Weiner: Let Pennsylvania Vote First for President

jennifer weiner philadelphia

Philadelphia novelist Jennifer Weiner says Pennsylvania should move ahead of the New Hampshire primaries to cast the first votes in the presidential nominating contests every four years.

She writes today for a roundtable at the New York Times, each writer trying to answer the question: Which state should go first? Weiner’s answer: Her home state, of course. Read more »

Chris Christie Is Rarely in New Jersey, and It’s Hurting Him at Home


The Wall Street Journal last night posted a story headlined, “Chris Christie’s Absences From New Jersey Are Being Noticed.” In it, reporter Heather Haddon notes that Christie was out of New Jersey some or all of the day for 261 days this year — or 72 percent of 2015. New Jersey’s native son was basically in New Hampshire more than New Jersey. 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 »

Will Smith Hints at Presidential Run

Screenshot from CBS "Sunday Morning."

Screenshot from CBS “Sunday Morning.”

In an appearance on CBS’s Sunday Morning yesterday to promote his new film, Concussion, West Philly native Will Smith hinted that we may see his name on a presidential ticket soon.

At one point in the interview, the conversation shifted to what’s next for the Fresh Prince. Even with this new movie and a possible upcoming album and world tour in the works, Smith says the entertainment biz may not be enough. “There’s a contribution to the world inside of me that I can’t reach,” he told correspondent Tracy Smith. “There’s a thing that I’m supposed to be doing, there’s a person that I want to be … There’s so much more that I feel that I have to offer that I can’t access in myself.”

What could that be, you ask?

Read more »

Christie: Who’s Going to Take Care of War Orphans?

Christie 2016 campaign video

We’ve been chronicling 2016 hopeful Chris Christie’s rise in the presidential race for a few weeks now. His increased media attention hasn’t translated into a huge bump in the polls, but for Christie at least it’s a start. He’s gotten Donald Trump’s attention, at least!

While Christie first made his push on the strength of a speech about a more compassionate drug policy, he’s shifted his tone since the Paris terrorist attacks on November 13th. As Slate’s Jim Newell points out, Christie is starting to sound just like George W. Bush on the campaign trail.

“Let me tell you as a former prosecutor, as I began to watch the event unfold last night: I am convinced that was a terrorist attack,” Christie said at yesterday’s Republican Jewish Coalition candidates’ forum. “If a center for the developmentally disabled in San Bernardino, California can be a target for a terrorist attack, then every place in America is a target for a terrorist attack.” Christie then “then launched into a five-minute retelling of what he, his family, his friends, and his neighbors were doing on Sept. 11, 2001,” as Newell writes. Read more »

In His Hour of Need, Donald Trump Turns to None Other Than Milton Street

Donald Trump had a rather embarrassing setback earlier this week: He canceled a press conference with 100 black pastors after some of them flat-out denied his presidential campaign’s claim that they would be endorsing him. On Wednesday, in an apparent attempt to show that he, in fact, has real support from real black clergy members, Trump brought a small group of African-Americans who he said were pastors on stage with him at a campaign rally in Virginia.

To be sure, many of them were religious leaders. But one of them definitely was not: former Pennsylvania state senator and ex-con Milton Street. Read more »

Donald Trump Goes After Chris Christie on Twitter: “New Jerseyans Not Happy”


Donald Trump has a long history in New Jersey. He brought three casinos to Atlantic City, then saw them go bankrupt, reducing his ownership share of the lone Trump-branded casino to a minuscule one. His name is also on Jersey City’s Trump Plaza, a residential building.

Well, the businessman and possible next president of the United States has turned his gaze to New Jersey today. Fellow presidential hopeful Chris Christie, the governor of New Jersey, has been rising in polls and making conservatives think he might be the one to dethrone Trump from his GOP frontrunner throne.

Trump’s tweet is in response to the New Hampshire Union Leader‘s endorsement of Chris Christie. “Chris Christie is a solid, pro-life conservative who has managed to govern in liberal New Jersey, face down the big public unions, and win a second term,” wrote Union Leader publisher Joseph McQuaid. “Gov. Christie can work across the aisle, but he won’t get rolled by the bureaucrats. We don’t need as President some well-meaning person from the private sector who has no public experience.”

I don’t know if I can believe the word of a man who spells his last name incorrectly, and the endorsement may not help Christie that much, but Trump decided he needed to tweet a putdown anyway. Read more »

Conservatives Contemplating Chris Christie Comeback

Christie 2016 campaign video

George Will, the longtime conservative commentator for the Washington Post, wrote a column last night saying that, after the terrorist attacks in Paris, there’s only one presidential candidate to turn to: Chris Christie.

Pitching Christie as an alternative to political neophytes Donald Trump, Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina — and as better than, I am not kidding here, the values expressed in John Lennon’s “Imagine” — Will writes that “no candidate in the Republican field can match Christie’s combination of a prosecutor’s bearing and a governor’s executive temperament.” Will then spends most of the column bashing Trump, which he’s done consistently. Read more »

Mike Huckabee Sued for Using Rocky III Theme Song

Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee has been sued by Survivor band member, guitarist and songwriter Frankie Sullivan for using his 1982 hit “Eye of the Tiger” at a campaign stop in Kentucky.

The lawsuit was filed in federal court in Chicago on Wednesday by copyright holder Rude Music, which is owned by Sullivan. It alleges that Huckabee violated copyright law when he played the song at a rally in September that featured Kim Davis, the former county clerk who became a symbol of the Republican party after she refused to issue marriage licenses to gay couples. It blared as Davis emerged from Carter County Detention Center — where she was serving time for her actions.

Read more »

After JV Debate, Christie Gets Praise From Fox Owner

It’s been an interesting week or so for Chris Christie. He has gotten by far his most traction of the campaign with his heartfelt speech about addiction, but he also was dropped to the undercard debate yesterday due to sagging poll ratings.

And so last night Fox Business Network held two debates, and Christie was in the one that started at 7. He spent most of his time attacking Hillary Clinton.

“I want to talk about what’s going to happen to this country if we have another four years of Barack Obama’s policies,” Christie said during the debate. He essentially avoided squabbling with the other three candidates, Mike Huckabee, Bobby Jindal and Rick Santorum. “The bottom line is Hillary Clinton is coming for your wallet, everyone,” Christie said. “Don’t worry about Huckabee and Jindal. Worry about her.” Read more »

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