Day: March 2, 2016

A GOP trapped by Trump

By E.J. DIONNE JR.       WASHINGTON — The Republican Party is on the verge of being taken over by an egomaniac who appeals to the nation’s darkest impulses. Yet Donald Trump’s foes are splintered, tactically but also philosophically.      It doesn’t help that each of his three serious challengers is a flawed alternative. None is sufficiently dominant to force the others aside.      Sen. Ted Cruz has the most legitimate claim as a Trump-slayer. He’s now beaten him in four contests. Yet Cruz is so disliked by so many party leaders that they have refused to rally behind him. Indeed, many in the GOP view Cruz as being nearly as vulnerable to Hillary Clinton as Trump is. She took a large step toward securing the Democratic nomination with her seven victories over Bernie Sanders on Super Tuesday.      The Republican establishment plainly prefers Sen. Marco Rubio, but voters have not gone along. Rubio did manage to win the Minnesota caucuses. But he ran third in eight of the other 10 states that voted Tuesday and has lost 14 times since the nomination battle began.      Gov. John Kasich may well be the party’s strongest potential general-election candidate. But his relative moderation has so far marginalized him in an increasingly right-wing party. Only in Vermont, one of the few states where a less strident brand of conservatism still plays well in...

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Miracle of Christmas sets record

By CRAIG MURPHY Of the Keizertimes When it comes to a big event like the Keizer Miracle of Christmas Lights Display held each December in the Gubser neighborhood, there are things that can point to growth. On busy nights the line of vehicles waiting to start the route of Christmas lights can stretch to Lockhaven Drive. Another sign of growth deals with the food donation aspect of the event. After all, the event is a fundraiser for Marion-Polk Food Share, with canned food and cash donations accepted throughout the three-week run. Volunteers sign up to help with the collection every night. Brigett Eisle, who has run the event the last few years with husband Mike, revealed some numbers from the 2015 event at the Feb. 18 Greater Gubser Neighborhood Association meeting. Rick Gaupo, president and CEO of the Food Share, was also on hand. Eisle counted and found more than two-thirds of houses along the route were lit up. “We had waiting lists of people wanting to participate and help out,” she said. “We had to turn away 10 groups this year that wanted to help. We had so many people, we had a waiting list. If people can see what we’re doing, it just brings the community together even more.” Another way Eisle knows the event is growing? She’s having to buy more candy canes to pass out...

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