Chad’s Morning Brief: Catholics Sue Obama Administration, Sarah Palin & Rick Perry Back Different Candidates, & More
Here is your Morning Brief for the morning of May 22, 2012. Give us your feedback below and tune in to Lubbock’s First News with Chad Hasty for these and many more topics from 6-9 am.
1. Catholics Sue Obama Administration (link)
Here we go. Now some Catholics are going after Obama.
Some of the most influential Catholic institutions in the country filed suit against the Obama administration Monday over the so-called contraception mandate, in one of the biggest coordinated legal challenges to the rule to date.
Claiming their "fundamental rights hang in the balance," a total of 43 plaintiffs filed a dozen separate federal lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of the requirement. Among the organizations filing were the University of Notre Dame, the Archdiocese of New York and The Catholic University of America.
The groups are objecting to the requirement from the federal health care overhaul that employers provide access to contraceptive care. The Obama administration several months ago softened its position on the mandate, but some religious organizations complained the administration did not go far enough to ensure the rule would not compel them to violate their religious beliefs.
2. Obama Defends Bain Ads (link)
President Obama is on the attack. In the cross hairs is Mitt Romney's days at Bain Capital. Though, not all Democrats are sold on the President's plans.
The comments capped a tumultuous day on the campaign trail, as both candidates traded fire over Romney's Bain record. The Obama campaign on Monday initially found itself on defense, after Obama surrogate Cory Booker, the Newark mayor, criticized the Bain attacks a day earlier.
But Obama's reelection team stuck with the strategy, releasing a new web video Monday that tied Romney and Bain to an Indiana plant closing two decades ago.
In response, Romney's campaign released a web video of its own Monday afternoon highlighting the Democratic dissension from Booker and others.
The video, titled "Big Bain Backfire," featured Booker's comments over the weekend on NBC's "Meet the Press." Booker, who has since walked back his remarks, said Sunday that "I'm not about to sit here and indict private equity."
The Romney video also featured comments from former Democratic Rep. Harold Ford Jr. and ex-Obama economic adviser Steven Rattner defending private equity and Bain.
"Have you had enough of President Obama's attacks on free enterprise?" the video asks.
3. Perry vs. Palin (link)
It's not often that Rick Perry and Sarah Palin find themselves backing different candidates. When it comes to the U.S. Senate seat in Texas though, expect the unexpected. Governor Rick Perry is backing David Dewhurst while Ted Cruz has the support of Sarah Palin.
Which makes more sense? Palin backing Cruz does. Ted Cruz has won endorsements from some of the most conservative leaders inside and outside of Texas. The Tea Party loves Ted Cruz and he keeps moving up in the polls. Dewhurst is seen as the establishment candidate.
I know it's politics and Perry is just helping out Dewhurst who has helped Perry in the past, but honestly I think it shows that Rick Perry isn't the Tea Party politician that many have thought he was.
4. Neugebauer's War Chest Grows (link)
According to FEC campaign finance reports, the Neugebauer re-election campaign has a lot of money on hand and isn't afraid to use it. According to the Texas Tribune, Neugebauer has raised over $144,000 in the 2012 election cycle and as of the filing on May 17, has over $950,000 cash on hand.
Neugebauer won't spend all that money on his re-elect though. If he wins the Republican primary, Neugebauer will probably use that money to help out other conservative candidates.
You can view the interactive report above.
5. Dumb Story of the Morning (link)
Robbing a Las Vegas Casino isn't easy to do. I'm still surprised people even try.
Las Vegas police have arrested a man for an alleged robbery at the Bellagio Casino that happened on Saturday night.
According to the police report, Michael Belton and another man walked up to a blackjack table and sprayed the people playing at the table with pepper spray. Belton then grabbed 23 $5,000 chips and tried to flee the scene.
He was apprehended by casino security and held until police arrived. The second man was able to escape.
While he was being interviewed, police say Belton identified the second person involved only as "Carlos," and that he only participated in the crime because he was unemployed and needed money to help his ailing grandparents.
Police retrieved a Mandalay Bay Hotel room key from Belton. When they went to the hotel, they found that the room was registered to Carlos Rodriguez. Belton told officers Rodriguez was the mastermind of the heist, but they were unable to find him.
The report says Rodriguez planned to use the chips at the casino and then split the winnings among the suspects. Police say Carlos Rodriguez is not the same Carlos who allegedly accompanied Belton to the casino to commit the robbery.
Belton was arrested and charged with robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery, and burglary.
Las Vegas police have refused to comment on this story or release Belton's mugshot, citing the ongoing investigation.
How about this for some inspiration.
A 73-year-old Japanese woman climbed to Mount Everest 's peak Saturday, smashing her own record to again become the oldest woman to scale the world's highest mountain.
Tamae Watanabe reached Everest's 8,850-meter-high (29,035-foot-high) summit from the northern side of the mountain in Tibet on Saturday morning with four other team members, said Ang Tshering of the China Tibet Mountaineering Association in Nepal.
Watanabe had climbed Everest in 2002 at the age of 63 to become the oldest woman to scale the mountain. She had retained the title until she topped herself a decade later.
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