Obama to honor LBJ’s civil rights legacy: President Barack Obama on Thursday will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 at the LBJ Presidential Library in Austin, Texas. A lot of people have compared Obama with Lyndon B. Johnson recently. The LBJ people want to rescue his legacy from Vietnam. In a piece in the National Journal, George Condon argues Obama staffers don’t want their guy’s star put up next to the coarse-mouthed Texan. But you can’t argue that Johnson didn’t get a lot done in his first few years in office. Civil rights legislation, the Great Society programs and Medicare and Medicaid - these are legacy items with a more lasting imprint on American culture and society than most presidents can claim.
David Jackson puts it well in USA Today: “There was a time - a long time - when Democratic presidential candidates would not even utter the name Lyndon Baines Johnson. This week, the three Democrats elected president since Johnson traveled to Texas to honor the memory of LBJ - a president once reviled for the Vietnam War, now revered for a domestic record that includes landmark civil rights laws.”
Jackson’s piece points out that when Bill Clinton visited the LBJ library during a 1992 campaign stop, he didn’t once utter the late president’s name.
(CNN) - Former President Bill Clinton weighed in on Edward Snowden, calling the controversial National Security Agency leaker an “imperfect messenger.”
Clinton said Snowden’s release of highly classified surveillance programs that include the surveillance of Americans “has raised all of these questions about whether we can use technology to protect the national security without destroying the liberty, which includes the right to privacy, of basically innocent bystanders.”
What’s real and imagined about “equal pay day?
Women make less than men, even at the White House: Happy Equal Pay Day! Well, not happy, really. Today is the day in the year when American women’s pay from last year catches up to that of American men. Women, according to the data, make about 77 cents for every dollar a man does. We’re 23% into 2014.
Whether or not there is an actual pay gap and how large it is remain the subject of some debate. The census data that shows women make 77 cents for every dollar men make is calculated by adding all the wages of women and dividing the total by all the wages of men. But that doesn’t take into account a lot of factors, like women taking time off work to have children or choosing different career paths.
Professional fact checkers at Factcheck.org (“exaggeration”), Politifact (“Mostly False”) and The Washington Post (“one Pinocchio”) have all found problems with the claim. The American Association of University Women released a report that concluded the pay gap was closer to 7% than 23%.
For the past several elections, Democrats have adopted the equal pay issue and made the equality of paychecks a huge priority.
(CNN) - Just two sports fans, hanging out together, watching the NCAA men's basketball championship game.
But in this case, it was former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, who sat next to each other Monday night in a luxury box at the championship game between Connecticut and Kentucky, which was played in Arlington, Texas.
Here's what we're watching Thursday Inside Politics:
Turns out money is the same thing as speech in the eyes of the U.S. Supreme Court.
SCOTUS campaign finance in a nutshell: After the Supreme Court ruling in McCutcheon v. FEC yesterday, you can't just give as much money as you want to any candidate. Those limits are still set at $5,200 every two years. But there's now no limit on how much total you can give to all candidates. The old limit was $123,000 every two years. As Jeffrey Toobin put it on CNN just after the decision, essentially, in the eyes of the court, corporations are people and money is speech.
John Roberts’ majority ruling: “Money in politics may at times seem repugnant to some, but so too does much of what the First Amendment vigorously protects. If the First Amendment protects flag burning, funeral protests and Nazi parades - despite the profound offense such spectacles cause - it surely protects political campaign speech despite popular opposition.”
Stephen Breyer’s dissent: The decision “creates a loophole that will allow a single individual to contribute millions of dollars to a political party or to a candidate’s campaign. Taken together with Citizens United v. FEC, today’s decision eviscerates our Nation’s campaign finance laws, leaving a remnant incapable of dealing with the grave problems of democratic legitimacy that those laws were intended to resolve.”
(CNN) – It has been a question plaguing man for ages: Are we alone in the universe?
If you ask former President Bill Clinton, he would tell you that he “wouldn’t be surprised” if we were visited by extraterrestrials someday. At least that’s what he said on Jimmy Kimmel’s late-night talk show Wednesday.
Washington (CNN) - A pair of lines praising Martin Luther King, Jr. were scrubbed from an early version of President Bill Clinton's 1998 State of the Union address, apparently after someone in the White House raised questions about how the rhetorical flourishes would play with white people.
A rough draft of the 1998 speech was included in a new batch of previously withheld documents released by the National Archives and the Clinton Presidential Library on Friday. It included a passage about racial healing, tentatively titled "One America In The 21st Century."
(CNN) - A third batch of confidential memos, notes and other papers from the Clinton White House released Friday sheds some light on how the Clinton administration handled the messaging around major events like the 1995 government shutdown and the Monica Lewinsky scandal.
Collectively, the documents released by the William J. Clinton Presidential Library, which had previously been sealed, open a window into the Clinton years and cover a variety of topics, including the office of former first lady Hillary Clinton, who's now considered the overwhelming favorite for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016, if she decides to run.
Washington (CNN) - A former Clinton antagonist-turned-aggressive defender warned Tuesday that the infamous “vast right-wing conspiracy” is already gearing up for 2016.
“The conservatives of today have no program to offer the vast majority of Americans,” prominent Clinton supporter David Brock told an audience in Little Rock, Arkansas, according to prepared remarks. “So we see them running scared, and once again, cultivating a culture of Clinton hatred, in Hillary’s case - as you can see - with a heavy dose of misogyny.”