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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.

In God’s Country

Can Bono Save the GOP?

Chelsea Lauren/Getty

The U2 frontman wants to save the world. Why shouldn’t he save Republicans, too?

Forget Rand Paul. Forget Marco Rubio. The hot leadership figure on the wonky right isn’t a politician. He’s not even American.U2 may be sliding toward irrelevance, but Bono’s got a whole new fan base.The Heritage Foundation raked in hundreds of retweets this month for its slick image of Bono flashing a peace sign while striding across a stage—beside a bold-faced pull quote touting “free enterprise” as a “cure” for poverty at home and abroad. Indeed, for Bono, “welfare and foreign aid are a Band-Aid.

Senate Showdown

The CIA’s Hindsight Problem

John Moore/Getty

It’s easy make judgments about the agency’s post- 9/11 decisions here in the relative clarity of 2014. But the unknown was terrifying then.

The feud between the CIA and its Senate overseers spilled over in public again this week, once more over the Senate’s long-delayed release of a voluminous report on the agency’s detention and interrogation program.For much of the American public, this seems like old news: The CIA’s “black site” prisons and enhanced interrogation techniques have been shut down for years, and it is hard to imagine America’s security services ever returning to these types of programs.

Hunger in America

Jeff Bridges for School Lunch

The Daily Beast

For Breakfast After the Bell, the actor and longtime hunger activist hopes to get past the political rancor to get food to more kids in need in America’s classrooms.

Oscar-winning actor Jeff Bridges has never been to Arkansas, a state that ranks among the worst for childhood hunger and is a long way from Hollywood geographically and culturally. Bridges will make his first trip there Monday to highlight a new initiative dubbed Breakfast After the Bell, which has boosted the percentage of kids in Arkansas getting the morning meal to almost 60 percent of those eligible for the government benefit.Moving breakfast to the classroom removes the stigma for kids otherwise having to catch an early bus and sit in the cafeteria by themselves.

Not So Fast

Coronate Hillary?

The Daily Beast

Democrats and the media seem ready to crown her queen while Republicans don’t seem at all ready to stop her.

“You say you want a coronation?”It looks as if Democrats are borrowing this famous line from the Beatles song Revolution in regards to Hillary Clinton reaching the White House in 2016.Therefore, the question “Do Democrats really want a Hillary Clinton coronation?” needs to be raised.Then the logical follow up, “Will American voters accept a White House coronation?”Both questions should be asked, first to the party that looks set to nominate Hillary Clinton, and then to the Republicans who want to defeat her.

Southern Exposure

A Carter Could Turn Georgia Blue

The Daily Beast

Dramatic population shifts put Georgia on the path to joining North Carolina and Virginia in the electoral toss-up column. Jason Carter, Jimmy’s grandson, wants to lead the way.

As Wendy Davis’s campaign for Texas governor flounders, Democrats in Washington have begun to cast their eyes elsewhere for a good news story in the solid-red South.  They believe they may have found that in Georgia, where a combination of demographic trends and a slate full of famous political names is giving Democrats in the state an unfamiliar feeling:  Hope.Topping the ticket (which Republicans have tagged as "Downton Abbey Democrats" for children seeking their ancestors' titles) is Jason Carter, the 38 year-old state senator and grandson of former president Jimmy Carter, who is challenging Republican Gov.

2014 Midterms

Now the Good News From Florida

Joe Raedle/Getty

Forget the conventional wisdom—the health-care issue actually helped Alex Sink a little. Democrats must learn from it.

Was it really Obamacare that sunk Sink? I mean of course Alex Sink, the Democratic Florida congressional candidate who lost to Republican David Jolly on Tuesday. After the results were announced, Washington’s conventional wisdom congealed immediately: This was all about Obamacare, and it’s going to doom the Democrats come November.Not so fast, says Geoff Garin, the pollster who did Sink’s polling in the race. Garin argues in a memo he released the day of the voting that “the issue ultimately provided more of a lift than a drag to her campaign.

Gun for Hire

Russia’s American Crimea Hero

The Daily Beast

John Paul Jones, the ‘Father of the American Navy,’ led Catherine the Great’s 18th-century occupiers, before a sex scandal chased him out of the empire.

The first time Russia conquered the Crimean Peninsula and fought a war so that its gains would be internationally recognized, it relied, in part, on an American hero.In 1788, John Paul Jones, “the Father of the American Navy” who captained the USS Bonhomme Richard in its famous victory over the HMS Serapis at Flamborough Head, fought the Ottoman Empire on behalf of Catherine the Great—as Kontradmiral Pavel Ivanovich Jones—and helped Russia maintain its control of the Crimea.

Up to a Point

Our Stupid Political Spring Break

Reuters

A make-or-break fight for a House seat for… eight months, the CPAC straw poll’s awesome predictive powers, and Eric Holder’s dizzying logic.

U.S. Political Outlook: Cloudy With a Chance of Meatheads…Spring arrives next Thursday, and with it the 2014 political season. Hearken to the bleating of newborn two-headed freak candidacy lambs. Watch the first tender green buds of poison ivy and deadly nightshade poke their heads through the composted manure of the nation’s electoral garden.Tuesday’s Special Election in Florida’s 13th Congressional District…May have been a harbinger of November contests… in pointlessness and cost.

Immunity

‘Stand Your Ground’ for Felons

The Daily Beast

Next week, Georgia’s legislators will decide if they want a really crazy bill, or one that’s full on Gary Busey.

You may have heard that the Georgia state house and senate—much like their brethren in legislatures throughout the land where representative democracy has become besotted with punch-drunk Tea—has in their wisdom decided to pass a Guns R Us bill. It’s not so much legislation as it is the good sense do everything in their power to expand gun violence  in their state, short of requiring babies to drink milk from a 100-round drum magazine.Guns in K-12 schools? Check! Eliminating state licenses for gun dealers? But of course! Limit the governor’s powers to regulate guns during a “state emergency?” Can you say UN-led supranational hit squad riding shotgun aboard a black helicopter piloted by President Obama specifically coming to your house to take your handgun?!It’s all in there folks, and then some.

Into the Light

CIA Lawyer: Release Torture Report

Reuters

One of the men who may have the most to lose by the release of a long-suppressed report on CIA secret prisons says it’s time to make the document public.

The CIA has been dueling with its Senate overseers for more than a year over a report on the agency’s secret prisons. The CIA has tried to edit the Senate’s classified report and delay its release. But this week many voices—including President Obama -- called for the report to be declassified. One of those voices is John Rizzo, the CIA’s former top lawyer – and one of the men who arguably have the most to lose by the document’s release.Rizzo is the legal architect of the Bush-era “black site” secret prison program and the rules for the brutal interrogations that happened inside of them.

GREATEST HITS

The Constitution Is 400 Years Old

J. Scott Applewhite/AP

The Democratic congresswoman could give the craziest Republican a run for his money with her history of wild statements.

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas proclaimed this week that the Constitution is 400 years old. In other words, its writing would predate the Pilgrims. But while she may be spending her time avidly re-watching the Pocahontas in hopes of getting a glimpse of John Smith jotting down the phrase “We The People,” you can read some more of Jackson Lee’s greatest hits below:If You Believe They Put a Man on MarsIn 1997, while on a trip to the Mars Pathfinder operations center in California, Jackson Lee asked if the Pathfinder had succeeded in taking a picture of the flag planted on Mars by Neil Armstrong in 1969.

'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

  2. Behind the Benghazi Witchhunt Play

    Behind the Benghazi Witchhunt

  3. Obamacare's Full Court Press Play

    Obamacare's Full Court Press

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