TOP NEWS: Democracy: June 4, 2012
Excerpts and more top stories
Game On: The 2012 Battle Lines Are Drawn – Carl M. Cannon and Tom Bevan, Real Clear Politics
As is often the case, the campaign discourse conducted between America’s two major political parties left much to be desired—trifling, rote, ad hominem, sometimes dishonest. But this was not the problem with the politics of 2012. They were intense precisely because the stakes were so high: Both houses of Congress were up for grabs, as was the White House, with proxy battles being waged in recalls and referendums from Wisconsin to North Carolina.
This Republican Economy – Paul Krugman, NY Times, Op-Ed
What should be done about the economy? Republicans claim to have the answer: slash spending and cut taxes. What they hope voters won’t notice is that that’s precisely the policy we’ve been following the past couple of years. Never mind the Democrat in the White House; for all practical purposes, this is already the economic policy of Republican dreams.
Cuomo Seeks Cut in Frisk Arrests – Thomas Kaplan, NY Times
Wading into the debate over stop-and-frisk police tactics, Gov.Andrew M. Cuomo plans to ask legislators on Monday for a change in New York State law that would drastically reduce the number of people who could be arrested for marijuana possession as a result of police stops.
Recall Stirs Passion in a Purple State - Douglas Belkin, Wall Street Journal
Tuesday’s election on whether to recall Mr. Walker has so bitterly divided (Wisconsin) that many residents live in parallel societies, limiting themselves to like-minded friends, separate drinking holes and sympathetic media outlets. Triggered by a backlash against the Republican governor’s move 15 months ago to crimp collective bargaining for the state’s public employees, the recall race has pitted neighbor against neighbor…
Gay marriage advocates gain corporate support -Abby Phillip, Politico
One by one, national corporations like Microsoft, Starbucks, Boeing and Google are wading into the once-risky business of taking a position supporting gay marriage in states across the country. Forty-eight companies, including Nike, Time Warner Cable, Aetna, Exelon Corp., and Xerox had signed a brief arguing that the (Defense of Marriage Act) negatively affected their businesses.
Michael Bloomberg: Big sugary drinks yield big waistlines – Michael R. Bloomberg, USA Today
Bold actions to protect the public’s health always stir controversy at first. Smoke-free bars and restaurants, trans fat restriction and calorie posting in restaurants were all met with skepticism, but are now widely popular in New York City. They are also saving many lives each year, and life expectancy in New York City is outpacing that of the United States.
Why Obama Campaign Should Keep Attacking Romney Over Bain Capital – Peter Beinart, Daily Beast, Op-Ed
Obama has to attack Romney hard: the economy simply isn’t good enough for him to mount a 1984-style “Are you better off than you were four years ago?” campaign. Romney’s central narrative is that he’s a businessman who knows how to fix the economy. Yes, the Obama campaign can attack him as a flip-flopper; they can attack his record as governor of Massachusetts; they can call him a right-wing extremist. But since none of these attacks challenges Romney’s core claim, their value is limited.
Can This Campaign Be Constructive? - E.J. Dionne, Real Clear Politics, Op-Ed
Start out by defining goals everyone could rally around. We need to get the economy moving faster and bring unemployment down, an all-the-more-urgent imperative after last week’s disappointing jobs report. We want all Americans to share prosperity and to reverse the trend toward widening inequality. We want a sustainable budget where, in good times, revenues more or less match expenditures.
Recall Battle in Wisconsin May Snarl Obama Camp – Jeff Zeleny, NY Times
President Obama holds multiple paths to re-election, with a handful of battleground states being able to slip away without leading to his defeat. But each possible outcome on his campaign map has always shared a common trait: winning Wisconsin.
Catholics caught between bishops, Obama’s birth control mandate - Lisa Miller, Washington Post
Last week, in an orchestrated political maneuver, 43 Catholic entities — including the Archdiocese of Washington — filed a dozen lawsuits against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, saying that any mandate requiring religious organizations to provide contraceptive coverage to employees was a violation of religious liberty.
Nonpartisan Primaries Face Test in California - Jennifer Medina, NY Times
On Tuesday, for the first time, California voters will participate in a nonpartisan primary. Instead of the top candidate from each party advancing to the general election, the two candidates with the most votes will be placed on the November ballot, regardless of party affiliation.
Weak Economy Points to Obama’s Constraints - Jackie Calmes and Nicholas Kulish, NY Times
The bleak jobs report on Friday predictably had heads snapping toward the White House, looking to President Obama to do something. Yet his proposed remedies only underscore how much the president, just five months before he faces voters, is at the mercy of actors in Europe, China and Congress whose political interests often conflict with his own.