Wednesday, May 6, 2015
Good morning! In the news today: President Obama is doing too little to stem the growing North Korean nuclear threat; Obama’s slow-go ISIS strategy under fire; top ten Clinton conflicts of interest; Huma’s info appears to be missing; and – caught after 56 years on the lam.
Have a great day.
Obama AWOL on the worst nuclear threat, North Korea . . . President Barack Obama may be racing to secure a nuclear deal with Iran, but his nonproliferation legacy could ultimately hinge on a country further to the east — one that already has nuclear weapons and is led by an unpredictable 30-something.
When it comes to curbing North Korea’s nukes, even administration officials acknowledge that diplomacy is in a holding pattern. Detractors and some supporters say the administration has given up trying to stop North Korea’s steadily expanding program; others say Obama’s team has missed opportunities to resume formal negotiations with Pyongyang. And some critics argue the U.S. should further toughen sanctions on the hermit-like Asian country. Politico
Always the feeling with Obama that nobody’s really minding the store.
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Obama ISIS strategy under fire . . . Republicans are blasting the president over his broader strategy to defeat the Islamic State, which controls parts of Iraq and Syria and has proved in recent weeks that it is capable of carrying out atrocities in North Africa and elsewhere. With an inadequate offensive against the group, Republicans say, more attacks in the U.S. are inevitable. Washington Times
My brother’s wrong keeper . . . I do understand that there are strategies for combatting poverty that are particular to the black or Hispanic communities. But when government emphasizes the plight of one group over another, based on the color of their skin, it puts us on a slippery slope toward racial divide. Which is exactly where Obama, with his constant focus on race – and his alliance with all the race-baiting canaries in the coal mine of oppression – has placed us. White House Dossier
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IRS accidentally allowed $5 billion in bogus tax credits . . . The Internal Revenue Service let more than $5 billion in bogus education tax credits be claimed under an Obama administration 2012 stimulus effort, according to a report released Tuesday by the agency’s inspector general. Daily Caller
Reid jams Obama trade initiative . . . Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid is jamming up President Obama’s push for a new comprehensive trade deal, saying he’ll try to block it until the Senate tackles other hot-button issues. Fox News
Ferry to Cuba . . . The United States authorized commercial ferry services to Cuba for the first time in more than a half-century on Tuesday, another major step in improving relations between the two countries. AFP
Lynch draws contrast with Holder . . . When U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch visited Baltimore on Tuesday she made a deliberate attempt to cast herself as different from her predecessor. She visited police headquarters. Former attorney general Eric Holder faced eerily similar circumstances to Lynch in August 2014, amid civil unrest in Ferguson, Missouri. While Holder met with many people, including Brown’s parents, he did not visit the police station. Reuters
Maybe more local government isn’t the answer . . . Okay Mr. President, score one for your ideology. Maybe things aren’t always best left to the localities. White House Dossier #humor
Texas gunmen “inspired” by ISIS . . . The heavily armed gunmen who attacked a cartoon contest near Dallas over the weekend were probably inspired by the Islamic State, according to U.S. officials, who cautioned that they have so far seen no indication that the assailants were directed by the group. Washington Post
Feds were investigating one of the gunmen . . . Federal authorities were investigating one of the gunmen involved in Sunday’s attack on a Texas cartoon contest featuring images of the Muslim prophet Muhammad, as counterterrorism investigators worked to determine whether the men had any formal ties to the Islamic State terror group. Fox News
Iran bill set to pass . . . Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), who earlier in the day predicted an “overwhelming vote” on the Iran bill, told reporters after McConnell’s move to end debate that he believed other senators would respect the decision. The Hill
Iran says it’s chasing the U.S. navy around . . . An Iranian naval fleet chased a U.S. warship and military planes through the waters off the southern coast of Yemen late Monday in yet another provocative encounter between the two nations, according to Iranian state media reports. Washington Free Beacon
Top ten Clinton conflicts of interest . . . While Clinton Cash contains no smoking gun, it lays out a pattern in which money flowed to Clinton causes and then one or both Clintons wielded their power on behalf of the sources of that money. Washington Examiner
Only 25 percent find Hillary honest . . . Yes, it’s bad, but it’s not clear how much it will hurt. Nobody has ever particularly supported the Clintons because they wanted to know who chopped down the cherry tree. White House Dossier
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Where’s Huma’s stuff? . . . The emails of Huma Abedin, the top personal aide to former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, are now facing a disclosure lawsuit after the State Department failed to turn them over in response to an open-records request. Washington Times
Warren met privately with “draft Warren” backers . . . The Massachusetts senator recently huddled with progressives affiliated with the campaign urging her to run for president. Her office insists she was unaware of any connection. Politico
Iowa: Walker on top, Jeb way back . . . Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is the top dog with a big early lead in the Iowa Republican Caucus, with a four-way scramble for second place and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush in seventh place with 5 percent, according to a Quinnipiac University poll.
Carly: steamy car windows on third date with my husband . . . On her second day as a GOP presidential candidate, Carly Fiorina, with husband Frank, took a break from policy to tell of how the duo were hooked on each other from the start. Washington Examiner
Republicans pass budget with huge cuts . . . The U.S. Senate on Tuesday narrowly passed a Republican budget plan that prescribes deep domestic spending cuts to eliminate deficits by 2024 and aids the party’s goal of trying to dismantle President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law. Reuters
The GOP’s new case against Obamacare . . . Republicans are shifting their line of attack on ObamaCare, abandoning assertions that few people are taking advantage of the law for new arguments that enrollees are getting stuck with low-quality insurance plans. The Hill
German suicide pilot rehearsed crash . . . Germanwings co-pilot Andreas Lubitz rehearsed putting his aircraft into a controlled descent on the flight that preceded the crash of his jetliner into the French Alps on March 24, according to an interim report Wednesday by French air accident investigators. CNN
Cameron lets his hair down to save his skin . . . Known for his aristocratic restraint, the man who has been this country’s leader for the past five years is often derided for lacking passion or conviction. British Prime Minister David Cameron speaks at a Conservative party election rally in Hendon in north London on May 5. Yet in the final days of an unexpectedly tight contest with Labor Party leader Ed Miliband, Cameron has been letting it rip. Washington Post
Culture can make or break a cycle of poverty . . . The importance of culture — broadly defined to include everything from social norms to legal structures — is largely settled in the global arena. For instance, low-skilled Mexican laborers become ten to 20 times more economically productive merely by crossing the U.S. border, according to one study. It only makes sense that culture matters in neighborhoods as well. Jonah Goldberg
Hispanic population growing faster than expected . . . America’s Hispanic population is projected to soar in the coming two decades to 85,543,000, faster than some have expected, according to a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report on Latinos. CDC on Tuesday said the Hispanic population will total 22.8 percent of the U.S. population by 2035. Washington Examiner
Bernanke consulting roles draw heat . . . Former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s latest career moves have some experts concerned about the proverbial “revolving door” between government agencies and the businesses they regulate. A little more than a year out of office, Bernanke announced that he would consult for the hedge fund Citadel, and then last week announced that he also had been hired by the bond giant Pimco. Washington Examiner
“Shawshank” prison escape ends 56 years later . . . For a week, U.S. marshals staked out the trailer park at the swampy edge of the world. They watched as an old man with a white ponytail, glasses and beard slowly shuffled around his Melbourne, Fla. mobile home. The name on the mailbox said William Harold Cox but the marshals knew better. After seven days of surveillance, they confronted Cox with a mug shot of a much younger man, dated February 26, 1959. Washington Post
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