Category - USA: Campaign 2016

Carly Fiorina Says There’s A ‘Higher Than 90 Percent’ Chance She’ll Seek The Presidency

The Huffington Post, By Sam Levine, March 29

Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina said on Sunday that she will likely seek the Republican nomination for president in 2016.

During an interview on “Fox News Sunday,” Fiorina said there is a “higher than 90 percent” chance that she will run for president and make an announcement in late April or early May.

Fiorina, who has said that President Barack Obama does not deserve credit for boosting the economy, touted her executive experience in the private sector as what will set her apart from the rest of the GOP field.

“I have a deep understanding of how the economy works, having started as a secretary and become the executive of the largest technology company in the world,” she said. Fiorina also cited her understanding of technology, world leaders and how to deal with a bureaucracy as factors that would support her candidacy.


According to HuffPost Pollster, which aggregates publicly available polling data, 3.2 percent of voters would back Fiorina in the GOP primary.

Maybe I’ll run, too.

Top Senate Democrat Harry Reid will not seek re-election: NYT

Reuters, March 27

U.S. Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid will not seek re-election next year, the New York Times reported on Friday.

Reid, who represents Nevada, told the newspaper that his decision to retire from the Senate was not due to a recent accident or his party’s loss of control of the chamber in the November congressional elections.

“I want to be able to go out at the top of my game,” Reid, 75, told the Times.

An obfuscatory reason were there ever one…

Obviously someone got to him. “This accident“, harumph.

Here’s one reason that might make sense, from (uh) Breitbart: The Real Reason Harry Reid is Retiring

But the real reason Reid is retiring may have nothing to do with any of these excuses and everything to do with his concerns that a possible Republican Presidential victory in 2016 would lead to the appointment of a Republican Attorney General in January 2017.

A Republican Attorney General would be almost certain to initiate a criminal investigation into Reid’s abuse of his political power in a brazen intervention in the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) issuance of EB-5 visas to investors in a Las Vegas casino and hotel that was represented by his son, Rory Reid, as was highlighted in a report released by the Inspector General of DHS last week.

“I think Harry Reid’s getting out of town ahead of the posse,” former U.S. Attorney Joe diGenova tells Breitbart News.

Indiana’s Pence to sign bill allowing businesses to reject gay customers

CNN, By Eric Bradner, March 25

Washington – Indiana Gov. Mike Pence is set to sign into law a measure that allows businesses to turn away gay and lesbian customers in the name of “religious freedom.”

The move comes as Pence considers a bid for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination — and just a year after Pence and socially conservative lawmakers lost their first policy battle against gay Hoosiers. In 2014 they had sought to amend Indiana’s constitution to ban same-sex marriages — but were beaten back by a highly-organized coalition of Democrats, traditionally right-leaning business organizations and fiscally focused supporters of Pence’s predecessor, former GOP Gov. Mitch Daniels.

This year, though, the Republican-dominated state House and Senate both approved the “religious freedom” bill, and Pence plans to sign it into law in a private ceremony Thursday, his spokeswoman confirmed Wednesday afternoon.

CBS: Salesforce CEO Says Company Is ‘Canceling All Programs’ In Indiana Over LGBT Discrimination Fears
WISH: San Francisco mayor bans publicly-funded travel to Ind. over new law
Think Progress: When ‘Religious Liberty’ Was Used To Justify Racism Instead Of Homophobia
Reuters: Angie’s List halts expansion of Indianapolis headquarters over new state law that targets gays

Ted Cruz to announce presidential bid Monday

Houston Chronicle, By Theodore Schleifer, March 21

Senator will be first declared GOP candidate

Washington — Sen. Ted Cruz plans to announce Monday that he will run for president of the United States, accelerating his already rapid three-year rise from a tea party insurgent in Texas into a divisive political force in Washington.

Cruz will launch a presidential bid outright rather than form an exploratory committee, said senior advisers with direct knowledge of his plans, who spoke on condition of anonymity because an official announcement had not been made yet. They say he is done exploring and is now ready to become the first Republican presidential candidate.

The senator is scheduled to speak Monday at a convocation ceremony at Liberty University in Virginia, where he is expected to declare his campaign for the presidency.
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Trillion Dollar Fraudsters

New York Times, By Paul Krugman, March 20

By now it’s a Republican Party tradition: Every year the party produces a budget that allegedly slashes deficits, but which turns out to contain a trillion-dollar “magic asterisk” — a line that promises huge spending cuts and/or revenue increases, but without explaining where the money is supposed to come from.

But the just-released budgets from the House and Senate majorities break new ground. Each contains not one but two trillion-dollar magic asterisks: one on spending, one on revenue. And that’s actually an understatement. If either budget were to become law, it would leave the federal government several trillion dollars deeper in debt than claimed, and that’s just in the first decade.
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Obama adviser behind leak of Hillary Clinton’s email scandal

NY Post, By Edward Klein, March 14

It’s the vast left-wing conspiracy.

Obama senior adviser Valerie Jarrett leaked to the press details of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private e-mail address during her time as secretary of state, sources tell me.

But she did so through people outside the ­administration, so the story couldn’t be traced to her or the White House.

In addition, at Jarrett’s behest, the State Department was ordered to launch a series of investigations into Hillary’s conduct at Foggy Bottom, including the use of her expense account, the disbursement of funds, her contact with foreign leaders and her possible collusion with the Clinton Foundation.

Six separate probes into Hillary’s performance have been ­going on at the State Department. I’m told that the e-mail scandal was timed to come out just as Hillary was on the verge of formally announcing that she was running for president — and that there’s more to come.

Take a Deep Breath Before Reading What Follows

Normally I prefer to wait a day or two before posting about any news item.  More than likely there is more information to follow, and time allows for a more judicious interpretation of events.  Not today.  Not with something I read this afternoon.  Here is the text of a letter sent today from the U.S. Senate to Ayatollah Khamenei and other senior leaders of Iran.  The letter was signed by 47 Republican Senators.


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Scott Walker To Cut $300 Million From Universities, Spend $500 Million On A Pro Basketball Stadium

Think Progress, by Alice Ollstein, February 2

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (R) will unveil a budget Tuesday night that aims to slash hundreds of millions of dollars from the state’s public universities over the next two years. Students, professors and state lawmakers are already blasting the plan — the deepest cut in state history — and tell ThinkProgress they’re organizing to block its passage.

Ahead of his presentation of the budget to the state legislature, Governor Walker told local right-wing radio host Charlie Sykes that his budget cuts over the past few years have created positive “efficiencies” at the university, and offered: “Maybe it’s time for faculty and staff to start thinking about teaching more classes and doing more work.”

At the same time, Walker is calling for a nearly $500 million new basketball stadium in Milwaukee for the Bucks. Under his plan, the state would take out $200 million in bonds to pay for the arena, and the county and city of Milwaukee would have to chip in as well. The team’s owner has promised some private funding, and Walker claims the taxes the NBA players will pay will make up the difference.

Many university students and workers, including Eleni Schirmer with the Teaching Assistants Association, are outraged that the Governor would propose increasing sports funding while telling universities to shoulder cuts by developing “efficiencies.”

“It shows a fair amount of ignorance about what happens at a university,” she said. “He’s not telling the Bucks: ‘You should become an actually interesting team so people will watch your games.’”

Sen. Lindsey Graham mulls WH run, Trey Gowdy Supreme Court pick if elected

McClatchy Washington Bureau, By William Douglas, February 2

With former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney bowing out of the 2016 Republican presidential race even before officially getting in, talk on Sunday’s news shows shifted to other potential candidates like former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and former Arkansas Gove Mike Huckabee.

And Sen. Lindsey Graham?

The senior senator from South Carolina, who’s exploring the possibility of exploring a presidential run, received some face-time and chatter on the news shows Sunday. He received a full-throated endorsement from his good friend Sen. John McCain.

‘Obviously, Senator Lindsey Graham is the person I’m supporting,’ McCain, R-Ariz., said Sunday on CNN’s ‘State of the Union.’ ‘I think Lindsey Graham will do very well in debates. In New Hampshire, he will shine in the town hall meetings.’


‘I’m very comfortable that I’m in the mainstream of conservatism,’ he said. ‘I have done well in a red state. And when it comes to national security and understanding the threats our nation faces, I believe I’m the best qualified on our side of the aisle to offer an alternative to a failed foreign policy of Barack Obama.’

Christian Post: Obama Says US Not in ‘Religious War’ Against Radical Islamists; Sen. Graham Asserts the Opposite

Romney, ahead of 2016 run, now calls Utah home, talks openly about Mormon influence

Washington Post, By Philip Rucker, January 27

Holladay, UT — After losing two straight presidential races, Mitt Romney packed up his home in Massachusetts and journeyed west to Utah, building a mansion here in the foothills of the Wasatch Range that has served as his sanctuary from defeat.

Here in the Salt Lake Valley, first settled by his Mormon ancestors, residents look past Romney’s electoral shortcomings and revere him as a savior for rescuing the 2002 Olympics. Romney won his highest 2012 vote margin in Utah — 73 percent to President Obama’s 25 percent. This is also where Romney has been pondering a potential third campaign, calling out to friends and past supporters and praying with his wife, Ann.

“He feels very at home here,” said John Miller, a close friend in Utah who has been talking with Romney throughout his recent deliberations. “This is a very prayerful thing. . . . In the end, it’s really a decision between he and Ann and their belief system, their God. That’s the authentic Mitt.”

If he runs again in 2016, Romney is determined to re-brand himself as authentic, warts and all, and central to that mission is making public what for so long he kept private. He rarely discussed his religious beliefs and practices in his failed 2008 and 2012 races, often confronting suspicion and bigotry with silence as his political consultants urged him to play down his Mormonism.

Now, Romney speaks openly about his service as a lay pastor in the Mormon church; recites Scripture to audiences; muses about salvation and the prophet; urges students to marry young and “have a quiver full of kids”; and even cracks jokes about Joseph Smith’s polygamy.


“I don’t think he sits there and says, ‘God wants me to part the Red Sea and, darn it, it hasn’t happened twice, but it’ll happen the third time,’ ” the former campaign official said. “Although Mitt would make a good Moses. Think about it.”

Mitt Romney expected to declare presidential run – or not – on Friday

The 2012 Republican presidential nominee says he will give supporters an ‘update’ on his potential 2016 plans in a conference call on Friday.

The Guardian, Tom McCarthy, January 30

New York – Will he [or won’t he] do it all over again?

All eyes in the world of American politics were on the former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney on Friday, after he told supporters he would give them an “update” on his potential plans for 2016 in a conference call. [How Wall Street of Mr. Romney…]

The announcement about the announcement followed weeks of intensive work by the former candidate and his former advisers to gauge how many of the biggest Republican donors and party operatives would support him if he ran again.

Romney’s camp was said to be encouraged by polling showing him ahead of potential opponents in the early primary and caucus states, including Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.

Budget for Koch-backed network: almost $1 billion for 2016

AP, By Philip Elliot & Steve Peoples, January 27

Washington – Flexing its financial might, the political machine backed by billionaires Charles and David Koch on Monday told its allies that spending across its conservative network would approach $1 billion ahead of 2016’s elections.

The stunning sum from Freedom Partners would dwarf expected spending from official GOP committees and many of the hopefuls expected to seek the party’s presidential nomination in 2016. The $889 million budget is almost twice what 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney spent from his campaign accounts.

The hefty budget also suggests that the Koch-backed groups are prepared to spend heavily and early to weaken the front-runner for the Democratic nomination, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. Koch-backed groups such as Americans for Prosperity aired tens of millions of dollars in negative ads against incumbent Democratic lawmakers in 2014 and helped Republicans win a majority in the Senate.

Inside Hillary Clinton’s 2016 plan

New campaign takes shape, with ‘big-tent mentality’ and ‘good cop’ for press.

Politico, By Mike Allen, January 26

Not only is she running, but we have a very good idea of what her campaign will look like.

Hillary Clinton is in the final stages of planning a presidential campaign that will most likely be launched in early April and has made decisions on most top posts, according to numerous Democrats in close contact with the Clintons and their aides.

Campaign advisers say the likelihood of a campaign, long at 98 percent (she never really hesitated, according to one person close to her), went to 100 percent right after Christmas, when Clinton approved a preliminary budget and several key hires.

Most of the top slots have been decided, with one notable exception: communications director, a job that is now the subject of intense lobbying and jockeying among some of the biggest names in Democratic politics. One top contender is White House communications director Jennifer Palmieri, who is close to likely campaign chairman John Podesta.

China’s Louisiana Purchase: Who’s building a methanol plant on the bayou?

Al Jazeera investigates ties between Louisiana and the Chinese government in a proposed $1.85 billion methanol plant.

Al Jazeera, By Massoud Hayoun, January 26

This article is part one of a three-part series on China’s role in redeveloping southern Louisiana called China’s Louisiana Purchase.

St. James Parish, LA — A prominent Chinese tycoon and politician — whose natural gas company has a dubious environmental and labor rights record that recently started coming under fire in the Chinese press — is parking assets in a multibillion dollar methanol plant in a Louisiana town. And he appears to be doing it with help from the administration of likely GOP 2016 presidential ticket contender Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.

Not many locals in a predominantly black neighborhood of St. James Parish — halfway between New Orleans and Baton Rouge — know that Wang Jinshu, the Communist Party Secretary for the northeastern Chinese village of Yuhuang and a former delegate to the National People’s Congress, is the man at the helm of a $1.85 billion methanol plant to be built in their town over the next two years with a $9.5 million incentive package from the state. The details of the project are unclear, residents say, largely because they were not told about the project until local officials, amid discussions with state officials and Chinese diplomats, decided to move forward with the project in July 2014.

“We never had a town hall meeting pretending to get our opinion prior to them doing it,” said Lawrence “Palo” Ambrose, a 74-year-old black Vietnam War veteran who works at a nearby church. “They didn’t make us part of the discussion.”

Jeb Bush sheds corporate commitments to help 2016 presidential run

The former Florida governor is quitting a host of boards mindful of the damage done to the Republican challenger Mitt Romney by his business interests in 2012.

The Guardian, By Dan Roberts, January 1

Washington – New Year resolutions often involve weight loss, but Jeb Bush, who has already shed an estimated 15lbs since starting his run for the White House, has instead opted to jettison some heavy financial baggage.

As the clock struck midnight on Thursday, and with Mitt Romney’s failed 2012 campaign still ringing in many Republican ears, the former Florida governor’s team quietly announced that their candidate was resigning from a slew of corporate boards and private equity interests that could cast a shadow over his presidential bid in 2016.

Technically, Jeb Bush – son of President George Bush Sr and younger brother of President George W Bush – is still only “exploring” whether to seek the Republican nomination. But severing his many business ties means forgoing millions of dollars in consultancy earnings and is likely to prove almost as indicative of his determination to follow in family footsteps as did his announcement of a fundraising committee last month.

Disentangling the extensive business interests that Bush has built up since standing down as governor in 2007 has not been a simple exercise. His first major resignation – as an adviser to Barclays following its purchase of Lehman Brothers – was confirmed by the British bank three weeks ago, after questions were raised about whether it and other controversial relationships could prove his achilles heel.

AP: Marco Rubio Moving Close To Decision On Presidential Run – …not a gut decision… … but certainly soon… … Tremendous respect [for Gov. Bush]…