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Republicans must look to Cleveland to expand 2016 presidential chances

Republican National Committee officials announced recently that the party's nominating convention for the next presidential election will be held in Cleveland or Dallas.
“These world-class cities have the ability to provide our next presidential nominee a launching pad that will put a Republican in the White House in 2016,” said site-selection chairman Enid Mickelsen. Given the ultimate goal, the GOP's big bash should be in Ohio. A lot more than one election is riding on the next campaign for the Oval Office. After losing the popular vote in five of the last six presidential contests, many of the Republican faithful are wondering whether the party establishment is still capable of winning nationally. Read the entire piece here. 

What Does Cantor’s Loss Mean for U.S. Immigration Reform?

Inter-American Dialogues
From the analyses I've read of the Cantor-Brat congressional primary race, the immigration issue was a factor — but not the decisive factor— in David Brat's upset victory. 
Other factors, it seems, were more important: Cantor's increasingly national role in the Republican congressional leadership, which reduced his time and in-person visibility in his Richmond-area district; the fact that Republicans in the Virginia legislature, seeking to make Cantor's district more secure, added new areas to it in redistricting to which Cantor's ties were still weak; and Brat's success in identifying Cantor with an 'establishment' that was 'soft' on Wall Street excesses.
Other Republican candidates favoring immigration reform and facing primary challenges — notably South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham — won their primaries handily. It seems obvious that it was less Cantor's stance on immigration than the current crisis at the Mexican border, with tens of thousands of undocumented minors arriving suddenly — a more than 800 percent increase over 2013 juvenile arrivals—that has raised the salience of the immigration issue in 2014. For most Democrats, the immigration issue is simpler, since it handily fits into the 'grievance group politics' paradigm that has propelled the party for the last half-century—and the new arrivals promise mainly to swell Democratic voter rolls once they're legalized. For Republicans, the issue is trickier, involving a balancing of humanitarian, legal, regional and national interests, and constituent sentiment—and how Republican candidates will 'play' it will depend on their reading of voter sentiment, constituency by constituency, in these mid-term elections." 

Drone memo author doesn’t understand justice

The Senate is expected to vote on Thursday, after a Wednesday procedural vote, on the nomination of David Barron to the First U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston. Barron is known infamously as the author of secret Department of Justice (DOJ) drone memos used by President Obama to justify the extrajudicial killing of American citizens overseas. In fulfillment of Obama's frequently expressed wish for greater bipartisanship, a righteous coalition led by Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ken., and a few Senate democrats propped up by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) are working to stop Barron's unmerited promotion. Read the full piece here.

What Do Opposition Electoral Gains Mean for Ecuador?

Inter-American Dialogues The municipal defeats of President Correa's Alianza Pais in Ecuador's 10 largest cities, including Quito, Guayaquil and Cuenca, in last month's elections do not signal the end for Correa's government, but perhaps the beginning of the end. The losses were due to a host of differing local issues and can't necessarily be read as a referendum on Correa, whose term runs through 2017 in any case. The opposition remains divided and lacks a comparably prominent leaders -- though the election results may give Quito's new mayor, Mauricio Rodas, a chance to audition for that role.  Read the full piece here.

Defending Mr. Disney

Managing director Clark S. Judge discusses accusations of anti-Semitism against Walt Disney, and describes a particular trend in Hollywood. As a child, I was fascinated by Walt Disney.  Not by his cartoons.  Not by the Mouseketeers.  Not by Davy Crocket.  But by Disney himself, the creator of the company that produced all those films and TV shows.  So I was dismayed two weeks ago when, as you have no doubt heard, actress Meryl Streep accused Disney of being a “gender bigot” and an anti-Semite. Ms. Streep leveled the charges in the course of presenting a best actress award to Emma Thompson for her work in Saving Mr. Banks, which is about Disney, the children’s book author P.L Travers and the making of Mary Poppins.  Commentators have noted that Streep spoke midway through the voting period for the Oscars.  In a Hollywood meets Washington move, Streep was, some suggest, attempting to deny Thompson that highest profile Best Actress nod, and if so, she succeeded.  Thompson and her film failed to snag a single major slot on this year’s lists. Of course, Streep said the other day that she was “shocked” at Thompson being bumped from the Oscar lists, “shocked,” some say, in a Claude Raines Casablanca style.  Ms. Streep is among the five nominees. But what about the charges?  Was Disney misogynous or anti-Semitic? Read the full piece here.

Is Money Too Easy…or Too Tight?

Managing director Clark S. Judge explained the trouble with the housing market. Last week, I posted a summary to a New York Times op-ed by financial crisis expert Peter Wallison. Wallison had argued that a new housing bubble was developing.  I included with my summary a chart that he circulated privately to back up his claim. In a comment on my post, J Climacus wrote: “I’d like to see a debate between you and [American Enterprise Institute scholar and Ricochet contributor] Jim Pethokoukis, who seems convinced that the problem is that there hasn’t been enough easy money, not that there is too much.” To me Mr. Climacus’ comment pointed to some of the most urgent issues in the economy today and widely spread confusion about them. I felt the response deserved a full post. Read the full piece here.

Remembering Judge William P. Clark, Ronald Reagan’s Personal Emissary

Managing director Clark S. Judge describes a man who was an integral part of the Reagan administration. William P. Clark — Judge Clark, as he was known in Washington during the Reagan years — passed away on Saturday.  He was a deeply good man and an essential contributor to the successful resolution of the Cold War.  The obituaries will tell you the main parts of his story, but on one point all those I have seen so far are wrong. Noting that no aide was personally closer to Mr. Reagan than Bill Clark, they all say that after serving as Deputy Secretary of State, National Security Advisor and Interior Secretary, in 1985 he left government and returned home to California.  Here is how I discovered that this last detail — left government and returned home in 1985 — wasn’t true, or at least, wasn’t the whole truth, by a long shot. Read the full piece here.

GOP Wise Up: New Media = Smarter Campaigns

Managing director Clark S. Judge provided advice on new media and modern political campaigns. I was in a meeting with a nationally respected consultant to political campaigns this morning. We were talking about how the web had changed campaigns. His answer: Substance is becoming king. “Take endorsements,” he said. “When TV drove campaigns, all you would see about newspaper editorials in campaign advertising was the banner, ‘L.A. Times or O.C. Register endorses.’ Now with the web a smart campaign takes every substantive sentence and dwells on it. The facts and detail appear in any number of posts and ads. They get DISCUSSED.” With the web, he said, campaigns must build deep cases around their positions, marshaling facts and arguments to a degree that campaign advisors have disdained for more than a decade. Read the full piece here.

What 2016 GOPers Need: Knowledge and Power

In a recent USNews.com article, White House Writers Group Senior Director Joshua Gilder discusses the book "Knowledge and Power," written by George Gilder, and why Republicans today should internalize its message. The full article can be found here.

The Crisis In Entrepreneurial Finance: The Death of ‘Liquidity Event’ IPOs

Managing director Clark S. Judge outlined recent IPO developments and the death of 'liquidity event' IPOs. Why are the American economy and the number of American jobs growing so slowly?  A few days ago, I stumbled on one answer.  And for once, it didn’t have to do – or, at least, much to do — with economy’s mismanagement by the current administration. As part of a swing through California, I spent a morning with one of Silicon Valley’s most experienced and impressive serial entrepreneurs.  I’ve lost track of all the ventures he has started or captained.  But from twenty years in the tech community, he has gained unparalleled insight into the entrepreneurial ecosystem in our time. Read the full piece here.