By most accounts, former Florida governor Jeb Bush performed well (to some observers, “very, very” well) in his Friday appearance at the Conservative Political Action Conference outside Washington. The likely presidential candidate succeeded in defying expectations by receiving a warm reception at the right-wing confab, even as his unorthodoxies on a few important issues for conservatives were highlighted in the appearance.
The tenuous (and likely temporary) truce in Ukraine may have put another feather in German chancellor Angela Merkel’s cap: It seemingly vindicates her Diplomatie statt Waffen (“diplomacy instead of weapons”) stand against Obama. And it’ll be a while before everyone wakes up to how Russia uses the freeze to consolidate territorial control. In the meantime, Merkel is once again the woman of the hour in Europe.
Kentucky senator Rand Paul strolled onto the stage at the Conservative Political Action Conference outside Washington Friday as a committed crowd of supporters cheered. Wearing a light blue Brooks Brothers shirt (sleeves rolled up), a red tie, and blue jeans, Paul made a case for his liberty-focused agenda.
Wisconsin governor Scott Walker received a warm reception from the crowd at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Thursday evening, but faced a lot of criticism for his response to a question about what he would do to fight the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. "I want a commander in chief who will do everything in their power to ensure that the threat from radical Islamic terrorists does not wash up on American soil," Walker said.
Al Sharpton met with the president of the United States yesterday. "President Obama met with African American civil rights and faith leaders to provide an update on the Administration’s priorities as described in the State of the Union. The meeting was also an opportunity to have a dialogue with the leaders about the issues facing their communities, including criminal justice, education, health care and economic development," the White House announced in a read-out of the meeting.
Like many Americans, Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg napped through a portion of the president’s 2015 State of the Union address. This was hardly important news—she was caught napping during the 2013 address, too—but the story made a splash anyway, helped by a widely circulated photograph. The kicker came a few weeks later, when Justice Ginsburg revealed what led to the snooze: She had been a bit inebriated during the president’s speech. “We sit there, stone-faced, the sober judges, but we’re not—at least I wasn’t—100 percent sober,” she said.
Scott Walker was never going to win fans among the faculty at the University of Wisconsin. Four years ago, Wisconsin professors were in the state capitol protesting the governor’s plans to limit public employee collective bargaining powers. But, boy, did he make enemies this month when he proposed $300 million more in budget cuts to the state’s university and altering the words of the school’s mission. Walker has clearly made some tactical missteps in recent weeks—and the fact that he himself doesn’t have a college degree doesn’t add to his credibility.
Last week it was reported that the White House and Iran may be moving toward a deal over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program. The proposed phased agreement, lasting 10-15 years, would initially attempt to freeze the program. But during the last years of the agreement, Iran would be allowed to resume activities that would lead to a nuclear bomb.
Few people expect much to happen on health care in the 114th Congress, certainly not President Obama. He plans to continue bending and twisting his interpretation of Obamacare’s many complex provisions as necessary to keep it afloat and to avoid dealing at all with opposition to the law among the public or the Republicans who now run Congress.