Saturday, October 31, 2015

News Nuggets 1538

DAYLEE PICTURE: Victoria Falls on the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe. From National Geographic.

TODAY'S BIG NUGGET: A Cold War History Nugget!

The 1983 ‘war scare,’ was real: Soviets feared surprise nuclear attack by U.S. by U.S. (David E. Hoffman) from the Washington Post
"An exercise by NATO prompted fear in the leadership of the Soviet Union that the maneuvers were a cover for a nuclear attack by the United States, triggering a series of unparalleled Soviet military re­sponses, according to newly declassified documents."
One of the biggest near-misses of the Cold War and one that most people, even historians, know little about.  Check out this primary source, the U.S. assessment that concluded the Soviet leadership feared an American nuclear strike in 1983.

Laying the Legal Grounds for Killing Bin Laden

How 4 Federal Lawyers Paved the Way to Kill Osama bin Laden from the New York Times
"While the Bin Laden operation has been much scrutinized, the story of how a tiny team of government lawyers helped shape and justify Mr. Obama’s high-stakes decision has not been previously told. The group worked as military and intelligence officials conducted a parallel effort to explore options and prepare members of SEAL Team 6 for the possible mission."

The Grim Politics of the TPP

Myths and Realities of the Trans-Pacific Partnership from the National Interest
"One problem regarding the politics of free trade accords is that there are always winners and losers, even if the result is a net gain for a nation’s economy. The losers generally know who they are and mobilize in opposition, but who the winners will be tends to be less clear."
The politics of the TPP are tough.  In my view, the TPP is much more about the US retaining global economic advantages for the foreseeable future ... or surrendering really soon those advantages to the trade pact the Chinese were trying to organize around the Pacific rim, one that disadvantaged the US BIG TIME!  The US was facing a take-it-or-leave-it circumstance as the Chinese were closing in on securing their deal with most of the major countries in the Pacific, excluding the US.  The TPP has all the same players sans the Chinese.  Is the TPP a bad deal for US workers? Probably.  But it's nothing compared to how bad the Chinese deal would have been for US workers. -- Nuggetsman

The Limits on Training "Local Forces"

Why Is the American Military So Bad at Teaching Others How to Fight? (Fred Kaplan) from Slate
"The task goes far beyond what U.S. soldiers are trained to teach.,,,  If the goal is to turn the fighting completely over to the local armed forces, then training must also involve teaching them how to conduct and call in air strikes, gather intelligence and apply it to tactical operations, move soldiers rapidly from one area to another (which involves flying helicopters or small transport planes), resupply soldiers when they’re deployed far from the base (logistics), and plan operations on a strategic or theater-wide level. "

The IRS "Scandal": Oh ... Never Mind

DOJ: No Charges for Former IRS Official Lois Lerner from the Daily Beast
"“We found no evidence that any IRS official acted based on political, discriminatory, corrupt, or other inappropriate motives that would support a criminal prosecution,” Assistant Attorney General Peter Kadzik wrote in a letter to Congress."
REALLY!?  I am SOOO surprised.  Another Obama administration scandal exposed as a non-scandal.

The Budget Deal: A Major Win for Obama

Obama Wins on Budget Deal as John Boehner Cleans Out the Barn from the New York Times
"The budget agreement struck late Monday between the White House and Congress hands President Obama a major victory, vindicating his hard line this year against spending limits that he argued were a drag on the economy and also buying himself freedom for the final 14 months of his term from the fiscal dysfunction that has plagued his presidency."

"Good Factory Jobs" - Not What They Used to Be

'Good' Jobs Aren't Coming Back (Alana Semuels) from the Atlantic
"In the last several years some American companies have moved their operations back to the states, but the resulting factory work isn't providing the prosperity and security that such work once did."

GOPers Looking for Their Own "Obama"

Republicans have a serious electability problem — and Marco Rubio is not the answer (Paul Waldman) from The Week
"Perhaps the reason is that at the end of eight years suffering under a president from the other party, emotions are too raw and resentments too deep for that kind of pragmatic thinking. In that way, Republicans in 2016 are in a position similar to that of Democrats in 2008 at the end of George W. Bush's two terms. I'm sure more than a few Republicans would like to find the candidate who can make them feel the way Barack Obama made Democrats feel then ..."

Perverse Cosmic Justice Visited on the Bushes & their Clique

Bush at 91: Irritated and Invigorated by ’16 Race from the New York Times
"...  the elder Mr. Bush was fuming at the news of the day: Mr. Trump had belittled Sen. John McCain of Arizona for being taken prisoner in Vietnam. “I can’t understand how somebody could say that and still be taken seriously,” said Mr. Bush ... “I have no feeling for the electorate anymore,” said John H. Sununu, the former New Hampshire governor who helped the elder Mr. Bush win the 1988 primary there and went on to serve as his White House chief of staff. “It is not responding the way it used to. Their priorities are so different that if I tried to analyze it I’d be making it up.” ... ... Contempt for Mr. Trump runs deep in the clan. ... Jeb Bush’s brother Neil has also vented privately about how bad Mr. Trump is for the country, ... And their father has been highly irritated by Mr. Trump’s ridicule."
It is sooo fitting the the Bushes and their compatriots are perplexed and upset by Trump and the way the race has gone.  When W was running in 2000 and '04, these people were perfectly happy to exploit the hard right to get elected. I find it INCREDIBLE that any of them bitch about what Trump said about McCain -- given what they were selling about John Kerry in '04!!  It's a perverse form of cosmic justice. -- Nuggetsman

The Hard Right: A Party Within a Party?

GOP right wing acts like its own party (Juan Williams) from The Hill
"The Freedom Caucus and the people who sent it to Washington want to sit at the big table and decide on their own deals. All that is required now is that the rebels pick their own leader and begin negotiations with the Republicans and Democrats. But first they have to officially divorce the GOP and form their own party.  There are enough hard-right Republican voters who agree with this call for independence from GOP leadership to back a new party under the name of the Freedom Caucus."

New GOP Focus: Bringing Trump Down

Panicked establishment gets ready for war against Trump (Byron York) from the Washington Examiner
"The Republican establishment, for the first time, is saying, off the record, this guy can win," noted Joe Scarborough on MSNBC Monday morning. "I've heard that from everybody. I don't hear anybody saying he can't win the nomination anymore." That doesn't mean Republicans have made their peace with a Trump victory. On the contrary — some are preparing to do whatever it takes to bring him down. Which could lead to an extraordinary scenario in which GOP stalwarts go to war to destroy their own party's likely nominee."

The GOP's Election Year Tech is No Where Near the Dems

The GOP Has a Tech Talent Problem It Might Not Solve from Wired Magazine
"... when Walker’s funding dried up, and he announced that he was pulling out of the race, Oczkowski fully expected the whole tech and digital staff would be scooped up by another campaign. But that never happened. For Oczkowski, that was sign—a sign that the rest of the GOP field isn’t building and prioritizing tech as vigorously as the Democrats are."

To Get Trump Out, Jeb Must Go First

3 Reasons Republicans Must Pull The Plug On Jeb If They Want To Stop Trump (Eric Kleefeld) from the National Memo
"All of this squabbling among the candidates has made one thing abundantly clear: If establishment Republicans really want to stop Donald Trump, they must first get Jeb out of the way. Here are some reasons why."

The Polite Pretense Surrounding the Bush Candidacy

Jeb Bush is completely toast: Donald Trump and Jake Tapper just ended all White House dreams (Amanda Marcotte) from Salon
"... when it comes to Bush, voters may be picking up on something that the party elite do not understand: Bush faces a brother-shaped albatross hanging around his neck that will, in fact, turn out to be a real problem in the general election. Worse, Bush’s way of handling the issue suggests he hasn’t given it much thought, clearly expecting everyone to politely pretend that we’ll all forgotten about that 9/11 and Iraq War thing."

The Benghazi Witch-Hunt

The Benghazi Witch-Hunt Against Hillary Is Backfiring Just Like Bill Clinton's Impeachment ... And its chairman, Trey Gowdy, just got caught red handed from The Nation
"Ever since Watergate, Republicans have been consumed with the certainty that a similar scandal will one day befall Democrats, and have gone to great lengths to make it so. But when their inquiries run aground, or devolve into partisan witch hunting, they eventually relent, and allow the investigations to fizzle out. The Benghazi committee is flirting with the same fate."

Are Conservative Issues Losing Their Edge?

The GOP's Problems Go Way Deeper Than the Speaker Mess (Kevin Drum) from Mother Jones Magazine
"Republicans aren't the party of no ideas—they're the party of no escape. ... The failure of Obamacare's foes is a sign of a larger trend: A lot of traditional conservative issues are losing their momentum...

Are Ethics and Character Questions in Marco's Future?

Dirt on Rubio in Jeb Bush's Campaign Blueprint? from US News
"A 112-page internal document provided to U.S. News includes more dirt on Marco Rubio, Iowa vote goals and a January advertising plan. ... Additionally, while the slides released to the media outlined Bush's overarching argument against Florida Sen. Marco Rubio – that he's the GOP's Barack Obama – the complete offering contains more biting, detailed slights, pointedly questioning the character and ethics of Bush's home state rival."

For Latinos, It’s not just Donald Trump

Latino voters are down on Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio, too (Sophia Tesfaye) from Salon
"According to a new AP-GfK poll, the entire Republican party’s feeble rebrand effort following the 2012 election was a complete dud.  Even the GOP's "outreach" candidates are underwater with Latinos."

Sunday, October 18, 2015

News Nuggets 1537

DAYLEE PICTURE: A solar eclipse gleams over the mountains of Spitsbergen, Norway.  From National Geographic.

TODAY'S BIG NUGGET: Louisiana’s nasty Bobby Jindal hangover

GOP failure is giving new life to Democrats in the unlikeliest of places from Salon
"The party's disastrous bids for president could change the complexion of the whole country. Just look at Louisiana. ...  Increasingly, the GOP’s base is confined to the south and to pockets of rural America. But even in a conservative state like Louisiana, Republicans are being challenged by Democratic candidates. While it’s unlikely that Louisiana becomes a blue state anytime soon, there are some compelling indicators that the political winds are shifting."

ANOTHER BIG NUGGET: The Modern GOP: "Elected Leaders of Jaw-dropping Incompetence"

The Republicans’ Incompetence Caucus (David Brooks) from the New York Times
"... this new Republican faction regards the messy business of politics as soiled and impure. Compromise is corruption. Inconvenient facts are ignored. Countrymen with different views are regarded as aliens. Political identity became a sort of ethnic identity, and any compromise was regarded as a blood betrayal. ... This anti-political political ethos produced elected leaders of jaw-dropping incompetence."

Sweet Jesus, David Brooks is finally making sense

How Fox News & the GOP insanity caucus pushed David Brooks over the edge (Sean Illing) from Salon
"In his New York Times column this morning, he appears to discover what at least half the country has long known: The Republican Party has been hijacked by unruly nihilists."

George W. Bush’s military lies

The real story about the undeniable service gaps Bush got away with (Paul Rosenberg) from Salon
"In the final analysis, the record clearly and convincingly proves he did not fulfill the obligation he incurred when he enlisted in the Air National Guard and completed his pilot training, despite his honorable discharge. He clearly shirked the duty he undertook in 1968 upon enlistment and in 1969 upon completion of his flight training at Moody AF Base….. “The CBS story, and the furor that caused, buried the story so deeply that you couldn’t possibly disinter it in 2004,” Robinson told Texas Monthly’s Joe Hagan for a comprehensive retrospective story in 2012. “Inevitably, the only candidate who ended up with a serious credibility problem about his military service was John Kerry, who had absolutely nothing to hide or be ashamed of,” Robinson said. “To me, in a close election — and it was a close election — who knows, that could have been the difference.”"

America's Newest "Illegals"

Young, Illegal, and Alone (J. Weston Phippin) from the Atlantic
"Their parents sent them to the United States to escape brutal violence. But to stay, they need to convince courts that sending them here constituted child abuse."

Russia and Iran: The New Masters of the Middle East? NOT!

Stop swooning over Putin (Fareed Zakaria) from the Washington Post
"Washington’s foreign policy elites have developed a mind-set that mistakes activity for achievement. They assume that every crisis in the world can and should be solved by a vigorous assertion of U.S. power, preferably military power. Failure to do so is passivity and produces weakness. By this logic, Russia and Iran are the new masters of the Middle East. Never mind that those countries are desperately trying to shore up a sinking ally."

Exxon's Rapacious Short-Sightedness Revealed

Exxon's Own Research Confirmed Fossil Fuels' Role in Global Warming Decades Ago from Climate Change News
"It assembled a brain trust that would spend more than a decade deepening the company's understanding of an environmental problem that posed an existential threat to the oil business.  Then, toward the end of the 1980s, Exxon curtailed its carbon dioxide research. In the decades that followed, Exxon worked instead at the forefront of climate denial."
This is potentially HUGE news! If true, Exxon et al., face the identical legal peril that the tobacco companies faced (and LOST) when pressed about if they believed that cigarettes were addictive.  We know how that went.  The analysis suggests that both sides are lawyering up!

The Newest Route for Syrian Refugees

Slovenia: The New, Tiny Pathway to Western Europe from the Atlantic
"After Hungary sealed its border with Croatia, thousands of refugees are being diverted to the Massachusetts-sized Alpine country."

How Hillary emerges from the first debates

Why the GOP Should Fear Hillary Clinton (Jacob Heilbrunn) from the National Interest.
"One thing seems certain: the new Clinton that emerged last night is unlikely to be taken down by House Republicans poring over her emails."

Hillary's Organizational Advantage

Hillary Clinton Bets on Future With Spending Spree to Build Campaign Infrastructure from the New York Times
"Three months before the first nominating contest, Mrs. Clinton has built a cash-hungry campaign juggernaut that is more far-flung and more expensive than anything else on the horizon.The goal is to overwhelm her rivals for the Democratic nomination — including those who are still considering a bid — before  the first flowers of spring, and to amass an organizational advantage that no Republican rival will be able to match by Election Day."

How the Iran Nuclear Deal is Playing ... in Iran

The Struggle for Iran’s Soul from Foreign Policy Magazine
"An unplanned handshake between Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and President Barack Obama has triggered a battle between reformists and hard-line opponents keen on sabotaging the nascent rapprochement with the United States."

The most shocking contrasts between the Democratic & Republican debates

Trump’s America vs. Hillary’s America (Heather Digby Parton) from Salon
"If there's one thing last night's debate made clear, it's that our political parties are living on separate planets.  ...

The GOP's Wheels-off-the-Track Moment

What The Big GOP Meltdown Reveals From A Guy Who Saw It All Coming from Talking Points Memo
"The modern Republican Party had been careening toward this kind of wheels-off-the-track moment for a long time. Its knee-jerk rejectionism, high-stakes brinksmanship, strict demands for ideological purity, and willingness to take hostages had been on display in one form or another in a series of political clashes since the 1990s."

Some Folks Are Running Out of Cash...

Some Presidential Campaigns Are Running Out of Cash, New Filings Show (Russ Choma) from Mother Jones Magazine
"... the Clinton and Sanders campaigns are in stellar shape compared with the finances of some of the GOP candidates, who are spending money faster than they are raising it."

Why it’s high time Jeb gave up his presidential fantasy

Jeb Bush’s epic implosion (Gary Legum) from Salon
"Let's face it: Jeb sucks at this whole running-for-president thing, and he's just wasting our time now. ... Not that any of this will stop him from shambling forward through Iowa and New Hampshire like the most preppily-dressed zombie on “The Walking Dead.” After all, zombies don’t know they are dead until you drive a stake through their brains."
Ah, to badly paraphrase Robert Frost, Bush has millions to burn before he sleeps...

Rubio's Future? Promising ... But FULL of Holes

Marco Rubio's wake-up call (Kyle Cheney) from Politico Magazine
"For all the buzz surrounding his campaign, the Florida senator isn't raising enough money and hasn't yet built much of a field organization. ... Rubio may be slowly rising in the polls, but his third quarter filing revealed a campaign that's also out-manned by many of its rivals in the early-voting states. His staff is largely concentrated in Washington, with just a small umbrella of on-the-ground, early-state operatives -- and he's already at a disadvantage because he hasn't invested the time in early-state visits that some of his opponents have."

Welcome to the conservative apocalypse!

First David Brooks, now the party chairman figures out right-wing clusterf**k from Salon
"Brooks doesn’t quite follow his insight to its logical conclusion, though. If he did, he would have conceded that the GOP is essentially done as a viable and productive national political party. Brooks, one assumes, still has hope that Republicans can course-correct before it’s too late."

The Cruz Alternative?

Why Republicans Need to Nominate Ted Cruz (Stuart Rothenberg) from Roll Call
"As a spokesman for the no compromise, anti-establishment wing of his party, Cruz would be the ideal presidential nominee for conservatives tired of Republican leaders. He could ask a like-minded governor, possibly Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal, to join his ticket, giving voters the clear choice that conservatives claim they never have. But could Cruz win? I don’t think so."

A Real Look at the House Freedom Caucus

Meet the Right-Wing Rebels Who Overthrew John Boehner (Tim Dickinson) from Rolling Stone Magazine
"The House Freedom Caucus is an ideological and uncompromising band of anti-government radicals. And they're just getting started."

The GOP battle over Paul Ryan and conservatism grows nasty

Burn it down? (Howard Kurtz) from Fox News
"“Personally, given Washington these days, I think the default should be to burn it to the ground (metaphorically speaking), but you know what I mean. Rep. Paul Ryan will give the veneer of conservatism to whatever he touches.” Burn it to the ground. No wonder Ryan doesn’t want the job. And whether he gets it really could determine the party’s future."

Trump's BASIC Argument: Even a Buffoon Like Me Can Do Better

The Serious Problem with Treating Donald Trump Seriously (Michael Kinsley) from Vanity Fair
"The trouble with Trump is that he is, by temperament, by experience, and by character, utterly unqualified to be president of the United States. He is a buffoon. That's why his campaign is a joke, not the merits or otherwise of his alleged policies.... Trump stands for the proposition that you don't need to know much to run the government. You just need to use your common sense and to grow a pair, as Sarah Palin so memorably advised. "

The Trump "Machine" Taking Shape

Donald Trump's building a long-term operation from Politico
"His campaign has developed the infrastructure to put up a real fight in the earliest primaries and beyond. ... The campaign has taken its organization in many of these states to the next level, announcing the hiring of state directors in, Texas, Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee and Alabama in recent weeks. It has also brought on state directors for Illinois and Florida, which vote on March 15."
This is REALLY BAD NEWS for Bush et al.  Through this dark summer of discontent with the "establishment", the Bush/Kasich/Grahams and even the Cruz/Rubio subset have BANKED on that somehow that organizational strengths, campaign "professionals," and the smart money would win out in the early primaries.  Guess what? Looks like Trump will not be seriously lacking in this area! -- Nuggetsman

The Writing on the Wall Begins to Appear for the GOP Also-Rans

Six cash-strapped Republican White House hopefuls face tipping point from Reuters
"They all spent more than they took in during the third quarter, according to campaign finance reports filed on Thursday. The six are: Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, former New York Governor George Pataki, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum."

Trump to SNL? Reality: SNL BECOMES the GOP!

Donald Trump to Host 'SNL' November 7 from NBC News
"Live from New York, it's Donald Trump!  The GOP presidential frontrunner and real estate magnate will host NBC's "Saturday Night Live" on November 7, the show announced Tuesday. His appearance comes almost exactly a year before Election Day, which will fall on November 8, 2016."

The Costs of the Ongoing GOP "Insurgency"

Republicans Gone Wild: Q&A with Mann and Ornstein (Francis Wilkinson) from Bloomberg
"Norm's response underscores the reality of asymmetric polarization, which the mainstream media and most good government groups have avoided discussing -- at great costs to the country. As we wrote, Republicans have become more an insurgency than a major political party capable of governing."

Monday, October 12, 2015

News Nuggets 1536

Rice paddies in southern China.  From the Daily Mail of the UK.

Cold War Ghosts Waiting for Putin in Syria?

Russia Is Repeating Cold War Mistakes in Syria (David Lesch) from Foreign Policy Magazine
"In 1957, the Soviet Union’s ally Egypt intervened in Syria’s messy politics. It didn’t go well. Why does Putin think this time will be different?"

Putin in Syria -- Just Leave Him There

Syria, Obama and Putin (Thomas Friedman) from the New York Times
"Putin stupidly went into Syria looking for a cheap sugar high to show his people that Russia is still a world power. Well, now he’s up a tree. Obama and John Kerry should just leave him up there for a month — him and Assad, fighting ISIS alone — and watch him become public enemy No. 1 in the Sunni Muslim world. “Yo, Vladimir, how’s that working for you?”"

The Dilemma of Owning Real Estate in Syria

In Syria, whose side is the United States on? (Fareed Zakaria) from the Washington Post
"Whom is the United States for in this struggle? ...  The West is against almost every major group fighting in Syria, which makes for moral clarity but strategic incoherence. ... The U.S. Army could easily defeat the Islamic State, which has a lightly armed force of fewer than 30,000 men. But then it would own real estate in Syria. Who wants to govern that territory, protect the population and be seen by locals as legitimate?"

Hunting for Moderates and Unicorns in Syria

Syria and the Bizarre Need to Take Sides (Daniel Larison) from the American Conservative
"The fact that the U.S. can’t support any of them should make it clear that the U.S. has no business being involved in the conflict at all. The hunt for the elusive “moderate” opposition has been driven by the weird desire to find some faction in the civil war that the U.S. can support without openly endorsing jihadists."

The Bigger Strategic Picture with TPP

America's Grand Strategy to Contain China: The Trans-Pacific Partnership? from the National Interest
"There is a strategic dimension to the American push to conclude the TPP, but it's not about containing China. Rather, the TPP is part of the Obama Administration's broader Rebalance strategy to update and reinforce the liberal international order in the Asia-Pacific."

Putin's Wrecker Legacy

Is Putin Winning? (Ross Douthat) from the New York Times
"To be clear: Putin is a Russian nationalist, not the leader of Spectre or the League of Shadows. He doesn’t want chaos for its own sake, and he no doubt believes that a weakened NATO, a divided E.U. and a crumbling Pax Americana are necessary preconditions for his own empire’s return to greatness. But that return seems far out of his reach, and what’s closer to his grasp is something more destructive — a wrecker’s legacy, not Peter the Great’s, in which his own people gain little from his efforts, but the world grows more unstable with every move he makes."
A pretty fair assessment from this right-wing pundit.

Helping the Migrants: The Germans ... and the Serbs?

Why Serbia Is a Country to Watch (Joel Weickgenant) from Real Clear World
"Collective memories of the mass displacement of the Yugoslav wars have also opened people's hearts; many Serbs themselves are refugees from Croatia and Bosnia. When Hungarian police used water cannons and tear gas on refugees rioting on the Serbian side of the frontier, Aleksandar Vucic, the Serbian prime minister, said Hungary was guilty of ‘brutal' and ‘non-European' behavior.""

Strife in the Benghazi Panel

Suit Over Firing Exposes Strife Within Benghazi Panel from the New York Times
"A former investigator for the Republicans on the House Select Committee on Benghazi plans to file a complaint in federal court next month alleging that he was fired unlawfully in part because his superiors opposed his efforts to conduct a comprehensive investigation into the 2012 attack on the American diplomatic mission in the Libyan city rather than focus primarily on the role of the State Department and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton."

Debates About Obama as a "Black Leader"

The Paradox of the First Black President from New York Magazine
"As the historic administration nears its final year,African-American leaders debate: Did Barack Obama do enough for his own community?"

The Plummeting Price of Solar Energy

Solar Energy Sees Eye-Popping Price Drops from National Geographic
"Solar electricity's price tag has plummeted 70 percent, says a new report, as SolarCity rolls out a low-cost, super-efficient panel."

What the Guns Are Really For

The Cult Of The Second Amendment from Talking Points Memo
"...  to a remarkable extent, the default position of conservatives has less and less to do with arguments about the efficacy of gun regulation or the need for guns to deter or respond to crime. Instead, it’s based on the idea that the main purpose of the Second Amendment is to keep open the possibility of revolutionary violence against the U.S. government."

McCarthy Deals Serious Blows to the Whole Party

The New McCarthyism is dead on arrival (Kathleen Parker) from the Washington Post
"The consequences of McCarthy’s sleight of tongue can’t be overstated. It wasn’t just a Washington gaffe — when someone accidentally tells the truth. It was a self-inflicted, potentially fatal wound, not just to McCarthy but to Republicans more broadly, including those running for president."

Revolt, the "New Normal"

Kevin McCarthy’s implosion signals a full-blown Republican revolution (Chris Cillizza) from the Washington Post
"If you are Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio or John Kasich, what happened on Thursday in Washington should put a lump in your throat. The Republican establishment has been operating for months -- really since the rise of Trump -- under a belief that, eventually, things will return to "normal" and that the party will put forward an establishment candidate for president. That was the same wrong-headed thinking I heard constantly in the run-up to today's speaker vote: Yeah, sure, conservatives weren't sold on McCarthy, but the alternatives weren't any good or serious, and so he would win. Nope."

For the GOP, Signs of Impending Doom

The Party’s Over (Matt Latimer) from Politico
"For months on end the GOP establishment has continued to ignore all the signs of its impending doom. It’s been living in a delusion—thinking that they were in charge even as all the evidence made clear that their grasp of reality was not much better than Randy Quaid’s. Sure, their supporters are mad at them. But they’ve been mad before, like when they bailed out Wall Street in 2008, while the rest of the economy tanked. It will all blow over. But it won’t. And largely this is a problem of the establishment’s own making. Time and again, the GOP and its consultant class has overpromised to win votes and then underperformed once the votes were won."

The embarrassing truth about the unqualified, underprepared GOP field

Let’s be honest, they’re idiots from Salon
"Build a wall! Let Russia fight ISIS! GOP ideas are so simple-minded that they almost can't be serious. They're not."

Trump's Attention-Grabbing Act is Killing Bush

Jeb Bush Just Sunk to His Lowest Point Ever.  And it’s all because of Donald Trump (Jim Newell) from Slate
" Trump doesn’t have to win the nomination to execute this trick; he’s done enough already by changing the contours of what Republicans want on a fundamental level. The Bush campaign came into the election knowing that it would have to address concerns about dynasty and being considered a member of the establishment. It likely didn’t expect a bombastic (to put it generously) figure like Trump to come along and seize polling front-runner status by amplifying these weaknesses through gaudy but attention-grabbing performance art."

County Commissioners Beg to Be Saved from Gay Marraige

Tenn. county to consider resolution begging God to spare them ‘His coming wrath’ over same-sex marriage from Raw Story
" On Monday, the Blount County Board of Commissioners will consider a resolution asking God to spare their region from “His coming wrath” because the “lawless judiciary” of the U.S. is forcing them recognize same-sex marriages. ... Presumably God will hold off His wrath until the resolution can be considered as it is listed as seventh on the docket — right after the board takes up compensation levels for Blount County School Board Members."