June, 2015

Jeb Bush’s Business Dealings Raise Questions

Washington Post: “Today, as he works toward his run at the White House, Bush touts his business experience as a strength that gives him the skills and savvy to serve as the nation’s chief executive. He has said he “worked my tail off” to succeed. As an announced candidate, Bush soon will be making financial disclosures that will reveal recent business successes and show a substantial increase in his wealth since he left office as Florida governor in 2007.”

“But records, lawsuits, interviews and newspaper accounts stretching back more than three decades present a picture of a man who, before he was elected Florida governor in 1998, often benefited from his family connections and repeatedly put himself in situations that raised questions about his judgment and exposed him to reputational risk.”

Christie Enters Presidential Race as Underdog

When Gov. Chris Christie enters the race for president this week, he’ll do so as an underdog, the AP reports.

“The launch of the Republican governor’s White House campaign is the culmination of years of groundwork that began even before his landslide re-election to a second term as governor in 2013, but one nearly felled by scandal and a descent from his standing as one of the nation’s most popular state leaders to a politician whose approval ratings have reached record lows at home. It’s a reality Christie and his supporters are ready to embrace, not that they have a choice.”

Trump Admits His Marriages Might Not Be Traditional

Donald Trump says that he supports “traditional marriage” but that gay people who might question whether his three marriages qualify as traditional “have a very good point,” Bloomberg reports.

Said Trump: “But, you know, I’ve been a very hardworking person. I’ve had—actually, I have a great marriage, I have a great wife now. My two wives were very good, and I don’t blame them. But I was working maybe, like you, 22 hours a day.”

Asked again what he would say to a married gay person questioning him on the issue, Trump said, “I really don’t say anything. I’m just, I’m just, I’m for traditional marriage.”

Trump Says Bush Takes Him Seriously

Donald Trump says that Jeb Bush, the front runner for the GOP presidential nomination in recent polls, views him as a serious political threat, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Said Trump: “Trust me, he takes me seriously.”

He added: “I actually felt bad because I hit him very hard one day. I really think he’s a nice man… I don’t know if I want him negotiating with ISIS. I think Trump will do a lot better.”

Huckabee Wouldn’t Enforce Gay Marriage Decision

Mike Huckabee suggested that if he were elected president in 2016, he would decline to enforce the Supreme Court decision finding a constitutional right to same-sex marriage, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Said Hcukabee: “I would say, when the Congress provides enabling legislation and the people’s representatives vote and it gets to my desk, then we’ll consider it. This was done through a court edict of five unelected lawyers, a part of a committee, who decided that they knew better than the legislators.”

Jindal Says Gay Marriage Is a Religious Liberty Issue

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) said that his state will comply with the Supreme Court’s order legalizing same-sex marriage, Politico reports.

Said Jindal: “We don’t have a choice. Our agencies will comply with the court order.”

But he added: “I think it is wrong for the federal government to force Christian individuals, businesses, pastors, churches, to participate in wedding ceremonies that violate our sincerely held religious beliefs. We have to stand up and fight for religious liberty. That’s where this fight is going.”

Have Democrats Lost Wedge Issues to Use Against GOP?

“A cascade of events suggests that 2015 could be remembered as a Liberal Spring: the moment when deeply divisive and consuming questions of race, sexuality and broadened access to health care were settled in quick succession, and social tolerance was cemented as a cornerstone of American public life,” the New York Times reports.

“Yet what appears, in headlines and celebrations across the country, to represent an unalloyed victory for Democrats, in which lawmakers and judges alike seemed to give in to the leftward shift of public opinion, may contain an opening for the Republican Party to move beyond losing battles and seemingly lost causes.”

Washington Post: “This uneven terrain is now a key battlefield in the 2016 campaign, unnerving red America and fueling intense debate within the Republican Party about how to navigate such changes — or whether to adapt to the mainstream at all.”

The Urban-Rural Divide Just Got Wider

“There are many divides in American politics. There’s red and blue and black and white. But some of the starkest differences exist between rural and urban America. And events in the news this past week only highlighted the size of those divides,” NBC News reports.

“On trade, the Affordable Care Act and same-sex marriage, rural America has different opinions than those who live in urban and suburban areas, according to polling data. And on each of those issues, the news out of Washington over the past few days has signaled a negative shift.”

Obama Sets Sizzling Pace for Climate Actions

“The White House has churned out about 40 new measures to fight carbon pollution just since the start of 2015, stepping up the pace ahead of critical talks for a global climate change deal,” the Guardian reports.

“Two years after Barack Obama’s sweeping promise to fight climate change on 25 June 2013, the president has used his executive powers to spit out new climate events or announcements at a dizzying rate of one every 4.5 days this year, according to the running tally kept by the White House.”

The United States of Corruption

Gary Hart: “Can anyone seriously doubt that our republic, our government, is corrupt? There have been Teapot Domes and financial scandals of one kind or another throughout our nation’s history. There has never been a time, however, when the government of the United States was so perversely and systematically dedicated to special interests, earmarks, side deals, log-rolling, vote-trading, and sweetheart deals of one kind or another.”

“What brought us to this? A sinister system combining staggering campaign costs, political contributions, political action committees, special interest payments for access, and, most of all, the rise of the lobbying class.”

Christie Thinks Big Field Requires Less Money

Newark Star Ledger: “The fact that the GOP field is the largest since Abraham Lincoln may have changed the monetary calculus for Christie, according to some of the donors supporting his run. They say rather than taking on one big-money candidate such as Bush, Christie will simply need enough to compete with the crowd of over a dozen, at least for now.”

“Christie’s campaign, which went live on Saturday ahead of an formal announcement Tuesday, won’t say officially just how much cash is needed But top Christie donor Al Hill, Jr. – the Texas oilman who’s the grandson of billionaire H. L. Hunt – told NJ Advance Media: ‘My understanding is $20 million needs to be raised between now and the first of December.'”