Here’s what’s trending on Wonk Wire today:
Archives for September 2015
Forbes: “Trump’s valuation this year holds extra importance, of course, due to his audacious second act: his highly unlikely–but no longer inconceivable–path to the presidency. Trump has filed statements claiming he’s worth at least $10 billion or, as he put in a press release, TEN BILLION DOLLARS (capitalization his). After interviewing more than 80 sources and devoting unprecedented resources to valuing a single fortune, we’re going with a figure less than half that — $4.5 billion, albeit still the highest figure we’ve ever had for him.”
Stan Collender: “The Boehner resignation makes it hard to develop a realistic scenario that results in a government shutdown when the fiscal year begins this Thursday. If everything goes as expected, after the Senate adopts a clean CR early this week and sends it across the Capitol, Boehner will bring it up for a vote and the House will pass it easily, thanks to substantial support from Democrats. As a result, the government shutdown that looked so likely a week ago will be averted.”
“But it will be a very different story when this soon-to-be-passed CR expires in December. All the factors that make a shutdown this week so improbable will make it far more likely to happen near the end of the year.”
Charlie Cook says that it “seems like, in very different ways, both parties are at risk of self-destructing. Republicans seem hell-bent on committing self-immolation on both the presidential and congressional levels. Democrats, who pretty much settled on a presidential nominee early on, now find their front-runner hopelessly mired in (depending on your perspective) a scandal or a controversy, one that is unlikely to be resolved anytime soon and has raised legitimate questions about how electable she’d be.”
“For Hillary Clinton, even the best-case scenario looks pretty grim: This mess over her State Department emails drags on for months, with a drip, drip, drip of revelations that will keep her and her campaign off-balance, off-message, and constantly reacting to events; then that it peters out early next year, with no charges filed, but her image and standing in opinion polls in awful shape, with no positive energy left in her campaign.”
A new Florida Chamber Political Institute poll finds Donald Trump leading the GOP presidential race in Florida with 25%, followed by Sen. Marco Rubio at 14% and Jeb Bush at 13%.
Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley’s (R) office said the governor and First Lady Dianne Bentley had reached an agreement ending their 50-year marriage, the Montgomery Advertiser reports.
“Details of the settlement were not immediately available. Bentley said he had asked for the records of the divorce case to be unsealed, though it remained off-limits as of Monday afternoon.”
“Santorum recalls campaign when dog peed on him”
— Cincinnati Enquirer, September 29, 2015.
Donald Trump told NBC News that he’s not worried about some recent polls showing his lead in the GOP presidential race narrowing.
Said Trump: “This is going to be an ebb and flow. How can I continue to lead by such wide margins? It’s an ebb and flow, but I’m leading every single poll and most of them by a substantial number.”
He added: “If I think for some reason it’s not going to work, then I go back to my businesses.”
“This will be a rocket ship for the economy.”
— Donald Trump, in an interview on The Today Show, on his tax plan.
“For the past week, Jeb Bush’s campaign advisers have been using a new data point to convince nervous donors that he’s still the candidate to beat — Bush’s lead in the political prediction markets,” Politico reports.
“Just one problem: Beginning Sunday night, PredictIt, the biggest of the online sites and the one referenced last week by top Bush advisers and confidants, placed Marco Rubio ahead of Bush at the head of the GOP pack. The sudden evaporation of yet another data point in his favor explains the tension in and around Bush’s campaign this week on the eve of the third quarter FEC fundraising deadline.”
New York Times: “The right flank of John A. Boehner’s party may have pushed him out of the House speaker’s chair, but it will take members of every faction of the House Republicans to choose his successor. As the scramble to replace Mr. Boehner — and fill the leadership posts beneath him — begins in earnest this week, a few dozen members who spent several years tormenting the speaker feel deeply empowered in determining the outcome.”
“But while they may have effectively deposed Mr. Boehner, their own authority is in no way assured.”
New York Times: “The Trump campaign may be a win-win for Trump, but it is a monstrous dilemma for a lot of other people. It is a dilemma for the Republican Party and a dilemma for the people Trump is running against. They would love to dismiss him as a sideshow and declare his shark jumped, except he keeps dominating the campaign and the conversation, and they have no clue whether to engage, attack, ignore or suck up in response. It is a dilemma for the elected leaders, campaign strategists, credentialed pundits and assorted parasites of the ‘establishment.’ They have a certain set of expectations, unwritten rules and ways of doing things that Trump keeps flouting in the most indelicate of ways. And, of course, it is a dilemma for the media, who fear abetting a circus.”
Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-TX) colleagues “ignored his attempt to disrupt Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s efforts to fund the government without attacking Planned Parenthood. In an unusual rebuke, even fellow Republicans denied him a ‘sufficient second’ that would have allowed him a roll call vote,” Politico reports.
“Then, his Republican colleagues loudly bellowed “no” when Cruz sought a voice vote, a second repudiation that showed how little support Cruz has: Just one other GOP senator — Utah’s Mike Lee — joined with Cruz as he was overruled by McConnell and his deputies.”
Rick Klein: “Now, deep into the presidential campaign, the suspicion is that Cruz is trying to use the Senate and its procedures to separate himself from the loathed institution he occupies a seat in. The message back from his colleagues is that they’re not going to help. Anyone can take a shot at the establishment. But the establishment is more than capable of fighting back.”
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is in talks with Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) “to deliver a major infrastructure bill that’s eluded Congress for a decade,” Politico reports.
“The discussions to marry international tax reform with transportation investment are not close to yielding a deal yet and already face serious skepticism from Republicans and Democrats, for policy and political reasons. But Schumer and Ryan are forging ahead, meeting twice in the Capitol this month to advance a blueprint that Schumer floated this summer alongside Portman. The Schumer-Portman team-up is notable because the Ohio senator faces a tough reelection next year, one of several races that will determine whether Schumer becomes majority leader in 2017.”
“The departure of John Boehner as House speaker leaves Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on uncertain ground, without a battle-tested House partner from the Republican establishment and facing newly emboldened conservatives,” the Wall Street Journal reports.
“Mr. McConnell has publicly shown no signs of being rattled as the new guard of House Republicans have asserted themselves—sometimes even criticizing him directly from across the Capitol. But the terrain he must negotiate on issues like government spending is about to change abruptly, with new House leaders who could create complications.”
Donald Trump will appear on The O’Reilly Factor today, Politico reports.
“The booking comes just days after Trump announced he was boycotting the network for what he said was unfair treatment, though Fox News said the boycott came after they canceled a planned appearance by Trump on The O’Reilly Factor last Thursday.”
A new Pew Research survey finds the public by a wide margin says that any congressional budget agreement must maintain funding for Planned Parenthood.
Currently, 60% say that any budget deal must maintain funding for the organization, while 32% say that any agreement must eliminate its funding.
Rush Limbaugh doesn’t believe the news that there’s water on Mars and says it’s just part of “the liberal agenda,” Politico reports.
Said Limbaugh: “OK so there’s flowing water on Mars. Yip yip yip yahoo. Hey, you know me, I’m science 101, big time guy, tech advance it, you know it, I’m all in. But, NASA has been corrupted by the current regime. Don’t know how long it’s going to take, but this news that there is flowing water on Mars is somehow going to find its way into a technique to advance the leftist agenda.”
Limbaugh admitted that he wasn’t entirely sure what the agenda was but was going to “assume it would be something to do with global warming.”