what I plan on doing.”

U.S. Won’t Confirm Internet Attack in North Korea

The U.S. State Department declined to “speculate” about a reported Internet outage in North Korea after the U.S. promised a “proportionate response” to a hack of Sony Pictures Entertainment linked to the isolated nation, NBC News reports.

Said spokeswoman Marie Harf: “I don’t have anything new to share with you today about North Korea. The president has spoken to what our potential responses – separate and apart from what we’ve seen over the past 24 hours – might be. And I’d leave it to North Korea to talk about if their internet was up or if it wasn’t, and why.”

How Comcast Lobbies the Politically Influential

The Washingtonian has a story about how David Gregory lost his job as host of “Meet the Press” which contains this interesting tidbit:

“Comcast also had an even more personal way of sucking up to Washington. Its government-affairs team carried around ‘We’ll make it right’ cards stamped with ‘priority assistance’ codes for fast-tracking help and handed them out to congressional staffers, journalists, and other influential Washingtonians who complained about their service.”

Grimm May Not Get Jail Time

Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY) “may not spend a day behind bars even if he pleads guilty Tuesday to a federal tax-evasion charge as expected,” the Staten Island Advance reports.

“Grimm’s lack of criminal history, his military service and years of service as an FBI agent should weigh in his favor, said experts.”

Meanwhile, The Hill reports that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is “turning the heat up” on Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), urging him to call for Grimm’s resignation.

Republicans Set to Oust CBO Chief

“Incoming Republican leaders in Congress won’t reappoint Doug Elmendorf to another term as head of the Congressional Budget Office,” Bloomberg reports.

“The move comes after a campaign from conservative lawmakers who want to change the way the CBO calculates the costs of government… The office provides nonpartisan budget analysis for members of Congress that includes estimates of the cost of legislation.”