June 2013

Jun 28, 2013

Defense Officials Indicate NSA Leaks Have Had Consequences

With Tom Gjelten, NPR

Washington is still trying to determine how much damage has been done as a result of Edward Snowden's revelations about NSA surveillance. Snowden allegedly encrypted the files he took with him, but some officials fear Chinese or Russian intelligence services gained access to Snowden's computers.

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Will the GOP Embrace Marriage Equality?

By John Dickerson, Slate Magazine

It was a busy week in existential threats to the Republican Party. Two issues that various Republicans have said require the party to evolve or die have been thrust into the national spotlight: Immigration reform is on its way to passing the Senate, and the Supreme Court offered two major victories for the supporters of marriage equality.

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The Supreme Court's Pleasant Surprise for Affirmative-Action Advocates

By Molly Ball, The Atlantic

The Supreme Court's decision on affirmative action Monday wasn't much of a decision. In a 7-1 vote, the justices sent the case, Fisher v. University of Texas, back to a lower court for reexamination (Justice Kagan recused herself).

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Key Republicans To Watch In House Immigration Debate

By Amy Walter, Cook Political Report

Last week’s failure of the farm bill in the House brought to light the fragility of the GOP coalition in the House. Republicans may have a 17-seat majority, but it’s a majority in name only. The factions within the conference have made it almost impossible to corral even a majority of the majority (the so-called Hastert Rule) on bi-partisan pieces of legislation. As one former senior House staffer joked with me the other day, the only way the House will support legislation backed by the White House is when there is a new occupant at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

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Senate Passes Sweeping Rewrite of Immigration Laws

By Alan Gomez and Susan Davis, USA Today

The U.S. Senate passed a sweeping immigration bill Thursday that would allow the nation's 11 million unauthorized immigrants to become U.S. citizens, overhaul the country's immigration system and spend billions to secure the southwest border with Mexico.

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Jun 27, 2013

African Terrorist Threat Not Far From Obama’s Mind

By James Kitfield, National Journal

When President Obama lands in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, next week, he will see a city that reflects the rapid changes that are reshaping Africa. The traffic-snarled streets are a riot of bright color, with buildings painted in splashes of pink and orange sherbet, and pedestrians dressed in blaring red dresses and screaming yellow soccer shirts. On the shoreline, large container ships will be stacked to the horizon of the Indian Ocean, bespeaking the economic miracle that has brought Africa’s average economic growth rate on par with Asia’s at nearly 6 percent.

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Texas State Senator Wendy Davis Filibusters Her way To Democratic Stardom

By Karen Tumulty and Morgan Smith, The Washington Post

Wendy Davis strode onto the floor of the Texas Senate chamber on Tuesday in rouge-red running shoes, and came off it early Wednesday morning as the Democratic Party’s newest star.

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Court Rulings on Gay Marriage and Voting Rights Test GOP Makeover

By Beth Reinhard, National Journal

House Speaker John Boehner spent at least $2.3 million to defend the federal law banning same-sex marriage -- a cause dear to the Republican base -- but you couldn't tell from his muted reaction when the U.S. Supreme Court struck it down.

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Ruling Opens Immigration System To Gay Couples

By Alan Gomez, USA Today

Gay and lesbian couples will for the first time be able to secure green cards for their foreign spouses after the Supreme Court struck down a section of federal law that denied federal benefits to legally married same-sex couples.

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Court Underscores Political Shift on Same-Sex Marriage

By Dan Balz, The Washington Post

The Supreme Court met the moment Wednesday. With public attitudes shifting dramatically in favor of same-sex marriage, the justices used a pair of rulings to give additional momentum to one of the most rapid changes in social policy in the nation’s history.

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A Scramble to Change Federal Rules After Gay Rights Ruling

With Pete Williams, NBC News

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Analysis: Supreme Court In No Rush to Grant National Gay-Marriage Right

By Joan Biskupic, Reuters

When the U.S. Supreme Court declined on Wednesday to rule on whether gay men and lesbians have a fundamental right to marry, it delivered an implicit message to those seeking such a right: Don't hurry back.

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