Here’s Why Donald Trump’s Opponents Keep Attacking Him Over This Tiny Atlantic City House

Vera Coking House - Atlantic City - 1990s

The Vera Coking House in Atlantic City, photographed by Jack E. Boucher in the early 1990s. (Photo via the Library of Congress)

Jeb Bush attacked Donald Trump about his treatment of a widow in the 1990s on Saturday night.

This isn’t the first time it’s come up. Bush was talking about the saga of Vera Coking, a woman in Atlantic City who refused to sell her home to developers building casinos in the 1980s and ’90s. It wasn’t the first time Trump has been hit with this attack. Ted Cruz, currently Trump’s chief rival for the Republican presidential nomination according to polls, even put out an ad attacking Trump for his battle with Coking.

So why is this battle from the early 1990s getting such attention in the Republican primary? It’s all about Trump’s attempt to use eminent domain on Coking’s Atlantic City house. Read more »

Christie Gets Down on One Knee to Woo Undecided New Hampshire Voter

Screen grab via ABC News.

Screen grab via ABC News.

New Hampshire, Chris Christie needs your vote, and he is prepared to show you just how badly. The New Jersey governor got down on one knee to appeal to an undecided voter at his town hall in Hudson, New Hampshire, Monday morning.

The normally brash, occasionally caustic Christie displayed his softer side, and it paid off. Read more »

Chris Christie Really Only Beat Rick Santorum in Iowa

Republican presidential candidate, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie speaks during a town hall at Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa, Sunday, Jan. 31, 2016.

Republican presidential candidate, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie speaks during a town hall at Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa, Sunday, Jan. 31, 2016.

John Kasich phoned in his Iowa campaign. Literally.

The Ohio governor and presidential candidate held three “tele-town halls” in Iowa, where he talked with voters over the phone. At one point, he flew into Iowa to hold one rally, which The Des Moines Register called “unusual” and said he “alternately complimented and playfully antagonized the people who had come to listen to him speak.”

Kasich has concentrated most of his campaigning in New Hampshire, where according to polls he’s in a race for second place. New York Times politics writer tweeted Kasich ignored Iowa.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie also focused on New Hampshire, but he did not ignore Iowa. He was there for all or part of 42 days, costing New Jersey taxpayers millions. Christie first visited the state back in 2010, and famously vetoed a symbolic pig crate ban in 2014 in order to appease Iowa voters. On Sunday night, he campaigned with Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad.

His campaign manager said Kasich, who had already left the state, was making the wrong choice. “You fight for every vote,” Christie’s campaign manager, Mike DuHaime, told the Washington Post. “I know John Kasich decided to leave, and that’s fine, that’s their strategy. But you have to respect the process.” Christie told Good Morning America he wouldn’t win, but he’d do well: “What I’ve wanted all along is to come out of Iowa as the number one governor. Polls show that I will be the number one governor.”

Whoops. Read more »

False Alarm in “Active Shooter” Situation in San Diego

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UPDATE 1/26/2016 2 p.m.: On Tuesday morning in California, shots were reported inside a San Diego naval facility, but it looks like it was a false alarm, with multiple press outlets reporting that there’s no evidence that a shooting occurred.

“Apparently someone said they heard three shots in the basement of Building 26. Maybe they did or not is not the point; that’s what they reported, so that’s why we responded accordingly,” Navy spokesperson Jon Nylander said. “We haven’t gotten any reports of any injuries.”

ORIGINAL:

Reports coming out of San Diego, California indicate that an active shooter has been reported at the Naval Medical Center there. Read more »

Christie: Obama Lax on Weed Because He Used to Smoke Pot

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As we all know, Chris Christie isn’t spending much time in New Jersey, which is racking up quite the tab for his state security detail. But what do you expect: He’s running for president, and to win early-nominating states you have to spend a lot of time in Iowa and New Hampshire to talk about corn and freedom and whatever. This is how we choose our president.

So. Chris Christie was in Council Bluffs, Iowa, this morning — it’s just two weeks until Iowa’s first-in-the-nation nominating caucuses — and spoke before a standing-room-only crowd of about 100 people.

He told Iowans he would eliminate healthy school lunches if he became president. He also talked about his staunch anti-marijuana stance, and how when he’s president he will be cracking down on states that have legalized weed.

Read more »

Okay People, the Donald Trump Joke Is Over

Left: Ralph Fiennes as Lord Voldemort in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows  (Courtesy of Warner Bros.) Right: Donald Trump in Las Vegas. (John Locher, AP)

Left: Ralph Fiennes as Lord Voldemort in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Courtesy of Warner Bros.) Right: Donald Trump in Las Vegas. (John Locher, AP)

I discovered a new favorite game a couple months ago while rereading the Harry Potter series. I call it, simply, “Who said it: Lord Voldemort or Donald Trump?”

Provided you don’t catch Voldemort during a tender moment, the bigoted egomaniacs have a lot in common. Want to play, for old time’s sake?

“There is no good and evil. There is only power, and those too weak to seek it.” (Voldemort, who apparently read The Art of the Deal)

“My Twitter has become so powerful that I can actually make my enemies tell the truth.” (this one is Trump, master of the Veritaserum serum)

“I can make things move without touching them. I can make animals do what I want without training them. I can make bad things happen to people who are mean to me.” (Voldemort, by a hair)

“Sorry losers and haters, but my I.Q. is one of the highest — and you all know it! Please don’t feel so stupid or insecure, it’s not your fault.” (Trump, by a less dignified hair)

“I’m putting the people on notice that are coming here from Syria as part of this mass migration, that if I win, if I win, they’re going back.” (Trump, right before outlining his position on mudbloods and muggles)

I’m not the first to connect the dots between the Dark Lord and the Donald. A genius Google Chrome extension changes all mentions of Trump to Voldemort or one of his aliases, including “He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named,” “You-Know-Who” or “Tom Riddle.”

It was an amusing little feature for a minute, but honestly, like my Harry Potter game, it’s just not that much fun anymore. Read more »

After San Bernardino Shooting, “Thoughts and Prayers” Anger Is Wrong

After Tuesday’s massacre in San Bernardino, this is almost certainly the most viral, most-Facebooked newspaper cover in the country today:

daily news thoughts and prayers

The idea? That “thoughts and prayers” are useless — that it’s time to take action and pass some gun control already!

I’m not unsympathetic to that idea. As has been widely noted, we’re experiencing about one mass shooting per day in the United States this year; and while it’s true that the number of homicides in this country is down, radically, from the 1990s peak, it’s also true that we’re still experiencing levels of gun violence that other countries endure usually only if they’re in the middle of a civil war or some other sectarian violence. And our violence is gun-fueled: We’re not counting the number of “mass stabbings” in America, are we?

Still, the anger over politicians expressing “thoughts and prayers” is misplaced, for two reasons: Read more »

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