Snyder Set to Enter Presidential Race

Michiagn Gov. Rick Snyder (R) “may be the newest GOP candidate for the White House,” the Guardian reports.

“Snyder mingled with donors at a meeting of the Republican Jewish Coalition in Las Vegas on Friday and told at least one attendee that he was a candidate.”

Said former Minnesota senator Norm Coleman: “I met with Rick Snyder yesterday. He’s running. He’s running.”

Scott Walker Running on Faith

“Scott Walker, the son of a Baptist preacher, learned a lot about being a politician by going to church,” the New York Times reports.

“He was introduced to glad-handing while greeting worshipers beside his father after Sunday services. His confidence as a public speaker began at 2, when he delivered a Christmas greeting from the pulpit, and it blossomed when he preached occasional sermons as a teenager. And now, Mr. Walker’s lifelong church involvement may be a powerful asset as he positions himself to run for the Republican presidential nomination and focuses on early primary and caucus states dominated by evangelical voters.”

Williams Embellished Reporting At Least 11 Times

“A months-long internal investigation of Brian Williams by NBC News has turned up 11 instances in which the anchorman publicly embellished details of his reporting exploits, according to a person familiar with details of the probe,” the Washington Post reports.

“It’s not clear when, or even if… findings about Williams will be made public. Although the investigation could be a critical factor in whether NBC decides to bring Williams back, it could also remain confidential as a condition of any potential severance agreement, an NBC journalist said on Friday.”

Bill Seeks to Block Steve King from Legislating

Rep. Steve King (R-IA) “proposed a bill this week that would block the courts from hearing cases that could legalize same-sex marriage, so Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) has proposed a (satirical) bill to block King from legislating,” the Huffington Post reports.

“Polis’ office issued a press release on Friday announcing the Restrain Steve King from Legislating Act, playing off King’s Restrain the Judges on Marriage Act. Polis’ fake bill would prevent King from ‘abusing taxpayer dollars by substituting the judgments of the nation’s duly serving judicial branch of government with his own beliefs.'”

Gay Marriage Becomes Tricky Issue for GOP

“Republican presidential hopefuls are struggling with how to position themselves on same-sex marriage, an issue that is bedeviling a party hoping to avoid social controversies as the 2016 election approaches,” the Washington Post reports.

“Rapidly changing public opinion has forced much of the field to recalibrate their pitches. Early front-runners have sought balance between the GOP base and the broader electorate — saying that they have no problem with gay people but oppose a national right to gay marriage and favor strong legal protections for business owners who do not want to serve same-sex ceremonies.”

Obama Takes On Liberal Democrats Over Trade

President Obama “escalated a public feud over international trade with the liberal wing of his own party, a brawl that threatens to undermine one of the key goals for the White House this year,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

“The schism over trade widened with several testy exchanges this week between Mr. Obama and his liberal base, including remarks Friday in which the president said critics were mischaracterizing the deal.”

Huffington Post: Obama hits Warren and Democrats on trade

Bonus Quote of the Day

“I have proposed a new rule to allow school districts to install deep fat fryers and sell beverages like diet soda. I believe each school district – not the state or federal government – should decide what foods are offered to students… If a school district doesn’t agree with any of these changes, then the district doesn’t have to implement them. That’s the beauty here. It’s not about French fries; it’s about freedom.”

— Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller, in a letter to the Houston Chronicle.

Senate Staffer Admits Drugs-for-Sex Scheme

A staffer for Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS) imported drugs from China in a plan to exchange them for sexual favors, the Washington City Paper reports.

“Fred W. Pagan… first came on law enforcement’s radar on April 9, when customs agents found a Chinese package addressed to him in Ohio that held more than a kilo of GBL, a controlled drug akin to ‘date rape drug’ GHB. After the search, Pagan allegedly told investigators that he had received three other GBL packages. According to the court filing, Pagan said that he handed out the GBL and meth ‘in exchange for sexual favors.'”

Most Don’t Want ‘Religious Freedom’ Laws

“One of the apparent side effects of the religious freedom controversies in Indiana and (to a lesser extent) Arkansas: More Americans now oppose such laws than before,” the Washington Post reports.

“While a Pew Research Center poll conducted in September showed Americans were split on whether businesses with religious objections should be able to refuse service to a gay wedding (with 47 percent in favor), and a January AP-GfK poll showed a clear majority (57 percent) thought they should be able to, a new CNN/Opinion Research poll suggests increasing skepticism of religious freedom laws. The new poll shows just 41 percent think businesses should be able to refuse service to gay weddings, while 57 percent disagree.”