March 13, 2014
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Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-Wis.) new focus on poverty isn't going so well. In a radio interview Wednesday, Ryan bemoaned a "culture problem" in the nation's inner cities of men choosing not to work because they're lazy. "We have got this tailspin of culture, in our inner cities in particular, of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning the value and the culture of work," he said.

Naturally, many accused Ryan of using "inner city" as a substitute for race. He did, after all, cite Charles Murray, a social scientist who has claimed white people have a genetic advantage over other races. So on Thursday, Ryan clarified his remark, saying he was "inarticulate" and was "not implicating the culture of one community — but of society as a whole."

"We have allowed our society to isolate or quarantine the poor rather than integrate people into our communities," he said in a statement. "The predictable result has been multi-generational poverty and little opportunity." Jon Terbush

war on drugs
9:23 a.m. ET
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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 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

By the numbers
7:55 a.m. ET
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At least since they each declared that they're running for president.

Here's a full sampling of the tally of total combined Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network appearances for all the GOP candidates since their official campaign launches, per Politico:

1) Paul, 35 … 2) Huckabee, 31 … 3) Trump, 30 … 4) Perry, 24 … 5-6) Fiorina and Jindal, 20 each … 7) Cruz, 17 … 8) Santorum, 16 … 9) Rubio, 14 … 10-11) Carson and Graham, 12 each … 12-13) Kasich and Pataki, 11 each … 14) Christie, 7 … 15) Walker, 4 … 16) Bush, 3. [Politico]

The number of appearances doesn't quite track with candidates' running in the polls. Trump is the only candidate who appears both at the top of national polls and near the top of Fox News' list. The most recent Monmouth poll shows Fox's most frequent guest, Paul, at only 6 percent. Becca Stanek

Watch this
7:45 a.m. ET

Jimmy Kimmel's emotions got the better of him during Jimmy Kimmel Live Tuesday night. During a segment about the killing of a beloved Zimbabwean lion named Cecil, the comedian got choked up and momentarily had to pause during his routine. It was an uncharacteristic moment for Kimmel, whose quips about Cecil and the poachers had more of an edge to them than his usual antics.

"First of all, quit saying you took the lion," Kimmel snapped, addressing the Minnesotan dentist who allegedly poached Cecil. "You take Aspirin. You killed the lion."

Kimmel added, "If you're some A-hole dentist who wants a lion's head over the fireplace in his man cave, so his douche-hole buddies can gather around it and drink scotch and tell him how awesome he is, that's just vomitous."

Then, while sharing the website for the wildlife conservation organization that was tracking Cecil, Kimmel was moved nearly to tears and apologized to his viewers. It happens around the 4:10 mark. Watch below. Jeva Lange

The Daily Showdown
7:13 a.m. ET

On Wednesday, President Obama returns from a five-day trip to Africa, including the first visit ever by a sitting U.S. president to Ethiopia and his first presidential trip to his father's homeland, Kenya. "His father's homeland, the place where his father was born — wink," Jon Stewart said on Tuesday's Daily Show, trying to make a birther joke. Then a clip of Obama making his own birther joke in Kenya.

"Well, that stole a lot of the joy out of my joke," Stewart mock-griped. "You host The Daily Show, Obama, how about that? When you leave, you just host this show, and I'll just pack up and move to some farm in New Jersey." When his fake earpiece told him that's what he's actually doing next week, Stewart deadpanned, "Wow, that's f—ed up." But Obama wasn't the only one pre-empting his jokes — an African anthropologist's Donald Trump joke almost made Stewart abandon his own Trump joke. Almost.

Stewart took a similarly lighthearted approach to the rest of Obama's "Wet Hot African Summer" until the end, when he noted that Obama chastised Kenya for its record on gay rights and women's rights, but declined to make similar criticisms of Saudi Arabia during his 2009 visit there. His ending jab includes a reference to oil, and lubing America up. You can watch it below. Peter Weber

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