Daily Real Clear Politics Polling Numbers 6/23/14 to 6/28/14…


Saturday, June 28
Race/Topic   (Click to Sort) Poll Results Spread
President Obama Job Approval Rasmussen Reports Approve 47, Disapprove 52 Disapprove +5
Friday, June 27
Race/Topic   (Click to Sort) Poll Results Spread
President Obama Job Approval Gallup Approve 42, Disapprove 52 Disapprove +10
Georgia Governor – Deal vs. Carter InsiderAdvantage* Deal 47, Carter 40 Deal +7
Mississippi Senate – Cochran vs. Childers Rasmussen Reports Cochran 46, Childers 34 Cochran +12
Thursday, June 26
Race/Topic   (Click to Sort) Poll Results Spread
North Carolina Senate – Tillis vs. Hagan Civitas (R) Hagan 47, Tillis 43 Hagan +4
Kansas Governor – Brownback vs. Davis SurveyUSA* Davis 47, Brownback 41 Davis +6
Kansas Senate – Republican Primary (Aug. 5) SurveyUSA Roberts 56, Wolf 23 Roberts +33
Kansas Senate – Roberts vs. Taylor SurveyUSA** Roberts 43, Taylor 33 Roberts +10
Kansas Senate – Wolf vs. Taylor SurveyUSA** Taylor 36, Wolf 33 Taylor +3
Wednesday, June 25
Race/Topic   (Click to Sort) Poll Results Spread
Direction of Country Rasmussen Reports Right Direction 27, Wrong Track 65 Wrong Track +38
2014 Generic Congressional Vote FOX News Democrats 42, Republicans 42 Tie
Florida Governor – Scott vs. Crist SurveyUSA Crist 41, Scott 42 Scott +1
California Governor – Kashkari vs. Brown Field Brown 52, Kashkari 32 Brown +20
Tuesday, June 24
Race/Topic   (Click to Sort) Poll Results Spread
President Obama Job Approval FOX News Approve 41, Disapprove 54 Disapprove +13
President Obama Job Approval CBS News/NY Times Approve 40, Disapprove 54 Disapprove +14
President Obama Job Approval The Economist/YouGov Approve 44, Disapprove 54 Disapprove +10
Direction of Country The Economist/YouGov Right Direction 29, Wrong Track 59 Wrong Track +30
Congressional Job Approval CBS News/NY Times Approve 14, Disapprove 78 Disapprove +64
Congressional Job Approval The Economist/YouGov Approve 9, Disapprove 73 Disapprove +64
2014 Generic Congressional Vote CBS News/NY Times Democrats 42, Republicans 39 Democrats +3
Nevada Governor – Sandoval vs. Goodman Rasmussen Reports Sandoval 55, Goodman 28 Sandoval +27
Monday, June 23
Race/Topic   (Click to Sort) Poll Results Spread
2014 Generic Congressional Vote Rasmussen Reports Democrats 40, Republicans 38 Democrats +2
Mississippi Senate – GOP Runoff (June 24) Chism Strategies (D) McDaniel 52, Cochran 44 McDaniel +8
Oklahoma Senate – GOP Primary (June 24) Sooner Poll/News 9/News on 6 Lankford 43, Shannon 35, Brogdon 4 Lankford +8
Maine Governor – LePage vs. Michaud vs. Cutler Portland Press Herald Michaud 40, LePage 36, Cutler 15 Michaud +4
Maine Senate – Collins vs. Bellows Portland Press Herald Collins 72, Bellows 17 Collins +55
Maine 2nd District – Poliquin vs. Cain Portland Press Herald Cain 44, Poliquin 39 Cain +5
General Election: Christie vs. Clinton Rasmussen Reports Clinton 47, Christie 33 Clinton +14
General Election: Paul vs. Clinton Rasmussen Reports Clinton 46, Paul 39 Clinton +7
General Election: Rubio vs. Clinton Rasmussen Reports Clinton 47, Rubio 36 Clinton +11
General Election: Cruz vs. Clinton Rasmussen Reports Clinton 50, Cruz 37 Clinton +13
General Election: Perry vs. Clinton Rasmussen Reports Clinton 50, Perry 36 Clinton +14
Iowa: Christie vs. Clinton Quinnipiac Clinton 44, Christie 36 Clinton +8
Iowa: Paul vs. Clinton Quinnipiac Clinton 46, Paul 40 Clinton +6
Iowa: Bush vs. Clinton Quinnipiac Clinton 49, Bush 36 Clinton +13
Iowa: Ryan vs. Clinton Quinnipiac Clinton 47, Ryan 41 Clinton +6
Iowa: Huckabee vs. Clinton Quinnipiac Clinton 46, Huckabee 39 Clinton +7

…from RealClearPolitics….


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Rick Santorum on anti-gay Christians and ‘re-education camps’…Really…

U.S. Republican presidential candidate and former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum addresses his Michigan primary night rally in Grand Rapids, Michigan, February 28, 2012.  REUTERS/Jim Young (UNITED STATES  - Tags: POLITICS ELECTIONS)

Hey, it’s true enough for radio.

Rick Santorum thinks he’s running for president again. But will America survive long enough for him to do it?

Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) claimed during a radio interview this week that anti-gay marriage business owners are being sent to “re-education camps” for refusing to serve gay customers.

“You now see situations with bakers and florists and photographers who are being forced to provide services for same-sex weddings or get fined, lose their business,” Santorum said during the appearance on the American Family Association’s “Focal Point” radio program on Monday.

“In the case of Colorado, there was a Colorado case recently where someone had to go to a re-education camp if you will. And the amazing thing is that in Colorado gay marriage isn’t even legal!”

“If you will,” in this case, means “if you will believe me, which you probably will since you’re dumb enough to be listening to far-right crackpot Bryan Fischer’s radio show.” But now a bunch of very dumb Americans will take it as gospel truth that the United States is sending people to pro-gay re-education camps—Rick Santorum said so, after all.

For the record, sigh, he’s talking about the Colorado baker case, where a baker found to have illegally discriminated against a same-sex couple by refusing to sell them a cake for their wedding reception was required to submit future reports on how he would be implementing policies going forward to prevent the same thing from happening again. No camping was involved, nor re-education, and for his part the crabby baker became a national hero to the Rick Santorum crowd so he’s doing just fine.

But none of that matters, because just you watch. Your crazy relatives will soon be certain, just certain that there are FEMA camps in Colorado currently processing anti-gay Christians and forcing them to do macaroni art about how wonderful gay people are, and they’re going to be sending those emails to you, and to me, and no doubt some exceptional idiot will repeat it on Fox News at some point, months from now, and it’s all because Rick Santorum limey the publicity….

By Hunter @ Daily Kos…..


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President Obama doesn’t like the Media…No President does…

The push and pull between the President of the United States and the Media comes with the job….

But President’s never like it…..

image- cpj.org

President Obama made clear this week his frustrations with Washington extend to the media.

In Minnesota, Obama chastised reporters for not talking about the struggles of everyday Americans as they covered the debates in Washington.

“You don’t see that on TV sometimes. It’s not what the press and pundits talk about. But I’m here to tell you I’m listening,” Obama said.
The president also hit cable news programs for the way they cover D.C. politics.

“If you watch the news, you’d think, ‘Okay, Washington is a mess and the basic attitude is that everybody’s crazy,’” Obama said.

And at a high-dollar fundraiser Thursday night, Obama took another swipe at reporters when describing his conversation with a working mother who wrote him a letter about her economic struggles.

“You may not hear it because the press will not report it — the only reason I’m in politics is because of you,” Obama said.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest said the president’s swipe at the media were motivated by his desire to focus on issues that weren’t as “sexy or intellectually captivating as some other things on the news more regularly. But it doesn’t mean they’re less important.”


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Kansas cuts taxes…The state now has Giant hole in its budget….

Kansas GOP Governor Sam Brownback now has to deal with it….

The jobs he THOUGHT would result ?….Never showed up…..

Kansas has a problem. In April and May, the state planned to collect $651 million from personal income tax. But instead, it received only $369 million.

In 2012, Kansas lawmakers passed a large and rather unusual income tax cut. It was expected to reduce state tax revenue by more than 10 percent, and Gov. Sam Brownback said it would create “tens of thousands of jobs.”

In part, the tax cut worked in the typical way, by cutting tax rates and increasing the standard deduction. But Kansas also eliminated tax on various kinds of income, including income described commonly — and sometimes misleadingly — as “small-business income.” Basically, if your income results in the generation of a Form 1099-MISC instead of a W-2, it’s probably not taxable anymore in Kansas…..

While no state has gone as far as Kansas, four others — Missouri, Ohio, Oregon and South Carolina — have passed laws in the last decade that give some small-business owners lower tax rates than wage earners.

By creating this preference for some types of income over others, Kansas has run into at least five problems….


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Chris McDaniel isn’t taking losing too kindly….

How dare a fellow Republican beat him with help of Black Democratic folks!

Mississippi Republican candidate Chris McDaniel hasn’t given up, telling Fox News host Sean Hannity that he’s still looking into voting irregularities in his runoff election against incumbent Sen. Thad Cochran.

“We’ve found more than a thousand examples of that in one county alone widespread irregularities,” McDaniel said to Hannity on Thursday night.

Cochran defeated McDaniel in a tight runoff election on Tuesday, 50.9 percent to 49.1 percent, according to The Associated Press. McDaniel slammed Cochran’s hypocrisy for reaching out to Democrats to help him win.

“They say they’re going to fight the liberals in Washington, but they embraced the liberals in Mississippi just to win the election,” McDaniel said. “It’s the worst style of politicking I can imagine.”
As a result, McDaniel’s not sure whether he’ll support Cochran going forward. He said he’ll need to pray and talk to his family before making a final decision.
“I didn’t think it was worth the character assassination of a friend,” he said.


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Iraq Shia leader calls for New government without Maliki..

More and more people have come to realization that Iraq needs to remove its Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki in order to TRY hold the country together…..

But….It could be too late….

Iraq’s top Shiite cleric on Friday urged the country’s divided political factions to select a prime minister by early next week in a public call for a political solution that increases the pressure on the embattled prime minister, Nuri Kamal al-Maliki.

Speaking from the holy city of Karbala, Abdul Mehdi al-Karbalaie, a cleric representing Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, called on Iraq’s political blocs to select a new leader before the recently elected Parliament sits on Monday.

Delivering the message from the grand ayatollah, he also urged the factions to select a parliamentary speaker and a president, and for the country to remain whole.

“Iraqis have passed bigger crises than this in the past history,” he said. “We must not think of dividing Iraq as part of a solution for the current crisis. The solution must protect the unity of Iraq and the rights of all its sects.

The ayatollah’s message came as the president of Iraqi Kurdistan, Massoud Barzani, challenged both the central government’s authority and the cleric’s wishes….


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Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest 6/27/14…Sam Brownback is the most vulnerable red-state governor in 2014

Reposted from Daily Kos Elections by David Nir

Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest banner

Leading Off:

KS-Gov, -Sen: Whoa! We knew GOP Gov. Sam Brownback was unpopular, but this unpopular? A new SurveyUSA poll finds Democrat Paul Davis, the state House minority leader, beating Brownback 47-41 (with Libertarian Keen Umbehr at 5), an improvement from Davis’ already-remarkable 43-39 edge last October. A pair of PPP polls taken in between also placed Davis on top, and the only contradictory numbers have come from a Republican pollster (which had Brownback at just 42) and Rasmussen, which, well, Rasmussen.

What’s more, Brownback has a weak 55-37 lead in the GOP primary against his Some Dude opponent, Jennifer Winn, the mother of a man charged with felony murder after a drug deal turned deadly. Winn has now become an advocate for marijuana reform (as well as hemp legalization) and says she has no specific beef with Brownback. In other words, she’s a classic non-serious candidate who should be polling in single digits at best, but here she is nearly cracking 40. Ya think Kansans are sick of Brownback? (If you want to know more about why, click here.)

In fact, Kansas voters don’t seem to be too thrilled with Republican office-holders in general. In the Senate race, veteran GOP Sen. Pat Roberts only manages a blechy 43-33 advantage on Democrat Chad Taylor, his most likely general election opponent. A Taylor upset seems almost impossible on paper, but for an inoffensive incumbent like Roberts to be mired in the low 40s in a state like Kansas is really remarkable. Roberts does seem to be keeping his tea-fueled primary challenger at bay, though, with a 56-23 lead on physician Milton Wolf. Given that Wolf has actually gotten some attention and is at least running a traditional outsider’s campaign, that makes Brownback’s primary showing look even worse.

But while Brownback could definitely lose, can he take the rest of the ship down with him? Again, Roberts would be very hard to dislodge, but perhaps a few more marginal state legislators could find themselves anvil’d to the bottom of Brownback Bay. But even if “only” Brownback goes down, that would still be an amazing result for Sunflower State Democrats….


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Common Core has little support on the Right….

Jeb Bush and Chris Christie support the Federal Education standards program….

Most of their fellow Republicans do NOT….

And the issue is gonna hurt both of those guys within their party…..

Some states are already trying to back away from parts of the program…..

The big political narrative around the Common Core this summer is that the national education standards pit Republicans against Republicans.

Jeb Bush, Chris Christie and the Chamber of Commerce support the standards. The Tea Party decries them as “Obamacore.” Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, a onetime supporter of the standards, has turned against them; Jindal’s top education official, a high-profile education reformer, still supports them.

But the Pew Research Center’s recent profile of American political views destroys the assumption that these divides mean the Common Core is contentious among Republican voters. Business-friendly conservatives (the establishment base) and cultural conservatives (the tea party base) who know about the standards oppose them at identical levels.

Supporters might hope otherwise, but the fight in the Republican Party is over and the standards have lost.

Pew divided the anchors of the Republican party into two groups in its new report on Americans’ political beliefs. They call those groups steadfast conservatives and business conservatives, but they could just as easily call them tea party Republicans (religious, culturally conservative, angry at the federal government) and country club Republicans (wealthy, pro-Wall Street suburbanites).

The findings on the two groups’ beliefs back up much of the establishment-versus-insurgency narrative. They disagree on immigration, on foreign affairs, on homosexuality, and on whether what’s good for Wall Street is good for America.


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Haley and Ervin battle it out in South Carolina GOP Governor race…

A look at the Republican goings on in South Carolina’s GOP Governor’s race by a PDog101 regular……

As to the Governors race in SC,the problem for Haley is Tom Ervin, a former State Legislator and State Judge.

Ervin originally was going to oppose her in the Republican primary ,but decided,instead to run as a petition candidate .He has gathered sufficient signatures to qualify for the Nov. ballot.There is significant opposition to Haley among several power centers in the state GOP.

She is not on good terms with much of the Republican leadership in the State legislature and has actually engaged in political warfare with them.She has distinct problems with many coastal Republicans ,who tend to be somewhat more moderate than other GOPers ,and where she ran behind the entire Republican statewide ticket in her 51/47 victory over Sheheen four years ago,even losing several coastal counties,Finally,she has problems with some Tea Party elements who vigorously supported her last time,feeling she is insufficiently”conservative.”

If Ervin were to draw 5-7%, a distinct possibility ,and the Libertarian draws their usual 2% or so as they did last time AND Sheheen runs about as well as he Did last time(47%),it could be interesting.

Ervin has some money.

Haley has to be rated the favorite……but the contest does bear watching…..

My Name is Jack…..


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New Republican Hillary dig….She would be a ‘third Obama term’

The new thing for this week is  out…..

Expect more as we move towards the 2016 election season….

Electing Hillary Clinton in 2016 would effectively give President Obama a “third term,” a new Web video from the Republican National Committee warns voters.

The video, titled “Unity,” opens with a clip from 2008 when Obama and Clinton held a joint rally in the town of Unity, N.H., to mark the end of their heated Democratic primary contest. In the footage, then-Sen. Obama (Ill.) speaks of “the issues that have always united” the two candidates.

Calling the Obama administration’s work a “team effort,” the video then spotlights photos of the president and Clinton working together in the White House, as well as images of Obama with former President Bill Clinton.

The video also stakes a shot at Clinton’s tenure as secretary of State, highlighting her testimony on the 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya, and criticizes both on the ObamaCare rollout.

“You know, Hillary and I, we’re buddies,” Obama says in another clip from an interview with ABC News last month.

The ad ends with the text, “Hillary, Obama’s third term,” followed by “Stop Hillary.”

An RNC release titled “Joined at the Hip” also highlights the ties between Clinton and Obama.


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New York State GOP Senate Leader scrambles to keep control of his political house

State Senate Republican co-majority leader Dean Skelos currently controls the Senate by the fact that several dissident Democrats are caucusing with his party….

The unique arrangement has had New York State Democrats VERY unhappy…

But not for long…..

The dissidents  have indicated they will come home to the Democratic ‘s after November’s election leaving Skelos boasting about what he HOPES to do to keep his leadership spot…..

State Senate Republican co-majority leader Dean Skelos told radio listeners that his party would retain control of the legislative body, despite his crumbling coalition with the breakaway Independent Democratic Conference — by taking out Democratic incumbents in contested districts.

Mr. Skelos promised on WCNY’s Capitol Pressroom that the Republicans would gain four or five seats to compensate for the loss of support from the five IDC members — who have now vowed to join the Democrats after the November election. The Republican leader spotlighted three Democrats that he believed would fall: Senators Ted O’Brien, Terry Gipson and Cecilia Tkaczyk, to respective Republican challengers Rich Funke, Susan Serino, and George Amedore.

“We’re going to win up against Ted O’Brien in Monroe County, we’re going to retire Terry Gipson — we’ve got a great candidate, Susan Serino running up there,” the Long Island legislator said. “George Amedore–Cecilia Tkaczyk, last time she had the Obama landslide, she’s not going to have that this time. Obama is now hurting the ticket. I really think we’re going to come back with 33, 34 seats.”

Those three victories would still leave Republicans one or two seats short of Mr. Skelos’s stated goal.


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The Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova sign trade agreements with the EU…

Russian President Putin has tried in vain to stop the moves….

But he has failed…..

And although the fighting still goes in sections of the Ukraine….

It is reported that the European Union countries have declined to follow President Obama in suing anymore sanctions against Russia for the time being…..

Seven months after Ukraine’s former president Viktor F. Yanukovych rejected a sweeping trade deal with the European Union and set off protests that drove him from power, Ukraine’s new leader on Friday concluded the pact, which Russia has bitterly opposed as a threat to its own economic and strategic interests in the former Soviet Union.

The news agency Interfax in Moscow quoted Russia’s deputy foreign minister as warning that “serious consequences” would follow the signing of a deal that Moscow has long worked to derail.

Petro O. Poroshenko, a confectionary mogul who won Ukraine’s presidential elections in May to fill a post left vacant by Mr. Yanukovych’s flight from the country in February, signed the so-called Association Agreement at the Brussels headquarters of the European Union shortly before a summit meeting of leaders of the bloc’s 28 countries.

In a statement issued by his office, Mr. Poroshenko said: “This is one of the most important days in the time since Ukraine won independence. We use this possibility to modernize the country. But we need only one thing — peace and security.”

The European Union also, as expected, sealed similar trade pacts with Georgia and Moldova, two other former Soviet republics that Moscow had been eager to keep within its own orbit. As with Ukraine, the big question now is how Moscow will respond to Europe’s renewed push to draw former Soviet territories into its own sphere of influence…..


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Bill Clinton disses Cheney…..

image- thegreatnuclearsociety.wordpress.com

Bonus Quote of the Day

“If they hadn’t gone to war in Iraq, none of this would be happening. Mr. Cheney has been incredibly adroit for the last six years or so attacking the administration for not doing an adequate job of cleaning up the mess that he made. And I think it’s unseemly. And I give President Bush, by the way, a lot of credit for trying to stay out of this debate and letting other people work through it.”

— Bill Clinton, in an interview with NBC News….

..from Politicalwire….

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Republicans running for President and the GOP Primaries….

Interesting thing was pointed out this morning on the ChucK Todd MSNBC Daily Rundown this morning….

Two of the GOP guys who probably wouldn’t mind being President have a problem…..

image – thepage.time.com


Chris Christie and Jeb Bush poll close  to Hillary Clinton in the general 2016 Presidential polling a little more than 2 year out…..

But in polling for the GOP Primaries the two are on the bottom of polling….


For political junkies ?

This is an easy one…

Primaries bring out the true believers for both parties….

The hard Left and Right….

For the Republicans it comes out to this….

Members of THEIR party who have a history of WORKING WITH Democrats to Govern?

Have virtual NO support with the Right in their party, who vote in Large numbers in primaries….


While Jeb Bush and Chris Christie are attractive on a national general basis….

They aren’t for their own party….

Makes sense, Right?

(The Democrats LOVE it!)


Christie has his own problems with a Bridge investigation no matter how much he wants to act like everything is ok….

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Political Roundup for June 27, 2014…Hagan up in poll…Red Racing Horses


by: GoBigRedState


GA-Sen: An internal poll for David Perdue shows him up 45-44 on Rep. Jack Kingston in the GOP Senate runoff. As recent independent polls have shown Kingston with a fairly large lead, the accuracy of this poll is suspect and likely done to keep the narrative out there that this is still a real race and Kingson isn’t running away with it.

NC-Sen: A new Civitas poll has Sen. Kay Hagan (D) up 47-43 on state House Speaker Thom Tillis. The margin narrows slightly to 48-46 when leaners are added. This is a reversal from the last Civitas poll in which Tillis led. The numbers for this race may bounce around with small leads for Hagan and Tillis over the course of the campaign and it’s likely it will remain a tossup and one of the most closely contested races in the country.

OK-Sen: This article takes a look at how Rep. James Lankford won by such a large margin in Tuesday’s Senate primary. 3 main reasons really seem to explain the bigger-than-expected win: Lankford’s background as a Christian youth camp director which introduced him to a large number of people, his near-endorsement by Sen. Tom Coburn, and the fact that despite support of Shannon by many conservative groups, it wasn’t really much of an “establishment vs. Tea Party” race in the first place.

TN-Sen: Even though Tea Party-fueled challenger Chris McDaniel lost in neighboring Mississippi, state Rep. Joe Carr (R) still takes inspiration from the close race and thinks he can upset Sen. Lamar Alexander (R) in the upcoming Republican Senate primary. Carr will find it very difficult  to knock off Alexander though as polls have shown him well behind the Senator and he doesn’t have the support from outside groups that McDaniel had. Plus, while Alexander has often been criticized for not being conservative enough, he doesn’t inflame the passions because he isn’t closely connected with one single issue like Thad Cochran is with earmarks.

AZ-7: The man who changed his name to Cesar Chavez in order to run for Congress will not even be on the ballot. The former Scott Fistler, who also changed parties from Republican to Democrat to make the run, did not have enough valid signatues to qualify for the ballot, and missed the deadline to appeal the denial of some of his petition signatures and therefore will not make it on the ballot.

CA-31: Republican Lesli Gooch has ended the recount of the June 3 primary in which she narrowly was kept out of 2nd place. Gooch ended the recount(which her campaign was paying for) after early counts did not show any significant change in totals. Republican Paul Chabot and Democrat Pete Aguilar will face off in this top Democratic pickup opprtunity.

Governor/state offices:

KY-Gov 2015: Attorney General Jack Conway has picked up 3 key endorsements in his run for next year’s Democratic gubernatorial nomination. Former Sen. Wendell Ford, Rep. John Yarmuth and former State Auditor Crit Luallen(once seen as a potential candidate herself) have all endorsed Conway. Conway is currently the only Democrat to have announced for the race, and as he accumulates the big-name endorsements it is increasingly unlikely any other big name will challenge him.

SC-Gov: A PPP poll taken for the South Carolina Democratic Party shows Gov. Nikki Haley (R) with a 49-46 lead on state Sen. Vince Sheheen (D).  Of course as this poll is essentially an internal poll the poll writeup attempts to portray this in a much more favorable light for Sheheen for fundraising purposes than is probably realistic, and they even show Sheheen with a small lead when they do a meaningless informed ballot test. All things considered, Haley being at 49% in a Democratic poll is actually a good position for her to be in……



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Iraq Update 6/27/14…Trying to get Maliki to step aside…The US waiting….

Iraq’s Shia leaders are in an internal fight to get  Maliki to step down or to the side….

The US is sending ‘advisors’…..

But is waiting for some kind Sunni accommodation…..

Prominent Shiite leaders pushed Thursday for the removal of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki as parliament prepared to start work next week on putting together a new government, under intense U.S. pressure to rapidly form a united front against an unrelenting Sunni insurgent onslaught.

Increasingly, the Shiite al-Maliki’s former allies believe he cannot lead an inclusive government that can draw minority Sunnis away from support for the fighters who have swept over a large swath of Iraq as they head toward the capital, Baghdad. In a further sign of Iraq’s unraveling along sectarian lines, a bombing on Thursday killed 12 people in a Shiite neighborhood of Baghdad that houses a revered shrine, and police found the bullet-riddled bodies of eight Sunnis south of the capital.

Most crucially, though, backing for al-Maliki is weakening with his most important ally, neighboring Iran.

A senior Iranian general who met with Shiite politicians in Iraq during a 10-day visit this month returned home with a list of potential prime minister candidates for Iran’s leadership to consider, several senior Iraqi Shiite politicians who have knowledge of the general’s meetings told The Associated Press.

Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, wants al-Maliki to remain in his post, at least for now, the politicians said, but Iran’s moderate president, Hassan Rouhani, believes al-Maliki must go or else Iraq will fragment. Khamenei holds final say in all state matters in Iran, but the politicians expressed doubt he would insist on al-Maliki against overwhelming rejection of him by Iraq’s Shiite parties.

The general, Ghasem Soleimani, is expected to return within days to inform Iraqi politicians of Tehran’s favorite, they said, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss the internal deliberations.

Iran’s Shiite cleric-led government succeeded in herding reluctant Shiite parties into backing al-Maliki for a second term four years ago, and its leverage over Iraq’s Shiite political establishment has grown significantly since the 2011 withdrawal of U.S. troops after an eight-year presence….


One of the first images of the crisis for American viewers were the American-trained Iraqi army laying down their arms, stripping their uniforms and running away from ISIL.

“It’s unfair to say we didn’t fight for ourselves,” Faily said.
When asked about the possibility of Iraqi president Nouri al-Maliki stepping down, Faily said that as a diplomat he was unable to comment.

“We are new in democracy,” he said. “We are developing, but we need immediate help to deal with a regional threat.”


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