Quick Takes

* Big news today from Defense Secretary Ash Carter:

Defense Secretary Ash Carter on Thursday said he’s ordering the military to open all combat jobs to women, overruling Marine Corps commanders who requested exceptions for a small number of front-line combat jobs and furthering President Barack Obama’s legacy of making the military more inclusive.

“We cannot afford to cut ourselves off from half the country’s talents and skills,” Carter told reporters at the Pentagon.

* I’m beginning to think that one of Donald Trump’s goals in this campaign is to ensure that he insults every possible constituency in the electorate (except for millionaire white men, of course). Today’s target: Jews.

Speaking at the Republican Jewish Coalition 2016 candidate forum, GOP frontrunner Donald Trump repeatedly returned to a riff about being a good negotiator like “you folks.” He also said the attendees wouldn’t support him because “I don’t want your money.”

Early in his remarks, he bragged about how little money he spent on his campaign thus far, adding, “I think you, as business people, will feel good about this and respect it.”

* Endorsements of political candidates certainly don’t sway many voters. But given his exemplary record on civil rights and fighting income inequality, it’s worth noting that Hillary Clinton got a big one today.

Labor Secretary Thomas E. Perez, who has become one of President Obama’s top emissaries to liberal, labor and Latino constituencies, is backing Hillary Clinton for president and plans to hit the campaign trail on her behalf.

Perez, who plans to formally endorse Clinton on Friday in Iowa, portrayed Clinton as a progressive fighter who can grab the baton from Obama and take care of the nation’s “unfinished business.”

* Great reads at the Washington Monthly:

Which States Have the Most Guns? by Anne Kim

Washington Post Story Overly Generous About Harvard, Overly Critical of TFA by Alexander Russo

* Finally, George Harrison’s song pretty much captures my mood today. And I love this cover by Carlos Santana and India Arie.

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Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly. Follow her on Twitter @Smartypants60.