TheDC Morning

TheDC Morning: Hawkeye for that Rand guy

Jamie Weinstein Senior Writer
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1.) Hawkeye for that Rand guy — Rand Paul is leading the GOP field in Iowa. TheDC’s Alexis Levinson reports:

“In an early poll conducted in Iowa, the state that holds the first presidential nominating caucus in the country, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul far outpaced his potential Republican presidential opponents. A poll conducted by Illinois-based pollster McKeon & Associates for Freedom to Choose PAC, a pro-gun group, found Paul with an early lead over other possible presidential contenders. …Among voters who said they usually took part in the Republican presidential caucuses, 39 percent said they would vote for Paul if the caucuses were held today. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio was in a distant second place with 20 percent. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was at 11 percent, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush was at 10 percent, and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal was tied with former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice at three percent.”

Too bad for him that the Iowa caucuses aren’t for nearly three years and there are no declared candidates, including himself. But things probably won’t change, right? Still, it shows Rand is attracting attention from the GOP base.

2.) On the trail with the Cooch — One reporter. One would-be governor. One unforgettable day that could shape Virginia — and change the world. TheDC’s Alex Pappas reports:

“It’s Saturday morning in this small town in northwest Virginia and Ken Cuccinelli is chatting with a voter about televisions in prison.’Why do they get all these benefits as prisoners?’ the man asks the Republican attorney general of Virginia. ‘AC, TV?’ ‘Well they don’t get AC everywhere,’ Cuccinelli explains. ‘They don’t get ACs in our prisons. They may get it in some federal prisons, but in Virginia, frankly, our prisons are so old, they’re not in great facilities.’ As the 44-year-old aspiring governor continues talking about the commonwealth’s judicial and penal system, the thousands of people with cotton candy and funnel cakes in their hands at the annual Apple Blossom Festival don’t seem to realize that the guy who could become their next governor is there too.”

OK, the day changing the world thing might have been a small exaggeration. But read the whole encounter. Ken Cuccinelli holds statewide office in Virginia, but Virginians don’t seem to be aware of that or who he is.

3.) Immigration stimulation — The immigration bill is good for the U.S. The immigration bill is bad for the U.S. It all depends on who you talk to and which study you believe. TheDC’s Neil Munro reports:

“Advocates say the Senate’s pending immigration bill will give the economy a shot in the arm, opponents counter that low-skill immigrants cost taxpayers more than they — or their U.S.-born children — can repay over many decades. The stimulus aspect is important for the controversy, partly because advocates are looking for ways to offset the public’s worries about the cost of importing 30 million immigrants into an economy with 20 million unemployed or underemployed Americans. Any economic boost would also be important because it would contradict the Heritage Foundation’s May 6 estimate that the legalization of 11 million illegal immigrants would cost Americans $6.3 trillion over the next five decades. Advocates for the bill include progressive, libertarian and industry lobbies. …A report by Doug Holtz-Eakin, the director of the right-leaning American Action Forum, says the bill would provide a 10-year, $2.5 trillion increase in tax revenue for the federal government and boost per-capita income by $1,700 by the end of the decade. A 2012 Cato study predicted a $1.5 trillion boost to GDP over 10 years.”

But conservatives have tended to favor dynamic scoring in the past, something the Heritage study doesn’t do.

4.) Penn Jillette has a few opinions Some people are inherently interesting. Penn Jillette is one of them. TheDC’s Jamie Weinstein recently talked to him in Las Vegas:

“’My whole libertarian approach comes out of being just a nutty fucking peacenik,” magician Penn Jillette confides backstage at his show, a few hours before he is set to perform. ‘A lot of people make this argument that the free market will do everything right,’ he explains. ‘I have no evidence for that. I don’t believe that. I have no evidence that libertarianism leads to a better life. I just think it is morally right. My position is I can’t find a way that anything should be done by force that I wouldn’t do by force myself.'”

Read the full profile. You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. You may even disappear.

5.) Tweet of Yesterday — Andy Levy: and when you look up “cliche”… RT @espn: When you look up “clutch” in the dictionary, there’s a picture of Nate Robinson.

6.) Today in North Korean News — BREAKING: “S. Korean Puppet Army’s Spy Drone Crashes”

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Jamie Weinstein