TOP NEWS: Democracy: July 26, 2012
- Romney, Obama spar ‘you didn’t build that‘
- Negative Ads Hit at Identity to Shape Race for Presidency
- Business owners souring on Obama: Poll
- Obama and Insurers Join to Cut Health Care Fraud
- Severe Drought Seen as Driving Cost of Food Up
Excerpts and More Top Stories
Bill Turque, Washington Post - Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney launched a concerted push Wednesday to depict President Obama as hostile to small business, using the infamous snippet from one of Obama’s speeches now known in political shorthand as “You Didn’t Build That.”The president’s campaign countered with a new television ad saying that his remarks were flagrantly wrenched out of context. The dispute is the latest example of a campaign plucking lines from an opponent’s speech in an effort to support and reinforce a broader, negative narrative that it hopes will resonate with voters.
ELECTIONS 2012/NEGATIVE ADS: Negative Ads Hit at Identity to Shape Race for Presidency
Jeremy W. Peters, NY Times – As the presidential campaign has become a clash over a host of issues — from tax cuts to foreign diplomacy to claims of words taken out of context — Mr. Romney, Mr. Obama and their allies have started trading accusations over a much more delicate and personal question: Are you an American like me?
POLL: ELECTIONS 2012: Business owners souring on Obama: Poll
Rachel Weiner, Washington Post - As former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney campaigns hard on the idea of building private businesses, a new Gallup poll finds that business owners are increasingly unhappy with President Obama, with 59% disapproving, and only 35% approving.
ELECTION 2012: Romney team defensive over race remarks
Stephanie Kirchgaessner, FT – Campaign denies an anonymous adviser made comments about ‘shared Anglo-Saxon heritage‘, while vice-president Joe Biden responded angrily.
ELECTION 2012: Anglo-Saxon Heritage, Multicultural Future
Charles M. Blow, NY Times, Opinion – A quote in a British newspaper from a Romney adviser sets off a controversy. But as is often the case with this campaign and with the modern Republican Party, Romney’s team stopped short of issuing a complete repudiation and demanding a total cleansing of these poisonous ideas from their ranks.
ELECTION 2012/FOREIGN POLICY: Obama Delivers Defense of His Policy Efforts
Helene Cooper, NYTimes – President Obama wrapped up a three-day fund-raising swing with an emotional defense of his efforts to make higher education more affordable and to expand access to health care. The President also talked about the need to keep guns away from troubled people.
ELECTIONS 2012/ECONOMICS: Pick a President to Save the U.S. From Greece’s Fate
Edward Glaeser, Bloomberg, Opinion – If we re-elect President Barack Obama, we will be endorsing a more progressive government with more social insurance, higher tax rates at least on the wealthy and more regulation. If we elect Mitt Romney, we will be returning to our post-Ronald Reagan norm of embracing low taxes, economic freedom and widespread economic disparities.
Joel Kotkin, The Daily Beast - Move over, Iraq. American politics is developing a disturbing resemblance to Mesopotamia’s ever-feuding Sunnis, Shiites, and Kurds as the 2012 election rapidly devolves into a power struggle between irreconcilable factions rather than a healthy debate.
ELECTION 2012/ HEALTHCARE: White House tailors minority health care pitch
Reid J. Epstein, Politico – President Barack Obama tends to skim lightly over the details of his health care law in speeches. But his administration has a far more specific pitch to black and Hispanic audiences. The message: Blacks and Hispanics, among whom uninsured rates are significantly higher than among whites, stand to benefit disproportionately under the health law, gaining access to free preventive care and other services that will help reduce existing health care disparities. The sustained outreach from the White House aims to make voters eligible for new benefits aware of them and how to get them.
ELECTION 2012: Romney’s Remarks on Olympics Cause Stir in London
Ashley Parker, NY Times - Mitt Romney’s carefully choreographed trip to London caused a diplomatic stir when he called the British Olympic preparations “disconcerting” and questioned whether Londoners would turn out to support the Games. Mr. Romney’s verbal slip came on the first day of a highly anticipated trip that was expected to test his skills on foreign diplomacy, terrain in which he is not necessarily as comfortable as when dealing with economic issues.
ELECTION 2012/CONGRESS: G.O.P. Edge as Dynamics Shift in House Races
Jennifer Steinhauer, NY Times - Since 2006, members of the House have faced electoral waves that swept away scores of incumbents. But the 2012 struggle for control of the House is shaping up less as a partisan surge than as a series of squalls, in which the outcome will largely depend on individual survival skills rather than a national movement.
HEALTH CARE: Obama and Insurers Join to Cut Health Care Fraud
Robert Pear, NY Times - President Obama and health insurance executives plan to announce a new joint effort on Thursday to crack down on health care fraud by sharing and comparing claims data, administration officials say. “This partnership brings together the resources and best practices of government and private sectors, giving us an unprecedented ability to detect and stamp out health care fraud,” Ms. Sebelius said.
Annie Lowrey, Ron Nixon, NYTimes – Scorching heat and the worst drought in nearly a half-century are threatening to send food prices up, spooking consumers and leading to worries about global food costs. The Agriculture Department said the cost of beef would increase the most, up to 5 percent, because of the rising prices for animal feed.
GUN CONTROL: Safe From Fire, but Not Guns
Nicholas D. Kristof, NY Times Opinion - As a nation, we regulate fire exits, but not 100-round magazines. We shield youngsters in cinemas from violence — but only if it’s on the screen. Almost a week after the cinema shooting, we can also be sure what won’t happen: serious gun control. Both President Obama and Mitt Romney have supported a ban on assault weapons in the past, but both seem to have backed off for an obvious reason: the public has become pro-gun.
GUN CONTROL: I Carried a Gun, and It Was Heavy
Michael A. Black, NYTimes, Op-Ed – In the wake of the Aurora shooting, there are those who say that guns should be even more readily available to law abiding citizens. Here, a 30 year veteran of the Chicago police force talks about the burden and responsibility that comes with carrying a gun, even when one has been given extensive training.
GUN CONTROL: Stop me if you’ve heard this one before
Roger Simon, Politico, Opinion – Getting shot in America is so common, it barely rises to the level of news. A few days before, 58 people were wounded and 12 killed in a movie theater in Aurora, Colo. People grow bored. People grow tired. Outrage fades. Politicians do nothing. And life goes on. For some of us.
GUN CONTROL: Romney Says Country Doesn’t Need New Gun Laws
Trip Gabriel, NYTimes – Rejecting new gun control laws, Mitt Romney said the answer to horrific acts of violence may be “changing the heart of the American people,” in an interview with NBC News.
VOTER RIGHTS: Pennsylvania voter ID case opens in state court
Robert Barnes, Washington Post - The first round of the 2012 presidential campaign is being waged in courtrooms nationwide, and one of the most important battles got underway Wednesday in the swing state of Pennsylvania, where challengers told a judge that a new voter-identification law violates the commonwealth’s constitution.
BIRTH CONTROL: Anti-Abortionists on Trial
Editorial, NY Times – A federal lawsuit is trying to block an extreme and harmful Arizona anti-abortion law from taking effect next week. We hope it succeeds.
HEALTH CARE: Medicaid Expansion May Lower Death Rates, Study Says
Pam Belluck, NYTimes – A new study by Harvard researchers who found that when states expanded their Medicaid programs and gave more poor people health insurance, fewer people died.
EMPLOYMENT: Where the Jobs Are
Gail Colins, NY Times, Op-Ed - Right now you are probably asking yourself: “What would it be like to live in a place with an unemployment rate of 1 percent?” Me, too! So I went to Williston, N.D., to find out. You would expect that, as population and incomes rose, new stores, theaters and restaurants would follow. But, in Williston, they haven’t.
Kim Severson, NY Times - The Baptist family that owns Chick-fil-A, a fast-food chain based in Atlanta, has for years given millions of dollars to organizations fighting same-sex marriage and supporting heterosexual ones. People aligned with the Cathy family’s position have said they have visited the chain more frequently since its involvement in the issue became more widely known last year. Others, like Jeff Graham, the executive director of the gay rights group Georgia Equality, say they are not sure this protest will be any more successful than previous efforts, which fizzled.
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