Without authorizing the use of force or additional spending, this legislation will begin to implement a more coherent U.S. strategy, both now and for the day after Assad, that is focused on trying to shift the momentum on the ground toward moderate opposition groups while also helping them build support within and outside Syria for a new government.Sen. Bob Menendez • Commenting on a bill he introduced in the Senate last week that would create a $250 million transitional fund for the Syrian rebels and post-Assad government that would inevitably follow a toppling of the existing Syrian regime. While the bill may have found new life in the Senate, thanks to changes which earned the support of Tennessee Republican Bob Corker, we suspect the Obama Administration will have a harder time selling support of the Syrian opposition to the American people if rebel forces fail to prevent future war crimes like the cannibalism story making the rounds today. source
It put the American people at risk and that is not hyperbole. Trying to determine who was responsible required very aggressive action.U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder • Defending the Department of Justice’s decision to collect roughly two months worth of various Associated Press employees’ work and personal phone records as part of a criminal investigation. The DoJ is apparently investigating a leak which occured last year, revealing the existence of a failed plot to bomb a U.S. plane, during a time when the Obama Administration insisted the U.S. government was unaware of any terror attacks which might be planned to coincide with the annviersary of Osama bin Laden’s death. source
If you’ve got the IRS operating in anything less than a neutral and nonpartisan way, then that is outrageous. It is contradictory to our traditions, and people have to be held accountable.President Obama • Commenting on an admission that the IRS targeted conservative groups, many associated with the tea party, during the 2012 election cycle, following an apology from an IRS official on Friday and this morning’s leak of the Inspector General’s report to ABC News. President Obama’s comments came during a joint press conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron, who’s currently visiting Washington D.C. to discuss the war in Syria. source
Jason Richwine’s comments and general world view are a mark against the conservative community and against all fruitful discussions that would lead to comprehensive, bipartisan immigration reform.Rep. Ruben Hinojosa • Responding to a new Heritage Foundation study on the supposed costs of granting amnesty to illegal immigrants, which was co-authored by Robert Rector and Jason Richwine. The study is catching quite a bit of flack this week, thanks to WonkBlog’s unearthing of Richwine’s doctoral dissertation, which included the claim that “no one knows whether Hispanics will ever reach IQ parity with whites.” The Heritage Foundation has defended the accuracy of their latest study, telling The Hill that the dissertation was not commissioned by the Heritage Fondation, and that Richwine’s dissertation “in no way [reflects] the positions of The Heritage Foundation.” source
Leaders in the technology community have every right to talk about how immigration reform will benefit their businesses. But instead, FWD.us has chosen a strategy that’s condescending to voters and counterproductive to the cause of reform.Former Sen. Russ Feingold • In a statement given to Politico, offering an explanation for why Progressives United, MoveOn.org, and other left-leaning organizations have decided to stop advertising on Facebook for at least two weeks. The advertising boycott is in response to several televised ads from FWD.us, the Mark Zuckerberg-founded advocacy organization which is supposedly focused on immigration reform, that support construction of the Keystone XL pipeline and attack “Obamacare.” source
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I think you will see — again I can’t release any names to you yet, but next Wednesday I think those of us who are concerned about this issue … we’re finally going to get some answers.Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz • Discussing an upcoming House oversight committee hearing which many GOP members believe will expose new information that the Obama Administration has previously tried to keep quiet. Sources say that previously unidentified witnesses, with firsthand knowledge of the 2012 attack on a U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, will reveal new information about the events which claimed the lives of four Americans. source
There’s also a question of journalistic ethics. Luntz requested that the remarks remain off the record; while a journalist who was in the room verbally agreed to this request, Abbi (who isn’t a journalist) and Mother Jones (who wasn’t present) did not. So are they still bound by it? Does a request to remain off the record amount to a decree, or must it be agreed to? Regardless of where you stand, it’s a fuzzy area. Meanwhile, Luntz has withdrawn a scholarship in his father’s name since the remarks leaked.