Editors' Blog

Tense

One of the Oregon occupiers is resisting surrendering to authorities and could be heard on a live audio feed saying, "I am actually feeling suicidal right now." We profiled him here.

Oh My

We can by no means take this as a disinterested claim. And no specific names are mentioned. But a high-ranking Iranian government official, who is an appointee of reformist President Hassan Rouhani, says that Republicans asked the Iranians to delay last months prisoner exchange deal until after the Presidential election.

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Who Is Ted Cruz's Pal Mike Bickle?

Ted Cruz is starting to draw heat for his alliance with and endorsement from a far-right Christianist leader named Mike Bickle, who says God sent Hitler to hunt Jews, that a new era of concentration camps awaits Jews before they find Jesus. Jesus will also soon kill the head of the United Nations at some point in the near future among other things Bickle says Jesus is working on. In other words, he's an awesome guy. And he's out there raising support Cruz among evangelicals. But among other things Bickle runs something called the International House of Prayer (yes, IHOP!) in Grandview, Missouri. And a year ago, Sarah Posner wrote a lengthy expose on the mix of fanaticism, abusive practices toward young volunteers and even criminality that seems rife in the place. You can read it right here. It's an amazing piece (sub req).

Rubes Down

A few quotes.

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-SC): “He had big momentum out of Iowa, and it wasn’t maintained. It’s funny how people can peak and never recover.”

Steve Schmidt, GOP strategist: “A fifth place finish in New Hampshire means effectively he’s bleeding out."

John McCain, crusty old guy: "He himself said, ‘Nobody but me. I take responsibility for it.’ I agree with him."

Long Time Comin'

Boom, it's a Bundy twofer (threefer?).

The FBI arrested Cliven Bundy last night in Portland on charges related to the 2014 standoff at his ranch in Nevada. Bundy had just arrived in Portland to protest his two sons' arrests in the ongoing refuge standoff.

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Breaking: FBI Moves In

As you can see in our feature, we are monitoring an unfolding situation at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, where the FBI has moved in to end the stand off. Details and updates here.

Among the Jedi Knights of Assholery

Choice little nugget from CNN's big piece on New Hampshire. Trump approaches Christie during debate commercial break ...

Though on the sidelines, Trump underscored the power of the moment during the commercial break as Christie walked across the stage to see his wife. Someone grabbed Christie's arm from behind, and the New Jersey governor turned to see none other than the taunter-in-chief Donald Trump.

"Oh my God. That was brutal," Trump muttered to Christie on the debate stage, according to someone familiar with the exchange. "Tremendous."

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Rubio's Whole Career Probably Ended Last Night

In a year when Donald Trump is now the prohibitive favorite to win the Republican nomination, It is likely wise not to rule anything out. But it is also worth noting that in addition to almost certainly ending Marco Rubio's presidential campaign, Chris Christie probably also ended Rubio's political career.

Rubio was elected to the Senate in the Tea Party flood-tide of 2010. So this is the last year of his Senate term. And he has said consistently that he will not run for reelection even if he drops out of the presidential race.

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Strong Horse, Weak Horse

I believe we can say with a reasonably high level of confidence that Marco Rubio's quest for the presidency is over. I don't expect he realizes it yet. I don't expect he'll drop out any time soon. But a broad appraisal of the fundamentals should tell us fairly clearly that the end is only a matter of time. Late on Saturday evening I started to think if I could remember a debate where one candidate had damaged another candidate quite that badly in a single encounter. The only instance that came to mind was Lloyd Bentsen's notorious "you're no Jack Kennedy" assault on Dan Quayle in 1988.

But on reflection I realized that Christie's evisceration of Rubio was worse.

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