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One of Brian’s Favorite Quotes

The louder he talked of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons.”
— Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882)

Real Clear Politics

Poll: Clinton’s Margin Narrows in Key Swing States

As Hillary Clinton prepares to launch her presidential campaign within the next month, a new poll finds her vulnerable in three critical swing states.  Voters in Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania question the former secretary of state’s trustworthiness and honesty, according to a new Quinnipiac University survey taken after the controversy surrounding Clinton’s use of a private email server for government communications. Her favorability ratings are down in all three states.  Also in all

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Rubio’s Mystery Announcement; Weighing the Deal With Iran; the Future of Employer Health Plans; LBJ’s Bombshell

Good morning, it’s Tuesday, March 31, 2015, the birthday of the late Cesar Chavez, the Arizona-born union and Latino activist whose lifelong crusade to improve the lot of migrant and agricultural workers in this country continues to this day. Chavez would have turned 88 today. Today is also the anniversary of one of the most stunning announcements in American political history. It came on the evening of March 31, 1968, at the end of a

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Ohio Governor Kasich Seriously Considers Presidential Run

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Republican Gov. John Kasich said Monday he'll decide soon whether to make a run for the White House in 2016, saying he knows he would need to act swiftly to raise money and organize a campaign. He said he's trying to decide, “Is this what the Lord really wants me to do with my life?” Even though he's a man who isn't afraid to talk about his Christian faith, he doesn't expect

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Partners in Posturing

WASHINGTON -- When it comes to the federal budget, what consistently unites Democrats and Republicans is their common capacity to lie to themselves, lie to the public and postpone any serious discussion of the central issues of government spending and taxes. I use the word "lie" reluctantly because it is an unforgiving moral marker. Still, it is the correct word. Let's review the cruel budget math. Since 1965, the federal government has annually spent about

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Harry Reid vs. the Smooth Deal

WASHINGTON -- Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid is an acquired taste. It may surprise people outside of his Democratic caucus that many of his colleagues will miss him. But they will. Charismatic he is not. He sometimes stumbles in his choice of words, and utterly fails a series of other Beltway tests. For example, our era claims to revere authenticity but prefers contrived personalities that seem warm and solicitous. Reid refuses to try to be

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Rubio: "I’ll Announce Something on April 13"

It’s official. Well, almost. Marco Rubio confirmed he would announce "something" in Miami on April 13. That "something," of course, is a campaign for the White House in 2016. The Florida senator described his intentions on Fox News’ “The Five” on Monday, and played coy about whether the “big announcement” pertained to his re-election or a presidential campaign. Stay tuned, he smiled, encouraging supporters to visit his new website to reserve tickets. Rubio is expected

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Mega-Drought Threatens the American West

“The heart of the West is a desert, unqualified and absolute,” wrote prescient 20th century Texas historian Walter Prescott Webb. Nearly six decades later, the desert is returning to claim its own. Here in Southern California, it’s the warmest winter in history and the fourth consecutive winter that never was. While much of the United States slipped and struggled in snow and ice, our winter has been dry and balmy with July-like temperatures. This week

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Mega-Drought Threat; Hillary Clinton and "Coded Sexism"; Obama Alarms Mideast Allies; "Seward’s Wisdom"

Good morning, it’s Monday, March 30, 2015.  On this date in 1867, Secretary of State William H. Seward cut a deal to buy Alaska from Russia for $7.2 million. That was considerably more money than it represents today -- about $120 million -- in a nation with only 36 million people. Still, it was the bargain of the century. Not everyone recognized this immediately. Although no congressional committees were clamoring for the secretary of

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