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Stop Hyperventilating Over Ukraine

Eduard Korniyenko/Reuters

America never fussed over Ukraine before, so why exactly should we now? Before the West makes moves, we need to define why we should defend the country and what, specifically, we’re willing to sacrifice to preserve its borders.

Watch an hour of cable—and I’m talking MSNBC; forget Fox—and you might well come away from the hyper-ventilations thinking that we will or should go to war over Vladimir Putin’s takeover of Crimea. Listen: Nobody’s going to war over Crimea. This isn’t 1853. Yes, it matters to us how Crimea may once again become a part of Russia, and we don’t like it a bit, but let’s face it, it doesn’t really matter to us in cold, hard, realpolitik terms, whether Crimea is a part of Russia.

Let’s Be Frank

Dems Need a Frank Underwood

Nathaniel E. Bell/Netflix

If the left hopes to be victorious in the polls, they’d be smart to take a cue from Netflix’s callous Congressman-turned-Veep by inducing fear, ruthlessly rounding up voters and finding a worthless opponent to crush.

Attention Democrats:  You’re going to get crushed this November!  In fact, RNC chair Reince Priebus is so confident that on Tuesday he boasted: “We’re in for a tsunami-type election in 2014...it’s going to be a very big win!”  It’s not often you see a guy trash talking his opponents so publicly for fear it will get them worked up. But that’s how cocky Priebus and the Republicans are, especially after their victory last week in the special congressional election in Florida.

Riding High

GOP Chair: We’re Gonna Rock 2014

T.J. Kirkpatrick/Getty

At a breakfast with reporters on Tuesday, RNC Chair Reince Priebus exuded confidence about his party’s chances in 2014.

What a difference a year makes, or even six months when it comes to assessing the electoral strength of the Republican Party.  “If you look at which party is riding high and which party is in the dumps, the Democrats are in the dumps,” Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus told a group of reporters on the one-year anniversary of his “Growth and Opportunity” roadmap urging the GOP to “embrace and champion comprehensive immigration reform,” a re-branding exercise that his party promptly rejected.

Get Happy

Party Time for GOP Report?

The Daily Beast

A year after the release of the ‘autopsy,’ Republicans have strengthened infrastructure and become hip to technology, but they’ve still got a ways to go before there’s a party in the White House.

When the Republican Party rolled out its “Growth and Opportunity Project” report one year ago on March 18, it was an unprecedented step by a national political party still reeling from defeat and uncertain of where to go. Morbidly nicknamed the “autopsy” by some, it offered over 100 recommendations for Republican candidates, party leaders, and operatives to implement, focusing heavily on the need for structural improvements: better data, bigger field operations, and increased outreach programs.

Why DC Hates This Nevada Guv

Isaac Brekken/MCT

In his home state, Brian Sandoval is a foregone lock to be reelected governor. But his Republican party in Washington considers this conservative too wishy-washy to be prime GOP material.

Brian Sandoval, Nevada’s first term Republican Governor, has interesting enemies.  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) fears him; Grover Norquist, the anti-tax crusader and head of Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), vocally disapproves of him.  Reid is concerned that Sandoval would beat him if Sandoval chooses to run for Reid’s senate seat in 2016. As for Norquist, in March 2012 he publicly branded Sandoval a “rat” for raising taxes, adding that Sandoval would not be on the GOP’s 2012 national ticket.

Wendy Davis Will Turn Texas Purple

LM Otero/AP

A new poll shows Wendy Davis within single digits of her Republican opponent—one more sign that Texas’s voters are no longer reliably red.

Let’s start by stating the obvious: It is hard for a Democrat to win statewide office in Texas today.  Recently, Rep. Joaquin Castro, a Democrat from San Antonio, pointed out that Texas has gone longer than any other state in the union without electing a Democrat to high office.  Which makes Wendy Davis’ ascent in the Texas governor’s race all the more impressive.This week, a new poll showed Sen. Davis within just seven points of her Republican opponent, Attorney General Greg Abbott.

Slam Dunk

Obamacare’s March Madness

Mark Wilson/Getty

In an effort to reach their initial goal for registration prior to the looming March 31 deadline, Obama has enlisted NCAA athletes and coaches to play ball and create viral videos that encourage registration.

It’s always big news when President Obama releases his NCAA bracket picks, which he will do on Wednesday. Last year, like most sports fans, he did so-so in predicting the winners. Still, his picks got over 280,000 views, making it the most popular blog all year on WhiteHouse.gov. This year, the administration is squeezing every bit of publicity it can from March Madness, touting “16 Sweetest Reasons to Get Covered,” and updating them daily based on the votes from online users.

WILL HE?

Scarborough: ‘No Plans’ for WH Run

William B. Plowman/NBC, via Getty

The host of Morning Joe, rumored to be considering a 2016 election bid, tells The Daily Beast he has “no plans to run for office”—never mind the recent New Hampshire rally.

General William Tecumseh Sherman—he of the razing of Atlanta and the unequivocal denial of any interest in being president—would not have been impressed with Joe Scarborough’s statement on Monday.The host of MSNBC’s Morning Joe program, a former four-term congressman who has been actively flirting with the idea of running for the 2016 Republican nomination, spent the weekend in New Hampshire wowing and possibly wooing the party faithful. “Joe Scarborough for President? Sure, Why Not?” shrugged the headline over the Atlantic magazine web site’s story about his visit to the first-in-the-nation primary state.

No 'Cheap Grace' on Race for GOP

Chip Somodevilla/Getty

After decades of appealing to white racial resentment, Republicans shouldn't be surprised when people see animus in their rhetoric.

In the controversy over Rep. Paul Ryan’s “inner city” remarks, we’ve reached the backlash to the backlash. “Paul said he thought it was inarticulate, but quite frankly, Democrats are lying in wait as well to pounce on whatever might be off tone,” said Reince Preibus, chairman of the Republican National Committee, during an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union.” Likewise, on the internet, conservative pundits proclaimed Ryan a victim of liberal race baiting.

Stick With It

Dems' November Cure: Obamacare

Reuters

In light of their loss in Florida’s special election, Democrats need to adopt a new political approach and emphasize the popular provisions of the Affordable Care Act.

In the wake of Democrat Alex Sink's narrow loss in the special congressional election in Florida, POLITICO, which swiftly and often clearly crystallizes the conventional wisdom, described a "public split" among Democrats in "how to talk about Obamacare." A few think candidates should stake out more progressive ground, presumably chastising the party and the president for not passing something like single-payer. Others are cravenly ready to run against the Affordable Care Act.

New York’s St. Patrick Shame

Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

In states where gay marriage is legal, gays are still banned from openly marching in St Patrick’s Day parades in New York and Boston.

It’s obscene, in 2014, that gay groups are forbidden from marching in St. Patrick’s Day parades in two of America’s most liberal cities. In Dublin—Dublin! I daresay a more Irish city even than Boston—gays have marched for years. As far as anyone can see, the parade flourishes, no epidemic of gayness has “afflicted” the children born in the years since inclusion, and everybody goes home happy. This isn’t just a foreign phenomenon. Chicago’s St Patrick’s Day parade has managed to include gays without catastrophe ensuing as well.

Bad Deal?

Christie & The Sex Slave Ring

Economopoulos, Aristide

Chris Christie built his reputation as a crime-fighter. So why did he cut a deal with an accused sex slave ringleader—and send to jail a Democratic mayor, instead?

Beginning in 2003, members of a smuggling ring in Honduras approached girls, some just 14 years of age, and talked them into illegally entering the United States with the promise of waitressing jobs.After making it over the border, during which time the smugglers allegedly raped some of the girls, they landed in Houston, Texas. They were temporarily held there before making the rest of their journey north to Hudson County, New Jersey.That’s when the girls learned the truth.

Useful Idiot

Paul Blesses Putin's Sham Election

Getty

The libertarian godfather has become one of the biggest cheerleaders for the "referendum" that will lead to Russia's annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula.

In the Crimea crisis, it seems Ron Paul thinks that libertarianism stops at water’s edge.The former Republican congressman and libertarian icon has long enjoyed a mixed reputation in the United States. While many admire Paul for his small government views on civil liberties, other shy away from a politician who has criticized the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and allowed a series of racist and conspiratorial news letters to be published under his own name.

Early

Hillary Deploys Iowa Army

AFP/Getty

Details on a pro-Clinton super PAC’s push last week show she’s miles ahead of any potential challenger for 2016.

The Iowa caucuses are still nearly two years away, but Hillary Clinton already has the makings of comprehensive organization on the ground in the Hawkeye State.At the Democratic county conventions held in Iowa on March 8, the biannual gatherings where local party activists meet to conduct party business, the Ready For Hillary superPAC boasted of its ability to have to a presence on the ground in all 99 counties in the Hawkeye State. While only 95 counties actually held conventions last Saturday, Ready for Hillary fell short of its goal—but not by much.

Fringe Factor

Liberal Professors Should Be Shot

Tom Williams/Getty

University professors who teach women’s studies should be shot, Michele Bachmann is crusading against gay bullies, and George Zimmerman signs autographs at a gun show.

Liberal Professors Should be Taken Out and Shot “The hard left, human-hating people that run modern universities” should “all be taken out and shot,” Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute head Austin Ruse declared this week. Ruse was discussing the Duke University student who’s made headlines recently with the announcement that she is also a porn star, and had concluded that Duke’s women’s studies department is to blame for one student’s decision to pursue porn.

'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.

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