May 2013

May 30, 2013

Travels of the President Under a Microscope in an Era of Belt Tightening

By Peter Baker and Michael D. Shear, The New York Times

Perhaps it is nothing more than an accident of timing that as federal workers brace for a summer filled with unpaid furlough days, their leaders are traveling the nation and globe on trips that exude luxury.

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Comey In Line to Become FBI Director, Officials Say

By Sari Horwitz and Peter Finn, Washington Post

President Obama plans to nominate James B. Comey, a former senior Justice Department official in the George W. Bush administration, to replace Robert S. Mueller III as FBI director, according to two people with knowledge of the selection process.

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China Goes "Hogwild"

With Eamon Javers, CNBC

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May 29, 2013

Born to Run

By John Dickerson, Slate Magazine

President Barack Obama and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie toured the rebuilt New Jersey Shore Tuesday and stopped by an arcade booth called Touchdown Fever. The game offered a stuffed bear to anyone who could toss a football through a tire. President Obama tried five times and missed. Gov. Christie threw the football through the tire on his first try. Obama gave him a high five. Christie then gave Obama the bear he won.

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GOP Districts Have Become Whiter, More Conservative

By Susan Davis and Alan Gomez, USA Today

Momentum to overhaul the nation's immigration laws is fueled by the growing political influence of Hispanics in America, but in the U.S. House there is diminishing incentive for Republicans to support the effort because their constituents have become whiter, more conservative and less diverse than the nation as a whole.

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Bachmann's Departure Relieves GOP Headache

By Reid Wilson

Rep. Michele Bachmann's decision to retire from Congress next year in the face of investigations by at least five different government agencies will bring to a close a political career full of sound and fury, signifying -- well, not much.

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McConnell Campaign Ad Uses IRS Scandal Against Obama

By Jeff Zeleny, ABC News

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell is seizing on the scandal at the Internal Revenue Service in a new campaign advertisement, using vintage video footage of Richard Nixon to amplify his criticism of President Obama and his administration.

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Death of $500 Deductibles?

With John Harwood, CNBC

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May 28, 2013

RCP's Alexis Simendinger On The Role Of Presidents During Disasters

With Alexis Simendinger, Real Clear Politics

PBS: In recent months, President Barack Obama has comforted Newtown families, memorialized Boston bombing victims and toured Oklahoma tornado destruction. Presidential historian Michael Beschloss and Alexis Simendinger of Real Clear Politics analyze with Gwen Ifill the role of presidents during times of national distress and tragedy.

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GOP Dilemma: Draw New Voters Without Irking Base

By Charles Babington, Associated Press

The Republican Party, having lost the popular vote in five of the last six presidential elections, confronts a dilemma that's easier to describe than to solve: How can it broaden its appeal to up-for-grabs voters without alienating its conservative base?

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How to Save the GOP

By Molly Ball, The Atlantic

The party is in desperate straits. It has lost the popular vote in five of the past six presidential elections. It consoles itself with a majority in Congress, but even there its ranks are dwindling. On nearly every issue of national significance—from social affairs to fiscal matters to foreign policy—its positions are increasingly out of step with those of the majority of Americans. Riven by factions, it sometimes seems more like a collection of squabbling interest groups than a coherent political entity. People have started muttering that it might become merely a regional concern, or even go the way of the Whigs and die out.

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The Cruz Missile

By John Dickerson, Slate Magazine

Sen. Ted Cruz doesn’t have as many friends as he says he does. In the latest round of Cruz’s simmering debate with Sen. John McCain (who labeled Cruz a "wacko bird"), Cruz spoke of "my friend, the senior senator from Arizona" while painting him as out of touch with his party and country. It usually takes a while for senators to learn how to weaponize compliments and imprecations of friendship, but Cruz is a quick study. After a patient attack on McCain's understanding of history, Cruz said: "I know my friend from Arizona is well aware of that because he is such an esteemed historian of this body." Like use of the word "frankly," which in Washington means just the opposite, Cruz’s sentence is best read in reverse: McCain is neither a friend, esteemed, nor a historian. (He is still, however, from Arizona.)

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