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• Bubba's buckraking points to more problems for Hillary
• FCC boss ditches Net regulation hearing
• Walker jumps out to big Iowa lead
• Strickland will take on Portman
• Act now, and he’ll throw in his dirty dishes
BUBBA'S BUCKRAKING POINTS TO MORE PROBLEMS FOR HILLARY
Politico: “Less than a year after Hillary Clinton became secretary of state, former President Bill Clinton asked the State Department to approve a paid, videotaped speech he was asked to make at a gala in Shanghai, sponsored by a Chinese sports foundation. Wealthy hedge fund manager Kai Jiang wanted to pay the former president an undisclosed amount through a charity fund set up by his wife, Crystal Huang, a Chinese TV and film star who regularly serves as fodder for the Chinese tabloids. But unlike hundreds of big-dollar Bill Clinton speeches that sailed through a State Department ethics approval process while Hillary Clinton served as America’s top diplomat, this one raised a note of caution that the Chinese government might actually be funding the speech or planning to profit from it.”
Early warning - Bubba’s overseas buckraking raised eyebrows last summer, as reported by WashEx: “A joint investigation by the Washington Examiner and the nonprofit watchdog group Judicial Watch found that former President Clinton gave 215 speeches and earned $48 million while his wife presided over U.S. foreign policy, raising questions about whether the Clintons fulfilled ethics agreements related to the Clinton Foundation during Hillary Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state. …State Department officials charged with reviewing Bill Clinton's proposed speeches did not object to a single one.”
Famed Chinese dissident contradicts Hillary’s claimed heroism - The Telegraph: “Hillary Clinton’s account of one of her crowning moments as secretary of state has been flatly contradicted by a leading Chinese activist. Chen Guangcheng, a blind lawyer who escaped house arrest and caused an diplomatic crisis between China and the US by taking refuge in the American embassy in Beijing in 2012, accused the Obama administration and Hillary Clinton of “giving in” to Chinese negotiators.”
Hillary wants Americans out of ‘partisan bunkers’ and into ‘a nice purple space’ - WSJ: ‘There are a lot of things I would love to see our country do,’ she said. ‘I would like to bring people from the right, left, red and blue and get them into a nice purple space where everybody is talking and we’re actually trying to solve problems. That would be my objective if I decide to do this.’ … What if she could wave a wand and change one thing in America? [Re/code editor, Kara Swisher] asked. Mrs. Clinton said she would strive to ‘get back to working together cooperatively again. If we could get out of our mind-sets and our partisan bunkers…’”
Hey, ladies - WaPo: “Declaring this the time to ‘crack every last glass ceiling,’ Hillary Rodham Clinton advocated forcefully here Tuesday for greater economic mobility for women…”
Warren returns to deflections on candidacy - New York Daily News: “Sen. Elizabeth Warren [D-Mass.] shot down rumors of a 2016 presidential bid Tuesday while promoting a new initiative to bolster the middle class. ‘I don't think this is about me, I think this is really about this set of issues,’ the Massachusetts Democrat said on MSNBC's ‘Morning Joe’ during appearance to announce her new ‘Middle Class Prosperity Project.’ ‘What I want to do is to talk as hard and as long and as loud as I need to, to get people galvanized around change. This can't just be about politics,’ she added. ‘It's not just about one person. This is about when we get organized and say ‘enough of a Washington that works only for lobbyists and lawyers.’’ Warren, who appeared with Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings, touted the program as an effort that would further reform student lending practices and help families with childcare costs.”
"You know, I think that’s what we gotta see. I want to hear what she wants to run on and what she says she wants to do. That’s what campaigns are supposed to be about." – Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., when asked by MSNBC whether Hillary Clinton would be a “progressive warrior.”
Ahem: Biden to be given award for ‘distinguished’ service - Vice President Joe Biden hasn’t commented on his bizarre moment with the new Defense secretary’s wife or Biden’s demonstrably false, ethnically stereotyping about East African immigrants. To increase the awkwardness, Biden is being celebrated today in New Hampshire today with an awkwardly named award, given the vice president’s foibles. WMUR: “Vice President Joe Biden will receive the second Warren B. Rudman Award for Distinguished Public Service [today] when he visits the University of New Hampshire.”
FCC BOSS DITCHES NET REGULATION HEARING
The Hill: “The House Oversight Committee has postponed a hearing to explore whether the White House had undue influence on the Federal Communications Commission’s development of net neutrality rules. The announcement came after FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler declined to testify at Wednesday’s hearing, which would have come just a day ahead of the commission’s vote on the new regulations. Wheeler has agreed to testify at a later date, according to the FCC. House Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) and House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) said they were ‘deeply disappointed’ in Wheeler’s decision but promised that their probe would continue. ‘So long as the chairman continues to insist on secrecy, we will continue calling for more transparency and accountability at the commission,’ they said. ‘Chairman Wheeler and the FCC are not above Congress. This fight continues as the future of the Internet is at stake.’”
[WaPo: “Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) isn’t giving up on net neutrality legislation. In fact, he’s still interested in finding alternatives to what the Federal Communications Commission has proposed as the strongest rules on Internet providers the country has ever seen. Contradicting a report by the New York Times Tuesday that Thune had ‘all but surrendered’ to Democrats and the FCC days ahead of an agency vote on net neutrality, a committee spokesperson said that the chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee is still committed to finding a legislative solution…”]
Why should you care? - Aside from the philosophical question of whether the government can or should have the power to regulate the internet, the regulations themselves could cause your binge-watching habits to be slightly more frustrating. With the new FCC rules, no Internet provider would be allowed to buy faster lines than another provider. So whether you have Comcast’s Xfinity or Time Warner, Frank Underwood’s diabolic takeover will take the same time to load.
Hillary agrees with Silicon Valley donors - TIME: “Hillary Clinton said at a Silicon Valley conference for women leaders Tuesday that she supports President Barack Obama’s call for the strongest possible rules to safe guard net neutrality.”
IMMIGRATION STANDOFF LIKELY TO END WITH A WHIMPER, NOT A BANG
WaPo: “The Senate moved closer Tuesday to a deal to avert a partial shutdown of the Department of Homeland Security, but the proposal faced an uncertain future in the House…Under [Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s] proposal, the Senate would vote first on the funding measure and then hold a separate vote on a bill to undo Obama’s new immigration initiatives. McConnell hopes to assuage conservatives who are determined to confront the president on what they see as abuse of his executive authority…. But House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) did not immediately warm to the proposal, and it was not clear whether he could marshal enough backing in his chamber to complete the deal to keep DHS open beyond Friday, when its spending authority expires. House Republicans will huddle behind closed doors Wednesday morning.”
WITH YOUR SECOND CUP OF COFFEE...
Pity the poor black rat. No, seriously! Convicted by science for spreading the bubonic plague, the rat may have been wrongly accused. The death and destruction that ravaged Europe in the mid-14th century can indeed all be traced to a single furry critter going for a boat ride. But a new study published by the National Academy of Sciences suggests that the European outbreak of the Black Death actually began with a giant gerbil. The University of Oslo research draws the conclusion that weather conditions leading to the outbreaks were not conducive to fostering a rat population, but were perfect for gerbils. Maybe think twice before picking up one of those fuzzy, little buggers at the pet store.
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Real Clear Politics Averages
Obama Job Approval: Approve – 45 percent//Disapprove – 50.4 percent
Direction of Country: Right Direction – 33.4 percent//Wrong Track – 58.2 percent
WALKER JUMPS OUT TO BIG IOWA LEAD
WHO: “In a new Quinnipiac University poll released [today], Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker leads the pack with 25-percent. That’s twice as high as his nearest rival. The fight for second place is a close one. Kentucky Senator Rand Paul gets 13-percent of likely caucus goer support. Physician Ben Carson and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee pull in 11-percent, followed by former Governor Jeb Bush with 10-percent. None of the other possible candidates received more than five percent.
[You can read the full poll results here.]
Power Play: Press pugilism - Scott Walker is taking aim at the media, a potentially smart move in a party where the establishment press is reviled by many. But there are risks too. Chris Stirewalt has the answers in just 60 seconds. WATCH HERE.
Walker adds key Iowa operative - Des Moines Register: “Wordsmith and 20-year political operative Eric Woolson has signed on with likely presidential candidate Scott Walker’s team. … Last cycle, Woolson was state manager for social conservative Michele Bachmann’s presidential campaign … In 2008, Woolson was the Iowa campaign manager and communication director for presidential candidate Mike Huckabee …He was senior adviser for former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s presidential campaign in 2011… Woolson was also the Iowa communication director for three other GOP campaigns – U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley in 2010; Doug Gross for governor in 2002; and George W. Bush for president in 2000 …”
AEI nabs big names for Georgia forum - Bloomberg: “Held at the remote, luxury Sea Island resort in Georgia, the 2015 American Enterprise Institute World Forum will bring together several potential GOP candidates and members of the business and media…Among the scheduled speakers at the exclusive event, which will be held from March 5-8, are Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, former Texas Governor Rick Perry, Indiana Governor Mike Pence, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, all of whom have been contemplating entering the 2016 presidential race.”
Jeb sets pre-flight check for April 13 - WaPo: “Jeb Bush will hold a meeting with top donors to and fundraisers for his presidential campaign-in-waiting on April 13 in Miami, according to people familiar with the plans. The date, location and purpose of the meeting might appear to suggest that the former Florida governor and Miami-area resident will announce that he is indeed mounting a campaign for the White House, or release the early numbers of his fundraising push for his leadership PAC and super PAC. But aides stressed on Tuesday that for now, at least, observers shouldn't expect Bush to use the meeting as the formal launch of his campaign. They also noted that fundraising totals won't necessarily be announced, especially since a first-quarter tally isn't due to the Federal Election Commission until July.”
Jeb jab: Rubio draws contrast with ‘the son of a president’ - WaPo: “Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida used his first trip of the year to New Hampshire Tuesday to stress his working-class and immigrant family experiences, appearing to draw a stark contrast with potential rival Jeb Bush in the process. In a speech at the popular Politics & Eggs breakfast forum here, Rubio said that if his parents had not emigrated to the United States in 1956, ‘there’s no way in the world that I could have the same dreams, and potentially the same future, as the son of a president or the son of a millionaire.’”
Perry’s brand is ‘politics of unity and aspiration’ - Houston Chronicle: “Former Gov. Rick Perry, on the stump ahead of a likely 2016 presidential campaign, continued his transformation Tuesday night from conservative warrior to hopeful uniter, telling Virginia Republicans they deserve a less divisive commander-in-chief. ‘For too long, our leaders have pitted American against American on the basis of their faith or their gender or their race or their income,’ Perry said during a speech in Richmond. ‘It's time to abandon this cynical formula of politics and replace it with the politics of unity and aspiration.’”
McConnell backs Rand’s plan for Kentucky caucus - Lexington Herald-Leader: “U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell endorsed U.S. Sen. Rand Paul’s push for a Republican presidential caucus in Kentucky, lending heavy weight Tuesday to a proposal that had raised concerns among some members of the state GOP's executive committee. Paul’s push for a caucus in early 2016 would allow him to run for two offices during the 2016 Republican primary season without violating a Kentucky law that prohibits a candidate from appearing on the same ballot twice. The idea was initially met with ‘respectful skepticism’ from McConnell, but after the two men met Monday to discuss the matter, McConnell decided to throw his support behind the idea.”
Cruz adds fundraising heavyweight - Dallas Morning News: “The budding Cruz 2016 campaign is adding some fund-raising muscle, with the Texas GOP finance chairman joining the effort. Hal Lambert, a Fort Worth money manager who has served three years as the state party’s top fund-raiser, said Tuesday that he is stepping down to help Sen. Ted Cruz if he runs for president. Lambert supported the 2012 presidential campaign of then-Gov. Rick Perry, who, like Cruz, has been spending lots of time with Republican activists in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, where early contests are critical stops on the way to the White House.”
Kasich offers fiscal hawk stance - Cleveland Plain Dealer: “…while delivering his State of the State address here Tuesday evening, [Ohio Gov. John Kasich] sounded very much like a guy who wants to do more as governor. ‘I'm optimistic about what we can achieve,’ Kasich said as he closed his remarks. ‘And I'm going to be here working with you, shoulder to shoulder. I'm here to serve.’ …He badly wants his fellow Republicans, who have firm majorities in the House and Senate, to accept his budget proposal. Kasich hopes lawmakers will choke down higher sales taxes, higher cigarette taxes and higher taxes on Big Oil in exchange for lower income taxes, which the governor believes will spur job growth.”
Carly joins the PAC - Carly for America: “In advance of Carly Fiorina’s speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Thursday, Feb. 26, Fiorina supporters are launching Carly For America, a SuperPac to lay the groundwork for a potential presidential run. ‘As Carly decides whether to enter into the 2016 race, Carly For America will continue to build conservative support and help lay the groundwork for a potential presidential candidacy,’ said Steve DeMaura, executive director of the SuperPac.”
Teachers union says Christie exaggerated scope of budget deal - New Jersey Star-Ledger: “The teachers union Gov. Chris Christie touted as an ally today in his annual state budget address says the governor ‘overstated’ their partnership…The union was swift to respond, declaring ‘politics trumped policy’ in the governor’s address. ‘NJEA is deeply disappointed that Gov. Chris Christie overstated the nature of the understanding we reached with the commission after many months of conversation,’ NJEA President Wendell Steinhauer said in a statement, less than two hours after Christie's speech. ‘We have not agreed to any changes to pensions or health benefits,’ he said. ‘We have only agreed to continue looking at all solutions that may provide our members with more stable pensions and affordable, high-quality benefits.’”
Carson campaign adds another Gingrich hand - Daily Caller: “Neurosurgeon Ben Carson has hired a national finance director in anticipation of entering the 2016 race for the White House. Carson adviser Terry Giles told The Daily Caller on Tuesday that Amy Pass, president of The Pass Group, LLC, will serve as national finance director of the presidential campaign if Carson decides to run as a Republican, as expected. Pass, according to Giles, is a former fundraiser for Newt Gingrich who helped raise more than $52 million for his 527 organization, American Solutions. She also served as national finance director for Gingrich’s 2012 presidential campaign.”
STRICKLAND WILL TAKE ON PORTMAN
Youngstown (Ohio) Vindicator: “Ex-Gov. Ted Strickland announced today that he would be a Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate in 2016 ‘because I am determined to restore the American Dream for working people in this country.’ Strickland said in a prepared statement that knows personally ‘how difficult it is to move up in this world, and the deck is increasingly stacked against working people.’ … U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, the Republican incumbent, will seek his second six-year term next year….Strickland served 12 years in the U.S. House and won the 2006 gubernatorial race. He lost his re-election to Republican John Kasich in 2010 by 2 percentage points.”
NRSC dings Hassan on plan to add a ‘chief operating officer’ - New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan is the leading Democratic contender to take on Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte next year. But Hassan’s proposal for the state to add a “chief operating officer” to help run state agencies is causing her some headaches. Since Hassan is the state’s chief executive, the plan has been widely derided as duty ducking. The NRSC is capitalizing on the flap with a new video calling the proposal an effort by Hassan to shirk her statehouse duty while she runs against Ayotte.
ACT NOW, AND HE’LL THROW IN HIS DIRTY DISHES
Boston Globe reports Kyle Waring of Massachusetts decided to sell the snow over the internet. Waring charges 89 dollars for six pounds of snow, which he ships in an insulated container to prevent melting. He sold four boxes of snow in 24 hours, and expects the trend to continue. “At this rate, it’s going to be July until the snow melts,” he said. “But I’ve thought about taking this idea and running with it for other seasonal items. Maybe I’ll ship some fall foliage.”
AND NOW, A WORD FROM CHARLES…
“These last details that are coming out now about the agreement being time-limited - meaning that in a decade, Iran can essentially become a legitimate nuclear power, develop its weapons, without any restraints - and, remember, this will mean a lifting of the sanctions, so Iran will be with a very strong economy, undeterred, nothing in any way holding it back - is simply catastrophic.” —Charles Krauthammer on “Special Report with Bret Baier” Watch here.
Chris Stirewalt is digital politics editor for Fox News. Want FOX News First in your inbox every day? Sign up here.