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Benjamin Carson Tag

Former presidential candidate and retired neurosurgeon, Dr. Ben Carson, has been tapped to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Earlier reports indicated Carson had turned down administrative offers. From the NYT:
Ben Carson, who took Donald J. Trump on a tour of blighted neighborhoods in Detroit during the presidential campaign, including his boyhood home, has been chosen by Mr. Trump to oversee one of the government’s main efforts to lift American cities as secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Mr. Carson, a retired neurosurgeon, was an early endorser of Mr. Trump after ending his own presidential bid.

Here's one I missed last week: Several days ago, Donald Trump visited Detroit. Campaign surrogate, Detroit native, and former presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson joined The Donald. Filming a live interview with CNN outside of his childhood home, Carson had other things on his mind. "What do you think he [Trump] took away from today?" asked the CNN interview. "OH! My luggage!" exclaimed Carson, before walking away.

Well, now we know. Defunct presidential candidate, Dr. Ben Carson, raised many an eyebrow when he endorsed Donald Trump for president. Of course the assumption was the obvious -- Carson "sold out" for an administrative promise. Those who believed the speculation were less cynical and more right, apparently. Speaking to Newsmax Monday, Carson said he would be joining the Trump administration should it become a reality:
Dr. Ben Carson revealed on Newsmax TV Monday that he will work in Donald Trump's administration — at least in an "advisory capacity" — if the Republican presidential front-runner is elected to the White House.

Since neurosurgeon Ben Carson suspended his presidential campaign, rumors of a looming Trump endorsement have bounced around the poltisphere. The Washington Post reported this evening that Dr. Carson will endorse Donald Trump at a rally Friday morning:
Conservative favorite Ben Carson, who last week suspended his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination, plans to endorse Donald Trump on Friday morning, according to two people familiar with his thinking. The endorsement, perhaps the most high-profile nod for Trump since New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie backed him, was finalized Thursday morning when Carson met with Trump at Mar-a-Lago, the luxury club owned by the Republican front-runner, the people said. The sources requested anonymity to discuss private conversations. Friday’s announcement will also take place at the club in Palm Beach, Fla., where the onetime rivals will appear alongside one another at a news conference.

Ben Carson is not officially suspending his campaign, but he's doing almost that much, telling supporters he sees no "path forward" and dropping out of tomorrow's debate. Carson released the following statement: "I do not see a political path forward in light of last evening’s Super Tuesday primary results."
I have decided not to attend the Fox News GOP Presidential Debate tomorrow night in Detroit. Even though I will not be in my hometown of Detroit on Thursday, I remain deeply committed to my home nation, America. I do not see a political path forward in light of last evening’s Super Tuesday primary results. However, this grassroots movement on behalf of “We the People” will continue. Along with millions of patriots who have supported my campaign for President, I remain committed to Saving America for Future Generations. We must not depart from our goals to restore what God and our Founders intended for this exceptional nation.

Just before the end of 2015, Ben Carson's campaign manager along with 20 staffers quit. Less than two weeks later, all New Hampshire paid staffers for a pro-Carson PAC, 2016 Committee, quit and left to volunteer for Ted Cruz. WMUR reports:
All five paid New Hampshire staffers at the pro-Ben Carson 2016 Committee super PAC quit their posts on Sunday to become volunteers for U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, WMUR.com has learned. Jerry Sickles of Keene, the spokesman for the staff, said he and the other four staffers recently came to the conclusion that Cruz is the conservative most able to win the GOP presidential nomination and the presidency. He also noted that Carson has spent very little time campaigning in New Hampshire, which became frustrating to him and the other staffers as they tried to build support in the state.

Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson's campaign suffered a hefty loss Thursday -- both his campaign director and top communication's aide resigned, according to Politico.
Ben Carson's campaign manager and top communications aide resigned on Thursday, throwing the retired neurosurgeon's presidential run into chaos, with conflicting reports emerging about who will take over the struggling operation. Campaign manager Barry Bennett and communications director Doug Watts both resigned, effective immediately, after weeks of speculation about a shakeup. Carson last week indicated such a move, saying that "everything" was "on the table" as far as changes with his campaign, though he later walked that back and said, “I think the people that I have are spectacular.” Armstrong Williams, a close Carson confidant, told POLITICO he expects Bennett's replacement to be General Robert Dees, a top foreign policy adviser.

Amidst growing concerns of his lack of knowledge of foreign policy, Dr. Ben Carson headed on Friday to Jordan to visit a refugee camp in Jordan. From ABC News
"Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson has traveled to a refugee camp in Jordan on a "fact finding and information gathering mission."
Is this a smart move by the campaign? Carson is viewing the trip as an opportunity to see up close the complexities surrounding the Syrian and Iraqi refugee crisis:
“I find when you have firsthand knowledge of things as opposed to secondhand, it makes a much stronger impression.”
Carson's itinerary includes not just a visit to the United Nations-run refugee camp, but to a clinic and hospital as well. The famed neurosurgeon is looking to become a student of these experiences.

There's a big spat over Donald Trump's comments that he remembers seeing video of Muslims in Jersey City or other towns near NYC cheering the attack on the World Trade Center. The argument is over whether it happened, whether there is video and so on. Trump is sticking to his memory, and the media is swarming to prove him wrong. CNN in particular is going all out on the effort. There's no purity of purpose there. What's most interesting to me is that there is an emerging consensus among those who are hammering Trump on this that Trump is not "lying," but likely is thinking of celebrations elsewhere. Since the aspersions that Trump is a "racist" or "Islamophobic" are predicated on a bad intent, whether he is lying as opposed to honestly mistaken seems relevant. The concept of false or suggested memory is something I've often explored both in private practice and in the course I teach. There just are some people who absolutely believe and will swear on a stack of Bibles to something that objectively did not happen -- and they always seem to be on the other side of the case from me! They are not liars, but they are wrong. Proving it is the challenge. Robert Mackey of The New York Times argues that Trump probably is confusing videos of Palestinians cheering with some memory of it taking place in northern New Jersey, The Video of Celebrations That Was Broadcast on 9/11:

In light of the terror attack in Paris and (presumably) Obama's weak performance against ISIS and bizarrely petulant performance in Turkey, terrorism now rivals the economy as the single most important issue to American voters. ABCNews reports:
Terrorism suddenly rivals the economy as the single most important issue to Americans in the 2016 presidential election -- and a year out, a new ABC News/Washington Post poll finds more people paying close attention to the contest than at this point in any race back to 1988. After years of dominating the political landscape, the economy now has company. Given the Nov. 13 attacks in Paris, 28 percent of Americans now call terrorism the top issue in their choice for president, compared with 33 percent who cite the economy. Nothing else comes close. Attention, moreover, is focused as never before. Three-quarters of Americans say they are closely following the 2016 race, including three in 10 who are following it very closely. That’s the highest level of attention at this point in a presidential race in polls back nearly 30 years.
According to this report:  "Partisan divisions are 33-23-36 percent, Democrats-Republicans-independents."

The Donald posted a new ad to his Instagram account Friday morning and like everything else Trump, it's pretty, shall we say "bold"? Posted with the caption, "Happy Friday the 13th," and set to what sounds like a rip-off of the theme music from the popular slasher series, Halloween, Trump's ad wonders whether fellow Republican presidential candidate, Ben Carson, is a violent criminal or pathological liar.

Happy Friday the 13th

A video posted by Donald J. Trump (@realdonaldtrump) on

At a political breakfast event in New Hampshire this week, Hillary Clinton enthralled the guests at her table with a story about the time she tried to join the Marine Corps. Glenn Kessler reports at the Washington Post:
Hillary Clinton’s claim that she tried to join the Marines “He looks at me and goes, ‘Um, how old are you. And I said, ‘Well I am 26, I will be 27.’ And he goes, ‘Well, that is kind of old for us.’ And then he says to me, and this is what gets me, ‘Maybe the dogs will take you,’ meaning the Army.” One Clinton story that has often been greeted with skepticism is her claim, first made in 1994, that she once tried to join the Marines in 1975. On the campaign trail, she brought up the story again. Can this story be confirmed?

I attended a three year high school from 1978 to 1981. I took the PSAT in tenth grade, and I checked off a box in the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test application inviting colleges to send me their literature. I was contacted by the United States Military Academy (“USMA”) at West Point, New York; my best friend was contacted by the United States Naval Academy (“USNA”) at Annapolis, Maryland. We were both invited to attend a conference for high school students interested in attending a service academy and in a military career. I went to the USMA conference; my friend went to the USNA conference, as did 100s of other high school students that year. Everyone knew the score: (1) the government picked up your education costs; (2) the government paid you a salary as you worked towards an engineering degree; (3) when you graduated, you were made an officer; and (4) then you served for four years in the military. It was a great opportunity: but only if you could survive the rigours of military academy life. And the conference gave you a fair opportunity to observe those rigours close up. During the conference, a major approached me individually, by name, and pulled me out of earshot of other student-attendees. I have always assumed he (or his colleagues) had similar conversations with many if not with all the other student-attendees.

I first heard about this story in the car listening to Rush Limbaugh. It sounded bad. Politico was reporting that a supposedly central part of Dr. Ben Carson's personal narrative was fabricated, EXCLUSIVE: Ben Carson admits fabricating West Point Scholarship [link to Wayback Machine preserved version since edits made by Politico later on]. The issue was whether Carson had lied about applying for and being granted admission to West Point on a scholarship (emphasis added):
Ben Carson’s campaign on Friday admitted, in a response to an inquiry from POLITICO, that a central point in his inspirational personal story was fabricated: his application and acceptance into the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
I don't know how central it was to his narrative - I had never heard about it, but then again, I don't follow Carson that closely. Here was the passage in question from Carson's autobiography:
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