Here’s what many millennials don’t like: the ‘closed-minded, racist, rigid, old-fashioned’ GOP. That’s the finding of a sober study by the College Republican National Committee. Jon Favreau says it’s a wake-up call.
If you were among the roughly 97 percent of Americans who didn’t tune into one of the Sunday shows this weekend, you might not realize that the only two issues currently worthy of sustained national debate are the stupidity of some IRS bureaucrats and the overzealousness of some certain federal prosecutors during an investigation of leaks that may have jeopardized U.S. assets within al Qaeda and North Korea.
Student vote on the campus of the University of Northern Iowa in September 2012. The Republican Party is trying to figure out how to win back some millennials. (Scott Olson/Getty)
Perhaps you are old-fashioned and have additional concerns that are a bit more naive, even trite. For example, what is the political system doing to help businesses create jobs or lift incomes? What are both parties proposing to help people afford a decent education, buy a home, or save for retirement? Who, if anyone, is offering a compelling agenda that speaks to the aspirations of younger generations?
How cute. And yet, while one Sunday show was asking panelists to analyze painfully awkward clips of IRS employees line dancing (please stop that), the College Republican National Committee was busy launching a sober, thoughtful, well-researched conversation about the future of a major political party that is now viewed favorably by only 33 percent of Americans under 30.
Testifying before the Armed Services Committee, military leaders resisted a call to change how victims of sexual assault report the attacks.
It was a battle on the Hill Tuesday as top military leaders agreed on the need to do more to prevent sexual assaults—but fiercely resisted calls from U.S. senators on the Armed Services Committee to remove the handling of such cases from the chain of command.
“I urge that military commanders remain central to the legal process. The commander’s ability to preserve good order and discipline remains essential to accomplishing any change within our profession,” Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey told the committee. “Reducing command responsibility could adversely affect the ability of the commander to enforce professional standards and, ultimately, to accomplish the mission.”
The hearing comes on the heels of multiple bills from senators and representatives seeking to address the rising number of sexual assaults in the military. Several of the bills call for such cases to be dealt with by outside officers to make it easier for victims to report attacks.
But at Tuesday’s hearing, military leaders pushed back, with most arguing that sexual assault is better dealt with, in the current system, with the victim’s commander as a key part of the process.
#90isthenew30. That was the theme of Henry Kissinger’s 90th-birthday party Monday night in New York City, where a mariachi band played and the former secretary of State was regaled with a slew of speeches. Nina Strochlic reports.
"What's happening here?" a cab driver yelled from the window. Outside 2 East 55th Street, under two sets of regal awnings of Manhattan's storied St. Regis hotel, something indeed was happening. NYPD, bellhops, drivers, and a slew of security personnel mingled. Dozens of double-parked black sedans lined the block, and two large suburbans with Maryland license plates idled curbside. Inside, former secretary of State Henry Kissinger was celebrating his 90th birthday with a guest list that included all living former secretaries of state and speakers like Secretary of State John Kerry and former president Bill Clinton.
Henry Kissinger. (Kris Connor/Getty)
A severe blonde from a women's fashion publication and a freelance photographer, both in all black, were the only other journalists there, but the sidewalk was buzzing with what an officer estimated to be 40 security staff in all.
“Kerry,” mouthed the photographer, as a line of security guards formed a pathway under the smaller entryway. Teresa Heinz Kerry, in a white blazer, got out of a black sedan, and her husband, Secretary of State John Kerry, came around from the other side. The two walked in together with a gaggle of security and miscellaneous entourage. Just a little earlier, Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice, who once vied for the secretary-of-State gig in her own right, had arrived. Nancy Kissinger had sent the word out through her girlfriends over the weekend, “If you have jewelry, this is the night to get it out of the bank.” And they did. The Alfalfa Club dinner crowd in tiaras was the order of the night.
In the largest Chinese acquisition of an American company, the Shuanghui Group said it would buy the nation’s largest pork producer for $4.7 billion. But not so fast, says Congress. Josh Rogin reports.
The congressman whose district hosts America’s largest pork producer on Tuesday called for an investigation into a Chinese company’s bid to take it over.
Farmland pork products, made by a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods, are on sale at a California supermarket May 30. The Chinese company Shuanghui Group is planning to acquire Smithfield Foods for $4.7 billion. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty)
Virginia Republican Rep. Randy Forbes represents the district where Smithfield Foods is headquartered and has its largest base of operations. Last week China’s Shuanghui Group announced it was planning to acquire Smithfield for $4.7 billion, which would make the deal the largest ever Chinese acquisition of an American company.
Forbes, a co-founder of the Congressional China Caucus and an avowed hawk on China, said Tuesday that the deal poses a threat to U.S. food security and U.S. national security, and he expressed skepticism that the Chinese would uphold American standards for food quality.
To investigate why organization targeted conservative groups.
Republicans threatened to hit the IRS where it really hurts: its wallet. House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers said on Monday that he may impose limitations on the Internal Revenue Service’s funding in an attempt to find out why the IRS targeted conservative groups for review of their tax-exempt status. “And I don’t need to remind you or anybody else that the power of the purse rests with Congress, and we’re prepared to use that purse to get to the truth,” Rogers said. The acting IRS chief, Danny Werfel, said that he would defend President Obama’s budget , which calls for a $1 billion increase in funding for the IRS.
The New York City police commissioner says he has no plans for a mayoral bid. But how could he stay out, when the other candidates to succeed Bloomberg might put the safety of his beloved city at risk?
If you do not think Police Commissioner Ray Kelly will feel compelled to run for New York City mayor, go back to January 2012.
New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly. (Louis Lanzano/AP)
That was when Kelly stood in an emergency room and watched a doctor use forceps to remove a bullet that had been fired from five inches away into the head of 28-year-old Police Officer Kevin Brennan.
“My daughter turns 6 weeks old tomorrow, I don’t want to die,” Brennan had kept saying after he was shot.
At Henry Kissinger’s 90th birthday party, the assembled VIP guests learned a piece of the past shared by the imprisoned Navy pilot and Nixon’s secretary of state.
Henry Kissinger’s 90th birthday party on Monday night at New York’s most glamorous dining room in Manhattan’s St. Regis Hotel drew an astonishing lineup of luminaries, including former secretaries of state Hillary Clinton and Condoleezza Rice, former French president Valéry Giscard D’Estaing, former chief of staff James Baker, former secretary of state Colin Powell, Gen. David Petraeus, and former defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld. Many of them, such as a visiting French dignitary fresh off a plane from Paris at the age of 103, proved that 90 is the new 30. Former president Bill Clinton, former secretary of state George Shultz, and current Secretary of State John Kerry all came to the podium to toast what Kerry called America’s “indispensable statesman,” as did as Kissinger’s two children, David and Elizabeth.
Former Republican presidential hopeful, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), left, and former U.S. secretary of state Henry Kissinger pose at historic Faneuil Hall in Boston on December 19, 2007. Kissinger endorsed McCain at the event. (Charles Krupa/AP, file)
But it was Sen. John McCain’s remarks that had the room buzzing. McCain, shot down as a bomber pilot over North Vietnam on October 26, 1967, was brutally treated by his captors. He was tortured, beaten incessantly, his arms rebroken in the notorious Hanoi Hilton. Part of the McCain legend has always been how he declined an offer of early release rather than jump ahead of his fellow prisoners on account of his father’s impending promotion to admiral in charge of the U.S. Pacific fleet. On Monday night, for the first time, he told of a role played by Henry Kissinger.
The full text follows.
As the governor looks to his own reelection in November, the choice he makes to fill Lautenberg’s seat will send a national message, writes John Avlon.
New Jersey Sen. Frank Lautenberg, who had been the last surviving World War II veteran in the U.S. Senate, is dead. And that means Gov. Chris Christie will need to appoint a successor until a special election, likely to be held this November.
Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) listens to a question in May 2009 in Trenton. Lautenberg died Monday at age 89. (Mel Evans/AP)
For Christie, it’s a decision piled high with political risks: he’s running for reelection this fall and eyeing a run for president in 2016. Whom he picks will send a message not just to New Jersey, but to the nation. Here is NewsBeast’s list of five contenders who are just a stroke of a pen away from joining the world’s most exclusive club.
Tom Kean in March 2011. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)
As a ‘Times’ documentary revives one of the many ugly incidents from the reverend’s past, it’s time NBC accounted for its decision to rehabilitate and promote him, writes Stuart Stevens.
The Tawana Brawley case that captivated New York in the late eighties is a shocking reminder of the toxic mix racial exploitation and personal ambition can produce. The New York Times and Retroreport.org have just released a new 15-minute documentary on the despicable hoax, which should be required viewing for the NBC News executives who are heavily invested in rehabilitating a key culprit of this loathsome episode: the Rev. Al Sharpton.
From left: Tawana Brawley, the Rev. Al Sharpton, and Glenda Brawley are handcuffed to one another as they prepare to leave church for bus trip to the Democratic convention in Atlanta., July 16, 1988. (New York Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
Brawley was 15 years old in 1987, when she was found in her hometown of Wappingers Falls, New York, with “Bitch,” “KKK,” and “Nigger” written on her stomach, her jeans burnt in the crotch, feces in her hair, and her tennis shoes sliced open. She said that she had been abducted and raped by a group of white men.
A trio of increasingly prominent, and radical, New York City black activists represented her and her family: attorneys Alton Maddox and C. Vernon Mason and the Rev. Al Sharpton. Brawley told them said that a cop had been one of her attackers, and Sharpton named that officer as Harry Crist Jr., a police officer from a nearby town who had committed suicide shortly after Brawley was found. Sharpton also named a local prosecutor, Steven Pagones, as one of the attackers. He offered no proof.
Every U.S. president has made promises to other nations. But in this excerpt of ‘The Road to War,’ Marvin Kalb notes that, as in our past commitments to Israel and South Korea, whether President Obama will honor or betray his promises can mean war or peace in places like Iran and Syria.
Over the years, presidential commitments have come in different shapes and sizes, suggesting honor and integrity, strength and determination, the word of a president backed by the military power of the United States. No trifling matter, in diplomatic affairs. And yet ...
President Obama at the Amphitheater at Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day, May 28, 2012, in Arlington, Virginia. (Pool photo by Kristoffer Tripplaar/Getty)
Some commitments, such as America’s to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, have been successful and durable, in part because they have been based on solemn treaties ratified by Congress. Another example is America’s commitment to South Korea, also based on a mutual-defense treaty, supported by the presence of 28,500 American troops armed with nuclear weapons until December 1991.
South Vietnam represented a very different challenge. It was war by presidential commitment, the U.S. sliding mindlessly, one administration after another, into a guerrilla war in Indochina, which cost more than 58,000 American lives. Few in Congress or the media questioned the war’s provenance or legitimacy, until it was too late. Finally, there are American commitments to Israel, which are perhaps the most fascinating.
Grover Norquist is a Muslim, the GOP doesn’t need the Latino vote, and other crackpot theories from our fearless political leaders. By Caitlin Dickson
Grover Norquist Is a Secret Muslim
How do you spot a Muslim? A beard is usually a good tip-off. That’s how Cathie Adams, former chairman of the Texas Republican Party and current president of the Texas arm of the conservative interest group Eagle Forum, unmasked Grover Norquist. Adams explained at a Tea Party event this week that the anti-tax lobbyist is part of a “stealth jihad” being carried out in the U.S. “As you see, he has a beard. He’s married [to] a Muslim woman,” she said. “But he denies that he has converted himself. He denies that.” Norquist isn’t the only prominent figure involved in this secret jihad. Adams suggested clean-shaven CIA Director John Brennan could very well be an undercover Muslim as well. “Where is the outcry?” she demanded. “Thank God that Ted Cruz is now in the United States Senate!”
Memo to the GOP: Forget About Hispanic Voters
Speaking of Eagle Forum, the group’s founder gave the Republican Party a helpful tip this week: forget about Hispanic voters. The idea that the GOP needs to court the Latino vote is “a great myth,” Phyllis Schlafly said on the conservative radio show Focus Today. Instead, the party needs to home in on the people they actually have a chance of winning over: white people. “The propagandists are leading us down the wrong path,” she said. “There’s not any evidence at all that these Hispanics coming in from Mexico will vote Republican.”
When it comes to dark-money groups, what really separates Crossroads GPS from its liberal counterparts is tens of millions of dollars in FEC-reported political spending, writes Robert Maguire of the Center for Responsive Politics.
Karl Rove, co-founder of Crossroads GPS, has taken of late to asking why his 501(c)(4) social welfare group has been scrutinized, while “liberal groups have operated for decades in the same way GPS does without Democrats complaining.” He singled out the League of Conservation Voters, NARAL Pro-Choice America, unions, and the NAACP.
Republican strategist and former White House senior adviser Karl Rove arrives at the dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Library on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas on April 25. (Charles Dharapak/AP)
It’s true that, as congressional scholar Norm Ornstein put it recently, “hypocrisy is the coin of the realm in politics,” and both sides are less vexed when their guys are bending the laws. But when it comes to Crossroads GPS, there really is no comparison.
The group Rove helped found has massively outspent other 501(c)(4)s on political expenditures in the last two national election cycles, while fielding a tiny staff and offering no discernible social-welfare purpose.
There’s a debate brewing—yet again—about whether the name of Washington’s football team is racist. Of course it is, says Michael Tomasky.
When George Preston Marshall died in 1969, he left some money to his children but directed that the bulk of his estate be used to set up a foundation in his name. He attached, however, one firm condition: that the foundation, operating out of Washington, D.C., should not direct a single dollar toward “any purpose which supports or employs the principle of racial integration in any form.” Think about that. This was not 1929 or 1949. Even in 1960 such a diktat might have been, well, “understandable” in a Southern city such as Washington then was. But 1969; “in any form.”
A Washington Redskins helmet during day two of the 2009 NFL Draft in New York. (Jason DeCrow/AP)
This is the man who gave the Washington Redskins their name. He was one of the most despicable racists in the American sporting arena of the entire 20th century. He thought Redskins was funny, just as he thought the war paint and feather headdress he made the head coach wear were funny. And this is the legacy that current Redskins owner Dan Snyder wants to uphold?
You’ve been reading about this name lately. More and more people are calling for the team to change it. There is legislation in Congress, based on the fact that under trademark legislation passed in 1946, a corporate “mark” can’t be disparaging of a people or group. Snyder says he’ll change the name approximately never (“and you can put that in all caps”). Most Americans, and most Redskins fans, agree with him. But all that shows is that those Americans and fans don’t know the history. Snyder, presumably, does. He should be ashamed.
Despite the real and growing threat posed by China, all eyes seem stuck on Syria instead, writes Lloyd Green.
This week, the distance between Barack Obama and the Republican he bested to first become president got a whole lot smaller. John McCain appears to be setting Obama’s foreign-policy agenda, and that is plenty of reason to worry.
Sen. John McCain speaks to the media before entering a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on May 14. McCain has called for the U.S. to intervene in Syria. (Allison Shelley/Getty)
McCain seldom does nuance, and Middle East regime change is his default mode even as less riveting, but vastly more threatening, concerns garner far less of his attention. On the heels of McCain meeting in Syria with rebel forces, The Daily Beast reported that Obama has asked for the first time to see the Pentagon’s plan for the imposition of a no-fly zone over Syria. Obama, whose initial presidential quest rested on his opposition to the Iraq War, is acting ever more comfortable with the idea of heightened American involvement. Indeed, one wonders if Obama will even bother to go to Congress to seek authorization for action.
Admittedly, Congress is not always wiser than the president. All too often, the march of folly has been bicameral, as well as bipartisan. So let’s step back and consider the threats America faces. That is, real threats to the nation and its physical integrity, as opposed to perceived slights to our values.
The senator’s surprise visit to Syria this week stirred reports that he met with the men behind the 2012 abduction of 11 Lebanese religious pilgrims. Not so, Josh Rogin explains.
Sen. John McCain during a recent trip to Syria. (Syrian Emergency Task Force)
The Daily Beast reported exclusively on McCain’s Memorial Day jaunt over the Turkey-Syria border to meet with assembled leaders of the Free Syrian Army and its supreme military command, led by Gen. Salem Idris. On Thursday, The Daily Star, a Lebanese newspaper, reported that McCain “crossed paths” with Mohammad Nour and Ammar Al-Dadikhi (a.k.a. Abu Ibrahim), two men who were part of a group that kidnapped Lebanese religious pilgrims who were returning from Iran in May 2012. Both are part of Asifat al Shamal, a Syrian rebel group also known as the Northern Storm, which controls a portion of country’s northern border with Turkey.
Northern Storm has been implicated in the alleged kidnapping of 11 Lebanese Shia men who were traveling through Syria on the way back from Iran. Relatives of the abducted men were said to have identified the two as the kidnappers from a photo of the McCain visit.
President Obama tried to dispel concerns over NSA spying on 'Charlie Rose' Monday, saying 'if you are a U.S. person, the NSA cannot listen to your telephone calls, and the NSA cannot target your emails... and have not.' So what's the big deal, right? Right?
Laura Colarusso on how Edward Snowden, who wasn’t directly employed by the government, got top-secret intel.
Every week this month, the Supreme Court will hand down rulings. Josh Dzieza on what’s at stake.
Pentagon papers lawyer James Goodale has seen Holder’s actions before—in Richard Nixon.