Morning Briefing: May 17, 2012

WellPoint “rejected a call for more disclosure about the health insurer’s political contributions Wednesday during a shout-filled, contentious annual meeting.” Union representatives “repeatedly interrupted Chairwoman and CEO Angela Braly after she opened the meeting” and “one person presented a petition she said was signed by 15,000 people asking the Indianapolis company for more disclosure.”

The number of racial and ethnic minorities born in the U.S. will surpass white births for the first time, according to 2011 census estimates. Although the new data points to big changes in the country’s racial makeup, it also reveals the prolonged impact of a weak economy, which is resulting in fewer Hispanic entering the U.S after decades of high immigration levels.

A GOP super PAC plans to spend $10 million on an ad campaign attacking Obama’s relationship with his former spiritual adviser, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Jr. The ads are timed to coincide with the Democratic National Convention in September.

DC’s Congressional Representative will not be able to testify today on a law that would apply to her district. Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) is proposing a 20-week abortion ban for the District, over which Congress has full legislative authority, and he is preventing Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) to participate in the hearings. This breaks a longstanding tradition in Congress that members be allowed to testify over laws that apply to their constituents.


The GOP is readying itself for the Supreme Court’s decision on the Affordable Care Act. Politico reports, “If the law is upheld, Republicans will take to the floor to tear out its most controversial pieces… If the law is partially or fully overturned they’ll draw up bills to keep the popular, consumer-friendly portions in place.”

And finally: Actor Will Smith fights aliens in his “Men in Black” films, and apparently his 13-year-old son, Jaden, shares similar interest as he asked Preisdent Obama about aliens during a recent tour of the Situation Room. Smith told BBC radio he forbade his son from asking Obama about extraterrestrials, but the tween asked nonetheless, to which Obama replied, “OK, I can neither confirm nor deny the existence of extraterrestrials but I can tell you if there had been a top secret meeting and if there would have had to have been a discussion about it, it would have taken place in this room.”