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Ear to the Ground

Krugman and Stockman Debate, GOP Reps. Investigate Beyonce and Jay-Z, and More

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Posted on Apr 7, 2013

The Road to 2016: With only roughly three years and seven months until the next presidential election, the political punditry was abuzz Sunday morning with talk of whether Hillary Clinton will be one of the candidates on the ballot. Among last week’s developments in Hillary Watch: 2016, the former secretary of state delivered a stirring speech at the Women in the World summit and James Carville joined a super PAC devoted to luring Clinton into the race. Talk of a potential run seemed to dominate the Sunday morning talk shows, with a number of political and media figures speculating on whether she will run (quite a number said they believed she would). But with the race still far off, the guessing game likely won’t be ending anytime soon. (Read more)

Back for More? Former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown may run for Senate again, only this time he’s considering taking his act across state lines. According to The New York Times, Brown is contemplating a matchup against New Hampshire Democrat Jeanne Shaheen, who is up for re-election in 2014. When asked about the possibility of running for the Senate in New Hampshire, the Republican responded, “I don’t think I’m done with politics, but I’m not going to rule out anything right now because I really haven’t thought a heck of a lot about it.” If Brown were to run and win, he wouldn’t be the first senator to serve more than one state during his political career; Sen. James Shields represented, at various points in his career, three different states in the mid to late 1800s. (Read more)

Halliburton’s Haul: To probably nobody’s surprise, a recent analysis of companies that profited off the ill-conceived Iraq War found that KBR, a spinoff of former Vice President Dick Cheney’s Halliburton, made the most money off government contracts. According to the report, the company was given $39.5 billion in Iraq-related contracts—many, it should be noted, without bids from other competing firms—over the past decade. (Read more)

Facing the Music: A couple of Republican members of Congress from South Florida are investigating Mr. and Mrs. Shawn Carter—aka Beyonce and Jay-Z, popular music’s first couple—for a trip they took to Cuba last week to celebrate their fifth anniversary. Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Mario Diaz-Balart have sent a joint letter to the U.S. Treasury Department asking for more details of their vacation jaunt, including what type of license they obtained to visit the country and who approved it. Because of a long-standing embargo on U.S. trade against Cuba, most American tourists are prohibited from traveling to the island without getting a license from the U.S. government. However, the Obama administration recently eased the restrictions so that Americans may visit the country for academic, religious or cultural exchanges. (Read more)

Show of Respect: In a tribute to renowned film critic Roger Ebert, who died Thursday at the age of 70, The Washington Post blog The Fix reprinted a reader-generated list of the best political movies of all time. Compiled in March 2010, the top two vote getters were 1972’s “The Candidate” starring Robert Redford and 1992’s “Bob Roberts” with Tim Robbins playing the lead. Other films making the list: “All the President’s Men,” “Dr. Strangelove,” “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,” “Nixon” and “Wag the Dog.” (Read more)

Video of the Day: Noble Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman and former Reagan budget director David Stockman went head to head on Sunday’s edition of “This Week with George Stephanopoulos,” arguing about economic issues including Federal Reserve policy and Social Security. The debate had been highly anticipated given the criticism leveled by New York Times columnist Krugman against Stockman for an op-ed he penned in the same publication March 31. (Note: Stockman was recognized as Truthdigger of the Week for that column.)

 

—Posted by Tracy Bloom.

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