Iran Does Better than Powerball Winners, Earns $1.7 Billion from US

By on 1.18.16 | 3:36PM

Over the weekend, Iran released four American prisoners in a swap with American authorities. In return for releasing 7 Iranian "sanctions violators" and ending investigations into 14 more, Iran gave back wrongly held American citizens, including a Washington Post journalist, who had recently been the subject of a show trial, and a pastor arrested for building Christian churches.

Although everyone was overjoyed at the prospect of their return, I don't think I was alone in wondering what, exactly, Iran was getting in for their de facto hostages other than just a homecoming for some low-level criminals, two thirds of whom had yet to be caught. It turns out, Iran was actually awarded the Powerball jackpot: a $1.7 billion winfall - a settlement for money the US owes to Iran for various reasons. And it's the first of many possible winfalls. Because, of course it is.

Does Ted Cruz Have a Goldman Sachs Problem?

By on 1.14.16 | 5:02PM

The short answer is, probably not. But it'll take you a while to get there.

This week, the New York Times dropped a story about Ted Cruz's first Senate campaign, noting that Ted Cruz's million-dollar loan to his initial Senate campaign was made possible by his wife's employer, Goldman Sachs, who floated Ted and his wife a significant loan. The loan remains outstanding - he and his wife still owe somewhere between $50K and $100K on it - and it turns out that Cruz, allegedly, failed to disclose the loan in campaign filings

The ‘Donald Trump Jam’ Will Haunt Your Nightmares

By on 1.14.16 | 3:13PM

Okay, people. I thought the most disturbing thing I saw today was that Tweet announcing that Guilermo del Toro was selected to helm the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark movie adaptation, thus ensuring that, once I have seen seen it, I shall never sleep again. 

I was wrong. This is the most disturbing thing I saw today. And yes, you have to watch it. It's like The Ring. You have to make it all the way through or the creepy kids singing the Donald Trump song will crawl through your computer screen and force you to caucus in Iowa. 

The Donald's admiration for Kim Jong Un has obviously boiled over into his scheduler. 

Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders Go To War Over Single Payer Healthcare

By on 1.14.16 | 1:25PM

Hillary Clinton has found her support dwindling these last few weeks, and Bernie Sanders is reportedly pulling even with the presumptive nominee among Iowa caucus-goers.

So what's a girl to do? Easy. Point out to her loving public that Bernie Sanders has no grasp of even basic economics, and although he considers his "give everything away for free" campaign platform to be both cheap and affordable, his healthcare plan alone - a single payer nightmare designed to mire Americans in a government-run system - will cost so much, he'll have raise taxes on the Middle Class just to make the website work.

According to Hillary's "Briefing" Twitter account, dedicated to countering misinformation, we're in for a $15 trillion Bernie bill.

Political Hay

Nikki Haley Strikes Out

By 1.14.16

Wow. A South Carolinian Margaret Thatcher she ain’t. Not to mention no Ronald Reagan in a dress.

Such a softball shot was the GOP response to the last Obama State of the Union and it was blown. Big time. What in the world was South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley thinking? 

Tasked with giving the GOP Establishment response to President Obama’s final SOTU, Haley, once thought to be a rising star in the conservative firmament, imploded. How? By uttering the kind of hoary Establishment “wisdom” that repeatedly illustrates just how disconnected the Establishment elites are from the base of the GOP. As Sean Hannity said yesterday, she indeed did “sound like Obama.” Rush Limbaugh had it right — the real story Tuesday night was not Obama but Haley. Said Rush yesterday, in part: 

NARAL Slams…Nancy Pelosi?

By on 1.13.16 | 4:47PM

Thanks to an enterprising reporter, Nancy Pelosi received a nastygram this morning from one of her favorite organizations: NARAL. 

In an interview, captured by Roll Call, Nancy Pelosi, who supports abortion rights despite being what she describes as a "devout Catholic," claimed that the Center for Medical Progress videos, which captured Planned Parenthood executives describing a heinous organ-harvesting procedure using aborted fetuses, had been "doctored." Whe she was corrected by the reporter, who said that an independent review had found no evidence of doctoring,  she claimed that Republican efforts to defund the abortion provider were actually centered around denying family planning services and contraception. Then, asked whether she could explain her opposition to a bill that outlawed abortion after 20 weeks gestation, she first claimed late-term abortions were illegal, then clairified her statement by saying that she "[does not] believe in abortion on demand" — a shock, I'm sure, to most of her supporters.

Five Things You Might Have Missed in President Obama’s State of the Union Address

By on 1.13.16 | 12:07PM

I have to be honest: I watched the State of Union on DVR so that I could fast-forward through the clapping, and get straight to the part where Joe Biden starts cracking open Natty Lights under the podium. While it was on, I drank most of a bottle of red wine and watched reruns of The Big Bang Theory. To be honest, I almost forgot the event was even on, since I haven't watched basic cable in years, but alas, I work for a political publication, so I am forced to endure, at least, a partial viewing of our nation's most time-honored, non-essential tradition: a one-hour Presidential tribute to himself.

Kim Davis Will be at SOTU Because Why Not

By on 1.12.16 | 11:57AM

The State of the Union is never short on political statements. Michelle Obama will, tonight, be taking a page from Clint Eastwood, for example, and featuring an empty chair by her side to represent all of the voiceless victims of gun violence her husband will avenge with his slate of startlingly ineffective Executive Orders. Paul Ryan will be bringing representatives from the Little Sisters of the Poor to confront Barack Obama's lack of charity in preserving the tenets of religious freedom. Ted Cruz will be skipping the speech to make an impassioned speech somewhere in the heartland while holding the Bill of Rights. He may even be posing for a painting.

And the Family Research Council will use it's ticket to the event to bring - who else? - Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis who became a folk hero in the fight for traditional marriage after she refused to allow her employees to sign marriage licenses for same sex couples. 

Because, obviously.

Jeb Bush Makes Worst Campaign Video In History

By on 1.12.16 | 11:29AM

There was a time in my life when I was a campaign communications consultant, responsible for helping political campaigns come up with new and intriguing ways to engage voters using digital media. There is a reason I don't do it anymore, and that reason is, because no matter how many times I or any of my colleages explained that most Republican consultants had the pop culture knowledge of 80 year old men and couldn't find a connection to Millennials if they were accosted by an entire room of Urban Outfitters employees, they still produced things like this.

Though, in fairness, no one I worked with ever produced something this terrible. We had to wait for Jeb Bush to waste $100 million on a campaign before we got something this terrible. Behold, the Jeb! campaign's newest whack at Marco Rubio: a LSD-inspired, trippy hit job on his heeled boots set to Nancy Sinatra's "These Boots are Made for Walking."

Because, obviously

Joe Biden Says Bernie Sanders, Not Hillary Clinton, Understands Income Inequality

By on 1.12.16 | 11:18AM

The White House is technically required to stump for the 2016 Democratic Presidential candidates this evening, laying out all of their successes in an effort to convince Americans that President Obama's tenure is in no way reflective of how other Democrats would choose to serve. There was that one time in 2009 he passed a healthcare law, but in the last 7 months or so, it's been all non-binding nuclear weapons agreements with backwater dictatorships, Executive Orders the Supreme Court will probably overturn, and that one time he opened up trade to Cuba because Beyonce wanted to go there on vacation. It's gonna be a tough sell.

Unhelpfully, this morning, the "White House," in the form of Joe Biden, also made it clear they have no intention on helping the frontrunner, Hillary Clinton. Talking about income inequality and the survival of the middle class, Joe made sure to tell the crowd of reporters that he thought Bernie Sanders, not Hillary Clinton, was in a better position to talk honestly about what it's like being merely a hundred-thousand-aire