Morning Briefing: August 19, 2011

During a townhall meeting earlier this week, constituents in Rep. Randy Hultgren’s (R-IL) congressional district hectored him about raising taxes on the wealthy and corporations. The Washington Post reports, “It is a scene that has been repeated at town hall meetings across the country this August as Democrats make a concerted effort to use this month’s congressional recess to change a national narrative on taxes.”

Rick Perry became a millionaire while holding public office through “well-timed sales in the Texas real estate market.” Bloomberg reports that the Texas governor “bought property from friends and political allies and sold to Texas businessmen, such as computer magnate Michael Dell, and in the process made more than $1 million. Perry’s income also was supplemented by stock sales, according to his tax returns and county land and tax records.”

Responding to GOP presidential candidates’ proclaimed desire to eliminate the EPA and question global warming science, Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA) said on MSNBC last night, “Rick Perry and these other guys are allergic to science. And too many of the tea party people, who basically don’t believe in science, are now controlling the Republican Party.”

A new study by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism finds that Rep. Ron Paul’s (R-TX) presidential campaign has been virtually ignored by the major media, despite his strong grassroots support at events like the Ames Straw Poll. The researchers noted, for example, that Paul had 27 stories written about him since the beginning of the year, while Gov. Perry, who was not even running until last week, had 33.

Yesterday, the Obama administration unveiled more lenient rules for the deportation of undocumented immigrants, a move that was lauded by Democrats. The Department of Homeland Security’s new policy is expected to help thousands of young people who immigrated to the U.S. as children. DHS will conduct a case-by-case review of those in line for deportation, focusing on those convicted of violent crimes.

Civil Rights hero and Georgia congressman John Lewis (D) said yesterday that African Americans are frustrated with high unemployment, not President Obama. Lewis made the remarks at a job fair in Atlanta, and came partly in response to his colleague Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) who said recently that the black community is supportive of Obama but also “getting tired.”

Glenn Beck reacted angrily to news that the House Ethics Committee was asking Members of Congress to not attend his rally in Jerusalem. “Speaker Boehner, you should be ashamed of yourself. The Republican Party should be ashamed of themselves. They don’t have to attend my event. Let them come to our biggest ally and only friend we still have in the Middle East in their hour of need,” said Beck.

Israeli warplanes launched air strikes on Gaza and militants fired more than 10 rockets into Israel” in the day following an attack on an Israeli bus in the southern portion of the country Thursday. Tensions threaten to escalate further as Egypt is now accusing Israel of inadvertently killing three Egyptian security forces in attacks on insurgents near the border.

And finally: The administration wants you know they feel your pain, so for his 50th birthday yesterday, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner was given a “sad little” cupcake instead of a proper birthday cake. “Austerity now comes with frosting,” CNBC’s John Carney tweeted.

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