Quick Takes

* This was discouraging to hear today:

UN-brokered peace talks with the Syrian government and opposition have been suspended only three days after they began, highlighting the enormous difficulties of finding a political solution to the war and the world’s worst humanitarian crisis…

De Mistura told reporters that “it is not the end and it is not the failure of the talks”. But he linked the move to mounting anger among the opposition that they are being pressured to negotiate while Syrian government and Russian air attacks on rebel areas continue and escalate. Bashar al-Assad’s opponents say that UN resolution 2254, mandating the talks, requires an end to airstrikes and humanitarian relief for suffering civilians.

* Yesterday I failed to mention that the Iowa caucuses had resulted in two casualties in the presidential field…Martin O’Malley and Mike Huckabee. Today it produced two more: Rick Santorum and Rand Paul. The Republican contenders have been whittled down (?) to nine.

* Tierney Sneed does a good job of laying out the challenges Sanders and Clinton will face in the upcoming Nevada caucuses. Today, Clinton got a boost there.

Eight prominent immigration activists from Nevada are endorsing Hillary Clinton for president.

The DREAMers include Astrid Silva, who was brought to the country illegally but later got deportation relief under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

* I have two brothers who were born in Lima, Peru while my family lived there in the 1950’s. When questions arose about whether or not Ted Cruz qualifies as a “natural born citizen,” I told them that their dreams of becoming president were over. Perhaps I was wrong about that 🙂

On the same day he won the Republican Iowa caucus, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas got a favorable decision from the Illinois Board of Elections, which ruled that he met the citizenship criteria to appear on the state’s primary ballot…

“The Candidate is a natural born citizen by virtue of being born in Canada to his mother who was a U.S. citizen at the time of his birth,” the board said, reasoning that Cruz met the criteria because he “did not have to take any steps or go through a naturalization process at some point after birth.”

* Finally, it’s hard to imagine how this is possible, but Chris Christie is even more of a sexist bully than Donald Trump or Ted Cruz. Here’s what he said about Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire today:

“You know the last person she wants to see on that stage in September? You’re looking at him,” Christie said to a group of laughing New Hampshire citizens. “You know why? She’s been running away from federal prosecutors for the last six months. Man, she sees a federal prosecutor on the stage—I’ll beat her rear end on that stage, and you know what? After I do, she’ll be relieved because she’d just be worried I’d serve her with a subpoena.”

In the category of “nothing new under the sun,” I’ll let you decide which one of these young men Christie most resembles.

Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly.