GOP candidates for state Sen. Wendy Davis’s (R) legislative seat are already attacking her on abortion, foreshadowing a major line of attack for Attorney General Greg Abbott (R) if Davis chooses to oppose him for governor. (Texas Tribune) Abortion will be one of Texas Republicans’ main issues they use against Davis, who shot to prominence via a filibuster of an anti-abortion bill in June. But it’s not the only weapon in their arsenal. Other top hits that Davis would see in the governors race include:
— Conflict of interest allegations related to Davis’s law practice, its public clients, and votes she has cast on state contracts.
— Vote ratings on the left end (fourth-most out of 31) of the Texas state Senate and also the state Senate Democratic caucus.
— A host of individual budget votes from 5 years in the state Senate, during which time Republicans cut billions from state spending plans over the objections of legislative Democrats. Davis will counter with her efforts to support education funding (including a nationally lesser-known filibuster a few years ago) and other individual programs.
Also, as Davis will need to broaden her public image past the abortion filibuster if she runs, Dallas Morning News columnist Carl Leubsdorf argued that Davis missed an opportunity to boost business credentials by siding with Ft. Worth-based American Airlines (and against Abbott) by publicly opposing the blocking of the AA-US Airways merger. (Dallas Morning News)
Right now, Davis’s statewide image is tied up in her abortion filibuster and the ensuing hubbub. But that’s not the issue that helped her win a GOP-leaning state Senate district.
Meanwhile, local Democrats are actively recruiting potential replacement candidates in Davis’s district. (Dallas Morning News) And Davis is the subject of a “glowing” Vogue profile that highlights her personal biography. (Politico)
— Scott Bland
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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.”