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• Hillary hush as domestic spying vote nears
• Bush bash: Kasich says Iraq ‘bungled from the beginning’
• Power Play: GOP’s Iraq challenge
• Bush campaign cautiously deploys Jeb’s wife
• A fainting goat has got to be pretty easy to steal
HILLARY HUSH AS DOMESTIC SPYING VOTE NEARS
As she seeks to curry favor with her base, the question is: Will Democratic activists let Hillary Clinton get away with supporting an overhaul of the NSA’s bulk data collection program that still allows for the continued collection of private phone records? Like trade, the war on terror is an issue that puts both Clinton and President Obama at odds with the party’s liberal left wing. NSA’s current program, exposed by former agency subcontractor Edward Snowden, expires June 1st without action by Congress. Clinton tweeted her support earlier this month of the House-passed USA Freedom Act, which allows the NSA to keep collecting phone records while housing the data with private companies. With pressure from the left ramping up and a Senate vote likely this week, Clinton has otherwise kept a low profile.
Senate NSA vote expected this week - The Hill: “Sen. Mitch McConnell on Tuesday said he would allow a vote on legislation overhauling the nation’s surveillance programs, which could give him more leverage in the fight over the National Security Agency’s future. … McConnell is opposed by [Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah] and presidential hopeful Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who have pledged to oppose any bill that renews the Patriot Act without changes, even for a short period of time. A filibuster threat also looms from Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), another presidential candidate who could have a lot to gain by staging a high-profile floor fight against the Patriot Act.”
[Nunya business - Paul posted a tweet this morning featuring a video opposing the NSA program. “I say the your phone records are yours,” Paul says. “I say the phones records of law abiding citizens are none of their damn business” the video concludes.]
Bolton runs ad campaign backing NSA extension - Former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton is out of the running for president, but his Foundation for American Security and Freedom is running a five figure ad campaign supporting the extension of the NSA’s bulk data collection program. The ads are playing in the Washington, D.C. metro market and targeting policy makers to support the data collection provision. “Terrorists oversees are certainly trying to recruit people in America,” Bolton Said. “Section 215 of the Patriot Act provides a critical element in the war on terror, and keeping America safe at home while securing our interests abroad. I strongly encourage members of Congress to back NSA efforts that support America’s interests in the digital world; without such we are inherently vulnerable.”
Bush bashing: Kasich says Iraq ‘bungled from the beginning’ - “No, I would never have gone in [to Iraq]…All of this business about nation building, you go, you take care of business and you come home, you don't spend your time there, it makes no sense. And by the way, the Iraq thing all the way from releasing the Iraqi military, it's been bungled from the beginning.” – Gov. John Kasich, R-Ohio, on “The Kelly File”
[Kasich takes part in a roundtable in New York hosted by billionaire hedge fund manager Paul Singer.]
Power Play: GOP’s Iraq challenge, in 60 seconds: Why is the Republican Party having such a hard time talking about the Iraq war? Chris Stirewalt describes the challenge for 2016 contenders and where we go from here…in 60 seconds. WATCH HERE.
[David Drucker dissects the return of Iraq and 9/11 politics to the 2016 Republican presidential field]
Uhhhh - Iowa Democrats taking part in a focus group sponsored by Bloomberg were all about Hillary Clinton, believing her to be their party’s only chance to retain the White House and as someone who can “get things done.” Get what done? Well, that proved tougher as the assembled group could not name any accomplishment of hers.
WITH YOUR SECOND CUP OF COFFEE…
The Atlantic looked at height and income and found some correlations. This used to make more sense when jobs were labor based and required a larger, stronger man to do them. But even in today’s economy it holds true. Why? Well, read on...
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Real Clear Politics Averages
Obama Job Approval: Approve – 45.4 percent//Disapprove – 49.4 percent
Direction of Country: Right Direction – 29.6 percent//Wrong Track – 62.0 percent
BUSH CAMPAIGN CAUTIOUSLY DEPLOYS JEB’S WIFE
Family matters continue to dominate Jeb Bush’s White House run, but now it’s his wife and not his brother. The former Florida governor’s campaign is putting his wife, Columba, out front for the first time. She got a Twitter handle an Instagram account, and recently submitted an op-ed to the Des Moines Register on her signature issue from her tenure as Florida’s first lady, domestic violence.
But as numerous articles have pointed out since Bush began his run, hers is not the story of a typical political spouse. She made for embarrassing headlines from time to time (and time again) for her husband. Neither is she suited nor evidently comfortable doing the kind of campaign surrogacy at which competitors’ spouses excel. But Columba Bush is a humanizing figure for her patrician husband and their shared faith is part of his best path of approach to a wary GOP base. The answer seems to be a quiet and slow rebuilding of her reputation. Whether that works will depend on one question most of all: How eager is she to step into the role?
Jeb team posts video of Iowa visit, knocks Hillary - In a new ad from Bush’s Right to Rise PAC, the former governor takes aim at Clinton’s silence to the media against a hometown Iowa backdrop.
[Bush kicks off two days of events in New Hampshire with a business roundtable lunch hosted by Renee Plummer in Portsmouth and a house party at the Ashooh Residence in Bedford.]
GOP activists dig Rubio - National Journal: “Among older Republicans and those already paying close attention to the 2016 race, Marco Rubio’s a hit. Seven in 10 Republicans or Republican-leaning independents who have thought ‘a lot’ about the election hold favorable views of the GOP presidential contender, according to a new Pew survey. And 75 percent of seniors—those over 65—rated Rubio favorably. But there’s a sharp drop-off for voters who haven’t thought much about the election: Only 40 percent of those Republicans or Republican leaners hold a favorable rating of Rubio.”
What about his Senate seat? – Drama is growing around the race for Rubio’s Florida Senate seat. The Republican side has current Lt.Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera, who is taking a page from Jeb Bush and focusing efforts on his super PAC. On the Democratic side, mercurial trial lawyer Alan Grayson is threatening to run, making party elders nervous about that seat and his potential for national embarrassment.
Walker: Immigration changes should put U.S. workers first - “We’ve got to enforce the law, no amnesty. If someone wants to be a citizen they need to go back to their country of origin and they can go down the normal pathway with that as a legal pathway forward…It should be one based on standing and making priority number one American workers, American wages, and a strong way to improve the American economy.” – Gov. Scott Walker, R-Wisc., on “Special Report with Bret Baier”
Is the Iowa Straw Poll kaput? - Establishment frontrunner Jeb Bush is out and now Iowa favorite Mike Huckabee is on the fence. Could the Iowa Republican Party’s effort to reform and preserve the Iowa Straw Poll be coming apart? With credible candidates not embracing the reboot, party leaders for whom the event is a key fundraiser got the news that Donald Trump is planning on participating should he decide to officially run for president.
Perry plowing ahead in Iowa - Former Gov. Rick Perry, R-Texas, continues an Iowa swing with a meet and greet in Madison County and an appearance at security forum in Des Moines hosted by Americans for Peace, Prosperity and Security.
BEVIN BATTLES TO WIN IN KENTUCKY, BUT DRAMA AHEAD
The Courier-Journal: “Matt Bevin led James Comer by a mere 83 votes in the Republican primary for Kentucky governor late Tuesday with 100% of the vote counted. Comer announced about 10 p.m. that he would ask for a recanvass to clarify the results…The Associated Press said that with 100% of the vote in that the race was too close to call…Under state law, Comer has until 4 p.m. May 26 to request the recanvass, which would be conducted at 9 a.m. on May 28. He would then have until the next day to ask a Franklin Circuit judge to order a recount.”
A FAINTING GOAT HAS GOT TO BE PRETTY EASY TO STEAL
Folks in two North Carolina counties are on the lookout for the next goat-grab. Over the past year an estimated $1,750 worth of goats have been snatched – seven goats stolen in the last two months. The Hickory Record reports that last week the Weaver family, who’ve been raising fainting goats for two generations, discovered that Nanny-Bell and Star-Bell were the latest victims. “[Friday morning] Gail Weaver…went out to discover that Nanny-Bell had kidded during the night and the brand-new goat seemed to be healthy. But the mother was nowhere to be found. The Weavers checked all over their property thinking Nanny-Bell may have defied her mothering instinct…And then they saw that Star-Bell was missing too. “I knew she wouldn’t leave that baby,” Eric Weaver said. ‘I knew someone had to have taken her.’… Weaver is friendly and he has a gentle demeanor. But he’s hurt and angry….‘I just wish I’d seen someone climbing over my fence that night.’ [he said] ‘I keep a double-barreled shotgun loaded with double-aught buckshot right beside the bed. I wouldn’t shoot to kill, but I’d sure have burnt their hind-ends up.’”
AND NOW, A WORD FROM CHARLES…
“That’s the only obstacle to the stonewall strategy (of Hillary Clinton’s e-mails), if it were left up to the other parts of the administration, we would never get anything out of her at all. But it takes a judge, because there’s a lot of suits out there about her e-mails, about Benghazi and that’s about how we’ve learned stuff, that’s how we learned stuff about the IRS. It’s judges who don’t like being trifled with who have insisted on this.” – Charles Krauthammer on “Special Report with Bret Baier.”
Chris Stirewalt is digital politics editor for Fox News. Want FOX News First in your inbox every day? Sign up here.
Chris Stirewalt joined Fox News Channel (FNC) in July of 2010 and serves as politics editor based in Washington, D.C. Additionally, he authors the daily Fox News Halftime Report political news note and co-hosts the hit podcast, Perino & Stirewalt: I'll Tell You What. He also is the host of Power Play, a feature video series on FoxNews.com. Stirewalt makes frequent appearances on network programs, including America’s Newsroom, Special Report with Bret Baier and Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace. He also provides expert political analysis for FNC’s coverage of state, congressional and presidential elections.