TOP NEWS: Democracy: August 8, 2012
- Polls Underline Stubborn Splits in 3 Key States
- Missouri Congressman to Take On McCaskill
- Obama’s hand forced on sequester
- The Tea Party’s Plan to Cripple Congress
- Life Term for Gunman After Guilty Plea in Tucson Killings
Excerpts and More Top Stories
ELECTION 2012/POLL: Polls Underline Stubborn Splits in 3 Key States
Jim Rutenberg and Allison Kopicki, NY Times – New results from surveys over the past week in Colorado, Virginia and Wisconsin, combined with surveys last week in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania, show that Mr. Romney so far appears to be holding his own with that group, but running no stronger than Senator John McCain did four years ago.
ELECTION 2012/SENATE: Missouri Congressman to Take On McCaskill in Senate Race
Jennifer Steinhauer, NY Times – Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri, the nation’s most endangered Senate Democrat, will face Representative Todd Akin in the November election, the Republican candidate she all but picked for herself who narrowly defeated two challengers in the state’s primary on Tuesday.
ELECTION 2012/VEEP STAKES: Paul Ryan veep prospects split GOP
Jonathan Martin, Jake Sherman, and Maggie Haberman, Politico – As Mitt Romney’s vice presidential selection nears and buzz about Rep. Paul Ryan’s prospects builds, a split is emerging among Republicans about whether the choice of the House Budget chairman and architect of the party’s controversial tax and spending plan would be a daring plus for the ticket or a miscalculation that would turn a close election into a referendum on Medicare.
ELECTION 2012/POLL: Romney’s favorability ratings stall
Rosalind S. Helderman and Jon Cohen, Washington Post – While 40 percent of voters now say they hold a favorable opinion of the former Massachusetts governor–virtually unchanged from May–those holding negative views of Romney ticked higher in the new poll, from 45 percent to 49 percent.
FISCAL CLIFF: Obama’s hand forced on sequester
Darren Samuelsohn and Manu Raju, Politico – President Barack Obama — with a big nudge from Congress — is about to get much more specific about a touchy topic in the heat of his reelection campaign. Legislation Obama signed into law Tuesday will force him to detail early next month how he’d make the first phase of $1.2 trillion in spending cuts across the federal budget, from defense to education to the environment.
FISCAL CLIFF: Defense vs. Food Stamps—What Would You Choose?
Mackenzie Eaglen, Wall Street Journal, Opinion – Washington is battling these days over “sequestration,” the $500 billion additional cut to the defense budget looming in January. It’s clear that Mr. Obama prioritizes sundry domestic spending programs over the defense budget.
TEA PARTY: The Tea Party’s Plan to Cripple Congress
Margaret Carlson, Bloomberg, Opinion – The large Tea Party contingent in the House of Representatives set out to change Washington but settled for simply paralyzing it. They repealed Obama’s health-care law 33 times but didn’t change one word of its 2,700 or so pages. They stopped the Grand Bargain over the debt and deficit even at the cost of exposing Speaker John Boehner as a scaredy cat.
TUCSON SHOOTING: Life Term for Gunman After Guilty Plea in Tucson Killings
Fernanda Santos, NY Times – Jared L. Loughner pleaded guilty on Tuesday to killing six people and wounding 13 others last year during a meet-and-greet event here held by Gabrielle Giffords, then a member of the House of Representatives and the primary target of his rampage. The plea brought a sudden resolution to a case that seemed threatened by the fragility of Mr. Loughner’s mental state.
SIKH SHOOTING: Gunman in Temple Shooting Shot Himself
AP via NY Times -The FBI says the motive behind the shootings at a Sikh temple that left six worshippers dead remains unknown but authorities still haven’t identified anyone other than the gunman as being responsible.
SIKH CULTURE: A Sikh Temple’s Century
Bhira Backhaus, NY Times, Opinion – The Sikh communities in California have flourished over the years. When I visit home now I am impressed by how comfortable the new generation seems in this country, whether they are developing advanced medical therapies for patients or dancing late into the night to bhangra beats. They have chosen to preserve their heritage while moving forward in the world.
ECONOMIC RECOVERY: For real jobs plan, empower govs
Jennifer Granholm, Politico, Opinon -Mitt Romney has now released his five-point jobs plan, boasting that he’ll create 12 million jobs in his first term. He listed “energy independence” as the top strategy, but renewable energy is not part of his plan. Guess who Romney forgot to consult in crafting his energy jobs plan? Republican governors. Even the most die-hard Republican govs are pursuing renewable energy jobs — hoping the Koch brothers won’t notice.
IMMIGRATION: Immigration Update: Obama’s Permit Plan Draws Fire
Council on Foreign Relations – Under the Obama administration’s new policy, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will begin accepting applications (Reuters) starting August 15 for work permits from young undocumented immigrants so they will legally be able to stay in the United States and work, which is causing election-year stir.
GUN CONTROL/POLL: Gun laws won’t stop shootings
Kevin Robillard, Politico – Voters in three swing states with gun massacres in the recent past support a national ban on high-capacity magazines — but don’t think additional laws will prevent mass shootings, a New York Times/Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday shows.
LIFESTYLE: Average Is Over, Part II
Thomas L. Friedman, NY Times, Opinion – Thanks to the merger of, and advances in, globalization and the information technology revolution, every boss now has cheaper, easier access to more above-average software, automation, robotics, cheap labor and cheap genius than ever before. So just doing a job in an average way will not return an average lifestyle any longer.
DROUGHT: The Silver Lining in the Drought
William G. Moseley, NY Times – We have become dangerously focused on corn in the Midwest (and soybeans, with which it is cultivated in rotation). This limited diversity of crops restricts our diets, degrades our soils and increases our vulnerability to droughts.
Melinda Henneberger, Washington Post – Democratic dissenters on the issue of abortion have made their case to the platform committee, arguing that the party should change its language enough to allow for some diversity of opinion on the matter and return to the “big tent” approach of the Clinton years.
WHISTLEBLOWER PROTECTION: Justice Department Post to Aid Whistleblowers
Evan Perez, Wall Street Journal – The Justice Department’s inspector general’s office says it is creating a new post to help protect whistleblowers who call attention to waste and abuse.
More on Elections 2012
ELECTION 2012: Obama Is an Avid Reader, and Critic, of the News
Amy Chozick, NY Times – The news media have played a crucial role in Mr. Obama’s career, helping to make him a national star not long after he had been an anonymous state legislator. As president, however, he has come to believe the news media have had a role in frustrating his ambitions to change the terms of the country’s political discussion.
ROMNEY/OBAMA/WELFARE: Romney Presses Obama on Work in Welfare Law
Trip Gabriel, NY Times – Mitt Romney accused President Obama on Tuesday of gutting one of the signature bipartisan accomplishments of the recent political era: the overhaul of welfare policy.
ROMNEY/ECONOMY: Romney’s Job Growth Promises
Catherine Rampell, NY Times, Opinion – Mitt Romney declared that if his new economic policy plan were implemented, he would add “12 million new jobs by the end of [his] first term.” However, the Macroeconomic Advisers projected that the economy would add 11.8 million jobs from 2012 to 2016 regardless of any change in policy. Mr. Romney’s newly announced policies would add an extra 200,000 jobs on top of what is already expected, or a jobs bonus of about 2 percent. The more jobs the better, of course, but that’s not really much to write home about.
ELECTION 2012: Obama’s red-state outreach
Darren Samuelsohn, Politico – President’s Obama campaign still considers states sure to go to Mitt Romney an integral part of its November election strategy. They’re trying to preserve Obama’s brand as the candidate reaching out to all Americans. They’re worried that just asking for cash in red states without at least making a show of competing there will dampen donations.
ELECTION 2012: Reid, Clinton tag team comes to Obama’s rescue
Jonathan Allen and Darren Goode, Politico – Bill Clinton was back in Sin City on Tuesday for his regular gig as headliner at Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s clean energy summit, an annual conference that usually flies under the national media’s radar. The two old political gunslingers, each free to speak more bluntly than the president, were previewing the two-pronged strategy that Democrats are likely to pursue at their national convention next month: Destroy Romney’s reputation and boost Democrats’ cred on the economy.
ELECTION 2012: Beyond the Obama ads, Joe Soptic’s steelworker story
Nia-Malika Henderson, Washington Post – Joe Soptic, 62, has become the go-to figure for the pro-Obama crowd, appearing this week in his second campaign ad talking about being laid off from a Kansas City steel plant that was taken over by Bain Capital in 1993. In the ad released Tuesday, he suggests a link between his wife’s death five years ago and the Bain takeover.
ELECTION 2012: Bachmann and Reid: A Troubling Double Standard
Tom Bevan, Real Clear Politics – Conservatives often complain of two sets of standards in politics: one for Democrats and another for Republicans. Sometime that double standard is imaginary. Often, it’s quite real. Consider the events of the last three weeks with Michelle Bachmann and Harry Reid.
ELECTION 2012/CAMPAIGN ADS: Fact-Checking is Not Enough
Ross Douthat, NY Times, Opinion – Even when they’re crossing lines and peddling inaccuracies, the makers of negative ads generally welcome criticism from the press, because criticism equals coverage, and even critical coverage expands the advertisement’s reach.
ELECTION 2012: The Ungrateful President
Maureen Dowd, NY Times, Opinion – As the president struggles to stay ahead of Moneybags Romney, his selective insensitivities may be hurting him. Stories abound of big donors who stopped giving as much or working as hard because Obama never reached out and of celebrities who gave concerts for his campaigns and never received thank-you notes or even his full attention during the performance…
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