State Rep. Tyler Olson (D) hired Democratic operative Alex Youn as his campaign manager. Youn has worked in Ohio, Indiana and Iowa, including on John Edwards’ presidential campaign in 2008. Olson statement: “I’m thrilled to have someone with Alex’s talent and experience leading my team. … It’s time for a fresh approach to leadership in Iowa. I look forward to continuing to talk to voters throughout the state about my vision to begin Iowa’s next 30 years.” (Des Moines Register)
ABORTION RIGHTS FIGHT. State GOP chair A.J. Spiker attacked Olson and state Sen. Jack Hatch (D) “for standing by while a woman prayed for continued access to abortion during a political rally in the Capitol last week.” Spiker called the prayer “sick, twisted and disgusting” and and said in a statement, “If this is what Olson and Hatch think will help them in their race to defeat Terry Branstad in 2014, then it shows just how unbelievably out of touch they are with everyday Iowans and how poorly they’re going to perform come election time.” The rally’s purpose “was specifically to defend legal access to abortion.”
Hatch “was unapologetic about attending the rally, but said he and other lawmakers had no knowledge of what would be said” in the invocation. Hatch: “We certainly don’t have any power, nor should we, to restrict what a prayer is. … We were there to support the position that the medical board should follow the rules for dispersing prescription drugs as they do for dozens of other procedures through telemedicine.”
Olson: “I believe that the decision should not be made at state Capitol. It should be made between a woman, her doctor, her family, her faith community, whoever she wants to include in that. … That’s my position, it has been my position, it will be my position and I don’t speak for anybody else.” (Des Moines Register)
— Julie Sobel
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Foreign Policy takes a look at the future of mining the estimated "100,000 near-Earth objects—including asteroids and comets—in the neighborhood of our planet. Some of these NEOs, as they’re called, are small. Others are substantial and potentially packed full of water and various important minerals, such as nickel, cobalt, and iron. One day, advocates believe, those objects will be tapped by variations on the equipment used in the coal mines of Kentucky or in the diamond mines of Africa. And for immense gain: According to industry experts, the contents of a single asteroid could be worth trillions of dollars." But the technology to get us there is only the first step. Experts say "a multinational body might emerge" to manage rights to NEOs, as well as a body of law, including an international court.
Not to be outdone by Jeffrey Goldberg's recent piece in The Atlantic about President Obama's foreign policy, the New York Times Magazine checks in with a longread on the president's economic legacy. In it, Obama is cognizant that the economic reality--73 straight months of growth--isn't matched by public perceptions. Some of that, he says, is due to a constant drumbeat from the right that "that denies any progress." But he also accepts some blame himself. “I mean, the truth of the matter is that if we had been able to more effectively communicate all the steps we had taken to the swing voter,” he said, “then we might have maintained a majority in the House or the Senate.”
Ronald Reagan's children and political allies took to the media and Twitter this week to chide funnyman Will Ferrell for his plans to play a dementia-addled Reagan in his second term in a new comedy entitled Reagan. In an open letter, Reagan's daughter Patti Davis tells Ferrell, who's also a producer on the movie, “Perhaps for your comedy you would like to visit some dementia facilities. I have—I didn’t find anything comedic there, and my hope would be that if you’re a decent human being, you wouldn’t either.” Michael Reagan, the president's son, tweeted, "What an Outrag....Alzheimers is not joke...It kills..You should be ashamed all of you." And former Rep. Joe Walsh called it an example of "Hollywood taking a shot at conservatives again."
In a sign that she’s ready to put a longer-than-expected primary battle behind her, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D) is no longer going on the air in upcoming primary states. “Team Clinton hasn’t spent a single cent in … California, Indiana, Kentucky, Oregon and West Virginia, while” Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) “campaign has spent a little more than $1 million in those same states.” Meanwhile, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Sanders’ "lone backer in the Senate, said the candidate should end his presidential campaign if he’s losing to Hillary Clinton after the primary season concludes in June, breaking sharply with the candidate who is vowing to take his insurgent bid to the party convention in Philadelphia.”