Monday, March 7, 2016

Last Call For The Ryan King

At least one group of desperate Republicans is putting their money where their insanity is by forming a SuperPAC trying to draft Zombie-eyed Granny Starver Paul Ryan as the GOP standard-bearer.

Earle Mack, a Brooklyn-born businessman and former ambassador under President George W. Bush, is the major force behind a “super PAC” that is attempting to draft the Representative Paul D. Ryan, Republican of Wisconsin and speaker of the House, as the party’s presidential nominee. 
Mr. Mack said in an interview that he would spend up to $1 million on “The Committee to Draft Speaker Ryan,” which was formed last week, but has kept its backers secret until now. Mr. Ryan has disavowed the group, which is plowing ahead anyway. 
Mr. Mack will serve as the honorary chairman of the group. He said he had no animus toward Donald J. Trump, the front-runner for the party’s nomination. 
“I’ve never had any fights with him,” Mr. Mack said. “Our parents were friendly. Fred Trump used my father’s contractors to build his house.” But he added, “It all comes down to winning the election, not dividing our party, and I think that this presidential election has descended into more of a schoolyard scuffle.” 
Mr. Mack, who was the ambassador to Finland, said he believed the tone of the campaign had touched “them all with the finger of pollution.” Winning a general election would be a struggle for all of the candidates after so much mud has been flung, he added. Mr. Mack said that Mr. Ryan was not aware of the effort while the group was being put into place. 
The push is expected to include digital ads and other measures. The group’s chairman and senior adviser is Rob Cole, who was the top adviser to the presidential campaign of George E. Pataki, the former governor of New York. Susan Del Percio, a Republican strategist in New York, will be another senior adviser. David Catalfamo, a former spokesman for Mr. Pataki, is also working with the group.

Talking about throwing bad money after worse.  Look, Republicans, if you're trying to get Paul Ryan in your race after Super Tuesday, something has gone horribly wrong.

And that's good for the Dems for once.

Out Like Flint, Con't

With Michigan's primary on Tuesday, both parties are battling for votes, and the Flint Water Crisis has been front and center for GOP Gov. Rick Snyder.  Snyder is complaining that Democratic candidates in his state for last night's debate will be gone by Wednesday, but that Snyder will be around to deal with the problems.

Only one problem with that: Snyder knew in January 2015 that Flint's water was poison and sent water for state employee offices there, doing nothing for Flint residents.  No wonder then that both Clinton and Sanders have now called for Snyder's resignation.

For the first time, Hillary Clinton called for the resignation of Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder during the Democratic debate Sunday night. 
“The governor should resign or be recalled,” Clinton said, staking out a bolder claim on the issue. 
Clinton has made the Flint lead crisis a centerpiece of her campaign, and has repeatedly criticized the Republican governor for his role in the disaster. Sanders has not emphasized Flint as much as his rival, but he’s been calling for Snyder’s resignation since January. Clinton had stopped short of calling for his resignation.

Sanders made the call for Snyder’s resignation again at the debate, before Clinton was asked about Flint. 
“One of the points that I have made is the governor of this state should understand that his dereliction of duty was irresponsible,” Sanders said. “He should resign.”

As far as the people in Flint are concerned however, it's not like Republicans actually give a damn if people have water to drink in a city that votes blue.

A couple of U.S. senators including Republican Sen. Mike Lee of Utah continue to delay review of a $220 million Flint-inspired bill, pushing a vote on the measure into next week. 
Among Lee’s problems with the legislation are that it didn’t go through the Senate’s ordinary procedure, and the funds designated to pay for the legislation are repurposed from a stimulus appropriation, according to a Senate staffer familiar with the deliberations. 
Lee is also concerned that the bill is federalizing what has traditionally been a local issue — the maintenance of public water infrastructure.

So who knows if or when Flint's water pipes will get fixed?  Republicans are more concerned with Senate procedure than kids with lead poisoning, you know.

Just another day in GOP-controlled America.

Sunday's Primary Motivations

To his credit, Bernie Sanders did win Maine's Democratic Caucus on Sunday by a solid margin, 64-36% over Hillary Clinton.

The Vermont senator's victory is his third of the weekend, along with wins in Kansas and Nebraska on Saturday, and his eighth state overall.

Sanders had courted the state's voters aggressively, while Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton had not made an appearance in the state since September. Both have counted on surrogates, with actress Susan Sarandon campaigning for Sanders, and Olympic figure skater Michelle Kwan on Tuesday for Clinton.

Sanders has done well in states with largely white populations — like Maine — but has struggled among non-white voters, especially across the South.

Maine awards its 25 Democratic delegates on a proportional basis. As of Sunday morning, Clinton was leading Sanders by more than 200 pledged delegates, a margin that will narrow after Maine's are apportioned. When superdelegates are added to Clinton's total, she holds a commanding lead of more than 600 total delegates.

In a statement, Sanders thanked Maine's voters and claimed "momentum" heading into upcoming contests in Michigan and Mississippi on March 8.

So yes, Bernie will narrow Clinton's delegate lead a bit, but she still will lead by more than 200 delegates.  And unless Sanders starts winning states like Michigan and Mississippi this week, he's not going to close that gap.  Recent poll averages show Clinton winning Michigan by 20 points and Mississippi by more than 40 points, as well as 18-point-plus margins in states on March 15th, so I'm not seeing how that 200 delegate edge does anything but grow too large for Sanders to make up.  Maine may very well be his last significant win.

On the GOP side yesterday, Marco Rubio won Puerto Rico by like 60 points, so surely he's got the nomination wrapped up.  Surely.

If that margin is sustained, Rubio would top the 50-percent threshold needed to win all 23 of Puerto Rico's delegates. It would still leave him a distant third in his party's delegate chase. Rubio's previous victory was in Minnesota on March 1. He's under pressure from opponents to drop out of the White House race if he fails to win the Florida primary on March. 15.

So how's that going?  Surely the savior of the GOP can win his home state, where he's a sitting US Senator, correct?

Oh.  Well then.  Trump nearing an outright majority.

That should go over well.


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