The Friday Filibuster: The one-stop-shop for everything you need to know about this week in politics.
50%- Obama’s job approval rating.
35– The number of people in a recent Pew survey that described Obama as a ‘good man.’
33– The number of people in a recent Pew survey that described Obama as ‘incompetent.’
59% - The percentage of Republicans who want to see Mitt Romney run again.
Republicans knew heading into Tuesday that the president was going to deliver a defiant State of the Union speech, and that he did. Among the litany of policy proposals were raising the death tax and a new tax credit plan for select middle class families. But perhaps most memorable was the president demanding a better politics—the hypocrisy of which is so extreme, Guy can’t decide if it’s ‘acute self-delusion or masters-level trolling.’ Conn aptly referred to the speech as Obama’s State of Disunion. He also did a little fact-checking on education, health care, bail outs, test scores, and gas prices, and broke down the problems with Obama’s tax plan and community college plan. Based on ratings, it seems even Democrats have already turned the page on Obama’s presidency.
Earlier in the day during the SOTU luncheon, the White House couldn’t resist taking a childish swipe at Fox News. And less than 24 hours after the speech, the Obama effect kicked in, as a company the president touted during the speech announced layoffs for thousands of employees.
Culture & Guns:
More than 12 miles of guns, gear, and educational products were on full display at the annual SHOT Show in Las Vegas, which kicked off on Tuesday. Sarah Palin made an appearance to launch the second season of her reality show, “Amazing America,” on the Sportsman Channel. But the former Alaska governor isn’t the only female gun enthusiast. According to a new report released by the National Shooting Sports Foundation at the SHOT Show, women have become the fastest growing demographic of firearms owners and those becoming involved in the shooting sports. The study also found that the main reason women decided to own a gun was for self-defense. Speaking of defense, with the rise of terror threats across Europe, law enforcement agencies there are beginning to think differently about how, when, and which police should be armed.
Campaigns & Elections:
Former presidential hopeful Rick Santorum started the week off with some jabs against potential rivals Sens. Ted Cruz and Rand Paul, dismissing them as ‘bomb throwers’ with ‘no track record of any accomplishments.’ The shots seem to have fallen on deaf ears, as Cruz is revving the 2016 engine. On the establishment side of things, Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush appear to be trying to figure out how to avoid a 2016 bloodbath of sorts. Many Republicans, meanwhile, are waiting for Gov. Scott Walker to throw his hat in the ring. And it’s looking like Rubio already has. On the Democratic side, VP Joe Biden says there’s a chance he’ll run. And looking ahead to 2016 Senate elections, Harry Reid’s probably going to seek reelection, Pennsylvania’s race will prove to be a competitive one, and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s allies are already making moves to ensure the upper chamber remains in Republican hands. And Americans for Prosperity has layed out their agenda to ‘reform America.’
Two years after American pastor Sayeed Abedini was arrested in Iran for his Christian faith and thrown into a brutal prison, President Obama has finally agreed to meet with his family. Speaking of Iran, Senate Democrat Bob Menendez slammed Obama for his policy toward the country, saying the administration’s talking points sound like they’re coming straight out of Tehran. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has agreed to address a joint session of Congress on the threats Iran and radical Islam pose, much to the White House’s dismay.
Marching for Life:
Hundreds of thousands of pro-life advocates took to the streets of Washington, DC on Thursday for the annual March for Life, marking the 42nd anniversary of Roe v. Wade. Sarah Seman caught up with Live Action president Lila Rose to talk about why the pro-life movement is for everyone. And prolifers got a shoutout from Pope Francis, who tweeted his support (and also happens to be coming to the U.S. in September.) The White House, for its part, celebrated abortion on the anniversary. On the Hill, even with a historically pro-life Congress, Republicans passed on introducing the Pain Capabale Unborn Child Protection Act, which was seen as a betrayal by the very prolifers who worked hard to elect them. And in typical fashion, the White House issued a veto threat against Rep. Chris Smith’s No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act.
A top White House adviser this week took responsibility for the administration’s decision not to send any high level officials to the Paris unity rally. Not long after three days of terror swept France, Israel broke up an ISIS cell that was operating right in their backyard. And in total disregard for the very real terror threat the U.S. and our allies face around the world, the administration quietly released a convicted al Qaeda operative from a U.S. prison (not GITMO).
In other news:
The Department of Justice will not file civil rights charges against former Officer Darren Wilson; a powerful New York Democrat was actually arrested on corruption charges; immigration enforcement officers oppose the House Border Security bill; and the 2015 GOP Senate has already surpassed all of 2014 in amendment votes.
Graphics by Feven Amenu.