April 2013

Apr 30, 2013

Elizabeth Colbert Busch to Mark Sanford: 'You Didn't Tell the Truth'

By Beth Reinhard, National Journal

Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch aggressively attacked Mark Sanford in her first-ever political debate, bringing up the former governor's personal problems just eight days before the May 7 special election.

The novice candidate for Congress held her own against the former governor and congressman. “You didn’t tell the truth,” she said, referring to his alleged promise to support dredging the Port of Charleston but perhaps also to his marital affair and violations of state ethics laws.

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Why Both the Dems and the GOP Now Think Voters Prefer Female Candidates

By Molly Ball, The Atlantic

In the two-year cycle of the political calendar, it is candidate-recruitment season—the time when Washington operatives fan out across the country to size up the political horseflesh. In the months to come, they will meet with scores of state legislators, small-town mayors, community activists, and upstanding business owners, gauging which ones might have what it takes to run for a House or Senate seat, or for governor or state treasurer. These political scouts will take many qualities into account, from life story to speaking ability to baby-kissing skills. But they will be looking, in particular, for a few good women.

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How Did Obama Do in His First 100 Days?

With John Harwood, CNBC

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Flights of Fancy

By John Dickerson, Slate Magazine

Before I go on vacation, I work a little harder. It makes me feel like I deserve the break. Charlie Chaplin said if he didn’t write every day, he felt he didn’t deserve dinner. Members of Congress apparently feel the same way. Before they went on recess this past week, they were hard at work on their most sustained long-term project: tanking their approval ratings.

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Kelly Ayotte in Focus as NRA and Anti-Hun Groups Mobilize

By Ed O'Keefe, The Washington Post

Whether the Senate ever reconsiders gun-control legislation could be decided this week as groups pushing for stricter gun laws plan to mobilize supporters here and in other states with senators who recently voted against a bipartisan plan to expand the national gun background check program.

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Female DNA Found on Boston Bomb Pieces

With Pete Williams, NBC News

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Apr 29, 2013

Black Voters Are Key to a Colbert Busch Win in South Carolina

By Beth Reinhard, National Journal

South Carolina’s First Congressional District is known for the churning Port of Charleston, growing suburbs to the north, and stately homes with wrap-around porches from Beaufort to Mount Pleasant. The white, well-heeled voters who dominate the district favored Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney by 18 percentage points.

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Court May Limit Use of Race in College Admission Decisions

By Joan Biskupic, Reuters

Thirty-five years after the Supreme Court set the terms for boosting college admissions of African Americans and other minorities, the court may be about to issue a ruling that could restrict universities' use of race in deciding who is awarded places.

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McManus: Obama's War on Red Tape

By Doyle McManus, Los Angeles Times

Here are three things the Obama administration has done that you probably didn't know about: Ever struggle with those accordion-style rubber sleeves on nozzles at the gas station? The sleeve — technically a "vapor recovery nozzle" — was required by the Environmental Protection Agency to keep gasoline vapors from leaking into the air. But most cars and trucks now have technology that does the job better, so last year the EPA abolished the nozzle requirement. Because each sleeve-equipped nozzle can cost as much as $300, the change will save gas stations thousands of dollars.

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Asylum and Entry/Exit Systems Get Another Look in Congress After Boston

By Fawn Johnson, National Journal

If the political stars had been aligned differently, the home-made bombs that exploded at the Boston Marathon finish line earlier this month would have derailed the fast-moving immigration effort on Capitol Hill. It is not uncommon for lawmakers to shy away from hard-nosed legislative deal-making on controversial issues in the wake of such unexpected catastrophes.

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FBI Criticized For Failing To 'Connect Dots' In Boston Case

With Tom Gjelten, NPR

The failure of the FBI and the CIA to keep track of Tamerlan Dsarnaev in the months preceding the Boston Marathon bombing has prompted criticism that U.S. law enforcement and intelligence officials ignored important warning signs. The case is reminiscent of criticism leveled at counterterrorism officials after Army Maj. Nidal Hasan's shooting rampage at Fort Hood Texas in November 2009 and after the al-Qaida-directed attempt to blow up a civilian airliner on Christmas Day of that year. In both cases, counterterrorism officials subsequently acknowledged that mistakes had been made. Whether authorities missed important evidence of Dsarnaev's intentions, however, is far less clear. Veteran intelligence officers say resource and legal constraints make it very difficult to follow suspicious individuals closely unless their behavior is genuinely alarming.

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Middle-Class Americans Still Aren't Being Helped by Washington

By Dan Balz, The Washington Post

The 2012 presidential campaign was fought over one big issue: which candidate and which party would be better equipped to help and protect struggling middle-class Americans. Since then, political leaders in Washington have done nothing to make good on their promises.

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