NRO – No Deal; BERKOWITZ – Caricature of conservatism.
GOP: BOYLE – Rubio crashed; CARLSON – Governors unite; YORK – Radical Trump emerges; PODHORETZ – Chris beat Marco; GATEWAY PUNDIT – Schlafly – Rubio betrayal.
LEADS: HANSON – Hillary’s suspension of disbelief; HATTEM – Will Lynch step aside?; WILL – Super Bowl damages; McCARTHY – Hillary & national security.
END NOTES: KLEIN – Bibi fears two-state solution.
Help for Veterans
Valley Forge Park has 5.4 empty miles and money to build huts for guys who suffered 200+ years ago. Room for vets??????
VALLEY FORGE PATRIOTS & CITIZENS FOR LIBERTY REACHING OUT TO HELP HOMELESS VETERANS
We at Valley Forge Patriots & Citizens for Liberty are trying to help. We are asking for donations of food, gently used warm clothing and blankets.
If you have anything you would like to donate and you are going to our Feb. 3 event at King Of Prussia Vol. Fire House , please bring it with you.
If unable to attend that event (but, you really, really should!), feel free to contact Janet Warnsdorfer at email@example.com or (610) 469-3268.
“. . . The funny thing about Sanders and Clinton is that neither is a natural politician. But this works for Sanders and it doesn’t for Hillary. It works for Sanders because whatever you think about him, it’s pretty apparent that he is sincere. The man is drawn in indelible ink and there’s no erasing the contours of his soul.
“Hillary Clinton, meanwhile, has been drawn in pencil, erased, re-drawn and re-erased so many times — like a little kid doing over a stick figure again and again on the same piece of paper — that the gray smudges and worn-away tears in the paper are far more permanent than the lines.
It’s not that Hillary can’t be sincere, it’s that she’s faked sincerity for so long, about so many things, she can’t really be sure if she’s being sincere. . .”
Jonah Goldberg, Goldberg File, February 5th
NRO: “No Deal”
“Donald Trump doesn’t know what he thinks about health care. He has been a periodic advocate of a United Kingdom–style monopoly system and a periodic critic of such monopolies. He says that we should repeal the so-called Affordable Care Act and replace it with . . . something. Something “terrific.”
“When asked by New Hampshire debate moderator Mary Katharine Ham whether his flirtations with single-payer leave him closer to Vermont socialist Bernie Sanders than to mainstream Republicans, Trump gave a hilariously incoherent answer based in one part on banalities and one part on lies — which is the Trump magic formula. He said that he was the only candidate on stage free to explore all the policy options because he is self-funded and therefore not beholden to special interests. Trump is in fact mainly funded by donors, like the other candidates, but he persists in this lie, brazenly. He also claimed that the insurance companies are “getting rich on Obamacare,” which would be news to United, Cigna, Aetna, and others who have taken a bath on their ACA offerings. (They might have thought they were going to get rich — it’s nice to have a federal law mandating the purchase of your product — but, having gone to bed with the devil, they are waking up with a burning sensation.) Trump also promises a system that would not leave Americans “dying on the street.”
“Trump likes to talk about ‘deals,’ and to tout his purported expertise as a dealmaker. To the extent that he has communicated anything that deserves to be called an idea on the issue of health care, it is in joining in with Barack Obama, Bernie Sanders, Hillary Rodham Clinton, et al., in calling for government negotiation with pharmaceutical companies over prescription-drug prices. Trump promises to apply the business acumen he has brought to the casino racket and his reality-television enterprise to negotiate better deals on pharmaceuticals. . . http://www.nationalreview.com/article/430943/donald-trumps-bad-deal-health-care-reform
Peter Berkowitz, RCP: “Cruz, Trump and the Caricature of Conservatism”
“. . .The serious political question at issue in 2016 is whether conservative devotion to individual freedom and limited government or progressive dedication to overcoming economic inequality through aggressive government regulation and redistribution best serves the interests of the American people.
“But seldom do the GOP candidate who won Iowa and the one who seems poised to prevail in New Hampshire address the needs of, and government’s legitimate responsibilities toward, those unable to care for themselves or who find themselves temporarily in need of a helping hand.
“The problem predates the rise of Trump and Cruz. . .”
GOP . . .
Matthew Boyle, Big Govt: “Internal Polling Shows Marco Rubio Crashes, Burns after Horrendous Debate Performance”
“A pro-Ohio Gov. John Kasich Super PAC published, via Politico, internal polling numbers showing a drop off for Rubio after Christie exposed him during the debate.
“In that poll, Rubio fell down to 10 percent and into fourth place. ‘Most of the polling conducted in the immediate days before the debate showed Rubio in second place,’ Politico’s Alex Isenstadt wrote late Sunday.
“‘The survey, which was based on phone calls to 500 likely voters (margin of error plus or minus 3 percent), was conducted Sunday, the day following the latest Republican debate,’ Isenstadt added . . .”
Margaret Carlson, Bloomberg: “The Governors Break Out”
“. . . Chris Christie made a full-frontal attack on Marco Rubio. The New Jersey governor had been needling the freshman senator from Florida, ridiculing him as a fourth-grader looking for his new desk on the Senate floor and calling him the “boy in the bubble.” No one would have been surprised had Christie gone too far, but he didn’t. Governors do things, senators talk about doing things at hearings and occasionally vote on them. Although Rubio, as Christie pointed out, hasn’t even done much voting.
“You have not been involved in a consequential decision where you have had to be held accountable,” Christie scolded him.
“Rubio fired back by accusing Christie of refusing to leave the campaign trail to go do some governing in his home state after it was walloped by a snowstorm two weeks ago. He kept intoning this point as if it were a joke that, if repeated enough times, would at last get a laugh. When that didn’t work, he defaulted to a tic that Christie has criticized: robotically reciting “the memorized 25-second speech.”
“Shockingly, the candidate who came in third in Iowa and was supposed to embody the hopes of the establishment Republicans against Donald Trump and Ted Cruz never recovered. He tripled down, inserting his same swipes at President Barack Obama as if he were Siri dealing out stock replies regardless of the question.
“It was a mistake — if not at the Rick Perry “oops” level, certainly like Dan Quayle who was warned not to compare himself to John Kennedy but did anyway.
“This doesn’t mean Christie won the night. With Jeb Bush and John Kasich, he was part of a three-governor tag team that combined to pop the Rubio balloon, including hammering home that unlike them, he doesn’t support exceptions to abortion for rape and incest. The debate gave Jeb back his exclamation point, Christie a claim on his prosecutor chops, and Kasich, often overlooked at the edge of the stage, a claim to the best performance of his campaign.
“The consensus afterward was that Trump prevailed. . .”
Byron York, Washington Examiner: “Byron York: As vote nears, a more radical Trump emerges”
“PLYMOUTH, N.H. — The loudspeakers blasted the Beatles’ “Revolution” when Donald Trump took the stage at Plymouth State University on the Sunday before the New Hampshire primary. It’s a new choice for Trump, and it doesn’t matter that the lyrics suggest caution; the title seems to increasingly fit the shattering of Republican political orthodoxy Trump is promising should he win the White House.
“In a nearly one-hour speech, Trump railed against pharmaceutical companies. He railed against oil companies. And insurance companies. And defense contractors. And he set himself against a political system that he said allows big-money corporate “bloodsuckers” to control the government with campaign contributions.
“Whether it’s the insurance companies, or the drug companies, or the oil companies, it’s all the same thing,” Trump said. “We’re never going to get our country back if we keep doing this.”
“Trump promised to allow the government to negotiate drug prices — a common position among Democrats but rarely heard at nominally Republican events. He said he would not raise military spending, arguing that the nation’s defenses can be improved without increasing its already huge Pentagon budget. He promised tough sanctions on American companies that move jobs overseas.
“Trump was, in other words, in full populist mode as he wrapped up his New Hampshire campaign, in which he leads the closest Republican competition by about 15 points, according to the RealClearPolitics average of polls.
“There were portions of Trump’s Plymouth speech that sounded like Bernie Sanders, if Sanders had Trump’s sense of showmanship. In fact, Trump mentioned Sanders favorably, saying they agree on trade. Trump also said Sanders is correct in his charge that Hillary Clinton is compromised by the big-money contributions she has accepted — a charge the billionaire developer aimed at his Republican rivals as well. . .”
John Podhoretz, NY Post: “Chris Christie gets the better of Marco Rubio during debate”
“ . . .The most consistently excellent debater in the Republican field had a dreadful five minutes in the debate’s opening portion. Under relentless attack from New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who likened him to Barack Obama in 2008 as an inexperienced lightweight in over his head, Rubio found himself defaulting to the exact same sound bite four times over — and I mean exact.
“He said he wanted to dispel the ‘fiction that Barack Obama doesn’t know what he’s doing. He knows exactly what he’s doing.’ Christie pushed back. And Rubio said: ‘This notion that Barack Obama doesn’t know what he’s doing is just not true. He knows exactly what he’s doing.’
“‘There it is,’ Christie said, ‘the memorized 25-second speech.’
“In response, Rubio appeared to have been momentarily possessed by a demon who wanted him to prove Christie right, because he said it a third time: ‘We are not facing a president that doesn’t know what he’s doing. He knows what he is doing.’
“This was not a substantive failure. The point Rubio was making is sound: Unless you take account of the ways in which Barack Obama is trying to remake and reposition the United States you cannot reverse what he has done.
“But it was a performance failure — Rubio’s first real stumble in the debates. And it was a doozy. Christie owned him and with the energy and determination of a man making his last political stand, owned much of the debate proceedings. . .”
Gateway Pundit: “BREAKING: Phyllis Schlafly Issues 15 PAGE ‘Rubio Betrayal Memo’ – Updated”
“Phyllis Schlafly was the first major conservative to endorse Marco Rubio for US Senator over Governor Charlie Crist.
“Yesterday Phyllis Shlafly said freshman Senator Marco Rubio should be disqualified from the presidential race for lying to conservatives in English and saying something entirely different on Spanish language television.
“Read the whole thing here.
“Schlafly supports Donald Trump for President.”
LEADS . . .
Victor Davis Hanson, PJM: “Hillary and the Suspension of Disbelief”
“. . .To trump Sanders, Clinton has been reinvented herself into an anti-Wall Street populist. Suspend disbelief that she and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, in just a 16-month period made over $25 million in speaking fees, largely from corporations with Wall Street ties.
“Hillary alone pulled in $675,000 from Wall Street firms. When pressed about such exorbitant fees, Mrs. Clinton shrugged, “That’s what they offered.”
“To believe that quip requires even more suspension of disbelief. If Clinton were truthful, she might have said something like, “That’s what my agents negotiated from financiers who knew exactly what they were getting in offering me such a ridiculously huge sum”
“As Clinton pointed out, there are lots of former cabinet secretaries who make lots of money for speaking. But what she did not point out was that none matched Clinton’s speaking charges ($200,000 and up for 30 minutes), because none were at the time all but running for president with the specter of patronage and political leverage to sell.
“Mrs. Clinton would have us suspend disbelief that she is anti-Wall Street despite: 1) raising hundreds of millions of dollars from Wall Street for the Clinton Foundation, 2) raking in enormous speaking fees from Wall Street banks and investors, 3) her husband consulting for a Wall Street firm that offshored millions of profits in the Cayman Islands, 4) her son-in-law Marc Mezvinsky running a Wall Street hedge fund, 5) her daughter Chelsea becoming a multimillionaire after working a few months for a Wall Street hedge fund, and 6) Clinton herself raising $21 million in her 2008 primary campaign from Wall Street-related firms. . .”
Julian Hattem, The Hill: “Pressure on Lynch to step aside in Clinton email probe”
“Loretta Lynch is on the edge of the spotlight, about to be dragged to the center.
“If the FBI finds sufficient evidence to launch a criminal investigation into Hillary Clinton or one of her top aides for mishandling classified information, Lynch’s Justice Department will have to decide whether or not to press ahead.
“Even if no evidence of wrongdoing is found, Clinton’s many critics are unlikely to take the word of an appointee of President Obama’s, and will doubt that justice has been served. “Already, top Republicans are calling for a special prosecutor to be brought in and evaluate the situation. “No. 2 Senate Republican John Cornyn (Texas) took to the floor of the Senate last week to call for a special counsel to be appointed “because of the conflict of interest by asking Attorney General Lynch to investigate and perhaps even prosecute somebody in the Obama administration.” “Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) agrees that Lynch ought to consider a special counsel, a spokesperson said, to reassure the country that decisions are made “without regard to any political considerations.”
“The Justice Department, however, has so far declined the request. . .”
George Will, NRO: “The Super Bowl’s 60 Minutes of Damage”
“. . . Last week, the New York Times reported that after Ken Stabler died of colon cancer in July at 69, his brain was sent, as he had directed, to scientists in Massachusetts. His mind, according to his daughter, “was definitely in a pretty quick downward spiral.” The scientists determined that Stabler, the Oakland Raiders quarterback in Super Bowl XI (1977), who played 15 seasons in the NFL, had, on a scale of 1 to 4, “high Stage 3” CTE, a degenerative brain disease associated with repeated blows to the head, including blows not severe enough to produce immediate symptoms of concussion. Stabler probably will be voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, making him the eighth member among the more than 100 former players known to have had CTE.
“Quarterbacks are somewhat protected, by their offensive line and by NFL rules, from football’s worst violence. Earl Morrall, the quarterback who helped the Miami Dolphins get to Super Bowl VII (1973), had Stage 4 CTE when he died in 2014 at 79. And last month, Jim McMahon, 56, another 15-season NFL quarterback, said he considers medicinal marijuana a “godsend” as he copes with headaches and difficulties associated with his diagnosis of early onset dementia. He played for the victorious Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XX (1986). Football’s kinetic energy is increasing as the players become bigger and even the biggest become faster. In 1980, only three NFL players weighed 300 or more pounds. This season, 354 did, including seven 350-pounders. “Sunday’s game will be 60 minutes of football — an adrenaline-and-testosterone bath stretched by commercial breaks (two of them called “two minute warnings”), replay challenges, and other delays to about 200 minutes — embedded in an all-day broadcast of manufactured frenzy. It would be nice, but probably fanciful, to think that even 1 percent of tonight’s expected television audience of more than 110 million will have qualms about the ethics of their enjoyment. . .” http://www.nationalreview.com/article/430827/super-bowl-50-football-gladiatorial-legacy
Andrew McCarthy, NRO: “Hillary’s E-mail Recklessness Compromised Our National Security”
“. . . That makes her a better fit for the big house than the White House.” “. . . We could go on at length about Clinton’s arrogance in setting up a homebrew communications network, an outrageous violation of the transparency standards that were her responsibility as secretary of state to enforce. It was a familiar exercise in Clintonian self-dealing: Anticipating running for president in 2016, she realized she was enmeshed in the Clinton Foundation’s global scheme to sell influence for money, so she devised a way to avoid a paper trail. Accountability, after all, is for peons: the yoke of recordkeeping requirements, Freedom of Information Act productions, congressional inquiries, and the government’s disclosure duties in judicial proceedings was not for her Highness. Instead, it would be: No Records, No Problems — a convenient arrangement for a lifetime “public servant” of no discernible accomplishment whom disaster has a habit of stalking. The homebrew server was for Hillary’s State Department what an on-site drycleaner might have been for Bill’s White House. “If our only concern were Mrs. Clinton’s lack of fitness, just the setting up of a parallel communication system would be the end of the matter. No one who goes to such lengths to circumvent our laws is fit to be trusted with their faithful execution. Here, however, there is a graver issue: the damage Clinton has done to our national defense, the havoc she has wrought in our intelligence community — the 17 agencies that spend tens of billions of our dollars annually to collect and, crucially, to protect the secrets on which our security depends. . .” http://www.nationalreview.com/article/430879/hillary-clinton-email-scandal-assume-intelligence-compromised
END NOTES . . .
Aaron Klein, National Security: “Report: Netanyahu Fears ‘Lame Duck’ Obama May Try to Impose Two-State Solution”
“TEL AVIV – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is reportedly concerned that the Obama administration may attempt to impose a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict before Obama leaves office.
“Citing an Army Radio report on Sunday, the Times of Israel writes that Netanyahu believes Obama may make his move during his “lame duck” period between the American presidential elections and the new president’s inauguration.
“His concerns focus on the UN, where rumors have been flying that an upcoming Security Council resolution will define the parameters of a two-state solution based on the 1967 borders, effectively handing the Palestinians the concessions they want from Israel without any reciprocity. The 1967 borders refer to the West Bank, Gaza Strip and eastern sections of Jerusalem.
“Such resolutions are not uncommon at the UN, but the United States has long exercised an ‘automatic veto’ on them, holding that the conflict must be resolved by direct negotiations between the two sides.
“The Times also reports that Israeli media has speculated that the UN moves will be coordinated with a renewed push for peace by Secretary of State John Kerry. If the initiative fails, writes the Times, “the Obama administration might try to impose some kind of accord.’ . . .”