RAP Sheet

A Bit Late, Vatican Officially Approves Serra Sainthood

posted on May 6, 2015

Nicole Winfield of the AP reports, “The Vatican’s saint-making office has officially given its thumbs up for the Rev. Junipero Serra to be declared a saint.” She writes of the controversial saint: “Serra is hailed by the Catholic Church as a great evangelizer who established 21 missions across California. Many Native Americans, though, accuse him of forced conversions, enslaving converts and helping wipe out indigenous populations as part of the European colonization machine in the Americas.”

Read at Associated Press

Is a Folksy Showman Willing to Get Meaner?

posted on May 6, 2015

In The Washington Post, Steve Hendrix examines how the radio career of former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee may influence his second presidential run. “It was as a lifelong broadcaster that the onetime ‘pastor on TV’ perfected the conservative amiability that helped him win the Iowa caucuses in 2008 and could again set him apart from an increasingly crowded field of Republicans,” Hendrix writes. But to connect with an outraged Republican electorate in 2016, Huckabee may have to sharpen his tongue.

Read at The Washington Post

Wisconsin, Politics and Faith Bind Scott Walker and Paul Ryan

posted on May 6, 2015

In The New York Times, Patrick Healy and Jonathan Martin write on the friendship and shared faith of Wisconsin’s two most powerful Republicans: Representative Paul Ryan and Governor and presidential candidate Scott Walker. “For Republicans who are disappointed that Mr. Ryan has decided not to run for president in 2016, Mr. Walker is offering himself as the next big thing (if not the next best thing) to come out of southern Wisconsin: a kindred spirit who talks politics and trades prayers with Mr. Ryan in phone calls and frequent text messages,” the authors write.

Read at The New York Times

The First Battle of the 21st Century

posted on May 6, 2015

At The Atlantic, Charles M. Sennott reports from Qala-i-Jangi, site of the first battle and first American casualty of the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan. The fortress was the stage of a three-day siege following an uprising of captured Taliban fighters, Sennott reports, which ended in a strange mix of medieval and modern warfare. “In retrospect, that battle at Qala-i-Jangi offered Americans an early glimpse of the complexity, contradictions, and shifting allegiances of Afghanistan,” where even now the Taliban is gaining power, Sennott writes.

Read at The Atlantic

Gunmen Who Attacked Tex. Event Likely Inspired by Islamic State, Officials Say

posted on May 6, 2015

The Washington Post’s Sari Horwitz and Adam Goldman report, “The heavily armed gunmen who attacked a cartoon contest near Dallas over the weekend were probably inspired by the Islamic State, according to U.S. officials, who cautioned that they have so far seen no indication that the assailants were directed by the group.” Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi were not thought to be serious threats prior to the shooting, although Simpson had been previously charged with attempting to wage violent jihad in Somalia and was in contact with Islamist militants. “We considered him a keyboard jihadi,” said one law enforcement official—“a kid who would rant, not someone who would do something dumb and dangerous.”

Read at The Washington Post

Official Identifies One Suspect in Attack at Texas Anti-Islam Event

posted on May 4, 2015

At The New York Times, Manny Fernandez and Richard Pérez-Peña write, “One of the two gunmen who were killed Sunday after opening fire at an event where people were invited to present cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad was identified on Monday by a law enforcement official as a man who had previously been labeled by the F.B.I. as a jihadist terrorism suspect.” In 2010 the gunman, Elton Simpson, was charged but not convicted of planning to join jihadists in Somalia. Police do not yet know of motives behind Simpson’s attack, but drawings of Muhammad are often considered offensive in Islam.

Read at The New York Times

Fiorina and Huckabee Joining G.O.P. Race on Heels of Carson

posted on May 4, 2015

At The New York Times, Alan Rappeport reports that Carly Fiorina, former chief executive of Hewlett-Packard, and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee will announce their presidential bids this week following that of retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson. “The spotlight on all three new candidates, who languish in polls behind to the likes of former Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida and [Gov. Scott] Walker, will be diminished by the fact that their announcements are clumped together,” Rappeport writes. However, Huckabee’s particular popularity with evangelical Christians may peel votes away from those frontrunners.

Read at The New York Times

The Unpleasant Charisma of John Kasich

posted on May 4, 2015

At The Atlantic, Molly Ball reports on the presidential aspirations of Ohio Governor John Kasich, a moderate Republican facing what Ball calls a “now-or-never moment.” Kasich, one of the first Republican governors to accept Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion, is known for snubbing the party line with compassionate policies often grounded in his faith. “When you die and get to the meeting with St. Peter, he’s probably not going to ask you much about what you did about keeping government small,” Kasich said about the expansion in 2013. “But he is going to ask you what you did for the poor.”

Read at The Atlantic

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