H/T Right Scoop
TED CRUZNICKNAME: CRUZ CONTROL
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Authored 70 U.S. Supreme Court briefs
Argued nine cases (five successfully) before the U.S. Supreme Court
Former partner at the Morgan, Lewis & Bockius law firm
Former Solicitor General of Texas
Former Director of the Federal Trade Commission’s Office of Policy Planning
Former associate deputy U.S. Attorney General
Former domestic policy advisor for George W. Bush’s 2000 presidential campaign
Former Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Texas School of Law, specializing in U.S. Supreme Court litigation
Former associate at the Cooper, Carvin & Rosenthal law firm
Former law clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist
Former law clerk for U.S. Court of Appeals Judge J. Michael Luttig
JD – Harvard Law School (magna cum laude)
BA – Princeton University (cum laude)
1988 Class Valedictorian – Second Baptist High School of Houston, TX
SCOTT WALKERNICKNAME: WALKER, TAXES RANGER
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Governor of Wisconsin
Former Milwaukee County Executive
Former member of the American Legislative Exchange Council
Former Wisconsin State Assemblyman
Former financial specialist at the American Red Cross
Marquette University attendee
Former representative of the American Legion’s Boys Nation leadership and government training program
Former Eagle Scout
BEN CARSONNICKNAME: DR. FEELGOOD
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Member of the American Academy of Achievement
Member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society
Member of the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans
Former Professor of neurosurgery, oncology, plastic surgery, and pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
Former Director of pediatric neurosurgery at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center
Recipient of Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor
Recipient of Jefferson Award for Greatest Public Service Benefiting the Disadvantaged
Recipient of the William E. Simon Prize for Philanthropic Leadership
Recipient of the Ford’s Theatre Lincoln Medal, for exemplifying the qualities embodied by President Abraham Lincoln – including courage, integrity, tolerance, equality, and creative expression – through superior achievements
Elected into the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine, considered one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine
Ranked by Gallup as the sixth most admired man in the world
Designated a Library of Congress Living Legend
Awarded 38 honorary doctorate degrees
MD – University of Michigan Medical School
BA – Yale University
MARCO RUBIONICKNAME: MR. AMNESTY MAN
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Former private law practitioner in Miami, FL
Former visiting professor at Florida International University’s Metropolitan Center
Former Florida State Chairman of GOPAC
Former Speaker of the Florida State House of Representatives
Former Majority Leader of the Florida State House of Representatives
Former Majority Whip of the Florida State House of Representatives
Former Florida State Representative
Former City Commissioner for West Miami, FL
Former intern of U.S. Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen
JD – University of Miami, FL (cum laude)
BS – University of Florida
RAND PAULNICKNAME: MINI-ME
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Former campaign manager for U.S. Representative Ron Paul
Founder of the North Carolina Taxpayers Union
Founder and Chairman of Kentucky Taxpayers United
Founder of the Southern Kentucky Lions Eye Clinic
Former private medical practitioner in Bowling Green, KY
Former Resident at Duke University Medical Center
MD – Duke University Medical Center
Fomer member of the Young Conservatives of Texas
Baylor University honors program enrollee
MIKE HUCKABEENICKNAME: THE HUCKSTER
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Former host of Fox News channel’s Huckabee television program
Former Governor of Arkansas
Former Lieutenant Governor of Arkansas
Former television producer and documentarian
Former host of the Positive Alternatives television program
Former pastor at Immanuel Baptist Church in Pine Bluff, AR
Former pastor at Beech Street Baptist Church in Texarkana, AR
Former staffer for televangelist James Robison
BA – Ouachita Baptist University (magna cum laude)
Former news radio broadcaster
DONALD TRUMPNICKNAME: THE DONALD
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Former producer and host of ‘The Celebrity Apprentice’ television program
Former producer and host of ‘The Apprentice’ television program
Founder, Chairman, President, and CEO of the Trump Organization
Chairman of Trump Hotels and Casino Resorts, Inc.
Owner of various product and service brands including: Trump Financial, Trump Sales and Leasing, Trump Restaurants, Trump Catering, Trump Ice Cream Parlor, GoTrump, Donald J. Trump Signature Collection, Donald Trump – The Fragrance, Trump Magazine, Trump Golf, Trump Chocolate, Trump Home, Trump Productions, Trump Institute, Trump – The Game, Donald Trump’s Real Estate Tycoon, Trump Books, Trump Model Management, Trump Shuttle, Trump Ice, Trump Mortgage, Trump Vodka, and Trump Steaks
Owner of the Miss USA beauty pageant
Owner of the Miss Universe beauty pageant
Developer and owner of Trump International Golf Links in various locations, including: Doonbeg Ireland, Aberdeen Scotland, West Palm Beach FL, Rancho Palos Verdes CA, Bedminster NJ, Washington DC, Westchester NY, Philadelphia PA, Charlotte NC, and Colts Neck NJ
Developer and owner of Trump International Hotel and Tower complexes in various locations, including: Honolulu HI, Toronto Canada, Las Vegas NV, New York NY, and Chicago IL
Former owner of the New Jersey Generals USFL football team
Developer and owner of Trump Tower in New York, NY
BS – Wharton School of Finance at the University of Pennsylvania
Fordham University attendee
Former cadet Captain at the New York Military Academy
CHRIS CHRISTIENICKNAME: GOVERNOR FAT BASTARD
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Governor of New Jersey
Former U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey
Former member of the Advisory Committee of U.S. Attorneys for Attorneys General John Ashcroft and Alberto Gonzales
Former counsel for George W. Bush’s 2000 presidential campaign
Former lobbyist for GPU Energy, Hackensack University Medical Center, the University of Phoenix, and the Securities Industry Association
Former member of the Board of Chosen Freeholders for Morris County, NJ
Former member of the Election Law Committee of the New Jersey State Bar Association
Former partner at the Dughi, Hewit & Palatucci law firm
JD – Seton Hall University
BA – University of Delaware
JEB BUSHNICKNAME: TWIG
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Former Governor of Florida
Former Executive Director of the 1992 Florida Bush-Quayle campaign
Former Chairman of the 1990 Bob Martinez Gubernatorial campaign
Former Florida State Secretary of Commerce
Former Chairman of the Republican Party of Dade County
Former member of the Dade County Homeless Trust
Former Chairman of the South Florida United Negro College Fund’s finance committee
Former co-Chairman of Floridians for Educational Choice
Former co-Founder and board member of the Liberty City Charter School
Former member of the Miami Children’s Hospital Foundation
Former board member of the United Way of Dade County
Former member of the Zoology Society of South Florida
Former Founder and Chairman of the Foundation for Florida’s Future
Former Chairman of the Beacon Council
Former President and CEO of the Codina Group
Former Vice President of the Texas Commerce Bank, Venezuela
BA – University of Texas
JOHN KASICHNICKNAME: MR. PERSONALITY
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Governor of Ohio
Former Chairman of Recharge Ohio PAC
Former host of Fox News channel’s Heartland with John Kasich television program
Former Managing Director of Lehman Brothers’ investment banking division
Former associate at Schottenstein Stores Corporation
Former board member of Invacare Corporation
Former board member of Norvax Corporation
Chief architect of the 1997 Balanced Budget Act
Former U.S. Representative
Former Ohio State Senator
Former aide to Ohio State Senator Donald Lukens
Former researcher for the Ohio Legislative Service Commission
BA – Ohio State University
THE FOLLOWING CANDIDATES WILL BE ATTENDING THE 5PM FOX LEFTOVERS DEBATE
RICK PERRYNICKNAME: TEX-SPECS
BOBBY JINDALNICKNAME: BIBBIDI-BOBBIDI-BOO
RICK SANTORUMNICKNAME: SWEATER VEST
CARLY FIORINANICKNAME: THAT CHICK FROM THAT THING
LINDSEY GRAHAMNICKNAME: LINDSEY GRAHAMNESTY
GEORGE PATAKINICKNAME: THE PRETENDER
JIM GILMORENICKNAME: WHO?
On Tuesday, Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval signed into law the nation’s fifth education savings account (ESA) program, and the first to offer ESAs to all students who previously attended a public school. Earlier this year, Sandoval signed the state’s first educational choice law, a very limited scholarship tax credit. Despite their limitations, both programs greatly expand educational freedom, and will serve as much-needed pressure-release valves for the state’s overcrowding challenge.
When Nevada parents remove their child from her assigned district school, the state takes 90 percent of the statewide average basic support per pupil (about $5,100) and instead deposits it into a private, restricted-use bank account. The family can then use those funds to purchase a wide variety of educational products and services, such as textbooks, tutoring, educational therapy, online courses, and homeschool curricula, as well as private school tuition. Low-income students and students with special needs receive 100 percent of the statewide average basic support per pupil (about $5,700). Unspent funds roll over from year to year.
The eligibility requirements for ESA programs in other states are more restrictive. In Florida, Mississippi, and Tennessee, ESAs are limited to students with special needs. Arizona initially restricted ESA eligibility to students with special needs, though lawmakers have since expanded eligibility to include foster children, children of active-duty military personnel, students assigned to district schools rated D or F, gifted students, and children living in Native American reservations.
Research shows that parents in Arizona are overwhelmingly satisfied with the state’s ESA program and, as Lindsey Burke and I recently explained, ESAs are a significant improvement over school vouchers:
ESAs offer several key advantages over traditional school-choice programs. Because families can spend ESA funds at multiple providers and can save unspent funds for later, ESAs incentivize families to economize and maximize the value of each dollar spent, in a manner similar to the way they would spend their own money. ESAs also create incentives for education providers to unbundle services and products to better meet students’ individual learning needs.
One disappointing limitation of Nevada’s ESA is that it is restricted to students who previously attended their assigned district school for at least 100 days. This eligibility requirement unnecessarily excludes students whose assigned school is low-performing, unsafe, or simply not a good fit for that student. It also excludes families and communities who object to what is being taught at the district schools. Hopefully the legislature will expand the ESA eligibility to include all Nevada students in the near future.
After his strong showing at the 2014 Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championships in January, figure-skating sensation Nathan Tom has signed with the Team USA Olympic practice squad.
Tom has unequivocally stated that his goal is to become the first openly straight male figure skater in U.S. Olympic history.
Tom, a 25-year-old former U.S. Army tank commander from Provo, Utah, will join Team USA’s 10-skater Olympic practice squad on Friday, according to U.S. Figure Skating Executive Director Joan Chong.
“I’m excited to be headed to the practice squad and it’s just great to keep skating,” Tom said. “Since I quit my job as a lumberjack, everything has been crazy. It’s awesome, though. I just want to skate as long as I can.”
A fellow member of the Team USA Olympic practice squad, Chett Branson, said he believes Tom will fit in with no problems.
“Everybody on this squad is like a family,” Branson said. “We drink wine together. We see musical theater together. No one is going to criticize a teammate because of his sexual orientation. If he can help us bring home the gold in 2018, then I am eager to skate right beside him.”
Tom, the 2013 U.S. Figure Skating Skater of the Year, is best known for his virtual sweep of the awards at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Boston.
Thanks to a dazzling octuple camel spin immediately followed by a crowd-pleasing, very risky five-rotation axel, Tom skated away with the men’s championship by a wide margin.
He and his pairs partner, Tatiana Horvath-Futas, similarly crushed the competition in the pairs championship. The dancing couple featured a series of lightning fast “death spirals” up and down the ice to wow the judges. They also used a reworked, operatic version of Megadeth’s “The Skull Beneath the Skin” to great theatrical effect.
The 2018 Winter Olympics is scheduled to take place in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
Tom is widely expected to be a shoo-in. He has already announced that he plans to take his entire family to the Olympic Games.
Tom and his wife, Esther, have two sons, Jake and Gunner. The couple is expecting twins in December.
A seemingly long-shot proposal to split California into six smaller U.S. states cleared a major hurdle this week, with the golden state’s secretary of state’s office saying that proponents “may begin collecting petition signatures.”
The initiative is sponsored by Silicon Valley venture capitalist Tim Draper, according to the AFP, and contends that ”political representation of California’s diverse population and economies has rendered the state nearly ungovernable.”
The proposal aims to divide California into ”six smaller state governments, while preserving the historical boundaries of the various counties, cities and towns,” the AFP reported.
States would reportedly include Silicon Valley, South California, West California, Central California, North California and Jefferson, if the proposal is ultimately approved.
The Tuesday move by the secretary of state’s office allows the movement to begin collecting the needed 807,615 signatures necessary for the initiative to arrive on the ballot.
The Boston Red Sox brought joy back to their city Wednesday night.
The Red Sox, for the first time since 1918, won the World Series in front of their fans, pounding the St. Louis Cardinals, 6-1, in front of a raucous sellout crowd of 38,477 at Fenway Park.
BOX SCORE: Red Sox 6, Cardinals 1
It is the Red Sox’s third World Series championship in the last 10 years, but perhaps no title has ever meant more to this city.
At last, they were able to witness the beloved 2013 World Series championship with their own eyes.
Strangers hugged and squeezed one another in the stands. They danced along the aisles. They cheered until their lungs burned.
And, yes, there were tears.
Tears of joy. Tears of elation. Tears of memories from that horrific April 15 afternoon when two bomb blasts brought the Boston Marathon and city to its knees.
Through a surprising worst-to-first campaign, the Red Sox helped provide the people of Boston some measure of joy and happiness and on this gorgeous autumn evening, gave them a championship to forever remember.
“If there was a moment in time that galvanized us,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said, “it was the Marathon bombing. We took it upon ourselves to have a positive impact on a city, and the individuals who were suffering.
“They get it. They get there’s a place in our city, that we represent something significant, and guys embraced that and relished that. We knew this was a moment that this group has a chance to not only to be special, but to do something special.”
This isn’t the most talented team the Red Sox had in the last 10 years. There are no Cy Young or MVP candidates. No one won more than 15 games. Not a single player hit more than 30 homers.
Yet, no one played more like a team, knowing they now had a purpose, believing it was destiny they would win the World Series.
“The story was already written,” Red Sox left fielder Jonny Gomes maintained all season. “We’re just playing it out.”
It was only fitting that the final chapter was laid out Wednesday for all of their fans to see, celebrating one of the most memorable seasons in the annals of Red Sox history.
It was fitting that John Lackey, the man reviled in this city for his past struggles, was the one getting a standing ovation and tipping his cap to the fans after brilliantly handing over a 6-1 lead to this bullpen in the seventh inning.
And it was only fitting that David Ortiz, the man who delivered the most famous words in this city back in April, and gave a pep talk in the middle of Game 4, carried the team on his back with his .688 batting average, making him an overwhelming choice for his first World Series MVP award.
“Nobody expected this,” Ortiz said, “but we never stopped believing.”
Yes, in the legendary words of Ortiz, “This is our [bleeping] city.”
Oh, and how this was their night, one that will be cherished forever.
“We wanted to get back to what Boston is known for,” Farrell said. “In our minds, you associate winning with the city of Boston.
“Our fans have appreciated the way we’ve gone about playing the game. They’ve witnessed guys that care for one another. And, in return, the way they’ve demonstrated their appreciation, the energy that they create in here, we fed off that.
“We’ve been in this together all of the way, and it’s exceeded anything I’ve ever experienced.”
After one false start, the final frontier has finally become open territory for the commercial world, after the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket successfully launched from Cape Canaveral just moments ago.
The private space cargo firm’s historic launch to the International Space Station blasted off at 8.44BST, carrying with it a capsule loaded with 1,000lbs of space station provisions.
Also on-board are the ashes of Star Trek legend James ‘Scotty’ Doohan, fulfilling his final wish to spend eternity resting in space.
Off we go: The Falcon 9 SpaceX rocket is seen during a time exposure as it lifts off Cape Canaveral this morning, flying off to the ISS
Space goes commercial: SpaceX successfully launched this morning at 8.44BST, three days after an aborted attempt
Up, up and away! Sparks fly as the rocket leaves the launch pad and heads to the horizons
The rocket is lost against the inky-black sky during the pre-dawn launch at Cape Canaveral, but the flames light up the surroundings
The mission is the first by a private company to the $100billion orbital outpost, a project of 15 countries.
NASA is investing in SpaceX, as well as four other companies, to fly cargo and eventually astronauts to the station following the retirement of the space shuttles last summer.
The first attempt on Saturday stalled, as the countdown reached all the way to practically zero before there was an automatic shutdown by on-board computers.
So instead of blasting off from Cape Canaveral on a delivery mission to the International Space Station, the rocket remained on its launch pad amid a cloud of engine exhaust.
The engine ignition sequence had started up, but there was an automatic shutdown by on-board computers.
The unfortunate delay caught even NASA’s most seasoned launch commentator off guard.
‘…3-2-1, zero, and liftoff,’ announced commentator George Diller, his voice trailing as the rocket failed to budge. ‘We’ve had a cutoff. Liftoff did not occur.’
Billionaire rocket designer Elon Musk attributed the problem to slightly high combustion chamber pressure on engine No. 5. ‘Will adjust limits for countdown in a few days,’ he wrote via Twitter.
Standing tall: Falcon 9 and Dragon spacecraft, pictured a day before its first launch, are in the final stages of preparation for their historic flight
Only governments have completed such a feat to date, with the SpaceX voyage the first time such a voyage has been completed by a private firm.
Ferrying the Dragon capsule into space, the mission to the ISS will be to deliver 1,000 pounds of non-essential cargo after passing a series of test maneuvers over the course of three days.
If successful in its first-of-a kind mission, the company behind the venture SpaceX would collect the remaining payments on the $396 million contract it has with NASA and then enter into a $1.6 billion agreement for 11 more flights to the ISS.
The first step in the commercialisation of space to non-governmental firms, SpaceX is hoping one day to deliver up to seven passengers to the ISS and other destinations in low-Earth orbit.
The Falcon 9 rocket suffers from an ‘instantaneous launch window’ which means that if they don’t take off at the exact scheduled moment they will have to wait till 3.44 a.m on Tuesday for the pad and the ISS to line up again.
This will be the Falcon’s third flight as SpaceX have already sent the projectile into space on two previous occasions.
But this will be the first time it will dock with the ISS – signalling the first time a commercial enterprise has ever hooked up with the orbiting space station.
However, this mission from a private contractor is not without risk and could very well end in failure, something which SpaceX have been upfront and honest about.
‘Demonstration launches are conducted to determine potential issues so that they might be addressed and – by their very nature – carry a significant risk,’ said a statement by the private space firm according to the Guardian.
‘All spaceflight is incredibly complicated, and this flight introduces a series of new challenges – it is only the third flight of the Falcon 9 rocket, the second of the Dragon capsule, and the first for a number of all-new components necessary to berth with the International Space Station.
‘If any aspect of the mission is not successful, SpaceX will learn from the experience and try again.’
If all goes well though on the next launch, Falcon 9 will carry the Dragon capsule into space and match orbits with the ISS.
Flashback: The launch of Falcon 9 Flight 1 from the SpaceX launch pad at Launch Complex 40, Cape Canaveral, Florida in 2010
The full flight-ready Falcon 9 (left and right) with Dragon capsule onboard stands on the launch pad at SLC-40, Cape Canaveral, Florida
There it will go through a series of tests and will pass around one and a half miles below the station to see if its controls are testing properly.
If that checks out OK, the ISS will allow the Dragon capsule to within 10 feet and pull it in for docking all the while traveling at 17,500 mph.
Staying on board the space station for a week and a half, it will then be re-loaded and sent back to Earth where it will land in the Pacific and be retrieved.
The launch and subsequent mission will be nerve-wracking for SpaceX and Elon Musk, the PayPal entrepreneur who founded the space exploration firm.
An artists view of the space station’s robotic arm reaching out to grab SpaceX’s Dragon capsule which will happen if all goes according to plan after this Saturday’s launch
‘We have to allow for the fact that this is an extremely complex and tough flight. It’s a test flight, not a standard milk run,’ said Alan Stern, a U.S aerospace consultant and former associate administrator in charge of science at Nasa according to the New York Times.
‘Elon Musk and SpaceX have a tremendous track record, and when Falcon 1 failed, they stuck with it and made it work.
‘They will have a failure again, because everyone does, but a test flight is a learning experience.
SpaceX tested the Dragon capsules ability to parachute safely (left) and to splash down in the Pacific (right)
‘Regardless of how successful the flight is, whether it’s complete or partial, it’s a big step forward. This is a sea change.’
Originally, the plan was for SpaceX and their capsule to have docked with the ISS by 2009.
‘Certainly, we would have hoped to have been further ahead,’ said Elon Musk, founder of SpaceX to the New York Times.
‘But I wouldn’t have expected that with great confidence.’