TOP NEWS: Democracy: July 27, 2012
- Storms Threaten Ozone Layer Over U.S.
- Romney tries to steer around Olympics controversy
- Why the Obama campaign is suddenly so worried
- Bloomberg Endorses Republican in Mass. Senate Race
- Candidates Cower on Gun Control
Excerpts and More Top Stories
ENVIRONMENT: Storms Threaten Ozone Layer Over U.S., Study Says
Henry Fountain, NY Times – Strong summer thunderstorms that pump water high into the upper atmosphere pose a threat to the protective ozone layer over the United States, researchers said on Thursday, drawing one of the first links between climate change and ozone loss over populated areas.
ENVIRONMENT: A Climate and Energy Stalemate
John M. Broder, NY Times – As Mr. Obama seeks re-election, a warming climate and its related challenges — more frequent droughts and wildfires, rising seas and more violent storms — are near the bottom of the national agenda.
ELECTIONS 2012/ OLYMPICS: Mitt Romney tries to steer around Olympics controversy in London meetings
Philip Rucker, Washington Post – Thursday was supposed to be the easy day, when Mitt Romney would audition as a world leader here by talking about his shared values with the heads of the United States’ friendliest ally.
ELECTIONS 2012: Four Little Words: Why the Obama campaign is suddenly so worried
Kimberley A. Strassel, WSJ, Opinion – What’s the difference between a calm and cool Barack Obama, and a rattled and worried Barack Obama? Four words, it turns out. “You didn’t build that” is swelling to such heights that it has the president somewhere unprecedented: on defense. Mr. Obama has felt compelled—for the first time in this campaign—to cut an ad in which he directly responds to the criticisms of his now-infamous speech, complaining his opponents took his words “out of context.”
ELECTIONS 2012/ MASSACHUSETTS: Bloomberg Endorses Republican in Heated Massachusetts Senate Race
David W. Chen, NY Times – Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, one of the most outspoken defenders of Wall Street, has sided against one of the financial industry’s biggest critics in a hotly contested Senate race in his native Massachusetts, endorsing Scott Brown for Senate over Elizabeth Warren.
GUN CONTROL: Candidates Cower on Gun Control
NY Times, Editorial – At a moment when the country needs resolve and fearlessness to reduce the affliction of gun violence that kills more than 80 people a day, both presidential candidates have kicked away the opportunity for leadership. On Wednesday, reacting to the mass murder in Colorado last week, Mitt Romney and President Obama paid lip service to the problem but ducked when the chance arose to stand up for their former principles.
HEALTHCARE: Hospitals Worry Over Cut in Fund for Uninsured
Nina Bernstein – President Obama’s health care law is putting new strains on some of the nation’s most hard-pressed hospitals, by cutting aid they use to pay for emergency care for illegal immigrants, which they have long been required to provide.
HEALTHCARE/ IMMIGRATION: Hospitals Fear Cuts in Aid for Care to Illegal Immigrants
Nina Bernstein, NY Times – President Obama’s health care law is putting new strains on some of the nation’s most hard-pressed hospitals, by cutting aid they use to pay for emergency care for illegal immigrants, which they have long been required to provide.
Motoko Rich, NY Times – In excusing more than half of the states from meeting crucial requirements of the No Child Left Behind education law, the Obama administration sought to require states to develop more realistic tools to improve and measure the progress of schools and teachers.
More Elections 2012
POLL: ELECTIONS 2012: House Race Ratings Put Republicans Ahead
NY Times – A New York Times poll shows the latest breakdown of how House districts may play out in the November general election. 230 solid and leaning seats for Republicans. 180 solid and leaning seats for Democrats.
ELECTIONS 2012: Tea-Party Favorite Surges in Texas Senate Race toward Upset
Nathan Koppel, WSJ – Tea-party favorite Raphael “Ted” Cruz is aiming to pull off an upset in a U.S. Senate primary runoff next week, aided by a rush of super PAC spending.
POLL: ELECTIONS 2012: Many Voters think Obama is Muslim
Aaron Blake, Washington Post – According to a new poll from the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, more people are concerned about Obama’s religion (19%) than about Romney’s (13%). The reason? The unbelievable number of Americans, now numbering 17 percent, who for some reason think the president is a Muslim.
ELECTIONS 2012: The Case of Pennsylvania’s Missing Ads
Nate Cohn, The New Republic – One of the early peculiarities of the advertising campaign is the half-hearted effort in Pennsylvania—a state which figured prominently in the electoral calculus of the last three presidential elections. Despite that place in recent electoral history, Romney hasn’t aired any ads in Pennsylvania since the general election began. And although the Obama campaign and the super PACs have waged a low-intensity ad war in Pennsylvania, the most recent data suggests that even these limited efforts might be winding down.
ELECTIONS 2012: Even in London, Romney Gets Tax Question
Sara Murray, WSJ – In an interview on NBC’s Today Show, Mr. Romney again refused to release additional years of returns. “We just laid out exactly what is required by law, which is all of our financial statements, and then in addition two years of tax reports, just like John McCain put out,” the Republican presidential hopeful said Friday.
ELECTIONS 2012/ CAMPAIGN FINANCE: Obama raises millions for 2012 campaign within spitting distance of White House
Bill Turque, Washington Post – The limousine ride from the White House last week took five minutes, delivering President Obama to the Mandarin Oriental Hotel near L’Enfant Plaza at 5:49 p.m. Waiting for him were about two-dozen donors, who had paid a minimum of $60,000 each for a private “roundtable” that included presidential comments followed by a Q&A.
ELECTIONS 2012: We Did ’Build That,’ and Our Government Helped
Jonathan Alter, Bloomberg, Opinion – We all should know that business can’t thrive without an educated workforce and the fair application of the rule of law. Even regulation — the bogeyman of conservative business interests — is a necessary condition of a stable business culture. The countries with the least regulation have the most corruption, and vice versa.
ELECTIONS 2012/ OLYMPICS: London mayor Boris Johnson ribs ‘a guy called Mitt Romney’ at rally
Aaron Blake, Washington Post – London Mayor Boris Johnson called Mitt Romney out by name in front of tens of thousands of people at an Olympic rally Thursday. Johnson, speaking at a cauldron-lighting ceremony at Hyde Park, hit back at the GOP presidential candidate for his suggestion that London might not be prepared to hold the games.
ELECTIONS 2012/ ROMNEY: Romney Fund-Raisers in London Draw Banking Crowd
Ashley Parker and Landon Thomas Jr. , NY Times – After a day made long by his remarks about London’s readiness for the Olympic Games,Mitt Romney found a friendlier audience here on Thursday night at fund-raisers heavily populated with American financiers, donors representing an industry that has had troubles of its own.
ELECTION 2012 : Strip Clubs in Tampa Are Ready to Cash In on G.O.P. Convention
Lizzette Alvarez, NY Times – As Tampa gears up for the Republican National Convention, the biggest party it has ever held, the city and its businesses are primping and polishing for the August arrival of tens of thousands of visitors. Like it or not — mostly not, for city officials — Tampa’s well-known strip clubs have joined the welcome wagon.
AURORA/ DEATH PENALTY: Colorado and the Case for Capital Punishment
Jonah Goldberg, National Review, Opinion: In the aftermath of the Aurora, Colo., slaughter, the question went forth on all of the political chatter shows: “Will this reopen the debate over gun control?” That’s the script. When heinous monsters kill people with guns, we tend to talk about the problem of guns.
JOHN MCCAIN: Once a Rebel, McCain Now Walks the Party Line
Jennifer Steinhauer, NY Times – As Election Day edges close and most members of Congress yearn to flee Washington, Senator John McCain of Arizona is more present than ever. Mr. McCain appears to have entered Version 3 of his long and multipronged Senate career — partisan warrior and party stalwart.
CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM: Influence Industry: IRS may consider tightening rules for nonprofits that influence elections
Dan Eggen, Washington Post – Campaign watchdog groups see a glimmer of hope in a new letter from the Internal Revenue Service, which suggests that the agency might consider changes to the rules governing tax exemptions for politically active groups.
OLYMPIC SPIRIT: The Olympic Contradiction
David Brooks, NY Times, Opinion – If the opening ceremony is win-win, most of the rest of the games are win-lose. If the opening ceremony mimics peace, the competitions mimic warfare. It’s not about the brotherhood of humankind. It’s about making sure our country beats the Chinese in the medal chart.
Joe Davidson, Washington Post – Just like the weather, two ongoing controversies involving federal employees are getting hotter. Some heavy hitters have joined the opposition to potentially harmful public disclosure provisions of the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act, better known as the Stock Act.
Ron Nixon, NY Times – After delaying action on a sweeping farm bill, House leaders are now working to shape interim legislation that would aid farmers hit hard by a drought that has devastated large swaths of cropland and threatens livestock operations in the Midwest, lawmakers said on Thursday.
SAME-SEX MARRIAGE/ AMAZON: Amazon’s Founder Pledges $2.5 Million in Support of Same-Sex Marriage
Michael D. Shear, NY Times – Jeff Bezos, the billionaire founder of Amazon.com, and his wife, MacKenzie, have agreed to donate $2.5 million to help pass a same-sex marriage referendum in Washington State, instantly becoming among the largest financial backers of gay marriage rights in the country.
More Gun Control
Richard Simon, LA Times – Despite the tough political climate for federal gun control legislation, a coalition of law enforcement groups on Thursday called for background checks on all gun buyers and a ban on high-capacity ammunition magazines after the Colorado shooting rampage.
GUN CONTROL: White House Offers No Follow-Up on Gun Laws
Laura Meckler, WSJ – President Barack Obama said Wednesday the nation needs to start talking about tougher gun laws. That might be the end of the conversation.The White House offered no specific follow-up. Neither did congressional leaders, who say they have no plans to pursue legislation, which faces broad congressional opposition.
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