What's for lunch today? In many Texas prisons, nothing. The Times had a remarkable story tucked inside Friday's paper noting that Rick Perry's administration has decided to stop serving lunch on Saturdays and Sundays in order to help deal with the state's budget troubles. Not serving lunch to 23,000 inmates is the better part of $2.8 million in prison-system savings being sought this year.
Marco Rubio just put out a sharply-worded rebuttal to today's talker, the Washington Post's disclosure that the senator's parents left Cuba for Florida in 1956, two and a half years before Fidel Castro seized power -- contradicting Rubio, who often left the impression (including on his own Web site) that they were part of the wave of exiles that fled Castro. In his rebuttal for Politico ("exclusive!"), Rubio writes: If The Washington Post wants to criticize me for getting a few dates wrong, I accept that.
There's been some online chortling today about some seemingly off-message comments by Tommy Thompson, the lugubrious-looking former Wisconsin governor, who is planning to seek the open Senate seat in Wisconsin next year. Thompson, who also served as HHS secretary under George W. Bush, made some unusual comments about end of life care, suggesting that many Americans go out of their way to approve extreme measures to keep their older family members alive in the final stages of life out of guilt over not having spent enough time with them.
It looks like Karl Rove and his friends at American Crossroads did not get word of Bill Clinton's claim that he was misunderstood when he expressed doubts in a Newsmax interview last month about President Obama's plan to raise taxes on the wealthy, the so-called "Buffett Rule." In his initial remarks, Clinton said he was against raising taxes "until we get this economy off the ground" and then added for good measure: "We don't have a lot of resentment against people who are successful. We kind of like it, Americans.
Overshadowed by the immigration rumble between Mitt Romney and Rick Perry in the Las Vegas debate was a string of statements that sounded awfully heretical -- a sign, perhaps, that economic anxiety and even the Occupy Wall Street protests are poking ever the tiniest holes in the bubble of GOP orthodoxy. First, there was Rick Santorum noting for the second straight debate that western Europe now has higher rates of upward mobility than the land of Horatio Alger -- and this time he didn't even blame this on Barack Obama.
Over the course of the next year, there will be much talk about Democrats who are or are not keeping distance between their own reelection campaigns and that of Barack Obama. This is as it should be when you've got a president running with sub-50 percent approval ratings.
Well, this much is clear: Rick Perry's campaign takes its cues from this blog, which just a few days ago asked in a headline, "Time for Perry to Bring up Mitt's lawn care?" Apparently, it was time.
I'm an admirer of Jonathan Bernstein -- he's got a great new piece up on our home page endeavoring to explain why this year's GOP primary field is so kook-heavy -- but I'm slightly perplexed by his counter to my post yesterday arguing that pundits' stories about battleground states such as North Carolina ought to at least acknowledge state-specific factors such as Art Pope, who has poured millions into dragging the Tar Heel state to the right.
As predictable as the quadrennial leapfrogging of states in the nominating calendar is the posturing by candidates seeking to favor one state over another -- and the posturing of local political elites toward the candidates they feel are not paying their states sufficient obeisance.
If Newt Gingrich holds to form in Tuesday night's GOP presidential primary debate in Nevada, he may well decide to answer a question on health care policy by invoking the threat of "death panels." He backed up Sarah Palin when she first tossed that rhetorical grenade against the Democrats' universal health care legislation in the summer of 2009 and he wielded the dread phrase again at the last debate in criticizing the new recommendations against routine testing for prostate cancer in older men. My colleague Jonathan Cohn did yeoman's work last week in rebutting Gingrich's specific attack on