An unlikely ally
May 15, 2019

The Transportation Security Administration will deploy hundreds of employees to the southern U.S. border to help handle incoming migrants, reports CNN.

The TSA workers will include air marshals, per an internal email viewed by CNN, but the deployment will also include up to 175 law enforcement officials and 400 workers from Security Ops.

The deployment coincides with the beginning of summer travel season, and TSA acknowledged the restructuring would cause "some risk" in aviation security but said it was outweighed by an "immediate need" for workers at the border. In the email, TSA compared the deployment to the support given in the past to areas hit by hurricanes. While it's unclear exactly what duties the TSA employees would handle at the border, a source said they would be trained and designated as immigration officers to assist Customs and Border Protection officers.

The deployments will not involve any uniformed airport screeners at the onset, and they are set to last between 45 and 60 days with possibility of extension. Read more at CNN. Marianne Dodson

November 2, 2015

Marco Rubio's former chief of staff is not endorsing him for president. Instead, the Florida House Speaker Designate Richard Corcoran announced Monday that he is siding with Rubio's potentially biggest competitor in the 2016 race: Jeb Bush.

"I have known Jeb Bush for over 20 years," Corcoran wrote in a release. "As governor, Jeb Bush set the standard against which all other conservatives in this state are measured — no one in Florida would argue that."

Considering Corcoran's close ties to Rubio, his choice comes as a shock to many. As St. Peter's Blog aptly puts it, "Corcoran's endorsement is an 'Et tu, Brute' moment: As a former top adviser to Rubio, the argument can be made that few know Rubio's abilities — and limitations — as a leader better than Corcoran."

Corcoran is also breaking from his family in this endorsement, as his brother, a prominent Florida lobbyist, has already endorsed Rubio and raised about $250,000 for the Florida senator's campaign.

After Bush's decline in the polls, his lackluster performance last week in the third Republican debate, and the exit of his campaign's chief operating officer, Corcoran's endorsement is a nice vote of confidence for the struggling campaign. This is "the clearest sign yet that Bush has no plans to drop out of the race," St. Peter's Blog says. Now that Corcoran has joined team Bush, that puts every Florida House speaker of the modern Republican era — save Rubio and Johnnie Byrd — supporting Bush.

"He is without question, the most courageous conservative in this race," Corcoran said of Bush. "That's what I want in a leader, and what I know the electorate deserves." Becca Stanek

September 28, 2015

Bernie Sanders isn't exactly the biggest fan of the conservative Koch brothers. After all, he routinely slams the wealthy donors and elected officials he believes pander to them.

But on Monday, the Vermont senator and Democratic presidential candidate changed his tune ever so slightly. During an appearance at his alma mater, the University of Chicago, Sanders said he'd be willing to work with the Kochs on reforming the U.S. criminal justice system, an issue that both parties have been known to speak out about.

"I am prepared to work with anybody who is working in good faith on that very, very important issue," Sanders said.

Sanders has called for abolishing mandatory minimum sentences as a means of incarcerating fewer nonviolent offenders. Meanwhile, in what some believe is a PR stunt, Charles and David Koch have poured money into prison reform, even forming partnerships with liberal organizations like the Center for American Progress.

But don't expect Sanders to get too chummy with the billionaires.

"They are a very destructive force in American society," he said. Julie Kliegman

September 8, 2015

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) might think that Donald Trump's immigration proposals are "wrong," but when it comes to economics, Warren thinks The Donald is absolutely right. After hearing about Trump's call to raise taxes on the wealthy, Warren went so far as to praise Trump in a Tuesday interview on ABC's The View.

"There are a lot of places where he gets out and talks about important things," Warren said. "Like Donald Trump and I both agree there ought to be more taxation of the billionaires, the people who are making their money on Wall Street." That position, Warren says, isn't the "liberal position" — it's simply the "right" one.

Amid Trump's usual self-aggrandizement during a Friday morning interview on MSNBC's Morning Joe — he called himself "king of the tax code" — Trump also championed the tax code's simplification. "We're going to simplify the tax code, take away some of the deductions," Trump said. "And hedge fund guys have to pay up."

Watch Warren's take on Trump — and the rest of the 2016 presidential candidates — here. Becca Stanek

June 18, 2015

The House, namely House Republicans, just gave Obama the chance to achieve a key second-term goal. On Thursday afternoon, the House voted 218-208 in favor of the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA). Now, Obama will have fast-track authority to finish negotiations with 11 Pacific Rim nations in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

Although TPA technically passed last week, the House failed to pass a bill to renew an expiring aid program that was attached to TPA. Thursday's vote went through after the two bills were uncoupled. Surprisingly, Obama's biggest supporters in this effort were Republicans. According to Politico, 190 Republicans and 28 Democrats voted for the bill, whereas 50 Republicans and 158 Democrats voted against it. The bill now heads to the Senate. Becca Stanek

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