"Some people had to go to some real shit holes to escape him."
Updated at 3:03 p.m. When U.S. Ambassador to Kenya Scott Gration resigned his position early this morning, he said in an emailed statement, “differences with Washington regarding my leadership style and certain priorities lead me to believe that it's now time to leave." That's putting it gently. A former State Department official with a long service record in the Africa bureau and a former ambassador told me that Gration’s tenure in Kenya was marked by constant friction with his superiors and a refusal to abide by State Department protocol and security measures.
In the run-up to Rep. Charles B. Rangel’s tough primary victory, one player in the race mostly flew under the radar: Campaign for Our Future, a Super PAC supporting Democratic challenger and former DNC political director Clyde Williams. It’s too bad, for this is exactly the kind of out-of-nowhere Super PAC activity that could determine a staggering number of political races this year.
Dashing any hope that the Supreme Court would reconsider its ruling in Citizens United, the justices today handed down a terse, 5-4 decision that definitively invalidated state bans on corporate spending. It’s a hard knock for reformers, who were earnestly wishing (but probably not expecting) that the Supreme Court would at least hear new arguments regarding its controversial 2010 decision.
It’s a real relief to see the takedowns pile up in response to Mark Regnerus’s ill-conceived new study, “How different are the adult children of parents who have same-sex relationships? Findings from the New Family Structures Study,” which purports to challenge the claim that there are few differences between children raised in same-sex and heterosexual households.
Today’s special election in Wisconsin is definitely historic. The contest, which pits Republican governor Scott Walker against Democrat Tom Barrett, is the denouement of fierce backlash against Walker’s union-stomping policies, and it marks only the third time in U.S. history that a governor has been subject to a recall. But historical importance doesn’t automatically confer electoral importance, a fact few Beltway-dwellers seem to grasp.
This is me giving a great big eye-roll to yesterday’s New York Times op-ed titled “The Parent Trap.” Written by researchers Karen L. Fingerman and Frank F.
Is asking voters to compare Romney’s vulture capitalism to Solyndra a good idea? The Romney campaign and its cohorts seem to think so. Within the past few days, American Crossroads, Karl Rove’s super PAC, released an ad that counters Obama’s attacks on Bain by highlighting Solyndra, a bankrupt solar panel company that had been given a government-backed loan guarantee, as well as the auto industry bailout. George Will made the Bain-Solyndra comparison on This Week; Paul Ryan did the same on Fox News Sunday; Michael Barone piled on in National Review Online.
Since Lanhee Chen joined the Romney campaign in March last year, his public pronouncements have been liberally seasoned with snark. Tweeting about Newt Gingrich during the first Florida debate, he wrote, “Thanks for explaining why you were forced to resign in disgrace, Mr. Speaker.” In April, he tweeted: “[David Axelrod] says Obama to be judged on his record.
Earlier today, Governor Dannel Malloy signed a bill that made Connecticut the 17th state to ban the death penalty. With Connecticut’s populace overwhelmingly favoring the capital punishment, Malloy justified the move not on moral grounds but as a sound fiscal decision. A state agency claimed that it had cost Connecticut $5 million a year to run its death penalty system, which had executed only two people in the last 52 years. Can nixing the death penalty really save a state money? A 2008 study (pdf) by the non-partisan Urban Institute found that it could.
One day in mid-February, Virginia General Assembly Delegate Robert Marshall was at the Richmond offices of the Family Foundation—a conservative Virginia organization—when he happened to spot a fellow GOP politician in the hallway. It was Bill Bolling, Virginia’s lieutenant governor and president of the state Senate. At the time, Marshall was pushing a controversial “personhood” amendment, which would have given legal rights to a fetus starting at conception. Eager to secure Bolling’s support, Marshall and his wife hurried after him. But Bolling seemed bent on beating a hasty retreat.