FBI Arrests Cliven Bundy At Portland Airport

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Cliven Bundy, the father of the jailed leader of the Oregon refuge occupation and who was the center of a standoff with federal officials in Nevada in 2014, was arrested in Portland, the FBI said.

Editors' Blog

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 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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We Talked to the Robot

It now seems clear that Marco Rubio, just days ago the consensus pick for Republican nominee, came in 5th place tonight in New Hampshire. If you average it with 3rd place in Iowa, it's 4th place combined. But that's really just putting a pretty face on it. Rubio did promise supporters tonight that he'd never screw up like that again. But it now seems clear that the foreshadowing of this debacle, the frustration, the broken dreams, the failed Turing Test could be seen this afternoon when Rubio's New Hampshire campaign chairman, Cliff Hurst, assaulted a protestor dressed as a robot at a Rubio event.

We tracked the robot down and talked to him about the harrowing incident. Here's our report, just filed by Katherine Krueger.

Christie Called Home

We don't want another Ben Carson type confusion. But Chris Christie - coming in 6th behind Marco Rubio's 5th place finish - says he's heading back to New Jersey rather than going on to South Carolina - to 'take a deep breath' and take stock of his presidential bid.

So presumably he's dropping out.

But it is almost like a moment of concluded destiny or something biblical. The job for which he was sent to earth - or at least sent to run in the 2016 GOP presidential primaries - is done: gutting Marco Rubio and in all likelihood ending the parched Floridian's run for President. So Christie is now being called home. Not to heaven. But to New Jersey.

Rubio Promises 'Never Again'

Rubio comes clean: "I can tell you I know many people are disappointed. I'm disappointed with tonight. But I want you to understand something. I want you to understand something. Our disappointment tonight is not on you. It's on me. It's on me. I did not -- I did not do well on Saturday night. So listen to this: that will never happen again."

Classic Trump

Me. Me. Me.

This is the perfect Trump speech. My family is awesome. I'm awesome. My campaign is awesome. It's awesome. Me. Me. Me. And then the key transition. I will make us winners again. Because I know. Because I'm a winner. Don't be a loser. I'm a winner. People won't laugh at us anymore. We'll stop losing.

There's almost a vicarious, soteriological aspect to it. Elect me and you can participate in my awesomeness.

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