TOP NEWS: Democracy: July 23, 2012
- Shooting suspect could face death
- N.C.A.A. Gives Penn State $60 Million Fine and Bowl Ban
- To Prepare for GOP Convention, Tampa Restricts Protests
- A Week Abroad, With Pitfalls and Payoffs
- In swing states, economic picture a little brighter for Obama
Excerpts and More Top Stories
Associated Press – As the suspected gunman in the Colorado theater massacre heads to his first court appearance Monday, authorities have disclosed that he is refusing to cooperate and that it could take months to learn what prompted the horrific attack. Eighteenth Judicial District Attorney Carol Chambers said Monday her office is considering pursuing the death penalty against Holmes. She said a decision will be made in consultation with victims’ families.
John Eligon, Serge F. Kovaleski, and Marc Santora, NY Times – President Obama came to this city on Sunday to meet with survivors of the shooting rampage at a movie theater last week, visiting the victims and their families and leading the country in mourning the 12 people killed in the attack.
AURORA/NRA: NRA is real winner on gun laws
Bill Schneider, Politico, Opinion – In the past, after sensational instances of gun violence, we’d see a surge of support for new gun control measures. No longer. The National Rifle Association has won. It has succeeded in changing the national discussion from gun control to gun rights.
AURORA/TEA PARTY: Tea party: We’re being demonized
Katie Glueck, Politico – Another act of mass violence, another round of finger-pointing directed at tea party members. This time, tea party leaders responded angrily — and with a sense of deep frustration over the latest erroneous connection drawn between their political beliefs and gun violence.
AURORA/ONLINE AMMUNITION: Suspect Bought Large Stockpile of Rounds Online
Jack Healy, NY Times – Unhindered by federal background checks or government oversight, the 24-year-old man accused of killing a dozen people inside a Colorado movie theater was able to build what the police called a 6,000-round arsenal legally and easily over the Internet, exploiting what critics call a virtual absence of any laws regulating ammunition sales.
AURORA/HISTORY OF MASSACRES: Assigning Blame for Aurora
Carl M. Cannon, Real Clear Politics – Leaving aside the unseemly impulse among some in the media to scapegoat the Tea Party or other conservatives, a legitimate question that arises is whether the spiteful nature of our national discourse contributes to a climate of violence.
ELECTION 2012/AURORA: Tragedy Is Unlikely to Factor in Presidential Race
Carol E. Lee, Wall Street Journal – The emergence of a national tragedy during the heat of the campaign tests President Barack Obama’s ability to comfort Americans, but it is unlikely an incident such as the Aurora, Colo., movie-theater shooting will have lasting impact on this year’s race.
AURORA: Suspect’s Rapid Descent
Alexandra Berzon, Shelly Banjo, Tamara Audi, WSJ – Investigators are trying to piece together suspect John Holmes’s movements and behavior between the time he dropped out of college and went on his shooting rampage a month later.
Pete Thamel, NY Times – The N.C.A.A. announced significant penalties against Penn State and its football program Monday, including a $60 million fine and a four-year postseason ban, in the wake of the child sexual abuse scandal involving the former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky.
CIVIL LIBERTIES: To Prepare for Republican Convention, Tampa Restricts Protests
Colin Moynihan, NY Times – In an effort to control demonstrations and prevent disturbances, officials in Tampa are taking unusual steps that they say will help ensure public safety but that many demonstrators and civil liberties advocates say will place unacceptable limits on public dissent.
Robert Barnes, Washington Post – John Joseph Delling killed two people and seriously wounded another, but he committed his crimes in Idaho, which is one of only four states — Kansas, Montana and Utah are the others — in which a defendant may not use insanity as a defense to criminal charges.
ELECTION 2012: A Week Abroad, With Pitfalls and Payoffs
Michael D. Shear, NY Times – Overseas trips by candidates have almost become an expected part of the “I can be president” process. But there are risks as well as potential rewards from a trip abroad.
Chris Cillizza, Washington Post – Nationally, the economic picture is decidedly dismal, but in the 12 (or so) swing states — where Democrats and Republicans will spend the lion’s share of their time and money in the 100 or so days between now and Nov. 6 — the economic picture is considerably sunnier.
Jason Horowitz, Washington Post – This week, Romney is to attend the Olympic opening ceremonies in London and make stops in Israel and Poland. The trip offers him a platform to highlight his extensive travel as a salesman of American-centric beliefs, but it also serves as a reminder that the world has curved Romney’s trajectory.
ELECTION 2012: The Politics of Anything Goes
Thomas B. Edsall, NY Times, Opinion – Barack Obama first captured the national spotlight with a speech at the 2004 Democratic Convention in Boston in which he called for an end to the politics of division. Now, President Obama has, in fundamental respects, adopted the strategy he denounced eight years ago.
ELECTION 2012/ TAX RETURNS: Mitt Romney’s ‘exotic’ tax problem
Chris Cillizza, Washington Post – For years, President’s Obama’s political opponents have used his background — Kenyan father, Kansan mother, raised in Indonesia and Hawaii — to cast him as someone whose life makes it hard for him to understand the average American. And yet, it’s Mitt Romney who is now dealing with an “exotic” issue that is centered on his considerable wealth.
CAMPAIGN FINANCE: Ex-Romney Aide Steers Vast Machine of G.O.P. Money
Nicholas Confessore, NY Times – After years in the Republican Party trenches, Mr. Carl Forti, 40, is now a consultant and strategist for the biggest of the outside groups and “super PACs” that are rapidly displacing parties as the means for raising and spending vast amounts of political money.
CAMPAIGN FINANCE: Democrats shun Nancy Pelosi’s plea for cash
Alex Isenstadt, Politico – The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has told members that unless they pay their dues in full, they won’t get to partake in the committee’s Democratic National Convention package, complete with access to much sought-after hotel rooms and parties. And in early June, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) tried to shame her members into giving, distributing notes to each of them with a request for cash and asking them if they are part of “the team.”
ENVIRONMENT: Loading the Climate Dice
Paul Krugman, NY Times, Op-Ed – The variability of temperatures from day to day and year to year makes it easy to miss, ignore or obscure the longer-term upward trend. On the other, even a fairly modest rise in average temperatures translates into a much higher frequency of extreme events — like the devastating drought now gripping America’s heartland.
BUDGET CUTS/SIMPSON-BOWLES: CEOs and Simpson-Bowles 3.0
Steven Pearlstein, NY Times, Op-Ed – Some grown-ups who have been noticeably absent from this conversation have been the heads of the country’s major corporations, who talk a good game about deficit reduction but haven’t invested the time, money and political capital necessary to jolt the political system from its dysfunctional equilibrium.
FARM BILL: Congress delays farm bill as drought spreads
David Rogers, Politico – In the midst of a severe drought, the House Republican leaders are proposing to walk away from farm states and decades of precedent by not calling up the new five-year plan before the current law expires Sept. 30.
LOBBYING: K Street’s continuing slump
Anna Palmer, Politico – K Street is suffering a slowdown, and business may not pick up much until after the November election. Lobbyists blame corporate belt-tightening on Washington offices, business slowing to a crawl on Capitol Hill and focus on the election for the slowdown.
Adam Nagourney, NY Times – With no one in statewide office, the California party, once a symbol of Republican hope and geographical reach, has stumbled as conservatives have prospered elsewhere.
FDA/WHISTLE-BLOWER PROTECTION: The Spy Hunt for Whistle-Blowers
NY Times, Opinion – The intensity and sweep of the F.D.A.’s efforts to spy on the communications of whistle-blowing employees suspected of leaking trade secrets to outsiders were astonishing.
Robert Pear, NY Times – If Republicans in Congress agree on anything, it is their desire to eradicate President Obama’s health care law. But one of the top advisers to Mitt Romney, Michael O. Leavitt, has spent the last two years advising states and private insurers on how to comply with the law.
HEALTHCARE: A Formula for Cutting Health Costs
NY Times, Editorial – No matter what happens to President Obama’s health care reforms after the November elections, the disjointed, costly American health care system must find ways to slow the rate of spending while delivering quality care. There is widespread pessimism that anything much can be achieved quickly, but innovative solutions are emerging in unexpected places.
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