TOP NEWS: Democracy: July 18, 2012
- Republicans tell Mitt Romney to show tax returns
- Romney and Obama Resume Economic Attacks
- Shift in Welfare Policy Draws G.O.P. Protests
- President Obama’s jobs panel missing in action
- Caution, Not Flash, as Romney Seeks His No. 2
Excerpts and More Top Stories
TAX RETURNS: Republicans tell Mitt Romney to show tax returns
Mackenzie Weinger, Politico – The list of prominent Republicans and conservatives urging Romney to put out more than the two years of tax returns he has promised is continuing to grow each day. If he simply hands over, say, five to 10 years of returns, they argue, Romney can end the controversy and focus his campaign on the nation’s economic woes to defeat President Barack Obama.
Trip Gabriel and Peter Baker, NY Times – The argument between Mitt Romney and President Obama over who is better suited to help American workers get back on their feet got personal again on Tuesday, with Mr. Romney saying he was “ashamed” of Mr. Obama for giving government loans to well-connected donors. The overarching dispute is which candidate’s view of government might lift a struggling economy: Mr. Romney’s belief in lower taxes and fewer regulations, or Mr. Obama’s vision of a vital role for government.
CLASS WARFARE: Shift in Welfare Policy Draws G.O.P. Protests
Rebecca Berg, NY Times – A move by the Obama administration to give states more latitude in running federal welfare-to-work programs has set off a firestorm among Republicans, who say it undercuts the work requirements set forth in the 1996 overhaul of welfare policy.
ECONOMIC CRISIS: President Obama’s jobs panel missing in action
Josh Gerstein, Politico – President Barack Obama’s Jobs Council hasn’t met publicly for six months, even as the issue of job creation dominates the 2012 election. At this point, the hiatus — which reached the half-year mark Tuesday — might be less awkward than an official meeting, given the hornet’s nest of issues that could sting Obama and the council members if the private-sector panel gets together.
ELECTION 2012/ VEEPSTAKES: Caution, Not Flash, as Romney Seeks His No. 2
Ashley Parker and Michael Barbaro, NY Times – Friends and advisers say that after assessing basic qualifications and personal chemistry, Mr. Romney has been guided by a simple principle: do no harm to the ticket. Mr. Romney could disclose his pick as early as this week or after returning from a trip abroad the first week of August.
ECONOMIC CRISIS: GOP fears shutdown showdown
Jake Sherman and Manu Raju, Politico - Top congressional Republicans are plotting ways to avoid a government shutdown fight when the fiscal year ends Sept. 30, believing the partisan brinkmanship that defined last year’s budget battles would be devastating to their party heading into the November elections.
CIVIL DIALOGUE/ELECTION 2012: Who’s on America’s Side?
Maureen Dowd, NY Times, Opinion – Usually, at this stage of a presidential campaign, Republicans are doing a much better job of sullying the Democratic candidate as un-American.
CLASS WARFARE: This Time ‘Class Warfare’ Cry is True
Margaret Carlson, Bloomberg – Republicans have been waging class warfare for years — and winning without working up a sweat. For proof, just take a look at the welfare program for the wealthy that is the U.S. tax code. Such victories aside, Republicans have always claimed that it’s Democrats who play the class card. Whisper that the top 1 percent pay the lowest tax rate in 80 years and you’re trafficking in class resentment. Help the working and middle classes get health care and you’re a socialist.
CLASS WARFARE: The Rush to Abandon the Poor
NY Times, Opinion – The state with the country’s worst health care record just happens to have a governor who has been the loudest voice against national efforts to improve it. A quarter of the residents of Texas, 6.3 million people, are uninsured, by far the highest percentage in the country. Yet Gov. Rick Perry — strangely puffed up as he was so often in his presidential bid — recently told the Obama administration that he would proudly refuse a huge infusion of Medicaid money that would significantly reduce those shameful statistics and cover 1.7 million more people.
CAMPAIGN FINANCE: How Much Has Citizens United Changed the Political Game?
Matt Bai, NY Times Magazine – The oft-repeated narrative of 2012 goes like this: Citizens United unleashed a torrent of money from businesses and the multimillionaires who run them, and as a result we are now seeing the corporate takeover of American politics. What the new rulings did, as the experts like to put it, was to “lift the cloud of uncertainty” that hung over such expenditures, and the effect of this psychological shift should not be underestimated.
CIVIL DIALOGUE/ ELECTION 2012: Obama told to ‘learn to be an American’
By Stephanie Kirchgaessner, FT – The vitriolic attacks between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney reached a new low after a supporter of the Republican presidential contender said the US president needed to “learn to be an American”.
VOTING RIGHTS: Study finds costs associated with voter IDs
Krissah Thompson, Washington Post – New laws in 10 states requiring voters to show IDs could present serious challenges to voters without financial resources and transportation, according to a report released Wednesday.
ELECTION 2012: Some Republicans still not sold on Mitt Romney’s campaign
Chris Cillizza and Aaron Blake, Washington Post – One in four self-identified Republicans has an unfavorable view of how Mitt Romney is running his campaign, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.
ECONOMIC CRISIS: Cheney, Mayors Worried Over Looming Defense Budget Cuts
Lauren French and David Alexander, Reuters via Huffington Post – Former Vice President Dick Cheney told Republican lawmakers on Tuesday that looming defense cuts could have a serious impact on the U.S. military, even as a new analysis predicted the budget reductions that begin in January could cost 2 million jobs.
Jennifer Valentino-Devries, Wall Street Journal – A phone company is battling the FBI over a powerful, secretive investigative tool used under the Patriot Act to demand customer phone records.
Sabrina Tavernise, NY Times – The Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday that baby bottles and children’s drinking cups could no longer contain bisphenol A, or BPA, an estrogen-mimicking industrial chemical used in some plastic bottles and food packaging.
AIR FORCE:Air Force Sex Probe Gets First Trial
Nathan Koppel, WSJ – A U.S. Air Force trainer was a “consummate predator” of female recruits, military prosecutors said in opening arguments in his court martial at Lackland Air Force Base.
Manny Fernandez, NY Times – Gov. Rick Perry’s decision on July 9 to refuse two key provisions of the federal health care law — the expansion of Medicaid and the creation of a state insurance exchange — is already being fiercely debated by lawmakers in Austin. But the real impact of the move will be felt far from the Texas Capitol, in the chambers of the commissioners who oversee the state’s counties.
Richard Perez-Pena, NY Times – A few months ago, free online courses from prestigious universities were a rarity. Now, they are the cause for announcements every few weeks, as a field suddenly studded with big-name colleges and competing software platforms evolves with astonishing speed.
John Eligon, NY Times – A tide of anger has been swelling here since May after the new University of Missouri president, Timothy M. Wolfe, disclosed plans to close the university’s publishing house, stoking arguments over the institution’s priorities and fueling an escalating national debate over the necessity of university presses and their future in the digital world.
More on Elections 2012:
ELECTION 2012/ VEEPSTAKES: Christie’s Brashness Blunts His Hopes to Run With Romney
Katie Zernike, NY Times – Mr. Christie’s star has faded as a potential vice-presidential pick. As polls show that his bluntness is striking more voters as bullying, Republicans close to Mr. Romney’s campaign say that the governor’s continued hostile encounters have augmented fears that he is too unpredictable and too contentious, turning what was once viewed as a key strength into a drawback.
Felicia Sonmez and Philip Rucker, Washington Post – Although some advisers are arguing privately that Romney needs to release additional filings to curb the political fallout, others are resisting that suggestion, reflecting the candidate’s longtime reluctance to publicly disclose information about his personal finances.
TAX RETURNS: National Review to Romney: Release More Tax Returns
Patrick O’Connor, WSJ – The conservative National Review joined the growing chorus of pundits and politicians on both sides of the aisle calling on Mitt Romney to release additional tax returns. “Romney may feel impatience with requirements that the political culture imposes on a presidential candidate that he feels are pointless (and inconvenient),” the editors write. “But he’s a politician running for the highest office in the land, and his current posture is probably unsustainable.”
Sam Stein, Huffington Post – Mitt Romney dismissed calls from within his own party Tuesday to release additional years of tax returns, arguing that some of his fellow Republicans don’t quite get the destructive capacity of Democratic opposition researchers.
ELECTION 2012/ VEEPSTAKES: Romney’s Ticket Talk Is Heating Up
Colleen McCain Nelson and Sara Murray, WSJ – While talk is heating up about Romney’s VP choice, the candidate is unlikely to reveal his choice before his trip abroad next week. There is a good chance, however, that he will announce his choice before the August 27 Republican Convention.
ELECTION 2012/ VEEPSTAKES: The Case For (And Against) Bobby Jindal as VP
Alex Altman, TIME – If you’re eager for a fire-breathing conservative to fill out the Republican ticket, there’s still hope. Reputable sources have been reporting that Bobby Jindal has slipped onto Mitt Romney’s short list. According to Reuters, Jindal appears to have cracked the final three.
ELECTIONS 2012: Jenkins: The Campaign’s Stupid Moment
Holman W. Jenkins, Jr., WSJ – In ‘defining Romney,’ Obama may be finally defining himself for a mystified electorate.