Alliance Defending Freedom: It’s days away: The Supreme Court’s marriage decision is expected to come down on June 29.
The Hill: “We don’t have time for the media’s games,” RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said before the vote at the RNC summer meeting in Boston. “We’re done putting up with this nonsense. There are plenty of other news outlets.”
The Hill: “Liberals want to bronco bust dissent. But Texans value speech, even if its speech they don’t agree with,” Stockman said in a statement. “From Molly Ivins to Louie Gohmert and every opinion between, Texans value free and open political speech. I’m sure any rodeo in Texas would be proud to have [the] performers.”
AP: Potential 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton kicked off a series of speeches on Monday with a call to combat what she called an “assault on voting rights.”
The Hill: GOP Rep. Blake Farenthold (Texas) said House Republicans have enough votes to impeach President Obama, but warned the effort to remove him from office would be unsuccessful and could damage the country.
The Hill: Santorum mocked the opinion of GOP strategists, the “pros who guided us so well through the last election” who have joined with Tea Party and libertarian Republicans who assert “we just need to talk about economics.”
The Hill: Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) fired a broadside at his Senate GOP colleagues Saturday by mocking their commitment to defunding ObamaCare and calling for a grassroots army to take up the cause.
Shane Vander Hart at Caffeinated Thoughts: This was the 2nd Annual FAMiLY Leadership Summit hosted by The FAMiLY Leader, in partnership withActRight.com, Alliance Defending Freedom, CitizenLink, Citizens United, Heritage Action for America, and National Organization for Marriage. The FAMiLY Leader reported that 2000 tickets were scanned. Last year the Summit was held at Point of Grace Church in Waukee, IA that has a capacity of 900. Stephenson Auditorium has a capacity of 2700-2800. Greg Baker with The FAMiLY Leader told Caffeinated Thoughts that they hope to continue holding the Summit there in the near future since there is room to grow.
Washington Post: The Republican Party’s struggles with Hispanics have been well-documented. Now, a new poll from Gallup shows that it makes little difference whether Latinos living in the U.S. were born in the country or not when it comes to close alignment with the Democratic Party.
World Net Daily: Testimony from behind closed doors on Capitol Hill has confirmed WND’s report of a week ago that said the IRS continues to target tea party and conservative groups – despite the escalating scandal over its viewpoint-based discrimination.
The Hill: The poll, a part of Gallup’s Minority Rights and Relations survey conducted June 13 through July 5, indicates that 64 percent of Hispanics born in the U.S. to two U.S.-born parents were either Democrats or leaned that way . . .
AP: The fate of Democratic incumbents in GOP-trending Arkansas, Louisiana and North Carolina, the ability of the 71-year-old GOP leader to hold his Kentucky seat and the eventual outcome of a Georgia primary will help decide . . .
Capitol Times: Wisconsin is best described as a politically moderate state. But if you looked at its laws on abortion and LGBT rights, you might think the Badger State was on the buckle of the Bible Belt.
The Hill: ObamaCare’s cost-cutting board — memorably called a “death panel” by Sarah Palin — is facing growing opposition from Democrats who say it will harm people on Medicare.
Greg Sargent at Washington Post: “Democrats are preaching keep; Republicans are preaching repeal,” Wasserman says. “The winning candidates in 2014 will most likely be preaching fix.”
The Hill: GOP hopes for winning back the Senate rest on Arkansas, where Rep. Tom Cotton (R) is running to unseat Sen. Mark Pryor, widely seen as the most vulnerable Democrat running in 2014.
U.S. News and World Report: As a poll last week by the Pew Research Center makes clear, however, Republicans overwhelmingly say that they want their party to become more conservative. When it comes to Republicans, Republicans may be on to something: Conservatives don’t need to moderate so much as to choose. Modern Republicanism is a coalition of at least three different kinds of conservatism: the establishment, libertarians and social (or religious) conservatives.
Eugene Volokh at the Volokh Conspiracy: From Nava v. Safeway, Inc. (Cal. Ct. App. July 31, 2013), an interesting illustration of what can happen under statutes protecting private employees against employer retaliation based on the employees’ political speech or beliefs . . .
Nathaniel Frank at Slate: Christie’s brief defends civil unions in three ways. First, it argues that the state can rationally restrict the label “marriage” to heterosexual unions because it is “preserving” the definition of the word. Second, it contends that it’s actually the feds who are now blocking gay equality by withholding benefits to civil union partners. And third, it claims that the state courts should move very cautiously when contemplating a major change in social institutions—all fine and well except that, as the state itself admits, calling a gay union a marriage isn’t much of a change anymore.
Star Parker at Townhall: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has called this a “fringe” issue. Murder a fringe issue? Can there be any doubt that we are dealing with a clash in worldviews?
The Californian: The summit is from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Stephens Auditorium at Iowa State University in Ames. It’s sponsored by the National Organization for Marriage, Heritage Action, ActRight, Alliance Defending Freedom, CitizenLink and Citizens United. Family Leader President Bob Vander Plaats said the purpose is “to bring conservatives together early and consistently in the process leading up to the 2016 elections” and to “educate and mobilize the conservative base regarding worldview application and issues that impact the family.” Tickets are $61.40 via Ticketmaster.
NY Times: Worried about the potential impact on the fragile economies in their states, Republican governors this weekend warned their counterparts in Congress not to shut down the federal government as part of an effort to block financing for President Obama’s health care law.
AP: The obstacle comes not from opposing Democrats but from GOP leaders who believe pressing further is a mistake for a party trying to soften its harder edges after election losses last year.
Religion Clause Blog: According to the Frontier Post, the ruling against Jamaat-i-Islami came after a petition was filed arguing that the party’s charter conflicts with the country’s secular constitution.
Greg Sargent at the Washington Post: “Republican leaders are growing concerned by the fervor with which some members are demanding that Boehner defund the health care law as part of the government funding talks.”
Rare.us: My biggest surprise has been the defeatism among some Republicans here. There was such a strong sense of confusion about November’s loss, and many believed we had to retrench and there was no way to stop the president and Democrats from running the table. In my view, even in the Senate minority, Republicans can do three things. First, we can stop bad bills.
National Review: Embattled Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner and an attorney in the Federal Election Commission’s general counsel’s office appear to have twice colluded to influence the record before the FEC’s vote in the case of a conservative non-profit organization, according to e-mails unearthed by the House Ways and Means Committee and obtained exclusively by National Review Online.
Washington Post: Mitch McConnell is at least two things: A Kentucky senator running for reelection next year, and the leader of the Senate GOP Conference. It’s a combination that makes for same painful dilemmas.
AP: An official with the Ready For Hillary super PAC confirmed Tuesday that the organization hit the million-dollar threshold since beginning to collect donations in earnest this spring.
The Hill: A conservative group is asking the IRS to review the tax-exempt status of a organization crucial in helping to promote ObamaCare. Cause of Action has asked the IRS to investigate Enroll America, a nonprofit that is encouraging people to enroll in new coverage options under the healthcare law.
Washington Times: The Democratic Party is battling scandals from New York to San Diego and from city hall to Capitol Hill, as the party finds itself on the defensive over embarrassing lapses ranging from sexual misconduct to multiple scandals ensnaring the Obama administration.
Washington Post: The landmark health-reform law passed in 2010 has never been very popular and always highly partisan, but a new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds that a group of once loyal Democrats has been steadily turning against Obamacare: Democrats who are ideologically moderate or conservative.
Washington Times: Delaware state officials have told Congress that they likely destroyed the computer records that would show when and how often they accessed Christine O’Donnell’s personal tax records and acknowledged that a newspaper article was used as the sole justification for snooping into the former GOP Senate candidate’s tax history.
Washington Post: I do believe, and I still will tell you that our party believes that marriage is between one man and one woman. Our party believes that life begins at conception. I think those are foundational issues that aren’t going anywhere but what I have said . . .
Townhall: Late last week we learned from a Washington D.C. veteran that it was an IRS political appointee who was responsible for coming up with guidelines used to target conservative groups. That political appointee is IRS Chief Counsel William Wilkins, who was appointed by President Obama in 2009.
The Hill: Liz Cheney has opened a new front in the battle for the soul of the Republican Party with her decision to challenge Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.). The fight pits conservatives willing to work across the aisle with a newer breed that views compromise as defeat.
AP: Texas Sen. Ted Cruz privately has addressed the gathering assembled by the conservative American Renewal Project at a downtown hotel Friday morning. Also scheduled to appear around midday is Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, the son of former Texas Rep. Ron Paul.
Peggy Noonan at WSJ: The IRS scandal was connected this week not just to the Washington office—that had been established—but to the office of the chief counsel. That is a bombshell—such a big one that it managed to emerge in spite of an unfocused, frequently off-point congressional hearing in which some members seemed to have accidentally woken up in the middle of a committee room, some seemed unaware of the implications of what their investigators had uncovered, one pretended that the investigation should end if IRS workers couldn’t say the president had personally called and told them to harass his foes, and one seemed to be holding a filibuster on Pakistan.
“Wyoming Senate primary pits pro-gay ‘marriage’ Republican Cheney against pro-marriage incumbent Enzi”
LifeSiteNews: Liz Cheney announced that she will challenge three-term incumbent Senator Mike Enzi, R-WY, in what promises to be an ugly and expensive primary. Cheney, the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney styles herself a Tea Party conservative and is attempting to run to Enzi’s right.
CNSNews: An Internal Revenue Service tax law specialist and 48-year veteran of the tax collecting agency told Congress Thursday that when he suggested tax-exempt applications for Tea Party groups be approved, he was told to get more information.
The Hill: Norquist, a powerful GOP kingmaker, says he doesn’t know yet where Cheney stands on the issues, but is unhappy with Enzi for his help pushing an Internet sales tax bill through the Senate.
The Hill: Republicans activists are growing nervous about the party’s chances of upsetting North Carolina Sen. Kay Hagan (D), a prime GOP target in a seat that could decide control of the Senate in 2015.
The Hill: He gained kudos and Democratic friends, but some believe he undercut Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and handed Reid a big win.
BuzzFeed: A federal judge has set a Thursday deadline for parties to tell him why he shouldn’t side with gay service members and veterans and their spouses in an ongoing challenge to benefits statutes. The deadline comes three weeks after the Supreme Court ruling struck down the federal definition of marriage in the Defense of Marriage Act.
The Hill: House Republicans charged Wednesday that the Internal Revenue Service’s chief counsel’s office and an agency official at the center of the targeting controversy helped delay applications for tax-exempt status from Tea Party groups.
Politix: There are few policy differences between Wyoming Republican Senate candidate Liz Cheney and the incumbent she’s trying to oust in 2014, Sen. Mike Enzi. Except for one issue: Gay marriage.
LifeNews: “Texas state Senator Wendy Davis has reaped nearly $1 million in political donations since she staged a nearly 11-hour filibuster that ultimately failed to stop the Texas legislature approving stringent new restrictions on abortion in the state, her office said on Monday,” according to Reuters.
Huffington Post: The official agenda for the 2013 Young Republican National Convention this week includes several subjects near and dear to the heart of the GOP: the Second Amendment, voter targeting, campaign finance and even a session on “growing minorities in our party” (read: black and Latino voters). But there is no reference to one issue that some Republicans contend will be instrumental to winning in 2016: gay rights.
The Hill: President Obama has rewarded at least 19 campaign contributors and political allies with ambassadorships this year, according to an analysis by The Hill.
Kenneth Anderson at the Volokh Conspiracy: David Bosco, who authors the outstanding “The Multilateralist” blog at Foreign Policy (where he is a contributing editor and who is also my American University colleague in the School of International Service), conducted an interview a few weeks ago with the Heritage Foundation’s Brett Schaefer and me on the United Nations.
The Hill: House Republicans are going on offense against the Internal Revenue Service with measures to slash the agency’s spending and reform what they say has become a culture of abuse.
Wall Street Journal Video: National Review media editor Eliana Johnson on recently released documents that reveal the IRS paid more than 200 employees to work full-time for a federal employees’ union.
Huffington Post: With a Senate committee set to vote on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act on Wednesday, supporters are focusing these final hours on convincing a few additional Republicans to join Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and the 12 committee Democrats, giving the measure a strong bipartisan backing.
Michael Barone at Human Events: What’s the outlook for the 2014 Senate elections? The Republicans once again have a chance to overturn the Democrats’ majority, as they did in 2010 and 2012.
Common Sense (video embedded):Ted Cruz’s father Rafael was one of the many great speakers at the FreedomWorks “Free the People” Rally in Salt Lake City on July 5th.
Christian Institute: More than half of grassroots Conservatives are against gay marriage, according to new research. The YouGov poll showed that 59 per cent of ordinary Tory party members are against the Government’s proposals.
Legal Insurrection: This week, The Frontier Lab published the results of months of research into why some Republicans are refusing to go by the label “Republican,” choosing to identify as anything but. I was the Research Director for this study, which applied a research approach called “Behavioral Event Modeling,” which essentially reverse engineers and maps all events that precede an individual’s disaffiliation.
Patrick J. Buchanan at Human Events: “No longer committed to a particular place, people, country or culture, our largest public companies have turned globalist, while abdicating the responsibility they once assumed to America and its workers.” . . . Silicon Valley demands hundreds of thousands more H-1Bs — foreign graduate students who can be hired for half what an American engineer might need to support his family.
AP: Pivotal developments on two cultural issues – immigration reform and gay marriage – offer an early preview of potential fault lines among Republicans weighing White House bids in 2016.
Washington Post: Now that the gay marriage fight is intensifying on the state level, how much will both sides spend on it over the next three years? Tens of millions of dollars. An array of groups has already mapped out plans to raise and spend millions between now and the end of 2016. Here is a look at some — but not all — of the key players . . .
CNSNews: Lois Lerner, a central figure in the Internal Revenue Service/Tea Party scandal, who asserted her innocence before invoking the Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, will be recalled before a House panel and could potentially negotiate an immunity deal.
AP: The dramatic Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage is forcing Republican leaders to cope, in bright daylight, with something they’d rather handle discreetly: the careful balance between placating their conservative base and reaching out to centrist voters crucial in presidential elections.
Washington Times: The IRS‘ auditor told Congress this week that it stands by its determination that conservative groups were uniquely singled out for special scrutiny by the tax agency, rebutting Democrats’ contention that liberal groups also were targeted.
ACLU Hires Steve Schmidt to Lobby GOP on Marriage Redefinition: $10M War Chest for 50 State Initiative
ACLU: With the goal of working both with and within the Republican Party, the ACLU has hired Steve Schmidt, vice chairman of public affairs at Edelman. Schmidt has provided strategic counsel to Fortune 500 companies, professional sports teams, and nonprofits.