March 2014

Mar 27, 2014

House Democrats are introducing a discharge petition on immigration. It won’t work.

By Ed O’Keefe, The Washington Post

Lacking any control of the House schedule, Democrats have tried twice unsuccessfully in the past six months to use a discharge petition to force a vote on legislation they support. A discharge petition is a procedural tactic that allows an absolute majority of the House of Representatives (218 lawmakers) to force a floor vote on a bill, even if leaders who control the House floor oppose the measure. Successful use of discharge petitions conceivably could help the minority party hijack the majority party's legislative agenda.

Read more

Military Cuts Render NATO Less Formidable as Deterrent to Russia

By Helene Cooper and Steven Erlanger, The New York Times

President Obama and European leaders pledged Wednesday to bolster the NATO alliance and vowed that Russia would not be allowed to run roughshod over its neighbors. But the military reality on the ground in Europe tells a different story.

Read more

Obama: Crimea not another Cold War but a 'contest of ideas'

By Kathleen Hennessey and Christi Parsons, Los Angeles Times

The dispute over Crimea is not another Cold War but a “contest of ideas,” pitting an outmoded nationalism against the progress of democratic ideals, President Obama declared Wednesday as he sought to explain the Western response to Russia’s seizure of the peninsula from Ukraine.

Read more

Obama Renewing U.S. Commitment to NATO Alliance

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

President Obama has spent much of his presidency mired in the challenges of a world well outside the borders of Europe — the turmoil of the Middle East, the power struggles in Asia and the terrorist threats percolating in northern Africa, Pakistan and elsewhere.

Read more

Mar 26, 2014

Marijuana ballot initiatives may motivate voters

By Susan Davis, USA Today

Warning: Increased voter turnout could be a political side effect of marijuana.

The latest George Washington University Battleground poll, a national survey of likely voters, reveals that nearly four in 10 respondents say they would be "much more likely" to vote if marijuana legalization issues were on the ballot. An additional 30% say such ballot initiatives would make them "somewhat" more likely to vote.

Read more

Abortion fight haunts U.S. top court hearing on healthcare law

By Joan Biskupic, Reuters

U.S. Supreme Court arguments over federal healthcare policy were nearly finished on Tuesday when Justice Anthony Kennedy challenged Obama administration lawyer Donald Verrilli on abortion rights.

Read more

SCOTUS Clashes Over Obamacare Contraception Coverage

With Pete Williams, NBC News

The U.S. Supreme Court took up the most closely-watched question of the term: does the Obamacare law violate religious freedom?

Watch more

Senate Ukraine aid bill will not include IMF changes

By Ed O’Keefe, The Washington Post

Senate Democrats will remove provisions from a proposed aid package for Ukraine that would change how the United States provides money for the International Monetary Fund in order to ensure quicker passage of the measure, Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) said Tuesday.

Read more

Obama Answers Critics, Dismissing Russia as a ‘Regional Power’

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

Amid the chest-thumping between President Obama and President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia in recent weeks, one question has lingered: How big a threat is Russia, anyway?

Read more

Mar 25, 2014

Harry Reid accuses GOP of helping Russia annex Crimea as Ukraine aid deal clears procedural hurdle

By Ed O’Keefe, The Washington Post

A bipartisan proposal to provide more than $1 billion in aid to the new Ukrainian government survived a procedural vote in the Senate Monday evening, setting it up for final passage later this week.

Read more

'Ambassador, dear, you are lying'

By John F. Harris, Politico

President Barack Obama arrives Tuesday in the capital of Europe, a city of frameworks and furrowed brows, of multilateral dialogue and expressions of grave concern, where the locals speak French, international bureaucrats do their work in English and representatives of the 28 member countries of the European Union are all fluent in the universal language of blah, blah, blah.

Read more

G-7 Leaders to Putin, Russia: You're Out

By Alexis Simendinger, Real Clear Politics

The United States and leaders of the largest economies wagered Monday that Russian President Vladimir Putin will fret about his nation’s ouster from a global club Moscow worked hard to join beginning in the 1990s.

Read more