TOP NEWS: Democracy: July 11, 2012
- House GOP Pushes Health Care Repeal
- States Face Tough Choices as Downturn Ends
- Obama and Romney Trade Shots on Outsourcing
- For Most, Tax Rates Hit Lows in 2009
- The missing giants of the Senate
Excerpts and More Top Stories
Christina Bellantoni and Terence Burlij, PBS Newshour – The Republican-led House of Representatives will render judgment on President Obama’s signature health care law for the 31st time on Wednesday. The final tally isn’t a certainty, but the result will be the same: It will still be the law of the land tomorrow.
TAXES vs SPENDING: States Face Tough Choices Even as Downturn Ends
Michael Cooper, NY Times – As state governments begin to emerge from the long downturn, many are grappling with a difficult choice: should they restore some of the services and jobs they were forced to eliminate in the recession or cut taxes in the hopes of bolstering their local economies?
Michael D. Shear and Richard A. Oppel Jr., NY Times – As President Obama and Mitt Romney rush to define the other, each man is alleging one of the great economic sins: that his rival accelerated the exodus of American jobs to foreign countries.
John D. McKinnon, WSJ – Average federal tax rates paid by Americans in many income groups fell to record levels in 2009, but rose for the top 1% of earners, according to new data from the Congressional Budget Office.
Mark Landler and Ashley Parker, NY Times – Sitting at a kitchen table here with a middle-income couple and speaking later at a community college to a buoyant crowd of 1,600 supporters, President Obama on Tuesday took his message of tax fairness to Iowa, the battleground state that propelled his first run for the presidency in 2008.
SENATE: The missing giants of the Senate
Dana Milbank, Washinton Post – There are no giants in the chamber today, no figure with the stature of a Kennedy who could carry 10 votes with his mere presence. There is no longer a revered figure — a Byrd, a Dole, a Moynihan, a Chafee, a Nunn, a John Warner — whose authority could transcend party and the usual arithmetic of vote counting.
SOCIALISM: Obama the Socialist? Not Even Close
Milos Forman, NY Times – The critics cry, “Obamacare is socialism!” They falsely equate Western European-style socialism, and its government provision of social insurance and health care, with Marxist-Leninist totalitarianism. It offends me, and cheapens the experience of millions who lived, and continue to live, under brutal forms of socialism.
ELECTION 2012: Mr. Romney’s Financial Black Hole
Editorial, NY Times – Since the Watergate era, presidential candidates have released several years of tax returns, allowing voters to peer at their financial choices and discern their entanglements. Mitt Romney has upended that tradition this year.
ELECTION 2012: Romney Makes a Push for Black Voters
Trip Gabriel, NY Times – Four years ago, Barack Obama captured 95 percent of the black vote. But in a 2012 election in which every vote may matter, Mitt Romney is not conceding an inevitable rout on that front.
Bill Turque, Washington Post – The Obama campaign on Tuesday shrugged off reports showing that Republican challenger Mitt Romney outpaced the president by $35 million in contributions last month, even after firing off a dire message to donors warning of defeat in November if fundraising doesn’t improve.
ELECTION 2012: For Obama, White House and Campaign Run Together
Peter Nicholas, WSJ – As the election nears, it gets increasingly tough to tell where the White House ends and the Obama campaign starts. Boundaries get blurry. Former White House people now work on the campaign; ex-campaign aides are in the White House.
VOTER RIGHTS: Holder tells NAACP Texas voter ID law hurts minorities
Melanie Eversley, USA Today – One day after a three-judge panel in Washington began reviewing Texas’ request to uphold its voter ID law, Attorney General Eric Holder told the annual meeting of the NAACP in Houston that the law disproportionately impacts minorities and could have been politically motivated, Politico reports.
ENTITLEMENTS: The Geography of Government Benefits
NY Times – The share of Americans’ income that comes from government benefit programs, like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, more than doubled over the last four decades, rising from 8 percent in 1969 to 18 percent in 2009.
IMMIGRATION: Obama Policy on Immigrants Is Challenged by Chicago
Julia Preston and Steven Yaccino, NY Times – Just weeks after the Supreme Court largely reaffirmed the Obama administration’s immigration enforcement powers in its legal battle with Arizona, federal officials are facing a new, politically tricky clash with local authorities over immigration, this time in Chicago.
Spencer S. Hsu, Washington Post – The Justice Department and the FBI have launched a review of thousands of criminal cases to determine whether any defendants were wrongly convicted or deserve a new trial because of flawed forensic evidence, officials said Tuesday. The undertaking is the largest post-conviction review ever done by the FBI.
EDUCATION: Has Florida governor had a testing epiphany?
Valerie Strauss, Washington Post – Florida Gov. Rick Scott, who hasn’t seen a test he hasn’t wanted students to take, seems to have come to some sort of epiphany: The state that has been a national model for high-stakes test-based school reform just may be testing schoolchildren too much.
Richard Cohen, Washington Post – No nation should go to war capriciously, and a draft ensures that is not likely to happen. The United States could not have sent draftees to that senseless was in Iraq.
HEALTHCARE: GOP to the uninsured: Drop dead
Matt Miller, Washington Post – The Republican message to uninsured Americans in the wake of the Supreme Court’s recent ruling couldn’t be clearer: You’re on your own.