Politics

Puerto Rico is $70B in the Hole and Looking for a Bailout

By on 6.30.15 | 4:34PM

You cannot sustain an entire state's economy on ziplines and piña coladas. Greece is, of course, learning that on something of a national scale. When you pay everyone for everything they do regardless of whether they do it or not, and rely on the occasional tourist with a Groupon Getaway to create most of your GDP, things go south really quickly, especially when your unfunded pension liabilities come due.

UMKC Can’t Afford Hillary, Forced to Settle for Cut-Rate Clinton

By on 6.30.15 | 11:57AM

Even though Marco Rubio is clearly the one-percenter in this race, Hillary Clinton, when she was still toiling in the private sector, wasn't doing so badly. Commanding upwards of $200,000 per speech, the former Senator and Secretary of State was flying across the globe, often in first class on the dime of whomever booked her, delivering exceptional, motivating speeches to gatherings of donors, professionals and other assorted hoi polloi. 

But when the University of Missouri Kansas City tried to book Hillary for the unveiling of their "Womens Hall of Fame," the $275,000 price tag for a couple of hours of the Secretary's time was just far too much. So, according to emails obtained by the Washington Post, the UMKC settled for the Clinton Foundation's budget package: a speech from Chelsea Clinton, who commanded "only" $65,000. 

The Washington Post Thinks Marco Rubio is Super Rich

By on 6.30.15 | 11:27AM

The good news is, the media has finally realized that harping on Marco Rubio's college loans and modest boat purchases is a losing strategy. 

The bad news is, in response, they've just started harping on Marco Rubio's amazing, limitless wealth and how one man, the son of immigrants from Cuba, became a self-made hundred-thousand-aire by trading in his modest job as a small time lawyer for the spectacular wealth creation attendant to a life of political service. In other words, the Washington Post is 100% convinced that Marco Rubio is filthy, stinking rich and there's very little you can do about it.

Marco Rubio was 28 when he was elected to the Florida legislature. He was about to become a father and was struggling to balance the financial demands of a growing family with his political aspirations.

Christie Still Isn’t Ready to be President

By on 6.30.15 | 10:52AM

Four years ago, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie resisted calls by Republicans to make a bid for the White House in 2012. During a speech before AEI in February 2011, Christie stated:

You have to believe in your heart and your soul that you’re ready to be president. And I don’t believe that about myself right now.

Christie would reiterate this position in an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper back in April. “So I get lots of people who come to us and say, oh, you should have done it four years ago,” said Christie, “And I tell you one thing I know for sure I wasn’t ready to be president four years ago. And so the worst thing wasn’t not running; it was if I had run and won already.”

Constitutional Opinions

The Dred Scotting of Religious Liberty

By 6.30.15

Call it the Dred Scotting of religious liberty.

Writing gay marriage into the Constitution as once there was a Supreme Court decision that attempted to write slavery into the Constitution. Make no mistake. Whatever else the five lawyers in black robes thought they were doing with their ruling on gay marriage, they have opened the door — many think the door was already open — for a full-blown assault on religious liberty. 

Who better to look to for a response to the Obergefell v. Hodges decision than the man who earned his marble statue on the Washington Mall by opposing the idea that the Dred Scott decision should be regarded as “settled law”?

Substitute the Supreme Court’s ruling on gay marriage — which many Americans see as yet another assault on religious liberty — with the hotly controversial issue of the Court’s 1857 Dred Scott decision on slavery. Or the Court’s 1819 decision in McCulloch v. Maryland. The latter decision declared the Bank of the United States to be constitutional, the former was a deliberate attempt by Democrats on the bench to make slavery constitutional.

Bobby Jindal Is ‘Tanned, Rested and Ready’

By on 6.29.15 | 5:15PM

At first glance, it seems like Bobby Jindal is taking a page out of Richard Nixon's playbook.

But stare at his official campaign t-shirt design for a few minutes and you'll start to see a very different side of Bobby than his speeches, given in short-sleeved shirts, with an almost bookish demeanor, might demonstrate:

I kind of like it. Jindal doesn't differentiate himself from the pack very well, and a joke like this...it makes a big difference both in demonstrating the personality he's been hiding from the public all these years, and brings to the forefront part of what makes him different from his fellow candidates: his ethnic background.

John Kasich Is Running for President, Too

By on 6.29.15 | 1:11PM

At this point, if you've ever wanted to be President at any point in your life, up to (and including) that time in Kindergarten where you were asked to draw your future career and your teacher forced you to choose President because, it turns out, being a fire truck wasn't a real option, now is the time to declare your intention and file your official paperwork. The clown car still has some room for anyone willing to squeeze into the middle seat (Donald Trump isn't worried about you crushing his hair, anyway, since he says he'll debut a brand new 'do for his inevitable inauguration).

John Kasich, not content to restrict his moderate conservatism and spiceless personality to the boundaries of the state of Ohio, is the latest in a series of unliklies to take the plunge, despite no evidence that anyone knows who he is or cares that he's interested in being the Commander in Chief.

Hillary Clinton Edited, Withheld State Department Emails

By on 6.29.15 | 12:39PM

I'm tired of writing and reading about the Supreme Court, and I've seen so many rainbows this weekend I'm pretty sure I have resultant visual color fatigue issues. So let's move on to more interesting fare than whether or not the very foundations of our republic are crumbling - specifically, whether Hillary Clinton's famed cache of personal emails was as properly sorted, dying ambassadors from yoga schedules, as she claimed at her UN press conference.

It should surprise literally no one that a further investigation into Hillary Clinton's work email seems to demonstrate that the presumptive Democratic frontrunner might have taken some artistic liberties with the "work-related" communications she returned to the State Department after her tenure. By which I mean, she was extremely selective in what she submitted and may or may not have "selectively edited" a few key communications themselves.

Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Same Sex Marriage

By on 6.26.15 | 11:58AM

For once I can legitimately blame Anthony Kennedy for my problems. I mean, I sort of always could, because I had Judge Bork as a professor in law school, and I wouldn’t have had to endure his weird lectures on the right to engage in necrophilia (which came in handy today, weirdly) as being part of the “penumbras and emanations” of the Bill of Rights that ultimately created the “right to privacy,” and his penchant for carrying around fried foods in his suit pocket (true story). But today, Anthony Kennedy has made a generation of lawyers just feel really, really tired. 

Writing for the majority, Kennedy ruled, with the Supreme Court, that state bans on gay marriage are unconstitutional, striking down, specifically, statutes in Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana, within the Sixth Circuit. States don’t have to be in the marriage business, he said, but where they are, they can’t discriminate. 

SCOTUS Upholds Obamacare Subsidies 6-3

By on 6.25.15 | 12:04PM

I'm not sure if I'm always the contrarian on this or I've just become so cynical that it's almost impossible to surprise me with a "good" result, but today's 6-3 ruling, in favor of maintaining Federal subsidies for state healthcare exchanges established under the Affordable Care Act is hardly shocking. 

Writing for the majority, Chief Justice John Roberts determined that Congress, while too dumb to put it into words, intended to create a system that provided Federal subsidies to even those who were forced to use state healthcare exchanges to purchase their insurance policies under the Affordable Care Act. The majority of the court agreed with Roberts (except for Scalia, who is basically turning into that guy from Scarface every time he writes a dissent). 

Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the court's majority opinion and was joined by Justices Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.

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