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ALL IN THE FAMILY

Why We Can’t Quit Bush and Clinton

What’s in a name, you ask? Proof that a 2016 presidential campaign in which two family dynasties face off once again may be one for the history books.

It seems almost un-American to double down on the Clinton and Bush dynasties that ran the country for a generation. But looking ahead to 2016, Hillary Clinton is her party’s most likely nominee and Jeb Bush is his party’s most credible nominee should they decide to run. An appearance by both unannounced contenders at an education summit in Dallas on Monday fueled speculation about what a high-minded campaign they might wage, being policy wonks and all, and having breathed the same rarefied air of the presidency as spouse in Clinton’s case and brother and son in Bush’s case.

Betrayal

FiveThirtyHate?

Peter Dazeley/Getty

Data guru Nate Silver’s prediction that Republicans will take the Senate brought on the same sort of attacks the GOP made when he called 2012 for Obama.

It is one of the enduring images of Election Night 2012: Fox News’s Megyn Kelly getting up from the anchor desk and, at the behest of Karl Rove, walking down the halls of Fox’s studios, cameras in tow, to confront the network’s exit poll analysts about their decision to call Ohio for President Obama. Rove believed it was still too close to call, while Fox’s Decision Desk team of data crunchers were certain that what they had seen had convinced them it was curtains for Team Romney.

U.S. Keeps Saudi’s Worst Secret

The Daily Beast

The most comprehensive study of Saudi textbooks ever commissioned by the U.S. government was completed at the end of 2012, but to this date the State Department has kept it from the public.

As President Obama prepares for his first visit of his second term to Saudi Arabia, pressure is mounting on the State Department to publish the most comprehensive U.S. government study of the Kingdom’s textbooks.While the study has been finished since the end of 2012, it has nonetheless been kept from the public, according to a new report by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a center-right think tank in Washington.  The report, shared with The Daily Beast ahead of publication Tuesday, says, “The State Department is in possession of a uniquely exhaustive set of recent findings about incitement in Saudi Arabia's education system, findings that it has declined to release for public consumption.

Against the Rules

Mixin’ Money = Mo’ Problems

Chip Somodevilla/Getty

Rep. Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers remains under investigation for combining various funds and resources, along with other campaign-running no-no’s.

The House Ethics committee announced on Monday that it would continue its review of high-ranking Washington State Republican Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers.“[T]here is substantial reason to believe that Representative McMorris Rodgers used congressional funds, staff and office space for campaign activities,” The Office of Congressional Ethics wrote in its report.The inquiry into McMorris Rodgers focuses on her campaign for the office of Republican Conference Chair, the fourth-highest ranking position in the Republican leadership.

Scott Brown (R-Whatever)

Jim Cole/AP

Former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown’s comeback bid in New Hampshire is off to a rocky start.

Former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown is just one week into his latest Senate campaign--this time in New Hampshire--and his foot has already found its way into his mouth.Outside the Red Arrow Diner in Manchester, Brown asked a rhetorical question to the Associated Press, "Do I have the best credentials? Probably not. 'Cause, you know, whatever. But I do have strong ties to this state."This would be perplexingly nonchalant remark from any candidate for the U.

Drowning

Jersey Dem: GOP Right on Sandy Aid

Tim Larsen/New Jersey Governor's Office/Reuters

In 2012, the House GOP caucus torpedoed federal help for the storm because they said it would be mismanaged. The congressman says Chris Christie proved them right.

New Jersey Democrat Frank Pallone said Republicans in Washington may have been right to vote against federal aid for Hurricane Sandy relief in late 2012 because they worried the money would be mishandled.Representative Pallone called the Christie administration’s handling of federal relief “disturbing” outside of a union hall in Wall Township, New Jersey Sunday. Pallone was there with Senator Cory booker to accept his nomination for a fourteenth term in Congress from Monmouth County Democrats.

Conundrum

Racial Support for a Race Ban

Justin Sullivan/Getty

California law prohibits using ethnicity in decisions regarding public education. Democrats want to change that, but Asian-Americans are afraid it will hurt them.

Fewer issues inflame political passions in my home state of California than affirmative action. Since Proposition 209 was adopted in 1996, the state has been prohibited in using an individual’s race, sex or ethnicity in public education, contracting, and employment decisions.Depending on your point of view, this was either emancipation from state-sponsored discrimination based on race, or a return to the days when qualified minority and women candidates were excluded from consideration.

Who Run This Mother?

Warren Buffett’s Rigged Bracket

Johnny Nunez/WireImage

Billionaires like Warren Buffett are obsessed with helping the bottom rung of society—but only because they’re so rich and powerful it won’t threaten their control of the economy.

It’s official: there are no winners in Warren Buffett’s one-man NCAA lottery. Faster than you can say Duke, the avuncular billionaire is off the hook to pay out a cool billion dollars to whomever filled out a perfect bracket.The joke is on us—but like many Americans, USA Today’s Nina Mandell misses the punchline: Buffett even insured his wager, she notes, avoiding any need to put his own money where his mouth is. Even “more importantly, he captured a bit of what March Madness was about: the ability to think anything can happen.

Hip Hop No Way

Disregard Rand Paul Hipster Hype

Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

The likely GOP presidential candidate has anti-surveillance state libertarianism in common with Millennials. But that's about all.

I don’t know how many Berkeleyites Rand Paul really and truly impressed last week with his visit there. If he’s the GOP nominee in 2016 and ends up with more than 23 percent of the vote in Alameda County (Mitt Romney notched 18 percent), I’ll eat my copy of The Post-Modern Aura in Moe’s bookstore window.But it’s clear that he charmed a different group, the one that might in fact have been the real target audience of the visit: The Washington media taste-makers and “thinkfluencers” loved it.

Beware of ‘Downton’ Dems

Richard Clement/Reuters

When it comes to green gentry liberalism, think of an Americanized version of the PBS hit—where everyone knows his or her place, and our betters look best.

Last week was a good week for natural gas, but a bad one for green gentry liberalism.   John Podesta, a veteran of the Clinton White House who is once again a presidential adviser, tried to explain some energy facts of life to the true-believing liberal base. Still, it’s unclear if Podesta’s intended audience was listening, and that willful blindness may cost the Democrats control of the Senate.Podesta warned that opposition to natural gas is impractical and not grounded in reality.

Fringe Factor

Nutty Rep Wants AIDS Quarantine

Getty

A Wyoming legislator stands by his ‘80s book for an HIV sequester, a My Little Pony fan faces a ban, and gays are to blame for autism and tornadoes.

A Wyoming legislator stands by a book he wrote in the ‘80s calling for people with HIV/AIDS to be quarantined. A senator in South Dakota wants to legalize race-based discrimination, and a 9-year-old in North Carolina is banned from bringing his My Little Pony backpack to school.
Rep. Stands by Call for AIDS Quarantine 
In 1987, the newest member of Wyoming’s state legislature wrote a book called The Death Sentence of AIDS, in which he blamed the AIDS epidemic on “homosexual terrorism” and argued that people with the virus should be quarantined.

Hobby Lobby

Religious Freedom Goes Too Far

Mark Wilson/Getty

Religious conservatives are moving to build protection for discrimination into the law. If the Supreme Court lets them, we could end up with a country that can’t be governed.

On Tuesday, March 25, the Supreme Court of the United States will hear oral arguments from Hobby Lobby, a nationwide chain of craft stores, whose CEO objects—on religious grounds—to funding certain types of contraception under the Affordable Care Act. If the Supreme Court makes good on presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s statement that “corporations are people too,” investing them with “freedom of religion,” there will be no end to such claims in the courts.

DECISION TIME

Prez or Senator? Pick One, Rand

Alex Wong/Getty

Unless Kentucky changes its law, he’ll have to choose between destiny and safety.

Currently the Republican Party has a crowded bench of 2016 presidential hopefuls.They include: 2012 left-over Rick Santorum; the “I may run but please disregard my last name,” Jeb Bush; the Republican in the Senate most hated by other Senate Republicans, Ted Cruz; Chris Christie who is busy “bridging” his credibility gap; “I’d rather be chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee than president,” Paul Ryan; “You loved me once but will you ever love me again?” Marco Rubio; finally, newly crowned front-runner Rand Paul.

Guns

Sinking of the Surgeon General

Charles Dharapak/AP

It’s about guns, it’s about the midterms, and maybe it’s about the first primary states in 2016, too.

Democrats thought they would win confirmation for more of President Obama’s nominees by waiving the 60-vote filibuster hurdle for executive branch appointments, but they didn’t factor in nervous red-state senators afraid of taking tough votes that could sink their reelection in November.The latest apparent casualty is Vivek Murthy, a 30-something British-born American doctor, whose parents are from India, and whose Ivy League credentials and activism on public-health issues includes co-founding Doctors for America, which launched in 2008 as Doctors for Obama.

The Nine

Can Corporations Believe in God?

The Daily Beast

The Supreme Court will decide whether corporate personhood, a dubious idea they’ve already affirmed, means business can deny birth control coverage on the grounds of “religious freedom.”

Next week, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a case that may alter the scope of the First Amendment.  Against the backdrop of Arizona’s defunct “Turn the Gays Away” law and others like it, the Court will decide whether corporations have religious beliefs, and whether those beliefs can affect the rights of other people.The case—actually the consolidated cases of Hobby Lobby v. Sebelius and Conestoga Wood v. Sebelius—is also another referendum on Obamacare.

'Clinton Vs. Bush? Count Me In'

A Hillary Clinton-Jeb Bush presidential faceoff would be great for America. So says Daily Beast contributor Mark McKinnon, who joined 'Morning Joe' to explain why the U.S. needs this.

  1. President Obama, Guided by Faith Play

    President Obama, Guided by Faith

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    Behind the Benghazi Witchhunt

  3. Obamacare's Full Court Press Play

    Obamacare's Full Court Press

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