“Gun maker Beretta USA will not expand its operations into West Virginia, despite lobbying from state officials, because they say Sen. Joe Manchin’s push to expand background checks makes the state less stable for their business,” the Charleston Gazette reports.
“No one disputes Republicans used the once-a-decade redistricting process to lock in their House majority — almost certainly through 2014 and possibly until the next round of line-drawing in 2020. But the party could pay a steep price for that dominance,” Politico reports.
“Some top GOP strategists and candidates warn that the ruby red districts the party drew itself into are pushing House Republicans further to the right — narrowing the party’s appeal at a time when some GOP leaders say its future rests on the opposite happening. If you’re looking for a root cause of the recurring drama within the House Republican Conference — from the surprise meltdown on the farm bill to the looming showdown over immigration reform — the increasingly conservative makeup of those districts is a good place to start.”
“Perhaps today or certainly sometime very soon, another baby will be born or a new immigrant will arrive and the number of Latinos in California will equal the state’s non-Hispanic white population,” the Sacramento Bee reports.
“The change… has long been predicted by state demographers. It won’t instantly make Latinos an equally powerful political force in California, or bring their incomes into parity with non-Hispanic whites, or close the school achievement gap. But it is an important milestone – and a reminder that these other goals will become easier to achieve as the number of Latinos continues to grow.”
“Edward Snowden seems to be stranded,” the Washington Post reports.
“Three weeks after Snowden revealed himself as the source of leaked top-secret documents on U.S. intelligence gathering, the former intelligence contractor is stuck in legal limbo in Russia. Although he has not been seen publicly in days, he is thought to be inside a transit area of a Moscow airport.”
“On Sunday, two of his strongest supporters — Julian Assange of WikiLeaks and President Rafael Correa of Ecuador — said it was unlikely that Snowden would leave there anytime soon.”
The Wall Street Journal notes Snowden’s “decision to go to Russia is looking riskier than it first appeared, and may have left him in a worse situation than if he had stayed in Hong Kong.”
“We love Weiner and you can quote me on that!” shouted 25-year-old
Justin Curtis after Anthony Weiner passed in New York City’s gay pride parade, Politicker reports.
Responded Weiner: “You guys know that’s my name right? We’re not just saying that.”
Chris Cillizza: “Politics is a team sport. Except the way House Republicans have played it for the past few years.”
“At the root of the problems that afflict the majority party in the House is that there are simply too few members willing to occasionally set aside personal interests and ambitions for the broader interests of the party. They just won’t take one for the team… Examples of this go-it-alone approach are everywhere.”
Gay-marriage opponents “lost a last-ditch bid to reinstate California’s Proposition 8 ban on same-sex marriage, when a Supreme Court justice denied a motion to suspend the wedding ceremonies, which resumed in the state last week,” the Wall Street Journal reports.
Wonk Wire has the key takeaways from the Supreme Court’s just-completed term.
“The much-criticized 112th Congress – from 2011 to 2012 – was the least productive and least popular Congress on record, according to the available statistics,” First Read reports.
“Now six months in – highlighted by a string of legislative stalemates – the 113th Congress (2013-2014) is on track to match or even surpass those dubious distinctions.”
“GOP, if you abandon us, we have nowhere else to go except to become more independent and not enlisted in a one or the other private majority parties that rule in our nation, either a Democrat or a Republican.”
— Sarah Palin, quoted by the Daily Caller, suggesting she is open to the idea of leaving the Republicans party if it “continues to abandon its conservative principles.”
New York Times: “The 2016 election may be far off, but one theme is becoming clear: Republican strategists and presidential hopefuls, in ways subtle and overt, are eager to focus a spotlight on Mrs. Clinton’s age. The former secretary of state will be 69 by the next presidential election, a generation removed from most of the possible Republican candidates.”
“Despite her enduring popularity, a formidable fund-raising network and near unanimous support from her party, Mrs. Clinton, Republican leaders believe, is vulnerable to appearing a has-been.”
“When someone crosses John A. Boehner, he or she can expect a couple of reactions from the House speaker. Sometimes it’s a thwack on the back and a disapproving shake of his head, quickly followed by a begrudging smile to indicate that all is forgiven. Sometimes it’s a fake yell and then a shrug. One recalcitrant even got rewarded,” the Washington Post reports.
“Never — ever — is there a sense of real anger from the Ohio Republican. His leadership style does not involve rapping knuckles, breaking arms or even threatening to rap knuckles or break arms. He has sworn off intimidation and punishment, in a House that has rarely been run on anything else.”
“As a result, Boehner has allowed rank-and-file Republicans more freedom to vote their will, with him or against him, than any speaker in modern times.”
“We will not win another presidential election as Republicans unless we do something to fix the broken immigration system.”
— Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood (R), quoted by the Washington Post.
While Edward Snowden “has remained mysteriously hidden from sight during his visit to Russia this week, Russian television has been making him a hero,” the New York Times reports.
“On programs that were hastily arranged and broadcast on the two largest federal channels, he was compared to the dissident Andrei Sakharov, to Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, and to Max Otto von Stirlitz, a dashing fictional double agent from Soviet television… The chance that Russia will turn him in has all but vanished, as evidenced by Thursday’s television programs, which were almost certainly produced under Kremlin orders and have a powerful effect on public opinion.”
“Disagreements over policy are important and they’re healthy, but when he crosses the line into the personal, then he damages himself and he damages the Republican Party.”
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis (D) “was equipped with a catheter, but nixed an offer of a continuous IV drip” to help her make it through an 11+ hour filibuster earlier this week.
“Senate Republican leaders have sent letters warning six professional sports leagues not to provide the Obama administration any assistance in promoting Obamacare,” TPM reports.
“The letters, dated June 27, warn the chiefs of the National Football League, Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association, National Hockey League, Professional Golf Association and NASCAR that partnering with the administration to publicize the benefits of the health care law would damage their reputations.”
National Republicans “launched a series of programs aimed at recruiting more female candidates and getting conservative women involved in politics,” the Washington Post reports.
“The efforts come as Republicans continue to trail Democrats when it comes to electing women and also as the female vote continues to tilt toward Democrats. Democrats have four times as many women serving in the Senate and three times as many women in the House, and President Obama won the female vote 55 percent to 44 percent last year — just one point off his 2008 showing.”