Rubio v Santorum: Who answered it better?

Round 4 in the Special Report '2016 Sweet 16' bracket goes to Senator Marco Rubio versus Senator Rick Santorum on the topic of immigration. Vote in the poll and tell us who you think answered it better and should advance to the next round!

 

Walker v Jindal: Who answered it better?

Round 3 of our "2016 Sweet 16" bracket pairs Governor Scott Walker against Governor Bobby Jindal on the topic of same-sex marriage. Vote in the poll and tell us who you think answered the question better. Polls stay open for 48 hours from posting before the winner is decided. Round 1 has already gone to Donald Trump and round 2 goes to Governor Jeb Bush. Cast your vote now!

Bush v Graham: Who answered it better?

Next up in our 2016 Sweet 16 bracket we have Governor Jeb Bush versus Senator Lindsey Graham on the topic of immigration. Cast your vote and tell us --who answered the question better? 

Krauthammer: 'It will snow in Hell before the DOJ is going to go after [Hillary]'

Charles Krauthammer said Friday on 'Special Report with Bret Baier' that "it will snow in Hell" before the Department of Justice investigates Hillary Clinton over revelations that some of the former Secretary of State's emails, that she kept on a private server, contained classified information.

"I think it will snow in Hell before the DOJ is going to go after her," the Fox News contributor and syndicated columnist said. "They go after David Petraeus for a lot less, but not her, for obvious reasons. It's an extremely politicized Department of Justice."

Krauthammer went on to say that the the issue he questions over the Hillary Clinton's email reports is that the Intelligence Community Inspector General said "'the emails [Hillary] sent were classified at the time she sent them, and they remain classified,' so what [Hillary] said in the press conference was obviously untrue."

Grapevine: It's getting hot in here

An Inconvenient Truth? One major side effect of climate change you may not have considered? ISIS says one Democratic presidential hopeful.

"One of the things that preceded the failure of the nation state of Syria, the rise of ISIS, was the effect of climate change and the mega drought that affected that region, wiped out farmers, drove people to cities, created a humanitarian crisis, It created the symptoms or rather the conditions of extreme poverty that lead now to the rise of ISIL."

The head of the Republican party pounced, saying "it's abundantly clear no one in the Democratic Party has the foreign policy vision to keep America safe."

Former chairman Michael Steele tweeted "you mean if I drive a Prius ISIS goes away? 

The Atlantic Magazine defends the former governor-- "O'Malley's comment isn't as weird as it might initially seem. There's an established body of work that draws a connection between drought, resource scarcity, and conflict in general."

But one Scientist says it would be more efficient to focus on other issues like poverty and corruption. "I'll put this in a crude way. no amount of climate change is going to cause civil violence in the state where I live, Massachusetts. I sometimes have the feeling that some people only care about human suffering if it can be traced to climate change."

To Say or Not To Say?: Your tax dollars are funding a war on words. The Washington Free Beacon reports the government invested nearly 100-thousand dollars to bring Shakespeare to the stage, but without the bard's actual words. The artistic director for the Synetic theater cites Charlie Chaplin as his inspiration. One critic described it this way: "The fact that many Washingtonians consider Silent Shakespeare an improvement rather than an oxymoron reflects unkindly on the capital's cultural pretensions. "

War on Words: In another case the government is spending $125,000 to study adjectives that could be perceived as sexist or racist. The grant for the study will examine letters of recommendation because "good for a woman may mean something objectively less good than *good* for a man.

The lead investigator of the study said she plans to apply for additional funding in 2016.

 

Trump v Pataki: Who answered it better

 

We have paired the 2016 GOP candidates up NCAA bracket style on key issues. The placements are based off of the candidates Real Clear Politics average of recent polls. First up we have Donald Trump versus Governor George Pataki on Obamacare. Cast your vote and tell us who answered the question better? 

Rubio would “absolutely” re-impose sanctions on Iran

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), who is seeking the 2016 Presidential nomination, took a center seat Thursday on the “Special Report” panel to discuss an earlier Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing where members of Congress questioned Secretary of State John Kerry on the Iran nuclear agreement.

“The centrifuges that they have now are quite frankly ancient,” said Rubio in response to Sen. Bob Corker’s earlier comments during the hearing that these same centrifuges were “antiques.”

“They now have less of them but the ones they’re going to have are going to be better and be able to expand that capability for years to come. The other is this down payment. This immediate signing bonus that you get. That the administration said today would be about 50 billion dollars and they think this money is going to be spent to rebuild the Iranian economy but in fact nothing in Iran’s track record suggests that.”

As Congress continues their 60-day review, President Barack Obama has promised to veto any vote against the deal. Kerry told the committee there is no "fantasy" alternative if the U.S. rejects the deal standing behind the notion that the deal will keep Iran from getting a nuclear weapon.

“These are still in place but what the president is using is a national security waiver,” continued Rubio. “He’s in essence saying I’m using this waiver to prevent these sanctions from still being imposed. The next president could just lift that, with the stroke of a pen, lift that waiver and immediately re-impose sanctions. You can do that on day one in the first hour of your presidency, in the first week of your presidency.”

Bret Baier followed up by asking if “President Rubio” would re-impose sanctions immediately to which Rubio responded, “absolutely, and I said so today at the hearing.”

The Planned Parenthood Debate

By Jay Boyd, Fox News Summer College Associate

With the release of two rather abhorring undercover videos of Planned Parenthood employees, Americans have to once again directly confront the topic of abortion.

Both of the videos show Planned Parenthood employees casually discussing something that would be unthinkable to the average American – the sale of fetal body parts for a potential profit. It is a felony to sell human body parts. One employee even said that she would want “a Lamborghini” from the profits. Strategic abortions were also discussed, where abortion doctors are taught how to perform abortions while keeping the vital organs intact. It must be noted that there are strict regulations to performing abortions, and if the abortions are being performed as described in the videos, then Planned Parenthood, which receives nearly $500M in taxpayer funding, could be breaking the law for profits.

For their part, Planned Parenthood has denounced the videos as being heavily edited by “activists who have been widely discredited”. Eric Ferrero, the Vice President of Communications for the organization, said “what we can see on this tape is a woman who says ‘we’re not in it for the money’, and that any money must be related to reimbursement for costs.” Ferrero also said Planned Parenthood couldn’t confirm the video’s authenticity.

While Republicans have been fairly out in front of this issue, calling for everything from the stripping of Planned Parenthood funding to punitive action on the employees filmed, it has been a completely different response on the Democrats’ side. Perhaps that is because the leading Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton, has received almost $10,000 from nine people who work for Planned Parenthood. And Martin O’Malley and Bernie Sanders have perfect abortion rights’ records. But when does morality overtake money?

Pro-choicers and pro-lifers across the country share the opinion that these videos are repulsive and difficult to watch. Chris Koster (D), Missouri’s Attorney General, declared that “regardless of whether one is pro-life or pro-choice, the questions raised by these videos require careful review.” Even then, Koster’s view could potentially be one of political expedience, because he has a desire to be the next Governor of Missouri, not exactly the most liberal state, with a state House and Senate overwhelmingly controlled by Republicans.

The Democrats haven’t been this directly confronted with the abortion issue on a national scale since presidential candidate Rand Paul (KY) demanded the opinion of DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (FL) on late-term abortion, or after three months. She replied by saying the decision was between a doctor and a mother. If you look at recent polling, that answer won’t fly with Americans as a whole.

A Marist poll conducted in January, where 47% identified as pro-life and 49% as pro-choice, show 84% of Americans favor “significant restrictions and safeguards”, such as limits to within the first three months of pregnancy and only permitting them in cases of rape or incest. That includes 69% of those who identified as pro-choice.

While several social issues have been championed by Democrats recently, such as the Affordable Care Act and gay marriage, this is yet another issue they will undoubtedly be questioned on.

Candidates and Comedy

By Emily Cyr

2016 Presidential candidates are doing all they can to get the support of the young voter demographic. From Snapchat to Twitter, social media has arguably been the most popular approach, but when it comes to college students, they may be better off with less snaps and more laughs.

In recent years, there has been a small but significant trend of satirical campaigns in college campus elections, and not only are these candidates making students laugh, they’re winning.

This past spring, three American universities saw campaigns that started off as jokes give way to victory. Undergraduate students at Georgetown University, Columbia University and the University of Texas at Austin all chose to elect students who ran, initially, as a joke.

Joe Luther and Connor Rohan of Georgetown University, both involved in Georgetown’s satire publication, The Georgetown Heckler, took 51% of the vote from a politically charged student body on a campaign promising a utopia at Georgetown. Xavier Rotnofsky and Rohit Mandalapu are similarly editors of UT’s satirical magazine, The Texas Tragedy and won on a platform which included bringing a Chile’s restaurant to campus.

Even before the flurry of satire campaigns this year, it was America’s oldest university that led the way. In 2013, Harvard University students Sam Clark and Gus Mayopoulos were elected to represent their student body after a satirical campaign, (though Clark chose to resign).

So what does this say about millennials and how they engage with politics?

It is not a new concern that millennials may be getting their news from comedians like Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert as opposed to traditional news outlets, but as Clark said “satire…it’s very useful in pointing out the problems; it less useful in solving problems”.  

So while there are no candidates running on a satire campaign, they may want to keep an eye on the late night circuit, because it may be their only shot with the millennials. 

Santorum: “John McCain is a war hero, period.”

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum told viewers Monday on “Special Report with Bret Baier” that “John McCain is a war hero, period.”

His words came amid a firestorm of reaction to Donald Trump’s comments on Saturday regarding Arizona Senator John McCain’s time as a prisoner of war in Vietnam and whether or not he was a war hero. Trump later refused to apologize for his remarks.

“John McCain and I have disagreed on a lot of things over the years but knowing what that man went through, it’s that’s not a hero, I don’t know what is,” Santorum said.

But he also theorized that opponents negatively pouncing on each other would result in a weaker candidate for the party in the long run.

“I am not going to engage in personal attacks, but that is what’s going on here is that unless you attack him personally, you’re not tough enough. You’re backing off. You’re not going after him,” he noted, adding. “I was in the race four years ago and I saw what kind of food fight that ends up in.”

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