April, 2015

Paul Says It Was a Mistake to Topple Saddam Hussein

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) “said flatly that it had been a mistake for the United States to remove Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq. And he suggested that the situation in Libya had deteriorated because of the overthrow of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi,” thew New York Times reports.

Said Paul: “Each time we topple a secular dictator, I think we wind up with chaos, and radical Islam seems to rise.”

Trumps Says He’ll Build Massive Wall on Mexican Border

Donald Trump, at a campaign event in New Hampshire, touted his building expertise to show how he’ll tackle border security and immigration reform, the Washington Post reports.

Said Trump: “I will build the best wall, the biggest, the strongest, not penetrable, they won’t be crawling over it, like giving it a little jump and they’re over the wall, it costs us trillions. And I’ll have Mexico pay for the wall. Because Mexico is screwing us so badly. I will take it from out of just a small fraction of the money they’ve been screwing us for over the last number of years.”

Will Justice Kennedy Make History?

Greg Sargent notes that in 1986 Supreme Court Justice Lewis Powell remarked to a clerk: “I don’t believe I’ve ever met a homosexual.”

“Just under 30 years later, Powell’s seat on the Court is occupied by Anthony Kennedy, who is likely to provide the swing vote in the cases that will be heard today — and many observers expect him to declare that the Constitution confers a right to same-sex marriage in all 50 states.”

Wonk Wire: America can changes its mind quickly

Pope Francis Takes on Climate Change Deniers

As Pope Francis “prepares to deliver what is likely to be a highly influential encyclical this summer on environmental degradation and the effects of human-caused climate change on the poor, he is alarming some conservatives in the United States who are loath to see the Catholic Church reposition itself as a mighty voice in a cause they do not believe in,” the New York Times reports.

“As part of the effort for the encyclical, top Vatican officials will hold a summit meeting Tuesday to build momentum for a campaign by Francis to urge world leaders to enact a sweeping United Nations climate change accord in Paris in December. The accord would for the first time commit every nation to enact tough new laws to cut the emissions that cause global warming.”

O’Malley Cuts Short Trip Due to Baltimore Riots

Martin O’Malley (D) “is cutting short a planned series of paid speeches in Ireland and returning home” to Baltimore, the Washington Post reports.

“The Democrat, who has been aggressively positioning himself for a White House bid, had been scheduled to give several speeches Tuesday and Wednesday in Dublin. He was in London on Monday to give another paid address. O’Malley served for seven years as Baltimore’s mayor before becoming governor of Maryland in 2007.”

Will Gay Marriage Ruling Help Republicans?

Nate Cohn: “With the legality of same-sex marriage being argued on Tuesday, the court could allow Republicans to abandon an unpopular position without abandoning their principles or risking a primary challenge. History would effectively be bailing out the party.”

“Sometimes history helps Democrats, as when the Cold War ended and made the long-held view that they were weak on national security less salient. This year, if the Supreme Court rules that same-sex marriage bans are unconstitutional, the court could free Republicans from defending a policy that makes it far harder to confront their generational and demographic challenges.”

Baltimore Becomes Latest Flash Point for Race and Police

“National Guard troops fanned out through Baltimore, shield-bearing police officers blocked the streets and firefighters doused still-simmering blazes early Tuesday after riots, looting and violent unrest engulfed swaths of the city Monday,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

“The unrest came just hours after thousands of people attended a funeral for Freddie Gray , a 25-year-old black man who died in police custody earlier this month. Fifteen officers were injured, and at least 27 people were arrested as Baltimore became the latest national flash point for race relations and law enforcement.”

Politico: “Obama and Congress are busy arguing over the Iran nuclear negotiations, a trade deal, what could become the broadest climate change agreement in history. But each city that erupts is a reminder of how little’s been done to address the hopelessness that’s hitting Americans in some communities across the country much more immediately.”

Supreme Court Will Hear Gay Marriage Case

“The Supreme Court on Tuesday will hear arguments on whether there is a constitutional right to same-sex marriage. The session, scheduled to last two and a half hours, is the last public step before a decision, expected in June, that will resolve one of the great open questions in modern constitutional law,” the New York Times reports.

“Until recently, the court has been cautious and halting in addressing same-sex marriage, signaling that it did not want to outpace public support and developments in the states. Now, though, a definitive decision will probably be handed down in about two months.”

GOP Unloads on Hillary Clinton

“Democrats are quickly learning the perils of having a de facto presidential nominee in Hillary Clinton,” The Hill reports.

“With the controversy around donations to her family’s charitable foundation growing, Democrats are bracing for more attacks on the former secretary of State — just the beginning of what they expect to be an 18-month assault on their party’s front-runner. Few people on either side of the partisan divide expect Clinton to face a serious challenge for the Democratic nomination. But that advantage also allows the GOP to bring its full arsenal to bear upon her.”

Aggressive Effort Underway to Recruit Elizabeth Warren

The New York Observer “has obtained private email correspondence among a small group of Democratic insiders that reveals a plan to recruit Sen. Elizabeth Warren to challenge Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination for president.”

“The email, sent by Niko Elmaleh to a group that includes Andy Tobias, who has been the treasurer of the Democratic National Committee since Bill Clinton was president, and Jim Dean, the chairman of the nation’s largest political action committee, Burlington, Vt.-based Democracy for America.”