TOP NEWS: Democracy: July 10, 2012
- Cracks Appear in Republican Unity on Health Law Repeal
- Independent Voter Surge Cuts Democrats’ Swing State Edge
- U.S., Texas Clash Over Voter-ID Law
- Big News: Obama’s California Bullet Train Is Still on Track
- Karl Rove Gave Secret Speech Outside Romney Donor Retreat
Excerpts and More Top Stories
Jonathan Weisman, NY Times - Some Republicans, facing re-election in swing districts, are openly suggesting that some measures should remain. Others worry that the Republican leadership has yet to detail what the party would replace the health care law with. Representative Nan Hayworth, an ophthalmologist and a freshman Republican from New York, said she and others have a clear framework, but those alternatives have not been broadly aired.
Sarah Kliff , Washington Post - Texas Gov. Rick Perry declared Monday his state would not participate in the health law’s Medicaid expansion, becoming the sixth Republican governor to make such a promise. Taken together, those governors opting-out would single-handedly shrink the Medicaid expansion by nearly 4 million people.
Kathleen Sebelius*, Washington Post OPINION- Congressional Republicans will spend Wednesday staging a repeal vote on the Affordable Health Care Act, fortunately for those Americans whose health and finances depend on protections in the law, the vote is only symbolic. it’s worth setting the record straight about some false claims that have recently resurfaced.
*Kathleen Sebelius spoke at The Common Good on September 26, 2006.
ELECTIONS 2012: Independent Voter Surge Cuts Democrats’ Swing State Edge
John McCormick, Bloomberg - The total of independents grew by about 443,000 in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire and North Carolina since the 2008 election. During the same time, Democrats saw a net decline of about 480,000 in those six states, while Republicans in those states added roughly 38,000 voters.
Jennifer Epstein, POLITICO - President Obama repeated the many urgings of his campaign on Monday as he called on Mitt Romney to release details of his offshore bank accounts. “What’s important is if you are running for president is that the American people know who you are and what you’ve done and that you’re an open book,” he said. “And that’s been true of every presidential candidate dating all the way back to Mitt Romney’s father.”
Washington Post – Supporters of President Obama and Mitt Romney appear locked in place, resisting a seemingly momentous start to the general-election campaign
Dan Balz and Jon Cohen, Washington Post – According to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney remain in a deadlocked contest, tied at 47 percent among registered voters and basically where they stood in late May. At this point, 74 percent of all voters are “definitely” supporting Obama or Romney, and 12 percent say it is unlikely that they will switch from one to the other, making the race a settled issue for nearly nine in 10 voters.
VOTING RIGHTS: U.S., Texas Clash Over Voter-ID Law
Devlin Barrett, WSJ – The Obama administration Monday urged a panel of judges to reject a Texas law requiring photo identification to vote, arguing it discriminates against minorities.The case is part of a wave of new legal challenges to the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the landmark civil-rights legislation intended to address widespread discriminatory practices that had the effect of damping minorities’ participation in elections and undercutting their political power.
INFRASTRUCTURE: Big News: Obama’s California Bullet Train Is Still on Track
Michael Grunwald, TIME - Last week the California legislature voted to go ahead with its controversial $68 billion bullet train designed to connect San Francisco to Los Angeles in under three hours. The mega-project still faces political, logistical and financial uncertainties, but once construction starts it will be tough to stop. That’s a big deal for President Obama and the high-speed rail program he launched in his 2009 stimulus bill.
CAMPAIGN FINANCE: Karl Rove Gave Secret Speech Outside Romney Donor Retreat
Peter H. Stone, Huffington Post - In a half-hour talk followed by questions from the audience, Rove covered congressional races and the presidential contest, with some brief remarks about what the super PAC American Crossroads and an affiliated group are doing with tens of millions he helped raise to boost GOP fortunes in November, according to two GOP fundraisers who heard Rove speak.
Steven T. Dennis, RollCall - Senior White House adviser David Plouffe is the only member of President Barack Obama’s administration to attend a fundraiser for a pro-Obama super PAC so far, despite an announcement in February that White House officials and Cabinet members would participate.
Justin Sink , The Hill - The numbers also indicated she hasn’t been hurt by the controversy surrounding her Native American heritage. Republicans have blasted her over the issue and she has struggled to explain her roots. But her fundraising total outpaced her first-quarter haul by $1.7 million, and she has $13.5 million cash on hand. The Harvard professor and consumer protection advocate raised $3.1 million in June alone, the best fundraising month of her campaign.
ENVIRONMENT: Now Do You Believe in Global Warming?
Bryan Walsh, TIME - What’s happening right now in the U.S. really is out of the ordinary.. More than 2 million acres have been burned in massive wildfires, more than 110 million people were living under extreme heat advisories, and more than two-thirds of the country is experiencing drought. Last month, 3,215 daily high temperature records were set nationwide — and that’s nothing compared to the 15,000 set in March. “What we see now is what global warming really looks like,” says a climate expert..
INEQUALITY: The Opportunity Gap
David Brooks, NY Times Opinion – While most studies look at inequality of outcomes among adults and help us understand how America is coming apart, political scientist Robert Putnam’s group looked at inequality of opportunities among children.
SOCIAL PROGRAMS: The Rise of Food-Stamp Nation
Rich Lowry , RealClear - Spending on food stamps doubled between 2001 and 2006, even though unemployment was low in those years. Even when the economy is projected to improve in the future, usage of food stamps still remain elevated above historic norms. One of its pillars is so-called categorical eligibility, which means that if someone is eligible for another welfare program, he is presumptively eligible for food stamps.
Jordy Yager, The Hill - The House Ethics Committee announced Monday that it will formally investigate Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-Nev.) over allegations about a liver transplant program Berkley pushed to keep open. Berkley’s husband is one of the state’s premier liver transplant doctors. The decision could have serious repercussions for her Senate bid. She is challenging incumbent Dean Heller (R-Nev.) and the outcome of the race could determine which party controls the upper chamber next year.
FAST AND FURIOUS: In border agent Brian Terry’s death, $1 million reward offered to capture suspects
Sara Horowitz, Washington Post - The indictment did not mention “Fast and Furious,” the controversial anti-gun-trafficking operation run by the Phoenix office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. But it was Terry’s death that led to a congressional investigation of the operation and, more recently, a vote in the House to hold Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. in contempt of Congress.