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Thursday, June 13, 2013

Daily Political Wire

George Wenschhof

Bill Clinton Says Obama Should Do More To Help Rebels in Syria - Bill Clinton said Tuesday that President Barack Obama should do more to aid rebels in the Syrian civil war and that he risks looking like "a total fool" if he allows public opinion polls to govern U.S. policy on that front, according to audio obtained by Politico.
The former president made his remarks to Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), one of Obama's fiercest critics on Syria, during a question-and-answer session at an event for the McCain Institute for International Leadership in Manhattan. Clinton told McCain that he sides him on this issue, and not Obama.

"Some people say, ‘Okay, see what a big mess it is? Stay out!’ I think that’s a big mistake. I agree with you about this,” Clinton reportedly told McCain. “Sometimes it’s just best to get caught trying, as long as you don’t overcommit — like, as long as you don’t make an improvident commitment."

An ABC News/Washington Post poll released late last month found that 68 percent of Americans oppose U.S. military intervention to end the bloody civil war in Syria. But Clinton appeared to scoff at the idea that polls should influence the President's decisions. has more here.


Obama Rallies Support for Markey - President Obama on Wednesday joined a parade of top Democrats rallying support for the Senate campaign of Rep. Edward J. Markey, attempting to ensure they do not lose another critical race in a Massachusetts special election.
With the surprise 2010 victory of Republican Scott Brown still seared into their memories, Democrats have seen Markey’s lead narrow ahead of a June 25 special election to fill the seat previously occupied by Secretary of State John F. Kerry.  The Washington Post has more here.

The Washington Post Begins Paywall - In case you spent the week under a pile of coats — and we have nothing against that — you’ve probably heard that the Washington Post is putting a metered subscription model.

That means that you can read up to 20 pieces before you hit the wall. (If you are a Post print subscriber, you will get access at no additional cost.)

1) Pay $9.99/month for unlimited access on your desktop and mobile device.
2) Pay $14.99/month for unlimited access on your desktop and mobile device AND all of our apps. The Washington Post has more here.


Boehner Offers Support of Farm Bill - Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Wednesday said he would vote for the House farm bill as early whip counts showed the nearly $1 trillion measure might fall short.
“Doing nothing means we get no changes in the nutrition programs, and as a result, I’m going to vote for a farm bill to make sure that the good work of the Agriculture Committee ... gets to a conference,” Boehner said.

The announcement came as a surprise because Boehner voted against the 2002 and 2008 farm bills and is lobbying to alter the dairy program in this year’s version. has more here.


Global Shares Pummeled, Dollar Slumps - World stocks were pummeled and the dollar slumped on Thursday as a sell-off on global financial markets in thrall to central bank stimulus accelerated.

Heavy selling hit the dollar, which slumped 2 percent against the yen as investors spooked by the plummeting Japanese stock market unwound hedges. It fell as low as 93.90 yen, its lowest since April 4, giving back almost all the gains made since the Bank of Japan's aggressive monetary easing announced on that day.

The U.S. currency dropped to a 3-1/2 month low against the euro before a slight rebound left the common currency buying $1.3350.

The rout has been triggered by noises from the U.S. Federal Reserve, which meets next Tuesday and Wednesday, feeding into feverish uncertainty about the scaling back of its huge asset purchase program. has more here.


Trent Franks: "incidence of pregnancies resulting from rape is “very low” - A House Republican pushing for a 20-week nationwide ban on abortions said Wednesday that the incidence of pregnancies resulting from rape is “very low” — then scrambled to clarify his comment after it went viral with comparisons to former GOP Senate candidate Todd Akin.

“The incidence of rape resulting in pregnancy are very low,” said Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) as the House Judiciary Committee debated his bill to ban abortions nationwide after 20 weeks including in cases of rape and incest.

Franks’s comments immediately stirred comparisons to the controversies during the 2012 elections, when Akin and other GOP candidates made a series of statements about abortion and rape, or questioned whether abortion was ever needed to save a woman’s life. In several states — notably Missouri and Indiana — the remarks and their aftermath played into the larger Democratic theme of the “war on women” and helped Democrats win those seats and keep control of the Senate. has more here.

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