TOP NEWS: Democracy: August 14th, 2012
- Medicare Rises as Prime Election Issue
- Both camps hit trail running in race to define GOP ticket
- Christie to Deliver Keynote, Rubio to Introduce Romney
- Obama urges Congress to pass farm bill
- Judges for Sale
Excerpts and More Top Stories
ELECTIONS 2012/MEDICARE: Medicare Rises as Prime Election Issue
Adam Nagourney, NY Times – Florida is emerging as a test of the Republican Party’s gamble that concerns over the deficit will trump voters’ worries about Paul D. Ryan’s proposed Medicare overhaul.
ELECTIONS 2012/MEDICARE: Mediscare: The Sequel
Stephen Moore, WSJ, Opinion – Attack campaigns have worked for Democrats in the past, but Mitt Romney is betting the Obama team is fighting yesterday’s wars and voters will be turned off by the scare tactics.
ELECTIONS 2012: Both camps hit trail running in race to define GOP ticket
Amy Gardner, Rosalind S. Helderman, Washington Post – Newly minted vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan got a rude introduction to the bright glare of a national campaign, as he was aggressively heckled in Iowa.
ELECTIONS 2012/GOP CONVENTION: Christie to Deliver Keynote Address, Rubio to Introduce Romney
Michael D. Shear, NY Times – The New Jersey governor will deliver one of the convention’s most closely watched speeches, and Senator Marco Rubio will introduce Mitt Romney.
ELECTIONS 2012: Obama Rejoins Campaign Trail in Iowa and Finds a Brand-New Rival
Helene Cooper, Trip Gabriel, NY Times – Representative Paul D. Ryan spoke from a political soapbox as President Obama began a three-day bus tour through a swing state.
ELECTIONS 2012: Race Snaps Into Gear
Sara Murray, Carol E. Lee, Colleen McCain Nelson, WSJ – The presidential candidates traded barbs on Medicare and the economy in three battleground states Monday, as the campaign for the White House sped into a sprint.
*MORE ON ELECTIONS 2012 BELOW
ROMNEY-RYAN: An Easy and Instant Chemistry on the Trail
Michael Barbaro, NY Times – Over the weekend, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan rarely left each other’s sight, exchanging hugs, backslaps and knowing smiles, but on Monday they split to try to cover as much territory as possible.
ROMNEY-RYAN: The Bold to Mitt’s Bland
Frank Bruni, NY Times, Op-Ed – What Paul Ryan can give Mitt Romney is a tutorial in political myth-making.
Al Kamen, Washington Post, Op-Ed – Political prognosticators didn’t see Republican GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s choice of Rep. Paul Ryan as his running mate coming — but it was hardly the first time a candidate has defied the expectations of the chattering class.
ROMNEY-RYAN: Mitt’s ‘Damn-the-Torpedoes!’ Decision
By Pat Buchanan, RCP, Opinion – Mitt Romney’s decision to select Rep. Paul Ryan as his running mate speaks well of the man who made it. Indeed, it seemed less like the moderate man we have come to know than Adm. David Farragut in Mobile Bay: “Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead!”
ROMNEY-RYAN/ECONOMY: Romney and Ryan’s disdain for the working class Eugene Robinson, Washington Post, Op-Ed – Mitt Romney’s selection of Paul Ryan as his running mate underscores the central question posed by this campaign: Should cold selfishness become the template for our society, or do we still believe in community?
ROMNEY/ECONOMY: Is what’s good for Bain good for United States?
Jack Markell, Politico, Opinion – Romney clearly believes in a top-down philosophy that will not help America win the global jobs competition and build an economy that grows from the middle class out.
ROMNEY TAX PLAN: Mathematically Possible: The false assumptions of Obama’s tax gurus.
WSJ, Opinion – As the boys at the Brookings-Urban Institute Tax Policy Center are discovering. Their ballyhooed study of Mitt Romney’s tax plan looks worse with each new examination.
*MORE ON ROMNEY-RYAN BELOW
FARM BILL: Obama urges Congress to pass farm bill
Richard McGregor, FT – US President links Paul Ryan to delay to measure usually enacted every five years but which is held up by a partisan stand-off over funding.
CAMPAIGN FINANCE/JUDGESHIPS: Judges for Sale
Jeffrey Toobin*, New Yorker, Opinion – The biggest outrage concerning money in politics has little to do with the Presidential race, It involves elections that rarely receive the attention they deserve: those for judgeships. *Jeffrey Toobin was a guest speaker at The Common Good in July, 2012 [Link]
CAMPAIGN FINANCE/ADELSON: Scrutiny for Casino Mogul’s Frontman in China
Michael Luo, Neil Gough, Edward Wong, NY Times – An inquiry highlights how politics and profits are often intertwined for Sheldon Adelson, a major Republican donor.
PRESIDENTIAL DEBATES: The debate over the presidential debate moderators
Dylan Byers, Politico – This year’s hosts are Jim Leherer, Candy Crowley, Bob Schieffer and Martha Raddatz. On the one hand, the choice of moderators marks progress: For the first time in 20 years, a woman will host a presidential debate. On the other hand, it reeks of the archaic.
BOOK/US POLITICAL SYSTEM: A Congressional Insider on Why the U.S. Political System Is Broke
Mark Thompson, Time – Mike Lofgren spent 28 years working for Congress, his new book — The Party Is Over: How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became Useless, and the Middle Class Got Shafted – is a keen but depressing peek behind congressional bunting and cloakroom doors. While he is an equal-opportunity critic of both political parties, his Republican background gives his slaps at the GOP added sting.
ENVIRONMENT/OIL: Plan would ban drilling on half of Alaska petroleum reserve
Juliet Eilperin, The Washington Post – Interior Secretary Ken Salazar’s proposal to manage the nearly 23 million-acre National Petroleum Reserve allows for new oil and gas drilling on half while putting the rest off-limits.
ENVIRONMENT/FRACKING: Shale Gas to the Climate Rescue
Alan Riley, NY Times, Opinion – Unless a cheap, rapidly deployable substitute fuel is found for coal, then it will be next to impossible to safely rein in rising carbon dioxide levels around the world.
ENVIRONMENT/DROUGHT: Study foresees decades of droughts
Hristio Boytchev, Washington Post – Improved climate models confirm predictions about further droughts, but the news is dire.
ENVIRONMENT/NUCLEAR SAFETY: For New Nuclear Chief, Concerns Over Plant Safety
Matthew Wald, NY Times – Allison M. Macfarlane, a geologist, questions the nuclear power industry’s evaluation of earthquake vulnerability.
Julia Preston, NY Times – As many as 1.7 million illegal immigrants across the country are preparing to apply for a deportation deferral being offered by the Obama administration.
MEXICAN BORDER: From Battlefield to the Border
Dion Nissenbaum, WSJ – The U.S. military is joining with border-patrol officials in a new initiative that could bring dozens of surveillance blimps from the battlefields of Afghanistan to America’s border with Mexico.
SUPREME COURT: Justices to hear affirmative-action case
Robert Barnes, Washington Post – The Obama administration on Monday urged the Supreme Court to continue to allow universities to take race into account when assembling their student bodies.
FEDERAL WORKERS: Phased retirement plan in the works for federal workers
Eric Yoder, Washington Post – The Office of Personnel Management plans to make a phased retirement plan available for employees.
FAREED ZAKARIA: More questions raised about Fareed Zakaria’s work
Paul Farhi , The Washington Post – TV host and columnist defends practice of using other writer’s material without attribution.
Evan Perez, WSJ – After the flawed probe known as Fast and Furious, the ATF is looking to reinvent itself, and maybe even change its name.
NY Times, Room for Debate – Are schools undervaluing grammar, given that employers may rule out applicants with sloppy writing?
J.F., The Economist – It turns out that the kinds of behaviors that resulted in passengers getting additional screening were things such as walking while black, breathing while Latino and trying to board an aircraft while being Middle Eastern. These allegations come from TSA officers themselves.
James Hamblin, The Atlantic – In terms of weight loss, at least. Low-calorie diets that included high fructose corn syrup yielded the same amount of progress as diets that substituted an equivalent amount of table sugar.
OBITUARY: Helen Gurley Brown, 1922-2012 (Slideshow)
Ms. Brown, 90, ran Cosmopolitan for more than three decades, giving the magazine the sexually frank tone it was known for.
Oliver Staley, Bloomberg – Pennsylvania State University received a warning that its accreditation is “in jeopardy” following the child sex abuse scandal involving former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky.
TEXAS SHOOTING: 3 Dead, Including Gunman, in Shooting Near Texas A&M
Manny Fernansdez, Michael Schwirtz, NY Times – Thomas Caffall opened fire on police officers after a constable tried to serve an eviction notice.
More on Elections 2012
ELECTIONS 2012: 4 on the trail: Ryan alters campaign’s dynamic
Reid J. Epstein, Politico – Paul Ryan said his entry into the presidential campaign makes it a two-on-two race, but President Obama and Vice President Biden on Monday added a third teammate to the GOP ticket: the Republican House majority.
ELECTIONS 2012: Let the Real Debate Begin
Joe Nocera, NY Times, Op-Ed – With Paul Ryan on the Republican ticket, Americans can have a much needed discussion about the size and role of the federal government.
ELECTIONS 2012: In Iowa, Obama Tries to Summon Spirit of ’08
Alexis Simendinger, RCP, Opinion – President Obama on Monday embarked on a three-day journey by bus across the Hawkeye State — to remind his supporters how they helped send him to the White House in 2008, and how Iowans can do it again in November.
ELECTIONS 2012: Saving Private Romney
Roger Cohen, NY Times, Op-Ed, Saving Private Romney is going to involve an ideological battle — over the size of government, the extent of Americans’ obligations to one another, even the soul of the country — that is no less than the United States deserves.
ELECTIONS 2012/OBAMA: Willie Stark, Barack Obama and Idealism’s Limits
Adam Kirsch, Bloomberg, Opinion – Obama’s supporters, especially the young, have lost their innocence about the power of idealism in politics, and about the possibility that a leader can stay above the fray.
ELECTIONS 2012/CAMPAIGN WIVES: The Other Running Mates
Jamie Stiehm, NY Times, Opinion – What do the roles played by Michelle Obama and Ann Romney in the presidential campaign tell us about the state of feminism?
ELECTIONS 2012/TALKING POINTS: GOP memo: ‘Don’t say entitlement reform’
Alex Isenstadt, Politico – It only took two hours after the Paul Ryan vice presidential announcement for Republican congressional candidates to get their talking points on how to spin the Ryan budget and Medicare attacks.
ELECTIONS 2012/ENERGY Romney to criticize Obama on coal and environmental regulations
Stephen Koff, The Plain Dealer – When the Romney bus rolls into eastern Ohio today, the first scheduled stop will be a coal mine.
ELECTIONS 2012/ENERGY: Obama to talk wind energy in Iowa
Donovan Slack, Politico – In the middle of a three-day swing through Iowa, President Barack Obama today is expected to talk about the state’s burgeoning wind power industry and green energy’s role in reducing U.S. dependence on foreign oil.
ELECTIONS 2012/FOREIGN POLICY: A Conspiracy of Silence
Dexter Filkins, New Yorker, Opinion – Why aren’t Barack Obama and Mitt Romney talking about Afghanistan?
More on Romney-Ryan
ROMNEY/RIGHT: The Right Completes Its Hostile Takeover of Romney
Michael Hirsh, National Journal, Opinion – Romney’s selection of Ryan must be seen as part of a continuum of hard-line positions that the GOP candidate, under constant pressure from an often hostile right, has laid out on everything from immigration to health care to foreign policy.
ROMNEY TAXES: John McCain: No evidence Mitt Romney didn’t pay
Mackenzie Weinger, Politico – Sen. John McCain says Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s claim that Mitt Romney went 10 years without paying taxes is absolutely wrong. ‘Nothing in [Romney's] tax returns showed that he did not pay taxes,’ McCain says.
RYAN/ECONOMY: Ryan and the ‘new normal’
Mohamed A. El-Erian, Washington Post, Editorial – Ryan: “I hear some people say that this is just ‘the new normal.’ High unemployment, declining incomes and crushing debt is not a new normal. It’s the result of misguided policies.” He is both right and wrong. Understanding the difference is essential
RYAN BUDGET PLAN: Paul Ryan’s Fairy-Tale Budget Plan
David Stockman, NY Times, Op-Ed – Paul D. Ryan’s talk of shrinking Big Government and giving tax cuts to “job creators” will do nothing to reverse the nation’s economic decline and arrest its fiscal collapse.
RYAN DONORS: Ryan Has Kept Close Ties to Donors on the Right
Nicolas Confessore, NY Times – In his running mate, Mitt Romney has found a link to major conservative and libertarian activists with deep pockets.
RYAN RECORD Paul Ryan has a complicated record
David A. Fahrenthold, Washington Post – Paul Ryan is not just a conservative warrior. His record as a House lawmaker shows there is a little for everyone to love and to hate.
RYAN RELIGION: Ryan’s Catholicism
Matthew Payne, WSJ – The Romney/Ryan team will have an opportunity to reach out to the Catholic community in a way which the current administration hasn’t.
RYAN VALUES: Paul Ryan’s Neocon Manifesto
Bret Stephens, WSJ, Opinion – America’s real interests, he understands, come from our deepest values.
RYAN/IMMIGRATION: A Ryan Link to Immigration Reform?
Stephen Dinan, Washington Times via CFR – Rep. Paul Ryan could be GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s way to wooing voters who want undocumented immigrants to be granted legal status, since the Wisconsin Republican has repeatedlybacked legalization efforts.
RYAN/OBAMA: Paul Ryan sets his sights on Obama
Felicia Sonmez , Washington Post – At a pair of events, VP candidate will attack president on housing, energy independence.
RYAN/BOEHNER: John Boehner walks fine line on Paul Ryan
Jake Sherman, Politico – Speaker John Boehner just had a big wrench thrown into his massive summer fundraising tour: He now has to sell the nation on Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan. Boehner and Ryan’s history includes much mutual admiration, but some tensions.
RYAN/GOP: GOP pros fret over Ryan
Alexander Burns, Maggie Haberman, Jonathan Martin, Politico – Away from the cameras, there is an unmistakable consensus among Republican operatives in Washington: Romney has taken a risk with Ryan that has only a modest chance of going right — and a huge chance of going horribly wrong.
Matthew O’Brien, The Atlantic, Opinion – Ryan wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal back in May of 2008 calling on Congress to revoke the Fed’s dual mandate to target both low inflation and low unemployment. He wants the Fed to only worry about the former and not the latter.
RYAN/MEDICARE: The Forgotten History of Ryan’s Medicare Reform
Joseph Rago, WSJ Opinion – How the House budget chairman developed his premium-support concept, which was originally supported by Democrats. It’s the only plan that won’t send grandma over a cliff.
RYAN FOREIGN POLICY: Paul Ryan on Foreign Policy
James Lindsay, CFR, Opinion - A review of Ryan’s foreign policy positions based on his voting record and past speeches says that “he is firmly in the Republican internationalist mainstream.”
RYAN/SPENDING: Paul Ryan’s voting record: Big-spending conservatism
Andrew Restuccia, Seung Min Kim, Politico – Paul Ryan rose to the top of the political ranks on his reputation as a conservative budget hawk. But his voting record shows him to be far from a pure fiscal conservative.
RYAN/FLEXIBILITY: Ryan’s Record Shows Flexibility on Policy
Peter Nicholas, WSJ – Rep. Paul Ryan became a favorite of conservatives as a budget hawk, but over the course of a long congressional career, Ryan has shown more flexibility than some of the tea-party-inspired freshmen who make up much of the current GOP majority.
The Common Good publishes a U.S. domestic news digest every weekday, available here.