Say what?
August 4, 2014

Alabama Rep. Mo Brooks (R) thinks immigration reform is just another prong in Democrats' assault on white people. In an interview Monday with conservative talk radio host Laura Ingraham, Brooks accused Democrats of trying to "turn [immigration] into a racial issue."

"This is a part of the war on whites that's being launched by the Democratic Party," he said. "And the way in which they're launching this war is by claiming that whites hate everybody else."

Republicans have on several occasions accused President Obama or Democrats in general of playing the race card to win more support. Earlier this year, some on the right snipped part of a quote Obama gave to the New Yorker to claim the president was blaming his woes on the color of his skin.

A bipartisan immigration bill passed the Senate last year by a 68-32 vote. Yet House Republicans spiked the measure, prompting President Obama to say he would soon unveil executive action to address the issue on his own. Jon Terbush

A for Effort
10:10 a.m. ET

We all know the Republican presidential field is really, really crowded. That's why Fox News long ago announced that in the first primetime GOP presidential debate, which will be held at 9 p.m. on August 6, it would only make room onstage for the top 10 Republicans, according to the five latest national polls. That leaves also-rans like Lindsey Graham and Carly Fiorina, who are polling above 1 percent, but outside of the top 10, to settle for a secondary consolation-prize debate to be held at 5 p.m., in the shadow of the main attraction. It's all a little sad, with the early event serving almost as a band-aid for wounded pride. And the media knows it. Here are 12 ways they're referring to the debate for weak-polling Republicans. Jeva Lange

Politico: "Undercard"

Majority Report: "The loser debate"

Newser: "The 'consolation prize' debate"

CBS: "The second-tier debate"

International Business Times: "The lower-tier debate"

The Hill: "The lower-profile debate"

Hot Air: "The kids' table"

WND: "The 5 p.m. show"

Huffington Post: "Another event"

Conservative Daily News: "The 'also-ran' stage"

Gambit: "The pre-show"

CNN: "An appetizer before the main event"

Coming Soon
9:39 a.m. ET

With movies like Bad Boys, Armageddon, and the Transformers series, Michael Bay has spent decades cultivating a reputation for using a sledgehammer when a gentle tap would do. But Hollywood's blockbuster-iest director is going smaller and more human-sized for his next movie, 13 Hours, which offers a dramatized version of the attack on the U.S. embassy in Benghazi, Libya in 2012:

Bay has definitely toned down his usual excesses for his take on the still-controversial story, which avoids being overtly political by focusing on the U.S. soldiers who defended the embassy from the Islamic militants who attacked it. "When everything went wrong, six men had the courage to do what was right," says the trailer, amid footage of the carnage at the embassy.

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi hits theaters in January 2015. Scott Meslow

word police
9:38 a.m. ET

The University of New Hampshire has created a "Bias-Free Language Guide" for campus use, a thorough document which details exactly which words the UNH community should and should not use to promote a "healthy, more productive classroom culture.

Included in the guide is a request that UNH students refrain from simply calling themselves "American":

Preferred:  U.S. citizen or Resident of the U.S.
     Problematic: American
Note: North Americans often use “American” which usually, depending on the context, fails to recognize South America
Preferred:  North American or South American
     Problematic: American:  assumes the U.S. is the only country inside these two continents.

While some of the other guidelines are just good manners (like saying "black" or "African American" rather than older, now-offensive labels) others are more surprising (like avoiding "mothering" and "fathering" in favor of the neutral "parenting"). "Healthy" also gets the axe, which seems to be news to the writers of the guide themselves. Bonnie Kristian

war on drugs
9:23 a.m. ET
Sean Gallup/Getty Images

The new acting head of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Chuck Rosenberg, said Tuesday that marijuana and heroin may not be equally dangerous.

"If you want me to say that marijuana’s not dangerous, I’m not going to say that because I think it is," Rosenberg remarked. "Do I think it’s as dangerous as heroin? Probably not. I’m not an expert." Despite its cautious nature, this statement marks a significant change from the perspective of his predecessor, who was willing to compare the two substances, saying pot is an "insidious" drug.

Both pot and heroin are currently classified by the DEA as Schedule I substances, the "most dangerous" of all drugs with "no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse," despite research suggesting medical marijuana can be effective in pain relief and other treatment in a variety of diseases. Bonnie Kristian

what a world
9:19 a.m. ET

This is a real clarification that had to be made by a Scott Walker representative after the Wisconsin governor visited two of Philadelphia's premiere cheesesteak facilities:

- When [Walker] arrived, he went to get in line and the owner of Geno's escorted the governor to the front.

- The governor left his food and drink on the table while he did a media gaggle and he then took it with him when he left. He was actually eating the sandwich as he walked toward his vehicle. []

The bizarre statement became necessary after dozens of people in the City of Brotherly Love expressed outrage over the presidential hopeful's controversial cheesesteak decisions — policies that are clearly near and dear to their hearts. Some background:

Wisconsin Gov. and presidential candidate Scott Walker stopped by Pat's and Geno's in South Philly [Tuesday] for a campaign event, and, perhaps not surprisingly, things appear to have not gone all that well.

First off, it appears that when Walker showed up, he cut his way into the line at Geno's, which legitimately and understandably upset some members of the lunch crowd...Then, over at Pat's following his second steak, Walker reportedly left his trash on a table in the outdoor seating area, apparently expecting the steak shop to send out a member of the wait staff (which does not exist) to clean it up. []

Walker himself was all cheer...

But he may have lost Philly's vote.

In Walker's meager defense, politicians have been known to mess up the delicate art of ordering a cheesesteak before. In 2003, John Kerry enraged the city by asking for Swiss cheese (everyone knows you need to eat it with Wiz). "This isn't about a cheesesteak," explained the Democratic Underground after the incident. "It's about the ability of a candidate to interact with everyday people. You're better off skipping Pats/Genos altogether (but don't order one from somewhere else in Philly) than to go in there without a clue with what to do." Jeva Lange

Trump's take
8:38 a.m. ET

Donald Trump basked in a "told you so" moment Wednesday morning... until Public Policy Polling shut him down.



To be fair, Trump — who kicked off his presidential campaign by declaring that illegal immigrants from Mexico are "rapists" — does appear to be faring just slightly better among Latinos than his fellow Republican contenders in the latest PPP poll. Trump has a 34 percent favorability rating among Hispanic voters, followed by Jeb Bush with 31 percent, Ted Cruz at 30 percent, and Marco Rubio at 29 percent. But as the Democratic-aligned pollster PPP points out, Trump still trails Hillary Clinton among Latino voters by a massive 61 percent to 28 percent split. Becca Stanek

8:22 a.m. ET
Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

That revelation comes courtesy of a New York Times article pulling from "hundreds of pages of sworn testimony by Mr. Trump over the past decade." The Times wryly notes that the picture of Trump under oath is "something less flattering" than Trump's preferred image as "a teller of difficult truths, whose wealth unburdens him from the careful pronouncements of ordinary candidates."

To wit: "You're disgusting," Trump told a lawyer who asked for a medical break from court proceedings in 2007 in order to pump breast milk for her 3-month-old baby. "Do you even know what you're doing?" he additionally challenged her during questioning.

But beyond that, Trump tipped his hand as to how disconnected he is from 21st century technologies.

Television? "I don’t have a lot of time," he said, "for listening to television."

Text messages? Not for him.

For a candidate who says he is an authority on modern business, Mr. Trump is slow to adopt technology. In 2007, he said he had no home or office computer.

"Does your secretary send emails on your behalf?" he was asked.

His secretary generally typed letters, Mr. Trump said. "I don’t do the email thing."

By 2013, Mr. Trump was still not sold on email. "Very rarely, but I use it," he said under questioning. [The New York Times]

Read the whole thing at The New York Times. Jeva Lange

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