[Nfbmo] Fw: Today's Political News From The Editors of Bulletin News

James Moynihan jamesmmoynihan at gmail.com
Fri May 4 15:02:53 UTC 2012

Fellow Federationists

Here is additional information regarding the blind Chinese dissident.  This 
situation may be resolved in Chen's favor.


Jim Moynihan
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Neuman, Dale A." <NeumanD at umkc.edu>
To: <jamesmmoynihan at gmail.com>; "Curtis, Gayla" <curtisgd at umkc.edu>; 
<pennepwi at yahoo.com>; "Sandreczki, Thomas C." <SandreczkiT at umkc.edu>
Sent: Friday, May 04, 2012 7:59 AM
Subject: FW: Today's Political News From The Editors of Bulletin News


Dale A. Neuman
Director, Harry S Truman Center for Governmental Affairs
Special Projects Associate, College of Arts and Sciences
Professor Emeritus of Political Science
816-235-6108 or 816-235-2787
FAX 816-235-5191
Neumand at umkc.edu
From: Political Bulletin [PoliticalBulletin at bulletinnews.com]
Sent: Friday, May 04, 2012 6:29 AM
To: Neuman, Dale A.
Subject: Today's Political News From The Editors of Bulletin News

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Washington News
Campaign News
Political Humor



DATE: Friday, May 4, 2012 - 8:00 AM

Washington News

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China Says Chen Can Study In US   China has announced that it will allow 
Chen Guangcheng to study in the US, a move that could help ease tensions 
between Washington and Beijing following days of intense diplomatic 
wrangling, reports this morning indicate. The 
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calls announcement "a possible step toward resolving a diplomatic standoff 
with the US over the blind activist, who said he felt increasingly isolated 
and in danger at a Beijing hospital." On its website, the Chinese Foreign 
Ministry stated that Chen "is currently being treated in hospital. ... As a 
Chinese citizen, if he wants to study abroad he can go through the normal 
channels to the relevant departments and complete the formalities in 
accordance with the law like other Chinese citizens."

        According to the New York 
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, the development signals "a possible breakthrough in a diplomatic crisis 
that has deeply embarrassed the White House and threatens to sour relations 
with Beijing." The Wall Street 
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also says the move could defuse the tense diplomatic situation, noting that 
it follows a string of dramatic events in the weeks-long saga, the latest 
being Chen's Thursday appeal - via cell phone - to US lawmakers to be 
escorted out of the country by Secretary of State Clinton.

        Chen's plight generated a huge amount of coverage last night and 
this morning, including almost 12 minutes of combined coverage from the 
three network newscasts yesterday evening.

        While reports from major media organizations are unusually 
contradictory, the Administration is receiving a great deal of criticism for 
its handling of the situation. Despite the insistence of the Administration 
that no US official pressured Chen to leave the US embassy in Beijing, that 
allegation is widespread. For instance, Bloomberg 
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reports that Chen told CNN: "The embassy kept lobbying me to leave and 
promised to be with me at the hospital, but this afternoon soon after we got 
here, they were all gone. I'm very disappointed at the US government."

        Additionally, the Administration is being portrayed as potentially 
naïve for entrusting Chen's safety to the Chinese authorities as part of the 
deal that preceded his removal from the US embassy. According to the 
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, "Many activists are suggesting that the Americans made the critical 
mistake of trusting the Chinese government too much, given its history of 
mistreating the country's dissidents and not enforcing the rule of law."

        Similarly, another article in the Washington 
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, reports, "Rights activists say the moves to isolate Chen and round up 
activists who assisted him suggest that Chinese authorities never intended 
to honor their agreement to treat Chen humanely and allow him to live freely 
in a new and safe location in China."

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says the Administration is "desperately pushing back against the impression 
that it had abandoned the blind dissident to Chinese authorities and 
betrayed American values in the process."

        The CBS Evening News reported that Chen has "asked Secretary Clinton 
to take him out on her plane." NBC Nightly News reported that Chen has put 
Clinton "in a very tough spot." Andrea Mitchell added that Clinton, "walking 
a diplomatic tightrope, told China's leaders they need to address human 
rights," which "was a softer version than her prepared remarks, which 
included a warning to China not to punish dissidents." According to NBC, US 
Ambassador to China Gary Locke "said Chen has clearly had a change of heart 
and they'll visit him again to find out what he really wants."

        Locke Says US Officials Snuck Chen Into The US Embassy David Martin, 
on the CBS Evening News reported that "having escaped from house arrest, 
Chen was hiding out with fellow dissidents in Beijing, when the US Embassy 
headed by Ambassador Gary Locke, mounted an operation to bring him in from 
the cold." Locke: "When we got the word he was in Beijing wanting to talk to 
us in the wee hours of the morning we went out and contacted him, and then 
we engineered almost a maneuver out of 'Mission Impossible' to bring him in 
to the embassy." According to Martin, "The maneuver involved transferring 
Chen from a van driven by the dissidents to a US government car while 
evading Chinese surveillance, then spirit him back to the US Embassy, past 
Chinese guards, whose job is to prevent would-be defectors from reaching the 

        Romney Questions The Administration's Treatment Of Chen NBC Nightly 
News reported that "this rather incredible drama...has ricocheted back here 
and is now part of the race for President." Mitt Romney "said the 
Administration was too eager to keep its summit on track and should not have 
handed Chen over to the Chinese." Romney: "If these reports are true, this 
is a dark day for freedom and a day of shame for the Obama Administration."

        The Los Angeles 
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reports Romney said he "was concerned about the circumstances of the 
negotiations between the US and Chinese governments that led Chen to leave 
the embassy after assurances that he and his family would be protected if 
they remained in China."

Issa Circulates Proposed Holder Contempt Resolution   News that House 
Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa is circulating a 
contempt of Congress resolution against Attorney General Holder over the 
"Operation Fast & Furious" controversy generated heavy print media coverage 
this morning, but drew no mention on network newscasts last night.

        The Washington 
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reports that Issa "circulated a proposal Thursday to hold" Holder "in 
contempt of Congress, accusing Holder of failing to cooperate with a 
congressional inquiry into the botched gun-trafficking operation called Fast 
and Furious. Justice Department officials disputed the accusations, saying 
the department has been cooperating fully with the investigation, which was 
launched by Issa" and Sen. Charles Grassley "a year and a half ago."

        The Washington 
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, "The 64-page draft resolution and an accompanying 17-page staff briefing 
paper explain what" Issa "called the 'reckless conduct' of the Fast and 
Furious investigation and the 'hardships' faced by the family of a US Border 
Patrol agent killed with a weapon purchased in the probe. The two documents 
also detail retaliation against agents who blew the whistle on the operation 
and the 'carnage in Mexico' that Fast and Furious helped fuel. 'This 
briefing paper and draft contempt report explains the case to both members 
of the committee and the American people for holding Attorney General Holder 
in contempt of Congress,'" Issa said.

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reports, "Issa has issued two subpoenas to obtain documents from the DOJ, 
and is arguing that the agency's glacial pace in returning the requested 
information provides cause for holding Holder in contempt of Congress. 
'Congress now faces a moment of decision between exerting its full authority 
to compel an agency refusing to cooperate with congressional oversight or 
accepting a dangerous expansion of executive-branch authority and unilateral 
action allowing agencies to set their own terms for cooperating with 
congressional oversight,'" the staff memo said.

        The Wall Street 
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reports that Deputy Attorney General James Cole released a statement saying 
that the Justice Department "strongly disputes the contention that we have 
failed to cooperate with the Committee's review," and added that the 
disputes over document production "stem not from a lack of cooperation, but 
from our sincere and unwavering belief that disclosure of materials related 
to ongoing criminal investigations and prosecutions could well jeopardize 
our core law enforcement mission."

Documents Seized From Bin Laden's Compound Released To The Public   NBC 
Nightly News reported, "Today we learned still more about what Bin Laden was 
up to in his final months and days in that secret compound in Abbottabad, 
Pakistan." Correspondent Jim Miklaszewski added, "The documents seized in 
last year's raid on Bin Laden's hideout released today revealed Bin Laden 
was still intent on killing Americans. The documents show Bin Laden had 
ordered Al Qaeda to assassinate President Obama or General David Petraeus."

        On ABC World News, Brian Ross reported, "These documents recovered 
have proven to be hugely valuable, as an insight into what might be coming 
next from Al Qaeda. ... Just five days before he was killed, a tantalizing 
clue, when Bin Laden asked about a plot using poison being planned by one Al 
Qaeda team. But there are no further details in the documents released."

        Bob Orr, on the CBS Evening News, said bin Laden "was frustrated 
with poorly planned attacks that killed too many Muslims and he worried US 
drone strikes threatened Al Qaeda's core in Pakistan." Orr added that the 
letters also "reveal tensions between bin Laden and other top terrorists. He 
rebuffed pleas from his deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri, to merge Al Qaeda with 
Al-Shabaab in Somalia and rejected Anwar al-Awlaki as a proposed leader in 

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, in an article titled "US Uses Bin Laden Letters To Degrade Al-Qaida," 
reports that the letters were "released by US officials intent on 
discrediting his terror organization." The AP says they "portray a network 
weak, inept and under siege -- and its leader seemingly near wit's end about 
the passing of his global jihad's glory days. The documents, published 
online Thursday, are a small sample of those seized during the US raid on 
bin Laden's Pakistan compound," and, "by no accident, they show al-Qaida at 
its worst."

Campaign News

Obama Has Seven-Point Lead In Virginia in WPost Poll   The Washington 
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reports a new Post poll shows President Obama leading Mitt Romney in the 
battleground state of Virginia, 51% to 44%. The Post says Obama "has a key 
advantage in his bid for reelection: The coalition of Virginians that helped 
propel him to victory" in the state in 2008 "is largely intact. Yet the 
survey shows that voters in the state are split on Obama's signature 
healthcare reform law and that they remain deeply pessimistic about the way 
things are going in the country, creating a potential opening for Romney."

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reports that Virginians "split down the middle on the administration's major 
policies overall, but tend to credit Obama with doing a good job: The 
president checks in with a 53 percent approval rating; 44 percent disapprove 
(it's a narrower 50 to 47 percent among registered voters)."

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says Virginia "is becoming the hottest new battleground in this year's race 
for the White House. Shifting demographics have" Obama "fighting for another 
win in this Southern state four years after he became the first Democratic 
presidential nominee to carry Virginia in more than four decades," while 
Romney "is banking on buyers' remorse as he works to prove that Obama's 
unlikely 2008 victory was a fluke."

        The Richmond (VA) 
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, meanwhile, reports that Romney on Thursday said the 2012 presidential race 
"could all come down to Virginia." Stumping in Portsmouth, VA, Romney said, 
"This may well be the state that decides who the next president is."

Bachmann Formally Endorses Romney   The Minneapolis Star 
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reports, "After weeks of dropping hints," Rep. Michele Bachmann "came out 
firmly Thursday for GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, granting him a 
measure of Tea Party backing after criticizing him harshly during her 
presidential bid." Appearing with Romney in Virginia, Bachmann "called for 
unity in the Republican ranks to defeat President Obama in November, saying 
she wanted to 'lend my voice and my endorsement to Mitt Romney to take the 
country back.'"

        NBC Nightly News reported, "While she was still vying for the GOP 
nomination herself in the heat of the campaign, she called Romney's 
Massachusetts healthcare package, quote, 'a deal breaker for conservatives' 
and said he couldn't beat President Obama."

        The Washington 
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reports that Romney "has spent the past few days on the campaign trail 
surrounded by women, slamming President Obama's record on the economy and 
ticking off the economic hardships faced by female entrepreneurs." Yesterday 
in Virginia, Romney "was joined on stage by" Bachmann, "one of the most 
high-profile conservative women in the country." And though Bachmann "never 
addressed the gender gap or the GOP 'war on women,' as Democrats have dubbed 
some Republican efforts, the context of her appearance with Romney was 
clear: that the fight for this swing state and a White House victory is all 
about appealing to women."

        McDonnell Makes Case For Romney In Virginia 
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reports "a possible vice-presidential pick," Gov. Bob McDonnell, also joined 
Romney, and "made his case as the steward of Virginia's strong economy." 
McDonnell said, "For those of you not from here, welcome to the most 
business-friendly state in America, the Commonwealth of Virginia. Welcome to 
the state with the lowest unemployment rate in the Southeast. Now as good as 
that is, imagine how much better off we're going to be with President Mitt 

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reported on its website that in his speech, "McDonnell, like Bachmann before 
him, took time for special criticism of the Obama administration's 
environmental policies, arguing excessive regulations have prohibited 
Virginia companies from opening new coal mines and natural gas refineries."

Ancestry Controversy Has Some Doubting Warren's Staying Power 
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writes, "Political candidates facing controversy are often given this 
advice: Get all the bad news out immediately if you want to take control of 
the news cycle on a damaging story." However, Elizabeth Warren (D), who's 
bidding to unseat Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown (R), "has delivered a 
series of uneven and confusing responses to revelations that she once listed 
herself as a minority law teacher, raising questions about whether this is 
just one blip in a long race or an image-defining moment that undercuts her 
profile as an authentic populist candidate." Politico adds that "some 
Democrats" are "privately" wondering if her credibility has been "damaged."

        In his Boston 
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column, Joe Battenfeld writes that Warren's "stumbling efforts to douse the 
firestorm surrounding her claims of being a Native American minority have 
raised concerns among local and national Democrats who are questioning her 
campaign's competence." As to Warren's "conflicting explanations about why 
she listed herself as a minority in university directories," University of 
Virginia political scientist Larry Sabato said, "This is what happens when 
candidates don't tell the truth. It's pretty obvious she was using (the 
minority listing) for career advancement."

Political Humor

The Latest From Late Night Comedians

Jay Leno: "Well, as you know, President Obama was in Afghanistan earlier 
this week, as part of his big Did I Mention I Killed Bin Laden Tour. He's 
kind of traveling around and Mitt Romney is criticizing the President. He 
said Obama should not politicize the death of Osama bin Laden. Mitt Romney 
made that announcement on the anniversary of bin Laden's death, standing 
next to Rudy Giuliani, at a fire station in New York City, at 9:11 in the 

Jimmy Fallon: "Last week, the brakes on President Obama's limousine were 
apparently damaged while he was in Georgia. Yeah, Obama tried to call AAA, 
while Biden tried to call the Geico gecko."

Jimmy Fallon: "Here's an election update. Today, former GOP candidate 
Michele Bachmann officially endorsed Mitt Romney for President. Romney 
called it 'the boost I've been waiting for,' while Obama calls it 'the boost 
I've been waiting for.'"

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