TOP NEWS: Democracy: July 20, 2012
- 12 Killed in Shooting at Colorado Theater
- Taking the Cyber-attack Threat Seriously
- Most say Romney should release tax returns
- Legal Battles Erupt Over Tough Voter ID Laws
- Democrats Gain the Upper Hand
Excerpts and More Top Stories
COLORADO SHOOTING: 12 Killed in Shooting at Colorado Theater
J. David Goodman and Michael S. Schmidt, NY Times – A gunman opened fire in a crowded movie theater in the Denver suburbs early Friday morning, killing at least 12 people and wounding 50 others, the local police and federal officials said. The shooting erupted during midnight showings of “The Dark Knight Rises” at the multiplex in Aurora, Colo., where throngs had gathered, some dressed as characters from the highly anticipated Batman sequel.
COLORADO SHOOTING: Why the Aurora shootings won’t likely change the gun control debate
Chris Cillizza, Washington Post – In 1990, almost eight in ten Americans said that the “laws covering the sales of firearms” should be made “more strict” while just 10 percent said they should be made “less strict” or “kept as they are now”. By 2010, those numbers had drastically shifted with 54 percent preferring less strict or no change in guns laws and 44 percent believing gun laws should be made more strict.
COLORADO SHOOTING: Bloomberg: Where do Obama, Mitt stand?
Tim Mak and Kevin Robillard, Politico – Within hours of the horrific shooting deaths in Colorado, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, one of the nation’s leading advocates for stricter gun control, was working Friday to seize the moment to put the issue squarely in the middle of the presidential race.
CYBER-TERRORISM: Taking the Cyber-attack Threat Seriously
Barack Obama, Opinion, WSJ – So far, no one has managed to seriously damage or disrupt our critical infrastructure networks. But foreign governments, criminal syndicates and lone individuals are probing our financial, energy and public safety systems every day.
TAX RETURNS: Poll: Most say Romney should release additional tax returns
Susan Page, USA TODAY – According to a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll, 54% of Americans say Mitt Romney should release more tax returns than the two years he has promised to disclose. Those calling for more disclosure include 75% of Democrats, 53% of independents and 30% of Republicans.
VOTER RIGHTS: Legal Battles Erupt Over Tough Voter ID Laws
Ethan Bronner, NY Times – Whether true or not, the focus on what Democrats call “voter suppression” is accelerating as the Nov. 6 election looms. Last week, Texas took the Obama administration to federal court because it blocked a voter identification law there on racial discrimination grounds.
FISCAL CLIFF: Democrats Gain the Upper Hand
Opinion, NY Times – It’s only been a year since Congressional Republicans, bent on cutting spending, manufactured a financial crisis by threatening not to raise the debt ceiling. Now, apparently thinking the public has forgotten that debacle, they’re furious that Democrats have figured out a way to turn the tables.
CIVIL DIALOGUE: Michele Bachmann’s baseless attack on Huma Abedin
Editorial, Washington Post – To conspiracy theorists like Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), the Obama administration’s approach to the Arab world is the product not of considered diplomacy but of wicked “influence operations,” traceable to the Muslim Brotherhood and its agents. Exhibit A among those agents with murky “ties” to the Muslim Brotherhood, Ms. Bachmann warns darkly, is Huma Abedin, a longtime aide to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.
ELECTION 2012: Obama Visits Florida to Win Over Older Voters
Peter Baker and Trip Gabriel, NY Times – President Obama opened a two-day campaign swing through Florida on Thursday as he tried to build support in this deadlocked battleground state by presenting his opponent, Mitt Romney, as a bad choice for older Americans.
ELECTION 2012: Pathos of the Plutocrat
Paul Krugman, NY Times – It’s no secret that, at this point, many of America’s richest men — including some former Obama supporters — hate, just hate, President Obama. Why? Well, according to them, it’s because he “demonizes” business — or as Mitt Romney put it earlier this week, he “attacks success.” Listening to them, you’d think that the president was the second coming of Huey Long, preaching class hatred and the need to soak the rich.
ELECTIONS 2012/ADVERTIZING: Mitt Romney’s misleading attack ad
Ezra Klein, Washington Post – I was on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” today, and one of the segments led with a Mitt Romney campaign ad quoting President Obama’s “you didn’t build that” remarks. I remember thinking, as I heard the clip, that Obama’s remarks sounded way worse than I’d recalled. Turns out there’s a reason for that.
ELECTIONS 2012: Barack, Mitt, and Adam Smith
Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker – American political discourse can sometimes move in depressing monotony around its little circles. Where former President Clinton’s defense of his famous ‘what “is” is’ sentence on his deposition turned on the problem of the past tense, President Obama’s so-called “un-American” words depend on his using “that” as a kind of pronoun, with the question being the antecedent to which this “that” referred, if that, uh, makes any sense.
Zachary A. Goldfarb, Washington Post – President Obama has repeatedly embraced three titans of American commerce, General Electric, Boeing and JPMorgan Chase, showering their chief executives with praise and adopting policies that benefit the companies.
ELECTIONS 2012: Democrats Have Financial Edge in Battle for Congress
Neftali Bendavid, WSJ – Democrats have found one bright spot in this campaign season’s financial books: the fight for Congress.
TAX RETURNS: Rich candidates play hide-and-seek with taxes
Emily Schultheis and Maggie Haberman, Politico – In all of his campaigns for office, Mitt Romney has never released his tax returns. So the Republican’s staunch resistance in 2012 to releasing more than two years’ worth of filings isn’t surprising for the man who would be among the richest presidents in U.S. history if he wins the White House.
CAMPAIGN REFORM: Is Regulating Lies the Next Campaign Reform?
Stephen L. Carter, Bloomberg - You know the U.S. presidential campaign has entered its silly season when both sides have settled into the longstanding summer tradition of accusing the other of lying.
Ricardo Bilton, Washington Post – Facebook users may use the social network for chatting and sharing, but soon they’ll be using it to register to vote as well. The state of Washington will be the first to offer residents the ability to register to vote via Facebook, a move the state hopes will attract more young voters.
VIRGINIA SENATE: A Hunt for Split-Ticket Voters in a Tight Virginia Senate Race
Jonathon Weisman, NY Times – Like so many others in Appalachia, Amelia Trent’s vote is tied to coal, and when it comes to the coal industry and her economic future, Ms. Trent does not trust President Obama.
Fernanda Santos, NY Times – Letters purporting to offer information about illegal immigrants are among a vast array of evidence to be introduced in the class-action civil rights trial against Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office that began on Thursday in Federal District Court here.
BOY SCOUTS/GAY RIGHTS: A Policy That Is Killing the Organization
James Dale, NY Times – For more than a decade, I fought the policy of the Boy Scouts of America to exclude gay youth and adults. I felt that it was not only unfair, but also damaging to the emotional well-being of all children. As a college sophomore, I first learned that the Boy Scouts “specifically forbid membership to homosexuals,” and my 12-year relationship with them was terminated by letter after Boy Scouts of America officials saw a local newspaper article in which I discussed being gay.
BOY SCOUTS/ GAY RIGHTS: The Boy Scouts’ 19th-Century Decision
Opinion, NY Times – It is impossible to square the Boy Scouts of America’s values of openness, strong moral character and leadership with its announcement this week that reaffirmed a retrograde policy of barring gay boys from membership and gay or lesbian adults from serving as leaders.
CIVIL DIALOGUE: Michele Bachmann vs. Huma Abedin: ‘The Ramadan Conspiracy’
Arsalan Iftikhar, Washington Post – In the warped universe where this American currently resides, there remains only one heroic person brave enough to save our beloved United States from secretly being taken over by a falafel-eating, Mecca-praying and Ramadan-fasting cabal of sinister Muslims duplicitously bent upon imposing Islamic sharia law upon our golden shores.
PUBLIC HEALTH: Anemia drugs made billions, but at what cost?
Peter Whorisky, Washington Post – For years, a trio of anemia drugs known as Epogen, Procrit and Aranesp ranked among the best-selling prescription drugs in the United States, generating more than $8 billion a year for two companies, Amgen and Johnson & Johnson. Even compared with other pharmaceutical successes, they were superstars. For several years, Epogen ranked as the single costliest medicine under Medicare: U.S. taxpayers put up as much as $3 billion a year for the drugs.