Spock…Leonard Nimoy is gone…..


The actor famous for his porttail of the Star Trek Vulcan character Spock was 83…..

Leonard Nimoy, the sonorous, gaunt-faced actor who won a worshipful global following as Mr. Spock, the resolutely logical human-alien first officer of the Starship Enterprise in the television and movie juggernaut “Star Trek,” died on Friday morning at his home in the Bel Air section of Los Angeles. He was 83.


His wife, Susan Bay Nimoy, confirmed his death, saying the cause was end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Mr. Nimoy announced that he had the disease last year, attributing it to years of smoking, a habit he had given up three decades earlier. He had been hospitalized earlier in the week.

His artistic pursuits — poetry, photography and music in addition to acting — ranged far beyond the United Federation of Planets, but it was as Mr. Spock that Mr. Nimoy became a folk hero, bringing to life one of the most indelible characters of the last half century: a cerebral, unflappable, pointy-eared Vulcan with a signature salute and blessing: “Live long and prosper” (from the Vulcan “Dif-tor heh smusma”).


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Breaking…Senate passes funding for DHS until September….

Now its up to to Speaker Boehner in the House!

The Senate on Friday passed a bill to finance the Department of Homeland Security, sending the legislation to the House, which now has just hours to avert a partial shutdown of the agency.

The spending bill for the department, which is set to run out of money at midnight, passed the Senate, 68 to 31. The measure removed restrictions on President Obama’s executive action on immigration that were included in a bill passed by the House.

House Republicans are now hoping to vote on a counterproposal — a measure to provide money for just three weeks — but the House Democratic leadership is campaigning against the short-term option, meaning Speaker John A. Boehner might need to produce the necessary 218 votes entirely from his own conference.

The impasse over the Homeland Security agency reflects a broader fight in Congress over Mr. Obama’s immigration policies. But it also exposed deep rifts between House and Senate Republicans, who struggled in recent weeks to agree on a pragmatic path forward to both keep the agency running and express their displeasure with the president’s recent executive actions on immigration.

After the Republicans retook control of the Senate and increased their margins in the House in the November elections, both Mr. Boehner and Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, promised to reverse Congress’s pattern of hurtling from crisis to crisis, even over matters like appropriations that were once relatively routine.

But in their first big test, over funding the Homeland Security agency, the Republican leaders often seemed to be working from different playbooks, at times verging on hostile, with each saying it was time for the other chamber to act….


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Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest 2/27/15…Chris McDaniel prepares to go to war with another GOP incumbent

Reposted from Daily Kos Elections by Jeff Singer

Tea Party candidate Chris McDaniel delivers a concession speech in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, June 24, 2014. U.S. Senator Thad Cochran of Mississippi narrowly defeated challenger McDaniel on Tuesday in a high-profile runoff election that pitted the Republi

attribution: REUTERS
Though you’d heard the last from Mississippi’s Chris McDaniel? Think again.

Leading Off:

MS-04: Despite hinting at a 2015 run for statewide office, tea partying state Sen. Chris McDaniel announced on Thursday that he would seek re-election instead. But we haven’t heard the last from McDaniel, who came very close to unseating Sen. Thad Cochran in last year’s Republican runoff. There has been plenty of talk about McDaniel challenging Rep. Steven Palazzo in the 2016 primary, and McDaniel himself fanned the rumors in a meeting with the Clarion-Ledger, saying he “would prefer a federal position.”


CA-Sen: With former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa out of the race, several Southern California politicians are looking even more closely at jumping in. Rep. Adam Schiff is the latest to confirm that he’s looking for a path to victory; Reps. Loretta Sanchez and Xavier Becerra also recently said that they’re analyzing the post-Villaraigosa terrain. Any of these candidates would have a tough time against fellow Democrat and Attorney General Kamala Harris, who currently has the race to herself and has much better name recognition than any of her potential rivals.

NH-Sen: It’s going to be a while before we know if Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan will challenge Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte, but Crossroads GPS is already spending $230,000 on radio ads hitting Hassan’s economic record. Maybe Crossroads thinks that if they give Hassan a taste of what she could expect in a Senate race, she’ll stay on as governor instead and deprive Democrats of their toughest candidate. While both sides expect Hassan to take on Ayotte, the governor has said very little about her 2016 plans.

WI-Sen: The Russ Feingold chatter perked up last week when he announced he’d step down as a special State Department envoy to Africa, but now, for the first time, the Huffington Post reports that Feingold has actually been talking to supporters about a potential comeback bid. It’s all based on anonymous sources, though, and given how much of a lone wolf Feingold is, you have to wonder how close any “source close to Feingold” actually is. We can keep reading tea leaves until we o-d on Darjeeling, but until Feingold formally quits his job next month, our only choice is to wait.


LA-Gov: The rivalry between Gov. Bobby Jindal and his likely successor, Sen. David Vitter, is very well-documented. But the National Journal‘s Karyn Bruggeman is one of the few journalists to get either Republican to talk about it on the record. Jindal in particular isn’t subtle about his feelings, telling Bruggeman, “If you turn [your recorder] off, I’ll tell you what I really think about him.” Ouch, though not quite as stinging as former Democratic Gov. Edwin Edwards’ “you dont have anything nice to say…go ahead and talk about David VItter [sic]” tweet.

For their part, the senator’s office took a thinly veiled shot at Jindal’s presidential ambitions….


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Political Roundup for February 27th, 2015..Jeb Bush supporting Same-Sex Marriage?…Red Racing Horses

by: Greyhound


Jeb Bush: The junior Bush has taken a number of steps towards what looks like backing Gay Marriage, and would become the first major Republican presidential candidate to do so. On one hand I bet that the people currently supporting Jeb in the primary support SSM by a large margin, but on the other hand Bush has serious problems with the conservative base already. It’d be interesting to see what percentage of primary voters would even consider voting for him, as current polls of his approval rating have him at underwater or close to it with Republicans.


CA-44: LA City Councilman Joe Buscaino (D) has decided not to run for this open congressional seat covering South-Central Los Angeles County. This makes the election of State Senator Isadore Hall more or less a formality, and Black Democrats will reclaim the third Los Angeles Congressional seat they lost in 2012.

MO-Sen-16: Todd Akin thankfully isn’t going to try to primary Senator Roy Blunt this year. The toxic Republican candidate whose remarks on rape probably cost us 2 Senate seats in 2012 wouldn’t have gained traction anyway, but this at least saves us another distracting sideshow for a seat we’d prefer to put away early.

NY-11: State Island Democrats have officially nominated Brooklyn City Councilman Vincent Gentile for this special election. Gentile will have a ton of problems: being from Brooklyn in a Staten-Island dominated seat, being associated with the highly-unpopular (at least in this district) Mayor Bill DeBlasio and NYC Government, and running against the uber-popular Staten Island DA Daniel Donovan.

WATN: Kerry Bentivolio (R), the second most accidental congressman in recent history after Joseph Cao in 2008, has filed for bankruptcy with over $300,000 in debts. The former Reindeer farmer and beneficiary of Thad McCotter’s spectacular crash out of Congress in 2012 never really fit into the congressional life, and a lawsuit by his former chief of staff over improper firing cost him a large settlement….


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Ok…What color is the Dress?

The current craze on the net’ is …..

About a dress…..The original image is in the middle. At left, white-balanced as if the dress is white-gold. At right, white-balanced to blue-black.

Not since Monica Lewinsky was a White House intern has one blue dress been the source of so much consternation.

(And yes, it’s blue.)

The fact that a single image could polarize the entire Internet into two aggressive camps is, let’s face it, just another Thursday. But for the past half-day, people across social media have been arguing about whether a picture depicts a perfectly nice bodycon dress as blue with black lace fringe or white with gold lace fringe. And neither side will budge. This fight is about more than just social media—it’s about primal biology and the way human eyes and brains have evolved to see color in a sunlit world…..


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Senate Minority Leader Democrat Harry Reid is STILL calling the shots…

People do NOT understand why after the Midterm elections last year I was Happy…

Here’s a reason why….

Why some people here at the PDog where crestfallen?

I realized that the Democrats as the minority party would have to focus on their loss and get their act together….

In the Senate….

Because the gains where NOT enough to afford GOP Majority Leader Mitch McConnell an absolute majority….He IS having to deal with Democrat Harry Reid making him change things  he THOUGHT he could call the shots on….

In the House?

GOP Speaker John Boehner has so much trouble with the rightwingnuts in HIS chamber, that he cannot get much done without going to Democratic Minority Leader Pelosi to get anything actually done….

So even though the Democrats LOST seats in both chambers?

Democrats….More so Senator Harry Reid has actually lost little, except some perks of office….

The new Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, wanted to initiate a lengthy floor debate on a House-passed Department of Homeland Security funding bill. But Reid surprised Republicans by rallying his caucus on four separate occasions to block the measure from even coming forward — demanding McConnell drop contentious immigration provisions. After a month of inaction in the Senate and up against Friday’s funding deadline, McConnell ultimately bent to Reid’s demands.

As House Republicans have called for formal negotiations on the Senate’s “clean” DHS funding bill, Reid has sent a blunt message across the Capitol: Take it or leave it. Most believe the House will ultimately take it.

That’s not all: As McConnell is pushing for a new plan to thwart Obama’s executive actions on immigration, Reid and his leadership team are warning they will prevent the matter from even coming to a debate before Congress funds the DHS. And even after Reid eventually agrees to debate the Republican plan on immigration, Democratic leaders are plotting a series of politically charged amendments that could put vulnerable Republicans and potential presidential candidates in tough spots. They will then try to filibuster the Republican bill to death.

“He is controlling the agenda,” Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) said of Reid. “And he probably will control the agenda if we don’t change the rules.”

Reid’s positioning underscores the painful reality Republicans face as they assume control of both houses of Congress: The position of Senate minority leader is one of the most powerful in the Capitol. Reid can delay and disrupt even the most carefully laid plans by the majority party, which needs 60 votes to break a filibuster.


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CPAC and GOP primary people are different people…..

While EVERYBODY in the political world focuses on the stage show at the Conservative Political Action Conference……

There is something one should note….

The CPAC crowd are different than the parties primary voters….

The CPAC crowd is MUCH younger than the primary voters on Iowa and New Hampshire….Very different from the primary states that vote for delegates next year….

The CPAC staw poll winner in the last couple of election years did NOT win the GOP nomination….

The annual Conservative Political Action Conference, which ends with a straw poll on Saturday, marks a key early test for Republicans eyeing the White House, but has its limits as a true gauge of where GOP voters currently stand.

That’s because in many ways CPAC, featuring about a dozen potential presidential contenders this year, has become something of an early Spring Break for young conservatives. Estimates from various years usually find many more than half the attendees are less than 40 years of age. There is an array of cheap options for young people looking to attend. And last year’s straw poll numbers show a very young group of conservatives dominating the crowd – far younger than the GOP’s typical primary and general election voters.

In that 2014 CPAC straw poll, won by Sen. Rand Paul, 64% of the voters were younger than 40 years old. That number is markedly different from other figures that gauge Republicans. Looking back to 2012’s early nomination contests in Iowa and New Hampshire, where the votes actually matter, the difference in age breakdowns is striking…..


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Open Thread for February 26, 2015….Scott Walker and Snow…Both will go away?

We’re just having a good time here @ the PDog….

Short one for this thread….

I’m just happy to have people here talking away in the last few weeks….

I STILL think Scott Walker is gonna flame out….

And maybe it will finally stop snowing….



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Christie at CPAC 2015…His ‘aggressive style’ has been working in running Jersey..

The New Jersey Republican gets his time up at Bat at the Conservative Political Action Conference, and just stays himself….

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie brushed off his widespread characterization as an overly brash “hot head” during an appearance Thursday at the Conservative Political Action Conference, insisting that his aggressive style is backed by an approach to governance that works for his home state.

“Here are some of the words used to describe you: explosive; short-tempered; hot head; impatient; and that’s just what your friends are saying,” prodded conservative radio host Laura Ingraham, who led a question-and-answer session with the potential presidential candidate.

“Here’s the word they miss: Passionate,” Christie fired back. “I’m the son of a Sicilian mother and an Irish father, which means in my household I had to learn about dispute resolution really early.”
When Ingraham asked about an incident in which he told a reporter to “sit down and shut up,” the governor had a ready response: “Yeah well, sometimes people need to be told to sit down and shut up.”

The packed ballroom where the session was held erupted with applause….


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Scott Walker speaks to CPAC Crowd…I’ve fought the Unions…I can take on the World…

…from the NY Times First Draft….

Best Applause Line: “We need a leader who will stand with Israel,” said the governor of Wisconsin.

Crickets: Describing, early in his remarks, his longstanding interest in the founding fathers.

Red Meat: Mr. Walker spoke at length about his record as governor and made broad references to foreign policy touchstones like Israel, Iran and the fight against Islamic terrorism.

Toughest Question: From a heckler, who shouted about workers’ rights. But Mr. Walker turned it to his advantage, joking that protesters had followed him from Wisconsin.

Mood in the Room: Intrigued and mostly appreciative. Mr. Walker’s performance at the Iowa Freedom Summit in late January catapulted him to prominence in the early stages of the Republican race. Many people at CPAC wanted to see if he could deliver again.

He did, for the most part. Mr. Walker stood in front of the lectern, shed his suit jacket and rolled up his shirtsleeves, keeping his hands on his hips as he walked and talked. The crowd was mostly hushed early on, but he shouted as if he were rallying thousands of supporters and had to work to be heard over the applause.

Mr. Walker seemed to stretch in trying to demonstrate how his tenure as governor had prepared him for the global arena. At one point, describing the need to prevent Islamic terrorism from touching down on American soil, he reached back to his having called in the National Guard to address protesters in Wisconsin.

“If I can take on 100,000 protesters, I can do the same across the world,” he argued.

The crowd eventually warmed up, and Mr. Walker grew looser…..

He finished to a standing ovation….


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Charlie Cook on why the GOPer’s DHS action’s ain’t gonna make things better in next years Presidential contest outcome…

Cook and GOP pollster Whit Ayers see the Republican party doing serious damage to its chances of widening the number of people that will vote for a Republican for President come November 2016….

While a LOT of GOPer’s gloat over their 2014 wins…..

The fact is that MORE Democrats ARE gonna come out and vote in the next major elections in 2016….

Fighting immigration just makes sure that American Brown and yellow people, whose numbers are increasing MUCH faster that whites and blacks, will NOT be happy with the GOP which is doing everything within its power to stop people they know from becoming legal  in this THEIR country….

The last Republican President to make inroads with Brown people was George H. Bush….

His brother, Jeb Bush, with a wife from Mexico is getting grief from HIS party every-time he tries gain traction on Immigration Reform…And THAT could nullify ANY advantage Bush might get from his wife and efforts for Immigration reform…

So the guy who could be the nominee, who would have advantage, isn’t scoring points within party for the primaries on the issue that will be HUGLY important in the general election should he be the nominee…..

The last time a Republican won the White House their nominee, George W. Bush, carried 58 percent of the white vote and 26 percent of the non-white vote. Since then, Republicans have done just about as well among whites (McCain took 55 percent; Romney took 59 percent), but failed to get close to Bush’s showing among non-whites (McCain took 19 percent; Romney won 17 percent). However, given the fast-growing non-white population, the Bush formula is no longer enough to win in 2016. According to Ayers’ forthcoming e-book “2016 and Beyond: How Republicans Can Elect a President in the New America,” the composition of the electorate in 2016 will be 69 percent white and 31 percent non-white. Under that scenario, a Republican candidate would need to do as well among white voters as Romney (59 percent) and then carry at least 30 percent of the non-white vote (four points higher than that of Bush in 2004). If a Republican did only as well among non-whites as Bush did in 2004, that candidate would need to win 61 percent of the white vote – a very high bar indeed, especially if Hillary Clinton does as well among white, college-educated women as she’s expected to do.

Meanwhile, the Democratic nominee need not do as well among non-whites as Obama to win. In fact, a Democrat can actually run behind John Kerry’s 2014 performance among white voters and still win. According to Ayers’ calculations, the Democratic nominee can win by taking the same percent of white voters as Obama did in 2012 (39 percent), yet would only need to win 75 percent of non-whites compared to the 82 percent Obama carried in 2012.

If there’s an opportunity for Republicans to gain voters among non-whites, it is with more affluent/middle class voters. A poll of 4,200 likely Latino voters taken in the final days before the 2014 election by the firm Latino Decisions, found that Republicans took just 21 percent of the vote among Latinos making less than $50,000/year. But, Republicans won 36 percent of the vote among those making more than $50,000/year….



How much ya wanna bet Jeb Bush KNOWS all this ?

And is continuing to support Immigration Reform even if the rightwingnuts don’t get what these two guys have….(The party leaders HAVE tknow this…Which is why they will support Bush over walker who is poandering to the rightwinger in the party)

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The Homeland Spending Bill will end up back in Boehner’s lap….

The Senate is going to approve a spending bill for the Homeland Security Department, the biggest department in the US federal government besides the military….

We do NOT know if the approval will be 10 days, 30 days or whatever…..

We do NOT know if the ‘Dreamers’ Act approval is in the Senate Bill…..

But we DO know that even if these guys set up the clean bill and they vote to defund the President’s executive action?

Odds are the President IS gonna go ahead and find a judge or judges that will see things HIS way….

For all the hollering about President Obama going HIS own way?

No Congress…Democratic or Republican has dealt with comprehensive Immigration Reform….

And the way things are politically?

No Congress can be expected to….

So ….In a replay of days gone by….

We’re gonna see the US Government at it’s worst…..

Image result for Mcconnell/boehner

John Boehner is gonna need the Democrats to get him out of hole….

While his Conservative rightwingnut stand there fuming ….

He’s been there before 

Until Wednesday, Mr. Boehner and Mr. McConnell had not spoken in two weeks. Asked to describe his relationship with Mr. McConnell, Mr. Boehner said “sometimes there are differences.”

“We have two different institutions that don’t have the same body temperature every day,” he said. “You know, the House, by nature and by design, is a hell of a lot more rambunctious place than the Senate — much more.”

House Republicans are scheduled to meet at 5 p.m. Thursday to discuss a path forward, but with several options under consideration, lawmakers seem to be coalescing around a short-term funding measure that would last less than a month, according to people with knowledge of the discussion who did not want to speak publicly about private negotiations. The Senate, meanwhile, is expected to begin voting on a clean funding bill Thursday — most likely just after 9 p.m., if members cannot reach a unanimous, bipartisan agreement to take up the legislation sooner.

The Democratic leadership on Thursday called on House Republicans to pass the clean funding bill the Senate is expected to send over. “ISIS appears to have money, terrorists appear to have money, why shouldn’t our homeland have the ability to protect itself?” asked Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the minority leader, referring to the Islamic State group. “This is like living in a world of crazy people.”

Continue reading the main storyContinue reading the main storyContinue reading the main story
Even some Republicans said it was time for Mr. Boehner and his conference to accept the reality that they needed to fund the Homeland Security agency, and fight Mr. Obama on immigration at a different time.

“As a governing party, we’ve got to fund D.H.S. and say to the House, ‘Here’s a straw so you can suck it up,’” said Senator Mark S. Kirk, Republican of Illinois. “This battle should be the end of the strategy of attaching whatever you’re upset at the president to a vital piece of government.”

But some of the House’s more conservative members said they were frustrated with what they saw as their leadership team’s capitulation to Democratic demands…



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The Bush campaign is serious…To sought after GOP operatives, donors and policy people….Sign on Now…You won’t get a second chance….

For those still mooning and tuning for Scoott Walker?

Read below….

The NY Times has shed light on the Bush 2016 campaign op….

And it’s NOT ‘nice guy…we’ll be polite’….

Bush handlers and operatives are signing up and locking up the top GOP talent RIGHT NOW….

And signing on means you do NOT dance with ANYONE else…..

Jeb Bush and company intend to leave the crumbs for the Walker campaign and anyone else….

Mr. Bush has vowed to run a “joyful” presidential campaign free from the seamier sides of party politics, projecting the air of a cerebral man almost effortlessly drawing together Republicans eager to help him seek the White House. But behind the scenes, he and his aides have pursued the nation’s top campaign donors, political operatives and policy experts with a relentlessness and, in the eyes of rivals, ruthlessness that can seem discordant with his upbeat tone.

Their message, according to dozens of interviews, is blunt: They want the top talent now, they have no interest in sharing it, and they will remember those signed on early — and, implicitly, those who did not. The aim is not just to position Mr. Bush as a formidable front-runner for the Republican nomination but also to rapidly lock up the highest-caliber figures in the Republican Party and elbow out rivals by making it all but impossible for them to assemble a high-octane campaign team.



One has the feeling that when the dust settles for the Republicans ?

Scott Walker, Christie and most other GOPer’s looking for the Republican nomination are gonna get ran over by a HUGE Bush family steam roller….The only one that won’t will be Rand Paul , who has his own group inherited from his dad, Ron Paul….

After all folks?

This isn’t amateur hour…This IS the policical Big Leagues 

And if Bush is the nominee and you missed the train?….. You’re out for the long haul….The Bush people will not call you back…


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Breaking…F.C.C. terms Broadband Internet Service a Public Utility

It was coming…..’Net Neutrality.’….

The broadband companies aren’t gonna be too happy….

We’ll see if their friend in Congress go after the ruling…

But the prospect on different pricing for different speeds from carriers to consumers has brought this on….

The Federal Communications Commission voted Thursday to regulate broadband Internet service as a public utility, a milestone in regulating high-speed Internet service into American homes.

The new rules, approved 3 to 2 along party lines, are intended to ensure that no content is blocked and that the Internet is not divided into pay-to-play fast lanes for Internet and media companies that can afford it and slow lanes for everyone else. Those prohibitions are hallmarks of the net neutrality concept.

Mobile data service for smartphones and tablets is being placed under the new rules. The order also includes provisions to protect consumer privacy and to ensure Internet service is available for people with disabilities and in remote areas.

The F.C.C. is taking this big regulatory step by reclassifying high-speed Internet service as a telecommunications service, instead of an information service, under Title II of the Telecommunications Act. The Title II classification comes from the phone company era, treating service as a public utility.


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Hillary Clinton STILL leads ALL the GOPer’s for 2016….

No Margin of Error issue either….

Over Jeb Bush she’s @ 10% higher…

Over Scott Walker she’s @ 8% higher….

Oh, and Biden and Warren would TRAIL Jeb …..

What’s really striking about Clinton’s numbers against the Republicans is how steady they are no matter who she’s pitted against. Clinton is between 47-50% against all 9 of the GOP hopefuls, and each of the GOP hopefuls is polling at either 40 or 41%. This is quite different from 2012 when Mitt Romney tended to be a good deal stronger against Barack Obama than all of the other GOP contenders.

There is a pretty big electability difference on the Democratic side though. In the off chance that Clinton were not to run for President, both Joe Biden (45/39) and Elizabeth Warren (43/41) would trail Jeb Bush in hypothetical contests. We’ve pretty consistently found Clinton running about 10 points better against the Republican field than potential Democratic alternatives.

There’s been a lot of debate about the impact George W. Bush’s unpopularity might have on the Presidential contest, but he’s not nearly as unpopular as he used to be. Americans are pretty evenly divided in their feelings about him with 45% rating him favorably to 46% who have an unfavorable opinion. That actually makes him a good deal more popular with the public than his brother- Jeb Bush registers right now at a 29/45 favorability. Although President Bush may not be a huge liability, he’s not an asset in the way Bill Clinton has the potential to be for Hillary either. President Clinton has a 49% favorability rating, higher than any Presidential candidate for next year, with 42% viewing him unfavorably.

*The key to Clinton’s early leads over the Republican field is that in addition to having the Democratic base strongly unified behind her, she’s also getting a substantial amount of support from GOP voters…..


* My emphases and bold.


The new attacks against Hillary have dropped….

Donation to Clinton Foundation while Hillary was secretary of state violated ethics agreement, report says

The Clinton Foundation was on the defensive Wednesday after disclosing that it had accepted millions of dollars from several foreign governments while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state, including one donation that violated the foundation’s ethics agreement with the Obama administration.

Most of the contributions — which had not previously been detailed by the foundation — were possible due to exceptions written into the organization’s 2008 agreement with the White House that limited donations from foreign governments, according to The Washington Post, which first reported the contributions.



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Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest 2/26/15… Ted Strickland aims for a comeback at Rob Portman’s expense

Reposted from Daily Kos Elections by Jeff Singer

attribution: Ted Strickland Facebook
Newly-minted Democratic Senate candidate Ted Strickland

Leading Off:

OH-Sen: It’s really happening. On Wednesday, former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland announced that he would challenge Republican Sen. Rob Portman in a race Democrats badly want to win.

As we’ve noted previously, Strickland is a big get for Team Blue. He has a reputation as a great campaigner: While he lost re-election in 2010 to John Kasich, he managed to keep things very close in a hellish year for Buckeye State Democrats. Strickland also is a proven vote-getter in rural eastern Ohio, an area that has turned against most Democrats in recent cycles.

Strickland will join Cincinnati Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld in the primary and will start as the clear frontrunner. Sittenfeld has been raising real money and may decide to take his chances on the former governor, but state Democrats tell Roll Call that they expect him to drop out when all is said and done. Sittenfeld is young enough that he has plenty of time to move up the ladder.


MO-Sen: Let’s not beat around the bush: Todd Akin is thinking about challenging Sen. Roy Blunt in the Republican primary. Akin told The Hill‘s Jonathan Easley on Wednesday that he hadn’t ruled out anything, and already began portraying the contest as a battle between an establishment-scented incumbent and a conservative true believer.

Suffice to say, there are very few D.C. Republicans who would welcome an Akin rerun. During his 2012 campaign, Akin made global headlines for his legitimate rape comments. Establishment Republicans, including Blunt, urged Akin to drop out of the race against Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill, but he refused. Akin’s self-destructing campaign transformed what once looked like a likely Republican pickup into a 16-point loss, and forever made Akin’s name an adjective for horrific candidates.

If Akin gets in, he might force Blunt to divert some resources to the primary that he’d rather save for the general against Democratic Secretary of State Jason Kander. But Akin’s odds of actually upsetting Blunt are very, very low. Akin was a terrible fundraiser even before legitimate rape, while Blunt has plenty of money to burn. And while Akin does appeal to a certain set of primary voters, he’ll have a difficult time actually getting support to outpace Blunt, who has worked hard to stay on good terms with tea party groups.

Finally, if the GOP establishment thought Akin had any hope of winning, big money groups would immediately get involved to nuke him. Akin has already cost his party one Senate seat, and it’s almost certainly too much for Democrats to hope that he’ll do it again. But at least a primary freakshow with Akin would be worth watching.

WI-Sen: Former Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold looks like he may challenge GOP Sen. Ron Johnson, who unseated him in the GOP wave of 2010, though of course with a mavericky guy like Feingold, you never know until you know. But if Feingold does decide to go for it, he’ll be swimming against history: In the last half-century, only two former senators have made it back to the upper chamber of Congress after losing an election, and neither case precisely mirrors Feingold’s.

One such senator was Ohio’s Howard Metzenbaum, who lost the 1974 Democratic primary to John Glenn after being appointed to fill a vacancy earlier that year; Metzenbaum then defeated GOP Sen. Robert Taft, Jr. in 1976. The other was Washington Republican Slade Gorton, who defeated longtime Democratic incumbent Warren Magnuson, lost to Democrat Brock Adams in 1986, and then won an open seat in 1988. He ultimately exited for the final time after Maria Cantwell narrowly beat him in 2000.

Prior to Metzenbaum, only 14 other senators pulled off the feat of getting booted then returning in the Senate’s direct-election era. The University of Minnesota has the details on each.


FL-Gov, Sen: The Sunshine State just finished a long and expensive gubernatorial contest, and it’s not too easily to get ready for the next one. Democratic Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn recently admitted that he’s interested in a 2018 run, and he’s already begun raising money for his PAC. Buckhorn’s name has occasionally come up in connection to the 2016 Senate contest, but we can probably cross off his name there….


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