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Featuring breaking political news and commentary on local, state, and national issues.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Daily Political Wire

George Wenschhof

Obama tours Oklahoma tornado damage, vows "nation has your back" - President Obama visited tornado-hit Oklahoma on Sunday, telling residents that “we’ve got your back,” and vowing to help rebuild battered towns.
“I promise you, we keep our word,” said the president.

Obama toured the Oklahoma City area six days after a tornado killed 24 people, including 10 children, and wreaked massive destruction.  You can read more here.


Dole says GOP should be "closed for repairs" - National Republicans have shifted so drastically in the past decade that the party’s most vaunted figure - former President Ronald Reagan - would no longer find a home in the GOP, former Sen. Bob Dole claimed Sunday.
“Reagan couldn’t have made it,” Dole said, adding he too would also have faced challenges in today’s Republican Party.

Instead of operating day-to-day in a nonelection year, the national party should focus on broader plans to rehabilitate itself after the losses of 2012, the former Kansas lawmaker said.

“I think they ought to put a sign on the national committee doors that says ‘Closed for repairs’ until New Year’s Day next year. Spend that time going over ideas and positive agendas,” Dole, who was the Republican nominee for president in 1996, said on “Fox News Sunday.” has more here.


Kerry announces $4 billion private development proposal for West Bank - Hoping to use economic promise as a bridge to a peace deal between Palestinians and Israel, Secretary of State John F. Kerry announced an estimated $4 billion economic development proposal for the West Bank on Sunday that he said could cut the 21 percent unemployment rate by two-thirds.
“The greatest existential threat and the greatest economic threat to both sides is the lack of peace,” Kerry said. “To not try to head these off would be tragic, and it would be irresponsible.”

The State Department would not identify participating companies or provide other details about the content or timing of individual proposed investments. The money would come from the private sector, not U.S. taxpayers.

Kerry addressed a World Economic Forum meeting after speeches by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli President Shimon Peres. The gathering on the shores of the Dead Sea in Jordan was a rare direct meeting between Israeli and Palestinian leaders, although Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did not attend.  The Washington Post has more here.


New reports of chemical weapon attacks in Syria as fighting continues - Heavy fighting raged on Monday around the strategic border town of Qusair and the capital Damascus, amid renewed reports of chemical weapons attacks by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces.

Opposition activists said Syrian troops backed by Lebanese Hezbollah fighters were advancing in areas around Qusair, pressing a sustained assault on a town long used by rebels as a way station for arms and other supplies from Lebanon.

For Assad, Qusair is a crucial link between Damascus and loyalist strongholds on the Mediterranean coast. Recapturing the town, in central Homs province, could also sever connections between rebel-held areas in the north and south of Syria.

Syrian government offensives in recent weeks are an apparent attempt to strengthen Assad's negotiating position before peace talks next month sponsored by the United States and Russia. has more here.


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