Christine Rousselle - Trump: "Leave Tom Brady Alone"
Posted: 4/25/2016 2:45:00 PM EST

Republican frontrunner Donald Trump delighted Rhode Islanders at a rally in Warwick on Monday when he declared that the NFL needs to "Leave Tom Brady alone."

Earlier in the day, the U.S. Appeals court ruled that Brady had to serve a four-game suspension due to the "Deflategate" controversy. Brady and Trump have been friends for a while, and Brady briefly endorsed Trump for president.

Some other gems from the rally:

On John Kasich's eating habits:

On Twitter:

On "the wall":

On the protesters that frequently disrupted the rally:

Overall, Trump was very well-received in the Ocean State, and he's on track to do very well there on Tuesday. Rhode Island doesn't have a ton of delegates, but as we've seen in recent weeks, every delegate counts.

Justin Holcomb  - North Korean Nuclear Program "More Developed Than We Had Expected"
Posted: 4/25/2016 2:30:00 PM EST

With the recent success of a submarine-launched nuclear missile, North Korea has proven their nuclear weapons development is moving faster than expected.

The timing comes amid political tension for North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and numerous U.N. sanctions placed upon the exiled country.  

Army Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, who commands U.S. forces in the area, warned Monday that North Korea poses "dangerous, persistent, proximate threats" and pleaded for revamped vigilance in the area.  

"Just these last few days, we have witnessed attempts to develop ballistic missile capabilities, as well as claims North Korea will do a fifth nuclear test soon," Scaparrotti said. "In the face of that, we cannot rest ... and we must be vigilant and ready, and I know that you will be."

Although the missile only flew for 20 miles, South Korean defense officials and analysts said the submarine-launched ballistic missile test over the weekend showed technical progress.   

According to one report, satellite images also have shown signs that North Korea may have resume tunnel excavation and other activity at its main nuclear test site. South Korean officials have detected signs of preparation for an underground blast, which would be the North's second from earlier this year.  

Around that same time, North Korea flew a satellite over the Super Bowl in California.  This particular satellite, which is a key component in directing ballistic missiles to a target, was thought to be simply tumbling through space. However, just days later, it was found to not only be orbiting in a stabilized manner, but transmitting data.  

Yang Uk, a senior research fellow at the Korea Defense and Security Forum, said Pyongyang is in the process of building a 3,000-ton submarine that could be used to launch three SLBMs or submarine-launched ballistic missiles. 

"It seems to have been more developed than we had expected it to be," he said.

It seems as though other nations throughout the world are growing their military capabilities day by day.  Iran just recently inked a lucrative agreement with the executive branch of the U.S. for $8.6 million.  The deal would require the U.S. to purchase 32 tons of nuclear chemicals from Iran.   

Meanwhile, we squabble over who should or shouldn't use a public restroom.  Where are our priorities?

Cortney O'Brien - 2016 RACE ROUNDUP: Trump, Cruz Accuse Each Other of 'Desperate' Tactics
Posted: 4/25/2016 2:30:00 PM EST

Ted Cruz and John Kasich are ready to put a full stop to Donald Trump’s campaign. Late Sunday night, the two presidential contenders announced they are teaming up to deny the businessman delegates – a rare move in American politics. In the agreed to terms, Cruz will cede Oregon and New Mexico, while Kasich will pave the way for Cruz in Indiana. As you can imagine, Trump was not silent on the matter. Five more states, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Rhode Island, Connecticut and Delaware, will make their mark on the 2016 election on Tuesday, with 172 delegates at stake. Christine has an in-depth preview here.

Republican Primary

Donald Trump: Trump used the word “desperate” to describe the announced Cruz-Kasich alliance on Monday. He may not need to worry too much about his opponents uniting against him though – at least not this week. Trump currently has a double-digit distance between his two opponents in all of Tuesday’s five contests. The Indiana primary, however, to be held on May 3, is a bit more competitive. Trump is ahead of Cruz in the Hoosier State by just 5 points. Perhaps to avoid more poor results in state conventions, the Trump campaign is reportedly going to start courting delegates at the upcoming conventions in California and Virginia.

By the way, Trump now refers to be called “Wonderful Donald.”

Ted Cruz: During a campaign stop in Indiana Monday, Cruz made himself very clear as to why he is teaming up with Kasich to stop Trump’s path to the nomination. “If Donald Trump is the nominee, Hillary wins,” Cruz said. The Texas senator also said it’s “abundantly clear” no candidate is going to reach 1,237 delegates and that Trump will be in trouble at a contested convention. Before agreeing to terms with the Kasich campaign, Cruz gained dozens of delegates over the weekend in Maine, South Carolina, Minnesota and Utah.

John Kasich: Kasich is no longer the only candidate without a Trump nickname. On Monday, the frontrunner dubbed the governor “1 for 38 Kasich,” in a nod to the only primary contest the Ohio governor has won so far in the 2016 race. Kasich is still gaining endorsements, however, including the editors of The Baltimore Sun, who argued that he is the only candidate who can attract independents and Democratic voters. Kasich ate breakfast in a Philadelphia diner Monday morning, where he told reporters that his allegiance with Cruz is "no big deal."

Democratic Primary

Hillary Clinton: A few unfortunate pieces of Clinton-related news surfaced over the weekend. The longer she refuses to release her Wall Street transcripts, the more reports come out about how she wanted thousands of dollars and other lavish demands for those controversial speeches. Elsewhere in the media world, the DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz admitted that Clinton’s use of a private server as secretary of state was certainly not something her predecessors had done.  Laughably, in the same interview, Schultz tried to argue that Clinton is the most transparent presidential candidate ever. On the campaign trail, Clinton praised a voter for asking her to use executive power to enforce more gun control. Meanwhile, with a new executive order, Gov. Terry McAuliffe shored up the felon demographic for Hillary in November. She also received a tepid endorsement from…Charles Koch.

Bernie Sanders: Sanders is behind in most of Tuesday’s contests, but Connecticut is looking tight and he is actually ahead of Clinton by a few points in Rhode Island. Pundits already see this week as the end of the road for the passionate progressive, but Sanders and his young supporters have certainly made their mark in the Democratic Party and they are not likely to leave the establishment alone after the election.  

Primary Schedule

Tuesday - D/R primaries in Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Maryland, Connecticut and Delaware

Guy Benson - Trump: This 'Collusion' Between Losers Cruz and Kasich is 'Desperate'
Posted: 4/25/2016 2:06:00 PM EST

He's literally correct on both counts, of course.  This is open, explicit collusion between two campaigns -- a pact of pure convenience, arising from desperation. Neither Cruz nor (especially) Kasich has any shot at the nomination if Trump clinches 1,237 delegates by June 8, or if the frontrunner seizes a victory on the first ballot in Cleveland. The whole ballgame, therefore, is delegate denial, an endeavor in which Cruz has done almost all of the heavy lifting. Every delegate plucked out of Trump's opening ballot column is a step closer to the multi-ballot convention around which both men's strategies now revolve. If either one felt fully confident that Trump wouldn't hit his marks between now and early June, this belated political marriage of necessity would never have materialized. But new polling trends evidently have both campaigns sufficiently spooked that a precarious alliance has been forged, with an eye toward ensuring that the anti-Trump vote isn't counterproductively diluted, this benefiting their mutual adversary. Speaking of whom, he isn't happy about any of this:

"One-for-38 Kasich" may be the first time Trump has even deigned to assign a derisive nickname to the Ohio governor, so that's progress, at least.  (It's also worth recalling that "Lyin' Ted" has a higher honesty rating than Trump, as does everyone else in the race, including habitual liar Hillary Clinton).  Trump's entirely predictable ranting and whining aside, the real issue is whether this tactical scheme will work.  It might: Trump is an uniquely polarizing frontrunner with historically bad national favorability ratings.  With a handful of exceptions, his appeal has been held to below 40 percent of the GOP primary electorate, which accounts for a small fraction of broader population that will choose the next president in November.  One relevant instance that informs this analysis is Marco Rubio's March appeal for his Ohio-based supporters to back Kasich in order to help deprive Trump of 66 Buckeye State delegates.  The Florida Senator's advice was heeded in droves, padding the governor's eventual comfortable margin of victory.  Weeks later, a sizable contingent of Kasich backers in Wisconsin appear to have defected to Cruz when it became clear that the Texan was the only viable anti-Trump game in town.  Cruz and Kasich have now signaled explicit preferences to supporters in Indiana, Oregon and New Mexico -- guidance that may also help steer the efforts and resources of various allies and Super PACs.

It might not: As is the case with any political 'trick play,' there is some inherent risk that any unusually calculated machination will trigger a backlash, in this case inflaming and mobilizing Trump followers (who are already convinced the whole system is dirty, thanks to Trump's cynical complaints) and Trump-leaners, while potentially irritating low-engagement supporters of the two participating campaigns.  Also, the only clear example of this sort of thing being attempted and succeeding this cycle is the aforementioned Rubio/Kasich gambit, which had the added benefit of nudging a group of voters toward a more natural migration.  There's a fair amount of polling data indicating that a certain segment of woud-be Cruz and Kasich voters would actually prefer Trump to the other anti-Donald candidate.  All of which is to say that this move is a gamble, which has no guarantee of working out the way it's drawn up on paper.  We'll have our first -- and possibly last -- meaningful verdict when the Hoosier State race is called one week from tomorrow.  If Cruz consolidates support and pulls of a come-from-behind win, the plan will be vindicated. If not, Trump is the very likely nominee.  Either way, Trump's campaign released a bitter, poorly-written statement last night, with the candidate himself echoing the objections before a raucous crowd in Rhode Island this afternoon.  Ted Cruz's team is fighting back by fundraising off of reports of thuggery and threats levied against delegates by Trump operatives and followers, further fueling the acrid tone of this ugly primary campaign.  Even Kasich's Mr. Nice Guy facade is showing signs of strain, as Trump has now taken to criticizing the "disgusting" manner in which the Ohioan eats food.  And in case you're curious, Trump's nickname for himself is "Wonderful Donald."  Okay, Wonderful Donald, are these promises?  Would you care to, say, sign a loyalty pledge to this effect? What could go wrong?

I'll leave you with this cheery note, which hit home with yours truly upon reading Peggy Noonan's latest column:

Justin Holcomb  - GOP Fail: Kasich Says Indiana "Ought To Vote For Me'
Posted: 4/25/2016 2:00:00 PM EST

It appears the elaborate and brilliant plan developed by John Kasich and Ted Cruz has just a few minor details that need to be addressed: Who will be anointed winner of Indiana?

Not even a full 24 hours after the Kasich and Cruz came together to form the righteous team which would remove Donald Trump from frontrunner status and propel the pair into a contested convention, has the plan fallen apart.  Much like the GOP's ability to take control of Congress and place restrictions on Barack Obama's executive empire, their plan was a failure before it began.

Ted Cruz announced on Sunday that he and fellow Republican presidential candidate John Kasich would commence their formulated plan to prevent Donald Trump from winning the election.  In a pair of statements, the campaigns announced that Kasich would pull out of Indiana to give Cruz an easy victory that state's winner-take-all primary May 3, while the Cruz campaign will cede Oregon and New Mexico to Kasich. 

However, Kasich was unable to play his role in the charade and let his true colors show on Monday when talking to Indiana voters.

“I’ve never told them not to vote for me. They ought to vote for me," Kasich said in a Philadelphia diner, 

Why can't these guys stick to a plan and do what they said? Oh yeah, they're politicians.

Christine Rousselle - April 26 Primary Preview
Posted: 4/25/2016 1:40:00 PM EST

Tuesday, April 26, is being dubbed "Super Tuesday 4," and it's a big one. Five states in the northeast--Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island--head to the polls, and Tuesday could be a big day in the delegate race for both parties. Here's a capsule preview of what's to come.


Who is voting?

Both Republicans and Democrats are voting today, in a closed primary. A person must be a registered Republican or a registered Democrat to vote.

When are the polls open?

Polls will be open from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., local time.

Where do I go to vote?

Click here.

What are the polls looking like?

Donald Trump has a massive lead, but things are a little closer on the Democratic side: Hillary Clinton is only up by about six points on average. A recent poll had her lead down to only two points.

How many delegates are up for grabs?

There are 28 Republican delegates, and they're divided by congressional district. There are 55 Democratic delegates.


Who is voting?

Both Republicans and Democrats are voting today, in a closed primary. A person must be a registered Republican or a registered Democrat to vote.

When are the polls open?

Polls will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., local time.

Where do I go to vote?

Click here.

What are the polls looking like?

There hasn't been much polling in Delaware, but Trump has nearly a 40-point lead. Expect this race to be called as the polls close. Clinton has a single-digit lead over Bernie Sanders.

How many delegates are up for grabs?

There are 16 Republican delegates, and the winner takes them all. There are 21 Democratic delegates. 


Who is voting?

Both Republicans and Democrats are voting today, in a closed primary. A person must be a registered Republican or a registered Democrat to vote.

When are the polls open?

Polls will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., local time.

Where do I go to vote?

Click here.

What are the polls looking like?

Trump has a solid, double-digit lead. Clinton should win the state handily. 

How many delegates are up for grabs?

There are 38 Republican delegates and the winner takes them all. There are 95 Democratic delegates.


Who is voting?

Both Republicans and Democrats are voting today, in a closed primary. A person must be a registered Republican or a registered Democrat to vote.

When are the polls open?

Polls will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., local time.

Where do I go to vote?

Click here.

What are the polls looking like?

Trump had a 26-point lead as of the latest polls. Clinton has a comfortable, two-digit lead.

How many delegates are up for grabs?

There are 71 Republican delegates. There are 189 Democratic delegates. 

Rhode Island:

Who is voting?

Both Republicans and Democrats are voting today, in a semi-open primary. Each party's primary is limited to registered independents as well as registered members of the party.

When are the polls open?

Polls will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., local time.

Where do I go to vote?

Click here.

What are the polls looking like?

Trump is in a position to pass 50 percent in Rhode Island. The Democratic race could go either way.

How many delegates are up for grabs?

There are 19 Republican delegates to be awarded. If a candidate gets more than 67 percent of the vote in a congressional district, they will receive all three delegates for that district. There are 24 Democratic delegates.

Matt Vespa - Good News: Women and Senior Citizens Still Lining Up For Firearms And Training Courses
Posted: 4/25/2016 1:30:00 PM EST

Last year was a record for gun sales, which also led to the creation of over 20,000 jobs. Moreover, women and seniors are continuing to line up for firearm training courses and purchases of their own. In North Carolina, one sports shop has benefitted from the recent spike, adding 15 new jobs, while noticing that female shooters are its fastest growing demographic concerning sales. In all, since 2008, jobs in the gun industry have risen 73 percent (Via WNCT):

Since 2008, gun industry jobs have increased 73-percent.

North Carolina is one of the top-7 states for this growth. That’s something Neuse Sport Shop in Kinston can attest to. Gun sales there have doubled just since last year.

President and CEO Russell Rhodes says they’ve hired an additional 15 employees to meet this demand.

“That’s 15 families that are being supported here in this community. Lenoir County is a tier-one community, so add 15 families being supported by that growth of industry, it’s got to be a positive thing for the community,” Rhodes said.

The fastest growing segments in the market are gun owners with concealed carry permits and women.

Rhodes says the shop’s fastest growing demographic is female shooters.

“We have a group that meets here one Monday per month called the Well-Armed Women, and that group has grown so big that we’re going to have to have two nights of that in the near future,” Rhodes said.

Now, ladies night isn’t just the only thing that’s getting more attention concerning firearms. Remember when Cortney wrote about how senior citizens are packing heat, well, they now have their own special night of their own concerning firearms training. That’s what Frontier Justice in Lee’s Summit, Missouri recently offered to its senior gun owners (KSHB Kansas City):

According to the National Rifle Association, more than 22,000 people took basic firearm classes across the country last year. The number of students represents a 300 percent increase from the amount taking gun classes in 2011.

To keep up with demand, the Frontier Justice gun store in Lee’s Summit is now offering a seniors-only basic firearm class starting in May.

“We try to get people into what they feel comfortable using, having in their home, and what they can easily operate in an emergency situation,” explained Frontier Justice President Bren Brown.

Experts say more senior citizens are likely buying guns as a result of crimes targeting them. Seniors are often targeted for home invasions, muggings and robberies. Thieves may also target older people since they usually put up less of a fight than a younger person.

“[Senior customers] are thinking about home protection,” said Brown. “They're feeling vulnerable because of stories about break-ins into senior citizen homes and mass shootings like San Bernardino.”

Nothing wrong with that.

Christine Rousselle - U.S. Appeals Court: Tom Brady Must Serve Four-Game "Deflategate" Suspension
Posted: 4/25/2016 12:07:00 PM EST

The U.S. Appeals court has ruled that New England Patriots QB Tom Brady must serve a four-game suspension over his role in the "Deflategate" scandal. The suspension was nullified by a judge last September.

A federal appeals court has ruled that New England Patriots Tom Brady must serve a four-game "Deflategate" suspension imposed by the NFL, overturning a lower judge and siding with the league in a battle with the players union.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Monday in New York. The decision by a three-judge panel may end the legal debate over the scandal that led to months of football fans arguing over air pressure and the reputation of one of the league's top teams.

Needless to say, Patriots fans were not thrilled:

Free Brady.

Matt Vespa - Charles Koch Says 'It's Possible' Another Clinton Could Be Better Than A Republican
Posted: 4/25/2016 11:32:00 AM EST

On April 24, during the Sunday Morning Talk shows, billionaire businessman Charles Koch said that “it’s possible” another Clinton could be a better option for president than another Republican.

Koch told ABC News’ Jonathan Karl that in some ways, Bill Clinton was a better president than George W. Bush; specifically on the growth in the size of government and regulations, which was at a more accelerated rate under Bush than Clinton.

Concerning whether the Kochs would back a Clinton candidacy, Charles was necessarily averse, but added that she would have to do a lot of work to do to convince them that her governing style would be very different from the rhetoric she’s dishing out on the campaign trail.

ABC Breaking News | Latest News Videos

It’s not a secret that the two brothers, who have been at the receiving end of the political left’s incessant rage for their right-leaning views, aren’t happy with how things have played out in the Republican primary. Reportedly, the brothers have allocated some $900 million to be spent on various elections this cycle.

They’re also not attending the RNC Convention in Cleveland this July. Koch also said that while they think Speaker Ryan is better on the issues than those who are currently left running on the Republican side, supporting him would not help their cause since a) it would only reek of the politics of corruption that they have no interest of being part of, as it doesn’t help move the country forward in a positive manner and b) they don’t think he can win (via Politico):

Add the Koch brothers' massive political network to the growing list of those who say they will not be attending the Republican National Convention in Cleveland this July.

“Why go?” Charles Koch told ABC News in an article published Monday, referring to the brothers' umbrella political organization, Freedom Partners. “We're not interested in politics. We’re interested in moving us towards a culture and policies that will enable people to improve their lives.”


Koch also said that House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) is "better on the issues" than the remaining Republican candidates but that supporting him as a "white knight" nominee would do more harm than help their cause.

“I don’t see how he could win,” Koch said. “If he did, I mean, that would create the impression this whole thing is rigged, which — that's the opposite of the direction we want to go.”

Then again, Clinton doesn't seem to want the Koch's long-shot endorsement, but when have the Clintons ever turned down boat loads of money.

Cortney O'Brien - McAuliffe Tells Republicans to Stop Whining and 'Earn' Felons' Vote
Posted: 4/25/2016 11:00:00 AM EST

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) outraged Republicans on Friday when he overturned a law dating back to the Civil War and awarded convicted felons – even violent ones – the right to vote.

The GOP is especially irked about the news because they know who McAuliffe’s friends are. The governor’s coziness with the Clintons suggests he is allowing felons to vote to ensure Hillary wins the important swing state this November. In fact, she praised the move on Twitter, congratulating McAuliffe on “breaking down barriers to voting.”

McAuliffe scoffed at the Republican backlash, telling the GOP to quit whining and start reaching out to the newly franchised demographic.

"Well, I would tell the Republicans, 'Quit complaining and go out and earn these folks' right to vote for you. Go out and talk to them,' " he said in response to a question about people saying his order was an election-year ploy to help Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton.

The governor is unlikely to convince anyone that he restored criminals’ right to vote to undo America’s “horrible history” of disenfranchising African-Americans, as he insists. The more likely scenario is that the Clintons helped him get elected in Virginia so he wants to return the favor in November.

As for the Republican candidates, they are earning Americans' right to vote – those who haven’t been behind bars.