Political Insider

A look behind the scenes in the political world

The Hidden Cost Of The Iowa Caucuses

If you think the Iowa caucuses don't affect you, you haven't been grocery shopping lately.

While you're at the supermarket, presidential contenders of all parties are shopping for votes in Iowa that you will pay for with higher prices on just about everything in your grocery cart.

That's because taxpayers are spending about $6 billion annually on federal tax credits, incentives and mandates promoting the conversion of nearly half of the Hawkeye state's corn crop to ethanol, a fuel additive of questionable value to energy and the environment.

Chaos In The House

The battle to succeed Speaker John Boehner following his sudden resignation just took another surprising turn when his would-be successor, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-California), suddenly dropped out of the race when he came under fire from the party's most extreme right wing for not being conservative enough.

This is certain to move the House GOP leadership farther to the right and away from the overwhelming majority of Jewish voters.


The Republicans' repeated and fruitless Benghazi investigations backfired today when they brought down their own speaker-in-waiting instead of the Democratic presidential frontrunner they spent many millions of tax dollars trying to shoot down.

In a stunning move Thursday noon, Republican Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy dropped out of the race to succeed John Boehner as speaker of the House.  His quest for the top job on Capitol Hill was done in by a serious self-inflicted wound. 

Bluffing For Peace

There's an old adage about politicians who like to talk the talk but are afraid to walk the walk.  Nowhere is that clearer than in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict where leaders on both sides have missed repeated opportunities, frequently deliberately, to make peace.  All too often each man would rather demagogue the issue and claim the purity of his own intentions while blaming the other for all that has gone wrong.

There's more than enough blame to go around and barely enough good will to cover the head of a pin.

Is GOP God's Own Party?

The Supreme Court convenes this week -- the first Monday in October —for a new session that will reverberate over the next 13 months until the first Tuesday in November 2016 when American voters will make their own decisions that could determine the makeup of the Court for a generation.

Over the past year the Court has made some of its most controversial decisions that already are major issues in the presidential campaign, most notably upholding Obamacare and same-sex marriage.

McCarthy's Confession

Republican Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who is likely to be the next speaker of the House, revealed that the Benghazi investigation is a politically-motivated attempt to destroy Hillary Clinton's presidential bid, and he boasted it has succeeded.

Speaking to Fox News' Sean Hannity, he said,

Can Bibi Repair Rift With Obama?

I've been unable to find another instance when an American political party allied itself so closely with a friendly foreign government for the purpose of defeating the policy of an American administration.

There has been no more outspoken foe of the Iran nuclear deal backed by the Obama administration than Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, nor has there ever been a leader of an American ally who has plunged so deeply and so blatantly into domestic partisan American politics.

The Incredibly Shrinking Tent

The GOP has long boasted of being a big open tent but it seems to be shrinking quite a bit lately thanks to the "keep out" signs being posted by some of its presidential contenders and leading figures.

Advice For Biden

I have two words of caution for Vice President Joe Biden as he considers making a third run for the presidency.  I'll get to them shortly.

It can be intoxicating to see the polls and pundits saying more people would vote for him than Hillary Clinton or anyone else on the Democratic side, especially after his dismal previous attempts in 1988 and 2008, but the Veep should be wary about such early indicators.

Trump Proves He's No Mensch

Sen. John McCain may have been in a tough political fight with Barack Obama in 2008 but that didn't prevent him from showing what a real mensch he is by putting down a supporter who claimed the Democratic candidate was an Arab. 

Donald Trump. Via redstate.com
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