Kapur: As Donald Trump Rises, Republicans Do Outlandish Things to Get Attention (5)

Paul was asked on Boston Herald Radio last week about Republican candidates having to “do something crazy just to wrestle the spotlight away from Donald Trump.” He responded sardonically, “Yeah, I’m drawing the line at self-immolation.

Within the last week, Rand Paul has obliterated the “tax code” with a chainsaw, Lindsey Graham has destroyed his phone with a baseball bat and Mike Huckabee has compared the Iran nuclear deal to the Holocaust.

Is Donald Trump to blame?

The real estate mogul’s meteoric rise to the top of Republican primary polls, combined with his knack for dominating the media spotlight, is compelling his rivals to saying and doing unusual things to get their message out, some strategists believe. Many Republicans are already struggling to gain traction in the crowded field of 16 major candidates, and the urgency is growing as the first debate approaches in 10 days. Only the top 10 candidates in the polls will appear on the stage, according to rules set by Fox News.

“Republican candidates are trying to escape the black hole of media coverage that Donald Trump has created over the past several weeks. Some of their tactics would be considered extreme if they weren’t simply trying to punch through,” said Republican strategist Ron Bonjean, who is not affiliated with a presidential candidate.

[More]

See Also:

#1 — Donald Trump’s team says his wife made ‘rape’ accusation to ‘exploit’ him in divorce case

#2 — Rush: Trump Fills ‘Giant Void’ Made by Conservatives Turning Soft

#3 — ABC News: Trump Putting GOP Through Five Stages of Grief

#4 — Scott Walker: Trump Using Old Democratic Talking Points Against Me

Watch!

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Afternoon Update July 28th, 2015 (10)

CANADA

#1 — CBC | TransAlta timed power outages to drive up prices, says commission

The Alberta Utilities Commission has concluded that TransAlta Corp. deliberately timed power outages at power plants at peak times in order to drive up electricity prices.

[…]

#2 — CNews | Billionaire’s criminal suit against CBC ‘may have merit,’ says judge

A criminal prosecution launched by Winnipeg clothing designer Peter Nygard against CBC producers and Fifth Estate host Bob McKeown is being allowed to proceed.

[…]

#3 — CTV | Baby to inhert millions if proven daughter of murdered West Vancouver man

VANCOUVER – A Chinese woman trying to prove her baby daughter has sole claim to the fortune of a murdered West Vancouver millionaire has won her bid for a paternity test.

[…]

#4 — Globe | Appointment of Russ Brown extends Harper’s influence on Supreme Court

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has named Russ Brown, a conservative judge from Alberta, to the Supreme Court of Canada – the third appointment in 15 months to the country’s most powerful court without parliamentary involvement.

[…]

#5 — Postmedia | ‘Public shaming’ turns couple who locked puppy in bathroom, then went on vacation into pariahs

They were called white trash.

They were told to never have children.

[…]

WORLD

#6 — BBC | Libya trial: Gaddafi son sentenced to death over war crimes

A court in Libya has sentenced Col Muammar Gaddafi’s son, Saif al-Islam, and eight others to death over war crimes linked to the 2011 revolution.

[…]

#7 — CNS | State Dept. Inspector General Contradicts Clinton

(CNSNews.com) – The inspectors general for the U.S. State Department and the U.S. Intelligence Community issued a joint written statement late Friday afternoon asserting that emails that Hillary Clinton had on her personal email account while she was Secretary of State, and that she kept on a personal server after she left the government, “contained classified information when they were generated,” “remain classified today” and “should never have been transmitted via an unclassified personal system.”

[…]

#8 — Fox | Mississippi school district fined $7500 for opening assembly with prayer

Allowing a school assembly honoring high-achievers to open with a prayer made one Mississippi school district $7,500 poorer – and a student who sued $2,500 richer.

[…]

#9 — DM | A massive El Nino is STILL growing

In California, they’re counting on it to end an historic drought; in Peru, they’ve already declared a pre-emptive emergency to prepare for devastating flooding.

Experts say El Nino is set to be the largest in well over a decade – and will increase the price of coffee, chocolate and sugar.

[…]

#10 — WT | Obama decries GOP for distorting facts of Iran deal

President Obama belittled Republican presidential candidates Mike Huckabee, Ted Cruz and Donald Trump Monday for playing “fast and loose” with the facts of his administration’s nuclear deal with Iran, scolding them for “sad” and irresponsible behavior.

[…]

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ECB warned to pump more money to save eurozone as Varoufakis denies hacking into Greek tax system (10)

IMF risks angering Germany by calling on policymakers to “deploy full arsenal of available instruments” following Greece’s explosive parallel currency plans

The European Central Bank should stand ready to use the full force of its financial firepower to stop the eurozone from falling into renewed turmoil in the wake of the Greek crisis, according to the International Monetary Fund.

It its annual health-check of the eurozone, the IMF made a controversial claim for the ECB to extend its unprecedented programme of quantitative easing beyond a provisional September 2016 end date.

Despite praising the ECB’s €1.1 trillion QE blitz, the report said the ECB “should ensure that banks continue to have access to ample liquidity and maintain orderly conditions in sovereign debt markets”.

“If financial conditions tighten significantly, the ECB should consider further loosening monetary policy through an expansion of its asset purchase program,” recommended the report.

The call will not be well received in Berlin, where Bundesbank chief Jens Weidmann has been a fierce opponent of the ECB’s relfationary intervention to buy up government bonds and continued emergency support for Greek banks.

[More]

See Also:

#1 — China losing control as stocks crash despite emergency measures

#2 — Cameron facing ‘Brexpulsion’ as EU leaders become sick of his demands

#3 — UK border alert as 10,000 migrants mass in Calais as crisis reaches desperate levels

#4 — Creditors back in Greece for bailout talks

#5 — Greek bank-failure law puts big deposits at risk, Moody’s says

Afternoon Update:

#6 — Beijing springs to action as China shares gyrate

#7 — Should Germany exit the euro?

#8 — Greece starts bailout talks with dispute on upfront actions

#9 — German ‘wisemen’ say euro zone states should be able to go bankrupt

#10 — EU suspends sale of 700 generic drugs made in India

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Stephen Hawking Fields Questions on Artificial Intelligence

LONDON (AP) — Have a question about artificial intelligence and think theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking is the man to ask?

Hawking is giving the Internet-going public a rare chance to pose direct questions to him on Reddit, the user-powered news and discussion forum.

The celebrity scientist is speaking on the perils and promises of artificial intelligence, a topic of lively interest as self-driving cars take to the streets.

The 73-year-old Hawking frequently makes public appearances, but he has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or motor neuron disease, which makes giving spontaneous answers to questions difficult. Most Reddit question-and-answer sessions wrap up quickly, but this one is being extended over several weeks to give Hawking time to respond.

There were already thousands of comments on Monday, a few hours after the forum was opened for discussion.

[Source]

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Rothman: Hillary Clinton’s Worst Fears Are Coming True

The national political press is fixated on the chaotic and contentious Republican presidential primary, and not without good reason. But in devoting so much focus to the race for the GOP nomination, the Democratic side of the aisle has been getting short shrift. Over the course of the summer, a left-wing revolt against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has evolved into an insurgency, and her campaign is gradually imploding, albeit at a cosmically languid pace. But that tempo is set to accelerate. The tipping point may have been reached on Thursday when one of the presumptive Democratic nominee’s worst fears was realized.

[More]

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Rath: Baby monitors, cars and your sex life: Nothing is safe from hackers

Driving your car? Give it up.

Sex life? You know they know all about it.

Rocking your baby to sleep in her nursery? Yup, they can see that too.

We’ve watched the creeping advance of hackers breaking into several facets of our plugged-in society since we began connecting just about everything we have to the Internet.

But unlike past hacks that might have compromised our financial information or provided the world with nude photos of movie stars, these latest ones are hitting us on a far more personal level — in our homes, our cars and our sex lives.

[More]

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Brodbeck: Let cops be cops

Winnipeg police saw the biggest one-year jump in calls for service last year in at least a decade, with calls up over 9% compared to the previous year.

And as usual, domestic disturbance and other social-work type calls were by far the most frequent kind of response for police in 2014.

It’s not that police weren’t busy in other areas, including investigating murders and other violent crimes, gang activity, drug offences and white collar crime.

But police have become somewhat of a last-resort agency, burdened with more social service type calls than ever before. And it’s taking up a lot of their time.

[More]

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Supreme Court unfair to Harper government, new Ontario justice says

The newest judge on Ontario’s top court has an explanation for the Conservative government’s well-known losing streak at the Supreme Court of Canada: The court’s reasoning process is unfair, making it almost impossible for the federal government to defend its laws, such as those involving assisted suicide, prostitution and the war on drugs.

Ontario Court of Appeal Justice Bradley Miller, whose appointment was announced last month, is part of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s vanguard on the bench – a leading dissenter, along with fellow appeal-court Justice Grant Huscroft, from much of what Canada’s judges have said and done under the 1982 Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

As The Globe reported on the weekend, Mr. Harper has been on a decade-long quest to transform the lower courts by finding judges who would be less activist, and less likely to stand in the way of policies such as a crackdown on crime. Justice Miller and Justice Huscroft offer an approach that is more deferential to government than is currently the norm on Canadian courts. If over time they are able to point the court in a new direction, judges will become less likely to strike down laws in which broad moral issues are at stake; government would be given more respect as the authority to decide such issues.

[More]

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Fernandez: Ringed By Fire

In recent article, George Friedman called Turkey a country ringed by conflagrations: “four major segments of the European and Asian landmass were in crisis: Europe, Russia, the Middle East (from the Levant to Iran) and China.”

Sitting at the center of these crisis zones is a country that until a few years ago maintained a policy of having no problems with its neighbors. Today, however, Turkey’s entire periphery is on fire. There is fighting in Syria and Iraq to the south, fighting to the north in Ukraine and an increasingly tense situation in the Black Sea. To the west, Greece is in deep crisis (along with the EU) and is a historic antagonist of Turkey. The Mediterranean has quieted down, but the Cyprus situation has not been fully resolved and tension with Israel has subsided but not disappeared. Anywhere Turkey looks there are problems. As important, there are three regions of Eurasia that Turkey touches: Europe, the Middle East and the former Soviet Union.

Last week Anakara’s policy of keeping the fires at arms’ length started to break down. “Turkey has called a special meeting of Nato ambassadors to discuss military operations against the Islamic State (IS) group and PKK Kurdish separatists,” invoking NATO’s article 4.

[More]

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Starnes: Emasculated Republicans Block Effort to Defund Planned Parenthood

Senate Republicans had a chance to stop Planned Parenthood from butchering unborn children and selling their body parts to the highest bidder. Instead, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refused to put up a vote — thumbing his nose at Senators Mike Lee and Ted Cruz, along with every pro-lifer in the nation.

That sort of emasculated leadership is why Donald Trump is surging in the polls. Americans want leaders with man-parts big enough to do the right thing.

What happened over weekend was an unprecedented display of cowardice from chicken-hearted politicians. It was a dastardly double-cross.

Senator Cruz delivered this blistering rebuke:

“To the millions of Americans who rallied in November believing if only we got a Republican majority in the Senate something would be different, this was a clarifying and a sad moment.”

[More]

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Morning Update July 28th, 2015 (10)

CANADA

#1 — CBC | Toronto’s possible Olympic bid could be thwarted by politics, business

The Pan Am Games have just finished, but already attention is turning to Toronto’s rumoured ambition to bring the athletic competition’s big brother to Canadian soil.

[…]

#2 — CNews | Missing helicopter pilot found ‘alive and well’ on ice floe: Military

IQALUIT, Nunavut — Search and rescue officials say a helicopter pilot who was missing near Baffin Island has been found safe.

[…]

#3 — CTV | What the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade talks mean for Canada

Trade ministers from 12 Pacific Rim countries are meeting Tuesday in Hawaii to begin four days of intensive negotiations on what is being called one of the biggest trade deals in history.

[…]

#4 — Global | Calgary-based TransAlta buys solar, wind projects for US$75.8 million

CALGARY – TransAlta Corp. (TSX:TA) has signed a deal to buy 71 megawatts of solar and wind power generation capacity in the U.S. in a deal worth US$75.8 million.

[…]

#5 — Postmedia | The sorry saga of Eve Adams puts Trudeau’s judgment in question again

Eve Adams’s spectacular failure to win the Liberal nomination in Toronto’s Eglinton-Lawrence riding suggests its members have much better political judgment than Justin Trudeau, the Liberal leader who sought to impose her on them.

[…]

WORLD

#6 — BBC | Litvinenko inquiry: Key suspect ‘cannot testify’

A suspect in the inquiry into the death of former Russian agent Alexander Litvinenko has told the BBC he has not obtained permission to give evidence.

[…]

#7 — CNS | Kerry Repeats Claim – Evidently Wrong – About UN Resolution Language on Iran Missiles, Arms Embargo

(CNSNews.com) – The Obama administration’s assertion that a key U.N. Security Council sanctions resolution predicates the lifting of arms and ballistic missile restrictions on Iran to Tehran’s willingness simply to come to the negotiating table, is evidently wrong.

[…]

#8 — Fox | Attacker killed by West Virginia escort eyed in possible serial murders in 3 states

Suspected serial killer Neal Falls’ body count may have matched the number of weapons in his arsenal.

Police around the country are working Monday to determine whether Falls — who was shot and killed by a West Virginia escort as he tried to strangle her — is linked to the unsolved murders of prostitutes in at least three other states.

[…]

#9 — DM | Time to derail this gravy train

Anger was mounting over peers’ expenses last night after disgraced Baron Sewel admitted many members of the House of Lords received money for doing ‘f*** all’.

[…]

#10 — WT | Obama loses last legal buffer against surge of immigrants

A federal judge’s ruling presaging the release of the largest number of illegal immigrant mothers and children from U.S. detention centers has erased the last get-tough immigration policy of the Obama administration, leaving the law even more of a mess and authorities with even fewer tools to try to deter another surge of border crossers.

[…]

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