NOTE: REDLINE does not currently publish on the weekends, though that may change in coming weeks.
Friday, April 10, 2015
Good morning! In the news today: State recommends taking Cuba off the terrorism sponsor list as Obama gets set to pal around with Castro in Panama; Clinton foundation received money from Colombians while Hillary ignored government’s labor abuses; Michelle demands massive aid for Native Americans; Kirk to revive Iran sanctions bill; ISIS wants $30 million for Christian hostages; and a pizzeria reopens.
Have a nice weekend.
State recommends taking Cuba of terrorism sponsor list . . . Obama appears to be close to removing Cuba from the U.S. list of countries that it says sponsor terrorism. Cuba’s inclusion on the list has exacerbated tensions and made it harder for U.S. firms to do business with Cuba. The U.S. State Department has now recommended that Cuba be taken off the list, a U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee aide said on Thursday. Obama is expected to agree although it is not clear whether he will announce his decision during the summit. Reuters
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The Obamas prove children are Republicans . . . You cannot be born a liberal. Children are born with all the right instincts. Conservative instincts. They want to achieve things and be rewarded for it. They can be generous, they can be kind, and they can be mean, but they live in the real world. They think funny things are funny, sad things are sad, bad things are bad, and dangerous things are dangerous. They are never politically correct. This kind of thing must be trained. White House Dossier
Obama honors Bob Marley . . . The president makes an unannounced visit to the museum in Jamaica honoring the reggae singer and stoner icon. Politico
CBO: Obamacare driving up the deficit . . . The Congressional Budget Office reported Wednesday that the federal government saw a higher budget deficit in the first half of fiscal year 2015 compared to 2014, and said higher spending due to Obamacare is part of the reason. The Blaze
O’Reilly: Obama more skeptical of Christians than Muslims . . . President Barack Obama’s comment at this week’s Easter Prayer Breakfast that some Christians are acting “less than loving” makes him appear critical of Christians, Fox News host Bill O’Reilly says. “In the political arena, it seems like President Obama is more skeptical of Christians than he is of Muslims.” Newsmax
Lerner knew targeting “might raise questions” . . . We understand why the criteria might raise questions,” she wrote in an email. But she blamed the staff, saying those investigating the targeting “didn’t seem to understand the difference between IRS acting in a politically motivated manner and front line staff people using less than stellar judgment.” She added: “I am willing to take the blame for not having provided sufficient direction initially, which may have resulted in front line staff doing things that appeared to be politically motivated, but I am not on board that anything that occurred here shows that the IRS was politically motivated in the actions taken.” Judicial Watch
The “overzealous staffers” defense . . .
Michelle: Wrongs done to Native Americans merits massive aid . . .
“These issues are the result of a long history of systematic discrimination and abuse,” Mrs. Obama said. “We can’t just invest a million here and a million there, or come up with some five year or ten-year plan and think we’re going to make a real impact. This is truly about nation-building, and it will require fresh thinking and a massive infusion of resources over generations.” CNS News
Uhh, do we do five-year plans in this country?
Obama gun agenda worries Dems . . . “Every time a Democrat starts talking about guns, they lose numbers because it is the Second Amendment,” said Dave “Mudcat” Saunders, a Democratic strategist and lifelong gun owner. Washington Times
Meet Victoria Woodhull, first female candidate for president . . .
When to Victoria’s ineligibility and lack of votes are added certain other details of her biography—her guttersnipe, vagabond parents, her three marriages, her work as a child preacher, a fortune teller, a clairvoyant and a spiritualist healer—it’s not surprising that history has reduced her to a curiosity and a footnote, and characterized her, at best, as a free-thinker and an eccentric; at worst as a scoundrel and a hustler. The full story, as is so often the case, is much more interesting. Politico
The six points of Kissinger and Schultz’s Iran deal refutation . . . Kissinger and Scultz’s Wall Street Journal piece is the most thorough and damning evisceration of President Obama’s Iran arms deal you can find. And it’s been lodged by two of the foreign policy establishment’s wisest and most experienced hands, neither known for their partisan fervor. I thought I’d take you through their argument, which you may not be able to access on the Wall Street Journal website. Because it’s a major statement about what may be the most important issue of our time. I break it down into six points. White House Dossier
Kirk to press for Iran sanctions bill . . . Sen. Mark Kirk, the Republican co-author of sanctions legislation the president had said would kill the talks if it passed, said he would shelve his bill until the June 30 final deadline for the nuclear discussions because it appeared the president and Secretary of State John Kerry had actually gotten the Iranians to agree on a political framework for a nuclear deal. Now Kirk feels that there isn’t much of an agreement at all. Eli Lake
McCain: Kerry is “delusional” . . . “I think you’re going to find out that they had never agreed to the things that John Kerry claimed that they had,” McCain said. Politico
1979 Iran hostage families want compensation as part of deal . . . Dozens of the hostages and their families will meet with lawmakers’ staffs early next week to reiterate their call for compensation from Iran, which has gone unanswered in the 35 years since they were held prisoner. The Hill
Clinton to announce Sunday . . . Hillary Clinton is planning to officially launch her US presidential campaign on Sunday while en route to Iowa, a source familiar with the campaign has confirmed to the Guardian.
Was Clinton’s Colombia policy driven by donations? . . . As union leaders and human rights activists conveyed harrowing reports of violence to then-Secretary of State Clinton in late 2011, urging her to pressure the Colombian government to protect labor organizers, she responded first with silence, these organizers say. The State Department publicly praised Colombia’s progress on human rights, thereby permitting hundreds of millions of dollars in U.S. aid to flow to the same Colombian military that labor activists say helped intimidate workers.
At the same time that Clinton’s State Department was lauding Colombia’s human rights record, her family was forging a financial relationship with Pacific Rubiales, the sprawling Canadian petroleum company at the center of Colombia’s labor strife. The Clintons were also developing commercial ties with the oil giant’s founder, Canadian financier Frank Giustra, who now occupies a seat on the board of the Clinton Foundation, the family’s global philanthropic empire. International Business Times
Social Security Disability fund nearly bankrupt . . . Social Security’s disability fund is set to start running out of money in late 2016, which would require a 20 percent cut in benefits, a looming cliff that Republicans have pointed to as evidence of the program’s uncertain solvency. So how will the GOP candidates handle this? National Journal
Which candidate will be unafraid to tell the truth to voters, even if it risks alienating some?
Cruz rollout tops Paul’s . . . “Cruz had a superb rollout. He hit all the right notes,” Republican guru Ed Rollins told the Washington Examiner on Thursday. “Paul had a disastrous rollout…He’ll get back on track, but it was not a good first impression.” Washington Examiner
Cruz blasts “yellow journalism” . . . Republican presidential hopeful Sen. Ted Cruz defended himself this week from the media’s supposed caricature of him as a “crazy” Republican as well from fact-check groups that regularly scrutinize his every word — even remarks clearly meant to be humorous. “I get portrayed in a lot of outlets as a wild-eyed lunatic with dynamite around my chest,” he said. Washington Examiner
Paul’s leaky Iran flip flop defense . . . The problem with his defense is that in his 2007 comments, Paul didn’t merely say that Iran wasn’t a threat at that particular moment — he dismissed the idea that Iran would be a threat even if the radical regime successfully obtained a nuclear weapon. Washington Examiner
Walker’s learning curve . . . The Wisconsin governor is stumbling as he finds his way on the 2016 campaign trail. Politico
Rubio’s radical tax plan . . . Marco Rubio is about to shake up the Republican presidential primary by running on a tax plan that tosses out decades of GOP allegiance to the idea of simply slashing rates across the board and expecting faster economic growth to follow. Politico
Media yawn as Clyburn blames conservatives for Scott killing . . . Newsrooms are giving Democratic Rep. Jim Clyburn a pass after the twelve-term South Carolina congressman called conservatives a “cancer” and blamed them for the death of Walter Scott, an unarmed 50-year-old African-American who was shot and killed by a police officer Saturday in South Carolina. Washington Examiner
ISIS demands $30 million to release Christian hostages . . . Islamic State militants are demanding up to $30 million in ransom to release the hundreds of Christian hostages in Syria, according to an officer within the Assyrian leadership. In ongoing negotiations between ISIS terrorists and the Assyrian leadership to free the 250-300 Christians abducted by the militant group in February, ISIS is demanding $100,000 per individual, according to the source. Fox News
Scott family wants Sharpton to butt out . . . Stay away, Rev. Al. That was the message from the family of South Carolina police shooting victim Walter Scott to the civil rights activist Thursday two days before the funeral for the slain father of four. “We don’t want another Ferguson type of circus here,” a source close to the Scott family told The Daily News.
Teacher has students write get-well cards to cop killer . . . A third-grade teacher at a public school in New Jersey is under fire after she encouraged her students to write letters to notorious convicted cop killer Mumia Abu-Jamal, who recently fell ill in prison. Daily Caller
Pizzeria that backed religious law reopens . . . Memories Pizza owner Kevin O’Connor says he reopened about 4 p.m. Thursday. He says that within an hour, all eight tables were filled and six people were waiting for carryout orders. There were no protests as of 7 p.m. Fox News
White House Dossier
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