TOP NEWS: Democracy: June 7, 2012
Excerpts and more top stories
Walker Changes Attitudes on Public Employee Unions - Michael Barone, Real Clear Politics
The results are in, and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has beaten Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett in the recall election. That’s in line with pre-election polling, though not the Election Day exit poll. Even before the results came in, we knew one thing, and that is that the Democrats and the public employee unions had already lost the battle of ideas over the issue that sparked the recall, Walker’s legislation to restrict the bargaining powers of public employee unions.
DNA Blueprint for Fetus Built Using Tests of Parents – Andrew Pollack, NY Times
For the first time, researchers have determined virtually the entire genome of a fetus using only a blood sample from the pregnant woman and a saliva specimen from the father. The accomplishment heralds an era in which parents might find it easier to know the complete DNA blueprint of a child months before it is born.
Romney’s Tipping Point - National Journal
Every four years, the race for the White House is defined by a turning point, a period when the contest breaks toward one side and the other can never recover. If Republican Mitt Romney is inaugurated as president in January, history may look to June as the month in which President Obama’s fate was sealed. This may be the month, seen in retrospect, in which it became clear the economic winds that propelled Clinton to a second term won’t be at Obama’s back.
What Wisconsin Taught Us - E.J. Dionne, Real Clear Politics, Op-Ed
The left will make a big mistake if it ignores the lessons of the failed recall of Gov. Scott Walker in Wisconsin. The right will make an even bigger error if it allows the Wisconsin results to feed its inclination toward winner-take-all politics.
Clinton sparks campaign commotion with comments on taxes and “recession” – Tom Curry, NBC
Former president Bill Clinton roiled the presidential campaign Tuesday with comments in an interview with CNBC’s Maria Bartiromo in which he called for continuing all the current income tax rates into early 2013, as opposed to President Obama who wants income tax rates on higher-income people to go up at the start of 2013. Clinton also said the economy is still in a recession.
GOP proposes one-year delay on new tax code – Stephen Dinan, Washington Times
Congressional Republicans floated a deal Wednesday that would extend the Bush-era tax cuts through the end of 2013, which they said would give Congress and whoever occupies the White House next year a chance to work on a total overhaul of the tax code. The move is a counteroffer to Mr. Obama and congressional Democrats who are pushing strenuously for taxes to rise on the wealthy next year, saying fairness and the government’s poor fiscal situation are reasons why some taxpayers must give more.
Report Tracks Shift on Same-Sex Unions, Marriages - Laura Meckler, Wall Street Journal
The report is one take on an open question in U.S. politics: Will rapid movement toward support for gay rights continue to the point where a rough consensus exists? Or will the nation remain sharply divided, with gay rights and particularly gay marriage a cultural divide for years to come? The report makes the case for shifting attitudes.
Florida Defends Search for Ineligible Voters - Lizette Alvarez, NY Times
Saying the state would not stop trying to scrub the rolls of ineligible voters, Florida’s election chief told the Department of Justice on Wednesday that Florida was not violating any laws.
Can unions bounce back? – Josh Eidelson, Salon, Op-Ed
Last year, Wisconsinites reinvigorated the labor movement as they defied their union-busting governor. Last night, Wisconsinites voted to keep him in office. That result cements Wisconsin as the place that best captures both the vitality and the vulnerability of the current U.S. labor movement.
San Diego and San Jose Lead Way in Pension Cuts – Michael Cooper and Mary Williams Walsh, NY Times
Residents of San Diego and San Jose voted overwhelmingly to cut the pension benefits they give city workers. And they did so in a way governments traditionally avoid: moving to cut not just the benefits of future hires, but also those of current city workers, whose pensions generally have much stronger legal protections than those of private-sector workers.
California’s Nonpartisan Primary Shows Independents to Be in Short Supply – Jennifer Medina, NY Times
For those who hoped that an open, nonpartisan primary in California would bring in a new wave of independent candidates and voters, Tuesday’s primary might have felt like a splash of cold water. Turnout remained stubbornly low, and the vast majority of candidates who advanced to the fall election were registered Republicans and Democrats.