Ken Starr was the Captain Queeg of special prosecutors. He kept fishing around in Lake Clinton, looking for any nibble which would justify impeaching the (person he supposed was a) lout. He investigated every phone call either Bill or HIllary Clinton ever made, and investigated every check they ever wrote--and that was just for starters.
While he could find nothing good in the Clinton's, Starr has managed to come to the defense of a family friend who is also a confessed child abuser. Christopher Kloman abused abolescent women repeatedly over a 20 year period. The youngest of his victims was 11 years old. Said Starr:
Mr. Kloman is currently repenting for his past sins and will continue to do so if given a chance to serve his community and neighbors. Community service would be a far better punishment than having him languish in jail.
Ken Starr is also president of Baylor University, the premiere baptist college in the country.
Ted Cruz was the big winner in the government shutdown/debt ceiling debacle. By posing as the nation's foremost opponent of Obamacare, to the point of suicidal mission, he has managed to separate himself from the pack by finding a way to be seen as the most conservative out of a slew of very conservative potential candidates. This is quite extraordinary, and an exceptional display of political skill on the part of Cruz.
He was never very serious about his scheme to "defund Obamacare." His alleged "strategy" was a chimera from the start and reminiscent of this classic cartoon which once appeared in the New Yorker. The scheme is quite elaborate, but it depends on a miracle at the critical juncture.
Cruz's strategy to "defund Obamacare" was based on putting pressure on the Senate Democrats to do it. The GOP House would be stalwart. The Senate Republicans would be stalwart also, he supposed, but that would not be a majority. In order to get a majority in the Senate, Senate Democrats would have to cave.
That's when the miracle would happen. Cruz supposed that, because Obamacare was so massively unpopular, that public opinion would storm over the Senate Democrats and cause them to flip.
There are several flaws in that alleged "strategy," the most notable being that Obamacare is not that unpopular. True, the polls are roughly 60-40 against Obamacare, but about one-fourth to one-third of the people who say they oppose it do so because they wanted single payer all along. They fault Obamacare for not being liberal enough.
Put another way, support for Obamacare, or a more liberal alternative, is about 60-40, which is a considerable majority, and which further means there is no massive groundswell of opposition that could shake the Senate Democrats.
Ted Cruz knew all this, of course. He went ahead anyway because the surest route to the heart of the GOP base is ideological fidelity combined with crusader-like zeal. It worked like a charm. One recent poll showed that Cruz was now the choice of 74% of tea party Republicans. That's the base.
His strategy never stood a chance, but that doesn't matter too much to Cruz since he accomplished so much by pursuing it. In one swoop, he has assured himself of adequate financing for the 2016 campaign of which he is now the frontrunner.
John Boehner may be losing his job come January. The election for the House Speakership will be held January 3, and he may be facing a challenge from the tea party caucus. His Plan B had a tax increase!
House GOP members take seriously the idea that if you go after the king, you'd better get him. Tea partiers are trying to rig it so that the election for Speaker is a secret ballot. That way, they can vote against Boehner without fearing retribution should he survive the attack. This is not the most courageous approach obviously, but it just might work to unseat Boehner.
Norman Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute, noting that the Constitution says nothing about whether or not the Speaker must actually be a member of the House, proposes that Jon Huntsman be Speaker. He figures Huntsman is a legitimate conservative who could garner some GOP votes, and is moderate enough that he could get some Democrats.
The Constitution does not clearly state that the Speaker must be a member of the House, but it hints in that direction and has always been the case in actual practice.
In any case, it does not say anything about the Speaker being a living person either. Why not Ronald Reagan for Speaker of the House? The problem is not that he's no longer living. The biggest problem is that he's not conservative enough.
The GOP couldn't help the hurricane. They could have helped what they said about it though, such as when they had prayer teams praying that the hurricane's course be dissauded from Tampa, and claimed victory when it did.
This seemed both self-centered--"It didn't hit us so everything's OK!"--and pharisaical--Matthew 6:6.
It cost them the first day, but the first day of any national convention is usually the least interesting day anyway. The campaign wants the passion to build from a flicker of a spark at the beginning, then ratchet up each night all the way to its joyous climax at the end, The Acceptance Speech.
All political conventions of both parties have been this way for the past 40 years. Conventions used to do actual business. That could get messy, however, and didn't look good on television. The Democrats fought in the streets in 1968 and it cost them. A unifying convention might have gotten them the .4% of the vote that gave the election to Richard Nixon.
For the past 40 years, the fighting has all been done in primaries and caucuses so that, by the time of the convention, the issues are settled and the party has four days of prime time to make its best case.
This makes the conventions both less interesting and more useful, less interesting because who doesn't love a good convention fight, but more useful because each major political party is able to make a sustained case to the nation.
The GOP is having a tough time all around. The weather dealt them a blow, which they couldn't help, but which cast something of a pall over the proceedings. On top of that, the Romney campaign doesn't quite control the thing, and Ron Paul keeps sniping at them and disrupting the process.
Meanwhile, on the podium at podium last night, it seemed that all the speakers, save for Ann Romney, were either campaigning for 2016 or trying to shore up their own positions in their home states.
None of this matters too much if the campaign manages a good final night. If Ryan and Romney make effective speeches that connect with people--unlikely, but possible--then the convention might still be said to be a success. You couldn't say that so far.
His fellow party members are trying to force Todd Akin from the U.S. Senate race in Missouri. In a statement earlier today, Mitt Romney himself said, "Today, his fellow Missourians urged him to step aside, and I think he should accept their counsel and exit the Senate race."
What on earth for? His views don't differ that much, if any, from most other GOP candidates. The religious right, ballast of the GOP, takes the same view, though they (usually, but not always) manage to dress it up in more acceptable language.
The poo-bahs of the GOP want him out because they thought they had the Missouri Senate seat in the bag, and now Akin has put it at risk. Romney wants him out because Missouri is something of a "swing state," and they don't want it swinging to Obama.
They figure that if they get rid of Akin, they can put some other tea partier in there and be more assured of victory, both in the Senate race and in the race for Missouri's electorate votes.
Akin should stay in. He still has a good chance to win. Even with all the hoo-hah he's generated in the past few days, the race is still a dead heat, at worst. I'd say he's still the favorite, foot-in-mouth and all. Said Akin, "Why can't Mitt Romney run his race and I'll run mine?"
Romney will win Missouri. Clinton carried it twice in the 90's, but Missouri has trended right ever since. People still call it a "swing state," but it isn't all that "swingy" any more.
On September 18, 2008, Cong. Paul Ryan attended a closed meeting with congressional leaders, then-Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, and was urged to craft legislation to help financially troubled banks. That same day Ryan sold shares in various troubled banks and invested in Goldman Sachs.
Otherwise, why try to hector Rick Santorum out of the race? This is apparently the period in the campaign when people want to declare a winner, but why the rush?
True, Santorum is a long shot. He'd have to win a prohibitive percentage of the remaining delegates in order to beat Romney, and I'm not too sure it's even possible then.
He should hang in there though, and, by golly, he says he's going to go all the way to Tampa! (Then again, that's what they always say until about 10 minutes before they drop out.)
One reason he should stay in is that, even though he probably can't win the nomination given the current circumstances, you just never know what might happen. Current circumstances can change.
Secondly, Santorum thinks that, if he plays his cards right, he'll get credit for conviction and toughness if he hangs in, kind of like Hillary Clinton did in '08. He'll take advantage of that in '16, when he runs again.
I don't care for Santorum much, just so we're clear. His idea that the economy is dependent on a revival of male-headed traditional families seems, to put the best face on it, "oxymoronically creative," but that's not the point.
The point is that people are trying to hound Santorum out of the race prematurely. Did they tell Jesse Jackson to get out in '88? Did people tell Ted Kennedy he should get out in '84? Did they tell Ronald Reagan to get out in '76?
The GOP is paying a political price for their culture war assault on womens' health issues. The "gender gap" has favored Democrats for quite some time, but now it's widening even further in the wake of Rush's attempted shaming of Sandra Fluke, in which he exposed his own leering fantasies, and Their Totalitinesses, the Catholic bishops, who think that religious freedom means that they get to tell women what to do.
What has been the reaction among women, who, by the way, constitute as much as 57% of the electorate? President Obama now leads Mitt Romney by 9 points, 51-42, in the most recent USA Today poll.
The biggest change came among women under 50. In mid-February, just under half of those voters supported Obama. Now more than six in 10 do while Romney’s support among them has dropped by 14 points, to 30%. The president leads him 2-1 in this group.
Looks like a full-on backfire to me, but, as Napoleon once said, "Never interfere with your opponent when they're in the process of destroying themselves."