April, 2015

House Republicans Look at Ending Birthright Citizenship

House Republicans are talking about abolishing birthright citizenship, which grants automatic citizenship to any baby born on American soil, Dana Millbank reports.

“A House Judiciary subcommittee took up the question Wednesday afternoon, prompted by legislation sponsored by Rep. Steve King (R-IA) and 22 other lawmakers that, after nearly 150 years, would end automatic citizenship.”

The Case for John Kasich

Molly Ball points out that all of the Republican presidential candidates “seem to have weaknesses that could become fatal flaws.”

“If only, Republican voters might be thinking, there were a candidate who could appeal to blue-collar voters but also mingle with the GOP establishment. A governor who’d proven he could run a large state but who also had national experience. Someone who’d won tough elections and maintained bipartisan popularity in an important swing state. A candidate whose folksy demeanor and humble roots would contrast nicely with Hillary Clinton’s impersonal, stiffly scripted juggernaut. That’s Kasich’s pitch, in a nutshell.”

Rand Paul’s Effort to Woo Black Voters Falters

Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-KY) “intensive effort to redeem himself — and the Republican Party — with minorities seemed to be on the verge of cratering,” CNN reports.

“He joked Tuesday to conservative radio host Laura Ingraham that he was happy his train didn’t stop in the riot-scarred city of Baltimore. It was exactly the type of tone-deaf remark the Kentucky senator’s group of black advisers urged him to avoid as he seeks to expand the GOP’s outreach to minorities… The episode underscores Paul’s complicated history with race. This is the man who openly questioned central tenets of the Civil Rights Act before he later voiced unequivocal support.”

Jon Stewart Skewers Judith Miller

It’s not clear why former New York Times reporter Judith Miller decided it would be a good idea to defend her reporting on the Iraq War on the Daily Show.

Here’s how Stewart opened the interview: “My feeling has always been… I believe that you helped the administration take us to, like, the most devastating mistake in foreign policy that we’ve made in, like, 100 years.”

Fiorina Prepares to Defend Her Record as CEO

“Carly Fiorina’s political future depends on whether she can defend her record as CEO of Hewlett-Packard,” The Hill reports.

“The likely GOP presidential candidate is aiming to do just that in her new book Rising to the Challenge, set to be released May 5, a day after the expected launch of her 2016 campaign. Fiorina now claims the company’s decision to fire her in 2005, after a turbulent six-year tenure, was a result of a dysfunctional board of directors and not her leadership.”

Creator of ‘The Wire’ Blames Martin O’Malley for Riots

David Simon, the creator of The Wire, says that as mayor of Baltimore, Martin O’Malley (D) “cooked the books in order to create the impression of a declining crime rate in Baltimore, and along the way created the mass anger that burst wide open this week,” the Huffington Post reports.

Said Simon: “He destroyed police work in some real respects. Whatever was left of it when he took over the police department, if there were two bricks together that were the suggestion of an edifice that you could have called meaningful police work, he found a way to pull them apart.”

New York Times: Baltimore could become a burden for O’Malley

Clinton Charity Never Provided Foreign Donor Data

“An unprecedented ethics promise that played a pivotal role in helping Hillary Clinton win confirmation as secretary of state, soothing senators’ concerns about conflicts of interests with Clinton family charities, was uniformly bypassed by the biggest of the philanthropies involved,” the Boston Globe reports.

Politico: “A handful of deep-pocketed donors are reconsidering their gifts to the $2 billion Clinton Foundation amid mounting questions about how it’s spending their money and suggestions of influence peddling, according to donors and others familiar with the foundation’s fundraising.”

Christie Not Concerned About Bridge Investigation

Gov. Chris Chistie (R) said that he’s “not the least bit concerned” about the potential developments in the ongoing investigation over the George Washington bridge scandal, CBS News reports.

Said Christie: “That matter will take it’s natural course and be dictated by the folks who are investigating it, and I don’t have anything to do with that, so I certainly can’t allow it to affect me.”

Clinton Runs Against Part of Her Husband’s Legacy

Hillary Clinton “isn’t just running against Republicans. She’s also running against parts of her husband’s legacy,” the Washington Post reports.

“On issues large and small, the Democratic presidential contender is increasingly distancing herself from — or even opposing — key policies pushed by Bill Clinton while he was in the White House, from her recent skepticism on free-trade pacts to her full embrace of gay rights. The starkest example yet came Wednesday, when Hillary Clinton delivered an impassioned address condemning the ‘era of incarceration’ ushered in during the 1990s in the wake of her husband’s 1994 crime bill — though she never mentioned him or the legislation by name.”

Jeb Bush Lays Claim to Hispanic Vote

Jeb Bush “spoke in personal terms Wednesday to Hispanic evangelicals about his faith, his family and his hopes for overhauling the immigration system, part of a broader effort to aggressively court Latino voters who deserted the Republican Party in 2012,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

“The appearances showed him laying the groundwork for a strategy that could pay dividends both in some GOP primaries and in a general election, reinforcing his supporters’ claim that Mr. Bush is the candidate uniquely suited to draw more Hispanic voters to the party.”

Obama Backs Away from Effort to End Death Penalty

“For a moment last year, it looked as if the Obama administration was moving toward a history-making end to the federal death penalty,” the New York Times reports.

“But the idea never gained traction, and Mr. Obama has seldom mentioned the death penalty review since. Now, as the Supreme Court considered arguments Wednesday over whether lethal injection, as currently administered, was unconstitutional, the obstacles the Obama administration faced provide vivid examples of just how politically difficult the debate remains.”

Rubio Sought Leniency for For-Profit College

“Last summer, Senator Marco Rubio of Florida asked the U.S. Department of Education to ‘demonstrate leniency’ toward Corinthian Colleges by permitting the wealthy for-profit company to continue accessing millions of dollars in federal financial aid while it was cooperating with a federal investigation,” Bloomberg reports.

“Ten months later, the company shuttered its remaining 28 campuses, instantly displacing some 16,000 students just days after it was fined $30 million by the Department of Education for a scheme involving “confirmed cases of misrepresentation of job placement rates” for as many as 947 students. The decision to close shop came after years of federal and state investigations into the company.”