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One of Brian’s Favorite Quotes

A little government and a little luck are necessary in life, but only a fool trusts either of them.”
— P. J. O‘Rourke (1947– )

Real Clear Politics

Senate Passes Keystone XL Pipeline Bill

After weeks of debate and dozens of votes on amendments, the Senate on Thursday passed a bill approving the Keystone XL pipeline, the first major legislation to make it through the chamber under the new Republican majority. The vote passed 62-36, with nine Democrats joining all Senate Republicans in supporting the measure. The legislation only needed a simple majority to pass after a cloture vote to end debate succeeded with the same number of yes

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Can Israel Survive?

Israel is the only liberal democracy in the Middle East and North Africa. Eight million Israelis are surrounded by some 400 million Muslims in more than 20 states. Almost all of Israel's neighbors are anti-Israeli dictatorships, monarchies or theocracies-- a number of them reduced to a state of terrorist chaos. Given the rise of radical Islam, the huge petrodollar wealth of the Middle East and lopsided demography, how has Israel so far survived? The Jewish

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McCain to Code Pink Protestors: Get Out of Here You Low Life Scum

Sen. John McCain tossed Code Pink protestors out of a hearing on Capitol Hill Thursday morning, calling them “low life scum.” McCain, the new chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, was presiding over a hearing featuring former Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger, Madeleine Albright and George Shultz. When Kissinger arrived, about half a dozen protestors crowded around him, chanting “arrest Henry Kissinger for war crimes!” again and again while brandishing a pair of handcuffs

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Will Palin, Trump Crash N.H.’s First 2016 GOP Confab Too?

As they attempt to sustain whatever is left of their tenuous influence on Republican presidential politics, Sarah Palin and Donald Trump may soon enjoy another opportunity to steal headlines at an early-state gathering of GOP presidential contenders. On the heels of the first major gathering of likely 2016 hopefuls in Iowa last weekend, New Hampshire Republicans have announced plans to throw their own high-profile shindig to kick off the race for the White House in

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Poll: Rahm Ahead, But Facing Possible Runoff

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel holds a large lead over his challengers in his bid for a second term but is still below the threshold he would need to avoid a runoff, according to a new poll released Thursday. Less than a month before the election, 42 percent of voters support Emanuel’s bid for a second term in office, according to a poll released by the Chicago Tribune. That gives him a decided advantage over his

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GOP Obama Wannabes; W.H. Reversal on 529 Plans; They’d Rather Be in Philadelphia

Good morning, it’s Thursday, January 29, 2015. Congressional Democrats are in Philadelphia today at a three-day annual “issues conference.” Their official slogan this year is “Grow America’s Economy. Grow American Paychecks.” After a disastrous 2014 midterm election season that left only 188 members in Nancy Pelosi’s caucus, however, the Democrats’ unofficial mantra is “Grow the Number of Democrats in the House of Representatives.” That’s the real issue for Democrats at their “issues” conference. To bolster

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When in Riyadh, Don’t Do as Royals Do

First lady Michelle Obama made an important statement when she showed up in Saudi Arabia with her husband Tuesday to mourn the death of King Abdullah and meet successor King Salman. Though the first lady dressed in a fashion respectful of Saudi custom -- in black pants and a long, loose jacket that fully covered her arms and legs -- she did not don a headscarf. Saudi women do not have that choice. Thus, the

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What If No One Wins the GOP Presidential Nomination?

Normally, I dread commenting on presidential nomination contests. But as much as I might like to return to the days of short presidential nomination processes (Franklin Roosevelt didn’t declare his intention to seek a third term until the summer of 1940), the reality is that the year-long nomination process is here to stay, and it is time to start writing on it. But in truth, I’m actually hopeful about this year’s campaign, because I think

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