Fuzzy campaign. Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis, a gubernatorial hopeful and darling of the pro-abortion crowd, might have “blurred” a few of the facts of her rags-to-riches life story, according to a report published yesterday in The Dallas Morning News. During national media interviews and in campaign material, Davis has described herself as a single mother who worked her way up from living in a mobile home to earning her law degree from Harvard. But according to the newspaper, Davis’ second husband, a successful lawyer, helped pay for the bulk of her education. Public records also show some of the facts of her account are a little fuzzy. She divorced her first husband when she was 21, not 19, and she only lived in a mobile home for a few months before getting her own apartment. In response to the newspaper’s findings, Davis said, “My language should be tighter. I’m learning about using broader, looser language. I need to be more focused on the detail.” Davis became a Democratic darling when she staged a 20-hour filibuster to delay Texas legislators from approving new abortion regulations. She has raised millions in campaign fundraisers across the country but faces long odds in her bid for the governor’s mansion in a solidly Republican state. Popular Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, whose campaign coffers already are full to overflowing, likely will carry the GOP ticket.
Political pawn. In a press conference likely scripted by the North Korean government, American Kenneth Bae told international media outlets today that the communist regime had not infringed his human rights or subjected him to severe or unfair treatment during his almost 15-month detention. North Korean authorities arrested Bae in November 2012, charged him with trying to overthrow the government, and sentenced him to 15 years hard labor. The South Korean native is a Christian missionary and tour operator who worked out of China. “I believe that my problem can be solved by close cooperation and agreement between the American government and the government of this country,” he said. The U.S. State Department tried in August to send Bob King, the U.S. special envoy for North Korean human rights issues, to Pyongyang to ask for Bae’s release, but at the last minute North Korea revoked his invitation. Almost two months later, the government allowed Bae’s mother to visit him in the hospital, where he was recovering from diabetes complications, an enlarged heart, liver problems, and back pain. North Korean and international news outlets covered their 90-minute reunion. Analysts say Bae, like other Americans held captive in North Korea, is a bargaining chip dictator Kim Jong-Un hopes to use to gain relief from international sanctions and isolation.
Marijuana musings. In a lengthy interview published in The New Yorker on Sunday, President Barack Obama said he did not believe marijuana was any more dangerous than alcohol, offering perhaps the most concise explanation of his administration’s relatively lax attitude toward the drug. Last year, Attorney General Eric Holder announced the federal government would not pursue legal action against people buying, selling, or using the drug in states that have approved it for recreational use, which is still a violation of federal law. Advocates for legalizing pot nationwide are hopeful the administration’s position, combined with and perhaps fueled by Americans’ changing attitudes toward the drug, will bolster efforts to end the “war” on marijuana.
Soprano-style. New allegations of mafia-style governance are nipping at New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s heels. Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno is denying claims she tried to strong-arm approval for a development project—at Christie’s direction—by withholding Superstorm Sandy relief funds. But Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer, a Democrat, claimed during several weekend television interviews that Guadagno told her funds would begin to flow to her city once a project pitched by one of Christie’s supporters was approved. The project was very important to the governor, Guadagno allegedly told Zimmer. If it wasn’t then, it certainly is now.