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PBC News & Comment: GOP Bullies Try to Out-Tough Each Other

Imitating “Fear Factor”, GOP candidates tried to prove they are tougher, meaner and more despotic than the Donald, and blame Obama….--fearmongering Republicans display massive egos, trade jabs over who is the meanest, most simple-minded candidate

--a little substance oozed out, as Rand Paul repeatedly challenged the failed efforts at regime change in Iraq, Libya, Syria; Trump postures as ruthless non-interventionist

--contradicting his earlier statements, FBI Director Comey says Farook and Malik did NOT post about jihad on social media

--heading for the exits, Congress is poised to pass “Christmas tree” budget bill with lots of stinky ornaments, like repeal of ban on crude oil exports

--in victory for Jon Stewart, budget bill includes 75-year coverage for 9/11 first responders

--House adds CISA to budget bill, stripping out privacy protections in new surveillance bill disguised as anti-hacking law

--no surprise: Federal reserve finally inches up interest rates, with quarter point raise the first in 9 years

--Carl Icahn’s op-ed in Monday NY Times is a crackup: he wants corporate taxes cut to limit “inversions” to US corporations that move overseas

--intelligence expert and critic James Bamford asks if US spooks are trying to provoke war with China

--on Monday, top US admiral gave speech accusing China of eroding safety in the South China Sea, stoking a possible regional arms race