Just the headlines for today, folks.
-Donald Trump put his thoughts about immigration on a piece of paper (H/T Perry Bacon, Jr. at NBC News) and decided to call it a policy initiative. Normally, a policy initiative would have stuff like, oh I don’t know, how exactly Trump plans on overturning the 14th Amendment to stop the process of granting birthright citizenship to children of undocumented immigrants who are born here. Or how he’ll reduce government while at the same time possibly triple the amount of ICE agents to deport millions of undocumented immigrants and their families (and you thought Mitt Ronmey’s self-deportation idea was bad?)? Or, as Dara Lind points out at Vox, how he’ll justify passing a moratorium on issuing new Green Cards for high-skilled and legally-documented immigrants? Also, the notion that “increasing fees” (there are literally thousands of “fees” that he could be talking about) and cancelling visa-sponsorships is going to somehow coerce Mexico into paying for a 1,200-mile wall along the border ceases to be anything but a lucid fantasy. Interestingly, Ann Coulter called Trump’s immigration plan “the greatest political document since the Magna Carta”.
All that being said, Trump continues to lead the GOP field (still by double-digits, Trump stands at 25%, Ben Carson follows him at 12%, and Ted Cruz rounds out the top 3 at 10%) according to the latest poll from Fox News (H/T Matt Wilstein at Mediaite).
In other Trump news, he did actually show up for jury duty in Manhattan this afternoon and of course is now trending on many different Snapchat and Instagram accounts (H/T Eliza Collins at POLITICO).
-Mike Huckabee continues to display his insanity on the issue of abortion. Recently in the country of Paraguay, the government there forced an 11-year old girl to give birth to a child by denying her request for an abortion. As if that wasn’t cruel enough, the girl was allegedly raped by her stepfather, who is presumed to be the father of the child. While speaking with CNN’s Dana Bash on yesterday’s “State of the Union”, former Arkansas Governor Huckabee endorsed this unbelievably ludicrous and terrifying idea. The saddest part of this story? At least three, and possibly several others, of the GOP candidates agree with him on this horrific abortion stance. What happened to the exception for abortions in cases of incest, rape and the life of the mother? The same exceptions that Republican voters overwhelmingly support? (H/T HuffPo and WaPo and Christian-Science Monitor).
Speaking of non-females talking about abortion, Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson appears to be receiving his talking points from Sarah Palin and is now pushing the VERY FALSE claim that Planned Parenthood intentionally puts their clinics in minority-majority neighborhoods (H/T Amanda Marcotte at Slate, NPR and Mediaite). It’s truly astonishing to me that this guy is second in the polls.
-On the Democratic side of things, Annie Karney at POLITICO informs us that Hillary Clinton is partnering with the abortion advocacy group Emily’s List to engage in fundraising and to court women voters, a crucial voting bloc Clinton will need both in the primary and the general election (should she get there). Clinton’s e-mail server scandal (“server-gate”) widens, as now it’s possible that over 300 e-mails sent (a little over 5% of the total number of e-mails) from her server that were sent and contained classified information (H/T Washington Times, yes it’s a wingnut newspaper but the information appears to be credible). However, before the “Jail Hilary Clinton” movement begins its intonations, it’s also unclear at the moment as to what level of classification the information contained was, or if it was even classified at the time Clinton and/or her staff sent the emails (H/T Time Magazine/Business Insider).
Bernie Sanders, the only relevant challenger of Clinton (at the moment), stuck his foot in his mouth again and perhaps escalated his beef with the Black Lives Matter movement by saying he didn’t owe them an apology. Sanders will meet in- person with Black Lives Matter activists sometime in the near future. (H/T The Root & POLITICO)
-In a move that’s bound to piss off environmentalists everywhere, the the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) has given the green-light (haha, get it? green?) for the Royal Dutch Shell company to drill for oil reserves in the Arctic Ocean (H/T Devin Henry at The Hill). President Obama has been very friendly to voters whose top concerns include the environment, but there’s no way he would have stonewalled on this the way he is currently on the Keystone XL Pipeline. (H/T Jonathan Chait at NY Magazine who has a great column on Trump today that you should read)
-Jane Arraf of the Council on Foreign Relations writes that protests for parliamentary reform in Iraq appear to have garnered some positive results. From the article: “Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi… has managed to sell both his cabinet and Iraq’s famously fractious parliament on drastic political reforms aimed at reversing the most visible elements of a sectarian quota system in place since the United States ran Iraq. The plan eliminates the positions of three vice presidents and three deputy prime ministers—posts used as bargaining chips between Shia, Sunni and Kurdish factions in almost every government since 2003. Abadi has also pledged to both pursue and reopen corruption cases against hundreds of Iraqi officials, including those in his own Shiite alliance.” (H/T Defense One)
-Yes, this Funny or Die parody of RNC Chairman Reince Priebus begging Trump to quit is kind of funny. But I have to ask, considering the dude featured in the video is a paid actor, would it not have behooved him to at least try to get Preibus’ accent right? Priebus’ accent sounds like a drunken Midwesterner who gets high on cheese, not a timid man-child who dresses like an unpaid intern.