TOP NEWS: Democracy: July 31, 2012
- Congress near government budget deal
- 100 Days Out, Gallup Poll Sees a Tie – 46%-46%
- Why ‘You Didn’t Build That’ Resonates
- Democrats Back Gay Marriage Platform
- Lies the parties are telling themselves
Excerpts and More Top Stories
Rosalind S. Helderman, Washington Post – House and Senate leaders are nearing a temporary spending deal that would keep the federal government running for the first half of the next fiscal year, which will begin in October, aides in both parties said Monday, an effort to avoid a messy government shutdown fight on the eve of the November election.
ELECTIONS 2012: 100 Days Out, Gallup Poll Sees a Tie – 46%-46%
Jeffry Bartash, WSJ – Every candidate since 1964 with the lead in Gallup polls about 100 days before the presidential election won the Oval Office except for Michael Dukakis. So what do the polls tell us now? Not much. The latest Gallup poll, conducted on a seven-day rolling basis, puts President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney at a tie. Both candidates received 46% support among registered voters.
ELECTIONS 2012: Why ‘You Didn’t Build That’ Resonates
Josh Barro, Bloomberg - Jonathan Chait says the president’s “you didn’t build that” speech revived racial resentments about redistributive fiscal policy, partly because the president was speaking in a “black dialect.” Maybe this was a problem with the speech, but the key problem was much simpler: The president was needlessly insulting. He wasn’t just calling on successful people to pay more in tax but was being dismissive of their accomplishments.
ELECTIONS 2012: Democrats Back Gay Marriage Platform
Naftali Bendavid and Laura Meckler, WSJ – It would be the first time a major-party platform included such an endorsement.
ELECTIONS 2012: Lies the parties are telling themselves
Alexander Burns and Maggie Haberman, POLITICO – So with the fundamentals of the 2012 campaign increasingly locked in place – a weak, economically hobbled incumbent matched off against an unsteady, unpopular challenger – strategists on both sides have turned their attention to another rite of summer during presidential years: convincing themselves that they’re winning.
WOMEN’S RIGHTS: Arizona: Judge Upholds 20-Week Limit on Abortions
Associated Press, NY Times - Judge James Teilborg of United States District Court said the statute may prompt a few pregnant women who are considering abortion to make the decision earlier. But he said the law is constitutional because it does not prohibit any women from making the decision to end their pregnancies.
FEDERAL POLICY: An incentive not to work
Charles Lane, Washington Post OPINION – Not all SSDI beneficiaries are malingering. But SSDI offers all the wrong incentives: Employers pay nothing when their workers go on SSDI. And for many workers, especially those with few skills, the alternative to a steady SSDI check (and, often, Medicare) would be a minimum-wage job, possibly one without insurance. And the program has no training or rehabilitation component.
Greg Miller, Washington Post – The proposed legislation would keep analysts from the CIA and other intelligence agencies from speaking to the media without being identified publicly.
SECURITY/FREE PRESS: Stifling democracy in the Senate
Staff, Washington Post OPINION- Amendments to the intelligence bill are misguided.
Abby Goodnough, NY Times – The law requires insurers to give out annual rebates by Aug. 1, if less than 80 percent of the premium dollars they collect go toward medical care.
SUPREME COURT: High Court Weighs In on Police Taking DNA
Joe Palazzolo, WSJ – The Supreme Court signaled interest in resolving a clash over the constitutionality of laws that authorize police to take DNA samples from people who have been arrested but haven’t been convicted.
Ana Campoy, WSJ – The alleged gunman in the movie-theater shooting that killed 12 people and wounded 58 others in a Denver suburb was formally charged Monday with 142 offenses, including 24 counts of first-degree murder. He also faces 116 counts of attempted murder, as well as counts of explosives possession and commission of a crime of violence.
POST OFFICE: It’s D-Day for the Post Office
Joe Nocera*, NY Times Opinion – On August 1st, the USPS will default on a $5.5 billion payment to pre-fundfuture health benefits. With only 1 billion in the bank, it will not be making the payment, and it will likely not be able to make a similar payment in September. This is a Congress-created crisis, but it probably won’t be resolved until the USPS runs out of money to deliver the mail.
*Joe Nocera spoke at The Common Good on August 2nd, 2011.
Marc Kaufman – With Mars mission and its rover Curiosity, NASA goes hunting for the building blocks of life.
FOR PROFIT SCHOOLS: False Promises
NY Times, Editorial – Students are left with valueless credentials and crippling debt while for-profit schools pocket billions of their federal financial aid. Congress needs to rouse itself.
FREE SPEECH: The Chick-fil-A Business
NY Times, Editorial – Antigay remarks like those made by the president of the fast-food chain are offensive, but they are not a reason to kick the company out of town.
FDA/WHISTLEBLOWER: Caustic Crusader at Center of F.D.A. Scandal
Eric Lichtblau and Scott Shane, NY Times – After Dr. Robert C. Smith accused his supervisors at the Food and Drug Administration of harmful practices, they began a wide-ranging surveillance operation on him.
OLYMPICS: A Priceless Gold for Missy Franklin
Jason Gay, WSJ – Missy Franklin is the teenage superstar happy to still be a teenager–living in the town she grew up, swimming for her high school team, getting coached by the same coach who has guided her since she was a 7-year-old Starfish.
MORE ELECTIONS 2012:
Eugene Robinson, Washington Post Opinion – Romney’s disastrous overseas trip.
David Brooks, NY Times – As campaigns get more sophisticated, everything begins to look more homogenized, less effective and indescribably soporific.
Jonathan Martin, POLITICO – “Kiss my ass; this is a holy site for the Polish people,” said aide Rick Gorka. “Show some respect.” Gorka then told a reporter to “shove it.”
Kevin Robillard, POLITICO – “You would think someone who dealt with the Olympics here in the United States would be much more sensitive with regard to those kind of issues, then to go into the country and criticize the organizers,” the Maryland Democrat said on CNN’s “Starting Point.” “And I found the Palestinian comment to be quite offensive, and I understand the feelings of the Palestinians. And now, this fellow here, in Poland, making the comment that he made.”
Jason Horowitz, Washington Post – The numbers don’t provide much hope for Romney’s courting of Jewish voters because only about 6 percent of them vote solely based on Israel-centric issues, and most of them are already reliably Republican.
Richard Cohen, Washington Post Opinion – The gap in the ‘you didn’t build that’ fight.
Howard P. “Buck” McKeon , The Washington Post Opinion - Only a handful of legislative days remain to resolve the devastating cuts to our military, known as sequestration, before the campaign trail becomes the sole focus of political activity.
Marcin Sobczyl, WSJ – “Unfortunately, there are parts of the world today where the desire to be free is met with brutal oppression: Just to the east of here, the people of Belarus suffer under the oppressive weight of dictatorship,” Mr. Romney said in a speech at the Warsaw University Library.
The. Obama. Campaign. Slogan. Is. Causing. Grammarians. Whiplash. Even for some in the president’s orbit, the final punctuation on ‘Forward.’ slams the brakes on a word supposed to convey momentum.
The Common Good publishes a U.S. domestic news digest every weekday, available here.