RAP Sheet

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

How Orthodox Money is Reshaping Republican Politics

posted on May 4, 2015

At The Jewish Daily Forward, Nathan Guttman reports on the growing influence of Orthodox Jewish donors on Republican campaigns. Republican positions on Israel and social issues like same-sex marriage and parochial education, as well as growing affluence within the Orthodox community, explains the groups’ convergence. “Orthodox Jews like the story Republicans have to tell on Israel,” says Tevi Troy, a former member of the Bush administration, “and at the same time they’re not frightened by the Republicans’ social agenda.”

Read at The Forward

Meet the Shadow Warrior Leading the Fight Against the Islamic State

posted on May 4, 2015

At Foreign Policy, Seán D. Naylor profiles Major General Mike Nagata, the leader of special operations for U.S. Central Command credited with predicting the rise of the Islamic State as early as 18 months ago. A “different” kind of general, Nagata fought Islamist extremism in countries like Pakistan, Iraq, and Somalia for 23 years but is equally comfortable advising congressional committees and policymakers, Naylor writes. “Nagata is now facing arguably the greatest challenge of his career: command of the task force that has the mission to train moderate Syrian rebels well enough to prevent an Islamic State victory in Syria.”

Read at Foreign Policy

Vatican Ends Controversial Investigation of US Nuns With Olive Branch

posted on April 16, 2015

David Gibson of Religion News Service reports, “The Vatican on Thursday (April 16) officially ended a controversial seven-year investigation of American nuns with a face-saving compromise that allows Pope Francis to close the book on one of the more troubled episodes that he inherited from his predecessor, Benedict XVI.” The conflict initially began when the nuns, who were seen as too liberal, were accused of promoting radical feminist ideology. However, after meetings with Pope Francis, the investigation was dropped. Sister Sharon Holland, president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, said, “We learned that what we hold in common is much greater than any of our differences.”

Read at Religion News Service

The Right Finds a Fresh Voice on Same-Sex Marriage

posted on April 16, 2015

In The Washington Post, Robert Barnes profiles Ryan T. Anderson, a rising conservative star and voice supporting traditional marriage. The Princeton-educated scholar at the Heritage Foundation has emerged as a prominent voice against same-sex marriage, touring the nation and sparring with some of the strongest minds on the topic. “Gays and lesbians undoubtedly have been discriminated against,” Anderson says. “But marriage is not part of that discrimination.”

Read at The Washington Post

Ted Cruz Woos Orthodox Jews

posted on April 16, 2015

At POLITICO, Katie Glueck reports that Ted Cruz has struck a profitable relationship with Orthodox Jews, who support his position on many political issues, including his vigorous opposition to negotiations with Iran. Cruz’s strong support for Israel and his conservative social policies make him the ideal candidate for Orthodox voters. “I share a great many values with the Jewish community and the Orthodox community,” Cruz said in an interview. “Chief among them is a passionate dedication to strengthening our friendship and alliance with the nation of Israel.”

Read at POLITICO

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