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

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Daily Political Wire

George Wenschhof 

Obama to Deliver Remarks on Immigration Reform Today - President Barack Obama on Tuesday will deliver remarks on the bipartisan proposal in the Senate to overhaul the nation's immigration system. Obama is scheduled to speak at 10:20 a.m. ET in the White House East Room.


45% Believe Affirmative Action Still Needed - As the Supreme Court prepares to once again weigh in on the issue of affirmative action, a record-low number of Americans support such programs, according to the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.
Just 45 percent of respondents said they believe affirmative action programs are still needed to counteract the effects of discrimination against minorities, while an equal 45 percent feel the programs have gone too far and should be ended because they unfairly discriminate against whites.

(The poll was conducted May 30-June 2 and it has an overall margin of error of plus-minus 3.1 percentage points.)

The number of Americans supporting affirmative action has been in decline over the past two decades, down from a high of 61 percent in its favor in 1991.  NBC News has more here.


Booker has Huge Lead in New Jersey Senate Race - With Republicans unable to land a top-tier candidate, the real action is in the Democratic primary, and two new polls show Booker with a huge early lead.

According to a new Rutgers-Eagleton poll, Booker leads Rep. Frank Pallone 55 percent to 9 percent, with Rep. Rush Holt bringing up the rear at 8 percent.

And a new Quinnipiac University poll shows very much the same picture, with Booker at 53 percent, Holt at 10 percent and Pallone at 9 percent.  The Washington Post has more here.


Senate Passes Farm Bill, House Passage Uncertain - A landmark five-year Farm Bill cleared the Senate on Monday evening, setting the stage for a long-delayed fight on the House floor next week over major revisions in agriculture policy and the future of food stamps.

The 66-27 roll call exceeded last year’s margin with 18 Republicans joining Democrats on passage. And the increased GOP support makes it more difficult for Speaker John Boehner to walk away from the choices before him — as he did last summer.

Republicans are genuinely divided over the role of government in farm policy, with the speaker — a veteran of the House Agriculture Committee — engaged in his own personal war against a new milk- supply management proposal in both the House and Senate bills.

Food-stamp reform and the deep cuts demanded by the House raise fundamental questions for both parties. On top of all this, nearly 200 of the 435 House members have never before been part of a farm bill debate given the immense turnover of recent years. has more here.


Obama Administration Will Remove Age Restrictions on "Plan B" for Women - The Justice Department said it would stop fighting a court order requiring it to remove all age restrictions on the sale of Plan B One-Step without a prescription.

Obama had previously said he was uncomfortable with removing all age restrictions on the sale of the so-called "morning after pill." He said over a year ago that "as the father of two daughters," he supported his Health secretary's decision to block over-the-counter sales for younger teens. But a federal judge excoriated the administration's defense of age limits on the pill, calling it a nakedly political decision divorced from science. has more here.


Turkish Riot Police Clash with Protestors - Turkish riot police fired tear gas and water cannon at hundreds of protesters armed with rocks and fireworks on Tuesday as they tried to take back control of a central Istanbul square at the heart of fierce anti-government demonstrations.

Hundreds of riot police backed by armored vehicles surrounded Taksim Square as bulldozers began removing barricades of paving stones and corrugated iron built by the protesters. What began as a protest at redevelopment plans for the square has grown into an unprecedented challenge to Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's Islamist-rooted government and divided Turks. has more here.


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