IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

First Read's Morning Clips

A roundup of the most important political news stories of the day.


From the Austin-American Statesman: "A federal court blocked Monday an executive order by President Barack Obama that would have granted relief from deportation to millions of unauthorized immigrants. Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced the ruling just after 10:15 p.m. Monday night. Abbott filed the suit on Dec. 3 while he was still the state’s attorney general, leading what would become a 26-state coalition opposed to Obama’s order. The ruling, made by federal judge Andrew S. Hanen of the federal district court in Brownsville, prevents all applicable agencies from implementing any expansions to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program."

More, from the New York Times: "Some legal scholars said any order by Judge Hanen to halt the president’s actions would be quickly suspended by the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans. “Federal supremacy with respect to immigration matters makes the states a kind of interloper in disputes between the president and Congress,” said Laurence H. Tribe, a professor of constitutional law at Harvard. “They don’t have any right of their own.”

The Washington Post looks at the 6 million Americans who could lose their insurance subsidies pending the outcome of the Supreme Court challenge to Obamacare.

The Wall Street Journal reports that a port worker slowdown is starting to cause problems for small businesses and auto makers. on Irin Carmon's exclusive interview with Ruth Bader Ginsburg: "The Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion isn’t in danger of being overturned anytime soon, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg told msnbc in a wide-ranging, exclusive interview. But Ginsburg warned that the abortion restrictions being enacted by states around the country are having an outsize impact on low-income women."

The New York Times reports on the Obama administration's efforts to counter propaganda from ISIS.

CONGRESS: That Farenthold story isn’t going away

Today in the icky Blake Farenthold story, via Roll Call: "Two months after a discrimination lawsuit accused Rep. Blake Farenthold of creating a hostile, sexually charged work environment, the Texas Republican claims his former communications director was fired for not showing up to work and lying about the circumstances of her absence. In a detailed, 14-page response filed by attorneys from the Office of House Employment Counsel, Farenthold, 53, denied that he was attracted to 27-year-old staffer Lauren Greene or that he had the “sexual fantasies” and “wet dreams” Greene alleged in her complaint."

OFF TO THE RACES: Bush’s Schiavo problem

BUSH: The AP reports on how Bush's role in the Terri Schiavo issue is becoming a 2016 problem. "As Bush moves toward a run for president in 2016, Michael Schiavo has re-emerged, promising to campaign against Bush and remind voters about the ex-governor's role in the matter. "I will be very active," Schiavo, a registered Republican, told The Associated Press in an interview. He said he plans to back Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton, should she run."

CHRISTIE: Chris Christie is preparing a series of New Hampshire town halls, hoping to capitalize on his blunt-talking appeal.

In the state this weekend, Christie acknowledged his "sometimes argumentative" style.

CLINTON: David Axelrod is annoying Clintonworld, writes The Hill: "The staunch Clinton supporters feel as though Axelrod, who is promoting his new book “Believer: My Forty Years in Politics,” has taken unnecessary aim at Clinton and her team."

PERRY: In Sioux City Monday, Perry said he's learned from the mistakes of 2012: "I parachuted in here and I didn’t give Iowans an opportunity to get to know who I was and talk to them about the issues. I will not make that mistake again.”

He's bringing on four Iowans to help him organize in the state, the Des Moines Register reports.

PAUL: POLITICO writes: "[P]aul could face a significant challenge if he emerges from Iowa with a legitimate shot at the Republican nomination. Because experts say he gets many of his arguments about the Fed flat wrong. And the establishment wing of the GOP — backed by piles of Wall Street money — views Paul’s approach to the Fed as dangerous and irresponsible."

WALKER: The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: "Gov. Scott Walker's administration in May will skip more than $100 million in debt payments to balance the state's shaky budget, bringing the total such payment delays to more than $1.5 billion since 2001. The so-called "scoop and toss" maneuver belongs to a bipartisan — if not necessarily proud — tradition in Wisconsin budgeting going back to Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle and Republican Gov. Scott McCallum. The Legislature's nonpartisan budget office reported on the planned financial maneuver Monday, noting that like past delayed payments it will end up increasing costs for taxpayers in future years."


*** Tuesday’s “News Nation with Tamron Hall” line-up: Tamron Hall speaks with NBC News foreign correspondent Ayman Mohyeldin about the latest on ISIS, legal analyst Lisa Green about the American Sniper trial, Alli Webb and Michael Landau about their company “The Drybar” as part of our Born in the USA series, and former SNL cast member Cheri Oteri about SNL’s 40th anniversary show.

*** Tuesday’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports” line-up: NBC’s Andrea Mitchell interviews Steve Simon, Fmr. NSC Sr. Dir. of the Middle East for Pres. Obama, MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski, NBC’s Kelly Cobiella, Ayman Mohyeldin and Anne Thompson, the AP’s Julie Pace and USA Today’s Alan Gomez.