RAP Sheet

Romney’s Consideration of Candidacy Is Closely Tied to His Faith, Allies Say

posted on January 26, 2015

In The New York Times, Ashley Parker and Alex Thompson write, “Three years ago, Mr. Romney’s tortured approach to his religion — a strategy of awkward reluctance and studied avoidance that all but walled off a free-flowing discussion of his biography — helped doom his campaign.” More recently, Romney’s Mormon faith has prompted consideration of another presidential run in which it might play a more distinct role. “In the Mormon faith, public service is one of the most honorable things you do,” Utah Representative Jason Chaffetz told the authors. “The idea of try and try again is something that’s ingrained in the religion.”

Read at The New York Times

Deeply Conservative Oklahoma Adjusts to Sudden Arrival of Same-Sex Marriage

posted on January 26, 2015

At The Washington Post, Monica Hesse profiles Tracy Curtis and her partner Kathryn Frazier, whose marriage followed a Supreme Court decision last October making same-sex unions legal in Oklahoma, where 62 percent of the population is said to disapprove of same-sex marriage. After quickly receiving a marriage license, Hesse writes that the couple decided to have a wedding ceremony—a choice they knew would make their quiet relationship quite public to those they invited. “But they would, they decided,” Hesse writes. “They would invite everybody to this wedding and let them decide for themselves whether to come.”

Read at The Washington Post

How Grandson of Auschwitz Boss Is Trying to Remake Family Name

posted on January 26, 2015

In The Wall Street Journal, Naftali Bendavid and Harriet Torry profile Rainer Hoess, the grandson of Auschwitz Camp Commandant Rudolf Hoess, on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the concentration camp. Hoess has made a name for himself, speaking against bigotry and urging tolerance in school talks and through the groups he sponsors, but he has also been accused of using his ancestry to make money. “I know my heritage. I can’t change it,” Mr. Hoess says. “It’s more effective to use the name and show that the idea that evil is in the blood—these things the Nazis said—is wrong.”

Read at The Wall Street Journal

Bobby Jindal’s Muslim Problem

posted on January 26, 2015

In Politico Magazine, Arif Rafiq criticizes the “Muslim-baiting” of Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal, a potential 2016 presidential candidate. Jindal, who was born into a Hindu family and later converted to Christianity, has been criticizing Muslims as part of his “pitch to a demographic that he is aggressively courting: evangelical conservatives,” according to Rafiq.

Read at Politico Magazine

As Vatican Revisits Divorce, Many Catholics Long for Acceptance

posted on January 26, 2015

The New York Times’ Michael Paulson writes, “Facing millions of divorced Catholics around the world, many of whom express frustration over their status in the church, the Vatican has begun a remarkable re-examination of the church’s treatment of worshipers whose marriages have broken apart.” Annulment, the often-proposed solution for divorced Catholics, can be “intrusive, cumbersome and costly,” Paulson reports, and the difficulty of the process has prevented many from reconciling with their parishes or remarrying. The debate among bishops will take place at a synod this October, after which Pope Francis will decide whether to act on their recommendations; their decisions keenly affect American Catholics, of whom 28 percent have been divorced.

Read at The New York Times

Obama, New Saudi King to Discuss Yemen, Islamic State

posted on January 26, 2015

Reuters’ Roberta Rampton reports, “U.S. President Barack Obama and new Saudi Arabia King Salman are expected to discuss shared concerns about the turmoil in Yemen and the fight against Islamic State militants during their first formal meeting in Riyadh on Tuesday, the White House said.” Security concerns in the Arabian Peninsula make Saudi Arabia, which supports the U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, as important an ally as ever—especially concerning the continued presence of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula in Yemen.

Read at Reuters

House GOP Pulls Anti-Abortion Bill On Roe v. Wade Anniversary

posted on January 22, 2015

At TIME, Alex Roger reports, “The House Republican leadership reversed course on plans to vote on an anti-abortion bill deemed too restrictive by many female lawmakers in its conference.” The bill, which would ban abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy, exposed a rift within the Republican Party as many moderate members have stated that they want the party to focus on other issues. “In contrast to talking about job creation and bigger paychecks, they’re putting a bill on the floor that undermines the health of America’s women,” said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. “It not only affects their health, it affects the personal decisions of how they spend their own money on health insurance.”

Read at TIME

Netanyahu Coming To Congress In March

posted on January 22, 2015

CNN’s Dana Bash, Deirdre Walsh, and Jim Acosta report that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will meet with Congress in early March in order to discuss the threats of a ISIS and a nuclear Iran, amongst other issues. Usually invitations to foreign leaders are made with input from the president, but Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner invited Netanyahu without consulting with the White House.

Read at CNN

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By Christopher D. Cantwell

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