Ted Cruz warns of “Watergate-style blowout” in 2018

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Wealthy conservative donors and influential Republican lawmakers say they increasingly fear a historic backlash at the ballot box next year if the GOP effort to pass a sweeping rewrite of the nation’s tax laws falls short in the coming months.

Image: Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images for Lincoln Center

At a two-day midtown Manhattan summit of the billionaire industrialist Koch brothers’ powerful donor network, GOP patrons, senators and strategists spoke in cataclysmic terms about the price they expect to pay in the midterm elections if their tax reform effort does not win passage.

They voiced concerns a demoralized Republican base would stay home, financiers would stop writing campaign donation checks to incumbents and the congressional majorities the party has built in the House and Senate could evaporate overnight.

To head that off, the same Republicans said they are waging an intense, multi-front effort in and outside of Congress and the White House to shepherd the endeavor to the finish line.

Koch network officials said they have invested more than $10 million this year in advocating for the GOP tax plan.

Art Pope, a major conservative donor from North Carolina, put it this way: “When you have lack of success, that may depress voter turnout for Republicans, that may depress donations for Republicans and conservatives.”

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) warned that Republicans could face a “Watergate-level blowout” in the midterm elections if they don’t make major legislative strides on taxes and health care, invoking the political scandal that brought down Richard Nixon’s presidency and set back the GOP considerably in subsequent elections.

“If tax reform crashes and burns, if [on] Obamacare, nothing happens, we could face a bloodbath,” said Cruz, who spoke in a moderated discussion.

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End of an era at the Washington Post

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Sad, sad days for one of the true forms(newspapers) of journalism…

Late one Saturday night about 25 years ago, I ran into Don Graham at the old Hechinger’s on Wisconsin Avenue, where we both had rushed to take advantage of the final hours of a sale on mulch.

“Can you believe these prices?” asked the then-publisher of The Washington Post and heir apparent to one of the most storied media dynasties in American history. It was 1987, and the Post was still basking in the glow of Watergate, and Katharine Graham dominated the town.

The Grahams built an extended family on the 5th floor of the landmark building on 15th Street, and along with legendary Editor Ben Bradlee, they inspired some of the best journalism of the century. They guided the paper through one of its most illustrious periods — the Watergate scandal, which led to Richard M. Nixon’s resignation in 1974, and its successful battle with the government in 1971 to publish the Pentagon Papers, a classified history of the Vietnam War.

That Post was gone a decade ago, victimized by the same maladies affecting the entire industry — diminishing circulation, an advertising base usurped by Craig’s List and a generation who views newspapers as clutter. Still, the announcement on Monday that this proud institution would be sold to an Internet entrepreneur by Graham, today the CEO, and his niece, publisher Katharine Weymouth, rocked the staff and stunned a city that had long held it in awe.

“I’m numb,” said one veteran reporter.

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Huckabee: Obama’s Libya cover-up worse than Watergate

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Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee on Friday said the American people “have flat-out been lied to” by President Barack Obama and his administration about the violence in Libya — and this cover-up is worse than Richard Nixon’s scandal because “nobody died in Watergate.”

“Let’s just get blunt. No way to sugar coat this — We’ve been lied to. We have flat-out been lied to. They know they’ve lied,” Huckabee told Fox News’s “America’s Newsroom.”“It’s as if airplanes crashing into the World Trade Center and somebody says, ‘those were just accidents. The planes veered off course.’ Everybody with two eyes and IQ above plant life understands that what happened in Egypt and what happened in Libya was not some spontaneous reaction to a stupid 13-minute video on YouTube. It was a planned, coordinated, orchestrated attack led by terrorists.”

Huckabee, who hosts “Huckabee” on Fox and the radio program “The Mike Huckabee Show,” then likened the Libya situation to Watergate.

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McConnell, Watergate and Mo’ (Campaign) Money

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The man who publicly said the single thing he and his colleagues wanted to achieve was to make President Obama a one-term president is at it again. Now Mitch McConnell(R-Kentucky) is whining about the Obama campaign’s criticism of conservative donors and even invoked Richard Nixon saying, “you’d have to go back to Richard Nixon to find the last time you had a group of people both through the campaign and through the power of the federal government really trying to harass and silence critics.” He feels it’s time to roll back the Watergate-era requirement for public disclosure of campaign donors and says the ban on secret contributions stifles free speech.

It’s ironic that McConnell brought up rolling back Watergate-era requirements, Sunday marked the 40th anniversary of the break-in which was fueled in part by secret campaign money. It’s clear now as it was then that money corrupts the system. Nixon’s lawyer, John Dean said as much believing that Watergate might never have happened without all that money sloshing around. That $20 million raised in four weeks in 1972 is nothing compared to today when tens of millions of undisclosed dollars have already flowed into the 2012 presidential race. Just last week, casino pimp Sheldon Adelson gave $10 million to the Romney dedicated PAC Restore our Future. Read that again…that’s a $10 million check from one man but at least he’s not hiding it. Nixon’s pickup men who roamed the country gathering checks and cash for his reelection campaign wouldn’t have to go far these days and they wouldn’t have to do it in secret because it’s all legal now. Obama’s gotten some million dollar checks too but his donors(like Bill Maher) have all seemed to disclose.

Many donors, especially on the Republican side, don’t want their business put out there, so to speak. Frank VanderSloot who owns cleaning products company Melaleuca wrote checks totaling $1 million to Restore Our Future isn’t happy his name was spotted on Federal Election Commission disclosures but he had to know he was fair game for journalists and that he might lose customers. The Koch Whores(Charles and David) have given millions publicly but there is no way to know how much they’ve really given because some of their donations go to so-called social welfare organizations which remain secret. They say they’ve been targeted too much like the target they put on the President the moment he took office.

Now McConnell is singing their blues but that wasn’t the case in 2003 when he said, “Money is essential in politics, and not something that we should feel squeamish about, provided the donations are limited and disclosed, everyone knows who’s supporting everyone else.” So why has that changed now to, “I don’t think everybody else in the country ought to have to pay that price as a condition for speaking out and being involved in causes that they feel strongly about.”

No one is stopping anyone from speaking out but with that you should be proud to write your check with you name in big bold letters. I don’t understand why you’d want to hide when you’re doing so much to help your man win the White House. I think even superdonors know that deep down inside they are buying the election and right now team Romney is large and in charge assuring that if money is the issue Obama will be a one-term president.


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