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The Republican primary presidential undercard debate–an idea that had some merit at the beginning of the debate cycle has more than run its course and needs to be eliminated before it becomes a parody of itself.

The folly of this debate became more evident this week, when Sen Rand Paul (R-KY) called for the RNC to drop the junior varsity version of the main debate.

“I’m not sure where the purpose is anymore, if there ever was one,” Paul told POLITICO in a telephone interview on Friday. “I think if you have a national campaign, you’ve raised a significant amount of money, you’re on the ballot, you’ve employed staff and you’re actively campaigning, you’ve got to be in the debate.”

Those comments though need to be taken with a grain of salt as Paul feared–rightfully so that he would not make the cut for the main debate stage for the next GOP debate on January 14.

But putting Paul’s own motivation aside, he is right.  At least as to what the current purpose is.  In the beginning it was a way to give all the candidates a chance for some national TV exposure as the race for the presidency began.  After holding two or three of these though the purpose became much murkier as minimum thresholds were imposed  to qualify, much like the main debate.  Those thresholds–usually 1 percent polling left former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore off the air as he has been stuck at 0 percent.

Now the undercard debate has evolved into just another opportunity for the networks to make a few extra bucks from advertisers and appease reporters and anchors who want to participate in the debate process but aren’t good enough to be selected for the primetime show.

The undercard debate particpants campaigns are barely breathing and all the undercard debate does is provide life support when the plug should have been pulled long ago.

Case in point.  Carly Fiorina used the undercard to shine and rose enough in the polls to qualify for the main stage.  Now that her polls numbers have dropped and her campaign is flagging she will return to the undercard debate this week in what has to be a humiliating experience.  Paul for his part, is boycotting the undercard debate–which he could easily dominate as he ponders when to withdraw from the race after watching his poll numbers plummet.

At this point the RNC should trim the entire debate field and limit the debates to the top five candidates or those polling at least 5 percent nationally–whichever is less and move on to choosing its nominee.

That won’t happen though because RNC Chairman Reince Priebus has his head stuck in the sand and would prefer to see the candidates eliminate themselves rather than take the lead and get the party focused on the best candidates.

 

 

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Walker

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, whose presidential campaign began with promise came to a surprising and crashing thud yesterday when the former GOP frontrunner announced that he was ending his quest for the presidency due to a lack of cash and dwindling poll numbers.

Walker, who has been elected governor three times–he won a bitterly contested recall election failed to transform his Wisconsin pit bull image to the national scene.  Instead of the combative politician who successfully defeated labor union efforts to defeat him, Walker appeared soft-spoken and unprepared to do battle with fellow Republicans and the media.  He struggled to get up to snuff on foreign policy issues and was far from the most polished speaker in the race.

One of the most costly mistakes though was his lack of aggressiveness in the Republican debates.  He spoke only when spoken to and was just too passive–especially during the free-for-all that broke out during the last debate at the Reagan library.

Walker did make one right move.  Firing Republican consultant Liz Mair. Mair is no conservative and had no business working for Walker.  She showed her true colors after the announcement by unleashing a twitter storm as to why Walker failed.  Mair has also become a favorite of Chris Matthews which is all one need to know about what kind of Republican she really is.

In leaving the race Walker encouraged others to follow his lead and “clear the field” to more effectively fight current frontrunner Donald Trump.  That is advice many of the candidates should heed–particularly those that are polling below 5 percent.  Most of the candidates in the bottom rung have raised little money and have small to non-existent staffs and no real hope of winning the nomination and are wasting everyone’s time by continuing to chase a dream that they will never achieve. all this does is help the Democrats and make the GOP look silly and disorganized.

The race right now is between Trump, Fiorina, Bush,Cruz and Rubio.  That’s it.  Everyone else is a non-factor and is just sucking up oxygen.  But I doubt they will quit as their egos are bigger than their concern for what is best for the party.

Chris Matthews called the GOP field a “clown car” and as it looks right now he isn’t far off.

The first GOP debate of the primary season took place in Cleveland on Thursday night and was moderated by Fox News anchors, Megyn Kelly, Brett Baier and Chris Wallace and it was clear from the start that this would be no softball question debate when right off the bat the candidates were asked if there was anyone on the stage that wouldn’t promise to support the eventual GOP nominee and not launch a third-party candidacy.  All the candidates were in agreement sans billionaire Donald Trump who raised his hand.  This question was clearly aimed at Trump who has been reportedly thinking about running as an independent should he fail to win the Republican nomination, and it set the tone for the rest of the debate.

Throughout the two hour debate Trump was repeatedly challenged on his history- from having said that a single-payer health system can work to his contribution to Clinton Foundation to the multiple bankruptcies that some of his companies have had over the years.

Trump, in his brash politically incorrect style fought back against the charges and largely entertained the audience at Quicken Loans Arena, but the tough questioning of him and the other candidates enraged many conservatives who thought that Fox had an agenda to discredit Trump as well as potentially bring down a few other candidates.

This is nothing but sour grapes.  Trump deserves to be questioned. He has made rude and crude remarks about women and anyone else he disagrees with for years and hasn’t suffered at all from it due to his vast wealth and influence.  But for him to complain about the tough questioning shows an awfully thin skin and doesn’t bode well for someone who will be subjected to much tougher questions as the campaign heats up.  Think about it this way.  If the candidates-Trump in particular had just answered the questions, they would have have been able to put them behind them and move on.  Instead the response only created more controversy and more headaches for the RNC.

Trump didnt’t help the situation when he told CNN’s Don Lemon Friday night that Kelly had “blood coming out of her eyes,” adding “blood coming out of her wherever.” alluding to maybe Kelly was having a period.

That resulted in Trump being disinvited to the Red State Gathering in Atlanta where he was to be the concluding speaker Saturday night which only set Trump on fire when he called Red State organizer Erick Erickson, “weak” and “pathetic” and said he was a victim of political correctness.

Trump’s opponents, who may not have been overly happy with the debate on Thursday are lining up behind Kelly and provided an opening for them to take shots at Trump for being anti-women.

While Trump is leading in the polls among all GOP candidates, this doesn’t give him the right to get so personal in his attacks because he didn’t like the questions he was being asked.

Conservatives who rose to Trump’s defense need to really assess why they support Trump.  Yes he has talked tough on immigration and is generally saying things many of the other candidates won’t say but should, but he also thinks that his business success and wealth make him immune from criticism.  Well Mt. Trump I have news for you- that’s now how it is is in politics especially if you’re a Republican.

The liberal media is eating all this controversy up and that’s bad news for the RNC.

Fox News had a job to do and they did it.  Sorry to the conservatives who expected or wanted a boring friendly debate.  Now the candidates have an an idea of what to expect when they participate in the CNN moderated debate in September and they will be the better for it.

Palmieri

Hillary Clinton’s campaign communications director Jennifer Palmieri struggled to explain to Bloomberg TV’s Mark Halperin how 30,000 of the former Secretary of State’s emails were deleted.

Palmieri was a guest on With All Due Respect which Halperin co-hosts.

Halperin: We got down to, she said alright I’m going to turn over this 30,000… Then what happened physically what happened?

Palmieri: That I don’t know. I mean the server, I think, I don’t know. I don’t really understand.

Halperin: You don’t know who did the deletion or how they did it?

Palmieri: No, but I know that they went through like the 64,000 emails and divided up those that were personal…

And she’s Clinton’s 2016 campaign communications director?

The email scandal continues to be a problem for Clinton as she has refused to come clean on what really happened and is treating it as a distraction concocted by the vast right-wing conspiracy in an effort to derail her presidential campaign.

But the truth is that it’s her dishonesty and obfuscation that have kept the story alive and has made voters distrustful of her.

Click the link to view the entire segment.

http://bloom.bg/1LaXkcj

attkisson

Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc. announced on Monday that their new investigative journalism program Full Measure with Sharyl Attkisson will makes its debut on Sunday October 4.

More about the program from Sinclair’s press release;

The 30-minute program, which will be based in Washington, D.C., will focus on investigative journalism and target accountability in the public and private sectors. “We will pierce secrecy and seek accountability from government, corporations and special interests,” said Ms. Attkisson, host of the broadcast. “We will report on untouchable topics in a fearless way with a team of award winning journalists. We will follow the trail no matter where it leads.”

The announcement was made by Scott Livingston, Vice President of News for Sinclair Television Group.

“This is serious journalism dedicated to serious topics that impact us all,” said Mr. Livingston. “Sinclair Broadcast Group is excited to launch this show. Our team on “Full Measure” is a sign of our dedication to the reporting. We’ve recruited experienced, dedicated and passionate news professionals with proven records in investigative reporting and network broadcasting.”

Ms. Attkisson is a recipient of five Emmy Awards, seven Emmy nominations and an Edward R. Murrow Award for investigative journalism. She recently authored the New York Times bestseller, Stonewalled, which addresses the unseen influences of corporations and special interests on the information and images that the public receives every day.

Batt Humphreys will be the broadcast’s Executive Producer. He served in several executive roles with CBS News in New York, including EP of The Early Show and Director of Standards and Practices.

“In today’s world of media and journalism where reporting is often superficial we pledge to dig deeper, to bring the context and perspective to the stories that matter, to bring to our audience the ‘Full Measure’,” says Mr. Humphreys.

Kim Skeen will be lead producer. She has been recognized with multiple national awards including two Emmy Awards and many others as a producer for investigative work for CBS News, ABC News and CNN. Bryan Barr will be lead photographer. His work has won multiple local Emmys, AP and Edward R. Murrow awards in coverage of news events across the nation.

Since leaving CBS Attkisson has been highly sought after by conservative groups and the right-wing media.  She signed on as a contributor to The Daily Signal- an online news site run by the Heritage Foundation and appeared many times on Fox News’ MediaBuzz program so the launch of her own program is part of the natural progression of her new career as a journalist unfettered by the usual liberal media dictums.

Sinclair owns and operates, programs or provides sales services to 162 television stations in 79 markets, including Washington, D.C, and will be closely watched by the liberal media elite.

Photo by Rex C. Curry Associated Press

Photo by Rex C. Curry Associated Press

As expected Sen. Ted Cruz easily won the presidential straw poll at the Texas state Republican convention this past weekend in Ft. Worth, but the margin of victory over Gov. Rick Perry was the real story. Cruz, the freshman Tea Party Senator, “cruised” to victory with 43.4 percent of the vote.  Coming in a distant second was Dr. Ben Carson-who wasn’t even at the convention with 12.2 percent, narrowly edging out Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) who garnered 12.1 percent of the vote.  Finishing a disappointing fourth was Perry, who spoke at the convention and is leaving office after a record 14 years leading the state.

Perry who ran for president in 2012, but flamed out after a disastrous debate where he lost his train of thought, is believed to be a potential 2016 candidate and has been relatively popular in Texas, but he left the convention badly wounded with his poor showing.

In general straw polls don’t matter that much and are generally conducted with 1,000 or so votes.  But in Texas there were over 5,000 votes cast and Perry just totally fell flat.  If he has finished a distant second that would have been okay, since Cruz has become a star on the national stage.  But not only did he finish fourth he trailed Ben Carson who is gaining greater national prominence but has never held public office and has avoided any discussion of any presidential aspirations.

Perry wasn’t really ready to run in 2012, and it’s still early, but to badly lose a straw poll in his home state can’t be good for his chances going forward.

 

ImageThe New York Times reported on Sunday that immigration activists, sensing that a path to citizenship is near,  are asking the Obama administration to slow deportations, claiming that many deportees have done nothing wrong except enter the U.S. illegally.

Obama administration officials beg to differ with the pro-immigration advocates.

Administration officials insist that the government has worked hard over the last four years to make deporting criminals the top priority, while allowing law enforcement officers more discretion on deciding whom to send home. They say the perception of a huge crackdown is erroneous and misleading.

“We focused on smart, effective enforcement that prioritizes the removal of criminal aliens, recent border crossers and egregious immigration law violators,” said Matthew Chandler, a spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security.

But those claims are disputed by immigrant activists, who say that many of those being deported have done nothing wrong except to enter the country illegally. Since 2010, the government has deported more than 200,000 parents of children who are United States citizens, according to a recent report.

Yes, they actually said that those being deported haven’t done anything wrong except break the law by entering illegally and that they shouldn’t be deported for doing so.

Activists are trying to gain sympathy by playing the child card- but if they hadn’t broken the law in the first place, those children would still be with their parents.  Also there is no mention of illegal aliens who come to the U.S. with the express purpose of making sure that their children are born here, so that they will automatically be citizens, in the hope that the government won’t separate them.  The children are both victims and pawns.

Even though the deportations are occurring at a rate far higher than under the Bush administration, they are still a drop in the bucket compared to the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants that still remain in the U.S.   But some deportations for breaking the law is still better than no deportations and the Obama administration deserves credit for taking action even though it is unpopular with a segment of their constituency.

 

 

 

 

 

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