Big Donors Worked To Undermine Mitt Romney Presidential Bid

This is a powerful paragraph from today’s New York Times.

The campaign to deny Mr. Romney another chance began almost immediately after he mused to donors at a Friday get-together in New York City on Jan. 9 that he was open to the possibility of another run. By that Sunday afternoon, William Oberndorf, a prominent California investor who supported Mr. Romney in both of his previous presidential campaigns, had emailed a group of 52 powerful Republicans, including former Secretary of State George Shultz, the investor Charles Schwab, Gov. Bruce Rauner of Illinois and the Michigan billionaire Betsy DeVos with a blunt message: we need to support someone else.”

Keep Your Eye On The Sinai

There are more balls to watch in the air then ever–or so it seems.

Over the months reports of Egyptian forces making attempts to bring rouge parts of the Sinai under control have caught my attention.    In the past roughly year-and-a-half since the military ousted President Morsi (which I viewed as a mistake since a proper election was conducted and all should want to allow for democratic processes to play out) the Sinai has become the center of a campaign of retaliatory attacks on Egyptian security forces.  There may be huge economic hurdles for newly installed Predient Sisi to deal with but let me be clear in stating there is no more significant challenge facing this military-booted ruler than the Sinai.   Places like the Sinai may seem a great deal of miles away, and hardly worth thinking about–given the gravity of under inflated footballs for Americans to worry about–but this is one area of the world that never can be taken for granted.

Yesterday the ongoing tensions made for bolder headlines.

Assailants armed with rocket-propelled grenades, car bombs and mortar rounds attacked police stations and military installations in the restive Sinai Peninsula on Thursday night, killing at least 20 people, the Egyptian military and state media said.

The coordinated attacks, which wounded dozens, were reportedly still in progress early Friday morning in Egypt, hours after they began. The Associated Press reported at least 26 people were killed.

Egypt’s military spokesman blamed the Islamist group Muslim Brotherhood. But Twitter statements by the extremist movement Islamic State’s offshoot in Sinai claimed responsibility and offered details on targets and weapons used.

The Islamic State offshoot in Sinai, formerly known as Ansar Beit al-Maqdis or Supporters of Jerusalem, said it had attacked nine military and police sites in the northern Sinai towns of Rafah, El Arish and Sheikh Zuweid, according to tweets.

Republicans Plan To Hurt Americans Over Health Care If Court Strikes Down Credits

I have been following this case since the Supreme Court decided to take it up.  My larger view about the Court’s oversight of such matters makes me feel strongly that congressional intent will rule the day, and the matter will not be struck down.

But it is nice to see that the GOP is taking time to make a talking point for the Democrats as the court process unfolds. 

Congressional Republicans say they won’t move to preserve consumers’ health insurance tax credits if the Supreme Court strikes them down, raising the stakes in the latest legal challenge to the Affordable Care Act.

The high court is set to consider in March whether the wording of the 2010 health law means people can only get tax credits to lower their health premiums if they live in one of the handful of states running its own insurance exchange. A decision is expected by June.

Leaders in the GOP-controlled House and Senate see the court challenge as their best hope for tearing apart a law they have long opposed. If the court strikes down the subsidies, Democrats are expected to clamor for lawmakers to pass a measure correcting the language in the law to revive them. Congressional Republicans say there is no possibility they would allow that.

“No, no, no, no,” said Sen. Dan Coats (R., Indiana). “Even Democrats have acknowledged that this needs fixing.”

That position would force lawmakers to confront people in as many as 37 states where the federal government is currently running some or all of the exchange where consumers buy plans and tap the tax credits. There are 6.1 million people in those states who have the credits for 2015, according to federal data released this week. The average tax credit this year is $4,330, the Congressional Budget Office said this week.

Eleven of the states where the federal government has a hand in running the insurance exchange – including seven with Republican governors – signed onto a brief submitted late Wednesday asking the Supreme Court to uphold their tax credits. The brief said the loss of the credits “would deprive millions of low-and moderate-income Americans of billions of dollars in federal premium assistance essential to buy health insurance, thereby disrupting state insurance markets throughout the United States.”

 

First Sarah Palin Ad For 2016 Campaign

This is as true as it gets when it comes to the Wasilla Hillbilly.

Video Of Chris Christie Falling Off Of Chair

Bet this made a thud when it landed.

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Backstory As To Why Mitt Romney Bowed Out Of Presidential Race

Republican National Committee Holds Winter Meeting

When Mark Halperin writes, I read.

This is the type of thing folks such as myself are talking about today.

The second “no go” reason weighed far more heavily on Romney—and was likely the dispositive one. People close to the former governor say he believed he would beat Hillary Clinton in a general election matchup if the election were held today. But, like many election watchers, Romney anticipates a vicious Republican nomination fight that will damage and deplete the ultimate winner, while Clinton, virtually unchallenged for her party’s nomination, will be luxuriantly free to squirrel away hundreds of millions of election dollars and step into the general arena, rich and refreshed, against a shattered GOP nominee.

But those familiar with Romney’s thinking as he’s been contemplating a run and over the years say that he has held a jaundiced view of the former Florida governor dating all the way back to his handling of the Terri Schiavo case, and has come to see Bush as a non-entity in the 2016 nomination contest. Romney is said to see Bush as a small-time businessman whose financial transactions would nonetheless be fodder for the Democrats and as terminally weighed down with voters across the board based on his family name. Romney also doesn’t think much of Bush’s political skills (a view mocked by Bush’s camp, who say Romney is nowhere near Bush’s league as a campaigner).  Romney also considers Bush the national Republican figure who was the least helpful to him during his last run for the White House, a position that has darkened Ann Romney’s view of Bush as well.

Mitt Romney To Meet With Chris Christie—-Backing Is Possible

Mitt Romney, who announced he will not run for president in 2016, is scheduled to have dinner with Gov. Chris Christie “on Friday evening, according to two people with knowledge of his schedule, suggesting that Mr. Romney may be considering throwing his support, and that of his own political operation, to Mr. Christie,” the New York Times reports.

NFL Still Home To Domestic Violence

What might the NFL say this weekend about domestic violence to the millions who will tune in for the Super Bowl?

Sen. Richard Blumenthal isn’t convinced the National Football League is doing everything possible to address domestic violence.

The Connecticut Democrat is particularly skeptical of the way the NFL plans to allocate $25 million over five years to back groups that fight domestic violence. Some of that money will come in the form of “promotional support” to entities such as the National Domestic Violence Hotline, according to a letter to Blumenthal and Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, from Commissioner Roger Goodell.

Aside from the dollar value seeming small compared to the NFL’s multibillion-dollar revenues, Blumenthal sounds dubious of the promotional elements, and he fired off a response letter to Goodell on Friday.

“Even at the current level of commitment, when it comes to clear terms for timing and action, the NFL has hedged and dodged. The letter implies that some of the $25 million would be used for promotional support, which may include public service announcements,” Blumenthal said. “These supposed ‘public service’ ads may also be self-serving — promoting the NFL’s public image as much as raising awareness. Insofar as they raise public awareness, they are likely to substantially increase call volume to the Hotline as well as requests for service without actually bolstering resources for local service providers that struggle every day to help survivors rebuild their lives.”