TOP NEWS: Democracy: August 9, 2012
- Poll Finds Tight Senate Races in Virginia and Wisconsin
- A Harsh Anti-Romney Ad Sparks Criticism
- Democrats’ Preferred Republicans Are Primary Winners
- Can Karl Rove Buy the 2012 Election?
- The Vanishing Undecideds
Excerpts and More Top Stories
ELECTIONS 2012/POLL/SWING STATES: Poll Finds Tight Senate Races in Virginia and Wisconsin
Allison Kopicki, NY Times – The Senate race in Virginia is closely divided between two former governors, with 48 percent of likely voters supporting the Democrat Tim Kaine and 46 percent supporting the Republican George Allen.
ELECTIONS 2012/ADVERTISING: A Harsh Anti-Romney Ad Sparks Criticism
Peter Nicholas, Colleen McCain Nelson, WSJ – A new TV ad that suggests Mitt Romney’s business dealings contributed to a woman’s death from cancer by depriving her of health insurance enraged Republicans and left even some supporters of President Barack Obama troubled by its tone.
ELECTIONS 2012/PRIMARY WINNERS: In Primaries, Democrats’ Preferred Candidates (Including Republicans) Are Winners
Jennifer Steinhauer, NY Times – Democrats’ preferred candidates, among their own and Republicans, won some contested primaries. Kansas, Michigan, Missouri and Washington held primaries Tuesday, and in all but Kansas, Democrats can claim success.
ELECTIONS 2012/CAMPAIGN FINANCE: Can Karl Rove Buy the 2012 Election? Inside His Designs for the $1B G.O.P. War Chest
Craig Unger, Vanity Fair – Today, as the mastermind of a billion-dollar war chest—and with surrogates in place in the Romney campaign—he’s the de facto leader of the Republican Party. But in Rove’s long game, 2012 may be just the beginning.
ELECTIONS 2012/POLL: The Vanishing Undecideds
David Wessel, WSJ – There aren’t a whole lot of undecided voters to go after now. Indeed, in the last WSJ/NBC poll, only 8% of voters failed to express a candidate preference. A NYT/Quinnipiac poll found only a sliver of voters in key swing states — 4% in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania — undecided. Additionally, undecided independents amount to only 3% or 4% of the overall voters – and who knows if they’ll vote at all.
ELECTIONS 2012/CONSERVATIVE VOTERS: Kansas Voter Uprising
America’s grass-roots voter rebellion continued on Tuesday, most notably in Kansas, where at least nine incumbent Republicans in the state Senate lost their primary re-election bids to conservative challengers.
ELECTIONS 2012/YOUNG GOP: Young in G.O.P. Erase the Lines on Social Issues
Susan Saulny, NY Times – Many of the youngest leaders of the Republican Party are embracing views on some social issues that are at odds with traditional conservative ideology.
SIKH SHOOTING/WHITE SUPREMACISTS: The Sound of Hate
Robert Futrell, Pete Simi, NYT, Op-Ed – Law enforcement and anti-racist activists should pay close attention to the neo-Nazi music scene as a motivating force for hate crime.
SIKH SHOOTING: For Victim in Sikh Temple Shooting, a Life of Separation
Amidst the common Sikh practice of emigrating to the U.S. to support a family back in India, one stunned family, having lived for so long without their family member, is now preparing, finally, to travel to Wisconsin. They will collect his body.
COLLEGE LOANS: College Debt Hits Well-Off
Ruth Simon, Rob Barry, WSJ – Rising college costs and a sagging economy are taking the biggest toll on a surprising group: upper-middle-income families. According to a WSJ analysis, households with annual incomes of $94,535 to $205,335 saw the biggest jump in the percentage with student-loan debt from 2007 to 2010.
Laurie Goodstein, NY Times – More than 900 sisters gathered to discuss their next move in response to the church’s assessment that described them as disobedient dissenters.
DEFENSE SPENDING: Defense Department having money-managing problems
Walter Pincus, Washington Post, Opinion – The Pentagon has excess money, appropriated in past years for programs that were canceled or delayed but remain in five-year budget plans.
MARS ROVER: Rover sends new photos of Mars surface
Marc Kaufman, Washington Post – NASA says all basic systems on the Mars rover Curiosity are in good working order, and cameras have begun to send back photos showing a somewhat Earth-like environment.
CHICK-fil-A: Democracy in America: Feathers flying
Economist, Opinion – On the Chick-fil-A relevence to our current cultural and political climate. Corporate social responsibility combined with ethical consumption is a recipe for culture war.
SUSAN G. KOMEN: Breast Cancer Group Changes Leaders
Michael Schwirtz, NY Times – Susan G. Komen for the Cure announced the most significant leadership shake-up since its short-lived attempt to cut financing for breast cancer services provided by Planned Parenthood.
CALIFORNIA BULLET TRAIN: A Golden State train wreck
George F. Will, Washington Post, Opinion – In 2008, Californians passed an initiative authorizing $9.95 billion in bonds to build what they were told would be a $33 billion high-speed rail system. California, constantly lurching from one budget crisis to a worse one, could not nearly afford even that, and soon the price was re-estimated at about $100 billion.
Administration officials said Wednesday that the e-mails show that the White House involvement was appropriate and that there was no pressure on agency officials.
HEALTHCARE: Romney and his fictional Obama
E.J. Dionne Jr., Washington Post, Opinion – If you truly hate the Affordable Care Act, send back any of those rebate checks you receive from your insurance companies thanks to the new law.
TECHNOLOGY/GOOGLE: New Google Tools to Make the Search Engine More All-Knowing
Claire Cain Miller, NY Times – When Google imagines the future of Web search, it sees a search engine that understands human meaning and not just words, that can have a spoken conversation with computer users and that gives users results not just from the Web but also from their personal lives.
OLYMPICS/TITLE IX/WOMEN: The Court at the Olympics
Linda Greenhouse, NY Times, Op-Ed – Many have noted the connection between the historic success of American women at the London Olympics, and the 40th anniversary of Title IX, which President Richard M. Nixon signed into law on June 23, 1972. There’s another player that deserves some recognition at this celebratory moment: the Supreme Court.
David Segal, NY Times, Opinion – Any moment not shrouded in gold, silver or bronze has the potential to draw complaints, insults and general disgruntlement from fans and the news media.
INDIAN TRIBES/INTERNET GAMBLING: $1 Million Each Year for All, as Long as Tribe’s Luck Holds
Timothy Williams, NY Times – A growing movement to legalize Internet gambling and give states the power to regulate and tax online gambling even on reservations is driving anxiety among the Shakopee tribe.
More on Elections 2012
VEEPSTAKES: Why Not Paul Ryan?
Romney can win a big election over big issues. He’ll lose a small one. The whispering over Mitt Romney’s choice of a running mate is getting louder, along with the sotto voce angst of the GOP establishment: He wouldn’t dare pick Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan, would he?
Nate Silver, NY Times – Whatever else his pick does or does not accomplish for Mr. Romney, his potential running mate could improve his standing in their home state, potentially changing the outcome there.
WOMEN VOTERS: Campaigns Put Focus on Suburban Women
Laura Meckler, Daniel Lippman, WSJ – The battle for suburban women, the archetypal swing voting bloc, is on. On most days, President Barack Obama talks about taxes, the economy and the middle class. But he is running a parallel campaign, aimed at suburban women, which focuses on contraception, abortion and the health-care law.
VIRGINIA SENATE RACE: George Allen, Tim Kaine woo ticket-splitting voters
Marc Fisher, Washington Post – The Virginia Senate candidates are trying to appeal to two slim but vitally important slices of the electorate: Romney-Kaine and Obama-Allen voters.
ELECTIONS 2012/POLLING TRENDS: Rove: For Romney, Even Means Ahead
Karl Rove, Opinion, WSJ – Wednesday’s Gallup poll had President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney essentially tied, with Mr. Obama at 47% and Mr. Romney at 46%. That’s good news for Mr. Romney. Historically, undecided voters tend to break late for the challenger.
ENVIRONMENT: In Iowa, Romney Leaves a Stance on Wind Power Unsaid
Trip Gabriel, NY Times – Des Moines, Mitt Romney called for developing energy resources that included wind power, but did not mention that he opposes a tax credit for the wind industry that the state’s Republican leadership strongly favors.
ROMNEY/OBAMA/WELFARE: Mr. Romney Hits Bottom on Welfare
NY Times, Editorial – Mitt Romney’s charge that President Obama is encouraging welfare dependency by ending federal work requirements is false and divisive.
DEMOCRATIC CONVENTION SECURITY: Small City, Big Protests: Charlotte Braces
Kim Severson, NY Times – As thousands of protesters of all stripes prepare to invade the city for the Democratic National Convention, the Secret Service announced the security zone perimeters.
ROMNEY/HEALTHCARE: Conservatives blast Romney on health care
Rosalind S. Helderman, Aaron Blake , Washington Post – Mitt Romney drew new fire from conservative allies on a familiar topic Wednesday — health-care reform — as his spokeswoman offered unusual praise for his efforts on the issue as Massachusetts governor.
ROMNEY FOREIGN POLICY: Zoellick pick roils Romney campaign
Josh Rogin, Foreign Policy - Former World Bank President Bob Zoellick has begun work as the head of national security transition planning for Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign, causing an uproar inside the campaign’s foreign-policy advisory team and concern in parts of the greater Republican foreign-policy establishment.
ROMNEY TAX PLAN: Romney’s tax plan makes no sense
Robert J. Samuelson, Washington Post, Opinion – President Obama and his allies have cast Romney as a wealthy fat cat who’s out of touch with everyday Americans and who would use his presidency to enrich the already rich. To counter this damning image, the last thing you’d expect Romney to do is embrace a tax plan favoring the super-rich. Which is exactly what he has done.
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