August 2013

Aug 26, 2013

On MLK Anniversary, Black Numbers Are Up in Congress, but Power Is Down

By Beth Reinhard, National Journal

When Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech 50 years ago this week, just five African-Americans held seats in Congress. There are 44 today.

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The March on Washington’s Unfinished Agenda

By Dan Balz, The Washington Post

In the way history can be conflated, the March on Washington has been reduced to a few vivid images. One is the size of the gathering, with photos showing a crowd flowing from the foot of the Lincoln Memorial and stretching the length of the Reflecting Pool and beyond. The other and most iconic by far is the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. delivering his “I Have a Dream” speech, which continues to echo powerfully 50 years on.

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Justice Department Gets Aggressive On Voting Rights

With Carrie Johnson, NPR

After the Supreme Court threw out a key provision of the landmark 1965 law in June, the DOJ is taking action. This the department sued the state of Texas over its voter ID law. Texas officials immediately denounced the moves as stepping on states' rights.

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Immigration Bill Generating Little Heat in Town Halls

By Susan Davis and Alan Gomez, USA Today

Republican Rep. Frank LoBiondo represents a South Jersey congressional district with a sizable Hispanic population, farmlands that employ migrant workers, an influential labor union presence and a constituency that voted twice for President Obama.

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Obama Faces Toughest Foreign Policy Challenge in Syria

By David Lerman & Indira A.R. Lakshmanan, Bloomberg News

In deciding how to respond to the Syrian regime’s alleged use of chemical weapons against innocent civilians, President Barack Obama faces the toughest foreign policy dilemma of his administration.

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U.S Has 'Very Little Doubt' of Syria Chemical Weapons

With Martha Raddatz, ABC News

Secretary of state issues the strongest statement yet about the Assad regime's chemical weapon use.

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Aug 23, 2013

There'll Be A Democratic Primary. With Or Without Hillary

By Amy Walter, Cook Political Report

When people find out what I do for a living, the first question they inevitably ask is "Is Hillary running?" When I answer that I think she will, the follow up is almost always: "Will anyone run against her?" My answer is, of course. Why wouldn't they?

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What the DOJ decision means for Texas’ congressional delegation

By Ed O'Keefe and Sean Sullivan, The Washington Post

The Justice Department announced plans Thursday to challenge Republican-drawn redistricting plans in Texas, launching another round in a years-long legal fight over voting rights between the Obama administration and the Lone Star State.

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The Movement to Defund Obamacare, Explained

By Molly Ball, The Atlantic

The Tea Party has a new obsession: killing Obamacare by stripping the funding needed to implement the law. Thirteen Republican senators have signed on to the effort, which would likely lead to a government shutdown, since Democrats and President Obama are unlikely to agree to gut the president's signature domestic achievement.

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Boehner Proposes ‘Short-Term’ Bill to Avert Government Shutdown

By Lori Montgomery, The Washington Post

House Speaker John A. Boehner said Thursday that he plans to avert a government shutdown at the end of September by passing a “short-term” budget bill that maintains sharp automatic spending cuts, known as the sequester.

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Snags Slow Formation of Surveillance Review Group

By Alexis Simendinger, Real Clear Politics

President Obama’s decision to create a new expert group to weigh national security surveillance, government secret-keeping, and the public trust has prompted internal headaches, leaks, and plenty of second-guessing from critics.

“This investigation, run out of the executive [branch], certainly can’t come to any unbiased conclusions” about government access to Americans’ phone and email communications, Electronic Frontier Foundation Policy Analyst Mark Jaycox told RCP. “It’s time for Congress to exert its own powers as a coequal branch of government and leave no stone unturned.”

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Obama Officials Weigh Response to Syria Assault

By Mark Landler, Mark Mazzetti and Alissa J. Rubin, The New York Times

The day after a deadly assault in Syria that bore many of the hallmarks of a chemical weapons attack, a sharply divided Obama administration on Thursday began weighing potential military responses to President Bashar al-Assad’s forces.

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