PowerLine – Where is Marco Rubio, and why?

PowerLine –  Where is Marco Rubio, and why?


Where is Marco Rubio, and why?

Posted: 03 Apr 2016 03:28 PM PDT

(Paul Mirengoff)Rich Lowry asks a question that has been on my mind: “Where the hell is Marco Rubio.” As I noted a week and a half ago, “for at least a week there have be reports that Rubio is ‘nearing’ and/or ‘edging towards’ a decision to endorse Cruz.” I added:

I don’t know what he’s waiting for. There isn’t much substantive difference between the two Senators and no one has made the anti-Trump case more forcefully than Rubio.

If Lindsey Graham can bite the bullet and back Cruz, Marco Rubio certainly should be able to. With early primary voting ongoing, sooner is better.

Lowry quotes a New York Times article which offers a possible explanation for why Rubio hasn’t bitten the bullet:

Mr. Rubio, who praised Mr. Cruz as “the only conservative left in the race” after his exit, has been perhaps the most conspicuous holdout. He is one of the few Republican senators who gets along well with Mr. Cruz, and the two have been in touch since Mr. Rubio withdrew from the race.

But Mr. Rubio is likely to run again for president in 2020 should Republicans lose the White House this year, and, in making scores of thank-you calls to donors in recent days, he has been discouraged by some party financiers from supporting Mr. Cruz, according to a Republican strategist briefed on the calls.

Without Mr. Rubio’s imprimatur, many of his backers seem disinclined to back Mr. Cruz.

If Rubio actually is unwilling to back Cruz — and thereby try to save the Republican Party from a Donald Trump takeover — because some financial backers are discouraging him from doing so, this would mean that he is neither principled nor a leader. It should, as Lowry says, be remembered. Indeed, it should disqualify from the presidency.

If Rubio is withholding his endorsement for some other reason, I would like to know what that reason is.

Justice Scalia will be missed at the Birchmere

Posted: 03 Apr 2016 03:05 PM PDT

(Paul Mirengoff)The Birchmere is a legendary music hall in Alexandria, Virginia. It presents top-notch bluegrass, country, folk, and jazz performers.

In honor of its 50th anniversary, the Washington Post asked some of the artists who know the club best to share their recollections. All of the responses are worth checking out, but Power Line readers may be most interested in that of 14-time Grammy Award winner Ricky Skaggs. He says, in part:

Every January I play my first shows of the year there with Kentucky Thunder. We work on new songs to see how they fly, and that helps us set the tone for the rest of the year. The Birchmere has a great crowd that’s willing to let us showcase new things.

Sadly, it will never be the same without Justice Scalia. He came to see us at the Birchmere all the time, including this past January. That’s why it was so heartbreaking when he passed right after that. He loved classical music and bluegrass, and playing the Birchmere without him in the audience will certainly be a change.

Yet another dimension of this giant.

Donald Trump reviews

Posted: 03 Apr 2016 02:13 PM PDT

(Scott Johnson)Borrowing from Josh Marshall, Jack Shepherd summarizes the Trump formula on Twitter: “Each tweet is made up of two short declarative sentences, followed by a short, derisive blast at the end. Once you start to notice it, you can’t get it out of your head. This is how it works. It’s very effective! And when you know the formula, it’s easy to accurately predict how Trump might, for instance, review classic works of literature.” Putting the formula to work, he then gives us 12 great novels reviewed by Donald Trump. I’ve been working on King Lear:

Screen Shot 2016-04-03 at 4.02.13 PM King has three daughters. Can’t tell which really love him. Splits his kingdom and gives it away to two who don’t–before he dies. Leaves out only loving daughter. Nowhere to go. Sad!

Well, it’s probably a little over 140 characters, but I didn’t want to leave out the important parts even if I couldn’t make it out of Act I. Hard!

Sanders to Charities: Drop Dead

Posted: 03 Apr 2016 09:52 AM PDT

(Steven Hayward)From a 1981 New York Times story, revealing Bernie Sanders as the full totalitarian he is underneath his “democratic” socialism:

For the kickoff of the 40th annual Chittenden County United Way fund-raising drive in Burlington, Vt., the sponsors considered themselves fortunate to have as guests Mayor Bernard Sanders of Burlington and Gov. Richard Snelling of Vermont. . .

”I don’t believe in charities,” said Mayor Sanders, bringing a shocked silence to a packed hotel banquet room. The Mayor, who is a Socialist, went on to question the ”fundamental concepts on which charities are based” and contended that government, rather than charity organizations, should take over responsibility for social programs.

There you have it. Given than so many charities are left-leaning, it is revealing to see how much Sanders hates competition of any kind.

(DHS) Magical Mystery Tour

Posted: 03 Apr 2016 06:51 AM PDT

(Scott Johnson)In “Prosecutors say member of alleged ISIL recruit’s defense team preached jihad,” Star Tribune reporter Stephen Montemayor noted in passing that local imams and Muslim “community leaders” had received a “behind-the-scenes security tour” in February at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. Montemayor mentioned the tour when he noted that Hassan Mohamud — “Sheikh Hassan” — had been “uninvited” from the tour.

What??? What tour?

That’s where Montemayor left matters, so I asked airport spokesman Patrick Hogan about it. Hogan gave me the courtesy of a prompt response, though he denied any knowledge of the tour. He also referred me to the Transportation Security Administration and to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. A TSA spokesman denied knowledge (wrongly, as it turned out). Several calls to CBP resulted in a bingo with midwest CBP spokesman Kristoffer Grogan in Michigan. Grogan called in response to my inquiries at the airport and emailed me the following explanation:

Per our conversation U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) conducted a community engagement tour at the St. Paul International Airport on February 18th. The tour included roughly 20 community members from the greater Minneapolis area and was facilitated through the DHS Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties. The tour showed the participants the process that all arriving passengers go through when arriving at the Federal Inspection Services (FIS) area at Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport. CBP conducts these types of tours regularly as part of our outreach efforts to improve ties between CBP and our community members.

The tour was conducted by U.S. Customs and Border Protection leadership assigned to the Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport. I currently do not have a list of those who attended the tour. You would need to reach out to the DHS Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties for that information.

So I called the DHS Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties at the number provided by Grogan. DHS instructed me to email my inquiry to their public affairs address. I wrote with the subject “Request for information regarding security tour of MSP International Airport given to imams by CBP on February 18.” This was my request:

[The March 29] Star Tribune refers in passing to a behind the scenes security tour given to local imams and Muslim community leaders at the Minneapolis-St Paul International Airport [in February]. They report that Imam Hassan Muhamad was “disinvited” from the tour. I have confirmed the date/location/purpose of the tour with CBP midwest spokesman Kristoffer Grogan. He tells me that the tour was “facilitated” by the DHS Office of Civil Rights and has referred me to you for additional information regarding invitees and details regarding the tour.

I am following up on Mr. Grogan’s referral. I am seeking the information regarding the tour including: invitees, participants, tour guides, areas toured, and the nature of any security checks conducted before extending the invitations.

I received this ludicrously unilluminating response from DHS press secretary Marsha Catron:


We cannot comment on individual cases due to privacy concerns. However, the Department of Homeland Security does not at any time nor for any reason bar a participant from an event based on protected First Amendment activity.

If an event takes place at a secure facility, a security or background check may be run on an individual before he or she is allowed to enter a secure location.

She added an equally uninformative sentence for my “BACKGROUND use.” I wrote her back:

Marsha: I understand. This is to request the other information: invitees, attendees, areas of the airport that were toured, who conducted the tour and so on.

Thank you.

And again:

I am writing to make one more request for the additional information I sought earlier this week. Please give me the courtesy of a response.

No response.

This is an interim report, I think. I’m going to keep asking.

UPDATE: In response to my inquiry this morning, Ms. Catron indicates she will advise me of the department’s procedure for submitting a FOIA request. I have now submitted my request through the department’s FOIA page. Why this should be necessary for the basic information sought is beyond me.

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